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.

End of January 2019: bopping fortnight’s favorites (nearly all 78rpm)

Howdy folks, hi ! to previous visitors, welcome to new ones

. This is the second selection of bopping tunes for the end of January 2019. Hope you will enjoy any of the tracks, nearly all taken at 78rpm speed from the ’47-’51 era.

First « Dog Bite Yo’ Hide », a minor Country classic : Jimmy Vernon cut his own version on the King label (# 1367) ca. 1953, and Jimmy Martin released his interpretation on Decca 30281 (1957). The apparently original song was done in November 1951 by SMOKEY WARD on the Barrel Head Gang label, # 1001-A. It’s an energetic Bluegrass tune, full of fiddle and mandolin.

Joe Rumore

Second selection is done by JOE RUMORE with Happy Wilson, on the Vulcan 5001B label, located in Birmingham, ALA. « I Butted In » is a Western swing flavored bopper : an happy uptempo disc with a lot of accordion, the main instrument, and the release date is March 1948. Hardrock Gunter is the lead guitar player on this one. Happy Wilson also had another issue on Vulcan [for a future Fortnight selection] plus a great version (MGM 10877, 1951) of the evergreen « Haunted House Boogie ».

Happy Wilson & band (who is he?)

Happy Wilson (L) – a young Hardrock Gunter (R)

Next artist is HARMIE SMITH & the Southern Swingsters, whose « Knocking at your door » (RCA-Victor 20-1869) goes back to May 1946: it’s an uptempo good bopper – a fine voice and an agile lead guitar. His second one, « Weary Trouble In My Mind » # 20-1996, from November 1946, is done in the same joyful style. (Sorry, low-quality of the song uploaded from Youtube).

Harmie Smith, KWKH studio

Again a good backing (steel to the fore) for a record seemingly related with Jimmy Rhodes, the famous producer out of Mineola, TX – he wrote « Party Girl », a nice mid-paced uptempo track for an extrovert vocal by DANNY BROWN. He was at a time related to Blackie Crawford’s Western Cherokees. At last, he was part of the former band when published by he HBR team.(# 45, Coral Records volume 1).

BOB WELLER & Will Coffman’s Night Riders released at an unknown date « Heartaches And Gloom », a medium-paced bopper, with a good vocal and guitar solo on another Dixie label # 850. No clue this time neither date nor location on the label, and one can assume only by the general sound an early ’50s (or late 40s) recording.The flip side “Devil’s Heart” was published in the August 2013 “fortnight”.

Sources: Indeed of great help was the « 78rpm » site, also YouTube + my own archives.

Early November 2014 fortnight favorites: a bunch of Bluegrass 78rpm!

Howdy folks ! With just an exception, only 78rpm this time.

Let’s begin with the legendary JIM EANES in one of his earliest efforts on the Blue Ridge (#301) label. It’s happy hillbilly bordering to bluegrass (sometimes difficult to distinguish, but who cares?) : « A sweeter love than yours I’ll never know ». Fine solos : banjo, mandolin over chorus vocals.

blue ridge eanes sweeter
Smilin’ Jim Eanes “A sweeter love than yours I’ll never know

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Lucky Leroy “Now get join’

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Lucky Leroy “All tied up”

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go-lish leroy goin'

Thanks to Hillbilly Researcher and Allan Turner, LUCKY LEROY and two sides on the Illinois Go-lish label « Now get goin’ » and « All tied up ». Solid hillbilly from 1955.

On the Mutual label (uncertain origin, probably Chicago, or generally Illinois), CLAUDE YATES & Bowes Brothers for « Stop knocking at my door » (#214) : as label implies, « hot banjo picking ».

Same label, FRED MURPHY for the very inspired « I want to be ready » (#210).

Bowes Brothers “Stop knocking at my door”

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Fred Murphy “I want to be ready

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mutual bowes brothers  doormutual murphy ready
A return to Blue Ridge with LARRY RICHARDSON (& Happy Smith) (#306) and « I’m lonesome ». High-pitched vocal, again that mix of hillbilly and bluegrass music.

Finally for the season, HAPPY WILSON on M-G-M 10877 « The haunted house boogie ».
Larry Richardson “I’m lonesome

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Happy Wilson “The haunted house boogie”

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blue ridge  richardson lonesome
mgm  wilson haunting