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Paul Gayten

Paul Gayten

Paul Gayten


Paul Gayten (January 29, 1920 – March 26, 1991) was an American R&B bandleader, pianist, songwriter, producer and record company executive. Gayten was born in Kentwood, Louisiana, the nephew of blues pianist Little Brother Montgomery. In his teens he played piano in local bands while also setting up his own group, Paul Gayten's Sizzling Six, which featured future bebop saxophonist Teddy Edwards. During the war, he led a band at the Army base in Biloxi, Mississippi. Read more on Last.fm
Paul Gayten (January 29, 1920 – March 26, 1991) was an American R&B bandleader, pianist, songwriter, producer and record company executive. Gayten was born in Kentwood, Louisiana, the nephew of blues pianist Little Brother Montgomery. In his teens he played piano in local bands while also setting up his own group, Paul Gayten's Sizzling Six, which featured future bebop saxophonist Teddy Edwards. During the war, he led a band at the Army base in Biloxi, Mississippi. He then moved to New Orleans and, with a new trio, established a residency at the Club Robin Hood. In 1947 the trio recorded two of the first New Orleans hits of the R&B era, "True (You Don't Love Me)", and "Since I Fell for You", the latter featuring singer Annie Laurie.

Both made the R&B top ten. Gayten also backed singer Chubby Newsom on her hit "Hip Shakin’ Mama". In 1949 he expanded his combo into a nine-piece orchestra and moved to Regal Records. There, Gayten wrote the #1 R&B hit "For You My Love" for Larry Darnell, and recorded "I’ll Never Be Free" with Annie Laurie. His orchestra toured widely, for a period adding saxophonist Hank Mobley and singer Little Jimmy Scott, and appearing on double bills with both Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker.

In 1952 he moved to Okeh Records. In 1953 he decided to quit as a touring bandleader and joined Chess Records as a talent scout, producer, promotion man, songwriter and part-time musician and recording artist. He discovered Clarence "Frogman" Henry and produced his first hit, "Ain't Got No Home", in 1956, later going on to co-write and produce his biggest hit, "But I Do", in 1961. At Chess, Gayten produced Bobby Charles' "Later Alligator" and played piano on Chuck Berry’s "Carol". In 1956 he also had one of the biggest hits of his own career with "The Music Goes Round And Round", followed up by "Nervous Boogie". In 1960 he moved to Los Angeles with his wife Odile to run the Chess operations there.

In 1968 he set up his own label, Pzazz, which recorded Louis Jordan, among others. He continued to live in Los Angeles with Odile after retiring in the 1970s, and died there in 1991. Bandleader & pianist born in 1920 who enjoyed several hit jump blues & bawdy swing 78's on the New Jersey based De Luxe & Regal labels in the late 40's & early 50's before returning south to become a key figure in his hometown New Orleans booming late 50's Rock n Roll scene. Beginning a show biz career after his release from the military in 1946, he often worked with vocalist Annie Laurie. He toured extensively with package shows featuring Laurie as well as vocalist Jimmy Scott and musicians like Hank Mobley.

Gayten's Orchestra ends up on Columbia's Okeh imprint in 1952 and releases various material before he eventually gets dropped & finds his way into the Chess records fold. The Chess Bros. soon had him moving laterally to the Checker imprint and later Argo. During this period he was a live staple for 6 years running at the busy Brass Rail Club in the Crescent City.

By 1956 he had ended up charting high on the Argo offshoot label with the instrumental "Nervous Boogie". His band at the time included hot players like Earl Palmer on drums, Lee Allen on sax and Edgar Blanchard on guitar. After years of hard touring Gayten eventually curtailed his road & recording efforts and became a Chess A & R man signing Eddie Bo and others. Gayten's most lasting legacy likely occured when he brought Clarence Frogman Henry into the national limelight in late 1956 with the hit "Ain't Got No Home".

Gayten helped the frogman score big again with "But I Do" , a tune co-written with Bobby Charles that hit #4 on the pop charts in 1961. While ostensibly retired from the road, Gayten still occasionally found time to perform with Fats Domino and recorded a single for an upstart Detroit independent label owned by a former auto worker named Berry Gordy. The tune "The Hunch" b/w "Hot Cross Buns" was Anna Records #1106, the precursor label to Motown. Gayten eventually founded his own record label in 1969 called Pzazz which for a time featured the great Louis Jordan.

He continued recording, arranging & producing various musical performers into his elder years until his death in Los Angeles in 1991. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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