Howdy, folks ! Hello to returning visitors – welcome to new ones. This is the early April 2018 bopping fortnight’s selection (10 sides ranging from 1947 to 1965).
I would not call a minor artist, such one who released 4 records, and even had his own label. This is the case of TOMMY LITTLE & His Sunrise Rangers. Obviously based in Durham, N.C., he appeared on a N.Y. label Ollit (# 2001) for « Mean Mean Woman » : a 1947 country rocker (heavy drums and bass, plus a mandolin break) ; the flipside « One Time Too Often » is medium, a nice loping guitar. What a good start !
Finally he appeared on Colonial 116 (subsidiary of Hollywood’s Modern, not the N.C. Label of Johnny Dee) with « High Geared Daddy », a common macho theme of the era. Fast two guitars and vocal. Is this the same song as Webb Pierce‘s ? (see elsewhere in the site for it).
Next artist is a real unknown from 1958. Nevertheles his record is much sought after, and it attains $ 600-750 when sold. OTIS WHITE and the Hillrockers out of Vidalia, Ga. has the Rockabilly side (great guitar and slapping bass plus swooping piano) for « Shape Up » on the Gala label # 101. On Gala 102, White this time alone, delivers a very convincing Hillbilly rock (fiddle solo and heavy drums) with « A Losing Game » from 1958/59. The flipside « You been doing me wrong » escaped my researching antennas..
Way up North in Michigan on the Bart label (7G 25/26) for a two-sided Rock’n’Roll classic by LAFAYETTE YARBOROUGH No inferior side, both are of the highest standard : « Cool Cool Baby » and « Livin’ Doll » have a solid guitar and a high vocal. The Bart record is sold for $ 800 or 1000 and it deserves them well!
Finally from 1965 in Tampa, Florida : HEROLD WHITE & His Country Masters for « You’re Not Mine » : a fast wailing vocal and a great embroidering guitar are to be found on the Fuller label # 2522. “You’re Not Mine“
Howdy folks ! En route for a new batch of bopping billies, mostly from the late ’40s-early ’50s, with the occasional foray into the early ’60s.
We begin this fortnight with an artist I’d already post a song in March 2011 – that is more than 5 1/2 years. CURLEY COLE was a D.J. in Paducah, KY and a multi-instrumentist. Here he delivers on the Gilt-Edge label (a sublabel to Four Star, as everyone knows) the fine bopper « I’m going to roll » (# 5028). It’s a proto-rockabilly in essence, as a train song, from 1952. Cole also had another on Gilt-Edge 5016, « I’m leaving now/For now I’m free » (unheard).
The second artist of this serie also appeared in January 2016, but with different tracks. DON WHITNEY was a D.J. for Radio KLCN out of Blytheville, AR. in 1951 when he cut for Four Star « I’m gonna take my time, loving you » (# 1548), again a nice bopper. Later on, he had the romper « G I boogie » (# 1581) in late 1951. Minimal instrumentation (lead guitar, rhythm, bass [it even got a solo], a barely audible fidde) but a lot of excitement. At the beginning of this year I’d posted both his «Red hot boogie » and « Move on blues ».
From Vidalia, GA. Came in 1960 the group Twiggs Co. Playboys for a (great for the era) Hillbilly bopper, « Too many ». Very nice interplay between fiddle and steel (solos) over an assured vocal (Gala # 109). This label is now more known for its rockers (Billy « Echo » Adkinson, The Sabres, Otis White) than for Country records.
It is useless to present HANK PENNY. To quote the late Breathless Dan Coffey in a very old issue of his magazine « Boppin’ news », and a feature on Jerry Lee Lewis : « If you don’t know what happened to him, you shouldn’t read this mag ! ». From the heyday of his discographical career (which spanned from the late ’30s until 1969), actually of a constant highest level on a par with his popularity, however I was forced to choose two songs he cut for King Records between 1945 and 47, but released on the same 78rpm, King 842, late 1949 or early 50. « Now ain’t you glad dear », cut in Pasadena, CA. in Oct. 1945 at the same session as « Steel guitar stomp » and « Two-timin’ mama », is a fast brillant Western bopper backed in particular by Merle Travis (lead guitar) and Noël Boggs (steel). The other side, recorded in Nashville two years later, and penned by Danny Dedmon (Imperial artist and member of Bill Nettles‘ Dixie Blue Boys) isn’t not at all a slow blues : « Got the Louisiana blues » is equally fast as the B-side, and showcases James Grishaw on guitar, Louie Innis on bass and Bob Foster on steel. A great record.
Next artist, whom I don’t know much on, is called CLAY ALLEN, from Dallas, Texas. He had two Hillbilly sessions between April and July 1951 for the Decca label (« I can’t keep smiling »,# 46324, is maybe scheduled for a future Fortnight). He was part of the Country Dudes on the Azalea label in 1959 with the very good rocker « Have a ball »). Later on, he cut several discs between 1961 and 1964 for the Dewey Groom‘s Longhorn label, « Broken heart » (# 516) for example. I’ve chosen « One too many » (# 547) as his great deep voice backed by a bass chords playing guitar comes for a great effect. Maybe later I’ll post the flipside « I’m changing the numbers on my telephone », but lacking space this time.
To round up this serie, here are two tracks by the Atlanta guitar virtuoso JERRY REED, early in career which he began on Capitol Records. From October 1955, there’s the traditional « If the Lord’s willing and the creeks don’t rise » (# 3294), done in a fast Hillbilly bop manner making its way onto Rockabilly. Both steel and fiddle have a good, although short solo, while Reed is in nice voice. He comes once more, this time recorded in January 1956 : « Mister Whiz » is frankly Rockabilly (# 3429) but the Hillbilly bop feeling is retained : a nice fiddle flows all along, while the guitar player may be (to my ears at least) Grady Martin. Capitol files and Praguefrank are silent on the personnel of Jerry Reed sessions, a pity.
Sources: mostly 78rpm-world or my archives; John E. Burton YouTube chain (Twiggs Co. Playboys); various researches on the Net. Countrydiscographies.com (Praguefrank) for Hank Penny and Jerry Reed data.