Born 3 February 1927, Ellisville, Mississippi. Died 27 June 1992, Mobile, Alabama.
Luke McDaniel, like many a good singer was born in the good ole southern state of Mississippi, in Ellisville on February 3, 1927. He started in music as a mandolin player, and was influenced by hillbilly singers like The Bailes Brothers. He formed his own band and turned professional in 1945. He opened for Hank Williams in New Orleans in the late 40’s and appears to have become hooked on the lonesome sound of Hank. In 1952 he recorded “Whoa, Boy” for Trumpet Records (# 184) in Jackson, Mississippi. It’s a hillbilly boogie belter (call-and-response format) : strong steel guitar and sawing fiddle over an insistant fast rhythm. The flip side « No more » is a good uptempo hillbilly weeper, nicely done. He also cut as a tribute single, “A Tribute To Hank Williams, My Buddy“, a forgettable morbid slow weeper. The Trumpet records were all high quality hillbilly, but as with many at the time, showed him at this stage as little more than a Hank Williams clone.
In 1953 he was introduced to King Records by fellow artist Jack Cardwell (The Death of Hank Williams/ Dear Joan). He joined King but failed to register any hits despite half a dozen fine singles. He cut them either in radio station KWAB in Mobile, AL ; either at KWKH in Shreveport, La.; either in Cincinnati King studio.
« The automobile song » (King 1336), a fast hillbilly bopper, is done in gaiety, “Money Bag Woman” (King 1380) was particularly strong, fusing his hillbilly with a rhumba beat.
« I can’t go » (King 1276) is also a strong, although ordinary bopper. The mid-paced « One more heart » (King 1426) is less interesting as the slowie forgettable « Let me be a souvenir » (# 1356) and « Honey, won’t you please come home ». « Crying my heart out for you » (# 1356) renews with the « Money bag woman » rhumba beat with a welcome mandolin (maybe played by himself?). « Drive on » (# 1287) is a strong although ‘quiet’ bopper in the Hank Williams vein.
When the King contract expired, he went back to New Orleans where he recorded for the Meladee label in 1955/56 under the alias Jeff Daniels at the legendary Cosimo’s Studio with the pick of the city’s black musicians. Only one single was released, the great frantic “Daddy-O-Rock” coupled with the quieter “Hey Woman” (# 117)
In 54 he joined the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport and became a part of the touring Hayride show. It was no doubt here that he saw Elvis Presley and started to move towards a more rocking sound. Around this time, McDaniel wrote “Midnight Shift” [a song about prostitution] under the pseudonym of Earl Lee, which Buddy Holly would later record on Decca.
In 1956 Elvis and Carl Perkins urged McDaniels to submit a demo to Sam Phillips. Sam was impressed and signed McDaniel to a contract with Sun Records. It’s unsure whether he cut two sessions or just one at Sun (either September 56 or/and January 57). Nothing was issued though, as Sam and Luke had a financial disagreement. The unissued Sun sides have now seen the light of day thanks to reissue labels like Charly Records (Ferrero/Barbat 600 serie reissues). “Uh Babe” (Sun 620) is seminal-Sun rockabilly with Jimmy Van Eaton on fine form behind the skinned boxes. “High high high” is more a good uptempo rocker and sounds like a cross between Hayden Thompson and Gene Simmons.
Later McDaniel went to pure rock’n’roll on Venus, Astro, Big Howdy or Big B, but never achieved the big time.
Some songs he published : “Out of a Honky Tonk” and “Six Pallbearers” – co-written with Bob Gallion; “Blue Mississippi” and “You’re Still On My Mind”; and finally, “Mister Clock”, co-written with Jimmie Rogers. Another song credited to “Earl Lee” – “Seven or Eleven”, co-written with Jimmie Rogers and someone named Ainsworth, perhaps Arlene Ainsworth.
Biography taken on « Youzeek.com » and « hillbilly-music.com ». Additions from bopping’s editor.
Hi ! Everybody. Ready for this new Fortnight ? From New Orleans on the Meladee label (run by Mel Mallory – I wonder if he launched other labels), here’s JACK WYATT & his Bayou Boys and the fine, uptempo « Why did you let me love you ». Fiddle and steel all long the tune. Actually Meladee issued also discs by Gene Rodrigue (« Jolie fille ») Roy Perkins (« You’re on my mind ») and Jeff Daniels (« Daddy-o rock »). Wyatt had another record on the Kuntry label (# 1000) : « I taught her how to love », a good uptempo, out of J. D. Miller studio in Crowley, La., according to « Jamil » as publishing house.
« You promised me » is the next song by PAUL BLUNT on Bullet 674, backed by a Californian outfit, The Frontiersmen, later set-up in Dallas, TX as a house band for Jim Beck . Blunt is in good voice and plays apparently steel (he was also a capable pianist who found work with many sessions held at Beck’s, including Ray Price or Charlene Arthur). I have previously posted his very good « Walking upstairs” (Bullet 706) in the April 2013 fortnight’s favorites section.
JEAN SHEPARD (born 1933; deceased September 2016) began his career in a duet with Ferlin Huskey, « A dear John letter », a huge hit in 1953 even as a crossover between Country and pop charts. Herself later pursued a solo career. Here’s « Two whoops and a holler » (Capitol 2791, April 1954): a typical Capitol honky tonker with one of the best housebands around in Los Angeles, that of Bill Woods (piano), Lewis Talley (steel), Fuzzy Owen (guitar) and Skeets McDonald on bass. In 1955 Shepard is inducted in the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. All in all she recorded 73 singles !
Then the veteran EDDIE DEAN (1907-1999) was more known for his crooning things than boppers. We can however remind of 2 great sides on the Sage label, « Impatient blues » being a fine shuffler (#188), and « Rock & Roll cowboy » (# 226), a rare example of Western swing flavoured Rocker (or the opposite).
Finally from 1969 (yes!) on the Laurel Leaf label (# 24172), JAMES TUSSEY delivers a strong and solid bopper (drums present) with « I had a dream of you ».
Sources : Kevin Coffey in the « A shot in the dark » boxset ; Praguefrank for several discographical details ; Hillblly-music.com to complete bios ; Youtube.Thanks Dominique ‘Imperial’ Anglares for the rare Jean Shepard EP.
Sorry, I was not able to give more precise info. this time. Will do better next Fortnight !
Howdy folks, a happy and bopping New Year to everyone. As a seasonal gift, I will post no less than 15 selections, as on the Xmas fortnight.
First a mystery with GEORGE BOWE & the Travelers. It has proved impossible to find any detail on him neither even the location of the label, Eagle – a common label name during the ’50s/60s. A very small clue is to be detected in the deadwax, « Rimrock » – which leads one to Arkansas Wayne Raney‘s label of the ’60s. Anyway Bowe delivers a Rockabilly styled opus with « Big man » (Eagle 110A) – the whole thing is quiet and lazy. B-side (« Do you remember ») is a melodic ballad, a bit sentimental, over sympathetic backing.
Note: Alexander Petrauskas did advise me that the Eagle label was definitely associated with Rimrock, the latter pressing the Eagle products.
DON WHITNEY (incomplete bio statistics – he died in 1985) was a D.J. associated with Arkansas radio stations KLCN in Blytheville, then KOSE in Osceola (1957) ; he’s been too on WELO in Tupelo (MS), and cut a whole string of boppers for 4*. Where he cut them ? Probably Nashville. I chose from 1950 « Red hot boogie » (# 1471), call-and-response format (girl chorus). Steel and piano are barely audible, while the guitar player does a too short but wild solo. « Move on blues » (# 1588) from 1951 is a fine bluesy tune over a boogie guitar. Discreet steel and piano.
On Adco records (# 781), cut in Cincinnati, OH, next comes GLEN CANYON and a rocker from 1965, « I won’t be able to make it » : a shrilling guitar thoughout, and the disk is valued $ 50 to 100. I couldn’t locate the flipside « Still in love with you », reputedly a bopper. Canyon appeared also on Acorn and Boone (Kentucky).
The Sandy label out of Mobile,AL. is interesting for many records issued between 1957 and 1962 and highly revered by Rockabilly/Rock’n’roll buffs : do Ronny Keenan, Happy Wainwright, Jackie Morningstar (« Rockin’ in the graveyard »), Ray Sawyer (« Rockin’ satellite ») or Darryl Vincent (« Wild wild party ») ring each a bell to you ? Well, the label also had its hillbilly boppers, like Johnny Foster (more on him next fortnight, late January 2016) or WADE JERNIGAN. Both his sides (# 1010) are high quality boppers penned by label bossman Johnny Bozeman in 1958. « Road of love », medium paced, has a very « hillbilly » type vocal (high pitched at moments), over a prominent fiddle and good steel, while its flip « So tired » uses the same format, just a little bit slower. A good record for Hillbilly lovers.
Now on to Louisiana. The Khoury’s label began activities in 1951 to cease them in 1955 (last known is # 647, « Lu Lu boogie » by Nathan Abshire, which I owned moons ago before selling it – I am biting my fingers now..). We find here on # 700B (not in numerical order, this one is from 1954) a fabulous Cajun wildie « Louisiana stomp » by LEBLANC’S FRENCH BAND (an unidentified singer yells and encourages by his yells the whole fiddle led orchestra). Reverse is by Eddie Shuler, the founder of Goldband. Second La. selection : by GENE RODRIGUE, who had other releases on Folk-Star, Houma and Rod (the Cajun Rockabilly « Little cajun girl” from 1959). Here is his « Jole fille » (Meladee 101, cut in New Orleans), full of energy and « joie de vivre », Cajun style. Nice fiddle, steel and piano. This comes from the late ’50s apparently.
More from Louisiana with PAL THIBODEAUX (also known as Little Pal Hardy on Imperial) and « Port Arthur boogie » (Sky Line OP-154). Call-and-response, sung in French and English. Fiddle solo, sympathetic backing, two good guitar solos encouraged by the singer a la Bob Wills.
“Port Arthur boogie”
GEORGE GREEN & The Missouri Ranch Boys comes next with a good 2-sider on Zeylon . The medium paced « I don’t love you anymore » is backed by a welcome accordion, and sounds its late ’40s recording, although its prefix (J80W, an RCA pressing, dates from..1958). The flip « Be a little angel » is a jumping little thing, which grows on you at each playing. Good fiddle.
« Just because « is a classic Sun side, only issued on RCA, by ELVIS PRESLEY. We conclude this fortnight with his version (RCA 47-6640, early 1956) and the original by the SHELTON BROTHERS (in the ’30s). Great lyrics. Elvis does a very fine job on it.
Sources : Somelocaluser blogspot (George Bowe, Wade Jernigan, George Green), Youtube for several tunes (Don Whitney – scans from 78rpmworld) ; Robert Lunn on a 3-CD compilation of country music on Mercury, picture from “hillbilly-music.com”. Hope you enjoy this selection. Comments welcome. ‘Till then, bye.
Note: important addition on Khoury records by Louisiana tireless researcher and faithful friend Wade Falcon (Feb. 5th, 2016):
I read your latest article on Leblanc on Khoury. The musician is Floyd Leblanc. Fiddle player that originated with Bennie Hess and Virgil Bozman and the Oklahoma Tornadoes. Floyd had recorded the song Louisiana Stomp first with Virgil’s label O.T. Recording Company (#104-B)
After Virgil folded the label, Khoury who helped finance it, picked it up along with his artists and started Khoury and Lyric. Khoury re-released the song on his label. (700-B)
I actually know Floyd’s daugher. Very nice person.
Also, Khoury’s 600 series label ended with #652 in 1955. He started his 700 series again (which we’ll refer to as the “second 700 series”). There, you have the 700-B side you mention in your blog with Shuler on one side and Leblanc on the other. That lasted till about 1962. His last Cajun in the series was #720 Pee Wee Broussard.
Founded at 1354, Wright Street, LA, California, in 1954. It is believed by Hillbilly Researcher Al Turner that the label was possibly owned by George Wilson, who wrote or co-wrote most of the material used by both Excel and Rodeo. He would have made a small fortune in royalties from writing « Hot Rod Race » for Arkie Shibley in 1951 (see elsewhere in the site for his story), certainly enough to put into a small record company.(more…)
A NEW HEADER HAS BEEN PUT AT THE UPPER RIGHT: every artist or label cited in bopping.org since the beginning is this way all of a sudden within easy rich.
Hi! to everyone, for this new entry in the “fortnight’s favorites” serie in the bopping.org site. If you came in by accident, or while searching on the web for particular things, you are welcome! This is the site of happy, well-living hillbilly bop music – anyway the form is: hillbilly, rockabilly, country boogie or later country-rock. This article is published bi-weekly and contains 6 selections of what I noticed and liked recently.
All 6 selections have something in common: I nearly know nothing on the artists involved neither few on the labels they recorded on. So all things do come from records themselves!
First on the Detroit, MI. based Fortune label. It is very well known now that many an artist from the Southern states, once established in the Motor City, did record for small labels over there, the most important being Jack & Deborah Brown‘s Fortune label. This said, I know NOTHING on the Tennessee Harmony Boys, except what is written on their Fortune # 209 issue label. It’s a cross between Bluegrass and Hillbilly, with a foot firmly set on the religious side. Instrumentally one can only be stunned at two thrilling mandolin solos of “I’m A Millionaire“. Remember this came as late as 1956-57.
Second selection, on the Dixie label. No one can seem to find the end of this one, although their mainstay was from ca. 800 to 1100 – maybe different labels. I kept this time Malcolm Nash and the great “I Guess I’m Wise” (# 833) . Acc. by the Putnam County Play Boys: Putnam Cty is located in the NY state, on the lower Hudson River region. Is this helping? Musically, this is a duet vocal, in the cross manner of Memphis, TN, Sun label Howard Seratt (for rhythm guitar and harmonica) and Doug Poindexter (for the shuffle beat). Very strange and excellent item, maybe from 1956.
On to New Orleans, and the Meladee label. You know Luke McDaniels had, as Jeff Daniels, one of his best-ever rockers (“Daddy-O-Rock“) on this label. Surprising Don Ray. Here it’s a fine shuffling Hillbilly bop/Rockabilly, “Step Aside“, with good steel. Ray apparently was to have 2 records on the Los Angeles Rodeo label in 1956 (“Imogene/Those Rock’n’Roll Blues“). Later on the Rodeo/Excel labels soon!
Returning North, in Shreveport, La. on the tiny Clif label with Roy Wayne (“Honey, Won’t You Listen“, # 101). Good lead guitar, on an insistant drum backing. Clif also had issued T.V. Slim “Flat Foot Sam“, which was picked up by Checker in Chicago, before being re-cut by Louisiana Tommy Blake on the Memphis Sun label. If I manage well, Sun Records may be the secret link between all numbers!
From New Jersey state comes Verlin Speeks on the Cevetone label (# 1866, “Mountain Boy“). Fast hillbilly bopper, nasal vocal, on backing of mandolin, banjo and fiddle (brilliant solo). I could hear that type of music all the time!
Finally, early ’60s, in Oklahoma on the Boyd label (# 3297); Sonny Miller belts out “Through That Door” on heavy bass and fiddle Bakersfield influenced country rocker.
Hope you will enjoy all the selections.
Remember to take a look through the “contact me – I’m selling CDs“ header: there are a lot of CDs and vinyl albums for sale, at bargain prices.