Along the way, we’ll find artists who cause some discussion back and forth or even some debate. No, not about their music, but about the details of their career. We’ve already seen some discussion on this fellow in an exchange of emails. But, somehow we stumbled across an issue of Cowboy Songs from December 1957 that had a column written by Imogene Ellwanger who provides some tidbits. And a few other mentions elsewhere, too.
It has proven difficult to find something other than this short biography taken from hillbilly-music.com site. Black Jack Wayne (real last name : Shults) was a native of Oklahoma who moved to the San Francisco Bay Area when he was 14. He started guitar playing as a hobby but later on down the road, it became part of his career. He had an injury of some type and came back to the Bay Area and decided to join his brother’s band, the “Rattlesnake Ramblers”.
In 1950 he and his younger brother Chuck « Charles » bought the « Garden of Allah » nightclub, located in Niles, north of Hayward-Oakland Highway. They hired country artist Ed Cima to transform the Garden by painting cartoon cowboys and western scenes in a whimsical mural over the walls. He also hand painted the ceiling to look like the Taj Mahal. They tried to change the name but people wouldn’t accept it, so it remained the Garden of Allah.?In its heyday, the Garden catered to rock and roll fans on Friday nights, country western lovers on Saturdays and square dancers on Sundays. In mid-1956, he had three daily shows over the all-western radio station KVSM out of San Mateo, California. And a one hour show over television station KOVR with the “Bar 10 Ranch Boys”.
Black Jack and the Bar-10 Ranch Boys had several recordings in 1954 on the Cavalier label. Back then their latest release was “A Dream Just Won’t Do” along with “Nip or Two” (# 839) or Jack’s brother Chuck Wayne‘s « Mean Mean Mean » (# 836). The latter seems to be the Bud Hobbs song.
Later on in her column, Ms. Ellwanger mentions that KOVR, Channel 13 in Stockton, had two Western music shows on the air. One show had Glenn Stepp and his band. The other had Black Jack Wayne and his “Bar 11 Ranch Boys”. Black Jack had also started a live radio show from the Garden of Allah nightclub he owned that was broadcast over KEEN every Saturday night. She also wrote that there was a possibility that the “California Hayride” might start a show originating from the Garden of Allah every Friday night over Channel 13 in Stockton.
In 1955 on the Spur label we found Charles (Chuck) Wayne for two solid Hardrock Gunter type hillbilly rockers (hillbilly bop with a dose of western swing), « Rockin’ Rollin’ Rhythm » and “Rodeo Time Is Here » # 1245), and maybe more with « The Golden Key » (# 1248).
In 1957, per a column in Cowboy Songs by Imogene Chapman, we find that Black Jack had his own record label – Black Jack. And around that time, had put out his first recording, “Time Stole My Empire” b/w “Shallow Water Blues” : the latter being a strong fast bluesy number. Tom Hall and Terry Fell helped on the record with their guitar and harmonica. At the time, they mentioned that you could order the record from Black Jack in care of radio station KVSM in San Mateo, California. No coincidence that Ms. Chapman might mention Black Jack, for in the same issue featuring “Stars on the Horizon”, she is listed as the president of his ‘fast-growing’ and ‘real-active’ fan club.
Later on, we found a mention on Channel 2, KTVU, now of the Fox Network, on the Bayinsider.com… “Not all of KTVU’s local programming was noteworthy or long-lasting. There was The Black Jack Wayne Show, a western variety show…”
In the KVSM studio (San Mateo), Black Jack Wayne cut in 1957 his next record « What Makes Me Hang Around » and backed Rose and Cal Maddox on « Gotta Travel On » (Black Jack 104). Medium honky tonk (nice guitar), with Jack vocally fronting, backed on chorus by Rose. His cooperation with the Maddoxes led him to offer them « Ugly & Slouchy » (Columbia 40836)
In 1959 Chuck Wayne had « Wishing/Thank You Call Again » on Ozark 963, both pop country. Incidentally the latter was written by two comperes of the Rural Rhythm days, Johnny O’Neal and Johnny Tyler. Black Jack Wayne and the Roving Gamblers backed Bill Carter on « Baby Brother ». B-side, « Ride, Gunman, Ride », was a Jack Wayne original. Chuck Wayne had his last known recordings in 1959 on Black Jack 106 with « I’m Sending You Some Roses /Blue Moon Waltz » (untraced record).
Black Jack Wayne had several interesting records on Cheyenne, among them « Dancing With A Stranger » (# 114) in 1960, before a couple on Big West and a solitary issue in 1962 on Decca. Charles Wayne also backed Mel Dorsey (« Little Lil » rocker) on Black Jack.
sources: main source was “hillbilly-music.com” site. Many Youtube label shots. And a lot of research! I am not THAT satisfied with this article.
Howdy, folks. It’s hot over there (South of France), nevertheless I am determined to offer you once more your bi-weekly dose of Hillbilly bop! This time I will give you mostly Bluegrass oriented Hillbilly, and banjo woll be prominently used. Let’s begin on the famous Dixie label (although quite uncommon one to find), with Malcolm Nash and the good “I Guess I’m Wise” (# 833). We go on further with Pinky Pinkston, an artist already surveyed in a recent fortnight. Here he cut a marvelous Bluegrass version of “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” (Fine-R-Tone # 6). The Wilburn Brothers are already a well-known successful brother duet: here I offer their fine rendition of another brothers duet, the Shelton Brothers‘ ’30s classic”Deep Elem Blues“. Well, I know, this version date from 1956, and is very main country-Nashville sounding. Nevertheless, it’s a good version to be heard while playing online games
On to West Coast and for a very interesting artist: Black Jack Wayne. I am gathering information on Mister Wayne for a planned feature. I post today his very nice “Shallow Water Blues“, cut with Cal Maddox (of the Maddoxes) on his own Black Jack label (# 104). We return to another recently covered artist, Dennis Goodrich, for a ballad – actually the flipside to “All Alone“, “My Love for You” on the Debute label (# 500).
Let’s go further in Bluegrass style with a Bryant Wilson and the Kentucky Ramblers issue, “A Use To Be” on Adair 620, a small label from Edinburg, Indiana..
And we come to and end with the fabulous piano-led “Slow Down Baby” by Bob Gaddy on the Harlem label. The guitar player is none other than Larry Dale for this NYC 1953 issue.
I’ll try to give the story the best I can. My dad’s family were farmers: grandad was a dutch/german immigrant and grandma was cherokee indian. When my dad was old enough, he couldnt wait to get off the farm, so towards the end of the second world war, he joined the air force where he worked in the hospital and was involved with the u.s.o. My mom and dad met in the service; mom had just returned from being in Japan for four years as part of the occupation force. They met, fell in love and got married, mom became pregnant and I was born at Bowlings Air Force base in Washington, DC. My dad wanted to break into the music business, as he already had been doing u.s.o. shows for the troops, so it was decided to get out of the service and head to southern California: it was 1951 and the beginning of hillbilly and rockabilly, although they didnt call it rockabilly, they called it country and later as the honky tonks started poppin’ up everywhere, they began to call it honky tonk music and because many of the artists themselves came from the country and the hills, they also called it hillbilly, for the purest though I call it honky tonk music. Papa nicks, the blue room, the hitching post, jubilee ballroom, the palomino are just a few of the many honky tonks, that my dad and others like him played everynight, dad drove a truck for his day job and worked the honky tonks at night. As at two a.m. in the morning all the bars in southern california close, so its grab a bottle and everybody head over to the house for a jam session. I can tell you they all came through our house at one time or another, everyone from Little Jimmy Dickens to (Ralph) Mooney on steel to Eddie Drake, Ferlin Husky to Hank Snow. In the garage they would play until the sun came up, those were the days when they created what they call today the Bakersfield sound, working in those small recording studios like Aggie and Toppa, two of the labels my dad was on as well as M&M and Mercury and Sundown. I remember this old honky tonk piano my dad got somewhere, it had a very unique sound and they had it in the garage, so they could jam all night after the honky tonks closed. So when it was time to record “Make Room For The Blues”, my dad wanted that true honky tonk sound, so they took the piano to the studio and that’s the one you hear on the song as well as on “World’s Champion Fool”, I really loved that old piano and always will wonder what became of it. In 2008 Dick Miller passed away, but what he left us is something that we can all cherish, good old honky tonk music that you can still dance to today. God bless and thanx for your interest & love of this wonderful music, feel free to edit this to suit your needs at your blog, also have many more pics and have 8 tunes on my hard drive and a big cardboard box full of reel to reel tape from the old days, am working on a best of compilation of Dick Miller and his band to release on compact disc in the very near future. Please stay in touch, am always around and love to chat, Roger. (more…)