Greenville, S. Carolina, 1961: the KALL Record Company

Kall Record CompanyGreenville, South Carolina .

The little known Kall Records are pretty much a forgotten label owned I believe by Alan Riddle . They were producing some good Country/Honkytonk/Gospel records from 1960 onwards but only ten releases are known and there are some gaps within the run that I hope to fill within the coming months.

There seems to be a connection with local label ‘Plaid’ (also Greenville, SC) owned by Charles Rush , who were also releasing some decent country/Rockabilly around the same period and area , the connection being Alan Riddle who saw releases on both labels and I believe was also a co-owner of the publishing company ‘Duride’  along with record producer Don Dudley, hence the ‘DU’ and ‘RIDE’ from Riddle ?.

The Kall label is pretty recognisable with the bold blue lettering ‘KALL’ across the top with the small boy wearing a baseball cap shouting ! (this later changed to a smaller label design with psychadelic Orange/Yellow colouring )

The label numbers changed a few times but I am pretty sure ALAN RIDDLE was the first with his release in 1961 ‘It Takes You’ B/w ‘I Love No One But You’ # 0041. Before this release, Riddle had his song ‘The Moon Is Crying’ released in America on ‘Plaid’ # 1001 in 1960 and also on ‘Fling’ #219 in 1961 and then in Canada on the ‘Zirkon’ label # 1010 . Both ‘The Moon Is Crying’ and this Kall release were both produced by Don Dudley.

« It takes you »

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« I love no one but you »

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This 45 was straight country/Honkytonk up tempo shuffle and the A side moves along at a decent pace.  The flip is a more basic slow number with girl backing vocals but has some nice guitar work during the solo.

The second release # 0042/246 by WALLACE HOOPER and the Dixie Ramblers . Again published by ‘Duride’ and is a pretty darn good Country tune.  ‘In The Middle’ B/w ‘Third Stool Down’. Both songs were written with the help of top Nashville writer Jesse Evatt . The A side is a slow number but shows some decent guitar and the flip is your typical mid tempo bar room drinking song which has some lovely steel and fiddle. I have no info on who were the Dixie Ramblers !

« In the middle« 

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« Third stool down »

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CHARLIE and FRANKThe Country Lads” were next to see a release with Kall # 0043 . Again ‘Duride’ were the publishers of both songs and again both produced by Don Dudley. Both songs were recorded at the legendary Mark V Studios in Greenville. SC .

The A side ‘Just For Today’ is sung by Charlie Driggers ( Left) with Frank Adcox (right) on Rhythm Guitar, Bill Huffman on the upright Bass and Otis Forrest on Piano. A nice country tune sung and played well. The flip ‘Never Do Him Wrong’ a dual harmony tune with Charlie on lead vocal and Frank on tenor vocal, some lovely steel with superb vocals makes this a pretty good release. Charlie and Frank were joined by JR. Cisson on Steel and again Bill Huffman on bass but who played the drums is unknown.

 

« Just for today »

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« Never do him wrong« 

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Charlie Driggers passed away in 1996. Frank Adcox is still alive and strummin’ and the grand old age of 82. Below is a photo of Frank Adcox holding the 45 I found for him as a gift as he had no copy himself and another photo of him playing his old guitar.

Next saw Kall dip their toes into the Bluegrass/Gospel field with a release by ‘ FAMILY TRIO with JOYCE HAWKS’ . This saw a 1st time pressing by ‘Sheldon’ for the label . ‘He Rescued Me’ B/w ‘ When I Found Jesus’ are pretty good bluegrass gospel tunes that would have been sold locally and were very popular in this area of the States.

When I Found Jesus’ is the better of the two sides and really starts with some great mandolin and has a change in tempo throughout along with some super harmonies .

 

 

« He rescued me »

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« When I found Jesus« 

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MAX HEDRICK was next with the first of his two releases on the label.  Kall # 497 ‘Welcome Sign Upon My Heart’ B/w ‘Lonely Nights’.  The A side was published by ‘Delrush’, most probably Alan Riddles new partner Alan Rush (owner of the previously mentioned ‘Plaid’ Records) . Both labels promote the ‘Riddle/Rush’ promotion and again this was a ‘Sheldon’ pressing.

« Welcome sign upon my heart »

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« Lonely nights« 

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Both sides have stickers across the artists name as above it is incorrectly spelt ‘Hendrick’ . The A side is a terrific little Honky Tonk number, with great vocals by Max and some great steel all the way through. The flip, ‘Lonely Nights’, is slightly slower in tempo and is a typical sad country song but again sung well by Hedrick and again an unknown player lays down some great steel guitar.

Kall turned next to the fantastic ‘JIM SOUTHERN’ with the next release in 1961 on Kall # 499. A blistering country bopper that is right out of the top drawer. ‘Talking To The Angels’ written by ‘Plaid’ recording artist Gene Smith, ’Derush’ were again the publishers and is pure magic, sweet steel and Jim has some nice echo on his vocal and the flip ‘Darling, Where Is The Moonlight’ published by ‘Southern, another  great tune and this moves along nicely with some sweet harmonies . The pressing plant for this 45 was again ‘Sheldon’.

« Talking to the angels »

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« Darling, where is the moonlight« 

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« Just one phone call »

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« Foolish pride« 

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Kall # 500 is next with some country by ‘BRENDA & ERNIE‘ , you get all the usual pedal steel and lashings of great harmonies . The A side ‘Just One Phone Call’ has Brenda taking lead and the B side ‘Foolish Pride’ has Ernie on lead. Both are real nice country tunes played with care and love. And again this record was pressed by ‘Sheldon’.

On a side note these two songs were written by ‘B. Hedrick & E. Hedrick’ (maybe a relation to Max Hedrick ? ) who had two releases on Kall.

MAX HEDRICK was next with his second and final release (as far as I know) with Kall # 501. Both songs written by ’Hedrick and Brown’. Released in 1961 this is a fantastic record and one of the best from the label. This again is a ‘Sheldon’ pressing . The A side ‘Actions’ is nothing spectacular and is just a slow country weepie and was apparently aired on ‘The Grand Ole Opry’ but the flip ‘Black Widow Heart’ a song about a girl who only wants to break his heart, this is a mighty fine tune and Max handles the vocals with ease and the whole thing shuffles along just right with some lovely steel and brush work on the snare drum.

« Actions« 

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« Black widow heart« 

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Max was married to Norma Hedrick around this period and I do not know of any other releases by Max which is a shame as he had a decent voice.

The final two releases that I know of have the change in label colour and the Kall logo is smaller . The address has changed to PO Box 374, Travellers Rest, SC. This town is situated just north of Greenville.

Kall # 805 signifies a change in address and numbering system but strangely back to being published by ‘Duride’ (Dudley/Riddle). LESTER ELLER hits us with ‘The Fox Chase’ B/w ‘Chicken Reel’. I am yet to hear either but I imagine these are again country tunes from probably 1962 .

TOMMY HOOPER and The Nashville South are next with Kall # 6780 ?. The A side ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ B/w ‘Sunshine Girl’ are again unknown to me but I do know that Tommy and the group also saw releases on ‘Mowhawk’ and ‘Jed’ labels in the mid 70’s. I don’t think he was connected to or a relation to Wallace Hooper who had a release on Kall # 0042 but I cannot be sure.

If anybody has any further information on further releases or artists connected with the Kall label then please let me know.

 

Well done, Mick! Thank you.