Late March 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdy, folks ! This is late March 2020 fortnight’s favorites’ selection. 7 discs only this time but great ones, published between 1952 and 1961. Some originals, some covers.

Jack Turner

« Everybody’s Rockin’ but Me » is already a Rockablly classic of the genre as performed by BOBBY LORD in June 1956. Yet it had its original Hillbilly bopper in the hands of JACK TURNER, cut in Nashville April 1956. Topical lyrics (references to « Blue Suede Shoes » and « Alligators »), released by Hickory (# 1050). Turner was born in Haleyville, Alabama,in 1921 but had moved to Nashville in 1942, prior to marrying and entering in U.S. Navy. Later he became hooked to Hank Williams’ sound, and it was Williams’ mother, Mrs. Lilian Stone, who turned attention of Acuff-Rose editions to his songs.

Billboard Aust 8, 1956

Out of Cincinnati, Carl Burkhardt’s label Kentucky specialized in copying hits of the time. Here’s « Detour » (1952, (Kentucky 561) which was first cut by West coast Jimmy Walker {see his story elsewhere in this blogqite}and became a standard. So the song is copied here Hillbilly bop style : guitar, steel and double vocal.

Later on the Echo Valley Boys did the backing to Bill Browning on Island Records.

Melvin Endsley was more known for his compositions given to others; nevertheless he made some few very good records on his own.

Melvin Endsley

Here he performs the strong rocker “I Like Your Kind Of Love” (1957), backed by the cream of Nashville’s musicians. Later on, a nice sincere ballad “Sarted Out A-Walkin'” (1961). The detail has some importance, since one knows that Endsley was confined to a wheel-chair (polo).

Jerry Newton

Jerry & Wayne Newton, Virginia born (Roanake) went rarly at music (listening on Grand Ole Opry) and practicing very yon steel and guitar. Later, their family relocated in Arizona and soon they aired from a station in Phoenix. They even had their first record as The Rhythm Rascals on the Rnger label. How they came to the attention of an ABC talent scout is open to speculation. “Baby, Baby, Baby” is a showcase of their talent on electric guitar and steel. They were later booked with a long-term contract in Vegas.

The Armstrong Twins

Lloyd (guitar) and Floyd (mandolin) were exact twins, out of Little Rock, Arkansas, where they had their own radio show. In 1947 they relocated in California and soon appeared on Cliffie Stone show; around the same time they began to cut records for Four Star. “Alabama Baby” (1386) is a fast vocal duet, an impeccable tempo; solos of fiddle and mandolin: a really stomping thing.

Carl Story

CARL STORY had a long steer of sacred recordings (Old Homestead), but he failed too to the Rockabilly/Country Boogie craze with this disc “You’ve Been Tom Cattin’ Around” (Columbia 21444 – one of the very last items in the 20 000 serie). Good boogie guitar, a driving chanter.September 1955.

Sources: Willem Agenant (20 000 Columbia serie); DJM album notes to “Hillbilly Rock” (Jack Turner’s personnel); YouTube Hillbilly Boogie1 (Echo Valley Boys); Praguefrank (Bobby Lord disco); KarlHeinz Focke (“Jumpin’ Charlie”) for Melvin Endsley soundfiles.

Early August 2019 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Hello folks! It’s plain Summer, so if you intend to spare some time with me, here is the early August 2019 selection (10 tracks), mostly from the mid-50s.When you hear them, please get me a comment, or even: ask for more! Here we go.

With such a name, and with regards to the rest of his career, Jay Chevalier sounds a Louisiana artist. However, this is his very first record cut for Cajun, a label out of Virginia. “Rockin’ Roll Angel” (Cajun 101B) is a furious Rockabilly from 1957 – lot of echo on the vocal, a wild steel, a bizarre percussion (is this the bass playing?) and a guitar “a la Travis”. Chevaler went later on Pel (“Bill Cannon”) and Goldband 1105 in 1960 (“Castro Rock”, with political overtones for the Cuba crisis). This record changes hands for $ 300-350.

Al Ferrier and the Bopping’ Billies, the next artist, is also a Louisiana one. Let’s hear him in his first (both sides) issue on Lake Charles’ Goldband 1031. “No No Baby” (legal reissue here, that’s how rare is the original) is a proud Rockabilly bop: fiddle solo, and driving guitar/bass from Spring 1956. The flip side, “I’ll Never Do Any Wrong” is only slowier: a bluesy screaming weeper with 2 fiddle solos ad a guitar more to the fore. The original is sold for $ 100-150.

Cash Box, April 14, 1956

Jack Turner has already a minor Hillbilly bop/Rockablly classic with “Everybody’s Rockin’ (But Me)” ; the flip side is more Hillbilly bop: an uptempo with fiddle and steel. Valued at $ 50-60.

Cash Box April 19, 1956

Buddy Hawk was a Wheeling, W.Va. artist, although the Sheraton label was out of Boston, Ma. He released in late 1954 the surprisingly good (valued only at $ 25-30) double-sider “Honey Baby”/”My Heart’s A-Beatin'” (Sheraton 1003). He was part of the W.C.O.P. Hayloft Jamboree and the record is pure Hillbilly bop.

Cash Box, December 25, 1954

Wayland Seals & The Oil Patch Boys (!) do deliver in 1957 on the Slim Willet owned Winston label (# 1016) a fast Rockabilly. Strong vocal, a lovely guitar and a 6 (or 12?) strings-guitar throughout.”When I’m Gone” is sold for $ 150-200 bucks.

Cash Box August 17, 1957

Th Whitey Knight Orchestra offer on the Wesy coast “Another, Brew, Bartender” on Sage 205 from 1955. A weird, demented fiddle over a nice vocal plus a steel solo. This is a great record, although only valued at $ 15-20.

On the New Mexico Jewel label (# 108), we finish with Wade Jackson (backed on chorus by Weldon & Wanda Rogers) and “Seven Kinds Of Love”. 1960. A ballad, with a very nice ‘modern’ steel; the fiddle is buzzing (played ‘pizzicato’: stupendous – hear it!). Jackson was also on Gallatin’ Tennessee label (“Father Time And Mother Nature”).

Sources: mainly Internet, 45cat and my own archives.

Jack Turner “The Singing River Boy”

Jack TurnerWhere’d he go ?

Jack Turner is probably best known amongst Rockabilly collectors for his original version of « Everybody’s Rockin’ But Me » and amongst Hillbilly fans for his many R.C.A. Victor sides, but what became of the man who won much acclaims from the Country press in the 1950s ? (more…)