Hip Shakin' Mama : Chubby Newsome©2004JCMarion


Chubby Newsome was originally from Detroit but found recognition in New Orleans where she was a regular performer in the late 1940s. She was discovered by Paul Gayten at the famous Dew Drop Inn. She was soon signed to the DeLuxe label where she recorded her signature tune "Hip Shakin' Mama", and also "He May Be Your Man" with Gayten's band. This song also showed up on Miltone #3199, a label originally known as Roy Milton Records where the original "R.M. Blues was released. Reportedly on the session on tenor sax was Sam Butera, later leader of The Witnesses, Louis Prima's backup band. She recorded "Perdido", "The Big Date", "Belle Vista Jam", and "Don't Cry Little Girl" with Gayten. Newsome recorded some other sides for the DeLuxe label backed by the Dave Bartholomew band but none of those matched the popularity of the deep bluesy atmosphere of her original tune. In those days the Bartholomew band included Joe harris on alto sax, Herb hardesty on tenor, Salvador Doucette on piano, Ernest McLean on guitar, Frank Fields on bass, and Earl Palmer on drums. Some of the tunes is recorded are "New Orleans Lover Man", "Close To Train Time", "Bedroom Blues", and "Back Biting Woman".

Newsome starts out 1950 with an extended engagement at The Showboat in Philadelphia. In February "I'm Still In Love With You" is released on Regal #3250. The flip side is the tune "Hard Lovin' Mama" and she is accompanied by the Howard Biggs Orchestra (who would later be a New York session musician for Bruce and Apollo Records). In July Newsome records "You Better Find A Job" and "Poor Dog" (also called "Throw A Poor Dog A Bone") on Regal #3268. That same month Chubby appears at Baltimore's Royal Theater with a big show that features Paul "Hucklebuck" Williams, Errol Garner, and Larry Darnell. In September Newsome returns to Baltimore's Royal with Paul Williams, Toni Harper, Larry Darnell, and Dusty Fletcher. Late in the month the same lineup does a week at Chicago's Regal Theater. Still in Chicago in October the lineup does a number of shows for McKie Fitzhugh at the Pershing Ballroom. In an odd historical note, a Charlie Parker be-bop session in 1950 which resulted in the album "One Night At Birdland", the live version of "Embraceable You" featured a vocal that was credited to Chubby Newsome. After many years and discographical work it has been determined that this vocal is in reality sung by the great jazz and blues artist Little Jimmy Scott.

In early 1951 Regal Records states that three quarters of its sales are from R & B records from its roster of artists including Chubby Newsome. In April Regal Records packages a number of its music stars for a series of one nighters throughout the country. It is called "The Regal Hit Paraders" and includes besides Newsome, Paul Gayten and his band, Little Jimmy Scott, and Sammy Cotton. The tour will start out in New Orleans at the Swing Club. In June Regal releases #3319 which features Chubby Newsome on the tunes "Where's The Money Honey?" and the wildly titled "Little Fat Woman With The Cocoanut Head". In September the Newsome, Darnell, and Williams show hits Philadelphia's Club Harlem for a week's stay.

In October of 1952 RCA Victor Records announces the signing of Chubby Newsome to the label. Almost as soon as that announcement is made Newsome goes to Chicago's Chance label in January of 1953. Newsome recorded for Chance with Al Smith and his band which featured Red Holloway, Mac Easton, and Sax Mallard on saxes, Bill Wallace on piano, Willie Dixon on bass, and Leon Hooper on drums. The songs were "Chubby's Story", "Shades Of Midnight", "Great Day In The Morning", and "Always Come Home To Me". As far as it is known, none of these sides for Chance were ever released. Chubby Newsome appears at the Orchid Room in Kansas City and will soon tour with the band of Al Smith and singer Bobby Prince. In July of 1954 Newsome joins many artists at Harlem's Club Baby Grand in New York to salute radio personality Willie Bryant (the unofficial mayor of Harlem). In 1955 Newsome joined Alberta Adams and formed a female R & B duo called The Bluzettes. The group toured with Tiny Bradshaw during the year but they never caught on and Chubby Newsome faded from the music scene in the mid nineteen fifties.

There are a few CDs that preserve the sound of Chubby Newsome for the ages. Best among them are "New Orleans Blues" - Black Music of the 50s - volumes 1 and 2 from Delmark which features Newsome's DeLuxe and Regal sides. Another compilation CD is "New Orleans Blues & Rhythm" also from Delmark. Watch for the usual duplication of sides. "Birth of New Orleans Funk" a German import also features six early sides from Newsome. "Hip Shakin' Mamas, Crooners, and Shouters" a British import on Proper from the collection "Gettin Funky - The Birth of New Orleans R & B". Then there is "Carnival Day - The Essential Recordings of New Orleans" on Indigo.

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