Friday, April 13, 2018

Another Blues Fix Mix CD - Volume Two, Track Two

For the second track of our second mix CD, we'll journey down to Texas and meet Zuzu Bollin.  Bollin's recorded output was pretty limited, but memorable.  Born in 1922, he formed his own combo in the late 40's and later toured with R&B legend Percy Mayfield.  After returning to the Dallas area, he released a pair of 78's in the early 50's on Torch Records....."Why Don't You Eat Where You Slept Last Night"/"Headlight Blues" and "Stavin' Chain"/"Cry Cry Cry."  After that, he toured with a few bands until the mid-60's, when he left the business to go into the dry cleaning business.

Bollin was thought to be dead until Chuck Nevitt of the Dallas Blues Society found him in Dallas in 1988.  After forming a backing band, Nevitt recorded and produced Texas Bluesman, Bollin's first album on his own Dallas Blues Society Records, releasing it in 1989.  Bollin toured behind the album, making appearances in the U.S. and overseas, but unfortunately, he passed away in October of 1990.  Nevitt later sold the record to Antone's Records in Austin, who released it on CD and cassette around 1991.

I first heard of Zuzu Bollin in the late 80's via the full page ads that the Dallas Blues Society placed in Living Blues, but I didn't order it because I didn't have a turntable.  When Antone's released it on cassette, I snatched it up and later bought it on CD.  I really enjoyed Bollin's guitar work, which owed more than a passing debt to another Texas guitarist of note - T-Bone Walker, and his strong, booming vocals.  He re-recorded both sides of his first 78 for the album and included tasty covers of several other familiar jump blues tunes dating back to his first stint in the business, including Track 2 of our collection, a rip-roaring reading of Gene Phillips' "Big Legs."

By the way, Zuzu Bollin was born A.D. Bollin, but earned the nickname "Zuzu" in his early days as a musician from his band mates because he loved a particular brand of ginger snap cookies, called ZuZu's.

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