Late September 2021 bopping fortnight’s favorites

The TURNER BROTHERS (Red & Lige) do provide a « hillbilly novelty » (as shown on the label) which is a fine bopper. They appear also on Radio Artist 234 « Boog-Boog-Boogie »), Bullet 601 (« Guitar Reel »), as backing group for Dwain Bell (Summit 110), and as « Country Dudes » on Azalea 121 (« Have A Ball »). They also were on Bullet 601 (“Guitar Reel”), and on Radio Artist 234 (“Blog, Boog, Boogie”). Suming up, a prolific duet.

The Salem, Virginia HENDER SAUL, apparently a fiddler, does « I Ain’t Gona Rock Tonight », a fine slab of Rockabilly, to be found on Martinville, VA. Liberty 104. He also did, in a more Country mood, the good « Hard Right To My Heart » Liberty 106. On the same Liberty label (also known as Liberty Tone or Mart), on can find Leon & Carlos, the Brammer Brothers (bluegrass), Arnold Terry and others. If you can locate a copy of 104, its price goes up to $ 600-700. Hender Saul was a sideman to Ted Prillaman (bluegrass artist) and later to Raven label.

The third artist is very well known : accordionist and bandleader PEE KING had a long string of realeases between 1947 to 1952 on the RCA-Victor label. In this « Bull Fiddle Boogie », (RCA 20-3232) the vocal duty is held by their regular singer Redd Stewart, and his brother Gene slaps the bass. « Boogie » is typical of late ’40s Country boogie, however medium-paced.

Redd Stewart

From Texas too went the JACOBY BROTHERS. On TNT they had the first issue, « Food Plan Boogie » (1001) by Gene (uncle) and Roy (nephew) were extremely popular in the area with appearances and work for radio KONG. « Foot Plan Boogie » is a lovely bopper sung in duet, as the very, very fast « Bicycle Wreck » (# 1009) : mandolin lead

LOUISIANA LANNIS. On Starday 268. « Much Too Much ».« ( actually A-side) has more than a Latin appeal with its hopping rhythm. On Snow Cap, he also did the great “Tongue Twister Boogie”).

Sources: too many to mention all!

Late October 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites

There was NO early October entry: too much work on other things.

Clay & Christine The Kentcky Sweethearts: « These Tears » Sun-Ray 118. Very good mid-paced ballad (main male vocal) duet, nice steel.
B-side : « They say », same formula. A good « provincial country record » from Lexington, Ky., 1967.

Tony Douglas « Baby, When The Sun Goes Down » issued on D 1005 (Houston, Tx). Energetic bopper. Nice vocal and interplay between steel and fiddle, plus piano – really a Starday “feel” (1958), the first of a long career.

Gene Snowden on Hi-Fidelity OP-121/122 « Quit Your Triflin’ On Me » : good guitar. A favorite song for Ray Campi. B-side « Angel Darling » less fast, a good honky tonker in its style.OP- serie was a 4 Star outlet for “Other People”.

Arizona hillbilly Jimmy Spellman « Give Me Some Of Yours » released on Viv 3000 : a fast bopper with steel solo (1955). On Viv Spellman also released “It’s You, You,You” (1002) and the great rockabilly “(She Wants A) Lover Man” (# 1005) with Al Casey on lead guitar. Later he went on Dot, Vik and Redstart, all teen rockers.

Cash Box, April 11, 1953

Out of Knoxville, Tn. label Valley mostly known for Darrell Glenn (pop country) and Reese Shipley (« Catfish boogie » #106) or Shorty Long. (# 108, « I Got Nine Little Kisses »). Here’s the first record of the label : # 101 Joe Stuart « Shoot Again, Mr. Cupid « : a fast, average hillbilly – strong fiddle.

A short note from Ronald Keppner mnentioned a Valley 100 by Archie Campbell (unheard). Yhanks Ron!

Arlie Duff : Decca 29987 « Alligator Come Across » recorded May 15, 1956.
The best open space between hillbilly and rockabilly. Both styles present, great although short rockabilly solo (certainly Grady Martin). Duff was on the birth of Starday too (1953).

Vancie Flowers on Pike 5921 (1959) with « Six Days In Waiting » – does remind of « Six Days On The Road ».Tough guitar, weird instrumentation.

Joe Franklin (1929-2001) & the Mimosa Boys – « Hillbilly boy » b/w « Hitch-hikin’ blues » MGM 11612 (1953). North Carolina artist. Here’s the ultimate in Hillbilly piano bop (Darryl Petty). Urgent vocal, and strong, way too short fiddle too. Joe Franklin’s story is to be found in this site.

Sources : as usual, soundfiles from Youtube or compilations. Vital research by Yours Truly. 45cat useful for many a label scan.

Early September 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites

For early September fornight’s favorites, Very different things this time, from 1947 to 1961.

Al Rogers With his Rocky Mountain Boys

Al Rogers and his “The Hydrogen Bomb” do come from June 1947. Rogers was a native from Pennsylvania (later on WKPA radio). During WWII, he entertained the troops in the Pacific. Later he relocated in Amarillo, Texas. From 1946 onwards, he was back on WJAS in Pittsburg, Pa.

For early September fornight’s favorites, Very different things this time, from 1947 to 1961.

June 1954, exactly 18. A newcomer with his first recording. DOUG PONDEXTER came from Vendale, Arkansas. Several months ago, as he had went to Memphis, he had been noticed by a guitar player, Scotty Moore – surely the name rings a bell – and hired as front guitar man of his group, the Starlight Wranglers. His voice was very nasal, without doubt as imitation of his idol Hank Williams. On this day, he cut two sides, whose I retain « Now She Cares No More For Me » under the producer Sam Phillips, hence Sun 202. The record, albeit reviewed by the famous Cash Box magazine, went nowhere, and Poindexter earned his life later as a successful insurance man. « Now She Cares… » is pure hillbilly bop heaven. Fiddle and steel to the fore, and heavy bass (Bill Black). Less than 2 weeks later Black and Moore backed young Elvis. The rest is history.

Doug Poindexter with the Starlight Wranglers

Bobby Wayne

From the Washington State in 1963, here’s the very Johnny Cash styled BOBBY WAYNE. « Big Train » first on Jerden 709. During the flipside, « The Valley », the guitarist even adopts Luther Perkins’ (Cash guitarist) licks. Good vocal on both sides, and discrete chorus.

In the December 2016 fortnight I came with Californian Western swing artist EDDIE DEAN and his « Rock’n’Roll Cowboy » on Sage from 1957. Here is a quieter thing (Sage 188) : « Impatient Blues » as its name doesn’t imply is a bluesy thing, nice steel and a bit of crooning.

Cash Box March 3, 1955

Eddie & Chuck, the Louisiana Ramblers

« The Louisiana Ramblers », EDDIE AND CHUCK came in 1954 with a bouncing thing, « Boogie The Blues » on the Chicago Chance label (# 3012). Weird and savage steel, great vocal and solid bass. How they were acquainted with an otherwise Blues/jazz label (1100 serie with already known artists like Wllie Nix – ex- Sun Records, or J.B. Hutto) is open to conjecture. May I put forward this ? These sides were not unknown to Stan Lewis, owner of KWKH in Shreveport, La., who also acted as talent scout for Northern companies : Dale Hawkins and Sonny Boy Williamson came from his stable of artists and were recruited by Chess/Checker.Chance had apparently a 3000-C&W serie, but I never ever heard of any more record than this in this serie.

Cash Box, Feb. 15, 1954

A real male/female duet now with DOTTIE JONES & WINSTON O’NEAL. A fast bopper , « I’ll Be Yours » has a prominent guitar – the solo comes a la Carl Perkins ! To be found on TNT 134 (San Antonio, Texas).

From an unknown source, I picked up on YouTube a nice slice of fast Hillbilly bop wih « Just Me And My Fiddle » by BENNY MARTIN, apparently in 1954-55 on Pioneer 630. Martin cut records on Pioneer, Mercury and M-G-M. On one side he was backed with  »Hilllous Butrum & his Tennessee Partners », ex-bass player for Hank Williams, and was of rural Tennessee extraction. Nevertheless a very fine Hillbilly bopper.

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TONY DOUGLAS was released in 1958 on the very first D label records (# 1205, issued June 1958). « Baby, When The Sun Goes Down » is typical of mid-fifties Houston Hillbilly bop : solid steel, fine piano and guitar, and great vocal. Douglas had several other tracks on D, before switching in 1961 to « United artists »), more than 40 records between 1958 and 1965.A good seller.

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That’s it, folks. Sources: 45cat and 78worlds as usual for label scans. Several tunes do come from YouTube. My own archives, too.

Late April 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Hello, visitors ! Hi to old ones. The story goes on with a small dozen of tunes mostly issued during the ’50s (1950-59) with the odd item from 1965.

A short career (no more than 2 years) but a very prolific one : AL VAUGHN cut many records on 4 Star just the days before the 1948 Petrillo recording ban, and also some sides in 1950. Born Alton Faye Vaughn (1922, Arkansas), he later settled in Oklahoma, before eventually moving to California and got signed to Bill McCall’s whom he cut records for. Here’s the risqué « Right Key In The Wrong Keyhole » (# 1480) with fast pace, an agile steel which reminds one of Milton Brown’s steel-man, Bob Dunn. A tight little Western-tinged tune, of course ‘not suited for radio use’.

Next artist, HOMER LEE SEWELL, was a Southern one (Houston and Oklahoma). He first presents « She’s Mad At Me » on D 1067. A fast little country bopper, fiddle always present. From April 1959. Flipside equally good : « Whisper Your Name » is a lovely atmospheric ballad ; Willie Nelson holds the lead guitar. Sewell was also on Oakridge 104, « Country Boy Shuffle », a passable Country rocker , piano to the fore.

Mack and Gwen

We remain in Texas : Marshall. The duet of brother & sister MACK (Smith) and GWEN (Phillips) was active during 1959 and 60 and released records on their own Phil label. On # 1200 it’s their most famous track, backed by the Country Playboys, « Baby I Want Another Date With you » – fast number, good guitar and a bit of fiddle : the whole thing is energetic and moving. They recorded their production by Mira Smith’s studio (Ram Records), Shreveport, La. The flipside, « I Don’t Care What They Say About You » is a gentle bopper – loud bass, a steel solo and a welcome piano. Later they relocated to Dallas for their second issue (Phil 1201, the fast « If It Ain’t The Board Draft It’s My Baby », fine dobro) with another backing outfit (The Garlanders), finally on Phil 1203 they had « I’ll Be There With All Of You », a slow bopper, less interesting.

Ken Gabbard & the Hilltop Rangers

Nearer to us, here’s KEN GABBARD and the Hilltop Rangers for «Things Can’t Be As They Were » in 1965 on the Harp label # 15730 (a Trenton, OH label). A mid-pace opus, a weeping vocal and steel : an excellent ballad

From Oklahoma (where he’d begin with his own label Echo), JACK PADGETT went to Jesse Erickson Talent label, and released two discs between 1949 and 50. « Peppermint Sticks » (Talent 722) is a medium paced, typical late ’40s Texas bopper, good guitar and fiddle. On his second, faster issue, « Boogie Woogie Gal » (# 729), he is joined by the house pianist Aline McManus on romping piano. Great steel by the overshadowed Curley Cochran. Padgett’s base was KTMC in McAlester, South East of the State).

The Willis Brothers

The WILLIS BROTHERS (formerly the Oklahoma Wranglers) were a famous trio affiliated with KGFF in Shawnee, OK. They present an excellent instrumental – Vic Willis’ leading with his accordion – « Wrangler Boogie » on Mercury 6071, early ’50s. Then a shuffler with « Long Gone » on Coral 64175, 1953 ; this time led by the eldest of the Trio on guitar, GUY WILLS ; plus a welcome piano (solo) and steel. Later they went to Starday among other labels.

Billy Dee

Released in July 1954, here’s « I Can’t Get Enough Of You » by BILLY DEE (vocal, piano, steel) is a refreshing, joyful small bopping opus (Fabor 111B), while his other disc, « Drinking Tequila » is a bit disappointing : a good tune but average bopper – one ought to wait something better with such a title (Fabor 104)

Sources : YouTube ; 45cat ; Gripsweat ; HBR site (Talent) ; Ohio labels.

Late January 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites (10 records)

Hello everybody ! Here are ten more selections for this late January 2020 fortnight’s favorites. Very different ones, and they date from 1950 to early ’60s.

Texas Slim

TEXAS SLIM – I dare say we’ll never know who he actually was – cut in 1964 two superior sides for the Ark label (# 309) in Cincinnati. They do present a surprising and good combination of banjo and steel guitar : « Look What You Gone And Done To Me » and « When I’m Old And Gray » . This man has nothing to do with one Texas Guitar Slim (early ’60s La. blues) on Jin Records.

Chuck Manning and the Rhythm Ranch Boys

Now a late ’50’s (stylistically) Rockabilly out of Arcadia, California on the small Corby label (# 103 or 232) by CHUCK MANNING and the Rhythm Ranch Boys. « Let’s go », a train song, has a strong rhythm guitar, a cool vocal ; a good steel guitar all the track along, and a fabulous lead guitar : no less than 4 solos ! Excuse the somewhat ‘muddy’ sound, which was on original record. Value $ 200-250 for Tom Lincoln, $ 100-150 for Barry K. John.

CECIL CAMPBELL’s Tennessee Ramblers

The veteran CECIL CAMPBELL (backed by his Tennessee Ramblers), today unjustly neglected, cut his first records as vocalist, and most of all, as steel player, in 1934. Here is from December 1950 the « Spookie Boogie », as expected a ghost song. The story goes as to make rattling bones sounding, Cecil was looking for an “…unusual hollow type of rattling sound designed to send cold chills rushing down the spine.” He couldn’t find that sound on the musical instruments. But as fate would have it, one of the members of the Tennessee Ramblers had false teeth and that mysterious sound that appears on the tune “Spookie Boogie” was made by a pair of chattering false teeth. The tune has a nice steel, a loping bass and fiddle and a good piano (RCA-Victor 48-0409).

Later on, Campbell adapted well on new trends. He offered the instrumental « Go Man Go » in 1955, to be found on the Cactus comp’ « M-G-M Hillbilly » vol. 4 (not listed here, neither « Beaty Steel Boogie », issued on Super Disc 1004, reissued on YouTube). Here however I release his « Rock And Roll Fever » from 1957 issued on M-G-M 12482, a fine Rockabilly on its own.

DESSIE FAULKNER (1903-1993) cut at the tail end of the ’50s and early ’60s a nice string of Honky-tonk bopping songs, among them I chose her offering of « I Dare You Yo Love Me » on D 1159 (issued August 1960) : an assured vocal for a fast bopper with fiddle all along and a steel solo. The song was first reissued on U.K Cascade (1983) « 20 Country Great Recordings » that included George Jones and Joe Carson among others.
Second Dessie Faulkner selection is a good weeper on a stroller rhythm issued on Big 6 138 : « I Cried Again » is mid-paced and has a crying steel. Faulkner also had « You Can’t Stop A Heart From Lovin’ », a good Honky tonker from 1967 issued by Cincinnati’s Arvis (# 1) label (not selected.

The Bridge Brothers

More of late ’50s wih the BRIDGE BROTHERS and « Stick-A-By-You » on A-B-S 119 (which stands for « America’s Best Sellers ») : a good duet, nice bass chords played guitar, the whole is refreshing and ernergetic. Thanks CheeseBrew Wax Archive YouTube chain to unearth such fine songs.

Out of Shreveport, La. on the Ram label (# 101) and released in 1956, here’s CAROL WILLIAMS an her great, fast « Just For A While ». Has a fresh vocal, and a good guitar (solo).

Luke Gordon

Finally the superlative, and him also unjustly neglected (although he never did a bad record) LUKE GORDON on Blue Ridge 502. His usual style for « You May Be Someone (where You Come From) » – a great, great dobro (solo), fiddle and discreet mandolin + a good bass.

That’s all folks for this time. Research goes on many artists, such as Fairley Holden, Iry LeJeune, Johnny Foster, Bill Hutto, Jerry Irby, Cowboy Sam Nichols among others. Let’s keep plugged to bopping.org !

Sources : YouTube (Hillbilly Boogie1 for Carol Williams pic), 45cat and 78-worlds ; hillbilly-music.com for pic of Cecil Campbell and the story of the rattling bones ; an old Tom Sims’ cassette for Texas Slim Ark release (label scan from 45cat) ; my own archives.