A small Kentucky label: DIXIANA (1953)

The Kentucky based DIXIANA label was a short lived concern, maybe operating from Bowling Green (Warren County). Launched in 1953, the label appears to have only lasted 6 months or so. However, during that relatively short time, the owners released some first rate Hillbilly, some of which can be found on various White Label « Boppin’ Hillbilly » albums.

Kentucky and Warren Cty

 

 

 

 

 

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102. Southern Harmony Boys – Hattie Mae Fleming (piano)

That great mansion DA 12

The Lord and I DA 13

103. The Renfro Brothers and the Valley Sta. Playboys

Ever ready (BH 2821) no mtx

Just over a girl (BH 2821) no mtx

Both tracks are superior hillbilly boppers. Very fast tracks, over assured vocals. Backing is superb : sawing fiddle, steel, piano, even an accordion solo. The « Girl » side reminds me of the Carlisles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

104. Odis Blanton and his Blue Star Rangers

Steppin’ High Wide and Handsome (BH 2807) no mtx

Don’t move the moon no mtx

Both sides are superior Hillbilly boppers too. Over a fast fiddle routine, an assured vocal is backed by accordion, steel and piano. The « Moon » side is an excellent medium rock-a-ballad, with the piano well to the fore.

odis blanton dj

Odis Blanton, DJ

 

dixiana 104 odis blanton ) steepin' high, wide and handsomeOdis and Hugh would handle the vocal turns as solos. When they did their trio numbers, it usually included John, Gene and Odis.

odis blanton & BSR1The Blue Star Rangers had a 45-minute show that aired every day except Sunday over WLBJ called “The Farm And Home Hour”. They also did the usual personal appearances throughout the area of western Kentucky and northern Tennessee, including stage shows and square dance engagements.

Group Members included:

Odis Blanton, leader and manager, rhythm guitar

John Blanton, steel guitar

Gene Kitchens, violin

Hugh Poteet, bass

“Pappy” Jones, saxophone

Gwen Dalton, piano (she had several records on her own on Republic)

105. Cliff Gross and his Texas Cowboys

Hog pen hop (BH 2822) no mtx

Smokin’ and jokin’ (and pokin’ along) no mtx

I only heard « Hop » side : a fine hillbilly boogie, sort of talking blues, with the band singing the refrain in unison. Western swing overtones. The side had surely been recorded in Dallas (Jim Beck’s studio), even “Beck” co-written. Gross was a mountain style fiddler, who had played as early as 1929 with the Hi-Flyers, then in 1932 with the Light Crust Doughboys.

 

106. Jack Bybee and the Rhythm Wranglers

Drifting down the stream    no mtx  

You don’t love me  no mx

(N.B. This label shot was unearthed by Drunken Hobo. Thanks to him)

 

107. Jimmy Smith

Does he love you no mtx

It ain’t no fun to say I told you so no mtx

Nothing is known about this fine singer. I only heard « Does he love you », which is a fine heavy rockaballad, again over accordion, fiddle and piano accompaniment. Smith (according it’s the same person) has an excellent “First choice” – very fine guitar picking – on Cactus “Rockin’ Hillbilly” vol. 1 (included here).

One then can wonder if the backing members are not the same at least for the known sides.

 

based on Hillbilly Researcher # 13 issue (mid-1990s). Additional research and comprehensive musical appreciation by Bopping editor.