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 132 tiny murphy it's all your faultIt’s all your faultunited 1140 tiny murphy - nicotine fits (12-52)united 136 tiny murphy - hot steel

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Nicotine fits

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r' jimmie dolan (meillure)

Ramblin’ Jimmie DolanNicotine fits

downloadcapitol 2244 ramblin-jimmie-dolan-nicotine-fitsr' jimmie dolan (meillure)ramblin'  jimmie dolan pic

Hot steel

downloadvogue 3294 tiny murphy - nicotine fits boogievogue 3294 tiny murphy - hot steel boogie

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  tiny-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”

downloadtommy riddle - when you kiss me darling
I’ve got a little time for loving

downloadbill guyton I've got a little time for 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.
bill loop - my foolish heartMy foolish heart

downloadreed 802b bill loop - insert

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 25B cal davis - loving lifetime

Loving lifetime

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I reckon so

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hilton 0001 raybon busby - I reckon so

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.

staircase tommy riddle (1927-2009)

staircase tommy riddle - rayford line

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 20664 ray beach - walking blues (+ instr)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 903 leo gray - after I have broke your heart

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 995A ernest stacey - I 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 938 cal smith - HT blues