Wink Lewis “Zzztt, zzztt, zzztt” – when a Hillbilly goes Rockabilly

You Do the Beedleleedleebop Zzztt Zzztt Zzztt…

wink lewis

 

WINK LEWIS w/ BUZ BUSBY & BAND- Zzztt, Zzztt, Zzztt (Tone 1121)

 

For a very brief period of time in the mid-50s, between stints as a radio DJ in Lufkin and Cameron, Wink Lewis’s voice could be heard over KSNY out of Snyder, Texas. It was from this location that Wink began his Queen record label. Many of the releases on the label were from Big Spring’s Hoyle Nix who was noted by John Ingman as a co-owner of the label.

queen real rockin daddy

Collectors today are aware of the Queen label because of the tune “Real Rockin’ Daddy” which was released twice by the label, with one version credited to Jay Bob Howdy with Hoyle Nix and His West Texas Cowboys and the rerelease noting the involvement of only Hoyle and his crew. Both feature the same vocal by the song’s co-writer Jay Bob Howdy who was actually Wink Lewis. Few people are aware that the song’s roots, and other co-writer “Miller”, are based in east Texas and Louisiana from whence Wink came. Wink would actually release one single 45 on his own label under his own name featuring a nice honky tonk boogie titled “Low Down Blues” with backing from Buzz Busby and his Band. It’s Buzz who could probably be given credit for kick-starting the state of Maryland’s fascination with bluegrass music in the 1960s. Not sure how Buzz wound up in West Texas.

 

At some point in early 1956 Wink left KSNY in Snyder and headed east of I-35 to work radio in Cameron, Texas. A few short months later he again recorded with Buzz Busby’s band, this time producing one of the oddest rockabilly tunes ever- “Zzztt Zzztt Zzztt”. The rhythm is almost too much and the lyrics too hep with the result being a country boy just trying too hard and the disc received a lackluster Billboard review in August of 1956.

 

Allmusicguide’s Eugene Chadbourne mentions “Zzztt” being recorded in Snyder, but unless it was recorded at the same session that produced “Low Down Blues” and the master carried to Cameron I doubt this. And I doubt it was recorded at the same session. Perhaps the Queen-ette publishing is a homage to Wink’s brief stay in Snyder.

 

from www.lonestarstomp.blogspot.com (August 3rd, 2009)