I wrote an earlier post on Bill Alexander, one of only a few African-American vintage sleaze artists identified to date. Information on the artist is slight indeed, but examples of his striking work continue to emerge. First, Brittany Daley's great Sin-A-Rama book collected a number of his paperback cover illustrations from the 1960s...to which I was able to add a bit with my original post. Then, the Acrobat double CD reissued the tracks from Roy Mlton's record label revealing a number of the beautiful label illustrations Bill did in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Roy knew how to rock before there was rock, and he apparently also had the good/bad taste to hire the young Alexander for the art his label's 78 records. (Don't buy the download...buy the discs! They come with a 35 page BOOK! for gawd's sake)
The drawings are great (as is the music)... if you didn't know they were done by a Black man, you might think them a tiny bit racist, but then the label wasn't releasing gospel, it was raw rhythm and blues of the most raucous kind.
Here is a sample of Bill Alexander's wonderful label illustrations, and a few of his later drawings for Eddie Mishkin's mob-run paperback imprint from the 1960s. Both, as good/bad as it gets!
(Also posted on Vintage Sleaze Art the blog)