Willie egan and his friends big boy groves - vita records present the rockin' blues


Egan has claimed that his first record, "Dream House Blues"/"Whipped Cream" came out in 1949, on John R. Fullbright's Elko label. However, no evidence has been found that this record actually exists. Two tunes that did get a release on Elko (911) are "It's a Shame"/"Willie's Boogie" (1954), the latter being an instrumental. "It's A Shame" has recently been uploaded to YouTube http:///watch?v=k95Y5DBEYM4 and was later rerecorded for Mambo under the title "What A Shame". Egan made his best records in 1955-56, for the Mambo and Vita labels in Pasadena, owned by Larry Mead. At least six singles were released, good rocking material that demonstrated why he was known in . clubs as the House Rocker. But poor distribution and scarce airplay kept him from flourishing outside of several ghetto markets. Johnny Otis called him Eggins and some of his records are credited to Willie Egans or Willie Eggins (for instance "Wow Wow", probably his biggest seller). With only a few exceptions, Willie composed his own material. "Wear Your Black Dress" is his best recording in my opinion, though it got a lukewarm review in Billboard ("Only fair material and performance", April 14, 1956). He would rerecord the song in 1983 (see below). In 1957 Egan teamed up with Marvin Phillips, one half of Marvin and Johnny, who had scored R&B hits on Specialty and Modern. There were several Johnnys and Willie was the last. Two singles were released, one very bad, one excellent ("I'm Tired Of Being Alone" on Swingin'). Willie's last solo record was "Rock & Roll Fever"/"Chittlins" (Dash 55001), which was released in March 1958.

After his three brushes with death, Walter Costello was known in gangland circles to lead a "charmed life." He grew to be Willie Egan's bodyguard and was never without two pistols on his person at all times. Walter also served as a St. Louis City Deputy Constable to Judge Andrew Gazzolo, thereby giving him permission to carry his pistols and even make arrests if he so desired. Costello was one of two men who shot and killed dangerous former Egan hoodlum Harry "Cherries" Dunn at the Typo Press Club at 712 Pine Street on September 19, 1916. Dunn had been murdered in retaliation for the killings of Egan gangsters William "Skippy" Rohan and Harry Romani.


Willie Egan And His Friends Big Boy Groves - Vita Records Present The Rockin' BluesWillie Egan And His Friends Big Boy Groves - Vita Records Present The Rockin' BluesWillie Egan And His Friends Big Boy Groves - Vita Records Present The Rockin' BluesWillie Egan And His Friends Big Boy Groves - Vita Records Present The Rockin' Blues

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