Early September 2019 bopping fortnight’s favorites

I don’t know where DON WINTERS hailed from, probably Nashville. He has during the mid-’50s several good discs.

On RCA-Victor 47-6154 first he asked his Lady « Forgive My Mistakes » : a nice shuffler – piano, steel solo and an extrovert, really sincere vocal.
A later side (RCA 6348) « One Way Is Bound To Be Right » finds him, in a faster rhythm. A pleasant side.

Finally he embarked Rockabilly bandwagon with a release on Coin # 102 : « Be My Baby, Baby » is still Hillbilly Bop, but almost Rockabilly. The collectors couldn’t be mistaken. The Coin issue is valued at $ 150-200. Flipside « Pretty Moon » is pure heaven Rockabilly with its urgent vocal.

A typical Honky tonker from 1956 comes next with BILL WIMBERLY and his Country Rhythm Boys : « You Can’t Lean On Me » has a good steel (solo) and fiddle. A pretty nice record for the era. Mercury 70900. Just a few months earlier (February) Wimbery had released (Mercury 70815) « Ole Mister Cottontail » and on the flipside a lively instrumental « Country Rhythm ». Later on he was on Starday (« Back Street »).

Is it useful to develop on AL TERRY ? He’s already known since 1953 for his first sides on Feature and Champion. Here he is in July 1956 on the Hickory (# 1056) label out of Nashville for a typical mid-tempo Honky tonk bordering Rockabilly, « Roughneck Blues ». A lazy vocal and the lead guitar played by none other than Grady Martin.

Casho Box, Nov. 10, 1956

We jump back in May 1954 for a real ‘tour-de-force’ by the Father of Bluegrass, BILL MONROE : here it’s his « Whitehouse Blues » (Decca 29141). It’s the FASTEST Bluegrass tune ever.

Finally from Texas in 1956 a jumping little Rockabilly bopper with “Dig Them Squeaky Shoes » by FRANK STARR on the Lin label # 1009.

Sources : my own archives ; YouTube ; various compilations.

Early August 2019 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Hello folks! It’s plain Summer, so if you intend to spare some time with me, here is the early August 2019 selection (10 tracks), mostly from the mid-50s.When you hear them, please get me a comment, or even: ask for more! Here we go.

With such a name, and with regards to the rest of his career, Jay Chevalier sounds a Louisiana artist. However, this is his very first record cut for Cajun, a label out of Virginia. “Rockin’ Roll Angel” (Cajun 101B) is a furious Rockabilly from 1957 – lot of echo on the vocal, a wild steel, a bizarre percussion (is this the bass playing?) and a guitar “a la Travis”. Chevaler went later on Pel (“Bill Cannon”) and Goldband 1105 in 1960 (“Castro Rock”, with political overtones for the Cuba crisis). This record changes hands for $ 300-350.

Al Ferrier and the Bopping’ Billies, the next artist, is also a Louisiana one. Let’s hear him in his first (both sides) issue on Lake Charles’ Goldband 1031. “No No Baby” (legal reissue here, that’s how rare is the original) is a proud Rockabilly bop: fiddle solo, and driving guitar/bass from Spring 1956. The flip side, “I’ll Never Do Any Wrong” is only slowier: a bluesy screaming weeper with 2 fiddle solos ad a guitar more to the fore. The original is sold for $ 100-150.

Cash Box, April 14, 1956

Jack Turner has already a minor Hillbilly bop/Rockablly classic with “Everybody’s Rockin’ (But Me)” ; the flip side is more Hillbilly bop: an uptempo with fiddle and steel. Valued at $ 50-60.

Cash Box April 19, 1956

Buddy Hawk was a Wheeling, W.Va. artist, although the Sheraton label was out of Boston, Ma. He released in late 1954 the surprisingly good (valued only at $ 25-30) double-sider “Honey Baby”/”My Heart’s A-Beatin'” (Sheraton 1003). He was part of the W.C.O.P. Hayloft Jamboree and the record is pure Hillbilly bop.

Cash Box, December 25, 1954

Wayland Seals & The Oil Patch Boys (!) do deliver in 1957 on the Slim Willet owned Winston label (# 1016) a fast Rockabilly. Strong vocal, a lovely guitar and a 6 (or 12?) strings-guitar throughout.”When I’m Gone” is sold for $ 150-200 bucks.

Cash Box August 17, 1957

Th Whitey Knight Orchestra offer on the Wesy coast “Another, Brew, Bartender” on Sage 205 from 1955. A weird, demented fiddle over a nice vocal plus a steel solo. This is a great record, although only valued at $ 15-20.

On the New Mexico Jewel label (# 108), we finish with Wade Jackson (backed on chorus by Weldon & Wanda Rogers) and “Seven Kinds Of Love”. 1960. A ballad, with a very nice ‘modern’ steel; the fiddle is buzzing (played ‘pizzicato’: stupendous – hear it!). Jackson was also on Gallatin’ Tennessee label (“Father Time And Mother Nature”).

Sources: mainly Internet, 45cat and my own archives.

Late July 2019 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Jimmy Key & his Timber Trail Riders

Originating from Cullman, Tx, in 1927, he worked his way through Florida, Mississipi, Tennessee before relocating himself in Fort Worth, Tx. It is then surprising that his record label, HiLite was one out of Barre, Vermont. His “Super Market Day” (# 102) is cheerful: a muted trumpet, a fine walking bass and a fiddle solo; a cross between cityzed Hillbilly bop and Western swing. Key had another disc on Bayou.

Key had two other records. One from 1958 on the Tennessee Logan label (unheard), and another from 1954 on the Bayou label, in the “Country serie”; “I’ll Never Get Out Of Your Way” (# 3002, well worth the seek for) is a good bopper to be found on “High On The Hog”, vol. 2, Cactus bootleg label.

Cliff Waldon & the Westernaires

A steel, a fiddle, a string bass with solo, over a sympathetic vocal do combine for the fine bopper “My Baby Doll” on the small Mark label (# 107) located in Utica, NY. Waldon had another one, “Indian Woman/Get Off The Stool”.

Cash Nox, August 30, 1957

Jesse Rogers & his 49ers

He had a long and rich story during the ’30s and until the late ’50s. As a cousin of the late Jimmie Rodgers, he easily did yodel and sang those great ballads about West and trains. A first track from his ‘golden age’ is “Howlin’ And Prowlin'”, a medium-paced bopper from 1953 (M-G-M 11422). It’s a shuffler with piano, steel and a bluesy guitar solo over an ‘answer response’ by the band

Four years later, Rockabilly had passed its way through, and Rogers must adapt his style to new trends, hence “You Can’t Hang That Monkey On My Back”, half amusing, half threatening fast hillbilly rocker on the Arcade label (# 143) out of Philly, PA: steel (solo), accordion (solo), the now famous pattern of ‘answer/response’ by the band. Here it’s a perfect example of a Country & Western band trying to catch the public’s tastes.

Weldon Rogers

Rogers (apparently no relation Jesse above) released in July 1957 his version of Elvis’ Sun recording of “Trying To Get To You” on Imperial 5451, a nice ballad, lot of echo on guitar and sincere vocal. But it was actually Roy Orbison and his full band doing the tune, already cut for Je-Well (# 101) issued the year before.
Weldon Rogers had also interesting sides on Jewel (“Women Drivers”), Queen (Texas label) and Peach (early ’60s). The Imperial one was the B-side to a Rockabilly classic, “So long, Good Luck And Goodbye”.

Bill Guyton Tennessee Playboys

Bill Guyton was another ‘unknown’ artist who, despite a recording (although on a small label) never made it. He even never made a second record. “I’ve Got A Little Time For Loving” (Pride 3000) cut in Nashville during the mid-to-late Fifties is a shuffling Hillbilly bop: assured vocal, fiddle, steel and pinky-dink piano. Nothing spectacular or unique, a pleasant side to listen to.

Cash Box, October 22, 1956

Here’s a shuffler (once more; after all it’s the easier way to dancers) by a prolific artist. He doesn’t sound country pop yet. A fine example of his early offerings, with a blues touch. A very strong voice (some yodel and hiccups), backed by fiddle, bass and a guitar particularly uninventive

Jimmie Skinner

Here Jimmy Skinner does offer his usual style: electric mandolin (solo) and a bluesy tune. This “Muddy Water Blues” dates from June 1956.

Sources : my own archives; YouTube (Cliff Waldon),45cat/78worlds in some cases; pictures on Google; Ultra rare Hillbilly boogie serie.

Late June 2019 bopping fortnight’s favorites (mid-50s to 1973..)

Howdy folks! Glad to meet you again. Just a note about the way I put in order those fortnight’s favorites selections. When a record out of my digital library appears to please me, be it Country boogie, Hillbilly hop or Rockabilly, I am hungry to find if the artist made another record in a similar style. Sometimes I am lucky, sometimes not: the disc was a one-off recording. Perhaps later, years later, I will put my hands on a second offering. At this stage the real research does begin: Internet is the main source for information on the record label, the artist, also books and magazines. Then I am doing the actual selection (7 to 10 records) and review every disc. This time you will be treated with 8 records.

Denny Turner

From Indiana between July and October 1955. Denny Turner cut “Deep Down In My Heart” on the Okie label (# 300). It’s a good uptempo bopper: steel solo, fiddle; an assured vocal. The reverse side of this record has a sacred vocal.

Tommy Nelson

From Shawnee, OK, in 1961 came Tommy Nelson on the Dixie label (main serie). “Dangling On A String” (# 919) is not his best record: it’s a slow rocker with rinky dink piano, and an uninventive guitar. His best sides can be found on Dixie 814: “Hobo Bop” and its flipside “Honey Moon Blues”are superior Rockabillies, valued at $ 800-1000, if you can afford a copy. “Dangling On A String” is even sold for $ 125-150.

Jimmy Wert & The Four Squirts

“Please Believe Me” was issued on the Chambersburg, PA. Skyline label # 752 in 1959. Possibly another Starday custom. It’s slow bopper crossing Rockabilly. A bluesy fine guitar is embroidering the vocal. The flipped “Bingo Blues” was reviewed in late December 2017 fortnight’s favorites.

Margaret (Maggie) Owens

“No Hard Times”, issued in 1973.

A great rendition of the old Jimmie Rodgers classic. Very nice guitar, an energetic vocal performance – even some yodels. And this one was released as late as 1973 in Cincinnati on the Rams label # 305129.

Billy Free

“I’ll Tear Your Playhouse Down” is a classic Hillbilly bopper (with a touch of Country rock: it dates from…1968!) by Billy Free on the Dianne label (# 407) out of Birmingham, AL. Great vocal, nice lead guitar (alas, a too short solo). This record is still affordable at $ 60-75.

Leon Stafford & his State Drifters

The recording location in not known for this record, neither the date of release; however aural evidence does place “Eight Ball” in the mid-’50s. A good ‘little’ bopper with nasal voice, a risky-dink piano, and a fiddle solo.

Harold Smith with Slim Glisson & the Trail Riders & Danny Clark

A call-and-response format for this uptempo “Listen To Me Baby” to be found on the Rondo label, out of Savannah, Ga., a predictable Starday custom). It was issued in 1956 and does feature a romping piano (nice solo), plus fiddle and a good steel solo.

Lindburg Deavers

The last disc of this selection do come from Mobile, Al. on the Shane label (# 11050), a subsidiary to Sandy Records. It’s hard to date such a record, I’d say late ’50s. Lindburg Deavers releases a fine Rockabilly, “Miss Me Now”: a very nice piano and guitar. No one could give a price yet, that’s how this record is so rare.

Sources: my own digital archives; Allan Turner for Dianne and Rondo records; YouTube for Lindburg Deavers per example.

Late May 2019 bopping fortnight favorites

Howdy folks! Here we go again for a new selection (rather a short ne) of bopping favorites. They range from late ’40s (Cousin Deems Sanders) to late ’50s (Ray Stone). With the odd issue from Detroit (Peter De Bree) or California (Gene Crabb), they are all Texas records.

Cousin Deems Sanders and his Goat Herders with Walt McCoy

On the then big concern Crystal (# 246), let’s enjoy to the first selection’s choice, “Goatburger Boogie”: a bouncing instrumental. A boogie pattern guitar, a swooping piano and a demented fiddle. McCoy also released “Cowboy Boogie” and “I’m Gonna Get A Honky Tonk Angel”, reviewed in March 2019’s fortnight.

Jill Turner acc. by Art West & his Sunset Riders

From February 1946, on the Urban label (# 111), Jill Turner offer a fast (bit on the novelty side) “I’m Going Down To The Mountain”. A good fiddle, and a fine interplay between accordion and steel. She also had “Yodeling Cow Girl” on Urban 117.

Tony Farr

This artist, billed “And His Swinging Guitar”, comes next with two records on the Enterprise label based in Beaumont, Texas. “What’s The Use” has a nice guitar, but the fiddle is prominent (# 1208) on this 1958 issue, while “There’s No else In Marrying Me” (# 1211) is a jumping tune with a similar instrumentation.

Peter De Bree

In 1957 and Detroit, MI. Peter De Bree cut for Fortune Record (# 193) a rocked up version of the Hank Williams’ classic, “My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It”. A solid piano takes the lead all through, while the guitar is largely overshadowed. Vocal of Bernie Sanders is OK. Nevertheless a good rocker.

Leonard Clark & the Land of Sky Boys

On the small label of Klub # 3108, located in South Carolina, here’s Leonard Clark for the Rockabilly “Come To Your Tommy Now”; assured vocal, good guitar and piano for a 1962 record.

Gene Crabb & his Round Up Rhythm Boys

Rural Rhythm in California was owned by the songwriter Johnny O’Neal, and issued important records by Johnny Tyler, Kenny Smith or Johnny Skiles between 1955 and 1960. Here is Gene Crabb (actually a drummer) and his “Blues Won’t Bother Me” (# 506): bass chords guitar, very effective steel and the good vocal of one Eddie Willis. Crabb had done in ’53 on the Richtone label (# 353, location: Dallas) the very nice “Truck Stop Lucy”, and co-worked with Eddie Miller on 4 *. He released also “Gotta Have A Woman/I’ve tried” on Rural Rhythm 529.

Ray Stone

On T.N.T. 169 (1959) we finally found Ray Stone and “China Doll”, a fine rocker – a clicking guitar. The whole is a complete change with the previous records. He also sang fronting Jerry Dove’s band on # 173 (“Why Don’t You Love Me”).
Sources : my own archives ; HBR for Rural Rhythm; Ultra Rare Rockabilly’s for Leonard Clark; YouTube (Tony Farr, Peter De Bree). Jill Turner picture from “Hop Bop’n’Hop” As you without doubt noticed, I was writing this feature with a lack of inspiration. Be sure however the music comes first. Thanks for forthcoming comments.

Early May 2019 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdy, folks! This is the early May 2019 fortnight’s favorites selection: 6 artists, most of them having their records issued between the late ’40s and the mid-50s, with a brief entry into the late ’50s.

First song, “Too Young To Get Married”, is a fast item – rural hick vocal, fiddle solo and steel. A gas! Released on Birmingham, AL. GG # 516 label.

The second Bill Lancaster selection, “It’s Saturday Night (And I’m Going To Town)” has a rinky dink piano. A pure heaven Hillbilly bopper from 1955, also on GG label # 519.

Bill Lancaster’s Roving Gamblers

“Past Love” by Bill Lancaster (R.S. of # 519) is medium honky tonk – sincere vocal with steel. Lancaster had another record on his apparently own label, Bills-45 (untraced)

Fiddlin’ Willie & the Ozark Pals

Accordion was a very popular instrument in the late ’40s Country. It’s the main one in Fiddlin’ Willie’s “Knocking at Your Door” recorded on Saint Louis, MO Disco label # 1500. A fast number with of course a nice fiddle solo. Vocal is by Leon Key, one of the brothers Robert, Richard and Willie Key, respectively mandolin and/or guitar, and fiddle.

Fiddlin’ Willie & the Ozark Pals on Sarg

Gone was the accordion for this August 1956 item, “Our Secret Rendezvous”, a medium paced number with of course a nice fiddle solo. Accordion is replaced by a steel. Vocal is by Leon Key, one of the brothers Robert, Richard and Willie Key, respectively mandolin and/or guitar, and fiddle.A strong Louvin Brothers influence in the vocals. This record was cut in Saint Louis and offered by the Key Brothers’ manager to Charles Fitch (it’s the only non-Texas Sarg recording) who agreed to issue it.

Leroy Dobson

From the West Coast on the Ludwig label (1958), owned by Rodney Morris (it has been reported that the label was named after his son’s name), one Leroy Dobson for “I Wanta Make Love” (# 1005). A fast and uptempo number, a lot of steel = almost Rockabilly. Last time it was sold, $ 314!

Roy Harris & his Happy Hillbillies

Roy Harris was touring in Mississippi. He was signed by Lilian McMurry on her Trumpet label in Jackson and released “No One Else” (# 134) accompanied by the Buzz Busby Orchestra [for a future fortnight). Here we find him in 1954 on the Johnny Vincent’s Champion label, which was eventually forerunner to Ace.”Too Much” (# 105) is a medium paced ditty, with piano and fiddle to the fore. Harris also released records on Flair and Modern.

Walter (Tex) Dixson & his Radio Ramblers

Tex (or Walter, or even Mason) Dixon hailed from Birmingham, AL. and released many records all along the ’50s. We at bopping are now trying to set up his entire story to be published in a near future. Here it’s his first one, backed by the same band as on “Birmingham Bounce” by Hardrock Gunter and on the same label (Bama 2200). “Honky Tonk Swing” is an energetic performance, with a romping piano. Guitar and steel are great. A very rare record.

Gene Wyatt

Once more a West coast record. Ebb was owned by Art Rupe and was an outlet for Southern artists. I release here Gene Wyatt and “Lover Boy” (# 123, from 1957). Fine rinky dink piano, two great guitar solos and heavy drums. “Lover Boy” is a nice Rockabilly rocker.

Sources : my own archives ; 45cat (Bill Lancaster; Mellow’s Log Cabin (Walter Dixson); YouTube for Fiddling’ Willie, Gene Wyatt and Roy Harris.”The Sarg Records Anthology,1954-1964″ (BF)