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Friday, November 4, 2011

Paul Gayten — Ain’t Nothing Happening

Here’s  a fine piece of jump blues by Paul Gayten, the nephew of Little Brother Montgomery, a blues pianist. Paul followed in his uncle’s footsteps and began playing the piano. Still in his teens, he performed with local bands and, on the side, established his own band Gayten’s Sizzling Six. 
Gayten tried his hand at various branches of the music business including being a bandleader, a label owner, songwriter, and a record producer.
The war years he spent leading the Army band in Biloxi, Mississippi. Once back in New Orleans, created a new trio which became a resident band at the renowned  Club Robin Hood. Two of the first New Orleans R’n B era hits, True and Since I Fell For You, were recorded by Gayten’s trio in 1947. 
Two years later, his trio had grown into a nine-piece band and, having signed up with Regal Records, he wrote For You My Love which hit # 1 on the R’nB charts with Larry Darnell. His band was in high demand and for a while appeared with such greats as Dizzy Gillespy and Charlie Parker. 
In 1952, Gayten joined Okeh Records, but only a year later he gave up touring to join Chess Records.  At Chess, he applied his talent to song writing, promoting, and talent scouting for the label — still recording and being a part time musician. He discovered Clarence Frogman Henry, for example, whose first hit, Ain’t Got No Home, was produced by Gayten.
After a multifaceted career as singer, song writer, producer, and band leader Paul Gayten and his wife moved to Los Angeles in 1960 where he ran the West Coast Chess Record enterprise. In 1968, finally, he established his very own label, Pzazz. (For a Pzazz discography, please go here.)
Paul Gayten died March 26, 1991 in Los Angeles. 

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