Written by
Bob Stumpel

November 15

Confession Blues

Album 1949 - 1956 WayWith Maxin Trio

Down Beat 171-B. Collection Mark Cederquist.
Down Beat 171-B; 78 RPM pressing without songwriter credit and names of musicians.
From Billboard, March 12, 1949.

Single (B): Down Beat 171, February 1949, b/w I Love You, I Love You.
Compilation album: The Way I Feel, Proper, 22 Oct 2007.

Recorded in Seattle (possibly at the KOL radio studios), February 1949.

The Maxin Trio: Ray Charles – voc, p; Gosady McKee – g; Milton S. Garred – b.

From Linden Records: Seattle’s “lost” post-war music company: “By early 1946 Bobrow met up with Linden and they agreed to make a record together. By that time Linden’s son Jimmy (1914 – 1972) was working as an audio engineer over at the KOL radio studios in the basement of the Northern Life Towers (1220 3rd Avenue) and a session was booked there. The result became Linden Record Company’s commercial debut – and perhaps the first locally recorded, locally issued, popular jazz record: a 78RPM single featuring two Irving Berlin songs The Dark Town Strutter’s Ball and Alexander’s Ragtime Band, as performed by Jones’ Orchestra with vocals by Bobrow.

Ad from Billboard, 12 February 1949. “It’s terrif” – “Ray Charles singing with the Maxine (!) Trio”.

But it was another historically significant early Seattle record – Ray Charles’s 1949 debut disc Confession Blues – that holds out a possible connection to the Linden family tale.

Ad from Billboard, August 10, 1949. 
Note Maxim Trio and Swing Beat label.

What little is known about the circumstances surrounding that record is this: Charles and his trio (who were hosts of a weekly KRSC radio show where they advertised their upcoming nightclub gigs) were discovered in town by a traveling Los Angeles-based music exec. A deal was struck and, according to Charles’s autobiography, they proceeded to ‘a little recording studio in Seattle.’ It is the exact name of that studio that has remained a puzzle all these years – but it seems quite likely, given the paucity of studios existing at the time, that Charles’s session took place at KOL with Jimmy Linden participating.


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