Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Little Marie Allen - "Humdinger"

Ah well, nothing quite like taking a one month break again, already. But, for better or worse, here I am with another blog entry. This time, I'm writing about a record that I found at a recent flea market, "Humdinger" by Little Marie Allen.

I wish that I could whip up some kind of mini-bio on Marie Allen for you but I really can't find any information about her at all. "Humdinger" has been comped a time or two but other internet listings are pretty much nil. What I do know is that the record is from 1959 and the band backing Marie Allen was led by Chuck Booker. It also looks as though Allen gets partial songwriting credit. I thought that B. Holloway might be Brenda Holloway. She would have been very young at the time though, in her early teens. Pretty much all bets are off.

Anyway, "Humdinger" is an excellent, upbeat r&b number, with Allen's very gritty vocal. Her voice is nearly at a growl as she sings about getting her wig flipped by her guy, among other things. The tune has plenty of good sax, including a break. The drums really bang and help propel the song, which ends all too soon, in a little over two minutes. Stylistically, it reminds me of Shirley & Lee's "Let The Good Times Roll" a bit, especially the chorus.

I have no idea whether Little Marie Allen made more records or not but I can't find listings for any others. I'd love to know anything more about her or this record that anyone can relate.


Westex said...

I just found this exact same record weekend before last. It, along with Bobby Comstock's Triumph release, were found in a short stack of radio promos. Weirdness...

Euphonic said...

B. Holloway = Robert Davis Holloway, according to the database at www.bmi.com

Todd Lucas said...

Thanks euphonic, Brenda Holloway seemed like a longshot.

Holy Cow said...

she did another solo single :
nikko 702 - lonely b/w diff artist '62

and 2 singles with Sonny Warner
bee bee 221 - hand in hand b/w till then '62
bee bee 222 - that's for me b/w wallflower '62