White, Tony Joe


Band members                        Related acts

- Tony Joe White -- vocals, guitar, harmonica

 

  backing musicians:

- Thomas Caine -- keyboards (1980)  

- Don Chandler -- keyboards (1976)

- Steve Cobb -- bass

- David Cochran -- bass

- Rene Coopman -- vibes (1976)

- Jeff Hale -- drums, percussion

- Willie Hall - drums (1976)

- Billy Wayne Herbert -- bass (1976)

- James Govan -- drums, percussion (1976)

- Pias Johnson -- sax (1976)

- Shanne Keister -- keyboards

- Sam Levine -- sax

- Terry McMillian -- percussion

- Steve Spear -- bass (1980)

- Alan Steinberger -- keyboards

- Marvell Thomas -- keyboards


 

- none known

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  The Train I'm On

Company: Warner Brothers

Catalog: BS 2850

Year: 1972

Country/State: Goodwill, Louisiana

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: cut lower right corner; minor ring and edge wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5276

Price: $15.00

 

 

Tony Joe White remains an ongoing mystery to me - I've always wondered how a longhaired, young, white guy managed to sound like a 70 year old blues icon ...   

 

Co-produced by White and Jerry Wexler, to my ears 1972's "The Train I'm On" is at least a minor departure from his earlier offerings.  The lyrical themes are certainly familiar to anyone who's heard his earlier catalog (poor folks getting poorer, loveless fools getting lonelier), but this time around White forgoes swamp rock and the earlier pop orchestration that invaded his earlier LPs.  In its place tracks such as 'The Family', 'As the Crow Flies', 'The Migrant' and the title track opted for a rawer, stripped down bluesy sound.  While I like the bluesier sound, I'll admit that the album's one out and out swamp rock number stands as a personal favorite.  Quirky and hysterical, 'Even Trolls Love Rock and Roll' is alone worth the price of admission.  The other standout is the sweet and bouncy opener 'I've Got a Thing About You Baby'.  

  

"The Train I'm On" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) I've Got a Thing About You Baby   (Tony Joe White) - 2:30

2.) The Family   (Jon Hurley - Ronnie Wilkins) - 3:27

3.) If I Ever Saw a Good Thing   (Tony Joe White) - 3:12

4.) The Train I'm On   (Tony Joe White) - 3:08

5.) Even Trolls Love Rock and Roll   (Tony Joe White) - 5:02

 

(side 2)

1.)  As the Crow Flies   (Tony Joe White) - 3:45

2.) Take Time To Love   (Tony Joe White - Donnie Fritts) - 2:58

3.) 300 Pounds of Hongry   (Tony Joe White - Donnie Fritts) - 2:41

4.) The Migrant   (Tony Joe White) - 3:53

5.) Sidewalk Hobo   (Tony Joe White) - 4:08

6.) The Gospel Singer   (Tony Joe White) - 3:26

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Eyes

Company: 20th Century Fox

Catalog: T-523

Year: 1976

Country/State: Goodwill, Louisiana

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG+

Comments: crease lower right corner

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 5704

Price: SOLD $30.00

 

Released three years after his last album for Warner Brothers, the cover on 1976's "Eyes" gave you a clue that this was going to be a challenging 'transitional' album for Tony Joe White.  Silk shirt opened to his navel, gold chain, coiffed hair, yearning look, wine glasses, attractive young woman ... never good signs.  The man's voice certainly remained instantly recognizable, but forced to sing in a restrained mode and surrounded by pseudo-discofied material like 'You Taught Me How To Love' and 'We'll Live On Lone' you almost had to laugh at the results.  Exemplified by tracks like 'Soulful Eyes' and 'That Loving Feeling' the thought of turning White into a soulful Barry White, love ballad kinda' guy, complete with cooing female backing singers ('yeah', deep breath, 'yeah') and supper club sax solos was horribly wrong ...  bad, badder, baddest.  You certainly couldn't blame the guy for trying to make a living and for realizing that popular tastes had changed, but this sure wasn't the way to adapt to those changes.  So was there anything worth hearing on this one?  Yes, there were a couple of tracks where White at least partial reverted to his trademarked sound.  It was plagued by the dreadful background singers, but otherwise 'Rainy Day Lover' was a nice swamp rock number.  While I'm not normally a big blues fan, against the rest of this LP 'Texas Woman' sounded great.  Even better were 'Swamp Boogie' and  the slithery 'Hold On To Your Hiney' which I'd erroneously always thought was a Delbert McClinton number. Unfortunately those isolated tracks weren't enough to rescue that album, longtime fans apparently wanting nothing to do with this one.  Still, this was weird enough to be worth checking out.

 

Curiously the label tapped the album for a single 'Hold On To Your Hiney' b/w 'Texas Woman' (20th Century Fox catalog number 1209-2322), but it only seems to have been released in Canada and Europe.

  

"Eyes" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Soulful Eyes   (Tony Joe White) - 3:42

2.) You Taught Me How To Love   (Tony Joe White) - 3:10

3.) You Are Loved By Me   (Tony Joe White) - 3:34

4.) Rainy Day Lover   (Tony Joe White) - 3:25

5.) We'll Live On Love   (Tony Joe White) - 3:27

 

(side 2)

1.) Making Love Is Good for You   (Tony Joe White) - 3:12

2.) Texas Woman   (Tony Joe White) - 2:54

3.) Hold On To Your Hiney   (Tony Joe White) - 3:33

4.) Swamp Boogie   (Tony Joe White) - 3:15

5.) That Loving Feeling   (Tony Joe White) - 4:05

 

 

There's also at least one non-LP 20th Century Fox 45:

 

 

- 'Susie-Q' b/w 'It Must Be Love' (20th Century Fox catalog number )

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  The Real Thang

Company: Casablanca

Catalog: NBLP-7233

Year: 1980

Country/State: Goodwill, Louisiana

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: still in shrink wrap

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5275

Price: $10.00

 

I’m a big Tony Joe White fan and knew he’d recorded an early 1980s album for Casablanca.  It isn’t particularly rare, but for years I’d never seen or heard a copy of it.  When I finally stumbled across a copy I found myself overcome by a sense of trepidation – my favorite swamp rocker on a label best known for disco material …  the makings of a true disaster?

Hit first release in four years, 1980’s self-produced “The Real Thang” could have been far worse.  White’s instantly recognizable growl of a voice remained in good form throughout and with the exception of the Chic-styled ‘Swamp Rat’ the disco influences were kept to a relative minimum (though the bare chest back cover photo wasn’t a particularly brilliant marketed move). Interestingly White’s performance of the same song on an Austin City Limits segment is a greasy joy (see the YouTube link below).  In spite of a couple of disco nods (the poorly titled ‘Disco Blues’), the predominant sound remained divided between old fashioned swamp-rock (‘Even Trolls Love Rock & Roll’) and Willie Nelson-styled country (‘Red-Neck Women’).  Sure it wasn’t perfect.  Re-recording a largely rote version of his hit ‘Polk Salad Annie’ was unnecessary, coming off as little more than a desperate marketing move and when White tried to get too clever, tracks like the slightly risqué ‘I Get Off On It’ came off as flat and uninspired.  To be honest, were it not for the soft-focus cover photo and a couple of updated production touches, material like ‘Grounded’ and ‘Disco Blues’ wasn’t that much different that his early-1970s heyday which probably ensured instant sales oblivion.  Elsewhere, apparently penned as an answer record to Ed Bruce’s country hit ‘Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys’, Casablanca tapped ‘Mama Don’t Let Your Cowboys Grow Up To Be Babies’ as a single b/w ‘Disco Blues’ (Casablanca catalog number ).  Casablanca tapped the LP for two more singles:

 

- ‘Polk Salad Annie’ b/w ‘Grounded’ (Casablanca catalog number)

- ‘I Get Off On It’ b/w ‘Feeling Loose’ (Casablanca catalog number )

 

"The Real Thang" track listing:
(side 1) 

1.) I Get Off On It   (Tony Joe White – Leeann White) – 4:48

2.) Disco Blues   (Tony Joe White) – 4:10

3.) Red-Neck Women   (Tony Joe White - Leeann White) – 3:06

4.) Polk Salad Annie   (Tony Joe White) – 4:25

 

(side 2) 

1.) Swamp Rat   (Tony Joe White) – 5:40

2.) Grounded   (Tony Joe White) – 3:25

3.) Mama Don’t Let Your Cowboys Grow Up To Be Babies   (Tony Joe White - Leeann White) – 3:26

4.) Even Trolls Love Rock & Roll   (Tony Joe White) – 5:00

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: * (1 star)

Title:  Dangerous

Company: Columbia

Catalog: FC 38817

Year: 1983

Country/State: Goodwill, Louisiana

Grade (cover/record): NM / NM

Comments: was sealed; opened to tape it on CDR

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4641

Price: $5.00

Cost: $66.00

 

1983's "Dangerous" found White continuing his corporate wanderings - this time recording for Columbia Records.  Recorded in Memphis with Ron Reynolds and White co-producing, with the exception of the totally goofy 'Swamp Rap' the set bore little resemblance to White's early 'swamp rocker' catalog.  To be perfectly honest, it took me a little while to even recognize this as a White's product.  Mind you, his unique voice is still there, but at least on this album it's largely covered up by a mixture of bland AOR tunes (the title track and 'Naughty Lady') and material such as 'If You're Gonna Love Somebody' and 'Down By The Border' that appeared geared to a country audience.  Both 'Lady In My Life' and ''We Belong Together proved to be minor country hits.  Elsewhere, 'Do You Have A Garter Belt' is simply kind of creepy ...  

 

"Dangerous" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Dangerous  (Steve Cobb)
2.) Naughty Lady   (Tony Joe White - White)
3.) Our Day Will Come   (Hilliard - Garson)
4.) If You're Gonna Love Somebody   (Tony Joe White)
5.) Swamp Rap   (Tony Joe White)

 

(side 2)

1.) Do You Have A Garter Belt   (Tony Joe White)
2.) Down By The Border   (Tony Joe White)
3.) Lady In My Life   (Tony Joe White)
4.) We Belong Together   (Tony Joe White)
5.) You Just Get Better All The Time   (Tony Joe White - Christopher)

 

 

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