Late March 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdy, folks ! This is late March 2020 fortnight’s favorites’ selection. 7 discs only this time but great ones, published between 1952 and 1961. Some originals, some covers.

Jack Turner

« Everybody’s Rockin’ but Me » is already a Rockablly classic of the genre as performed by BOBBY LORD in June 1956. Yet it had its original Hillbilly bopper in the hands of JACK TURNER, cut in Nashville April 1956. Topical lyrics (references to « Blue Suede Shoes » and « Alligators »), released by Hickory (# 1050). Turner was born in Haleyville, Alabama,in 1921 but had moved to Nashville in 1942, prior to marrying and entering in U.S. Navy. Later he became hooked to Hank Williams’ sound, and it was Williams’ mother, Mrs. Lilian Stone, who turned attention of Acuff-Rose editions to his songs.

Billboard Aust 8, 1956

Out of Cincinnati, Carl Burkhardt’s label Kentucky specialized in copying hits of the time. Here’s « Detour » (1952, (Kentucky 561) which was first cut by West coast Jimmy Walker {see his story elsewhere in this blogqite}and became a standard. So the song is copied here Hillbilly bop style : guitar, steel and double vocal.

Later on the Echo Valley Boys did the backing to Bill Browning on Island Records.

Melvin Endsley was more known for his compositions given to others; nevertheless he made some few very good records on his own.

Melvin Endsley

Here he performs the strong rocker “I Like Your Kind Of Love” (1957), backed by the cream of Nashville’s musicians. Later on, a nice sincere ballad “Sarted Out A-Walkin'” (1961). The detail has some importance, since one knows that Endsley was confined to a wheel-chair (polo).

Jerry Newton

Jerry & Wayne Newton, Virginia born (Roanake) went rarly at music (listening on Grand Ole Opry) and practicing very yon steel and guitar. Later, their family relocated in Arizona and soon they aired from a station in Phoenix. They even had their first record as The Rhythm Rascals on the Rnger label. How they came to the attention of an ABC talent scout is open to speculation. “Baby, Baby, Baby” is a showcase of their talent on electric guitar and steel. They were later booked with a long-term contract in Vegas.

The Armstrong Twins

Lloyd (guitar) and Floyd (mandolin) were exact twins, out of Little Rock, Arkansas, where they had their own radio show. In 1947 they relocated in California and soon appeared on Cliffie Stone show; around the same time they began to cut records for Four Star. “Alabama Baby” (1386) is a fast vocal duet, an impeccable tempo; solos of fiddle and mandolin: a really stomping thing.

Carl Story

CARL STORY had a long steer of sacred recordings (Old Homestead), but he failed too to the Rockabilly/Country Boogie craze with this disc “You’ve Been Tom Cattin’ Around” (Columbia 21444 – one of the very last items in the 20 000 serie). Good boogie guitar, a driving chanter.September 1955.

Sources: Willem Agenant (20 000 Columbia serie); DJM album notes to “Hillbilly Rock” (Jack Turner’s personnel); YouTube Hillbilly Boogie1 (Echo Valley Boys); Praguefrank (Bobby Lord disco); KarlHeinz Focke (“Jumpin’ Charlie”) for Melvin Endsley soundfiles.

Early September 2019 bopping fortnight’s favorites

I don’t know where DON WINTERS hailed from, probably Nashville. He has during the mid-’50s several good discs.

On RCA-Victor 47-6154 first he asked his Lady « Forgive My Mistakes » : a nice shuffler – piano, steel solo and an extrovert, really sincere vocal.
A later side (RCA 6348) « One Way Is Bound To Be Right » finds him, in a faster rhythm. A pleasant side.

Finally he embarked Rockabilly bandwagon with a release on Coin # 102 : « Be My Baby, Baby » is still Hillbilly Bop, but almost Rockabilly. The collectors couldn’t be mistaken. The Coin issue is valued at $ 150-200. Flipside « Pretty Moon » is pure heaven Rockabilly with its urgent vocal.

A typical Honky tonker from 1956 comes next with BILL WIMBERLY and his Country Rhythm Boys : « You Can’t Lean On Me » has a good steel (solo) and fiddle. A pretty nice record for the era. Mercury 70900. Just a few months earlier (February) Wimbery had released (Mercury 70815) « Ole Mister Cottontail » and on the flipside a lively instrumental « Country Rhythm ». Later on he was on Starday (« Back Street »).

Is it useful to develop on AL TERRY ? He’s already known since 1953 for his first sides on Feature and Champion. Here he is in July 1956 on the Hickory (# 1056) label out of Nashville for a typical mid-tempo Honky tonk bordering Rockabilly, « Roughneck Blues ». A lazy vocal and the lead guitar played by none other than Grady Martin.

Casho Box, Nov. 10, 1956

We jump back in May 1954 for a real ‘tour-de-force’ by the Father of Bluegrass, BILL MONROE : here it’s his « Whitehouse Blues » (Decca 29141). It’s the FASTEST Bluegrass tune ever.

Finally from Texas in 1956 a jumping little Rockabilly bopper with “Dig Them Squeaky Shoes » by FRANK STARR on the Lin label # 1009.

Sources : my own archives ; YouTube ; various compilations.

Early August 2019 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Hello folks! It’s plain Summer, so if you intend to spare some time with me, here is the early August 2019 selection (10 tracks), mostly from the mid-50s.When you hear them, please get me a comment, or even: ask for more! Here we go.

With such a name, and with regards to the rest of his career, Jay Chevalier sounds a Louisiana artist. However, this is his very first record cut for Cajun, a label out of Virginia. “Rockin’ Roll Angel” (Cajun 101B) is a furious Rockabilly from 1957 – lot of echo on the vocal, a wild steel, a bizarre percussion (is this the bass playing?) and a guitar “a la Travis”. Chevaler went later on Pel (“Bill Cannon”) and Goldband 1105 in 1960 (“Castro Rock”, with political overtones for the Cuba crisis). This record changes hands for $ 300-350.

Al Ferrier and the Bopping’ Billies, the next artist, is also a Louisiana one. Let’s hear him in his first (both sides) issue on Lake Charles’ Goldband 1031. “No No Baby” (legal reissue here, that’s how rare is the original) is a proud Rockabilly bop: fiddle solo, and driving guitar/bass from Spring 1956. The flip side, “I’ll Never Do Any Wrong” is only slowier: a bluesy screaming weeper with 2 fiddle solos ad a guitar more to the fore. The original is sold for $ 100-150.

Cash Box, April 14, 1956

Jack Turner has already a minor Hillbilly bop/Rockablly classic with “Everybody’s Rockin’ (But Me)” ; the flip side is more Hillbilly bop: an uptempo with fiddle and steel. Valued at $ 50-60.

Cash Box April 19, 1956

Buddy Hawk was a Wheeling, W.Va. artist, although the Sheraton label was out of Boston, Ma. He released in late 1954 the surprisingly good (valued only at $ 25-30) double-sider “Honey Baby”/”My Heart’s A-Beatin'” (Sheraton 1003). He was part of the W.C.O.P. Hayloft Jamboree and the record is pure Hillbilly bop.

Cash Box, December 25, 1954

Wayland Seals & The Oil Patch Boys (!) do deliver in 1957 on the Slim Willet owned Winston label (# 1016) a fast Rockabilly. Strong vocal, a lovely guitar and a 6 (or 12?) strings-guitar throughout.”When I’m Gone” is sold for $ 150-200 bucks.

Cash Box August 17, 1957

Th Whitey Knight Orchestra offer on the Wesy coast “Another, Brew, Bartender” on Sage 205 from 1955. A weird, demented fiddle over a nice vocal plus a steel solo. This is a great record, although only valued at $ 15-20.

On the New Mexico Jewel label (# 108), we finish with Wade Jackson (backed on chorus by Weldon & Wanda Rogers) and “Seven Kinds Of Love”. 1960. A ballad, with a very nice ‘modern’ steel; the fiddle is buzzing (played ‘pizzicato’: stupendous – hear it!). Jackson was also on Gallatin’ Tennessee label (“Father Time And Mother Nature”).

Sources: mainly Internet, 45cat and my own archives.

Jean Chapel a.k.a. Mattie O’Neil a.k.a. Opal Jean (1950-1957)

Opal Jean Amburgey (Jean Chapel aka. “Mattie” O’Neil-Holmes-Calogne) was born on March 6, 1925, the youngest of three girls, born in Letcher County, Ky. At the mattie o'nealage of 10, Jean wanted to pick and play like her father and grandfather. Her first instrument was the mandolin. “She tuned that mandolin to make it sound like a banjo,” Minnie says, “and with your eyes closed you have thought it was a banjo.” The banjo was a favorite instrument for Jean, but money to buy one with was in short supply during the depression era. Her father made a considerable sacrifice by selling some of his carpentry tools to get money for a banjo.??In 1936, at age 11, Jean began her singing career with her two older sisters in the Sunshine Sisters Band. After two years of daily practice and countless public performances, the highly polished Sunshine Sisters were in great demand.At age 13, Jean would leave home with older sister, Minnie, 18; and sister, Martha,17; to perform daily at WLAP radio in Lexington, Kentucky. They would stay with the station for almost a year. Even at this young age, “She was the star,” says older sister, Minnie. “She sang lead on most of our songs; she had quite the personality.” At age 15, Jean had already performed at literally hundreds of shows, appeared daily on radio stations, sang on barn dances, became a member of the Coon Creek Girls, and was about to begin what she would be most remembered for–WRITING SONGS! When Jean passed away in 1995, she had written well over 400 songs with more than 170 songs recorded and released by major artists such as: George Jones, Jerry Wallace, Eddy Arnold, Hank Snow, George Morgan, Rosemary Clooney, Dean Martin, Jim Reeves, Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells, Connie Smith, Roy Rogers, and Sonny James, just to mention a few.

The Country Music Association would nominate Jean’s 1973 hit “To Get To You” as one of the top five songs in the country that year. Jean held seven BMI song writing awards for her song writing abilities. However, her song writing should not be overshadow the rest of her amazing career. As music historian Robert Oermann says “her saga encompasses virtually every major development in country music’s history – string bands, radio barn dances, television, rockabilly, and the Nashville Sound.” At age 15, “Jean could play anything with strings,” remembers Minnie. The three sisters would move to WSB Radio in Atlanta to set up a barn dance program under the direction of John Lair. Here, Lair would change the Sunshine Sisters’ names to Minnie, Mattie, and Marthy. Jean would take the name “Mattie” and use this name on and off throughout her singing and song writing career. For the next 10 years, Jean would move around from WSB in Atlanta, to WLW in Cincinnati, to the Renfro Valley Barn Dance, to the Grand Ole Opry.king o'nail hiccough

Mattie O’Neil & Salty Holmes, “The Hiccough Song

download

Mattie O’Neil and Salty Holmes, “Stuck With Love

downloadking o'neil stuck

 

In 1947, Jean would marry Salty(Floyd) Holmes, an original Prairie Ramblers Band member, and a truly great entertainer of his day. The two would appear numerous times on the Grand Ole Opry as “Mattie and Salty” throughout their career.salit & mattie 2salty & mattie 1

Salty & Mattie “Long Time Gone

downloadm-g-m salty gone

In the early 50’s, Jean would record solo for Hickory Records under the name Opal Jean; record with her two sisters under the name of Amber Sisters.

hickory opal Tennessee

Opal Jean, “Tennessee Courtin’ Time

download

for the King label in 1951 as the Sunshine Sisters, or The Amber Sisters on Capitol Records (with Joe Maphis);

More King sides (1951-52):”Our Love Is Gone

download
Shackles And Chains”

download
capitol amber lonesomecapitol amber lovin'king Mattie goneking Mattie shackles

The Amber Sisters, “Lonesome Road Blues

download

The Amber Sisters, “When I Want Lovin’ Baby I Want you”

download

The Amber Sisters, “Cherokee Eyescapitol amber cherokee

download
capitol amber tiredThe Amber Sisters, “So Tired Of Your Runnin’ ‘Round

download

and officially become, Jean Chapel, in 1956 when signing with Sun Records to sing rockabilly. In addition to these labels, Jean recorded for Capitol, London, Challenge, Smash, and RCA Records. She was billed “the female Elvis Presley” by Sun Records, which released her song “Welcome to the Club” on the flip side of an Elvis Presley release. Historian Robert Oermann says, “the finest rockabilly performance by a woman at Sun Records was unquestionably, ‘Welcome to the Club‘ by Jean Chapel.”

sun jean welcomeJean Chapel, “Welcome To The ClubRCA-Victor jean welcome

download
RCA-Victor jean rockin'Jean Chapel, “I Won’t Be Rockin’ Tonightsun jean rockin'

download

Jean Chapel, “Oo-Ba La BabyRCA-Victor jean baby

download

In 1957, she sang « Ooh-ba La Baby » for the film « Untamed Youth ». A divorce, in 1956, from Salty Holmes would lead Jean to slow her recording career and begin more concentration on writing throughout the 60’s. Before long, dozens of Nashville artists were recording her works. The 1970’s would find Jean excelling as a songwriter and writing some of her biggest hits. Daughter Lana would also become a song writer with songs like, “Sweet Marilyn” recorded by Eddy Arnold; “Hemp Hill KY.” recorded by Hensen Cargill; “Kentucky Ridge Runner” cut by Lester Flatt; and “It’s For My Dad” recorded by Nancy Sinatra.Jean passed away in 1995. She had two children, Kenny Woodruff and Lana Holmes (Chapel). Her songs are still remembered by countless people, click here to see a list.

Special mention needs to be given to Floyd “Salty” Holmes, Jean’s former husband and partner on the Grand Ole Opry. Together, these two entertained thousands across television, radio, and personal concert appearances.salty & 6 harmonicas

Individually, Salty had a long illustrious past of his own in the entertainment field. Born on March 6, 1909 in Glasgow, Kentucky, Salty was a harmonica “virtuoso” but could also play the jug and the guitar with great talent.

His band, the Kentucky Ramblers, were legendary forming back in 1930. By 1933 The band was playing over WLS Chicago under the name “The Prairie Ramblers.” They hired a new girl, Patsy Montana, to sing with them. Historian, Robert Oermann says about the band, “one of the hottest, jazziest, most accomplished string bands in the history of country music.”

At WLS in Chicago, Salty would become good friends with Gene Autry, Tex Ritter, and Red Foley. 1936 would find Salty and Gene Autry heading for Hollywood to make movies, and then a return trip in 1944. Salty would appear in several B-western movies such as: Arizona Days with Tex Ritter; Sagebrush Hero with Charles Starret; and Saddle Leather Law with Charles Starret.

From 1933-40, The Prairie Ramblers would cut over 100 sessions for Gene Autry and Patsy Montana. They appeared throughout the country with Patsy performing daily at many matinees.

Salty Holmes (with Joe Maphis) “Cannon Ball Special”

download
Salty Holmes, “Wabash Bues” (instr.)

download
decca salty cannonLondon salty Wabash
Floyd’s photo with the Prairie Ramblers can be seen in the “Cowboy Music Exhibit” at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn. Salty is also listed in the harmonica Hall of Fame in Holland.

Salty and Jean Chapel were married in 1947 until 1956. His career in radio carried him from Chicago, to New York, to Davenport, to Cincinnati, to the Grand Old Opry. In the 50’s, Salty appeared in Las Vegas at the Showboat and the Sahara club in Reno, Nevada.

Floyd passed away in 1971 at Elwood, Indiana.

(biography from Don Chapel, All Music). Additions by bopping’s editor.

Sources: 78rpm-worlds (Ronald Keppner, as usual – many thanks to him), also “45stalker”; Notes and music from Cattle CD 289

Late November 2016 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdy folks ! Another selection concentrating between 1954 and 1957, but with the early odd side from…1929 and the latest from 1964.

Here we go with SKEETER BONN (born 1923 Junior Lewis Bougham) he had a long serie of sides cut early to mid-’50s for RCA. skeeter-bonn-picI’ve chosen the two-sider #(21-6352 from 1955) « There’s no use now », a good medium paced opus with a Bonn in fine extrovert and exuberant voice over a classic backing of discreet steel and bass. The flipside « Rock-a-bye baby » is faster, fine guitar, for this eternal kiddie (?) theme.

There’s no use nowrca--bonn--use

rca--bonn-rock-a-bye-download
Rock-a-bye baby

downloaddownload

His next came in 1957, « Chained » has a harsh vocal and a lot of echo for a real fast song. I don’t know where it was first issued, on Admiral 1007 out of Wheeling, W.Va. or on Town and Country 129, a Polan Springs, Mo. label.

tc--bonn-chainedadmiral-bonn-chained

Chained

download GAYLON WAYNE (Wayne Williams) next, was born in 1935 in Kentucky, and is best known for the furious « Red hot wayne-williamsmama » on the Tenn. Sure label – a bit outside the scope of this blog. I retained a side he cut on Delta # 1044, the fine Hank Williams styled « I ain’t gonna sing the blues », full of energy (drums), over a romping piano and a fiddle always present. Year unknown, maybe 1957-58. On the NL Redita 117 label which was combining every good tracks he recorded, « Steel guitar work » once attributed to him, is omitted : it was in fact done by a group Kiliman HawaIans.

I ain’t gonna sing the blues

download
delta-wayne-blues
Now a wildie from..1929 (Sept. 29) by WILL EZELL (1892-1963) (piano/vocal) : « Pitchin’ boogie » was recorded for Paramount (# 1285) in Richmond, IN. with Baby James on cornet, a bass player and a tambourine. The boogie woogie craze was on its way ! His style remembers one of Jimmy Blythe, boogie and ragtime artist.

Pitchin’ boogieparamount -ezell-pitchin

download

During the late 40s a basically Bluegrass group, that of the McCORMICK BROTHERS, originally from Westmoreland, TN. had their show on WHIN in Gallatin and WKYS on the Hayloft Jamboree. They (Harold, rhythm guitar – Haskell, banjo – Kelly, mandolin – and Lloyd, guitar – backed by Benny Clark on fiddle and Hayden Clark on bass) enjoyed so much success that in 1954 they entered Hickory studio on Franklin Avenue in Nashville to cut their first sides : « Red hen boogie » (# 1013), and later « The Billy Goat boogie » (# 1024) are fine duelling banjo and fiddle tunes, largely inspired by the vocal harmonies of the Delmores. These quaint although swinging performances led straight to Rock’n’roll.

hickory--mccormick-henhickory-mccormick-goat

Red hen boogie

download
The Billy Goat boogie

download

 

Another personality well-known during the ’80s in Europe was GLEN GLENN (rn Glen Trout). He had a few records in dore-trout-sense1957-58 on Era in California, but managed to publish (in Sweden) earlier sides more in the Hillbilly vein. From 1957 came « I saw my castles fall today » recorded at Cal’s Corral from KCOP, Modesto, Ca.: a fine ballad full of emotion, with the guitar playing of Gary Lambert. Now to a demo from September 1956, « It rains, rains », a superb shuffler. Ralph Mooney is on steel. Finally on Doré (# 717), « I didn’t have the sense to go «  is more of a Country-rocker from 1964.

I saw my castles fall today

download
It rains, rains

download
“I didn’t have the sense to go

/audio]download
Sources : my own collection ; as usual, YouTube ; Hillbilly-music.com ; 78rpm world.

Bill S. out of south Texas. Thanks for your kind words and visits. I’m glad to please you with my selections. Your comments are fully appreciated !