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 (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 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.
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 ».
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.
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!
Hello to you, faithful visitors of bopping.org. This is the late September 2018 fortnight’s selection.
In 1968, EVELYN WHITE with her Radio Ranch Boys cut two singles in Dayton, OH, for the Dessco label. One is Country, the other (# 7016) is a fine, energetic version of Hank‘s « Mind Your Own Business » (fiddle solo) .
From Galax, Ga, on the Starday Custom Old Dominion label (# 774), late ’50s or early ’60s, we found an earthy primitive-styled two-sider by SLIM BALL: « When I Get Home (I’m Gonna Be Satisfied) » is a gospel-tinged down-home bluesy tune, the guitar has Rockabillly overtones, and the vocal is nice. More of gospel with the B-side « Mother’s prayer » by SLIM & ORNA BALL.
From Florida comes MIKE SHAW for two songs on the famous Perfect label # 111. Backed by the Sons Of Driftin Sand[sic], he dellivers first « Long Gone Baby », a medium Rockabilly, with heavy drums and a harsh vocal (screams), and a good guitar solo. Less interesting is the reverse side, another average version of « Frankie And Johnny » in the same style. Value $ 300-400. This artist has apparently nothing to do with N.Y. Mike Shaw on Regal and Chariot.
CHARLES (Shorty) BACON & his Rhythm Rascals made several good Country-rockers for Californian labels. On Mohawk located in Long Beach, he had « You’re Smilin’ At Me » (# 103) : a fast piano/guitar rocker . The original issue was Kelley 103. On Mohawk 104 (sung by Pat Patrick), « Super Jivin’ Lulu », a medium-paced rocker (guitar solo). Then on the more important Ozark label (# 1237), « Fire Of Love » is again a medium (piano) with a touch of echo. All those sides do date from 1959 or 60. Note: Pat Patrick had an earlier issue on his own on Aladdin 3311 in January 1956 (“I An’t Done Nothin’ To You/Hot Sprngs”), which were great, frankly R&B tunes. Hear them on YouTube.
Finally on a Nashville label, late ’50s, ELZIE ASBRIDGE with his Lonesome Valley Boys delivers on Pace 1005 the medium-paced weeper « Dim Lights » ; as « ELZIE & DOC », he had the nice Rockaballad « I Traded A Smile For A Heartache » (fine steel and guitar solo). Earlier on, he had been in 1958 the vocalist for J. D. ORR sides on Central City, KY, Summit label. I include the good medium weeper (lot of steel) « Lonesome Hearted Bues » (Summit 105), reverse of the famous « Hula Hoop Boogie ».
This is the early September 2018 fortnight’s favorites selection of 10 tunes.
We begin with a sort of mystery. Nobody seems to know either the artist nor the label’s location, except that Mecca was a RCA-Victor custom pressing. GLEN COOPER had two records beween 1956 and ’57 on the Mecca label, and I suspect a Carolina or a Virginia location, even Tennessee, judging by the style of music. Backed by the Jets, Cooper delivers on Mecca G-01112/1113, first a fabulous Rockabilly with « Sugar Mama (Daddy) » – a guitar solo and very efficient sparse instrumentation, then a fast ballad bopper, « They Say » – fiddle solo and high standard guitar backing, both from 1956. Cooper had next year two rural rockers, « Just Rockin’ » and « These Blues Are Driving Me Mad » (Mecca H-0330/0331). The one in discussion has a value of $ 300 to 400.
DEAN ARMSTRONG& The Arizona Dance Hands come next with a jumping Hillbilly boogie (call & response format), « Cowboy Boots ». The singer, KENNY SMITHhad his own career : born 1931, he sang with Merl Lindsay(« Blue Mary ») on Cormac Records, then he had under his own name the fine double-sider « Walkin’ By My Lonesome/I’m So Lonesome Baby » issued n Johnny O’Neal’s Rural Rhythm # 507 label in 1957.
AUBREY CAGLE has his own entry in bopping.org. I chose two tracks released in 1959 on his own label Glee (# 100) in Indianapolis, although Cagle hailed from Tennessee. »Be-Bop Blues » is Rockabilly which guitar and piano twinkle in – topical words for Be-Bop music. The B-side « Just for you » is a Rockaballad, with an heavy bass and steel (solo). Good hillbilly voice.
From Detroit the WINDY MOUNTAiN BOYS issued in 1963 a Bluegrass sung in unison, « High Wide And Lonesome » on Fortune 223. They released also records with Wendy Smith and Delmar Delaney on Wedge and Rebel. “High Wide And Lonesome“
From Campbellsville, Kentucky came KEITH BUCK and His Harmony Playboys. He cut the nice, sincere vocal « Only Fooling Around » (guitar, fiddle, great rhythm) and the romper « Leon Boogie » on the Folk-Star label (# 630) at an unnown date (circa ’54 or ’55).
Finally the familiar T. TEXAS TYLER has a semi-instrumental (much interjections to the guitar player James Pruett, and the steel Joaquin Murphy) with « Guitar Boogie Woogie » issued on Four Star 1114 in 1946, and it’s really a gas !
This is the late August 2018 fortnight’s favorites selection. BLONDIE BROOKS opens the ball with a lovely female vocal tune, « We’ll Make Out Together » from March 1962, with a nice steel and heavy drums on the Gulf Reef label 1008. Backed by Cousin Wilbur (perhaps her husband), she had previously appeared on Bullet 691 (Cousin Wilbur leader) in 1949 for a fine shuffler : « Why Not Confess » and a good revamp of the Delmore Brothers‘ « Blues Stay Away From Me » : strident steel.
We go further with GENE McKOWN on the California Fable label # 571 (owned by Sandy Stanton, and actually a song-poem label). He had previously cut for Aggie the rockabilly classic « Rockabilly Rhythm ». Here we have « I’m Still Wondering Why » : McKown is joined by a certain Fiddlin’ Slim for this fast hillbilly rocker from 1957. Later on McKown went on Brass Records.
Two selections then by the RHYTHM HARMONEERS. On the Jamboree label 28001 (one of a few to have this name), they do « Women drivers », a fast shuffler, with vocals in unison. They previously had cut for the Flair label (Los Angeles) # 1003 (1950) « Good Old Chlorofyll» in the same manner.
In 1962 on the California Arlen label (# 1014) LESTER ROSE & the Tennnessee Road Runners do deliver two fine sides. « Alimony Blues », a half spoken tune, while its flipside « Wino Blues » has, as expected, hiccups. A good record to look for..
From 1965 on the Wheeling, WVa. Emperor label # 266, the PERRY BROTHERS (Bob & Harry for two good unison vocals and a nice guitar on « Waiting In Vain ».
Finally LUCKY WHITE & the Dude Ranch Playboys on the Arizona label Courtney # 103, and « Down And Out Blues », which has a strong resemblance to « Milk Cow Blues ». Good, lazy vocal and piano. The legendary Leodie Jackson is on steel. White had also « Teddy Bear » on Courtney 129, while Jackson issued « That Naggin’ Wife Of Mine » on # 130. He also appeared on Jess Willard records (« Cadillac Blues », « Honky Tonk Boogie » and « Lonesome Dollar Bill ») and Johnny Tyler (« Freight Train Boogie »).
Hello to everybody, hi to newcomers, this is the early August 2018 fortnight’s favorites selection.
We begin in San Antonio, Texas, with a group, the Southernaires, which backed in 1954 Arnold Parker for his issue on Sarg 106. Later Parker had « Found A New Woman « on Starday (Custom serie) # 570 in June 1956, a strong and fiery rockabilly. On Sarg, among the Southernaires was the fiddler/vocalist HENRY BENNETSEN. His « Six More Days » is a jumping hillbilly tune, with vocal and fiddle well to the fore , while the flipside « What’s The Matter With you » has more of a bluesier Honky Tonk style (Sarg 105).
From the Missouri apparently (« The Missouri Two ») comes HAROLD ZAHNERwith Johnny Smith for a primitive rockabily, strong rhythm and forceful vocal : « Shake Baby Shake » issued on the Smith label # 17318. Hard to imagine an issue date, I’d say 1956-57.
From Atlanta, Ga., we find now The MELODY BOYS (Doyal and Grover) and their « Don’t Let Pride Take Our True Love Away » on Leo’s 2010. A good fiddle led duet, fast guitar and welcome steel, even a mandolin solo. A nice record for 1959. The second platter is more ordinary, « Who’ll Do The Crying Over You » (Leo’s 20113) with the same instrumentation.
LARRY DEXTER had only one record ever (except in the ’60s), that on Republic 7079 in 1954. A fast uptempo, strong fiddle solo and a really hillbilly pronunciation in « Throwing Kisses ». Later in 1963 Dexter had on Hit and Giant some pop country with a version of Dion’s « Ruby Baby ».
Back in 1939 BOB DUNN (trombonist and lap-steel player) delivered with Moon Mullican on piano and vocal a « Mean Mistreater », good welcome Western music on Decca 5694. What to do except listen to a swinging tune ?
From Avery, Texas on the Cowtown label, an interesting artist for two tracks : KENNY BUSKIRK. « Bartender’s Blues” (# 819) first is bluesy uptempo (good guitar solo and an assured vocal), then the very short shuffler (1mn) « Get With It » (# 832), equally good ; both were issued between 1964 and 1966.
From the West Coast come on the Los Gatos, Ca. Intrastate label (# 24) issued circa October 1955 « I May Not Be Able But I’m Willin’ To Try » by CHUCK RAY& His Gang. A very fast Western type song, fiddle during the chorus (it’s a vocal trio).
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)