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Tommy Ridgley

Tommy Ridgley was on the Crescent City R&B scene when it first caught fire, and he remained a proud part of that same scene until his death in 1999. That was a lot of years behind a microphone, but Ridgley never sounded the slightest bit tired; his 1995 Black Top album Since the Blues Began rated as one of his liveliest outings.

Ridgley cut his debut sides back in 1949 for Imperial under Dave Bartholomew's direction. His "Shrewsbury Blues" and "Boogie Woogie Mama" failed to break outside of his hometown, though. Sessions for Decca in 1950 and Imperial in 1952 (where he waxed the wild "Looped") preceded four 1953-1955 sessions for Atlantic that included a blistering instrumental, "Jam Up," that sported no actual Ridgley involvement but sold relatively well under his name (incomparable tenor saxist Lee Allen was prominent).

New York's Herald Records was Ridgley's home during the late '50s. The consistently solid singer waxed "When I Meet My Girl" for the firm in 1957, encoring with a catchy "Baby Do-Liddle." From there, it was on to his hometown-based Ric logo, where he laid down the stunning stroll-tempoed "Let's Try and Talk It Over" and a bluesy "Should I Ever Love Again" in 1960. He recorded intermittently after leaving Ric in 1963, waxing a soulful "I'm Not the Same Person" in 1969 for Ronn.

Ridgley always remained a hometown favorite even when recording opportunities proved scarce. Happily, Since the Blues Began ranked with 1995's best albums, Ridgley sounding entirely contemporary but retaining his defining Crescent City R&B edge. Not long after the appearance of 1999's How Long, Ridgley passed away, on August 11th of that year. ~ Bill Dahl
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Essential Louisiana Rhythm And Blues

1. Mother-In-Law

2. Ya Ya

3. Over You

4. Mathilda

5. Ooh Poo Pah Doo, Pt. 1

6. I Like It Like That

7. All These Things

8. C.C. Rider

9. Preacher's Daughter

10. Nothing Takes The Place Of You

11. Hello Mama

12. Where Is The Love

13. Underdog Backstreet

14. In The Same Old Way

15. Street Parade

x

Track List: The Jewel/Paula Soul Story

Disc 1

1. Nothing Takes The Place Of You

2. Oh My Love (Come Back To Me)

3. Guess I'll Have To Take What's Left

4. I Had My Heart Set On You

5. Why Did You Leave Me

6. Don't Pity Me

7. I'll Do It For You

8. I Can't Stand To See You Go

10. What You Gonna Do

11. Put It Where I Can Get It

12. Without A Woman

13. Congratulations Baby

14. In The Same Old Way

15. I Need Someone

17. Losers Win Sometimes

18. How Can A Broke Man Survive

Disc 2

1. Something Strange Is Goin' On In My House

2. You've Got Me Tamed

3. How Are You Fixed For Love

4. Do What You Think Is Best

5. Guilty

6. That's When I'll Stop Loving You

7. Loosen These Pains And Let Me Go

8. How Do You Spell Love

9. It's Not How Long You Make It

10. Dreaming Out Of Season

11. I Want Everybody To Know

12. It Takes Two To Do Wrong

13. (Standing In The) Safety Zone

14. Help Wanted

15. Checking Out

16. Do You Feel The Same Way

17. It's Alright

18. Sweet 94

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