New Bourbon LP
Yes, This Is Ray Bourbon, New Bourbon Records (10″)
unnumbered (V-5387-1) The First Show
unnumbered (V-5387) The Second Show
Recorded circa 1953-54 at Coffee Dan’s in San Francisco, this LP consists of two live shows by Ray Bourbon. The material is a mix of songs, jokes, and extended routines, including “Ugh!”, “Vacation in Nevada”, “Gigolo”. This unusual pressing produced on red vinyl may have been done as a promotional or vanity item by Ray.
Only three copies are known to survive. All are over modulated in the introduction of Ray one one of the sides, causing a skipped groove on two of the copies.
Lasses Record Company 45s
Recorded in 1957 in New Orleans; numbers 1-6 issued in a set titled “Miss Rae Bourbon: That New Woman”. The tracks feature Ray backed by a New Orleans jazz band.
3 Dirty Fairy
4 Hollywood Drive-in
6 New Woman
7 Barbary Coast
8 The Party
Roslyn Records (Unreleased)
Ray was booked for ten weeks beginning in October, 1961 at “The Talk of the Town” in Chicago. The owner of the club, D.W. Summers, arranged to have some of Ray’s shows recorded for release on Summer’s record label, Roslyn. T.C. Jones was also booked during this time under a similar arrangment. Shortly after making the recordings of Ray and T.C., Williams exposed the “Payola” scandals in a radio interview. He was profiled in “Time” magazine and called before Congress to testify. But, his record label went under and the live recordings of Ray and T.C. were put aside.
Summers contacted me in 2002, indicating that he had unearthed the recordings and was arranging for their release on compact disc. No disc was ever released and I’m still trying to get in touch with Summers again about the project.
Jewel Box Records
JB 3001 — Rae Bourbon — A Trick Ain’t Always a Treat (Recorded Live From the World Famous Jewel Box) (12″)
Recorded at the Jewel Box, Kansas City, Missouri, 1964, the album has no track listings and consists of two of Rae’s shows at the Jewel Box. Side one contains a short intro with an in-studio recording of Rae singing “I Don’t Want to Be a Madam”, an extended routine on Rae’s brush with famous people of history, like Betsy Ross. Side two contains more of the same with an extended routine, “Three Girls at a Matinee” which can be heard on a studio recording in UTC 10, “Ladies of Burlesque”.
Private Party Recording
This fifteen minute recording, made at a private party where Ray performed in 1965, was found by Charles C. Cage of New Orleans. The tape includes Ray performing an unnamed routine about a “peeping Tom” couple and “The Neighbor¹s Party”. It was released by me in a cd set compilation of Ray’s recordings and is also available at archive.org.
The tape was made by Jack D. Nelson at a party in New Orleans in 1965. In a 1995 letter to Charles C. Cage, Nelson recalled, “I remember the evening clearly, including the fact that we almost didn’t do it at all. When it was established that we were going to do it, I had to run home, get the recorder and get back to the party before the mood was lost. As it was we only had time for a brief effort, about 15 minutes, because Rae had a show to do and had to leave.”
You can see more information on the location of the recording in one of my blog posts.