I found the story on RaB-HOF site. It’s not that often a relative to an artist offers such a complete and accurate story. It even goes back to the beginning of 20th century!  So I decided to let its author speak by herself. Here it is:

LLOYD ARNOLD McCOLLOUGH STORY

by: Annette Wondergem (Lloyd’s niece)

with additions from Dave Travis, Al Turner, Terry Gordon & Bo BerglindLAnDH1954

A raw December wind sent an icy chill through the tall, lean young man who stared longingly at the mandolin in the display window of the music store. Just a few more dollars saved from odd jobs and sacrificed lunches and that fine instrument would be his. He pulled his collar closer about his throat and turned wistfully homeward. The year was 1950, the place was Memphis, Tennessee and the young man was Lloyd Arnold McCollough. At this point Lloyd had a lifetime ahead of him and he could imagine the possibilities that a mandolin could bring. Twenty years later the pressure of a touring musician had begun to take it’s toll. But, let’s not go ahead of time, the story of Lloyd Arnold, who became a pioneer of early Memphis music, began many years earlier.

John Clinton McCollough was a gentle, kind hearted Irishman. Clemmie Elizabeth Coleman was part Choctaw Indian, a very strong willed and determined southern lady. They met in the rural area of Strayhorn/ Bluegoose, Mississippi around the turn of the century. The young couple found that they had something in common, they both loved music! John played the banjo and Clemmie strummed the guitar. The duo gained quite a musical reputation performing at church socials and square dances. They married on April 29, 1906. This was truly a marriage made in Heaven. Even though their personalities were different, her determination was tempered by his gentleness and his gentleness was strengthened by her determination.

For the next few years they remained in Strayhorn while John farmed the unyielding land. They wanted a large family, so Lloyd’s oldest brother, Thadis, made his appearance in 1908. The baby was born with an enlarged heart however he did survive and the couple gave thanks to the Lord and entered their first child’s name in the family Bible. Clemmie employed an Indian medicine man from a nearby Choctaw Reservation to stop by periodically and check on her first born. A second child, Leroy, made his appearance in 1912. In the year 1916, Lloyd’s oldest sister, Flora Ilene was born. A fourth name was added to the family Bible, when my mother, Zeta Margarine, was born in 1920. A few days after her birth, John and Clemmie adopted a new born baby boy. The child belonged to Clemmie’s first cousin who had died while giving him life. So the McColloughs took little Albert Eugene into their home and into their hearts.

In the mid-twenties John moved the family to Sardis, Mississippi where Clemmie’s mother owned a small store with living quarters in the back. He raised vegetables and peanuts while Clemmie worked behind the counter. In 1926 their next child, James (Jim ), arrived. Jim is the brother who would one day help Lloyd organize his first band. It was also in Sardis that the first son, Thadis, took a wife, Myra Wade. In 1929 the couple presented John and Clemmie with their first grandchild, Johnnie Marie.  sardis, ms

John was always looking for better farmland and more opportunities so they moved to Tallulah, Louisiana. By this time things were changing. Flora moved across the river to Vicksburg, Mississippi and eventually became Mrs. George Condia while Leroy married Mattie Hammond, a Tallulah telephone operator. Mattie was the lady who would one day design most of Lloyd’s stage clothes. It was also in Tallulah that John was diagnosed with severe ulcerated stomach and was hospitalized in nearby Shreveport. The doctors were very clear when they told Clemmie that her husband could no longer keep up the strenuous pace of a farmer’s life. Soon after his hospital release, it was time for a major change.

In the early thirties, John moved the family to the big city where they occupied both sides of a duplex on Tate Street.   tate avenueThe McColloughs had finally arrived in Memphis, Tennessee! Shortly after this move, Clemmie gave birth to another son. Baby Harold was very frail and lived only a few months. John and Clemmie remained in Memphis and in time became known as Ma and Pa to most everyone, including all the musicians who would cross their path in the years to come.

During the ‘Great Depression’, John peddled door to door, selling small items such as sewing thread, thimbles, shoe strings etc. The memory of lean years and doors being slammed in his face remained with him. In the early 1950’s, when I was growing up in the McCollough house, no peddler was ever turned from our door. If my grandfather had no money at the time to buy an item, he would invite the weary man in for a glass of tea and conversation. In 1935 Zeta became a very young bride while John and Clemmie welcomed their last child, Lloyd Arnold, born on June 25. A few months later, tragedy struck: Lloyd’s oldest brother, Thadis developed pneumonia. He passed away just a few days before Christmas, leaving his wife and their two small children.

In 1937, my sister, Barbara was born. Since her and Lloyd were close to the same age, he became very protective of his young niece. At Christmastime, they would stand in line for hours at the Ellis Auditorium to receive a small toy and a piece of fruit from the Good Fellows Fund. These were lean years but because of John’s small garden and his skill as a farmer the family never went hungry.

As a small boy, Lloyd developed spinal meningitis. In those days that was practically a death sentence! He spent a month in isolation at the John Gaston Hospital. Trying to prevent the disease from going to his brain, the doctors strapped him in a bed that stood upright against the wall. Since he was not allowed to have any visitors in his room, the medical staff would raise the window so family members could talk to him. Every morning when his mother arrived, the nurses would make sure that the window was open wide so she could communicate with her son. Lloyd was too young to understand what was happening. He often cried, begging the family to take him home. During the times that he was awake there was at least one family member outside his window talking to him and praying for him. The McColloughs used their faith and stood against fear as Lloyd fought a tough battle with the disease that almost took his life. As the weeks turned into months, once again their prayers were answered. He slowly regained his strength and the doctors were amazed!

In the early 1940’s, it was time to make another change so the McColloughs moved from Tate Street to Kimball Avenue. Because of my grandfather’s health, he and my grandmother decided to change roles. So in September of 1943, she went to work as a steam checker in the raincoat department of The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, while he stayed home to care for his backyard garden. John McCollough had a ‘green thumb’! He could make anything grow. All kinds of fruits and vegetables simply thrived under his care! In the summer, he canned the food that would feed the family through the winter always making certain that he had enough to share with neighbors.   kimball avenue

Because Lloyd’s mother worked outside of the home during a portion of his childhood, this left the majority of the child-rearing to my grandfather and my mother. John and Zeta were the ones who came to the rescue to mend skinned knees and dry childhood tears. These were the two people who exerted the most influence over Lloyd’s life. In the years to come anyone who knew him professionally or privately also knew ‘Pa’ and ‘Sis’. Few decisions were made without their approval. Oh by the way, I made my appearance in the McCollough house in November of 1945.

Growing up in Memphis in the 1950’s was exciting. The era of bobby sox, poodle skirts, cherry cokes and wonderful music was waiting in the wings. One afternoon as Lloyd and Barbara made their way down Parkway Avenue they stopped for a red light. A motorcycle roared up beside Lloyd’s Ford coupe and the rider glanced toward the car and spoke:

-“Hey Lloyd, how’s it goin”?

As the light changed, Lloyd waved and returned the greeting. Barbara watched the young man until he was completely out of sight.

-“Who’s that? she asked.

-“Oh, he’s one of the guys from Humes High, his name’s Elvis Presley. “

During his high school days Lloyd was extremely popular with the other students. He was an R.O.T.C. major, a member of the colour guard, the Key Club, the Officer’s Club and of course the A Cappella Choir. Some of his time was spent at Rainbow Roller Skating Rink where he became an avid skater, and won his share of trophies. He was also a ‘skate cop’ and president of the Roller Skating Club. Because of his ability on the rink his classmates dubbed him “Fireball Mac”. In his early teens his goal in life was to become a professional baseball player. He spent many hours on the ball field however slowly his interests began to change to the field of music. Then during that icy Christmas of 1950 he was both surprised and delighted as he opened the large Christmas box and found the mandolin. He spent the next few days searching for elusive chords. Finally he mastered the instrument and started performing for high school functions.

Lloyd was greatly influenced by the music of Hank Williams Sr. When Hank passed away in January of 1953, Lloyd decided to make music his profession. The career of Hank Williams had established a musical role model for him and through the years there was always a portion of his performances set aside to pay tribute to this legendary artist.

Family members offered their assistance to help him form his first band. His brother, Jim McCollough handled the stand-up bass and his niece, Geneva McCollough ( Leroy’s daughter) became the band’s first songstress. Curley Rainey, a family friend, took over the job of fiddler. The steel guitar was played by a local musician named Grady. (Grady’s last name has dissappeared through the tunnels of time). This group comprised Lloyd’s original Drifting Hillbillies. Band practice took place at least once a week either in the living room or in the garage. During those fun-filled days the McCollough house overflowed with music and laughter. In the years that followed, we would remember this carefree era as the happiest time of our lives. It was that special time of youth that comes but once to each of us; secures us in expectations and then is gone forever.

Now that Lloyd had a band, he also needed stage clothes. Leroy’s wife, Mattie, was an excellent seemstress and offered her services. She created the designs that appeared on most of his stage suits.

LAOnStage1953

Lloyd and his new band performed a benefit for the Memphis Veterans Hospital in April of 1953. As the year progressed, his music was brought into the living rooms of thousands of viewers as he stepped before the television cameras of the Ted Mack Amateur Hour. During August and September Lloyd hosted a radio program at WBLE Radio in Batesville, Mississippi. As the September winds blew briskly across the tents of the Mid-South Fair, he and the Drifting Hillbillies performed on the Country Music Showcase – sponsored by WMCT-TV Channel 5 in Memphis. In November, Lloyd received a letter from Como, Mississippi High School asking him to perform for the student body, which he did on Friday December 18. He was also one of two Technical High School students chosen to perform at the Peabody for the Memphis Kiwanis Club luncheon. It was a cold December 16 in 1953 when Lloyd took his bows from the famed banquet hall of the nostalgic Peabody Hotel.

In the early 1950s things began to change again in the McCollough house as more grandchildren and great grandchildren made their appearance. Lloyd became a ‘great uncle’ and a ‘dad’ at a very young age. While still in high school, he married a girl who was in her middle twenties. As soon as the vows were spoken, his bride began to complain about his career. She wanted him to get out of the music business, but Lloyd refused. Since he was not willing to abandon his profession, the marriage lasted only a year. They had one child, a son. The break-up was very diffcult for everyone and Lloyd tried hard to maintain a ‘father, son ‘ relationship with his little boy.

While suffering with childhood meningitis, Lloyd lost many school days. Due to this lost time, his graduation from Technical High School was delayed until May 27 of 1954. By that time he was already somewhat of a seasoned performer. He and the band began to travel, gaining popularity through the southern states. This was reflected in a letter that he received from WNAG Radio in Grenada, Mississippi on June 7, 1954:

“Dear Mr. McCollough,

We have a Hillbilly Jamboree each Saturday morning. We have seen you pass through here several times and we were wondering if you could come one Saturday and be on our show? A little more publicity is all the pay we can offer you but this is a new show and we need your help in order to keep it going.”

A few weeks later, Lloyd and the Drifting Hillbillies travelled to Grenada to play a benefit for them.

When it came time to hire another band member, Lloyd’s nephew, Bo McCollough joined the Drifting Hillbillies to play rhythm guitar. Soon Bill Helms was brought on board to play lead guitar.

The “Saturday Night Jamboree ” was a weekly event held in the Goodwyn Institute located at Third and Madison in downtown Memphis. It was founded by a well known Memphis musican named Joe Manuel. Since the Jamboree showcased local talent, Lloyd obtained a spot on the program. Every weekend, the McColloughs made their way to the Goodwyn Institute to support him and all the other artists. Many local performers got their start there: Marcus Van Story, Aubry Rice, Elvis Presley, Doug Stone, Charlie Feathers, Larry Manuel, Jimmy Smith, Tommy Cash (Johnny Cash’s brother), Major Pruitt, Ellis Mize and many others. Every Saturday night, local musicians gathered there to display their special mix of gospel, country and blues, never realizing that they were helping to develop a new sound called ‘rockabilly.’

One night, during Lloyd’s portion of the show, he strained his eyes against the spotlight and spoke to a shadowy figure standing at the back of the theatre.

-“Hey E.P., don’t leave yet, I need to talk to you after the show.”

The shadows stirred and into a sliver of light stepped Elvis Presley. He turned his pockets inside out and yelled towards the stage:

-“You don’t need to talk to me, Lloyd, I ain’t got no money!”

The followng Saturday evening found Lloyd at home pacing the floor. Showtime was drawing near and he was impatiently waiting for his guitarist, Bo, to find his only pair of red stage pants. Bo couldn’t remember which dry cleaners had them. He was trying to locate them by telephone so they could be picked up on the way to the performance. On this particular afternoon, two elderly ladies decided to monopolize the party line. Every time Bo listened for a dial tone he received nothing but an ear full of recipes. His tension was mounting because time was marching on and Lloyd kept thrusting his head in the doorway, pointing to his wristwatch. Outside the window the other band members were loading instruments and tapping upon the windowpane. After forty-five minutes Lloyd stopped pacing, rattled his car keys and yelled from the hallway:

-“Bo, if you don’t come on, we’re gonna leave you and I’ll get somebody else to play guitar.”

The next sound we heard was that of desperation as Bo grabbed the receiver and blurted:

-“Ladies, will you please get off this confounded line, I’ve left my britches somewhere and I’m tryin’ to find ’em.”

There was a stunned silence over the phone, then a dial tone – the pants were found and the show went on!

During the Jamboree days, Lloyd began to experience the many problems of maintaining band members. His brother, Jim had recently married Glora Hall, a young lady who lived down the street from the McColloughs. After their marriage, Jim decided to become a member of the Memphis Police Force. By this time, the band had many ‘out of town’ engagements and Jim’s work schedule would not permit him to travel. This left Lloyd in desperate need of a bass man. One hot summer night in August at the Goodwyn Institute, Lloyd was introduced to a young man from Hollandale, Mississippi named Buddy Hollie. He proved to be a excellent bass player and Lloyd hired him on the spot. Just when he thought his band was secure again, he discovered that Geneva had secretly married his fiddle player, Curley Rainey, and was preparing to trade her guitar for pots and pans. Soon the couple married, left the band and moved from Memphis. This left Lloyd with no songstress and no fiddler. Slowly, one by one, the original Drifting Hillbillies were replaced and over the next twenty years a succession of musicians would follow in their footsteps.

During 1953 and 1954 Lloyd and his band recorded several demos/acetates at the newly opened Memphis Recording Service, at 706 Union Avenue. During the nineties thirteen of these acetates were re-located by re-searcher Jim Cole, employed by the University of Memphis.

acetate1 Oh if I had you acetate2 you win again

acetate3 the world's lonely with you

acetate4 gonna win your love again


During those fun filled days, Lloyd and the Drifting Hillbillies had a great time performing at such places as “The Old Dominion Barn Dance”, “The Renfro Valley Barn Dance”, “Red Foley’s Ozark Jubilee” and the “Louisana Hayride”. In January of 1955 they performed at the “Hillbilly Festival” for WRBL-TV in Columbus, Georgia. In February and March they were in Little Rock, Arkansas at the “Barnyard Frolic” and in December they played “The Big D Jamboree” in Dallas, Texas. That same year he hosted another weekly radio program, for WBIP in Booneville Mississippi.

In 1955 Lloyd formed a business relationship with Charles Bolton, a country music promoter from Booneville. Charles rented the Von Theatre every Saturday night where Lloyd and the Drifting Hillbillies made many appearances for the ‘Country Music Festival’ and the ‘TriState Jubilee’.  3laVonflyer

During the Booneville days, Lloyd really became a businessman. He bought a record shop in that town and sent Buddy Hollie to manage it. When they had a show date the guys would swing through Booneville and pick up Buddy. When they weren’t travelling, Lloyd could also be found behind the counter, greeting customers and mulling over receipts. On Saturday nights after their performances at the Von Theatre, Lloyd and the boys would perform at the record shop. Unfortunately it was too difficult for Lloyd and Buddy to juggle their career with one hand and this business venture with the other. Eventually it was sold and the little shop faded into history.

His association with Charles Bolton brought about his first recording of “Oh Darlin'” b/w “Watch That Gal“. The back up musicians were: Buddy Hollie ( sb ), Bo McCollough (rg) and Bill Helms ( lg ). During the same year he also recorded a session for the Bihari Brothers Memphis based label, Meteor. The tracks “Baby, Take Me For A Ride” and “My Blue Heart Is Crying” were left unissued.

von 1002avon 1002b

Beginning in January of 1956 Lloyd hosted another radio program for KWEM Radio in Memphis. The following are excerpts from a KWEM newsletter, dated January of that year:

‘Everyday at 12:00 noon, the studios of the Family Station begin to really jump. That’s the time of the day, Monday through Friday, when Lloyd McCollough and his band, ‘The Drifting Hillbillies’ tune up. ‘KWEM is mighty proud of Lloyd and his band and glad to have ’em on the air.’ ‘By the way, if you collect records, ask for Lloyd’s latest ‘Von’ record now on sale at record shops everywhere. And he’ll have a new release out very soon, so be watching for it’.

When Lloyd met Red Matthews, owner of Ekko Records, he made another recording, ” What Goes On In Your Heart” b/w ” Until I Love Again“, released on the Ekko label in 1956. The back-up musicians were : Buddy Hollie (sb), Chet Atkins (g), Tommy Jackson (f), Jerry Byrd (sg) and Jimmy Self (p). The record was reviewed in Billboard on February 4th. In the summer of 1956, he left Ekko to record for the Republic label.

LAEkkopub1955ekko 1023a56

56 ekko2

ekko 1023b


When the McColloughs lived on Kimball Ave, Lloyd had a little office in the attic of the house. Whenever he felt the inspiration for a new song, he would rush upstairs to write. One breezy March afternoon in 1955 he made a dash for the attic and about 20 minutes later he returned with “Gonna Love My Baby“. He sang it for Buddy and the family members that were gathered in the living room. One line caught Buddy’s attention, the line that reads, “I’ll jump up and play my fiddle“, Buddy interrupted and ask:

-“What does that line have to do with the rest of the song?”

You could tell by the look on Lloyd’s face that he hadn’t given that much thought. Finally he said:

-“Well it rhymes, doesn’t it”.

So the line remained and the song was recorded on Republic in 1956 backed with “‘Cause I Love You“. The back-up musicians were: Buddy Hollie (sb), Bo McCollough (rg), Bill Helms (lg) and Junior Johnson (f). The backing band seems to have been used for further Republic release by Lou Millet (# 7130): “Slip, Slip,Slippin’ In/Shorty The Barber“, as both records sound the same. “Slip…” was later recorded by Eddie Bond on Mercury.

republic 7129F-A

republic 7129B


Lloyd’s fourth record was released on the Starday label. “Half My Fault” is a relaxed rocker with fine guitar and piano. The flipside “What Can I Tell Them” reveal his country and gospel roots.

During 1956 Lloyd and the Drifting Hillbillies worked 282 one nighters throughout the southern and eastern states.

In April of 1956 his private life took another important turn as he walked down the isle with his second bride. Since he did so much out of town work, Ma and Pa insisted that he bring his new wife to live with us. After getting her situated into the McCollough house, Lloyd was off on the road again.

Also in 1956, Buddy Hollie met his future wife and said “goodbye » to Lloyd and the McCollough family. Once again the band was left with no bass man. Soon Bo McCollough and his new bride, Lucy, left Memphis, ending Bo’s musical career.

Bobby Howard, better known to audiences as ‘Droopy Duck’ took over the stand-up bass and also doubled as the band comedian. Bobby was my father’s nephew. One footnote: Bobby recorded in 1966 for Eddie Bond’s Western Lounge label.

It was a wet starless night when the car descended a hill west of Somerset, Kentucky. Droopy had agreed to drive, leaving Lloyd and the others free to doze. The only sound was the patter of raindrops as the highway stretched before them like an endless ebony ribbon. Droopy opened a side window to let in the cool night air and pinched himself to stay awake. Sleep finally took over and for a split second his consciousness melted into velvet blackness. By the time his head dropped forward he was fully awake and the car was forging across the middle line. Not thinking, Droopy forcefully hit the brakes as the tires slid on the wet pavement, disengaging the instrument trailer. No one was hurt but by the time Lloyd and the boys emerged from the car, the trailer had plunged into a deep ravine, tossing battered instruments in every direction. Droopy’s bass fiddle was the only instrument that survived. It appeared to be in perfect condition. Not a scratch! So during the next performance, the band was amazed when the bass shattered, covering the stage with bits of debris. For a silent moment, Lloyd stared at Droopy who was still holding the upper part of the neck and fanning the air as if he were trying to find the rest of the bass. Finally the people burst into laughter. By this time Lloyd had become an expert at covering up unexpected events on stage. So thanks to Droopy’s comedic skills and the spontaneous diaglogue that flew between him and Lloyd, they convinced the audience that the shattered bass was merely part of the show!

Another embarrassing moment happened during a performance at an outdoor drive-in theater. Lloyd was supposed to make his entrance by running from the back of the lot, through the cars and toward the stage. As he approached the platform, he slipped on something and slid ‘under’ the stage! The band members rushed to help as he crawled to freedom while still clinging to his guitar. The audience was silent for a moment as Lloyd, red with embarrassment, dusted himself off. He could hear laughter and the swell of applause as he limped to center stage and burst into song! Once again he managed to make the audience think it was all planned.

As the face of music began to change, a new sound evolved in Memphis, a sound that the world would come to know as rock’n’roll. In keeping with the birth of this ‘new sound’, Lloyd changed the name of his band to the “Rockin’ Drifters”. He began to incorporate rock music with the country tunes, hoping to appeal to a wider range of listeners. I can’t remember exactly when my uncle changed his name but I do remember him saying that he thought ‘Arnold’ would make a better stage name. So evenually he dropped the last name of McCollough and began billing himself as Lloyd Arnold.

starday 686Astarday 686B


In Apri1 and May of 1958 Lloyd and his band played theaters throughout Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia. He spent June and July of that same year in Memphis. His first daughter was born on his birthday, June 25. He nicknamed her ‘Skeeter’. Shortly after her birth the McColloughs moved from Kimball Ave to a new house on Railton Road.

During the month of August, Lloyd and the boys played a series of one nighters in theaters throughout New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada. On September 9 they flew to Newfoundland to perform at the Airmen’s Club. On September 16 they flew back to Nova Scotia for a show at Clark’s Harbour. During this trip Lloyd found that he needed another guitarist. One night during a theatre performance, he heard about a young man in Atlanta, Georgia who was trying to get started in the music business. When Lloyd returned to Memphis, he called Atlanta. The young man proved to be an excellent guitarist. Lloyd auditioned him and hired him over the telephone and Jimmy Brumlow from Atlanta, Georgia became one of the Rockin’ Drifters. Jimmy adopted the stage name of Jimmy Sea.

During the fall of 1958 one of Jimmy’s first muscial assignments was a performance on October 3 at the Elks Club in Salisbury, North Carolina. On October 5 they performed at the NCO Club in Goldsburg, North Carolina. The following day they played Pikesville, Tennessee at the City Theatre. On October 7 they performed at The New Harlan Theatre in Harlan, Kentucky and October 8 they were in Whitesburg, Kentucky. When the Rockin’ Drifters played Orangeburg, South Carolina, they shared the billing with Danny and the Juniors and Fats Domino. By the end of that year they had fulfilled engagements in Tennessee, Alabama, North and South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Georgia.

After Bobby Howard (Droopy) left the band, the stand up bass was taken over temporarily by Marcus Van Story. After Marcus left Lloyd employed Jerry Boyd to play electric bass. Jack Charles was brought on board to play drums. Throughout the early years, most of Lloyd’s performances were done in theatres but beginning in the latter part of the 1950’s and into the 1960’s, he began playing the club circuits through New Jersey and Pennsylvania. At this time he was managed by Lou Palmer, a promoter out of Collingswood, New Jersey.

During the early months of 1960 Lloyd had come to the attention of Herman Lubinsky, owner of Savoy Records and World Wide Record Co.. In April he recorded a session that produced six tracks. Two tracks, “Dixie Doodle” and “The Great Speckled Bird” were released in late April on Savoy’s subsidiary label Sharp. CashBox carried a review of Sharp 108 on May 7.

In January through March of 1960 Lloyd and the Rockin’ Drifters were the featured performers at Molly’s Tavern in Twin Oaks, Pennsylvania. March 26 through Apri1 9 they performed at the Galo Inn in Pennsville, New Jersey. Apri1 18 – August 13 they went back to Molly’s Tavern in Twin Oaks. From August 19 – 25 they played Atlantic City, New Jersey and August 26 to 28 they performed in Massena, New York. From September 2 – 25 they played Nick’s Cafe in National Park, New Jersey. Next they journeyed to Lorraine, Ohio to keep show dates from October 3 through the 16th. In the month of November from the 15th through the 20th they performed for the Wagon Wheel Club in New York City, New York. The Wagon Wheel was located next door to the famous Peppermint Lounge, the adopted home of The Twist. Lloyd and the boys made another trip to Canada to keep a date in London, Ontario from November 28 to December 3. They concluded the year of 1960 with two showdates back in Pennsville, New Jersey.

In the latter part of 1960, Lloyd made one recording for the Myers Record label. The session, which was cut in Newark, New Jersey, produced “Hangout” and “Red Coat, Green Pants & Red Suede Shoes“. The back-up musicians were: Jimmy Sea (rg), Jack Charles (d), Jerry Boyd (eb) and the sax was played by Frank (sorry Frank’s last name has long been forgotten). The March 6th 1961 issue of Billboard Music Week printed the following review of the recording:

(“Red Coat, Green Pants & Red Suede Shoes” – A rocker in the older tradition. Arnold has the rockabilly sound and the message is the familiar “Saturday night record hop” idea set in the rockin’ blues pattern. Ok, wax with a good beat.

“Hangout” – Another blues, this time about the corner juke box joint, where all the cats hang out. Message is much the same as the flip, on the old hat side, but the performance is good and there’s rhythm here.)

katche 1201Alloyd mccollough


The time had finally come for him to escape from the hectic career that now seemed to be consuming him. Years of stressful roadwork had taken their toll, leaving us only a shadow of the man we once knew. After his hospital release, weary in mind and body, he returned to Memphis. ??The McCollough house was silent now except for distant footsteps and whispered memories of those who had gone from it forever. The laughter of by-gone days had faded into the misty corridors of time. In the early days there never seemed to be enough time for Lloyd to accomplish all of his missions. He was constantly yelling at us over his shoulder as he rushed out of the house:

-“See ya’ll later, I’ll be back in a squirt.” Many times his “squirts” would last all day. He was constantly going somewhere to see someone about something. When he returned to Memphis in 1972, suddenly he had nowhere to go and no one to see. The man, who never seemed to have enough time, now had nothing but time. However John and Clemmie McCollough had done their job and instilled in him a deep Christian faith. Lloyd continued to place that faith in the “nail-scarred hand of Jesus”, the Hand of the One who never deserts us. Lloyd’s health was deterioting rapidly. The spinal meningitis that he fought so bravely as a child had left his nervous system permanently damaged. This brought about other health problems that grew worse with the passage of time. On January 10, 1976 at the age of 41, Lloyd passed from this life. As his spirit took flight into the arms of our Loving Saviour, he moved from our past, into our future. The curtain had come down and the show was finally over but the young man who stood in front of a music store so long ago and wished for a mandolin had made his contribution to the music world. He would now take his place beside the other musical pioneers that Memphis produced during the fifties.

Discography

1953, 24 February. Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tn.Producer & Engineer: Sam C. Phillips

Lloyd Arnold McCollough(v) & His Drifting Hillbillies incl. Curley Rainey(f), Geneva McCollough(v/g), Jim McCollough(sb), Grady ?(sg).

Oh, If I Had You – Unissued

Your Mean Old Heart – Unissued

You Win Again (Hank Williams) – Unissued

I’m Sorry Now – Unissued

1953, 4 March. Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tn.Producer & Engineer: Sam C. Phillips

Lloyd Arnold McCollough(v) & His Drifting Hillbillies incl. Curley Rainey(f), Geneva McCollough(v/g), Jim McCollough(sb), Grady ? (sg).

The World’s Lonely With You – Unissued

A Word From God’s Helper – Unissued

Gonna Win Your Love Again – Unissued

I Got A Feel For Love – Unissued

1955. Nashville

Lloyd Arnold McCollough (v) & His Drifting Hillbillies

Musicians: Buddy Hollie (sb), Bo McCollough (rg), Bill Helms (lg)

Oh, Darling (McCollough) – Von 1002

Watch That Girl (McCollough – Von 1002

1955. Meteor Studio, Chelsea Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee.

Lloyd Arnold McCollough (v) & His Drifting Hillbillies incl. unknown musicians.

Take Me For A Ride – Unissued

My Blue Heart Is Crying – Unissued

late 1955. Nashville – Ekko Records

Lloyd Arnold McCollough (v) Musicians: Buddy Hollie (sb), Chet Atkins (g), Jerry Byrd (sg), Tommy Jackson (f), Jimmy Self (p)

Until I Love Again (Hews/Hart) – Ekko 1023 (BB 4 February 1956)

What Goes On In Your Heart (M. Huckeba) – Ekko 1023

1956. Recording Of Nashville Studio, Nashville, Tn. Producer: Murray Nash.

Lloyd Arnold McCollough (v) – Republic Records

Musicians: Buddy Hollie (sb), Bo McCollough (rg), Bill Helms (lg) , Junior Johnson (f)

‘Cause I Love You (S. Zuma) Republic 7129

Gonna Love My Baby (McCollough/Thomas) Republic 7129

1957/early 1958. Unknown location (prob. Nashville)Lloyd Arnold McCollough (v) with unknown musicians, incl.(p), (ld-g),(rh-g), (st-b), d).

Half My Fault (McCollough/Bond) – Starday 686 (BMI March 1958)

What Can I Tell Them (Bond/McCollough) – Starday 686

1960. Unknown studio, Newark, New Jersey.Lloyd Arnold McCollough( v) with Jimmy Sea (rg), Jack Charles (d), Jerry Boyd (eb)

Dixie Doodle (Lloyd Arnold) – Sharp 108 – (CB 7 May 1960)

Lloyd Arnold McCollough (v) with unknown musicians

Don’t Care Blues (Lloyd Arnold)- White Label (NL) LP 8921

Hang Out (Lloyd Arnold) – Unissued

I’m Blue – Unissued

Memphis, Tennessee (Chuck Berry) – Unissued

The Great Speckled Bird (Smith/Arnold arrangement) – Sharp 108

1960-61. Unknown studio, Newark or Philadelphia.

Lloyd Arnold McCollough (v) with Jimmy Sea (rg), Jack Charles (d), Jerry Boyd (eb), Frank (last name unknown (sax)

Red Coat, Green Pants & Red Suede Shoes (Lloyd Arnold) – Myers 113 –

January 1961

Hangout (Lloyd Arnold) – Myers 113

1962-63. Unknown studio

Lloyd Arnold McCollough (v) with unknown musicians incl. (p), (ld-g), (el-b), d).

Hang out – Katche 1201

reverse unknown

(Is « Hang out » the unissued Sharp master ? Is « Katche » McCollough’s own label?)

Other recordings on Blake, K-Ark, Memphis.

Sources: the article on Rab-HoF site was heavily used, for text and photographs. The sounds do come from various sources. The best of Lloyd McCollough is gathered here.