The Four Star custom series were, as did Starday from Beaumont or Houston, known to include many Rock’ & Roll sides played by Hillbilly bands and it was a music that most artists would easily relate to, including the older musicians who had been playing boogie and blues for years anyway. Countless bands were active and the only way they could relate to was release their records on Four Star OP (Other People) custom records.
The tapes would then be sent in and the widely advertised custom service would handle, for a fee, the manufacture of the records and distribution of a number of copies to selected radio stations. Otherwise than this, promotion and distribution was a left up to the the artist or his agent. The number going to the radio stations was probably a percentage of the total number pressed, which varied considerably. Some were produced in relatively large quantities while other artists ordered as few as 99 copies. The rarity of these records varies widely as, of course, does the quality of the music (but not in the same condition). The artist coud choose his own label name, which hopefully often also gives a location. They could also have the record issued under the company’s own logo (as in the case of « Texas » Bill Strength), perhaps at extra cost. Several record labels started as custom pressings before becoming actual independant companies later. Example : Erwin and Rural Rhythm (not represented in this selection). All are generally uptempo sides, with prominent fiddle and walking bass. It must also be noted that many artists were one-off, i.e. they had only one record issued by Four Star OP- service, and never had the chance to cut another one.
HBR did issue two volumes of Four Star OP- custom records. I deliberatly chose to issue unknown sides from 1950 to 1958, and various Western regions (Oklahoma to Oregon), not to exclude Eastern areas like even Florida.
Eddie Snell (on the aptly named Promotional # 242 label) has more of a West coast sound to him, with a « Rockin’ rhythm » similar to Sammy Masters’ early sides. Alden Holloway had also famous releases on Dixie and Starday (« Blast off » or « Swinging the rock »). Here is what he recorded in 1956 seemingly on the West coast for Northwest # 263 : « Woodpecker love ». He had previously issued on # 214 « Beaumont blues » as Shorty Holloway. Veteran Dick Bills, also later on Crest (« Rockin’ and rollin’ » in 1961 with nephew Glen Campbell on lead guiar ) had on Vicki « Beggars can’t be choosers » (# 198, 1954-55). Went also on Morgan (with vocalist Buz Burnam).
Eddie Snell « Head over the hills »
Alden Holloway « Woodpecker love »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/01-Alden-Holloway-Woodpecker-Love.mp3download
Dick Bills « Beggars can’t be choosers »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/vicki-198-dick-bills-his-arizona-drifters-beggars-cant-be-choosers.mp3download
A favorite of Ray Campi, « Quit your triflin’ (on me) » (Hi-fidelity 211), from 1954-55 by Gene Snowden, is a good uptempo probably of West coast origin, while Hank Crow and his Raven River Ramblers do come surely from California: the fine « Baby, baby me » on Southwest 204 from 1954.
Gene Snowden « Quit your triflin’(on me »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Gene-Snowden-Quit-Your-TriflinOn-Me-HI-FIDELITY-OP-121.mp3download
Hank Crow « Baby me, baby »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/southwest-204-Hank-Crow-Baby-me-baby.mp3download
From Texas, Doc Bryant & National Jamboree Gang on his own Doc Bryant label (# 155) for « Cotton pickin’ boogie », from 1952-53. In 1958, an « old » Texas artist – he first recorded in the late ’40s for Macy’s, i.e. « Cornbread boogie » -, Art Gunn had on his own (?) Arga (# 288) label the fine relaxed « Pickin’ ‘n singing ». He had also previously cut for Revel and V&G Records. The mysterious Phantom Rider Trio does « Peekin’ thru your window » on the K-Pep label # 264 from San Angelo.
Doc Bryant « Cotton pickin’ boogie »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Doc-Bryant-National-Jamboree-Gang-Cotton-Pickin-Boogie-Doc-Bryant-OP-155.mp3download
Art Gunn « Pickin’ ‘n singin’ »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/17-Art-Gunn-Pickin-n-Singin.mp3download
The Phantom Rider Trio « Peekin’ thru your window »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/24-The-Phantom-Rider-Trio-Peekin-Through-The-Window.mp3download
Candy Rowell « Ain’t gonna say hello »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/20-Candy-Rowell-His-Western-Swingsters-Aint-Gonna-Say-Hello.mp3download
From Florida, Candy Rowell on the Du Ro #254 label with « Ain’t gonna say hello ». Oklahoma is represented by Al Sweatt and « Fo-Mo-Co » on Keen 262, from 1956. Indeed he was to have the two rockers later « I hate myself/Let’s paint the town red » (Keen 288). Al Sweatt « Little Fo-mo-co »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/keen-OP-262Al-Sweatt-Little-Fo-Mo-Co-Rockabilly-45.mp3download
From Louisiana Pal Thibodeaux and an earlier issue (# 154) « Port Arthur Boogie ». on Skyline (partly sung in French).
Pal Thibodeaux « Port Arthur boogie »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/07-Pal-Thibodeaux-Port-Arthur-Boogie.mp3download
Arizona is represented with the very first recording Duane Eddy was involved in, and it’s a duet with Jimmy Delbridge on the Phoenix label Preston #212. « Soda fountain girl » and « I want some lovin’ baby».
Jimmy & Duane « Soda fountain girl »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Jimmy-Delbridge-Duane-Eddy-Soda-Fountain-Girl-PRESTON-212-4-Star-OP-acetate.mp3download
Unknown origin : Alaska 194 by Betty Jo and Johnny Starr « Peach pickin’ time in Georgia » (# 194). « Peach picking’ time in Georgia »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/alaska-OP-194-Betty-Jo-Johnny-Starr-Peach-Picking-Time-In-Georgia.mp3download
Archie Jefferies « G.I. Talking blues » (Blue Flame # 107) « G.I. talking blues »
http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/blue-flame-107-Archie-Jefferies-The-Blue-Flame-Boys-G.I.-Talking-Blues.mp3download. Majesty 251 by Tommy Farr (« If »).
Also Buddy Thornton on his own Thornton OP-186 « Ole Santa is coming to town ». »Ole Santa is coming to town- »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/thornton-OP-186-Buddy-Thornton-Ole-Santa-Is-Coming-To-Town.mp3download
Four Star OP- serie continued well over until the late ’50s with the odd Hillbilly bop issued : Sonny LeBarron and « Jack and Jill » (#Mecca 252), Paul McGhee (« You are my sunshine » Flame 305) or 267 Sonny Thibodeaux (Pacific), Leo Gosnell from 1959 on Mountain 298/299, to name just a very few.
Several early issues did appear untraceable although highly desirable, like Tex Bloye’s « Talkin’ blues » on Gavotte 116 (a version of Robert Lunn’s song on Mercury, 1949), or Frank Ole’Shay, who appear to be one of the greatest from his song on a Dixie/Collector CD, « My baby’s not here tonight » (Blue mountain). Addition (Dec. 2nd): Tex Bloye, « Talkin’ blues » (Courtesy Ronald Keppner) http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Tex-Bloye-Gavotte-OP116A.mp3download
Ernie Ole’Shay « Be my honey Bee »(Blue Mountain OP-295)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Ernie-Ole-Shay-with-his-Drifting-Vagabonds-Be-My-Honey-Bee-BLUE-MOUNTAIN-OP-295.mp3download
Melvin Price « I’ve got news for you »(Santa Fe OP-131)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/op-185.mp3download
Ernie Ole Shay with his Drifting Vagabonds Be My Honey Bee BLUE MOUNTAIN OP 295
Howdy folks ! With just an exception, only 78rpm this time.
Let’s begin with the legendary JIM EANES in one of his earliest efforts on the Blue Ridge (#301) label. It’s happy hillbilly bordering to bluegrass (sometimes difficult to distinguish, but who cares?) : « A sweeter love than yours I’ll never know ». Fine solos : banjo, mandolin over chorus vocals.
Smilin’ Jim Eanes « A sweeter love than yours I’ll never know »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/blue-ridge-301-Smilin-Jim-Eanes-and-his-Shenandoah-Valley-Boys-A-Sweeter-Love-Than-Yours-Ill-Never-Know.mp3download
Lucky Leroy « Now get join’ »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/GOLISH.mp3download
Lucky Leroy « All tied up »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/GOLISH_B.mp3download
Thanks to Hillbilly Researcher and Allan Turner, LUCKY LEROY and two sides on the Illinois Go-lish label « Now get goin’ » and « All tied up ». Solid hillbilly from 1955.
On the Mutual label (uncertain origin), CLAUDE YATES & Bowes Brothers for « Stop knocking at my door » (#214) : as label implies, « hot banjo picking ».
Same label, FRED MURPHY for the very inspired « I want to be ready » (#210).
Bowes Brothers « Stop knocking at my door »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/mutual-214-Bowes-Brothers-Stop-Knocking-At-My-Door.mp3download
Fred Murphy « I want to be ready »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/mutual-210B-Fred-Murphy-And-The-Blue-River-Boys-I-Want-To-Be-Ready.mp3download
A return to Blue Ridge with LARRY RICHARDSON (& Happy Smith) (#306) and « I’m lonesome ». High-pitched vocal, again that mix of hillbilly and bluegrass music.
Finally for the season, HAPPY WILSON on M-G-M 10877 « The haunted house boogie ».
Larry Richardson « I’m lonesome »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/blue-ridge-306-Larry-Richardson-Happy-Smith-Blue-Ridge-Boys-Im-Lonesome.mp3download
Happy Wilson « The haunted house boogie »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Haunted-House-Boogie-Happy-Wilson.mp3download
This time, the artist, whom we know little of, will be presented mostly by his music and his compositions.
BILLY HUGHES, born Everett Ismael September 14, 1908 at Sallislaw, Oklahoma, settled in the 30s in California following the Okies’ exodus. From 1945, Billy Hughes & his Buccaroos engraved until 1959 a slew of very good hillbilly boppers, some of which became classics, such as « I’m tellin’ you, » « Tennessee Saturday Night » and « Take your hands off it (Birthday cake) ». Many artists took them over, to name a few : Ernest Tubb, Red Foley, Jack Guthrie, Johnny Tyler, Jess Willard, Cowboy Sam Nichols, Bud Hobbs or Skeet’s McDonald – even Tennessean old-timer Kirk McGee. Hughes’ music is usually relaxed, ‘lowdown’ with a Western swing touch, which is normal since Hughes frequented the best artists of the West coast. So he wrote dozens of songs, and hung up during the 60s. He had owned the Fargo label, active in 1946 in Los Angeles (Sam Nichols, Terry Fell, Johnny Tyler) and issued a strange « Atomic sermon » in 1953. He disappeared May 6, 1995 in Horatio, Arkansas.
Read the rest of this entry »
Here it is, a new selection of hillbilly bop goodies, mostly from the early to mid-60s.
RED MANSEL is the earliest, from 1957, on a very early All Star label issue (# 7160) . This is hillbilly rock at its best, topical lyrics.
Red Mansel « Johnny on the spot« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/ALLSTAR-7160-Red-Mansel-...-Johnny-On-The-Spot-...57-Hillbilly-Rock.mp3download
RED LEWIS on the Kasko label (# 1643), from 1965. « I’ll move along » sounds well 7 or 8 years earlier. Great slapping bass, guitar all along. A discrete steel takes a fine solo.
Red Lewis « I’ll move along« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/KASKO-1643-Red-Lewis-Ill-Move-Along.mp3download
From Michigan and 1963 on a Starday custom Dixie label (#1056) comes FRANK ZOLTON and « Cats eyes ». A medium ditty with an unusual for the era accordion solo.
Frank Zolton « Cats eyes« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/45-1056A-Dixie-frank-zolton-cats-eyes.mp3download
Valparaiso, Florida. HAL ANDREWS offers « Brown-eyed girl », a medium opus, on the Choctaw label (# 6001).
Hal Andrews « Brown-eyed girl »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/choctaw-8004-hal-andrews-brown-eyed-girl.mp3download
Rex Zario « It’s nobody’s fault but your own« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/arcade-163B-rex-zario-its-nobodys-falut-but-your-own.mp3download
REX ZARIO even had a full album on Arcade. Here he delivers the fine « It’s nobody’s fault but your own » from 1959-60 (# 163). Indeed in 1956 he had had « Go man gone ».
Finally a wonderful rural duet by the VANDERGRIFT BROS. On the Cozy label from W.Va., « Sitting here a-crying » (# 447).
Vandergrift Bros. « Sitting here a-crying« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/cozy-447-Vandergrift-Brothers-Sittin-Here-A-Crying.mp3download
All selections taken from the net.
David Ray, a top singer and song stylist of Texas/Oklahoma Rockabilly and Honky-tonk, was born Oscar Ray Smith in Duncan, Oklahoma on March 14, 1934. When he was at an early age, his faùily moved to Roswell, New Mexico. At age 8, he learned to play guitar, and in his youth became friends with Lefty Frizzell, who on many occasions invted David to his recording sessions. In 1950, the family moved back to Duncan, and David formed a country music band. Early employment included aD.J. Program on radio station KRHD, and a live show on Channel 12, KXII-TV. How he got the forname « David » is unknown.
David Ray got his first records on Heart (# 245), a Four Star custom label out of Oklahoma, in 1956. Two fine sincere Hillbilly duets by himself and Johnny Doggett, « Farewell goodbye » and « Maybe I should have cheated too » ; then two Rockabillies (Ray Smith solo) « Gone baby gone » and « Swinging boogie », both fine rockers (# 250). Many thanks to John Burton (53jaybop) for posting these songs on Youtube.
Johnny & Ray « Farewell goodbye« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Johnny-And-Ray-Farewell-2Goodbye-HEART-RECORDS-OP-244-45.mp3download
Johnny & Ray « Maybe I should have cheated too« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Johnny-And-Ray-2-Maybe-I-Should-Have-Cheated-Too-HEART-RECORDS-OP-244-45.mp3download
Ray Smith « Gone baby gone« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Ray-Smith-Gone-Baby-Gone.mp3download
Ray Smith « Swinging boogie« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Ray-Smith-Swinging-Boogie.mp3download
In 1957 he signed a recording contract as David Ray with Gainesville, Texas recording executive Joe M. Leonard, Jr. His early recordings of « Jitterbugging baby » and « Lonesome baby blues » (Kliff 101 and 105) were instant successes on the Kliff Records label. Not only did Ray’s first records releases sell well in the United States, but they attained immense success in Europe when reissued by Ronnie Weiser on his Rollin’ Rock label. Personal for these sessions were Johnny Baggett or Joe Dean Evans on guitar and Paul Jorgenson on bass, including a wild piano player.
David Ray « Lonesome baby blues » (original version)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Lonesome-baby-blues-ORIGINALE.mp3download
David Ray « Lonesome baby blues »(Kliff)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Lonesome-baby-blues-.mp3download
David Ray « Jitterbugging baby« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Jitterbuggin-baby.mp3download
Other songs were « Lonesome feeling » and the less fast, almost poppish « I’m a fool », while « All the time », « Why can’t you and I », « No, oh no », all ballads, « Too fast, too wild » and the original gutsy, less fast « Lonesome baby blues » were withheld until their release on Collectables.
David Ray « Lonesome feeling« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Lonesome-feeling.mp3download
David Ray « Why can’t you and I« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Why-cant-you-and-I.mp3download
In 1962 Ray Smith had a Country-rocker « A place within my heart » on the Toppa label (# 1071), honest honky tonk, a far cry from his Kliff sides (Thanks to Uncle Gil to have provided this song). Alexander Petrauskas points out this may be a different artist, because of songwriting credits. Thanks, Alex!
Ray Smith « A place within my heart« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Toppa-1071-Ray-Smith-A-Place-Within-My-Heart.mp3download
Since David Ray’s voice has remained strong and vibrant over the years, Leonard productions decided to record him on some new Texas songs. In August 1993 a session was held in Tyler, Texas. The songs were « Long cold winter », « You make my day », « Ways of a woman » and « Package deal ». The musicians were Ronnie Redd (keyboards), Jim Holley (bass), Greg Hough (drums), Bobby Garrett (steel guitar), Donny McDuff and Jerry Tiner (electric guitars), Ken Shepherd harmonica and rhythm guitar) as well as Lonnie Wright (producer, engineer and rhythm guitar). Back-up vocalist : David’s ex-wife, Lavinia Smith.
David Ray « You make my day« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/You-make-my-day-aout-93.mp3download
David Ray was then living near Ft. Worth, Texas, where he continued to compose and entertain. He died in 1997.
Freely adapted from the notes to Collectables CD 5770.
King Records was a very important label run by Syd Nathan in Cincinnati, Oh. It had a C&W serie (500-1500), a Federal serie (10000) and a Deluxe serie (2000 or 5000).
First artist is Cowboy Jack Derrick, whose story is on the site. « Truck drivin’ man » is a very early trucker gay song.(King 633)
Cowboy Jack Derrick, « Truck drivin’ man« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/B5-Cowboy-Jack-derrick-Truck-Driving-Man.mp3download
Paul Howard from Arkansas (1908-1994) was leading his Cotton Pickers on a long string of releases on Columbia and King. He was a resident at WSM in Nashville. « The boogie’s fine tonight » and « Texas boogie » are two of his best sides.
Paul Howard « Texas boogie« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/king-779-A-paul-howard-Texas-boogie.mp3download
Paul Howard « The boogie’s fine tonight« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/king-871-AA-paul-howard-the-boogie_s-fine-tonight.mp3
Clyde Moody is also well represented with a personal entry in Bopping.org. Here is presented one of his best platters, « The blues came pouring down », with very strong rhythm guitar. (# 943)
Clyde Moody « The blues came pouring down« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/15-clyde-moody-the-blues-came-pouring-down.mp3download
Ocie Stockard is the most Western swing styled artist of the selection. The instrumental »Cow town boogie » evokes Texas and Oklahoma (King 634)
Ocie Stockard « Cow town boogie« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/king-643-A-ocie-stockard-cow-town-boogie.mp3download
Jimmie Thomason was a West coast D.J. and had a string of releases on King of the same high standard. « I’ll drown in my tears » is a true Country blues, that is not often heard.(King 1132)
Jimmy Thomason « I’ll down in my tears« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/B04-Ill-Drown-In-My-Tears.mp3download
Ramblin’ Tommy Scott had a career covering from the 40s until the 90s. He is presented here on Federal 10026 with « Uncle Sammy », usual style.
Tommy Scott « Uncle Sammy« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Uncle-Sammy-Tommy-Scott.mp3download
Finally a R&B Rocker by Big John Greer on the « regular » serie : « Come back uncle John », apparently based on « Long tall Sally » from early 1956.
Big John Greer « Come back uncle John« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/King-4941-Big-John-Greer-Come-back-uncle-John.mp3download
Howdy folks, back from holydays. All the selections will be out by obscure artists. Once more uninspired, only music!
ED JUNOT on the Robstown, Texas O-T-O (One-Thousand-One) label comes first with « Give you’re love back to me » [sic]. Uptempo hillbilly fiddle led.
Ed Junot « Give you’re love back to me » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/O-T-O-Ed-Junot-Give-Your-Love-Back-To-Me.mp3download
Bill Guyton« I’ve got a little time for loving » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/pride-3000-Bill-Guyton-Ive-Got-A-Little-Time-For-Loving.mp3download
Then BILL GUYTON on the Pride 3000 label, « I’ve got a little time for loving ». Guyton had been vocalist on Curley Rash « Humble road boogie » (Macy’s). This is medium hillbilly bop with a touch of Starday feel.
Lefty Pritchett « Just an ole has been » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Lefty-Pritchett-His-Country-Cats-Just-An-Ole-Has-Been.mp3download
An haunting « Just an ole has been » on Bama (not the Alabama label) # 0001 by LEFTY PRITCHETT. Hillbilly bop Memphis style.
Then the most recent track of the selection on Toppa 1098 from 1961 : «All those lies» by ELTON TRAVIS. Uptempo Country rocker.
JOHNNY GITTAR offers on High Time 173 « San Antonio boogie », obviously a Texas recording. Medium boogie guitar led and heavy drums.
Finally a train song, « I’m going to roll » by CURLY COLE on Gilt-edge 5029. Nice guitar and piano solo.
Elton Travis « All those lies« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/toppa-1098-Elton-Travis-All-Those-Lies-.mp3download
Johnny Gittar « San Antonio boogie » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Johnny-Gitta-And-His-Targits-San-Antonio-Boogie.mp3download
Curley Cole, « Im going to roll« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/gilt-edge-Curley-Cole-Im-Going-To-Roll.mp3download
Howdy, folks !
First selection is a fine bopper (sincere vocal, strong rhythm and good fiddle, even pizzicato played) : « I was standing too close to a heartache » (sounds familiar?) by BILLY TIDWELL, who cut a very good version of « Folsom prison blues » on the White Deer, TX Ko Co Bo label in 1964.
Billy Tidwell, « I was standing too close to a heartache« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Billy-Kidwell-I-was-standing-too-close-to-a-heartache.mp3download
Second odd issue is first ever Tommy Collins‘s song, « Campus boogie », when Collins was still known as LEONARD SIPES in his native Oklahoma. The song can be found on Morgan 106, and is very Hank Williams styled.
Leonard Sipes « Campus boogie« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/campus-boogie.mp3download
Then we enter in back-to-back series. JIMMIE DAVIS, also politician for Louisiana Governoship, cut a whole string of early boppers in the ’30s. Here I selected « You’ve been tom cattin’ around », issued on Bluebird in 1933.
A good 22 years later, CARL STORY had his own version, although the mandolin player is himself, on Columbia 21444 (1955). The flipside is the equally good, Rockabilly style, « What a line ». Strong boogie guitar, a fiddle solo. Really a masterpiece.
Jimmie Davis « You’ve been tom cattin’ around »
Carl Story « You’ve been tom cattin’ around »
« What a line » derives from the original by JIMMIE WIDENER, who had this on his first King session in 1946 (# 536B) on the West coast, backed by such luminaries as Joaquin Murphy on steel or Jimmy Wyble on electric guitar. Harold Hensley is also present on fiddle, and co-wrote the song with Merle Travis. Widener had had been vocalist for Tex Williams, Spade Cooley and Bob Wills.
Jimmie Widener « What a line! » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/JIMMIE-WIDENER-What-A-Line-KING.mp3download
Clyde Moody « Whatta line« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Clyde-Moody-Whatta-line.mp3download
Carl Story « What a line« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Columbia-21444-Carl-Story-What-A-Line.mp3download
The song was revived first in 1953 by CLYDE MOODY on Decca. Usual style. Moody does it fast, with fiddle and guitar solo. Then in the mid-60s by GLENN THOMPSON, the most obscure artist of them all, who came from North Carolina. Guitar player is modern, but has a fine bluesy solo.
Glenn Thompson, « What a line »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/tornado-T-101-Glenn-Thompson-What-A-Line-.mp3download
Main source for this issue: Internet.
Hello, this is early August 2014 fortnight. Some new tunes, some already published a few years ago for newcomers, and finally sad news.
REDD STEWART was during long years the lead vocalist for PEE WEE KING. The latter (with the Golden West Cowboys) was allegedly under exclusive contract with RCA-Victor, but not Stewart: he was signed by King records and recorded several tunes in Cincinnati (February 1950), among them the very fine « Brother, drop dead (boogie) » King 843-AA). He is indeed backed by the Golden West Cowboys, disguised under the name of « His Kentucky Colonels » ! Great Hillbilly boogie, good steel and piano.
Redd Stewart « Brother, drop dead (boogie) »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/king-843-redd-stewart-drop-dead-boogie.mp3
Another well-known artist (he has his own entry in bopping.org) from Mississipi is JIMMY SWAN, or « Colonel Jim » as he presented himself on a Baton Rouge, La. TV-station in 1952. He was signed on the Lilian McMurray Trumpet label in 1952, and recorded for her at WFOR Radio station in Hattiesburg, MS. I retain particularly, among many fine sides, « Juke joint mama » (Trumpet 176), with nice steel (a la Don Helms, Hank Williams’ steel player) and fiddle, and «Lonesome daddy blues « (Trumpet 198). « Juke joint mama » was first cut by the veteran Denver Darling for Decca in 1946 ; Darling, active in Denver, IN, is the co-writer of, among others, « Choo choo ch’boogie », a hit for Louis Jordan as well as Bill Haley, and more recently for Clifton Chenier. « Lonesome daddy blues » is not the same track as Bill Johnson‘s on a Starday custom – which I will discuss about in another article.
Denver Darling « Juke joint mama »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/Denver-Darling-Juke-joint-mama.mp3download
Jimmy Swan « Juke joint mama »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/trumpet-176-jimmy-swan-juke-joint-mama.mp3download
Jimmy Swan « Lonesome daddy blues »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Jimmy-Swan-Lonesome-Daddy-Blues.mp3download
Sonny Starns, « Baton Rouge, L.A. »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/silon-201-Sonny-starns-baton-rouge-l.a.1.mp3download
Let’s stay down south. The unknown SONNY STARNS delivers a romping, piano-led « Baton Rouge, L.A. » on the small Hammond, La. Silon label (# 202).
Jimmy C. Newman « Lache pas la patate »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/jimmy-NewmanLache-pas-la-patateLL.mp3download
Sad news now. The death (on June 21rst) of a giant of Country and Cajun music, Mr. JIMMY C. NEWMAN. Born 1927, he began his career vocally fronting the band of Papa Cairo on Modern sides – I think he sings « Kooche kooche », to be found on an old U.K. Ace compilation (« Swingbillies »), in 1949-50. Then he was cutting for Jay D. Miller in Crowley, La. and his first label Feature : songs like « Wondering » – later covered by Webb Pierce on Decca. He had records on Khoury’s too, before entering in Randy Wood’s stable on Gallatin, TN Dot label. A huge hit in 1956, « A fallen star » : then he was an established star. However he never denied his Cajun ancestry and roots and, in 1973, recorded on La Louisiane label the much acclaimed « Lâche pas la patate » in French, also known as « The potato song » (written by Clifford Joseph Trahan, better known as Pee Wee Trahan, or Johnny Rebel…). The song went n°1 in Quebec on the Deram label, and had not since then disappeared from his repertoire, always in demand by Cajun speaking folks until recent times. Newman died of cancer. I will have a survey later of his entire career. Let’s get his music !
Lâche pas la patate (lyrics in French)(« Don’t drop the potato »)
Hey! Lâche pas la patate mon neg. Hey! Lâche pas la patate? Une chose qu’est claire, j’fais mon affaire mais j’lâche pas la patate??-?J’vas au bal tous les samedis, pour escouer mes vieilles pattes? J’danse avec toutes les belles filles… Mais j’lâche pas la patate – ?J’fais tous les clubs que je peux faire ent’Lafayette et la Ville Plate? Oublie-moi pas des fois ça chauffe… Mais j’lâche pas la patate?? Refrain Hey! Lâche pas la patate mon neg Hey! Lâche pas la patate? Une chose qu’est claire, j’fais mon affaire mais j’lâche pas la patate??-?Chu pas marié, j’ai pas personne pour m’tenir le fond d’culotte? Quand j’veux partir chu « gone vieux j’ton » Mais j’lâche pas la patate ?J’vas là tout seul la moitié du temps mais quand l’idée me frappe? J’appelle Marie la chère p’tite fille mais j’lâche pas la patate?? Refrain Hey! Lâche pas la patate mon neg Hey! Lâche pas la patate? Une chose qu’est claire, j’fais mon affaire Mais j’lâche pas la patate??-Un soir au bal un tout p’tit boguet et un gros a pris à s’battre ?J’voulais que le petit gagne et j’criais « Lâche pas la patate »? Le gros bougre m’a r’gardé et dit: Espère que j’te rattrape ?J’mé viré de bord… J’ai couru fort… J’ai lâché la patate?? Refrain Hey! J’ai lâché la patate mon neg Hey! J’ai lâché la patate? Une chose qu’est claire, j’fais mon affaire J’ai lâché la patate??Hey! Lâche pas la patate mon neg Hey! Lâche pas la patate? Une chose qu’est claire, j’ faist mon affaire Mais j’lâche pas la patate…? [translation in English on personal request]
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Roy King is a completely unknown artist from the very early ’50s, who acted in Illinois (Peoria, WWXL), and whom about anything is unknown today about.
« Yodelin’ way up there » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/01-Ramblin.mp3download
« Rambling » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/01-Ramblin.mp3download
He had a string of releases, probably cut in Detroit, MI, or Chicago, on the London and Mercury labels between 1949 and 1951, and disappeared after this year. He was billed as a yodeler, and eventually yodeled a lot throughout his records, « Yodelin’ way up there » or « Yodelin’ polka ». He was backed by a regional outfit, Hal Fuller’s Tennessee Ho-Downers, usual guitar, bass, fiddle, and steel. Billboard cited him as a promising artist between April and October 1951, although there were no hits. He used to sing old favorites, as Jimmie Rodgers ’s « Mule skinner blues », Roy Acuff’s « Freight train blues », a fine hillbilly shuffler, « Rambling » or old-timey songs like « St. James infirmary ». His voice is always smooth, a lead guitar is well to the fore, but the whole thing is certainly not hillbilly boogie, although nice yodeling songs. Indeed his style is similar to that of Kenny Roberts.
Any help to document this artist would be welcome!
As usual, Ronald Keppner’s help was indispensable. Thanks Ronald. Also Peter Mohr of Switzerland for the disco and support.
« Freight train blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/freight-train-blues.mp3download
« Mule skinner blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/mule-skinner-blues.mp3download