Little Ronnie Mudd
This highly obscure deep soul ballad is the original of the more celebrated version by Chuck Carter on Bedford. Mudd’s cut of A Teardrop Fell is simple and uncluttered in its construction just an organ, piano, guitar, bass and drums behind him. Mudd himself comes across very well particularly in the half spoke passages – an astonishingly mature performance for a 13 year old.
Malpass was the late Kip Anderson’s label set up in Clinton NC although the tracks were recorded in Charlotte. I assume Kip is the fine keyboard player on the disc but could he also be the excellent second vocalist here? It certainly sounds like it.
UPDATE ~ The fine keyboard player and all round good guy Jay Spell has written to me with some very interesting comments. He says that he played piano on this session with Kip Anderson on organ. Mudd, who had a lot of personal problems later in life, was 17 at the time of recording in 1967 or 1968, held at Arthur Smith’s studios in Charlotte, NC. The label name “Malpass” came from the owner of a local restaurant where Kip was working at the time – this guy put up the money for the session.
I’m very grateful to my late friend Jay for these personal recollections. You can find his own informative website here.
FURTHER UPDATE ~ I'm delighted to say that Mr Mudd himslef has been in touch. He writes "I was 14 years old when I wrote and recorded "A Teardeop Fell". Kip heard me singing it while walking down a street in my old neighborhood in Fayetteville, NC. He asked me if it was mine and if I wanted to record it. I told him YES!!... but he would have to ask my parents. They said yes and a few weeks later Kip picked me up and took me to Charlotte, NC where, as Jay stated, we recorded at Arthur Smith Studios." I'm very grateful to him for putting the record straight.
Its alright / A teardrop fell ~ MALPASS 101 (1967/8)
1. “A Teardrop Fell” can be found on the excellent Black Cats CD “A Little At A Time” (BCCD 117).
2. The information about the Malpass label comes from Martin Goggin’s very informative article on Kip Anderson in Juke Blues No. 52.