Early February 2017 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdy, folks ! This is the third fortnight’s favorites selection for 2017, and as usual many a not-so-known artist or recording.

I will focus on a steel guitarist from way up North, TINY MURPHY, originally from Kentucky. He cut with his Bar 69 Boys two discs on the Chicago blues label United, a fact not so uncommon for the era (early ’50s) when small specialized labels didn’t hesitate to « cross » the invisible barrier between Hillbilly and Rhythm’n’Blues. United (founded by a Lou Simpkins) had in its stable several well-known artists like Roosevelt Sykes, Robert Nighthawk or Tab Smith and Jimmy Forrest. Tiny Murphy would cut 4 sides late 1952 for them, whose 3 are here. Vocally same, as Murphy sings in a semi-spoken style, very usual at this time ; jazzy sounding for « It’s all your fault » (# 132) and « Nicotine fits ». The latter was a ‘cover’ of Ramblin’ Jimmie Dolan who had issued May 1952 his original version on Capitol 2244. Then an instrumental, « Hot steel » (# 136) is a fast showcase for Murphy, who evokes various steel guitar virtuosi of the era, without forgetting himself ! Enclosed is a rare French issue coupling “Nicotine fits boogie” and “Hot steel boogie“, much rarer than the original United U.S. counterpart..

united  murphy  faultIt’s all your faultunited murphy nicotine united  murphy steel

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Nicotine fits

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r' jimmie dolan (meillure)

Ramblin’ Jimmie DolanNicotine fits

downloadcapitol dolan-nicotiner' jimmie dolan (meillure)ramblin' jimmie dolan pic

Hot steel

downloadvogue  murphy  boogievogue murphy steel

We found Tiny Murphy later on the Ronel label (# 109) in the same style for « 42 », while the flipside « I just can’t imagine » is a bit crooning, with an accordion backing (1954). After this issue, the track goes cold. One more detail : Tiny Murphy was steel player for Dolph Hewitt at an ronel-murphy-42-unknown occasion.
42

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In April 2016, there was a selection of TOMMY RIDDLE (« Rayford line » on the Staircase label, from 1961). Today there’s an earlier track cut in Portsmouth, VA, with his Melody Boys for the Cactus label (#108B) , « When you kiss me darling ». All is said with the mention on the label : « Vocal with Hillbilly swing ».

“When you kiss me darling”

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I’ve got a little time for loving

downloadpride guyton loving
Then a 1956 medium-paced Hillbilly bopper by BILL GUYTON & the Tennessee Playboys on the Pride label (# 3000) « I’ve got a little time for loving », out of Tennessee. Fine piano and steel backing over a convincing vocal. Alas, the track is incomplete, cut @ 1’52 », taken from « HillbillyBoogie1 » Youtube chain.

Finally a Starday custom from New York on the Reed (# 802) label (not the Alabama one) : BILL LOOP and his Seneca Indian Boys and «My Foolish heart » has a rural sound and a nice vocal. Disc from September 1959.
reed loop heartMy foolish heart

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Late April 2016 bopping fortnight’s favorites: a Sixties edition special!

First three are exceptions to the rule. CAL DAVIS does a shuffler, with a bit of echo on the steel for  »Loving lifetime » on the Mack label (# 258). No indication at all of its origin. A RCA Custom of 1954.

mack davis -loving

Loving lifetime

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I reckon so

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hilton  busby reckon

Second dates from 1957 on the Hilton label, yet still unknown origin. RAYBON BUSBY does the complex, half slow, half fast « I reckon so » (# no #) : A sort of talking blues, steel phrases on the slow side ; fast side reminds me much of the Blankenship Brothers.

Note: Hilton was based in Louisiana, according to DrunkenHobo.

TOMMY RIDDLE with « Rayford line » pertains apparently to the late ’50s/early ’60s on the Staircase label (# 6651), from where I don’t know. Good fast honky-tonk, a lot of echo on the lead guitar.

tommy riddle

staircase riddle  rayford

Note: DrunkenHobo says the record came in 1961.

Rayford line

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No we begin exploring 1960’s sounds.

With a classic theme – either in Blues or Country – « Walking blues », RAY BEACH couldn’t go wrong in 1968. Solid guitar and light drums for a good uptempo. 3 backing members are listed on label (Ray Beach, really?), which don’t give any clue to the origin of this record.

 

tay beaxch beach walking Walking blues

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Picked from my good friend Alexander’s site « Mellow’s log cabin», here is the nice « After I have broke your heart » by LEO GRAY, from Mt. Healthy, OH, in 1965, issued on Log Cabin 903. Good steel over a jumping tempo.

log cabin gray after

After I have broke your heart

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On the presumably Ohio Harron label, here are two fine Bluegrass duets (male/female) led by ERNEST STACEY (great vocal) and backed by HARLIN KAZY on vocal and fiddle, the fast « I do » and the dynamic « I made up my mind » from 1962 (# 995A). They had also at least one other record, « Lonesome road » on Arvis, another label from Ohio. Usual Bluegrass backup : dobro and bass.

 

 

I do

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I made up my mind

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harron stacey do

 

From Iona, Michigan, BOB WAYLEE offer in 1962 on the Northway Sound 1002 label a fine fast (flying guitar) « Looking out the window ».

Looking out the window

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northway bob waylee - looking out the window

Finally the famous CAL SMITH burns the pedal steel-guitar in 1968 on Kapp 938 with his solid version of « Honky tonk blues ».

Honky tonk blues

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kapp smith blues