Howdy folks. This is the first of July 2017 bopping fornight’s favorites. And this will be a special issue, focusing on Rockabilly and/or Hillbilly Rock records of high value. If you’re lucky owning them, it’s good. On the other hand, if you have only a portion, or lacking one particular item, start hunting ! Estimated values are going from Barry K. John collector guide (BJK), and Tom Lincoln/Dick Blackurn reference book « Guide to rare Rockabilly and Rock’n’roll 45rpms » (TL/DB).
Let’s begin with the Alabama Reed 400b label, « Coal miner’s blues » by GENE COLE. It’s a great mid-tempo opus, a Country rocker with good guitar and fine voice, valued $ 200-250 (BJK), or even the more confortable tag of 800-1000 (TL/DB).
Next is very short : 1 minute 37, but full of energy. JERRY PITTS & the Rhythm Makers do on the J.P.R.M. label (obviously initials of them all) the fine up-tempo « Keep ole central rolling » from Dawson, MS. Uncommon maraccas. This record go for $ 40-50 (BJK) or even 75-100 (TL/DB).
FRED NETHERTON appears on two discs. First a great version of Carl Perkins’ « Matchbox » on California label Rural Rhythm EP 540, from 1961, backed by the Wildwood Playboys: piano and guitar solos. Valued at $ 300-400 (TL/DB). Then as fronting man for the Wildwood Trio on Dixie 1 (unknown serie) from Illinois, says Barry K. John. « The wildwood rock » with a very nasal voice, a great rockabilly guitar, a really stomping thing, It’s valued between $ 300 and 400 by B.J K.., and 600-700 by TL/DB.
Next entry is the exception. SUNSHINE SUE had this Astra issue (probably Richmond, Va.) circa 1948-49. « Barn dance boogie » (# 1215) with the first ever recording of ‘Cousin’ Joe Maphis. Fast romper, an accordion solo, and that agile guitar throughout.
Finally two discs by SLIM DORTCH from Tennessee. The very great « Big boy rock » on Eugenia 1001 from 1961 : $ 600-800 (BJK). His second is very tame in comparison, « Sixteen miles » is a honest little rocker without any more appeal.
First of all, my best, warmest wishes to you all, my friends all over the world. January is a a traditional time for taking stock of things in anyone’s life. Having launched this blogsite early February 2009, I am proud and glad to have attracted more than 43.000 visitors. More than often, someone clicks on the banner then walks away. No matter. More often, friends do take some more time to dig deeper into the site, find something to read, or listen to, or download. Then some send comments, ask for more information, I am only pleased to give in return anytime I can. This is the fabulous world community that Internet permits. This way I got in touch with long-forgotten artists’ siblings, who were amazed discovering that their grand-father or grand-uncle was known elsewhere in the world; sometimes they didn’t even had listened to any music by him, having only heard he had made one or two records during the Fifties! Be sure, friends, I will keep up the good work, and maintain the tenuous link between ’50’s Country music lovers all around the world. God bless Bopping music!
On to this fortnight’s favorites’ selection. From I-don’t-know-where, we begin with STEVE LA RUE (with Spoke Little and Bros.) on the Harmad (# 101) label, for this 1954 declaration about women’s false feelings – the subject is not new! « Money In Your Eyes« , a fine opening uptempo tune.
From Madison, Tennessee, the homestate of Rockabilly, comes now RABON SANDERS on the Logan label (# 3113). I don’t know if the guy made any other record, but this one is unique. A real blast of savagery. Fine guitar solo. Hear « You Tore My Playhouse Down« ! It must come from late ’56 or early ’57, and does reminds me of Meteor sides, Jess Hooper for example, but more wilder.
Another Rockabilly, with a folk zest, is « The Sun Would Never Shine » by a BROWNIE JOHNSON, about whom I don’t know anything except his music on the Tennessee Lynn 101 label. Very fine guitar solo.
From Shreveport, La. on the small but very interesting RAM label (someday I will tell you its story. Just to tickle your appetite, remember The Lonesome Drifter?), we have now LARRY BAMBERG & his Louisiana Drifters for the nice shuffling « Cheating On Me » (# 104). Good piano solo. 1957
Then way up North, in the Wisconsin state, for the WESTERN PLAYBOYS (vocal Kenny Murphy): « Honkey-Tonkin’ » evokes the HT way-of-life in a fast pace. 1955. Raynard 1052 label.
On the East coast, from Ruthersford, NJ. HAROLD BAILEY and the Country Drifters, with a great late ’50s double-sider. Yes, for early January, there is a little hidden gift, a 7th selection! Bailey informs us of his decision of « I’m Gonna’ Leave« , and the sad note that « I’m A Fool » on the Gira label (029/030). Lot of echo, fiddle and steel. One of my ever-faves!