Hi ! Everyone visiting this blog. You are going to be treated with ten rockabillies or country boogies from 1953 to 1959, allegedly the best era for bopping music.

Billy Smith or Rocky Davis ?

BILLY SMITH is a mystery. His lonely record on Red Hed (Indianapolis, Ind.) was published in 1957 {see below}, and easily attains the value of $ 300-400 (or $ 150-200 in the book of B. K. Johns- who surprisingly gives a Texas location) . Prefixes of J indicate an RCA-Victor pressing in 1958. Anyway « Tell Me Baby » is the side to look for: wild vocal, great guitar on bass chords played, energetic drums, all you Rockabilly/White Rock fans you could dream of. Flipside « Baby Please Come Home » (is this the Country standard?) is a quieter. lot of good steel, a strong bass. The singer is convincing.

And now the mystery goes on. Tom Lincoln & Dick Blackburn in their classic book (Guide to Rare Rockabilly And Rock’n’Roll 45’s) do secure that Billy Smith and the next artist, ROCKY DAVIS are the same man. At last, the drums sound the same, and an uninventive guitar is heard in the 6 tunes. Davis hailed from Florida, and cut for Blue Sky Records located in St Cloud or Orlando in 1958-59. Davis did give 3 strong rockers and a ballad with welcome choruses, not unlike Jerry Arnold (« Race For Time » issued on Texas Security or N.Y.C. Cameo) : « Your A Doll » (Blue Sky 101) is a fast rockabilly – urgent vocal, although largely uninventive guitar. The same goes for the flipside « Save A Little Love For Me ».

Texas ‘Red’ Rhodes

TEXAS ‘RED’ RHODES, next artist, released « Go Cats Go » with topical lyrics on the Echo label (# 1001) in 1958. This Echo label has apparently nothing to do with the same name concern out of N.Y.C. or the New Orleans R&B label of 1950, but hails also out of Florida. A joyful Rockabilly/White rocker : piano, good guitar, a solid rhythm. Barry K. John gives a $ 500-600 price.

Abe Heape

From Stillwater, Oklahoma in 1958 ABE HEAPE cut the great « Short Fellow Blues » on Rose 118 (valued by Lincoln/Blackburn at $ 150-200 ; John ignores this item). Is the singer male or female? The song anyway is a medium paced Rockabilly, well worth watching for.

And now on to Country boogie…

On the Tennessee label (# 791) in 1951, the one-record TINY BENNETT, backed by seemingly the related Blackie Bennett, did release the very fine « Boogie Woogie Plowboy », obviously a copy note-for-note of Red Foley’s « Chatanooga Shoe Shine Boy » : a boogie guitar all throughout the song, bass and rhythm do their job, while a welcome piano is giving a good rinky-dink solo.

Tiny Bennett with Blackie Bennett & his Band

Clyde Moody

Finally the medium-paced Hillbilly boogie « Whatta line » by CLYDE MOODY released on Decca 28785 in 1953. Moody generally excelled in waltzes, but now he gives this great minor-classic tune: nice embroidering guitar (solo), a piano is backing , a fine steel solo.

And now this fortnight is over. Rendezvous on February 16th for the next one. I hope you have found something of interest here. Comments are welcome !

Sources : YouTube (Texas Red Rhodes, Rocky Davis) ; « Country Hicks » series ; Rocky Davis’s picture from « Rocky52 » great, French site. My own archives.