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Lou Millet, Louisiana Hillbilly Bop and Rockabilly
oct 26th, 2010 by xavier

Lou (Louis) Millet was born April 1926 in Baton Rouge, La.     lou millet pic Read the rest of this entry »

late October 2010 fortnight
oct 14th, 2010 by xavier

Hello, folks, howdy, visitors! Below are my favorites of the last 15 days which I’d like you (maybe) discover, both by music and my own words – what I know about these records, sometimes nearly nothing!

We begin in Nashville, early Sixties, with the DIXIELAND DRIFTERS and « HOT TO TROT » cut for the B.B. label.  B.B. 222 The trotThe presence of a dobro, and an unusual infectious rhythm, plus the unisson vocal, make this record very particular. I know the tune had a commercial impact, because, without doubt, its unlikely Bluegrass  nature.

Then a decade earlier in Texas. JIMMIE STONE had this solitary « MIDNIGHT BOOGIE » on Imperial (8000 serie) in 1951. Firm vocal, a fine backing, and a completely stunning guitar solo. Surely the man knew the Blues!  51 imperial jimmy stone

On to Memphis and Meteor label. BARNEY BURCHAM is a real unknown, only for his solitary « CAN’T STEAL MY WAY AROUND« . Typical Memphis Hillbilly bop from 1955.

Next two choices are more Rock’n'Roll oriented. First, GRAHAM B. and « ROCK AND ROLL FEVER« . It’s been suggested that the man had connection with Buzz Busby, so a Washington, D.C. location is possible.  speaks 101 graham B.

Second, for the well-known Bandera label out of Chicago, we find another  unknown, certainly a pseudonym: LONESOME LEE and the cool 1958 « CRY OVER ME » – very nice guitar solo.  bandera 2501 lonesome lee

Finally a R&B classic, « CALDONIA« , sung and played on piano by the 8-years old wonder SUGAR CHILE ROBINSON in 1951. He disappeared afterwards.

capitol 57-70056 robinson

The Clix records story (Troy, Michigan): late Fifties Rockabilly & Bluegrass bop
oct 14th, 2010 by xavier

The Clix Records Story: Hidden Gems from the Early Days of Detroit Rock ‘n’ Roll

DetroitBy Michael Hurtt, Metro TimesOctober 3, 2008

Hidden next to I-75 in Troy, just south of the Big Beaver Road exit, they sit, surroundedby strip malls, corporate high-rises and recently constructed apartment complexes. What we’re looking at is a smattering of old farmhouses — some still heated by oil furnaces and kerosene heaters — on a two-block stretch of dirt and gravel road accessible only through an abutting parking lot.

49_MUSIC_Clix_guysStanding in stark opposition to its recently overly developed surroundings, one has the eerie feeling that this rural enclave won’t be here much longer. But even after the last old homestead has been mercilessly uprooted and the final skyscraper is finished — indeed after even it meets its bitter end — one aspect of Troy’s countrified past will remain, and that is its status as the hometown of Clix Records, one of the most elusive, seamless and sought-after imprints in all of early rock ‘n’ roll. Those now-ancient abodes once housed the early Michigan label.

troy

Read the rest of this entry »

Eddie Noack « Wanderin’ Oakie »
oct 11th, 2010 by xavier

EDDIE NOACK

Born De Armand Noack, Jnr., 29 April 1930, Houston, Texas/ Died 5 February 1978, Houston, Texas A.k.a. Tommy Wood. noack portrait

NOACK c50

Eddie Noack, 1950

Noack who gained degrees in English and Journalism at the University of Houston made his radio debut in 1947 and made his first record for the Gold Star label in 1949, « Gentlemen Prefer Blondes ». In 1951, he cut several songs for Four Star including « Too Hot To Handle« .  TNT 110 NOACK Leased to the TNT label, it drew attention to his songwriting and was recorded by several artists (including Sonny Burns) , most recently by Deke Dickerson, who also included « Gentlemen Prefer Blondes » on his new (excellent) CD, « Deke Dickerson In 3 Dimensions ».

54 TNT 110

Noack joined Starday in 1953 (beginning a long association with ‘Pappy’ Daily), where his immediate success came as a writer when several of his songs were recorded by top artists including Hank Snow who scored a # 5 Country hit with « These Hands » in 1956.

starday 159Noack 165 - Tell herNoack 201 - Wind me upNoack 246 - You done got meNoack 316 - Think of her now

Noack moved with Daily to his D label where in 1958, after recording rockabilly tracks as Tommy Wood, he had a country hit with « Have Blues Will Travel » (# 14).

56 St. 246d 1000 hookeyBB 16 fév 56 When the bright
54 Paul Jones

During the ’60s, Noack quit recording to concentrate on songwriting and publishing and had many of his songs including Flowers For Mama, Barbara Joy, The Poor Chinee, A Day In The Life Of A Fool and No Blues Is Good News successfully recorded by George Jones as album cuts.

In 1968, Eddie recorded « Psycho » for the K-Ark label.  k-ark psycho

This bizarre song, about a serial killer, was virtually unknown then since the original fifties version by its composer, Leon Payne (yes, the « I Love You Because » guy), had – understandably – never received any airplay. Since Eddie’s version it has become a cult favourite, covered by, among others, Elvis Costello. beer_drinking_blues k-ark 902

Noack did make some further recordings in the ’70s, including arguably some of his best for his fine tribute album to Jimmie Rodgers. He moved to Nashville and in 1976, recorded an album that found release in the UK (where he had toured that year) on the Look label. He worked in publishing for Daily and Lefty Frizzell and in an executive role for the Nashville Song- writers Association until his death from cirrhosis in 1978. A fine honky tonk performer, somewhat in the style of Hank Williams, he is perhaps more appreciated today as a singer than he was in his own time.

A Fistful of Noack - cd2 - frontEddie Noack Ace LP Biography taken from Black Cat Rockabilly (Dik De Heer)

Below is a reprint of a New Kommotion article from 1976, « Talk Back With Noack », in       which Noack tells his early story in his own words.

resco 635-B eddie noack for better or for worse

A scarce '60s issue

article revised on December 4th, 2011 Read the rest of this entry »

Kentucky records (1952-1955): Cincinnati Hillbilly
oct 7th, 2010 by xavier

BURKHARDT, CARL Carl Burkhardt was the owner of Rite Records in Cincinnati, the parent company for Kentucky, Gateway, Big 4, Big 6, Arc, Deresco, Worthmore, and others.  The operation started as a radio repair shop and record store at 3930 Spring Grove Avenue in the Knowlton’s Corner area of Cincinnati in 1940.  They began pressing records there but eventually moved to the Evendale area, where their building was across Interstate 75 from the GE Plant and could be seen from the highway.  In this location they added a studio, pressing plant, and printing presses, so they could do everything in house.  In 1955 a custom pressing division was opened to manufacture records for anyone who wanted to record and had the money to pay for it.  This continued until 1985, and in that span of time, Rite did custom pressing on approximately 21,000 different singles, most of which were country, bluegrass, or gospel.  During its existence, Rite produced 78 rpms, 45 rpms, and some LPs. Read the rest of this entry »

Jack Dumery’s october 2010 chronicle
oct 6th, 2010 by Jack Dumery

MICHAEL JEROME BROWNE & The Twin Rivers String Band (Borealis Records)

(Canada)

On this 2004 release, MJB shows his eclectism is american roots music. His vocals and playing shine with the support of top musicians such as JORDAN OFFICER, MICHAEL BALL or MARY GICK.

From the opening track, “BROWNE’S HOEDOWN”, listeners are captivated. The tune is a twin fiddle duet (MJM, Jordan) while “THE COO COO” is an Appalachian classic sung by the artist with the only support of his own banjo, a fascinating combination to all lovers of old-time music.

Sources are various and “YOU DONE ME WRONG” is a Ray Price’s honky-tonk classic from the 50’s which finds a fine old-timey sound here with the superb duet singing of MJB and JODY  browne BENJAMIN.

OUT ON THE WESTERN PLAINS” comes from the repertoire of LEADBELLY and turns into hot western swing with great fiddle (MICHAEL BALL) and electric lap-steel (JORDAN OFFICER), not to forget first-class yodelin’ from JODY BENJAMIN.

LEADBELLY again with “SHREVEPORT JAIL”, with just MICHAEL’s voice and steel-bodied Hawaïan guitar for 2.49 mn of country-blues heaven.

The artist’s love for Cajun music is also obvious as 4 cuts out of 19 are in the style. All four are excellent, let’s just mention “LA CONTREDANSE A TI-BROWNE” and “TWO STEP DE LA VILLE PLATTE”, the latter was originally made by DENNIS McGEE and is not a two-step like this title might suggest but a beautiful waltz with just vocal and fiddle.

PAY DAY” from MISSISSIPI JOHN HURT is turned into a banjo tune here. Great singin’ and pickin’.

Other BROWNE’s originals are “STILL ON MY MIND”, “ARLINGTON TOWN” which deals with domestic violence. “JUST LOOK UP” with strong PENNY LANG vocal supports or “MAY YOU COME UP AND STAY”, a memorable fiddle/banjo duet.

From start to finish this collection flows with feeling, energy and emotion. Five stars for MICHAEL JEROME BROWNE and his musicians.

JOHN FOGERTY

THE BLUE RIDGE RANGERS RIDES AGAIN (Verve records) (2009)

THE BLUE RIDGE RANGERS first appeared in 1973 when FOGERTY recorded such an LP for the Fantasy label. He was also playing all instruments on this project. Everybody remembers this now.

36 years later the idea finds a new life with a major difference in the fact that a solid band is present in the studio with Buddy Miller (guitar), Greg Leisz (pedal/lap-steel, gtrs, dobro, mandolin), Dennis Crouch (bass) to name just a few.

Song selection is faultless as well with first track being “Paradise” which finds one of his most soulful interpretations here.

Never Ending Song Of Love” was written by Bonnie and Delaney Bramlett and sounds almost like a Cajun song, thanks to Jason Mowery’s fiddle, Dennis Crouch’s slapped bass and shouts in the background.

Everybody knows “Garden party”, the Ricky Nelson classic with vocals by Don Henley and Timothy B. Schmit (The Eagles) and a very Burton-like guitar by John.

Let’s not forget the Bakersfield legend with Buck Owens’ “I Don’t Care” recreated with much success. Buck would be proud.

fogerty

With such a title and arrangement, “Heaven’s Just A Sin Away” could be a gospel song but it’s not. The arms of a loved one are never too far from the heaven doors but I doubt that any pastor would appreciate this song in his church.

The biggest surprise in the song selection comes with “Fallin, Fallin’, Fallin’”, an excellent hillbilly bopper recorded by BUD DECKLEMAN on MGM in the early 50’s. John and his musicians treat the number with respect, fiddle and steel breaks shine while Buddy Miller’s guitar licks are just strikin’.

Another 50’s country classic is “I’ll Be There” (Ray Price). No better choice for such a collection.

Gene Simmons’ “Haunted House” was a 1964 novelty hit on Hi and is a wild country-rocker in this 2009 cover. Not bad at all.

The name of Bruce Springsteen might embarrass some of our readers but his duet with JOHN FOGERTY is a pounding “When Will I Be Loved”, first-class, although I must admit that my own preferences go to “I Don’t Care” or “Fallin’, Fallin’, Fallin’”.

JOHN FOGERTY’s talents are still intact after a long career, he’s definitely a rock star who could be a country music legend too. Thanks to him for paying tribute to the roots with albums like “RIDES AGAIN”. They are only a few in the rock world today.

LUCKY TUBB “DAMN THE LUCK” (TUBB Records) (2008)

This young artist’s is the grand-nephew of the legendary Texas Troubadour, ERNEST TUBB, while his uncle is GLENN DOUGLAS TUBB, better known as GLENN DOUGLAS on his 50’s Decca sides. Who remembers his excellent “Let It Roll” and “You Sure Look Lonesome”.

Many are accusing LUCKY TUBB of being a retro-country act or to try to copy his famous ancestor’s voice which is totally untrue. His appearance at the 2010 Craponne Country Music Festival in France has been much noticed and successful.

Out of the 3 CDs released by LUCKY to this day, I consider this one as being his best.

Most of the 11 cuts are fast country boppers like “Takin’ It Back” or “It’s Your Wagon”, both originals with excellent singin’ and guitar pickin’. Too bad that the name of the guitar player is not mentioned in the sleeve notes; one J.W. Wade is playing an Electrolux Telecaster. Is this thing supposed to be a guitar? Please, help me.

Lucky has written 6 songs on the CD, 3 come from the pen of Glenn.   tubb

We also find a cover of Ronnie Wade’s “Annie  Don’t Work No More” which I will quote as much better than the original King side from 1957. This new version is 100% rock-a-billy with great guitar and steel breaks.

Sweet Mental Revenge” was written by Mel Tillis and a hit for Waylon Jennings in the mid-60’s. Strong lyrics and solid interplay between steel and guitar make the song one of the highlights of the CD. Yes, please take me back to the Texas honky-tonks.

Final cut is “Damn The Luck”, a pounding honky-tonk blues, also written by Lucky, with dobro and fiddle well on the fore. Great lyrics with the inevitable reference to uncle Ernest and Waylon and Willie as well as JC (Johnny Cash probably). Lyrics close with such a final line as “to 1950 I’m backslidin’ ‘cause Nashville is just a shame.” With such words you can easily understand why LUCKY TUBB isn’t much welcome in Music City.

Charline Arthur: That Hillbilly Bop Gal!
oct 4th, 2010 by xavier

THAT KITTY THAT WANTED TO BE AN ORIGINAL   TEALBLUE costume

Not many gals could have made such statement in the conservative country music world of the 50′s but Charline Arthur did it. That Texas gal was stylistically far ahead of her times and was rollin’ on stage floor wearing pants when other women were still in dress playin’ rhythm guitar on family band. She was a kind of « Maverick », and an hot item to handle, just like Elvis Presley. She brings something new on female country music and opened the way for rockin’ boppin’ teenage Janis Martin, cute Brenda Lee or for glamorous Wanda Jackson. That girl was not there to stand by her man and weep about her unfaithful honky tonkin’ husband. She sings about parties, fancy clothes, women dreams and wanted to enjoy life. If you ain’t treated her right or if you ain’t nothing but a « Hound Dog », you can move away, wag your tail and goin’ cryin’ in your beer somewhere. Move away, skinny dog! Read the rest of this entry »

early October 2010 fortnight
oct 1st, 2010 by xavier

hank garland pic

Hank Garland

Howdy, folks! We start this fortnight with a stalwart version of the classic Honky Tonk « I’m Moving On » (Decca)  by the great HANK « Sugarfoot » GARLAND (1930-2004). He appeared at 19 on RED FOLEY records, and never gave up backing on thousands sides cut in Nashville. Fine Tommy Jackson fiddle backing, and a short but brilliant guitar solo.

Then I go on with JIMMY MYERS and an unissued tune for the Super label out of Georgia, « Go Cat Go » (recently published on an European anthology). I wonder if this is the same as the one JIM MYERS who cut marvelous sides for the FORTUNE label in Detroit (the frantic « Drunkman’s Wiggle » for example). Here it is raw, crude Rockabilly…

Leiber/Stoller’s « Hound Dog » (Willie « Big Mama » Thornton, 1952) was an enormous hit, and no one could know how many Country versions were made of. This time I chose the humorous version on King by CHARLIE GORE and LOUIS INNIS, « (You Ain’t Nothin’ But A Female) Hound Dog« , both artists I’d like very much set the story up in future articles.

innis

BB 11 mars 50 L.W.Evans London

Billboard March 11, 1950

Already a Country star, both under his own name, and as harmonica player for the DELMORE BROTHERS, WAYNE RANEY had many sides on KING. He also had sides on London under the disguise of LITTLE WILLIE EVANS, hence « Lonesome Railroad Blues« , in 1950.

One of the highlights of the regular Starday label: LONNIE SMITHSON for his double-sider « Me And The Blues« / »It Takes Time » (# 330) from 1957. Fine lead guitar and a firm vocal. Nothing is known about Smithson, who had another Starday disc, « Quarter in The Jukebox« , in 1958.   lonnie smithson Starday 330

RUDY THACKER, a Kentucky guitar player, appeared on the Cincinnati, OH, Lucky label (with his String Busters). Here we have an instrumental (a rare opportunity in Bopping…), the romping « Guitar boogie Shuffle« .

Finally a Rocking Blues by ROBERT NIGHTHAW. 1964, Chicago, Chess label. Backed by Buddy Guy on guitar and Walter Horton on harmonica, he delivers a very nice « Someday« .

Hope you enjoy the selections. Comments welcome! Till then, bye-bye…

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