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"Helena Marker, Where Are You?"


The Blues Eldorados 1982 - From left: Joe Inloe, Tommy,
Ben Wells, Durius Montgomery
Click to play sample - Is You Ever Seen a One Eyed Woman Cry Click to play sample - Makin Love Is Good For You

This webpage is in memory of the late Tommy Bankhead and also (presumably alive) Helena Marker who brought Tommy Bankhead into Premier Film & Recording in 1982 to capture him and his band with the few dollars her late father had left her. Then she disappeared off the face of the Earth [possibly to Brooklyn]. As executive producer of Hot Dam Productions, she called me to ask "Could you record him?" ["Yes, of course"]. "Then meet me and Tommy at Miss B's Lounge on Vandeventer in an hour."

Miss B's meeting. Chemistry good, polite and focused. We drank gin straight up and scheduled a recording date for Premier's sound stage.

Premier. To my surprise Tommy and the Blues Eldorados lay down 80% of the tracks in one take. We finish on time, on budget. Consumate professionals.

Years later.To my knowledge, no one is still alive except Tommy's son, whom I met at his home a few weeks later while delivering Tommy his newly pressed records. To Ms. Marker, wherever she is, today I would say, "Maybe if we find more money we can release the "Live From The Soundstage" sessions with the other tracks", now just a 16 track 2-inch master. Although Premier is gone, several songs still wait to be released. [Hint: "Helena, where are you?"]

side 1

So far (2021) only a 45 ("Making Love Is Good For You" and "Is You Ever Seen A One-Eyed Woman Cry?") has been released from these recording sessions, the original monaural pressing and a second pressing in stereo [Prem. 7-19220]. That still leaves 5 unreleased titles. A possible "Live From The Soundstage" album has been discussed but awaits funding.

Credits on the sessions: The Blues Eldorados featured Joe Inloe, sax, Durius Montgomery, bass, Ben Wells, drums. Recording engineer, Chris Rathert with line producer John Harrison, mastering engineer (mono) Art Wolff at Premier on Westrex lathe with an 80 watt Westrex amp. Hand pressed on Premier's steam book press by Warren. Second pressing: Stereo, mastered at Technisonic Studios, St. Louis, machine pressed, Midwest Record Pressing. Thanks to Jim Schmidt for his encouragement throughout.

side 2
Blues Unlimited No. 145 1983/1984 ISSN 0006-5153
Notes:

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