Then we’ll turn to a talented artist who deserved much more fame than he’s got during his 2 or 3 years tenure at RCA-Victor Records. Born in 1925, he was noted, after his discharge from U.S. Marine, by A&R man Steve Sholes. So EDDIE MARSHALL cut 9 good singles between 1950 and 1952.
His first, « The Tom Cat blues » (RCA 48-0357), recorded in NYC in May 1950, had Tony Matola on lead guitar, a fiddle, a steel who does a fine job and a bass, and as waited, is a medium-paced bluesy number. An organ comes in the background for good effect.
« The Tom Cat blues« download
In December 1950, he cut the already little classic « Coffee, cigarettes and tears » (21-0413) known by Charlie « Peanut » Faircloth [see a recent Fortnight’s favorites to hear the latter’s version]. His version is jazzy and lot more faster than Faircloth’s. Very nice fiddle.
« »Coffee, cigarettes and tears« download
In December 1951, he cut his teeth on Rodney Morris ‘ « Mobilin baby of mine »(20-4661), with sound effects, with a very nasal voice and new : a piano backing. Same tune was revived January 1952 on the West coast for Capitol (#2075) by Gene O’Quin. I include Gene’s version for comparison. download
Marshall retired from business afterwards to deal with his family. Gene O’Quin « Mobilin’ baby of mine« download
Finally from California on the Big State label (# 101), GRADY ROLLINS and the filthy « Spit-toon song », with steel effect and harmonica, as a sequel to « Chew tobacco rag ». download Enjoy the selections ! Some info was taken for Eddie Marshall from Paul Vidal’s BigVJamboree.blogspot site.
For this early Spring favorites selection, I’ve chosen mostly – that is unusual – major labels recordings!
The first three on King probably all cut in Cincinnati between 1949 and 1950. The earliest track is by RED PERKINS (born in 1890), who had begun his career before WWII and was later the featured vocalist of PAUL HOWARD Arkansas Cotton Pickers (see below). Here it is his « Hoe-Down Boogie » (King 792), a fine call-and-response fast bopper. He also had « Crocodile tears » the next year. His first issue on King (# 773) was « Texas Boogie« , and the personnel was then Jabbo Arrington [gt], Billy Bowman [steel], Bob Moore [bass], Roddy Bristol [fiddle], Fiddlin’ Red Herron [fiddle], Joe Rea [drums], poss. Harold Horner [piano]. The backing is probably similar.
Second selection is of course by PAUL HOWARD: « The boogie’s fine tonight« . Fine piano bopper (# 871), and the next is by the famous REDD STEWART, featured vocalist of Pee Wee King‘s Golden West Cowboys. Actually, except accordion (inaudible) the GWC are the backing band of Stewart for this great « Brother drop dead » (# 843). Fine piano, aggressive steel punctuating the beat.
Paul Howard « The boogie’s fine tonight » download
One step away to West coast on the Capitol label for GENE O’QUIN and « I specialize in love » (# 2715). Fast bopper from 1954.
Gene O’Quin « I specialize in love » download
Back to early days. Dallas, Texas, Jim Beck’s studio, April 1951. The MERCER Brothers (Wallace and Charlie), an old-time male duet do a very energetic « Wish bone » on Columbia 20978. They sound like the Delmore Brothers, and even have WAYNE RANEY on harmonica for a great solo! Thanks to Jack Dumery to have led me to them (and for the CD!)
The link with the former is the Delmore and a version of their all-time great « Blues stay away from me« , a cityfied rendition (Cincinnat, August 1949) by EDDIE CROSBY. Nice guitar (could be Zeke Turner).
Finally back in Dallas with DANNY DEDMON, former vocalist of Bill Nettles. Actually his Rhythm Ramblers are Nettles’ Dixie Blues boys. Here he does in 1947 the amusing « Hula hula boogie » on Imperial 8019.
Sources: my own collection and the net for artists pictures.
“He was a fantastic little guy. Gene could have been one of the biggest things on television. He could’ve had his own show nationally and been one of the biggest artists on TV. But you couldn’t depend on Gene. He’s be liable to be out at the horses races, you know, instead of being at the station, where he should be…but you couldn’t keep from loving the little guy.” (Speedy West)
Because he didn’t seem to take himself too seriously as an artist, he excelled at good-timey romps, as Boogie Woogie Fever, Texas Boogie, and was not totally convincing on tearjerkers. He was a major star on the West Coast for several years, with high-profile radio and television status on Cliffie Stone’s Hometown Jamboree. The musicians who backed him were the top ones of the West Coast: Speedy West, Jimmy Bryant, Billy Liebert, Cliffie Stone. He enjoyed only minor hits, like his cover of Hank Locklin’s “Pin Ball Millionaire”, but he sold consistently enough for Capitol to keep him around for four years in a very competitive and changing scene – surprisingly, given his undoubted feel for hillbilly boogies, it was the emergence of rock’n’roll that really knocked him out. (suite…)
Howdy folks! Here we go again with 6 other goodies. 5 are Hillbilly boppers. Gene O’Quin was from Texas, and had numerous sides between 1951 and 1954 on Capitol (he recorded for the most part on West Coast). I’ve chosen his great « You Name It (She’s Got It) » from 1954. Speedy West on agressive steel, Harold Hensley on fiddle. The title says it all! Why not Hank Williams? After all, he was the greatest of all Hillbilly singers. Here is one of my ever favorites, « Honky Tonk Blues », from 1951. Great lyrics, fine backing from the Drifting Cowboys . A singer who was underrated, then adulated in Rockabilly circles: Charlie Feathers. He came from Mississipi, hanged around Sun Studio in 1955, and recorded marvelous sides, among them « Defrost Your Heart ». Backed by the ideal Memphis Hillbilly team of Quinton Claunch (steel) and Bill Cantrell (fiddle), he delivers a fabulous vocal full of emotion. Next year he was going to sing « Get with it » on Meteor! While in Memphis, a fine Hank Williams-style vocal (even with semi-yodel) is done by Bud Deckleman from Arkansas on the top-charted « Day-Dreamin' » – same backing as Charlie Feathers’. What a strong bass! (see elsewhere in the site for the story on Bud Deckleman). Later on we have Little Jimmy Dickens, a long time Hillbilly artist on Columbia. In 1957, on the West Coast, with a wild steel-guitar player behind him (I think he was Curley Shalker), he offers the next-to-Rock’n’Roll « I Got A Hole in My Pocket ». Enjoy the steering sound! Finally Rocking Blues with Chicago Smokey Smothers’ « I Got My Eyes On You » (mid-60s). Have a good time! Bye.