Luling, Cardwell Cty, Texas: the SARG label (1953-1956)

CHARLIE FITCH

Charles Wesley « Charlie » Fitch was born in Halletstsville, Texas, on October 9, 1918. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1940, serving as a tail gunner on B-17 bombers during World War II, and was a German prisoner of war in 1944-45. He married Bennie Lou Bassett of Luling, TX in September 1945 and they had three daughters and a son. He worked at San Antonio’s Brooks Air Force Base until his honorable discharge in 1950. He then moved to Luling and started the Luling Phonograph & Record Shop, and began Sarg Records in December 1953 with Neal Merritt’s « Korean Love Song. » In 1954 Dave Isbell & The Mission City Playboys featuring Willie Nelson on lead guitar, recorded for the label, and a 12-year old Doug Sahm released « A Real American Joe » in January 1955. Drawing from a talent pool that stretched from Houston to San Antonio and throughout South Texas for more than 35 years, Sarg Records released more than 150 singles in Western swing, country, polka, rockabilly, rock & roll, R & B, and conjunto. Sarg Records’ biggest hit was Cecil Moore’s 1964 instrumental « Diamond Back ». Fitch also served as Caldwell County’s Veterans Services Officer until his death on May 7, 2006.

TIBBY EDWARDS: Louisiana Hillbilly (1953-1961)

Tibby Edwards (rn Edwin Thibodeaux) was born in Garland, Louisiana in March 29th, 1935.  tibby edwards tête épaulesHis thorough grip of cajun music, his native idiom, can be heard on « C’est Si Tout » which he composed with his longtime co-writer Leon Tassin.  Mercury 70719 c'est si tout (suite…)

early December 2010 fortnight’s favourites

Howdy folks! Here are my ‘new’ favourite tunes of  early this month. As usual I try to give you oddities to illustrate the music, although lacking of inspiration and enthusiasm this time!

Red and Lige, The TURNER BROTHERS, were a duet group from Tennessee. I don’t know if they were related to the more famous brothers, Zeke and Zeb (King and Bullet labels). They offer here a strong Country-boogie with  « Honky Tonk Mama » on the Radio Artist label (the one which issued Jimmie Skinner first sides). Circa 1950.

turner brothers CDradio art.243 turner PECK TOUCHTON, a native of Texas, had a solitary release on Sarg (« You’ve Changed Your Tune« ). He also recorded for Pappy Daily’s Starday label, without seeing any issue, following a mixing of label stickers during a car wreck! The whole story was told by Andrew Brown in his excellent site, Wired For Sound. See it here:
http://wired-for-sound.blogspot.com/search?q=peck+touchton

Touchton’s record, « Let Me Catch My Breath » was finally issued under the name of George Jones (Starday 160).

Starday160 touchton

Out of Texas or West Louisiana, and at one time associated as a singer with Bill Nettles, DANNY DEDMON had records as early as 1947 on Imperial. Here is his « Hula Hula Woogie« , typical Texas Honky-tonk of the late Forties, with a touch of Western swing. imperial 8019 danny dedmonThe Rhythm Ramblers were actually Nettles’ band.

George and Earl pic

George McCormick (he had discs on M-G-M, for example, « Fifty-Fifty Honky Tonkin’ Tonight ») and Earl Aycock teamed as GEORGE & EARL in 1956, and had a string of Rockabilly releases on the Mercury label. I’ve chosen one of their most dynamic sides, « Done Gone« . Nashville musicians behind them. The duet folded shortly afterwards.

mercury 70852 george Out of Nashville came CLAY EAGER on the Republic label. Although he was a celebrity as D.J. in the St.Louis/St.Paul, MO, area, he had cut this fine « Bobbie Lou » in Nashville. clay eager - bobbie louWe finish with the wild, rasping young ETTA JAMES on the West Coast. « Tough Lover » is backed by the ubiquitous Maxwell Davis.

etta james modern tough lover

Eddie Noack « Wanderin’ Oakie »

EDDIE NOACK

Born De Armand Noack, Jnr., 29 April 1930, Houston, Texas/ Died 5 February 1978, Houston, Texas A.k.a. Tommy Wood. noack portrait

NOACK c50

Eddie Noack, 1950

Noack who gained degrees in English and Journalism at the University of Houston made his radio debut in 1947 and made his first record for the Gold Star label in 1949, « Gentlemen Prefer Blondes ». In 1951, he cut several songs for Four Star including « Too Hot To Handle« .  TNT 110 NOACK Leased to the TNT label, it drew attention to his songwriting and was recorded by several artists (including Sonny Burns) , most recently by Deke Dickerson, who also included « Gentlemen Prefer Blondes » on his new (excellent) CD, « Deke Dickerson In 3 Dimensions ».

54 TNT 110

Noack joined Starday in 1953 (beginning a long association with ‘Pappy’ Daily), where his immediate success came as a writer when several of his songs were recorded by top artists including Hank Snow who scored a # 5 Country hit with « These Hands » in 1956.

starday 159Noack 165 - Tell herNoack 201 - Wind me upNoack 246 - You done got meNoack 316 - Think of her now

Noack moved with Daily to his D label where in 1958, after recording rockabilly tracks as Tommy Wood, he had a country hit with « Have Blues Will Travel » (# 14).

56 St. 246d 1000 hookeyBB 16 fév 56 When the bright
54 Paul Jones

During the ’60s, Noack quit recording to concentrate on songwriting and publishing and had many of his songs including Flowers For Mama, Barbara Joy, The Poor Chinee, A Day In The Life Of A Fool and No Blues Is Good News successfully recorded by George Jones as album cuts.

In 1968, Eddie recorded « Psycho » for the K-Ark label.  k-ark psycho

This bizarre song, about a serial killer, was virtually unknown then since the original fifties version by its composer, Leon Payne (yes, the « I Love You Because » guy), had – understandably – never received any airplay. Since Eddie’s version it has become a cult favourite, covered by, among others, Elvis Costello. beer_drinking_blues k-ark 902

Noack did make some further recordings in the ’70s, including arguably some of his best for his fine tribute album to Jimmie Rodgers. He moved to Nashville and in 1976, recorded an album that found release in the UK (where he had toured that year) on the Look label. He worked in publishing for Daily and Lefty Frizzell and in an executive role for the Nashville Song- writers Association until his death from cirrhosis in 1978. A fine honky tonk performer, somewhat in the style of Hank Williams, he is perhaps more appreciated today as a singer than he was in his own time.

A Fistful of Noack - cd2 - frontEddie Noack Ace LP Biography taken from Black Cat Rockabilly (Dik De Heer)

Below is a reprint of a New Kommotion article from 1976, « Talk Back With Noack », in       which Noack tells his early story in his own words.

resco 635-B eddie noack for better or for worse

A scarce '60s issue

article revised on December 4th, 2011 (suite…)