Friday, April 13, 2012

Lest we overlook the obvious.....

Cosimo Matassa is 86 years old today. Tomorrow night he'll be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

About frigging time.

I'm pleased that RRHF voters finally got their collective head out. It's a very nice, well deserved, honor. The man is a living legend. I wouldn't be at all surprised if 50% of everything I've posted on this blog was either engineered, mastered, pressed, or distributed by Mr. Matassa. Often enough, all of the above.

I pulled out a nice sized stack of "classic" records before deciding to go with this one. It was a tough choice. So many famous recordings were cut at one or the other of Matassa's studios that I could easily have chosen amongst 50 others.

Ultimately, what gets me about this particular 45 is not that it's just a great two-sider......more like, it's impossibly good. A vinyl jewel. Everything about it conspires to make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Silly thing's probably only worth a couple of bucks but I keep it in a nice plastic sleeve just like I do my rarer 45s.

Btw, Smiley Lewis was not a pianist. I've run into several peeps under that impression. In fact, one of the reasons why some of Lewis' recordings are occasionally reminiscent of Fats Domino's is that they used the same piano player [a small joke]. Fats, of course, covered "I Hear You Knocking" as well.

Anyway, that's either James Booker or Huey Smith at the keyboard. Dave Bartholomew [who recently won a Grammy Trustee award] would have been running the session.

And Cos Matassa was there, as he was during so many sessions, making sure it was all captured on tape.

Both sides were cut at the old J&M Studio at Rampart and Dumaine in a room about the same size as one I'm now sitting in. I seem to recall that Cos charged $15 an hour for studio time......which included his services as well.

As you may know, Cos hasn't been doing so well over the past year. Here's hoping that the award does him some good.

Happy Birthday Mr. Matassa....and Congratulations!!!


  1. Excellent choice, Ana (but now I'm really curious about the others you pulled out!)

    I love this version by Smiley Lewis! Marie

  2. Cosimo was in the audience when Jim Russell gave a rather interesting speech at the Stomp a few years ago. Afterwards I asked Cosimo what he thought, to which he said one word...."Nut"

  3. Well said re Cosimo. RRHF should invite you to speak at their bash.

  4. I really enjoy coming to your blog over and over. I listened to all the songs you posted. Ah! and I agree with another of the comments "I'm really curious about the others you pulled out!"

  5. Thanks for still supplying the odd 1950's Rocker. It's my bag

  6. I so wanted to meet Cos when I was in NOLA two years ago. I went to his store but his sons said that he was too ill to come into the store much. I'm so glad that he is still with us and that he is being honoured by the HoF.

  7. Cos is legend.
    long live Cosimo Matassa!