Archie Edwards – Doctor Ross
This CD is dedicated to Richard Chalk, August 24th 1952 – September 14th 2019, RIP
Produced by John Angelatos / Red Rooster Productions and Richard Chalk / Top Cat Records
Licensed from Top Cat Records L.L.C. Dallas, Texas
Doctor Ross (real name Charles Isaiah Ross) was born in Tunica, MS on Oct. 1925 and died on May 1993 in Flint, Michigan. He was a one-man Band, played guitar, harp and drums.
He learned harp at the age of nine and was performing with Willie Love and on radio stations in Arkansas and Mississippi in the 30´s. In the US Army, he made a paramedical training – therefore he got the name “Doctor”. Later he appeared at King Biscuit Time Show with his Jump and Live Band and also played as a one-man band act in the 50´s and 60´s.
He started recording music 1952 and recorded for the Chess Label, one year later for the legendary Label Sun Records in Memphis. For this Label, he recorded “Country Clown” and “Boogie Disease”, then he moved to Flint, Michigan to work in an auto factory. He was a left-handed guitar player and played in open G-tuning.
Later he recorded for different local Labels before he recorded in the middle of the 60´s for the Testament-Label. After that, he was a welcome guest on different Folk and Blues festivals in the US and Europe (especially at the American Folk Blues Festival 1965 and the Montreux Jazz Festival). He recorded a lot more CD´s. Some of the best are on Munich Records, Atlantic and his last CD on JSP.
The roots of his raw, Mississippi Delta Blues Style, was influenced by John Lee Hooker and John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson – but he created his own sound with boogie rhythms and supple harp riffs.
The recording on this CD were made during a tour with Archie Edwards in Greece. On this Live-CD, he recorded great traditional Blues titles like “Biscuit Bakin’ Mama” or “Good morning little Schoolgirl”, but also some songs of his own, like his hit “Chicago Breakdown”.
Archie L. Edwards was born September 4th 1918 and died June 18th 1998. He was a Piedmont Blues Guitar Player, who played several decades and worked with great blues musicians like Mississippi John Hurt, Skip James or John Jackson.
One of his great songs are “The road is rough and rocky” and “I called my baby long Distance”. In the late 50´s he owned a barbershop, where he helped blues musicians to start their career. His style is the old Piedmont style or East Virginia Blues. He was born on a farm near Union Hall, Virginia. He had to share his first guitar with his brothers. He was inspired by Blind Boy Fuller and Blind Lemon Jefferson.
He worked at a sawmill, but he still played music around the camp, where he worked at daytime, but on evening he played at house parties in the 30´s. Then he went to New Jersey, where he worked by chauffeuring and cooking.
During World War II, Edwards served in the military police. In the postwar years, he worked in his own barbershop in Washington D.C. in 1959. But he also played together with Mississippi John Hurt, but also they both had a relationship with Skip James.
He worked with Hurt until his death in 1966 for which he wrote the song “The road is rough and rocky”. After Hurts dead, Archie played at music festivals and in local Clubs. He joined also John Jackson, John Cephs and Phil Wiggins.
He formed the group “The travelling Blues Workshop” together with Flora Molton and Mother Scott. 1982 he joined the American Folk Blues Festival for a tour in Europe and recorded for the L+R Label. When he came back, he toured with Flora Molton and Eleonor Ellis in the US.
Archie died 1998 in Seat Pleasant, Maryland in the age of 79. After his death the CD “Toronto Sessions” was released, which was recorded in 1986 in Canada.
He toured with Doc Ross Greece, where this CD was recorded.