First two selections for this late February 2017 fortnight do come from Florida. Absolutely nothing is known from the vocalist/bandleader JOE ASHER. Apparently unknown on the Net, and not associated to another of the same name, he was a one-off record man. His record was first issued at Rockin’ # 515 in 1953, then reissued by DeLuxe ( # 2001) for a perfect Bopper, « Photograph of you », a fast, fantastic tune : very assured vocal, great solos – fiddle, guitar and steel. The flipside, « Daddy dear », a mid-paced opus, is just as good (steel is prominent). I wonder why this guy never recorded more, at least under his name.
Next selection : BOB DEAN & the Travelaires give a solid rocker for October 1958, issued at the Philly label Arcade (# 195). « Hot Rod Daddy », of course a car song, has a guitar a la Chuck Berry, a prominent piano and a great vocal. This Bob Dean was also on a much later label, Artisty (’70s), and is not to be confused with Bob Dean of the « BOB & CINDY DEAN » Bluegrass duet from Virginia. They had more than a link with guitarist Link Wray : they shared an EP with him, and issued on their side « Walk, walk, walkin’ blues » (Kay EP 3690) from 1957, a good mix of Bluegrass and Rockabilly. They were also on Starday custom serie # 627, “I’m knocking at the door (of your heart)” – excellent driving banjo. Bob Dean had previously released in 1947 on the Lilian Claiborne D.C. label (# 4101) a very rural outing “I’ll take her from the valley” [for a future fortnight’s favorites].
“Hot rod daddy“
“I’m knocking at the door (of your heart)“
Then to early ’60s in Birmingham, AL. with OTHELL SULLIVAN & the Southern All-Stars (are they the house band of the label?) on Reed 1053. The song is written by Leon Bowman, a prolific songster and singer in is own right. « There’s sure to be goodbyes » is a jumping tune, sympathetic backing (steel and discreet drums) over a good vocal : a nice tune for 1961. Sullivan had had already « Call me, baby » on Wonder (unheard) in 1958 ; later he joined the Longhorn stable (# 513).
“There’s sure to be goodbyes”
JIMMIE STONE (acc. by Coy McDaniel guitarist) had on the New Jersey Cross Country label 45-22 a great Country rocker, « Found » in April ’56. Strong lead guitar and good backing over an assured vocal (lot of echo). The disc must have had a certain impact under chart-angle, because the big N.Y. concern Gone reissued it next year as it was on Gone # 5001. The flipside « Mine » is an insipid slowie, largely forgettable.
From Indiana on a rather devoted to Blues/R&B label, Falcon, here’s to be found the Hillbilly bopper/Rockabilly of CURLEY SHELTON (# 609) « with Doug Oldham & his Dixie 6 ». « Have you seen my baby » is a medium bluesy tune, assured vocal and an embroidering very good guitar.
“Have you seen my baby”
From the Hometown Jamboree on the West coast, the next track by TEX HOLLAND. He does a fine job with the mid-paced hard-driven « Why don’t you change your ways » on Ivory 103.
“Why don’t you change your ways”
Finally a song, « Hillbilly wolf », wrongly attributed to Dave Dudley on a low-bdget album cover, is actually sung and played by LINK WRAY. A medium uptempo, good vocal but rather uninspired guitar. This tune may come from the late ’50s or even the early ’60s.
Sources : 45cat.com and 78rpm-world, Rockin’ Country Style, Hillbilly Researcher compilations, YouTube and my own archives.