As for the past, here are a good amount of boppers cut between 1947 and as recent as 1966.
Fiddler TEX GRIMSLEY was a Louisiana Hayride resident, and played his part on almost – if not all – Pacemaker sides of 1949-50. This label was co-owned by Horace Logan (boss of the Hayride) and Webb Pierce, and was constantly of high standard. Grimsley & his Showboys included guitar player Buddy Attaway [his story is somewhere told in this site], Shot Jackson on steel and the inevitable Tillman Franks on bass, while the vocal duties are taken by (supposed related) Cliff Grimsley, and the tune « Shuffle on down » (Pacemaker 1005) is really a lazy, shuffling call-and-response format bopping song. Shot Jackson produces really wild effects on his steel.
“Shufflin’ on down”
»One little teardrop too late » is a crazy-paced item issued as by PLAIN SLIM & the O’Dell Family on the Davis, WVA Cozy label (# 570) from as late as 1966. Two soli each by fiddle and lead guitar over a strong rhythm guitar. One can wonder how this type of record was launched in a world of current pop music, even commercial Country. The name itself sounds like a pseudonym.
From 1951 and by a veteran, PHIL HARRIS, for the fine « Tennessee hill-billy ghost » on a RCA EP-702. He’s been before during the Forties on Ara (« That’s what I like about me », certainly not the Terry Fell’s song) or Okeh.
Another mystery comes from WVA, that of KED KILLEN, and his superb Hillbilly boppers cut between 1966 and 1969 on his own Western Ranch label. Here are both sides of WR 119. Uptempo side is « Hey pretty mama » , while « Lonesome blues » is slower. Plaintive, wailing voice over a top notch accompaniment – a welcome echo too, and a fine guitar. Both sides could easily have been cut a good 10 to 15 years before.
DICK HART on the Texan label Cowtown Hoedown (# 778) delivers a very fine uptempo bluesy « Time out for the blues ». Solid rhythm, pounding guitar and a wild steel (June 1957). Who will get interest with this important and rich label, Cowtown Hoedown ? Its name was changed a short time later to just Cowtown.
From Texas to near Oklahoma with BILLY WEBB & his Seminoles for « Burdock road » on the Stardale label # 50611 ; label was located in Morris, OK. It’s a solid Hillbilly bopper with good fiddle solo and steel/piano over a shuffle rhythm. There were 3 Stardale labels around the same time.
To get to an end, here are two 4* custom issues on the Nugget label (# 190 and 191) by DUSTY TAYLOR and his Rainbow Valley Rangers. « My shining star » and « Down grade » are very fine Hillbillies. Taylor was also in 1947 on the West coast label Westernair (# 107B) with the great « Ranger boogie » : typical romping ’40s music, accordion to the fore, fiddle is well present. The record is billed “instrumental’ but Taylor has a great, swinging vocal in it. A very pleasant record !
I just found “Boogie blues“, apparently issued on Westernair (untraced label), and on a French compilation, “Country Boogie”. And it’s a romper too!
Despite a long career that spanned almost 45 years, comparatively little is known about Earl Peterson. He was born in Paxton, Illinois, on February 24, 1927 and moved to Michigan when he was 18 months old. He apparently became proficient on both guitar and drums and formed his own band, the Sons of the Golden West, when he was still in high school. The group secured a regular spot on WOAP, Owosso, then moved to WMYC in Alma, Michigan, before settling at WCEN, Mount Pleasant. WCEN gave Earl and his group a regular show, Earl’s Melody Trails, and made him the talent director, staff announcer and farming news editor. Earl was to study Law after high school but he switched to a musical career instead.
Earl made his debut in the record business when he formed a record label, Nugget Records, with his mother, in January 1950.
Peterson also undertook road trips to publicise his record and, at the same time, worked guest dee-jay spots at various stations. It seems as though his mother, Pearle Lewis, was the driving force behind Peterson. Sam Phillips recalled that the pair arrived on his doorstep early in 1954 pitching « The Boogie blues ». Phillips located some country session musicians to work with Peterson and the result of the session was released in the Spring of 1954. “Boogie blues“(Sun 197)
The story becomes more convoluted from that point. In October of that year Peterson, with a healthy disregard for contracts and AFM regulations, re-recorded the same song for Columbia. The song was re-copyrighted and probably sold more than the 2500 copies that Phillips had shipped.
In 1960 Peterson and his family established radio station WPLB in Greenville, Michigan. In 1962, they switched to the FM frequency and the following year saw Earl’s retirement from the performing side of the music business. By that point there was an undeniable quotient of rock and roll in country music and, in Bob Lewis’ words, « Earl wasn’t crazy about that stuff ». In 1965 Earl learned that he had cancer but he continued to work at the station until his death in May 1971.
any Columbia issue coupled an uptempo and a slowie. The vocal is firm and assured, and the backing is on a par with the best what Nashville did offer at the time. Although unknown musicians, there was a steel, a fiddle and on « Boogie blues » (remake of the Sun version) a welcome rinky-dink piano. I posted the tracks side-by-side to let yourself judge.
« Boogie blues » on Sun 197 has sewing fiddle, steel and drums. Peterson’s voice is very reminiscent to that of Jimmie Rodgers, and the song itself derives from pre-war country songs, like Gene Autry’s ‘blues’ songs. Its flipside « In the dark » is a strong shuffler.
« Alimony blues », although in the past (N.L. Redita LP) credited to Peterson, is in fact done by Gene Steele.
« You just can’t be trusted », found on Youtube (Mr. Honky tonk chain), is evidently a ’60s recording, nice done, although I don’t know the original label neither the flipside.
EARL MONTGOMERY (backed by Shorty Underwood) delivers first « You played me for a fool » on the Slim Willet owned Edmoral label (# 954). It’s an uptempo hillbilly bop, with assured vocal. Backing consist of piano, steel and fiddle, each one having a short solo.
On the microscopic Marshall label (no #) probably from Atlanta, Ga. we find now PERCY MARSHALL and the double-sider « Leaving town/Give me my guitar and traveling shoes ». A GREAT lazy vocal Country-blues from the late ’50s or early ’60s. It reminds me of Harmonica Frank Floyd, and even has words to the traditional « Matchbox ». The faithful Drunken Hobo adds this: “rite pressing 16481/2 = 1966 Marshall 45- #”. So now we have a probable date of issue.
In a previous Fortnight I had posted HAL ANDREWS and his famous « Brown-eyed girl » on Choctaw. Now here is, with a nice mid-paced shuffler (steel, piano), « For wrongs you done » on the Escambia label ( 0502) from 1959. Indeed he had had earlier at least one record on Rich-R’Tone.
Next artist is not familiar, although he offers a fine bopper (complete with sound effects) with « No parkin’ here » on Columbia 21259 (not apparently to be confused with the Bobby Grove song on King – posted early in this site). JIMMY LITTLEJOHN had another (maybe for a future fortnight) great «Haunted blues » (# 21320).
On JIMMY AVANTS (A-B-S label # 118), « Devil or an angel » (some crackings, sorry), I could find nothing, even a location for the label. A fast bopper with a nice steel solo. Value: $ 50-60. You can find many informations on the A-B-S label on: http://anorakrockabilly45rpm.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/a-b-s-de-45rpm-american-best-sellers.html (Dean C. Morris site)
From Kalamazoo, Michigan comes WAYNE ROBERTS on the Key label (# 15305) for the fine « Do blonds have more fun ? » : great interplay between steel and lead guitar. A short rockabilly solo. A nice awesome find.
Finally from Tampa, Fla. « My world keeps rolling on and on » by CLYDE GUTHRIE on the Nugget label (# 1005). A fast number, an husky voice and a short steel solo.
DUSTY TAYLOR, first selection of this fortnite, offers with « My shining star » a pleasant shuffler, with nice sawing fiddle (solo). An average although nice tune to find on Nugget OP-190 (4 Star custom) from 1956. I don’t know where it comes from. Taylor had another issue on Nugget 191 (« Down grade/Just rumors »), and a record in 1968 on the Nashville Stop label.
« The hillbilly hop » is a medium rockabilly (short piano solo) by CURLY GIBSON‘s Sunshine Playboys (vocal by Colin Prevette, who has even here some hiccups) on a Leo label (there were dozens by this name) # 1824. A clue of location is given by another record by Curly Gibson on the Pennsylvania Record label out of Pennsburg, PA. The Leo issue is from 1957.
With « All by myself » by DOUG DAVIS on the Texan Nite star label (# 007, from ca. 1963), we touch the real thing ! Already posted in 2010, this time with a nice label scan. It has haunting steel, perfect ballad vocal and confident backing. My prefered all-time ballad. Davis had another record on Malinda 113 (untraced) “All by myself“
Next three tracks all by the veteran AL DEXTER, who, at the time they were cut (1950), had already records since 1936. All three do come from a long Cincinnati session for King. March 22, 2018. Indeed now we know the harmonica player on this session was none other than Aubrey Gass, whose story is told elsewhere in this blogsite.
As the title implies, « Walking with the blues » (King 884A) is a mid-paced item with fine harmonica and good guitar (Zeb Turner ? Louis Innis?). The whole sounds much like the Delmore.
Further on, « Hi de ho boogie » (# 884AA) is a lively tune. The harmonica has been dropped, replaced by fiddle and good steel. And the third track of this session is « Diddy wah boogie » (# 913AA): the harmonica returns for a pleasant and fast track.
We conclude with BILL HUSKEY on the Meritone label (Lenoir City, TN) for a great « RecordSpinning boogie », half sung, half played (solid acoustic guitar), which reminds me a lot of « Doin’ the boogie woogie » by Johnnie Barfield (Bullet 620).
“Record spinning boogie”