Hello, this is the late October 2019 favorites’ selection, and very different things this time.
These are two tracks of the nearest JIMMY MURPHY ever bordered to Rockabilly. A veteran (his 1951 sides on RCA-Victor) of Country bluesy sides, with an appeal to religious ones, like « Electricity ».(RCA 21-0447), and his two-sided November 1955 « Here Kitty Kitty »/ »I’m Looking For A Mustard Patch » (Columbia 21486) sounded (with Onie Wheeler on harmonica) as if they had been recorded in..1945. That was the main problem for Jimmy Murphy, always behind the times. Nevertheless great acoustic guitar and assured,vocal. A must for Rockabilly fans.
Next HANK CADWELL and the Saddle Kings on the West coast D’Oro label (# 103) do come with a Western swing tinged opus, « Alibi » from late ’40s : accordion solo, fiddle solo, lovely assured vocal and chorus.
Then ABE LINK, or A. BLINK (he went under both names) on the Ohio Canton label. « Skeleton Bookie », « and the Western Spotlighters » (S.T.R.C Canton 106) has beautiful steel effects for a Halloween (?) disc, while « Yodelin’ Blues » (Canton 107) is very different. A classic shuffling bopper from 1955. Lot of yodel of course, and a lot less steel.
We jump to 1961 for a male duet. A nice country-rocker by PHIL BEASLEY and CHARLEY BROWN on the Briar (# 111) label, from unknown location. « Good Gosh Gal » has loud drums, and a nice guitar throughout (a fine solo).
On the B.W. label (location unknown), here’s KENNY BIGGS (B.W. 615) for a nice Country-rocker « There’s No Excuse » (early ’60s). One expects in this very melodic tune some chorus (very unobstrusive if ever present).
Col. Tom Parker paid the Norfolk, Va. and Jacksonville, Fl. radio stations not to play PHIL GRAY’s disc on Rhythm 101, and even gathered the copies to destroy from a too Elvisy (Sun style) Rockabilly. He even had done to prevent Gene Vincent to be unplayed in vain. Gray was 15 years old when he cut « Pepper Hot Baby » and « Bluest Boy In Town ». Great guitar, Elvis-style hiccups (the song is like « Baby Let’s Play House »), a real success. This disc is so rare that a copy, when it comes on auction, may get as high as $ 3000 !
Not much info this time on artists or music I am afraid.
HAROLD MONTGOMERY has already been posted for his great 1969 bopper on Sun-Ray 139 “All them wives/Pardon me Jim“. This time I’m putting an equally good side with «How much do you miss me ». Wolf-Tex # 103 label, which emanates from Lancaster, KY. Solid backing by the Ray Johnson band over a hiccupy vocal. This record is sold between $ 300 and 400, maybe a lot more ! Montgomery had also “Thank you little girl” on Wolf-Tex 105, and “Gabriel doesn’t play a steel guitar” on Lemco (no #), both untraced.
The next artist was an itinerant D.J., who also carried from town to town his own record for sale. JOHNNY DAUME (Johnny Daume label # 1001) is an early ’50s double-sider with strong Western swing overtones : lazy vocal, a prominent fiddle and a discreet steel , all this reminds me of Texas bands of the mid to late ’40s. »Boogie woogie blond » and « Lookin’ fer a gal in Tennessee » are mouled in the same matrix, one slow, the other side more medium uptempo. A nice record.
Marty Robbins had done « Mean mama blues » on Columbia in early 1956 – urgent vocal and fast rockabilly backing. Same song is revived 4 years later on Circle Dot # 1002 (Minneapolis, MN) by RONNIE RAY. This version is on a par with the original. Ray also had another issue on Demand 101 (« My heart has to make it (on it’s own) » (untraced).
LES & His Western Playboys comes next in 1961 on the B-W label (# Q-609). A prominent steel over a light country rocker. Maybe Les was named « Haven » : that’s the writer of « I don’t care anymore ». This outfit had another on the Wel Burn label (parent to B-W) # 103 with the good uptempo from 1962, “It’s rough“, cut in Wooster, OH and reviewed on May 5th, 1962 by Billboard. Nice steel throughout.
En route for this new April batch of Hillbillies and Country rockers. First from Louisiana, the fiddler LARRY BAMBERG (rn Bamburg) does the fine relaxed medium bopper « Cheating on me » from 1956 on the Mira Lewis’ Shreveport, La. Ram (Royal American Music) label # 104. It has a very young James Burton, quite unusually, on the steel guitar and Leon Smith at the piano. Bamberg, whose name was not easy to pronounce, changed it to Lincoln for the bluesy (with sax) equally fine « My baby went away », cut at Ram, but issued on his own Fido 011 label (not posted here).
Next three tracks do come from Laeger W.Va. (at least the label) as late as 1969 by the one FLOYD FLETCHER on the F.A.F. label. « Daddy sings the blues » (# 26252) is a fast bluesy track with urgent vocal. « Move on down the track » does fetch to Rockabilly, while its flipside « You’re telling me goodby » [sic] is more in a sort of garage Honky-tonk vein (# 26282).
RILEY WALKER next is no newcomer, as his « Uranium miner’s boogie » from 1955 is already a minor Hillbilly bop classic from Salt Lake City, Utah. See elsewhere in this site at the entry of his name. « It’s a little late (to come knocking on my door » goes by the same vein : a relaxed rural vocal, a nice steel throughout and a romping piano (# 703).
Next and last tracks of this fortnight do come from the B-W label, presumably a Nashville one, in 1961. PHIL BEASLEY and « Itchin’ to love you » (# 624) : a nice crisp guitar over a decent country rocker. KENNY BIGGS and « There’s no excuse » (# 615) has a mellow steel, an harmonica and some chorus and sounds a bit poppish.
“Itchin’ to love you”