Larry Williams & Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson “Looking Back / Louisiana Hannah”

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Lookin’ back (’65) / Louisiana Hannah
Sleazy Records

In the second half of the 50’s Larry Williams fought against Little Richard to be the king of
rock’n’roll on Specialty Records and almost got the throne
. At the beginning of the 60’s, after
a brief walk at Chess Records, where he still recorded some fine singles, he was involved
in a drugs affair, winning three years in jail.
When he got back the music scene had changed a lot, and Larry was not a
ble to find his place.
A single on Mercury that went completely unnoticed seemed like it was going to be the swan
song for Larry Williams, but suddenly some unexpected things happened. The old Europe
still professed its love for rock’n’roll and thousa
nds of kids were burning to see on stage the
true pioneers of the genre.
Larry had known the excellent guitarist Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson some years before, and they
became lifetime friends, in the mid 60 ́s both joint together and were found sharing th
e stage
in clubs around L.A. One morning the phone rang, and both were called to do a full tour
around UK. A band of youngsters from Guilford, UK, called The Stromville Shakers, led by
Phillip Goodhand

Tait, were chosen to back them.
The tour was
a complete success, as much that before returning home they recorded a couple
released by british Decca and ON STAGE, a fake live
LP which was really recorded on studio in the presence of a frenzied audience led by
eamin ́ Lord Sutch himself. In both LPs Larry Williams was backed by The Stormville
Shakers , but no credits about it appears on Larry Williams On Stage, released by Ike Turner ́s
Sue Records and longtime believed it was recorded live in USA. Johnny ‘G
uitar’ Watson
only appears on Decca ́s, because it seems he had to return to The States before On Stage was
recorded. THE LARRY WILLIAMS SHOW is a great Lp, full of energy in which Larry and Johnny
review some of their old hits, play new songs of their
own and dare to cover some classics like
Jerry Lee Lewis’ Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ and even The Yardbirds’ current hit For Your Love.
Two songs from that LP are included here, the A side is an energized review of Johnny ‘Guitar’
first recorded in 1961 for Escort Records and sung by Johnny
himself. The B side is a new Larry Williams’ composition tittled LOUISIANA HANNAH which
sounds as strong as his best in Specialty. The association of Larry Williams and Johnny ‘Guitar’
would continue for several years, releasing another LP together in 1967 and several
singles for Okeh, focusing on soul and funk, but the Larry and Johnny recordings with The
Stormville Shakers in ‘65 are some of the best examples of rock’n’roll recorded b
y original
artists in the 60 ́s.

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