Late February 2016 fortnight’s bopping favorites

 

Hello, folks. This fortnight’s favorites selection will be very various and pointing in different directions.

 

First artist whom a virtually nothing is known about, and not more on his band. DON HAGER & the Hot Tots had in Autumn don hager pic1957 several sides cut for the Oak label out of the very small (ca. 800 souls) town of Whitakers, N.C. These guys had a tendency to Calypso rhythm, fact is obvious with « Bebop boogie » (Oak 0357), and it brings a lot of freshness to their composition. Fine rinky-dink piano, an hopping drum and a good (although discreet) steel make it a very fine Rockabilly, yet different..That very same song had been cut by Mustard & Gravy in 1950 and issued on Gotham 403, a sign of its later popularity. I already posted their fine version in the early June 2011 fortnight’s favorites selection And even earlier back, it had been recorded by Harry Gay, and published on…Oak 1000 [untraced, but according to the notes to « Long gone daddy », a compilation on Collectables 6335]. Hager had also « Calypso boogie », same style, on a ’70s Rockin’ Stars issue and « I love you dear forever », from a 1990 compilation (Oldies 5374) – this is an alternate take – with the steel much more to the fore. Finally « Liza Jane bop » (Oak 0358), also strange in its rhythm, yet is a more conventional Rockabilly. Nobody knows what happened to Hager and his group afterwards.

Bebop boogie download

“I love you dear foreverdownload

Liza Jane bopdownload

oak 0357 don hager - bebop boogie

 

 

 

arlington 101B norris mims - sweet, sweet babyFrom Alabama comes the second artist : NORRIS MIMS [not to be confused with the Texan of similar name Morris Mills] in 1959 on the custom pressed (CP-1987) Birmingham, AL, Arlington label (# 101B) for « Sweet sweet bab». It has an urgent vocal over a very fast backing, a fine guitar and a piano break. It is stunning such a good record is not worth an entry in Tom Lincoln’s book, as I am sure it’s very highly treasured. Incidentally the tune had been first cut in 1956 by Buddy Hanes [according to « 50sRock’n’roll » Youtube chain], but had remained unissued until our era (I didn’t find on which support).

 

“Sweet sweet baby”download

 

 

The third record is not by a newcomer. The song « Chili dippin baby » was issued twice : on Blue Hen and on Raymor by its composer, Raymond McColister with different singers. Here is the Raymor version (# 6004A) with vocal by Mz. Melody Mack.

Chili dippin babydownload

JIMMY HEATH & the Rhythm Rollers did record « Little darlin’ » for the Modesto, Ca. Mega label (# 2261) . It’s a typical late ’50s bopper. Lot of steel (a solo which reminds a bit of Ralph Mooney), a jumping little tune with a good expressive mega 2251 jimmy heath - little darlin'vocal and a fine Rockabilly guitar.

Little darlin’download

Now on to Texas, in the apply named town of Center, with REGGIE WARD & his Sons of Texas. They do offer a fast bopper « Juke box baby » from early 1951 with vocal by Jack Ford. Could the latter be the same man who cut « No not now », backed by Curley Williams (Columbia 20633, January 1950), or the Hayrider who recorded the fine hillbilly bop « That’s all you gotta do » (Chess 4858) in 1954 ? A final detail on Nemo Records (owned by Mrss. Jack McLendon and Leon Sanders) : the Wilburn Brothers [Theodore & Doyle] (later on Decca) apparently cut their first sides for this label.

nemo 1005 reggie ward juke box baby (jack ford)

Juke box babydownload

BB 18-1-60 bill watson

 

 

ctry jubilee 525 bill watson (ray raper) - I'm dying darling (2:60)

 

 

 

BILL WATSON on the Demorest, GA Country Jubilee label (# 525) recorded a fine double-sider reviewed by Billboard in February 1960. The songs are similar in structure : over a strong guitar, a very melodic vocal partially sung in unison, they are very enjoyable and catchy « You’re the one for me » and «I’m dying darling ».

You’re the one for medownload

I’m dying darlingdownload

 

And that’s all for this time, you Hillbilly buffs. Keep a-bopping ! ‘Till next time, bye.

 

 

 

Sources : mainly YouTube, also Hillbilly Researcher, Phillip Tricker’s notes to « Bebop boogie » compilation on Collectables. And a lot of time, research and patience !

 

 

 

 

Early June 2011 fortnight’s favorites

The story of Frank Rice and Ernest W. Stokes goes back to 1933, when they were known as “Mustard and Gravy“. They came from Virginia, and discovered by Smiley Burnette, doing minstrel-shows. In 1950, they cut for Gotham the fine “Be Bop Boogie“, accompanied by a trombone!  The song found its way several years later in a Calypso style by Don Hager on the Oak label.  oak 357 don hager

Nothing is known on Les Willard, surely a Nashville singer, here backed by Hank Williams’ Drifting Cowboys, for the romper “Double Up And Catch Up” in 1955.

mgm 11537 willard

Red Mansel was from Texas, and had a contract with Dan Mechura‘s Allstar label ca. 1958 for the equally fine “ Johnny On The Spot“. He had already cut for Starday Custom (# 523) in 1955, the piano-led medium tempo “Broken Fickle Heart” (see elsewehere in this site for “Starday Custom serie (# 500-525).

From Texas came also on the T.N.T. (“Tanner’n’Texas”) label the duet The Jacoby Brothers (George, the uncle and Boy, the nephew), respectively on mandolin and guitar. They offer here the very fast “Bicycle Wreck“, with a fantastic mandolin solo.

jacoby brothers (boy and gene)

red woodward & red hawks pic

Red Woodward and his Red Hawks were familiar in the period 1945-1950 on WBAP radio from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I’ve chosen his “Cowboy Boogie” from 1947, on Signature label. Relaxed vocal, fine backing, and a guitar solo which seems being acoustic one!

herald 465 l.hopkins had a gal called salFinally a R&B Rocker from 1954 by the great Lightning Hopkins. Hope you enjoy the selections. Don’t forget to have a look at my “contact Me” section, for records and books for sale from my collection. You could be amazed! Bye