Warning: I am experimenting html language, so to set the audio podcasts up beside their texts. This language isn’t that easy. Sorry for inconveniences!
Allstar Record Co.
1953: 3116 Garrow St., Houston TX
1958-1959: 2106 Orean Street, Houston 17, Texas
1960: Allstar Music Enterprises, 8029 Gulf Freeway, Houston 17, Texas
1961-1966: 1110 Washington, South Houston, Texas
also: Allstar Distributors
Allstar Records, a quasi-song-poem label with a slightly more plausible claim to legitimacy than most its song-sharking peers, was the brainchild of Houston country musician/ »singer » Daniel James Mechura. The ambitious Mechura started out as the frontman of a local outfit, the Sun Valley Playboys, enjoying one release on the Starday label (which they paid for themselves) in 1955. By that time, Dan had discovered the seedy underworld of songwriter’s clubs and, sensing an opportunity ripe for exploitation, soon began doing business as president of « The Folk Writers Co-Operative Association, » generously offering « every songwriter the help which is necessary to succeed in this competitive field, » as stated in one sales pitch. A record label of their own was the logical outgrowth of this « co-op. »
The story of Frank Rice and Ernest W. Stokes goes back to 1933, when they were known as « Mustard and Gravy« . They came from Virginia, and discovered by Smiley Burnette, doing minstrel-shows. In 1950, they cut for Gotham the fine « Be Bop Boogie« , accompanied by a trombone! The song found its way several years later in a Calypso style by Don Hager on the Oak label.
Nothing is known on Les Willard, surely a Nashville singer, here backed by Hank Williams’ Drifting Cowboys, for the romper « Double Up And Catch Up » in 1955.
Red Mansel was from Texas, and had a contract with Dan Mechura‘s Allstar label ca. 1958 for the equally fine « Johnny On The Spot« . He had already cut for Starday Custom (# 523) in 1955, the piano-led medium tempo « Broken Fickle Heart » (see elsewehere in this site for « Starday Custom serie (# 500-525).
From Texas came also on the T.N.T. (« Tanner’n’Texas ») label the duet The Jacoby Brothers (George, the uncle and Boy, the nephew), respectively on mandolin and guitar. They offer here the very fast « Bicycle Wreck« , with a fantastic mandolin solo.
Red Woodward and his Red Hawks were familiar in the period 1945-1950 on WBAP radio from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I’ve chosen his « Cowboy Boogie » from 1947, on Signature label. Relaxed vocal, fine backing, and a guitar solo which seems being acoustic one!
Finally a R&B Rocker from 1954 by the great Lightning Hopkins. Hope you enjoy the selections. Don’t forget to have a look at my « contact Me » section, for records and books for sale from my collection. You could be amazed! Bye