Early October 2018 fortnight’s favorites

Hi ! To bopping.org followers. This is the early October 2018 selection, all sides from 1947 to 1955. Very few details are known about the artists, so the music I’m afraid will speak by itself.

The Texas Rhythm Boys

The TEXAS RHYTHM BOYS (vocal Alvin Edwards) had cut « Benzedrine Blues » on Jimmy Mercer’s Royalty label # 600 (1948)in Paris, Texas [see map below]. A medium shuffler (fiddle and steel solo) about a common drug then among musicians.
Nothing at all is known about Alvin Edwards and the Texas Rhythm Boys, a generic name for a rather generic group. “Benzedrine Blues” is their only known record.

Ray Whitley

RAY WHITLEY (1901-1979) provided a version of the evergreen (Bill Haley, Cousin Ford Lewis, Charlie Stone on Arcade Records) « Jukebox Cannonball ». A medium uptempo : accordion to the fore and fiddle issued on Cowboy 301 (1947).

Tommy Sargent

TOMMY SARGENT was a steel guitar player popular on the West coast. Here he is with two tunes. The fast (accordion) « Night Train To Memphis », with whistle effects on Corax 1084 (1947), then « Steel Guitar Boogie »(# Corax 1328), an uptempo with, of course, steel guitar being the prominent instrument.
We found one more Sargent backing with EDDIE CLETRO, « Lonesome Train Boogie » on Lariat 1058 (1950). Again a tour-de-force for the steel.

PAUL TUTMARC

On Rainier WR-1 (date unknown), PAUL TUTMARC & the Wranglers. The vocalist is Bonnie Guitar, who backed many people in the early ’50s, before embarking for a successful solo career. Born Bonnie Buckigham (1923) she began performing at age 16, having taken up playing the guitar as a teenager, which led to her stage name, Bonnie Guitar.  In 1944 she married her former guitar teacher .Paul Tutmarc
« Dark Moon » : the song was originally issued under Fabor Records in 1956. “Dark Moon” was then issued over to Dot Records and by the spring of 1957, the song hit the pop top 10 list and went into the country top 15 list. Guitar officially had a hit.

It’s an uptempo shuffler (accordion), « Midget Auto Blues ».

Bob Rourk

In 1955 on the Joyce label (# 101), here’s BOB ROURK with « Have A Talk With Your Heart ». A really fine Hillbilly bopper (piano, steel), and it’s the latest song of the selection.

Tommy Magness

Another version of « I’m Sitting On Top Of The World », by TOMMY MAGNESS & His Orange Blossom Boys on the Roanake, Va. Blue Ridge label (1947). Fine steel, fiddle. A good one. Vocal by Hall Brothers. Later (1951) Magness with his Tennessee Buddies had two disks on Federal.

Red Pleasant & Milton Beasley

To sum up, a bit of mystery with two entirely different « Mississipi Boogie », but with the same singer. RED PLEASANT & the Southern Serenaders on the Selective label #3 (California) have a strong guitar led tune with Milton Beasley on vocal (1950) . The same MILTON BEASLEY cut his own song on Delta Records (# 409) out of Jackson, Mississipi in 1953. How come Beasley was vocalist on two tunes so different is anybody’s guess. A Bluesman, Julius King, had a great rocking version of the song in 1952 on the Tennessee label (# 127), backed by guitar and..kazoo!

Sources : my own archives ; HBR for Selective ; 45worlds for Tommy Sargent, Ray Whitley and Tommy Magness label scans.

Early January 2017 bopping and rocking R&B fortnight favorites

This is the first fortnight’s favorites section for 2017, and we begin with a curious record : by CLIFF FERRÉ, « A cocky cowboy » on the Kem label (California). It’s a fast Western swing flavored number.kem -ferre cowboy

“A cocky cowboy”

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From then the »Hillbilly Boogie » theme. First king delmore hillbillyby its creators, the DELMORE BROTHERS who released their versionbillboard-king-hillbilly boogie

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in March 1946 (# 527), and which everybody knows. Strong similarity with Arthur Smith‘s « Guitar boogie » from 1945. Next « Hillbilly boogie » (apart from Jerry Irby on M-G-M from 1948, and which is an entirey different track) was done by a Tennessean, ANDY WILSON on the Dot label (# 1127) : an energetic perfomance including steel and piano. Its flipside, « Lonesome for my baby », is equally good, although more melodic.

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Andy Wilson: “Hlllbilly boogie

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Lonesome for my baby

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RAY WHITLEY (1901-1979) seemingly on the East coast is present with two tracks : « Jukebox cannonball » on Cowboy # 301 from 1947 : a lovely piece of Bop, which reminds me of Hank Williams‘ early sides. One composer name, that of Rusty Keefer, brings to Philadelphia and Bill Haley’s version on Essex 311 (January 1952). A long biography of Ray Whitley is to be found on YouTube: Johnn Maddy chain.

I added a reference version : JESSE ROGERS (cousin to Jimmie) released « Jukebox cannonball » too on Arcade 147 in January 1957.cowboy whitley cannonball
Ray WhitleyJukebox cannonball”arcade -rogers-jukebox

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Jesse RogersJukebox cannonball

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Whitley also had in 1949 another great number, « You’re barkin’ up the wrong tree now », on Apollo 195. An insistant crazy fiddle rivalling with an excellent guitar over a warm voice. This was a Hank Willams/Fred Rose compostion. At least the title was renewed in December 1956 in the hands of DON WOODY (Decca 30277) who takes his song at a brisk speed for a true Rockabilly classic, full of amusing barks. Great guitar of Grady Martin.apollo -whitley tree

Ray Whitley “You’re barkin’ up the wrong tree now

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Don Woody,”You’re barking up the wrong tree

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On the West coast now with JIMMIE LAWSON. He does a fine shuffler, « Tennessee blues » (Columbia 20477) from July 1947. Much later on the Fable label, in 1957 (# 584) he had « Ole Jack Hammer blues », a strong medium paced rocker with great guitar (Sandy Stanton, owner of Fable records?).

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Tennessee blues

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Ole Jack Hammer blues

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Finally a R&B rocker by the ‘one-man-band’ JOE HILL LOUIS from Memphis, TN. In 1949 he released « A jumpin’ and a shufflin’ », a song obviously cut for dancers (Columbia 30182). 

A jumpin’ and a’ shufflin’

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That’s it for this time, folks, pheeew !(several hours of work and pleasure mixed to set this feature up )

Sources : 45cat, 78rpm world for Ray Whitley ; YouTube for Joe Hill Louis and Andy Wilson ; Willem Agenant’s « Columbia 20000 serie » for Jimmie Lawson. Also Roots Vinyl Guide sometimes.