JERRY IRBY: 2nd part (1949-1975)

The latest M-G-M’s, then Humming Bird, 4* and Daffan Records (1949-1956)

When the recording ban was lifted, late in 1949, Irby was back in the studio recording once again for M-G-M. However, his days with M-G-M were numbered. He cut just two sessions for the company before leaving the label in search of pastures new. His search for a new recording contract took him first to BillMcCall’s 4 Star label, where he cut two singles, then to his old friend H. B. Crowe in Houston, who had just formed his own label – Hummingbird .

Irby was reunited wih an old friend, Ted Daffan, a few years later, when he joined the rost of artists who had been signed by Daffan. Irby recorded for his new formed Daffan label: according to the era’s trends, he recorded Rock’n’Roll (“Clickety Clack”) and a revamp of his oldie “Forty Nine Women” on Polly records.

Following his span on Daffan, Irby recorded for a slew of small concerns, most of which were based in the Houston area, like Hi-Lo, Polly, J+B and Jer-Ray.

Then there followed a period of inactivity, as far as the recording scene was concerned, before Irby resurfaced in the early ’70’s cutting material for Bagatelle. Unlike his earlier recordings, Irby’s Bagatelle material was of a non secular nature. Irby had become a born again christian and was using his talent as a singer/songwriter to praise the works of the Lord . Why after all, as someone once said, should the devil have all the good tunes.

When Jerry Irby died in 1983, he left behind him a wealth of recorded material, that makes out of him one of the great Western Swing performers.

Sources: for the mot part (1942-1951) the 78rpm (sound files and label scans) do come from the huge, amazing Ronald Keppner’s collection. Thanks, Ron, for the help and care taken with the fabulous 78rpm sound. YouTube was used for later 45rpm, as well as Hillbilly Researcher (Humming Bird, # 06) for Irby and Pete Burke sides. Gripsweat for “Hurricane” (Jer-Ray, 1959).BF for “The Daffan label”. 45cat for label scans. Anonymous biography (certainly from Allan Turner’s hand) from Boppin’ Hillbilly series, volume devoted on Jerry Irby.

Late October 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites

There was NO early October entry: too much work on other things.

Clay & Christine The Kentcky Sweethearts: « These Tears » Sun-Ray 118. Very good mid-paced ballad (main male vocal) duet, nice steel.
B-side : « They say », same formula. A good « provincial country record » from Lexington, Ky., 1967.

Tony Douglas « Baby, When The Sun Goes Down » issued on D 1005 (Houston, Tx). Energetic bopper. Nice vocal and interplay between steel and fiddle, plus piano – really a Starday “feel” (1958), the first of a long career.

Gene Snowden on Hi-Fidelity OP-121/122 « Quit Your Triflin’ On Me » : good guitar. A favorite song for Ray Campi. B-side « Angel Darling » less fast, a good honky tonker in its style.OP- serie was a 4 Star outlet for “Other People”.

Arizona hillbilly Jimmy Spellman « Give Me Some Of Yours » released on Viv 3000 : a fast bopper with steel solo (1955). On Viv Spellman also released “It’s You, You,You” (1002) and the great rockabilly “(She Wants A) Lover Man” (# 1005) with Al Casey on lead guitar. Later he went on Dot, Vik and Redstart, all teen rockers.

Cash Box, April 11, 1953

Out of Knoxville, Tn. label Valley mostly known for Darrell Glenn (pop country) and Reese Shipley (« Catfish boogie » #106) or Shorty Long. (# 108, « I Got Nine Little Kisses »). Here’s the first record of the label : # 101 Joe Stuart « Shoot Again, Mr. Cupid « : a fast, average hillbilly – strong fiddle.

A short note from Ronald Keppner mnentioned a Valley 100 by Archie Campbell (unheard). Yhanks Ron!

Arlie Duff : Decca 29987 « Alligator Come Across » recorded May 15, 1956.
The best open space between hillbilly and rockabilly. Both styles present, great although short rockabilly solo (certainly Grady Martin). Duff was on the birth of Starday too (1953).

Vancie Flowers on Pike 5921 (1959) with « Six Days In Waiting » – does remind of « Six Days On The Road ».Tough guitar, weird instrumentation.

Joe Franklin (1929-2001) & the Mimosa Boys – « Hillbilly boy » b/w « Hitch-hikin’ blues » MGM 11612 (1953). North Carolina artist. Here’s the ultimate in Hillbilly piano bop (Darryl Petty). Urgent vocal, and strong, way too short fiddle too. Joe Franklin’s story is to be found in this site.

Sources : as usual, soundfiles from Youtube or compilations. Vital research by Yours Truly. 45cat useful for many a label scan.

Late July 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites

howdy, folks. This is the plain summer 2020 fortnight’s favorites selection. 9 tunes cut between 1949 and 1961.

As the title implies, « Guitar Shuffle » by the guitarist HANK GARLAND i(1930-2004) is a fine bopper. The rhythm is given by Garland, who does also a good solo on Decca 46250. Recorded July 4, 1950.

Merle Matts II

On the NJ label Cool (# 111, released 1958), now the fast « Tennessee Baby » by MERLE MATTS II. Rhythm given by a banjo. An urgent vocal, good steel (played like a bottleneck).

« I’m Sorry Now » by BUD DECKLEMAN is the lastest tune this time (1961). He’d cut his most known « Daydreamin’ » on Meteor in 1954 – a fair sized hit ; then a string of hillbilly releases on M-G-M (1955-56), before dropping into semi-obscurity (according to a sideman, he wasn’t reliable). He reappears for a swansong : medium paced, good steel. A typical early 60s Country.(Stomper Time M80w-3355).

Sam Nichols

Back to 1949 on M-G-M 10440, « Keep Your Motor Hot », indeed a truck song, by SAM NICHOLS. Fast bopper, Western tinged.

On the Circle Dot label (# 1006), out of Minneapolis, DAVE DUDLEY released the fine uptempo ballad (aggressive steel) « Picture Of My Heart »(early 60s).

Dave Dudley

Out of Nashille on the very small Jamboree label (501), DICK STRATTON offers « Fat Gal Boogie »in 1950-51. A guitar boogie rocker. Steel and string bass solos. Stratton was also on Tennessee 795 for « Pistol Boogie ».

Dick Stratton

Ralph Collier

A medium shuffler now : « You’ll Come Runnin’ Home To Me » by RALPH COLLIER on the Blazon label # 105 out of Nashville.

Lee ‘Red’ Melson

Lee ‘RED’ Melson did « Boss Man Blues » on the Grand Prairie label # 501 : a very expressive vocal for a medium uptempo with solid fiddle but uninventive guitar. Melson was also on the Georgia Ridgecresst label.

Jimmy Boyd

JIMMY BOYD, singer/actor, releases « Rockin ‘ Dow The Mississip », a Country rocker from June 1956 (Columbia 21471).i

Sources : my own archives. « Rockailly Hoodlums, vol. 2 (Collector); Bert Martin’s old tapes (Hank Garland, Dick Stratton, Sam Nichols, Bud Deckleman); Tom Sims’ cassette (Dave Dudley); eBay 45s (Lee ‘Red’Melson, Merle Matts II).

Early April 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdy, folks! Hello to past visitors, hi! to new ones. Here it’s the new fortnight’s favorites selection of bopping music (early April 2020), and you’ll be treated with tunes as early as 1934, to immediate early ’60s.

Zeke Clements & his Western Swing Gang

An early Grand Ole Opry star, ZEKE CLEMENTS (1911-1994) was an immensely popular artist with songs like « Smoke On The Water » or « Oklahoma Blues ». Here he is on the Blazon klabel (# 10B) from the late ’40s for « It’s My Life », an uptempo a bit jazzy/Western swing : clarinet all through along the tune, piano and jumping vocal. Clements even adapted himself in 1959 to Rock’n’roll on his own Janet label.

Homer Callahan

Even earlier (1934) by HOMER CALLAHAN part of the Callahan Brothers duo (the other was Walter). This is crude Hillbilly ! « Rattlesnake Daddy » has a raw power, only singer and his guitar, with some yodel. Vocalion 04362, cut in NYC.

Randy Atcher

A fast hillbilly now in the hands of RANDY ATCHER, a Louisville, Ky artist. « Flying High » (M-G-M 11954), released iin 1955, is a fast number that moves, with a nice fiddle. More of the same for « You’re A Living Doll » (# 12058) : steel effects and also moving. Atcher cut an « Indian » classic hillbilly in 1956, « Indian Rock » (M-G-M 12347). He was also on Contract Records.

Bob Dean & Cindy

From Washington, D.C. comes BOB DEAN & Cindy with the Kountry Kings. They released in ’59 the fast Country-rocker « Walk, Walk, Walkin’ Blues » on Kay 3690.

The York Brothers

Another Indian Hillbilly is « Mohawk Squaw » (King 1468, recorded May 1955) by the YORK Brothers, Leslie and George. It’s a fine novelty « Mohawk Squaw, Hugh-hugh »..), well in their usual manner : good guitar and some spare drums. Released also on UK. Parlophone.

From Oklahoma on the Razorback label (# 103) in 1958 we are treated with a fast Hillbilly bopper by BILLY PARKS : « Four Leaf Clover » is a lively opus, string bass well to the fore, boogie guitar and a discreet steel (too short solo), chanter in good form. The flipside, « Why Shoud I Keep On Trying » is similar in essence and tempo, as well as the UBC 1015 « If I Shoud Tell You I’m Sorry » (issued November 1960).

Jimmy Reed

Finally a master in Rocking Blues : JIMMY REED with two tracks from a July 1955 session for Chicago’s Vee-Jay Records Company. W.C. Dalton on lead guitar, Milton Rector on bass, Earl Phillips on drums, plus the very great Henry Gray on piano (later with Howling Wolf). The two tracks have Reed on vocal and harmonica : « She Don’t Want Me No More » and « I Don’t Go For That » – neither me !

Sources : YouTube for Randy Atcher ; HBR 19 (Razorback) for Billy Parks’ songs ; Google Images for Randy Atcher and Jimmy Reed ; Ron Keppner for Zeke Clements on Blazon ; 45cat for Billy Parks and Bob Dean ; my own archives.

Late February 2020 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdy folks, this is the fourth portion of Country boogie or rockers for this 2020 year, and will contain no less than ten songs. I hope you will find something of interest here.

Lawson Rudd

A famous blogger and writer, Some Local Loser, posted in YouTube both sides of Starday 711. Originally released April 1958, this was the record debut for LAWON RUDD (born Salyersville, Ky in 1929 – deceased December 2011) backed by the Tippecanoe Valley Boys for two great sides. A-side was named « Country Town Girl », a superior uptempo mid-paced, great hillbilly vocal and rhythm guitar, fine steel all through the song (a short solo). B-side, « Blues On The Run » has a rhumba-beat (maraccas) and reminds one of Louisiana Lannis in « Much To Much » issued the year before (Starday 268){see Louisiana Lannis’ story elsewhere in this blog}.

But LAWSON RUDD’s best known side is to be found two years later (1960) on Kingsford Heights, Indiana based Harvest label (# 709) : « Shake This Town » has a lazy vocal, unobstrusive chorus and good backing for a late period Rockabilly : fine guitar and a trembling steel solo. The guitar player sounds as in Bill Bowen’s « Don’t Shoot Me Baby » (Meteor 5033) cut in April 1956, four years before ! Incidentally the flipside « No One Will Ever Know » couldn’t be traced, a pity..This disc is valued $ 100 to 150.

Paul Howard & Arkansas Cotton Pickers

The veteran PAUL HOWARD and his Arkansas Cotton Pickers do come next with « Texas Boogie » released in April 1949 on the King label 779. Actually a showcase, instrumental for the most part (steel, fiddle, guitar and of course a great piano) only adorrned by the vocal of RED PERKINS {see elsewhere in this blog his story}.

Red Perkins

Carolina Cotton

Then CAROLINA COTTON for a lazy vocal tune from May 1950 on M-G-M 10798B, « Lovin’ Ducky Daddy » has a ‘sugar’ voice, even some yodel and a good piano, but sparse backing (bass and drums).

Clay Allen & His Cimarron Playboys

More in 1950, on another major label (Decca 46324) the recording debut of CLAY ALLEN and his Cimarron Boys with « Evalina ». A good, although forgettable, uptempo ballad, the steel and the piano getting the better part behind the vocal.

The Country Dudes

Billboard, Sept. 28, 1959

Chuck Harding & His Colorado Cowhands

CHUCK HARDING was born in 1914 (Marion Cty, Ky.), the son of a minister who taught him the fiddle. With his Colorado Cowhands he released in March 1948 a fabulous « Talking The Blues » : really great bass, awesome vocal, mandolin, steel solo, great fiddle too. It was first released on Texas Blue Bonnet 135A, before being switched to a greater exposure on California’s Modern 581 in May of the same year. Personnel is wholly given on the back of Boppin’ Hillbilly # 19, issued a mere twenty years ago.

Harding was to have in March 1954 on the Des Moines, Ill. (a Northern suburb to Chicago) Replica label # 101 the fine double-sided « Stop Crying On My Shoulder » and « I’m Living In A Lonely World » : accordion well present to the fore (it has its solo), sparse backing and no fiddle but steel solo.

As a matter of comparison I add the original version of « Talking The Blues » (written by Harding and Pyle) by PETE PYLE on Bullet 602 released June 1946. Good guitar, fiddle solo, and a trembling steel over an extrovert vocal – a good disc, but not to the standard of Chuck Harding’s version.

Billboard May 27, 1954

And that’s it for this fortnight ! Pheewww, as usual, a lot of work (research and making-up) and a lot of fun too (listening to dozens songs before choosing the selection I prefer).

Sources: YouTube (Some Local Loser); 45cat and 78rpm worlds; Ohio River; HBR serie; my own archives