Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Andrew 'BB' Odom - Sings And Sings And Sings

Eminently capable of serving up spot-on imitations of both Bobby "Blue" Bland and B.B. King, Andrew Odom was also a man of many interrelated nicknames: Voice, Big Voice, B.B., Little B.B., B.B. Junior. Perhaps his chameleonic talents held him back; Odom was a journeyman Chicago singer who recorded relatively sparingly.
Like the majority of his peers, Odom started out singing spirituals but fell in with Albert King and Johnny O'Neal on the St. Louis blues scene of the mid-'50s and began plying his trade there. He made an unobtrusive recording debut in 1961, singing "East St. Louis" with the band of one Little Aaron for the highly obscure Marlo imprint. He arrived in Chicago around 1960, hooking up with Earl Hooker as the slide guitar wizard's vocalist. A single for Nation Records in 1967 (as Andre Odom) preceded his debut album for ABC-BluesWay (cut in 1969, it remained in the can for quite a while before the label finally issued it).
All for Business
A guest spot on Jimmy Dawkins' encore Delmark LP, All for Business, was a highlight of the '70s for the singer. He cut his own album for the French Isabel label in 1982 in the company of Magic Slim & the Teardrops (reissued by Evidence in 1993), but it was a 1992 set for Flying Fish, Goin' to California (co-produced by guitarist Steve Freund), that probably captured his considerable vocal charms the best.
Odom was a popular attraction on the Windy City circuit right up until the fateful night when he suffered a heart attack while driving from Buddy Guy's Legends to another local blues mecca, the Checkerboard Lounge. He's been missed ever since.

Very hard to find private pressing from 1974 made available by Frits.



Gerard Herzhaft said...

This was in fact produced by Al Smith for the Bluesway label. But, after Al's untimely death, all his tapes -issued and unissued - have been taken by some of his associate to be issued on "new" labels. Unfortunately,only this Andrew Odom has seen the light of the day. The unissued tapes had complete sessions by floyd Jones, Littlejohn, Billy Boy Arnold, Big Joe Williams with different harp players (Carey Bell, Big Walter...) and many more. Unfortunately those tapes have disappeared and must lay somewhere in some vaults!

Franck Goldwasser said...

Thanks a million for putting this up! I've been wanting to hear it for years!

Xyros said...

Thank you Gerard for the extra info on this release. Who knows the tapes might turn up one day on the tv show "Storage Wars".

Gerard Herzhaft said...

Thanks Xyros for everything you're doing for all the blues planet! In fact, I met Mr Al Smith in Europe during the AFBF 1968 tour and thereafter I had the opportunity to make a lengthy interview with Al during the summer of 1973. (Parts of this have been published in the Soul Bag magazine). Al had an ill reputation among the artists but I found him a very clever and articulate man loving very much the blues and trying to promote it worldwide. His mother managed a big roadhouse in Mississippi and young Al had the opportunity to know quite well some of the greatest bluesmen of this era. He was also a noted bandleader who recorded quite extensively jazz, blues and pop sides.

Albert said...

If you want to post it back...