Bobby Roberts: “I’m gonna comb you outta my hair” ! (1955), from pure Hank Williams-style honky-tonk to wild rock’n’roll..

One of the newest members of the King country andEP sky

western roster is eighteen year old Bobby Roberts.

Young Bobby was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee on

September 12, 1937. Bobby always dreamed of becoming a

recording artist and he started getting his experience

young. He appeared in a musical show when only nine.

Both his mother and father encouraged Bobby in his

chosen career. Young Bobby Roberts did part time work

to help him through high school. He was graduated in

June 1953 and began going about the task of gaining

experience in the music world. His biggest thrill was

when over three thousand persons attended one of his

personal appearances. Roberts has worked as a grocery

clerk, car hop, shined shoes, polished cars and washed

dishes, always dreaming of becoming a professional

musician‘.(as written on the DJ bio copy of King 4868)

 

At least some factual data can now be gleaned on

Roberts’ origins. He recorded one session for King in August

1955 and I’m assuming that it is the same Bobby

Roberts that recorded for the Memphis based Hut label

in 1958. However, I’m not entirely convinced that the

Roberts on Sky is the same person. I base this

assumption on aural evidence (the vocalists on both

records contrast distinctly) and the fact that Sky was

based in Mississippi. Having said that, from a logical

point of view it most likely is the same Roberts on

all three labels, as Joe Griffith, a high school

friend of Roberts, covered both of Roberts’ Sky

recordings and both were apparently based in Memphis

at the time. Further, considering Roberts Tennessee

origins, it possibly is the same Roberts on all four

discs.

 

My query here is, can anyone confirm that the Bobby

Roberts on King, Sky and Hut is the same person? Or

can anyone else shed any light at all on this? It has to

be noted Roberts wrote all his material.

 

Using a number of different sources, I managed to

compile the following Bobby Roberts discography,

 

19 August 1955. Cincinnati, Ohio

Bobby Roberts And The Ozark Drifters.

Bobby Roberts – vcl, other personnel unknown : steel, fiddle,st-bass.

 

K3995 ‘Her And My Best Friend’ King 4868

K3996 ‘I’m Gonna Comb You Outta My Hair’ King 4837

4868 her

king 4837I'm gonna comb you
Her and my best friend download

I’m gonna comb you outta my hairdownload

bb 5 nov 55 B. Roberts

billboard Nov. 5, 1955

My undecided heartdownload

I’m pulllin’ stakes and leavin’ youdownload

king 4837 my undecided heartking 4868 45 I'm pulllin' stakes and leavin' you

bb 21 jan 56 king 4868

billboard Jan. 21, 1956

 

 

 

K3997 ‘My Undecided Heart’ King 4837

K3998 ‘I’m Pullin’ Stakes And Leavin’ You’ King 4868

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1956.

Bobby Roberts with Highpockets Delta Rockets. Mississippi labelsky 101 sandy

Bobby Roberts – vcl, other personnel unknown : ld-g, b, d .sky 101 woman

 

45-S-34 ‘Big Sandy’ Sky 56-101

45-S-33 ‘She’s My Woman’ Sky 56-101

Big Sandydownload

She’s my womandownload

 

 

 

 

 

1958.

Bobby Roberts with Bad Habits. Memphis, TN, label.

Bobby Roberts – vcl, other personnel unknown : ld-g,b,d.

Hop, skip and jumpdownload
Cravin
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Bobby-Roberts-Cravin.mp3download
4706 ‘Hop Skip And Jump’ Hut 881

4707 ‘Cravin” Hut 881

hut 881 hophut 881cravin

 

from the notes of Shane Hughes, « Yahoo » « rockin’ records» group.

 

This Roberts has obviously nothing to do with the one on U.S.A. label and the other on Cameo, who came later early ’60s, and drastically change in style.

 

Bobby Roberts’ music, from editor’s point of view.

 

It is hard to imagine such a change in so little time in style between the King session and the Sky one.

All 4 sides cut at King (« with the Ozark Drifters ») are pure dreamed hillbilly a la Hank Williams. All medium paced tracks, they feature a strong string-bass, and a weird steel-guitar, both propelled by a crisp fiddle. Vocal is a dream, Roberts has a firm voice, even some semi-yodelling vocalizing over nice lyrics.

In complete contrast, the Sky sides are out-and-out rockers. « Big Sandy » is a screamer, and the whole thing is a gas. « She’s my woman », a bit slower, fetches to Rockabilly. Note on the reissue the presence of the Jennings Brothers.

« Cravin’ » is a routinely rocker, while « Hop skip and jump » (not the Collins Kids’ number, neither the York Brothers’ on Bullet ) is an average rocker – even a sax – which Billy Riley could have cut this style. Actually it bears a little similarity with « Pearly Lee »..

The son to Bobby Roberts once posted in « bopping » that his father was the same man on King, Sky and Hut ; so I asked for some details and a picture, if available – no answer..

With thanks to Uncle Gil (King 4868 sound file) and Dave Cruse (King 4868 label scan). Internet research.

Joe GriffithBig Sandy” (Reelfoot unissued)download

Joe GriffithShe’s my woman“(Reelfoot unissued)download