Curley Ray Sanders was born in 1935 in St John, KY. he was a DJ on WCTO (Campbellsville, KY) in 1956, and on WBRT (Bardstown, KY) in 1958. WBRT is where he recorded with Joe Brown on San Records, possibly paid for by Curley. He was a regular on the Renfro Valley Barn Dance (KY) in 1958.
I may not know much about Curley but I found quite a few records by him. He shows up in about 1949/50 on Star Talent from Dallas, TX (#749 – Last On Your List / Penny For Your Thoughts). There was a Curley Sanders (assuming it’s him) appearing on the Saturday Night Shindig over WFAA (Dallas) in the early 50′s. Then I find two discs on Imperial (#8197 – Love ‘em Country Style / My Heart Is Yours Alone – Mid 53), (#8226 – Too Much Lovin’ / I’m Reaching For Heaven – Dec 53/Jan 54).
By 1956, Curley’s obviously incorporated some « Cat Music » in his repertoire and he’s found here hollering for all he’s worth (well, not quite hollering, but there’s an urgency in his vocals). The A side I’ve yet to hear. Flip « Brand New Rock And Roll », (Jamboree 590) is a stop/start rocker with cool lyrics and some fine accompaniment by his band (who I presume are the Santones.) I think there’s an under recorded mandolin or something playing through the solos but the guitar is drowning it out. Anyhow, it’s a fabulous track, reviewed by Billboard April 27, 1957. Almost awesome! [Malcolm Chapman, Starday Custom Series]
Curley springs up on the Concept label twice after the issue here and records another disc on Jamboree (which isn’t pressed by Starday). (Concept #897 – Dynamite / You’re Smiling (I’m Crying) 1957 – Elizabethtown, KY), (Concept #898 – Walking Blues / This Time – 57/8), (Jamboree 1833 – Heartsick And Blue / I’ll Obey My Heart - 57/58 – still located in Buffalo, KY and featuring the Kentucky Rangers).
Joel Ray Sprowls, owner/producer of the Jamboree, recalled that his first meeting with Sanders, from Cecilia, was at a talent show Sprowls emceed at Buffalo School in May 1954.
“The Kentucky Rangers band won the contest and Curly was their featured singer,” Sprowls said.
When Sprowls started his Jamboree [label] the following September, he added Sanders as a featured singer.
“Curly, who got his nickname because of his curly hair, was around 6-feet-tall, muscular, had a smooth voice and was good looking,” Sprowls said. “He played a flattop guitar, and I remember his big song while at the Jamboree was ‘Rose Marie‘.
With Sanders’ looks and talent, Sprowls didn’t think the entertainer would remain in the local area very long.
“He worked as a DJ at WBRT-AM radio in Bardstown, but I knew he would move on if the opportunities arose,” Sprowls said. “He was only at the Jamboree for about two months.”
Sanders performed at Renfro Valley and debuted on the Opry in 1959 which led to his big break in 1960 when he signed with Liberty and recorded “Lonelyville,” a record that rose to the top-20 country songs that year.
During a long career, he had 26 Billboard charted songs, winning the Academy of Country Music’s most promising new male artist award in 1968. His recording of “All I Ever Need Is You” stayed on the charts for 16 straight weeks in 1971.
He spent two and a half years on the road singing harmony for Ray Price, including Price’s signature recording of “Heartaches by the Number,” and was a cast member of Hee Haw 1971-73.
In 1977, he became the house act at the White Sands in Riverside, Calif.
“I lost touch with Curly years ago, but I understand he played the night club circuit, then moved to Hawaii,” Sprowls said.
According to an online press release, he toured with many of the great names in music including Elvis Presley, Marty Robbins, Waylon Jennings, Connie Smith, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Johnny and June Carter Cash, plus he had several hit songs in Europe.
Jo Jones, an Elizabethtown resident whose late husband Bob played steel guitar at a performance with Sanders and Price in Owensboro, met with Sanders while she was on vacation in Hawaii in 2006.
“He didn’t say if he was still singing or not, but he did say that he was a representative for a vitamin company and did demos at local pharmacies each Saturday,” Jones said. “He was living in Waimea at the time, but said he was thinking of moving to Honolulu.”
from an article by Ron Benningen (Dec. 29, 2011) in « LaRue », Kentucky newspaper. Infos on Jamboree 590 from Malcolm C. Chapman site « Starday Custom ». Music from various sources: my collection or Internet. Does someone have « Heartsick and blue » on Jamboree 1833? Unable to find it. Thanks Drunken Hobo, who provided the sound to it. It’s a fair hillbilly rocker, lotsa rockabilly guitar, even a mandolin, and Sanders in fine vocal form.
Billboard March 26, 1955
Very few things are actually known of this very minor artist from New Jersey. All I learnt came from Billboard short snippets, and the records themselves. Indeed no personal data. Edmond seems (according to his 5 or 6 records over a period of 12 years) not to have moved from the New Jersey area, except in 1955: in the near West Va.
My first exposure to Edmond’s music came through a Tom Sims’ cassette. Then over the years I have been lucky enough to find the rare copy, and I think that, apart his solitary Lerac issue, here is below his entire output.
It seems that his first record came out on Original 107, a very small label from Little Ferry, NJ, in March 1955. Billboard refers is as running fine in the Wheeling, W. Va. area, where Edmond and (apparently) his wife Terry were appearing. A side («I’ll Take The Blame ») is ordinary male/female duet, with mandolin and steel backing. Nothing spectacular. Flipside (« Your Wedding Day ») has Terry singing alone, over Lee speaking a monolog.
Then leaping towards late fifties/early sixties (impossible to ascertain), we find on the Norm label the great solid and melodic « When I’m Alone » (# 1000). It has a good guitar and steel solo, and is adorned by «Lee Edmond – Bob Raymond » « and the Country Stringers », first appellation of the backing band, later re-used. Both sides credited to Lee Edmond, who seems the boss and producer. Flipside is « My Heart Tells Me So » : a nice, although average, Country-rocker duet. There are discreet drums for the first time.
Same outfit goes then on Belt 1001, without « Country Stringers » though, for « Treasure Of My Throne », a mediocre medium weeper. Just added is a dobro. Flipside is better, « Crying Party » : a medium drinking song, as an adress to a bartender.
We find another ordinary double sider on Rowe 007, from 1962. A just above average « Born With The Blues » – complete with chorus for the first time, more dobro and a guitar solo. It’s not bad either but ordinary Country-rock, as its flipside « My Heart Tells Me So », a lower standard revamp of the Norm side. The « Country Stringers » have becoe « The Swinging Travelers ».
Billboard June 2, 1962
Then 1965 two issues on the Solar label from Union Beach, New Jersey. Back to « Country Stringers », and Edmond is the producer. First the fast « Secretly (We’ll Have To Share Our Love)» (#1007). Good sharp guitar, dobro and steel solos. An excellent track. Alas, I din’t hear the flipside « Darling I’ll Let You Go », rumoured to be a weeper. Finally in 1967 on Solar 1011, « With Her On My Mind » (Good Evening Bartender), an O.K. fast song, well sung over guitar and steel backing. « Take My Heart » is a weeper, under average standard.
That leaves me with Lee Edmond’s last known 45 on the Lerac label (# 101) : « Woman/Woman With The Cold Hands », which I cannot comment at all on. I did order it, but it’s got lost over Atlantic Ocean…
All in all, a reasonable output over 12 years for a very minor artist of the East Coast. Few of his tracks are really worth looking for, like both Solars, or the Norm one. In the podcasts I have not included B-sides and weepers.
From Phillips J. Tricker’s article in « Roll Street Journal » # 19 (Spring 1987)
Ramblin’ Jimmie Dolan – the very name evokes to me pictures of a man of travel, a man of the West. His name turns up frequently on record lists and he had sole thirty four releases issued on at least three different labels, and the majority on the major CAPITOL. Those thirty plus discs were put out over the comparatively short period of 7 years and much of his material has been overlooked by many collectors as a few of his later less inspiring releases are those that surface most frequently and I believe a some what false picture has emerged, musically, on an artist who contributed much to our kind of record collecting [hillbilly bop/hillbilly boogie].
As often happens, the early years of the singers we investigate are shrouded in mystery. Jimmie is no exception. In fact by our comencing at the start with his birth on the 29th October 1924, we meet our initial problem. I have seen two versions in print. The first said rural part of Missouri while in a radio interview in 1952 Jimmie’s reply was « Wyoming ». As his first reported radio work was at KWK in St. Louis, Missouri ; and as a boy he was a great fan of Western movies, I tend to place a little more credence on the former location. This thought is supported by these two points. During his earliest days in the music business, he did not use that tag – Ramblin’ – but by the time of 1952 interview, not only he was using that word in his name, but was often billed as « America’s Cowboy Troubadour ». In that case, maybe it was considered a better ploy to give impression of coming from a state synonymous with cowboys – Wyoming. A third version comes from www.hillbilly-music.com. Dolan would have been born largely earlier, same day and month in 1916 and…California, which would be his musical base during the ’40s and ’50s. Who knows ?
Read the rest of this entry »
Billboard Jan. 1948
Western singer-songwriter Jack Guthrie first made popular the song « Oklahoma Hills« . He was born Leon Jerry Guthrie on November 13, 1915, in Olive, Oklahoma. His father, an early day blacksmith, was a younger brother of Charley Guthrie, the father of Woody Guthrie. Jack Guthrie grew up around horses and grew to love them and the cowboy image. As with others in the Guthrie family, he learned to play the fiddle, guitar, bass fiddle, and other instruments from family members. The family moved often, and since Guthrie did not enjoy the discipline of public school life, he would go in the front door of a school and straight out the back door. It is doubtful that he ever completed the sixth grade. By the mid-1930s the family had settled in California. As he believed that the names Leon and Jerry were not good cowboy image names, he became known as « Jack, » « Oklahoma, » and « Oke. »
He developed a style of singing and yodeling influenced by his idol, Jimmie Rodgers (hence his Capitol transcriptions, like Rodgers’ « Any Old Time« , or the premonitary 1946 « T. B. Blues« , taught from the 1932 Rodgers’ song, just two years before the latter’s death, and Guthrie’s own death early in 1948). In the mid-1930s Guthrie competed in rodeo as a bucking-horse rider. Later he adapted his music to fit the cowboy image. In 1937 his cousin and good friend Woody Guthrie traveled to the Los Angeles area, and they became a musical team, landing the Oke & Woody Show on KFVD radio in Hollywood. During the fall of 1937 Woody wrote « Oklahoma Hills« , which they performed during their shows. However, each cousin had different ambitions and quickly went separate ways.
Jack Guthrie also was a stage performer who entertained audiences with a whip act. His wife participated in it until their marriage became rocky and Guthrie started missing the items she held, accidentally hitting her with the whip. His friend Ruth Crissman then joined the act, and when he was injured in a fall from a bucking horse and had no other career, in 1944 she provided funds to buy him a demo recording session at Capitol Records’s studio. Capitol offered him a contract, and « Oklahoma Hills » was the first song he recorded. Released in 1945, it quickly became a number one country-western hit. When Woody Guthrie heard it on a jukebox, he called Capitol and claimed it as his song. Because Jack had recorded it and made it popular and had made a few changes to improve it, he and his cousin decided to share the copyright.
the page to Jack Guthrie, according to Tony Biggs
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Guy Logsdon, « Jack Guthrie: A Star That Almost Was, » The Journal of Country Music 15 (1993).
Here it is the presentation of Jack Guthrie (the man and his music) by the indefatigable Tony Biggs:
Jack Guthrie was in the U.S. Army and stationed in the Pacific when « Oklahoma Hills » was released. When discharged, he started playing Western-swing dances along the West Coast, making personal appearances, and writing songs such as « Oklahoma’s Calling. » He also recorded more hit songs for Capitol, including « Oakie Boogie. » (original cut by Johnny Tyler for Stanchel in mid-1946). Guthrie was diagnosed with tuberculosis, but he was determined to take full advantage of his popularity. He avoided medical treatment or hospitalization until it was too late. In July 1947 he was admitted to Livermore Veterans Tubercular Hospital near Sacramento, California, where he was told that there was no hope. He then moved in with his sister, Wava Blake. In October he recorded a few more songs, but he was so sick that he had to lie on a cot between songs. Jack Guthrie died on January 15, 1948, two months after his thirty-second birthday, and was buried in Memorial Cemetery, Sacramento, California.
Billboard March 1, 1947
201 Oklahoma Hills / I’m Brandin’ My Darlin’ Within My Heart – 06-45
246 When The Cactus Is In Bloom / I Loved You Once But I Can’ Trust You Now – 02-46
309 I’m Tellin’ You / Chained To A Memory – 10-46
341 The Clouds Rained Trouble Down / Oakie Boogie – 01-47
406 You Laughed And I Cried / It’s Too Late To Change Your Mind – 04-47
40012 I’m Building A Stairway To Heaven / This Troubled Mind Of Mine – 08-47 (released on Capitol Americana)
40032 Please, Oh Please / Oklahoma’s Calling – 10-47 (released on Capitol Americana)
40075 Next To The Soil / Ida Red – 01-48
40118 Bow Down Brother / You’re Gonna Be Sorry – 05-48
15251 In The Shadows Of My Heart / Answer To Moonlights And Skies – 09-48
15266 Oklahoma Hills / Oakie Boogie – ca. 10-48 (reissue)
57-40131 Look Out For The Crossing / No Need To Knock On My Door – 04-49
57-40222 Welcome Home Stranger / Colorado Blues – 08-49
F2128 Oklahoma Hills / Oakie Boogie – 06-52 (reissue)
6085 Oklahoma Hills / Oakie Boogie – 66 (reissue)
from Praguefrank site
A survey on Jack Guthrie’s retained recordings in podcasts:
Indiana is not the first American state you’d associate wih primitive Rockabilly, but it was there, hidden away among the steelworks and the industrial areas. Indianapolis was seething with young, spotty hopefuls, all wanting to be Elvis and looking more like the greek next door. Eddie Smalling, Tommy Lam, Van Brothers, Tex Neighbors, Dennis Puckett…All true blue Indiana boppers.
The Blankenship Brothers certainly weren’t the next « Teenage sensation ». Hell, this small but tightly packed band didn’t even pretend to cut Rockabilly. Led by Floyd and Dennis Blankenship, this small outfit cut some of the best primitive rock north of Tennessee, but to them it was more like country and bluegrass music., blended with a little rough Johnny Cash edge. They played all the local honks and jukejoints, entertaining the masses of factory workers who were looking for entertainment after a hard week of being frazzled by the burning steel mills. Hell, maybe these guys worked there too…
Robert D Blum
June 1, 1934 – February 2, 2012
Robert David Blum, 77, of Puyallup, WA, died February 2, 2012, at Life Care Center of Puyallup.
Mr. Blum was born June 1, 1934, in Gilliam, MO, to Freddy David Blum and Marguerete Katherine Narron.
He attended high school at NE High School in Kansas City, MO. Robert is a veteran of the United States Air Force.
Although Robert held many jobs, Robert’s life was his music. Robert traveled the United States playing country music with some of the biggest stars in the industry; everybody called him ‘Cowboy Bob’/'Bob the Guitar Man’. Many have compared his guitar playing to the legendary Chet Atkins. His prized guitar is a Chet Atkins Gretch, the only guitar he played throughout his entire career. Merle Haggard and George Jones were two of many of his favorite musicians. He was inducted into Sioux Falls, SD Legends of Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011. He sang and played his guitar up until he became seriously ill.
Robert Autry Inman was born in Florence, Alabama, on January 6, 1929. He passed away at 59, on September 6, 1988. Read the rest of this entry »
Douglas Clifton Bragg was born on April 13, 1928, in the small East Texas town of Gilmer. He was among four children born to Bonnie and James Claudie Bragg. He attended Gilmer public schools and developed an interest in music during his teen years. He started performing in and around Tyler during the late 1940′s. His first marriage produced five children, all of whom were boys. By the early 1950′s Doug was appearing on the Big « D » Jamboree and working days as a meat cutter. Read the rest of this entry »
Ernie Chaffin’s two Hickory records come from a single session on May 5, 1954 and all the songs were written by Chaffin’s longtime buddy Pee Wee Maddux. Chaffin’s defining moment came with « Feelin’ Low » on Sun in 1956, and the Hickory singles are rather mundane in comparison, although there’s no disguising the quality in his voice. Read the rest of this entry »
By now, most collectors of 1950s country and hillbilly are familiar with the name Mel price and the sterling quality of his numerous recordings on labels like Regal, Blue Hen, Starday and Dixie.
Much to my pleasant surprise (Andrew Brown), I found Mel alive and well in his hometown of Easton, MA. Mel, who was born on October 13, 1920 on a farm outside of Easton, is a cordial, classy guy. Read the rest of this entry »