Back in April after the mammoth bloggeration on the subject of Thunderbird (the song and the wine, here), my pal Barry Stoltz e-mailed me to remind me that I'd forgotten this version, on King by Dossie Terry. I meant to go back and add the thing but of course, I forgot. Anyway, I finally pulled the 45 off the shelf and played it, it's a great record by something of a mystery artist, so I thought I'd post it. In my opinion any record with a Mickey "Guitar" Baker's guitar solo (see Jan. 9th posting for more on my Mickey Baker worship) is worth hearing, and second, this version is musically unique in that Dossie adds what's called in music a "middle eight", that is, a change up in the middle that lasts eight bars, giving this rendition a extra verse that makes it unique. This same version was re-issued by King in the 70's with the Lamplighters' Be-Bop Wino on the flipside, a marketing move that I assume was aimed at skid row juke box operators.
The other reason for the posting is my own curiosity. Just who is Dossie Terry? He had a long recording career, starting in 1949 with "When I Hit The Numbers" on RCA, he would go on to cut sides for King, Amp 3, Bonus, Ebony, Chicago, 20th Century, and Enrica. He wrote or co-wrote tunes for Dinah Washington, Floyd Dixon, Ruth Brown, the Drifters, the Clovers, and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, co-writing with such well known names as Rudy Toombs, yet there is no biographical information on him anywhere. He's not even mentioned in Mary K. Aldin's Blues Magazine Index (an invaluable website, it is an artists index for blues magazines Blues Unlimited, Blues & Rhythm, Juke Blues, Living Blues, 78 Quarterly, etc., every researcher and blues fan should bookmark it here). Dossie Terry is listed in no discography that I own except for the multiple listings for him in The R&B Indies (Eyeball, 2004) (although I don't have the latest update of Blues Records 1946-1970 by Les Fancourt and Bob McGrath Eyeball, 2007, is he listed?). Anybody out there know anything about this guy? He was active in the music biz for forty years , in this day and age when T. Valentine can come walking through the door at any minute he's one of the last mysteries out there, but whatever trail he left is growing cold fast.