Big John Greer – Bottle It Up And Go

1st March 2022 · 1950s, 1954, Blues, Music, Rock'n'Roll

Saxman Big John Greer is another of those seminal figures turning jump blues into rock’n’roll in the postwar era.

Something of a forgotten figure in the history of American music, Big John blew strong and sang long on a string of top tunes from 1949 to 1955.

His scorching tenor sax lit up Mr Blues Is Coming To Town and Bloodshot Eyes for Wynonie Harris and Nosey Joe) by Bull Moose Jackson, famed for his double-entendres (another was the filthy Big Ten Inch).

His biggest hit as a vocalist came in 1952 with the tasty blues ballad Got You on My Mind but this 1954 tune, Bottle It Up and Go, should surely have been a hit too.

Others worth hearing include Come Back Maybellene and a novelty song called We Wanna See Santa Claus Do The Mambo – released, bafflingly, in the month of August.

But booze began to take its toll on his employment prospects; by 1957, the music had dried up but he hadn’t, and he was back in his hometown of Hot Springs, Arkansas where he died aged only 48.

Which makes this a suitable song by which to remember him, in more ways than one.