9 episodes

Trick Bag is a musical podcast experience that brings the listener deep into the sounds of R&B. Inspired by his weekly radio show on WWOZ, disc jockey and vinyl aficionado Neil Pellegrin spins obscure tracks from the mid-20th century, celebrating some of the most important artists of our time. Each episode features the stories behind the music, including rare artist interviews and archival recordings of performances and recording sessions.

Trick Bag Osiris Media / Neil Pellegrin

    • Music History
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

Trick Bag is a musical podcast experience that brings the listener deep into the sounds of R&B. Inspired by his weekly radio show on WWOZ, disc jockey and vinyl aficionado Neil Pellegrin spins obscure tracks from the mid-20th century, celebrating some of the most important artists of our time. Each episode features the stories behind the music, including rare artist interviews and archival recordings of performances and recording sessions.

    Episode 8: The Story of Guitar Slim (Lawrence Cotton Part 2)

    Episode 8: The Story of Guitar Slim (Lawrence Cotton Part 2)

    This edition of Trick Bag will pick up from where the last episode left off. We'll hear another helping of engaging stories about Guitar Slim stories from his piano player, Lawrence Cotton. Also featured in this installment are recordings Lawrence made with Guitar Slim, Edgar Blanchard's Gondoliers and Danny White. 
     
    Join host Neil the Night Howler and special guest, Lawrence Cotton, for another journey through the golden years of New Orleans rhythm and blues!
    _____________________
     
    Songs featured in this episode: 
    Guitar Slim - Something to Remember You By
    Guitar Slim - Certainly All
    Edgar Blanchard & the Gondoliers - My Ding-a-Ling
    Edgar Blanchard & the Gondoliers - Fuzzy Wuzzy
    Edgar Blanchard & the Gondoliers - Bopsody In Blues
    Edgar Blanchard & the Gondoliers - Blues Cha Cha
    Danny White - I've Surrendered
    Guitar Slim - If I Had My Life to Live Over
    Guitar Slim - When There's No Way Out
    Guitar Slim - Strange Things Happening
    Guitar Slim - Plenty Good Room
    Guitar Slim - If I Should Lose You


    Trick Bag is presented by Osiris Media. Hosted and Produced by Neil Pellegrin. Produced by Kirsten Cluthe and Adam Caplan. Edited by Matt Dwyer and Justin Thomas. Executive produced by Patrick Mitchell (EAC Productions). Artwork by Liz Bee.
     
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    • 50 min
    Episode 7: The Story of Guitar Slim (Lawrence Cotton p1)

    Episode 7: The Story of Guitar Slim (Lawrence Cotton p1)

    On this edition of Trick Bag, we'll hear the story of one of the most colorful, dynamic and intriguing characters in New Orleans music history -- Guitar Slim -- as told by his piano player, Lawrence Cotton. 
    Guitar Slim hit it big in 1954 with "The Things That I Used to Do." Complete with Slim's stunning guitar work and a masterful arrangement by Ray Charles, the song stayed at the #1 position on the R&B chart for 14 weeks and was one of the top-selling R&B singles of 1954. Slim's piercing and innovative guitar style combined with his captivating onstage persona, which included coloring his hair to match his brightly colored suits and making use of his custom 100-foot-long guitar cord to play his instrument while he rode atop the shoulders of a burly member of his entourage, made him the ultimate showman. His self-destructive alcohol habits were no secret and his untimely death on February 7th, 1959 at age 32 only added to the mystique that already surrounded him. 


    Lawrence Cotton played piano with Slim, in concert and on recordings, from 1954 to late 1958. I had the chance to do an in-depth interview with Lawrence on December 1st, 2015 for my radio program on WWOZ in New Orleans. Lawrence was 88 at the time of the interview and is one of the most engaging and interesting people I've ever had the pleasure of interviewing. I'm happy to say that Lawrence, now 94, is just as sharp and lively as ever. 


    In this episode, Lawrence will take us on an aural journey of Guitar Slim's career as only he can!


    Songs Featured in this Episode:


    - Guitar Slim - Stand By Me
    - Guitar Slim - I Want to Love-A You (take 1)
    - Guitar Slim - Sufferin' Mind (take 1)
    - Lloyd Lambert & his Band - King Cotton (feat. the piano of Lawrence Cotton)
    - Lloyd Lambert & his Band - Heavy Sugar
    - Guitar Slim - Guitar Slim
    - Guitar Slim - I Got Sumpin' for You
    - Guitar Slim - Quicksand
     
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    • 53 min
    Episode 6: Montel Records

    Episode 6: Montel Records

    This edition of Trick Bag showcases one of the great independent record labels of Louisiana. S.J. Montalbano's Baton Rouge-based Montel Records issued its first single in late 1958. Over the course of the next ten years, Montel and its sister labels, Carmie, Michelle, Stephanie and Debbie -- the latter three named for Montalbano's three daughters -- provided a platform for an eclectic mix of R&B, Rock'n'Roll, swamp pop, country, blue-eyed soul and garage rock. A 1963 Michelle release -- Dale and Grace's "I'm Leaving It Up to You" -- put the label in the national spotlight when the song hit #1 on the Billboard chart. Other South Louisiana classics from the Montel arsenal include "Shirley" by John Fred and the Playboys, "Crazy Baby" by Buck Rogers and the Jets, "Danny Boy" by Sugar Boy Crawford, "Night Owl" by Bobby Loveless and "The Crying Man" by the Boogie Kings featuring Gee Gee Shinn.  


    S.J. "Sam Montel" Montalbano passed away on February 10th at age 84. This episode presents choice cuts from the vaults of Montel Records and tells the stories behind the music and artists who were part of its stable. 


    Songs In This Episode:
    - Lester Robertson & the Upsetters - My Girl Across Town
    - Bobby Loveless - Night Owl
    - The Boogie Kings - When Something Is Wrong With My Baby (Live at the Bamboo Hut in Galveston, TX)
    - John Fred & the Playboys - Shirley
    - Lee Tillman - One More Time
    - Buck Rogers and the Jets - Crazy Baby
    - Joe Tex - I've Got a Song
    - Jay Chevalier - Cuttin' Cane
    - The Tempos - I Gotta Make a Move
    - Dale and Grace - I'm Leaving It Up to You
    - The Nitehawks - Boogie Chillun
    - Van Broussard - Kidnapper
    - The Hi-Fi's - I'm So Lonely
    - Mohawk and the Red Necks - Enchanted Forest
    - The Boogie Kings (featuring Gee Gee Shinn) - Funny (How Times Slips Away)
    - Dynamic Duke Royal (Luther Kent) - I Wanna Know
    - Sugar Boy Crawford - Danny Boy
     
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    • 57 min
    Episode 5: Mardi Gras

    Episode 5: Mardi Gras

    Happy Mardi Gras! On this edition of Trick Bag, we'll get a taste of classic New Orleans Mardi Gras music. Most of these songs received very little to no attention outside of New Orleans, but in the city, they're considered perennial anthems of Carnival season. If you're from New Orleans, you should have a blast hearing the stories behind the Mardi Gras classics you've been listening to all your life. If you're not from the city and these songs are new to you, you're sure to enjoy this exciting musical taste of Mardi Gras in New Orleans!  


    Songs played in this episode:


    - Al Johnson - Carnival Time
    - Huey & Curley - At the Mardi Gras
    - Sugar Boy (Crawford) & his Cane Cutters - Jock-A-Mo
    - Bill Sinigal & the Skyliners - Second Line (Part 1)
    - Dave Bartholomew - Carnival Day
    - The Fabulettes - Oh, the Mardi Gras
    - Professor Longhair - Go to the Mardi Gras
    - Ray Brackens - Come On, It's Carnival
    - Joe Lutcher - Mardi Gras
    - Danny Barker & his Creole Cats - My Indian Red
    - The Hawketts - Mardi Gras Mambo
    - Sammy Harris - King Zulu
    - The Dixie Cups - Iko Iko (acapella version)
    - Huey & Curley - The Second Line
    - Jack Dupree - Yellow Pocahontas
    - Jessie Hill - Mardi Gras
    - Eskew Reeder - Mardi Gras In New Orleans (rehearsal recording)
     
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    • 1 hr
    Episode 4: Clover Part 2

    Episode 4: Clover Part 2

    The Clovers were one of the top R&B vocal groups of the 1950s scoring 21 chart-toppers between 1951 and 1959. These include "Don't You Know I Love You", "One Mint Julep", "Blue Velvet", "Ting-A-Ling", "Devil or Angel", and "Love Potion No. 9".  


    On this installment of "Trick Bag", we'll hear a 2014 interview with Harold Winley, the group's bass singer and last surviving original member. Harold is a great raconteur and tells the story of the Clovers as only he can. This two-part series also features Clovers hits and obscurities, including several rare live performances from the mid '50s.


    In Part 2, Harold shares colorful stories about the Clovers' continued string of hits in the latter half of the 1950s. We'll hear the Clovers' bass man reminisce about many of the great New York R&B songwriters, the group's abrupt switch from Atlantic to United Artists Records, and what led to their disbanding in the 1960s. Also featured is a live performance by the Clovers with the Count Basie Orchestra done in New York for Alan Freed's radio show in 1956. This includes a rare duet between Harold and Etta James!


    Songs played in this episode:


    - “Blue Velvet”
    - “In the Morning Time”
    - “Devil or Angel”
    - “Hey, Doll Baby”
    - “Your Tender Lips” (Live with Count Basie's band, 1956)
    - “Dance with me Henry” (Live with Count Basie's band, 1956)
    - “Love, Love, Love” (Live with Count Basie's band, 1956)
    - “Love Potion #9”
    - “Noni Cosi”
    - “To Each His Own”
    - “(That) Old Black Magic”
    - “Try My Loving On You”
     
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    • 57 min
    Episode 3: Clover Part 1

    Episode 3: Clover Part 1

    The Clovers were one of the top R&B vocal groups of the 1950s, scoring 21 R&B chart-toppers between 1951 and 1959. These include "Don't You Know I Love You," "One Mint Julep," "Blue Velvet," Ting-A-Ling," "Devil or Angel" and "Love Potion No. 9." On this installment of Trick Bag, we'll hear a 2014 interview with Harold Winley, the group's bass singer and last surviving original member. Harold is a great raconteur and tells the story of the Clovers as only he can. This two-part series will also feature Clovers hits and obscurities, including several rare live performances from the mid '50s.  


    In Part 1, Harold will take us from his childhood and formative musical influences to his early success as the bass singer of one of the most revered vocal groups in history.
    Songss Played in This Episode:


    - “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby”
    - “When You Come Back to Me”
    -  “Don’t You Know I Love You”  
    - “Needless”
    - “One Mint Julep”
    -  “I Got My Eyes On You” 
    - “I Confess”
    - “Your Cash Ain't Nothin but Trash”
    - “Lovey Dovey”
    - “Little Mama”
     
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    • 1 hr

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