Respect Music Company, BMI, congratulates the Rolling Stones on their 2018 GRAMMY win, in the Best Traditional Blues Album category, for "Blue & Lonesome". "Blue & Lonesome" is a brilliant, timeless salute to pioneering bluesmen, and provides a revival of Traditional Blues music to a new and diverse group of youth audiences globally.
The Recording Academy also recognized composers Miles Grayson, Lermon Horton, and Respect Music Company Executive/A&R Manager, Stevie Hawkins, with GRAMMY honors for their creative and professional participation in the Rolling Stones recording of the Grayson - Horton composition “Everybody Knows About My Good Thing", of which is track number six on "Blue & Lonesome".
The Rolling Stones recorded the album during December 2015 at, British Grove Studios, in Chiswick, West London England. The studio is owned by Mark Knopfler, founding member of the band, Dire Straits. "Blue & Lonesome" takes its title from Little Walter‘s 1959 song of the same name, and spotlights tunes by some of the band's early music inspirations including: Howlin’ Wolf, Little Johnny Taylor, Willie Dixon, Jimmy Reed, Otis Rush, and Lightnin’ Slim. The album was released December 2, 2016, on Interscope Records, Rolling Stones Records, Promotone B.V., Polydor Records, distributed by Universal Music Group. The album climbed to number 1 in 40 countries on iTunes with "Everybody Knows About My Good Thing" reaching number 11 in the Billboard Digital Singles Chart. The album was Certified Silver and Gold on December 9, 2016, and Certified Platinum - February 3, 2017, by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), London UK. The album has received platinum certifications in Austria, Belgium, Poland, and double-platinum in France.
In response to the GRAMMY honor, Miles Grayson said; "On behalf of Mr. Horton, the Horton family, and myself, we are thankful to God, to the Rolling Stones for choosing one of our compositions to record, and to The Recording Academy for the honor of recognition in the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards.
Miles Grayson has a resume that covers over five decades of experience in the recording industry as a recording artist, musician, arranger, composer, record producer, and A&R. As founder of Grayson Productions and Respect Music Company, BMI, Grayson has been a part of over 1,000 major recording sessions covering many realms of popular music.
His career as an artist began as a teenager singing and recording in 1950s doo-wop groups, The Continentals and The Echoes. The Echoes (Miles Grayson, Marzetta Freeman, Elmo Jones, Edward DeVold and Darlene Franklin - aka Darlene Love) were from Los Angeles, California, and recorded on Specialty Records. After leaving The Echoes, Miles began playing piano in his jazz groups, The Milestones and The Miles Grayson Trio, releasing records on Hill Records.
Miles discovered his gift of having an ear for arranging and hearing a hit song while sitting in on a Sam Cooke recording session where he offered advice on the arrangement of a song. From that point forward, Miles became one of Los Angeles's most significant masters of arranging, producing, and soul grounded composition.
Major artists who have tapped into Grayson's wealth of talents include, Rolling Stones, Prince, B.B. King, Papa John Creach, Ashford and Simpson, Z.Z. Hill, Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, Little Johnny Taylor, The Righteous Brothers, Coldtrain Blues, The Beach Boys, Lynn Varnado, The Blossoms, Sonny & Cher, Joe Cocker, Sam Cooke, Jackie DeShannon, The Edwin Hawkins Singers, Canned Heat, Mary Love, Tony Orlando & Dawn, JeffersonStarship, Betty Swan, Little Johnny Taylor, Ted Taylor, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Mary Wells, Willie Clayton, and Bobby Womack.
Lermon Horton, drummer and composer, penned songs that appeared on releases by, Brenda George, Sonny Green, Johnny Otis, Professor Longhair, Little Johnny Taylor, The Jones Brothers, Mick Jagger, and others. Mr. Horton and Miles Grayson performed in a band together during the 1960s called, The Gay Clefs. The band consisted of: Lermon Horton-drums, Miles Grayson-keyboards, Alfred Green-guitar and vocal, Benny Huey-bass, Bobby Lester-baritone sax, and Andrew Heard-tenor sax and vocal. Mr. Horton passed away, August 26, 2011. We are certain Mr. Horton is smiling down from heaven with love for his family, and proudly for the grand success of "Everybody Knows About My Good Thing".
Three-time Indie Music Channel Award winner Stevie Hawkins, and Executive/A&R Manager for Respect Music Company - Los Angeles, expressed his appreciation and gratitude to Mr. Grayson, saying; "Congratulations Miles, the late Lermon Horton and his family, on your Recording Academy win. Thank you Miles, for the blessed opportunity of involvement by being your point-man to represent you and Respect Music Company, BMI, throughout the exciting and amazing journey to this GRAMMY winning outcome. One never knows when a song will be chosen to be recorded from the archives." Grayson and Hawkins have worked together on various music projects for more than four decades.
Stevie Hawkins is an award-winning artist, touring/session drummer, vocalist, composer, producer, audio engineer, and music industry executive, whose professional career in music began in 1970. Hawkins has toured and recorded playing drums for major artists; Chuck Berry, Albert King, Rufus Thomas, John Lee Hooker, James Cotton, Johnny Winter, Chick Willis, Percy Sledge, Gregg Allman, Leon Russell, Glen Campbell & Tanya Tucker, Daryle Singletary, Jeff Carson, Dan Seals (England Dan & John Ford Coley), Cledus T. Judd, Johnny Rodriguez, Webb Pierce, Charlie Rich, Brook Benton, comedians Jackie Mason, Roger & Roger, among others.
As a music industry professional, his credentials include music publishing, A&R, record label operations, promotion, and tour management. From 1996 to 2003, Hawkins worked for Ginn Music Group (GRC Records, HotLanta Records, Aware Records, Jalew Music-BMI, Act One Music-BMI, Moonsong Music-BMI and Grapevine Music-ASCAP), in several capacities including; music publishing and record label catalog manager - administrator, royalty collections, V.P. of A&R, Chief Audio Engineer and Staff Music Producer. Hawkins managed Ginn catalog artist releases that include; Ray Charles, Bo Diddley, Mary J. Blige, Sammy Kershaw, Oak Ridge Boys, Jermaine Dupri, Lil Romeo, Big Daddy Kane, Lil Kim, Wyclef Jean, Special Ed, John Michael Montgomery, and film music in, "Larger Than Life" starring Bill Murray - Matthew McConaughey - Jerry Adler, and "Made In America" starring Whoopie Goldberg - Ted Danson - Will Smith. Hawkins worked closely with Ginn label clients (Universal/MCA, Warner Brothers, Atlantic, EMI, BMG, Sony, Ace/Kent-UK) among others.
In 2003, Stevie Hawkins formed and currently owns two independent record labels; Alternative/Urban Records and Emphasis Records, and is co-owner in two music publishing companies; Hannon Hawkins Music-BMI and Uncle Slim Music-ASCAP. Hawkins' artist productions and label releases include; former Capricorn Records artists; Hydra, Eric Quincy Tate, and Wayne "Bear" Sauls, Celtic artist John Breen, Justin Hawkins, and himself. Recent music placements from his publishing catalog are a television drama series, "The Book of Nimrod", and a song from his "What The Funk?" album, titled "Bam", with Atom Factory music supervisor Paul Stewart (Academy Award-winning "Hustle and Flow" Oscar for Best Original Song, "Men of Honor", "Four Brothers", "2 Fast 2 Furious"). Previous artist cuts from his music publishing catalogs include; Angie, Nsync, Backstreet Boys, Cher, Cyndi Lauper, Fleetwood Mac, Heart, Roger Daltrey, Peter Cetera, Selena, and Keith Sweat. Hawkins worked directly with hit songwriters and artists, Andrew Gold (Thank You For Being A Friend, Lonely Boy), Paul Gurvitz (Graeme Edge Band, Baker Gurvitz Army w/Ginger Baker), Kit Hain (The Temptations, Chaka Khan), among others. Through pitch agreement deals, Hawkins has represented and administered music publishing catalog material for Crutchfield Music - Nashville, Sheb Wooley Music/Channel Music - Nashville, Cool Music - Sweden, among others.
2009 to 2013, Stevie performed duties as tour manager and drummer for the great country music artist, Daryle Singletary (Too Much Fun, I Let Her Lie). Since 2012, Stevie has been pursuing his career as an artist, composer, audio engineer, and producer, releasing a multi-award winning traditional Funk/Soul album, "What The Funk?", while working with Miles Grayson, owner of Respect Music Company, BMI in Los Angeles.
Behind The Scenes of the recording of "Blue & Lonesome":
The following are inside stories regarding the recording of the "Blue & Lonesome" album, and the recording of "Everybody Knows About My Good Thing". Eric Clapton happened to be mixing his own album in the studio next door to where the Stones recording session was happening. Eric ultimately contributed slide guitar to "Everybody Knows About My Good Thing", as well as lead guitar to "I Can't Quit You Baby."
British Grove Studios was an unfamiliar environment for the band. Guitarist Keith Richards said; "I know the Rolling Stones. I know that recording new music in a room they're not familiar with, there's sometimes going to be weeks before the room breaks in." Richards sent word to Ronnie Wood to learn Little Walter's 1965, "Blue & Lonesome", as a potential icebreaker. Wood recalls Richards' suggestion arriving by fax, some time before the recording sessions began. By the second day in the studio, Richards' prediction was coming to light. "The room is fighting me," Keith recalls thinking. "It's fighting the band. The sound is not coming. I suggested 'Blue & Lonesome', Jagger dug up a harmonica in the right key, and the band barreled through two quick takes. Suddenly, the room is obeying and there's something happening, a sound is happening and it was so good."
Richards added; "Recording Blue & Lonesome was easy, it took all of three days. It made itself. This is the best record Mick Jagger has ever made. Once he got going, it was fascinating to watch. I’ve never seen him so intense on putting it down and getting it right and also making it much more part of the band than usually happens. Some of the stuff we hadn’t played since the club days. It was quite amazing just watching the guy enjoying doing what he really can do better than anybody else. And also, the band ain't too shabby."
Blue & Lonesome goes back to the band’s early 1960s Edith Grove apartment in London, where Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Brian Jones schooled themselves in the fundamentals of the blues. “That’s where it was formed in that one joint. We just sat there with no gigs, just trying to hone down, figure out how a band should sound. That’s what it’s about. Blue & Lonesome encapsulates everything we wanted to do and so finally, after 50-odd years, we’ve made a blues album," Richards concluded.
Mick Jagger said that "Blue & Lonesome" appeared during a project of brand new songs they were recording, written by himself and Keith Richards. Mick said; “We were doing the blues record in the middle of recording the original songs. We were in the middle of doing them and then we went on to do more new songs. So, that was just a little sidetrack. I think it’s wonderful, the blues record, because it was not planned and jumpin' around so quick out of one thing into another, and just doing a few takes of one song. And then you get to move on and really make a record that quickly and likely, that you got something really good at the end of it. And I think all of the band played wonderfully. Keith and Ronnie and Charlie played brilliantly on it.”
After the band's first day of sessions playing through the songs that comprise "Blue & Lonesome", Mick Jagger conveyed that he wanted to be certain the band didn’t cover the same ground for their next two sessions, and went the extra mile to ensure just that. Mick said; “The producer, Don Was, said to me, ‘You’d better get a list of blues songs, ’cause I think everyone’s going to wanna do more tomorrow.’ So, I went and did my homework and sat at my computer and looked at my blues collection and made a list. I tried to pick the ones that we’d never done before. That was one criteria. And the other one was different tempos and different artists and that sort of came together and we did 12 songs. And we mixed it, and I said, ‘What are we gonna do with that?‘ So, we started to put it out, really simple.”
Ronnie Wood said, "It all happened so quickly. I didn't even have time to change my guitar. They were coming so thick and fast. It was like, 'OK, let's do it – this one, that one.' Some of the harder riffs were making my fingers bleed, and Mick was going, 'Come, let's do it again, then!' And we'll go, 'Hang on! My fingers!' It was real hard work, but I love it." Wood also makes clear regarding "Blue & Lonesome", "it's the product of "a lifetime's research, really."
"It’s bloody hard to write songs. Here, instead of grinding out just one song, you’d do three or four. And the next day you do another three. Nobody bothered with retakes – it wasn’t conceived as an album," said Charlie Watts.
Don Was - Producer:
Rolling Stones producer, Don Was, who has worked with the band since 1994 recalls; "There was no set plan to do a cover version album. We'd gone in the studio to start cutting some new songs. Around day three we just hit a wall, and Keith suggested that, to cleanse the creative palette, so to speak, we play "Blue & Lonesome", the Little Walter song, and fortunately we ran the tape, and it was just awesome.
Everybody had fun, and the whole mood of the room changed dramatically in those three-and-a-half minutes. So we said, 'let's do another one', and 'let's do another one'. They just called songs off that they knew and loved. It was very spontaneous. And by the end of the day we had six finished songs, and it became very clear that we should cut the other six."
They really know this music well. Most of the songs that are on the album are songs they played when they first started out playing pubs, so it's kind of second nature to them. What makes it so good to listen too is that, they do not play karaoke versions. They found their own way to interpret the blues. It was very spontaneous, and the nature of the album appeared before everybody, it wasn't by pre-design.
Eric Clapton was recording in the studio next door. He just walked over and he had the same reaction as everyone else did. He was just gobsmacked at being that close to something that iconic and powerful. There was this great look on his face. It reminded Eric of when he was a teenager, going to see the Stones playing in Richmond, North Yorkshire, England. He was just in awe. They asked Clapton to jam on two songs, and he ended up picking up one of Richards' guitars, a semi-hollow body Gibson, instead of the Fender Strats he's mostly played post 1970, which helped him reclaim the fat tone of his Bluesbreakers days. You can hear the band applauding him at the end of 'I Can't Quit You Baby'. It was quite a thing."
Traditional Blues is a genre many people would not think of when the Rolling Stones come to mind, but they began their course in music as a blues band, and in part, why they spontaneously recorded an album of songs that took them back to their Blues roots. "Blue & Lonesome" displays the natural chemistry between Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, Charlie Watts, long-time touring members Darryl Jones - bass, Chuck Leavell - keyboards, and Matt Clifford - keyboards. Jim Keltner, one of the leading session drummers in the world, plays percussion on "Hoo Doo Blues".
"Blue & Lonesome" is gritty and raw, jam packed with feel, groove and emotion, just as blues music of yesteryear was performed and recorded. The album is also a breath of fresh air from the rather stifling and redundant blues/rock trend presented predominantly by guitar slinger/vocalist clones over the past decade or so.
The Rolling Stones have now had 3 GRAMMY wins and 12 nominations, spanning their long-sustaining career. They received their first career GRAMMY nomination for Album Of The Year for "Some Girls" in 1978. The band's albums Beggars Banquet (1968), Let It Bleed (1969), Sticky Fingers (1971), and Exile On Main St. (1972), along with the classic singles "Honky Tonk Women" and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," of which have been inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame.
As a closing note, Mick Jagger performed the Grayson/Horton song, "Everybody Knows About My Good Thing", with Gary Moore at a concert in 1992, at Hammersmith Odeon in London. This performance of the song was used as the B-side of his 1993 single, "Don't Tear Me Up", released on Atlantic Records.
GRAMMY Participation Certification Information:
60th Annual GRAMMY Rolling Stones Participation Winners
• Category: Best Traditional Blues Album
• Album Title: Blue & Lonesome
• Song Title: Everybody Knows About My Good Thing
• Composers: Miles Grayson - Lermon Horton
• Executive/A&R Manager: Stevie Hawkins for Respect Music Company, BMI
• Publisher: Respect Music Co, BMI, Los Angeles
• Album Certification: British Phonographic Industry Certified (Silver, Gold and Platinum)
"Blue & Lonesome" Track listing
1. "Just Your Fool" - Little Walter
2. "Commit a Crime" - Chester Burnett - aka Howlin' Wolf
3. "Blue & Lonesome" - Marion Walter Jacobs - aka Little Walter
4. "All of Your Love" - Samuel Gene Maghett - aka Magic Sam
5. "I Gotta Go" - Marion Walter Jacobs - aka Little Walter
6. "Everybody Knows About My Good Thing" - Miles Grayson Lermon Horton
7. "Ride 'Em on Down" - Eddie Taylor
8. "Hate to See You Go" - Marion Walter Jacobs - Little Walter
9. "Hoo Doo Blues" - Otis Hicks - Jerry West
10. "Little Rain" - Ewart G.Abner Jr. - Jimmy Reed
11. "Just Like I Treat You" - Willie Dixon
12. "I Can't Quit You Baby" - Willie Dixon
The Rolling Stones
• Mick Jagger – vocals, harmonica
• Keith Richards – electric guitar
• Ronnie Wood – electric guitar
• Charlie Watts – drums
• Eric Clapton – slide guitar (on "Everybody Knows About My Good Thing"); lead electric guitar (on "I Can't Quit You Baby")
• Darryl Jones – bass
• Matt Clifford – keyboards
• Chuck Leavell – keyboards
• Jim Keltner – percussion (on "Hoo Doo Blues")
Production and design
• Don Was – producer
• The Glimmer Twins – producer (Mick Jagger and Keith Richard)
• Krish Sharma – engineer, mixer
• Andy Cook – assistant engineer
• Jason Elliott – assistant engineer
• Derrick Stockwell – assistant engineer
• Stephen Marcussen – mastering
• Ron McMaster – mastering
• Don McAulay - drum technician
• Pierre de Beauport - Crew Chief
• Richard Havers – liner notes
Relevant Website Links: