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.