The story of RUBY RECORDS (Larry Short)winnie-boogieimg

I started in operating « Ruby Records » in February 1955. Before that I played the electric steel guitar for several years. Later on I met Esta Dodds, and worked as her A&R man, on « Esta records ». She was several years my senior and I felt she was satisfied moving at a slow pace. This irritated me and I became to be dissatisfied, so decided to start my own recording service, « talking letters » (Short recorded weddings, speeches and cut demos – in the same manner as did Sam Phillips in Memphis during the late 40’s).

Receiving satisfaction from this facet of recording, it prompted me into seeking my own label. I wanted to register it as « Rainbow Records », but there was a « Rainbow » label in Memphis, Tenn. Rather than be a part of an infrigement act, my wife gave written permission, without involvement to her, to use her name. The name « Ruby » was placed in a two dimensional diamond figure, with simulated glitter…with stars emitting from the glitter – which formed the logo. Then I was successful in getting it registered at the principal register in Washington. Wherein « Ruby Records » was given birth.

Since I had my own sound room and control box and access to the public library, I facilitated and accelerated my own education in sound reproduction. My first commercial recorder was an Ampex model 300 console, RCA custom division in Chicago and Indianapolis normally press our records.

We had distributors in Baltimore, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Dallas. The « Billboard » (trade mag) reviewed all our releases, and we got some good reviews. I remember one which was not so good, I don’t believe I will ever forget it, because it was the truth ! This is why I respect this trade paper so much.

Our biggest sellers were Big Black Train / Stan Johnson, and I’m Walking Out/ Walt Scott. Scott was my first artist, he was an excellent showman and writer. He wrote Burning Bridges for Jack Scott – though they were not related, says Walt.

Our earliest releases were in the Country/Gospel vein, because I felt strongly that the stories in the material told of heritage. This was about the time (Broadcast Music Inc) started expanding their operation, and a large number of publishing houses used this format.

Believe me, it was hard going in the 60’s. We went from seventeen artists, down to three. Two or three per year and not promising of any releases, depending on the trend of the industry and various formats. I honestly our format would start moving again, I learned a lot in those lean years. I didn’t make a lot of money, but it was then I learned a small, independant label did not need a large roster to operate and be recognised.

Some of our people left the area. Jesse Kidd went to Hollywood, and became involved in making class « B » movies. Tex Fields went to Ft Worth, Texas, in some radio work. Ray Pennington was for a while in the area, as a D.J. for WNOP radio, then to Pamper music in Nashville, then to RCA. Leaving us with Stan Johnson, Cindy Dee (his wife), Chubby Wagner and Jack Daniels, with options on several others.

As for our current activities, we record regularly. Stan Johnson writes his own material, but we also use other writer’s stuff for him, should it be in his style. Chubby writes some, we have taken options on various sound tracks for him. Jack Daniels also writes, and collaborates with other writers in the Country/Pop field.

« Galactic Enterprises » embraces our entire operation, including our subsidiary label « Shomay ». The artists on this label are people with potential, that could come up to « Ruby Records » later. Over the years I think it can be determined that we have stayed with the industry in sound, and in quality of product.

Stan Johnson – Stan came into « Ruby Records » for an audition, early inFebruary 1957. Even though he wrote the material we used, it took eight hours to complete his first session. Stan started his career at a young age, with his own band, The Blue Chips. He appeared at different clubs and lounges, such as The Southern Inn for three consecutive years. He also appeared with Smoky Ward on WPFB, Middleton, Ohio.img_0001stan-trainstan-shimmystan-horses

Stan has played our local venue, at Liberty, Indiana. Also on a number of tours I have set up, in Kalamazoo, Lexington, and Richmond, Virginia.

Bobby Martin – Bobby was a member of the Tune Twisters. Charles Kanter, a representative of Annis House, a publishing firm in Chicago, Ill., had intentions of using a major studio in Cincinnati, to record the group. When they arrived at the studio, the engineer was intoxicated, so Charlie brought them to us.

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It was midnight on a Saturday, when we started the session. The entire group recorded, which included the Begley Sisters, Bill Stucker and Bobby Martin.They were farm kids, managed by a TV personality by the name of Vic Bellamy. The day of the session, the kids did farm chores at their various homes, put on their regular radio show in Herrosburgh, Kentucky…did a TV show later in the morning and then journeyed to Cincinnati, to find the session there was aborted. They arrived at our « Ruby » studio in Hamilton shortly before midnight, January 2nd 1957. We finished on Sunday morning 9 :00am..No one went to church that day.

Emery Blades – Emery is a local Hamilton boy, a brother-in-law to Joe Nuxhall, Cincinnati baseball’s ace pitcher. He’s married to Joe’s sister and they have two boys. As a family, they are active in Church attendances, engaged in singing in Church services.img_0002

various-ohio_rockabillyruby 290 ray pennington

Hamilton LP 5277 (1977)

Hoyt Webb – Hoyt was from Montgomery, Alabama. I don’t rate Hoyt too high as a singer, but on recitations they were few who could touch him. He moved his family and possessions in a pick-up truck, to Oxford, Indiana, where he had friends who arranged for him to have an audition at our studio.

We used our ‘staff band’, The Rhythmaires, who consisted of Wendy Hargraves (steel guitar), Clyde Marcum (lead guitar), Tommy Short (bass), George Baker (fiddle) and Dave Roark on rhythm guitar.

We cut his session on the 9th day of March 1957, in the evening. His wife Sarah coached him from the control room on Baby Won’t You Slow It Down, he needed no coaching on the flipside. Hoyt and his family moved to Liberty, Indiana, later on, the town where we held our weekly stage shows, in a leased theatre. We worked our people on our own stage, and on the road on an alternating basis.

Article revised (Nov. 2, 2011): I’ve found a label scan (+ music) to Bill Stucker‘s « I Go On Prentending » (# 420). An average, ordinary, fiddle-led hillbilly from 1957. Then I added to podcastsruby 100 walter scott I'm walking outruby 240 walt scott One life to liveWinnie Parker‘s « Down Boy Boogie » (# 350). Someone had asked for it. It’s a lovely medium Hillbilly Bop/Rockabilly, with references to « Blue Jean Bop » and « Blue Suede Shoes« . Lazy vocal, and a very fine guitat throughout.

Finally, label’s first issue was by Walter Scott, the very fine Country Bop « I’m Walking Out » (# 100). Scott was backed apparently by the Corn Huskers, who do appear on his next issue (# 240), « One Life To Live » (music untraced). Just lend the post an ear!

ruby 430B Bill Stucker I go on pretending

(based on Derek Glenister’s interview of Larry Short – New Kommotion # 16, Summer 1977)

Ruby 100

Walter Scott

RCA

G8OW-2673

G8OW-2674

I’m Walking Out

A Little Love Will Go A Long Long Way

C&W

C&W

1956

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 110

Cliff Clay

RCA

G8OW-4036

G8OW-4037

I Live Upon A Mountain

Rose Of My Heart

C&W

C&W

1956

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 120

Emery Blades

RCA

G8OW-4183

G8OW-4184

The Rock And Roll Carpenter

I’m Leaving You The Key To My Heart

RAB

C&W

1956

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 130

Pappy Tipton – Ralph Leguire

Bobby Thompson Mt. Rhythm Boys

RCA

G80W-5214

G80W-5215

Well Acquainted With A Broken Heart

Empty Bottles And Cigarette Butts

NA

NA

1956

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 140

Everett Ray

RCA

G8OW-5262

G8OW-5263

Bonhams-Busline

Take These Chains From My Heart

C&W

C&W

1956

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 150

Gene Bleuens

RCA

G8OW-5731

G8OW-5732

Forever My Darling

The Dreams I Dream Each Night

C&W

C&W

1956

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 170

George Lee

Mystery Ramblers

RCA

G8OW-7049

G8OW-7050

Heartbreak Trail

My Little Angel

BGR

C&W

1956

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 180

Cliff Clay

Rainbow Rhythmaires

RCA

G8OW-7051

G8OW-7052

Sugar Baby

Barrel Of Kisses

BOP

BOP

1956

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 200

Glen Scott

Corn Huskers

RCA

GO8W-0106

GO8W-0107

Katey Bar The Door

Spanish Chimes

C&W

INST

1956

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 210

Tex Fields, Bob Thompson

& The Poor Boys

RCA

G8OW-7225

G8OW-7226

I Can’t Get Started To Stop Loving You

You Don’t Love Me Anymore

C&W

C&W

1956

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 220

Zekie Browning

Rainbow Rhythmaires

RCA

G8OW-7053

G8OW-7054

I’ll Agree

It’s Too Late Now

NA

NA

1956

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 230

Emery Blades

Rainbow Rhythmaires

RCA

G8OW-7227

G8OW-7228

Your Broken Hearted List

Look What You Done To Me

BOP

BOP

1956

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 240

Walt Scott

Corn Huskers

RCA

GO8W-0108

GO8W-0109

One Live To Live

It Was Just A Dream

C&W

C&W

1956

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 250

Lee Gordon

Rainbow Rhythmaires

RCA

GO8W-0114

GO8W-0115

Those Wasted Years

Until I Met You

C&W

C&W

1956

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 260

Sandy Center

RCA

GO8W-0110

GO8W-0111

Come On Baby It’s Christmas

For Me No Christmas

XMAS

XMAS

1956

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 270

Danny Wyatt

with His Rolling Stone Tuneste

RCA

GO8W-0112

GO8W-0113

You Broke A Date, Vow And Heart

Christmas In Kentucky

BOP

XMAS

1956

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 290

Ray Pennington

Ray’s Western Rhythm Boys

RCA

GO8W-0363

GO8W-0364

Fancy Free

You’ll Want Me Back But I Won’t Care

C&W

C&W

1956

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 280

Stan Johnson

The Blue Chips

RCA

H8OW-6763

H8OW-6764

Big Black Train

Six White Horses

RAB

RAB

1957

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 300

Hank Cabe

Rainbow Rhythmaires

RCA

H8OW-0161

H8OW-0162

Echo Mountain

You’ll Cry

C&W

C&W

1957

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 310

Nelson Young

RCA

H8OW-0163

H8OW-0164

Hillbilly Rock & Roll

A Star From Heaven

BOP

C&W

1957

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 320

Hoyt Webb

Rainbow Rhythmaires

RCA

H8OW-0165

H8OW-0166

Baby Won’t You Slow It Down

Florest Send These Flowers

RAB

C&W

1957

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 330

Dayward Penny

Lazy Acre Cowboys

RCA

H8OW-7130

H8OW-7131

Bee Bop Song

Have I Forgotton

BOP

C&W

1957

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 340

Emery Blades

NA

Try Try Again

Somewhere Someday

BOP

C&W

1957

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 350

Winnie Parker

Rhythm Maniacs

RCA

H8OW-6744

H8OW-6745

Down Boy Boogie

My Dreams Will Come True

C&W

C&W

1957

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 380

Suzie Begley

NA

Peppermint Stick

You’re Dead You Don’t Know It

NA

NA

1957

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 390

Bobby Martin

Tune Twisters

RCA

H8OW-0612

H8OW-0613

Give Your Heart To Me

Sleepy Time Blues

RAB

RAB

1957

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 400

Bobby Martin

Tune Twisters

NA

There Ain’t No Nothin’ Tonight

I Ain’t Gonna Rock

RAB

RAB

1957

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 410

Begley Sisters

Tune Twisters

RCA

H8OW-0610

H8OW-0611

If I’m Easy To Love

I’d Like To Break Into Your Heart

C&W

C&W

1957

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 420

Bill Stucker

NA

Foolin’ Me Around

I Go On Pretending

C&W

C&W

1957

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 450

Rudy Gilbert

Rainbow Rhythmaires

RCA

HO8W-0577

HO8W-0578

You Conquored Me

Waiting At The Altar

NA

NA

1957

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 470

Della Hicks

NA

Book Of Life

When De Debbil Taps You On De Shoulder

SAC

SAC

1957

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 530

Stan Johnson

RCA

HO8W-0579

HO8W-0580

Shimmy And Shake

Lonesome Man

RAB

RAB

1957

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 540

Arnold Van Winkle

Rainbow Rhythmaires

RCA

HO8W-0581

HO8W-0582

An Old Rusty Dime

How Many Heartaches Make A Tear

RAB

C&W

1957

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 550

Stan Johnson

Blue Chips

RCA

J9OW-0609

J9OW-0610

Baby, Baby Doll

Lora Ann

RAB

RAB

1958

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 610

Hank And Ramona Rodgers

RCA

K8OW-8179

K8OW-8180

Wild Horse

Hop, Skip And Jump

BOP

RAB

1959

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 170 (No #)

George Lee

RITE

844

7167

7168

Heartbreak Trail

My Little Angel

BGR

C&W

1962

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 67-100

Stan Johnson

The Sonics

RCA

U4KM-3251

U4KM-3252

I Won’t Let Them Know

Big Black Train

C&W

RAB

1967

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 70-100

Stan Johnson

Harmonaires

RITE

5151

27049

27050

I Don’t Have A Thing To Call Mine

Demand To Be Free

C&W

C&W

1971

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 75-300

Chubby Wagner

The Rite Men

RITE

5295

34837

34838

For Every Cheatin’ Woman

From Now On

C&W

C&W

1975

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 75-200

Jim Archer

Son And Daughter

RITE

5151

35213

35214

The Promise

Love Me Just For Tonight

C&W

C&W

1975

Hamilton, OH

Ruby 75-400

Deek Rivers

The Bakers 4

RITE

5151

35241

35242

Burning Bush

Today Is Forever

C&W

C&W

1975

Hamilton, OH

label listing from www.45rpm.com