Not many things are known about Rem Wall. He was born 1918 in Frankfort, Illinois and he died 1994.
He started at an early age entertaining during the ’30s at different local radio stations and, after being graduated in 1939, decided to settle in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He performed on radios WGFG, later WKZO, where he had even a TV show, « the Green Valley Jamboree » which lasted for 36 years, himself being signed to WKZO for even 44 years.
He then recorded for a lot of companies : Wrightman in 1951 (as Rembert Wall), then Bakersfield (1957), Glenn (1960-62), Wolverine and Columbia. He even had an issue in Great Britain. His music, although hillbilly at the beginning, became more and more softer by the years ’60s. His best songs are : « Heartsick and blue », « Waiting » (lot of echo for this good ballad), « One of these days » (banjo led folkish tune) , « Time alone » from 1962 (a fine shuffler) or « Carried away ».
In 1958 he was chosen by the U.S. Government to represent Country music in Germany and then he toured a lot there.
He seems to have remained a regional hitmaker, having given up his career after his wife’s death during the ’60s. His son Rendal carries on the family tradition as a guitar player.
Sources: various. Wrightman sides and label scan do come from Hillbilly Researcher. Glenn label scans from « 45rpm » blogsite. Picture from hillbilly-music site
« The girl on the matchbox cover« 
« Heartsick and blue« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Rem-Wall-Heartsick-and-Blue-45rpm.mp3download
« Waiting« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/glenn-rem-wall-waiting.mp3download
« I’m losing my tears over you« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/16.-Rem-Wall-I_m-losing-my-tears-ver-you.mp3download
« One of these days« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/04.-Rem-Wall-One-of-these-days.mp3download
« Carried away« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/01.-Rem-Wall-Carried-away.mp3download
« Time alone« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Rem-Wall-and-His-Green-Valley-Boys-Time-Alone-Glenn-2105-1962-country.mp3download
You can read a lot more on RemWall by clicking this link: http://www.visioncouncil.org/bobrowe/rem_wall.htm
Lannis Trahan, born in 1923, hailed from Louisiana, hence his artist name « Louisiana Lannis », and was also a songwriter: he wrote his 6 sides. He had three singles in 1956 before disappearing. The one on Starday is pure hillbilly rock : « Muscadine eyes » is a fast ditty opus, with a furious fiddle, apparently cut at Goldstar in Houston, Texas while its flipside « Much too much » (Starday 268, actually A-side) has more than a Latin appeal with its hopping rhythm. « Muscadine eyes » is not a common track, only being revived moons ago on the U.K. Ace album « Stars of Texas honky tonk » # 703 (1987)
« Muscadine eyes« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/starday-268B-Louisiana-Lannis-Muscadine-eyes.mp3download
« Much too much« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/starday-268A-louisiana-Lannis-Much-Too-Much.mp3download
Lannis will however be best remembered today for his second offering, this time on Snowcap 1215/1216 : « Tongue twister boogie » has a great wild steel guitar and is a really fast rockabilly rocker, not dissimilar to Jimmy Lee & Wayne Walker « Love me ». A demented piano player comes for a short solo. « Walking out » is no less good, and just a little less furious. Both sides prefixed « GS » surely were cut at Goldstar. As fiddle is the main instrument on the 4 previous sides, one can wonder if it’s Lannis playing ? The Snowcap issue fetches $ 700-800, and is only currently available on collectors’ reissues.
« Tongue twister boogie« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Louisiana-Lannis-Tongue-Twister-Boogie.mp3download
« Walking out« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Louisiana-Lannis-Walking-Out.mp3download
Billboard Feb. 16, 1956, « a good country novelty »
Alas « Fido/Doomed to love » (Snowcap 101) are, according to Pascal Perrault, pop songs to escape (weepers), and of no interest at all. Strange that a man capable of such songs as « Tongue twister boogie » could do pop songs in the same period. Trahan, whose name is common among Cajun area (see Cornelius « Pee Wee Trahan« , who made a career also as Jericho Jones and Johnny Rebel), died in February 1983 (age 59, cause of death unknown), and was buried in the Marine’s veteran branch of the Houston National Cemetery. The Trahans had came from France, maybe Burgundy during the XVI° or XVII° century.
Sources: various and Internet thing!
Born in Bolt, W. Va, Jimmy Dickens began his musical career in the late ’30s, performing on WJLS radio station in Beckley, W.a. While attending West Va. University. He soon quit school to pursue a full-time music career, and traveled the country performing on various local radio stations under the name « Jimmy the Kid ».
In 1948 Dickens was heard performing on WKNX, a radio station in Saginaw, Michigan, by Roy Acuff, who introduced him to Art Satherley at Columbia Records and officials from the Grand Ole Opry. Dickens signed with Columbia in September and joined the Opry in August. Around this time, he began using his nickname, Little Jimmy Dickens, inspired by his short stature (4 »11, 150 cm).
Dickens recorded many novelty songs for Columbia, including « Country boy », « A-sleeping at the foot of the bed » and « I’m little but I’m loud ». One day, after having told Jimmy he needed a hit, Hank Williams wrote « Hey, good lookin’ » in only 20 minutes while on a plane with Dickens, Minnie Pearl and her husband. A week later Williams cut the song himself, jokingly telling Dickens « That song’s too good for you ! »
In 1950, Dickens formed the Country Boys with musicians Jabbo Arrington, Grady Martin, Bob Moore and Thumbs Carlile. It was during this time that he discovered future Country Music Hall of famer Marty Robbins at a Phoenix, AZ television station while on tour with the Grand Ole Opry road show. In 1957 he left the Opry to tour with the Philip Morris Country Music Show.
Dickens was active in music until nearly his death on January 2nd, 2015.
Good solid early ’50s Honky tonk music as shown in the several examples below :
« F-o-o-l-i-s-h me, me » (Columbia 20692), a nice honky-tonker, was cut in February 1950, and covered the same year by Charlie ‘Peanut’ Faircloth [see a previous fortnight's favorites section for the latter's version). It has definitely the crisp guitar sound of Grady Martin.
"F-o-o-l-i-s-h me, me"http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/F-O-O-L-I-S-H-M-E-fev50.mp3download
« Rock me« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Rock-Me.mp3download
« Rock me » (Columbia 21206), also known as « She sure can rock me », was an old Willie Perryman R&B belter, well adapted here by Dickens, obviously conscious of the « double-entendre » of the lyrics. As intended, piano is prominent instrument.
« Hillbilly fever », cut at the same session as « F-o-o-l-i-s-h me, me », was initially a Kenny Roberts song (Coral). Here Dickens is doubled on vocal by his rhythm guitar player. Note the rare label scan of a Japanese issue (« American folk music ») !
« Hillbilly fever« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Hillbilly-Feverfev50.mp3download
« Salty boogie » (Columbia 21384) is almost rockabilly. Fiddle is still present, but lead guitar is well to the fore as in « Hey worm (you wanna wiggle) » (Columbia 21491), and indeed there are drums.
« Salty boogie« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Salty-Boogie.mp3download
« Hey worm !(You wanna wiggle) »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/F-O-O-L-I-S-H-M-E-fev50.mp3download
Final foray in pure Rock’n'roll comes with the dynamite of « I got a hole in my pocket » (Columbia 41173) from 1958, and its furious Buddy Emmons licks on steel guitar.
« I got a a hole in my pocket« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Jimmy-Dickens-I-Got-A-Hole-In-My-Pocket.mp3download
David Ray, a top singer and song stylist of Texas/Oklahoma Rockabilly and Honky-tonk, was born Oscar Ray Smith in Duncan, Oklahoma on March 14, 1934. When he was at an early age, his faùily moved to Roswell, New Mexico. At age 8, he learned to play guitar, and in his youth became friends with Lefty Frizzell, who on many occasions invted David to his recording sessions. In 1950, the family moved back to Duncan, and David formed a country music band. Early employment included aD.J. Program on radio station KRHD, and a live show on Channel 12, KXII-TV. How he got the forname « David » is unknown.
David Ray got his first records on Heart (# 245), a Four Star custom label out of Oklahoma, in 1956. Two fine sincere Hillbilly duets by himself and Johnny Doggett, « Farewell goodbye » and « Maybe I should have cheated too » ; then two Rockabillies (Ray Smith solo) « Gone baby gone » and « Swinging boogie », both fine rockers (# 250). Many thanks to John Burton (53jaybop) for posting these songs on Youtube.
Johnny & Ray « Farewell goodbye« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Johnny-And-Ray-Farewell-2Goodbye-HEART-RECORDS-OP-244-45.mp3download
Johnny & Ray « Maybe I should have cheated too« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Johnny-And-Ray-2-Maybe-I-Should-Have-Cheated-Too-HEART-RECORDS-OP-244-45.mp3download
Ray Smith « Gone baby gone« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Ray-Smith-Gone-Baby-Gone.mp3download
Ray Smith « Swinging boogie« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Ray-Smith-Swinging-Boogie.mp3download
In 1957 he signed a recording contract as David Ray with Gainesville, Texas recording executive Joe M. Leonard, Jr. His early recordings of « Jitterbugging baby » and « Lonesome baby blues » (Kliff 101 and 105) were instant successes on the Kliff Records label. Not only did Ray’s first records releases sell well in the United States, but they attained immense success in Europe when reissued by Ronnie Weiser on his Rollin’ Rock label. Personal for these sessions were Johnny Baggett or Joe Dean Evans on guitar and Paul Jorgenson on bass, including a wild piano player.
David Ray « Lonesome baby blues » (original version)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Lonesome-baby-blues-ORIGINALE.mp3download
David Ray « Lonesome baby blues »(Kliff)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Lonesome-baby-blues-.mp3download
David Ray « Jitterbugging baby« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Jitterbuggin-baby.mp3download
Other songs were « Lonesome feeling » and the less fast, almost poppish « I’m a fool », while « All the time », « Why can’t you and I », « No, oh no », all ballads, « Too fast, too wild » and the original gutsy, less fast « Lonesome baby blues » were withheld until their release on Collectables.
David Ray « Lonesome feeling« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Lonesome-feeling.mp3download
David Ray « Why can’t you and I« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Why-cant-you-and-I.mp3download
In 1962 Ray Smith had a Country-rocker « A place within my heart » on the Toppa label (# 1071), honest honky tonk, a far cry from his Kliff sides (Thanks to Uncle Gil to have provided this song). Alexander Petrauskas points out this may be a different artist, because of songwriting credits. Thanks, Alex!
Ray Smith « A place within my heart« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Toppa-1071-Ray-Smith-A-Place-Within-My-Heart.mp3download
Since David Ray’s voice has remained strong and vibrant over the years, Leonard productions decided to record him on some new Texas songs. In August 1993 a session was held in Tyler, Texas. The songs were « Long cold winter », « You make my day », « Ways of a woman » and « Package deal ». The musicians were Ronnie Redd (keyboards), Jim Holley (bass), Greg Hough (drums), Bobby Garrett (steel guitar), Donny McDuff and Jerry Tiner (electric guitars), Ken Shepherd harmonica and rhythm guitar) as well as Lonnie Wright (producer, engineer and rhythm guitar). Back-up vocalist : David’s ex-wife, Lavinia Smith.
David Ray « You make my day« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/You-make-my-day-aout-93.mp3download
David Ray was then living near Ft. Worth, Texas, where he continued to compose and entertain. He died in 1997.
Freely adapted from the notes to Collectables CD 5770.
Roy King is a completely unknown artist from the very early ’50s, who acted in Illinois (Peoria, WWXL), and whom about anything is unknown today about.
« Yodelin’ way up there » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/01-Ramblin.mp3download
« Rambling » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/01-Ramblin.mp3download
He had a string of releases, probably cut in Detroit, MI, or Chicago, on the London and Mercury labels between 1949 and 1951, and disappeared after this year. He was billed as a yodeler, and eventually yodeled a lot throughout his records, « Yodelin’ way up there » or « Yodelin’ polka ». He was backed by a regional outfit, Hal Fuller’s Tennessee Ho-Downers, usual guitar, bass, fiddle, and steel. Billboard cited him as a promising artist between April and October 1951, although there were no hits. He used to sing old favorites, as Jimmie Rodgers ’s « Mule skinner blues », Roy Acuff’s « Freight train blues », a fine hillbilly shuffler, « Rambling » or old-timey songs like « St. James infirmary ». His voice is always smooth, a lead guitar is well to the fore, but the whole thing is certainly not hillbilly boogie, although nice yodeling songs. Indeed his style is similar to that of Kenny Roberts.
Any help to document this artist would be welcome!
As usual, Ronald Keppner’s help was indispensable. Thanks Ronald. Also Peter Mohr of Switzerland for the disco and support.
« Freight train blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/freight-train-blues.mp3download
« Mule skinner blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/mule-skinner-blues.mp3download
Earl Aycock was born in 1930 in Meridian, the hometown of the « Father of Country Music » Jimmie Rodgers . He started his career as a disc jockey, before that he joined the U.S. Air Force in 1951 and he played in Bill Nettles’ band as bassist. With Nettles he made also his first recordings , when he was cast on the famous « Hadacol Boogie » .
After Aycock was released from the Air Force, he returned to Meridian. In 1954, he played with Martha Carson in Birmingham, Alabama. Shortly after been received quickly found in Nashville, Tennessee, back where he accompanied Carson at sessions for Capitol Records and RCA Victor,he appeared with her at the Grand Ole Opry and toured with Bill Carlisle, Hank Snow and Elvis Presley and took over the function of emcee . Aycock was the first musician in the Opry in 1955 with an electrically amplified bass.
In Martha Carson’s band , another young musician played named George McCormick . Soon Aycock became friends with McCormick and the two formed the duo George and Earl . By 1956, both musicians took on for three Mercury Records singles but none of them were hits , despite promising sales figures. After the release of their last record in April 1956 Aycock left Nashville and moved his work to Houston, Texas, where he was drawn in 1955 with his wife.
In Houston, he had received a lucrative offer and was active as the frontman of his own band as well as a disc jockey. In 1957, he also worked for Starday Records’ Hillbilly Hit Parade for a number of uncredited sides. In the spring of 1958 he appeared at Allstar Records with his first solo single « The Love That Thrills / Magic Words » . By the end of the 1950s he brought Bill Will Bourne to D Records and also wrote for Claude Gray « Letter Overdue » . 1958 Aycock moved back to Meridian , worked until 1959 and still when KRCT in Baytown , Texas.
In Meridian Aycock worked in the 1960s, continued in radio and television before he left the music scene and went into the insurance business.
From Wikipedia with some corrections and additions. Thanks to Tony Biggs.
« I want you, I need you, I love you » (Dixie 508), uncredited) http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Earl-Aycock-I-Want-You-I-Need-You-I-Love-You-Dixie-508.mp3download
« Turn her down » (Dixie 516, uncredited) http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Earl-Aycock-Turn-Her-Down-Dixie-516.mp3download
« The same two lips » (Dixie 519, uncredited) http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/earl-aycock-The-Same-Two-Lips-Dixie-519.mp3download
« I‘m coming home » (Dixie 520, uncredited) http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Earl-Aycock-Im-Coming-Home-dixie-520.mp3download
« The love that thrills » (Allstar) http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/allstar-7164-aycock_earl_thelovethatthrills1.mp3download
Billboard April 28, 1951
Very little is known about Bobby Soots, except what is contained in a Tampa newspaper snippet dated Nov. 2, 1950. He was born in Alabama during the ’20s, took up the guitar when he was twelve and had his first band, the Red Wagon Boys, entertaining a local radio show in 1938. He then moved to Chicago to sing Hillbilly in the clubs, when the famous jazz drummer and bandleader Gene Krupa noticed and hired him as featured vocalist. Soots had a strong baritone voice, and Krupa used him on New York sessions for C&W tunes like Pee Wee King‘s « Bonaparte’s retreat » (June 1950), « Panhandle rag », « At the jazz band ball » or « Walking with the blues », to name just a few classic Krupa jazz sides.
A year later, free from his contract with Gene Krupa, Bobby Soots went solo for two sessions for Mercury records, apparently cut in Chicago. Eight tracks were recorded circa February/March 1951, whose only four were released, leaving unissued a promising « Fiddle boogie ». Among the issued tunes were Amos Milburn’s « Bad, bad whiskey » (Mercury 6326), and most of all, the immortal « (Help me lose the) Boogie woogie blues » (great steel solo!), often reissued (Mercury 6331). B-sides are less interesting, « I’m crying » and «Have you forgotten my name ». Soots did not write his own material. After these two issues, one loses his trail, and he seems to have disappeared afterwards.
Gene Krupa (Bobby Soots, vocalist) « At the jazz band ball » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Gene-Krupa-At-the-Jazz-Band-Ball.mp3 download
Gene Krupa (Bobby Soots, vocalist) « Walking with the blues » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Vicor-Bobby-Soots-Walking-with-the-blues.mp3<a href= »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Vicor-Bobby-Soots-Walking-with-the-blues.mp3″ target= »_blank »>download
Gene Krupa (Bobby Soots, vocalist), « Panhandle rag » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/RCA-bobby-soots-panhandle-rag.mp3download
Bobby Soots, « Bad, bad whiskey » (Mercury 6326) http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Mercury-6326-Bobby-Soots-Bad-bad-whiskey.mp3download
Bobby Soots, « (Help me lose the) Boogie woogie blues » (Mercury 6331) http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/mercury-6331-bobby-soots-help-me-lose-the-boogie-woogie-blues.mp3download
Bobby Soots, « I’m crying » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Mercury-6326-Bobby-Soots-Im-cryin.mp3download
Bobby Soots, « Have you forgotten my name » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/mercury-6331-bobby-soots-have-you-forgotten-my-name.mp3download
Bobby Soots solo discography:
(vo) with instrumental accompaniment: g, rh. g, p, steel, str.b.. Poss. Chicago, circa Feb. 1951
7208 Bad, bad whiskey Mercury 6326
7209 Fiddle boogie unissued
7210 I’m cryin’ Mercury 6326
7211 A thousand times too many unissued
(vo) with fiddle, piano, rh. gtr, g, steel, str.b. circa September/october 1951
7232 Help me lose the boogie boogie blues Mercuy 6331
7233 Goin’, goin’, gone unissued
7234 Lots of nothin’ -
7235 Have you forgotten my name Mercury 6331
Source: Internet for the Gene Krupa records, Bobby Soots photograph and Billboard snippets. Thanks to Ronald Keppner for scan/mp3 of Mercury 6326. Discographical details from Michel Ruppli’s « Mercury label » vol. 1.
Born Bobby Musgrove in 1932. No biographical data have been gathered except those skin-deep, D.J.s only biographical facts on the « not for sale » King issues.
His career began under his real name on the Kentucky label with with « Dollar sign heart » (#584) in 1954, when he returned from U.S. Army. It’s a very nice hillbilly bopper, pushed by a fine guitar. A very rare issue on the Audio Lab label, seemingly a part of the Carl Burkhardt’s empire of Kentucky/Gateway/4 Big hits cheap labels: Grove had an EP (thanks to Allan Turner to have unearthed and shared this scarce issue) of 4 tracks, one being penned by Walter Scott of « I’m walking out » (Ruby 100) fame. In 1956, he dropped his name to « Grove » on the King label, where he cut 4 records, all of whom are good hillbillies, the best are « No parking here » (# 4946), and the echoey (fast, almost rockabilly) « Whistle of the gravy train » (# 5007). Also worth of hearing: « I saw here first » (# 5027). He’d redone his Kentucky tune as « Dollar sign« . During the latter part of 1957 he had his last single on the Cincinnati new label Lucky, # 003 « Jealous dreams/Be still, my heart« . Again two fine bopping sides.
Bobby Grove reappeared later in 1962 as minister and cut many religious albums with much success (several shots on YouTube). That’s all I know about him.
1963 issue of a 1956 track
With thanks to Allan Turner and John Burton for the loan of rare label scans and mp3, the others taken from the web.
Very little is known about this Texas artist, except the information on labels and two comments after his solitary 1952-53 issue as published by Andrew Brown’s « wired-for-sound.blogspot » site.
« Ramblin’ Fool » is a Gold Star pressing, dating from around 1952-53. Glen Barber, whose band provides the music here, was probably still a student at Pasadena High School when he cut this. The steel guitarist is « Dusty » Carroll, and the fiddler is Charlie Frost. Musically, this is far from great, but hey, it’s a group of teen-agers. Cut them some slack. Flipside « Let me show us how » is an uptempo weeper. Young Glen Barber is invited to do his (very tame) solo.
In 1956 for a label of the same name (Premium 344), Bashful Vic Thomas (note his entire name) had « Rock and roll tonight« , a prime example of a country band thinking that they could jump on the rock and roll bandwagon by simply writing a song that had the words « rock and roll » in the lyrics — leaving the steel and fiddle intact. I suspect that teenagers at the time weren’t impressed, but the honky-tonkers probably thought they were being « hip » by dancing to it. Flipside is Hank Williams‘ « You’re gonna change (or I’m gonna leave », well done and very fast in the Thomas manner – copyrights go to Thomas. Actually « You’re gonna change » sound like an entirely new song and I wonder if Thomas only got the tune’s title from Hank.
Bashful Vic lived up to his name — I’ve never heard anyone on the Houston ’50s scene mention him at all. After re-cutting « Ramblin’ Fool » for Applause, an Omaha, Nebraska label in 1960, he disappears from the vinyl map completely except for the Memory 45. Flipside of the Applause 45 was a modern and energetic (for the times being) revamp of his 1956 « You’re gonna change« .
The Memory 45 is from 1961, and originate from Chula Vista, California, a fact which indicate Vic Thomas was a well traveled artist. It’s a Starday custom double sider of lovely but forgettable country ballads, « A fool in love » and « I wonder« . Thanks to Allan Turner to have provided the label scans as well as sound files. Vic Thomas later in his life moved to Florida and eventually was committed to an asylum for his depression. Originally from New York City, Vic was attracted to the sweet sounds of West Texas troubadors and aspired to be one himself.
It is almost certain that the Vic Thomas of « Marianne » fame, a white doo-wop song from 1963-64 on Philips, is a completely different artist.
Notes and sources: Boppin’ hillbilly Vol. 2002 and 2022 for short snippets on Vic Thomas. Comments on Premium 101 « Ramblin’ fool » on Andrew Brown’s « Wired-for-sound » bloodspot. Thanks to Allan Turner for providing rare scans and sound files. Music and scans of Applause from somelocalloser bloodspot (2013).
Black Jack Wayne
Born: February 8, 1923
Died: June 30, 1999
KEEN San Jose, CA
KVSM San Mateo, CA
Along the way, we’ll find artists who cause some discussion back and forth or even some debate. No, not about their music, but about the details of their career. We’ve already seen some discussion on this fellow in an exchange of emails. But, somehow we stumbled across an issue of Cowboy Songs from December 1957 that had a column written by Imogene Ellwanger who provides some tidbits. And a few other mentions elsewhere, too.
It has proven difficult to find something other than this short biography taken from hillbilly-music.com site. Black Jack Wayne (real last name : Shults) was a native of Oklahoma who moved to the San Francisco Bay Area when he was 14. He started guitar playing as a hobby but later on down the road, it became part of his career. He had an injury of some type and came back to the Bay Area and decided to join his brother’s band, the « Rattlesnake Ramblers ».
In 1950 he and his younger brother Chuck « Charles » bought the « Garden of Allah » nightclub, located in Niles, north of Hayward-Oakland Highway. They hired country artist Ed Cima to transform the Garden by painting cartoon cowboys and western scenes in a whimsical mural over the walls. He also hand painted the ceiling to look like the Taj Mahal. They tried to change the name but people wouldn’t accept it, so it remained the Garden of Allah.?In its heyday, the Garden catered to rock and roll fans on Friday nights, country western lovers on Saturdays and square dancers on Sundays. In mid-1956, he had three daily shows over the all-western radio station KVSM out of San Mateo, California. And a one hour show over television station KOVR with the « Bar 10 Ranch Boys ».
Black Jack and the Bar-10 Ranch Boys had several recordings in 1954 on the Cavalier label. Back then their latest release was « A Dream Just Won’t Do » along with « Nip or Two » (# 839) or Jack’s brother Chuck Wayne‘s « Mean Mean Mean » (# 836). The latter seems to be the Bud Hobbs song.
Later on in her column, Ms. Ellwanger mentions that KOVR, Channel 13 in Stockton, had two Western music shows on the air. One show had Glenn Stepp and his band. The other had Black Jack Wayne and his « Bar 11 Ranch Boys ». Black Jack had also started a live radio show from the Garden of Allah nightclub he owned that was broadcast over KEEN every Saturday night. She also wrote that there was a possibility that the « California Hayride » might start a show originating from the Garden of Allah every Friday night over Channel 13 in Stockton.
In 1955 on the Spur label we found Charles (Chuck) Wayne for two solid Hardrock Gunter type hillbilly rockers (hillbilly bop with a dose of western swing), « Rockin’ Rollin’ Rhythm » and « Rodeo Time Is Here » # 1245), and maybe more with « The Golden Key » (# 1248).
In 1957, per a column in Cowboy Songs by Imogene Chapman, we find that Black Jack had his own record label – Black Jack. And around that time, had put out his first recording, « Time Stole My Empire » b/w « Shallow Water Blues » : the latter being a strong fast bluesy number. Tom Hall and Terry Fell helped on the record with their guitar and harmonica. At the time, they mentioned that you could order the record from Black Jack in care of radio station KVSM in San Mateo, California. No coincidence that Ms. Chapman might mention Black Jack, for in the same issue featuring « Stars on the Horizon », she is listed as the president of his ‘fast-growing’ and ‘real-active’ fan club.
Later on, we found a mention on Channel 2, KTVU, now of the Fox Network, on the Bayinsider.com… « Not all of KTVU’s local programming was noteworthy or long-lasting. There was The Black Jack Wayne Show, a western variety show… »
In the KVSM studio (San Mateo), Black Jack Wayne cut in 1957 his next record « What Makes Me Hang Around » and backed Rose and Cal Maddox on « Gotta Travel On » (Black Jack 104). Medium honky tonk (nice guitar), with Jack vocally fronting, backed on chorus by Rose. His cooperation with the Maddoxes led him to offer them « Ugly & Slouchy » (Columbia 40836)
In 1959 Chuck Wayne had « Wishing/Thank You Call Again » on Ozark 963, both pop country. Incidentally the latter was written by two comperes of the Rural Rhythm days, Johnny O’Neal and Johnny Tyler. Black Jack Wayne and the Roving Gamblers backed Bill Carter on « Baby Brother ». B-side, « Ride, Gunman, Ride », was a Jack Wayne original. Chuck Wayne had his last known recordings in 1959 on Black Jack 106 with « I’m Sending You Some Roses /Blue Moon Waltz » (untraced record).
Black Jack Wayne had several interesting records on Cheyenne, among them « Dancing With A Stranger » (# 114) in 1960, before a couple on Big West and a solitary issue in 1962 on Decca. Charles Wayne also backed Mel Dorsey (« Little Lil » rocker) on Black Jack.
sources: main source was « hillbilly-music.com » site. Many Youtube label shots. And a lot of research! I am not THAT satisfied with this article.