This favorites section begins with NEAL JONES. Born in the small community of Tywhop, TN, in 1922, he began his career with the Johnson Brothers on Kingsport and Chattanooga radio stations as lead guitarist as soon as 1940. He then moved to Montana, then back to Tennessee. 1953 saw him guitarist for Eddie Hill and Sonny James in Dallas, TX. That’s where he gained a contract with Columbia, and followed a long string (6) of releases with this major until mid-1955. I chose one of his earliest efforts, « Foolin’ women », (# 21292) and the double-sider nearest to Rockabilly, (# 21415) « High steppin’ baby » and « I’m playing it cool », both cut at Jim Beck’s studio in Dallas with WFAA staff musicians. Later on, Jones had his own T.V. show, and was more and more involved in a D.J. work . He finally had one record on « D ».
Next we find the former lead guitar player for the Maddox Bros. CAL MADDOX on the Flat-Git-It (# 700) label from California. I suspect the label was his own label. « Hey Bill » is a fast Hillbilly rock from 1960 : strong guitar as expected, sawing fiddle. Shortly before that, Cal and his sister Rose had cut « Gotta travel on » on the Black Jack label.
From Columbus, OH, comes the next record, « Hobo baby » by JOE & RAY SHANNON on the Shenandoah label # 246. Obviously brothers – it’s Joe singing -, they offer a strong guitar rockabilly tune, surprisingly good for 1964.
On one of the many Dixie labels that flourished everywhere in the U.S., there’s this one « I guess I’m wise » (# 833) by MALCOLM NASH (with the Putman County Play Boys). Probably issued 1960. An harmonica is the prominent instrument, over a powerful rhythm guitar, while the band (2 voices) sings in unison. This record reminds me much of the Delmore Bros. On the label however there is no clue as to where do come the artist neither the label from, except it’s a Rite pressing, so probably from the Cincinnati area.
A NEW HEADER HAS BEEN PUT AT THE UPPER RIGHT: every artist or label cited in bopping.org since the beginning is this way all of a sudden within easy rich.
Hi! to everyone, for this new entry in the “fortnight’s favorites” serie in the bopping.org site. If you came in by accident, or while searching on the web for particular things, you are welcome! This is the site of happy, well-living hillbilly bop music – anyway the form is: hillbilly, rockabilly, country boogie or later country-rock. This article is published bi-weekly and contains 6 selections of what I noticed and liked recently.
All 6 selections have something in common: I nearly know nothing on the artists involved neither few on the labels they recorded on. So all things do come from records themselves!
First on the Detroit, MI. based Fortune label. It is very well known now that many an artist from the Southern states, once established in the Motor City, did record for small labels over there, the most important being Jack & Deborah Brown‘s Fortune label. This said, I know NOTHING on the Tennessee Harmony Boys, except what is written on their Fortune # 209 issue label. It’s a cross between Bluegrass and Hillbilly, with a foot firmly set on the religious side. Instrumentally one can only be stunned at two thrilling mandolin solos of “I’m A Millionaire“. Remember this came as late as 1956-57.
Second selection, on the Dixie label. No one can seem to find the end of this one, although their mainstay was from ca. 800 to 1100 – maybe different labels. I kept this time Malcolm Nash and the great “I Guess I’m Wise” (# 833) . Acc. by the Putnam County Play Boys: Putnam Cty is located in the NY state, on the lower Hudson River region. Is this helping? Musically, this is a duet vocal, in the cross manner of Memphis, TN, Sun label Howard Seratt (for rhythm guitar and harmonica) and Doug Poindexter (for the shuffle beat). Very strange and excellent item, maybe from 1956.
On to New Orleans, and the Meladee label. You know Luke McDaniels had, as Jeff Daniels, one of his best-ever rockers (“Daddy-O-Rock“) on this label. Surprising Don Ray. Here it’s a fine shuffling Hillbilly bop/Rockabilly, “Step Aside“, with good steel. Ray apparently was to have 2 records on the Los Angeles Rodeo label in 1956 (“Imogene/Those Rock’n’Roll Blues“). Later on the Rodeo/Excel labels soon!
Returning North, in Shreveport, La. on the tiny Clif label with Roy Wayne (“Honey, Won’t You Listen“, # 101). Good lead guitar, on an insistant drum backing. Clif also had issued T.V. Slim “Flat Foot Sam“, which was picked up by Checker in Chicago, before being re-cut by Louisiana Tommy Blake on the Memphis Sun label. If I manage well, Sun Records may be the secret link between all numbers!
From New Jersey state comes Verlin Speeks on the Cevetone label (# 1866, “Mountain Boy“). Fast hillbilly bopper, nasal vocal, on backing of mandolin, banjo and fiddle (brilliant solo). I could hear that type of music all the time!
Finally, early ’60s, in Oklahoma on the Boyd label (# 3297); Sonny Miller belts out “Through That Door” on heavy bass and fiddle Bakersfield influenced country rocker.
Hope you will enjoy all the selections.
Remember to take a look through the “contact me – I’m selling CDs“ header: there are a lot of CDs and vinyl albums for sale, at bargain prices.
Howdy, folks. It’s hot over there (South of France), nevertheless I am determined to offer you once more your bi-weekly dose of Hillbilly bop! This time I will give you mostly Bluegrass oriented Hillbilly, and banjo woll be prominently used. Let’s begin on the famous Dixie label (although quite uncommon one to find), with Malcolm Nash and the good “I Guess I’m Wise” (# 833). We go on further with Pinky Pinkston, an artist already surveyed in a recent fortnight. Here he cut a marvelous Bluegrass version of “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” (Fine-R-Tone # 6). The Wilburn Brothers are already a well-known successful brother duet: here I offer their fine rendition of another brothers duet, the Shelton Brothers‘ ’30s classic”Deep Elem Blues“. Well, I know, this version date from 1956, and is very main country-Nashville sounding. Nevertheless, it’s a good version to be heard while playing online games
On to West Coast and for a very interesting artist: Black Jack Wayne. I am gathering information on Mister Wayne for a planned feature. I post today his very nice “Shallow Water Blues“, cut with Cal Maddox (of the Maddoxes) on his own Black Jack label (# 104). We return to another recently covered artist, Dennis Goodrich, for a ballad – actually the flipside to “All Alone“, “My Love for You” on the Debute label (# 500).
Let’s go further in Bluegrass style with a Bryant Wilson and the Kentucky Ramblers issue, “A Use To Be” on Adair 620, a small label from Edinburg, Indiana..
And we come to and end with the fabulous piano-led “Slow Down Baby” by Bob Gaddy on the Harlem label. The guitar player is none other than Larry Dale for this NYC 1953 issue.