HIGH GEARED DADDY

decca jimmie davis daddyFirst version of the song was cut by JIMMIE DAVIS in February 1937, backed by Milton Brown (actually deceased a year before) Musical Brownies. Out of them Lefty Perkins takes two solos on the steel, Papa Calhoun is at the piano and the fiddle duties are taken by Buck Buchanan. It’s a medium paced blues ditty typical of Davis’ work. It was issued on Decca 5349.
Jimmie Davis, “High geared daddy

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In August 1949 WEBB PIERCE, after having obviously heard Davis’ tune, revived it (taking the credit to him). Nice honky-tonker (Buddy Attaway on steel?)[Shot Jackson is on steel; Buddy Attaway played the lead guitar – note from March 23, 2018]. The lyrics were a bit different from Davis’. Here they are Pierce’s ones:

Come on here girls and hear my song

I’ll tell you my troubles as I step along

I’m a high geared daddy and there’s nothing I won’t do

I’m a two time papa when you leave me at home

I’ll call another momma on the telephone

I’m a high geared daddy that’s never been made blue

If you leave me at home well that’s allright

I’ll take a new momma with me tonight

[continued this style] this perfect example of honky tonk machism was issued on 4 Star 1413, and many times reissued (e.g. 4* 1601), then was the model for other versions.
4* 1413 pierce webbartistic pierce daddy

 

Webb PierceHigh geared daddy

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TOMMY LITTLE & the Sunrise Rangers, from Durham, N.C. recorded the song, although actually it’s a completely different one same time as Pierce’s and Davis’, because it is an old warhorse of the Thirties, frequently known as « Sweet mama put him in low », first recorded by KARL & HARTY (Karl Davis/Hartford Taylor) in Chicago, January 1941 (Okeh 06066). Not surprisingly the song was credited to “Davis”! Fairley Holden had his own version on King 771 in 1947. Tommy Little’s version, first issued on Tommy’s personal label, Tommy’s, was picked up by Colonial, a sub-label to Hollywood giant Modern diskery. Little gives the song a superbly energetic treatment with the mandolin giving it a wonderful old-time flavour.

OK karl & harty - mama
Karl & HartySweet mama put him in low

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Fairley HoldenSweet mama put him in low

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Tommy LittleHigh geared daddy

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king holden - mama

colonial little daddy

 

 

 

Returning to Webb Pierce’s « HIGH GEARED DADDY‘, the song found a new life in the hands of JIMMY WALKER on the West coast Intro label # 6025 in July 1951. He was backed on this occasion by Joe Maphis and Noel Boggs, augmented by George « Crazy » Tracy on harmonica and did offer an fine, relaxed although energetic version. Finally in a novelty style it was revived as a RCA LP track in 1956 by HOMER & JETHRO.
Jimmy WalkerHigh geared daddy

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Homer & JethroHigh geared daddy

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intro walker daddyjasmine CD Homer & jethro

Bottle it up or step it up and go: from a Blues classic to a Hillbilly bop minor classic

bluebird mcclennan bottle«Step it up and go » does ring a bell for you ? The song goes back (first recording) to 1932 by a jug band, but was cut well into the Fifties as a Hillbilly classic.

First Picaninny Jug Band of Dallas cut « Bottle it up and go » in 1932 on the Varsity label. I don’t know if the song was a success then, but it was revised several years later by the Memphis Jug Band (on Okeh, 1934) with Will Shade on vocal and guitar. Tommy Mc Clennan on Columbia (November 1939) as « Bottle it up and go », then in March 1940 by Blind Boy Fuller as « Step it up and go » (Vocalion or Columbia). In the meantime Sonny Boy Williamson (John Lee Williamson) had recorded it in May 1937 as »Got the bottle up and gone » (with vocal by Robert Lee McCoy, aka. Robert Nighthawk) on Bluebird. So after the Picaninny Jug Band, this must be the source where all the followers came. Leadbelly also came with his own version in September 1948 (Folkways).

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columbia fuller bottle

Varsity Pincanniny-Jug-Band bottle

 

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Picaninny Jug BandBottle it up and go” (1932)

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Sonny Boy Williamson, “Got the bottle up and gone” (1937)

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Tommy McClennan, “Bottle it up and go” (1939)

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Blind Boy Fuller, “Step it up and go” (1940)

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Maddox Bros. & RoseNew step it up and go” (Four Star, 1950)

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Big Jeff and the Radio Playboys (Dot, 1951)

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Harmonica Frank Floyd (Chess, 1951)

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Carl Story (Columbia, 1953)

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Big John Greer, “Bottle it up and go” (Groove, 1955)

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In September1950, the Maddox Bros. And Rose adopted the song on 4 Star as « New step it up and go » (with Don Maddox on vocal and fiddle, and interjections by Rose and the other members), obviously based on Blind Boy Fuller’s version. In July 1951 Harmonica Frank Floyd cut his own version for Sun (Chess 1475) while in 1953 Carl Story had « Step it up and go » as a-nearly-rockabilly version (strong lead guitar, but nice mandolin solo by Red Rector) on Columbia. Finally both Big John Greer (on Groove, 1955, with Mickey Baker on guitar) and John Lee Hooker (on Impulse) had « Bottle it up and go » or « Bottle up and go ». Even Mac Wiseman had his version in 1956 on Dot.

The original words were added by anybody’s verses, and as in many a blues song, the tune became this way a classic, still done these days.

Tommy McClennan’s lyrics :

Yes, yas?? Got to bottle it up an go?Got to bottle it up an go?Now, ’em high-power women?(guitar) Yeah??Now, she may be old?Ninety year?She ain’t too old?For the shift them gears??She gots (guitar)?’Got to do what, tell me ‘gain?’?’Got to bottle it up and go’?Now, them high power women -Yeah!??Now, I told my girl?Week ‘fore last?The gate she jus’ came in?Just a little too fast??She had to bottle it up an go?She had to bottle it up an go’d?An them high-power women?(guitar) Yes, yeah??Now, the nigger and the white man?Playin’, set ’em up?Nigger beat the white man?Was scared to pick it up??’He had the bottle up and do what?’?Had to bottle it up and go?And them high-power women?(guitar) Yeah??Now, look-a-here, baby?You stay last night??Ain’t none a yo’ business?You don’t do me right? – ‘You got t’?(guitar)?’Gotta do what??Tell me again, I don’t understand?’?I’ve got the bottle up and go’d?I ain’t gon’ bother with ’em?Now, them high-power women?Yeah??Now, nickel is a nickel?A dime is a dime?I don’ need no girl?If she want wine? She has to?(guitar)?Had do what??Had to bottle up and go?And them high-power women Yeah??Now, my mama killed a chicken?She thought it was a duck?She put him on the table?With the legs stickin’ up??He had-a (guitar)?Had to do what??He had the bottle it up and go’d?An them high-powered women?Sho’ got the bottle up and gone??’Yeah, play it man-a??Be-da, bee, bop, bop, bop?Bo, de-dum, be-dum, bop, bop?Bo, bom, bom, bom, bom?Bee-da, bee-um, bop-um, bop-um, bop?Bo, bop-um, bop-um, bop-bop, be-ba?T-dee-da, t-dee-da?T-da-da-da (guitar)Yeah! Uh-huh!??Got the bottle up and go?Got the bottle up and go?Now, you high-power women?Sho’ got to bottle ’em up and go.?

Research done mainly from Internet: google, collector’s frenzy, Youtube. Bibiographical research: Leslie Fancourt, “Blues discography 1943-1973”, Godrich/Dixon “Blues & gospel records 1902-1943”. “Sun records, the discography”. Notes to Big Jeff Bess BF CD. Notes to Carl Story from “Columbia 20000” (Willem Agenant site)

 

columbia story stepchess floyd step

dot jeff stepgroove greer step

Mac Wiseman “Step it up and go” (Dot, 1957)

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Mac Wiseman-Step It Up And Go-1956

 

 

 

 

 

Addition, March 2nd 2017. As you surely all know, the Internet world is a bottomless pit. I just found four Rock’n’roll versions of this classic. First BOB DINGUS, a really obscure artist, cut his teeth on the song in 1961, on the Washington, D.C. Florentine label (# 100). This was recorded in Vernon Wray’s studio, although there is no obvious involvement of Link Wray. Quite an ordinary version it is (good vocal, but a really uninspired guitarist) and no writer’s credit at all. Way back in June 1956 on the West coast, RUDY (RAY) MOORE offered a nice pounding R&B version on Federal 12276, moreover taking here the writer’s credit. Then the EVERLY BROTHERS had their version in 1963 on a W.B. EP. Quite a modern version. Finally do come the HI-TONES on the Memphis Allandale label # 3669 (a Style-Wooten production – credit goes to an Eugene Alexander) from 1972 (written on the label), and it’s a driving version, even not spoiled by the organ throughout.

All in all, STEP IT UP AND GO, and its alternate versions, has been really a successful theme since the ’30’s.

 

Atom, uranium and Hillbilly

Every art form had to deal with the arrival of the atomic age in one manner or another. Some artists were reserved and intellectual in their approach, others less so. The world of popular music, for one, got an especially crazy kick out of the Bomb. Country, blues, jazz, gospel, rock and roll, rockabilly, Calypso, novelty and even polka musicians embraced atomic energy with wild-eyed, and some might argue, inappropriate enthusiasm. These musicians churned out a variety of truly memorable tunes featuring some of the most bizarre lyrics of the 20th century. If it weren’t for Dr. Oppenheimer’s creation, for example, would we have ever heard lines like “Nuclear baby, don’t fission out on me!” or “Radioactive mama, we’ll reach critical mass tonight!”?

There are various subgenres (see below) that comprise the master genre we like to call the Atomic Platter, but mainly these compositions celebrate, lament or lampoon the Bomb and the Cold War that sprang from the mushroom clouds over Japan.

The earlier songs are less self-conscious, more naive (in some cases to the point of downright wackiness) and therefore more intriguing. Needless to say, another reason why many of these songs were selected is—put simply—they swing! Pondering the cultural climate that encouraged songs like 1957’s profoundly strange yet catchy Atom Bomb Baby is a lot more rewarding than, say, examining the obvious metaphors from a pre-electric Dylan protest song like “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall.” And Barry McGuire’s Eve of Destruction is a memorable “important” song. (more…)

“Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby”, the story of an enduring Hillbilly song (1936-1957)

The original of the song was made by the legendary Rex Griffin, one of those pioneers in Honky Tonk music. Here is his biography by a Bruce Eder:

As a songwriter, performer, and recording artist, Rex Griffin bridged the gap between Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams — indeed, it can be said that he bridged the gap between Rodgers and Buddy Holly, and between Rodgers and the Beatles. Griffin was among the first country music stars to record using his own material almost exclusively, and among the least of his accomplishments, one of his songs was covered (albeit without proper credit) by the Beatles. Griffin is the author of the original version of “Everybody’s Tryin’ to Be My Baby,” which Carl Perkins later adapted into his own song, and the Beatles subsequently covered to the profit of all except Griffin, who’d been dead about six years when all of this happened.

rex griffin

 

Griffin is one of those pre-war figures in country music whose legacy has been unjustly overlooked. He had no hits of his own after 1939, although his biggest hit from that year — “The Last Letter” — continues to get recorded at the end of the century. He was also a direct inspiration to both Hank Williams (whose recording of “Lovesick Blues” was virtually a copy of Griffin’s from ten years earlier) and Lefty Frizzell. One of country music’s first singer/songwriters, Griffin was the model for figures including Floyd Tillman, Willie Nelson, and Merle Haggard (and one could even throw Buddy Holly in there). And, like Williams, his personal demons in love and substance abuse brought a premature end — albeit not as suddenly as Williams’ — to Griffin’s performing career and his life.

He was born Alsie Griffin, second of seven children of Marion Oliver Griffin and the former Selma Bradshaw. He grew up without much formal education and spent most of his early childhood on the farm that his family owned in Sand Valley. By the 1920s, Ollie Griffin was working in Gasden at the Agricola Foundry, and Alsie followed his father there. The family regarded music as a pastime to be pursued after finishing one’s real work.

Alsie felt differently, however, wanting no part of farm life or the factory if there was any way of helping it. His first instrument was a harmonica, but it wasn’t long before he picked up the guitar. Gasden didn’t offer a big future in music, but Griffin took advantage of what was there, playing local parties and dances.

If the guitar was the first instrument that Griffin felt strongly about, his first love was the music of Jimmie Rodgers. He quickly adopted Rodgers’ style as his own and never entirely abandoned elements of his music — especially the yodeling — even once he had his own style nailed down.

Griffin made his first professional appearance on a bill at the Gasden Theater in 1930, and not long after he moved to Birmingham, where better opportunities awaited. He joined the Smokey Mountaineers, and it was there that he got his new first name — the group’s announcer had difficulty pronouncing Alsie, and simply renamed him Rex. The name stayed with him and he moved from city to city across the South, appearing on radio stations in Chattanooga, Atlanta, and New Orleans, among other cities.

His recording career began in 1935, when Griffin was signed to the newly formed Decca Record company, which already had the Sons of the Pioneers, Tex Ritter, Jimmie Davis, and Milton Brown in their roster of country artists. His first recording sessions were held in Chicago on March 25 and 26 of that year, during which he recorded ten songs, accompanied by his own guitar and Johnny Motlow on tenor banjo. All ten number were originals by Griffin, itself an astonishing achievement in those days. All of the material, both in its style and performance, recalled Rodgers — Griffin’s yodeling never let one forget who his inspiration was, although the songs hold up well on their own terms. Also striking about the recordings is Motlow’s banjo playing which, with its trilling, sounds almost like a mandolin.

Griffin’s first releases were successful enough to justify another session for Decca nearly a year later in New Orleans. This time he provided the only accompaniment on ten of the songs and did two additional songs backed by an amplified steel guitar. Among the songs that came out of those sessions was “Everybody’s Tryin’ to Be My Baby,” which in this context sounds almost like a blues composition, recalling works such as Tampa Red‘s “Tight Like That.” The piece was also a dazzling guitar showcase for Griffin, whose prowess on the instrument was considerable. This blues influence was no fluke — “I’m Ready to Reform” from the same session is a superb piece of white blues that can fool listeners as to its origins as easily as Autry’s or Rodgers’ best blues sides.

 

Griffin’s records continued to sell well, and in May of 1937, this time in New York, he cut two more sides, including his most famous number. “The Last Letter” became his biggest hit, a suicide note set to music. Stories vary as to its origins, the most commonly circulated one being that Griffin, who had a taste for alcohol that would later blight his life, was in a drunken depression over his failing first marriage when he wrote the note, and later set it to music as sobering up. Whatever the circumstances of its composition, the record caught on and became a hit throughout the South, and also brought Griffin the adulation of many of his colleagues, most notably Ernest Tubb, whose 20-year friendship with Griffin began over “The Last Letter.”

The song was covered by other artists, including Jimmie Davis, soon after its release. Gene Sullivan (vocalist for Roy Newman & his Boys) also covered three Griffin songs, including “Everybody’s Tryin’ to Be My Baby,” in the late ’30s, and even bandleader Bob Crosby cut Griffin’s “I Told You So.” Griffin’s own career kept moving forward, with concerts and radio performances throughout the South that made him one of the more popular performers of the era.

Griffin’s next recording sessions in September of 1939 yielded a dozen songs, including the follow-up to his biggest hit, “Answer to the Last Letter“, and his recording of “Lovesick Blues,” which was to be the model for Williams’ recording nearly a decade later that made Hank a star. Also recorded at the session was “Nobody Wants to Be My Baby“, a fast, breezy honky tonk-style number and one of several songs on which Griffin was backed by guitarist Ted Brooks and bassist Smitty Smith. The latter is also a beautiful piece of bluesy honky tonk and deserves to be better known.

Despite the success of “The Last Letter“, Griffin’s record sales were too poor overall to justify the label keeping him, and he was dropped by Decca after 1939. In the mid-’30s, he had played with Billie Walker and Her Texas Cowboys in New Orleans, and in 1940 he rejoined her band in Memphis. He later moved back to Alabama to spend more time with his ailing mother and appeared locally for the next few years. Among the places he played often was the notorious crime-ridden Alabama town of Phenix City, which would later become the subject of two feature films. In Gasden, he performed with a group called the Melody Boys, which included two future members of Tubb’s Texas Troubadors.

In 1941, following the death of his mother, Griffin moved to Dallas, where he had a regular spot on KRLD’s Texas Round-Up. His popularity from these broadcasts made Griffin a natural to take over the Texas Round-Up. This was to be his best broadcast showcase, and had it not been for the war, Griffin might’ve become a major star from his work on KRLD. As it was, the show ended in 1943 as the available talent dwindled amid continued military call-ups.

Griffin moved to Chicago in 1944, and it was there that he made his next batch of recordings. These 16 sides — recorded with a band that may have included Red Foley on guitar — were not intended for commercial release. Rather, they were made for Decca Records’ World Transcription Services, for broadcast over the air by radio stations that licensed them.

Despite these recordings for the company’s transcription division, there was no interest at the time in trying to release new commercial sides by Griffin. To hear the material today is to glimpse some of the best honky tonk-style music of the era — by that time, Griffin had taken on a more modern style, and he had even cut his Rodgers-inspired yodeling to a minimum. In addition to capturing Griffin performing “live” in the studio, these are among the few sides he left that feature him working with a band and, thus, show something of the sound he must’ve had during that early-’40s Dallas period.

The oversight by the record company, in terms of offering him a new contract, is difficult to explain. It is possible, however, that the wartime rationing of shellac (a key ingredient in 78 rpm records) had so dampened interest in any risky new ventures (the record business at one point seemed doomed to shut down) that Griffin never had a chance with his old label.

He made his last recordings in 1946 for Cincinnati-based King Records, which had previously recorded Grandpa Jones, the Delmore Brothers, and Merle Travis, among others. Griffin cut eight sides for King, backed by Homer & Jethro on guitars and mandolin. The sides showed Griffin in decent form, an easygoing honky tonk singer with a smooth style and a good voice, but lacking the sharp edge to his singing and playing that sparked his earlier work, clearly on the decline by this time.

These proved to be his last recording sessions. His worsening diabetic condition, complicated by drinking and other dietary abuses, forced an end to Griffin’s career, and the collapse of his second marriage late in the 1940s sent him into a personal tailspin. He moved to Dallas and still wrote songs, and when his health allowed (he was hospitalized several times), he pitched them actively to singers who had recording contracts, including Ray Price, who cut “Answer to the Last Letter“, “Beyond the Last Mile“, and “I Saw My Castles Fall Today“.

His friendship with Tubb blossomed into a profitable professional relationship for both, as Tubb recorded many of Griffin’s songs, and Griffin also became close to Tubb’s nephew, Douglas Glenn Tubb. Their interest, coupled with the quality of his work, sustained Griffin during the 1950s, and in 1955 he wrote “Just Call Me Lonesome“, his last hit, recorded by Eddy Arnold and Red Foley. His last years were blighted by further ill health, as Griffin was diagnosed with tuberculosis. He was confined to a New Orleans hospital for what proved to be the final months of his life, and died in October of 1958.

Griffin’s death at the age of 46 was a great loss to country music. Moreover, his lack of any hit recordings of his own after 1939 resulted in there never being an LP release of his songs — there was no impetus on the part of Decca Records to explore his recording history, and he was left in limbo as a recording artist, a distant memory to older listeners. The possibility of Decca’s successor, MCA Records, doing anything with Griffin’s music in the 1990s or beyond seems even more remote.

The songs he wrote, however, have endured over the 40 years since. Hank Thompson recorded “An Old Faded Photograph” in 1960, and “The Last Letter” was re-recorded by Jack Greene in 1964 and became a hit once again. Soon after, Tubb cut an entire album of Griffin songs, and other artists who have covered “The Last Letter” include Willie Nelson, Asleep at the Wheel, Waylon Jennings, and Merle Haggard. At the time of his death, Griffin’s quarterly royalty statement from the publisher of his newest songs was 18 dollars and change, a situation that had changed drastically by the 1960s. Additionally, his song “Everybody’s Tryin’ to Be My Baby“, as appropriated by Carl Perkins — the inability of the family to protect the copyright probably cost his daughters millions in royalties — and later covered by the Beatles, has become a rock & roll standard only slightly less familiar than “Blue Suede Shoes” or “Maybelline“. And then there was his version of “Lovesick Blues,” which Williams freely admitted to having learned from Griffin, even though Hank was also familiar with the Emmett Miller original — Griffin did make changes in the lyrics and structure of the song that Williams kept in his version.

In 1970, in recognition of his achievements as a composer, Griffin was among the very first composers inducted into the newly founded National Songwriters’ Hall of Fame in Nashville. In 1996, Bear Family Records of Germany released a long overdue triple-CD career retrospective on Griffin entitled The Last Letter.

In 1938, bandleader and pianist ROY NEWMAN cut in Dallas “Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby“, in a more Western swing mood. Griffin had done it fast- paced, Newman kept it. Whole thing is cheerful, funny, and ideal for dancers. The personnel included: Gene Sullivan on vocal duties, Newman on piano, a young Jim Boyd on guitar, along with Holly Horton (clarinet), Cecil Browen (fiddle), Ish Irwin (bass) and Walter Kirken (banjo). ROY NEWMAN is known for his “I Got Ants In My Pants” and “Rosalie“, cut either in Dallas or in New Orleans at the end of the ’30s.

vocalion  newman everybody's Then ten years later, the song was covered twice. I really don’t know who came first, so I suppose it was GLEN THOMPSON. He hailed from Danville, VA, and had numerous records on the Tornado, (Tennessee) Athens, even his own Glen Thompson labels. Most of his output can be found on a UK. Krazy Kat CD “Tarheel Swing“. Here he delivers a fine, up-to-date hillbilly bop shuffle paced version (uncredited) of the classic on the Manchester, KY Acme label (# 982-B). The steel player is particularly fine (two solos), as the fiddler and the pianist. Lyrics do seem to emanate direct from Griffin. JIMMY SHORT & the Silver Saddle Ranch Boys out on the West coast did their version in 1951 on the 4 Star label (# 1538). A bit Western flavored (as Short yells to invite the members for their solos); the steel Jay Higham is impressive, as the rhythm guitar by Short, who reminds me much of Clyde Moody‘s “The Blues Came Pouring Down” from 1949 (hear this song in his story elsewere in the site).

 

acme  thompson everybody's

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bb 7:4:51 jimmy short

Billboard April 7, 1951

4 *  short everybody's Then we go to the two last versions we’re interested in. Without doubt, the YORK BROTHERS revived the Griffin song, however strangely crediting it to Wayne Walker and Webb Pierce. Theirs is very good, well-suited to their harmony style, and taken at a Rockabilly tempo. Issued 1957.

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Carl Perkins – Sun studio

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sun LP 1225 perkins

The music of GLEN THOMPSON or YORK BROTHERS’ song and the CARL PERKINS song is totally different. The Carl Perkins song has blues-style guitar riffs and a start-stop rhythm closer to “Blue Suede Shoes“. There are two verses in common but Carl Perkins wrote completely new music for his song released on Sun Records in 1957 on the famous « Dance Album » LP 1225.

And the rest is history of Rock’n’Roll, when the song got a world-wide appeal when released in 1964 in England. A fine career for a 1936 session-filler by a long-forgotten honky tonk artist…Finally it was revived in 2003 by JOHNNY CASH, as a tribute to Carl Perkins, his old friend (who had died a couple years before). A nice, strong version.

Cat music: the roots of rockabilly – What does mean “cat” ?

‘Cat’ has been used as a term in popular music since the Jazz years of the 1920’s. Revered by the ancient Egyptians, cats have a mystique and grace all over their own – no wonder these independent and mysterious animals became such a byword for ‘Cool’ in music from Hep Cats, jazz be-boppers of the ‘40s, and right through into 1950’s Rock’n’Roll.

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Jack Dumery’s October chronicle

Jack Dumery has perhaps the finest knowledge in France of multiple forms of Country music today. He’s well and lives near Orléans, France. Here are three of his best discoveries over the last months. Thanks, Jack, for this post!

WILLIE NELSON/Willie and the Wheels (Bismeaux Records)

WILLIE NELSON goes back to his roots with this new Texas Western Swing CD. RAY BENSON, ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL were pioneers of the style revival in the early 70’s and they bring strong support to Willie on this one. Nobody could have dreamed of such a musical team.

The singer and musicians have selected 12 classics, here brilliantly revisited, from « SWEET JENNY LEE », « OH YOU PRETTY WOMAN » to « CORINNE, CORRINA ». Every player (RAY BENSON, guitar – JASON ROBERTS, fiddle, mandolin – FLOYD DOMINO, piano – EDDIE RIVERS, steel-guitar), a strong rhythm section, WILLIE’s relaxed and jazzy vocals (with shades of FLOYD TILLMAN, one of Willie’s early influences) make this CD one of the best Country releases from the last decade.

« FAN IT » came from Jazz before entering the Western Swing repertoires. Young Rock’n’Roll pioneers like Bill Haley probably found their inspiration in such numbers .

ELISABETH McQUEEN is the regular singer/guitarist with A.A.T.W. and here brings her assistance to Willie for a superb and bluesy « SITTIN’ ON TOP OF THE WORLD », while an instrumental number, « SOUTH », shows the talents of two great musicians, PAUL SHAFFER on piano and Nashville star VINCE GILL on guitar.

There is also a deluxe edition of « WILLIE AND THE WHEEL » featuring an additional song, « I’LL HAVE SOMEBODY ELSE » with the phenomenal young fiddle player from Austin, RUBY JANE.

Liner notes were written by RAY BENSON himself and pay tribute to the late legendary producer JERRY WEXLER who was the originator of this product in 1979.

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THE SIDE-WINDERS/ROMPIN’N’STOMPIN’ WITH (Bop’n’Stomp Records)

Over the last few months, a new type of Rock’n’Roll, performed by Young CaMex musicians, meet the favors of audiences. Wild vocals and high speed temps are opposed to traditional Rockabilly. That is why this new release on the Bop’n’Stomp label from San Diego will be a pleasant surprise to the fans of the latter with deep Hillbilly-Bop/Country-Boogie roots.

RENE EDSON CERVANTES (vocals, guitar), RAMON IBAN ESPINOZA (lead-guitar, vocals), EDWARD GIOVANNI GRANADENO (string-bass) and CARLOS ANDRES VELASQUEZ (drums) are the writers of 11 songs on this CD, the only cover being « FEEL LIKE A MILLION »  (EMERY BLADES on ARVIS). JEFFREY MORGAN (steel-guitar) guests on 4 titles, his sound being much welcome.

Twelve gems in Rockabilly style, from « ONE OF THESE DAYS » to « SWEET DREAMS ».

This is undoutedly a group to pay great attention to. Let’s hope this first release will not be their last one.

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TIM HUS/BUSH PILOT BUCKAROO (Stony Plain Records, Canada)

Here’s one of my best discoveries over the last few months and this canadian artist has already 4 CDs to his credit, « BUSH PILOT BUCKAROO » being the last one.

With shades of JOHNNY CASH, RAMBLIN’ JACK ELLIOTT and TOM CONNORS in his own style, TIM takes us all on the road of real life with a strong and craggy voice, original songs and a first-class backing band usic Telecaster, steel-guitar, dobro, fiddle and string-bass. Nobody should be well unaware of such a talent.

From his first song, « DEMPSEY HIGHWAY », we travel through the vast canadian spaces to meet fascinating characters and admire grand sceneries. California will not be overlooked with « BAKERSFIELD MUSIC », a tribute to MERLE HAGGARD and BUCK OWENS. Every track is a real tale.

“MAN WITH THE BIG HAT » is a cowboy song from present times with GARY FJELLGAARD appearing on a duet with TIM on this one, while « COAL MINE”  sounds more like real bluegrass, as opposed to the other songs on the CD.  « ROADHOUSE BAND » would have fit WAYLON JENNINGS or HANK WILLIAMS, Jr. in their best days.

Twelve great numbers by an artist who deserves more recognition and larger broadcast on so-called « Country » stations.

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