This fortnight’s favorites feature will be separated in two sections. First we will be wandering between some artists of various importance. Second we will hook up on a familiar theme in 1954-55, that of « Daydreamin’ »…
First comes the very unknown from the early days, WALLY MOORE & His Tennesseans. He cut seemingly first for the R&B indie Acorn (a subsidiary of N.J. giant Savoy label), which had its Hillbilly serie : « A dream lives on » (# 317-B) in 1951. A sweet little jumping bopper with good voice from Moore. The steel is uninspired, but the guitar takes a fresh short solo. Earlier he had been on the big concern Savoy – again in its 3000 Hillbilly serie – for the proto-Rockabilly « Down at the picture show » (# 3025). He had also a good disc on # 3023, « Tie a little string around your finger » (announced by 7th Jan. 1950 Billboard issue); I include the reverse side, « A vision of yesterday« , a weeping ballad for a change, because of the mandolin accompaniment and the Hawaii style steel (which sounds like Jerry Byrd, according to the provider of this 78rpm, Ronald Keppner). Finally Moore had another record on Regent 170 [unheard] then he disappeared from my researching antennas.
« A dream lives on«
« Down at the picture show« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Savoy-3025A-wally-moore-down-at-the-picture-show.mp3download
« Tie a little string around your finger« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/savoy-3023B-78-Wally-Moore-Tie-a-little-string.mp3download
« A vision of yesterday« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Savoy-3025B+-wally-Moore-a-vision-of-yesterday.mp3download
Galen Gart’s ARLD gives the date of Savoy 3024 (wedged in between the two Wally Moore issues) as issued in January 1950, and Acorn 316 on March 1951.
Billboard Feb. 18, 1950
The name CURLEY SANDERS surely rings a bell to many. He had first waxed for Dallas’ Star Talent label (« Last on your list », # 749), then he came to Imperial in 1951, Concept later, finally on Jamboree. That’s when in 1956 he cut his most famous track « Brand new Rock’n'Roll », a fiery slice of wild Rockabilly (# 590). I’ve chosen his second issue on Jamboree (# 1833A) « Heartsick and blue », again with the Kentucky Rangers : backing of piano, a rockabilly picking guitar solo, a good steel solo and a welcome mandolin solo over a urgent vocal. Sanders story was told in this site in March 2013.
« Heartsick and blue« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/JAMBOREE-1833-Curly-Sanders-Heartsick-And-Blue-55.mp3download
From West Monroe, La. comes the back-to-back Doss record by AL DOSS (# 944). Fine uptempo of « That’s my baby ». Quieter is the double-voiced flipside « Everytime you waltz again ». A nice little record.
« That’s my baby« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Thats-My-Baby.mp3download
« Everytime you waltz again« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Everytime-You-Waltz-Again.mp3download
thanks to Ronald Keppner who had posted the other 78 issue of AL DOSS in 78rpm-world. The disc was released in May 1956. Let’s wait now for music..
Then we enter the « Daydreamin’» saga.
In 1954 on Meteor # 5014 BUD DECKLEMAN had a mammoth hit with « Daydreamin’ », the quintessential Hillbilly bop heard even in New Orleans [n° 2 in Cashbox charts], or Des Moines (Iowa), not to say Memphis [n° 1] of course. Sam Phillips had previously turned down Deckleman and was bitterly biting his fingers..Les Bihari (Meteor label’s boss), who had renamed Daydreamers the label’s house-band (for Jess Hooper, Barney Burcham and Jimmy Haggett), was very cutup when Deckleman agreed to the offer made by M-G-M, still in the hunt for another Hank Williams. Bud Deckleman waxed a dozen sides [all were released] between 1955 and 1956, and athough he had a small success with « No one dear but you » (M-G-M 11952, March 1955), his style really out of date at the time being eluded him the renewal of his contract with M-G-M. Here it is « I gotta find a way », the very last song he cut for M-G-M on October 18, 1956 (# 12419), and the penultimate issue (before # 12552, « I done fell too fer/As long as I can dream », a prophetically title !). Good, excellent bopper, very confident and driving. The story of Bud Deckleman can be found in this site, as it has been told in May 2009. Unfortunately Deckleman’s career gradually came at its end in 1957, because he was out of date and, according to Q. Claunch « You’d never be quite sure you could rely on him ». Final record in 1961 on Stompertime # 1400, « I’ll be the one/I’m sorry now », a fine swansong in the M-G-M days mould. Deckleman died in February 1998.
« I gotta find a way« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/bud-deckleman-I-gotta-find-a-way.mp3download
« I’m sorry now« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Im-Sorry-Now-Bud-Decklemen.mp3download
And that’s when the story of « Daydreamin’ » begins, thanks to its writers, Mrrs. Bill Cantrell and Quinton Claunch. (respectively guitarist and fiddler on the « Daydreamin’ » session) : led by Sam Phillips in astray, they wrote the follow-up, « Daydreams come true » for Maggie Sue Wimberly at Sun (# 229) and Buddy Bain, Kay Wayne and Merle (Red) Taylor at Meteor (# 5027). Note that both of them played on the two sessions!
Maggie Sue Wimberly, « Daydreams come true« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/sun-229-Maggie-Sue-Wimberly-Daydream-Come-True.mp3download
Buddy Bain, Kay Wayne & Merle (Red) Taylor, « Daydreams come true« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/meteor-5027-buddy-bain-daydreams-come-true.mp3download
In the meantime « Daydreamin’ » had been covered at least 7 times, first by Jimmy Newman (Dot), who hit to # 7 in early 1955 with it; then by Wanda Jackson, Carl McVoy, and later by Tibby Edwards (on Todd) or Warren Storm. I include the version made very early by DOUG BRAGG on Coral (# 61364) – recorded January 1955, it’s a carbon copy of Deckleman’s, which went unsuccessful. He liked the theme, as he even had also his sequels to « Daydreamin’ » on Houston, Tx. D Records 3 years later : « Daydreaming again » (# 1018)[with little yodels..] and its reverse, « If I find my dream girl » ! Of course Bragg also recorded for Dixie and Skippy. His story was told in this site in December 2012.
Doug Bragg, « Daydreamin’ » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/coral-61364-Doug-Bragg-Daydreaming.mp3download
Doug Bragg, « Daydreaming again« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/d-1018-Doug-Bragg-Daydreaming-Again-1.mp3download
Doug Bragg, « If I find my dream girl« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/D-1018A-Doug-Bragg-And-The-Drifters-If-I-Find-My-Dream-Girl-.mp3download
Sources : my own archives ; notes by Martin Hawkins to Ace CD « The complete Meteor rockabilly and hillbilly recordings » ; 45cat and 78rpm-world. Michel Ruppli’s « The M-G-M label » (session details). As usual thanks to Ronald Keppner for his precious help on Wally Moore 78rpm. Thanks DrunkenHobo for the press snippet.
Vance Morris and the Alabama Playboys monopolized Nashboro’s early hillbilly releases with accomplished, zestful tunes like « Crazy ’bout the boogie » and « Slap-happy pappy« . That Morris, born in 1919, grew up near Oklahoma City probably accounts for the heavy Western swing influence in the band’s repertoire. « I idolized this kind of music« , said Morris to Martin Hawkins. After 1942 he had a band which at one time had no less than 13 pieces in the Play Boys. They fielded offers from King and Mercury.
He went to Mississipi in 1934, then on to Huntsville, Alabama. A local promoter, Robert ‘Big Deal’ Vann, got him on Nashboro. There were two sessions, no royalties, and only a little airplay. Vance sang and played guitar and bass; Hank « Dub » Williams played bass, rhythm guitar and sang. « Lefty » Haggard also sang on one side; Ronald Glenn played lead guitar. Malcolm « Buck » Buffalo and Cliff Luna played the fiddle.
After the Nashboro disks, the band members went their separate way. Morris at one time repaired cars, before the split of his band was complete.
from notes by Martin Hawkins for « A shot in the dark » boxset. Thanks to Ronald Keppner and his invaluable help (mp3 and label scans)
Notes from Bopping editor :
« Crazy ’bout the boogie » (# 1005) is by far the best of the 6 sides cut for Nashboro. An heavy boogie guitar (solo), the piano takes a boogie solo, and steel is driving throughout the tune.
« Crazy ’bout the boogie« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Nashboro-1005B-vance-morris-crazy-bout-the-boogie.mp3download
« Rainy weather« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Nashboro-1005A-vance-morris-rainy-weather.mp3download
The flipside, « Rainy weather » is quieter, and a bit sentimental, with a voice reminiscent of that of Tex Williams.
Nashboro 1006 is pairing two lovely uptempos. « Some of these days » is an agreeable shuffler, while the instrumental « Boot hill drag » has the steel to the fore. A mostly danceable track.
« Some of these days« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Nashboro-1006A-vance-morris-some-of-these-days.mp3download
« Boot hill drag« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Nashboro-1005A-vance-morris-rainy-weather.mp3download
Nashboro 1009 combines again a vocal and an instrumental. « I’ll get by don’t you cry » is a shuffler, a bit sentimental, while « Slap-happy pappy » is a real showcase of the whole band. Each of the instruments (bass, piano, guitar) takes its solo, all propelled by a fine steel throughout. Add the vocal yells, and you’ve got a really fine fast Hillbilly boogie.
« I’ll get by don’t you cry« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/NASHBORO-1009-Vance-Morris-his-Alabama-Playboys-Ill-Get-By-Dont-You-Cry.mp3download
« Slap-happy pappy« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/NASHBORO-1009-Vance-Morris-his-Alabama-Playboys-Slap-Happy-Pappy.mp3download
Born August 1929, Plainview, Arkansas
Roy Moss started out in country music just in time to get caught up in rock’ n’roll when it began taking hold in 1954-55. Elvis Presley helped him get onto the Louisiana Hayride during his early days (uncertain detail). Roy got his first big break when he appeared on radio WNOP in Newport, Kentucky, and met up with the host, Jimmie Skinner. Skinner (1909-1979) was an important country singer who scored his biggest hits between 1957 and 1960, on Mercury (for example, « Doin’ my time » or « I found my girl in the U.S.A.« ).
In November 6, 1955, Roy Moss played a big country show in Cincinnati with Pee Wee King, The Stanley Brothers, Jimmy William, Betty Foley and Jimmie Skinner acting as emcee. He was then managed by Lou Epstein of Jimmie Skinner’s Music Center. Around that time Moss signed to Mercury.
Skinner got Moss signed to that label in 1955 and at the tail end of that year, Roy was taken to Nashville for his first recording session. Four songs were recorded, two of them written by Skinner and all four were released on two singles : « You’re My Big Baby Now« / »You Nearly Lose Your Mind » (Mercury 70770, released January 1956 – value $ 60-75) and « Corrine Corrina« / « You Don’t Know My Mind » (Mercury 70858, May 1956 – value $ 75-100). Authentic rockabilly with an effervescent acoustic quality. These four Mercury sides have all been reissued on the Bear Family CD « That’ll Flat Git It, Vol. 11 » CD (BCD 16101), devoted to the Mercury label. Alas, sales must have not been interesting enough, because Roy Moss’ contract with Mercury Records was not renewed. In the meantime, Moss was a regular of the Jimmie Skinner Show aired by WNOP from Newport, KY.
It was a 1000 watts radio station working daytime. Read the rest of this entry »
Howdy folks ! Over here in France, it’s the final run for Soccer’s Europ Cup – that’s not really Hillbilly !
First a mostly known artist for his Rock & roll and Pop records. He went with 2 aliases to pursue 2 careers at least. Originally from Canton, OH, DICK GLASSER first fronted for one record the Pee Wee King band in 1956, and sang on two tracks full of energy and dynamism (without noise, all is fluid and lowdown although uptempo) : « Catty town » and « Hoot scoot », to be found on the RCA-Victor 47-6584 label. A cross between Hillbilly bop and Western swing. Later Glasser renamed himself Dick Lory on the Liberty label.
« Catty town« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/08-Dick-Glasser-Catty-Town.mp3download
« Hoot scoot« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/B3.-Hoot-scoot-v-Dick-Glasser.mp3download
Next four tracks were cut in 1959-60 and issued on the Demorest, GA. Country Jubilee label. The city is at the upper north limit of the State, very near of Virginia and Tennessee frontiers.
# 517 is done by BILL ALEX and the Dixie Drifters : « I‘m just a nobody » is a typical late ’50s medium uptempo country-rocker. It’s flipside, « I’ll remember you » was untraced by me, but issued along with the A-side on Top Rank EP 2055 in 1960.
« I’m just a nobody« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/02-Bill-Alex-The-Dixie-Drifters-Im-Just-A-Nobody.mp3download
BILL WATSON on # 525 has here two selections, « I’m dying darling » is a soft uptempo country-rocker, while the reverse side « You’re the one for me» is a bit bluesy, with a sort of hypnotic guitar throughout.
« I‘m dying darling« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/country-jubilee-525-Bill-Watson-Im-Dying-Darling.mp3download
« You’re the one for me« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/country-jubilee-525-Bill-Watson-Youre-The-One-For-Me.mp3download
On # 529 we find JIM PARKER and « Did I do alright». Same average vocal, with good guitar and steel. The thing is listenable.
« Did I do alright« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/country-jubilee-529-Jim-Parker-Did-I-Do-Alright.mp3download
Finally for the Country Jubilee label, we jump to # 539 by BILL LEATHERWOOD and « My foolish heart », a slow uptempo ; nothing exceptional, although the man has a sort of treble in his voice. Steel present. I’ve added as a bonus his « Hillbilly blues » issued by Peach (# 756), also in Georgia, well into 1961-62, a good country rocker with lotsa steel and a fiddle solo.
« My foolish heart« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/country-jubilee-539-My-Foolish-Heart-Bill-Leatherwood.mp3download
« Hillbilly blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/peach-bill-leatherwood-hillbilly-blues.mp3download
Last record I review this fortnight is done by MASON GAY on the Country Music label, from Forest, MS (# 501). Confident vocal for a country rocker (no drums), « I never have the blues », while the flipside is catchy (« The girl I met at the bar ») which is part-spoken. Has a Rite number, dating the record from 1960.
« I never have the blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Mason-Gay-I-Never-Have-The-Blues.mp3download
« The girl I met at the bar« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Mason-Gay-The-Girl-I-Met-At-The-Bar-2.mp3download
As usual, main source is Youtube, with forays into 45rpm-site and my own archives. Current research goes on Merle ‘Red’ Taylor, Bill Morgan (of Bill & Carroll), Redd Stewart and Dub Dickerson, among other less important irons-on-the-gentle heat.
Merle Taylor, also known as Mason Dixon, was from the little town of Glen a few miles north of Tupelo, MS where he was born in May 1927. He started with a group called the Country Gospel Singers and then joined the Blue Seal Pals in 1949.
« Merle was one of the best country fiddle players around », says Quinton Claunch. « He was a good bluegrass singer too, and a super, super guy. He worked with all the big acts in Nashville, Bill Monroe, Cowboy Copas, people like that. I first me him when he joined my group the Blue Seal Pals when we moved from WMC Nashville to WJOI in Florence, Alabama. Bill Cantrell had gone to Chicago for a while and Merle – we called him ‘Red’ – came in. He worked with Buddy Bain’s band on WOMA in Corinth, MS too and Buddy came with us on Meteor’s session ».
Behind Taylor’s assured vocals on « Don’t worry ’bout nuthin’ », there is a classy band kicked off by Bill Cantrell on fiddle [so Merle Taylor is confined to vocal duty] and featuring solos by Terry Thompson on guitar and Kenneth Herman on steel guitar . Ronald Smith also played guitar using the percussive rockabilly effect achieved by damperin’ the strings with paper or a matchbox, and Dexter Johnson played the bass.
« Don’t worry ’bout nuthin’« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/meteor-5028-Mason-Dixon-dont-worry-bout-nuthin.mp3downoad
« I’ll never fall out of love with you« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/meteor-5028-mason-dixon-Ill-never-fall-out-of-love-with-you.mp3downoad
« When Rockabilly came in, Red used to do a little section of club dates under the persona of « Mason Dixon ». recalled Quinton Claunch: »Because he was well known as a country fiddler, he did not want people to get confused. So, when it came to this recording, Red said he wanted to use the name Mason Dixon on the record too. It was not a style he was normally associated with. In fact, Les Bihari, boss of Meteor Records] liked the idea so much he called the band the Redskins, after Merle’s nickname. »
It should be noted that another singer popular in the Memphis area, Walter « Tex » Dixon from Alabama, also used the name « Mason Dixon » – which still had huge resonance in the South – on the Reed label in the late 1950s. [research on Walter « Tex » Dixon is on its way for future feature in bopping.org...]
The much more country-oriented « I’ll never fall out of love with you» sees Quinton Claunch add his walking bass style on electric guitar to the mix, underspinning Merle Taylor’s high tenor voice. Kenneth Herman takes a wonderful steel solo.
Merle Taylor had previously recorded two discs for Decca in 1952 (session probably held on Oct. 18) and 1953 (On March 23, 1953) in Nashville, largely with local musicians but including guitarist and songwriter Buddy Bain. Both records paired a slowie and a shuffler. Taylor’s wife Martha Jean Ellis wrote the songs for the second session. Then Taylor toured with Hank Williams at this time and was billed to appear in Canton, Ohio on 1rst January 1953 for the show the latter never lived to give.
« You can’t be a bride without a groom« (Decca 28496)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Decca-28496B-merle-red-Taylor-you-cant-be-a-bride-witout-agroom.mp3download
« Gimme a little sugar« (Decca 28741)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/decca-28741+-merle-red-taylor-Gimme-A-Little-Sugar.mp3download
Merle’s career in Nashville had many high points. He wrote the melody and played fiddle on Bill Monroe‘s classic « Uncle Pen » in October 1950 for Decca. Taylor also toured with the Monroe band for at least two stints between 1950 and 1955, with an interim sojourn with Little Jimmy Dickens. Then he worked with Jimmie Martin and later Ferlin Huskey. Merle played on sessions for M-G-M by Jimmie Martin and the Osborne Brothers. Fiddler Gordon Taylor has said about Red’s work with Monroe : « He did a slow brow with a lot of finger work and a funny reverse. I don’t think there would be the tunes there are now had he not played fiddle because he did something nobody else did ».
Bill Monroe, « Uncle Pen« (Decca 46283)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/decca-46283-bill-monroe-Uncle-Pen.mp3download
Bill Monroe, « Close by« (Decca 29645)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/decca-29289-29645-bill-monroe-Close-By.mp3download
Taylor continued at a high level for a few years before he quit playing with the top bands. People say that he had a really bad driking problem and that he had a serious altercation with singer Little Jimmy Dickens one time when he was drunk.
Bain’s profesional card. Courtesy Eddie DJ Cesc
Buddy Bain « Can we live it down« (Meteor 5027)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/meteor-5027-buddy-bain-can-we-live-it-down.mp3download
Buddy Bain « Daydreams come true« (Meteor 5027)download
After the Meteor recordings, Merle Taylor had cut two songs [in a more poppish vein] for the Bill Justis enterprises, which were issued only in 1989s on the U.K. Zu-Zazz label (# 2005) « Memphis Saturday Night ». One can forget « There’s a light », full of choruses and frankly pop; sole remains of interest the second song, « Love fever », embellished by some fine bluesy guitar and piano. These two unissued songs – not demos- do go stylistically back to 1957 or 58.
« Love fever« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/A8-Merle-Red-Taylor-Love-Fever.mp3download
Taylor also made various sessions as a sideman in Memphis and Muscle Shoals over the years, and was involved in half a dozen bluegrass and fiddle Lps on Old Homestead, Atteiran and Mississipi Trace labels. He also made a solo album produced by Bill Cantrell for Hi Records’ short-lived Hi Country label.
Merle Taylor died on May 3, 1978 in Tupelo, MS.
With thanks to American Music Magazine (Bo Berglind) for the permission given to freely use the Martin Hawkins’ article (AMM # 136, September 2014) on the Meteor label. Pictures were taken from 78rpm-world or from the AMM Magazine, or the Ace CD 885 « The complete Meteor Rockabilly & Hillbilly Recordings ». Thanks to Imperial Anglares for his help. Thanks to Ronald Keppner, who provided both label scans and music of a rare Decca 78. Thanks to Uncle Gil for the loan of Bill Monroe’s music, as the Zu-Zazz LP. Thanks to 45-cat member « Excello-2101″ for the sound to a rare Decca Merle Taylor issue. I have also used Michel Ruppli’s indispensable book : « The Decca labels – A discography, volume 5 » for details on Bill Monroe sessions from 1950 to 1954, and the two Merle Taylor sessions.
Some real rarities this time, several being medium-paced. The name JACK HOLDEN does ring a bell ? With his brother Fairley he had on the White Church (ca. 1946-48) label some issues. We find him in 1948 on the sister label RED BARN (# 1152), located in St. Louis, MO, whom he released three singles for. Red Barn « Mama I’m sick » is a fast, typical late ’40s sounding bopper. Call-and-response format, it includes a vocal backed only by a powerful rhythm guitar and a great fiddle (Wayne Miskiff?). Holden appeared on Cincinnati « Renfro Valley Barn Dance ». Love his style.
« Mama I’m sick« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Jack-Holden-Mama-Im-SickRED-BARN-1152_A.mp3download
Then in Louisiana’s West Monroe. Jiffy was a short-lived affair, however important by the quality of its issues, and the celebrity of some names, Jimmy Pickard, Tommy Spurlin or Jimmy Simpson. Here is the least known ED RAYBORN & his Southern Hillbillies, and the good medium paced « I’ll go on hurting » (# 208). Nice fiddle/steel and sincere vocal.
« I’ll go on hurting« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/jiffy-208-Ed-Rayborn-Southern-Hillbillies-Ill-Go-On-Hurting-1956.mp3download
Kustum appears to have been a subsidiary to Jiffy, yet had only one issue # 4000 (an ambitious numbering) by DAVID CRAIG and the medium uptempo « Just forget it » : nice vocal & steel. Craig was also on Imperial (« Replace my heart » # 8284): hear him on a future Fortnight.
« Just forget it« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/kustum-4000-David-Craig-Just-Forget-It1.mp3download
Late ’50s still had their goodies, here on the Starday custom Dixie 634 by RENAUD VELUZAT for « Race track boogie ». Insistant guitar boogie riff over a youngful voice. A record for Rockabilly buffs
« Race track boogie« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Renaud-Veluzat-Racetrack-boogie.mp3download
ERNIE HUNTER next was a long-time fiddler for various Starday sessions. Here he’s the leader for the very first Houston Longhorn label ( 503) « At ease my friend » (1957). Uptempo medium paced, piano led with confident vocal and steel. Hunter also appeared on a Gold Star custom Rainbow issue (# 1203/1204).
« At ease my friend« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/longhorn-503A-Ernie-Hunter-and-The-All-Stars-At-Ease-My-Friend.mp3download
On the Rose City label (unknown location, # 1004), there’s nothing particular with « At the drug store cowboy’s ball » by ROY JACKSON. With much accordion, this record surely dates from the late ’40s. Good hillbilly bop.
« At the drug store cowboy’s ball« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Roy-Jackson-At-The-Drugstore-Cowboys-Ball-ROSE-CITY-1004_A.mp3download
There were at least two SNUFFY SMITH : one on Star Talent and own Snuffy Smith label ; the other on Western. I don’t know. Or his record which is called « Johnny Acton » is actually titled « Snuffy Smith » ? Anyway it’s great fast Rockabilly, urgent vocal backed by steel and a very nice lead guitar. Oops, Kasko label # 1644.
« Johnny Acton« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/kasko-1644B-Johnny-Acton-Snuffy-Smith.mp3download
« I’m a country boy« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/toppa-1014A-Wally-Black-Im-A-Country-Boy.mp3download
Finally on the Covina, CA. Toppa label (# 1014), let’s get late ’50s Hillbilly. Very intricating : piano, bass figure lead guitar, steel (solo) and..claphands and screams. It’s « I’m a country boy » by WALLY BLACK. He had already cut for Fable « Rock and roll mama » and apparently knew how to rock.
Source: main is Youtube (my favorite chains), also own researches on the Net.
All aboard ? For a new journey in Hillbilly bop music , with some forays ito Rockabilly, and even rocking Country blues.
The Fox label did emanate from Abilene, TX, but registered in Hollywood, CA. Its early recordings include a very young LITTLE DEDON with the Tex-Mex sounding Hillbilly « My Pedrecito » (# 404). To the best of my knowledge, the girl had never had another issue.
« My Pedrecito« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Little-Dedon-My-Pedrecito-19521.mp3download
« The boy next door« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Little-Dedon-The-Boy-Next-Door1.mp3download
On the same FOX label, we find in 1954 the great « I’m a hillbilly at heart » (# 403) by GENE DUNN. A fast bopper, great bass plus piano and fiddle backing (« The Fox-Four Sevens », label’s band also backed Little Dedon). The flipside « Girl from nowhere » is a real slowie.
« I’m a hillbilly at heart« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Gene-Dunn-Im-A-Hillbilly-At-Heart.mp3download
Ernest « Gene » Dunn
Further on, the first ever DEAN BEARD recordings, from 1955 are pure hillbilly : « Wake up, Jacob/Red Rover » (# 405). But his next # 408 is worth the waiting : « Sing sing sing » is a Rockabilly Starday style, with a very nice lead guitar. Its flipside « Time is hanging heavy on my hands » is a lively bopper next to Rockabilly (it features a steel). Beard was to cut on Edmoral the first version of his signature song « Rakin’ and scrapin’ », that Atlantic leased from Edmoral, before leaving behind him a good amount of unissued sides at Sun Records.
» Red Rover« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/beard-red-rover.mp3download
« Sing sing sing« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/fox-408-Dean-Beard-Sing-Sing-Sing-FOX-408.mp3download
« Time is hanging heavy on my hands« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/15-Dean-Beard-Time-Is-Hanging-Heavy.mp3download
The FOX label had another interesting issue, that by CURTIS POTTER, « I’m a real glad daddy »(# 409), a bona fide Rockabilly from 1957.
« I’m a real glad daddy« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Curtis-Potter-Im-A-Real-Glad-Daddy1.mp3download
Let’s turn now to Rocking Blues. First selection does come from Miami, and it’s a small classic, « A fool no more » (Marlin 804) by drummer and bandleader EDDIE HOPE & his Manish Boys. With an harmonica well to the fore and a solid backing, the tune reminds me of Jimmy Reed who would have turned to Rock’n'roll. The B-side « Lost child » is in the same vein !
« A fool no more« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Eddie-Hope-A-Fool-no-more.mp3download
« Lost child« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/EDDIE-HOPE-LOST-CHILD.mp3download
Final tune is sung by the veteran LEROY DALLAS (b. Mobile, Alabama, 1920). « Jump, little children, jump » and its solid rhythm guitar (done by Brownie McGhee), is a good example of the Big Apple blues on the Sittin’ in With label (# 522) from 1949.
« Jump, little children, jump« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/siw-522-Leroy-Dallas-Jump-Little-Children-Jump.mp3download
Sources : Allmusic, YouTube and various compilations. Help from DunkenHobo.
Let’s begin this new fortnight with a seemingly Virginian. CARLTON LINK had on the Freeman label (# 100) the fine uptempo bopper « Lovesick and sorrow », of unknown origin. But he issued a single on the Virginia Lark label in 1970 yet untraced (sound at least, even the actual label).
« Lovesick and sorrow« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Carlton-Link-Lovesick-And-Sorrow.mp3download
Then from Paoli, Indiana, on the Four Wheels label (# 0001) KENNY HOLIDAY with « Little heart don’t be disgusted » (1961) : an agreeable tune with a jumping little guitar.
« Little heart don’t be disgusted« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Kenny-Holiday-Little-Heart-Dont-Be-Disgusted.mp3download
J. G. MORRISON had a fruitful career with no less than 3 aliases ! As previous, he cut two good ballads, « Ace in the hole » and « Old man honest » on the Texan Maridene label (# 103). Good piano vaguely a la Teddy Reddell. This must come from the early ’60s. The same artist was also simply Jim Morrison on Curley Q. in 1963 with a version of « Ace in the hole ». Finally he was also at the turn of the ’50s as CURLEY JIM the author of some fine Rockabillies, like this « Air force blues », a very strong Rockabilly from 1958, on Mida 100 from Florida.
« Ace in the hole« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/J.-G.-Morrison-Ace-In-The-Hole.mp3download
« Old man honest« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/J.-G.-Morrison-Old-Man-Honest-.mp3download
« Air force blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/14-Curley-Jim-Air-Force-Blues.mp3download
From probably the late ’40s and Canada, RAMBLIN’ LOU and the accordion led « Seashore blues » on the Ramblin’ Lou label (# 207). He also had « Cindy » on Beaver.
« Seashore blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Ramblin-Lou-Seashore-Blues.mp3download
Down South in Houston, on the Gold Star custom serie, we find V. CECIL WILLIAMS on the Gilbert label (# 1004/1005) for the nice uptempos, « Two timin’ baby » and « Maurine », typical of the Houston sound of 1952-53, that was to evolve in the Starday sound in the following years.
« Two-timin’ baby » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/V..-Cecil-Williams-Two-Timin-Baby.mp3download
« Maurine« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/V.-Cecil-Williams-Maurine.mp3download
sources: Youtube for most part, HBR for Gilbert, 78-world,45rpm
Howdy friends from all around the world ! This new batch will return to a more conventional time for Hillbilly bop, the years 1950-1960. Lack of time and inspiration I’m afraid. So commentaries will be short ! First we can listen to JOHNNY GITTAR, a.k.a. Johnny Henderson (I posted two tracks under this name recently, fortnight early April) in the famous « San Antonio boogie » (High Time 173). A call-and-response format, the steel guitar well to the fore, a touch of piano : it’s a shuffler, the sort of hard-rock tunes we can hear on the Houston Freedom label (I recently told the story of this important altho’ short-lived label). »San Antonio boogie« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/high-time-173-Johnny-Gitta-And-His-Targits-San-Antonio-Boogie.mp3download « Nine o’clock« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/spade-1629-Johnny-McAdams-Nine-OClock.mp3download
« Is there no love for me, Love« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/spade-1929-Johnny-McAdams-Is-There-No-Love-For-Me-Love.mp3download
Two medium-paced numbers, back-to-back of the Bennie Hess Spade # 1929 label, and they both are close to Rockabilly, «Nine o’clock » and « Is there no love for me, Love » are light, cool sung. A minimum instrumentation and a gliding guitar. They appear to have been issued in Autumn 1956 by JOHNNY McADAMS.
Next LITTLE MIKE MORTON offers a jumping Hillbilly bop « Midnight hoe-down » on Esta H-9592 from 1955. The location of Esta is Hamilton, OH. And the youthfullness of the voice immediately reminds that of Little Doug [Sahm] on Sarg, or on Westport that of Cowboy Bobby.
« Midnight hoe-down« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/esta-9592-Little-Mike-Morton-Midnight-Hoe-Dowm-1955.mp3download
« Why did you go away« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/seven-stars-2511B-Art-Rodgers-Why-Did-You-Go-Away-1957.mp3download
From 1957 on the Cincinnati, OH Seven Star label (# 2511B) let’s listen to « Why did you go away » by ART RODGERS (without any doubt no connection with Jimmie or Jesse). Nevertheless Rodgers has a hillbilly pronunciation, and a strong rhythm guitar, backed by the K.C. Ramblers.
CUZIN ROSCOE next on the Avery, TX Cowtown label (# 803A) delivers the fast « Sing me a song », accompanied by a sawing fiddle (1960, according to the YouTube uploader).
A baritone vocal, strongly a la Johnny Cash, that of RAY PRIDIE for « Lonesome broken hearted me » on the C.A.R. label # 102A, from Bellingram, Washington. Steel guitar plus echo.
« Sing me a song« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cowtown-803A-Cuzin-Roscoe-Sing-Me-A-Song-1960.mp3download
« Lonesome broken hearted me« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/car-102-Ray-Pridie-Lonesome-Broken-Hearted-Me.mp3download
« I know (my baby loves me)« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cooper-2059-Gene-Stacks-I-Know-My-Baby-Loves-Me.mp3download
A fast Rockabilly by GENE STACKS on the Cooper label (Pine Bluff, AR) # 2059, from 1957. « I know (My baby loves me ) » is fast and has an intriguing guitar, very reminiscent of Scotty Moore.
Finally RAY WILSON on the Hidus label # 2006 (Springfield, TN) does the fast « Heart stealer » – fiddle to the fore, a short piano solo. Hidus also had Jimmy Simpson (« Honky tonk spree »).
« Heart stealer« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/hidus-2006-Ray-Wilson-Heart-Stealer-.mp3download
‘I Mean, I’m Mean’, ‘Behave, be-quiet or begone’ – Roy Duke
A Country Music Anomaly
By Shane Hughes (Rock-a-Billy Hall of Fame)
No picture of Roy Duke has ever surfaced. Additional content by bopping’s editor.
Roy Duke’s style was unique and not easily identifiable as either hillbilly or rockabilly. Certainly his earliest sides on Mart are overtly country in composition and treatment, yet his Reject and Decca sides expose definite rockabilly overtones, due mostly to the presence of ace picker Hank ‘Sugarfoot’ Garland. Garland’s runs are typically definitive and starkly contrast Duke’s lazy and loping vocal, particularly on cuts as Honky Tonk Queen and Hard Hearted Mama. Similarly, these recordings, in terms of lyrical content are unalloyed honky tonk. « I Mean, I’m Mean » is pure Ernest Tubb, while « Behave, Be-Quiet Or Begone » would have been well suited to Johnny Cash’s almost baritone vocal and isn’t too dissimilar to many of his Sun recordings of the period. Further, Roy’s Reject and Decca records have been sought after by rockabilly collectors for years, with his Reject disc fetching healthy sums at auction (at east $ 60-75, when copies eventually turn up). So, just who is Roy Duke and why are his recordings still so much in demand? Maybe it was Roy’s propensity for sheer originality that made him a unique and, thus, collectable artist. Today his appeal is certainly broad; probably further reaching than when he made those eclectic recordings during the early and mid-fifties (no thanks to an over active reissue market).
Roy had the potential to find success too, especially after signing with Decca in ’56. By this stage of his career Ernest Tubb had already cut a few of his songs and he was still tight with Tubb’s nephew Douglas Glenn. However, as with the trail of Douglas Tubb’s career, Roy’s tapered radically after minimal sales of his Decca releases (although Roy Junior confessed to Colin Escott that « Honky Tonk Queen » was a moderate hit in Nashville). Roy’s ill-defined style could have been the cause. Staid hillbilly fans may have heard something too progressive in Roy’s recordings, whilst southern teens probably shied away from the melodic hillbilly vocals and languorous rhythm so evident in Roy’s music. Regardless, Roy’s music has persevered and is still very much revered. It’s time his story was finally told.
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