Starday custom series: # 576 to 600 (July to November 1956) — more Rockabilly to come…

H&C RECORDS 576 AL CLAUSER and his Oklahoma Outlaws

Tulsa, OK (July 1956)h&c 576-a al clauser cloudy loveh&c 576-a al clauser cloudy love

45-576-A – Cloudy Love

(Goldie Hood / T Conrad) (Starrite BMI)

45-576-B – Who’s Fooling Who

(Goldie Hood) (Starrite BMI)

Alas, although I have label shots, I have yet to hear either side of the disc. But at least I have some info, courtesy of the excellent and informative sleeve notes on the Bear Family Nashville Hillbilly Box Set. Clauser was first heard of playing with bands in Preoria, IL in the mid twenties and first recorded for ARC Records. He was based most of the time (at this point) around Cincinnati, OH and played on WCKY before relocating to Tulsa, OK, with a stint in Fort Worth, TX. After recording for Bullet Records, he also had releases on Arrow and Skyline from Tulsa. (Anybody got any details on these?). He also launched the recording career of Patti Page.

Backed by his Oklahoma Outlaws, he self released this fine Western Swing / Hillbilly disc on his own H&C label for local promotional purposes. What happened to him after this disc is a mystery to me.

STARDAY RECORDS 577 LUKE GORDON (July 1956)

Washington DC Area

HD-577-A – Is It Wrong

(Unknown Credits) (Starrite BMI)

HD-577-B – What Can You Do?

(Unknown Credits) (Starrite BMI)

Not seen or heard this disc as yet.

Dave Sax said…

This is his rarest in the series and, as the others, is superb if you love Gordon’s music. In some ways it’s the best with the walking bass played softly with the amp turned high. Shimmering fiddle and closer to the Sun sound than the others. Super songs from a top artist.

STARDAY RECORDS 578 « COUSIN ARNOLD » and his Country Cousins

(July 1956)Cousin Arnold  13 Oct 56 st 578starday 578-a "cousin arnold" heart of fantasystarday 578-b "cousin arnold" sweet talking daddy

45-578-A – Heart Of A Fantasy

(B McCraven / A E Baynard) (Starrite BMI)

45-578-B – Sweet Talking Daddy

(A E Baynard) (Starrite BMI)

Second (and at this point in time) final offering from Cousin Arnold. A side is a pleasant enough hillbilly disc, whilst the flip is again bordering on Rock-A-Billy, although this was possibly unintentional. With « Cat Music » hogging more and more of the radio airwaves, these country artists were forced to at least try to be sounding like they were keeping up with the times.

SPACE RECORDS 579 DON COLLINS (August 1956)

Lafayette, INspace 579-a don collins why am I lonelyspace 579-b don collins too late to be sorry

45-579-A – Why Am I Lonely

(Collins) (Starrite BMI)

45-579-B – Too Late To Be Sorry

(Fred Crawford) (Starrite BMI)

Untraced but the label shots.

FAME RECORDS 580 MACK BANKS and his Drifting Troubadors

Box 552, Houston, MS (August 1956)

45-580-A – You’re So Dumb

(M Banks – R Forman) (Starrite BMI)

45-580-B – Be-Boppin’ Daddy

(M Banks – H Brown) (Starrite BMI)

fame 580-a mack banks you're so dumbI could prattle on about this record, but instead I’ll let Mack tell you himself ….

« I wrote « You’re So Dumb » in 1954 and Houston, MS, USA radio station (WCPC) recorded it with one microphone, Hook Brown (lead guitar), Luther Foreman (standup bass), Charles Rome (fiddle) and me singing and playing rhythm guitar. It was number 1 at WCPC 19 weeks in a row. Dropped to 2 or 3 for a few weeks and back up to number 1 for a total of 26 weeks at number one. It was the number one song of the year in 1956. « Be-Boppin’ Daddy » was 4 to 6 months behind « You’re So Dumb » with Hook Brown (Lead guitar), Luther Foreman (stand up bass), and Tommy Coffee (drums) and me (vocals and rhythm guitar). It was number 1 for 7 weeks. The radio station sent these tapes to Don Pierce at Starday records and released it on Fame Records which I and the radio station owned but never registered the Fame name. My friend Rick Hall of Muscle Shoals, AL picked it up and registered the name about a year later. I have re-released these songs on CD MEB 0019. To my knowledge only 350 of the Fame 580 were pressed. »

fame 580-b mack banks be-boppin' daddy

Both sides are killer rock-a-billy in the highest degree! In fact, the intro to « You’re So Dumb » is goose-pimple inducing madness! What a darn fine record! Only 350 pressed! Of course Rick Hall wasn’t the only guy to use the FAME Record label – Jimmy Heap‘s Texan label springs to mind off the top of my head. But then again, nothing matters once you slap this disc onto your turntable.

BEVERLY RECORDS 581 THE SOUTHERN SPIRITUALS

Kinston, NC (August 1956)

45-581-A – Since I Laid My Burden Down

(No info) (Golden State BMI)

45-581-B – If I Leave

(No info) (Golden State BMI)

Untraced

STARDAY RECORDS 582 JIMMY AND DOROTHY BLAKLEY

starday 582-a jimmy blakley no one but youstarday 582-b jimmy blakley standing in line (for your love)jimmy blakley FC(August 1956)

45-582-A No One But You

(J Blakley)   (Starrite BMI)

45-582-B Standing In Line (For Your Love)

(J Blakley)   (Starrite BMI)

Dorothy played on quite a few Starday sessions. Some copies have ST-2656 & St-2657 in the dead wax. (These are probably 2nd pressings.) 582-A was also recorded by Neal Merritt on Starday 260.

Starday 583 unknown artist – acetate –

I’ll Fly Away With An Angel (?)

Cherished By A Song (?)

Del-Mar 584 DELMAR WILLIAMS SINGERS

Moorhead, KY

I Wanna Walk A Little Closer

The Gates Will Swing

Untraced

DEL-MAR RECORDS 585 THE DELMAR WILLIAMS SINGERSdel-mar 585-a delmar williams singers my journey home

Moorhead, KY (August 1956)

45-585-A – My Journey Home

(D Williams / L Williams)   (Starrite BMI)

45-585-B – The Last Love Letter

(G Williams / D Williams)   (Starrite BMI)

Judging from the writers credits, I would suggest that the Delmar Williams singers are a family affair. Not heard this disc.

PLOW RECORDS 586 TENNESSEE GEORGE and the Pennsylvania Plowboys

Bangor, PA (August 1956)

45-586-A – Cry baby

(No info)   (No info)

45-586-B – Butter BallPlow 586 - Billboard 16 Apr 55(mp)plow 586-b tennessee george butterball

(George Dry)   (Starrite BMI)

Never heard the disc. 586-A was re-recorded by Dave Dudley on Starday 364.

STARDAY RECORDS 587 ANDY DOLL – 6 Men and 16 Instruments

(Artist based in Oelwein, IA) (August 1956)

45-587-A – Goodbye Mary Ann

(A Doll)   (Starrite BMI)

45-587-B – Honey Dew

(A Doll)   (Starrite BMI)

Compared to most of the artist featured on Starday Customs, Doll is one of the more prolific artists. He had many discs released on his own AD label from Oelwein, IA, mostly pressed by RCA and by 1962, we find him the proud owner of the « Coliseum Ballroom » until 1973. He also toured extensively and backed up such luminaries as Pee Wee King.

BB 17 Nov 56 - Andy Doll(bb)andy dollstarday 587-b andy doll honey dewstarday 587-a andy doll goodbye mary ann

Anyhow, the A side is a nice song, set at what I guess is a waltz tempo, whilst the flip is more uptempo with a western swing flavour. All very pleasant to be sure, but not something that would set my heart racing. His later recordings on AD bordered on Rock-A-Billy in some places, but not on this occasion.

COXX RECORDS 588 SLIM COXX and his Cowboy Caravan

So. Coventry, CT (September 1956)

45-588-A Mockingbird Specialcoxx 588-a slim coxx mocking bird special

(S Coxx / B Dee)   (Starrite BMI)

45-588-B Lonely Nights

(S Coxx / J Albert)   (Starrite BMI)

Still waiting to hear the B-side. Slim’s real name was Gerard A Miclette. He played with his younger brother, Roland « Rocky » Miclette in various bands. By the time Roland came back from serving in the Navy, he joined Slim (who played fiddle like his father, George) playing bass in Slims’ Kentucky Ramblers. Eventually they came to the attention of the Down Homers, which featured Bill Haley (and Kenny Roberts) and joined them on the tidy sum of $200 a week wages. Once the Down Homers had disbanded, Slim & Rocky were playing at Lake Compounce in Slims new band, The Cowboy Caravan.

Rocky died on the 6th of May 2004 and Slim passed away October 13th 1999.

« Mocking Bird Special » is a pleasant enough fiddle instrumental. This was reissued on Starday EP 295 and Starday LP 114, and subsequently reissued again on Nashville LP 2015 (Album release credited to « Slim Cox. ») Haven’t heard the flip, but the lead vocalist is Jimmy Stephen.

SAN RECORDS 589 JOE BROWN and the Black Mt. Boys with Curley Sanders and the Santones (September 1956)

W.B.R.T, Bardstown, KY

45-589-A Midnight Rhythmsan 589-a joe brown midnight rhythmsan 589-b joe brown fishin' fever

(Sanders / Shirley)   (Starrite BMI)

45-589-B Fishin’ Fever

(Joe Brown)   (Starrite BMI)

Once again, nothing known about Joe Brown and his band. Curley Sanders will be covered next as he has his own release after this disc. Recorded at WBRT from Bardstown, KY so perhaps Joe was a DJ there.

« Midnight Rhythm » is a nice instrumental with fiddles and a nice guitar picker (Ody Martin?) doing a fine Chet Atkins impression. (Ody was name checked by Curley in a Billboard segment.) « Fishin’ Fever » is the slightly better side with fine vocals and fine support from the Black Mt. Boys and the Santones.

JAMBOREE RECORDS 590 CURLEY SANDERS

Buffalo, KY (September 1956)

45-590-A – Why Did You Leave Mejamboree 590-b curly sanders brand new rock and roll

(J R Sprawls / C Sanders)   (Starrite BMI)

45-590-B – Brand New Rock And Roll

(C Sanders)   (Starrite BMI)

Label states « A Product Of Sprawls Enterprises ». Label was owned by Joel Ray Sprawls.

Curley Ray Sanders was born in 1935 in St John, KY. he was a DJ on WCTO (Campbellsville, KY) in 1956, and on WBRT (Bardstown, KY) in 1958. WBRT is where he recorded with Joe Brown on San Records, possibly paid for by Curley. He was a regular on the Renfro Valley Barn Dance (KY) in 1958.

I may not know much about Curley but I found quite a few records by him. He  shows up in about 1949/50 on Star Talent from Dallas, TX (#749 – Last On Your List / Penny For Your Thoughts). There was a Curley Sanders (assuming it’s him) appearing on the Saturday Night Shindig over WFAA (Dallas) in the early 50’s. Then I find two discs on Imperial (#8197 – Love ’em Country Style / My Heart Is Yours Alone – Mid 53), (#8226 – Too Much Lovin’ / I’m Reaching For Heaven – Dec 53/Jan 54).

By 1956, Curley’s obviously incorporated some « Cat Music » in his repertoire and he’s found here hollering for all he’s worth (well, not quite hollering, but there’s an urgency in his vocals). The A side I’ve yet to hear. Flip is a stop/start rocker with cool lyrics and some fine accomp. by his band (who I presume are the Santones.) I think there’s an under recorded mandolin or something playing through the solos but the guitar is drowning it out. Anyhow, it’s a fabulous track. Almost awesome!

Curley springs up on the Concept label twice after the issue here and records another disc on Jamboree (which isn’t pressed by Starday). (Concept #897 – Dynamite / You’re Smiling (I’m Crying) 1957 – Elizabethtown, KY), (Concept #898 – Walking Blues / This Time – 57/8), (Jamboree 1833 – Heartsick And Blue / I’ll Obey My Heart – 57/58 – still located in Buffalo, KY and featuring the Kentucky Rangers). After that …

MECCA RECORDS 591 GENE STERLING

920 Third Ave, Seattle, WA (October 1956)

45-591-A – Living A Liemecca 591-b gene sterling I won't be back no moreMecca 591 - BB 15 Dec 56 gene sterling

(No info)   (Mecca Enterprises BMI)

45-591-B – I Won’t Be Back No More

(No info)   (Mecca Enterprises BMI)

Born in Arkansas, Gene was a truck driver by day and a singer and DJ by night. In 1953, he was DJ’ing over KRSC in Seattle, WA and appearing on Seattle’s « Junior Ranch Show ». He was signed to Vogue Records in 1953 and had at least one release (Vogue #1022 – « So Do I » / ???). Billboard thought it routine, but then they weren’t always right.

By 1956, Billboard finds him recording the disc above. Again, they are not glowing in their praise, but as I haven’t heard it, I can’t say if they’re right or not.

BIG STATE RECORDS 592 ROLAND (R.A.) FAULK

468 Third St, Port Acres, TXbig state 592-a (78) roland (R.A.) Faulk my baby's gone

Oct 56  (BMI Clearance on 11th January 1957)

45-592-A – You’ll Never Know

(R A Faulk)   (Starrite BMI)

45-592-B – My Baby’s Gone

(R A Faulk)   (Starrite BMI)

big state 592-b (78) roland (R.A.) Faulk you'll never know

The A side is a nice typical Texas honky-tonk / hillbilly song. Flip side is a thunderous rocker with heavy double bass and biting guitar. One of the best examples of the Starday rockabilly sound. The ending of the song is one of the most chaotic pieces of music every pressed into shellac as the musicians don’t seem to know where to end. So they all seem to try to end at once with little success. (Sadly, nobody seems to have signalled to the bass player they’re stopping!). This makes the side even better for it in my opinion.

Both Roland and his brother (Autry) were veterans of the Port Arthur, TX scene. (Port Acres is slightly west of Port Arthur). Kirby London recorded one of Roland’s songs on D 1174.

This disc was pressed on both 45 and 78rpm formats.

LUCKY 593 Northwest Troubadors (Oct 1956)

Hey Mister Copper

Jolly Old Fellow

Untraced

STARDAY RECORDS 594 DOROTHY BLAKLEY

Oct 56  (BMI Clearance on 4th January 1957)

45-594-A – Piano Bells (ST-2658)

(Blakley)   (Starrite BMI)

45-594-B – Yodelin’ Ivory Waltz (ST-2659)

(Blakley)   (Starrite BMI)

More ivory tickling from Dorothy. This disc was even assigned Starday Matrix numbers. ST-2658 was reissued on Starday EP 295 as « Raggin’ The Piano« , while ST-2659 was retitled « Tickle The Ivories« .

BIG STATE RECORDS 595 JIMMY SIMPSON and his Oilfield Boyssimpson

Box 1113, Greggton, TX

Nov 56  (BMI clearance on 11 Jan 57)

45-595-A – Can I Come Home

(Jack Rhodes / Jimmy Simpson)   (Starrite BMI)

45-595-B – Memories Of You

(Jack Rhodes / Jimmy Simpson)   (Starrite BMI)

Jimmy D Simpson was born on 24th March 1928 in Sullivan Hollow, near Ashland City, TN. After stints in the Army (and Navy and the Paratroopers), he moved to Robert Lee, TX (near San Angelo) with his wife and made a living as a pipeliner. He became a DJ over KERC (Eastland, TX) and sang at the Big D Jamboree in Dallas. A career as an artist for Republic Records was cut short by the labels bankruptcy. He also recorded on Hidus Records (owned by Bill & Buddy Holman) based in a jewelry store in Springfield, TN. See in this site for his full story, using the « research » button top-right.

big state 595-a jimmy simpson can I come homebig state 595-b jimmy simpson memories of you

Before he took off for Alaska as a contractor, he teamed up with Jack Rhodes and found himself on this release. The A side is bordering on rockabilly; nice vocals and a fine guitar dragging the band along at a fair clip. There’s a steel guitar adding some nice fills in the background and it shares the solos with the guitar. Flip side is a ballad. These were recorded at a West Monroe, Louisiana radio station. Same session that produced Simpson’s Jiffy single.

STARDAY RECORDS 596 TRUITT FORSE

Nov 56

45-596-A – Chicken Bop

(Forse)   (Starrite BMI)

45-596-B – Doggone Dame

(Forse)   (Starrite BMI)

A monster, 2-sided rockabilly killer from Truitt, (Donald Truitt Forse), a cousin of Beamon Forse (See Rodney 514, « Starday Custom » part 1, in this site). A side is a fast guitar-led rocker with some nice rinky-dink piano. Truitt belts out both sides with gusto (as Billboard might have said) and the biting guitar solos remind me of Hal Harris on high-octane caffeine. Flip is slower, bluesier but not in the least inferior to the topside. Truitt  had some ’60s / ’70s C&W singles out under the name Don Force.

starday 596-a truitt forse chicken bopstarday 596-b truitt forse doggone dame


PEACH RECORDS 597 LEON HOLMES and his Georgia Ramblers

Box 111, Jefferson, GA

Nov 56  (BMI clearance on 11th Jan 57)

45-597-A – She’s My Baby

(Leon Holmes)   (Starrite BMI)

LEON HOLMES and JOHNNY GARRISON and the Georgia Ramblers

45-597-B – You’re Not Mine At All

(Leon Holmes)   (Starrite BMI)

Possibly one of my favourite discs in this series. Great stop-start vocals through the verses with a nice hint of rock-a-billy mumbling through the choruses! But it’s the guitar breaks that have always grabbed my attention (for obvious reasons I guess). Slightly understated with a smattering of Carl Perkins with a lovely cascade of notes at the end. It sounds to me that right at the end of the song, the guitarist must hit his pick-up switch by accident as the tone changes slightly. I could probably listen to this all day and not get bored. In fact, sometimes I think I do!

peach 597-a leon holmes she's my babypeach 597-a leon holmes she's my baby

Leon appears later in this series on Starday Records and also again on Peach Records. Perhaps he was a Georgia native.  Not heard the flip, but even if it was a ballad, I’d probably like it!

ROCK-IT RECORDS 598 GENE TERRY and his Kool Kats

Port Arthur, TX

Nov 56  (BMI clearance on 11 Jan 57)

45-598-A – The Woman I Love

(Kid Murdock / Lila Hargiss)   (Starrite BMI)

45-598-B – Tip, Tap And Tell me

(Kid Murdock / Lila Hargiss)   (Starrite BMI)

rock-it 598a gene terry The woman I loverock-it 598-b gene terry Tip, tap and tell me

Gene Terry was born Terry Gene DeRouen in Lafayette, LA on January 7th 1940, but raised in Port Arthur, TX, where his main musical influence growing up was his father and grandfather performing Cajun songs. He also attended house and barn dances with his uncle, R. C. DeRouen, a Cajun musician. His uncle taught him how to play guitar and eventually Gene accompanied him on stage. Gene formed his first band, the Kool Kats, in the mid-’50s, doing mainly country and western songs but they gravitated toward rock and roll, eventually changing their name to The Downbeats. Gradually rhythm and blues began to enter the band’s repertoire as Gene became influenced by Little Richard, Elvis Presley and local KTRM deejay J. P. « the Big Bopper » Richardson. Word spread to Lake Charles, LA gaining the attention of local club owners and a five year contract with Goldband Records. Gene Terry and the Down Beats recorded several singles for Goldband including classic « Cindy Lou« .

Top side is a fast rocker with a nice long guitar solo (although he seems to have not been expecting the first part of the solo because he’s a little under-recorded). Flip is more mid paced with a nod towards « Heartbreak Hotel« . Awesome!

HUGHART RECORDS 599 BURT HUGHART

Rt 3, Stigler, OK

Dec 56  (BMI clearance on 11 Jan 57. BB rev = 7 Jan 57)

45-599-A – Our Last Goodbye

(No info)   (No info)

45-599-B – Memories I Can’t Forget

(No info)   (No info)

No info on Hughart, nor have I seen or heard the record.

ALABAMA GOSPEL RECORDS 600 TOM HARMON TRIO

AL

Dec 56  (BMI clearance on 11 Jan 57)

45-600-A – My Secret Affair

(No info)   (No info)

45-600-B – Get Away, Satan

(No info)   (No info)

I’ve still yet to see or hear this disc.

As for the previous Starday custom series, a generous use has been made of Malcolm Chapman’s excellent blogsite « Starday customs » (just do search through google). My thanks to him, reprinted with permission. All label scans were taken from his site.

Starday Custom series, part 3 (# 551 to 575) (April to July 1956): from Hillbilly bop to Rock-a-Billy

For introduction on « Starday Custom » series, see the feature : « Starday Custom series: an introduction ».

This article takes the third place, after « Starday Custom Series », part 1 (1953-1955), part 2 (1955 to March 1956), to be found in this site. Just type in the research bottom, upper right.

MID WEST RECORDS 551 MOWEE JOHNSON (April 1956)

Wichita, KS

551-A – I Hope Tomorrow Never Comes

(No Writers Credit) (No Publ. Info)

551-B – What Am I Going To Do

(No Writers Credit) (No Publ. Info)

Yet again, another artist had slipped past my radar and vanished into that « Bermuda Triangle » of obscure artists.

STARDAY RECORDS 552 LUCKY WRAY (April 1956)            lucky wray & palomino ranch gang

(Artist based at time of disc in Washington, DC)

ST-2421 – It’s Music She Says552a 2

(Cindy Davis / Larry Stone) (Starrite BMI)

ST-2422 – Sick And Tired552b sick & tired

(Cindy Davis / Joe Drew) (Starrite BMI)

Lucky, Doug and the more famous sibling, Link hailed from North Carolina, although by the early 50’s they were playing in and around Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia. Lucky (real name Vern) took the name ‘lucky’ because of his luck at gambling. The original band were called Lucky Wray and the Lazy Pine Wranglers, playing mainly C&W / Hillbilly music. They worked mainly at the Fernwood Farms Dance Hall in Virginia. By 1955, they had renamed themselves Lucky Wray & the Palomino Ranch Hands and had relocated to Washington, DC, which included Shorty Horton on bass. The tracks above (and the other two singles) were cut at Ben Adelman’s studio. The A side on this disc bops along with Links’ guitar to the fore and an unknown steel guitarist – a hillbilly bopper that’s almost Rock-A-Billy. Flip is more mainstream hillbilly with Vern in fine vocal form and nice harmonies in the chorus. Both sides sport a Starday matrix which makes wonder if Starday were considering placing this in their main series instead of pressing it up as a custom.

ARKANSAS RECORDS 553 ALTON GUYON and his Boogie Blues Boys (April 1956)

Box 336, Judsonia, AR

45-553-A – River Boat Blues  553a river553b leave

(K Murphy / A Guyon)    (Starrite BMI)

45-553-B – Leave My Baby Alone

(K Murphy / A Guyon)    (Starrite BMI)

Tough as old boots hillbilly bopper, bordering on early rock-a-billy from Alton and his Boogie Blues Boys from Judsonia, Arkansas. About a year after this disc was pressed, Guyon’s manager sent Starday four more sides for consideration which were (sadly) rejected. Quite why they didn’t press these onto a Starday Custom is anybody’s guess. As an aside, the A side was recorded by Buddy Phillips for the CKM label from Bald Knob, AR, with the flip (Coffee Baby) also written by K Murphy and Alton. I wonder if this track is also one of the remaining unissued sides, the last one being « Bop Bobby Sox Bop » (first time the word « bop » appears on a Starday recording).

STARDAY RECORDS 554 MARTY LICKLIDER (April 1956)

(Artist based in OH at time of release)

45-554-A – Cold Hands, Warm Heart

(Licklider)    (Starrite BMI)

45-554-B – Our Anniversary Day

(Licklider)    (Starrite BMI)

Mr. Licklider was business manager, singer, guitarist and song writer for a band called the Fox Hunters. Marty was also a DJ on WICA (Ashabula, OH) in 1952. The Fox Hunters consisted of Marty, Buell Licklider (Marty’s brother) on mandolin and bass fiddle, Andy Hill (violin), Eddie Allen (accordian) and Marty’s son, Larry who also played a violin. Marty had at least one disc issued on Coral (64126) (« Down By The Missouri River » / « I Don’t Want My Darlin’ To Cry. ») The A side of this disc is a very pleasant hillbilly bopper with good steel & lead guitar. Flip is a ballad about the joys of marriage. Billboard described this disc on the 28th April, 1956 as:- « Cold hands, Warm Heart » – Licklider, new to the label, has a deep voice and relaxed style that reminds the listener of the incomparable Ernest Tubb. He employs his voice to good advantage on this humorous, bouncy tune. » « Our Anniversary Day » – « The singer portrays the feelings of a couple that has been happy in marriage for many years. A thoughtfully presented reading that many country deejays will want to program. »

STARDAY RECORDS 555 LUKE GORDON Acc by C. Smith and the Tennessee Haymakers.     (April 1956)

(Artist based possibly in Quincy, KY at time of release.)

45-555-A – Let This Kiss Bid You Goodbye

(Gordon) (Starrite BMI)

45-555-B – Baby’s Gone

(Gordon) (Starrite BMI)

Another offering from Luke. The A side is more in the sad Hank Williams vein. Flipside is a superior country rocker with some fantastic lead guitar bubbling behind his vocals. . Luke’s got one of those voices a cross between Hank Williams and Luke McDaniels.

555b refait


H and C RECORDS 556 OKLAHOMA MELODY BOYS 556b your heart

Vcl by Jearl Ritter (April 1956)

Tulsa, OK

45-556-AWasted

(Goldie Hood) (Starrite BMI)

45-556-B – Your Heart And Mine

(Thelma Conrad / Goldie Hood) (Starrite BMI)

Nothing on this band. Possibly T. Texas Tyler’s band that he used on some of his 4-Star recordings. Nothing again on Jearl Ritter or Goldie Hood (who penned both sides.) Both sides of the disc is pleasant hillbilly.

SULLIVAN RECORDS 557 THE LEWIS FAMILY

(No known location)

557-A – Lights In The Valley

(No credits) (No publication info)

557-B – My Jesus is the one

(No credits) (No publication info)

SULLIVAN RECORDS 558 THE LEWIS FAMILY (April 1956)

(No known location)

558-A – Did You Do What The Lord Said To Do

(No credits) (No publication info)

558-B – Wait a little long please Jesus

This and the previous disc are yet another in a long line of blanks where info is concerned. The « Lewis Family » were a reasonably successful gospel band, but there may have been two different groups with the same name so I’m not sure which one is which – without hearing them and seeing the discs of course which, after 20 years, I’m still waiting to do.

STARDAY RECORDS 559 DON OWENS and the Circle « O » Ranch Boys

(Artist based around Arlington, VA)                    (May 1956)                   559a something

45-559-A – Somethings You Cannot Change

(Owens) (Starrite BMI)

45-559-B – Adios Novia

(Owens) (Starrite BMI)

This Don Owens was a DJ who broadcasted over WARL (Arlington, VA)and he once appeared on a Jimmie Rogers Memorial Show with the likes of Hank Snow and Ernest Tubb. (Billboard lso mentioned that attendance was very good despite the almost torrential rain that poured from the heavens that day. He also appeared before the Pastore Senate Subcommittee in 1958, saying that  » … The strongest condemnation of rock & roll and country music comes from people who have never spent five minutes paying attention to it. » (Good for him, although, as a DJ & musical director of Arlington’s only country music station, I doubt if he was defending R&R – but still … kudos to the man for speaking his ind in public.) A further tale from this artists was mentioned in Billboard in Oct 55 which states … « Don Owens, WARL, Arlington, VA debuted a new ballad recently on one of his shows that was composed by a local detective and his prisoner. The unusual writing team got together when detective Alvin Fuchsman picked up 24 year old Ted Borrelli of Hoboken, NJ on a vagrancy charge. Upon discovering that the prisoner had with him some 50 odd poems that he had written, the detective put music to a few, tape recorded one of them (« Underneath The Lamp Post ») which was later played by dee-jay Owens.

Sadly, Don Owens was killed when he fell asleep at the wheel of his car (this was the second, or third time he had fallen asleep at the wheel.) It is said this was due to the long hours as a DJ, and his TV Show.

Musically, Don almost talks his way through the A side instead of singing. It’s a nice love song I guess and the band are excellent. Flip side is more of the same really. I could hear Hank Williams singing this song better.

STARDAY RECORDS 560 JERRY HANSON (May 1956)  560a cry560b doing

45-560-A – Cry

(Jack Rhodes / Jerry Hanson) (Starrite BMI)

45-560-B – I’m Doing All Right

(Jack Rhodes / Jerry Hanson) (Starrite BMI)

In 1954, Hanson was appearing on the « Western Star Serenade » Hillbilly show out of Tyler, TX and somehow ended up at Jack Rhodes cozy little motel out of Mineola, TX, where he probably cut these sides. Sometime later (or even perhaps earlier), Jerry cut a faster take of B-side (issued on « Gene Vincent Cut Our Songs » CD.

« Cry » is a nice song, more country than anything else and Jerry and Jack Rhodes were hoping to pitch it to a good and known country singer through Capitol Records. « I’m Doing All Right« , on the other hand is a tight, moody rockabilly classic with a threadbare feel, fronted by Hanson’s assured vocals. Although I can hear quite a few artists covering « Cry« , Jerry OWNS the B side and I can’t quite imagine anyone else covering the song as well as Hanson does.

Hanson later appears on Ed Manney’s Bluebonnet and Manco labels (Both are good vocally, especially the Bluebonnet 45) and on Colpix and then he disappears into thin air.

STARDAY RECORDS 561 JIMMY JOHNSON (May 1956)

45-561-A – Woman Love

(Jack Rhodes) (Central Songs BMI)

45-561-B – All Dressed Up

(J Rhodes / D Carter / D Nalls) (Starrite BMI)

Born in 1930 in Smith County, Jimmy Johnson played guitar, fiddle and sang in Jack Rhodes Ramblers(sometimes known as the Lone Star Buddies). Whilst appearing on RD Hendon’s Western Jamboree Club in Houston, he was approached and offered a recording contract by Solomon Kahal, who owned the local Freedom label. (« Salt Your Pillow Down » being recognised as a classic example of East Texas honky-tonk/hillbilly.) After a couple of sessions, Jack Rhodes got him signed up for Columbia records where he recorded some great tunes (« Eternity » & « Mama Loves Papa » being the best of the bunch.) Then the Korean war came along and Jimmy was drafted. He came back a changed man, haunted by what he experienced on that war torn peninsula. He married Billie Jo Spear’s sister (Betty Lou), had three children and worked for a local oil drilling company, with all the hopes of cashing in on his Columbia recording contract fading rapidly.

Like Jerry Hanson, Jimmy was frequently found recording at Jack Rhodes’s motel in Mineola, TX. For the session (recorded probably in March 56), Jimmy sang and played lead guitar, his wife on rhythm and Leon Hayes played an upright bass. Jack Rhodes mailed copy tapes to Cliffie Stone who had acetates made up for Ken Nelson, A&R supremo for Capitol Records. Whilst impatiently waiting for Ken to put the record out by somebody – hell, ANYBODY, Jack got 300 copies pressed up by Starday, who put it out on their custom series instead of on their main series . « Woman Love » was eventually recorded by Gene Vincent, although it was « Be-Bop-A-Lula » that became the hit, which brought in some nice royalty checks for Rhodes.

Johnson recorded many demos for Jack Rhodes but quickly faded from

musical history. (Some of these demos appear on the CD « Gene Vincent Cut Our Songs« . He passed away on Jan 8th 1980.

561b dressed561A (Starday) jimmy johnson woman love

« Woman Love » is a brooding shuffler with Jimmy’s deep and urgent vocals grabbing most of the attention. « All Dressed Up » is the faster side (but not by much) with Leon & Betty Lou joining in on the choruses. Quite why Jimmy didn’t go on to cut more records with that great voice of his is beyond me really. Still, I suppose cutting one of the most famous « Starday Customs » is something worth being remembered for.

GIBSON RECORDS 562 KING STERLING (May 1956)

(No Location)

45-HD-562-A – Slippin’ Out – Stealing In

(R L Blythe / J M Alstatt) (Starrite BMI)

45-HD-562-B – Alone, Lonesome And Blue                                                                             562a slippin'

(R L Blythe / J M Alstatt) (Starrite BMI)

Apparently, this artist became Sterling Blythe who recorded for Sage & Sand (can anybody confirm this?) A quick trawl through Billboard magazines found a few titbits on this artist. He was signed up to the KWKH Artist Services Bureau, run by Horace Logan, (booking manager of the Louisiana Hayride), and around Feb. ’57, he was listed as one of the Hayride’s personnel. By March 57 he was also appearing over KRBB (El Dorado, AR) on the King’s Corrall Show. By then, he’d managed to get on the Starday main series with « What Will The Answer Be » / « Not Much » (#298) which was reviewed by Billboard on the 3rd of June that year. (They described the A side as a … »highly effective weeper. »

That description pretty much described the A side of this disc as well. Sterling’s got a nice voice for these kind of songs, a little like Werly Fairburn in places. Flipside is a mid-tempo hillbilly number with nice steel and lead guitar with fiddle filling up the spaces behind the vocals. (I especially like the slight miss-fingering by the guitarist on the solo.

STARDAY RECORDS 563                             HOYT SCOGGINS and the Saturday Nite Jamboree Boys              (May 1956)

45-563-A Why Did We Fall In Love    563b tennessee

(Scoggins) (Starrite BMI)

45-563-B Tennessee Rock

(Scoggins) (Starrite BMI)

Having not heard the A side, I make up for it with having the B side all lined up for me to swoon over. Not the usual gospel stuff, just a clear stab at breaking into this new fangled « Cat Music. » He sounds a little unsure of himself while he’s wailing away at this type of music but it’s a winner of a song. Band provide good support (as Billboard would say).

STARDAY RECORDS 564 TEX DIXON (May 1956)     Tex Dixon(rcs)564a lies

(Possibly a Tennessee Artist)

45-564-A – Your Lovin’ Lies

(Jimmie Atkins / Walter Dickey) (Starrite BMI)

45-564-B – I’m Just Feeling Sorry For Myself

(Jimmie Atkins / Walter Dickey) (Starrite BMI)

This artist was pretty prolific during the 50’s and early 60’s. His real name was Walter Dee Dickey and he recorded under the name Mason Dixon for Reed Records (but the Mason Dixon on Meteor is a different artist), Walter Dixon on Erwin Records and Tex Dixon on this release and also on Zone and Stompertime Records from Memphis, TN. He was a regular on the Dixie Hayride (Florence, AL). Walter was blessed with a voice that could do stone-cold country and Rock-A-Billy in a blink of an eye. Both tunes here were co-wrote by Jimmie Atkins, an artist he shared billing with on a 45rpm on Alfa Records. Both sides represented here are similar, heartbreaking hillbilly songs with steel guitar being the main instrument.

Mr. Joel Russell wrote (Jan. 25, 2014) that: « I saw the record and the photo of Tex Dixon on your site.  The writers of the song was listed as Jimmie Adkins and Walter Dickey.  Walter Dickey was his real name and Tex Dixon was ONE of his pseudonymns.  My dad was Speedy Russell, and back in the fifties, dan and Walter were best buds and they played all the honkeytonks together.  Dad was THE steel guitar player back in those days in the Bessemer, Alabama area.  That is where Walter did most of his music.  Walter had high hopes of becoming a big nashville star, but he never made it.  There are several 45’s out there of him, and he paid to record every one of them.  My mom and his wife would go with them sometimes to gigs and walter would tell them to stay away from them so the women in the bar would think they were single.  Dad an walter used to go out, play music, dad would get drunk and go home with some whore night after night and when he would finally come home, he would beat up my mother.  Of course she was a bitch and deserved it.  I was born during all that.  Thought I’d give you some history of Walter « tex dixon » Dickey from Bessemer, Alabama. »

STARDAY RECORDS 565                                                 LUKE GORDON and his Lonesome Drifters

(artist based in Quincy, KY)           (label scans untraced — sorry!)                                                                                         (April1956)

ST-565-A Big New Dance

(L Gordon) (Starrite BMI)

ST-565-B Just Doin’ What’s Right

(Unknown Credits) (Starrite BMI)

Another fine offering by the excellent Luke Gordon. The A side fully embraces the new music style that was frequently pushing aside country music at the time, whilst staying true to his musical roots. The band once again are excellent. Once again, Luke ventured to Ben Adelman’s cool little studio on Cedar Street in Washington DC to record these tracks. I haven’t heard the flip side as yet, nor have I seen the record.

MOVIE CRAFT 566 ROD BURTON – Moviecraft Orchestra

930 West 7th Place, Los Angeles 17, CA                                                                  (June 1956)

566-A – I’d Like To Be A Baby Sitter

(Morris-Gerard) (Golden State Songs BMI)

566-B – « I’m Dolling You Up For » Somebody Else

(Morris-Gerard) (Golden State Songs BMI)

Another musical blank. Possibly a song-poem.

STARDAY RECORDS 567 FRANK EVANS and his Top Notchers

(Artist from Tampa FL at time of release.) (June 1956)

45-567-A – Go On And Be Carefree st 567B frank evans what is it

(Gene Rutland) (Starrite BMI)

45-567-B – What Is It (That I’m Too Young To Know)

(Gene Rutland) (Starrite BMI)

By the time Frank came around to recording another disc for Starday (albeit on the custom series), he had organised his own backing band – the Top Notchers. The band were Arnold Newman (ld gtr), Roland Newman (fdl), Pip Studenberg (bs) and Colin Thomas (Stl gtr – who doesn’t appear on this disc). The drummers name is long forgotten. This was recorded at WHBO in Tampa FL.

The A side is a pleasant enough hillbilly disc, but it’s the flip side that catches your attention. Taken at a fast clip, this has an almost « bluegrass » feel to it. Pretty cool stuff for a bunch of youngsters!

MOONLIGHT RECORDS 568                            CARL TANNER and IVENA BUCKINS and the Southern Pine Boys (June 1956)

Box 745, Waycross, GA

45-568-A – Together  Me And You

(Tanner) (Starrite BMI)

45-568-B – We’re In Love

(Tanner / Buckins) (Starrite BMI)

568a together A second offering from Carl, this time supported by one Ivena Buckins. A side is a slow hillbilly disc with sawing fiddles and Carl & Ivena take turns in singing portions of the song. Ivena’s voice is a little flat here and there – (in fact, Carl struggles a little too – almost like the key is slightly too low for him to sing in.). The flip side is taken at a breath-taking tempo, with both singers sound much more comfortable with the song. The band cook up a storm throughout this side.

STARDAY RECORDS 569                                           COUSIN ARNOLD and his Country Cousins           (June 1956)

(Artist located in Rock Hill, SC at time of release.)

45-569-A – Be My Baby, Baby Doll   569a baby

(A E Baynard) (Starrite BMI)

45-569-B – What is Life To You

(A E Baynard – Glenn Martin) (Starrite BMI)

Billboard reveals that Cousin Arnold is one Arnold E Baynard who was the commercial manager of WTYC, Rock Hills, SC (Summer 56). BB (August 13, 1955) mentions that Arnold and his band are  » … new to the South Carolina area and are doing a weekly half-hour sponsored show over WTYC. They were also doing a weekly bard dance at a lodge in Rock Hill. By November 1955 he was also doing « Day Break In Dixie » which was a 6:00 – 6:30 am segment in addition to his 1:00 – 2:00 over the same radio station. It also mentions he has penned two songs « Be My Love » & « If I Were A Millionaire » which he ‘s trying to get recorded. Did he ever record these? Anyhow, by the summer of 1956, he’d recorded the two tracks above and had them shipped to Starday for a pressing run of 300 copies.

The A side is a jolly old hillbilly song with a banjo as the main instrumental. It’s a bit of a « sermon » rather than an actual song, but pleasant enough I guess. Flip side is a torrid Country / Rock-A-Billy cross over which flies along at a fast pace. Good guitar and steel throughout with that rather annoying banjo threatening to take over at the slightest provocation. Marvelous stuff indeed! (MC)

STARDAY RECORDS 570                                                ARNOLD PARKER and the Southernairs

Cuerco, TX (June 1956)

45-570-A – People Laugh At A Fool570a people Arnold Parker

(A Parker – W Adams) (Starrite BMI)

45-570-B – Find A New Woman570b find

(W Adams – J Hill) (Starrite BMI)

Arnold was born on January 25th 1936 in Cuerco, TX and has been singing since standing up in his local church and belting out a song as a small child. Once Arnold graduated from high school, he became the featured vocalist for a popular dance band called The Southernairs, playing mainly around the south Texas area.

With regards to the record above, I’m gonna let Arnold do the talking – well – writing – which he sent to me by email:

« The musicians on the record were the exact 8 piece band that we had in the 1950s. The intro and the second guitar lead is Ken Williams. The first guitar lead is Jack Hill who actually wrote « Find a New Woman ». We recorded this at ACA Studios in Houston, Texas in 1956. Walter Adams was my so called manager at the time and he set up the recording and handled everything. I don’t remember the exact amount but I know we got quite a few copies to begin with and then went back and got more later. Radio stations in Texas and some in Louisiana played the song and we did perform it live quite a bit on our dance jobs. I also made some trips around to a number of radio stations plugging the record. There were a couple of local stations that conducted a weekly hit parade and the record showed up in the top 10 on those. »

sarg 106A arnold parker One way love

Parker first ever record, 1954

I’ve never heard the A side. But the flip is one of the best, killer Rock-A-Billy records ever pressed on Starday – some achievement when you think they also issued Sonny Fisher, Truitt Forse, Bob Doss and many, many others. Parts of the solo has an almost western-swing – twin guitar feel to it but it’s the biting intro and end part of the solo that gets my heart a-pounding. Arnold’s got one of those voices which can make a plain country record great and effortlessly slip into RaB without almost no effort at all! (His Sarg recordings are also darn good, although not as great as this disc) Billboard described this disc as follows: (17 Nov 56) « A side – Wistful warbling on an appealing weeper » B side –  » Parker sells a bouncy rock and roller with verve and good beat » Understatement of the year! In December of that year, it also mentions that he had joined the deejay staff at KULP, El Campo, TX. Again, in BB, on the 4th August, it mentions the members of the Southernaires.

BB Arnold Parker  4 Aug 56 starday 570

About the same time as the recording, Arnold and the band made their first appearance on the Louisiana Hayride. (He also met Elvis Presley here and discussed Arnolds home-made shirt his mother had made for him.) In February 1957, he met the love of his life – Jeanette Catherine Wendt in El Campo, TX and 3 months later he left the band and got married. The early 60’s finds him in Victoria, TX and he was fronting a band called The Mustangs and recording for Charlie Fitch’s Sarg Records. (He had recorded with the Sarg label before this disc too.) He continued playing until 1973 when he decided to spend more time with his family. But, as the music bug seems to linger in all true musicians, even today he steps up on stage and belts out a country tune and the odd RaB number for the crowd. Arnold also recorded for Wildcat Records.

ALABAMA GOSPEL RECORDS 571 THE TOM HARMON TRIO

(Unknown Location) (June 1956)

(Pno Acc: by Dan Garrett)

45-571-A – I’d Like To Know

(T Harmon) (Starrite BMI)

45-571-B – God’s Miracles

(T Harmon – J T Clark) (Starrite BMI)

Pleasant Gospel Music, spoilt perhaps by the « recorded at home » sound quality of the disc. Who ever the female vocalist is, her voice cuts through everybody else’s efforts.

BIG STATE RECORDS 572 572a tomorrow JACK FROST and his Band

No. 8 Manchester Road, Wichita Falls, KS (July 1956)

45-572-A – There Is No Tomorrow

(Ken Blackridge) (Starrite BMI)

45-572-B – Crying My Heart Out

(Ken Blackridge) (Starrite BMI)

No knowledge about Jack Frost and his Band. Both sides are western swing, like an early Texas Playboys with trumpet, guitar, fiddle – the whole nine yards of western swing sophistication. The B side is the better of the two in my opinion but they are kind of similar so it’s hard to chose on from the other.

MARYLAND RECORDS 573 LUCKY CHAPMAN and the Ozark Mountain Boys (July 1956)  Lucky Chapman

(No Address – Artist based in Frederick, MD)

45-573-A – I’ve Waited So Long

(Lucky Chapman) (Starrite BMI)

45-573-B – Blue Grass 573b blue grass

(John Duffy) (Starrite BMI)

Lucky Chapman came from Frederick, Maryland – moved to Florida in the 1960’s – died around the late 60’s. Other info: The band re-cut the side ‘Bluegrass’ on the Fonotone label, which Joe Bussard owned – it was cut down in Joe’s basement on July 26, 1959 – the flip side being the Bill

Monroe classic ‘Put My Little Shoes Away‘ (Fonotone 617) Lucky Chapman – guitar; Bill Berry* – mandolin; John Duffey – mandolin. The band were working out of WFTR, Royal, VA in 1951, where Frank Esworthy was the bass player. The band consisted of Lucky, Frank (???) & Bill Poffinberger at this time.

(B-573 is an instrumental featuring John Duffy on mandolin. The B side was reissued on STARDAY EP-258.)

The Maryland issue was cut down in Lucky Chapman’s basement – when they received, and listened to the record, they were not happy with the sound – Joe says that Lucky Chapman said that they wished they had cut the sides at Joe’s.

*Paul Chaney, *Bill Berry: They were Bill & Paul The Bluegrass Travelers – who cut an EP on Dixie 981 (Doin’ My Time, Bluegrass Hop, Change Of Heart, Cumberland Valley Special)

Bill Berry was killed over at Brunswick, when coming out of an exit his car was hit by another.

They also cut a record on their own Traveler label: ‘Banjo Stretch’/’Cherished Memories‘ (Traveler 500), cut at Joe Bussard’s Studio.

MISSISSIPPI RECORDS 574HODGES BROTHERS574a rock

Box 101, Osyka, MS (July 1956)

45-574-A – I’m Gonna Rock Some Too

(Ruth Thompson) (Starrite BMI)

45-574-B – Because I Loved You So

(Ruth Thompson) (Starrite BMI)

The Hodges Brothers were one of many old time bluegrass / hillbilly bands that lived in a musical time warp deep in the US south. Rediscovered by Chris Strachwitz of the famed Arhoolie Record Co in 1960, their music still harked back to the twenties and thirties before the great depression.

Originally recording for Lillian McMurray’s Trumpet label, rockabilly fans will be more aware of their gut-kicking monster « Honey Talk » on Whispering Pines 201 from Indianapolis, IN .. But recently, this disc appeared out of nowhere and it knocks that disc into the bleachers. A solid arse kicking country bopper with great guitar work and lovely back-in-the-woods vocals.

All three brothers were born and raised in a small rural settlement called Bogue Chitto, MS. Felix (1923-1979) was the fiddler in the brothers band. Ralph (1927-1976) was the guitar / mandolin player and did most of the singing. James (1932- was the rhythm player. He was still alive in 2003.

STARDAY RECORDS 575 LUCKY WRAY

Washington, DC area

45-575-A – What-Cha Say Honey   575a wray whatcha say honey

(C Davis / J Drew / J Williams) (Action Music BMI)

45-575-B – Got Another Baby 575b got

(L Wray / Cindy Davis) (Starrite BMI)

Another great hillbilly offering (on the A side) and a chugging, almost threatening rocker on the B side. The B side is certainly a musical highlight in anybody’s life. This is the second of 3 45’s they had issued on Starday, leaving the best one ’til last (Starday 608).


—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

All appreciations from Malcolm Chapman’s blogsite devoted to « Starday Custom series ». Used by permission.

Sounds from various sources, mainly from own collection, « Starday Custom » virtual CDs and YouTube.