Howdy folks, welcome to newcomers. The aim of this feature is to spread my favorites around…
Let’s begin with a recently covered CLIFF DAVIS, without doubt a Southerner (“& his Kentucky Play Boys” as shown on the label), on the Chicago Jay Jay label (# 161) for this fabulous rendition of a classic, modernized (for 1956…) “Rocky Road Blues“. Fast, call-and-response format, even slap-bass sounding like drums and a superlative guitar. Second, thanks to Youtube chain-owner HillillyBoogie1, who frequently adds gems to his chain, PERRY WASHBURN on the Los Lunas, N. M. Mustang (# 300) label is no exception: on a obliged Indian beat, a very effective medium-paced vocal on perfect backing of steel-fiddle-guitar (nice solos) for “Pocahontas Baby“.
On the Joplin, MO. Joplin label, owned and composed by one Robert T. Nelson, a superior shuffler, “Oklahoma Blond Headed Gal” by deep-voiced SAMMIE LEE. Nice fiddle, steel all along. Year 1958 (issue J80W-3138, RCA pressing). Thanks to Tom Sims for this rare one.
PORKY FREEMAN is maybe the best known of this serie, for a string of guitar-led instrumentals from 1944-1947 on Ara and Four Star labels. Here I offer his “Porky’s Boogie Woogie” (Ara 4009) from September 1945. Red Murrell on rhythm and Al Barker on bass, Porky indeed on lead guitar.
From Chicago or Eastern states come BOB PERRY. On the small Bandera label (# 1301/1303) the fantastic “Weary Blues Goodbye” from 1958. Very strong rhythm, firm vocal, and a FABULOUS steel-guitar solo, which sounds as a slide guitar. I added the flipside, very different, and more countryfied “Can’t Hardly Wait”. Perry had at least another disc on Cool, outside the scope of this site: it’s a late ’50s rocker.
Finally someone I recently put everything I could gather on, the Kentuckian born RAY ANDERSON. In the case you missed him, here is his great “Done Gone Dirty Shame” from 1952-53 on the Illinois Blue Ribbon (B2) label. Nice guitar picking a la Merle Travis.
Finally there is an hidden gem in the podcasts: “Haunted House Boogie” by Jack Rivers, for halloween.
Howdy, folks. And the hillbilly bop goes on, with 6 new favorites. This time I’d dig deeper in my archives, taken from excellent mid-’80s Tom Sims’ collector cassettes. The guy owned at the time ca. 50 or 60.000 singles! Some 25 years beyond I still discover little gems out of these cassettes, as the three debut choices.
Mark Foster and a loping piece of fast Hillbilly, “My Baby Doll” – I don’t even know the original label. It could be from ’56 or ’57. ** See NOTE down the page. Then Robbie Shawn, accompanied by Wynn Stewart (1958?) on the Linde-Jo label for “It’s Time For me To Go” – I suspect the presence of steel guitar virtuoso Ralph Mooney. Now on the Joplin label, and the unknown Sammie Lee, for the very nice mid-tempo “Oklahoma Blond Headed Gal“, complete with rural vocal, fiddle and steel.
Unto “regular” finds, for The Drifter on the Maid label, out of Columbia, Tennessee (vocal Tommy Moreland). These Tennessee Drifters are not to be confused with earlier ones on Dot (with Big Jeff or George Toon). I know Moreland had other records, but could not find more information, or didn’t care to take time to it. Very fine mid-tempo Rockabilly, heavy echoey lead guitar.
The career of the Sons of the Pioneers goes back to early ’30s and they had big hits throughout until the ’60s, most well known being “Cool Water” (also done by Hank Williams). Here I’ve chosen their spirited rendition (April 1952) of the Billy Strange‘s original “Diesel Smoke, Dangerous Curves“.
Finally, the prolific Mac Odell, a native from Alabama, and his “Penicillin” on King. Fast vocal, one wonders how he came to sing that fast without stuttering!
NOTE about “Mark Foster” (first selection). A visitor whose great pseudonym “Drunken Hobo” from England hides a fine listener and connoisseur of Hillbilly Bop advises me the tracks “My Baby Doll” is actually by CLIFF WALDON & His Westernairs. Label: Mark 107. The label do come from Utica, NY. I finally found it: Waldon was apparently from Oklahoma and had “Indian Gal” twice, first on Stardale, second on Mark. Listen to this track: it has 5 solos! 2 by the steel player, 2 by the fiddler, and even the bass player has his own. No electric lead guitar audible. And a lovely happy voice by Waldon. Thanks again, Dean!