Lou Millet, Louisiana Hillbilly Bop and Rockabilly

Lou (Louis) Millet was born April 1926 in Baton Rouge, La.     lou millet pic (suite…)

late October 2010 fortnight

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

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.



Eddie Noack « Wanderin’ Oakie »


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


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 (suite…)

Kentucky records (1952-1955): Cincinnati Hillbilly

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. (suite…)