A bopping New Year’s 2019! Early January fortnight’s favorites selection

My best wishes to anyone reading this blog. May this New Year 2019 bring you Happiness, good Health and the Boppinest music. I will try to give you the last gift possible all along the year.

We begin with a Texan, very probably Houstonian minor artist, JOHNNIE FORRER. To the best of my knowledge, he only had three records ever cut. First in 1958 on the D label (# 1021) : « Fool’s Paradise » and « Understand » are two uptempo Rockaballads, good steel solo (even with strange effects, when it plays like a « musical saw » on « Paradise » side). Publishing house is « Starrite », which denotes a Starday imply, in any row, in the record. His second one « My Blues/The Real Thing », issued in 1959/60 on D 1074, goes on with the same formula (not posted).
Then his third known 45 was released in 1963 on the Bow & Arrow ( 1003) label. « Long Gone » is a good shuffler, piano to the fore (nice solo) and fair vocal.

Ray Pridie

From Bellingham, Wash. came RAY PRIDIE on the Car (# 102) label who’d sing the very good « Lonesome Broken Hearted Me ». Good steel, an electric guitar played on the bass strings on an uptempo rhythm. Barytone voice of the singer.

Cook Brothers

« Juke Box Play For Me » was cut in 1958 and released on a (no #) Island EP dedicated to the COOK BROTHERS in Wheeling, W.Va. A cross between fast Hillbilly Bop and Rock’n’roll, this vocal duet is a jumping (nice guitar) and moving little tune.

Lyle Keefer

Another Dixie issue, # 877, 1959), « Hand Full Of Love » (his only known record) by LYLE KEEFER is a nice uptempo bopper: barytone voice, steel annd piano present. Whole song moves !

Johnny Rector

A renegade from Blacky Crawford’s Western Cheroekes (backing the first Starday records in 1953), JOHNNY RECTOR had already cut in 1950 for Imperial, then had a long string of releases on his own on Coral Records. His « Have You Ever Been Kissed » (# 64168) is fast steel led goodie ; each (steel, piano and lead guitar) taking its solo. Rector’s voice is smooth running and very agreeable.

Jim Dickinson

A R&B rocker for a change. The producer being a « Bill Justis », one can indeed speculate on a Memphis, TN recording issued by Soutthtown # 28006. « Shake ‘Em On Down » hold its promises : vocal belter by JIM DICKINSON, a nice harmonica, and a long, GREAT guitar solo.

Carl Tilton

In 1957 on the Morris, OK Stardale label you’re stumbling now on CARL TILTON for two issues. First is a rollicking « Bearcat mama ». Guitar and piano are doing their best here, while Tilton is aided by one Dale Davis on vocal (latter having himsef releases on Stardale)(# 500). The flipside « Little Cabin » is a great shuffler : good guitar, a steel solo and nice piano. Exuberant vocal.

Hal Smith

Finally HAL SMITH releases his record « Hard Hard Times » on the Yucca label # 116 (late ’50s). A fine Country-rocker, guitar led played on the bass chords and a very fine vocal. Smith also had (# 108), « Make My Livin’ With My Guitar ».

Sources :Sources : mainly YouTube ; some tracks from HBR serie ; 45-cat.

Late November 2018 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Hi ! This is the late November 2018 bopping fortnight’s favorites selection : I try to add regularly this section of bopping.org. Obscure artists and record labels, as better known ones, but the emphasis is done on lesser known tunes. They do represent anyhow my feeling for the Hillbilly Bop music between 1945 and 1965 (occasionnally I am sticking these time limits out).

First artist is DICK DYSON, whom I still doesn’t know anything about. I had posted a tune (« I Work In The Daytime, (She Works At Night) » in the early July 2018 faves’ selection, here is one more : « Warmed Over Coffee And Woke Up Kisses » is a fast song, a lot of steel and a very agile lead guitar. Vocal by Johnny Pearson. This was released in 1947 on Tri-State 103.

The November period is favourable to witches and haunted houses. JACK RIVERS on Coral 64072 cut in 1954 the classic half-sung tune of the genre with « Haunted House Boogie : piano, steel, and skeleton’s clinketings.

From Columbia, TN, came in 1960 the rousing « The Drifter », released on Maid 1000 by the Tennessee Drifters (with TOMMY MORELAND on vocal). Great trembling guitar over an high-pitched vocal. More of the same with « The Tennessee Blues » on the Columbus (located in…Columbia, TN, near Nashville) label # 1501. He released also the out-and-out rocker «  » in 1962 on Skoop 1054.

On the West coast, GENE O’QUIN delivers « I Specialize In Love » (Capitol 2578), cut in December 1954. A fast bopper, steel played by Speedy West and fiddle by Harold Hensley.

On the Houston based Shamrock label (no #) I am releasing RAY COATS (Collins and The Ranch Boys) for the fine « Texas Blues », from 1952 or 1953.

In West Monroe (La.)(near Shreveport) was cut the good « Just Me And The Jukebox » by the veteran BUZZ BUSBY on vocals and mandolin. A fast song, a banjo solo as expected on the small Jiffy label # 207.

Next artist was primarily a ballad singer. RUSTY McDONALD, a native of Lawton, Texas (1921-1979, aged only 57 years) worked with Bob Wills, the Callahan Brothers, Tex Ritter as guitarist or front singer. Here he appears on the 1951 released « Baby Sittin’ Boogie » (Intro 6035) : lazy vocal, shufflin’ and sympathetic rhythm. He scored big the same year with « Postage Due », a very styled uptempo tune.

The veteran TEX RITTER has an assured vocal and a dreamed backing behind him, that of Speedy West on steel, Merle Travis on guitar, Cliffie Stone on bass and Harold Hensley on fiddle for « Boogie Woogie Cowboy » (Capitol 928, from January 1950)

Sources : as usual, YouTube, Uncle Gil’s Rockin’ Archives, Internet.

Early March 2018 bopping fortnight’s favorites (1947-1952)

Hello folks. This blog was launched exactly 9 years ago. Already 438 articles later, and still alive and well ! Thanks for visiting. This is the early March 2018 fortnight’s favorites.

First an almost certainly late ’40s recording done in Nashville, « Hillbilly City, Nashville Tenn. » by ERNIE BENEDICT & his Range Riders (vocal: Roy West). It’s a fast moving tune – fiddle accompaniment and handclaps item. Full of energy. Issued even in Nederland on the Continental label # 8034!

Hillbill City, Nashville, Tenn.

downloadErnie Benedict "Hillbilly City, Nashville Tenn."

AL CLAUSER & The Oklahoma Outlaws for the next two tracks was not a newcomer. His career dates from the mid-30s. Here « Move it over Rover » (Dog House Blues) on the Bullet label # 720 from 1950 is an uptempo bopper. Half-spoken (vocal Norman Hart) upon a call-and-response format, indeed based on Hank Williams’ « Move it on over » (which was itself a revamp of an old traditional). The flipside « My sweet mama » is a medium shuffler with steel.


Move it Over Rover

 

 

 

 

Al Clauser & his Oklahoma Outlaws - "Move It Over Rover (Dog House Blues)"

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My sweet mamaAl Clauser &his Oklahoma Outlaws "My Sweet Mama"

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The remaining tracks of this fortnight are all by LLOYD WEAVER, another artist originally out of Texas (KTUL, Waco). His first record was “Virginia (of West Virginia)” on Blue Bonnet 110 from 1947: a very Western swing styled record. later on the Bullet stable, as « Cowboy Pal » Lloyd Weaver ( # 663). The recording was first issued on Dude 1600, in Dallas. « Kue-Tee-Kue » is an utempo in the Tex Williams style, on a banjo rhythm (solo) backed by a steel. The flipside « Too many tears » is a medium weeper, with an extrovert vocal – a trademark of Weaver – over a rinky-dink piano. Then on # 1607 a fine uptempo “Like the leaves (I fell for you)” backed with a romping, fast “My Honey Bee“. Note that both Dude and second Coral records were credited to ‘Loyd’ with just one ‘l’.

"Cowboy Pal" Lloyd Weaver "Too Many tears""Cowboy Pal" Lloyd Weaver "Kue-Te-Kue"Loyd Weaver "My Honey Bee"

Kue-te-kue

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Too many tears

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My honey bee

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Like the leaves (I fell for you)

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On Coral 64143 (issued November 1952) and two excellent boppers. Vocal is perfect hillbilly, and again that rinky-dink piano for « Steppin’ out and sneakin’ in ». Flipside is equally good, « One wheel draggin’ », a fast bopper – steel solo is inventive. This June 26th, 1952 recording session provided two more tracks:

Billboard November 15, 1952

Steppin’ out and sneakin’ in”Loyd Weaver, "Summer 1944"Loyd Weaver "Steppin' Out And Sneakin' In"

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Loyd Weaver "one Wheel Draggin'"One wheel draggin'”

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The second Coral offering (# 64155) has the fine bluesy medium « Woman trouble blues » with even some yodel à la Hank. Reverse side is « After my love has turned to hate », a good vocal medium fiddle led tune.

Woman trouble blues

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“After my love has turned to hate

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Loyd Weaver "Woman Trouble Blues"Loyd Weaver "After My Love Has Turned To Hate"
Sources : as usual 78rpm site ; YouTube for music, also Hillbilly Researcher archives for Coral sides ; « A shot in the dark » for Al Clauser details.

 

As usual, if you have any comment, please use the “Submit a comment” button below! You are welcome

Late July 2017 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Hello, people ! Let’s begin this new July 2017 fortnight’s favorites selection with EARL PETERSON (b. 1927, d. 1973), a well-known figure out of Michigan. Apart from an early issue on his own Nugget label in 1949, he cut two sessions for Columbia in 1955 ; one of the songs involved was « I ain’t gonna fall in love » (# 21467). Light vocal, bass guitar, piano, all these combine for a fine bopper written by Vernon Claud. Peterson’s story is to be found in this site, was published January 2016.

“I ain’t gonna fall in lovePeterson Earl "I ain't gonna fall in love"

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Next artist KENNY ROBERTS was an ubiquitous one : Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Pennsylvania, although he was born (1925- d. 2012) in Tennessee as George S. Kingsbury. His speciality was yodeling, and more than one of his songs showed this : « I was born to yodel », « She taught me to yodel » or « The Arizona yodeler ».

Hillbilly fever

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Roberts Kenny "Hillbilly fever"

The song I chose of him is the fine « Hillbilly fever », issued February 1950 on the Coral label (# 64032) : his puffed vocal comes to a good effect, and he yodels lovely, mentioning Hillbilly songs of the era. Main instruments are harmonica and fiddle.

Now two Rockabillies by DANIEL NIX on the Zion, IL N&R label (Starday custom) from 1959. « Compensation blues » (# 741) is a medium-paced opus ; strong vocal and guitar to the fore. The follow-up is « Unlucky man » (# 756), the fastest of both tracks.

Compensation bluesNix Daniel  "Compensation blues"Nix Daniel "Unlucky man"

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Unlucky man”

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On to Texas and Louisiana with RAY ROGERS, Western swing bandleader. His first selection comes from the 1950 Star Talent label (# 758B) : « Mississipi blues » is mid-paced and includes a muted trumpet and a fine steel. The second issue « How can you be so mean » is a fast bopper on the Delta label (# 2840) from an unknown year : chimes and trumpet are the main instruments.

Rogers Ray "Mississipi blues"Rogers Ray  "How can you be so mean"Mississipi blues

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How can you be so mean”

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Way up North in Indianapolis with BOB HILL & his Melody Boys on Nabor 105. « This old train (is leaving my blues behind )» is a fast Rockabilly from 1959, lot of echo and a prominent fiddle. The second issue, « Empty dreams and empty arms » (Nabor 114B) is a shuffler from 1961-62, which has a lot of nice steel, a loud bass and a prominent rhythm guitar. A good record for this era. The song was revamped by Eddie Hill, unknown label. (The muddy sound, I’m sorry, comes from an old Tom Sims cassette).

This old train”

downloadHill Bob  "This old train"Hill Bob  "Empty dreams and empty arms"
“Empty dreams and empty arms”

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Finally « Wild cherry » by LEROY WASHINGTON is a pure R&B rocker on the Excello label (# 2144) from 1958. Guitar Gable plays the lead guitar.“Wild cherry”

downoadWashington Leroy "Wild cherry"

Sources : UncleGil for Daniel Nix files ; YouTube for Kenny Roberts. Ole’ Tom Sims’ cassettes for Bob Hill.

The “Long Gone Daddy”, LOU GRAHAM (1951-1957)

 

Notes by Phillip J. Tricker to the Collectables CD 5335 « Long gone daddy »(1990)

The name LOU GRAHAM (rn Lewis Lyerly) is best known for his superb rocker ‘Wee Willie Brown » cut for Coral (# 61931) in late 1957, but Lou had been active in a recording studio as early as the beginning of 1951.

He was born on July 15th, 1929 in the tiny community of Woodleaf (pop. 300) in North Carolina. One of ten children, he soon showed an interest in music and after three years of wearing Navy Blue in the services he got into radio as a singer and DJ. He spent 18 months at WPWA in Chester , Pa. where he met Bill Haley and the Saddlemen : it’s quite probable that Haley helped Lou secure a contract with Gotham (hence, Gotham 416). The second batch of recordings are certainly backed by the Saddlemen. The labels of Gotham 433 were ordered on July 9th, 1952, and at this time Lou was working in TV at WDEL in Wilmington, Delaware and as a DJ with his « Roundup time » program at radio station WTNJ in Trenton, NJ. During the mid-to-late fifties he was busy on a schedule of appearances at nightclubs and hillbilly parks asnwell as TV and radio, and playing on the « Big Western Jamboree » in Camden, NJ.

Notes by Bill Millar & Rob Finnis for BF 15733 « That’ll flat git it » (Decca) (1994)

When LOU GRAHAM dipped into rock’n’roll with Willie Brown in November 1957, he was already 28 and a veteran of local radio in Chester, Pennsylvania whose most famous resident, Bill Haley, became his mentor. One of ten children Graham was born Lewis Lyerly in Woodleaf, North Carolina in 1929. After serving in the US Navy, he worked as a country vocalist and broadcaster joining WPW, Chester in 1950. It was there that he befriended with Bill Haley, then jobbing on the local bar-room circuit with the Saddlemen while holding down the post of announcer at the station.

Graham signed with Philadelphia’s Gotham label in 1951, and made his recording debut accompanied by members of Haley’s band with whom he occasionally appeared on stage. By the time of his second Gotham release, Graham had moved to WTNJ in Trenton, New Jersey leaving Haley to pursue the musical career which would soon make him an international star.

Who’s Lou Graham?

Slap that bass!

By 1956, Haley, flush with riches, had assumed the role of benefactor, granting recording favours to a number of acolytes in an ill-fated attempt to create a music publishing and recording empire. Graham was signed to Haley’s Clymax label and he cut « Wee Willie Brown » backed by the Comets. The master was assigned directly to Coral when Haley’s enterprizes ran into financial difficulties.


LOU GRAHAM, a track-by-track appreciation (notes by bopping.org editor)

« Two timin’ blues » is an uptempo shuffler. A bit of yodel vocal. A good steel. Backing by a fine piano (+ solo).      « Long gone daddy » is, of course, the Hank Williams’ song, and this is a good version. Morever I have the same comments than for « Two timin’ blues ». All in all, a successful 2-sider for a first recording (Gotham 416)

Two timin’ blues

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Long gone daddy

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Graham Lou  "Two timin' blues"Graham Lou  "Long gone daddy"

 

Now on to the 4-tracks second session. « I’m lonesome » has an inventive steel over an uptempo shuffle pace. The piano is well to the fore and Graham adopts a somewhat harsh vocal. « Please make up your fickle mind » is a nice shuffler too (Gotham 433, from 1953). « A sweet bunch of roses », as expected, is a sentimental, although agreeable song (Gotham 429). More of the same with the medium-paced « My heart tells me (I’m still in love with you) ».

I’m lonesome

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A Sweet bunch of roses

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Please make up your fickle mind

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My heart tells me

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Graham Lou "I'm Lonesome"

Graham Lou  "A sweet bunch of roses"Graham Lou  "Please make up your fickle mind"

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, the Coral sides Graham Lou  "My heart tells me"from 4 years later are a complete contrast with the Gotham sides. « Wee Willie Brown » (Coral 61931) is a solid rocker : Bill Haley’s saxman Rudy Pompilli blows his fuse, and Franny Beecher excells on lead guitar as on the Comets’ better days. « You were mean baby », although noted as recorded at the same session, is very different : big band type rocker, male chorus ; it reminds me of the Johnny Burnette Trio‘s « Shattered dreams » cut in NYC, already for Coral too.

Wee Willie Brown

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You were mean baby

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WEE WILLIE BROWN

(Al Rex – James Ferguson – Billy Williamson)

LOU GRAHAM (CORAL 9-61931, 1958)

Wee Willie Brown from my hometown

Got itchy feet, can’t settle down

New Cadillac, retailer’s pack

But that don’t bother him

He goes around, ’round, ’round

And all the girls all love him (they really love him)

Yes, the girls all love him (they really love him)

He ain’t no square, been everywhere

He goes around and around and around and around

Ain’t got a cent, can’t pay his rent

Landlord don’t know, which way he went

But when he’s gone, he’s really sent

No matter where he goes

He goes around, ’round, ’round

And all the girls all love him (they really love him)

Yes, the girls all love him (they really love him)

He ain’t no square, been everywhere

He goes around and around and around and around

Ain’t got a cent, can’t pay his rent

Landlord don’t know, which way he went

But when he’s gone, he’s really sent

No matter where he goes

He goes around, ’round, ’round

And all the girls all love him (they really love him)

Yes, the girls all love him (they really love him)

He ain’t no square, been everywhere

He goes around and around and around and around

(Lyrics taken from Black Cat Rockabilly Europe)

 

Graham Lou  "Wee Willlie Brown"Graham Lou  "You were mean baby"