Born 9 February 1930, Ville Platte, Louisiana
Guitarist / vocalist Elton Anderson sang mainly blues and swamp pop, though some of his recordings can also be classified as rock n roll. During 1956 and 1957 he was regularly featured with the Sid Lawrence Band at the Southern Club in Opelousas, LA. There he made an impression on Wayne Shuler (son of Goldband owner Eddie Shuler), who cut a record with Anderson and offered it to Johnny Vincent of Ace Records, who was just launching a new subsidiary, Vin Records."Shed So Many Tears"/"Roll On Train" (Vin 1001) was the first release on Vin, in 1958. Anderson cut his next two 45s for Trey, a label run by Wayne Shuler in partnership with future Instant/Minit boss Joe Banashak. The four tracks were recorded at the Goldband Studio in Lake Charles and featured Katie Webster on piano. The second single, "Secret Of Love", was picked up for national distribution by Mercury (71542) and peaked at # 88 on the pop charts and # 22 R&B, in early 1960. However, his two follow-up singles on Mercury did not fare nearly as well and the label dropped him.
Anderson went on to cut several singles for Lee Lavergne's Lanor label in 1962-63. The most successful of these was a remake of Guitar Gable and King Karl's "Life Problem" that was picked up nationally by Capitol and became a regional hit. The flip was a great rocking version of Chris Kenner's "Sick And Tired", recorded at Cosimo's Studio in New Orleans, with top session men, including (probably) James Booker on piano.
Anderson then rerecorded his first record, "Shed So Many Tears", which also came out on Capitol. But that major label soon lost interest in him and Anderson's few remaining releases were again issued on Lanor. First came "(Sorry) I'm Gonna Have To Pass", a competent remake of the 1958 Coasters recording, with a slightly alterated title. Most of the arrangements at Lanor were done by Wardell Quezergue, probably with Mac Rebennack producing. The Lanor sides are well worth collecting if you can find them. Some of them were originally recorded for Mercury (a label that released a lot of swamp pop, most of it picked up from small Louisiana labels), but rejected by that company. Then, according to Lee Lavergne, Anderson became "difficult to work with" and defected to California. He did not record again and died at the age of fifty.
Acknowledgements : - Bill Dahl, Liner notes for the CD "John Vincent Presents the Vin Story, 1958-1961" (Westside WESA 809), released in 2000.
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