Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Both sides were compiled by Stomper Time Records on the Fernwood Rhythm 'n' Blues CD.
Earl Forest - Drummer and singer who was one of the legendary "Beale Streeters", an informal group of friends that formed in the early 50's and played on each other's recordings and included R&B stars Bobby Bland, Johnny Ace, Junior Parker and Rosco Gordon, who played on several of B.B. King's famous sessions (including "Three O'Clock Blues'), and who had a top 10 R&B hit in 1953 with "Whoopin" and Hollerin''.
According to Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms : " Earl and I became fast friends, with me asking him stories about the glory days of Memphis blues and his exploits on the road. I learned that he was the first black audio engineer in our area and that he had worked for Duke and Peacock Records even before Don Robey purchased the label. Earl would say, “Son, I was recording with 3 tracks at Main and Winchester when [Sam] Phillips [of Sun Records] didn't have but two!” Earl signed many famous blues artists while acting as Engineer and A&R man for Duke and Peacock Records."
"Earl told me that a young Elvis Presley had asked to sit in with his band during a break on Beale and that he had threatened to fire any of them who would not do so. He said they didn't have any problems with Elvis, but they just wanted "to go take their break and get drunk." Blues trumpeter Gene "Bowlegs" Miller was in Earl's band at this time and Elvis attributed many of his stage moves to copying the stylings of Bowlegs. Earl had huge respect for all musicians and artists of any age and Earl really liked Elvis. "
Earl Forest recorded in Memphis and Houston for Duke, Flair and Meteor.
He died Feb. 26, 2003 of cancer in Memphis at age 76