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More or less known Martin players; Buddy Lucas

thomsax

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I bet you’ve heard this guy even if his name is not that wellknown to most of us. Beside my fascination for musicians that play several instruments, I’m also impressed by musicians that has a long carreer over differnt eras. Buddy Lucas was such a guy!

Alonzo W. Lucas aka Buddy Lucas was born in the year 1914, and he passed away in 1983. He became 69 years old which is not a remarkably high age. But how did musicians like Lucas get their musical influences? What did they listen to as teenagers? He probably didn’t lay his hands on a saxophone before the late 20’s. Did the lack of helpful media make musicians more openminded? He played and worked with musicians that I listened to as a teenager!

Not much is known about Buddy Lucas before his band ”Buddy Lucas All Stars”(renamed after his first release to ”Band Of Tomorrow”) were the house band at Jubilee/Josie (record-label/-company) between 1951-1955. They got a hit with ”Soppin’ Molassses”c/w ”Whoppin’ Blues”. A humorus jump blues song. I think Lucas was something in the style of Louis Jordan! He released some recordings on Jubilee with the old standard song ”Diane” from 1927 as a peak on the charts. He did that song in an Earl Bostic style. He climbed #2 on the charts with ”Diane” and at the same time Edna McGriff reached #4 with ”Heavenly Father” with assistance of Buddy Lucas. He left Jubilee/Josie for Savoy records in 1955. Lucas was also the leader of the band ”Gone All Stars”.

A sought after A&R, tenorist and harmonicaplayer in the 50’s and Lucas did lots of recordings. Edna McGriff, Little Sylvia, Ann Laurie, Hal Singer, Big Maybelle, Nappy Brown, Big Joe Turner, Eddie Vinson, Jimmy Whiterspoon, Jimmy Hendrix, George Benson, Nina Simone, Bobby Bland, Roy Buchanan, LaVern Baker, Dion, Dave”Baby”Cortez, Hank Ballard …. to mention some. But I think the highlite of Buddy Lucas carreer was session works with Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick in the early 60’s and Aretha Franklins tribute-to-Dinah Washington LP ”Unforgetable” 1964.

As saxplayer Buddy Lucas had a ”beefy-fat-greasy” tone. He played a The Martin Tenor. Beside tenorsax he also played the baritone saxophone, harmonica and sang.
Here are some samples of Buddy Lucas versatility.

The Gee Gee Walk – Gone All Stars Stars feat Buddy Lucas on sax.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EE9Zh8m_5-Y

The Wanderer – Dion/Buddy Lucas tenorsolo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeL_WEgQTzU

Happy Organ – Dave ”Baby” Cortez /Buddy Lucas baritone
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNxpU_ITpMQ

Let The little Girl Dance – Bobby Bland/Buddy Lucas tenorsolo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCwjEm8HHlY

Unforgettable - Aretha Franklin (I’m not sure if this is Buddy Lucas on tenorsax. But it’s good)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jl4s-EJhhvU

Holy Cow – Buddy Lucas. I found the LP ”Honking Sax” (from 1969) in a second hand recordstore. One track on the LP is Holy Cow. It’s a fun record to listen to but I don’t know if it was meant to released?? Another Martinplayer, Don Wise, used to play this song with Delbert McClinton Band.
http://s297.photobucket.com/albums/mm201/thomsax/?action=view&current=HolyCow.mp4

Thomas
 

saxismyaxe

Honored SOTW Ambassador
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556
Good post Thomas. I admit that I was unaware of this player.

Cheers for posting this my fellow Martin devotee! :welldone
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,807
Good post Thomas. I admit that I was unaware of this player.

Cheers for posting this my fellow Martin devotee! :welldone
Thank you. Buddy Lucas was an interesting muscian. Some of my saxheros were playing on Martin saxes before they joined other brands.

Thomas
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,418
Good post Thomas. I have to admit that Dion was one of my heroes as a kid (that dates me) and The Wanderer would be there in my list of most influential tracks - in the ludicrously unlikely event that I ever get asked to prepare one.....

The rest of the tracks - yeh, your description of ”beefy-fat-greasy” tone - spot on.
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
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3,661
Here's a bit of a bump for this two year old thread!
I was having this discussion with another player and he was convinced that the sax solo on Deons' "The Wanderer" was Bobby Keys. Everywhere you look on the net show it as Bobby Keys but the video definitely shows Buddy Lucas. It just shows how wrong the interweb (Wikipedia) can be! I wonder how many other false "Claim to fame" there are?
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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21,947
Here's a bit of a bump for this two year old thread!
I was having this discussion with another player and he was convinced that the sax solo on Deons' "The Wanderer" was Bobby Keys. Everywhere you look on the net show it as Bobby Keys but the video definitely shows Buddy Lucas. It just shows how wrong the interweb (Wikipedia) can be! I wonder how many other false "Claim to fame" there are?
I bet John Laughter's the best source of this. I think he's unravelled a lot of false attributions compiling his list of who played which solo.
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
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3,661
Thanks Kev, I remember someone doing a list but I couldn't remember who it was.
 

Clivey

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Messages
1,023
You can never be 100% sure. I based my information from books, articles, record information .... and it all says Buddy Lucas. Both Keys and Lucas are very good. And Rocksax guru John Laughter also says that it's Buudy Lucas blowing the solo.

http://cafesaxophone.com/content.php?208-History-Top-40-Saxophone-Solos

Thomas
Heres the Vid with Bobby Keys.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m6lymJy57E&feature=related

Sounds like a slightly different recording from the studio version posted above, also looks like it`s a dubbed/mimed soundtrack .Who knows? . A bit of a mystery I have not really analyzed it yet but on a first listen this defo sounds like a tenor the studio recording sounded more bari;}
 

thomsax

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Messages
3,807
I must admit that the second clip sounds more like Lucas!! Thicker and fatter tone. Is that Bobby Keys on the filmclip? The guy on the film also looks like Nino Tempo. /Thomas
 

Clivey

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Messages
1,023
I must admit that the second clip sounds more like Lucas!! Thicker and fatter tone. Is that Bobby Keys on the filmclip? The guy on the film also looks like Nino Tempo. /Thomas

Yip. I think you are bang on about that , No.1 He looks quite a short guy. Bobby Keys is quite tall and also if you get in close you will see he`s playing a Conn tenor there are a few shots on the Internet of Nino at least holding a Conn.

I`ve got a sneaking feeling that the music has been sped up in order to lip sync to the clip. This has had the effect of raising the pitch. Of course nowadays we could easily speed the thing up and keep the pitch but who knows about this clip.

I even wonder if perhaps the real playing/soundtrack of this was just scrapped when the overdub was done but anyway the whole thing is a mystery.

One thing that is for sure is that it a great song and one of my favourite Solos of all time
 
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Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,661
I don't think that can be Keys playing that, he would only have been 18 to 20 years old. He was born in 43 and that song was released in 61 I think. I know he started playing professionally at 15, so there is no question about his ability, but this player is obviously in his mid to late 40's

PS
I just worked out that Bobby Keys is four years younger than Dion, so this guy is quite a bit older and therefore can't be Keys.
 
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Clivey

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,023
I don't think that can be Keys playing that, he would only have been 18 to 20 years old. He was born in 43 and that song was released in 61 I think. I know he started playing professionally at 15, so there is no question about his ability, but this player is obviously in his mid to late 40's

PS
I just worked out that Bobby Keys is four years younger than Dion, so this guy is quite a bit older and therefore can't be Keys.
I now suspect that Buddy Lucas would not have had a snowballs chance in hell of being shown playing in that band at the time the film was made and released.

I had to think it over a couple of times before I posted this but Racial things were still important to some folks back in these days especially in the USA. " Over and out from me on this thread I think".
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
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3,661
Ha ha I tried to find a photo of Lucas and couldn't. Would that have made identifying him that much easier?
 

thomsax

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Messages
3,807
Buddy Lucas

View attachment 1540

The song is better on the movie-clip but to be frank that movie-clip is terrible. The early 60's was a very mixed up time. Singers like Paul Anka, Pat Bone, .... were Rock & Roll !!!!!?????

Thomas
 

compound

Member
Messages
457
It's Buddy Lucas on the original 45, and on the soundtrack to the video. The guys on the video could be anybody they used just to mime to the soundtrack.The guy on the sax isn't even moving his fingers.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,807
It's Buddy Lucas on the original 45, and on the soundtrack to the video. The guys on the video could be anybody they used just to mime to the soundtrack.The guy on the sax isn't even moving his fingers.
I think you're right!
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
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5,952
It's Buddy Lucas on the original 45, and on the soundtrack to the video. The guys on the video could be anybody they used just to mime to the soundtrack.The guy on the sax isn't even moving his fingers.
Yup. He's too busy just holding the sax cos he doesn't appear to have a sling.
 

compound

Member
Messages
457
We know don't we Thomas ? This is a typical 60s effort, sloppy meaning the sax player.
Keep rocking Thomas
Rob.
 

compound

Member
Messages
457
Just as a matter of interest i have somewhere one of the out takes of Dion's" The Wanderer". This was one of the early out takes judging by Dion's comments about the crazy lyric's. It's nearly the same as the released version except the Tenor solo goes higher after the fluttertongue. I haven't seen the tape in years, but i must have it somewhere.
Rob.
 
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