Big Boy Myles
New Orleans R&B singer Edgar Big Boy Myles was born in the Crescent City in 1933. While attending Booker T. Washington High School, he and eight of his classmates formed the Sha-Weez (later Sha-Wees) in 1950. According to Marv Goldberg's profile in the September 1977 issue of Yesterday's Memories, the group's odd name derived from their theme song, bandmember Nolan Blackwell's Cha-Paka-Sha-Wees, which roughly translates from the Creole We are not raccoons; during an appearance on local radio, they were introduced as the 'Cha-Paka-Sha-Wees' musicians, and the moniker stuck. Producer Dave Bartholomew signed the Sha-Weez to New Orleans imprint Aladdin Records in late 1952, helming their debut session at Cosimo Matassa's legendary J&M Studios. Bandmate James Sugar Boy Crawford was slated to sing lead vocal, but a previous live performance left his voice so strained that Myles stepped to the fore instead; No One to Love Me appeared at year's end, becoming a local hit and earning the group live appearances throughout the Gulf Coast region. Still, Aladdin resisted releasing the remaining material from the Sha-Weez's J&M session, nor did the label book another studio date. The group nevertheless remained under contract to the label, but in late 1953 Myles and Crawford began recording for Chess as Sugar Boy and His Cane Cutters. Their Chess debut, I Don't Know What I'll Do, was the label's first release cut in New Orleans, and enjoyed strong local airplay. The follow-up, Jock-a-Mo, a...
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