This time we focus on 3 artists only. First DARNELL MILLER, who has enjoyed a comfortable Country music career for 5 decades in W. Va (a long-time affiliate to the famous WVA Jamboree), is present here with three of his early records. On the Dale label (a Starday custom) # 630 from Bluefield, W.Va, in May 1957, he released a very honest medium-paced hillbilly (fiddle present) with “Gettin’ out of the woods“. Two years later, he was to have two nice Country-rockers on the main Starday serie (in the meantime, he had been presented to Don Pierce, boss of the label, in Nashville). He delivers the energetic “Royal flush” (Starday 422) as well, several months later, the equally nice (where he seems to double his voice over) “Back to you” (Starday 459). Later on, he cut many, many records until his retirement early in the 2000s.
Darnell Miller “Gettin’ out of the woods”
Darnell Miller “Royal flush”
Darnell Miller “Back to you”
The second artist presented here has no biographical data. BILL DUDLEY had cut in Nashville a good amount of records from 1953 to 1972 (in Canada) then disappeared from Dick Grant’s antennas. I’ve chosen the nice hillbilly released in November 1953 by Capitol (# 2662) “If I cry“. All in all, he recorded between 1953 and 1954 thirteen tracks for this label, which issued 4 singles. The next track by him is the fine Country-rocker “Oh please Mr. Conductor” on the Todd label (# 1046) from 1959. This tiny label issued several good disks during this period by Lee Bonds, Jimmie Fletcher or Jericho Jones, to name the most well-known in the Hillbilly bop/Country-rock field.[March 25, 2018. Added: “Wailin’ Wall” (Capitol 2531]
Bill Dudley “If I cry”
Bill Dudley “Oh please Mr. Conductor”
Down in Louisiana, I will dwell on JOEY GILLS upon. A protégé of Jay D. Miller, and né Joseph Guillot, he hailed from Thibodeaux vicinity, La. where he was born on a farm in 1929 (died 2013).A relative to Cajun superstar Johnnie Allan, during the early ’50s, he often gigged with Rusty & Doug, and he sounded so much as Hank Williams that J. D. Miller often used him to test new songs. Here it is his first record from 1953-54 “Hey Meon” (Feature 2002), cut in Crowley, La (J. D. Miller studio): Gills is backed by Lonnie Jones (later known as “Lazy Lester“) on washboard, Johnny on steel (Miller can’t remember his full name) and Wiley Barkdull on piano for a very good waltz-paced ditty, partly sung in French. In February or March 1956, he cut 4 tracks for Mercury, either in Crowley, or in Nashville, which included the great medium boppers “(I am) Like a dog without a bone”, “My name is Joe” and “Consolation prize“. From then on, Gills had his own radio show in Thibodeaux on KTIB, but recorded only this song (found on Youtube).
Joey Gills: “Hey Meon“