The Sessions

Blues Piano

From May of 1937, until December of 1938, close to 50 individual recording sessions took place in the Sky Club of The Leland Hotel. For purposes of discussion and reference, individual sessions have been designated as such using “lead artists” as a the parameter for individual session designation. There are a couple of exceptions to this rule and those exceptions involve the recordings made by certain “lead artists” where it was apparent by way of deduction that their “session” was really a part of a much larger session involving some of the same back up musicians for all sessions that took place on that, or any given, day.

In addition, Session Sheets, where available, were also used to determine and designate the different sessions that took place. Time slot information obtained for those available Session Sheets was the primary detail used to so designate.

The Leland Bluebird Recording Sessions took place on 12 different days spanning that 20 month period of time. The following is a listing of the principle artists that participated listed in order that their session took place, according to available time sheet data, and deductions derived using matrix number order, and analysis of the project in its entirity:

May 4, 1937
Tampa Red & The Chicago Five
Washboard Sam & His Washboard Band
The State Street Swingers featuring Mary Mac
John D. ‘Black Spider’ Twitty
Merline Johnson (The Yas Yas Girl)
Charlie West

May 5, 1937
Walter Davis
John Lee ‘Sonny Boy’ Williamson
Robert Lee McCoy
Big Joe Williams

October 11, 1937
Tampa Red & The Chicago Five
Bill Gillum & His Jazz Boys
Curtis Jones
Red Nelson
Sweet Peas (Addie) Spivey
Leothus Green

November 11, 1937
Washboard Sam & His Washboard Band
Walter Davis
John Lee ‘Sonny Boy’ Williamson
Robert Lee McCoy
Henry Townsend

March 13, 1938
Walter Davis
John Lee ‘Sonny Boy’ Williamson
Elijah Jones
Yank Rachell

March 14, 1938
Tampa Red & The Chicago Five
Washboard Sam & His Washboard Band
Sam Theard
Jazz Gillum & His Jazz Boys
Lorraine Walton
One Arm Slim

June 16, 1938
Tampa Red & The Chicago Five
Washboard Sam & His Washboard Band
Jazz Gillum & This Jazz Boys
St. Louis Red Mike Bailey
Monkey Joe featuring George Jefferson & Lulu Scott
Walter Davis

June 17, 1938
John Lee ‘Sonny Boy’ Williamson
Yank Rachell
Big Joe Williams

December 16, 1938
Tampa Red & The Chicago Five
Casey Bill Weldon
Washboard Sam & His Washboard Band
Bill ‘Jazz’ Gillum

December 17, 1938
Speckled Red
John Lee ‘Sonny Boy’ Williamson
Willie Hatcher

December 18, 1938
Robert Lee McCoy

December 19, 1938
Walter Davis