Late June 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdy, folks.

The first three releases were all done on the West coast and published by Capitol records, the big California concern.Then at the end of the selection, here are more Little Richard tunes, some very rare. Enjoy!

Billy Strange

The multi-session guitar player BILLY STRANGE (1930-2012) sang a truck driver’s song in 1952, « Diesel Smoke, Dangerous Curves », complete with truck honkers effects, braking grinding sounds and woman’s yellings, which goes faster and faster until the final break. (Capitol 2032).

Cliffie Stone

Then the ubiquitous CLIFFIE STONE, bass player, bandleader and entertainer (Hometown Jamboree) for the jumping, jiving « Jump Rope Boogie »  (Capitol 1496).

Third Capitol exposure goes with OLE RASMUSSEN, leader of the Nebraska Corn Hunters. Defintely a Western flavoured Hillbilly. Medium paced « Gonna See My Sunday Baby Tonight ».(Capitol 1323). lazy vocal with yells to the backing musicians.

Hoyt Scoggins & The Georgia Boys

On a Starday Custom serie # 606 (from January 1957), the very nice, fast « What’s The Price  (To, Set Me Free » by HOYT SCOGGINS & His Georgia Boys. An agile guitar, on a very fast Hillbilly boogie. A splendid track..

Jim Harless & the Lonesome Valley Boys

JIM HARLESS next one, from Bristol, TN in a mix-up of Hillbilly and Bluegrass (good banjo all through) for « Rock’n’Roll Fever Ain’t Got Me ». A bit of fiddle and a strong rhythm guitar.(Shadow 104, unknown date).

Ted Brooks

It’s impossible to fix which version came first on of « The Hot Guitar », either by Eddie Hill on Mercury 6374 (backed by MM. Chet Atkins and Hank Garland) or by TED BROOKS (Vocal by Henry Kimbrell) on Decca 46374, both issued in October 1951. Guitar tour-de-force in both cases.

Rick Rickels

A double-sider Rockabilly now with the mysterious RICK RICKELS (& His Wild Guitar) on the MH label, late ’50s or early 60s. « I’m Gone » and « You Gonna Go Away » are both frantic rockabillies,

Ray Coats, Cotton Collins & his Ranch Boys

Finally RAY COATS, backed by Cotton Collins & His Ranch Boys for the fine bluesy bopper « Texas Blues » (1953, on the Shamrock label, no #) from Houston, Texas. A fine steel (solo), a lazy vocal, and a good rinky-dink piano.

Sources : 45world (for 78rpm label scans), old Tom Sims’ cassette (Ole Rasmussen, Jim Harless, Ray Coats), RCS for Rick Rickels’ label scans (where came the soundfiles from, I can’t remember..) ; Ted Brooks from 78-Ron ; Hoyt Scoggins from the Starday Project (Malcolm Chapman among others).

And now for the last time, here are some more Little Richard’s rarities.
– “Taxi Blues”, 1951;
– “Little Richard’s Boogie” (1953) with the Johnny Oui Orchestra;
– “Valley Of tears” (1961) with the Upsetters;
– “Ytavelin’ Shoes” from 1963;

More sides
– I’m Back” from the comeback (1965)
– “Hurry Sundown”, from the motion of the same name (1967)
– “Rockin’ Chair”, cut in January 1967
– “Dew Stop Inn”, last entry in the charts (1971)

Early June 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Hello everyone ! In those times of confinement, it’s good to hear fresh bopping music. Because my hard-disk is out of service and that the repair shop is still closed, I chose ancient items, previously released in old Fortnight’s favorites selections. So they won’t ring too familiar.

T. Texas Tyler

The first selection is done by T. TEXAS TYLER : a fast « Sratch and Itch » done in 1953 on 4Star, leased to Decca. 28760. Obviously there is not much growls from Tyler in this one. The backing is suoperb.

The veteran TEX RITTER (1906-1974) did also some Hillbilly bop songs. Here he releaes « Boogie Woogie Cowboy » on Capitol 928 (from early 1950). The backing provided is excellent too : the Capitol nucleus band, Eddie Kirk and Merle Travis on guitars, Speedy West on steel, Cliffie Stone on bass, Billy Liebert on piano and Harold Hensley on fiddle.

Tex Ritter

Chuck Wells

CHUCK WELLS (1922-1997) was a native of Birmingham, Alabama. He found his musical success in Texas, working at several night spots throughout the Fort Worth area. He was also appearing over radio stations KCNC and KCUL in Fort Worth, too. Here he sings (1953) the great shuffler « The Marryin’ Preacher Man » on Columbia 23212.

Tony Farr

From Texas comes TONY FARR. He had two discs on Enterprise, among them the second is the better. : « There’s No Sense In Marrying Me ».
This artist, billed “And His Swinging Guitar”, based in Beaumont, Texas. “What’s The Use” has a nice guitar, but the fiddle is prominent (# 1208) on this 1958 issue, while “There’s No else In Marrying Me” (# 1211) is a jumping tune with a similar instrumentation.

Then in Louisiana’s West Monroe. Jiffy was a short-lived affair, however important by the quality of its issues, and the celebrity of some names, Jimmy Pickard, Tommy Spurlin or Jimmy Simpson. Here is the least known ED RAYBORN & his Southern Hillbillies, and the good medium paced « I’ll go on hurting » (# 208). Nice fiddle/steel and sincere vocal.

Ed Rayborn

Jerry Dove

A couple of years later or so, a man led a typical Hillbilly combo : JERRY DOVE (instrument unknown). He had already put a minor rockabilly classic in 1956, « Pink bow tie » on T.N.T. Label (# 144), but he was more a producer and musician than a singer. Here he gathers the duet (male/female) of Ray Stone and Dove’s wife, Peggy. The side is bluesy, and very atmospheric : « Losin’ the blues » (# 173)

Guy Gardner

On Dixie 1068 (1961) by GUY GARDNER & his Country Four, here’s «High Society», an uptempo ballad : jumping vocal and instrumentation (piano and steel). Madison, TN label (sublabel to Starday).

Doug Davis

With « All by myself » by DOUG DAVIS on the Texan Nite star label (# 007, from ca. 1963), we touch the real thing ! Already posted in 2010, this time with a nice label scan. It has haunting steel, perfect ballad vocal and confident backing (steel, rhythm only). My prefered all-time ballad. Davis had another record on Malinda 113 (untraced)

Sources: mainly from past Fortnight’s issues. See through “Artists” for details given before.

As an add and to continue with my homage to the late

LITTLE RICHARD

, here are some more tracks from his long career.

First, a short instrumental, “Cavalcade” cut at the very last session for Specialty (October 1957) which gave éShe Knows How To Rock”, “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and “Hound Dog”.

From his Gospel days, I chose the loud, brassy, rollicking “He Got What He Wanted”, cut in 1962 for Mercury records.

From July 1964 and his real comeback album on Vee-Jay, here’s a real blues – so rare in his entire career. « Going Home Tomorrow» is sung with a lot of spirit. Richard is backed by an old friend on electric fiddle, Don « Sugarcane » Harris – who was also there for « Bama Lama Bama Lou » in April of the same year (last Specialty cut). The guitar player may also be Dewey Terry.

From 1965, a small hit (climbing in the lower parts of the R&B charts), “I Don’t Know What You’ve Got, But It’s Got Me”, released by Vee-Jay. The organ is played by a young Billy Preston) and the guitar player is a certain Maurice James, who was about to change his name at his arrival on the British shoreJimi Hendrix, after having been fired by Richard.I

In 1969, during a T.V. show, here’s a frenetic live version of “True Fine Mama”.

From 1971, as a backing piano player for Delaney Bramlett (of Delaney & Bonnie duet), Richard pounds the piano on “Miss Ann”, released by Atco Records.

Finally, from unknown sources, a berserk wildie version of “Good Golly Mss Molly”, maybe cut for a film, while Richard is duetting in 1992 with Tanya Tucker for a great interpretation of the classic Eddie Cochran’s song “Something Else”.

Early May 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdy folks ! Let’s embark for a new journey into bopping music ! It begins in the late forties and extends until 1965, with an emphasis for the 1954-59 period.

T. Texas Tyler & the Oklahoma Boys

T. TEXAS TYLER & his Oklahoma Boys were a very popular outfit in California during the late ’40s. Here the man « with a million friends » deliver a really hot instrumental « Guitar Boogie Woogie » on 4Star 1114 (recorded May 1946) : a fast, furious guitar showcase (James Pruett or Stan Walker) (plus a steel solo by Joaquin Murphy).

Eddy Raven

Twenty years later EDDY MARVIN, also on a Fort Worth, Tx. label (Oakridge # 117) offers a downhome shuffling bopper. Good piano, cool vocal in « I’m Packing My Duds & I’m Head-in South ».

Bill Goodwin

Here’s a Starday custom, issued on the main label in the 500 serie. Starday 710 by BILL GOODWIN. April 1958 « Teenage Blues », a fast number with Rockabilly guitar. Later on, Goodwin was also on the Starday sublabel Dixie # 2014 (1959) ; with his Western Ramblers,he did « Your Lying Ways ». A bopper with great guitar.

David Gates

The Oklahoma born DAVID GATES, for his second record (the first was issued by Mala), on East-West 123 (a sublabel of the giant Atlantic outlet) : « Swingin’ Baby Doll » is really bopping and rolling. (February 1959)

Clyde Moody

CLYDE MOODY (1915-1989) was the King of Waltzes ; he also had several good boppers, as this « Tend To Your Business » on King 977. It’s a bluesy mid-paced hillbilly tune, piano and fiddle .

Cash Box July 14, 1951

Sandy Walker & His Country Boys

Back to California with SANDY WALKER’s back-to-back sides of Sage 227 (November 1956). Two uptempos : steel, fiddle, piano solos for « Beatin’ Round The Bush » and « So Long Baby Blues ».

Jeanie Pierson

At last a woman ! JEANIE PIERSON from White Cloud, Kansas, came up in Nashville in 1953, providing her solid version of Lefty’s « Run ‘Em Off » (co-written by Onie Wheeler)(Decca 28967).

Cash Box Dec. 28, 1953

Big Bill Lister

Finally a long-time Hank W. impersonator, BIG BILL LISTER, does offer « Countryfied » on Capitol 1551 (June 1951). An uptempo with fiddle, by the way Hank’s styled.

Sources : Country Hicks LP (Eddy Marvin) ; HillbillyBoogie1 YouTube chain (Jeanie Pierson), 4 Star Starday Custom serie (Bill Goodwin) ; Praguefrank (T. Texas Tyler data) ; my own archives from anywhere, piled up through the years..

Eddie Kirk, California Cityzed Hillbilly (1947-52)

Like many country artists of bygone years, Eddie Kirk is hardly known to contemporary audiences – in this case particularly surprising as he was among the first of the country music artists on Capitol Records to enjoy chart successes and one of the busiest musicians on the West coast scene in the post-war years. Yet, in the majority of the country music reference books, he doesn’t even warrant a footnote.
He was born Edward Merle Kirk on 21th March 1919 and, as his birthplace was a ranch near Greeley , Colorado, it was almost natural that the cowboy songs of the ranch hands, along with riding and roping, should have been part of his childhood. Such songs were inspirational and, by the age of 9, he was singing and tap-dancing to the accompaniment of a small local band in Greeley. Then, knowing many of the tunes by heart and accompanying himself on guitar, he won himself a daily 15 minutes show on a local radio station, earning $ 2.50 per week.
In spite of spending two years in college, majoring in civil engineering, music won out in his future ambitions. He joined the Beverly Hillbillies, a group led by Glen Rice, and touring the western states finally led him to Hollywood where he continued his radio performances. Returning to Colorado, he mixed singing with a bref period as a flyweight amateur boxer before joning Larry Sunbrook’s band in 1935. There, in addition to his fine voice and impressive guitar work, he showed off his yodeling skills and, for two consecutive years (1935-36), won the title of National Yodeling Champion.
Eddie Kirk’s career was suspended when he joined the US Navy and, after the ceasing of hostilities in 1945, he returned to Hollywood and quickly built up his reputation performing on Gene Autry’s radio show, playing guitar in Johnny Bond’s band, touring with the Andrews Sisters and making several movies, four with cowboy hero Charles Starrett for Columbia pictures.

He began his recording career in 1947 on Capitol Records, the label that had already secured country success with other western singers like Tex Ritter, Tex Williams, Jack Guthrie and Jimmy Wakely. Kirk soon added to the company’s success story with The Gods Were Angry With Me in 1948 and, the following year, with a cover of George Morgan’s Candy Kisses.. He continued recording for Capitol for another three years and, although he never achieved another chart entry, he did met his wife Barbara while signed to the label. She was the secretary of Lee Gillette, Capitol’s A&R chief and his record producer, and the two were married n 1949. After almost two dozen singles on Capitol, his recording career continued on King, RCA Victor and Volt.
In 1951 one of radio’s foremost first country music shows, Town Hall Party, was launched and, besides attracting crowds of almost 3,000 twice weekly, the Friday night shows soon gained a massive audience, thanks to transmissions on Pasadena’s KXLA, and the NBC network broadcasting the Saturday shows. Eddie Kirk became one of its regular performers, joining an impressive « who’s who » of West Coast country music talent that included Tex Ritter, Eddie Dean, Rose Lee and Joe Maphis, Tex Williams, Wesley and Marilyn Tuttle, Freddie Hart, the Collins Kids and Johnny Bond, with the show making even greater impact when segments starting being seen on television via Los Angeles’ KKTV channel.

Keeping up an almost full time schedule, Kirk was also being heard daily on a KXLA morning disc jockey show, Harmony Hoedown as well as being a member of the Hometown Jamboree group, one of the offshots of Clffie Stone’s highly successful West Coast operations. The group, which ncluded Kirk playing rhythm guitar and singing, had over 300 members and guests during its ten years duration and was a serious rival to Spade Cooley’s Hoffman Hayride broadcasting at the same time until its station, KTLA, enticed Stone’s show into its weely schedules with a substantial financial offer. The Hometown band additionnally doubled as Capitol Record’s country studio band.
Eddie Kirk was also a proficient songwriter, his biggest success being So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed, a number one record for Merle Travis, and co-penned with Travis and Stone. The same partnership also created Blue Bonnet Blues. Bright Lights And Blonde Haired Women proved a popular title for Tennessee Ernie Ford, while Kirk’s other originals included Sugar Baby, Please Don’t Cry Over Me, How Do You Mend A Broken Heart and Remember That I Love You.
In his later years, he became less engaged with the entertainment industry, devoting time to his family and a new-found love of flying. He died on 27 June 1997, aged 78 years.
Biography written by Tony Byworth

Eddie Kirk’s best bopping sides

(according to bopping Editor)

« Saturday Night Time Blues » (Capitol 974) : a boogie lead-guitar (Jimmy Bryant?) on a shuffle rhythm, certainly given by Cliffie Stone’s bass, a good steel (probably Speedy West) and a someway forceful vocal make this a very nice bopper cut in March 1950.

Blue Bonnet Blues

« Blue Bonnet Blues » (Capitol 1287) from April 1950 is one of the very best Kirk’s songs. Speedy West shines on a discreet steel as soon as the first christal notes of the song. He’s joined by Billy Liebert on accordion. There’s even an harmonica player for good on this shuffle beat superlative bopper.

The third selection is another shuffler, well suited to Kirk’s voice, who yodels gently during « Drifting Texas Sand » (Capitol 1591, from May 1951) : the usual batch of guitars, bass and harmonica (solo) comes up. From the same session I chose « Freight Train Breakdown » (Capitol 1790), a very fast song with drums and a very agile lead guitar by Jimmy Bryant (train effects by Speedy West on steel).

Cash Box July 7, 1951

Freight Train Breakdown

Cash Box September 29, 1951

In 1952 Kirk signed with RCA-Victor and cut two sessions. The first one provided a super bopper (fiddle) « Country Way » (RCA 47-5247), while he supplied us with a strange banjo led country-bopper, « Wanderin’ Eyes » (RCA 47-5287). And that was it.

Below is a partial selection of Capitol tunes Eddie Kirk played rhythm-guitar on.

Merle Travis

Kentucky Means Paradise
Cincinnati Lou
Crazy Boogie

Gene O’Quin

The Pinball Millionaire
Bustane Blues
Boogie Woogie Fever
No Parking Here
Texas Boogie

Jess Willard

Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor
Boogie Woogie Preachin’ Man

Skeets McDonald

Scoot, Git And Begone
Big Family Trouble

Tennessee Ernie Ford

I’ve Got The Milk ’em In The Morning Blues
Smokey Mountain Boogie
Mule Train
I’ll Never Be Free

Ramblin’ Jimmie Dolan

Hot Rod Race
Juke Box Boogie
Hot Rod Mama

Speedy West/Jimmy Bryant

Railroadin’
Crackerjack

Images and soundfiles from various sources.

Early October 2019 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdy, folks. Here is the early October 2019 fortnight’s favorites selection. There will be a unusual amount of records on major labels, all cut between 1955 and 57.

He had first appeared in the late August 2016 fortnight’s selection for « Big Money » (1956) and the original of « Six Days On The Road » (1961). Here is the return of PAUL DAVIS for his second release on M-G-M (# 12209). « I’m On The Loose » is also a solid bopper, cut in July 1955.

A nice combination of bass, mandolin (probably) and fiddle is backing « I’ll Be Broken Hearted » by HYLO BROWN on Capitol 3448 – a medium uptempo weeper from June 1956.

Cash Box sept. 9, 1956

Buddy Shaw

Now on a Starday Custom (# 643, from June 1957) by BUDDY SHAW and the minor classic « Don’t Sweep That Dirt On Me ». A fast rockabilly, typical in Starday sound (guitar and piano are battling). Shaw had aslo Starday 609 (« No More ») and 618, similar style.

Bill Dudley

An intimate vocal on an uptempo rhythm, with prominent fiddle and an insistant rhythm guitar for BILL DUDLEY and « Wailing Wall » released on Capitol 2531.

On RCA-Victor 47-6147 now, BUDDY THOMPSON does offer « Don’t Kindle Up The Flame » : a mad fiddle (solo), a good steel solo, a fast bopping piano – a nice tune (June 1955). Thompson went later on Atco for Rock’n’Roll sides.

Cash Box 18 June, 1955

Stan Hardin

Two sides by STAN HARDIN from June 1957, and the surprisingly Hank Williams styled « Hungry Heart » : an uptempo shuffler with fiddle and steel. « Give Me All Your Lovin’, Baby », the flpside, is a fast bopper with energetic vocal. Decca 30302, obviousy backed by the Nashville cream of musicians.

Alvadean Coker

Finally a female bopper, ALVADEAN COKER and her « We’re Gonna Bop » (1955). A call-and-response format for a jumping bopper. A nice one. To be found on Abbott 173.

Sources: mainly Internet.