Veteran tenor saxman Budd Johnson was slated to lead her Apollo band, but when the smoke cleared, McGriff wound up recording for Jubilee a scant four days after that issue of 'Billboard' hit the racks.
Lucas wasn't in charge of the combo for Edna's first session on June 27, That honor went instead to trombonist Benny Green, who had been cutting for Jubilee as a leader since Green's jazz-steeped all-star session crew also included pianist Billy Taylor, bassist Tommy Potter, and drummer Art Blakey. Nothing about her assured, sophisticated vocal delivery suggested she was only in her mid-teens.
After that, Edna's Jubilee activities would be inextricably intertwined with those of Lucas. Lucas grew up in Stamford, Connecticut, starting out on clarinet in his adolescence before switching to tenor sax. Buddy cut his performing eyeteeth in local clubs before making his mark on the New York scene of the late '40s. Jubilee brought him aboard only a short time before McGriff; his first single with his All Stars showcased the bespectacled saxist's hearty vocals on the jumping Soppin' Molasses and a slightly mistitled Whoppin' Blues they meant Whoopin'.
Undecided , a houserocking instrumental update on trumpeter Charlie Shavers' jazz classic, adorned the flip. Heavenly Father was a sweet, innocent prayer for an absentee lover that no doubt resonated with a female demographic pining for soldiers away fighting in the Korean War.
The touching ballad saw Edna backed by Buddy and his Band of Tomorrow, his softly mooing sax buttressed by prominent organ on the intro and a curious Hawaiian guitar that wound its way through a lot of Jubilee's output.
All that rapid-fire cover action stifled any hope of Edna's original making a crossover move but should have earned her substantial songwriting royalties. But commercial lightning failed to strike twice. On June 5, , 'Jet' magazine reported that "Harlem's year-old singing sensation" was slated by MGM for a screen test, but if anything ever came of it, no celluloid evidence exists she remained a student at Washington Irving.
According to 'Jet,' Heavenly Father had sold more than , copies over a three-month span. Six duets were waxed; Jubilee released the first two the next month.
Ostensibly while on summer vacation from school, Edna hit the road that July with alto saxman Tab Smith and turbaned tenor saxist Lynn Hope's orchestra on a series of 22 one-nighters across the South booked by Shaw Artists. Shimmy Time So Long. Sonny Til, erstwhile lead singer for the Orioles, recorded these solo and duet sides for Jubilee between and in The earliest recordings are performed in a recital style with only a piano for accompaniment.
The success of the Frankie Laine and Jo Stafford duets inspired Jubilee to pair Til with another vocalist on their roster, Edna McGriff; their six duets are unspectacular but add a little variety to the program. Til left Jubilee but returned in , so there is a leap in chronology from the last of his early solo recordings in to the half-dozen tracks he made in The material varies widely from the novelty "Panama Joe" to the dance-oriented "Shimmy Time" to Cole Porter's "Night and Day," which features a vocal performance so sublime that it is easily the anthology's finest cut.
Nine of the recordings had never been released outside of Bear Family's complete Orioles box set, The Jubilee Recordings. None of these recordings were hits, and it is hard to imagine a collector with enough interest to want Til's solo sides and unreleased material who wouldn't simply buy The Jubilee Recordings, which has all these recordings and more.
The Duprees. Add to Cart. Paul Barbarin. Shelly Manne. Red Mitchell-Harold Land Quintet. Ray Bryant. My Prayer. Raymond B. Fool's World. You Never Cared for Me.
Hester Lancaster. For All We Know. Blame It on Yourself. Ted Koehler. Proud of You. No Other Love. The Night Has Come. I Only Have Eyes for You. Once in a While.S. Til, S. Till, Sonny, Sonny Til With His Chorus And Orchestra, Sonny Til With His Orchestra And Chorus, Sonny Till, Sunny Till, Til [a] Artist. Edit Artist ; Share. Marketplace 1, For Sale. Vinyl and CD Discography; 20 Releases 3 Edna McGriff - Sonny Til Solo Featuring Edna McGriff .