Sonny Thompson, Lula Reed, Henry Glover, Bubba Brooks, Fred Clark, Clarence Kenner, Bill Johnson, Phil Thomas
Reference: BMCD 6044
Bandleader and pianist Sonny Thompson was among the most prolific R&B instrumentalists of the late '40s and early '50s. Thompson began recording for Sultan in 1946, then did several sessions for Miracle, King, Federal, and Deluxe, while also backing vocalist Lula Reed from 1951 to 1961. Thompson scored two number one R&B hits for Miracle in 1948: "Long Gone," Pts. 1 & 2, and "Late Freight." He landed another Top Ten and two more Top 20 singles for Miracle in 1949, and then had three Top Ten hits for King in 1952. The biggest was "I'll Drown In My Tears," which reached number five.
A longtime cohort of pianist/producer Sonny Thompson, singer Lula Reed recorded steadily for Cincinnati-based King Records during the mid-'50s after debuting on wax in 1951 to sing Thompson's original version of the moving ballad "I'll Drown in My Tears" (a 1956 smash for Ray Charles as "Drown in My Own Tears").
After serving as Thompson's vocalist at first, the attractive chanteuse was sufficiently established by 1952 to rate her own King releases. She was versatile, singing urban blues most of the time but switching to gospel for a 1954 session. Reed's strident 1954 waxing "Rock Love" was later revived by labelmate Little Willie John. She briefly moved to the Chess subsidiary Argo in 1958-1959 but returned to the fold in 1961 (as always, under Thompson's direction) on King's Federal imprint. While at Federal, she waxed a series of sassy duets with guitarist Freddy King in March of 1962. Another move to Ray Charles's Tangerine logo in 1962-1963 soon followed. After that, she faded from the recording scene.
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