Howdy folks ! Eleven selections (yes, 11) this time of small labels and very minor artists, who made for the most part of them only one known record then vanished into obscurity or did something else than a career in music.
From California on the Pico Sundown label (# 113, very late ’50s, let’s hear at BOBBY AUSTIN‘s « Fool, fool, fool » : a jumping little tune, very expressive vocal – the singer knows what he’s talking about, of course. A prominent steel guitar, whose style must BE Ralph Mooney‘s.
« Fool, fool, fool«
« I made a mistake« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/azalea-118-coye-wilcox-I-Made-A-Mistake.mp3download
Recently I posted both Freedom records of COYE WILCOX from 1951. He cut later on several small Houston labels, among them this one, Azalea (# 118), « I made a mistake » from 1959. The singer possesses a very distinctive phrasing, and his ballad grows and grows on you at every listening.
« It’s money« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/national-sounds-Mike-Clay-Its-Money-.mp3download
A lively « It’s money » by MIKE CLAY follows on the National Sound label (# 1501), mid ’60s. It’s an uptempo with a harsh guitar. The record itself is produced by « Jack Rhodes », famous producer and songwriter residing in Mineola, TX.
« Carry me back to Ark.« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/hood-1031-Carl-Dixon-Carry-Me-Back-To-Arkansas.mp3download
« Hunting out of season« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/hood-1031-Carl-Dixon-Hunting-Out-Of-Season.mp3download
From Louisville, KY, here they are, back-to-back of the Hood label # 1031 by CARL DIXON. More ‘Country’ than hillbilly, however two fine medium-paced Country rockers : « Carry me back to Ark. » and « Hunting out of season ». Surely Dixon has to watch for gamekeepers.. A harmonica throughout is the main instrument.
DICK BILLS began seemingly his career in Arizona on the Vicki label in 1954-55 (an OP- custom issue, « Beggars can’t be choosers »)[see elsewhere in this site my feature on the Four Star OP-serie]. We find him later on the Morgan label (# 107) in California for two medium paced numbers (one is sung by Buzz Burnam – I can’t for Heaven’s sake remember him where/when, but his name rings familiar to my ears). Tracks are « Lost without you », an ordinary bopper, while « Old dusty sun » has a surprising hawaiian-style steel guitar.
Finally Bills reappears in 1961 on the Crest label for a solid « Rockin’ and a rollin’ » (# 1091), backed on the lead guitar by his nephew Glen Campbell.
« Lost without you« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/morgan-107-Dick-Bills-Lost-Without-You.mp3download
« Old dusty sun« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/morgan-107-Dick-Bills-Old-Dusty-Sun-.mp3download
« Rockin’ and a rollin‘ »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/crest-1089-dick-bills-rockin-and-a-rollin.mp3download
JIMMY RINGO next artist offers a very nice bopper as late as 1958 on the big concern W.C. Dot (reputed for its pop orientation). « I like this kind of music » (# 15787) has everything Boppers’ addicts could wish for : a nice guitar (a short solo), an interesting vocal, a prominent fiddle, of course no drums and even a banjo solo.
« I like this kind of music« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/dot-Jimmy-Ringo-I-Like-This-Kind-Of-Musicr.mp3download
Red River Dave McEnery
The following artist had a long career as Red River Dave, mostly songwriter, he takes here his real name of DAVE McENERY for a solitary single on a subsidiary label to T.N.T., the aptly named Yodeling # 500. I wonder if they are more numbers in the serie. Both tracks are unusual. « Did the gypsy lie ? » is an intense ballad, while « Jailhouse blues » (backing is made of 2 guitars and a bass) is a sort of folkish hillbilly, very pleasant with its yodel efforts.
« Did the gypsy lie?« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Dave-McEnery-Did-The-Gypsy-Lie-Yodeling-501_B.mp3download
« Jailhouse blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Dave-McEnery-Yodeling-501_A.mp3download
Note: Phil Watson, a visitor, had noted what follows: « I heard this was recorded when T Texas Tyler was jailed in 1958 for a drugs offence (he was found carrying weed) and, quick off the mark as always, Red River Dave wrote a song about it – Jailhouse Blues. The lyrics mention a couple of Tyler’s songs. ». Thanks Phil!
Last artist is a completely unknown from Kansas City, MO : ROY BEEMER comes with a shuffler, « Cheatin’ don’t count » has a guitar solo « a la Hank Garland », solos of steel and fiddle. A real good disc on the Artist label # 1459.
« Cheatin’ don’t count« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/artists-1459-Roy-Beemer-Cheatin-Dont-Count.mp3download
Enjoy the eleven selections, comments welcome !
Sources : Internet (Youtube) or my own collection.
(Follow-up of the good article by Phillip J. Tricker in a 1992 Hillbilly Researcher issue, with additions by Bopping’s editor). See earlier the first article.
For the next release in order of issues we return to a Western swing disc with « Jelly roll blues » (# 5010) by fiddler/vocalist Guy « COTTON » THOMPSON & his Village Boys. The song, a jazz standard, which had been cut Western swing style by Cliff Bruner in 1937, has the steel player definitely Herb Remington. Thompson is best known for making Kokomo Arnold‘s « Milk cow blues » (1934) a western swing standard via his 1941 recording with Johnnie Lee Wills [brother of Bob] on Decca 46012, largely to be recorded later by e.g. Joe Martin on Coral, even in a folkish version by Tom Rush. A well known personality in Houston for a long time he had already recorded for GOLD STAR under his own name (« How long » #1381) and a vocalist on early Moon Mullican KING releases. Here he is in great form and the Village Boys cook along well.
« Jelly roll blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/freedom-5010-Cotton-Thompson-amp-His-Village-Boys-Jelly-Roll-Blues.mp3download
« Milk cow blues« (1941)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/decca-46012A-Johnnie-Lee-Wills-Milk-cow-blues.mp3download
« How long« (Gold Star, 1950)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/gold-star-1381-cotton-thompson-how-long.mp3download
Cotton Thompson ? – center
JACK RHODES RAMBLERS (# 5011) had « Missing persons » and « How can I tell », although untraced do beggar two questions. First, who would the vocalist be : one Fiddling Bob Henderson ? This was not Mr. Rhodes, already a songwriter, bandleader and promoter, and evidently not a singer. Could it be JIMMY JOHNSON the vocalist, although many others fronted Rhodes’ band? As to « Missing persons », a song with that title appeared on Capitol by FERLIN HUSKEY, and the label credit « Reynolds-Rhodes-Huskey » as songwriters.
Freedom 5013 is untraced. The mysterious TRAILBLAZERS cut « A cowboys silent night » (# 5014), which is delivered ‘acapella’ and has a recitation by CAROL while « Little Moohee » has an acoustic guitar support and GEORGE handles lead vocal. Issued for Christmas 1950, it was cut at ACA studio, a location often used by Freedom, although they also are known to have made recordings at Bill Quinn’s Gold Star setup.
However where the next 78 was cut is a real mystery. HUB SUTTER and his Hub Cats were a superb outfit who recorded for LASSO, 4* and Columbus and Hub had a reputation for putting on a very fine act. « I don’t want my baby back » (# 5015) is a magnificent slab of bluesy Western swing, with Hub’s unique vocal style well suited to the song : he was capable of crooning the cooziest ballads or shouting the most whiskey-soaked blues; the backing is excellent with guitar and steel interweaving well.
« I don’t want my baby back« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/freedom-5015-hub-sutter-i-dont-want-my-baby-back.mp3download
« Tellin’ my baby bye-bye« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/freedom-5030-hub-sutter-tellin-my-baby-bye-bye.mp3download
The matrice numbers have a ‘W’ prefix and this is the only known case at this time. Sutter commenced his career in 1941 with ace guitarist Spud Goodal’s band in Galveston. At the end of WWII he was in Austin with Cecil Hogan’s Swingsters doing his recording debut on the local Hi-Fidelity label, before around 1946 joining Jesse James’ popular band thru 1950 ; so he was singing on some of James’ Blue Bonnet and 4* recordings. He even cut under his name a record on Lasso with « his Galvestonians » [actually Jesse James' band in disguise]. On Freedom, « I don’t want my baby back » was intended as an answer to Floyd Tillman‘s « I gotta have my baby back », and had an excellent relentless electric mandolin, and quite possibly Herb Remington on steel. His next Freedom release, the rocking « Tellin’ my baby bye-bye » (# 5030) was recorded with R.D. Hendon’s Western Jamboree Cowboys, probably at the same session as Charlie Harris’ « No shoes boogie » (# 5033).
Another gap in our knowledge appears at # 5017 and then we have the arrival of one of the most talented Hillbilly singers to come from Texas: JOHNNIE NELMS (born Houston in 1931). His output covers many years and includes a range of labels that extends from Decca to Gold Star, Starday, D and obscure labels like Westry (not in order given). With his Sunset Cowboys, his « If I can’t have you » (# 5018) is pure Texas Hillbilly/Honky tonk music. Great vocal over a superb band with swirling fiddles (Doug Myers), haunting steel (Herb Remington) and brilliant « knocked out rinky dink » piano. The flip side, « The bride to be » has unfortunately an organ backing, but even so Jimmie’s vocal is pure class. Another gap appears at # 5019.
Johnny Nelms « If I can’t have you« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/freedom-5018-johnny-nelms-If-I-cant-have-you.mp3download
TOMMY SANDS is the most well-known name to record for Freedom. His # 5022 (« Love pains/Syrup soppin’ blues » is extremely rare. Credited as Little Tommy Sands (The West’s Wonder Boy), it is his debut on record. He was not a Texan, born in 1937 in Chicago ; his family moved to Houston when he was young, and he would have been only 14 when he cut his record. Yet his vocal is assured and insouciant, and both sides are excellent boppers with great backing from an uncredited band, except Herb Remington on steel (the lead guitarist, unfortunately afforded no solo space, remains unidentified).
Tommy Sands « Syrup soppin’ blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/freedom-5022-little-tommy-sands-Syrup-Soppin-Blues.mp3download
The fine uptempo « Somebody’s stealin’ (my baby’s kisses) » (# 5023) by BOB JONES & his Troubadours is a fast Hillbilly bop ditty. One may wonder if this is the same Bob Jones who appeared later on Starday (# 148 and 210) and more later on, on Dixie # 1070 (April 1964)(I want’ cha baby), valued at $ 50-60. Sorry, no picture available.
Bob Jones « Somebody’s stealin’ (my baby’s kisses) »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/freedom-5023-bob-jones-somebodys-stealin-my-babys-kisses.mp3download
Gaps appear on # 5024 and # 5026, sandwiching the great double-sider (# 5025) « Cross roads » and « Hula boogie ». The former is a lugubrious ballad, that was quite a regional hit of little interest, but the latter is a fine bopper with good vocal and the Westernairs providing fine backing which include nice steel. TOMMY DURDEN also recorded for 4* (« That’s where you dropped your candy » with Boots Gilbert) with a band of the same name, led by Vic Cardis (4* 1500) , and for Pappy Daily’s ‘D’ label later, but his main claim to fame is as co-writer of « Heartbreak hotel ».
Tommy Durden « Hula boogie« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/freedom-5025-Tommy-Durden-Westernaires-Hula-Boogie.mp3download
Issue # 5027 is by LAURA LEE & The Ranch Hands, but I’ve not heard « Everybody but me » ; « I’m lonely for you darling » is a good jumping uptempo (fiddle, steel) song..However it would seem that she is LAURA LEE McBRIDE, the wide of Dickie McBride, whose band probably supply the backing. LAURA LEE is a well-known and respected Western swing vocalist, who, besides recording under her own name (i.e. M-G-M 11086 « I love you boogie »), also sang and recorded with Bob Wills.
Laura Lee « I’m lonely for you darling« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Freedom-5027-laura-lee-Im-lonely-for-you-darling.mp3download
Laura Lee & Dickie McBride « I love you boogie« (M-G-M 11086)
Third and last part of the serie (# 5028 to 5042) with more great music in a soon feature.
Harmonica Fats, « Tore up« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/darcey-5000-Harmonica-Fats-Tore-Up.mp3download
The Midnighters, « Tore up over you« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/TORE-UP-OVER-YOU-by-Hank-Ballard-Midnighters.mp3download
Tommy La Beff, « Tore up« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/wayside-1654-tommy-LaBeff-Tore-up.mp3download
Second R&B artist is even more obscure : AL SIMMONS with Slim Green & the Cats from Fresno cut in 1957 on the (I believe) Johnny Otis‘ Dig label a great « Old folks boogie » (# 138). An half screaming/half spoken vocal over an hypnotic lead guitar and a nice sax solo for a Little Junior Parker’s/ John Lee Hooker « Feeling good » type song..
Al Simmons, « Old folks boogie« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/dig-AL-SIMMONS-Old-Folks-Bgie.mp3download
We turn now to usual Country records in this site. EVERETT SPEARS has his own version of the Terry Fell‘s classic «Truck driving man » on the Epto (no °) label. A cool vocal , lot of echo and heavy drums do combine a very nice mid-60′s country rocker, although of unknown area.
Everett Spears, « Truck driving man« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/EPTO-Truck-Driving-Man-Everett-Spears_.mp3download
RAYMOND WEBB now is an unknown artist from the Kentucky or Tennessee. He had only two records. On Rich-R’-Tone 1063 issued in 1953, he gives us a very bluesy track, « Hot water blues » : wailing vocal and a great piano backing. The flipside, « Bucket special » noted on labeI « Instrumental boogie woogie », is a good side too. I ought not be surprised if the piano player was a Black one.
Raymond Webb, « Hot water blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/ric-r-tone-1063-raymond-webb-hot-water-blues1.mp3download
Raymond Webb, « Bucket special« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/rich-r-tone-1063-raymond-webb-bucket-special.mp3download
Raymond Webb, « Wherever you are« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/kyva-102-raymond-webb-wherever-you-are.mp3download
He can also be heard 5 years later on the microscopic label Kyva [KentuckY-VirginiA] (the only other record known on this is Luke Gordon‘s) and « Wherever you are ». On a waltz tempo with a prominent steel, it’s a good record for 1958.
GEORGE STOGNER cut in Miami, FL ca. June 1953 on the Rockin’ label # 522 the great double-sider « Hard top race/Big yellow moon », arguably the best ever and the fastest hot rod type song. Label’s owners Henry Stone and Andy Razaf sold it to King’s Sid Nathan in August of the same year. The latter reissued part of the Rockin’ masters on his own DeLuxe label, hence Stogner had the honour of opening the new Deluxe 2000 serie. Back to « Hard top race », with its urgent vocal, fabulous piano and steel, it’s really a berserk wildie taken at an ultra-fast tempo, while the flip « Big yellow moon » is an uptempo ballad with sentimental words, written by Rod Morris : a good song anyway.
George Stogner, « Hard top race« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/George-Stogner-Hard-top-race.mp3download
George Stogner, « Big yellow moon« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/deluxe-george-stogner-big-yellow-moon.mp3download
Finally here is the unknown HAROLD MORRISON, who seemingly never got to issue any commercial record ; only remains an acetate of the fabulous « I gotta have her », a supercharged Rockabilly : great vocal, very fine guitar. I wonder if someone ever took notice at the time of such a talented guy.
Harold Morrison, « I gotta have her« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/audiodisc-HAROLD-MORRISON-I-Gotta-Have-Her.mp3download
Note: the indefatigable visitor Phil Watson sent about Harold Morrison (March 27): »Not sure if it’s the same man, but Harold Morrison was a respected singer/comedian who recorded for several labels including Starday. I have two LPs by him. He started out with Red Foley on the Ozark Jamboree, then worked for the Wilburn Bros for seven years, followed by six years with George Jones & Tammy Wynette, up to 1975 when a now-single Tammy fired him. » also, « Yes, according to Praguefrank, this acetate is by « the » Harold Morrison, and was his first recording in 1956. He recorded for RCA and Decca but not Starday. He died in 1993. ». Thanks Phil!
Sources : Raymond Webb material provided by Allan Turner – thanks to him ! Other selections from my collection (Harmonica Fats and Tommy LaBeff, George Stogner reissues). Label scans as usual from 78rpm-world or YouTube.
Comments or corrections/additions welcome !
What little recognition Carvel Lee Ausborn enjoys today is due to the fact that he hosted a show called « Pickin’ and singin’ hillbilly » on WELO, Tupelo, Mississipi, starting in June 1944. Originally a 15 minutes Saturday show, it increased to 30 minutes and finally to one hour, five days a week. It preceded WELO’s Saturday afternoon Jamboree sponsored by the Black and White store, and on those who got up to sing on the show’s amateur spot was none other than Elvis Presley. The musical influence that Mississipi Slim had over a pre-pubescent Elvis wasn’t that great, but for awhile in 1945 and 1946, Slim epitomized all the glamor of the music business for ten or eleven-year old Elvis. The customized guitar, the easy patter…how alluring it must have seemed to an impressionable kid from the poor end of town. Elvis probably hung around Slim until the Presleys left town at the end of 1948.
By all accounts, Slim (born in Smithville, MS., ca. 1923) was a quiet, easy-going fellow who sang country songs, but liked to call himself an actor and paid as much attention to « giving a show » as to singing. He was a Jimmie Rodgers disciple, and a cousin of the Opry comedian Rod Brasfield. In 1948, he went to WSIX in Nashville with Goober & his Kentuckians. He got onto Opry once or twice.
Read the rest of this entry »
This article (and the following ones about the same musical label) is based on the Hillbilly Researcher’s article from 1992 written by expert Phillip. Tricker, and mostly on the notes of other experts Andrew Brown and Kevin Coffey for the compilation « Heading back to Houston » (Krazy Kats CD12) issued ca. 1998. Important additions have been made by bopping’s editor.
The style of Honky Tonk music that Starday commenced to issue in 1953 had developped over the years following the end of WWII and a thriving recording scene had expanded in the Houston area with much of the recorded output appearing on labels like FOUR STAR and more locally labels like MACY’S, NUCRAFT, OPERA, HUMMING BIRD and PHAMOUS to name but just a few. Some, like MACY’S issued over fifty releases while others scaled down to a mere dozen or so and yet others a solitary lone release. One of the most important of these labels was FREEDOM : little was known about the artists and bopping music. However, since 1992 and Phillip Tricker’s article, an important amount of research has been done and we can now have a far better overview of both the label, its owner and the artists.
Hello, folks. This fortnight’s favorites selection will be very various and pointing in different directions.
First artist whom a virtually nothing is known about, and not more on his band. DON HAGER & the Hot Tots had in Autumn 1957 several sides cut for the Oak label out of the very small (ca. 800 souls) town of Whitakers, N.C. These guys had a tendency to Calypso rhythm, fact is obvious with « Bebop boogie » (Oak 0357), and it brings a lot of freshness to their composition. Fine rinky-dink piano, an hopping drum and a good (although discreet) steel make it a very fine Rockabilly, yet different..That very same song had been cut by Mustard & Gravy in 1950 and issued on Gotham 403, a sign of its later popularity. I already posted their fine version in the early June 2011 fortnight’s favorites selection And even earlier back, it had been recorded by Harry Gay, and published on…Oak 1000 [untraced, but according to the notes to « Long gone daddy », a compilation on Collectables 6335]. Hager had also « Calypso boogie », same style, on a ’70s Rockin’ Stars issue and « I love you dear forever », from a 1990 compilation (Oldies 5374) – this is an alternate take – with the steel much more to the fore. Finally « Liza Jane bop » (Oak 0358), also strange in its rhythm, yet is a more conventional Rockabilly. Nobody knows what happened to Hager and his group afterwards.
« Bebop boogie« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/oak-0947-Don-Hager-Be-bop-boogie.mp3download
« I love you dear forever« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/oak-don-hager-I-love-you-dear-forever.mp3download
« Liza Jane bop« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/oak-0358-don-hager-liza-jane-bop.mp3download
From Alabama comes the second artist : NORRIS MIMS [not to be confused with the Texan of similar name Morris Mills] in 1959 on the custom pressed (CP-1987) Birmingham, AL, Arlington label (# 101B) for « Sweet sweet baby ». It has an urgent vocal over a very fast backing, a fine guitar and a piano break. It is stunning such a good record is not worth an entry in Tom Lincoln’s book, as I am sure it’s very highly treasured. Incidentally the tune had been first cut in 1956 by Buddy Hanes [according to « 50sRock'n'roll » Youtube chain], but had remained unissued until our era (I didn’t find on which support).
« Sweet sweet baby »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Norris-Mims-Sweet-Sweet-Baby-Rockabilly-45.mp3download
The third record is not by a newcomer. The song « Chili dippin baby » was issued twice : on Blue Hen and on Raymor by its composer, Raymond McColister with different singers. Here is the Raymor version (# 6004A) with vocal by Mz. Melody Mack.
« Chili dippin baby« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/raymor-6004_A-melody-mack-chili-dippin-baby.mp3download
JIMMY HEATH & the Rhythm Rollers did record « Little darlin’ » for the Modesto, Ca. Mega label (# 2261) . It’s a typical late ’50s bopper. Lot of steel (a solo which reminds a bit of Ralph Mooney), a jumping little tune with a good expressive vocal and a fine Rockabilly guitar.
« Little darlin’« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/mega-2261-Jimmy-Heath-Little-Darlin.mp3download
Now on to Texas, in the apply named town of Center, with REGGIE WARD & his Sons of Texas. They do offer a fast bopper « Juke box baby » from early 1951 with vocal by Jack Ford. Could the latter be the same man who cut « No not now », backed by Curley Williams (Columbia 20633, January 1950), or the Hayrider who recorded the fine hillbilly bop « That’s all you gotta do » (Chess 4858) in 1954 ? A final detail on Nemo Records (owned by Mrss. Jack McLendon and Leon Sanders) : the Wilburn Brothers [Theodore & Doyle] (later on Decca) apparently cut their first sides for this label.
« Juke box baby« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/nemo-1005-Reggie-Ward-His-Sons-Of-Texas-Juke-Box-Baby-.mp3download
BILL WATSON on the Demorest, GA Country Jubilee label (# 525) recorded a fine double-sider reviewed by Billboard in February 1960. The songs are similar in structure : over a strong guitar, a very melodic vocal partially sung in unison, they are very enjoyable and catchy « You’re the one for me » and «I’m dying darling ».
« You’re the one for me« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/ctry-jibilee-525-Bill-Watson-Youre-The-One-For-Me.mp3download
« I’m dying darling« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/country-jubilee-525-Bill-Watson-Im-Dying-Darling-.mp3download
And that’s all for this time, you Hillbilly buffs. Keep a-bopping ! ‘Till next time, bye.
Sources : mainly YouTube, also Hillbilly Researcher, Phillip Tricker’s notes to « Bebop boogie » compilation on Collectables. And a lot of time, research and patience !
This fortnight’s favorites selection begins with an old-time singer, JESSE ROGERS (1911-1973). He had a long stint of issues on Bluebird, Montgomery Ward and Sonora, among RCA-Victor, which label he cut records during the late ’40s for. I chose his energetic rendition of Bill Nettles‘ 1949 hit « Hadacol boogie »(# RCA 32-00001). See elsewhere in this website the story of Nettles. Rogers also recorded at the same time Hank Williams’ « Mind your own business » (RCA 33-00001). Later on he went to M-G-M for the good « Folding money« , « I got to live just what I like » and « Howlin’ and prowlin’« . Finally we find him on Arcade (Philly) for several issues, among them « Jump cats jump » (# 169) from 1961.
« Hadacol boogie« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/jesse-rogers-hadacol-boogie.mp3download
« Mind your own business« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Jesse-Rogers-Mind-Your-Own-Business.mp3download
« Jump cats jump« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Jesse-Rogers-Jump-Cats-Jump.mp3download
Then STEVE LA RUE on the Hollywood Harmad label in 1955 for a back-to-back issue of Hillbilly boppers, one fast : « New Style of lovin’ » – good hillbilly vocal over fiddle and steel, and its slower, although equally good flipside «Your heartless heart » (# 103).
« New style of lovin’« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/harmad-103-Steve-La-Rue-New-Style-Of-Lovin-1955.mp3download
« Your heartless heart« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/harmad-103-Your-Heartless-Heart-Steve-Larue.mp3download
JIMMIE MINOR out of Flint, MI, did the fast bopper « So mebody rustled my sugar » on the Western Chuck Wagon label # 103 in 1955. He later had records on Mercury (# 71623 « So doggone lonesome » with Chet Atkins in 1960)
« Somebody rustled my sugar » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/wesr.-chuck-wagon-103-Jimmy-Minor-Somebody-Rustled-My-Sugar.mp3download
Then on the Chicago Cha Cha label from late ’59 (the very same had Ron Haydock & the Boppers), HAROLD STORIE, billed as « The Tennessee Kid » offers the solid although medium-paced « Have pity on me ». A thrilling vibrating guitar over a baritone vocal, as on the flip « Loved and lost », faster but same style, a bit Johnny Cash soundalike. (# 708)
« Have pity on me« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/cha-cha-708-storie-Have-Pity-On-Me.mp3download
« Loved and lost« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/cha-cha-708-Loved-And-Lost.mp3download
From 1964 and in Newbury, OH, CHUCK STACY on the Bryte label (# 9009) gave the fine modern country-rocker « Dog-gone these heartaches », with fine piano and steel.
« Dog-gone these heartaches« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/bryte-9909-chuck-stacy-.mp3download
Finally the veteran REX ALLEN for his version of the 1946 Buchanan Brothers’ hit « Atomic Power » (Mercury # 6008). Incidentally, one of the Buchanans said later in the ’60s how they hated this song. Here are the lyrics.
« Atomic power« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/mercury-6008-Atomic-Power-by-Rex-Allen.mp3download
Sources:Internet, 78rpm-world, my own archives.
This fortnight begins with a heck of wildness: MICHAEL RAYE & Judy Shaye (“two voices and four hands” on the label) do offer the storming “Rockin’ Jamboree” on Arcade (Philly) # 112. Boogie woogie pano, trombone and guitar combine for this from 1953.
« Rockin’ jamboree« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/arcade-113-michael-raye-judy-shaye-rockin-jamboree.mp3download
JOHNNY FOSTER (announced a month ago) from Alabama offers the perfect rock-a-ballad “Locked away from your heart” on the Sandy label (# 1028). Good steel and sincere vocal. 1958. He had an earlier issue (# 1014) on the same label, which sounds promising (alas untraced): « It’s a hard life/You gotta be good« . I don’t know if he’s the same artist who appeared later on Capa and Carma during the early ’60s. Anyone can confirm, or deny?
« Locked away from your heart« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/sandy-Johnny-Foster-Locked-away-from-your-heart.mp3download
Cope McDaniel and the Cimarron Valley Boys are backing EDDE LEE for a fine melodic ballad, “I can’t believe you mean it” on Indianapolis Sunset label # F70W-2603 (1955).
« I can’t believe you mean it« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/sunset-2603-Eddie-Lee-I-Cant-Believe-You-Mean-It-Sunset-F7OW-2603.mp3download
« Ain’t got a nickel« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/waterfall-502-Aint-Got-A-Nickel-Aint-Got-A-Dime-Max-Lowe.mp3download
« Little Tom« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/J-F-K-L-701-Max-Lowe-Little-Tom-.mp3download
MAX LOWE enters for two issues, both came out from Morristown, TN. First “Ain’t got a nickel, ain’t got a dime”, a banjo led bluesy ballad, is to be found on Waterfall 502. More of the same on J-F-K-L 701 and “Little Lou”, from 1961 (thanx to Youtube Cheesebrew Wax Archive chain).
« I left the dance« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/ozark-1236-billy-glenn-I-Left-The-Dance.mp3download
« I’ll never cry again« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/ozark-1236-billy-glennIll-Never-Cry-Again.mp3download
That’s 1960 when BILLY GLENN issued on (California) Ozark label L30W-1236 a lovely mid-paced bopper with “I left the dance” (nice steel). The flipside is an uptempo ballad, “I’ll never cry again”. Curiously for a West coast label, the publishing house is “Mississipi Valley”. Glenn also appeared on Yucca 208 (“Bakersfield town”).
The “REAVES WHITE COUNTY RAMBLERS” go back to the late ‘20s on Vocalion 5218 for the romping “Ten cent piece”. It’s a fast raw hillbilly, showing prominent fiddle and a strong vocal. Courtesy 53jaybop on Youtube.
« Ten cent piece« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/vocalion-5218-Reaves-White-County-Ramblers-Ten-Cent-Piece-VOCALION-5218.mp3download
From Wichita, KS, emanate the Kanwic label on which OWEN McCARTY & His Troubadours cut “Key to my heart” (# 145), an uptempo ballad with nice steel, in 1968. McCarty was to have two other known records: on Show Land (produced by Benny Hess) and Air Cap.
« Key to my heart« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/karwick-145-owen-mc-carty-Key-To-My-Heart.mp3download
AL URBAN doesn’t need introduction. He cut the great Hillbilly bopper (1957) “Looking for money” (Sarg 148), and the fabulous twin-sider Rockabilly “Gonna be better times/Won’t tell you her name” (Sarg 158), without forgetting his two issues on Fang 1001 and 1003 (untraced). Here he appears on a “manufactured by Tanner ‘n’ Texas [T.N.T.]” A.P.U. 201, which shows two addresses: Gonzales (hometown to Urban) and San Antonio, TX. His “Run away” is similar to his Sarg sides, with a heavy Starday sound: a piano player sounding like Doc Lewis, a fiddle sounding like Red Hayes. Could it be that this record has actually been recorded in Houston?
»Run away« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/a.p.u.-201-Al-Urban-Run-Away.mp3download
Despite a long career that spanned almost 45 years, comparatively little is known about Earl Peterson. He was born in Paxton, Illinois, on February 24, 1927 and moved to Michigan when he was 18 months old. He apparently became proficient on both guitar and drums and formed his own band, the Sons of the Golden West, when he was still in high school. The group secured a regular spot on WOAP, Owosso, then moved to WMYC in Alma, Michigan, before settling at WCEN, Mount Pleasant. WCEN gave Earl and his group a regular show, Earl’s Melody Trails, and made him the talent director, staff announcer and farming news editor. Earl was to study Law after high school but he switched to a musical career instead.
Earl made his debut in the record business when he formed a record label, Nugget Records, with his mother, in January 1950.
« Take me back to Michigan« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/10-Earl-Peterson-Take-Me-Back-to-Michigan.mp3download
Peterson also undertook road trips to publicise his record and, at the same time, worked guest dee-jay spots at various stations. It seems as though his mother, Pearle Lewis, was the driving force behind Peterson. Sam Phillips recalled that the pair arrived on his doorstep early in 1954 pitching « The Boogie blues ». Phillips located some country session musicians to work with Peterson and the result of the session was released in the Spring of 1954.
« Boogie blues« (Sun 197)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/sun-197.Earl-Peterson-Boogie-blues.mp3download
« In the dark« (Sun 197)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/In-the-dark.mp3download
The story becomes more convoluted from that point. In October of that year Peterson, with a healthy disregard for contracts and AFM regulations, re-recorded the same song for Columbia. The song was re-copyrighted and probably sold more than the 2500 copies that Phillips had shipped.
« Boogie blues« (Columbia 21364)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/21364-Boogie-Blues-Earl-Peterson.mp3download
« Believe me » (Columbia 21364)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/21364-Believe-Me-Earl-Peterson.mp3download
Peterson’s half-brother, Bob Lewis, recalls that Peterson was desperately unhappy with the quality of the Sun recording and that may account for his lack of reserve when Don Law approached him to re-record the tune. In any event, Peterson had a few singles released on Columbia but they were shipped into changing market conditions (released between February 1955 and July 1956) and Peterson may have tired of the constant touring necessary to support his releases. His mother ran a resort club, the Bass Lake Pavillion, and Earl formed a band that included twin steel guitars, two lead guitars, two fiddles and his half-brother on drums and he played here on a regular basis supporting all the acts that worked the area as singles. In this way, Earl and the boys backed Marty Robbins, Moon Mullican and many more. The ’53 Buick which Earl had driven all those miles was increasingly confined to short trips.
« I’m not buying, baby« (Columbia 21406)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/21406-Earl-Peterson-Im-Not-Buying-Baby.mp3download>
« Be careful of the heart you’re going to break » (Columbia 21406)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/21406-Be-Careful-Of-The-Heart-Youre-Going-To-Break-Earl-Peterson.mp3download
In 1960 Peterson and his family established radio station WPLB in Greenville, Michigan. In 1962, they switched to the FM frequency and the following year saw Earl’s retirement from the performing side of the music business. By that point there was an undeniable quotient of rock and roll in country music and, in Bob Lewis’ words, « Earl wasn’t crazy about that stuff ». In 1965 Earl learned that he had cancer but he continued to work at the station until his death in May 1971.
« I ain’t gonna fall in love » (Columbia 21467) http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/21467-Earl-Peterson-I-Aint-Gonna-Fall-In-Love.mp3download
« I’ll live my life alone » (Columbia 21467) http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/21467-Ill-Live-My-Life-Alone-Earl-Peterson.mp3download
Earl Peterson’s music, a survey by bopping’s editor
« You gotta be my baby« (Columbia 21540)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/21540-Earl-Peterson-You-Gotta-Be-My-Baby.mp3download
« World of make believe« (Columbia 21540)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/World-Of-Make-Believe.mp3download
Sources : « The country years » (1987) by Colin Escott ; page on Earl Peterson – also music from « Columbia 20000 » (Willem Agenant) ; scans from 78rpm-world ; « The Hillbilly researcher » for scan and music to Nugget 78rpm.
« You just can’t be trusted » (’60′s)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/You-Just-Cant-Be-Trusted-Earl-Peterson.mp3download
Howdy folks, a happy and bopping New Year to everyone. As a seasonal gift, I will post no less than 15 selections, as on the Xmas fortnight.
First a mystery with GEORGE BOWE & the Travelers. It has proved impossible to find any detail on him neither even the location of the label, Eagle – a common label name during the ’50s/60s. A very small clue is to be detected in the deadwax, « Rimrock » – which leads one to Arkansas Wayne Raney‘s label of the ’60s. Anyway Bowe delivers a Rockabilly styled opus with « Big man » (Eagle 110A) – the whole thing is quiet and lazy. B-side (« Do you remember ») is a melodic ballad, a bit sentimental, over sympathetic backing.
« Big man« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Big-Man.mp3download
« Do you remember« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Do-You-Remember.mp3download
Note: Alexander Petrauskas did advise me that the Eagle label was definitely associated with Rimrock, the latter pressing the Eagle products.
DON WHITNEY (incomplete bio statistics – he died in 1985) was a D.J. associated with Arkansas radio stations KLCN in Blytheville, then KOSE in Osceola (1957) ; he’s been too on WELO in Tupelo (MS), and cut a whole string of boppers for 4*. Where he cut them ? Probably Nashville. I chose from 1950 « Red hot boogie » (# 1471), call-and-response format (girl chorus). Steel and piano are barely audible, while the guitar player does a too short but wild solo. « Move on blues » (# 1588) from 1951 is a fine bluesy tune over a boogie guitar. Discreet steel and piano.
« Red hot boogie« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/4-1471-don-whitney-red-hot-boogie.mp3download
« Move on blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/4-1568-MOVE-ON-BLUES-by-Don-Whitney.mp3download
On Adco records (# 781), cut in Cincinnati, OH, next comes GLEN CANYON and a rocker from 1965, « I won’t be able to make it » : a shrilling guitar thoughout, and the disk is valued $ 50 to 100. I couldn’t locate the flipside « Still in love with you », reputedly a bopper. Canyon appeared also on Acorn and Boone (Kentucky).
« I won’t be able to make it« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/adco-781-Glenn-Canyon-I-Wont-Be-Able-To-Make-It-.mp3download
The Sandy label out of Mobile,AL. is interesting for many records issued between 1957 and 1962 and highly revered by Rockabilly/Rock’n'roll buffs : do Ronny Keenan, Happy Wainwright, Jackie Morningstar (« Rockin’ in the graveyard »), Ray Sawyer (« Rockin’ satellite ») or Darryl Vincent (« Wild wild party ») ring each a bell to you ? Well, the label also had its hillbilly boppers, like Johnny Foster (more on him next fortnight, late January 2016) or WADE JERNIGAN. Both his sides (# 1010) are high quality boppers penned by label bossman Johnny Bozeman in 1958. « Road of love », medium paced, has a very « hillbilly » type vocal (high pitched at moments), over a prominent fiddle and good steel, while its flip « So tired » uses the same format, just a little bit slower. A good record for Hillbilly lovers.
« Road of love« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/sandy-1010-Road-Of-Love.mp3download
« So tired« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/sandy-1010-So-Tired.mp3download
Now on to Louisiana. The Khoury’s label began activities in 1951 to cease them in 1955 (last known is # 647, « Lu Lu boogie » by Nathan Abshire, which I owned moons ago before selling it – I am biting my fingers now..). We find here on # 700B (not in numerical order, this one is from 1954) a fabulous Cajun wildie « Louisiana stomp » by LEBLANC’S FRENCH BAND (an unidentified singer yells and encourages by his yells the whole fiddle led orchestra). Reverse is by Eddie Shuler, the founder of Goldband. Second La. selection : by GENE RODRIGUE, who had other releases on Folk-Star, Houma and Rod (the Cajun Rockabilly « Little cajun girl » from 1959). Here is his « Jole fille » (Meladee 101, cut in New Orleans), full of energy and « joie de vivre », Cajun style. Nice fiddle, steel and piano. This comes from the late ’50s apparently.
« Louisiana stomp« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/khourys-700-Leblancs-French-band-Louisiana-stomp.mp3download
« Jole fille« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/mel-a-dee-101B-Gene-Rodrigue-Jolie-fille.mp3download
More from Louisiana with PAL THIBODEAUX (also known as Little Pal Hardy on Imperial) and « Port Arthur boogie » (Sky Line OP-154). Call-and-response, sung in French and English. Fiddle solo, sympathetic backing, two good guitar solos encouraged by the singer a la Bob Wills.
« Port Arthur boogie« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/skyline-Pal-Thibodeaux-Port-Arthur-boogie.mp3download
You ask for yodeling ? Here it’s ROBERT LUNN (billed as « The Talking Blues Boy ») in late 1947. He cut I don’t know where (I suspect North of the States) the marvelous « Yodeling blues », slow’n'easy – fiddle, ‘blues’ lyrics, guitars, and spoken vocals, a dream…On Mercury 6104.
« Yodeling blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/mercury-6104-robert-lunn-yodeling-blues.mp3download
GEORGE GREEN & The Missouri Ranch Boys comes next with a good 2-sider on Zeylon . The medium paced « I don’t love you anymore » is backed by a welcome accordion, and sounds its late ’40s recording, although its prefix (J80W, an RCA pressing, dates from..1958). The flip « Be a little angel » is a jumping little thing, which grows on you at each playing. Good fiddle.
« I don’t love you anymore« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/zeylon-I-Dont-Love-You-Anymore.mp3download
« Be a little angel« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/zeylon-Be-A-Little-Angel.mp3download
« Just because « is a classic Sun side, only issued on RCA, by ELVIS PRESLEY. We conclude this fortnight with his version (RCA 47-6640, early 1956) and the original by the SHELTON BROTHERS (in the ’30s). Great lyrics. Elvis does a very fine job on it.
Shelton Brothers « Just because« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Shelton-Brothers-Just-Because.mp3download
Elvis Presley « Just because« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/RCA-Elvis-just-because.mp3download
Sources : Somelocaluser blogspot (George Bowe, Wade Jernigan, George Green), Youtube for several tunes (Don Whitney – scans from 78rpmworld) ; Robert Lunn on a 3-CD compilation of country music on Mercury, picture from « hillbilly-music.com ». Hope you enjoy this selection. Comments welcome. ‘Till then, bye.
Note: important addition on Khoury records by Louisiana tireless researcher and faithful friend Wade Falcon (Feb. 5th, 2016):