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Frankie Lee Sims

A traditionalist who was a staunch member of the Texas country blues movement of the late '40s and early '50s (along with the likes of his cousin Lightnin' Hopkins, Lil' Son Jackson, and Smokey Hogg), guitarist Frankie Lee Sims developed a twangy, ringing electric guitar style that was irresistible on fast numbers and stung hard on the downbeat stuff.

Sims picked up a guitar when he was 12 years old. By then, he had left his native New Orleans for Marshall, TX. After World War II ended, he played local dances and clubs around Dallas and crossed paths with T-Bone Walker. Sims cut his first 78s for Herb Rippa's Blue Bonnet Records in 1948 in Dallas, but didn't taste anything resembling regional success until 1953, when his bouncy "Lucy Mae Blues" did well down south.

The guitarist recorded fairly prolifically for Los Angeles-based Specialty into 1954, then switched to Johnny Vincent's Ace label (and its Vin subsidiary) in 1957 to cut the mighty rockers "Walking with Frankie" and "She Likes to Boogie Real Low," both of which pounded harder than a ballpeen hammer.

Sims claimed to play guitar on King Curtis's 1962 instrumental hit "Soul Twist" for Bobby Robinson's Enjoy label, but that seems unlikely. It is assumed that he recorded for Robinson in late 1960 (the battered contents of three long-lost acetates emerged in 1985 on the British Krazy Kat label).

Sims mostly missed out on the folk-blues revival of the early '60s that his cousin Lightnin' Hopkins cashed in on handily. When he died at age 53 in Dallas of pneumonia, Sims was reportedly in trouble with the law due to a shooting incident and had been dogged by drinking problems. ~ Bill Dahl
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Jook Joint Blues: That's What They Want

Disc 1

1. Wine, Women, Whiskey

4. Hydramatic Woman

5. Lucy Mae Blues

6. Goin' To New Orleans

7. Another Fool Like Me

10. She's Gone

11. Down At The Depot

12. Calling All Cows

13. Courtin' In A Cadillac

15. Ride Hooker Ride

17. Cool Down Mama

19. Lillie Mae Boogie

22. I'm Gonna Leave You Baby

23. Evil And Hanky

25. Central Avenue Blues

26. On My Way

28. Mama Does The Boogie

Disc 2

2. Chicken Hearted Woman

4. Sneaky Groundhog

6. Sugar Mama

7. One Room Country Shack

10. Mean Old Train

12. Jealous Man

13. Winehead Swing

15. Leave My Money Alone

19. Someday You'll Understand

20. Alley Corn

21. I Got Them Blues

23. She's So Good To Me

24. New Orleans Bound

26. I'm Him

27. Neglected Woman

Disc 3

1. A Fool No More

2. Johnny Mae

3. Got My Call Card

5. Jump The Boogie

7. A Dream

9. Bugger Bugger Boy

10. Sweet Angel

11. You Don't Love Me No More

13. Goin' Home To Mother

16. Alabama Boogie

17. Wolf Call Boogie

18. Congo Mombo

19. Big Time Woman

20. Paper Wooden Daddy

27. The $64 Question

Disc 4

3. Lost Child

4. 1958 Blues

6. Lost Without Love

7. Alla Blues

13. She's Taking All My Money

14. Let Me Be Your Handy Man

16. Strange Letter Blues

23. Good Road Blues

25. On The Hook

27. Philippine Blues

28. Harpin' On It

x

Track List: The Ace Records Blues Story

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