Early February 2019 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdy, folks ! This is the third « fortnight » for 2019 : early February selection of 9 Songs cut between 1953 and ’63, a good part coming from Ohio river neighboring states.

Walt Cochran & His Holly River Boys

Here we go first with WALT COCHRAN & His Holly River Boys (lead guitar Billy Strawser) ; they released in 1963 a single on the Cincinnati, OH Olimpic label (# 249), comprising first a jumping uptempo tune « What Am I Gonna Do » and a new version of the evergreen (HOW many singers did cut this song since its original issue in 1930 by the Mississipi Sheiks? « The lyrics of the original song convey a stoic optimism in the face of emotional setbacks, and the song has been described as a “simple, elegant distillation of the Blues”[Wikipedia]) « I’m Sittin’ On Top Of The World ». Both sides are very nice boppers for the era.

Jim Wilson on Dot Records

On the Gallatin, TN Dot label, we turn now to a Western swing flavored bopper « Big Fat Mama », a good fast bopper full of enthusiasm sung by JIM WILSON (# 1167) (released in May 1953). The flipside « Unwanted Love » show a neat tendency to crooning on a slow ballad (steel and fiddle), certainly forgettable. The singer went really pop on later Mercury sides (1956), but the Dot A side has fantastic fiddle and steel solo, and the singer is OK.

Big Bill Johnson

In Manchester, Kentucky BIG BILL JOHNSON does offer a fast bopper (steel solo and a good guitar) « That’s The Way I Like You Best » on the Acme label # 1275 in 1957. Johnson also had on the Nashville label later (1963) « Alimony » (# 5150) and the minor Rockabilly classic « Umm Boy, You’re My Baby » (# 5133), also « Hot Rod Car » on Blue Angel 2004 (1964), and REM until the early ’70s.

Jimmy Settle & the Blue Grass Rangers

On the same Acme label (# 1295) from 1958, we hear to JIMMY SETTLE & the Blue Grass Rangers for « I Don’t Need Your Kind Of Love », a fast ditty with strong baritone voice, guitar and fiddle solos. Settle also had « Admitting Defeat » on Pier-Wats #301 (1957), a nice uptempo cut in Louisville, Kentucky.

May Hawks

MAY HAWKS from Detroit, Michigan, had a full career in the ’50s, and surely deserves an essay. Here she offers « Meet Me Down In Nashville » (Fortune # 179) in 1954 : a fast tune, an acid/sweet voice and a good guitar.

Kenny Lee

Finally probably cut in Nashville, KENNY LEE offers a good uptempo bopper (extrovert vocal, steel and fiddle solos, good string-bass) on RCA-Victor 47-5629 with « That’s My baby’s Kisses ». He had further boppers with « Flame Of Fire » (RCA 5733) and « Holding Hands » (RCA 5816) recorded between September 1953 and January 1955.

Sources : 45cat, HMC compilation (thanks UncleGil’s Rockin’ Archives), Karlheinz Focke, my own archives. Michel Ruppli for Kenny Lee RCA files.

late September 2012 fortnight’s favourites

Hello, folks! This is the latest batch of Hillbilly bops/rockabillies I’d like to help you discover. Only unknown names, and microscopic record labels!

The exception being a 1951 Mercury recording by PAUL & ROY, the Tennessee Valley Boys. They had 4 sessions for the label, and I chose the moving, bluegrass flavored (even a mandolin) “Spring Of Love” (# 6374). From Texas probably, because “Bluebonnet Pub” appears on the label, on BOB WHITFIELD. He does a nice medium paced Rockabilly, “What Can A Man  Do” on Spotlight 5018. Fine strong lead guitar (echo), an haunting steel. A fine record which grows on you everytime you listen to it.

mercury paul&roy spring

spotlight whifield man

 

 

On the Karl label (# 3022), and from I don’t know where, a cross between hillbilly bop and Rockabilly, with LACY KIRK doing the fast ” This Is Saturday Night“. Strong bass, a short fiddle solo. A good record.

From Louisville, KY. do come JIMMY SETTLE & the Blue Grass Rangers for the next song, “Admitting Defeat” on the Pier-Wats label # 1301. There is nothing pertaining to Bluegrass here, because the song is a nice Hillbilly bop dominated by steel.

On the Tycer label # 1304 we come now to JMMY BANKSTON and the “I Come From Louisiana“. No  concession Rockabilly, with unobstrusive drums and fine guitar.

Finally from around 1960, one of the earliest Nashville label releases (see the story in the site) with DAVE STEWART for “Thinking About You” (# 5006). The song has fiddle and bass, and reminds me somehow of early George Jones on Starday.

 

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