Late February 2015 fortnight’s favorites

Hello anybody,

 

En route for a new batch of goodies. I hope you will have as much pleasure to listen to them (or download) as I had chosing them.

Here we go with the same song, a Bluegrass bopper, by its originators first, DON RENO & RED SMILEY in 1957 (banjo and guitar, I’d assume) for King # 5002 : « Country boy rock and roll » combines the energy of both musics for a stupendous number. Two years later, the same tune was revived by a small Maryland duet, FRANKIE SHORT and DEE GUNTER on the Wango label # 200. A very fine version, even faster than the original.

king reno country

wango short - country

Don Reno, Red SmileyCountry boy rock and roll

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Frankie Short & Dee Gunter

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We go up north now for the pure Hillbilly bop beat of « Niagara moon » (Niagara 53727) by ERIC & JOHNNY & Lincoln County Peach Pickers.

Back to Nashville and the Excello label. Indeed it was famous for its Blues and R&B releases, but it had also the odd hillbilly number, for example here RAY BATTS (# 2028) for the great relaxed « Stealin’ sugar ». Batts was also on Bullet and Nashboro.

Eric & JohnnyNiagara moon

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 Ray BattsStealin’ sugar

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niagara  eric & johnny niagara
excello  batts sugar
BILLY McGHEE may have been out of Texas, as he had several records on Imperial. Here on RCA 4727 he cut the good easy-going « I’ll copyright my baby ».

Finally from Texas on the TNT (# 136) label, the only woman of the pack, BETTY BARNES, does offer the fine rockabilly «What would you do ». 

rca  mcghee copyright Billy McGhee, “I’ll copyright my baby

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tnt  barnes - what

Betty BarnesWhat would you do

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Source : Internet.

Other intended features on their way: Valley label, G&G label, early Toppa label, important update of Forest Rye feature, and other articles.

early April 2014 fortnight’s favorites: the IMPERIAL label, 8200 serie (1953/54)

For this new serie I have chosen to focus on 7 releases on the Imperial label. Indeed they all will be from the famous 8000 serie, and more precisely (with one exception) in the 8200.

Imperial 8000 had begun in 1947 with releases from Danny Dedmon or Link Davis, and the serie had pursued throughout the late 40s and early 50s with varying success. Sides appeared by Jimmy Heap, Tommy Duncan or more obscure artists as Ed Camp or Harry Rodcay. All had a label adorned by 5 stars, and were issued in red (78 rpm) or blue (45 rpm). Majority of sides were cut in Dallas (Jim Beck’s studio).

In 1953, Imperial had a huge success with the first white cover of Big Mama Thornton’s “Hound Dog” by BILLY STARR (# 8186). It’s a very nice version: belting vocal, haunting guitar, nice piano and accentuated drums. Actually it’s almost a rocker. Recorded in March 1953, it had contenders by Eddie Hazlewood, Betsy Gay and Tommy Duncan, all on Intro. Herald in NY had Cleve Jackson’s version (actually Jackson Toombs — full story elsewhere in the site).

imperial 8186 billy starr

imperial 8226 curley sanders too much lovin'

imperial 8204 gene hensleeThen comes up CURLEY SANDERS, who cut “Too much loving‘” in April 53. A good, fast hillbilly, in average (steel,piano, fiddle, guitar and bass) format.(# 8226). GENE HENSLEE next (# 8204) in June 53 had “I’m like a kid a-waitin‘”, similar to his other releases, “Dig’n’datin’” or “Rockin’ baby“. July 1953 saw cut the nice, very effective (bass) medium paced “Talking to the man in the moon” by BILLY Mc GHEE (# 8214).

Billy Starr “Hound dog

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Curley Sanders “Too much lovin'”

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Gene Henslee “I’m like a kid a-waitin'”

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imperial8214 billy mcghee

Billy McGhee “Talking to the man in the moon

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Earl Songer “Whoopie baby

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Van Howard “I’m not a kid anymore

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imperial 8259 earlsonger

Then comes in 1954 next artist, VAN HOWARD and the minor classic “I’m not a kid anymore” (# 8234). Real name Howard Vanderverdner. This track was covered recently (mid ’90s) by the Starlighters.

# 8259 is the number to the great “Whoopie baby” by EARL SONGER. Seemingly this was cut in Detroit.

Finally another song lent from a smaller label: “Dunce cap” by JIMMY KELLY, this time from Louisiana’s Jiffy label. Great steel.(# 8275)imperial 8275 jimmy kelly ret
Jimmy Kelly “Dunce cap”

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Thanks to Ronald Keppner for the loan of rare 78rpm.

Earl Songer

late February 2011 fortnight favorites

Howdy, folks! We begin way up North, in Wisconsin, with the very first record by a singer who had to wait 11 years more before fame with “Six Days On The Road“! Yes, DAVE DUDLEY cut numerous discs before his giant hit of 1963. Did you know the original version was recorded by a certain PAUL DAVIS on the Nashville Bulletin label in 1961? If you want to hear it, just type his name on the research button. Well, back to Dave Dudley. Here is his “Nashville Blues“, firmly founded on Hillbilly Bop.

dave dudley pic

Dave Dudley

pfau dudley nashville

courtesy Al Turner

On the West Coast, 1956. DERAL CLOUR (& Charley Drake) recorded the fine “Sundown (Boogie)” for the scarce HU-SE-CO label. A superior medium boogie guitar backed, and a very atmospheric echoey duet vocal, “crazy ’bout the boogie when the sun goes down….”

huseco  clour sundown

In the South (Texas?). Imperial records for BILLY McGHEE and “I’m Your Henpecked Man“. This was 1953. McGhee was to have 5 more discs on the label; I don’t know what happened to him afterwards.

BOB POTTER & the Wear Family were apparently from California and cut the odd custom sides for Rural Rhythm. Here it is their good uptempo “Leavin’ And Laughin’” from 1956.

Gay Brothers picbb 53 gay brothers

Just another duet, among millions: the GAY BROTHERS.  Harold & Carl cut in 1953 the great “You Locked Up My Heart” in Houston for Dan Mechura’s Allstar label: a fast bopper and a stunning fiddle.

ZEKE CLEMENTS was an early Grand Ole Opry star who had many records late ’40s and early ’50s. Here I’ve chosen the good uptempo “I’m Goin’ Steppin’ With You” issued on his own Janet EP label.

zeke clementsjanet  clements