Early June 2017 bopping and rocking fortnight’s favorites

Howdy, folks ! This is the early June 2017 bopping fortnight’s selection, between 1937 and 1947, with some projections in the very early ’60s.

Here we go before WWII with BILL NETTLES & his Dixie Blue Boys for his first recording session, held in Dallas, TX on June 22nd, 1937 (nearly 80 years ago…) His story has already been written in this site, and I will focus on one track, « Oxford (Miss) Blues », described on the label as « hot string band with singing ». Really hot fiddle (Dock Massey, who’s also singing, among cheers and yells) and strong slapping bass (by Nettles’ brother Luther). They didn’t do such great tracks so often, even in the ’40s and ’50s.

« Oxford (Miss) Blues »

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ALSIE « REX » GRIFFIN (1912-1959) made most of his career during the ’30s on Decca, as a follower of Jimmie Rodgers, and a fine yodeler too. Here on the decline (one of his last records) in Cincinnati on King 584 (February 1947), I chose « I’m as free as the breeze » : nice hot guitar player (obviously inspired by the late Django Rheinhart) and a discree steel for a good mid-paced bopper.

« I’m as free as the breeze« 

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Griffin was also responsible for three classics, « Everybody’s trying to be my baby » (one feature in this site is devoted to this song and its continuation), « Won’t you ride in my little red wagon » (the signature song of Hank Penny), and the morbid « The last letter ».

HANK STOLLINGS went on the RCA-pressed 1961 Versatile 101 « Date with the blues » (vocal Chuck Louis) with a deep-voiced country rocker ; 2 fine fiddle solos, and a good loud guitar too.

« Date with the blues »

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From the same or similar era (late 1959) we find also BEN JACK & Country Boys for «I’m entitled to your love», a mid-paced light country rocker with fiddle emanating from Tulsa, OK, to be found on the Cimarron label # 4048. This label was owned by Leon McAuliffe, former steel player in the Bob Wills’ Playboys.

« I’m entitled to your love »

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Back to TOMMY FAILE (reviewed early May with « That’s all right » on Lawn 104, NYC label) and the flipside of this December 1960 issue, « The rest of my life ». Arthur Smith is seemingly on lead guitar (on bass chords) for this baritone-voiced, female chorus backed (unobstrusive) country rocker.

« The rest of my life »

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Indiana born, on a Chicago label, comes BOB PERRY for two tunes. First a famous small Rockabilly classic,« Weary blues, goodbye » on the Bandera label (# 1303, from 1959), valued at $ 150-200, it has a very strong rhythm guitar (obviously played by Perry himself) and a fantastic steel guitar solo . So tame in comparison is the second Perry issue on Cool 158, « Gone with the wind », which is a gentle Rockabilly/rocker (all the same attaining $ 75-100). Perry went later on Top Rank and BandBox.

« Weary blues, goodbye« 

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« Gone with the wind« 

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Finally JIMMY DALE on Continental 8025B from June 1947 (70 years ago!) for a furious « Guitar boogie woogie » played by the lead guitarist Lee Ciuffreddi.

« Guitar boogie woogie« 

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Jimmie Dale got his start in hillbilly music with the guidance of Dave Miller, who was a famous New Jersey-Newark disc jockey.

He organized his own band and they made personal appearances in the New York night club circuit. Jimmie also appeared at Carnegie Hall, Frank Daly’s Meadowbrook and the top spot on Dave Miller’s television show. By 1953, he was being heard over radio station WAAT in Newark, New Jersey.

Dale had other boogies in the same style.

Sources : 45cat and 78rpm-worlds, YouTube (e.g. Rockin’ TomKat for Bob Perry on Cool) ; Hillbilly-Music.com (picture of Rex Griffin and Jimmie Dale) ; also Wikipedia for Rex Griffin bio. My own archives.

early November 2012 fortnight’s favourites

Howdy folks, welcome to newcomers. The aim of this feature is to spread my favorites around…

Let’s begin with a recently covered CLIFF DAVIS, without doubt a Southerner (« & his Kentucky Play Boys » as shown on the label), on the Chicago Jay Jay label (# 161) for this fabulous rendition of a classic, modernized (for 1956…) « Rocky Road Blues« . Fast, call-and-response format, even slap-bass sounding like drums and a superlative guitar. Second, thanks to Youtube chain-owner HillillyBoogie1, who frequently adds gems to his chain, PERRY WASHBURN on the Los Lunas, N. M. Mustang (# 300) label is no exception: on a obliged Indian beat, a very effective medium-paced vocal on perfect backing of steel-fiddle-guitar (nice solos) for « Pocahontas Baby« .

 

 

 

 

On the Joplin, MO. Joplin label, owned and composed by one Robert T. Nelson, a superior shuffler, « Oklahoma Blond Headed Gal » by deep-voiced SAMMIE LEE. Nice fiddle, steel all  along. Year 1958 (issue J80W-3138, RCA pressing). Thanks to Tom Sims for this rare one.

 

PORKY FREEMAN is maybe the best known of this serie, for a string of guitar-led instrumentals from 1944-1947 on Ara and Four Star labels. Here I offer his « Porky’s Boogie Woogie » (Ara 4009) from September 1945. Red Murrell on rhythm and Al Barker on bass, Porky indeed on lead guitar.

 

 

 

 

From Chicago or Eastern states come BOB PERRY. On the small Bandera label (# 1301/1303) the fantastic « Weary Blues Goodbye » from 1958. Very strong rhythm, firm vocal, and a FABULOUS steel-guitar solo, which sounds as a slide guitar. I added the flipside, very different, and more countryfied « Can’t Hardly Wait ». Perry had at least another disc on Cool, outside the scope of this site: it’s a late ’50s rocker.

Finally someone I recently put everything I could gather on, the Kentuckian born RAY ANDERSON. In the case you missed him, here is his great « Done Gone Dirty Shame » from 1952-53 on the Illinois Blue Ribbon (B2) label. Nice guitar picking a la Merle Travis.

 

Finally there is an hidden gem in the podcasts: « Haunted House Boogie » by Jack Rivers, for halloween.