New Compilation Celebrates Vintage New Orleans R&B Sound

Craft Recordings’ Feelin’ Right Saturday Night: The Ric & Ron Anthology, a compilation celebrating the 60th anniversary of pioneering New Orleans R&B label Ric Records and its sister Ron Records, is now available on CD and digital. The CD and digital formats were released on December 7, following the exclusive double-LP package releasing on Record Store Day Black Friday on November 23.

The Ric and Ron labels were founded in 1958 by Joe Ruffino, a former salesman for New Orleans-based music-industry hub A-1 Distributors, and folded when he died in 1962. They operated for four years, exclusively releasing local New Orleans talent. While their releases did not rise above regional hits at the time, they were active during what is now known as the golden era of New Orleans R&B and are recognized as incubators for many artists who were definers of the style.

GRAMMY Award-winning producer Scott Billington writes in the liner notes: “Ruffino believed there were fresher sounds in the city. To that end, he hired guitarist-bandleader Edgar Blanchard, arranger-musician Harold Battiste and the young guitarist-pianist-songwriter Mac Rebennack, who would later become known as Dr. John, to supervise and arrange the Ric and Ron sessions. In the great New Orleans music tradition, all three had musical chops beyond blues and R&B … which they were able to utilize as each session required, while still connecting with New Orleans street beats and the beginning of funk.”

Feelin’ Right Saturday Night features classic tracks from Professor Longhair, Irma Thomas, Eddie Bo and Al Johnson, along with the Joe Jones hit “You Talk Too Much” (which reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart) and two previously unreleased tracks – a demo of “Tipitina” by Professor Longhair and “Good Enough for Me” by Eddie Bo.

Feature photo courtesy of Gilles Pétard Collection.

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