The Boss of the Blues

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The Boss of the Blues
Boss of the Blues.jpg
Studio album by Big Joe Turner
Released June 1956
Genre R&B
Label Atlantic
Producer Nesuhi Ertegun, Jerry Wexler
Big Joe Turner chronology
Joe Turner Sings Kansas City Jazz
The Boss of the Blues
Big Joe Rides Again
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[1]

The Boss of the Blues is a 1956 album by the American blues shouter Big Joe Turner. Originally released on the Atlantic label, the album has been reissued many times on cassette and CD by Atlantic, Rhino and Collectables.


From the 1920s through the 1930s, Turner and boogie-woogie pianist Pete Johnson enjoyed a successful and highly influential collaboration that, following their appearance at Carnegie Hall on December 23, 1938, helped launch a craze for boogie-woogie in the United States.[2][3] After the pair separated, Turner continued to experience cross-genre musical success, establishing himself as one of the founders of rock and roll with such smash hits as "Shake, Rattle and Roll", but he did not turn his back on his roots.[3] The Boss of the Blues marks one of the last reunions Turner would have with Johnson,[4] as, supported by a number of swing's best performers,[4] they re-created a number of the classic tracks that had helped lay the groundwork for rhythm and blues.[2] A presenter of jazz on Australian Broadcasting Commission radio said of this record, "When someone asks you 'What is Jazz?', just play the opening bars of 'Roll 'Em Pete'". The bold, vigorous arrangements by the veteran Ernie Wilkins fully represent the traditions of Kansas City music, while also giving a 'mainstream' platform to the musicians, not all of whom, e.g. both Pete Brown and Lawrence Brown, had K.C. backgrounds.

Track listing[edit]

Except where otherwise indicated, all tracks composed by Pete Johnson and Big Joe Turner.

  1. "Cherry Red" – 3:21
  2. "Roll 'Em Pete" – 3:41
  3. "I Want a Little Girl" (Murray Mencher, Billy Moll) – 4:16
  4. "Low Down Dog" (Turner) – 3:38
  5. "Wee Baby Blues" – 7:15
  6. "You're Driving Me Crazy (What Did I Do?)" (Walter Donaldson) – 4:10
  7. "How Long Blues" (traditional) – 5:43
  8. "Morning Glories" (traditional) – 3:39
  9. "St. Louis Blues" (W. C. Handy) – 4:17
  10. "Piney Brown Blues" – 4:49





  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ a b McGee, David. Big Joe Turner Rolling Stone. Reproduced from The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Accessed October 22, 2007.
  3. ^ a b Big Joe Turner at AllMusic
  4. ^ a b Boss of the Blues at AllMusic