An early Blues pianist with a dry, laconic vocal style, ‘St. Louis Jimmy’ Oden is remembered now more for his songwriting talents than for his records. ‘Goin’ Down Slow’ has been a classic, drag-out Blues piano standard for generations, and Muddy Waters recorded several of Jimmy’s tunes in the 50s.
1947 version of ‘Goin’ Down Slow’ on Bullet Records;
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After the War, Jimmy cut some tracks for the Bullet label, and in 1948 he cut ‘Florida Hurricane’ for Aristocrat Records, which was about to become Chess. His side-men on those sessions included pianist Sunnyland Slim and Muddy Waters on slide-guitar, and Muddy later recorded several of Jimmy’s compositions including ‘Soon Forgotten’ and ‘Take the Bitter with the Sweet’. In 1949 Jimmy and his partner Joe Brown set up their own JOB label, but within a year Jimmy had pulled out. His own records appeared throughout the 50s on the Savoy and Parrot labels, and with Roosevelt on Duke Records. [stextbox id=”custom” caption=”‘St. Louis Jimmy’ Oden Discography” float=”true” align=”left” width=”400″]Jimmy’s work is hard to find on CD, but this 25 track download has plenty of his good stuff.
St. Louis Jimmy Oden Vol. 1 1932-1944[/stextbox]In 1957, Jimmy was involved in a serious auto accident which put him out of action for a while, but in 1960 he cut his first album for Bluesville. It had ten of his own compositions, including the title track ‘Goin’ Down Slow’, and Jimmy continued to record sporadically for several labels in the 60s, but failing health was catching up with him. Jimmy had retired from performing by the end of the decade, and passed away in Chicago in 1977.