Late November 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites

The first of 7 artists is the Virginian KED KILLEN on the mythic (in Bluegrass circles) Rich-R’-Tone label (# 1064, from 1953). With the tight accompaniment of the Bright Brothers, he delivers « Crying Blues » : bluesy hillbillly bop, with wailing vocal and a very great guitar ; hooking rhythm. The flip is a fast bopper, with the same type of vocal : « No End To My Loving You ». Killen can also be found on Kyva (Kentucky-Virginia) # 707 (« You Better Take Time », elsewhere in this site), a Starday custom from 1957, as in the ’60s on Western Ranch.

From Memphis, 1957, a classic « I’ve Got Love If You Want It » by WARREN SMITH (Sun 286), crisp lead guitar (Al Hopson or Roland Janes). Typical Sun rockabilly rocker. The original had been done by Slim Harpo on Excello (swamp blues).

SMILEY WILSON next (Hamilton, K. Wilson – 1922-1988) for two tunes very, very different. On the Nashville Republic label # 7033 (cut in October 1953, according to Billboard), he launched « Barnyard Blues », an heavy bluesy, R&B influenced song ; nice vocal and insistent guitar. On now to April 1947 on the Apollo label (# 141) for the funny « Red Silk Stockings And Green Perfume », a fast typical late 40s Hillbilly which combines accordion, steel and fiddle + a short guitar solo. Wilson was a native of Gadsden, Alabama, as the well-known (at last to me, nd you faithful readers!) Lee Bonds.

« Hog Tied And Branded » (Columbia 21391, recorded or released April 1955) by BONNIE SLOAN (b. 1937). Here she is backed by the Town Hall Party Gang of Los Angeles, for example Joe Maphis on guitar and Fiddlin’ Kate (you know what she’s playing). Energetic vocal, and a welcome banjo. Typical mid-50s Country music, however she never got it big.

The next artist, CLIFF GROSS, had worked as early as 1931 with the Hi-Flyers : he was a mountain style fiddler. He recorded in duet on Conqueror. Here we find him on the Kentucky Dixiana label (# 105) « and his Texas Cowboys », (probably recorded in Dallas) for the great fast talking blues « Hog Pen Hop » in 1954 : a hot bopper with accordion and steel (short fiddle and guitar solos too).

From Mobile, Alabama, in 1959- or shortly later, here’s JOHNNY FOSTER for a great Rock-a-balllad, « Locked Away From Your Heart » on Sandy 1028. Great haunting vocal, fine steel, good piano and fiddle. Later Foster went on Capa.

Then a Rockabilly/rocker « I’ll Keep On Lovin’ You » by the VARIATONES. An average rocker, late ’50s or early ’60s, without something really cracking. Production by Billy Harlan. Is this the « I Wanna Bop » artist (Brunswick 55066)?

sources : my own archives ; Martin Hawkins notes for Warren Smith, Smiley Wilson – picture from « A shot in the dark) ; Bonnie Sloan from Columbia 20000 serie (thanks W. Agenant) ; a Tom Sims cassette for Johnny Foster .

Early November 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites

This is a regular feature in the bi-monthly “bopping favorites”. As you surely noticed it, American English is not my natural language an I’m trying hard to be understood. My apologies to everyone reading those pages.But, remember, Music is first!

First WINNIE PARKER & the Rhythm Maniacs on the Ruby label (# 350) from Hamilton, Oh. She released on 1957 « Down Boy Boogie ». It’s a Gene Vincent sequel (references to « Bluejean Bop »). lovely rhythm and bass, a very agreaable steel solo and a fabulous bluesy guitar.

The veteran JOHNNY BOND had a long and rich recording career, which out chose the fast « Mean Mama Boogie ». Straight honky tonk with harmonica solo (Jerry Adler) and the legendary Noel Boggs on steel, released in Jan. 1950.

BILL WHITTLEY in 1960 on the Texas Blue Bonnet label # 1453. « I’m A Rich Man » is a mid-paced bopper with sparse instrumentation (guitar and bass). « Why Did You Leave Me » is a faster side, this time wih steel added.

From Wisconsin on the Rebel label (# 819) from 1959. BOBBY HODGE & The Rainbow Rangers
has « Gonna Take My Guitar ». A nice vocal, a great steel, & fiddle solo. All for a tight llittle combo near to Rockabilly. Hodge had went earlier on the Nashville label (# 5014) for the very similar «Carolina Bound ». He can be found on Golden Ring too (“Alligator Man”)

« Tears In My Eyes » on the Capo label 45-002 (1960) on the West coast by WAYNE Red » YEAGER (1934-2015). Ralph Mooney is on steel for this gentlle rhythm ballad. Capo had connections with another California small label : Sundown out of Pico, Ca.

On the West coast Fable label (#573) BILLY MACKLIN offers the moving « Knock On Wood » : steel, fiddle and a very nice vocal from 1957.

sources : my own archives ; 45cat ; YouTube (Bobby Hodge, Bill Whittley).

Late October 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites

There was NO early October entry: too much work on other things.

Clay & Christine The Kentcky Sweethearts: « These Tears » Sun-Ray 118. Very good mid-paced ballad (main male vocal) duet, nice steel.
B-side : « They say », same formula. A good « provincial country record » from Lexington, Ky., 1967.

Tony Douglas « Baby, When The Sun Goes Down » issued on D 1005 (Houston, Tx). Energetic bopper. Nice vocal and interplay between steel and fiddle, plus piano – really a Starday “feel” (1958), the first of a long career.

Gene Snowden on Hi-Fidelity OP-121/122 « Quit Your Triflin’ On Me » : good guitar. A favorite song for Ray Campi. B-side « Angel Darling » less fast, a good honky tonker in its style.OP- serie was a 4 Star outlet for “Other People”.

Arizona hillbilly Jimmy Spellman « Give Me Some Of Yours » released on Viv 3000 : a fast bopper with steel solo (1955). On Viv Spellman also released “It’s You, You,You” (1002) and the great rockabilly “(She Wants A) Lover Man” (# 1005) with Al Casey on lead guitar. Later he went on Dot, Vik and Redstart, all teen rockers.

Cash Box, April 11, 1953

Out of Knoxville, Tn. label Valley mostly known for Darrell Glenn (pop country) and Reese Shipley (« Catfish boogie » #106) or Shorty Long. (# 108, « I Got Nine Little Kisses »). Here’s the first record of the label : # 101 Joe Stuart « Shoot Again, Mr. Cupid « : a fast, average hillbilly – strong fiddle.

A short note from Ronald Keppner mnentioned a Valley 100 by Archie Campbell (unheard). Yhanks Ron!

Arlie Duff : Decca 29987 « Alligator Come Across » recorded May 15, 1956.
The best open space between hillbilly and rockabilly. Both styles present, great although short rockabilly solo (certainly Grady Martin). Duff was on the birth of Starday too (1953).

Vancie Flowers on Pike 5921 (1959) with « Six Days In Waiting » – does remind of « Six Days On The Road ».Tough guitar, weird instrumentation.

Joe Franklin (1929-2001) & the Mimosa Boys – « Hillbilly boy » b/w « Hitch-hikin’ blues » MGM 11612 (1953). North Carolina artist. Here’s the ultimate in Hillbilly piano bop (Darryl Petty). Urgent vocal, and strong, way too short fiddle too. Joe Franklin’s story is to be found in this site.

Sources : as usual, soundfiles from Youtube or compilations. Vital research by Yours Truly. 45cat useful for many a label scan.

Late September 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Hello folks, back from Summer holidays ? En route for the late September 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites’ selection.

Doug Poindexter

June 1954, exactly 18. A newcomer with his first recording. DOUG POINDEXTER came from Vendale, Arkansas. Several months ago, as he had went to Memphis, he had been noticed by a guitar player, Scotty Moore – surely the name rings a bell – and hired as front guitar man of his group, the Starlight Wranglers. His voice was very nasal, without doubt as imitation of his idol Hank Williams. On this day, he cut two sides, whose I retain « Now She Cares No More» under the producer Sam Phillips, hence Sun 202.

The record, albeit reviewed by the famous Cash Box magazine, went nowhere, and Poindexter earned his life later as a successful insurance man. « Now She Cares… » is pure hillbilly bop heaven. Fiddle and steel to the fore, and heavy bass (Bill Black). Less than 2 weeks later Black and Moore backed young Elvis. The rest is history.

Bobby Wayne

From the Washington State in 1963, here’s the very Johnny Cash styled BOBBY WAYNE. « Big Train » first on Jerden 709. During the flipside, « The Valley », the guitarist even adopts Luther Perkins (Cash’ guitarist) licks. Good vocal on both sides, and discrete chorus.

In the December 2016 fortnight I came with Californian Western swing artist EDDIE DEAN and his « Rock’n’Roll Cowboy » on Sage from 1957. Here is a quieter thing (Sage 188) : « Impatient Blues » as its name doesn’t imply is a bluesy thing, nice steel and a bit of crooning.

Eddie And Chuck

« The Louisiana Ramblers », EDDIE AND CHUCK came in 1954 with a bouncing thing, « Boogie The Blues » on the Chicago Chance label (# 3012). Weird and savage steel, great vocal and solid bass. How they were acquainted with an otherwise Blues/jazz label (1100 serie with already known artists like Wllie Nix – ex- Sun Records, or J.B. Hutto) is open to conjecture.

These sides were not unknown to Stan Lewis, owner of KWKH in Shreveport, La., who also acted as talent scout for Northern companies : Dale Hawkins and Sonny Boy Williamson came from his stable of artists and were recruited by Chess/Checker.Chance had apparently a 3000-C&W serie, but I never ever heard of any more record than this in this serie.

Dottie Jones & Winston O’Neal

A real male/female duet now with DOTTIE JONES & WINSTON O’NEAL. A fast bopper , « I’ll Be Yours » has a prominent guitar – the solo comes a la Carl Perkins ! To be found on TNT 134 (San Antonio, Texas).

From unknown source, I picked up on YouTube a nice slice of fast Hillbilly bop wih « Me And My Fiddle » by BENNY MARTIN, apparently in 1954-55. Martin cut records on Pioneer, Mercury and M-G-M. One one side he was backed with  »Hilllous Butrum & his Tennessee Partners », ex-bass player for Hank Williams, and was of rural Tennessee extraction. Nevertheless a very fine Hillbilly bopper.

Cliff Waldon & his Westernaires

Not owning Boppin’ Hillbilly vol. 15, I can’t say nothing about CLIFF WALDON & His Westernaires. His « My Baby Doll », issued on Mark 107, has an agile fiddle (+ solo), a great steel, even a bass solo. Vocal is OK for this fast Bopper.

Cash Box Aug. 31, 1957

CashBox June 25, 1955

Is there any need of presenting the MADDOX BROS. & ROSE ? I chose two tracks from their mostly creative period (Columbia, 1952 onwards). « No More Time » is a fast opus, which is still near to their Four Star product. « I’ve Got Four Big Brothers (To Look After Me ) » has Rose on lead vocal, with funny lyrics, in a true Rockabilly : Columbia 21405 from June 1955.

Sources : YouTube for Benny Martin ; W. Agenant’s Columbia 20000 serie » for the Maddox tracks ; Eddie & Chuck from various good compilations ; Bobby Wayne from 45cat. Starlite Wranglers image from “706 Union Avenue” site. My own archives.S

Early September 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites

For early September fornight’s favorites, Very different things this time, from 1947 to 1961.

Al Rogers With his Rocky Mountain Boys

Al Rogers and his “The Hydrogen Bomb” do come from June 1947. Rogers was a native from Pennsylvania (later on WKPA radio). During WWII, he entertained the troops in the Pacific. Later he relocated in Amarillo, Texas. From 1946 onwards, he was back on WJAS in Pittsburg, Pa.

For early September fornight’s favorites, Very different things this time, from 1947 to 1961.

June 1954, exactly 18. A newcomer with his first recording. DOUG PONDEXTER came from Vendale, Arkansas. Several months ago, as he had went to Memphis, he had been noticed by a guitar player, Scotty Moore – surely the name rings a bell – and hired as front guitar man of his group, the Starlight Wranglers. His voice was very nasal, without doubt as imitation of his idol Hank Williams. On this day, he cut two sides, whose I retain « Now She Cares No More For Me » under the producer Sam Phillips, hence Sun 202. The record, albeit reviewed by the famous Cash Box magazine, went nowhere, and Poindexter earned his life later as a successful insurance man. « Now She Cares… » is pure hillbilly bop heaven. Fiddle and steel to the fore, and heavy bass (Bill Black). Less than 2 weeks later Black and Moore backed young Elvis. The rest is history.

Doug Poindexter with the Starlight Wranglers

Bobby Wayne

From the Washington State in 1963, here’s the very Johnny Cash styled BOBBY WAYNE. « Big Train » first on Jerden 709. During the flipside, « The Valley », the guitarist even adopts Luther Perkins’ (Cash guitarist) licks. Good vocal on both sides, and discrete chorus.

In the December 2016 fortnight I came with Californian Western swing artist EDDIE DEAN and his « Rock’n’Roll Cowboy » on Sage from 1957. Here is a quieter thing (Sage 188) : « Impatient Blues » as its name doesn’t imply is a bluesy thing, nice steel and a bit of crooning.

Cash Box March 3, 1955

Eddie & Chuck, the Louisiana Ramblers

« The Louisiana Ramblers », EDDIE AND CHUCK came in 1954 with a bouncing thing, « Boogie The Blues » on the Chicago Chance label (# 3012). Weird and savage steel, great vocal and solid bass. How they were acquainted with an otherwise Blues/jazz label (1100 serie with already known artists like Wllie Nix – ex- Sun Records, or J.B. Hutto) is open to conjecture. May I put forward this ? These sides were not unknown to Stan Lewis, owner of KWKH in Shreveport, La., who also acted as talent scout for Northern companies : Dale Hawkins and Sonny Boy Williamson came from his stable of artists and were recruited by Chess/Checker.Chance had apparently a 3000-C&W serie, but I never ever heard of any more record than this in this serie.

Cash Box, Feb. 15, 1954

A real male/female duet now with DOTTIE JONES & WINSTON O’NEAL. A fast bopper , « I’ll Be Yours » has a prominent guitar – the solo comes a la Carl Perkins ! To be found on TNT 134 (San Antonio, Texas).

From an unknown source, I picked up on YouTube a nice slice of fast Hillbilly bop wih « Just Me And My Fiddle » by BENNY MARTIN, apparently in 1954-55 on Pioneer 630. Martin cut records on Pioneer, Mercury and M-G-M. On one side he was backed with  »Hilllous Butrum & his Tennessee Partners », ex-bass player for Hank Williams, and was of rural Tennessee extraction. Nevertheless a very fine Hillbilly bopper.

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TONY DOUGLAS was released in 1958 on the very first D label records (# 1205, issued June 1958). « Baby, When The Sun Goes Down » is typical of mid-fifties Houston Hillbilly bop : solid steel, fine piano and guitar, and great vocal. Douglas had several other tracks on D, before switching in 1961 to « United artists »), more than 40 records between 1958 and 1965.A good seller.

Maddox bros. & Rose>/h2>

That’s it, folks. Sources: 45cat and 78worlds as usual for label scans. Several tunes do come from YouTube. My own archives, too.

Late August 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Very different things this time, from 1947 to 1961.

Ray Whitley & his Six Bar Cowboys

First, from June ’47, RAY WHITLEY & His Bar X Cowboss for « Wiihin This Broken Heart  » on Cowboy 307. Fiddle, accordion, guitar – a lovely swinging uptempo, and typical of the ’40s. Location unknown, very probablbly East coast. Whitley also released the first (?) version of « Juke Box Cannonball » (Cowboy 301), also done by Bill Haley in 1952, (Holiday) « Cousin » Ford Lewis in 1947 (Four Star) and Charlie Stone (Arcade) in 1954. Whitley was an actor in Westerns too, as well as recording (1934 onwards) on Decca, Perfect, Conqueror. What a rich career !

Change completely for Louisiana. ALDUS ROGER saw this record « Lifetime Waltz » issued by San Antonio, Texas T.N.T. label (# 106, 1956). Vivid Cajun vocal and marvelous accordian : earlier he was recorded by Jay D. Miller on his Feature label with the nice « Mardi Gras Dance » (Feature 2004):an aggressive steel and a good accordion, of course, from 1954.

Jerry Dove & his String Busters

Let’s stay in San Antonio on T.N.T. # 141 with a carbon copy (lyrics) of « Blue Suede Shoes » in « Pink Bow Tie ». JERRY DOVE was the leader (which instrument?) and Bill Massey the singer. Cool vocal, a really great and raucous, wild steel, an heavy bass. The flipside (« Foolish Heart » is similar, although less fast, a moderate swinging ballad, well done anyway. Value (B.J.’s) : $ 200-250.

Next cut on the Marlinda label (no clues on the label) # 1626. JIM RUSE delivers his « What Are You Tryin’ To Do » , mid-paced tempo, a good rhythm guitar (uninventive for the solo), a gay vocal very melodic. For Goodness’ sake, I don’t where I picked this one from..

Jack Fincher & Collin County Four

Another small Texas label was Skippy. I chose both sides of # 224 (1961) by JACK FINCHER & Collins Couny Four. « When I’m Stepping Out » is a good melodic hillbilly bop ballad. Nice steel, hillbilly vocal. The flipside, « Nickels Worth Of Pennies » do follow the same pattern : great steel and heavy ehythm guitar.

In a recent Fortnight, I’d publish EDDIE HAZELWOOD version of « Hound Dog » . Here is another goodie, « I’ve Gotta Lose My Blues » (Intro 6068), 1953. Written by Danny Dedmond, actually Danny Dedmon – see his story elsewhere in the site.

That’s it, folks.

Sources : 45 cat for labels, 78worlds (Ray Whitley). Internet for more thn one tune. My own archives. Ronald Keppner for some records (Ray Whitley). Viele Danke, Ronald!