Early April 2019 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdy folks ! This is early April 2019 fortnight’s favorites’ selection.

Lefty Nicks

We begin with a rarity, aimed at Rockabilly circles, and sold between $ 800 and 1000. On the Nicktone label (# 6020) LEFTY NICKS delivers a great « Model A Ford Blues ». An utempo half-sung vocal over great guitars and steel throughout tune.

John Talley

Then a well-known figure, this of JOHN TALLEY with two different styles. First an uptempo straight Nashville style – steel and fiddle solos, guitar to the fore – for « Hillbilly Sweetheart » on Jamboree 509 from 1954. Then a « perfect » song on Mercury 70902 : « (I’ve Changed My) Wild Mind » is a classic Rockabilly, with great guitar and a lot of echo, from mid-1956. Talley had another good tune, « « Shine, Shave And Shower (It’s Saturday Night) » on Tennessee 752 from 1954.

Eddie Bond & the Stompers

On Mercury too, EDDIE BOND & his Stompers and two classic sides, « Boppin’ Bonnie » and « Baby, Baby, Baby » (Mercury 70941, issued August 1956). Bond was from Memphis, TN, and delivers great tunes on a par with what Sun was doing at the time. Lot of echo, uptempo song with drums.”Bopping’ Bonnie” was written by Jerry Huffman and Jody Chastain, the two sidemen of Charlie Feathers. The B-side is a bit slowier with a touch of blues.

James Wilson

From Shreveport, La., the 17-years old JAMES WILSON offer in 1957 on Ram Records (unknown #) the great « Wilson Blues N° 1 ». Of course a bluesy uptempo, a good atmospheric tune with drums. The record when located change hands for $ 600-700.

Luke Gordon

Two sides now by LUKE GORDON. Originating from Kentucky, he’d cut in 1958 (May, or November) on Vienna, Va. Blue Ridge label (# 502). « Dark Hollow » is the old Bill Browning song, done here with dobro and fiddle. Gordon’s voice is well fitted to this type of material.. The flipside « You May Be Someone (Where You Come From) » is in the same style : fiddle and dobro solos.

Sonny Burns

Finally SONNY BURNS, a largely underrated Starday artist. Here he is with a July (?) 1956 Eddie Noack tune, « If You See My Baby » : it’s an uptempo with fiddle (Ernie Hunter) and steel (Herbie Remington) solos. Classic Starday backing : tinkling piano of Doc Lewis, and Hal Harris on lead guitar.

Sources: my own archives; 45-cat; RCS; YouTube

Late March 2019 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Late March 2019 fortnight’s favorites : the 6th of this year, and once more 9 goodies in Hillbilly bop style, from 1952 to 1965.

Wade Ray

He was a fiddler (1913-1998) and leader of a Western swing orchestra during the early ’50s, between Indiana and Illinois. Here a delivers an energetic (no fiddle, but drums) trucker song, « Idaho Red » from early 1954, on the RCA-Victor label (# 20-5624).

Burrie Manso & the Bonnivilles

On the Town-Crier label (# 200) from an unknown location (no clue from the record label), BURRIE MANSO and the Bonnivilles delivers a Rockabilly rocker with the $ 600-700 tag, « My Woman ». Very fine guitar, reminiscent of Scotty Moore, on this disc from 1960.

Bill Hicks & the Southerneers

From Detroit, although backed by the Southerneers (no doubt in order to attract real South expatriates in Michigan), BILL HICKS did cut in 1957 two fine songs for Fortune records # 188 : first a slow one, « She’s Done Gone », with a good guitar throughout ; second an uptempo and over a boogie guitar, with an almost surreal sound to them. Hicks had also records on Hi-Q and Happy Hearts.

Honey & Sonny (he Davis Twins)

In 1963, and in Charleston, W. Va. was published the great rural sounding duet (male/female) of « I’m Rough Stuff » (a Bill Carlisle song) by the Davis Twins – as they were called – also named HONEY & SONNY on their own H&S label (# 7069). Great lead guitar and infectious bass rhythm.

Charlie Huff (& Bobby Kent)

In Oklahoma City CHARLIE HUFF (and Bobby Kent) did cut in 1959 or early ’60s an uptempo, mid-paced « Can’t Tame Wild Women » : a joyful song over good guitar and electric bass (# 726). Huff had a long string of releases, from 1957 , on his own Huff label.

In Oklahoma City CHARLIE HUFF (and Bobby Kent) did cut in 1959 or early ’60s an uptempo, mid-paced « Can’t Tame Wild Women » : a joyful song over good guitar and electric bass (# 726). Huff had a long string of releases, from 1957 , on his own Huff label.

Bennie Hess

Even more prolific than Huff was Texan BENNIE HESS. Was chosen from his abundant production a 1965 record, « Trucker’s Blues » : fine backing (guitar and steel) and infectious rhythm issued on Musicode 5691. Other Hess labels which he issued on were Opera, Jet, Space/Spade, Popularity, Showland among others, that is without mentioning aliases and pseudonyms. Maybe Hess will have his story on in boppin.org someday.

Frank Hunter & the Black Mountain Boys

Finally in Tennessee by the Sarasota, Fl. originating FRANK HUNTER & His Back Mountain Boys, both sides (# 1049) of a Rich-R’-Tone label do « Tennessee Boy », a really fine and fast Bluegrass bopper (banjo and fiddle led), and « Little Boy Blue », a mid-paced bopper.

Sources : 78worlds (45-cat) for many a scan, YouTube (Honey & Sonny)(Bill Hicks)(Wade Ray), HBR-28 for Frank Hunter.

Early March 2019 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdy folks ! This is the 5th bopping fortningt’s favorites selection of the 2019 year, that of early March. Mostly made of late ’40s and very early ’50s recordings in very various styles.

Blue Ridge Playboys (Moon Mullican)

Let’s begin with a San Antonio recording from November 1936 : « Swing Baby Swing » is a Blue Ridge Playboys tune, described on the label (Vocalion 034160) as « Hot String Band And Singing » : Moon Mullican (vocal and piano) is driving the Blue Ridge Playboys with this lively tune, only a pretext for piano, fiddle (Leon Selph) and guitar solos.

Moon Mullican

Further on with two later sides by MOON MULLICAN on the King label (recorded in Cincinnati on March 6th, 1953), : « Grandpa Stole My Baby »(written by a R&B giant, Roy Brown) and « I Done It » are obvious attempts to sound R&B (a lovely saxophone and drums, played by Boyd Bennett) and predate vintage Rock’n’roll by 3 years. Lazy rhythm, haunting tracks at every listen, of course the piano is great.

Billy Hughes’ Pecos Pals

Next artist is a legendary songwriter, with classic songs from the 1946-48 era like « I’m Tellin’ You », « It’s Too Late To Change Your Mind », « Tennessee Saturday Night » or « Stealin’ The Blues ». Bopping.org devoted him an article (in October 2014), and here’s a tune that escaped to the post, BILLY HUGHES’ PECOS PALS and « Out Of Town Boogie » (4* 1202 from 1947) : it’s an uptempo mid-paced, vocally halfspoken.

Walt McCoy

WALT McCOY was a West Coast artist : he was backed by his Western Wonders, and had records on Cristal and Broadway among others. Here he delivers first a « Cowboy Boogie », a solid rhythm over a boogie guitar pattern, taken over by an uninspired steel solo, and piano, issued on the rare O and W label (# 237). Then on a 4* custom OP- record (on Pacific 145), « I’m Gonna Get A Honky Tonk Angel » is a slow thing, a bit crooning and disillusioned vocal over a good steel.

Eddie Marshall

Then on a major label (RCA-Victor # 21-0357 cut –), a cheerful, although on a bluesy type tempo, « Tom Cat Blues » by an unknown but prolific artist : EDDIE MARSHALL & His Trail Dusters. The steel-guitar goes throughout the song, and the vocal is yodeling at times.The dude had several other good records, namely « Mobilin’ Baby Of Mine » (also by Gene O’Quinn on Capitol 2075), « Honky Tonk Blues » (not the Hank Williams song), a version of « Coffee, Cigarettes & Tears » (also by Charlie ‘Peanuts ‘ Faircloth on Decca 46271) . Eddie Mashall really deserves a complete research and a publication.

Al Brumley

Later on Ohio’s Acme 1230 (1950’s, it’s difficult to date this particular issue), AL BRUMLEY & The Brumley Brothers do release « You’ve Been Tellin’ Me Lies », a good uptempo with steel present (+ solo), over a vocal well suited to this rural type of song.

Snake River Outlaws

Finally a great fiddle and mandolin led bopper from a very unusual place : Missoula, Montana. The Snake River Outlaws do « I Won’t Go Huntin’ Jake (But I’ill Go Chasin’ Women)[vocal Orville Fochtman] with good fiddle and mandolin (solo), I’d assume a ’50s disc, but may also be a ’60s one ! On their own label, Snake River Outlaw 101.

Sources : 78-world for most label scans, google for several pictures, sounds from various origins (HBR # 45 for Walt McCoy, for example)

Late February 2019 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdy folks ! It’s the second fortnight of February 2019, and there are already in this blog 5 issues since January 1st, that of two bopping fortnight’s favorites selections, and two throroughly researched hillbilly profiles, that first of the North Carolina Church Brothers and second of the harmonica extraordinaire Lonnie Glosson. Now we embark for the late February bopping selection. Latch on, folks !

Lacy Kirk

A very fast 1961 Hillbilly rocker bt LACY KIRK, « This Is Saturday Night » – guitar played on the bass chords, too short steel-guitar and fiddle solos. Singer in a good voice. This record was released on Ohio Karl 3022, a label of Clay Eager bopping is now actively researching on (see « I’m Looking For » section) . The man had many good records to his credit, and maybe you can help to share your knowledge of him with me and all the readers of the blog. « This Is Saturday Night » will cost you $ 270 if you can locate a copy in good shape.

Carson Willis

CARSON WILLIS is rightly interesting for more than one reason. He hailed from South Carolina it seems, and released the fast Hillbilly rocker « Sal’s House # 1 and # 2 as talking songs on Dixie (another of this name) # 121 (duet with Goldie Norris) complete with animals’ yells. Actually it was a reworking of « Going Down To Sal’s House » issued on the Starday custom Dixie # 903 in September 1959 under the name BILL WILLIS.

The flipside « Poor Man » is similar in style.

Bill /Harmon R. Willis

And Willis (if he’s really the same man) was to publish in 1958 as « HARMON R. WILLIS & Family », again on Dixie-NC [=North Carolina, one can assume] 123, « Crossing Over Jordan », a very good sacred Hillbilly. Finally Bill Willis also issued the fine double-sided « Boogie Woogie All Night »/ »Where Is My Baby », a classic Rockablly on Dixie 825 (value $ 300 to 400).

Another Rockailly bopper, « Wanted, Dead Or Alive » comes next on the G. B. 406 label by CURTIS WILSON : urgent vocal, and a good rhythm guitar. Other records of interest are : « Teenage Party Line » (Canary 6417) and « My Heart Is Made Of The Blues » (Cherry 1014 – the very same Scottsville Kentucky label which did bear Art Adams, Judy Capps or Johnny Hargett and Tommy Holmes – phew ! what a Rockabilly poster!). Alas, Wilson’s records didn’t live up to their promises, as they were teen rockers.

Carl Perkins

On to a star, which is unusual in bopping. CARL PERKINS in May 1955 cut the Hillbilly bopper (very near to Rockabilly) « Let The Juke Box Keep On Playing ». A very great Rockaballad, warm voice, guitar and bass – steel by Stan Kesler and fiddle by Bill Cantrell, both stalwart accompanists on more than one Hillbilly session at Sun or Meteor. This record is perfect !

Wayne Busbice

Frankie Short & Dee Gunter

Finally from Baltimore, MD the frantic voiced duet « Country Boy Trock And Roll » (mandolin, fiddle and banjo) by FRANKIE SHORT and DEE GUNTER on the Wango label (# 201), which bopping researches on. Short (with Green Valley Boys) had another interesting record, « No Longer Sweetheart Of Mine » during the early ’70s. Indeed the original to “Country Boy..” had been cut late 1956 by Don Reno & Red Smiley on King 5002: Short and Gunter do frankly copy this original.

And that’s it for this late February 2019 selection. My thanks go to CheeseBrewWax YouTube chain ; to 45-cat for several label scans, as « Ohio River Records » site ; Tom Lincoln’s book for the value of Rockabilly/Rock’n’roll records ; consulting also Michel Ruppli’s book « The Mercury Discography » was also helpful (Merle Lindsay record) ; finally my own archives.

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.

A bopping New Year’s 2019! Early January fortnight’s favorites selection

My best wishes to anyone reading this blog. May this New Year 2019 bring you Happiness, good Health and the Boppinest music. I will try to give you the last gift possible all along the year.

We begin with a Texan, very probably Houstonian minor artist, JOHNNIE FORRER. To the best of my knowledge, he only had three records ever cut. First in 1958 on the D label (# 1021) : « Fool’s Paradise » and « Understand » are two uptempo Rockaballads, good steel solo (even with strange effects, when it plays like a « musical saw » on « Paradise » side). Publishing house is « Starrite », which denotes a Starday imply, in any row, in the record. His second one « My Blues/The Real Thing », issued in 1959/60 on D 1074, goes on with the same formula (not posted).
Then his third known 45 was released in 1963 on the Bow & Arrow ( 1003) label. « Long Gone » is a good shuffler, piano to the fore (nice solo) and fair vocal.

Ray Pridie

From Bellingham, Wash. came RAY PRIDIE on the Car (# 102) label who’d sing the very good « Lonesome Broken Hearted Me ». Good steel, an electric guitar played on the bass strings on an uptempo rhythm. Barytone voice of the singer.

Cook Brothers

« Juke Box Play For Me » was cut in 1958 and released on a (no #) Island EP dedicated to the COOK BROTHERS in Wheeling, W.Va. A cross between fast Hillbilly Bop and Rock’n’roll, this vocal duet is a jumping (nice guitar) and moving little tune.

Lyle Keefer

Another Dixie issue, # 877, 1959), « Hand Full Of Love » (his only known record) by LYLE KEEFER is a nice uptempo bopper: barytone voice, steel annd piano present. Whole song moves !

Johnny Rector

A renegade from Blacky Crawford’s Western Cheroekes (backing the first Starday records in 1953), JOHNNY RECTOR had already cut in 1950 for Imperial, then had a long string of releases on his own on Coral Records. His « Have You Ever Been Kissed » (# 64168) is fast steel led goodie ; each (steel, piano and lead guitar) taking its solo. Rector’s voice is smooth running and very agreeable.

Jim Dickinson

A R&B rocker for a change. The producer being a « Bill Justis », one can indeed speculate on a Memphis, TN recording issued by Soutthtown # 28006. « Shake ‘Em On Down » hold its promises : vocal belter by JIM DICKINSON, a nice harmonica, and a long, GREAT guitar solo.

Carl Tilton

In 1957 on the Morris, OK Stardale label you’re stumbling now on CARL TILTON for two issues. First is a rollicking « Bearcat mama ». Guitar and piano are doing their best here, while Tilton is aided by one Dale Davis on vocal (latter having himsef releases on Stardale)(# 500). The flipside « Little Cabin » is a great shuffler : good guitar, a steel solo and nice piano. Exuberant vocal.

Hal Smith

Finally HAL SMITH releases his record « Hard Hard Times » on the Yucca label # 116 (late ’50s). A fine Country-rocker, guitar led played on the bass chords and a very fine vocal. Smith also had (# 108), « Make My Livin’ With My Guitar ».

Sources :Sources : mainly YouTube ; some tracks from HBR serie ; 45-cat.