Down The Road A-Piece: The Definitive Boogie Woogie Collection 1940-1955

Freddie Slack
FORMAT: Audio CD - 2 Disc
Release date: 18 Jul 2011


"Material that eventually merged into rock history."   MOJO

CAT No: FVDD111UPC TEXT: 5055311001111

Full details

Freddie “Beat Me Daddy” Slack was one of the prime movers – if not THE prime mover – of the extraordinary outbreak of boogie woogie which invaded 1940s American Pop music and carried all before it. Every big band climbed on to the bandwagon and every record company scrambled aboard to cash in on the “new” sound with varying degrees of success. Freddie Slack was though quite the most gifted of the white exploiters of what was a black folk blues idiom, and there was an authenticity to much of his work which his contemporaries lacked.

The craze began back in 1938 when Tommy Dorsey had converted Pine Top Smith’s 1929 piano solo “Pine Top’s Boogie Woogie” into a huge big band hit. Then in 1940 Will Bradley’s Orchestra with Freddie Slack on piano let loose with “Beat Me Daddy Eight To The Bar”, a million seller for Columbia, and followed up with “Down The Road A-Piece” again featuring Slack’s immaculate swinging piano.It was time for Freddie to strike out on his own. His first recordings under his own name, for Decca, reprised “Pine Top’s Boogie Woogie” in a hybrid with “Down The Road A-Piece”, and “Pig Foot Pete”. Then in 1942, with Texan songstress Ella Mae Morse, his band had the first hit for the newly-formed Capitol Records with “Cow Cow Boogie”. Further hits followed and, in great demand for public appearances and record dates, he also appeared in at least nine films between 1941 and 1946, including picking a solid boogie while Fred Astaire dances on a spinning 78 in The Sky’s The Limit (1943)!

Although not a hit, the haunting “Strange Cargo”, one of his best numbers, became the band’s signature tune, but there were other notable successes; in 1944 Slack’s famous boogie woogie solo “Cuban Sugar Mill” had made the charts and in 1946 with the irrepressible Ella Mae Morse again “The House Of Blue Lights” made the Top Ten.Ill health eventually curtailed his career. He recorded for Capitol from 1942 to 1952 and returned to the studios for EmArcy in 1955 to cut an LP. There was a Television appearance in the ’60s and sporadic night club and cabaret dates, punctuated by health and personal problems.

But by now he was remembered as the originator of songs that would inspire numerous covers by Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones, Jerry Lee Lewis, Commander Cody, Asleep At The Wheel, Merrill Moore, Chuck Miller, Brownsville Station, Foghat, Manfred Mann, The Crawdaddies and many others. He died of diabetes in 1965, just after his 55th birthday.



  1. Strange Cargo (Freddie Slack)
  2. Cuban Sugar Mill (Freddie Slack)
  3. Cow Cow Boogie (Freddie Slack (Ella Mae Morse vocal))
  4. Bashful Baby Blues (Freddie Slack)
  5. Boogie In G (Freddie Slack)
  6. Down The Road A-Piece (Will Bradley)
  7. Beat Me, Daddy, Eight To The Bar (Parts 1 & 2) (Will Bradley feat. Ray McKinley)
  8. Strange Cargo (Freddie Slack)
  9. Boogie Woogie On Kitten On The Keys (Freddie Slack)
  10. Pig Foot Pete (Freddie Slack (Don Raye vocal))
  11. That Place Down The Road A-Piece (Freddie Slack (Don Raye vocal))
  12. Down The Road A-Piece (Ray McKinley)
  13. Riffette (Freddie Slack)
  14. Kitten On The Keys (Freddie Slack)
  15. The House Of Blue Lights (Freddie Slack with Ella Mae Morse & Don Raye)
  16. Behind The Eight Beat (Freddie Slack )
  17. Choppin' The Boogie (Freddie Slack)
  18. Pig Foot Pete (Freddie Slack)
  19. On The Road To Mandalin (Freddie Slack)
  20. Blackout Boogie (Freddie Slack)
  21. Southpaw Serenade (Freddie Slack)
  22. St Louis Blues (Freddie Slack)


  1. Rib Joint (Freddie Slack)
  2. Mister Freddie's Boogie (Freddie Slack)
  3. Beat Me, Daddy, Eight To The Bar (Will Bradley)
  4. Down The Road A-Piece (Will Bradley)
  5. Celeste Boogie (Freddie Slack)
  6. A Cat's Ninth Life (Freddie Slack)
  7. Boogie Minor (Freddie Slack)
  8. Chopstick Boogie (Freddie Slack)
  9. Strange Cargo (Will Bradley)
  10. Jimtown Blues (Will Bradley)
  11. I Boogied When I Should Have Woogied (Will Bradley feat. Ray McKinley)
  12. Cow Cow Boogie (Freddie Slack)
  13. After Sours (Freddie Slack)
  14. Beat Me, Daddy, Eight To The Bar (Freddie Slack)
  15. Rhumboogie (Freddie Slack)
  16. Pig Foot Pete (Freddie Slack)
  17. Is I Gotta Practise, Ma? (Freddie Slack (Don Raye vocal))
  18. Rockin' The Boogie (Freddie Slack )
  19. Beverly Boogie (Freddie Slack )
  20. Be-Bop Boogie (Freddie Slack )
  21. Beating With Chopsticks (Freddie Slack )