Texas Hillbilly bop (and Country ballads): COYE WILCOX (1950-1980)

Tire plant worker by day, honky-tonk singer by night, He had been born in Rusk, Texas, and had been performing around Houston since the mid-1940s. In late 1949 or 1950, he was drafted by the ubiquitous Jack Rhodes for a short time. His recording debut was made with Rhodes for Freedom in 1950. A solo release followed the next year, « I Need Someone Tonight » (Freedom 5006) is a very good mid-paced bopper, fiddle well to the fore. Flipside « One More Mistake » is a well done ballad and sounds promising for the things to come (steel to the fore).

In 1951-52, he released the fine double-sided Freedom 5040 with the same formula : « It’s Nobody’s Business  (What We Do)» and the wonderfully rural sounding of the uptempo « Look What Your Love Has Done To Me ». Apparently Wilcox held the violon.

He cut (unreleased at the time) in 1955 or 56 “Bird’s Nest On The Ground” (a Southern colloquialism meaning “a good thing”) which is pure Hank Williams, drawing out the best in both wonderfully rural Wilcox’s voice and the unindentiified musicians – probably some configuration of the Gold Star house band – accompanying him. It would have made a fine single for Sarg in 1956, but by this time Charlie Fitch was looking for material that encapsulated the present rather than pay homage to the past.

In 1959 he resurfaced this time in modern style on Azalea records. « You Gotta Quit Cheatin’ » was a mid-paced rocker (prominent piano solo) of first quality # 117). Flipside « I made A Mistake » (this man had apparently things to blame on himself for) does return to the old days, with the fiddle well to he fore and a bluesy Rockaballad nicely done.

On Azalea 123 Wilcox had his best ever rocker, the novelty « Zippy, Hippy, Dippy », backed by the folkish « Song Of Jesse James. »

Later on, he cut on Lu-Tex the ballad « Old Man Job » (1212) and the similar styled « Please Play Me A Song » (lot of steel).More Lu-Tex with « I’m Just Teasin’ Me » – good vocal, sensitive ballads (# 505) and « Path Of Tomorrow » (# 325) in 1976.

Then the last recordings on Orbit 1001, « I Just Laughed Till I Cried » and the countryish bopper « Old Hand Me Down ».

Sources: Andrew Brown for biographical details (Sarg Records Anthology); Ronald Keppner and Allan Turner for Freedom B-sides sound files – many thanks to them; Kent Heinemann for a Lu-Tex issue; 5cat for Lu-Tex label scans; YouTb for Azalea sound files and labels. My own archives: Google images.

Bob Blum, Oregon Hillbilly bop (1956-1968), “Rompin’ Stompin’ Good Time”

Robert D Blum

June 1, 1934 – February 2, 2012bob blum picture

Obituary

Robert David Blum, 77, of Puyallup, WA, died February 2, 2012, at Life Care Center of Puyallup.

Cash  Box; July 14, 1956

Mr. Blum was born June 1, 1934, in Gilliam, MO, to Freddy David Blum and Marguerete Katherine Narron.

He attended high school at NE High School in Kansas City, MO. Robert is a veteran of the United States Air Force.

Although Robert held many jobs, Robert’s life was his music. Robert traveled the United States playing country music with some of the biggest stars in the industry; everybody called him ‘Cowboy Bob’/’Bob the Guitar Man’. Many have compared his guitar playing to the legendary Chet Atkins. His prized guitar is a Chet Atkins Gretch, the only guitar he played throughout his entire career. Merle Haggard and George Jones were two of many of his favorite musicians. He was inducted into Sioux Falls, SD Legends of Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011. He sang and played his guitar up until he became seriously ill.

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early December 2009 fortnight

Hello folks! Here is another slab of boppers to enjoy your ears. We debut with BOB BLUM raucous “Romping Stomping Good time” – the title says it all! Fine steel-guitar. Blum also had “Say it fast” in a more Counry vein. Early in 1936, Dallas, Texas, with the fine original “Texas Sand” by the TUNE WRANGLERS. Charlie Kellogg on vocal and double-bass. This is a used (not abused!) RCA 78 rpm. Down in Mississipi, 1954 (Feature label) with MACK HAMILTON and his great Bopper “I’m A Honky Tonk Daddy”. Black label. Same period, this time on MGM, and up North (Cincinnati) for the prolific JOE ‘CANNONBALL’ LEWIS, a tune later sung by the Maddoxes: “I Wonder If I Can Lose The Blues This Way”.. .A story is en course on JIMMY SIMPSON, a great Country Bopper in his own right, for 2010. Here is his “Blues As I Can be”. Then on to piano blues/boogie with CECIL GANT and “Hogan’s Alley”(King, 1947). Bye!