Early August 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Early August 2020 bopping fortnight’s favories, mainly from 1954 to 1958, with a short array in 1953.

Bill “Zekie” Browning

Zekie Browing (seated left)

BILL ‘ZEKIE’ BROWING (not to be confused with Bill Browning, who had great records on Cincinnati’s Island and Starday labels), cut early in 1958 the proud Country-Rocker (because of the drums) « Bad Case Of The Blues » on Lucky 0005. Great steel and fiddle solos, also good piano. (with a $ 200-250 tag). On Lucky 0001 ha also had issued « I’ll Pay You Back ».

Taylor Porter

TAYLOR PORTER next – first on Starday Custom 694. The artist was out of Kentucky. « It’s Over Now » has an heavy bass for an uptempo and a lot of echo on the vocal. A battling between fiddle and guitar. A very effective side. The B-side « No More Loving You » has the same characteristics, very melodic.

We found the same Porter on 1960 Janet 26-60 and « Way Out There » : a Rockabilly guitar, a fiddle, even a bit of yodeling. The B-side remains untraced (« I Can See It In Your Eyes »).

Another artist from Kentucky, RONNIE BURTON has, on the Tam label # 101 a nice slowie, « Keeper Of My Heart », then the very fast, rollicking « Somebody’s Been Babyen My Baby » (Tam 102), with a steel solo.

Doye O’Dell

On the West coast now with DOYE O’DELL who cut on Intro many a fine sides (i.e. « Diesel Smoke »). Here on the Radio label (# 115, from 1958) he delivers « Bring A Hammer And A Needle », a good Folk influenced bopper (12s strings guitar solo)

Eddie Hazelwood>

Another Intro label artist : EDDIE HAZLEWOOD, who had a long array of boppers. I chose his personal hillbilly version of « Hound Dog » (issued March 1953, shortly after the Big Mama one, but a large 3 years before Elvis). A lovely shuffler with steel and good spirited vocal.. Hazelwood was killed, along with Jimmie Widener, by an armed robberer in Nashville (1973).

From Houston the very unknown RED MANSEL who offers a moderate-paced « Changing Heart », a very nice vocal (1958).(All Star 7165)

Buck Griffin

The final track is a bopping rocker from 1956. BUCK GRIFFIN released on Lin 1015 the rocker « Ballin’ And Squallin’ ». The guitar is ‘chanting’, we have a steel and a piano solo over a strong rhythm. Griffin made a lot of this material and deserves a complete feature in bopping.org.

Sources : YouTube (Porter Taylor on Janet), Internet for Ronnie Burton. My own archives for the rest.

late November 2011 fortnight’s favorites

Howdy, folks! We do embark for a new musical journey into Bluegrass, old-time Hillbilly, and border Rockabilly Hillbilly bop.

First from North Wilkesboro, Western North Carolina, do come the CHURCH BROTHERS. Three brothers, Ralph, Bill and Edwin (each’s instrument unknown) and a fourth partner, Ward Eller, provided on the Jim Stanton’s Rich-R-Tone label, later on Drusilla Adams’ Blue Ridge label, a nice serie of  enthusiastic tunes between 1951 and 1953, before they were disbanded by the mid-’50s. The elder Bill was playing (certainly guitar) with Roy Hall & his Blue Ridge Entertainers before the WWII, and was joined later by younger brothers. Alas, they were reluctant to travel very far, and, being modest and straightforward country boys, they were less and less involved in music – and more and more tied in their farms and families. Here you can hear the fabulous banjo-led “I Don’t Know What To Do“, which I don’t even know the original issue number of, having picked it from an old Tom Sims’ cassette. This track escaped to Rounder LP 1020, a shame because in my mind it’s by far their best track ever. Final note: the Church Brothers backed Jim Eanes on his regional hit “Missing In Action” (1952).

church brothers

GRANDPA JONES (Born Louis Jones, 1913 – died 1998) was a banjo player, comedian, and long-time associate with Grand Ole Opry. He had adopted the name ‘Grandpa’ at 22,because he sounded old on the radio. He recorded with Merle Travis and the Delmore Brothers as Brown’s Ferry Four for King (religious sides). Here you can hear his hilarious and stomping “Grandpa’s Boogie” (King 822) from 1948.

folio grandpa jonesking  jones grandpa Louis_'Grandpa'_Jones

CHARLIE MONROE along with famous brother Bill was at the very beginnig of Bluegrass music, but he deliver also some very good Hillbilly, as here with “Down In Caroline” from the ’40s (RCA 48-0391B ). Note the boogie guitar for a song much covered afterwards, e.g. the Church Brothers.

charlie monroe rca  monroe down From Texas and a bit later. The first issue on the Gainesville Lin label (Buck Griffin…) by a rather unknown WAYNE JETTON and “A Crazy Mind Plus A Foolish Heart” (Lin 1000). A good average uptempo ballad. Then, on the San Antonio TNT label, a bordering Hillbilly bop/Rockabilly bop, “Be Bopping Baby” (TNT 9009) by RANDY KING, from 1956. Good topical lyrics, and fine backing.

lin  jetton  mindtnt  king  bopping

Finally a belter from 1956 by a R&B lady (unusual on Bopping!), “Alabama Rock’n’Roll” by MABEL KING on the Rama (# 200) New York label. Enjoy the selections! ’till then, bye-bye!

rama king alabama

A.C. “Buck” Griffin, classic Texas Hillbilly bop and Rockabilly (1954-1956) on Lin and M-G-M

One of the first articles I ever wrote was about rockabilly/honky tonk singer Buck Griffin, which in turn led me to my proud association with Joe Leonard. Griffin was a great artist who unfortunately struck out before making the major leagues, despite going to bat for Lin, MGM and Holiday Inn between 1954 and 1962. He tried his hand at both country and the newly emerging rockabilly style but was destined to remain relatively unknown.

griffin pub 1956

Born Albert Clyde Griffin in Corsicana, Texas on 23rd February 1923, his formative years were spent moving throughout Oklahoma and Kansas. Whilst still in his teens, A.C., as he was known, formed and fronted a country band with three schoolmates. After leaving school and holding down jobs on pipelines and oil fields, he started to play the local honky tonks and eventually got a gig on radio station WKY.

Throughout the forties and fifties radio had bred many stars who once they were groomed and polished, moved on to better things, leaving the station manager to find a replacement. WKY probably had this in mind when they copyrighted the name Chuck Wyman and had our Mr. Griffin use it for all his broadcasts. Once he left the station, singers like Paul Brawner and Pronger Suggs took over the role and the sponsors continued backing the shows. The public must surely have noticed whenever a new Chuck arrived, but after a hard days toil in the cotton fields or rounding up cattle, I don’t suppose they cared. (more…)