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Encyclopedia > Esquerita

Esquerita was the stage name of singer, songwriter and pianist Eskew Reeder Jr. He was born in Greenville, South Carolina, on November 20, 1935, and died in Harlem on October 23, 1986, of AIDS. For the Okkervil River album, see The Stage Names. ... For other places with the same name, see Greenville. ... Official language(s) English Capital Columbia Largest city Columbia Largest metro area Columbia Area  Ranked 40th  - Total 34,726 sq mi (82,965 km²)  - Width 200 miles (320 km)  - Length 260 miles (420 km)  - % water 6  - Latitude 32° 2′ N to 35° 13′ N  - Longitude 78° 32′ W to 83... is the 324th day of the year (325th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar). ... For other uses, see Harlem (disambiguation). ... is the 296th day of the year (297th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar). ... For other uses, see AIDS (disambiguation). ...



Eskew Reeder was born in Greenville, SC (circa 1934), he attended Sterling High School in Greenville from 1947 to 1950. Little is known about this manic rock and roll piano player, and he is perhaps best-known as an influence on Little Richard (Richard Penniman). As Reeder did not record until after Little Richard's initial mid-1950s recordings for RCA and Back Beat labels, it is clear that Esquerita influenced Richard stylistically. Esquerita was known for wearing heavy makeup and two wigs, piling his pompador even higher than Richard's. Early Little Richard recordings were made at WGST Radio Station in Atlanta, and they do not show the style that was to make Little Richard famous. Little Richard had not intended to use the style in his first New Orleans session for Specialty Records. Taking a break from the session, producer "Bumps" Blackwell had gone with Richard to a local cafe, where Richard jumped on a piano and began singing an X-rated version of "Tutti Frutti", in true Esquerita fashion. Blackwell had been unhappy with the initial songs on the session, and felt that a cleaned-up version of the song with the same style of presentation would be just what his boss Art Rupe was looking for. The rest is history. Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ... A short grand piano, with the lid up. ... Richard Wayne Penniman (born December 5, 1932), better known by the stage name Little Richard, is an African-American singer, songwriter, and pianist, who began performing in the 1940s and was a key figure in the transition from rhythm & blues to rock and roll in the mid-1950s. ...

Reeder was a self-taught piano player whose roots were in gospel music. His music career started as a teenager, when he dropped out of high school and joined the gospel group "Heavenly Echoes" based in New York City. Gospel music is music that is written to express either personal or a communal belief regarding Christian life, as well as (in terms of the varying music styles) to give a Christian alternative to mainstream secular music. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ...

His first solo studio recordings came about when Paul Peek, got him to record some demos at a Greenville radio station (WESC) around 1958. At that time, Peek was a member of the fabled rockabilly group The Blue Caps, led by manic performer Gene Vincent. Peek even co-wrote "The Rock-Around" with Reeder, and Reeder played piano on the 1958 recording that launched the NRC label for National Recording Corporation. From these contacts and Paul Peek's influence with Capitol Records came a record contract; The album Cub Koda described the results as "some of the most untamed and unabashed sides ever issued by a major label."[1] At this point, Eskew Reeder, Jr. adopted the stage name "Esquerita." Paul Peek (June 23, 1937 – April 3, 2001) was an early rockabilly pioneer. ... Gene Vincent, real name Eugene Vincent Craddock (February 11, 1935 - October 12, 1971) was an American rockabilly musician, best known for his hit Be-Bop-A-Lula. He started playing in various country bands in Norfolk, Virginia after leaving the Navy with a permanent leg injury. ... Gene Vincent, real name Vincent Eugene Craddock, (February 11, 1935 - October 12, 1971) was an American rocknroll pioneer musician, best known for his hit Be-Bop-A-Lula. // His parents, Ezekiah Jackson and Mary Louise Craddock, were shop owners in Norfolk, Virginia. ... // Early years National Recording Corporation was incorporated in Atlanta in 1958. ... Michael Cub Koda (b. ...

The ensuing years found Reeder cutting several singles with various backing musicians in studios in Nashville, Dallas, New Orleans and Detroit. Capitol Records released the LP Esquerita in 1959, his only album in the traditional sense (i.e., not a compilation of earlier singles, or re-issue). Some of the musicians he recorded with in this era included Jimi Hendrix, Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, and The Jordanaires (Elvis Presley's backup singers). His best known songs from this time include: "Hey Miss Lucy", "Get Back Baby", "Getting’ Plenty of Lovin’", "Rockin’ the Joint", and "Oh Baby". For other cities named Nashville, see Nashville (disambiguation). ... Dallas redirects here. ... New Orleans is the largest city in the state of Louisiana, United States of America. ... Motto: Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus (We Hope For Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes - this motto was adopted after the disastrous 1805 fire that devastated the city) Nickname: The Motor City and Motown Location in Wayne County, Michigan Founded Incorporated July 24, 1701 1815  County Wayne County Mayor... Jimi Hendrix (November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American guitar virtuoso, singer and songwriter. ... Dr. John is the stage name of Malcolm John Rebennack Jr. ... Paul Shaffer (L) and Allen Toussaint on the September 7, 2005 show of The Late Show with David Letterman Allen Toussaint (born January 14, 1938) is an American musician, songwriter and record producer and one of the most influential figures in New Orleans R&B. In the 1960s and 1970s... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Elvis redirects here. ...

In 1968, Reeder changed his name to "The Magnificent Malochi" and signed with Brunswick Records. Shortly after this, he began to fade from the music scene, and little was known about his whereabouts. According to an interview with Billy Miller and Miriam Linna in the ReSearch book Incredibly Strange Music, Reeder occasionally performed at African-American gay clubs under the name "Fabulash" during the 1970s. He was eventually tracked down by a writer for Kicks Magazine in 1983 or 1984, who found him performing in second-rate New York City clubs. According to an article ("Who Was Esquerita?"} by music historian Johnny Carter in an international oldies magazine, music maven Bill Lowery (who originated National Recording Corporation and was involved in the Peek sessions for NRC) was approached by Esquerita on the street in New York in 1985 after a conference at Broadcast Music, Inc. Lowery confirmed that Esquerita was down on his luck and was working as a parking lot attendant but was still as flamboyant as ever. A few months before his death he was seen washing windsheilds of cars for tips at an intersection in Brooklyn, NY. In this same article, the father of Esquerita said that his son had died of complications brought on by AIDS in 1989. The Brunswick Records logo Brunswick Records is a United States based record label. ... Billy Miller, a Tight End for the Cleveland Browns, has played for the NFL since 1999. ... Miriam Linna with Pete Best of The Beatles Miriam Linna, since 1986, has run the Brooklyn-based independent record label Norton Records with her husband, singer, producer, and songwriter Billy Miller. ... Languages Predominantly American English Religions Protestantism (chiefly Baptist and Methodist); Roman Catholicism; Islam Related ethnic groups Sub-Saharan Africans and other African groups, some with Native American groups. ... GAY can mean: Gay, a term referring to homosexual men or women The IATA code for Gaya Airport Category: ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... Johnny Fred Carter was born in Calhoun, GA, on June 5, 1947. ... // Early years National Recording Corporation was incorporated in Atlanta in 1958. ...


  • Mick Jones (of The Clash) recorded a song "Esquerita" with his band Big Audio Dynamite, appearing on the group's Tighten Up Volume '88 album.
  • Esquerita's father Eskew Reeder Sr.'s last known residence was Simpsonville, South Carolina. Eskew Sr. was born on March 25, 1907 and died in February 1989 (a little over two years after his son Esquerita's death).
  • Lynn August, a zydeco performer, played drums for Esquerita in the early 1960's. At the age of 12, August was playing drums for Fats Junior who happened to be opening a show for Esquerita, who let August play a couple of songs with him. After Esquerita spoke with August's mom, he was hired as Esquerita's drummer and played with Esquerita for three years, mostly around New Orleans. August said that Esquerita was playing an organ with pedals and only carried a drummer because he was such a great entertainer. Esquerita also encouraged August to take up piano. Lynn August later became known for his accordion playing. When Esquerita left New Orleans around 1963, August joined Jay Nelson's band from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

For the Spooky Tooth and Foreigner guitarist, see Mick Jones (Foreigner). ... This article is about the English punk rock band. ... Big Audio Dynamite (later known as Big Audio Dynamite II and Big Audio, and often abbreviated BAD) was a British musical group formed in 1984 by the ex-guitarist and singer of The Clash, Mick Jones. ... New Orleans is the largest city in the state of Louisiana, United States of America. ... For the Canadian restaurant, see Baton Rouge (restaurant). ...


Solo singles

  • Oh Baby/Please Come Home (Capitol #4007) (1958)
  • Rockin' The Joint/Esquerita And The Voola (Capitol #4058) (1958)
  • Laid Off/Just Another Lie (Capitol #4145) (1959)
  • Hey Miss Lucy/Battie Over Hattie (Capitol #1075) (promo) (1959)
  • Green Door/I Waited Too Long (Minit #648) (1962) (as Eskew Reeder)
  • Never Again/We Had Love (Minit #658) (1962) (as Eskew Reeder)
  • The Flu/Undivided Love (Instant # 3258) (1963) (as Eskew Reeder Jr.)
  • I Woke Up This Morning/I Woke Up This Morning Part Two (Instant #3268) (1963) (as Eskew Reeder Jr.)
  • A Tear/Johnny Little (Everest #2025) (1963) (as Eskew Reeder)
  • Stubborn Old Me (Motown) (about 1964) (unreleased)
  • I Want To Know/Just In Time (Okeh #7239) (1966) (as S. Q. Reeder)
  • Tell The World About You/Two Ton Tessie (Okeh #7254) (1966) (as S. Q. Reeder)
  • Dew Drop Inn/You Better Believe In Me (Cross-Tone #1007) (1967) (as Eskew "Esque-Rita" Reeder)
  • Mama Your Daddy's Come Home/As Time Goes By (Brunswick #55359) (4/1968) (as Magnificent Malochi)
  • Hey Miss Lucy/Hole In My Heart (Capitol #81382) (Germany) (1973)
  • Hey Miss Lucy/Gettin' Plenty Lovin’ (Capitol #C006-81-709) (Old Rock New Roll Volume 5 Series) (France)
  • Dew Drop Inn/Rockin’ The Joint (Norton #014) (1991)

Main albums

  • Esquerita (Capitol #1186) (1959)
  • Vintage Voola (Norton #202) (1997)

Compilations and re-issues

  • Capitol Collectors Series (Capitol) (1990)
  • I Never Danced Nowhere! (Charly #CD-224) (1990)
  • Chart Scrapers (Century CD-10976) (1994)
  • Sock It to Me Baby (Bear Family #BCD-15504) (1994)
  • Believe Me When I Say Rock & Roll Is Here to Stay (Collectables) (1998)
  • Rockin' the Joint (Collectables) (1998)

Piano appearances by Esquerita

  • Didn't It Rain/Your God Is My God (Baton #216) (1955) (The Heavenly Echoes)
  • The Rock Around/Sweet Skinny Jenny (NRC #001) (1957, 1987) (Paul Peek)
  • Mexican Rock 'n' Roll (Instrumental)/Mexicali Baby (Capitol #3884) (2/1958) (The Rio Rockers)
  • Love Is A Many Splendored Thing/Southern Style (Hermitage #776) (1962) (The Eskerettes)
  • I Trusted In You/Southern Style (Hermitage #10545-H-306) (1962) (Willie B.) (backup vocals by The Eskerettes)
  • Good Golly Miss Molly (Vee Jay) (12/1964) (Little Richard)
  • Slippin' And Slidin' (Vee Jay) (12/1964) (Little Richard)
  • The Explosive Little Richard (Okeh #14117) (1/1967) (Little Richard)
  • Stingy Jenny (Brunswick) (6/1968) (Little Richard) (co-wrote)
  • Freedom Blues/Dew Drop Inn (Reprise #0907) (4/1970) (Little Richard) (co-wrote both sides)
  • Greenwood Mississippi (Reprise #942) (1970) (Little Richard) (co-wrote)

Unconfirmed Claims

  • Didn't It Rain Part 1/Didn't It Rain Part 2 (1959?) (The Clovertones & Rev. Willie Green). Enrica 122, reissued on Eagle Records CD, EA-R 90421 (2001), and recently reissued on vinyl (posing as Enrica 122 again) (the Esquerita link appears only on the back of the Eagle CD; there is no mention of him elsewhere)
  • Touch Of The Spirit (Evangelist Rosa Shaw). Rae-Cox 103 (1962), reissued on Eagle Records CD, EA-R 90420 (2001). The original single credits Robert Banks as keyboardist - organ, presumeably - but nothing is mentioned about Esquerita.
  • Hour Of Prayer (Evangelist Rosa Shaw). Rae-Cox 103 (1962), reissued on Eagle Records CD, EA-R 90420 (2001). The claim on the back of the Eagle CD is that Esquerita appears on piano; however, this track (Hour of Prayer) is only vocal -- there is no instrumental backing.
  • Didn't It Rain/I Hear Voices (by Screamin Jay Hawkins) (Norton #127) (2005) (reissue of 2 tracks from the Eagle CDs (EA-R 90420 and EA-R 90421, see above).

External links

  • Esquerita Website
  • All Music Guide
  • Norton Records
  • Baton Records Discography

  Results from FactBites:
Esquerita (824 words)
Returning to Greenville after the breakup of the Heavenly Echoes, Esquerita established himself as the house rock and roller at the Owl Club on Washington Street under the moniker "Professor Eskew Reeder".
Esquerita played piano behind Peek on both sides of the 45.
Beyond that point, little is known about Esquerita's activities other than that he spent some time in jail at Rikers' Island under the name 'Mark Malochi'.
Rare Vinyl Records at Craig Moerer ~ Records By Mail | Used, Collectible, Vintage and Rare Vinyl Records, LPs and 45s (869 words)
He was basically a self-taught pianist, and was accomplished enough to be playing in church by the age of 9 or 10.
Though Esquerita continued to record in a tamer style through the '60s, his Capitol sides stand as a monument to the potential of rock and roll's lunatic power and off-kilter genius.
The next stop was Columbia's Okeh Records, where Esquerita put out another two singles as "S.Q. Reeder", and played piano on some of Little Richard's studio material (Penniman was also on Okeh at this time).
  More results at FactBites »



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