Late December 2016 bopping & rocking Fortnight’s favorites

Hi ! To everybody visiting this website. This is the last fortnight’s favorites selection of 2016, and I hope you will find something of interest in this serie. Not much inspired (and not enough researches) this time, I’ll add very few comments on each record.

The SEVEN ROWE BROTHERS were 7 brothers (and a younger sister) who came originaly from Oklahoma, but settled in California after WWII. They did cut first on Pioneer 607 a fine romping instrumental, an hybrid Western pioneer seven-rowe-brothers-springpioneer seven-rowe-brothers- cakeswing/hillbilly boogie in « Spring boogie blues », piano led with solos by steel (Guy Rowe)l and fiddle.

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On Pioneer 608, Jack Rowe takes the vocal duty for this good Billy Hughes‘ classic « Birthday cake » : twin fiddles are in the hands of Earl and D.L. Later on the song was revived first by Skeets McDonald on Fortune, then by Jimmy Ballard on Kentucky.

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The third disc by the Rowes was issued in 1952 under the name of JACK ROWE & the Wichita Mountain Boys, and again « Bomb bosh boogie »(# 46398) is a nice shuffler.decca -rowe-bash

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We return to HANK PENNY for two selections. « Steel guitar stomp » (King 528) was recorded October 1945, Merle Travis is on lead guitar, and has that inimitable perfume of Western Swing, always present in Penny records. « Let me play with your poodle » (King 614) came in January 1947 as a novelty, and had Roy Lanham on guitar while a piano player takes also a solo.

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Steel guitar stomp

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Let me play with your poodle

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A fast Hillbilly boogie now with BUSTER PACK on the Campbellville, KY. Rich-R’-Tone label (# 1051). « Indian boogie » came in 1952. He had previously recorded in vintage Bluegrass style with “Better late than never” (# 1050).

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Indian boogie

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Better late than never

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LAMAN DAVIS delivers « If I can, can, can », a lovely piece of bop on the Las Vegas label (no #).las vegas -davis-can

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Finally there’s a R&B rocker on N.Y. Vest label # 8006) by the « Kansas City » man himself, WILBERT HARRISON photo-harrisonwilbertvest -harrison-please

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from 1959-61. «Please forgive me » is piano led and has a short guitar solo. This record is not listed in Les Fancourt’s « Blues discography ».

Sources : Youtube ; Praguefrank ; my own archives. Next articles about SPECK & DOYLE, DUB DICKERSON and “PECK” TOUCHTON. Information needed for future features on FRED CRAWFORD and WALTER “Tex” DIXON. 

Late October 2016 bopping Fortnight’s favorites (1945-1964)

Howdy folks ! En route for a new batch of bopping billies, mostly from the late ’40s-early ’50s, with the occasional foray into the early ’60s.

We begin this fortnight with an artist I’d already post a song in March 2011 – that is more than 5 1/2 years. CURLEY curley-cole-picCOLE was a D.J. in Paducah, KY and a multi-instrumentist. Here he delivers on the Gilt-Edge label (a sublabel to Four Star, as everyone knows) the fine bopper « I’m going to roll » (# 5028). It’s a proto-rockabilly in essence, as a train song, from 1952. Cole also had another on Gilt-Edge 5016, « I’m leaving now/For now I’m free » (unheard).

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The second artist of this serie also appeared in January 2016, but with different tracks. DON WHITNEY was a D.J. for don whitney picRadio KLCN out of Blytheville, AR. in 1951 when he cut for Four Star « I’m gonna take my time, loving you » (# 1548), again a nice bopper. Later on, he had the romper « G I boogie » (# 1581) in late 1951. Minimal instrumentation (lead guitar, rhythm, bass [it even got a solo], a barely audible fidde) but a lot of excitement. At the beginning of this year I’d posted both his «Red hot boogie » and « Move on blues ». 

I’m gonna take my time, lovin’ you

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G I boogie

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Billboard April 14,1951

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Billboard May 10, 1952

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From Vidalia, GA. Came in 1960 the group Twiggs Co. Playboys for a (great for the era) Hillbilly bopper, « Too many ». Very nice interplay between fiddle and steel (solos) over an assured vocal (Gala # 109). This label is now more known for its rockers (Billy « Echo » Adkinson, The Sabres, Otis White) than for Country records.

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“Too many”

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Hank Penny

It is useless to present HANK PENNY. To quote the late Breathless Dan Coffey in a very old issue of his magazine « Boppin’ news », and a feature on Jerry Lee Lewis : « If you don’t know what happened to him, you shouldn’t read this mag ! ». From the heyday of his discographical career (which spanned from the late ’30s until 1969), actually of a constant highest level on a par with his popularity, however I was forced to choose two songs he cut for King Records between 1945 and 47, but released on the same 78rpm, King 842, late 1949 or early 50. « Now ain’t you glad dear », cut in Pasadena, CA. in Oct. 1945 at the same session as « Steel guitar stomp » and « Two-noel-boggs-hill-musictimin’ mama », is a fast brillant Western bopper backed in particular by Merle Travis (lead guitar) and Noël Boggs (steel). The other side, recorded in Nashville two years later, and penned by Danny Dedmon (Imperial artist and member of Bill Nettles‘ Dixie Blue Boys) isn’t not at all a slow blues : « Got the Louisiana blues » is equally fast as the B-side, and showcases James Grishaw on guitar, Louie Innis on bass and Bob Foster on steel. A great record.

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billboard Feb. 25, 1950

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Now ain’t you glad dear

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Got the Louisiana blues

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From Atlanta in 1947 comes on piano LEON ABERNATHY & his Homeland Harmony Quartet for « Gospel boogie », a fine call and response romper on the White Church 1084 label.

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Gospel boogie

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Next artist, whom I don’t know much on, is called CLAY ALLEN, from Dallas, Texas. He had two Hillbilly sessions between April and July 1951 for the Decca label (« I can’t keep smiling »,# 46324, is maybe scheduled for a future clay-allen-hill-musicFortnight). He was part of the Country Dudes on the Azalea label in 1959 with the very good rocker « Have a ball »). Later on, he cut several discs between 1961 and 1964 for the Dewey longhorn-allen-one-Groom‘s Longhorn label, « Broken heart » (# 516) for example. I’ve chosen « One too many » (# 547) as his great deep voice backed by a bass chords playing guitar comes for a great effect. Maybe later I’ll post the flipside « I’m changing the numbers on my telephone », but lacking space this time.

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Country Dudes guitar player (Clay Allen?)

One too many

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To round up this serie, here are two tracks by the Atlanta guitar virtuoso JERRY REED, early in career which he began on Capitol Records. From October 1955, there’s the traditional « If the Lord’s willing and the creeks don’t rise » (# 3294), done in a fast Hillbilly bop manner making its way onto Rockabilly. Both steel and fiddle have a good, although jerry-reed-pic-hill-musicshort solo, while Reed is in nice voice. He comes once more, this time recorded in January 1956 : « Mister Whiz » is frankly Rockabilly (# 3429) but the Hillbilly bop feeling is retained : a nice fiddle flows all along, while the guitar player may be (to my ears at least) Grady Martin. Capitol files and Praguefrank are silent on the personnel of Jerry Reed sessions, a pity.

If the Lord’s willing and the creeks don’t rise

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Mister Whiz

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Sources: mostly 78rpm-world or my archives; John E. Burton YouTube chain (Twiggs Co. Playboys); various researches on the Net. Countrydiscographies.com (Praguefrank) for Hank Penny and Jerry Reed data.

early July 2011 fortnight’s favorites

Howdy folks. We begin with the Starday label and CHUCK MAYFIELD, “Lucky Me” from 1955. Fine backing. Then, a perhaps surprising choice for Hillbilly bop, HANK PENNY, whose I like the drive and pugnancy of “Hadacillin Boogie” for RCA.

starday mayfield lucky RCA Penny Hadacillin

Very early ’50s, on the London label, we come to HANK DALTON (was it another pseudo for Wayne Raney) and his great “HummA personality and band leader more than a good singer, DUDE MARTIN had good moments, like this Dick Stratton’s version of “Pistol Boogie”.

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Back to Starday and the fine, Rockabilly bordering Hillbillybop “Living High and Wide” by GLEN BARBER, deceased in 2010. He had previously cut the famous classics “Ice Water” and “Shadow My Baby” (which even had a sax – Link Davis?).ingbird Special”.

To finish, back to April 1956 with PAUL DAVIS, “I Don’t Want A Back Seat Driver” (MGM 12472), a loping rhythm on this fine uptempo. I am pretty sure this is the same who cut 4 years later “Six Days On The Road” for the Bulletin label, forerunner to giant Bill Dudley hit in 1963.

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Glen Barber