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It's Bad For Your Soul

Helen Savage with
The Dixie Syncopators


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"William Barbee or Earl Hines ?"


Recorded in Chicago on August 21st 1929 featuring Helen Savage vocals, accompanied by Shirley Clay cornet, Omer Simeon clarinet, William Barbee (or Earl Hines) piano, Hayes Alvis bass brass, and Wallace Bishop drums.

*"It's Bad For Your Soul" was written by Helen Savage and Walter Melrose.

Talented cabaret singer Helen Savage is backed beautifully here by a group featuring Omer Simeon at his finest. Her only other recordings were made accompanied by Jimmy Noone's Apex Club Orchestra. Although the pianist has been alternately identified as William Barbee in some discographies, it may be Earl Hines.

William Barbee or Earl Hines? There is not really enough solo piano to tell which is playing. Barbee, like Alex Hill, Zinky Cohn and Phil Wall were very quick to cotton onto the Hines style and are sometimes almost indistinguishable except where extended solo passages are involved. Compare Barbee on the "Dixie Rhythm Kings" "Easy Rider" with Hines on Omer Simeon's "Smokehouse Blues" and you'll see what I mean; Hines has the enormous edge over his equally technically gifted imitators because of his almost bewildering ability to simultaneously think and play in all directions. The performance here doesn't, to my mind, show any of this quality so it could be Barbee who plays on the other "Dixie Rhythm Kings" tracks. -Henry Davis

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