I AIN’T GOT YOU (180g Vinyl LP)
Artist: BILLY BOY ARNOLD
Cat No: CATLP187
In 1952, Arnold made his recording debut for the small Chicago label Cool with his own ‘Hello Stranger’ (included here) and was credited as Billy Boy Arnold –a nickname that was supposedly given him by the record label, and which stuck with him for the rest of his career. Within a few months of this, Billy Boy was playing harmonica alongside Bo Diddley, who was then making a precarious living as a street musician and playing at local parties. On March 2nd, 1955 the duo entered the recording studios and recorded Diddley’s ‘I’m A Man’ for Checker Records, a subsidiary of Chess; it would become the B-side of Diddley’s first single. In that same session Arnold recorded one of his own songs, ‘You Got To Love Me’, but this was to remain unreleased in the Chess vaults until 1992.
Featured in this LP, if ‘I Wish You Would’ and ‘I Ain’t Got You’ sound familiar, it could be because you’ve heard cover versions of both recorded by the Yardbirds in the mid-1960s. Or else you were paying attention a decade later, when (right at the height of his Ziggy Stardust success), David Bowie chose to include I Wish You Would on Pin Ups, his 1973 collection of songs from the 1960s that had influenced him. The song was also covered in 1982 by Sweet, on their album Identity Crisis.
He never really stopped recording and on into the 1990s and beyond he was not only making solo albums, but also working with other artists like Duke Robillard and the British group the Groundhogs (with whom he made at least two albums). During this period Arnold also recorded ‘tribute’ albums of material by Big Bill Broonzy and Sonny Boy Williamson, and he was still recording and releasing albums up until a few years ago.