SIDEBAR
»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
HIGH GEARED DADDY
mar 20th, 2015 by xavier

decca 5349 jimmie davisFirst version of the song was cut by JIMMIE DAVIS in February 1937, backed by Milton Brown (actually deceased a year before) Musical Brownies. Out of them Lefty Perkins takes two solos on the steel, Papa Calhoun is at the piano and the fiddle duties are taken by Buck Buchanan. It’s a medium paced blues ditty typical of Davis’ work. It was issued on Decca 5349.
Jimmie Davis, « High geared daddy » download

 

 

 

In August 1949 WEBB PIERCE, after having obviously heard Davis’ tune, revived it (taking the credit to him). Nice honky-tonker (Buddy Attaway on steel?). The lyrics were a bit different from Davis’. Here they are Pierce’s ones:

Come on here girls and hear my song

I’ll tell you my troubles as I step along

I’m a high geared daddy and there’s nothing I won’t do

I’m a two time papa when you leave me at home

I’ll call another momma on the telephone

I’m a high geared daddy that’s never been made blue

If you leave me at home well that’s allright

I’ll take a new momma with me tonight

[continued this style] this perfect example of honky tonk machism was issued on 4 Star 1413, and many times reissued (e.g. 4* 1601), then was the model for other versions.
4* 1413 webb pierceartistic 224-B webb pierce

 

Webb Pierce « High geared daddy« download

 

 

 

 

TOMMY LITTLE & the Sunrise Rangers, from Durham, N.C. recorded the song, although actually it’s a completely different one same time as Pierce’s and Davis’, because it is an old warhorse of the Thirties, frequently known as « Sweet mama put him in low », first recorded by KARL & HARTY (Karl Davis/Hartford Taylor) in Chicago, January 1941 (Okeh 06066). Not surprisingly the song was credited to « Davis »! Fairley Holden had his own version on King 771 in 1947. Tommy Little’s version, first issued on Tommy’s personal label, Tommy’s, was picked up by Colonial, a sub-label to Hollywood giant Modern diskery. Little gives the song a superbly energetic treatment with the mandolin giving it a wonderful old-time flavour.

OK 6066 karl & harty - sweet mama
Karl & Harty « Sweet mama put him in low« download

 

Fairley Holden « Sweet mama put him in low »

download

Tommy Little « High geared daddy« download
king 771 failey holden - sweet mama put him in low

colonial 116A tommy little

 

 

 

Returning to Webb Pierce’s « HIGH GEARED DADDY‘, the song found a new life in the hands of JIMMY WALKER on the West coast Intro label # 6025 in July 1951. He was backed on this occasion by Joe Maphis and Noel Boggs, augmented by George « Crazy » Tracy on harmonica and did offer an fine, relaxed although energetic version. Finally in a novelty style it was revived as a RCA LP track in 1956 by HOMER & JETHRO.
Jimmy Walker « High geared daddy« download

Homer & Jethro « High geared daddy« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/HOMER.mp3download
intro 6025 high-geared daddyjasmine CD Homer & jethro

Late March 2015 fortnight’s favorites
mar 15th, 2015 by xavier

We start with a fast bopper by RANDY WALKER, « If I held you in my arms » on the Ludwig 1004 label (1958). This label was named after Rod Morris‘ second name’s son and was located in Eureka, California. Any help to review the 16 sides issued by Morris on his label would be welcome !

ludwig 1004 randy walker

Perk williams pic

Perk Williams

Twirl 103a defeated

 

Twirl 103b why the blues are blue

PERK WILLIAMS is well known for his 10 years association as singer and fiddler with Jimmy Heap (Lasso, Imperial and Capitol sides, 1949-1959), and can be heard for best effect on « Release me », « Cat’n around », « That’s that », « Ethyl in my gas tank » and other boppers. See elsewhere in this site for Jimmy Heap. Here Perk Williams is backed by the Sidewinders for a solitary issue on the Twirl label # 103 out of Taylor, Texas. « Defeated » has a bluesy guitar, a very intense vocal, plus steel and fiddle solo. The flip side « Why the blues are blue » is a medium fiddle led ditty, again with this intense vocal. Both very nice sides.

Randy Walker, « If I held you in my arms« download
Perk Williams « Defeated« 
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Defeated1.mp3download
Perk Williams « Why the blues are blue« 
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Why-The-Blues-Are-Blue.mp3download

Next artist is something of a mystery. Last time I heard of him was as part of the Dixieland Drifters, out of Chattanooga, Tennessee, in the mid-60s. CHARLIE « Peanut » FAIRCLOTH  was born 1927 in Georgia and was dee-jaying on Macon WNEX in 1950-51. Decca Records offered him a 4 tracks session cut in Nashville (April 1950), which I podcast 3 tracks on. First, the fast « F-O-O-L-I-S-H me, me » (Decca 46237), then the bluesy, lazy vocal of « Missississipi river blues » (Decca 46271), and its flipside the fast « Coffee, cigarettes and tears ». Both last tracks taken from a 78rpm I had sold a long time ago so no image available, only sound track. From this session only remains a version of Moon Mullican‘s « I’ll sail my ship alone« , never heard by Faircloth. On Youtube I found a 17 minutes snippet of a live show done at the Turner Club in Chattanooga, during the mid-60s. Nice sound and combination of tunes.

Charlie Faircloth, « F-o-o-l-i-s-h me, me« download
Charlie Faircloth, « Mississippi river blues« 
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Charlie-Faircloth-Mississipi-river-blues.mp3download

Charlie Faircloth « Coffee, cigarettes and tears« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Charlie-Faircloth-Coffee-cigarettes-and-tears-78-tours.mp3download

charlie faircloth pic

 

From Bloomington, Indiana comes JACK NOEL on Honey 1101. Hard to ascertain when this was issued, I’d say around 1955. « Ragged heart » has an accordion and the band singing chorus in unisson. Drunken Hobo says 1959!

Finally on Log Cabin 903 LEO GRAY does offer « After I have broke your heart », a good 1965 country-rocker, with a moving guitar, from Mt. Healthy, Ohio.

Jack Noel, « Ragged heart« download
Leo Gray, « After I have broke your heart« 
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/log-cabin-903-Leo-Gray-After-I-Have-Broke-Your-Heart.mp3download

 

 

 

decca 46237 f-o-o-l-i-s-h me

honey 1101 jack noellog cabin 903 leo gray

 

decca 46273 mississipi

courtesy Drunken Hobo

Late February 2015 fortnight’s favorites
fév 16th, 2015 by xavier

Hello anybody,

 

En route for a new batch of goodies. I hope you will have as much pleasure to listen to them (or download) as I had chosing them.

Here we go with the same song, a Bluegrass bopper, by its originators first, DON RENO & RED SMILEY in 1957 (banjo and guitar, I’d assume) for King # 5002 : « Country boy rock and roll » combines the energy of both musics for a stupendous number. Two years later, the same tune was revived by a small Maryland duet, FRANKIE SHORT and DEE GUNTER on the Wango label # 200. A very fine version, even faster than the original.

king 5002 don reno country boy r a r

wango 200 frankie short - country boy r a r

Don Reno, Red Smiley « Country boy rock and roll« download

Frankie Short & Dee Gunterdownload

 

 

We go up north now for the pure Hillbilly bop beat of « Niagara moon » (Niagara 53727) by ERIC & JOHNNY & Lincoln County Peach Pickers.

Back to Nashville and the Excello label. Indeed it was famous for its Blues and R&B releases, but it had also the odd hillbilly number, for example here RAY BATTS (# 2028) for the great relaxed « Stealin’ sugar ». Batts was also on Bullet and Nashboro.

Eric & Johnny « Niagara moon« download

 Ray Batts « Stealin’ sugar« download

niagara 53727 eric & johnny - niagara moon
excello 2028 ray batts stealin' sugar
BILLY McGHEE may have been out of Texas, as he had several records on Imperial. Here on RCA 4727 he cut the good easy-going « I’ll copyright my baby ».

Finally from Texas on the TNT (# 136) label, the only woman of the pack, BETTY BARNES, does offer the fine rockabilly «What would you do ». 

rca 4272 billy mcghee Ill copyright my baby Billy McGhee, « I’ll copyright my baby« download

tnt 136 betty barnes - what would you do

Betty Barnes « What would you do« download

Source : Internet.

Other intended features on their way: Valley label, G&G label, early Toppa label, important update of Forest Rye feature, and other articles.

Valley Records, Knoxville, Tennessee (1953-54)
fév 13th, 2015 by xavier

 

Valley Records was owned by Jack Comer and Dave Garrison and located somewhere in Knoxville, east of Tennessee.

 

The label lasted for a little more than twelve issues from 1953 to 1954, then several years later changed to Valley’s Meadowlark, taking the same numbering system since the start (not avoiding confusion).

 

Best records were done by Lonnie Smith, Reese Shipley and Shorty Long. Its biggest hit came in 1954 with Darrell Glenn and the weeper « Crying in the chapel », written by his father Artie. But even Glenn did some hillbilly too.

 

Lonnie Smith offers a lovely Hillbilly bop tune, « You’re my honky tonk angel » (# 103) : swirling fiddle and a good steel. Flip is nice too : « Gal’s below the Mason Dixon line » (sic). « In the valley by the mountains » (# 100) by Archie Campbell is a fast ditty with yodel vocalizing while its flipside « Blue memories » is an average medium paced one.

Valley 103B lonnie smith you're my honky tonk angel

Valley 103A lonnie smith gal's below the mason dixon line

« You’re my honky tonk angel »download

« Gal’s below the Mason Dixon line« download

« In the valley by the mountains« download
Valley 100B archie campbell in the valley by the mountains

 

« Don’t let me down » (# 107) has Darrell Glenn a bit crooning in a rather good medium-paced Hillbilly bopper. « Hang up that telephone » (# 105) is quite good too.
Valley 107A darrell glenn Don't let me downvalley 107 hang up that telephone

« Don’t let me down« download
« Hang up that telephone« download

His other sides are in the « Crying in the chapel » vein. He had later on Dot 15476 his own Rock’n'roll version of « My little red wagon ». I much prefer Reese Shipley‘s sides, « Catfish boogie » and « Middle-age spread » (# 106), both very fine Boppers, the former having nothing in common with Tennessee Ernie‘s song. Both songs have a fine and clear lead boogie guitar over a nice piano, « Catfish boogie» being to me the better of both not to forget a stunning (although too short) steel solo.
valley 106 reece shipley catfish boogievalley 106 reece shipley middle-age spread

« Catfish boogie« download

« Middle-age spread« download

Roy Sneed « I’ll be so blue tomorrow« downloadvalley 111 I'll be so blue

Roy Sneed is also a crooner in « I’ll be so blue tomorrow » (# 111), but has a nice guitar. He was also on a Four Star custom , Scenic OP-238, with « Blue hillbilly ».. Finally the fast « I’ll never tell » by Mary Jane Johnson retain the feeling of Darrell Glenn with a fine guitar.

bb 17 avril 54 mary jane

Billboard 4-17-54

« I’ll never tell« download

We’ll forget « Angels in the sky », (#113), one of the very first efforts by Buddy Cunningham (later on Phillips Int’l). And I kept one of the best for now, Shorty Long (#108) and his amusing « I got nine little kisses » (guitar, piano soli), coupled with « Who said I said that ». It’s the same style as Bill Haley on Essex : no surprise, they were neighbors in Philadelphia. Shorty Long’s story is in this site.
« I got nine little kisses« download
valley 108 who said
 

 

 

Valley of Knoxville had nothing to do with the other Valley labels, e.g. Fletcher Hanna in Raymondsville, Texas (« Hepcat boogie », # 101).

 

Research done with help from Ronald Keppner. Internet was a good source too.

 

 

 

early February 2015 fortnight favorites
fév 1st, 2015 by xavier

Women only this time !

LITTLE AUDRY first on the Nashville Walker label (#130) from 1965. A very melodic weeper with a lot of echo for « How can the ashes burn ».

walker 130 little audry - how can the ashes burn

Little Audry download

 

Wanda Ballman download

 

 

WANDA BALLMAN is no unknown. She had more than one issue, e.g. on Starday custom serie # 528 (August 1955) for « Think it over », which bears on label a collective personnel. Very solid mid-paced vocal, a short steel guitar solo over basic instrumentation.

 

 

SALLY MASSEY obviously on her own Sa-Ma label (no #). Two well sung hillbilly weepers : « « Ole Michigan moon » and « Saving all my kisses ».

On the Arkansas Vaden label (# 101), one JERRI PATTERSON tells « That’s why I think of you » in a lovely bopping style.

Sally Massey « Ole Michigan moon »download

 Sally Massey « I’m saving all my kisses »download

Sa-Ma b sally massey - ole michigan moon

 

Vaden 101a
Jerri Patterson download
Mary Ann Johnson
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/mgm-11927-MARY-ANN-JOHNSON-Blue-Teardrops-MGM.mp3download

mary-ann-johnson-blue-teardrops-mgm

Another unknown MARY ANN JOHNSON has a bluesy weeper with « Blue teardrops » (MGM 11927). Nothing spectacular, a nice little record.

LITTLE RITA FAYE does offer « Rock City boogie » – I don’t know if it’s the Tennessee Ernie’s song – on MGM 11505. It’s a bluesy shuffler, with steel and a barely audible fiddle.
Little Rita Faye download

MGM K11505a l.rita faye - rock city boogie
Source : Internet

Earl & Joyce Songer: Michigan hillbilly bop (1950-1954)
jan 15th, 2015 by xavier

Earl Songer was born in 1915 (nearly a century ago..) in Ruth, W. Va. His father was a miner, and none in his family was interested in music, but at an early age Songer became hooked to guitar and harmonica. As a fan of Bill Cox, he developped a one-man band formula.earl songer

Later on in the late ’30s, he secured employment with the Ford Motor Co. In Detroit, Michigan. Never playing professionnally, he nevertheless found opportunities to entertain friends at parties and local functions. It was on such an occasion (a party given by Ford Motors) that he met Joyce (rn Miami Florida) Goode (born in 1924 in Polk Cty, Tennessee), herself being a guitarist : she was so impressed by Songer’s one-man show, that they became close friends. She had been listening closely to Grand Ole Opry and particularly Bill Monroe‘s « Mule skinner blues », so to mastering the instrument.

Earl and Joyce maintained their friendship during his war service and were married in 1945. Settling down in a Detroit suburb, Dearborn, Earl returned to work at Ford while they continued to develop their music, at first for their own pleasure, and gradually more seriously. The professionnal name « Joyce » was chosen for their first 1949 record for Fortune (# 129). They organized their band, the Rocky Road Ramblers. Joyce’s brother Chester played bass, and remained the most consistent member during the five following years.

« The fire in my heart » is intense, with the lifting intro provided by two guitars and great vocal harmonising; this was covered later by Mac Wiseman. The reverse side « Honky tonkin’ blues », an original composition, has a fiddle solo taken by Elton Adams. « Fox chase », second record (# 131), may be boring, as everybody has heard it but once. « Will there be any flowers on your grave », a gospel tune, finds Songer playing harmonica on a rack together with his rhythm guitar, a rare occasion heard although he regularly performed live in this format.
« The fire in my heart« download

« Honky tonkin’ blues« download

« Whose naughty baby are you?« download

fortune 144A whose naughty baby are you?
Mid 1950 and the third session: a proficient mandolin player, either Bobby Sykes (part of the band in 1953-54) or Ray Taylor, who often sat with them. The latter of course recorded for Clix in the late ’50s (see elsewhere in the site). The amplified mandolin is heard to excellent effect on « Who’s naughty baby are you ? » (# 144), which combine with the boogie guitar provided by Joyce.

 

More of that session saw « My wife, and sweetheart too » (# 141). It may look a sentimental song, but it turns out that Earl Songer is singing about two persons ; and the only answer is « to build a cottage for them both, with the rose ’round the door ». Fine solos from mandolin and guitar. The mandolin sets the pace for the frantic « Mother-in-law boogie » (# 141). Amusing lyrics, and, although not being a hillbilly boogie stricto sensu, it could well be the fastest piece of its type ever recorded, highlighted by Chester Goode’s slapping bass solo. « Mother-in-law boogie« download fortune 141B Ear Songer - Mother-In-LawBoogie

Possibly from the previous session, but without the mandolin, « Spanish fire bells » (# 144) is a joy to hear – a subtle piece of guitar artistry: a friend of Joyce had introduced her to a Chet Atkins piece that impressed her. Elton Adams returns with two fiddle solos, the second one being plucked to sound like a banjo. Also important: the event of a light double-time strumming of the rhythm guitar, which sounds as if there were a third guitar playing the bass runs.

On the next recording date, they chose to bring Walter Atkins (a neighbor) on harmonica. « I won’t confess I’m sorry » (# 155) quite reminiscent of Wayne Raney on his earlier sides (who copied who?) « In a broken heart no love is found » (# 151) finds Earl Songer in good voice, while Bill Monroe‘s « In the pines » is recalled as Joyce joins to duet on « Someone to call my own » (# 155).

fortune 155a I won't confess I'msorry fortune 129A honky tonkin' blues fortune 151B in a broken heart

Elton Adams returns at his best on a mid-1951 session on which Joyce’s guitar is amplified effectively to a full sound. The guitar and the fiddle basically duet together on the hilarious « Dissatisfied » (# 160), which paints a doomsday scenario when women take over the world. Earl tells us of a day where there will be « a mayor lady in every town » and « women policing the streets« . Worst of all is the prospect of « having to obey to your mother-in-law« . The actual title doesn’t appear until the last line and « I guess they’ll always be dissatisfied » seems to infer that such events will never actually happen.

« Dissatisfied« download

 

A November 17th, 1951 date for Coral (recorded in New York or Chicago) saw « We’re satisfied » (# 64127), unusual for string effects, and the vibrant, boogie instrumentally « Smiling through the years« . With the same opportunity they recorded late 1952 another session for Coral: best tunes were the fine « Sansoo » (# 64149) and « Too free with your love » (# 64167), same style as on Fortune.
« We’re satisfied« download
Coral 64149A

coral 64127 we're satisfied

« Sansoo« download

Finally relocated in Dallas, Texas, on May 16th, 1954 (the very same day that Gene Henslee cut « Rockin’ baby« ), they recorded four tracks for Imperial, whose best is the fast « Whoopie baby » (8259). Joyce played steel guitar on them, and sang « It’s a cold, cold love« . « I want your love » (8292) is a fine part-time duet bopper.

« Whoopie baby« download

Sad reality: they parted ways and divorced in 1955. Personal and professional problems caused Earl’s increasingly frequent bouts of excessive drinking and Joyce to feel that their career was set back and opportunities were lost because of his unreliability. After the break of the band, Earl got into real estate and car sales and unfortunately dropped out of music. He moved to Charleston, W. Va. in 1969-70 and passed away in 1972. Joyce teamed up with Rufus Shoffner, a popular local artist who also recorded (« It always happens to me« , Hi-Q, 1962, or « Orbit twist » (American Artist, 1962). She formed a new band similar to those she had organized with Earl, further records followed and she was in demand to many a country, bluegrass, or rock’n'roll session during the later half of the ’50s and early 60s.

It has to be noted that, as far as I know, Earl Songer wrote all his songs.

Freely adapted from Dave Sax’s notes to « Earl & Joyce Songer & the Rocky Road Ramblers – early Country from Detroit vol. 1″ on Old Homestead LP 338 (1991). Never seen a volume 2, supposing gathering the rest of the Earl Songer sides. Thanks to Craig Maki for his help with several Fortune label scans. 

I try to be complete with music presented. If you wish some more tracks, please let me know which ones and I’ll try to satisfy.

Addition (Jan. 22nd, 2015). Craig Maki points out that mandolin player Bobby Sykes is not the singer Bob Sykes, and that a second volume of Earl & Joyce Songer sides was published but only on cassette.

 

imperial 8292I want your lovecoral 64167 too free with your loveEarl Songer

imperial 8259 whoopee baby

 

ohcs_338_1_front

Late January 2015 fortnight’s favorites
jan 15th, 2015 by xavier

Here is the new selection of this end of January 2015.

First, two records by BILL LANCASTER, on the Birmingham, AL. G.G. label . The first one « Too young to get married » (# 516) is credited to Bill Lancester. The second is « It’s saturday night now » (# 519). Both are fine Bopping billies, fast loping rhythm (fine fiddle and piano + steel).

gg 516 bill lancester too young

gg 519 bill lancaster

« Too young to get married »download
« It’s saturday night now »
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Its-Saturday-Night-Bill-Lancaster.mp3download

 

 

From Middletown, OH comes DON JOHNSON and his « Feeling low ». I can’t believe this is the same artist as Don Johnston on Mercury (« Born to love one woman »). Fine fiddle throughout.
Don Johnson « Feeling low »download
Ferlin Huskey « Slow down brother »
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Ferlin-Husky-Slow-Down-Brother.mp3download

echo 1002 don jonsoncapitol 3316 huskey - slow down brother

FERLIN HUSKEY, also Simon Crum, also Terry Preston (on 4*) is too well known. He delivered several good Hillbilly boppers ; I chose his best-known track, the rockabilly « Slow down, brother » (Capitol 3316).

WALT McCOY is a West coast veteran, whom nothing is virtually known about, although he had a long recording career. Here he is represented with « U.S.A. » on the late ’40s Chrystal label # 292.

Finally the very elusive too T.J. SKERO and his fine « Gold diggin’ mama » from 1950 on 4* 1468.

Walt McCoy « U.S.A. »download
T.J. Skero « Gold diggin’ mama »
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/4-1468-T.J-Skero-And-The-Sunset-Play-Boys-Gold-Diggin-Mama-1950.mp3download

 

Source: Internet

crystal 292 walt mccoy-USA4* 1468 gold diggin' mama

Early January 2015 fortnight’s favorites
jan 1st, 2015 by xavier

Tom Beamon Forse, « You better go now » on Rodney 514 (Starday custom), 1954-55 : great rockabilly guitar led, slap bass bopper featuring Beamon on vocals, his brother Ted on lead guitar, JT “Tiny” Smith on bass, Charlie Craddock on steel guitar and a unknown piano player. Born Beamon Tom Forse on 4th December 1934 in San Augustine, TX, he had a radio show with his brother Ted at KTXJ (Jaspar, TX) and he knew George Jones since he was a child.This disc was cut at Gold Star Studios, Houston TX., and it was inspired by hearing Elvis Presley’s “That’s All Right Mama” being played over the radio. Flipside is an equally good medium paced bopper « The rest of my life ». The disc was financed by Rodney Spaford (hence the label name I guess) who was a rich guy from Sabine, TX.

you better go now

 

the rest of my life

« You better go now« download
« The rest of my life« 
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Beamon-Forse-The-Rest-Of-My-Life25-.mp3download

 

Beamon moved to California after this release, and he recorded as Tom Forse on Rich-Vein Records (owned by Terry Fell) : « I’m gonna tell your conscience on you » and « They call you a small fry » are superlative 1955-56 medium boppers. Beamon/Tom on vocal, Eddie Cochran on rhythm guitar, Connie « Guybo » Smith on bass and Ralph Mooney on steel. Beamon also booked top acts on the west coast and wrote songs for Terry Fell, who would pay him cash for them. Beamon died in 2004. Tom and Truitt Forse were cousins.

I'm gonna tell

 

they call you

                                                                                                                                                                         

 

« I’m gonna tell your conscience on you« download
« They call you a small fry »
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/rich-vein-101-tom-forse-they-call-me-a-small-fry.mp3download

Eddie Cochran, « Cradle baby« download
Then Eddie Cochran revamping Tom Forse’s « They call me a small fry » on Liberty LRP 3060 « Singing to my baby » as « Cradle baby », a pop rocker from mid-1957.

Finally both tracks of Johnny Vincent‘s Ace 528 (June 1957) by Mercy Baby (rn. Jimmy Mullins). He was a drummer/singer for Frankie Lee Sims ; actually Sims handles the lead guitar duties on the haunting « Marked deck » and the energetic « Rock and roll baby ».

« Marked deck« download
« Rock and roll baby« 
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/ace-528-mercy-baby-rock-and-roll-baby.mp3download

 

 

 

marked deckroc and roll baby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources: Malcolm Chapman’s « Starday custom site »; 45rpm.com for Mercy Baby sides. Have a Bopping New Year!

Late December 2014 fortnight’s favorites
déc 15th, 2014 by xavier

For this last 2014 fortnight, I’m lacking time and imagination so I’ve chosen several particular records. We begin listening to BILL HICKS and the Southerners on Fortune 188 (from 1956) for two well driven rockabillies/boppers « She’s done gone » (slow) and « Blue flame » (fast).

fortune 188 she's done gone

fortune 188 bill hicks - blueflame

« She’s done gone »download

« Blue flame »download

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A real rarity now on the Family Library 1021 label : it’s GENE LAVERNE and what I think is an original « Hot rod mama » on a 6-track 78rpm record.

family 1021-A Gene Laverne

 

« Hot rod mama« download

The following artist has a long recording story behind him : he can be found as early as 1951 on Blue Bonnet, as part of the Texas Round-Up Gang. Later, DEWEY GROOM went to Mercury, then founded early ’60s his own Longhorn label, where he cut among other tunes « Butane blues » (# 517). I didn’t verify if this is the same track as Gene O’Quin‘s one.
« Butane blues« download

longhorn 517 dewey groom


Surprising Bluegrass music from Texas by PAUL HUFFMAN and « T-e-x-a-s » on the Abilene Winston (# 1034) label : nice banjo led.

Back to Louisville, Kentucky and the Pier-Wats label (# 1200), and the fast bopper (nice fiddle and steel) by F. EDDY PIERCE, « Your kisses don’t thrill me anymore ».

Finally GENE DAVIS, who meddled almost at any style of music since his beginnings in 1954 on the West coast : hillbilly, rockabilly (as « Bo Davis » on Crest), rock’n'roll (on R-Dell), finally back to Country on various labels. I’ve chosen both sides of his solitary TOPPA ’61 record (# 1110). « When he let’s her forget »[sic] and « I won’t care » are top notch California country-rockaballads (sublime Ralph Mooney on steel).

Paul Huffman « T-e-x-a-s« download
F. Eddy Pierce « Your kisses don’t thrill me anymore« 
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/pier-watts-1300B-F.-Eddy-Pierce-Your-Kisses-Dont-Thrill-Me-Anymore-1956.mp3download

Gene Davis « When he let’s her forget« download

 Gene Davis « I won’t care« download

 

toppa 1110 I won't caretoppa 1110A When he let's her forgetpier-wats 1200B F. Eddy Piercewinston 1034-2 paul huffman t-e-x-a-s

 

As usual, various sources : ebay, YouTube, my virtual collection. Have a Bopping Christmas !

the BLUE HEN label (1954-1958): Delaware Hillbilly and Rockabilly
déc 8th, 2014 by xavier

From the Hillbilly Researcher # 13 (late 90s)

Allan Turner. Additions by Bopping’s editor

BLUE HENdelaware delaware couleurs

 

Nothing is ever as simple as it would appear, take for example the Harrington, Delaware based BLUE HEN label. Just another independant concern would be a fair description of this particular outfit, albeit with one or two above average offerings on the label from the likes of Mel Price and Lanie Walker.

BLUE HEN was owned, according to Galen Gart’s A.R.L.D., by one Sam Short, Jr ., ably assisted by A&R man Hugh Lee Stevenson. That, and the fact that the company was located on Center Street in Harrington, is the sum total of our knowledge of the label.

Over the 6 years or so that BLUE HEN was active the company ran at least three different numerical series. There was a rather obscure 3000 series, which appears to have been the earliest ; the regular 200 series, which was the « main series » ; and an odd ball 500 series (two issues). However, it is neither the 3000 or 500 series which concern us here, but the 200 « main series ».

The first release was Betty Coral‘s « Chili dippin’ baby » (# 200), backed by Raymond McCollister. He had the same number on the Raymor label, also the flipside « Texarkana waltz ». Many master numbers were prefixed RM: does it mean McCollister was involved in Blue Hen?

blue hen 200A betty coral chili dippin_ baby

bb 54 chili dippin

raymor« Chili dippin’ baby » was very popular : it was covered by Vernon Way on the Hillbilly All Star label, and in a more Rockabilly way by Joyce Pointer on Goldenrod Records.
Betty Coral « Chili dippin’ baby »download
As for the artists who recorded for BLUE HEN were fairly obscure regional acts, altough the label did record a number of relatively well known artists. Billy Wallace, for example, probably better known as a songwriter than a singer, had a release on the label : # 210, « You can’t ride on my train ».
Billy Wallace « You can’t ride on my train« 
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/blue-hen-210-You-Cant-Ride-On-My-Train.mp3download

Donn Reynolds « Don’t tell me« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/05-207-Donn-Reynolds-Dont-Tell-Me.mp3download
Billy Wallace « I still love you« 
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/12-210-billy-wallace-I-Still-Love-You.mp3download
210A you can't ride on my trainDonn Reynolds, who made something of a name for himself as a yodeling cowboy out on the East coast, also turned up on the label (# 207, « Don’t tell me ») before moving to London, England, to work for Radio Luxembourg ! Tommy Lloyd and his Strolling Cowboys, an outfit who certainly lived up to their name, having played virtually everywhere in the U.S.A. (#204 « Now I know why »), and local lad Tex Daniels (#206 « Give your heart a chance », among three or four more releases, note « Blue hen boogie » from late ’55) were two of the more experienced, yet lesser known artists to record for the label, both with a half dozen or so record releases to their credit before joining BLUE HEN. Local promoter/songwriter Howard Vokes was responsible for getting Hank King , Rudy Thacker (« Mountain guitar » ; also on Lucky) and « The Hardin County Boys » Jeffrey Null and Denver Duke onto the label. The latter, who had something of a hit on Blue Hen with their Hank Williams tribute « Hank Williams that Alabama boy » (#214) went on to enjoy some degree of success on Mercury and Starday.
Denver Duke & Jeffrey Null « Hawk Williams that Alabama boy »download

Howard Vokes, Denver Duke & Jeffrey Null « When the snow came« (#222)download

BL 222 howard vokes - When the snow came

courtesy Pasi Koskela

Was Vokes involved in the singing of the former song? A visitor told me his doubts.

Tex Daniels « Blue hen boogie« (#212  )download

212 blue hen boogie

 

Mention should be made of course of Mel Price (who’s story is on this site) and Lanie Walker, of whom we know very little, who were arguably the best Hillbilly artists to record for BLUE HEN.
Mel Price « Nothing seems to go right anymore« download
Walker had 5 issues on Blue hen (and one in 1960 on Kingsport, TN Three Stars label , the stunning « 
Early every morning ») : both hillbilly boppers on # 209 (« Side-track daddy »), one gospel two-sider (« When you meet your Lord » # 218), a non-cover of George Jones‘ « Why baby why », very good Hillbilly bopper,  in 1956 (a nice bluesy « Drop in » on flipside, # 219), then a back-to-back Rockabilly/Rocker « Ennie Meenie Miney Mo/No use knocking on my door », # 230 (Mort Marker on lead guitar), finally a 1959 rocker (# 235) « Jumpin’ the gun/Tonite I walk alone ».

Lanie Walker « Side-track daddy« (# 209)download lanie walker
Lanie Walker « When you meet your Lord« download
Lanie Walker « Why baby why« (#219)
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/19-219-Lanie-Walker-Why-Baby-Why.mp3download

Lanie Walker « Drop in« download

Lane Walker « Ennie Meenie miney mo« (#230)download
Lanie Walker « No use knocking on my door« 
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/230-Lanie-Walker-No-Use-Knocking-On-My-Door-1958.mp3download
Larry Lee (Pasake) fronted his own band, The Echo Valley Kinfolk and played locally to good reviews. Originally, the band were called the Glen Mountain Boys (according to Billboard on 24th March 1956). Larry and the band performed over WCRV, Washington, NJ about this time. It was reported that Larry drowned while trying to save the lives of a younger brother and friend when their boat capsized. This seems to have occurred sometime in september 1956. His solitary single is a good bluegrass (A-side) « Time just flies »(# 215), while « Our love affair » is good uptempo piano-led Hillbilly bop.
215A time just fliesLarry LeeTime just flies« download
Larry Lee « Our love affair« download

Another wizardry : Hank King (of Russian origin, rn Papaila) had in October 1955 « Atom bomb heart » on Chicago Blue Ribbon label. This was re-cut (re-issued?) next year on Blue Hen 221.
Hank King « Atom bomb heart« 
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/21-221-Hank-King-Atom-Bomb-Heart.mp3download
That more or less concludes the story of the BLUE HEN label. Virtually all the releases in the 200 series, with the exception of the odd rock & roll/rockabilly offering from the likes of Jimmy Stayton (« Hot hot mama »), Cecil Cline (« Do drop in ») and even Lanie Walker, were Hillbilly of one style or another.
Sandy Harrison  & Tommy Lloyd « A package of heartaches« (#225)
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/28-225-Sandy-Harrison-A-Package-Of-Heartaches.mp3download

Earl Stuart Quintet « Action’s speak louder than words » [sic](#216)download
Millard Pressley « Jesus my saviour« (#228)
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/228-Milliard-Presley-...-Jesus-My-Saviour.mp3download
Sounds from Cactus CD. Pictures from various sites: Youtube, 45cat for example.
Mel Price « I ain’t got the time« (#208)
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/18-208-mel-price-I-Aint-Got-The-Time.mp3download

Hillbilly Allstar 5002A vernon way - chili dippin' mama

courtesy Ronald Keppner

listing Blue Hen label

strangely Raymor is located in Kansas, far drom Delaware…

raymor 6001 corky edminster - chili dippin' baby

»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa