Late December 2016 bopping & rocking Fortnight’s favorites

Hi ! To everybody visiting this website. This is the last fortnight’s favorites selection of 2016, and I hope you will find something of interest in this serie. Not much inspired (and not enough researches) this time, I’ll add very few comments on each record.

The SEVEN ROWE BROTHERS were 7 brothers (and a younger sister) who came originaly from Oklahoma, but settled in California after WWII. They did cut first on Pioneer 607 a fine romping instrumental, an hybrid Western pioneer-607-seven-rowe-brothers-spring-boogie-bluespioneer-608-seven-rowe-brothers-birthday-cakeswing/hillbilly boogie in « Spring boogie blues », piano led with solos by steel (Guy Rowe)l and fiddle.

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On Pioneer 608, Jack Rowe takes the vocal duty for this good Billy Hughes‘ classic « Birthday cake » : twin fiddles are in the hands of Earl and D.L. Later on the song was revived first by Skeets McDonald on Fortune, then by Jimmy Ballard on Kentucky.

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The third disc by the Rowes was issued in 1952 under the name of JACK ROWE & the Wichita Mountain Boys, and again « Bomb bosh boogie »(# 46398) is a nice shuffler.decca-46398-jack-rowe-and-his-witchita-mountain-boys-bomb-bash-boogie4-2-52

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We return to HANK PENNY for two selections. « Steel guitar stomp » (King 528) was recorded October 1945, Merle Travis is on lead guitar, and has that inimitable perfume of Western Swing, always present in Penny records. « Let me play with your poodle » (King 614) came in January 1947 as a novelty, and had Roy Lanham on guitar while a piano player takes also a solo.

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« Steel guitar stomp »

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« Let me play with your poodle »

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A fast Hillbilly boogie now with BUSTER PACK on the Campbellville, KY. Rich-R’-Tone label (# 1051). « Indian boogie » came in 1952. He had previously recorded in vintage Bluegrass style with « Better late than never » (# 1050).

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« Indian boogie »

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« Better late than never »

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LAMAN DAVIS delivers « If I can, can, can », a lovely piece of bop on the Las Vegas label (no #).las-vegas-laman-davis-if-i-can-can-can

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Finally there’s a R&B rocker on N.Y. Vest label # 8006) by the « Kansas City » man himself, WILBERT HARRISON photo-harrisonwilbertvest-8006-wilbert-harrison-please-forgive-me

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from 1959-61. «Please forgive me » is piano led and has a short guitar solo. This record is not listed in Les Fancourt’s « Blues discography ».

Sources : Youtube ; Praguefrank ; my own archives. Next articles about SPECK & DOYLE, DUB DICKERSON and « PECK » TOUCHTON. Information needed for future features on FRED CRAWFORD and WALTER « Tex » DIXON. 

The Tennessee label (1950-1952)

bill beasley

William Beasley

The Tennessee label

It was owned by Alan and Reynold Bubis (cousins) and formed in late 1949 by Williams Beasley who owned Coastline Distribution and was a protege of Jim Bulleit at a time when the Bullet label was having great local and national success. This was a time of expansion in Nashville as the Opry radio show became more and more popular and the number of studios grew. The Tennessee label used Castle or Bullet studios, but also radio stations after-hours (WKDA, WMAK), before Beasley set up his own studio. It had its musicians (The Nite Owls, a bunch of ever-changing musicians) and publishing outlet (first Tennessee, then Babb Music). The biggest hits Tennessee had was in the pop field: Del Wood and her singalong piano solos. But, like Bullet, Tennessee also recorded many excellent hillbilly and honky-tonk songs, and had no idea of recording star names. Beasley was looking for regular sales of 25,000. Often thee had the boogie rhythm and low-life themes that paved the way for country rock and rockabilly music a few years later. The musicians involved frequently included Harold Bradley (g), Farris Coursey (d), Allen Flatt (g) and Ernie Newton (b).

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