• Jesse Powell with The Cadillacs
    Jimmy Bailey, Earl Wade, Charles Brooks, Earl Carrol, Bobby Philips, Rudy Bailey (Chauffeur) & Jesse Powell

    Jesse Powell & The Caddy's (New York)
    aka The Cadillacs


    Personnel :

    Jesse Powell (Lead)

    J. R. Bailey (Tenor)

    Lavern Drake (Bass)

    Roland Martinez (First Tenor)

    Bobby Spencer (Baritone)


    Discography :

    1958 - Ain't You Gonna / Turnpike (Inst.) (Jessie Powell) (Josie 834)


    Biography :

    Jesse Powell was born February 2, 1924. There is very little biographical information about his early years, other than his working with Hot Lips Page, Louis Armstrong, and Luis Russell. He joined Count Basie's Band in 1946, replacing the great sax player Illinois Jacquet, which says something about his abilities. Powell appears on a number of blues recordings in the late 1940s with people like Brownie McGhee, Willie Jordan, and Doc Pomus.

    Jesse Powell & The Caddy's     Jesse Powell & The Caddy's
    J. R. Bailey                                                                                                                         

    He also worked with Champion Jack Dupree and continued to play jazz, touring France with Howard McGee in 1948. He played bop and recorded with Dizzy Gillespie in 1949. During the 1950s, as bebop fell out of favor, Powell found steady work with a variety of R&B artists. He recorded as a leader for Federal in 1951 and 1953 and had established himself with the Josie label by 1954, which included groups like the Cadillacs.

    Jesse Powell & The Caddy's
    Jesse Powell with The Cadillacs

    In 1957, differences in opinion caused the Cadillacs to split. One group was initially known as The Four Cadillacs, with current bass J. R. Bailey, former bass Lavern Drake, and new members Roland Martinez and Bobby Spencer, writer of the song "My Boy Lollipop". The other four current members - Carroll, Wade, Brooks, and Phillips - continued recording separately, later as Earl Carroll and the Cadillacs. Bailey's group also included former group saxophonist Jesse "Tex" Powell, and recorded in early 1958 as Jesse Powell and the Caddys. Both groups recorded simultaneously on Josie Records.

    Songs :

    Ain't You Gonna


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