The Band

Audio files
Video clips
Tape archive
Related artists
Chat Room
What's New?

Jimmy Witherspoon: Never Knew This Kind of Hurt Before - The Bluesway Sessions

One of the great blues singers of the post-World War II period, Jimmy Witherspoon was also versatile enough to fit comfortably into the jazz world. As a child he sang in a church choir, and made his debut recordings with Jay McShann for Philo and Mercury in 1945 and 1946. His own first recordings, using McShann's band, resulted in a #1 R&B hit in 1949 with "Ain't Nobody's Business Parts 1 & 2" on Supreme Records. Live performances of "No Rollin' Blues" and "Big Fine Girl" provided 'Spoon with two more hits in 1950. The mid-'50s were a lean time, with his style of shouting blues temporarily out of fashion; singles were tried for Federal, Chess, Atco, Vee Jay, and others, with little success. Witherspoon's album Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival (HiFi Jazz) from 1959 lifted him back into the limelight. Partnerships with Ben Webster or Groove Holmes were recorded, and he toured Europe in 1961 with Buck Clayton, perfoming overseas many more times in the decades to follow; some memorable music resulted, but Witherspoon's best '60s album is Evening Blues (Prestige), which features T-Bone Walker on guitar and Clifford Scott on saxophone. Despite contracting throat cancer in the early '80s, Witherspoon remained active, a popular attraction until his death in 1997.
--Bob Porter & Scott Yanow, All-Music Guide

Witherspoon recorded the two poorly received albums Blues Singer and Huhh for the Bluesway label in 1969 and 1970, both more rock-oriented than his usual material. Tracks from these albums together with several other recordings from the same sessions were released as Never Knew This Kind of Hurt Before - The Bluesway Sessions on the UK-based Charly label in 1989. Among Witherspoon's previously unreleased songs were a version of The Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down."

Charly mostly specialized in reissuing old music, notably the Sun Records catalog, the Vee-Jay catalog, and some other small US-based R&B catalogs. The quality of their reissues have been varying, but the mere volume of the Charly label's output over the years, including a lot of rare and sought-after collectors' items, is almost astonishing. If we think of Rhino as today's top reissue label, Charly was doing it years before Rhino.


  1. Never Knew this Kind of Hurt Before
  2. I Made a Lot of Mistakes
  3. Pillar to Post
  4. You Can't Do A Thing When You're drunk
  5. Parcel Post Blues
  6. Bags Under My Eyes
  7. Bug to Put 'n' 'you' Ear
  8. Thoughts of Home
  9. I Don't Know
  10. Evenin'
  11. No Rollin Blues
  12. Pay The consequences
  13. Going Down Slow
  14. Testifying
  15. Nobody Wants to Hear Nobody's Troubles
  16. Blow Wind Blow
  17. Look At Granny Run Run
  18. Just A Dream
  19. Handbags & Gladrags
  20. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

Jimmy Witherspoon - Never Knew this Kind of Hurt Before - 1989 - Charly CDX 32

[History] [Members] [Library] [Discography] [Videography] [Filmography] [Pictures] [Audio Files] [Video Clips] [Tape Archive] [Concerts] [Related Artists] [Merchandise] [Guestbook] [Chat Room] [Search] [What's New?] [Main Page]