Early October 2016 bopping (and rocking) fortnight’s favorites

smokey-rogers

Smokey Rogers

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Onto the first Fortnight of this Autumn 2016. SMOKEY ROGERS (1917-1993) was a personality of the West coast and bandleader for s strong number of singers (Tex Wlliams, Ferlin Huskey) and releases (Capitol, Coral, Four Star, Starday and Shasta) from 1945 to 1965. On his (apparently) own label, Western Caravan, he even cut the first ever version of the classic « Gone » (# 901) in 1952. His label lasted with a handful of issues until 1955, among them I chose the great instrumental [not often in bopping] « John’s boogie » (Western Caravan 903). A real showcase for any musician involved (including ex-Hank Penny steel player virtuoso Joaquin Murphy), and every of them takes his solo or shines a way or the other. Splendid piano, horns, guitar, and of course steel, over an irresistible shuffle beat.

John’s boogie

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Another Smokey Rogers’ record has a young vocalist FERLIN HUSKY in April 1950 for « Lose your blues » on Coral 64063 (October 1950). It’s a nice shuffler with Huskey in good voice, and again Joaquin Murphy on steel.

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Ferlin Huskey, “Lose your blues

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Billboard Aug. 5, 1950 – a proof of popularity of Red Kirk

Several months later (February 1951), RED KIRK, another singer himself modeled on Hank Williams, took at his turn «red-kirk-pic Lose your blues » for an acceptable version, quite impersonal but backed by the cream of Nashville (Zeke Turner, Louie Innis, Jerry Byrd, Tommy Jackson) , on Mercury 8257. Kirk had many other good songs, for example « Can’t understand a woman (who can’t understand her man »)(# 6288), « Knock out the lights and call the law » (# 6409), or later on Republic 7120 the double-sider « Red lipped girl/Davy Crockett blues » from 1956, , the good ballad “How still the night” on ABC-Paramount 9814, or his version of Loy Clingman‘s « It’s nothing to me » in 1957 on Ring 1503. I chose another Mercury disc, »Cold steel bues » (# 6309) from February 1951 and in the same ‘bluesy’ vein as « Lose your blues ».

Red Kirk, “Lose your blues

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Red Kirk, “Cold steel blues”

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From Nashville, TN to Texas and Fort Worth for an Imperial session held in September 1954. FREDDY DAWSON (vocal) backed probably by himself on steel-guitar, Billy Chamber or Buddy Brady (fiddle), Jimmy Rollins (guitar), George McCoy (bass) and Phillip Sanchez (drums) cut 4 tracks, among them the above average « Dallas boogie » (# 8274)(nice fiddle and steel). 2 tracks do remain unissued, and « Why baby why » may not be the George Jones track, an original Jones song cut in August 1955.

“Dallas boogie”

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bb-27-11-54-freddy-dawsonWe stand in Fort Worth, this time in 1957 with GENE RAY on the Cowtown label # 646 and « I lost my head », a good uptempo bopper. In November he was to cut for the same label the great Rockabilly cum Rocker « Rock and roll fever » on the EP-677, which contained also the good « Love proof ». Was he the same artist as on Playboy 300, who committed on wax « Playboy boogie » ? Nevertheless as front singer of the Dusty Miller’s band, he also had the great rocker « I’m going to Hollywood » in 1960. All these tunes are to be easily found on YouTube or various compilations.

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“I lost my head”

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Now to the early ’60s in Orlando, Florida. WEBSTER DUNN, Jr. delivers a good country rocker on first side, « Black and dunmar-101-b-webster-dunn-jr-black-and-white-shoeswhite shoes » on the Dunmar (owned by DUNmar Peckam and MARy Yingst) label # 101. Echoed vocal, nice crisp guitar (+ a bridge), a welcome steel : a well-produced record. The second side has a sort of poppish vocal, although saved by the same guitar (ordinary solo) and steel : « Go go baby » is a typical Country uptempo ballad. (Record valued at $ 75-100).

Black and white shoes

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Go go baby

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Next artist seems to have possibly emananated from Dallas, Texas, as his label Amber, one out of three at the same time. It’s a 4* custom # 275 out in December 1957, and the artist is BOB GARMON, who delivers with « His Studio Combo », a neat and tight little band, one of the best Rockabillies ever, « I’m a-ready baby » (valued $ 500 to 1000). Great guitar solo, cool vocal on topical lyrics, the song has everything a Rockabilly devotee could dream of. The flipside, although bluesy, is equally good : a Rockabilly combo trying its hands at Blues for « Positively blues ». A very desirable record !amber-275-2-bob-garmon-positively-bluesamber-275-bob-garmon-im-a-ready-baby

I’m a-ready baby

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Positively blues

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Finally a R&B rocker by one of the greats, the albino « Blonde Bomber » (remember the Little Richard-esque « Strollie Bun » on Hull?), here under his other alias, LITTLE RED WALTER for « Aw shucks baby » on the N.Y. Le Sage (# 711) label. Walter is on guitar and harmonica (1960).lesage-711a-l-red-walter-aw-shucks-baby

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The Blonde Bomber, alias of Walter Rhodes, or Little Red Walter

Aw shucks baby”

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Enough for this time ! Sources are 45cat for label scans, or YouTube or Roots Vinyl Guide, even Rockin’ Country Style. 78Rpm-world (mainly Ronald – thanks to him). My own researches on the Net and my archives. Praguefrank’s Country discography (Smokey Rogers, Red Kirk discos). Michel Ruppli’s « Aladdin/Imperial labels » book. Values from : Barry K. John guide or Tom Lincoln/Dick Blackburn book.

Made on a ?

Late November 2014 fortnight’s favorites

This time, very various records. SLIM DOSSEY hailed from Kentucky, but settled in Kirkland, Washington, late ’40s, where he had his own TV show. He was at one time a member of Smokey Rogers Western Caravan. Here you will find his Tubb (Ernest?) penned “Don’t stand just there“. on the JR (Seattle) label. Romping music!
Slim DosseyDon’t just stand there“. [March 23, 2018. I add Dossey’s version of Hank Williams’ “Ramblin’ Man“, issued Jan. 1954 on Ace-Hi Hits 5011. Good version!]

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“Ramblin’ Man”

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From Ohio, and in 1965, RALPH BUSH and the Brushwackers. He had one 4-track session for C-Flat (distributed by RCA), and three tracks are offered there. All fine Hillbilly boppers. “I’ve got the bluest feeling” (8543), “Troubles” (8544) and “My eyes don’t cry” (8545).
c flat  bush roublesc flat  Bush feeling Ralph BushI’ve got the bluest feeling

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Ralph BushTroubles

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From Washington state does come FRANK OLE’SHAY (real name Oleachea). With his brother Ernie, they had 12 issues on Four Star Blue Mountain OP- customs. Here are his best sides,”Love , love, love me, honey do” and “My baby’s not here in town tonight” (# 293) from 1958. Fine hillbilly rockers.
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Frank Ole’shayLove, love, love me, honey do

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Frank Ole’ShayMy baby’s not here in town tonight

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From Texas, COTTON THOMPSON (“Jelly roll blues“) on Houston’s Freedom 1010. Thompson also had the great “How long” on Gold Star.
Cotton ThompsonJelly roll blues

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Jim FullenI’ve gone crazy

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Finally JIM FULLEN on the Deluxe label # 2015 and “I’ve gone crazy” from 1954. Fullen later recorded as Jimmie John,”Rosie’s back again” on Dot.
 It is not at all sure he’s the same Jimmie John who had “Solid rock” in 1958 on the Newark, Ohio, ZZ label.deluxe  fullen  crazy