Hi ! Everybody. Ready for this new Fortnight ? From New Orleans on the Meladee label (run by Mel Mallory – I wonder if he launched other labels), here’s JACK WYATT & his Bayou Boys and the fine, uptempo « Why did you let me love you ». Fiddle and steel all long the tune. Actually Meladee issued also discs by Gene Rodrigue (« Jolie fille ») Roy Perkins (« You’re on my mind ») and Jeff Daniels (« Daddy-o rock »). Wyatt had another record on the Kuntry label (# 1000) : « I taught her how to love », a good uptempo, out of J. D. Miller studio in Crowley, La., according to « Jamil » as publishing house.
« You promised me » is the next song by PAUL BLUNT on Bullet 674, backed by a Californian outfit, The Frontiersmen, later set-up in Dallas, TX as a house band for Jim Beck . Blunt is in good voice and plays apparently steel (he was also a capable pianist who found work with many sessions held at Beck’s, including Ray Price or Charlene Arthur). I have previously posted his very good « Walking upstairs” (Bullet 706) in the April 2013 fortnight’s favorites section.
JEAN SHEPARD (born 1933; deceased September 2016) began his career in a duet with Ferlin Huskey, « A dear John letter », a huge hit in 1953 even as a crossover between Country and pop charts. Herself later pursued a solo career. Here’s « Two whoops and a holler » (Capitol 2791, April 1954): a typical Capitol honky tonker with one of the best housebands around in Los Angeles, that of Bill Woods (piano), Lewis Talley (steel), Fuzzy Owen (guitar) and Skeets McDonald on bass. In 1955 Shepard is inducted in the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. All in all she recorded 73 singles !
Then the veteran EDDIE DEAN (1907-1999) was more known for his crooning things than boppers. We can however remind of 2 great sides on the Sage label, « Impatient blues » being a fine shuffler (#188), and « Rock & Roll cowboy » (# 226), a rare example of Western swing flavoured Rocker (or the opposite).
Finally from 1969 (yes!) on the Laurel Leaf label (# 24172), JAMES TUSSEY delivers a strong and solid bopper (drums present) with « I had a dream of you ».
Sources : Kevin Coffey in the « A shot in the dark » boxset ; Praguefrank for several discographical details ; Hillblly-music.com to complete bios ; Youtube.Thanks Dominique ‘Imperial’ Anglares for the rare Jean Shepard EP.
Sorry, I was not able to give more precise info. this time. Will do better next Fortnight !
Howdy folks, the first serie of the two selections for May.
The exuberant “It always happens to me” by RUFUS SHOFFNER & JOYCE SONGER (wife of Earl) cut in Detroit in 1962 seems stylistically go back to the mid to late ’50s. It’s a great fast bopper (piano, guitar and an energetic rhythm, and an exulting duet vocal), which was issued on Fortune’s label subsidiary Hi-Q 14, and can still be found on various recent compilations, as in Boppin’ Hillbilly vol. 5. Shoffner made several fine sides on Hi-Q or Fortune, or earlier on Kentucky’s Countryside label. More on him later in this site. “It always happens to me“
More famous from the West coast is TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD (1919-1991),who cut a fine string of Hillbilly boogies from the end of the ’40s (“Milk ’em in the morning blues“) to the mid-50s, when he crossed the marked with the top-seller “Sixteen tons” (written by Merle Travis). Here he delivers from July 1950 on Capitol 1295 the much acclaimed “The shot gun boogie” (which had many, many versions later by others, even during the R&R era, f.e. Jesse Lee Turner), backed by the Cliffie Stone crew, among them the excellent Speedy West (steel), Billy Liebert (piano) and Jimmy Bryant (ld guitar).
For the rest of the selections, we’re turning to obscure artists. From Pennsylvania in 1958 on the Skyline label (not to be confused with the Indianapolis label: the Blankenship Brothers) # 106 comes BOB ENGLAR and ” Always dreaming“, a very nice bopper (guitar/steel/fiddle solos). FRANK DARRIS had in 1963 the same energy as Englar for an honest Rockabilly, his personal version of Marty Robbins’ “Ruby Ann” on the Roy label. The wizardry is the same two-sided disc came on two other labels, Thunder and Advance. Another Rockabilly we find from Alabama, early ’60s, “Baby I don’t care” (not the Elvis’ song) by DAVID GREGG on the McDowell label.
Finally the same song, “Blue eyed baby” is a yodeling bopper first issued in 1956 on Esta 284 (untraced)and later recorded twice by DEMPSEY SIMS in 1957 on Huber (time 2’39”) and Sam (time 2’07”). The Sam version seems more polished. Dempsey later had “Blues tomorrow” in 1967 on the Nashville label.
I feel sorry for the light defaults of the scans: my sight is failing (too much reading microscopic master numbers on records!)
Howdy folks! Here is my new selection. First GEORGE KENT from Texas. He must have cut “Don’t Go Back Again” circa 1961-62: heavy bass, weeping steel and fiddle solo, on the Maverick label (# 1001). The whole has been influenced by Wynn Stewart and reminds me of the Bakersfield sound. Now from Kansas City and a real hillbilly boogie on the Red Barn label, “Bad Daddy Blues” by BOBBY COOK & BUDDY NELSON with the Texas Saddle Pals. Chorus on a guitar/fiddle/mandolin backing.
A pleasant hillbilly on the Ohio Esta label from 1956, “Within These Four Walls” by one SYBIL GIANI. 2 guitar solos, but nothing spectacular though. Esta from Hamilton was better known for its Rockabilly sides.
Then from Nashville, a veteran from the Bullet label, RAY BATTS. It’s on the Ernie Young’s R&B Excello label, a rare opportunity to hear bop music on a “black” label” (the other notable in this case being “I’m The Man” by Al Ferrier). Anyway, “Stealin’ Sugar” (# 2028) is a fast number, with nice guitar soloes on a solid piano backing.
On the big Carl Burkardt concern of low-budget labels, here Big 4 Hits, we find PRESTON WARD and “New Green Light“. I don’t know who cut the original version, anyway here is top class backing over a fine vocal.
Finally two Rocking blues wildies by GAR BACON. On Okeh first, he does the rasping Bo-Diddley-beat “Marshall, Marshall”. On the Baton label, “There’s Gonna Be Rockin’ Tonight” strangely sounds like a white singer. You’ve got to hear both to compare.
I will be out of town circa May 15, so next fortnight on June 1rst, ok?