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Tarheel Slim

Talk about a versatile musician: Alden Bunn (aka Tarheel Slim) recorded in virtually every postwar musical genre imaginable. Lowdown blues, gospel, vocal group R&B, poppish duets, even rockabilly weren't outside the sphere of his musicianship. However, spirituals were Bunn's first love. While still in North Carolina during the early '40s, the guitarist worked with the Gospel Four and then the Selah Jubilee Singers, who recorded for Continental and Decca. Bunn and Thurman Ruth broke away in 1949 to form their own group, the Jubilators. During a single day in New York in 1950, they recorded for four labels under four different names!

One of those labels was Apollo, who convinced them to go secular. That's basically how the Larks, one of the seminal early R&B vocal groups whose mellifluous early-'50s Apollo platters rank with the era's best, came to be. Bunn sang lead on a few of their bluesier items ("Eyesight to the Blind," for one), as well as doing two sessions of his own for the firm in 1952 under the name of Allen Bunn. As Alden Bunn, he encored on Bobby Robinson's Red Robin logo the next year. Bunn also sang with another R&B vocal group, the Wheels. And coupled with his future wife, Anna Sanford, Bunn recorded as the Lovers; "Darling It's Wonderful," their 1957 duet for Aladdin's Lamp subsidiary, was a substantial pop seller. (Ray Ellis did the arranging.)

Tarheel Slim made his official entrance in 1958 with his wife, now dubbed Little Ann, in a duet format for Robinson's Fire imprint ("It's Too Late," "Much Too Late"). Then old Tarheel came out of the gate like his pants were on fire with a pair of rockabilly raveups of his own, "Wildcat Tamer" and "No. 9 Train," with Jimmy Spruill on blazing lead guitar. After a few years off the scene, Tarheel Slim made a bit of a comeback during the early '70s, with an album for Pete Lowry's Trix logo that harked back to Bunn's Carolina blues heritage. It would prove his last. ~ Bill Dahl
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Jook Joint Blues: That's What They Want

Disc 1

1. Wine, Women, Whiskey

2. Rock Me Mama

3. Little Lean Woman

4. Hydramatic Woman

5. Lucy Mae Blues

6. Goin' To New Orleans

7. Another Fool Like Me

8. Little Milton's Boogie

9. Scott's Boogie

10. She's Gone

11. Down At The Depot

12. Calling All Cows

13. Courtin' In A Cadillac

14. Walkin' And Cryin' Blues

15. Ride Hooker Ride

16. Don't Let Your Daddy Slow Walk You Down

17. Cool Down Mama

18. Country Boy

19. Lillie Mae Boogie

20. Gotta Get Together

21. When I Come In This House Woman

22. I'm Gonna Leave You Baby

23. Evil And Hanky

24. Bad Luck

25. Central Avenue Blues

26. On My Way

27. Highway 80 Blues

28. Mama Does The Boogie

Disc 2

1. She Fool Me

2. Chicken Hearted Woman

3. That's What They Want

4. Sneaky Groundhog

5. Blinds Blues

6. Sugar Mama

7. One Room Country Shack

8. You Are Doing Me Wrong

9. I Can't Live Happy

10. Mean Old Train

11. Jackson Juke

12. Jealous Man

13. Winehead Swing

14. Weekend Blues

15. Leave My Money Alone

16. Pebble In My Shoe

17. Lonely Blues

19. Someday You'll Understand

20. Alley Corn

21. I Got Them Blues

22. L.J. Boogie

23. She's So Good To Me

24. New Orleans Bound

26. I'm Him

27. Neglected Woman

28. Too Much Competition

Disc 3

1. A Fool No More

2. Johnny Mae

3. Got My Call Card

4. Love My Baby

5. Jump The Boogie

6. One Thing My Baby Likes

7. A Dream

8. Happy Go Lucky

9. Bugger Bugger Boy

10. Sweet Angel

11. You Don't Love Me No More

12. My Woman Knows The Score

13. Goin' Home To Mother

14. Santa Fe Blues

16. Alabama Boogie

17. Wolf Call Boogie

18. Congo Mombo

19. Big Time Woman

20. Paper Wooden Daddy

21. Bloodstains On The Wall

23. Schoolboy

25. Knocking The Boogie

26. Mistreated Baby Blues

27. The $64 Question

28. If I Lose You Woman

Disc 4

1. Lester's Stomp

2. Dark Muddy Bottom

3. Lost Child

4. 1958 Blues

5. Now Listen Baby

6. Lost Without Love

7. Alla Blues

8. She's Mine All Mine

9. T.N.T. Woman

10. Lightnin' Blues

11. K.C. Boogie

12. Baby Blues

13. She's Taking All My Money

14. Let Me Be Your Handy Man

15. You Better Change

16. Strange Letter Blues

17. Things Ain't Right

18. Wine Head Baby

19. Don't Take It Out On Me

20. Deep South Guitar Blues

21. Packin' Up My Blues

22. Blow It Down

23. Good Road Blues

24. Katherine Blues

25. On The Hook

26. I Can't Be Successful

27. Philippine Blues

28. Harpin' On It

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