Howdy folks, I am back from Corsica isle (“l’île de Beauté”) where I visited my girl friend and did help her to set up her fairytales’ exhibition in front of children. While I was there I couldn’t get access to my files, thus not allowing to myself to set up early June fortnight’s favorites.
Let’s begin in Texas with GLENN REEVES, born 1932 in Shamrock, TX. He had his first two records on the T.N.T. Label (owned by Bob Tanner, who billed proudly his labels records as « Tanner’n’Texas »!). « I’m Johnny on the spot » (TNT 120) is already a proto-rockabilly classic. But its reverse, the plaintive hillbilly « The blues are out tonight », is not so well known, although a very good ballad. Listen to the real hillbilly pronunciation of Reeves, over a nice fiddle and steel. I love such a record like this.
“The blues are out tonight“
Later he had on TNT 129 « I ain’t got room to rock », before switching to Republic (the great « That’ll be love ») and Atco (« Rockin’ country style »/ »Drinkin’ wine spo-dee-o-dee ») in 1956, yet before turning teen on Decca in 1957. Meanwhile, he had relocated in Florida, pushing himself as a performer and D.J. On WPDQ out of Jacksonvile, FL. That’s where he met Mae Axton, her fellow-composer, and Tommy Durden, who both looked for someone who could demo their « Heartbreak hotel ». At first, Reeves denied, before agreeing – and the result was presented at a Nashville D.J. convention late 1955 to Elvis as his first million seller (the promise of Mae Axton), which he cut January 1956, in a style very close to Reeves. Here is the Reeves’ demo.
Glenn Reeves “Heartbreak hotel“
The third compere was TOMMY DURDEN. He had a long story as steel player for Tex Ritter, and later for Johnny Cash, and composer (e.g. « Honey bop » for Wanda Jackson). In 1951 on the Sahul Kahal’s Freedom label out of Houston, Texas, he cut the great « Hula boogie » (# 5025). Later on, he had his own version of « Heartbreak hotel » (« Moods » LP, religious songs), before relocating in Michigan. He retired in the early ’90s.
Tommy Durden “Hula boogie”
On the next artist, GEORGE HEFFINGTON, I know litterally nothing, except he was one of the first to record on the growing Toppa label (owned by Jack Morris, out of Covina, Ca.), and is backed for the fast « Ghost of love » (# 1007, 1958) by, among others, Ralph Mooney on steel. Good piano too.
George Heffington “Ghost of love”
Real name to next artist was Wilcoxson, but he’s known now as JIMMIE DALE. And there were in the ’50s two different men with the same name. The first to jump on my mind is an Indiana artist, who cut two Starday custom records in 1958. First on Jeffersonville, IN Saber label (# 707), he cut the fabulous two-sider « Baby doll » (great slap bass, energetic drums and lead guitar) and « Darlin’ » (very nice piano, à la Teddy Reddell over a mambo rhythm). In Louisville, KY, he had in 1958 too on the Farrall label (# 687) « Man made moon », more of a country record. Nice vocal, and again a rinky-dink piano and good steel. I couldn’t locate the flipside « For a day ».
The second JIMMIE DALE was a Nashvillian, who cut « Tennessee ghost train » in 1953 on the Original label # 501. The credits don’t give any clue. Lot of echo on the steel, a train song of course.
Jimmie Dale “Baby doll”
Jimmie Dale “Darlin’”
Jimmie Dale “Man made moon”
Jimmie Dale [different artist]”Tennessee ghost train”
That’s all for this fortnight, folks. Comments welcome, as usual.
Sources and credits : internet, RCS, Youtube, lot of labor !
En route for a new batch of goodies. I hope you will have as much pleasure to listen to them (or download) as I had chosing them.
Here we go with the same song, a Bluegrass bopper, by its originators first, DON RENO & RED SMILEY in 1957 (banjo and guitar, I’d assume) for King # 5002 : « Country boy rock and roll » combines the energy of both musics for a stupendous number. Two years later, the same tune was revived by a small Maryland duet, FRANKIE SHORT and DEE GUNTER on the Wango label # 200. A very fine version, even faster than the original.
Don Reno, Red Smiley “Country boy rock and roll”
Frankie Short & Dee Gunter
We go up north now for the pure Hillbilly bop beat of « Niagara moon » (Niagara 53727) by ERIC & JOHNNY & Lincoln County Peach Pickers.
Back to Nashville and the Excello label. Indeed it was famous for its Blues and R&B releases, but it had also the odd hillbilly number, for example here RAY BATTS (# 2028) for the great relaxed « Stealin’ sugar ». Batts was also on Bullet and Nashboro.
Eric & Johnny “Niagara moon”
Ray Batts “Stealin’ sugar”
Finally from Texas on the TNT (# 136) label, the only woman of the pack, BETTY BARNES, does offer the fine rockabilly «What would you do ».
Betty Barnes “What would you do”
Source : Internet.
Other intended features on their way: Valley label, G&G label, early Toppa label, important update of Forest Rye feature, and other articles.
Jacoby Brothers : They started early and just as quickly disappeared
Fallen into oblivion, the Jacoby Brothers enjoyed great popularity in the Texas of the 50’s , being one more example of how the music industry suffers in many cases of blindness as to promote artistic talent and it is also true that erroneous decisions made by the brothers led them to a dead end in your career leaving just 12 songs recorded listening today that is not understood as they had no continuity
Gene ( born 1931) and Gilbert ( born 1927) Jacoby were born in San Antonio (Texas ) in a family eminently musical , embracing Gilbert (nicknamed ” Boy” ) Mandolin ( after taking piano lessons, violin, bass and accordion ) and his brother Gene specializing in the guitar (an instrument used live soon to join the family band ) . The musical influences are brothers , emanating from legends like Jimmie Rodgers. Johnnie & Jack and Homer
& Jethro decisively influenced young people who would soon be part of “The Jacoby Mountain Rhythm Band “ led by the father of the clan, ” Levy ” and mother ” Tommy ” , in addition to supporting a young guitar Larry Nolen ( childhood friend of the brothers, later cutting records for Sarg and Starday ) .
The band soon acquired great notoriety in the city of San Antonio and throughout Texas through its Radio Shows issued by the KONO spreading their sound across the state and getting to share the stage with the legendary Ernest Tubb (the group would never step into a recording studio ) .
Gilbert participation ( Boy ) in World War enlisted in the U.S. Army will mark a before and after in the musical family , not being until 1945 when he was demobilized reunited with his brother starting immediately to act both as the Jacoby Brothers on the local scene in San Antonio .
In 1949 he won a talent contest at the Texas Theatre led by the legendary actor and singer Tex Ritter, luminaire impressed by the talent of the brothers proposes to move to California where under his tutelage and influence in the music industry could be a promising career.
Incredibly the brothers rejected the offer and returned home with the check for $ 10,000 that were awarded as competition winners mentioned above.
Until 1955 they became regulars of the best Clubs of Texas , acting in local and Jowdy ‘s, The Round Up or Circle B.
Stations of the lone star state as WOAI KMAC or spread their sound as well as participating in the popular television program ” Red River Dance” issued by the WOAI -TV ( participated between 1952 and 1954 ) .
The small TNT Records label given the opportunity to record a total of 8 songs that will be distributed to local stations in San Antonio , getting their issues heard in the entire United States through the KMAC (which broadcast on nationwide chain ). The best TNT songs were “Cannonball” (indeed a train song), “Food plan boogie” and the furious “Bicycle wreck”. Also worth a listen are: “There’s no use to go wrong” and “I gave my love a cherry”..
Food plan boogie (TNT 1001)
There’s no use to go wrong (TNT 1002)
Cannonball (TNT 1004)
Warmed over love (TNT 1004)
Bicycle wreck (TNT 1009)
The national broadcast will not fall on deaf ears and will not be long until they receive Decca recording deal , and Columbia , the Brothers opting for the latter in early 1954: a six-months contract against 2% with four options against 3% of royalties.
In the recording studio in Dallas , the Jacoby Brothers recorded 4 songs (Laredo , Kiss Me Once More, Who’Ye Primpin ‘Fer ? , And One Man’s Opinion) .
Strangely , producer Don Law told them his displeasure with the outcome of the issues, informing them that they would have to re-record all the songs because they had not been hired to lose money .
Laredo (Columbia 21309)
Kiss me once again (Columbia 21309)
Who ye primpin_ fer (Columbia 21359)
One man_s opinion (Columbia 21359)
On March 29, 1955 they had their second Columbia session. After two songs Don Law told the brothers he was not happy. An argument followed and the brothers walked out of the studio. The two recorded songs were not issued by Columbia. The harshness with which the brothers had treated its corresponding answer Gene ‘s hand that he told Jacoby Don Law that ” They had come to Dallas with his own money and with their own money could leave.”
The relationship between musicians and record breaking froze and finally end in 1955 when the daughter of 2 years old Gilbert ( Boy ) Jacoby dies, sinking into a deep depression that he will abandon the music dedicated to the regency of a construction company of his own creation until his death in 1992 at 66 years of age.
In contrast , his brother Gene militating continue in music in various bands in San Antonio and getting to spin like electric bassist Charlie Pride Band in Europe , never ceasing to compose and perform until his death in 1997 at age 65 old.
With the perspective that gives us the time , maybe if they had accepted the offer of Tex Ritter juicy his career would come to fruition, or if not so abruptly would have broken relations with Columbia Records … Anyway the quality is evident in his small recorded legacy for posterity.
Article taken from “country.lacoctelera.net” blogsite (in Spanish). Label scans come from Allan Turner (TNT 78s + rare mp3) and Willem Agenant (Columbia 45s). Thanks a lot to them. Important addition from faithful visitor Drunken Hobo. Gene Jacoby sang “Duck tail cat” with Dan Virva & the Flying “D” Ramblers in May 1956 on the Marathon label (# 5002) out of San Antonio. Larry Nolen, who got taught the rhythm guitar by Gene Jacoby, is categoric about it: Dan Virva stole the show to Jacoby. Indeed Larry Nolen had his own version on Starday later this year (“King of the duck tail cats”). Thanks Dean!
Dan Virva: (Gene Jacoby): Duck tail cat
TNT studio, San Antonio, Texas, 1953
Gene Jacoby (vo, mandolin), Gilbert (vocal, mandolin), Larry Nolen (rh-g), others unknown.
TNT-1 Food plan boogie (Dave McEnery) TNT 1001, Cactus (Rockin’ Hillbilly) 1
TNT-2 There_s no use to go wrong (Gene Jacoby) 1002
TNT-3 I gave my love a cherry (unknown) 1001
TNT-5 Cannonball (Dave McEnery) 1004
TNT-6 Doubtful heart (Gene Jacoby) 1009
TNT-7 Warmed over love (Carnes) 1004
TNT-9 ? Bicycle wreck (Boy Jacoby/Scrivner) 1009, Bell 108
Note1: Willem Agenant writes that the Jacoby Brothers cut in all 16 titles for TNT.
Note 2: Dave McEnery was actually Red River Dave, who had the T.V. show which the Brothers appeared on.
Dallas, Jim Beck Studio, July 29, 1954
same or similar
ZSP 32822 Laredo (E. Jacoby) Columbia 21309
32823 Kiss me once again (E. Jacoby) –
32823 Who ye primpin_ fer (B. Moore) 21359
32824 One man_s opinion (E. Jacoby) –
Dallas, Jim Beck Studio, March 29, 1955
same or similar
unknown title Columbia unissued
San Antonio, May 1956
Dan Virva & the Flying “D” Ramblers. Gene Jacoby (vo), g, b. No audible d.
MR-5002- Duck tail cat (Jacoby/McEnery) Marathon 5002, Buffalo Bop 55177 (Step out)
Note: According to Larry Nolen, Gene Jacoby did the vocal, not Dan Virva.
Note: all other issues are listed on RCS site under “Dan Virva”.
Note: 5002+ (B-side) has not Gene Jacoby in it. –
Howdy folks, we embark for a new serie of obscure hillbilly bop records. TED WEST is not an unknown artist. He cut 1952 for Republic in Nashville the fine “She Bent My Pole” and the equally good (with sound effects) “Parking Worries” (see in the site the article on Republic Records, from July 2011). He cut two sessions in 1953-1954 for M-G-M, which I did extract the nice “Call Of The Devil’s Ride” (# 11539) from. Backing accompaniment may be by the Drifting Cowboys. A good shuffler from the days before Nashville was not rotten neither too commercial. (more…)