The Things That I Used to Do was one of the biggest blues hits of the 1950s, a song that entered the repertoires of hundreds of blues singers. A poignant, remorseful piece, it provided the crowning glory for a one-of-a-kind blues powerhouse, Eddie ‘Guitar Slim’ Jones, who was known for his flamboyant attire and showmanship and blasting electric guitar. The track was produced in New Orleans after many takes in the studio by Johnny Vincent, then employed by Specialty Records, later the founder of Ace Records. The pianist was none other than Ray Charles. The Things That I Used to Do stayed on the Billboard rhythm & blues charts for 21 weeks in 1954, including 14 weeks at No. 1 on the ‘Most Played in Juke Boxes’ list. According to Joel Whitburn’s Top R&B Singles 1942-1988, it ranked as the No. 3 rhythm & blues record of the entire decade.
The Things That I Used to Do Specialty 482
Eddie ‘Guitar Slim’ Jones, vocal and guitar; Ray Charles, piano; Lloyd Lambert, bass; Oscar Moore, drums; Frank Mitchell, trumpet; Gus Fontenette, alto sax; Charles Burbank and Joe Tillman, tenor saxes. Recorded October 27, 1953, New Orleans, October 27, 1953. Released on Specialty 482 (45rpm and 78rpm).
Discographical details from The Blues Discography 1943-1970.
— Jim O’Neal