Oscar McLollie

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Oscar McLollie
Birth name Oscar Mack Lollie
Born (1924-09-22)September 22, 1924
Kelly, Louisiana, United States
Died July 4, 2008(2008-07-04) (aged 83)
Oakland, California, United States
Genres
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active Mid-1940s–c.1980s
Labels Mercury, Class, Modern

Oscar McLollie (born Oscar Mack Lollie, September 22, 1924 – July 4, 2008) was an American jump blues singer.

Biography[edit]

He was born in Kelly, Louisiana.[1] He was drafted into service in World War II, and sang baritone with a vocal group, the Bullets, at USO shows. After the war he moved to Los Angeles, and sang in local jump blues bands before being recruited by Mercury Records, for a short time, as their West Coast A&R man for black music.[2][3] He also recorded the song "I'm Hurt" for Mercury.[4]

When McLollie's contract with Mercury ended, he returned to performing, and in 1953 was asked by Leon René and his son Rafael "Googie" René to record their song "The Honey Jump" for their new record label, Class. The upbeat song, with honking saxes and pounding piano,[3] became a regional hit and was leased to Modern Records, but was covered more successfully by other artists. His follow-up, "All That Oil In Texas", was also successful locally. Oscar McLollie and his Honey Jumpers continued over the next few years to record a series of songs written by Leon or Googie René, including "God Gave Us Christmas", and "Lolly Pop" which was covered by Louis Jordan.[2][3]

McLollie and his band remained popular live performers. In 1955, he recorded the ballad "Convicted", with an upbeat B-side, "Roll Hot Rod, Roll". The single was promoted by DJ Alan Freed, became McLollie's biggest seller on the Modern label, and won him a slot on the Hunter Hancock TV show. However, later releases were less successful. After returning to the Class label, he achieved his only national chart success in 1958 when "Hey Girl – Hey Boy", a duet with Jeanette Baker backed by Googie René's band, reached number 61 on the Billboard pop chart. The song was also covered by Louis Prima and Keely Smith.[2][3][4] However, it was not successfully followed up, Baker claiming that "McLollie was an extremely difficult person to work with.. we just didn't get along."[5]

Later, McLollie continued to perform in cabaret in Los Angeles. Reportedly, he also spent some time in the Philippines, where he appeared in low-budget martial arts movies.[3]

He died in Oakland, California, in 2008.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues - A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers. p. 306. ISBN 978-0313344237.
  2. ^ a b c Biography, Allmusic.com. Retrieved 3 November 2016
  3. ^ a b c d e "Oscar McLollie", Black Cat Rockabilly. Retrieved 3 November 2016
  4. ^ a b J C Marion, "The Honeyjumper: Oscar McLollie", Jamm Upp, 2001. Retrieved 3 November 2016
  5. ^ Jeanette Baker, Biography, MissJeanetteBaker.com. Retrieved 3 November 2016