Hi ! To bopping.org followers. This is the early October 2018 selection, all sides from 1947 to 1955. Very few details are known about the artists, so the music I’m afraid will speak by itself.
The Texas Rhythm Boys
The TEXAS RHYTHM BOYS (vocal Alvin Edwards) had cut « Benzedrine Blues » on Jimmy Mercer’s Royalty label # 600 (1948)in Paris, Texas [see map below]. A medium shuffler (fiddle and steel solo) about a common drug then among musicians.
Nothing at all is known about Alvin Edwards and the Texas Rhythm Boys, a generic name for a rather generic group. “Benzedrine Blues” is their only known record.
RAY WHITLEY (1901-1979) provided a version of the evergreen (Bill Haley, Cousin Ford Lewis, Charlie Stone on Arcade Records) « Jukebox Cannonball ». A medium uptempo : accordion to the fore and fiddle issued on Cowboy 301 (1947).
TOMMY SARGENT was a steel guitar player popular on the West coast. Here he is with two tunes. The fast (accordion) « Night Train To Memphis », with whistle effects on Corax 1084 (1947), then « Steel Guitar Boogie »(# Corax 1328), an uptempo with, of course, steel guitar being the prominent instrument.
We found one more Sargent backing with EDDIE CLETRO, « Lonesome Train Boogie » on Lariat 1058 (1950). Again a tour-de-force for the steel.
On Rainier WR-1 (date unknown), PAUL TUTMARC & the Wranglers. The vocalist is Bonnie Guitar, who backed many people in the early ’50s, before embarking for a successful solo career. Born Bonnie Buckigham (1923) she began performing at age 16, having taken up playing the guitar as a teenager, which led to her stage name, Bonnie Guitar. In 1944 she married her former guitar teacher .Paul Tutmarc
« Dark Moon » : the song was originally issued under Fabor Records in 1956. “Dark Moon” was then issued over to Dot Records and by the spring of 1957, the song hit the pop top 10 list and went into the country top 15 list. Guitar officially had a hit.
It’s an uptempo shuffler (accordion), « Midget Auto Blues ».
Another version of « I’m Sitting On Top Of The World », by TOMMY MAGNESS & His Orange Blossom Boys on the Roanake, Va. Blue Ridge label (1947). Fine steel, fiddle. A good one. Vocal by Hall Brothers. Later (1951) Magness with his Tennessee Buddies had two disks on Federal.
To sum up, a bit of mystery with two entirely different « Mississipi Boogie », but with the same singer. RED PLEASANT & the Southern Serenaders on the Selective label #3 (California) have a strong guitar led tune with Milton Beasley on vocal (1950) . The same MILTON BEASLEY cut his own song on Delta Records (# 409) out of Jackson, Mississipi in 1953. How come Beasley was vocalist on two tunes so different is anybody’s guess. A Bluesman, Julius King, had a great rocking version of the song in 1952 on the Tennessee label (# 127), backed by guitar and..kazoo!
Nothing at all is known about MACK HAMILTON, (not even a picture), except he came probably from the Gulf, between Port Arthur, a mere 90 miles East of Houston, TX, and nearby Louisiana. And that is asserted only by the location of the two record labels he got to wax on between 1953 and 1954.
His first ever record was cut in Port Arthur for the Diamond Recording Company in 1953. To add much more confusion, a Diamond diskery was active during this period, which emanated from Beaumont, TX (on the Gulf too) and issued Country records, for example one by Morris Mills (Diamond # 101, “Jumbalaya answer“), a rather prolific regional artist (also 4* and Macy’s). Although you may say it’s the same company with two locations, which has nothing to do with two other Diamond Co. in New York. This « Diamond Recording Company » was also a short-lived concern with only two issues, one therefore by Mack Hamilton (vocal and guitar): (Diamond CW-1001/1002) : the lugubrious mid-tempo « Moaning in the morning » (fiddle and steel prominent) and the self-conscious very Hank Williams styled « Sweet little Rosebud », a solid bopper, with even a short accordion solo, but steel and fiddle are once more well present.
The second issue of the label was cut by Roland (R.A.) Faulk, as « Roland and his Rythm Boys » (sic). Sides CW 1003/1004 : « Send
me someone/I’d own the world ». are pleasant waltz tempo hillbillies. Nothing special, except a heay bass, a steel and a good piano and guitar. The singer is firm and confident : he was active on the Port Arthur area, and was to record in October 1956 the great Rockabilly « My baby’ gone » on Big State 592, a Starday custom, out of Port Acres, TX.(valued $ 700). But I am wandering from Mack Hamilton.
His next offerings were commited to wax in late 1953 for the Feature label, which was located in Crowley, La. and run by J.(Jay) D. Miller. Hamilton’s sides however were recorded at radio KTRM in Beaumont, TX. seemingly as a 4-tracks session. Backing Hamilton were Rusty (guitar) and his brother Doug Kershaw on fiddle, plus Louis Fourneret on steel. The tracks included two great Boppers : « I’m a honky-tonk daddy », completely Hank Williams styled with thudding bass and hot steel (Feature 1087A), and in the same pattern, « Will you will or will you won’t ?» (Feature 1095A).
Less fast were the flipsides, although very good on their part : the weepers mid-tempo « In a world without you » and « A girl with too many sweethearts ». And that was it. J. D. Miller wrote every Feature song, and must have had faith in « I’m a honky-tonk daddy », because he offered it to Wink Lewis on the very following number (# 1088). Lewis did a great version too. Later on he cut the great piano led Rockabilly « Zzztt, zzztt, zzztt » on the Texas Tone label (with Buzz Busby & his Band). I am wandering once more from Mack Hamilton, but there’s no more to relate about him : he disappeared completely from the music scene.
Howdy folks! After a week of inconvenience (the site could not be opened) and a few ajustments, we are back for a new batch of goodies.
First from California, the unknwon (to me, at least) FREDDIE BYRD, backed by California Playboys, lays down the fine “Somebody Stole My Love” on the microscopic Ka Hi label. Even not an issue number! This is the same label as the one Jess Willard had his great “I’m Telling You” in 1957 on (see his story with the reasearch button). Fine Hillbilly ditty.
From Tennessee, the HOWINGTON Brothers for a good (unusual in bopping) instrumental “Haymaker’s Shuffle” on the Loop label (# 903B). The title says it all.
Then a certain TOM JAMES on the Nashville KLIX label, from 1957. I’d assume this is the same guy that had some very good boppers on RCA several years before (“I’m A Pig About Your Lovin” or “Don’t Lead Me On“). Here we have a real knack of Rockabilly with “Track Down Baby” (Klix 0001). Great guitar.
From California again: DOUG AMERSON offers the very solid “Bop, Man, Bop” on the Intrastate label (# 15-25), from 1955. This is how Hillbillies went to wilder things.
From Mississipi, MACK HAMILTON. Indeed he had other records, namely on Feature from Jackson (“Will You Will Or Will You Won’t” has already been posted a couple of years ago). Backed by his Drifting Texans, he does a nice shuffling “Moaning In The Morning” on Diamond 1001 (reviewed October 1953 by Billboard). This was a brother label to Trumpet I’ve discussed before in this site.
Finally, a berserk wildie from 1963 on the NYC based Mala label: “Red Ridin’ Hood And The Wolf” by BUNKER HILL (# 457). They don’t go any wilder like this today.
Enjoy the selections. Constructive comments welcome.