Singing Sammy Lewis

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A Sammy Lewis LP | Popsike | tc484

Samuel Allan Lewis was born in Chicago,Illinois on April 4, 1925, started singing at 5 years and at age 6 he was singing gospel music on radio station WSBC.

In 1943 he entered army service and on his return he became director of the Radio Choir of the Evangelist Temple Church of God In Christ, touring with Mahalia Jackson.

He signed to Chess in 1949 but again entered army service in Korea in 1950 serving for two years. He continued to have recordings issued on the Checker label throughout the 1960s.

He was considered one of America’s top ten gospel singers, but there has been no record of him for some time and it is feared the gentleman has died.

Emmit Slay

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Little Sonny, Joe Von Battle, John Lee Hooker and Emmit Slay | Jacques Demetre, 1959 | tc568

Sunday Blues notes:

Vocalist/guitarist Emmit Slay was a member of Todd Rhodes’ Orchestra, where he recorded two records with Rhodes in Detroit in 1950. After two years with his own trio, Slay launched a solo career in 1953 recording ten sides for Savoy. Two sides for an unknown label were never issued in 1957. Eight recordings were made for Checker in 1958, but only two were released. Slay’s final two recordings were made for JVB in 1959.

No biographical data is known for this artist.

Elliott Shavers

Saxophonist and singer Elliott Shavers, whose real name is believed to be Elliott Chavers, led an instrumental band who made a number of records in the early 1960s, some of which were distributed by Chess. Elliott Chavers was born in Waco, Texas on November 15, 1930. He relocated to Los Angeles where the recordings are thought to have been made, including surfing music instrumentals. Mr Chavers is thought to be deceased.

Can anyone provide any more information about this artist, please?

No photo located.

Bobby Saxton

Chicago based blues singer Bobby Saxton is mainly known for his Checker recording “Trying to make a living” which was originally issued on the Bea and Baby label then picked up by Chess for national distribution. Earl Hooker is understood to be playing lead guitar on this recording, which dates from around 1960.

No pictures of this artist have been located. Can anyone help with more information about Bobby Saxton, please.

Mitzi Mars

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Lupita Peruyero, Joe Louis, Norman Schlossberg, Sarah Vaughan, King Kolax and Mitzi Mars at the Crown Propeller, probably 1952. Courtesy of the Schlossberg family | Crown Propeller Blog | tc565

Mitzi Mars, shown extreme right in the photo above, was a singer with the Sax Mallard band and who recorded for Checker in the early 1950s. We have been unable to trace any biographical information for this artist, can anyone help, please?