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by Mark Naftalin

             My wife, Ellen Naftalin, and I founded Winner Producing Company in 1987 and have been operating it ever since. So far there are two business entities within Winner Producing Company: the Winner Records label, and Pencil Man Music, our publishing company. (The name "Pencil Man" honors the songwriter Percy Mayfield, who used it as a nickname for himself based on his initials and his artform/vocation.)

           The first Winner release, in 1988, was a 45: "Honest And True"/"Treehouse Blues." "Honest And True" is the theme music I use on my radio show, Mark Naftalin's Blues Power Hour. I play all five instruments on this song, which was recorded in my living room in San Rafael, California, in about 1971, using two tape recorders. "Treehouse Blues" is a piano solo recorded during one of the Blue Monday Party live radio shows that I produced back in the 'eighties.

           The first Winner album release was Ron Thompson's Just Like A Devil, which was also recorded during Blue Monday Party broadcasts and released in 1990. Four of the songs are solos, two are duets with Ron on guitar and me on piano, and four are with the Blue Monday Party house band. Ron sings on all songs.

           The second Winner release was Percy Mayfield Live (1992), which was also recorded during Blue Monday Party broadcasts. The concluding medley is the first release of Percy Mayfield's piano-playing. I play organ on that one, and piano on the rest. This album has been very kindly reviewed. Quotes.

           The third Winner release was Strawberry Jam by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band (1995). This album is made from documentary recordings of the band that I collected during our travels, early 1966 to early 1968. The title song is my composition and arrangement.

           A year later, we released another live Butterfield Blues Band recording from the same source tapes as Strawberry Jam. Entitled East-West Live, the album consists of three versions of that pathbreaking song. Total time: 56 minutes. Musicians are the same as on the studio version of "East-West" released on the album of that name in 1966: Paul Butterfield, harmonica; Michael Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop, guitars; Mark Naftalin, keyboards; Jerome Arnold, bass; Billy Davenport, drums.

           The historic performances on Strawberry Jam and East-West Live have not been previously or elsewhere released.


           In 1999 we released three videos licensed from Videotunes. Two of these — Mark Naftalin's Blue Monday Party, Volume 1 (starring Lowell Fulson and Percy Mayfield) and Mark Naftalin's Blue Monday Party, Volume 2 (starring John Lee Hooker and Charlie Musselwhite) — were produced by Michael Prussian and recorded at two special Blue Monday Party tapings in July of 1981.

           The third video, Percy Mayfield — Poet Laureate Of The Blues, produced by Starr Sutherland, is a documentary on Percy Mayfield in which I function as interviewer and pianist. This video includes solo songs where Percy accompanies himself on piano, duets where I accompany him, and interview segments — all taped at Percy's home in Los Angeles in 1982. Also included are stage footage (from the second Blue Monday Party video) and testimonials from Ray Charles and B.B. King.

           All three videos have been broadcast on PBS stations around the country.

           In 2006 we released Mark Naftalin's Blue Monday Party, Volumes 1 & 2 on a single DVD.

Volume 1
Lowell Fulson, Percy Mayfield, Ester Jones,
Dr. Wild Willie Moore, Bobby Murray,
Henry Oden, Fred Casey, Mark Naftalin

Volume 2
John Lee Hooker, Charlie Musselwhite,
Luther Tucker, Francis Clay, Bobby Murray
Henry Oden, Gary Silva, Mark Naftalin

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