Jimmy Simpson “The Oil Field Boy”

Jimmy Simpson : Ramblin’ Blues (reprint of A.J. Nightingale’s article in RSJ 7, 1984)    Simpson 1953

Many people regard the state of Tennessee as the cradle of Country music and I suppose that it was only appropriate that one of the finest hillbilly singers of the Fifties, JIMMY (J.D.) SIMPSON have been born in the state, at Sullivan Hollow, Ashland City, some twenty odd miles from Nashville on 24th March, 1928. His father, it seems, owned the Simpson Construction Co. « My parents were hard-working, honest, and religious people », Jimmy recalls in his book A Vanishing Breed. « This was the Depression era and we learned early in life to cope with hard times. We didn’t have a radio, but an old wind-up Victrola that played 78 rpm records, and that’s was our entertainment. »

AshlandCity_TN

A big man, six feet tall, Jimmy had definite stage presence and a gift of gab that enabled him to enjoy a side-career as a disc-jockey for most of the fifties and early sixties. His records were released on an array of small labels that continue to fascinate collectors – Republic, Hidus, Jiffy, Big State, Caprock, and his own Sourdough – but included a brief run with Starday as well. Along the way he managed to get in appearances on the Grand Ole Opry, the Louisiana Hayride, and the Big ‘D’ Jamboree, with a wide array of country music characters, musicians, songwriters and disc jockeys : Jim Denny, Jack Rhodes, Harlan Howard, Slim Willet, Hank Harral, Tillman Franks, Willie Nelson, and Don Pierce, to name a few. (more…)

early December 2009 fortnight

Hello folks! Here is another slab of boppers to enjoy your ears. We debut with BOB BLUM raucous “Romping Stomping Good time” – the title says it all! Fine steel-guitar. Blum also had “Say it fast” in a more Counry vein. Early in 1936, Dallas, Texas, with the fine original “Texas Sand” by the TUNE WRANGLERS. Charlie Kellogg on vocal and double-bass. This is a used (not abused!) RCA 78 rpm. Down in Mississipi, 1954 (Feature label) with MACK HAMILTON and his great Bopper “I’m A Honky Tonk Daddy”. Black label. Same period, this time on MGM, and up North (Cincinnati) for the prolific JOE ‘CANNONBALL’ LEWIS, a tune later sung by the Maddoxes: “I Wonder If I Can Lose The Blues This Way”.. .A story is en course on JIMMY SIMPSON, a great Country Bopper in his own right, for 2010. Here is his “Blues As I Can be”. Then on to piano blues/boogie with CECIL GANT and “Hogan’s Alley”(King, 1947). Bye!