Howdy, folks! Finally moved. More room for records, more space for living. Hope all of you are fine, still prepared for good ole’ Hillbilly music. Two classics will be discussed this time. All the podcast will be 78 rpm but only one 45: many a hiss!
Let’s begin with “Baby, Let’s Play House“. The first version was written by Arthur Gunter in November 1954 for the Excello label out of nashville. Delta blues was apparently a main influence on young Elvis, since the latter cut Arthur Crudup’s “That’s Allright Mama” for Sun, in a very different way however. Elvis cut “Baby Let’s Play House” in 1955 in his own style, already defined as rockabilly: thudding bass, shrill and heavy echoe’d lead guitar, and singer’s mumbles. This is now an hyper-classic! I’ve posted the version I own on RCA 78, since the Sun issue is as rare (and expensive) as hen’s teeth…Around the same time, Buddy Holly also cut the song as a demo, not issued before the mid-60s (on the “Holly in the hills” album). Sleepy La Beef also cut his own version, also not issued before the ’80s (on Baron records)
Another classic is “Drifting Texas Sand” – “sand in my sugar, sand in my tea, when I die, they are gonna bury me in shifting, drifting Texas sand“…The Tune Wranglers first recorded it in 1936, with a fine Charlie Kellogg string-bass (a short solo near the end) – full of fun and laziness. Later in 1950, Webb Pierce revived the track on Pacemaker, doing it well with Tillman Frank‘s bass behind him. Since he was still under contract with Four Star, his name could not appear on the record. Finally, the song was covered in 1951 by West coast answer to Nashville’s Elton Britt, Eddie Kirk, for Capitol records. The man made many ballads, but he can still be remembered for the fine, lazy hillbilly bop “Blue Bonnet Blues“, and later had some good boppers on RCA. Maybe I will post something on him some day.
We come to an end with JAY CEE HILL and the romper “Romp Stompin’ Boogie” on the Epic label from 1951. This rocks!
Bye-bye! Maybe next time early march, as circa February 15 (scheduled next Fortnight), I will be in Prague, Czech Republic. I hope I can meet Praguefrank, the infatigable webmaster of “Country discographies”…