Early April 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdy, folks! Hello to past visitors, hi! to new ones. Here it’s the new fortnight’s favorites selection of bopping music (early April 2020), and you’ll be treated with tunes as early as 1934, to immediate early ’60s.

Zeke Clements & his Western Swing Gang

An early Grand Ole Opry star, ZEKE CLEMENTS (1911-1994) was an immensely popular artist with songs like « Smoke On The Water » or « Oklahoma Blues ». Here he is on the Blazon klabel (# 10B) from the late ’40s for « It’s My Life », an uptempo a bit jazzy/Western swing : clarinet all through along the tune, piano and jumping vocal. Clements even adapted himself in 1959 to Rock’n’roll on his own Janet label.

Homer Callahan

Even earlier (1934) by HOMER CALLAHAN part of the Callahan Brothers duo (the other was Walter). This is crude Hillbilly ! « Rattlesnake Daddy » has a raw power, only singer and his guitar, with some yodel. Vocalion 04362, cut in NYC.

Randy Atcher

A fast hillbilly now in the hands of RANDY ATCHER, a Louisville, Ky artist. « Flying High » (M-G-M 11954), released iin 1955, is a fast number that moves, with a nice fiddle. More of the same for « You’re A Living Doll » (# 12058) : steel effects and also moving. Atcher cut an « Indian » classic hillbilly in 1956, « Indian Rock » (M-G-M 12347). He was also on Contract Records.

Bob Dean & Cindy

From Washington, D.C. comes BOB DEAN & Cindy with the Kountry Kings. They released in ’59 the fast Country-rocker « Walk, Walk, Walkin’ Blues » on Kay 3690.

The York Brothers

Another Indian Hillbilly is « Mohawk Squaw » (King 1468, recorded May 1955) by the YORK Brothers, Leslie and George. It’s a fine novelty « Mohawk Squaw, Hugh-hugh »..), well in their usual manner : good guitar and some spare drums. Released also on UK. Parlophone.

From Oklahoma on the Razorback label (# 103) in 1958 we are treated with a fast Hillbilly bopper by BILLY PARKS : « Four Leaf Clover » is a lively opus, string bass well to the fore, boogie guitar and a discreet steel (too short solo), chanter in good form. The flipside, « Why Shoud I Keep On Trying » is similar in essence and tempo, as well as the UBC 1015 « If I Shoud Tell You I’m Sorry » (issued November 1960).

Jimmy Reed

Finally a master in Rocking Blues : JIMMY REED with two tracks from a July 1955 session for Chicago’s Vee-Jay Records Company. W.C. Dalton on lead guitar, Milton Rector on bass, Earl Phillips on drums, plus the very great Henry Gray on piano (later with Howling Wolf). The two tracks have Reed on vocal and harmonica : « She Don’t Want Me No More » and « I Don’t Go For That » – neither me !

Sources : YouTube for Randy Atcher ; HBR 19 (Razorback) for Billy Parks’ songs ; Google Images for Randy Atcher and Jimmy Reed ; Ron Keppner for Zeke Clements on Blazon ; 45cat for Billy Parks and Bob Dean ; my own archives.

early March 2012 fortnight’s favourites

Hello folks. Yes I am back, having moved and from a trip in Prague. Beautiful city, yet no Hillbilly sounds over there! Anyway, let’s go back to our favorites. This time I’ve chosen 5 artists. Let’s begin with an interesting late ’40s/early ’50s one, ZEKE CLEMENTS. I know very little about him, except he had many records on Blazon, Liberty (not the L.A. pop concern), Gold Standard, even in 1960 on his own Janet label. He was a prolific songwriter, and should be noticed “Smoke On The Water” for Red Foley. Here he delivers a fine shuffling (piano and guitar led) ditty on Liberty 8, “Oklahoma Blues“.

zeke clementsliberty  clements oklahoma

Early 60s and on to Cincinnati area with the rather unknown SLIM FOSTER. I posted both sides of his K-Ark single (# 613), one side uptempo, the other medium, with a lovely steel-guitar for “Never Be Untrue” and “I Wish I’d known“. Good Country bop.

k-ark foster  untrue

From Texas I’d assume comes now CURLEY SANDERS and a nice bopper on the Imperial label (# 8226), “Too Much Lovin’“, complete with piano, fiddle and guitar and that immediately recognizable Imperial sound. Sanders would later (1956) have a Starday issue, “Brand New Rock And Roll” in the famous custom serie (# 590): see elsewhere in the site for this side.

imperial sanders  lovin'lanor matte parlez-vous

On to Louisana, early ’60s: BILL MATTE & the Five Classics for the presumably hard-to-understand for English speakers: “Parlez-vous l’francais” (Do you speak french) is sung in Cajun patois, and myself have trouble understanding all the lyrics!

Finally another inreresting artist from the Cincinnati area, AL RUNYON, on Kentucky for a revamp of Hank Snow‘s “I’m Moving On“. Not a bad version, as Runyon was covering others’ hits, as his labelmate Delbert Barker. He was also later on Starday for the famous Jimmie Skinner’s penned “Baby Please Come Home“. His story is a bit intricated, but I hope to have it posted in the future.

kentucky runyon  moving As a bonus. I just heard BILLY STRANGE passed away on Feb. 22th (aged 81). He cut many records and played on innumerable sessions from the late ’40s ‘way into the ’70s. Here is one of my favorite trucker songs, “Diesel Smoke, Dangerous Curves” on Capitol 2032 from 1952.

capitol strange diesel

late February 2011 fortnight favorites

Howdy, folks! We begin way up North, in Wisconsin, with the very first record by a singer who had to wait 11 years more before fame with “Six Days On The Road“! Yes, DAVE DUDLEY cut numerous discs before his giant hit of 1963. Did you know the original version was recorded by a certain PAUL DAVIS on the Nashville Bulletin label in 1961? If you want to hear it, just type his name on the research button. Well, back to Dave Dudley. Here is his “Nashville Blues“, firmly founded on Hillbilly Bop.

dave dudley pic

Dave Dudley

pfau dudley nashville

courtesy Al Turner

On the West Coast, 1956. DERAL CLOUR (& Charley Drake) recorded the fine “Sundown (Boogie)” for the scarce HU-SE-CO label. A superior medium boogie guitar backed, and a very atmospheric echoey duet vocal, “crazy ’bout the boogie when the sun goes down….”

huseco  clour sundown

In the South (Texas?). Imperial records for BILLY McGHEE and “I’m Your Henpecked Man“. This was 1953. McGhee was to have 5 more discs on the label; I don’t know what happened to him afterwards.

BOB POTTER & the Wear Family were apparently from California and cut the odd custom sides for Rural Rhythm. Here it is their good uptempo “Leavin’ And Laughin’” from 1956.

Gay Brothers picbb 53 gay brothers

Just another duet, among millions: the GAY BROTHERS.  Harold & Carl cut in 1953 the great “You Locked Up My Heart” in Houston for Dan Mechura’s Allstar label: a fast bopper and a stunning fiddle.

ZEKE CLEMENTS was an early Grand Ole Opry star who had many records late ’40s and early ’50s. Here I’ve chosen the good uptempo “I’m Goin’ Steppin’ With You” issued on his own Janet EP label.

zeke clementsjanet  clements