Harry Van Walls
Harry Van Walls
He returned to Charleston in his mid-20s and played as a solo pianist in local clubs and on WCHS (AM) radio. In the early-1940s, he began playing in Cal Greer's band and later formed his own band based in Columbus, Ohio. In the late-1940s, saxophonist Frank "Floorshow" Culley convinced Walls to join the new Atlantic Records label in New York City as Atlantic's house band pianist. Notable songs either written by or featuring his musicianship include the following: "Sweet Sixteen" (Big Joe Turner) "Chains Of Love" (Big Joe Turner) "5-10-15 Hours" (Ruth Brown) "One Mint Julep" (The Clovers) "Tomorrow Night" (LaVern Baker) "Any Time, Any Place, Anywhere" (Laurie Tate) In 1950, Walls recorded and released the single "Tee Nah Nah"/"Ain't Gonna Scold You" on Atlantic (catalog #904) which featured vocals by Spider Sam (the pseudonym used by Brownie McGhee). Walls also recorded and released the 1950 single "Easter Parade"/"Air Mail Boogie" on Derby Records (catalog #733) with vocals by Freddie Mitchell as well as the 1950 single "Chocolate Candy Blues" on Columbia Records (catalog #30220). Vann Walls was credited on all of Atlantic's early recordings by Joe Turner. In 1954, Walls joined the Nite Riders where he remained for almost ten years.
Based mainly in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the group primarily recorded on the Apollo Records label, though in 1957, they recorded a one-off single for MGM Records. During the early-1960s, they recorded for various labels including Cherry, Chime, Smash, and Courtesy. After the group's breakup, Van Walls remained in Montreal and formed his own group called Captain Van & the Pirates. Walls played a number of blues and jazz festivals in the United States and Canada throughout the 1980s and 1990s. In 1997, he was recognized for his contributions to early R&B music by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation and was awarded the foundation's Pioneer Award. Walls continued to record until his death in January 1999. Read more on Last.fm.
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