Early April 2019 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdy folks ! This is early April 2019 fortnight’s favorites’ selection.

Lefty Nicks

We begin with a rarity, aimed at Rockabilly circles, and sold between $ 800 and 1000. On the Nicktone label (# 6020) LEFTY NICKS delivers a great « Model A Ford Blues ». An utempo half-sung vocal over great guitars and steel throughout tune.

John Talley

Then a well-known figure, this of JOHN TALLEY with two different styles. First an uptempo straight Nashville style – steel and fiddle solos, guitar to the fore – for « Hillbilly Sweetheart » on Jamboree 509 from 1954. Then a « perfect » song on Mercury 70902 : « (I’ve Changed My) Wild Mind » is a classic Rockabilly, with great guitar and a lot of echo, from mid-1956. Talley had another good tune, « « Shine, Shave And Shower (It’s Saturday Night) » on Tennessee 752 from 1954.

Eddie Bond & the Stompers

On Mercury too, EDDIE BOND & his Stompers and two classic sides, « Boppin’ Bonnie » and « Baby, Baby, Baby » (Mercury 70941, issued August 1956). Bond was from Memphis, TN, and delivers great tunes on a par with what Sun was doing at the time. Lot of echo, uptempo song with drums.”Bopping’ Bonnie” was written by Jerry Huffman and Jody Chastain, the two sidemen of Charlie Feathers. The B-side is a bit slowier with a touch of blues.

James Wilson

From Shreveport, La., the 17-years old JAMES WILSON offer in 1957 on Ram Records (unknown #) the great « Wilson Blues N° 1 ». Of course a bluesy uptempo, a good atmospheric tune with drums. The record when located change hands for $ 600-700.

Luke Gordon

Two sides now by LUKE GORDON. Originating from Kentucky, he’d cut in 1958 (May, or November) on Vienna, Va. Blue Ridge label (# 502). « Dark Hollow » is the old Bill Browning song, done here with dobro and fiddle. Gordon’s voice is well fitted to this type of material.. The flipside « You May Be Someone (Where You Come From) » is in the same style : fiddle and dobro solos.

Sonny Burns

Finally SONNY BURNS, a largely underrated Starday artist. Here he is with a July (?) 1956 Eddie Noack tune, « If You See My Baby » : it’s an uptempo with fiddle (Ernie Hunter) and steel (Herbie Remington) solos. Classic Starday backing : tinkling piano of Doc Lewis, and Hal Harris on lead guitar.

Sources: my own archives; 45-cat; RCS; YouTube

The CHURCH BROTHERS & Their Blue Ridge Ramblers: hot Bluegrass Bop from Carolina

Bopping.org is proud to greet one of the best mandolin payers in Europe (along with this Truffle Valley Boys), also one of the finest collectors/connoisseurs of 40’s/50’s Bluegrass music. Mr. Matt Ringressi has given to me the right to publish his detailed essay about the legendary Church Brothers & Their Blue Ridge Ramblers.

The Church Brothers & their Blue Ridge Ramblers

A short essay and complete discography by Matt Ringressi
– with acknowledgements to Clarence Greene, Ward Eller, Jeff Michael, Vivian Pennington Hopkins –

Hailing from Wilkes County, and precisely the Mount Pleasant community near Ferguson, NC, the Church Brothers are a prime example of an early Blue Grass group that developed an instantly recognizable, distinctive sound, and also produced excellent original material.
Born in a large family to Albert Church, a sawmill worker and also a fiddle and banjo player, and his wife Bessie, William Cears “Bill” (born 1922/09/08), Edwin (born 1925/07/29) and Ralph Arthur (1928/06/28) Church were always surrounded by music, and started playing instruments while still in their teens. Along with their first cousin Arthur Ward Eller (born 1930/05/24) and Drake Walsh (son of old-time banjo player Dock Walsh) they formed their first full band in 1946, after both Bill and Edwin had returned from the Navy. By Ralph’s own admission, “we always listened to Bill Monroe and Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs—we believed in Blue Grass”. Bill and Ward played guitars, Ralph played mandolin, Edwin was on fiddle and Drake played banjo.

They started out on radio station WILX in North Wilkesboro, NC, billed as the Wilkes County Entertainers, and soon met James Gar Bowers, who became their banjo player replacing Walsh. Sometime during 1948 they switched to radio WKBC, also in North Wilkesboro. It was then that they changed their band name to the Church Brothers and their Blue Ridge Ramblers. The station had been one of the first in the region to regularly feature Blue Grass acts – even the Stanley Brothers had worked there. One of the lesser known local bands working on WKBC, the Carolina Pardners, furnished the Church Brothers’ band with their next banjo player: Johnny Nelson (born 1931/06/28 in Caldwell County, NC). While at WKBC they also met another of their future associates, multi-instrumentalist Ralph Pennington, who became a steady member of the band shortly thereafter, and mainly played bass (he was also an accomplished fiddle and mandolin player).

In 1949, the band met Drusilla Adams

, budding songwriter from North Wilkesboro. An extremely prolific association was born – Drusilla provided the band with fresh original material, and the Church Brothers would perform and record her songs, showcasing her writing talents.
In the summer of 1950, the band made contact with Jim Stanton, owner of the Rich- R-Tone label out of Johnson City, TN.
Their first session was held in the latter part of 1950 at a radio station in Johnson City, TN (per Ralph Church, although it is possible it actually took place at WOPI station in Bristol, TN/VA, as did many Rich-R-Tone sessions).
The 1950/12/16 Billboard reports the Church Brothers signing a 5-year pact with Rich-R-Tone (shown in the picture on the left). This contract required the band to record 8 sides per year. The signing is again mentioned in the 1951/01/20 and 1951/06/09 Billboard.

The Rich-R’-Tone recordings

The first release from this session (RRT 1009) came around the Summer of 1951, and the second one (RRT 1017) followed in the Fall. These two records greatly boosted the popularity of the Blue Ridge Ramblers, who started to play more and more personal appearances in North Carolina and neighboring states.

The first release from this session (RRT 1009) came around the Summer of 1951, and the second one (RRT 1017) followed in the Fall. These two records greatly boosted the popularity of the Blue Ridge Ramblers, who started to play more and more personal appearances in North Carolina and neighboring states.

A Sweeter Love Than Yours I'll Never Know

by The Church Brothers

The October 27th, 1951 session (Buffalo Jonson, lead vocal)

The second (and final, as it turned out) session for Rich-R-Tone took place October, where the band also backed up country singer Buffalo Johnson for two numbers – and although their records were doing rather well, their thoughts were elsewhere. By this time, the band had pretty much decided to not work with Stanton anymore.

Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms (Rounder LP)

by The Church Brothers (Bill, lead vocal)

The late 1951 session

Broken Vows And A Broken Heart

by The Church Brothers

Free from their commitment with Stanton, the band rushed into the studio of WKBC station, North Wilkesboro, NC, as 1951 drew to a close, and recorded their first Blue Ridge session. Their first release on the label (made up of two tracks recorded at the first session for Rich-R-Tone) was out in December 1951.
The band’s popularity grew even more, with Drusilla Adams relentless promotion. In 1952, the band had another session at WPAQ station in Mount Airy, and 2 more records came out on the Blue Ridge label.

In the meantime, in the Summer of 1951, Drusilla’s father, Noah Adams, had decided to start his own label to better handle the promotion of his daughter’s songwriting, and had quickly arranged a recording session by Virginian Jim Eanes.
In October or November 1951, Adams traded 4 of the Eanes masters to Stanton in exchange for the 4 Church Brothers masters that Rich-R-Tone had not yet released.
This apparently allowed the band an “exception” to the 5-year pact signed the previous year.

The November/December 1951 session

Sometimes in the Summer of 1952, Johnny Nelson was drafted in Korea, leaving the band without a banjoist. The Church boys called on an old friend, just fresh out of a tenure with Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys – James Gar Bowers rejoined the Blue Ridge Ramblers, and even recorded a session with them in October 1952 (as well as a couple of tracks together with Ralph Church helping out Joe Franklin).
Things were looking up, but the band was reluctant to travel: family commitments kept them from long-distance touring. Their final Blue Ridge release came out in February 1953, and with the sudden passing of Johnny Nelson in a car accident in the same time frame, the flame started fading, and the band gradually dissolved.
Ralph Church and Ralph Pennington continued to play music until their passing, as does Ward Eller who is still alive and performing around North Wilkesboro, NC.
Note: I have to apologize to Xavier for the delay in the completion of the essay – work on my small-label Blue Grass 78RPM discography has kept me very busy in the past year. I hope all the readers enjoy it! Matt Ringressi

It’s been quite some work to arrange two discographies given by Matt: one as sessionography, the other in terms of releases. There was also the task of tunes recorded by Rich-R’-Tone and finally issued by Blue Ridge. I hope anyway the readers will enjoy the article.
My sincere thanks go to Matt and also Roland Keppner, who provided some hard-to-find sound files.

Releases Discography/span;

Note: The four-digit number in brackets were arbitrarily assigned to each master, and printed on the record’s dead wax to ensure the use of the correct label – these are NOT master numbers.

Rich-R’-Tone

1009 Church Brothers & their Blue Ridge Ramblers
Released 1951
I’m Lonely For You (Bill Church) [1302]
A Sweeter Love Than Yours I’ll Never Know (Bill Church) [1400]

1017 Church Brothers & their Blue Ridge Ramblers
Released 1951/09/17
I Know My Name Will Be Called Up There (Drusilla Adams – Bill Church) [1310]
We’ll Meet Up There (Drusilla Adams – Bill Church) [1408]

1019 Buffalo Johnson and the Church Brothers & their Blue Ridge Ramblers
Released November 1951
Day Dreaming (Gladys Gobble) [1312]
I Don’t Know What To Do (Gladys Gobble) [1410]

Blue Ridge
Note: Blue Ridge numbering is highly trivial in that it doesn’t have chronological coherency. Records are presented here ordered by assigned number and NOT release date.

101 Church Brothers & Their Blue Ridge Ramblers
Released early 1952
Darling Brown Eyes (Drusilla Adams – Bill Church) [1203]
Someone Else Is Loving You (Drusilla Adams – Bill Church) [1706]

209 Church Brothers and their Blue Ridge Ramblers
Released 1953/02/19
Way Down In Ole Caroline (Drusilla Adams – Bill Church) [0990]
Broken Vows And A Broken Heart (Drusilla Adams – Bill Church) [1109]

609 Church Brothers and their Blue Ridge Ramblers
Released December 1951
No One To Love Me (Drusilla Adams – Bill Church) [1211]
You’re Still The Rose Of My Heart (Drusilla Adams – Bill Church) [1717]

1208 Church Brothers & Their Blue Ridge Ramblers
Released 1952
An Angel With Blue Eyes (Drusilla Adams – Bill Church) [4069]
When Jesus Calls You Home (Drusilla Adams – Bill Church) [5031]

___________ __Session Discography ___________________
Note: this is an excerpt from Matt Ringressi’s upcoming discography of small-label Blue Grass 78RPM records. Reproduction unauthorized without permission.
Late 1950 – Johnson City, TN (or WOPI station, Bristol, TN/VA)
Church Brothers and their Hillbilly Ramblers
Bill Church: Guitar
Lead vocal (A)
Ralph Church: Mandolin
Tenor vocal (B)
Ward Eller: Guitar
Lead vocal (C)
Baritone vocal (D)
Johnny Nelson: Banjo (1)
Edwin Church: Fiddle (2)
poss. bass vocal (E)
Ralph Pennington: Bass (3)

Darling Brown Eyes 1-2-3-
(Drusilla Adams – Bill Church) A-B [1203] Blue Ridge 101-A
No One To Love Me 1-2-3-
(Drusilla Adams – Bill Church) A-B-D [1211] Blue Ridge 609-A
I’m Lonely For You 1-2-
(Bill Church) 3-A [1302] RRT 1009-A
I Know My Name Will Be Called Up There A-B-
(Drusilla Adams – Bill Church) D-E [1310] RRT 1017-A
A Sweeter Love Than Yours I’ll Never Know 1-2-3-
(Bill Church) A-B [1400] RRT 1009-B
We’ll Meet Up There A-B-
(Drusilla Adams – Bill Church) D-E [1408] RRT 1017-B
You’re Still The Rose Of My Heart 1-2-
(Drusilla Adams – Bill Church) 3-C [1717] Blue Ridge 609-B
Beneath The North Carolina Moon 1-2-
3-A [-] Blue Ridge – Unissued

Blue Ridge 609 released December 1951
Rich-R-Tone 1009 released ca. August or September 1951
Rich-R-Tone 1017 released October 1951
Note: this session was produced by Drusilla and Noah Adams for release on Rich-R-Tone, as a mean to showcase Drusilla’s songwriting. The Adamses had not yet started Blue Ridge records.

Note(2): “You’re Still The Rose Of My Heart” was believed to have been recorded at the first Blue Ridge session in 1951, however aural evidence, together with Ward Eller having stated he was drafted in 1951, clearly identifies it as from this one. Per Ralph Church, eight sides were recorded at this session. This is coherent with one of the clauses of the Rich-R-Tone contract, as reported by the 1950/12/16 issue of Billboard.

Note(3): in ca. October or November 1951, the Adamses gave 4 Jim Eanes masters to Stanton in exchange for the 4 unreleased Chuch Brothers masters in possession of Rich-R-Tone.
1951/10/27 – Unknown location (poss. WOPI station, Bristol, TN/VA)
Buffalo Johnson & the Church Bros & their Blue Ridge Ramblers
Buffalo Johnson: Lead vocal (A)
Lead vocal on verses (B)
Bill Church: Guitar
Lead vocal (C)
Lead vocal on chorus (D)
Ralph Church: Mandolin
Tenor vocal (E)
Johnny Nelson: Banjo
Edwin Church: Fiddle
poss. Baritone vocal (F)
Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms C-E-F [-] RRT – Unissued
Day Dreaming A [1312] RRT 1019-A
(Gladys Gobble)
Day Dreaming (alt) A [-] RRT – Unissued
I Don’t Know What To Do B-D-E [1410] RRT 1019-B (Gladys Gobble)
I Don’t Know What To Do (alt) B-D-E [-] RRT – Unissued
Rich-R-Tone 1019 released ca. December 1951 (mentioned in Billboard 1951/11/24)
Note: the 1951/11/24 issue of Billboard reports this session having been just cut. The band would have still been working for Stanton at the time of the session, and the trade of masters with Adams had probably not yet happened (or had just happened).
Note(2): in past studies, it has been contended that the banjo player on this session does not sound like Johnny Nelson. However, hard evidence shows Nelson played the following sessions (see following pages), so he was still with the band by that point. Furthermore, James Gar Bowers (who would have played banjo with the Church Brothers later in 1952) would have been working with Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys during this time frame (he recorded with Monroe the very day after this session).
Note(3): per Ward Eller’s recollections, he was drafted in the army in 1951 and stayed for two years. He most probably did not take part in this recording session, or the following ones.

ca. November or December 1951 – WKBC station, North Wilkesboro, NC
Church Brothers and their Hillbilly Ramblers
Bill Church: Guitar
Lead vocal (A)
Ralph Church: Mandolin
Tenor vocal (B)
Johnny Nelson: Banjo
Edwin Church: Fiddle (1)
Ralph Pennington: Bass
Someone Else Is Loving You 1-A-B [1709] Blue Ridge 101-B
(Drusilla Adams – Bill Church)
Someone Else Is Loving You (alt) ? [-] Blue Ridge –
Unissued
Tears Fall On My Broken Heart ? [-] Blue Ridge 302-A
Unissued
Blue Ridge Special [-] Blue Ridge 302-B
Unissued
Blue Ridge 101 released ca. early 1952
Blue Ridge 302 unissued

May 1952 – WPAQ station, Mount Airy, NC
Church Brothers and their Hillbilly Ramblers
Bill Church: Guitar
Lead vocal (A)
Ralph Church: Mandolin
Tenor vocal (B)
Johnny Nelson: Banjo (1)
Edwin Church: Fiddle (2)
poss. Bass vocal (C)
Ralph Pennington: Bass (3)
Baritone vocal (D)
Broken Vows And A Broken Heart 1-2-3-
(Drusilla Adams – Bill Church) A-B [1109] Blue Ridge 209-B
An Angel With Blue Eyes 1-2-3-
(Drusilla Adams – Bill Church) A-B-D [4069] Blue Ridge 1208-A
When Jesus Calls You Home A-B-
(Drusilla Adams – Bill Church) C-D [5031] Blue Ridge 1208-B
Blue Ridge 209 released February or March 1953
Blue Ridge 1208 released mid-to-late 1952
Note: “Broken Vows And A Broken Heart” is very similar to “An Angel With Blue Eyes”, and features a virtually identical banjo solo. The label on Blue Ridge 209-B reads “banjo by Johnny Nelson”, confirming it’s Nelson playing on both tracks.
While it is entirely possible it could have been recorded at the 1951 WKBC session, the author feels aural evidence and the release date of BR 209 suggest the track was cut at this session.
Note(2): Ralph Pennington is singing baritone on “An Angel With Blue Eyes”, as all evidence suggests (not last, the fact that the bass stops playing on choruses). The baritone singer on “When Jesus Calls You Home” seems to have the very same vocal timbre. A 1951 picture of the Bill, Ralph and Edwin Church and Ward Eller around the WKBC microphone seems to suggest Edwin Church was also singing – thus making him a likely candidate for the bass singing on BR 1208-B

October 1952 – WPAQ station, Mount Airy, NC
Church Brothers and their Hillbilly Ramblers
Bill Church: Guitar
Lead vocal (A)
Ralph Church: Mandolin Tenor vocal (B)
James Gar Bowers: Banjo
Edwin Church or Jim Wilkerson: Fiddle
Ralph Pennington Bass

Way Down In Ole’ Caroline A-B [0990] Blue Ridge 209-A
(Drusilla Adams – Bill Church)
+ more unknown tracks
Blue Ridge 209 released February or March 1953
Note: the label to Blue Ridge 209-A clearly indicates Gar Bowers as the banjo player. Bowers is also credited as having played on BR 401-B with Joe Franklin, on a session that Clarence Greene dates to October 1952 (see below). Positively, these sessions took place the same day.
Note(2): Ralph Church recalled Jim Wilkerson might have been the fiddler on this session. To the author, this is clearly the same fiddler as on previous sessions (identified as Edwin Church)

October 1952 – WPAQ station, Mount Airy, NC (same day as previous)
Joe Franklin and his Mimosa Boys
Joe Franklin: Guitar
Lead vocal Tenor vocal on chorus (1)
Ralph Church: Mandolin
James Gar Bowers: Banjo
poss. Ray Abernathy: Fiddle
Baritone vocal (2) Lead vocal on chorus (3)
poss. Robert Oakes?: Tenor vocal (4)
High baritone vocal (5)
Charles Connley or Ray Austin: Bass

There’ll Be No Wedding Bells For Me 2-4 [5645] Blue Ridge 401-B
(Drusilla Adams – Joe Franklin)
You’re The Cause Of All My Heartaches 1-3-5 [-] Blue Ridge – Unissued
Blue Ridge 401 released late 1952
Note: in 1970 Johnnie Whisnant stated in an interview with Walt Saunders that he had
recorded at least one song with Joe Franklin and Ralph Church in ca. 1953, and was under the
impression that it was intended to be issued as a Church Brothers release. This has led some
to speculate it could be him playing on 401-A.
However, the record label reads “Banjo by James Gar Bowers”, and the banjo playing is
stylistically consistent with that on BR 209-A. Furthermore, BR 401 was released in 1952.
All these elements discredit the possibility of Whisnant being on 401-A.
On the other hand, Whisnant might indeed have been present on an unreleased
Franklin/Church session held after Johnny Nelson’s draft in the army (1952) or possibly after
his death (January 1953), and still untraced to this day. .

Early October 2018 fortnight’s favorites

Hi ! To bopping.org followers. This is the early October 2018 selection, all sides from 1947 to 1955. Very few details are known about the artists, so the music I’m afraid will speak by itself.

The Texas Rhythm Boys

The TEXAS RHYTHM BOYS (vocal Alvin Edwards) had cut « Benzedrine Blues » on Jimmy Mercer’s Royalty label # 600 (1948)in Paris, Texas [see map below]. A medium shuffler (fiddle and steel solo) about a common drug then among musicians.
Nothing at all is known about Alvin Edwards and the Texas Rhythm Boys, a generic name for a rather generic group. “Benzedrine Blues” is their only known record.

Ray Whitley

RAY WHITLEY (1901-1979) provided a version of the evergreen (Bill Haley, Cousin Ford Lewis, Charlie Stone on Arcade Records) « Jukebox Cannonball ». A medium uptempo : accordion to the fore and fiddle issued on Cowboy 301 (1947).

Tommy Sargent

TOMMY SARGENT was a steel guitar player popular on the West coast. Here he is with two tunes. The fast (accordion) « Night Train To Memphis », with whistle effects on Corax 1084 (1947), then « Steel Guitar Boogie »(# Corax 1328), an uptempo with, of course, steel guitar being the prominent instrument.
We found one more Sargent backing with EDDIE CLETRO, « Lonesome Train Boogie » on Lariat 1058 (1950). Again a tour-de-force for the steel.

PAUL TUTMARC

On Rainier WR-1 (date unknown), PAUL TUTMARC & the Wranglers. The vocalist is Bonnie Guitar, who backed many people in the early ’50s, before embarking for a successful solo career. Born Bonnie Buckigham (1923) she began performing at age 16, having taken up playing the guitar as a teenager, which led to her stage name, Bonnie Guitar.  In 1944 she married her former guitar teacher .Paul Tutmarc
« Dark Moon » : the song was originally issued under Fabor Records in 1956. “Dark Moon” was then issued over to Dot Records and by the spring of 1957, the song hit the pop top 10 list and went into the country top 15 list. Guitar officially had a hit.

It’s an uptempo shuffler (accordion), « Midget Auto Blues ».

Bob Rourk

In 1955 on the Joyce label (# 101), here’s BOB ROURK with « Have A Talk With Your Heart ». A really fine Hillbilly bopper (piano, steel), and it’s the latest song of the selection.

Tommy Magness

Another version of « I’m Sitting On Top Of The World », by TOMMY MAGNESS & His Orange Blossom Boys on the Roanake, Va. Blue Ridge label (1947). Fine steel, fiddle. A good one. Vocal by Hall Brothers. Later (1951) Magness with his Tennessee Buddies had two disks on Federal.

Red Pleasant & Milton Beasley

To sum up, a bit of mystery with two entirely different « Mississipi Boogie », but with the same singer. RED PLEASANT & the Southern Serenaders on the Selective label #3 (California) have a strong guitar led tune with Milton Beasley on vocal (1950) . The same MILTON BEASLEY cut his own song on Delta Records (# 409) out of Jackson, Mississipi in 1953. How come Beasley was vocalist on two tunes so different is anybody’s guess. A Bluesman, Julius King, had a great rocking version of the song in 1952 on the Tennessee label (# 127), backed by guitar and..kazoo!

Sources : my own archives ; HBR for Selective ; 45worlds for Tommy Sargent, Ray Whitley and Tommy Magness label scans.

Late August 2016 bopping and rocking fortnight’s favorites

Howdy folks ! Hi ! To returning visitors. This a particularly important fortnight feature, because it includes no less than 11 selections !

We begin with an already reviewed artist (December 2010) in the article devoted to the K.C. label Westport. Here is the milt dickey picimportant and prolific MILT DICKEY. Born 1920, he was D.J. on KCMO during the early ’50s and cut nice boppers for first K.C. located Sho-Me label (# 528), like « Neon love ». The record must have been a regional success, as it was reissued exactly as same on Coral 64146 in 1953. I include the B-side of his Westport 129 disc (« Television love »), the fine weeper « Bleeding heart » with piano and fiddle backing and a good steel as expected. Dickey also released « Checkbook baby » on Coral 64169.

Neon love

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sho-me dickey  neon westport  dickey  heart

 

Bleeding heart

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I’ll walk a mile

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Still in Kansas, but 1963 for the next artist. BOB MARRIOTT & the Continentals is an hybrid of Country-rock, Soul and Rock’n’roll with jayco  marriott  mile«  I’ll walk a mile » (Jayco 702). I know such an item may come upon Bopping’s visitors’ ears, but I like the drive of the tune, the harsh voice of the singer Chuck Vallent and a good guitar. You can of course disagree and leave a negative comment !

From Nashville in a more settled Country mould here’s PAUL DAVIS. During the ’50s he had two mgm davis moneyreleases on M-G-M, the very fine « I don’t want a backseat driver » (# 12472, to be found on the Cactus « M-G-M Hillbilly, vol. 2 » compilation) and now « Big money » (# 12357, recorded June 18, 1956). « Big money » but a « single man »…Good shuffler according to Nashville standards : steel guitar throughout and good guitar over a relax vocal.

Big money

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Five years later Davis would record the prototype of any truck repertoire with the original of « Six days on the road » released on the small Bulletin label # 1001 (reviewed June 18 1961, well nearly two years before the Dave Dudley hit). Fabulous wailing steel guitar, a lot of echo both on vocal and backing. By far according to my tastes the best version !

Six days on the road

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bulletin  davis -days

Dave DudleySix days on the road

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golden wing dudley  road

 

 

 

« Carroll county blues » was recorded on March 11 1929 by NARMOUR & SMITH, a duet emanating from Mississipi. The lead figure is taken on fiddle by Will Narmour, who befriended bluesman Mississipi John Hurt, and sustained by Shell (Sheriff) Smith on guitar. The tune has something of hypnotic, and was said to have come from the whistling of some black farmer. It’s been the duet’s greatest hit, and was revived on the Clarion reissue as Jones & Billings. Pretty old and crude Hillbilly !

narmour & smith

Carroll county blues

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clarion jones & billings - carroll

Out of Trumansburg, N.Y. Seemingly in ’57 comes a pretty tame version of the Drifters’ « Money honey » by JANECE MORGAN with the Melody Men on the Marlee (# 101) label. An agreeable guitar and a too discrete steel over the singer, a poor man’s (woman’s!) Wanda Jackson. She had also a « First from» on Marlee 103, described as « teen rockabilly » on a ebay sale.

Money honey

downloadmarlee  morgan - money

 

The name DEE STONE can be a bit familiar to Bluegrass afficionados, as he had at last 3 issues in 1952-53 on the Blue Ridge (from Virginia) and Mutual (from Illinois) labels, all backed by His Virginia Mountain Boys or his Melody Hill-billys. This time we find him on Blue Ridge 304 for « Countin’ the days », a very good Bluegrass uptempo tune (banjo and fiddle) over a duet vocal. In fact, this could as well be described, minus the banjo, as Hillbilly. Later on (in 1956, according to RCA « G » prefix), the man appears on Eastern (location unknown) for two great boppers, steel to the fore, and a piano : « Sun of love » and « Drifting down this lonely road ». An artist who we wish to hear more from. Final disc in 1960: « Ocean of dreams/After the dance » also on Eastern 12460.

blue ridge stone daysCountin’ the days

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Sun of love

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Drifting down this lonely road

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eastern stone sun eastern dee stone  road

Finally, a R&B rocker, cut in 1954 at a Clarksdale, MS radio station. Ike Turner was present at the session but didn’t play on this harsh-voiced « I’m tired of beggin’ », inspired by Junior Parker‘s « Feelin’ good » 1953 hit [Sun 187] by Eugene « THE SLY FOX ». Here he is pictured 20 years later, as Clarksdale high school principal. Of course the Spark label (# 108) was run by Leiber & Stoller out of Los Angeles, and had in its stall the Robins, Big Boy Groves and Ray Agee. Fox would cut « My four women/Alley music »(# 112) just at the time Atlantic bought this important small label late 1955.

I’m tired of beggin‘”

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spark sly fox

Sources: Tony Russell book (“C&W 1921-1945”); YouTube; 45rpm-cat and 78rpm-world; my own archives; Les Fancourt “Blues records, 1943-1970”, Michel Ruppli’s “MGM label, vol. 1”

eugene fox

Early July 2015 fortnight’s favorites

Arlen Vaden was D.J. at WCKY out of Cincinati, OH, when he launched in 1958 his own Vaden label. The first issue (# 100) of the new label was by BOBBY BROWN & The Curios, who consisted of Brown (vocal, rhythm guitar), Shorty Stewart (lead guitar), Tommy Jones (bass) and Johnny Welker (drums). This record was cut at WCKY, and later on reissued on Vaden 107. « I Get The Blues “ is of course bluesy with a fine lead guitar (long solo).

I Get The Blues

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Bobby’s Blues

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vaden brown -blues

vaden 1brown bobby's

 

 

Early 1959 saw Bobby Brown back for another issue on Vaden 109, this time cut at KLCN radio in Blytheville, Arkansas. Twin-lead guitars (J.C. Caughron & Tommy Holder), Larry Donn (bass), Johnny Welker (drums), but the most important and pulsating instrument is Teddy Redell‘s piano, who adds a brillant and pulsating flavor to « Bobby’s blues ». Thanks to Alexander Petrauskas who provided me with all the information. Do visit his great blogsite « Arkansas 45rpm records » or “Mellow’s Log Cabin“!

 

 

We go further East in North Wilkesboro, in N. Carolina, circa 1952-53, for a fine double-sider first on the Blue Ridge label (# 306) by LARRY RICHARDSON [banjo] & Happy Smith & the Blue Ridge Boys. Two songs are in discussion : « I’m Lonesome » and « Just Let Me Fall », both superior Bluegrass tunes, billed « Hillbilly » on the labels ! Thanks « 53jaybop » to have posted them two songs on Youtube. Later on, Richardson had on the MKB label, out of Virginia (no #) what it seems to be a rocking effort, »I’m Lonesome/I’ll Fall In Love With You » (alas untraced). We finally find him back on Blue Ridge 516 in 1960/62 for « The Nahville Jail », again a fast and fine Bluegrass number or « Wild Over Me » (great fast mandolin by Clinton Bullins?) on MKB 130 from 1968.

I’m Lonesome

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Just Let Me Fall

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larry richardson

Larry Richardson

blue ridge richardson lonesome
blue ridge richardsonfall

larry richardson2

Larry Richardson on banjo

Nashville Jail

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Wild Over Me

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Way up North now for the Omaha, Nebraska Applause label : the TERRIFIC TABORS (with their leader Paul Tabor ? He at last holds the credit) offer a pretty weird mix of Bluegrass (unisson chorus) and garage rocker on « Rockin’ The Boat » from 1961. There’s even what sounds a steel behind the backing of guitars. The flip side, which sounds an instrumental (« Tabor Tromp ») remains untraced.

applause terrific tabors - rockin'

Rockin’ The Boat

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charlie bowman

Charlie Bowman

 

Real old Hillbilly now by CHARLIE BOWMAN & His Hill Billies on the Brunswick label. Bowman was a fiddler and a banjo player on several sides cut in New York with the Hopkins Brothers between October 1926 and May 1927 : « East Tennessee Blues » and « Riding That Mule ».

East Tennessee Blues

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Riding That Mule

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Finally a SHORTY LONG, who has apparently nothing to do with the S. Long I discussed thoroughly earlier in this site, does a romping R&B rocker (saxes), although the voice sounds white, with « Redstone John » on the K-Son label (# 7283). Location unknown.
k-son  long redstone

Redstone John

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Sources : YouTube, www.Arkansas45rpm-records,Tony Russell’s Country Music Records 1921-1942. Any correction or addition welcome !