Late March 2016 fortnight’s bopping favorites: 11 selections!

Howdy folks ! Eleven selections (yes, 11) this time of small labels and very minor artists, who made for the most part of them only one known record then vanished into obscurity or did something else than a career in music.

From California on the Pico Sundown label (# 113, very late ’50s, let’s hear at BOBBY AUSTIN‘s « Fool, fool, fool » : a jumping little tune, very expressive vocal – the singer knows what he’s talking about, of course. A prominent steel guitar, whose style must BE Ralph Mooney‘s.

Fool, fool, fool download

Sundown 113a bobby austin - fool

azalea 118 coy wilcox -mistake

I made a mistakedownload

Recently I posted both Freedom records of COYE WILCOX from 1951. He cut later on several small Houston labels, among them this one, Azalea (# 118), « I made a mistake » from 1959. The singer possesses a very distinctive phrasing, and his ballad grows and grows on you at every listening.

 

 

nat sound 1501 mile clay - it's moneycoye wilcox pic

 

 

It’s moneydownload

A lively « It’s money » by MIKE CLAY follows on the National Sound label (# 1501), mid ’60s. It’s an uptempo with a harsh guitar. The record itself is produced by « Jack Rhodes », famous producer and songwriter residing in Mineola, TX.

hood 1031 carl dixon - ark

hood 1031 carl dixon - hunting

Carry me back to Ark.download

 

Hunting out of seasondownload

From Louisville, KY, here they are, back-to-back of the Hood label # 1031 by CARL DIXON. More ‘Country’ than hillbilly, however two fine medium-paced Country rockers : « Carry me back to Ark. » and « Hunting out of season ». Surely Dixon has to watch for gamekeepers.. A harmonica throughout is the main instrument.

DICK BILLS began seemingly his career in Arizona on the Vicki label in 1954-55 (an OP- custom issue, « Beggars can’t be choosers »)[see elsewhere in this site my feature on the Four Star OP-serie]. We find him later on the Morgan label (# 107) in California for two medium paced numbers (one is sung by Buzz Burnam – I can’t for Heaven’s sake remember him where/when, but his name rings familiar to my ears). Tracks are « Lost without you », an ordinary bopper, while « Old dusty sun » has a surprising hawaiian-style steel guitar.

Finally Bills reappears in 1961 on the Crest label for a solid « Rockin’ and a rollin’ » (# 1091), backed on the lead guitar by his nephew Glen Campbell.

morgan 107b dick bills - lost

morgan 107a dick bills-sun

crest 1089 dick bills - rockin'

Lost without youdownload

 

 

Old dusty sundownload

 

 

Rockin’ and a rollin‘”download

 

JIMMY RINGO next artist offers a very nice bopper as late as 1958 on the big concern W.C. Dot (reputed for its pop orientation). « I like this kind of music » (# 15787) has everything Boppers’ addicts could wish for : a nice guitar (a short solo), an interesting vocal, a prominent fiddle, of course no drums and even a banjo solo.

dot 15787 jimmy ringo - music

I like this kind of musicdownload

red river dave mcenery

Red River Dave McEnery

The following artist had a long career as Red River Dave, mostly songwriter, he takes here his real name of DAVE McENERY for a solitary single on a subsidiary label to T.N.T., the aptly named Yodeling # 500. I wonder if they are more numbers in the serie. Both tracks are unusual. « Did the gypsy lie ? » is an intense ballad, while           « Jailhouse blues » (backing is made of 2 guitars and a bass) is a sort of folkish hillbilly, very pleasant with its yodel efforts.

Did the gypsy lie?download

Jailhouse bluesdownload

yodelng 500 dave McEnery - jailhouseartists 1459 roy beemer - cheating

Note: Phil Watson, a visitor, had noted what follows: “I heard this was recorded when T Texas Tyler was jailed in 1958 for a drugs offence (he was found carrying weed) and, quick off the mark as always, Red River Dave wrote a song about it – Jailhouse Blues. The lyrics mention a couple of Tyler’s songs.”. Thanks Phil!

Last artist is a completely unknown from Kansas City, MO : ROY BEEMER comes with a shuffler, « Cheatin’ don’t count » has a guitar solo « a la Hank Garland », solos of steel and fiddle. A real good disc on the Artist label # 1459.
Cheatin’ don’t countdownload

Enjoy the eleven selections, comments welcome !

 

Sources : Internet (Youtube) or my own collection.

 

FOUR STAR OP- : a custom serie (1950-58)

The Four Star custom series were, as did Starday from Beaumont or Houston, known to include many Rock’ & Roll sides played by Hillbilly bands and it was a music that most artists would easily relate to, including the older musicians who had been playing boogie and blues for years anyway. Countless bands were active and the only way they could relate to was release their records on Four Star OP (Other People) custom records.
The tapes would then be sent in and the widely advertised custom service would handle, for a fee, the manufacture of the records and distribution of a number of copies to selected radio stations. Otherwise than this, promotion and distribution was a left up to the the artist or his agent. The number going to the radio stations was probably a percentage of the total number pressed, which varied considerably. Some were produced in relatively large quantities while other artists ordered as few as 99 copies. The rarity of these records varies widely as, of course, does the quality of the music (but not in the same condition). The artist coud choose his own label name, which hopefully often also gives a location. They could also have the record issued under the company’s own logo (as in the case of « Texas » Bill Strength), perhaps at extra cost. Several record labels started as custom pressings before becoming actual independant companies later. Example : Erwin and Rural Rhythm (not represented in this selection). All are generally uptempo sides, with prominent fiddle and walking bass. It must also be noted that many artists were one-off, i.e. they had only one record issued by Four Star OP- service, and never had the chance to cut another one.
HBR did issue two volumes of Four Star OP- custom records. I deliberatly chose to issue unknown sides from 1950 to 1958, and various Western regions (Oklahoma to Oregon), not to exclude Eastern areas like even Florida.
Eddie Snell (on the aptly named Promotional # 242 label) has more of a West coast sound to him, with a « Rockin’ rhythm » similar to Sammy Masters’ early sides. Alden Holloway had also famous releases on Dixie and Starday (« Blast off » or « Swinging the rock »). Here is what he recorded in 1956 seemingly on the West coast for Northwest # 263 : « Woodpecker love ». He had previously issued on # 214 « Beaumont blues » as Shorty Holloway. Veteran Dick Bills, also later on Crest (« Rockin’ and rollin’ » in 1961 with nephew Glen Campbell on lead guiar ) had on Vicki « Beggars can’t be choosers »  (# 198, 1954-55). Went also on Morgan (with vocalist Buz Burnam).
OP-242 (Promotional) Eddie snell OP-263 (Northwest) Alden Holloway OP-198 (vicki) dick bills

Eddie Snell “Head over the hills”download

Alden Holloway “Woodpecker love”http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/01-Alden-Holloway-Woodpecker-Love.mp3download

dick bills pic

Dick Bills


Dick Bills “Beggars can’t be choosers”
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/vicki-198-dick-bills-his-arizona-drifters-beggars-cant-be-choosers.mp3download

A favorite of Ray Campi, « Quit your triflin’ (on me) » (Hi-fidelity 211), from 1954-55 by Gene Snowden, is a good uptempo probably of West coast origin, while Hank Crow and his Raven River Ramblers do come surely from California: the fine « Baby, baby me » on Southwest 204 from 1954.
Gene Snowden “Quit your triflin'(on me”download

OP-121 (Hi-fidelity) Gene SnowdenHank Crow (real forname: Dorsey) apparently came from Arizona, who cut two records on the Southwest label. OP-204 coupled the very fine “Baby, baby me” and “Crazy ’bout you“, both uptempo and full of fantastic steel-guitar. From 1954 or 55. His second issue (OP-207) with Jeanne Black is untraced. Any follower to provide it to bopping.org ?

Hank CrowBaby me, babydownload OP-204 (Southwest) Hank Crow

Hank Crow, “Crazy ’bout youdownload

Hank (Dorsey) Crow

Hank Crow (courtesy Jennifer Leigh)

southwest OP-204 Hank Crow – Crazy ‘Bout You

From Texas, Doc Bryant & National Jamboree Gang on his own Doc Bryant label (# 155) for « Cotton pickin’ boogie », from 1952-53. In 1958, an « old » Texas artist – he first recorded in the late ’40s for Macy’s, i.e. « Cornbread boogie » -, Art Gunn had on his own (?) Arga (# 288) label the fine relaxed « Pickin’ ‘n singing ». He had also previously cut for Revel and V & G Records. The mysterious Phantom Rider Trio does « Peekin’ thru your window » on the K-Pep label # 264 from San Angelo.

Doc BryantCotton pickin’ boogiedownload

Art GunnPickin’ ‘n singin’http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/17-Art-Gunn-Pickin-n-Singin.mp3download

The Phantom Rider TrioPeekin’ thru your windowhttp://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/24-The-Phantom-Rider-Trio-Peekin-Through-The-Window.mp3download OP-155 doc bryant

OP-288 (arga) art gunnOP-256 (K-pep) The Phantom Rider Trio

OP-254 (Du Ro) Candy rowellOP-262 (Keen) Al sweattOP-154 (Sky line) Pal Thibodeaux
Candy RowellAin’t gonna say hellodownload

From Florida, Candy Rowell on the Du Ro #254 label with « Ain’t gonna say hello ».

Oklahoma is represented by Al Sweatt and   « Fo-Mo-Co » on Keen 262, from 1956. Indeed he was to have the two rockers later    « I hate myself/Let’s paint the town red » (Keen 288). Al SweattLittle Fo-mo-codownload

From Louisiana Pal Thibodeaux and an earlier issue (# 154) « Port Arthur Boogie ». on Skyline (partly sung in French).

Pal ThibodeauxPort Arthur boogiehttp://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/07-Pal-Thibodeaux-Port-Arthur-Boogie.mp3download

Arizona is represented with the very first recording Duane Eddy was involved in, and it’s a duet with Jimmy Delbridge on the Phoenix label Preston #212.        « Soda fountain girl » and « I want some lovin’ baby».
OP-212 (356 Preston) Jimmy & Duane

Jimmy & Duanee “Soda fountain girldownload

Unknown origin : Alaska 194 by Betty Jo and Johnny Starr « Peach pickin’ time in Georgia » (# 194).OP-194 (alaska) betty joPeach picking’ time in Georgiadownload

Archie Jefferies « G.I. Talking blues » (Blue Flame # 107) “G.I. talking blues
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/blue-flame-107-Archie-Jefferies-The-Blue-Flame-Boys-G.I.-Talking-Blues.mp3downloadOP-107 (blue flame) archie jefferies.

Majesty 251 by Tommy Farr If »).

Also Buddy Thornton on his own Thornton OP-186 « Ole Santa is coming to town ».”Ole Santa is coming to town-“download

OP-186 (Thornton) Buddy Thornton
Four Star OP- serie continued well over until the late ’50s with the odd Hillbilly bop issued : Sonny LeBarron and « Jack and Jill » (#Mecca 252), Paul McGhee (« You are my sunshine » Flame 305) or 267 Sonny Thibodeaux (Pacific), Leo Gosnell from 1959 on Mountain 298/299, to name just a very few.

Several early issues did appear untraceable although highly desirable, like Tex Bloye’s « Talkin’ blues » on Gavotte 116 (a version of Robert Lunn’s song on Mercury, 1949), or Frank Ole’Shay, who appear to be one of the greatest from his song on a Dixie/Collector CD, « My baby’s not here tonight » (Blue mountain).

Addition (Dec. 2nd): Tex Bloye, “Talkin’ blues” (Courtesy Ronald Keppner)Gavotte OP 116A tex bloye - talkin' blues download

Ernie Ole’ShayBe my honey Bee“(Blue Mountain OP-295)download

Melvin PriceI’ve got news for you“(Santa Fe OP-131)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/op-185.mp3download

Ernie Ole Shay with his Drifting Vagabonds “Be My Honey Bee” BLUE MOUNTAIN OP 295

op-185

 

 

blue mountain 295-B ernie ol' shay - be my honey bee blue mountain ernei ole'shay - wont be around

OP+131+(OP+185)