Howdy folks, hello to returning visitors ! This is the late February 2018 fortnight’s selection.
Let’s begin with a well-known artist, SKEETS McDONALD. At the peak of his career in March 1958, he recorded a full album of Honky Tonk for Capitol, which I chose the rollicking « You’re there » from : fine piano, guitar by Buck Owens, it’s the sort of bopping music you never get rid of. (Capitol T 1040)
What an elusive artist is EARNEY VANDAGRIFF. He had between 1954 and 57 records on Specialty (700 serie – see the story in this site) and Starday. This time it’s the romping Rockabilly/Rocker « Be-bop Santa Claus » on California’s Rural Rhythm label (# 511). Fine piano.
SUNSHINE SUE teamed with Joe Maphis for “Barn dance boogie” (the latter’s earliest recorded known effort) on Astra 1215. It’s indeed a fast guitar tune over a male vocal. Astra was a Richmond, VA. label from about 1949 or 50.
From the small town of Florence, AL comes MOTT GILBERT on the Dixie Cleartone label # 175, from circa 1954. « Foot loose and fancy free » has a fiddle solo (Gilbert?), but uninventive steel solo and a short piano solo. The flipside « Loving mama blues » is a great piano led medium blues tune.
From 1948 come the next tracks by EVERETT LACKEY& the Lone Star Ramblers, from the Birmingham, AL Vulcan label # 3000A. « Longing for someone » is an uptempo – good guitar with Western swing overtones. The flipside « Sorrow and tears » a medium side with accordion.
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.
This time a nice percentage will be made of records issued on major labels, beginning with Decca and the WILBURN BROTHERS (Ted &Doyle). They offer a nice version of the old ’30s Shelton Brothers’ standard “Deep Elem Blues“, recorded in Nashville (no doubt usual crew) in January 1956. (Decca 29887)
The second major will be Capitol and the uncommon in Bopping (because he’s too well-known) MERLE TRAVIS. Billy Liebert, an accomplished West coast session pianist, pounds the ivories for “Louisiana Boogie” from December 1952. Same evening session that produced “Bayou Baby“. (Capitol 2902). Happy hillbilly boogie!
We jump on a very smal label from Richmond, KY. Actually Burdette land had only two releases in 1960 and here it is the first by HUBERT BARNARD, “Boy She Has Gone“. Nice bopper.
Back to majors, on a subsidiary of Columbia. OKeh was maybe devoted to newcomers on the main label, although no one knows exactly why Columbia launched this short-lived serie (only 59 records issued) in 1953. In April of that year, recently signed JOE MAPHIS and his wife ROSE LEE (they were married 1952) recorded the future classic “Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (and Loud, Loud Music)” (OKeh 18013). This is what Honky tonk is all about!
TOMMY BOYLES had been cutting in 1959 “We’re Bugging Out” on the Murco label of Shreveport, La. Hear him with the “artist” button on the upper left. Here in 1960 he does another self-penned “Don’t Be Somebody Else’s Baby” on the N.J. Granite label (# 552). His story in his own words can be found on the Rockabilly Hall of Fame site.
Finally, from 1967 or 68, on the prolific Adco label (maybe a property of Hobo Jack Adkins) from Cincinnati, OH – mainly Bluegrass, Garage or Sacred tunes between 1960 and 1975, CUDDLES C. NEWSOME (rn. Corbet Newsome), born 1928, for both sides of his solitary ever 45 “So Long Baby/One Little Kiss” – nice guitar. This is Country-rock at its best.