Friday, September 19, 2014

All over the map

Danny White never had a national hit, but he should have had at least one. In 1963 “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye” was a big local hit in Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast. His local label, Frisco, decided to lease national distribution to Philly label Arlen, itself not exactly a major. In hindsight that was probably a mistake.

In some respects though you could say Danny White’s Frisco recordings were all over the map. Danny was born Joseph Daniel White in 1931 in New Orleans and was based there for the first 41 years of his life which included the entire span of his recording career. By the early Sixties, Danny White & The Cavaliers were one of the hottest acts in the Crescent City playing, among other venues, the Sho Bar at weekends with a 2am to 6am slot. Local chicken restaurateur Connie LaRocca formed a label with local disc jockey Hal Atkins in the early Sixties and named it Frisco, no doubt after her home town - San Francisco. The labels three main artists were Danny White, Willie West, and the Rouzan Sisters. Danny’s early Frisco sides were recorded at Cosimo Matassa’s local studio in New Orleans, but in 1964 Danny was sent to Royal in Memphis to record and be produced by the then fledgling team of Porter-Hayes. Both sides of the 45 featured here would have come from a Royal session and represent the penultimate release on the Frisco label. After Frisco closed down in 1965 Danny would only have a handful of further releases on other labels, some of which were recorded at Stax.      
By 1969 Danny’s recording career was over. He went on to spend two years as road manager for The Meters – keeping up his acquaintance with former label mate Willie West; and then, in 1972, moved to the Washington DC area where he took up a job as a sales manager for a furniture company. He would occasionally return to his home town and perform in oldies shows. Danny passed away in January 1996 after suffering a stroke.    

You won't be surprised to learn that a loving and comprehensive resume of Danny White's recording career can be found at Sir Shambling's wonderful site.  


george said...

Darcy, Note On The Table is absolutely terrific. But you soprt of know from that song title.

george said...

........and My Living Doll is, rather sadly, not a cover of Cliff Richard's song, but somehow manages to surpass it.

Darcy said...

Yes, you're right about Note On The Table. with a title like that it can't fail. I'm on the Danny White trail now, currently just chased down a copy of Love Is A Way Of Life - another good title.