On the NJ label Cool (# 111, released 1958), now the fast « Tennessee Baby » by MERLE MATTS II. Rhythm given by a banjo. An urgent vocal, good steel (played like a bottleneck).
« I’m Sorry Now » by BUD DECKLEMAN is the lastest tune this time (1961). He’d cut his most known « Daydreamin’ » on Meteor in 1954 – a fair sized hit ; then a string of hillbilly releases on M-G-M (1955-56), before dropping into semi-obscurity (according to a sideman, he wasn’t reliable). He reappears for a swansong : medium paced, good steel. A typical early 60s Country.(Stomper Time M80w-3355).
Out of Nashille on the very small Jamboree label (501), DICK STRATTON offers « Fat Gal Boogie »in 1950-51. A guitar boogie rocker. Steel and string bass solos. Stratton was also on Tennessee 795 for « Pistol Boogie ».
A medium shuffler now : « You’ll Come Runnin’ Home To Me » by RALPH COLLIER on the Blazon label # 105 out of Nashville.
Lee ‘RED’ Melson did « Boss Man Blues » on the Grand Prairie label # 501 : a very expressive vocal for a medium uptempo with solid fiddle but uninventive guitar. Melson was also on the Georgia Ridgecresst label.
Howdy folks ! This time two Ladies, and we begin with CHARLOTTE ARDEN, « The Ozark Sweetheart ». on the Flint, MI Dixie label (# 948). She delivers a good uptempo track, « Alone with you » with a fine nuanced voice, good steel. Arden had other issues on Starline 1003 and Glenn 2900 circa 1962-63.
The TEXAS TOP HANDS were an outfit formed in 1945 which lasted until 2009 ! On their own Everstate label, they had more than 50 sides issued. Here we have « You’re rocking the boat », cut in 1949 (Everstate 136) : singer Buck Buchanan is backed by the fine boogie piano of Walter Kleipas and the steel of Wayne Rusty Locke.
We remain in Texas, Beaumont with an early Starday issue (# 107). The fiddler BOB HEPPLER, accompanied by members of « Blackie » Crawford’s Western Cherokies, lets him loose on vocals, as the embroidering steel player (possibly Bobby Black) and the pianist Milton « Burney » Annette with the great uptempo « One step ahead » from September 1953.
A lazy vocal, that of BIG SLIM & the Oklahoma Playboys, over a solid backing, give us « Wheeling boogie ». It’s a romping piano and accordion boogie tune from 1949 on the Page label (# 503). Big Slim had another disc on Page 507 (untraced).
The second woman of this selection came from California on the Fabor label (# 119) : VONNIE FRITCHIE has an energetic vocal for the fast « Sugar booger avenue » (1955). Steel is barely audible.
“Sugar booger avenue”
Finally DAVE DUDLEY in 1960 had the fine « Picture of my heart » on Circle Dot 1006 from Minneapolis. An aggressive steel (great solo). This is 3 years before « Six days on the road »..The Circle Dot label has also the Houle Brothers with the great rocker «Dream night » (#1012).
“Picture of my heart”
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.
For this third feature specialized in bopping duets, we begin with the aptly named HARMONY BROTHERS. Their « Baby, tonight » fom 1959 was cut for St-Louis, MO label Bobbin 109, and it’s a very solid backed Everly Brothers styled opus. They had another one « Saturday night bop » on Bobbin 116 which sounds good (alas, untraced). March 22nd, 2018: I tracked both tunes of Bobbin 116. They are below: “Saturday Night Bop” and “Don’t Be Cold“. Very good Everlyish rockers!
On the Minneapolis, MN Circle Dot label (# 1012) , again from the late ’50s, we chose « Dream night » by the HOULE BROTHERS. Again Everly Bros. influenced, it fetches up to $ 250-300. Mike & Bob, the Houle Brothers, had another record on Bangar 642 in 1965, « I heard the bluebird sing ».
Jimmy Lee & Wayne Walker “Love me”
download Now a great wild thing with the classic « Love me » (Chess 4863) from Spring 1955, cut at KWKH studio in Shreveport, La. by JIMMY LEE & WAYNE WALKER. It has urgent vocals and a ferocious steel (Sonny Harville), all propelled by the thuding bass of Tillman Franks and the jumping drums of D. J. Fontana.
Let’s go west with the FARMER BOYS, and the very special Western rockabilly style from the Capitol studio on « My baby done left me » (# 3476). The staff is composed by Bobby Adamson and Woody Murray (vocals), Roy Nichols on lead guitar, Fuzzy Owen on steel and Cliffie Stone on bass, and the tune was out May 31, 1956.. The story of the Farmer Boys is on this site.
An unusual duet of uncle and nephew were the JACOBY BROTHERS on TNT 1004, from San Antonio, TX. Great harmonies and backing (guitar and mandolin) for « Warmed over love ».
From N. Wilkesboro (S.C.) we turn now on the CHURCH BROTHERS and « Broken vows and a broken heart » (Blue Ridge 209), a typical 1953 bluegrass bopper: nice vocal and chorus in unison. I’ve read that the lead was Buffalo Johnson, an important figure not so well known today. Research goes on him.
From N. Charleston, (S.C.) and July 1954 BILLIE AND GORDON HAMRICK, a sacred tune on Rangeland 504 (one of the very first Starday customs). « He’s gonna take his children out » has a lead vocal male) and a chorus, plus a good banjo solo.
Billie & Gordon Hamrick “He’s gonna take his children out”
PAUL (Boswell) & ROY (Pryor) out of Nashville on the Pace label (# 1004) had previously cut a dozen sides for Mercury. The Pace issue date from late ’50s, and offer two medium tunes, « Free, twenty one and ambitious » and « I wish you’d be a country girl ». Good, a bit above average boppers.
Finally the terrific sacred « I’m a millionaire » by the Tennessee Harmony Boys (Dillard Anderson & Solon Maynard) on the Fortune label out of Detroit (# 209). A great, great mandolin solo, and a lot of excitement.. They had previously cut on their own « The Tennessee Harmony Boys » label, and even had an E.P. on Fortune (# 1334).