The Larry Phillipson – ‘The Bitter Feelings Mystery’
Bopping.org salutes a new contributor, who adds a very strange story about a Rockabilly classic..
I spotted this 78 record ( below) on Ebay in June 2015 ‘ Tennessee Valley Boys’ singing ‘Bitter Feelings’ & ‘I’m Wondering Now’ written by ‘Mauritz/Phillipson’ , it was a Buy It Now for $240 (or best offer) it had no audio attached and was listed incorrectly . I made my offer …..$170 and it was accepted ….. now the wait for the postman !
Now I know it has to be the same Phillipson song (The writing credits are the same as on the various later versions) and of course ‘Milwaukee’ on the label is the correct area, but what version was it ? The first version of ‘Bitter Feelings’ was believed to be the version on the ‘DEMO’ label released on 45 & 78 (surely just a coincidence that DEMO is a anagram of ‘MODE’) but when was the ‘MODE’ version released ? .
The ‘MODE’ # 101 version ( pictured above) is straight Bluegrass song , mandolin and harmony vocals make this a wonderful twist on the classic rockabilly tune.
Now the ‘DEMO’ release # 1029 (above) ‘Bitter Feelings ‘ / While I Was Waiting For You’ by ‘Larry Lee and The Westerneers’ from 1953, pressed by RCA was we thought to be the first version of the song, now this version is an up tempo country/ hillbilly version ( with a hint of Bluegrass) but different from my mystery ‘MODE’ copy.
The final versions of ‘Bitter Feelings’ were released on two labels. 1959 saw the ‘CINCH’ # 3858 release (picture below), as ‘Larry Phillipson and The Larry Lee Trio’ . ‘Bitter Feelings’ / ‘Talkin’ To Myself ’ . The song has now evolved into a straight rockabilly song, it’s a blistering version and motors along with strong guitar and drums.
The final release of the song , again as ‘Larry Phillipson and The Larry Lee Trio’ is exactly the same version but re-released in 1965 on the ‘CUCA’ label # 6541. The sound on these recordings were slightly inferior to the ‘CINCH’ version even though they were taken from the original 59 master. Again ‘Talikin’ To Myself’ was on the flip.
So we now know of three versions of ‘Bitter Feelings’ (four releases) , a Bluegrass version, a Country/ Hillbilly version and the final Rockabilly classic. I find it really interesting to see a song evolve through the 50’s . I believe my ‘MODE’ # 101 version to be the original of the song but if anyone has more knowledge of the release dates and info then please let me know . Please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.
For this third feature specialized in bopping duets, we begin with the aptly named HARMONY BROTHERS. Their « Baby, tonight » fom 1959 was cut for St-Louis, MO label Bobbin 109, and it’s a very solid backed Everly Brothers styled opus. They had another one « Saturday night hop » on Bobbin 116 which sounds good (alas, untraced).
Mike & Bob, Houle Brothers « I heard the bluebird sing« download
On the Minneapolis, MN Circle Dot label (# 1012) , again from the late ’50s, we chose « Dream night » by the HOULE BROTHERS. Again Everly Bros. influenced, it fetches up to $ 250-300. Mike & Bob, the Houle Brothers, had another record on Bangar 642 in 1965, « I heard the bluebird sing ».
Jimmy Lee & Wayne Walker « Love me« download Now a great wild thing with the classic « Love me » (Chess 4863) from Spring 1955, cut at KWKH studio in Shreveport, La. by JIMMY LEE & WAYNE WALKER. It has urgent vocals and a ferocious steel (Sonny Harville), all propelled by the thuding bass of Tillman Franks and the jumping drums of D. J. Fontana.
Let’s go west with the FARMER BOYS, and the very special Western rockabilly style from the Capitol studio on « My baby done left me » (# 3476). The staff is composed by Bobby Adamson and Woody Murray (vocals), Roy Nichols on lead guitar, Fuzzy Owen on steel and Cliffie Stone on bass, and the tune was out May 31, 1956.. The story of the Farmer Boys is on this site.
An unusual duet of uncle and nephew were the JACOBY BROTHERS on TNT 1004, from San Antonio, TX. Great harmonies and backing (guitar and mandolin) for « Warmed over love ».
Martin Brothers « Where have you been all night« download
West VA. and the Liberty label (not to be confused with the big pop company in L.A.) (# 107). The MARTIN BROTHERS offer the good bopper « Where have you been all night ». Value $ 50-60.
Church Bothers « Broken vows and a broken heart« download
From N. Wilkesboro (S.C.) we turn now on the CHURCH BROTHERS and « Broken vows and a broken heart » (Blue Ridge 209), a typical 1953 bluegrass bopper: nice vocal and chorus in unison. I’ve read that the lead was Buffalo Johnson, an important figure not so well known today. Research goes on him.
From N. Charleston, (S.C.) and July 1954 BILLIE AND GORDON HAMRICK, a sacred tune on Rangeland 504 (one of the very first Starday customs). « He’s gonna take his children out » has a lead vocal male) and a chorus, plus a good banjo solo.
Billie & Gordon Hamrick « He’s gonna take his children out« download
Paul & Roy « Free, twenty one & ambitious« download
Paul & Roy « I wish you were a country girl« download
PAUL (Boswell) & ROY (Pryor) out of Nashville on the Pace label (# 1004) had previously cut a dozen sides for Mercury.The Pace issue date from late ’50s, and offer two medium tunes, « Free, twenty one and ambitious » and « I wish you’d be a country girl ». Good, a bit above average boppers.
Finally the terrific sacred « I’m a millionaire » by the Tennessee Harmony Boys (Dillard Anderson & Solon Maynard) on the Fortune label out of Detroit (# 209). A great, great mandolin solo, and a lot of excitement.. They had previously cut on their own « Tennessee Harmony Boys » label, and even had an E.P. on Fortune (# 1334).
Tennessee Harmony Boys « I’m a millionaire« download
This time is a little special one. Very recently the legendary CLAUDE KING passed away. I chose first from his Louisiana original days. First hillbilly bop , 1953, with « Take It Like A Man » (708) on the short-lived hillbilly Specialty serie (mostly cut in Shreveport), then his solitary Rockabilly on the small Dee-Jay label of Nashville (1957)(1248), « Run Baby Run« .
From I don’t know where, but « Mountain » label seems to refer to Appalachian mountains, a LEO GOSNELL on this 4 Star custom, OP 299, for two fine sides: « Juke Joint Honey » and « Woman Running Around« .
Savoy from New Jersey was indeed a big R&B concern. However it had a short lived Country 3000 serie. Here it is RAY GODFREY and his « Overall Song » (3021).
On Adair 620, a tremendous Bluegrass « A Use To Be » by a BRYANT WILSON.
Finally in California, Fable 546 label, with RAMBLIN’ EVERETT and « Cincinnati Woman« . Excuse me, I was not that inspired to comment this time. Music speaks by itself. Maybe you prefer it?
DetroitBy Michael Hurtt, Metro TimesOctober 3, 2008
Hidden next to I-75 in Troy, just south of the Big Beaver Road exit, they sit, surroundedby strip malls, corporate high-rises and recently constructed apartment complexes. What we’re looking at is a smattering of old farmhouses — some still heated by oil furnaces and kerosene heaters — on a two-block stretch of dirt and gravel road accessible only through an abutting parking lot.
Standing in stark opposition to its recently overly developed surroundings, one has the eerie feeling that this rural enclave won’t be here much longer. But even after the last old homestead has been mercilessly uprooted and the final skyscraper is finished — indeed after even it meets its bitter end — one aspect of Troy’s countrified past will remain, and that is its status as the hometown of Clix Records, one of the most elusive, seamless and sought-after imprints in all of early rock ‘n’ roll. Those now-ancient abodes once housed the early Michigan label.
Hello folks, here I am again, back in wonderful Vallée du Rhône (where I lived for more than 40 years): Roman monuments, wines, goat cheeses, near Lyon, the second city of France (rivalling Marseille). Here in Vienne we have one of the foremost Jazz Festivals all around Europe (1rst fortnight of July), held in a marvelous Roman theater (fantastic acoustic!). Among all artists will be this year Joe Cocker – he’s not a Hillbilly yet, you know, but one of the truly Soulful artists ever. The show is booked…
All my records are still in boxes, and the library has yet to be set up, later this Summer. So this early July fortnite will be made up of tunes stored on my Macintosch for accidental use like this one. No label pictures, no spare time left to research in my files, only the music. After all, it’s only music we all love that got importance, isn’t?
Here we go.First from Indiana (Ruby label) comes WALTER SCOTT and the fine Hillbilly bop « I’m Walkin’ Out » (1956) complete with swirling fiddles and steel-guitar. Then to Texas, I think (I may be wrong!), with the great HYLO BROWN, whose career was firmly dept in Bluegrass but flirted with Hillbilly at times. I’ve chosen his 1951 rendition of « Lonesome Road Blues » (Four Star). Down in Louisiana, here comes the Pope of Cajun accordion, NATHAN ABSHIRE and one of his first records (although he had already recorded in 1939) under his name, the fine instrumental « Lu Lu Boogie » (Khoury’s label, 1947). On to Nashville, and JIMMY MARTIN, one of the founding members of the Bluegrass style (he’s been once guitar player for Bill Monroe). The song herein is Bluegrass, indeed, but Jimmy has hiccups in his voice…that predate (in my mind anyway) Rockabilly! « Hop, Skip and Wobble » (Decca) Complete with fiddle, banjo, string-bass. Back to the real roots of Hillbilly of the Thirties: (Tom) DARBY & (Jimmy) TARLTON – the haunting « Sweet Sarah Blues » (may be from 1928? 1931? I cannot verify at the moment). Great, strange vocal, and wild dobro.
We finished with two very different tunes, separated by at least 50 years. BIG MACEO (Merryweather) was a fine piano player and intimate vocalist of Chicago in the early 40s. Hear his « I Got The Blues » (backed by Tampa Red on the fluid electric guitar). Then MAURA O’CONNELL (late 1990’s) and the beautiful (both melody and lyrics) « It’s A Beautiful Day ». Enjoy, folks!