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Jimmy's Jump Blues

16 OCT 09 DAVID VIENNA

Jimmy Liggins spent his early years living in the shadow of his famous brother Joe Liggins, who led the popular R&B band The Honeydrippers. Jimmy eventually formed his own jump blues group, The Drops Of Joy. They created such indelible romps, compiled on Specialty's Jimmy Liggins And His Drops Of Joy, they are widely credited as one of the direct precursors to rock 'n' roll.

In the 1930s and early-1940s, Jimmy spent time as an amateur boxer and chauffeur for his brother before deciding to try his hand at music. He learned guitar and pieced together the members of The Drops Of Joy, the name of which is a nod to his brother's band. Among the talented musicians in the band was saxman Maxwell Davis, who went on to record with other greats such as Percy Mayfield and Jimmy Witherspoon.

The Specialty collection, which offers recordings from 1947-1953, is full of phenomenal jump blues tracks like "Cadillac Blues," "I Can't Stop It" and "Drunk." And cuts like "Shuffle Shuck" and "Come Back Home" seem like they might spin out into chaos with each measure. Unlike Joe's tight direction, Jimmy led his band fast and loose, giving each song a beautifully raw, raucous sound.

  • Album Small
    I Can't Stop It

    Jimmy Liggins & His Drops Of Joy, from Jim ...

  • Album Small
    Louisiana Woman

    Joe Liggins & The Honeydrippers, from Joe ...

  • Album Small
    Drunk

    Jimmy Liggins & His Drops Of Joy, from Rou ...

  • Album Small
    Hit The Road, Jack

    Percy Mayfield, from Specialty Profiles: ...

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