CT 504 – La La You – Hack Bartholomew
Side A: La La You (2:40)
Side B: Let Me Tell You What I Found Out (2:15)
Issues: CTI CT 504 
Master No.: CT 504 A/CT 504 B
Released: March 1970
In the Feb. 28th, 1970 issue of Billboard Magazine, as part of the launch of the independent company, CTI, Creed Taylor is quoted as saying he was looking for “masters to purchase”. This Hack Bartholomew single is likely the first example of a purchased master. Both sides are produced by Harold Thomas, and the labels are conspicuously missing the tell-tale Creed Taylor signature.
Although starting to wane in popularity in 1970, due to the availability of cheap home record players, Juke Boxes were still king. Singles were short, 3-mins or less, which meant more money in the juke box. As part of setting up a new label, it was key to have a supply of singles to feed into the juke box industry. It’s completely understandable that while producing your own new recordings you could keep your sales and distribution channels working, and establishing routes to market using singles. This likely is how we got Hack Bartholomew on CTI.
Harold Thomas, the producer, could have very well known Creed through the close-knit New York music community. Thomas had written or co-written four of the eleven tracks on the Richard Barbary Soul Machine album Creed produced in 1968. Barbary, had recorded a 1967 single for Spring records, that Thomas, and Thomas and Barbary were listed as a writers for. Thomas also wrote and produced a 1968 single for Little Eva on Spring Records, and Creed did two singles with her. The Spring offices were just a couple of blocks from CTI.
I was fortunate to make contact with Herman “Hack” Bartholomew this week, and while he didn’t have much recollection of the recordings that lead to his CTI 504 single, he was able to confirm that he’d been in New York for a couple of years by then. He had spent his time working as a live performer and studio musician, getting paid AFM rates(*1). He didn’t recall receiving any royalties for the B-side Let Me Tell You What I Found Out , which he wrote. Note that the A-side runs 2:40, and the B-Side, only 2:15. Perfect juke box material.
Hack confirmed he sang on both sides, but could only remember, Bobby Bentley on drums. Hack had much better recall of recording his 1978 RCA single, Standing Ovation. Confirming the musicians, especially pianist Richard Tee, who Doug Payne had speculated was on the single. It was also speculated that Hack might have been on CTI through his home town connection to drummer Leo Morris aka Idris Muhammad. There is no evidence of that, Idris doesn’t mention it in his 2012 Memoir, Inside the Music: The Life of Idris Muhammad. Hack did confirm he’d been a longtime friend/contact of George Benson.
After some 14-years in New York City, Hack returned to New Orleans, and for many years became a fixture playing in the French quarter, especially outside Café Du Monde. There are numerous videos on youtube and other social media websites of him playing. However, it would be wrong to dismiss Hack as a street musician, as Highsmith/Landphair in their book New Orleans – A Pictorial Souvenir and others did. A very religious man, he has just returned to playing trumpet in church after an illness; his Gospel CD releases, and his CTI and RCA singles show, he made a solid performance contribution to the 20th century music scene.
By way of a small tribute, Hack is one of the featured musicians in Episode 9 Wish Someone Would Care of the iconic HBO Series Treme set in New Orleans. Hack plays Down By The Riverside.
I have the green label version of the CT 504 single available for sale via discogs, I have two, and the promo white label. If you buy it, I’ll send $20 to Hack. If you’d like to get one of his Gospel music CD’s, you can send a check or money order for $20 – Hack Bartholomew, PO Box 850271, New Orleans, LA 70185-0271.
Don’t buy off amazon or ebay Hack will get nothing for those CD sales.
Finally, one last coincidence, Hacks area code? 504, not CT 504 but close enough. I’ll have both sides of CT 504 on the Taylors Dozen mix on Mixcloud shortly.
La La You [CT 504 A via youtube video]
Let Me Tell You What I Found Out [CT 504 B via youtube video]
Trumpeting New Orleans’ Rebirth [Hack Bartholomew talks about surviving Hurricane Katrina in 2011]
Get High On Life [Hack and Marc Boussard play spontaneously at Cafe du Monde]
Amazing Grace in New Orleans [Hack plays and sings outside Café du Monde]