Howdy ! This is the early February 2018 fortnight’s favorites selection. Let’s begin with a Western swing Houston scene veteran : DICKIE McBRIDE, here late in his career ( October 1951). Billed with his wife Laura Lee (who is absent here), he delivers a powerful and moving « I love you boogie » on M-G-M 11056. Fine steel and piano, and a lot of yells and whistles from apparently McBride himself.

« I love you boogie »

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Another veteran, out of the Gospel and Bluegrass field : MAC ODELL (rn Odell McLeod), who was born in 1916 in Roanake, Alabama. His career had a large stretch between New Orleans and Michigan, before he settled down in Nashville, as « Ole Country Boy » in the late ’40s. He recorded first at Mercury, then landed at King , but had poor sales as an artist. More as a songwriter for others : « The battle of Armageddon » for Hank Williams, or « The glorybound train » for Roy Acuff. At King, he was firmly Bluegrass, backed by Don Reno and Red Smiley. Here is his fast half-talked «Penicillin » from September 1953 on King 1251. O’Dell has deceased in 2003.

« Penicillin« 

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Billboard December 2, 1948

Red Barn was a regional Kansas City concern, important for example for the first Jimmie Skinner sides of the late ’40s. The name ELMO LINN may be an obscure one ; he had however two interesting issues on this label. « Lorita » (Red Barn 1188A) is a medium paced shuffler with steel. Vocal reminds a bit Ernest Tubb. The flipside « Line on the highway » is a fast guitar backed tune. « Heart full of love » (Red Barn 1195) comes next, with again that shuffling rhythm. Later on Linn went to Westport (pop country).

« Lorita »

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« Line on the highway »

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« Heart full of love »

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From Lorain, Ohio, VERN TERRY on the Athena label (a Starday custom) from 1959. « Miss you » is a good slowie, the instrumentation is minimal, echo is on the vocal, and steel is to the fore. (# 804). The flipside « Someone new » is an uptempo shuffler. Good steel and fiddle.

« Miss you »

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« Someone new« 

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From Nashville, RAY BATTS in 1954 for two sides on the Excello label # 2028. The marvelous bopper « Stealin’ sugar » : complete with steel and piano. It has moreover nothing to do with the Merle Lindsay tune (MGM 10795) of the same name. The flipside, « Maybe it’s you, sweetheart » is a shuffler. Batts had also on Bullet 754 the great double-sided « Bear cat daddy/Wild man boogie », reviewed in « Bullet – always a smash it », published here in May 2012.

« Stealin’ sugar »

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« Maybe it’s you, sweetheart »

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Finally two R&B rompers by BILLY TATE, whom I don’t know anything about. The songs do speak for themselves : « Love is a crazy thing » [as Blind Billy Tate] on Herald 411, with a tremendous wild sax solo ; then « Right from wrong » on Peacock 1671 from 1957.
« Love is a crazy thing« 

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« Right from wrong »

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Sources : Mac O’Dell on Warped (VMOMC) for biog. details ; YouTube for many a tune ; 78worlds (Ron Keppner) for label scans. HBR label scans and music for Elmo Linn.

If you enjoy something here, please leave a comment below. And ask for something you would like to hear (and download) : maybe I can help.