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Gladys Bentley

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 Discography
compiled from internet research (lots of it..:)

Okeh Records
Worried Blues / Ground Hog Blues (August 1928) #8610
How Long, How Long Blues / Moanful Wailin' Blues (August 1928) #8612
[ these tracks recorded August 8 & 31, 1928 ]
[ Okeh tracks below recorded Nov 15, 1928 and March 26, 1929 ]

Wild Geese Blues / How Much Can I Stand (Nov 1928, with piano, not released)
Wild Geese Blues / How Much Can I Stand (November 1928, with guitar) #8643
Red Beans and Rice / Big Gorilla Man (March 1929) #8707

Victor
vocal with Washboard Serenaders, 1930, a-side only, skatting
Washboards Get Together / Kazoo Moan, #38127, recorded March 1930
title often listed as "Washboard Get Together"
also re-issued twice on Bluebird B-5790 (circa 1934) and B-6633 (circa 1936)

Excelsior Records
as Gladys Bentley Quintette, 1945
Boogie'n My Woogie / Thrill Me Till I Get My Fill, #164
Red Beans & Rice Blues / Find Out What He Likes (and How He Likes It) #165/166
Big Gorilla Blues / Lay it on the Line, #166/165
Boogie Woogie Cue / Give It Up, #168
Notoriety Papa / It Went to the Girl Next Door, #169

Swingtime Records

1952: recorded vocals on one track for
Wardell Gray & the Dexter Gordon Quintet:
Jingle Jangle Jump (Swingtime 321)

as Fatso Bentley, 1953
4th of July Boogie / Gladys Could Play, #337

Flame Records
Cincinnati, early 1950s, label mispells name, as Gladys Bently
Easter Mardi Gras / Before Midnight (Flame 1001)
This is mentioned in her August 1952 Ebony article, so is 1952 or earlier.

In addition:
On a website devoted to copyright information (www.faqs.org)
I found listings for three songs
"written by Mary C Bentley," registered in 1952:
Easter Mardi Gras
June-Teenth Jamboree
Rough & Ready Man

"June-Teenth Jamboree" can be found on several compilations,
though I have not found actual verification it was released as a recording, or when.
Mary C Mote was her mother's name, so I have a theory that
Bentley may have used it as writing credits. And use of the
name Fatso may have been an effort to reinvent herself, as her
lesbian past was not an asset in the McCarthy years.

Recordings

Her recordings on 78 are quite rare, and I only own a few.
Other scans are mostly from eBay.

Okeh

The writing credit below for "Red Beans and Rice" says "Fuller,"
but it's the same song, as written by "Johnson," on Excelsior 165A,
from 1945, though that one has a much different arrangement.

Also, "Big Gorilla Man" was repeated on Excelsior 166A, as
"Big Gorilla Blues," again with a more modern arrangement

Victor
guest spot

Excelsior

Buster Records

Below, I presume a later pressing of Excelcior 164. It's the same recordings, and
interestingly Very similar label design including same numbering and complete
listing of band members. I could find nothing on the Buster Records label.
Perhaps it was a budget label, from Memphis, that bought the masters.

Swingtime

(she did not appear on the B side)

Flame
(note mispelling of Bentley)
"Before Midnight" has no lyrics, just vocalizing

The Unreleased Tracks

Above, there were about nine recordings done circa 1939/40
with very little information on them, with the most known being
"Gladys Isn't Gratis Anymore," "Myrtle Isn't Fertile," and "Locksmith,"
which also was called "Lock and Key."
Most were likely done only as unidentified test pressings,
like the one shown below.
See The Blue Pages, Hensteeth

the flip side is "Low Bridge," by unidentified male & female performers, spoken word

Regarding "Gladys Isn't Gratis," news articles reported that she
sang that song in the nightclub show "Brevities in Bronze,"
in 1937 at the Ubangi Club, which was the last year it was open.

Gladys Bentley on LP:
Raretone Label, UK, 1973
contains Okeh tracks only, no liner notes

Gladys Bentley on CD:

Obviously, the liner notes for the above are probably only talking
about Bentley's "complete recordings" on the Okeh label.

Below, two various artists compilations with "Boogie'n My Woogie"
Disc on right from Spin Records, featuring 1945-1955 material

Spin Records

The above Clarence Profit CD (2000) contains his work with the Washboard Serenaders, and
is one of the few places you can find Bentley's skatting vocals on "Washboards Get Together"

Below, for trivia sake, the Victor label created a subsidiary in 1932,
Bluebird Records, to meet the market for more budget recordings,
and reissued this disc, twice, the one below circa 1936.
Blueboard B-5790 was likely issued in 1934.
shown is the flip side, which does not include Bentley

Bentley was guest vocalist in February 1952 on a session with Dexter Gordon,
resulting in the Christmas song "Jingle Jangle Jump,"found on
this and also other Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray compilations

Bentley's "4th of July Boogie" can be found on the the
compilation below, "Night Train Keyboard Kings," 2004

4th of July Boogie / Gladys Could Play, Swingtime #337

It is listed in the Swingtime discography, as by Fatso Bentley, 1953,
though that does not guarantee it was actually released.
The Swingtime label went bankrupt in 1953.

Below, "How Much Can I Stand" is also found on
the excellent 1997 compilation "Club Verboten,"
a cornicopia of GLBT and GLBT-related recordings

Below, two of many sources for "June-Teenth Jamboree" by Fatso Bently.
I've also seen it on comps as released by Mary C. Bentley.

Note the first one is subtitled "The 1920's & The 1930's,"
but I think that song is from the early 1950's. Certainly, she
was not going by "Fatso Bently" in the early years.

Below, "Lay It On The Line" can be found on this Excelsior comp

Below, this 2002 CD is from a series honoring the work of Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang,
and includes four of the Bentley Okeh sides, among many other recordings

Below, a record company named Tuff City (www.tuffcity.com) was releasing many old recordings,
though oddly doesn't mention the ones below on their site. I found them only at the site
emusic.com, a digital downloads subscription site. This is the only online source I have
found for these Excelsior and Swingtime sides.

Update (Jan 2013): these singles are no longer available on at emusic.com, and at the
Tuff City site only "Boogie'n My Woogie" is still listed.
I leave the info below as they may reappear.

The collection below contains the hard-to-find Excelsior tracks
"Boogie Woogie Cue" and "Find Out What He Likes"

And her best known song, "Worried Blues," can be found on quite a number of blues compilations

So, the sides I am missing are

Excelsior Records, as Gladys Bentley Quintette, 1945:
Give It Up, #168

Swingtime Records, as Fatso Bentley (or Bently), 1953, Gladys Could Play


I would love help in finding these in digital format, or any of her releases on 78s