Howdy folks ! This is the late July 2018 bopping fortnight’s favorites selection : here are 10 tunes from 1942 (Hank Snow) to 1966 (J.P. Dunn) and, YES ! One woman at last. But there were very few in Hillbilly bop music. And that’s what also makes their records so precious and different.
First artist do come from Indianapolis, a duet of the RUSSELL BROTHERS (Jim & Jesse) and their solitary 1963 single on the small but prestigious Nabor label. « You Cheated On Me » has a belting, hillbilly singing over very effective fiddle, steel and guitar (solos) and shuffling rhythm; while the barely slowier « That’s What I Found In You » retains the same format.
WAYNE RANEYcomes next. One of the masters in harmonica gives us the well-tempered opus «I Ain’t Nothin’ But A Tom Cat’s Kitten » on King 956 (rec. Oct. 9, 1950 in Cincinnati). Backing by the two Delmore Brothers on rhythm guitars, Zeke Turner on electric guitar, Louis Innis on bass and Tommy Jackson on fiddle (long solo). And an unidentified steel player. What a perfect combo !
Not so often a fortnight’s favorites selection got its eyes on a ‘great’ name. This time on ‘The Yodeling Ranger‘ as he was called in Nova Scotia during the ’40’s : HANK SNOW. From the ‘old and great songs‘ I’ve chosen « Let’s pretend » (1942)(Canadian RCA-Victor Bluebird B-4736). Warm voice and steel are completing each other. From 1955 and a radio transcription for RCA done in Nashville, the Leon Chappell song « Do Right Daddy Blues », with fine guitar and fiddle, steel always in the background..
Next an artist seen from time to time in lists, and his label, Renco, was located in York, PA. although Galen Gart’s ARLD doesn’t give any issue date. BOBBY METZEL delivers two good shuffling sides, « No Longer Mine » and « Say You Really Love Me » (Renco 104) : a nice ‘little’ guitar, a bit of steel, a good vocal = a fine little record.
Now three discs on the Dixie label. The first one dates from October 1961. CHARLOTTE HARDEN has « Loving You Baby », a nice slice of Rockabilly on Dixie 910 ; more in the same format with « Alone With You » on Dixie 946.
The last one was released in 1966 by J. P. DUNN on Dixie 1144, « Long Time Ago » and coud well have been cut 10 years before. Fine interesting vocal.
Sources : YouTube (Dixie issues, Bobby Metzel), Gripsweat (one side of Russell Brothers), my own researches, the King project (Wayne Raney). 78-world for old label scans. Praguefrank’s discographies (Wayne Raney, Hank Snow)
Howdy folks ! This is the early July 2018 bopping fortnight selection, which will include 9 tracks, some by ‘great’ names for a change.
“Rocky Road Blues”
Let’s begin with the Master of Bluegrass music, Mr. BILL MONROE with his immortal « Rocky Road Blues », released January 14, 1946 done in Chicago, on the Columbia label # 38907, and later reissued in the 20000 serie. A classic in all genres, beyond a rocking mandolin, it has a bopping string-bass solo (Bill Westbrook)
Then a man whom I know a big nothing about, except he was a Texan. DICK DYSON & his Musical Texans had records between 1947 and 53 on Tri-State (even some square dances), Blue Bonnet, Bullet and Decca. I chose his ultimate release, recorded in Dallas in December 1953 – there remain two unissued songs, among them a promising « Drink My Blues Away » – and TWO Hillbily blues. First the famous (already a minor classic) « I Work In The Daytime (She Works At Night )» and « Purple Wine And Red Red Roses » (Decca 29072). Both are solid boppers, « Wine » being slow ; « Work » is a little faster ; piano is prominent, and a discreet guitar combines the overall sound. These two tracks are even reckoned as R&R classics in Rockin’ Country Style !
From August 1955 on the Starday label # 198 : GENE TABOR and the double-sided « I’m A Real Gone Jesse (I’m Hot To Trot »)/ »I’m Not The Marryin’ Kind ». Classic (and classy) Starday sound, both sides are co-penned by Red Hayes, who surely handles the fiddle duty. Among him we can speculate Doc Lewis on piano and the usual Starday crew: on steel (Herb Remington), Hal Harris (on lead guitar) and an unidentified bass player. (more…)
Howdy folks ! This is the early July 2018 bopping fortnight selection, which will include 9 tracks, some by ‘great’ names for a change. Let’s begin with the Master of Bluegrass music, Mr. BILL MONROE with his immortal « Rocky Road Blues », released January 14, 1946 done in Chicago, on the Columbia label # 38907, and later reissued in the 20000 serie. A classic in all genres, beyond a rocking mandolin, it has a bopping string-bass solo (Bill Westbrook)
Then a man whom I know a big nothing about, except he was a Texan. DICK DYSON & his Musical Texans had records between 1947 and 53 on Tri-State (even some square dances), Blue Bonnet, Bullet and Decca. I chose his ultimate release, recorded in Dallas in December 1953 – there remain two unissued songs, among them a promising « Drink My Blues Away » – and TWO Hillbily blues. First the famous (already a minor classic) « I Work In The Daytime (She Works At Night )» and « Purple Wine And Red Red Roses » (Decca 29072). Both are solid boppers, « Wine » being slow ; « Work » is a little faster ; piano is prominent, and a discreet guitar combines the overall sound. These two tracks are even reckoned as R&R classics in Rockin’ Country Style ! “I Work In The Day Time (She Works At Night)”
From August 1955 on the Starday label # 198 GENE TABOR and the double-sided « I’m A Real Gone Jesse (I’m Hot To Trot »)/ »I’m Not The Marryin’ Kind ». Classic (and classy) Starday sound, both sides are co-penned by Red Hayes, who surely handles the fiddle duty. Among him we can speculate Doc Lewis on piano and the usual Starday crew: on steel (Herb Remington), Hal Harris (on lead guitar) and an unidentified bass player.
From June 1956, this is is the most recent track, The MADDOX BROS. & ROSE on the Columbia label # 21405 (one of the last issues on the Columbia 20000 serie) for another classic, « I‘ve Got Four Big Brothers (To Look After Me ». Solid, tremendous rockabilly : the Maddoxes could do everything.
Back to Texas with TINY COLBERT in February 1948. He’s been before steel and singer for Eddie Miller and his Oklahomans, and by this time, fronted his Entertainers. On « Bumble Bee Baby » (Blue Bonnet 133): loud, heavy boogie woogie guitar,a lovely piano backing, strong and assured vocal, a jazzy fiddle : a perfect example of Hillbilly boogie. It’s a rocker with 8 to 10 years in advance. Plus, the record must have met a certain success, because Modern, the giant L. A. concern, reissued it per se on Modern 580.
Finally two tracks by a great. JERRY IRBY had almost a 40 years career, and provided many a good song, be it in the Western swing field or Hillbilly bop. This man (1917-1983) began during the Thirties recording with the Bar-X Cowboys and the Texas Wranglers. He was also vocalist with Bill Mounce. After the War he cut the classic song « Nails In My Coffin » in legendary Goldstar studios; later he was on the Los Angeles Globe record label, whom he recorded the proto-rock’n’roll « Super Boogie Woogie » (Globe 120) for, backed by his faithful pianist Pete Burke and the good steel of Deacon Evans. The former was to follow Irby for the quintessential « Hillbilly Boogie » in 1950 for M-G-M 10809. But the career of Jerry Irby was not over : « Chantilly Lace » (1969) « 49 Women » (Cireco 102 or Polly 201) or « Clickety Clack » (1956). But that piano, and a bluesy guitar (probably Woody Carter) in « Hillbilly Boogie » are pure delight for any Hillbilly bop lover.
Howdy folks, this is the late June 2018 bopping fortnight’s favorites selection, All of the tunes were released between 1947 and 1953.
First record is « Bob’s Boogie » by WOODY MASHBURN and The Wanderers Of Wasteland on the Grand label # 101: an instrumental romper, it’s got a good piano backing and guitar/steel soli. A highly desirable record for instros buffs. Grand 101 was out of Roanake, Va.
SLEEPY McDANIEL & his Radio Playboys come next from the Philly area, and were seemingly produced by Gotham’s bossman Iv Ballin, who leased material to Lillian Clayborne to be issued on her Washington DC label [see a long survey of the intricate DC label story in the feature devoted to the Howington Brothers]. Here we have a fast call-and-response type song with « Sad Sack » (DC 8040 – a serie established for ‘race’ records, rather than the usual 4200 « Hillbily » serie) ; an half-sung song, which sees fiddle and steel, even string-bass take their solos !
Now a « Gospel Boogie » from December 1947 by LEE ROY ABERNATHY at the piano, backed by his Homeland Harmony Quartet. Even the label says « Jive » and the tune has a lot of enthusiasm. King label # 4223, subtitled « Ev’rybody’s Gonna Have A Wonderful Time Up There ».
Next artist, out of Nashville on the Bullet label # 738 (1951), is SI JENKINS & his Ozark Ranchers, who offer a great shuffler, « One Dollar Boogie ». Lazy vocal, good steel and a nice piano solo.
From Texas we now have AL HESSON& the Sons Of The Alamo for « My Red Headed Gal From Arkansas » on the famous Talent label (1949) # 710. A lively uptempo piece of bop : good vocal, lovely steel and guitar. A great disk.” My Red Headed Gal From Arkansas”
Next artist was the longest to yodel during the ’40’s and ’50’s, actually he made it his trademark : Yodeling KENNY ROBERTS. Here in an April 1949 session held in Cincinnati he’s backed by the cream of the E.T. Herzog Studio : Jerry Byrd holds the steel for a short but weird solo, Messers. Zeke Turner and Louie Innis have the guitar duties (an ostinato in the style of « Blues Stay Away From Me »); appears also Tommy Jackson on fiddle, and the ensemble is propelled by the implacable rhythm given by the bass of Ulysses Turner. Roberts is chanting lovely, yodeling as expected on an uptempo beat, « Boogie Woogie Yodel Song » released on Coral 64045.
Finally PAUL HEMS from Scottsboro, Alabama does a frantic, harmonica led « Jugheads flop-eared boogie » on the Tennessee Valley Boys label. Incomplete soundfile which ends at 2’45, sorry. And I really don’t know when this tune was released.
Howdy folks ! Hello to newcomers, hi ! to returners. This is the early June 2018 selection of bopping tunes, also some rocking rockabilly blues tunes.
First artist on offer is Elmon Mickle, or over here called MODEL « T » SLIM. His whole story is told in Gérard Herzaft‘ site there : http://jukegh.blogspot.fr/2014/09/. I chose both sides of Magnum 736 cut in 1966 in L.A., « Shake Your Boogie » and « Jackson, Tennessee ». Great so-called Black rockabilly : strong harmonica and vocal for both tracks. Slim/Mickel never deserved the fame he ought have had, considering the quality of his recordings.
As a matter of comparison I include in the podcasts his very first sides cut in N. Little Rock in 1952, « My Little Machine (Modern 849) and « My Sweet Woman » (RPM 370), both recorded under the guidance of Jules Bihari during one of his field recordings in 1951-52. Young Ike Turner was at the piano stool for this session. Great ‘Southern’ post-war Blues ! Verging his first Europe tour where he was very popuar, he succumbed to cancer in 1977.
Next artist was obviously much younger than Elmore Mickle, and came from a very different area : AL DEAN & His All-Stars were from Texas, more precisely from San-Antonio. He’d begin his career in 1958 on the Warrior label, which was founded in 1957 in Pleasanton, and relocated next year in San Antonio. Dean’s early records are represented by Warrior 506-B, « Fragile Heart », a light rockabilly bopper ; also the very Holly-ish boppers « I Shot Billy Joe » and « Verge Of The Blues » (Warrior 508). Included an unissued Warrior song, which was first issued during the ’70’s, the fine rocker « Queen Of The Rock » (Bop-Tex 8001- reverse side is a reissue of « Fragile Heart ». Later on, Al Dean went on D records, and Manco among others. I will retain only the nice ballad « Sign Of The Times» issued by the Kik-R label # 206.
Howdy, folks. This is the late May 2018 bopping and rockabilly fortnight’s favorites. A fair percentage of selections will come from the State of Tennessee, with the odd number from Ohio or NYC.
On the Nashville Excello label, more familiar to Blues/R&B buffs, let’s begin with both sides of # 2071 by the LINDSEY BROTHERS. They offer 2 uptempos from 1955, both based on solid rhythm guitar, aided by fiddle and steel. « Big Hearted Joe » is the best side of both, for its great duet harmony, and the record is valued $ 50-60. The flipside « Let’s Get Down To Business » has more of the same, although less interesting. A pleasant Hillbilly bop record.
We keep with the LINDSEY BROTHERS 5 years later in 1960, on the Excello sublabel Nasco # 6032, and the change is not in the right direction : the label says « Popular ». Fddle and steel are out, only remains the rhythm guitar for « Mr. Blues » (penned by Jack Toombs : he had cut the Rockabilly « Kiss-a me quick » (Excello 2083), or « Little Andy » as Jackie Trent on Nasco 6012 – see his full story elsewhere in this site) and « Hello Heartaches », very Everly-ish. Value $ 10-15.
Back to Tennessee on the Rythm label [sic] # 303. REX HALE & his Rythm Masters [re-sic]. Two great Rockabilly sides. Steel is omnipresent on « stop-and-go » couplets. Energetic drums, and fine, fine guitar. « Darn Dem Bones » and « Down At Big Mama’s House » would cost you $ 2000-2500, only if you can locate a copy!