Late January 2018 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Hi there, let’s begin this second fortnight for 2018 with a Louisiana platter, that « I blowed my top » by PAUL MIMS on the Shell label (# 121) ; nice call-and-response format shuffler, and the steel guitar is well to the fore. Barry K. John doesn’t ignore this record, but adds nothing else (location, date..) than its price : $ 50-60.

Paul Mims "I blowed my top"

I blowed my top

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Two selections do follow on the Debute label (# 0500) by DENNIS GOODRICH & the Music City Boys. Both were cut in Lorain, OH. They are two Bluegrass styled tunes, one medium, « All alone » where banjo and steel are battling each other. Second side is slowier, although equally good : « My love for you » (with a mandolin to the fore). The vocal here does remember Andy McRae on Ranger 823, and his song « Me and my love », published here in a fortnight dated…June 2011 !

All alonedennis goodrich & the Music City Boys "All alone"

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My love for you
Dennis Goorich & the Music City Boys "My love for you"

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More of a double-sider, by TOMMY MOONEY with Bob Mooney & his Automobile Babies on the Floto label (# 78002). Both « Bingo boogie » and « That’s my baby » are Hillbilly boogies from 1953: good guitar, and a real ‘hillbilly’ styled vocal. Bob Mooney was an artist in his own right, e.g. his « A sucker born everyday » on Kentucky 575. The band’s name came from Bob’s record, « Aubomobile baby » [sic] in 1953 on Cozy 317.

Bingo boogie

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That’s my baby”

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Tommy Mooney w/Bobby Mooney & is Automobile Babies "Bingo boogie" Tommy Mooney w/Bob Mooney & his Automobile Babies "That's my baby"

We remain in social games with « Bingo blues », which is a good medium Rockabilly by JIMMY WERT on the Skyline label (# 752), another Starday custom apparently cut in 1959 in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.Jimmy Wert "Bingo blues"

Bingo blues

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At last a rocking chick ! This is ROXIE WILLIAMS on the Flint, MI Lucky 11 label (# 1112) : « Fifteen seconds » is a good Rockabilly ; unobstrusive chorus, some echo, and a long guitar solo, cut in 1961, and valued $ 50-60. Roxie had another disc on Lucky 11.  “Fifteen seconds”

downloadRoxie Williams "Fifteen seconds"

Yes by George

downloadG. D. Hall "Yes by George"

A fast and cheerful Rockabilly comes next : « Yes by George » by GENE HALL, on the rare G&J label (was reissued on Ark 273). This was issued in Ohio. Fiddle and steel are taking each to turn.

 

Finally Thomas Johnson, aka The LONESOME DRIFTER. We finish with a Louisiana record, « Honey do you think of me » on Ram 1738. Great guitar by probably George Mercer, as on « Eager boy » on the ‘K’ label. Intense Rockabilly, lot of echo. Valued at $ 125-150.

The Lonesome Drifter "Honey do you think of me"

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Sources : mainly YouTube, also Ohio River 45rpm site.

Early April 2015 fortnight’s favorites

En route for this new April batch of Hillbillies and Country rockers. First from Louisiana, the fiddler LARRY BAMBERG (rn Bamburg) does the fine relaxed medium bopper « Cheating on me » from 1956 on the Mira Lewis’ Shreveport, La. Ram (Royal American Music) label # 104. It has a very young James Burton, quite unusually, on the steel guitar and Leon Smith at the piano. Bamberg, whose name was not easy to pronounce, changed it to Lincoln for the bluesy (with sax) equally fine « My baby went away », cut at Ram, but issued on his own Fido 011 label (not posted here).

LarryBRomonaKerry

 

ram 104 larry bamberg

Cheating on me

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Next three tracks do come from Laeger W.Va. (at least the label) as late as 1969 by the one FLOYD FLETCHER on the F.A.F. label. « Daddy sings the blues » (# 26252) is a fast bluesy track with urgent vocal. « Move on down the track » does fetch to Rockabilly, while its flipside « You’re telling me goodby » [sic] is more in a sort of garage Honky-tonk vein (# 26282).

f.a.f. 26282 floyd fletcher daddy sing the bluesDaddy sings the blues

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Move on down the track

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F.A.F. 26253 floyd fletcher move

f.a.f. 28281 fletcher you're telling me goodby
You’re telling me goodby

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RILEY WALKER next is no newcomer, as his « Uranium miner’s boogie » from 1955 is already a minor Hillbilly bop classic from Salt Lake City, Utah. See elsewhere in this site at the entry of his name. « It’s a little late (to come knocking on my door » goes by the same vein : a relaxed rural vocal, a nice steel throughout and a romping piano (# 703).

It’s a little late

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atomic 703 walker it's a little late

Next and last tracks of this fortnight do come from the B-W label, presumably a Nashville one, in 1961. PHIL BEASLEY and « Itchin’ to love you » (# 624) : a nice crisp guitar over a decent country rocker. KENNY BIGGS and « There’s no excuse » (# 615) has a mellow steel, an harmonica and some chorus and sounds a bit poppish.
Itchin’ to love you

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There’s no excuse

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b-w 615 kenny biggs %22there's no excuse%22

b-w 615 kenny biggs there's no excuse

That’s all for this time, folks. Comments as usual are welcome.

The Lonesome Drifter

The Lonesome Drifter was born Thomas Johnson. His recording of “Eager Boy” on Mira Smith’s K record label is one of the most sought-after records among Rockabilly fans.k5812

In tbe late 50s, Thomas, an established Hillbilly performer, got word of a new recording company, Ram records, that had just opened for business in Shreveport, 70 miles from his home in Monroe, Louisiana. Johnson recalls that first release for Ram: “I had been to Mira Smith’s studio to record and she asked me what name I wanted on the rcord. I didn’t want Thomas Johnson. As I was driving back to Monroe tbat night I thought about one of my idols, Hank Williams, and he had made records as ‘Luke The Drifter’. I was sort of a rambling man in those days, so when I got to Minden, it came to me, I got out of the car and phoned Mira and said “Call me the Lonesome Drifter”.

“Eager Boy” and “Teardrop Valley” were released in 1958 on K records, a subsidiary of Ram, named after Mira’s sister. On “Eager Boy” Thomas’ friend Tom Bonnet, who had accompanied him to the studio, plays the lead guitar. The success of the flip, “Teardrop Valley”, featuring Shreveport musician George Mercer on lead guitar, secured the Lonesome Drifter his wish to appear on the Louisiana Hayride.Johnson was born on 6 December 1931 on a cotton farm in Bastrop,Louisiana. As a youth he worked as a water boy for the cotton pickers on the pantation and recalls hearing his first blues music while watching on old black man playing a slack string guitar outside a Bastrop general store. Other influences included Jimmie Rodgers and Bill Monroe,and bluegrass music was the foundation of his style.

Johnson was not a professional musician and worked in the steel business as an erector and welder and this took him as far afield as Chicago and Kansas City. Today Johnson lives quietly in Monroe where he owns a small recording studio in which he records artists in the gospel music field.

collector

Collector LP (NL)

ram-1738Notes by Ray Topping to Ace 818 CD “Shreveport High Steppers”