Thursday, June 2, 2011

Edgar Blanchard - "Let's Get It" - Ric, 1958

Today we've got a 45 from Edgar Blanchard, a New Orleans guitar legend! Edgar had a hand in hundreds of recordings as a performer or arranger in the 50's and 60's.  This man was a pivotal player in the NOLA RnB scene, to be sure.
Edgar was born on August 17, 1924 in Grosse Tete, LA.  Early on his family moved to New Orleans, and early on Edgar began playing guitar. It's rumored the man was gigging when he was barely in his teens! After a stint in WWII, he came back home and got to work studying music seriously at Grunewald's. The Gondoliers were formed in short order and began performing around the city by the late 40's. Around '49 or so, The Gondoliers put out their first single, "Creole Gal Blues" with Edgar on vocal duties. 
Get it, Edgar!
The Gondoliers faded and the name was revived later with a new lineup, but Edgar was gigging and recording all along, playing with the likes of Roy Brown, Little Richard, Professor Longhair, Ray Charles, and many many more.  One record in my collection on which he appears is a personal fav, Eddie Bo's "Oh-Oh" on Chess. Edgar drops a rockin' solo here that would make Eddie Cochran proud. 
We don't talk 78s here, but this one is a monster
Today's 45 may have been one of the first on the Ric label, I don't note any earlier in the discographies I've seen. I've selected a piece out the middle where Edgar mixes it up on this fine instrumental.
In the 60's Edgar began to have health issues that interfered with his touring.  In 1972, Edgar Blanchard passed away suddenly from a heart attack.
We've talked a bit about Ric before here on the blog, but you can also check my Wikipedia article here for more info.  You'll note Joe Ruffino, the label owner, is credited on this 45 but I'm certain that reflects just a business arrangement rather than a musical one.
And of course, the clip:

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