Subtitled "His Complete King Recordings 1949-52," Bald Headed Blues
has a couple dozen sides Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson
cut for the King label, two of them ("Sittin' on It All the Time" and an alternate take of "Person to Person") previously unreleased. Vinson
had peaked commercially just before going to King, with just one of these tracks, "Somebody Done Stole My Cherry Red," becoming an R&B hit. As an artist Vinson
was still at the top of his game, though, coming about as close as any artist did to hitting the midway point between big-band jazz and early R&B. Vocally he distinguished himself by a sort of strangled, good-natured high squeal at the end of many of his phrases, a tic that gets a little overdone when so many of these sides follow each other at once on CD. A little variety to the menu is heard in the straight, smooth instrumental bop of "Eddie's Bounce" and the balladeering on the standard "Time After Time." Some of these lyrics get ribald even by the usual R&B measures of double entendre, like "Bald Headed Blues" ("just ask anybody, I've got fine jelly roll") and "Good Bread Alley" ("we have no trouble with our women, 'cause there ain't no pimps around").