Howdy folks, this fortnight will be a bit quieter than usual, with a batch of very old Hillbillies.
First the King of Country Music, Mr. ROY ACUFF himself. There’s no need to tell his story, after all, with his Smoky Mountaineers or his Crazy Tennesseans, he more or less started it all. Here’s his « Steel guitar blues » (Conqueror 9088), recorded on March 22, 1937 in Birmingham, AL, with the stunning Clell Summey on lap-steel, Jess Easterday on guitar and Red Jones on bass. Wild effects on the steel, and great string-bass !
JOHNNY HENDERSON, originally from Texas, was a determined character, who just kept on trying. He had «The girl that I love is an Oakie », first on Miltone 5201, a nice jumper (piano leader plus steel solo and fiddle) ; then he recut it on his own High Time label # 117. On the flipside, « Down beside the Rio Grande » is a fine relaxed fast ditty on the same format. Henderson also had of course the famous « Any old port in a storm » and, under the alias of Johnny Gittar, « San Antonio boogie », perhaps for a later fortnight.
On the Tred-Way label (# 100A), out of Midland, Texas, « Who flung that mater » by TROY JORDAN is a gentle piano-led jumping little thing. Good fiddle solo. Jordan had another one on this label, « Too many kinfolks » (# 103).
“Who flung that mater”
download Way up in the early times, a famous duet, that of TOM DARBY & JIMMIE TARLTON, had a long string of releases between 1927 and 1933 on the Columbia label, cut in Atlanta, Ga. Here is their fantastic bluesy dobro and urgent vocal for « Sweet Sarah blues » (April 15, 1929, Columbia 15431).
From Arizona came SHELDON GIBBS. On his own Gibbs label (# 1), here are two sides, « Nothing gets me down » first, an uptempo shuffler, with lovely fiddle and vocal by Bud Gray. On another issue, they do the semi-instro »Houn’ dog boogie », a nice uptempo with fine guitar, steel and drums issued on the Smart label (# 1016). Thanks Dean.
Howdy folks! Here we go with a new offering from my collection. Kingsport, Tennessee, 1954, and a fine rendition by fiddler L.C. Smith, RADIO BOOGIE. Yes it’s a crossover between Hillbilly Bop and Bluegrass. Much earlier (March 22, 1937) and the great Roy Acuff on STEEL GUITAR BLUES (Clem Slumley on dobro – slide effects). Then on to Texas, both tracks on the TNT label. Energic BICYCLE WRECK by the Jacoby Brothers, and the bluesy LOSING THE BLUES by Jerry Dove (Remember his “Pink Bow Tie”?). Back to Ohio for Lawson Rudd’s SHAKE THIS TOWN. We finish with the Black R&R DON’T HAPPEN NO MORE by Young Jessie (Mickey Baker on guitar) – frantic! (78 rpm). Enjoy the tracks. Comments welcome!
First we have two very sought-after rockabillies from Mississipi by RICK RICKELS (MH Label), “I’m Gone” and “You Gonna Go Away”. Then the truck drivers’ favorite “Six Days on The Road” given a rocking treatment by PAUL DAVIS (Bulletin label), nice strong steel-guitar. Further on, classic lap-steel guitar of Clem Slumley behind the vocal of ROY ACUFF for this 1936 offering, “Freight Train Blues”. Then on to gospel with the Soul Stirrers pre-Sam Cooke – lead is R. H. HARRIS in “Walk Around” (1939). Finally we return to Hillbilly boogie with RAY BATTS and his “Wild Man Boogie” (Nashboro, 1951) – fine trombone which did inspire Sonny Burgess a couple of years later. Enjoy the music!