“Little” Jimmy Rushing was larger — both musically and physically — than the nickname, most memorably so. But I found a little Jimmy Rushing in a five-and-ten-cent store, well, a bookstore . . . for $3.24.
I had never seen this long-playing record (Columbia, momo, circa 1960) nor did I know about it. FREEDOMLAND, USA, seems to have been a musical production put on at the New York amusement park that was in operation 1960-1. (Do I sense the presence of the Cold War here?)
Music by Jule Styne, lyrics by George David Weiss (whose name I associate with some pop songs given to Louis Armstrong late in life to record). Other participants include Johnny Horton, Earl Wrightson, and the orchestra of Frank DeVol. Jimmy has one song, SO LONG MA (Headin’ For New Orleans).
Hearing him sing this song will have to wait until I am reunited with my turntable . . . but I couldn’t let Jimmy go unnoticed any longer in that otherwise unremarkable bookstore. I am not anticipating a dazzling jazz performance, but spending a dollar a minute to hear Jimmy Rushing sing something I’ve never heard before seems like a good deal.