Tony Joe White – …Continued (1969)

LPFrontCover1Tony Joe White (July 23, 1943 – October 24, 2018), nicknamed the Swamp Fox, was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, best known for his 1969 hit “Polk Salad Annie” and for “Rainy Night in Georgia”, which he wrote but which was first made popular by Brook Benton in 1970. He also wrote “Steamy Windows” and “Undercover Agent for the Blues”, both hits for Tina Turner in 1989; those two songs came by way of Turner’s producer at the time, Mark Knopfler, who was a friend of White. “Polk Salad Annie” was also recorded by Joe Dassin, Elvis Presley, and Tom Jones.

…Continued is the second album released by Tony Joe White. It was released on Monument Records and contained the single Roosevelt and Ira Lee It was recorded at Monument Studios, Nashville and Lyn-Lou Studios, Memphis in 1969. It was produced by Billy Swan and engineered by Tommy Strong and Mort Thomasson.

The album was re-released on by Movieplay/Intermusic from Portugal in 1993 with a different cover and another title (Roosevelt And Ira Lee). In 1997 it was rereleased by Warner Brothers containing two additional songs – “Watching The Trains Go By” (by Dewey Oldham and Wallace Pennington) and “Old Man Willis” (by Tony Joe White himself) was the second single. “Old Man Willis” was later re-recorded for the album.

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The album contained the track “Rainy Night In Georgia” popularized by R&B vocalist Brook Benton in 1970. It reached #4 on the Pop Singles and #2 on the Adult Contemporary charts, respectively. The RIAA certified the single gold for sales of one million copies. In 2004, it was ranked #498 on the List of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The song has been covered by a number of musicians, including Ray Charles, Otis Rush, Randy Crawford, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Amos Garrett, Hank Williams, Jr., Shelby Lynne, John Holt, Nicky Thomas, by the duet of Conway Twitty and Sam Moore, Aaron Neville, and reggae band The Gladiators. Most recently indie folk-rock band Hem released a cover on No Word from Tom (2006). Australian band Ross Hanniford Trio recorded a cover of the song on their 1994 album. David Ruffin recorded a cover version of the song the same year as Benton; however, Motown for unknown reasons did not release the album. A dance version was recorded by Boozoo Bajou in 2006. Element And Things” was covered by Blues Pills on their second album Lady In Gold.(wikipedia)

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TJW’s sophomore effort is appropriately titled since it follows nicely behind his excellent debut. The biggest difference is all the songs are composed by the man on the cover, which is a plus. While he can’t always pull off the vocal to match his songwriting prowess, TJ’s honesty & sincerity shines through. The song to his wife, For Le Ann, is heartfelt, but the vocal is ragged at best. It’s lyrics are too personal to inspire covers by other singers. Luckily, that is not the case with Rainy Night in Georgia, his most well-known song, and probably his best composition as well.

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TJ’s version here is fine, but let’s be thankful that the song found its way to Brook Benton, who gave it the classic performance it deserved. Continued didn’t provide any hits like Polk Salad Annie from Black & White, and sold poorly, but start to finish, it’s the stronger album. Lovers of what today is called roots or Americana will find a lot to love here. Producer Bill Swann (who picked up an extra N after the first album) added some horns & strings that would have never been part of a TJW concert, but never smothers the basic approach of TJ & his whomper-stomper guitar. (by dapperdan pomade)

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Personnel:
Sammy Creason (drums)
Tommy McClure (bass)
James Milhart (drums)
Mike Utley (organ)
Tony Joe White (guitar, harmonica)

Booklet06ATracklist:
01. Elements And Things 5.15
02. Roosevelt And Ira Lee 3.06
03. Woodpecker 2.47
04. Rainy Night In Georgia 3.42
05. For Le Ann 3.24
06. Old Man Willis 3.16
07. Woman With Soul 4.20
08. I Want You 5.22
09. I Thought I Knew You Well 4.16
10. The Migrant 3.32
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11. Watching The Trains Go By (single, 1968) 3.07
12. Old Man Willis (single version, 1968) 3.06

All songs written by Tony Joe White
except 11 written by Penn/Oldham

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