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 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..

Early March 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdy folks ! This fortnight is the penultimate of Winter and includes real goodies and rarities.

Arvis McRae – The Texas Keys

First artist in question hailed from the East of Texas, and recorded for the Texarcana label Ranger. ARVIS Mc RAE released at an unknown date (altough stylistic evidence and the absence of drums do lean towards mi-’50s) one brillant « Me And My Love » (Ranger 823). A fine bopper, solid vocal, a demented fiddle and a short but good rockabilly guitar, all these combine for a fabulous tune. By contrast, McRae’s version of Hank Williams’ « Long Gone Lonesome Blues » (Ranger 2074) sounds average, only one clip (1’54) being preserved.

Bobby Lord

Bobby Lord took the song note-for-note, and copied even growls and hollers from Jackson (who fooled Blues afficinados thinking he was a Black artist). Jackson’s original was a fast number, sounded very rural, gravely voice and acoustc guitars. So Lord recognized his debt : if copying is the best tribute one can pay, so Lord offered the best one coud ask for : « No More – No More – No More!» (Columbia 21339 issued December 1954).

BOBBY LORD was a newcomer when he was signed by Columbia late 1954. He came from the Tampa, Flo . area, and brought a song he had learnt from another Floridian, Andy Boyett ; Originally the song was titled « Colored Boy Blues », then changed to « Go Way From My Door » when recorded by Boyett on Mercury 8127 in 1949 as Monroe ‘Moe’ Jackson.

Lawson Rudd

Out of Kingstone, Indiana comes the next artist, LAWSON RUDD. His only delivery on disc was « Shake This Town » . Lazy vocal, unobstrusive chorus. A good mid-paced bopper on Harvest 709 from 1960, valued $ 100-150. His second issue, « Old Love Letters » has only a soundfile. A slow opus, weeping vocal and great fiddle. Label scan untraced.

Paul Howard & his Arkansas Cotton Pickers

« Texas Boogie » by PAUL HOWARD & his Arkansas Cotton Pickers is indeed a great piano pounding tune with a Western feel to it, and a long fiddle solo, to be found on King 779 (April 1949). Vocal part was done by Red Perkins (see in this site his story).
This track has apparently nothing to do with the song of Gene O’Quin (Capitol 1708, from 1951): different composers.

Clay Allen & the Cimarron Boys

CLAY ALLEN & the Cimarron Boys cut on Decca first (# 46324 in 1951): an uptempo shuffle, a discreet fiddle and a bit steel backing Allen well to the fore in « Evalina ». Eight years later as part of the duet « The Country Dudes », he appeared on the Azalea (# 112)
label out of Houston for « Have A Ball » . A solid country rocker, with staccato guitar and implacable loud drums.

Sally Lee

SALLY LEE next does deliver on Royaty 304 a fine bopper, the rollicking « Table Hoppin’ Blues » : very solid piano, an assured vocal – a reat discovery for you !

We come to an end with « (Looks Like) Our Hearts Are Out Of Tune » on R 515 from 1961 by LARRY GOOD ; A pretty melody for a good number. A welcome steel all throughout the song.

Larry Good

Sources: Gripsweat for Arvis McRae’s clip; Ultra Rare Rockabillies for Lawson Rudd; King Project for Paul Howard; YouTube for Clay Allen; Bopping’ Hillbilly 10 fr Sally Lee; my own archives for Larry Good among others.

Late February 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdy folks, this is the fourth portion of Country boogie or rockers for this 2020 year, and will contain no less than ten songs. I hope you will find something of interest here.

Lawson Rudd

A famous blogger and writer, Some Local Loser, posted in YouTube both sides of Starday 711. Originally released April 1958, this was the record debut for LAWON RUDD (born Salyersville, Ky in 1929 – deceased December 2011) backed by the Tippecanoe Valley Boys for two great sides. A-side was named « Country Town Girl », a superior uptempo mid-paced, great hillbilly vocal and rhythm guitar, fine steel all through the song (a short solo). B-side, « Blues On The Run » has a rhumba-beat (maraccas) and reminds one of Louisiana Lannis in « Much To Much » issued the year before (Starday 268){see Louisiana Lannis’ story elsewhere in this blog}.

But LAWSON RUDD’s best known side is to be found two years later (1960) on Kingsford Heights, Indiana based Harvest label (# 709) : « Shake This Town » has a lazy vocal, unobstrusive chorus and good backing for a late period Rockabilly : fine guitar and a trembling steel solo. The guitar player sounds as in Bill Bowen’s « Don’t Shoot Me Baby » (Meteor 5033) cut in April 1956, four years before ! Incidentally the flipside « No One Will Ever Know » couldn’t be traced, a pity..This disc is valued $ 100 to 150.

Paul Howard & Arkansas Cotton Pickers

The veteran PAUL HOWARD and his Arkansas Cotton Pickers do come next with « Texas Boogie » released in April 1949 on the King label 779. Actually a showcase, instrumental for the most part (steel, fiddle, guitar and of course a great piano) only adorrned by the vocal of RED PERKINS {see elsewhere in this blog his story}.

Red Perkins

Carolina Cotton

Then CAROLINA COTTON for a lazy vocal tune from May 1950 on M-G-M 10798B, « Lovin’ Ducky Daddy » has a ‘sugar’ voice, even some yodel and a good piano, but sparse backing (bass and drums).

Clay Allen & His Cimarron Playboys

More in 1950, on another major label (Decca 46324) the recording debut of CLAY ALLEN and his Cimarron Boys with « Evalina ». A good, although forgettable, uptempo ballad, the steel and the piano getting the better part behind the vocal.

The Country Dudes

Billboard, Sept. 28, 1959

Chuck Harding & His Colorado Cowhands

CHUCK HARDING was born in 1914 (Marion Cty, Ky.), the son of a minister who taught him the fiddle. With his Colorado Cowhands he released in March 1948 a fabulous « Talking The Blues » : really great bass, awesome vocal, mandolin, steel solo, great fiddle too. It was first released on Texas Blue Bonnet 135A, before being switched to a greater exposure on California’s Modern 581 in May of the same year. Personnel is wholly given on the back of Boppin’ Hillbilly # 19, issued a mere twenty years ago.

Harding was to have in March 1954 on the Des Moines, Ill. (a Northern suburb to Chicago) Replica label # 101 the fine double-sided « Stop Crying On My Shoulder » and « I’m Living In A Lonely World » : accordion well present to the fore (it has its solo), sparse backing and no fiddle but steel solo.

As a matter of comparison I add the original version of « Talking The Blues » (written by Harding and Pyle) by PETE PYLE on Bullet 602 released June 1946. Good guitar, fiddle solo, and a trembling steel over an extrovert vocal – a good disc, but not to the standard of Chuck Harding’s version.

Billboard May 27, 1954

And that’s it for this fortnight ! Pheewww, as usual, a lot of work (research and making-up) and a lot of fun too (listening to dozens songs before choosing the selection I prefer).

Sources: YouTube (Some Local Loser); 45cat and 78rpm worlds; Ohio River; HBR serie; my own archives

Early February 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Hi ! Everyone visiting this blog. You are going to be treated with ten rockabillies or country boogies from 1953 to 1959, allegedly the best era for bopping music.

Billy Smith or Rocky Davis ?

BILLY SMITH is a mystery. His lonely record on Red Hed (Indianapolis, Ind.) was published in 1957 {see below}, and easily attains the value of $ 300-400 (or $ 150-200 in the book of B. K. Johns- who surprisingly gives a Texas location) . Prefixes of J indicate an RCA-Victor pressing in 1958. Anyway « Tell Me Baby » is the side to look for: wild vocal, great guitar on bass chords played, energetic drums, all you Rockabilly/White Rock fans you could dream of. Flipside « Baby Please Come Home » (is this the Country standard?) is a quieter. lot of good steel, a strong bass. The singer is convincing.

And now the mystery goes on. Tom Lincoln & Dick Blackburn in their classic book (Guide to Rare Rockabilly And Rock’n’Roll 45’s) do secure that Billy Smith and the next artist, ROCKY DAVIS are the same man. At last, the drums sound the same, and an uninventive guitar is heard in the 6 tunes. Davis hailed from Florida, and cut for Blue Sky Records located in St Cloud or Orlando in 1958-59. Davis did give 3 strong rockers and a ballad with welcome choruses, not unlike Jerry Arnold (« Race For Time » issued on Texas Security or N.Y.C. Cameo) : « Your A Doll » (Blue Sky 101) is a fast rockabilly – urgent vocal, although largely uninventive guitar. The same goes for the flipside « Save A Little Love For Me ».

Texas ‘Red’ Rhodes

TEXAS ‘RED’ RHODES, next artist, released « Go Cats Go » with topical lyrics on the Echo label (# 1001) in 1958. This Echo label has apparently nothing to do with the same name concern out of N.Y.C. or the New Orleans R&B label of 1950, but hails also out of Florida. A joyful Rockabilly/White rocker : piano, good guitar, a solid rhythm. Barry K. John gives a $ 500-600 price.

Abe Heape

From Stillwater, Oklahoma in 1958 ABE HEAPE cut the great « Short Fellow Blues » on Rose 118 (valued by Lincoln/Blackburn at $ 150-200 ; John ignores this item). Is the singer male or female? The song anyway is a medium paced Rockabilly, well worth watching for.

And now on to Country boogie…

On the Tennessee label (# 791) in 1951, the one-record TINY BENNETT, backed by seemingly the related Blackie Bennett, did release the very fine « Boogie Woogie Plowboy », obviously a copy note-for-note of Red Foley’s « Chatanooga Shoe Shine Boy » : a boogie guitar all throughout the song, bass and rhythm do their job, while a welcome piano is giving a good rinky-dink solo.

Tiny Bennett with Blackie Bennett & his Band

Clyde Moody

Finally the medium-paced Hillbilly boogie « Whatta line » by CLYDE MOODY released on Decca 28785 in 1953. Moody generally excelled in waltzes, but now he gives this great minor-classic tune: nice embroidering guitar (solo), a piano is backing , a fine steel solo.

And now this fortnight is over. Rendezvous on February 16th for the next one. I hope you have found something of interest here. Comments are welcome !

Sources : YouTube (Texas Red Rhodes, Rocky Davis) ; « Country Hicks » series ; Rocky Davis’s picture from « Rocky52 » great, French site. My own archives.