Harmony duets in Hillbilly bop songs
oct 8th, 2015 by xavier


More of these Hillbilly bop duets, even a foray into Rock’n'Roll (country overtones)


It’s useless to present the DELMORE Brohers (Rabon & Alton). They began their career in 1931 ! When they stopped at King studio in Cincinnati in 1946, they cut many, many Hillblly boogies, either as vocal duet, or with spare instrumentation (Wayne Raney and Lonnie Glosson on harmonica). It’s been a real task to choose « Down home boogie » (King 784AA) : the Brothers sing in harmony for this romper cut in November 1947 in Cincinnati. Lead electric guitar player could be Roy Lanham or Zeke Turner.

king 784AA delmore - down town boogie


« Down home boogie«  download


A dozen years later or so, a man led a typical Hillbilly combo : JERRY DOVE (instrument unknown). He had already put a minor rockabilly classic in 1956, « Pink bow tie » on T.N.T. Label (# 144), but he was more a producer and musician than a singer. Here he gathers the duet (male/female) of Ray Stone and Dove’s wife, Peggy. First side is bluesy, and very atmospheric : « Losin’ the blues » (# 173), paired with an uptempo « Why don’t you love me ».

« Losin’ the blues« download

« Why don’t you love me« download



Let’s get back to December 1947 with the Arkansas born real ARMSTRONG TWINS. They recorded for 4* a serie of boogies showing the prowesses of Lloyd on mandolin, Floyd backing on guitar, especially on « Mandolin boogie » (4* 1231), a fast and furious piece of Bluegrass.


« Mandolin boogie« download4* 1231 armstrong twns - mandolin boogie





On the Cincinnati, OH based label Jalyn (# 208) JOHN & FRANCIS REEDY have « Quit kicking my dog around » : fine uptempo tune,  amusing lyrics. This record goes back to ’64.

jalyn 209 john & francis reedy - qui kicking my dog around


« Quit kicking my dog around« download



More of the same with RUFUS SHOFFNER & JOYCE SONGER, clearly billed « Vocal duet » although both join on chorus only, with the powerful « It always happens to me » on the Detroit’s Hi-Q label (# 17) from 1962. Awesome and driving guitar playing by Earl Songer’s ex-wife. Both seem unlucky in the song.


Next is « Truck driver’s boogie » by the MILO TWINS (Edwin and Edward), originally from Arkansas. Their style is pretty close to that of the DELMORE, the CALLAHAN, the SHELTON or the YORK Brothers. Released December 947 on Capitol 40138: fine harmony vocals over a good harmonica playing.

« It always happens to me« download


Milo Twins » « Truck driver’s boogie »downloadmilo 1949

hi-q 17 **it always happens to me


capitol 40138 milo twins truck driver's boogie











Finally GENE PARSON’S BAND, who’s backing Kimble and Wanda Janes on vocals in a classic, « Night club Rock’n'roll » from March 1959 on Southland label (# 4501) from lllinois. Parson was the owner of this small label. He already had cut for Chicago’s Eko label. I’m pretty sure this Gene Parson has nothing to do with the member of Byrds or Flying Burrito Brothers bands of the ’60s. The Southland issue falls into a collector’s hands for $ 400-500.

« Nightclub rock’roll« download



southfield 450 gene parson - night club R&R


Sources: various compilations and reissues for the most part, the odd record from my collection.

Harmony vocals: some bopping Bluegrass duets
oct 7th, 2015 by xavier

This first batch of duets will concentrate on bopping Bluegrass tunes. Indeed the choice of tunes is entirely mine, and I post the ones I like very much. The main instruments, as expected, are fiddle and banjo or mandolin, all pushing often an urgent vocal.

The DIXIE DRIFTERS were a small Bluegrass group from Houston, TX ; actually they were the first one to make Bluegrass music so far from Kentucky or Tennessee. Hank Wilson (guitar/vocal & composer) was the leader when they cut « Lies, lies and alibis », a fast ditty on the Minor label (# 112). Enjoy the dobro part! (According to ARLD, this record came out in October 1958). No label scan available, sorry: I’ve just got the music from a Tom Sims’ cassette. Earlier on the boys had another issue on Azalea 110, same style (« Gone forever »). Hank Wilson, as « Slim Wilson » recorded probably one more single for Minor (# 117) »The ring around your finger/Bring a wall around Texas« . And I really don’t know if Hank Wilson and Leon Russell are the same person.

azalea 110 dixie drifters - gone forever

« Lies, lies and alibis« download

« Gone forever« download

BB 22-6-59 dixie drifters

Billboard June 22, 1959



Way up north with the THOMAS BROTHERS (Melvin and Erwin) for an oustanding « Way high, way low » on the Hammond, IN. Mar-Vel’ label (# 355 from 1956). Each voice (3 actually) compete strongly : the highpitched, then the bass man, finally the medium singing « Right in the middle, that’s where I want to be ». A pity they never had another issue.



« Way high, way low« download

mar-vel 355a thomas brothers - way high, way low



Third we have a decisive ‘Vocal duet’ on the label : Rena 803 from Ripley, WV by RALPH & RUTH. « Hard hearted girl», great rhythm guitar. It’s difficult to assume a date for the issue, maybe late ’50s, or even 1961, as suggested by HillbillyCountry45 (Youtube).

« Hard hearted girl« download

rena 103 ralph & ruth - hard hearted girl







From Pico, California on the Sundown label # 106 : TOMMY GUESS & BILL LOWE do give a lot of energy in their « My foolish heart ». Mandolin solo. They disappeared afterwards 1958.

A beautiful harmony with the NASH BROTHERS, probably from Georgia on the Peach label (# 569) : « My prescription refilled » from March 1959.

« My foolish heart »download

« My prescription refilled« download

sundown 106A Tommy Guess & bill love foolish heartpeach 569 nash brothers - my prescripton refilled

early October 2015 fortnight’s favorites: « Record spinning boogie » or « Hi de ho boogie »?
oct 1st, 2015 by xavier

DUSTY TAYLOR, first selection of this fortnite, offers with « My shining star » a pleasant shuffler, with nice sawing fiddle (solo). An average although nice tune to find on Nugget OP-190 (4 Star custom) from 1956. I don’t know where it comes from. Taylor had another issue on Nugget 191 (« Down grade/Just rumors »), and a record in 1968 on the Nashville Stop label.

« My shining star« download

nugget OP190 dusty taylor


« The hillbilly hop« download

leo 1824 curly gibson hillbilly hop






« The hillbilly hop » is a medium rockabilly (short piano solo) by CURLY GIBSON‘s Sunshine Playboys (vocal by Colin Prevette, who has even here some hiccups) on a Leo label (there were dozens by this name) # 1824. A clue of location is given by another record by Curly Gibson on the Pennsylvania Record label out of Pennsburg, PA. The Leo issue is from 1957.

With « All by myself » by DOUG DAVIS on the Texan Nite star label (# 007, from ca. 1963), we touch the real thing ! Already posted in 2010, this time with a nice label scan. It has haunting steel, perfect ballad vocal and confident backing. My prefered all-time ballad. Davis had another record on Malinda 113 (untraced)
nit star 007A doug davis
« All by myself« download


Next three tracks all by the veteran AL DEXTER, who, at the time they were cut (1950), had already records since 1936. All three do come from a long Cincinnati session for King.

As the title implies, « Walking with the blues » (King 884A) is a mid-paced item with fine harmonica and good guitar (Zeb Turner ? Louis Innis?). The whole sounds much like the Delmore.

Further on, « Hi de ho boogie » (# 884AA) is a lively tune. The harmonica has been dropped, replaced by fiddle and good steel. And the third track of this session is « Diddy wah boogie » (# 913AA): the harmonica returns for a pleasant and fast track.

« Walking with the blues« download

« Hi de ho boogie« download

« Diddy wah boogie« download

king 884A al dexter walking with the bluesking 884AA al dexter -hi de ho boogieking 913AA al dexter - diddy wah boogie

We conclude with BILL HUSKEY on the Meritone label (Lenoir City, TN) for a great « Record Spinning boogie », half sung, half played (solid acoustic guitar), which reminds me a lot of « Doin’ the boogie woogie » by Johnnie Barfield (Bullet 620).
« Record spinning boogie« download

meritone 1001 bill huskey record spinning boogie

al dexter pic

Al Dexter

Eddie Hill, lot of Hillbilly novelties (1947-1959): Steamboat stomp and other shufflers
sept 29th, 2015 by xavier

Tennessean Eddie Hill (James Edward Hill) was born on July 21, 1921, in either McMinn County or Polk County. Being from a family with a rich musical tradition, Eddie already started singing and playing the guitar at very young age and he formed his first band while still in his teens. His first experience with radio work came while living in Knoxville, Tennessee, where his family had moved because of Eddie’s father’s work. Eddie first started working for local radio station WROL but in the early 1940s, he and his band moved to WNOX to work at the “Mid-Day-Merry-Go-Round” show, as “Smilin’ Eddie Hill and the Mountain Boys”. Some time later, Eddie moved to Cincinnati, Ohio where he joined WKRC, but in 1943 Johnny Wright convinced him to return to Knoxville to join the Tennessee Hillbillies, a group build around Johnny & Jack and Kitty Wells. In 1945, Eddie quit the Tennessee Hillbillies to try his luck in Hollywood’s movie business, but he soon moved back to Knoxville to return to WNOX, together with his Mountain Boys that now consisted of Leonard Dabney (guitar), Johnny Gallagher (bass), Billy Bowman (electric guitar) and Bob Sumner (fiddle). It was around this time that Eddie got married to his wife Jacqueline Adkins. Read the rest of this entry »

Late September 2015 fortnight’s favorites
sept 16th, 2015 by xavier

This favorites section begins with NEAL JONES. Born in the small community of Tywhop, TN, in 1922, he began his career with the Johnson Brothers on Kingsport and Chattanooga radio stations as lead guitarist as soon as 1940. He then moved to Montana, then back to Tennessee. 1953 saw him guitarist for Eddie Hill and Sonny James in Dallas, TX. That’s where he gained a contract with Columbia, and followed a long string (6) of releases with this major until mid-1955. I chose one of his earliest efforts, « Foolin’ women », (# 21292) and the double-sider nearest to Rockabilly, (# 21415) « High steppin’ baby » and « I’m playing it cool », both cut at Jim Beck’s studio in Dallas with WFAA staff musicians. Later on, Jones had his own T.V. show, and was more and more involved in a D.J. work . He finally had one record on « D ».

columbia 21292 neal jones - foolin' women

columbia 21415 neal jones jigh ste^în' baby

columbia 21415 neal jones - I'm playing it cool












« Foolin’ women »download

« High stepping baby« download

« I’m playing it cool« download

AL OSTER was apparently a Yukon native, who cut a nice Country rocker on the Tundra label (# 101), « Midnight sun rock », paired with « Next boat », in 1960.
« Midnight sun rock« download

« Next boat« download
tundra 101 al oseter - midnight sun rock

al oster

Today and yesterday



Next we find the former lead guitar player for the Maddox Bros. CAL MADDOX on the Flat-Git-It (# 700) label from California. I suspect the label was his own label. « Hey Bill » is a fast Hillbilly rock from 1960 : strong guitar as expected, sawing fiddle. Shortly before that, Cal and his sister Rose had cut « Gotta travel on » on the Black Jack label.


flat-git-it 700 cal maddox hey bill

cal maddox


« Hey Bill« download






From Columbus, OH, comes the next record, « Hobo baby » by JOE & RAY SHANNON on the Shenandoah label # 246. Obviously brothers – it’s Joe singing -, they offer a strong guitar rockabilly tune, surprisingly good for 1964.

« Hobo baby« download

shenandoah joe & ray shannon pic

Joe and Ray Shannon

On one of the many Dixie labels that flourished everywhere in the U.S., there’s this shenandoah 246 joe & ray - hobo babyone « I guess I’m wise » (# 833) by MALCOLM NASH. Probably issued 1960. An harmonica is the prominent instrument, over a powerful rhythm guitar, while the band (2 voices) sings in unison. This record reminds me much of the Delmore Bros. On the label however there is no clue as to where do come the artist neither the label from, except it’s a Rite pressing, so probably from the Cincinnati area.

dixie 833-A malcolm nash - I guess I'm wise
« I guess I’m wise« download

Early September 2015 fortnight’s favorites: Billy Ray, Otis Parker and Don Teague (1952-1963)
sept 1st, 2015 by xavier


Howdy folks ! Everybody’s back from holydays ? Ready for stomping hillbilly !


The first artist chosen is BILLY RAY, born William H. Ray. He was living in Baton Rouge when he was signed by Columbia in November 1952. He cut 8 songs during two sessions. « Tired of talking to the blues » was issued on Columbia subsidiary Okeh 18009. It’s a real blues number with a spare instrumentation (guitar, piano and bass) probably cut in New Orleans. The second interesting song from the next session is « You gotta pet me baby » (Okeh 18030), a nice uptempo hillbilly. Alas, sales were poor, Columbia did not renew the contract and Ray disappeared. Maybe he’s the same on Titan in 1960.

okeh 18009 tired

okeh 18030 billy ray


« Tired of talking to the blues« download

« You gotta pet me baby« download


James « OTIS » PARKER was a Tennessean (1920-1992), whose career began in 1949 on Rich-R’Tone. How he came to have in 1955 a record issued on Covington, California’s New Star label # 529 (a Starday custom) is a mystery. « They don’t have to operate (they just pull the zipper) » is a comedy-hillbilly not so far from Homer Clemons of 5 years before on Modern (« Operation blues »). Good fast proto-rockabilly. Previously he also had an issue in 1951 on Holyday (untraced).

« They don’t have to operate« download


Otis Parker pic

new star 529 otis parker


DON TEAGUE is a completely unknown artist from the Lexington, KY area. I picked up his two records on the Rains label from 1963. First is billed as « Don Teague with Pap and the Young’uns » and gives a radio station WZEJ indication : « Oh, how bad I feel » (Rains 103) is a fast hillbilly – lot of fiddle, a rockabilly guitar solo, a nice dobro, and an assured vocal. The second (Rains 108) has no connection indication, just « Don Teague with the Blue Valley Boys ». Much slower (« Pure country music » on the label), « I’ll take a walk » is nevertheless a very nice tune, with good dobro and fiddle.

rains 103 don teague - oh how badrains 108 don teague



« Oh, how bad I feel« download

« I’m gonna take a walk« download


Just for a change, a R&B rocker by (Napoleon) CHICO CHISM on the Shreveport, La. Clif label (# 102) – the very same that beared T.V. Slim‘s first issue of « Flat foot Sam ». « Hot tamales and Bar-B-Que » (1957). Enjoy all !
« Hot tamales and Bar-B-Que« download
clif 102 chico chism

Sources : (Dan De Clerk), Youtube, Okeh 18000 (Willem Agenant), malcychapman.blogspot (Starday customs)


Early August 2015 fortnight’s favorites
août 1st, 2015 by xavier

Howdy folks ! I should have given myself a big kick, when I posted Ralph Pruett’s « Louise », last fortnight, and not having thought of the other record of the man, RALPH PRUITT, from Florida. He cut indeed the great haunting Rockabilly « Hey Mr. Porter », first on Lark 1506, later transferred on Meridian (same number # 1506).

lark 1506
« Hey, Mr. Porter« download



Another well-known Hillbilly bop/rockabilly man whose I told the story a mere several years ago of was LOU MILLET. Until very recently I didn’t know his offering on Ekko 1024 from 1956 , which predates his solitary Republic 45 ’ (« Shorty the barber/Slip, slippin’ in » (# 7130). So here are his « Chapel of my heart » and « When I harvest my love », both ballads ; the B-side is more solid.

« Chapel of my heart« download      ekko 1024 chapel

« When I harvest my love« download

The remaining selections are all by HUB SUTTER. He had a rich discographical career between 1946 and 57. Hubert Sutter, legally blind since childhood, was adept to both saxophone and clarinet and began his professionnal career in 1941. Later we found him as vocalist for the popular Jesse James in Austin (4* Records), before going solo on Lasso (a version of « New Frankie & Johnny« ), billed as Hub Sutter & his Galvestonians (actually Jesse James’ band in disguise). In 1950 he formed his Hub Cats and was signed with the upcoming Freedom Records in Houston. There he had two issues. « I don’t want my baby back » (# 5015) has an agile electric mandolin and possibly Herb Remington on steel. The rocking « Tellin’ my baby bye bye » (# 5030) was recorded with R. D. Hendon‘s Western Jamboree Cowboys, probably at the same session that produced Charlie Harris‘ « No shoes boogie » (# 5033).


« The craziest feeling« download

« New Frankie and Johnny« download

« I don’t want my baby back« download

« Tellin’ my baby bye bye« download

4* 1520 the craziest feelinglasso 102 frankiefreedom 5015 hub sutter - I don't want my baby back




Later on Sutter dropped the steel guitar and added a second saxophone. He then worked extensively with Floyd Tillman, Link Davis, Sonny Hall and Glen Barber.




In 1957, he re-cut « I don’t want my baby back » on the Columbus label (# 103). The rollicking flipside « Gone goslin » is here. Columbus was owned by Eddie Eddings and Sonny Fisfer.

« Gone Goslin« download
columbus C-103


Sources : Internet, and the notes to CD « Heading back to Houston » (Krazy Kat). With help from Drunken Hobo. Of interest also was the Hillbily Researcher blogspot and the entry to « Columbus Records » or Terry Gordon’s invaluable Rockin’ Country Style.

Red Perkins, Paul Howard’s front man: « The boogie’s fine tonight » (1948-1950)
juil 18th, 2015 by xavier


Red Perkins, nor related to the jazz trumpeter Red Perkins as with Carl Perkins, until today remains more or less a mystery within the country music since little is known about him. Not even a picture of him has ever surfaced. Nobody seems to know how he came to appear in 1947 on the country music scene, when he started as a singer for Paul Howard in its western swing band, the Arkansas Cotton Pickers to work. This group he belonged to until 1949, but led at the same time also has his own career.


paul howard pic

Paul Howard

In May 1949, King let Perkins cut his first solo titles : « Aggravatin’ Lou from Louisville » and « Hoe-down boogie » (# 792) were the best of four tracks recorded. In November 1949, as well as in the course of 1950, followed other sessions,

We find him in on the amusing « Crocodile tears » (# 836) and « One at a time » (# 850). The title of his last studio visit were published on Kings sublabel DeLuxe Records [ named Red Perkins and his Kentucky Redheads, perhaps Howard's Cottonpickers in disguise]. In March 1950, Perkins played once again as a singer with Paul Howard and the band in the studio KWKH in Shreveport, Louisiana for 4 more tracks, among them « The boogie’s fine tonight » (# 871)- great pounding piano from Harold Horner, and a good guitar from either Paul Howard himself or Jabbo Arrington.

Under Perkins’ recordings for King to songs like « A Long Necked Bottle »(# 920), « Hoe-Down Boogie » (# 792), « Rag man boogie » (# 903) or « Aggravating Lou from Louisville »(# 792) were, however, found none of his singles off the charts, not least was due to the poor marketing of the label. What Perkins did after that is uncertain.


All in all, a career that lasted not more than 2 years ; nearly not more than a dozen 78pm singles ; and a very few to remember as shufflers and good’uns.

bb 9:7:49 Perkins hoe-down

Billboard 9 Jul. 49

king 871-AA paul howard - the boogie's fine tonightking 792-AA red perkins - hoe-down boogie

792A aggravatin' lou

bb 4 nov 50 red perkins

Billboard 4 Nov. 1950




« The boogie’s fine tonight »download

« Hoe-down boogie« download

« Aggravatin’ Lou from Louisville« download

« Texas boogie« download

king 779-A paul howard - texas boogie

903A rag man boogie

« Rag man boogie« download

« I live the life I love« download

DeLuxe 5047B red perkins - I live the life I love

Sources: a short biography Wikipedia (which is confusing with the pre-War Red Perkins on Champion) translated from German language. A discography on Praguefrank site: Internet for label scans. With help from Ronald Keppner (DeLuxe issue).

« Servant of love », a survey of the Van Brothers and the Gentrys (Indiana, 1957-1968) + Jimmy Walls
juil 15th, 2015 by xavier

The Van Winkle Brothers (Arnold and Lee) were musically prolific from 1956 to 1962 . Nobody seems to have any informaion on their childhood, although U.S. 1940 Census gives for Arnold a birthdate in 1935 ; but the birthplace is in Tennessee, when they made their careers as far as Indianapolis.


Read the rest of this entry »

Late July 2015 fortnight’s favorites
juil 14th, 2015 by xavier

Let’s start this batch of fortnight’s favorites with a mysterious CURT HINSON. He hailed from S.C. and was at one time tied with WDLC in Dillon, S.C., where he was known as « Curt Hinson & His Sunset Troubadours ». Nothing is known about him except for two, maybe three records. The first one on Gotham 431, « Let’s see you smile » (1952) was coupled with « Down deep in my heart ». The first side is a nice uptempo, partly duetted (with the mysterious « Molinaro », who co-penned this track and the A-side on Carolina ?), over a chanting steel all along and a good swirling fiddle. The same songs were apparently reissued straight out on N.Y.C. Carolina label # 1001.

On Carolina 1003, Hinson has two « new » songs, « Cotton picking baby », a nice uptempo – weird and fooling fiddle, a steel solo and Troy Ferguson on the lead guitar. The flip side « You’re old love is haunting you still »[sic] is on a par with the presumably A-side. Fine relaxed vocal from Hinson, ably backed by a fluent guitar player. The identity of the guitar player was given by « HillbillyBoogie1 » on his Youtube chain, and I wonder where the information came from.

« Let’s see you smile« download
« Cotton picking baby«
« You’re old love is haunting you still«

gothzm 431B curt hinson - let'ssee you smilecarolina 1003 curt hinson - cotton picking babycarolina 1003 curt hinson your old love
From East coast we go now to Texas and the Fort Worth area. EARL WRIGHT & Texas Oldtimers has a good double-sider on Cutt-Rite in 1962 (# 100). « Married man blues » and « You don’t know it » are good Western swing flavored (prominent fiddle, even a solo) boppers. Nice guitar too, with jazzy overtones and a fine piano. A very nice relaxed record. Wright had at least another record, Jimmie Rodgers’ « T.B. Blues » on Bluebonnet 325 (untraced).

cutt-rite 100++ married man blues

cutt-rite 100++ you don't know it

« Married man blues« download
« You don’t know it«

Now on to Ohio, with GLENN & VIVIAN WATSON, who do a good duet with « Just keep on going » on the Dayton, OH label BMC # 1000, from 1959. Fine picking guitar throughout a la Merle Travis. Vivian did in 1956 a solitary tune « Hoping that you’re hoping » on a budget Big 4 Hits EP # 195.
« Just  keep on going« download

Finally I chose from Nashville a Murray Nash production [see Mellow's Log Cabin i ( for more info] by RALPH PRUETT and the song he wrote (not the blues/ traditional classic) « Louise » on B.B. 226, the very last one on this label, which saw no less than 3 Dixieland Drifters records. Topical lyrics, « Be-bop-a-Lula » is named, « Louise she’s my queen », over a relaxed vocal, with fine steel in the background plus n excellent fiddle solo.
« Louise« download





bmc 1000 glenn & vivian watson just keep on goingbb 226 ralph pruett

Sad news in France : a GREAT guy is gone, Bernard Boyat. Fine discographer, essential writer and reviewer for many magazines [more than 50, among them the vital French « Rock’n'Roll Revue » or « Le Cri du Coyote ») since the ’70s, a true gentleman, he had an encyclopedic knowledge of Rock’n'roll in general, with a special sympathy for Louisiana and Cajun people. He did help the launch of « bopping » with the co-writing of the article NATHAN ABSHIRE in January 2009. May God Almighty save his Soul and let him keep Rock’n'rolling in Heaven !


As usual, my special thanks to Internet, Alexander Petrauskas for his site « hillbillycountry.blogspot », and Youtube « HillbillyBoogie1″.

»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa