Nola Blue Records announces new album from Benny Turner and Cash McCall
"Two Chicago blues legends reunite in the studio to revisit their roots and the songs they once played nightly in South and West Side nightspots!" - Bill Dahl, Music Journalist
Turner and McCall's friendship began in Chicago in the fifties, when they were getting their musical start on the gospel scene. Later, both explored solo careers as well as serving long-time stints as sidemen to some of the biggest names in blues. Even after leaving Chicago, the two would still cross paths on the road, but when Turner learned of McCall's battle with stage four lung cancer, he made it a priority to reunite with his old friend.
Born in Gilmer, Texas in 1939, Benny Turner and his older brother, Freddie King, learned to play guitar from their mother, Ella Mae (King) Turner. Although best known for his role as bassist for the Freddie King band, he later played for Mighty Joe Young and then for Blues Queen of New Orleans Marva Wright. Turner's earliest musical endeavors include work as a recording artist for the M-Pac! and One-Derful! labels. He also appears on gospel recordings with The Kindly Shepherds and Otis Clay. He toured with Dee Clark and the Original Soul Stirrers. Turner's award-winning autobiography, Survivor-The Benny Turner Story, was published in 2017.
A native of New Madrid, Missouri, Morris Dollison, Jr. was born in 1941 and is better known as Cash McCall, a name that has been renowned ever since his 1966 recording "When You Wake Up" became a national R&B hit. McCall was a Nashboro Records recording artist while a member of the Gospel Songbirds. He went on to record as a solo R&B artist for the Thomas, Checker, and Paula labels, and worked at One-derful! and Chess Records as a session musician and songwriter. Performing with Minnie Riperton, Etta James, Bo Diddley, and many more while living in Los Angeles, Cash was also a member of blues legend Willie Dixon's band, the All-Stars, and co-produced his Grammy Award-winning Hidden Charms album.
Going Back Home marks Turner's fourth release on Nola Blue Records since joining the label in 2014. Although work had started on his own solo record, label president Sallie Bengtson agreed to put that on hold to focus on this new joint project, produced by Turner. "There is something incredibly endearing about working with the bluesmen of their generation,"
Producer Benny Turner says, "A death in the gospel world inspired me to contact my old friend Cash. I had no idea about his health problems, and wanted to do whatever I could to help. Getting him involved in a music project seems to have been the best medicine in the world for him, because he is really excited about it. I asked Billy Branch if he was available to be a special guest on the record, and he didn't hesitate for a minute to say, 'Count me in!' I hoped to have Alex Dixon and Gene Barge on the record, too, but unfortunately the timing wasn't right for either of them. We may just need to do another record!"
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