LESTER MELROSE

 

 

 

 

 


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Born in Illinois in 1891, with his brother Walter, Melrose sold records in a store they ran together in Chicago. His ambitions however lay in record production and when prohibition ended and juke boxes were allowed in the drinking dens, Melrose sold out his share of the store and became a full time talent scout, producer and publicist. One of his first successes was on Paramount with "It's Tight Like That" featuring Georgia Tom Dorsey and Tampa Red. He went on to record a list of great blues artists including Lonnie Johnson, Bukka White, Roosevelt Sykes, Washboard Sam, Leroy Carr, 'Big Boy' Crudup and John Lee Sonny Boy Williamson. He was particularly associated with Big Bill Broonzy and made him resident guitarist at both the Vocalion and Bluebird labels. His involvement with nearly all the blues coming from Chicago in that period led to the sound he produced becoming known as "The Melrose Sound". Melrose retired from music production in the 1950ís and died in 1968. His older brother Walter also joined him the music production business, and his younger brother Franklyn was a very good jazz pianist who tragically was murdered when on tour aged 34.

   Stormy Night Blues - Leroy Carr