Friday, August 2, 2013

Mose Allison: I Don't Worry About a Thing

Back in the early 60s, my brother Chuck attended Kentucky Christian College in Grayson, KY. A friend of his during those years, Russ Hatter, worked at the local radio station – WGOH. Occasionally the station would receive promotional copies of singles that didn't fit its format and Russ would pass these onto Chuck who brought them back to Pennsylvania to me. Of that cache of singles were quite a few jazz releases on the Riverside and Pacific Jazz labels.

The only jazz single from a major label in that grouping was a promo copy of Mose Allison’s “Your Mind is on Vacation” backed with “I Don’t Worry About A Thing.” I listened to these records from time to time, but I hadn’t really developed an ear for jazz until the mid 70s when I was a student at KCC.

During that period, I was the program and music director of the college station WKCC. From 1976 to 1978, I hosted a jazz program on Wednesday nights and I brought this and my other jazz singles back from Pennsylvania for the show. The single was returned to its original hometown of Grayson to be played on another radio station in the market. While I favored the “A” side due to its humorous lyrics, I also played Allison’s “I Don’t Worry About A Thing.”

While neither song charted, and to my knowledge, the single was never released commercially, it put Mose on the proverbial map as a unique performer. His album “I Don’t Worry About A Thing” was released by Atlantic in May 1962. Reviewer Scott Yarrow said of its Rhino reissue that it was “one of Mose Allison’s most significant recordings.”

The song features Allison on piano and vocal and is backed by Addison Farmer on bass and Osie Johnson on drums as part of the Mose Allison Trio.  “You know I don’t worry about a thing cause I nothing's going to be all right.”

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