Jean Manor

Austin, Texas

Recorded with Sonobeat circa 1970-1973
No commercial releases on Sonobeat Records

There are some "unknowns" in the Sonobeat Records archives, and here's one of them: although we can place the location of blues vocalist Jean Manor's Sonobeat session at Sonobeat's Western Hills Drive studio in northwest Austin, Texas, about all we know for certain about Jean herself is that the July 4, 2003, Austin Chronicle lists her among two dozen Eastside "MVPs": singers and musicians who made their mark in East Austin before the Seventies. Unfortunately, that doesn't help us pinpoint the date of Jean's session with Sonobeat in which only one track was recorded, a cover of B.B. King's Woke Up This Morning (My Baby's Gone). The Sonobeat archives contain no information about the session, so we don't know who backed Jean in this smoky lounge-style performance. Sonobeat co-founder Rim Kelley (Bill Josey Jr.) does not recall producing or engineering Jean's session, so we feel certain Bill Josey Sr. recorded Jean sometime in the period from mid-1970, after Rim left Sonobeat, to mid-1973. Jean was a contemporary of James Polk, who recorded a 1969 Sonobeat 45 RPM release, and she may have been related to '50s Austin blues musician A. J. Manor.

There are no stereo mix-downs of Jean's recording in the Sonobeat archives, just the half-inch 4-track session master, so we've created a fresh stereo mix of Woke Up This Morning. Jean's master tape is a bit odd: tracks 1 and 2 contain a stereo instrumental backing that appears to have been mixed down from a 4-track master no longer in the archives. Track 3 contains only Jean's vocal, and there's nothing on track 4. Jean's recording has a distinctive live feel, but that was a common Sonobeat recording style, although moreso in the 1967-'69 period when Sonobeat used Austin-area nightclubs as remote recording studios than in the '70s. We really like this recording of Jean's masterful (or, perhaps, mistressful) rendering of B.B.'s blues classic. If only we knew more...

Jean Manor personnel

Jean Manor: vocals
Backing band: unknown

Unreleased Sonobeat recordings
Sorry 'Bout That Shuffle
Woke Up This Morning (My Baby's Gone)
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