TOM TALL was a West coast country personality, who cut many a record. Here we go with one of his first ones, on the Fabor label (# 123)( 1955) with the average bopping « Underway ». Later on he went frankly Rockabilly on Crest Records (# 1038) in February 1958 with the classic « Stack-a-records » – « I got records here, I got records there, all over the place, but I am looking for the one that my baby likes to hear, where the guitar plays so fine -it goes (then solo) ». Great, great record !
Hello everybody ! Well I’m not dead, but found myself in the hs)pital for the pas t5 months, after a serious illness. Thanks a lot to anyone who took time to encourage me and express care for my welfare. This means a lot to me. Anyway I’m back and ready to entertain you with mroe and more bopping music. Here we go :
Trepur was a small label from La Grandenge, Georgia, which issued in te late ’50s some great records, e.g. “Milkman Blues” ‘1006, November 1958) by CHUCK JOYCE & his Chain and his Chain Gang, then “The Moon Won’t Tell” (1005, June 1958) , aimed at Country-rock aficionados for his good piano, by CHUCK GODDARD.
An all-time favorite of mine (since Tom Sims’ cassettes in the ’80s) is KEN HAMMOCK ‘ « It’s Now Or Never » (Starday 370) from 1960. Nice vocal and guitar.
RHYTHM HARMONEERS on the Jamboree label (not Nashville, but Shreveport, La.) # 2800. Leader was Tom Bearden. « Women Drivers » is the Bill Carlisle song (Mercury). Harmony vocals and a fine guitar on this utptempo. The Harmoneers went also in 1953 on the Flair 1003 (subsidiary label to Modern) with « Good Old Chlororophyll ».
PAUL WILSON on another Louisiana label, Picture # 1001, released 1962 or ’63. « The Blues You Gave Me » is a steel led uptempo (plus solo) with piano, a really moving track. The record was produced by one M. F. Machart, who also produced Sleepy LaBeff « Ride on Josephine » (Picture 1937) Anothee Wilson record was « You Don’t Love Me » (Pcture 1002) – untraced.
The 3 following songs are by JOHNNY HENDERSON, a West coast artist who cut for High Time in 1956-57. Backed by The Texas Hired Hands, he released « The Girl I Love Is n Okie » (# 117), a medium uptempo bopper, lovely rhythm, although no fiddle. B-side is similar in style : « Down Beside The Rio Grande » High Time 118). « Any Old Port In A torm » (High Time 177) is easily found on compilations, not its flipside , a bluesy item with lively vocal « Rocket In My Pocket ».
On the Hi-Lite label (Alabama 1959) the team led by JOHN R. McKEARN (backed on side A by Billy Stockstill) offers « All Because Of You » (# 510) : forceful rural vocal, a mid-tempo track, great guitar. The B-side has « The Tug Boast Song » backed by Luden R. Gouedy is uptempo Rockabilly. Same good guitar and piano in the background. This disc is valued at $ 200-300 in Lincoln book.
On the (U.S.) London label # 16032 from 1950, on to HANK DALTON & the Brakemen. He was actually Alton Delmore with Ray Smith . Here they do a great train song « Hummingbird Special », same style of the Delmore Brothers.
A nice mid-tempo Rockabilly with Country overtones by the PILGRIM BROTHERS on their own Pilgrim label (# 2001) : « (Slow) Cold Rain ».
On the NJ label Cool (# 111, released 1958), now the fast « Tennessee Baby » by MERLE MATTS II. Rhythm given by a banjo. An urgent vocal, good steel (played like a bottleneck).
« I’m Sorry Now » by BUD DECKLEMAN is the lastest tune this time (1961). He’d cut his most known « Daydreamin’ » on Meteor in 1954 – a fair sized hit ; then a string of hillbilly releases on M-G-M (1955-56), before dropping into semi-obscurity (according to a sideman, he wasn’t reliable). He reappears for a swansong : medium paced, good steel. A typical early 60s Country.(Stomper Time M80w-3355).
Out of Nashille on the very small Jamboree label (501), DICK STRATTON offers « Fat Gal Boogie »in 1950-51. A guitar boogie rocker. Steel and string bass solos. Stratton was also on Tennessee 795 for « Pistol Boogie ».
A medium shuffler now : « You’ll Come Runnin’ Home To Me » by RALPH COLLIER on the Blazon label # 105 out of Nashville.
Lee ‘RED’ Melson did « Boss Man Blues » on the Grand Prairie label # 501 : a very expressive vocal for a medium uptempo with solid fiddle but uninventive guitar. Melson was also on the Georgia Ridgecresst label.
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 »).
Howdy, folks. This is the late May 2018 bopping and rockabilly fortnight’s favorites. A fair percentage of selections will come from the State of Tennessee, with the odd number from Ohio or NYC.
On the Nashville Excello label, more familiar to Blues/R&B buffs, let’s begin with both sides of # 2071 by the LINDSEY BROTHERS. They offer 2 uptempos from 1955, both based on solid rhythm guitar, aided by fiddle and steel. « Big Hearted Joe » is the best side of both, for its great duet harmony, and the record is valued $ 50-60. The flipside « Let’s Get Down To Business » has more of the same, although less interesting. A pleasant Hillbilly bop record.
We keep with the LINDSEY BROTHERS 5 years later in 1960, on the Excello sublabel Nasco # 6032, and the change is not in the right direction : the label says « Popular ». Fddle and steel are out, only remains the rhythm guitar for « Mr. Blues » (penned by Jack Toombs : he had cut the Rockabilly « Kiss-a me quick » (Excello 2083), or « Little Andy » as Jackie Trent on Nasco 6012 – see his full story elsewhere in this site) and « Hello Heartaches », very Everly-ish. Value $ 10-15.
Back to Tennessee on the Rythm label [sic] # 303. REX HALE & his Rythm Masters [re-sic]. Two great Rockabilly sides. Steel is omnipresent on « stop-and-go » couplets. Energetic drums, and fine, fine guitar. « Darn Dem Bones » and « Down At Big Mama’s House » would cost you $ 2000-2500, only if you can locate a copy!