First version of the song was cut by JIMMIE DAVIS in February 1937, backed by Milton Brown (actually deceased a year before) Musical Brownies. Out of them Lefty Perkins takes two solos on the steel, Papa Calhoun is at the piano and the fiddle duties are taken by Buck Buchanan. It’s a medium paced blues ditty typical of Davis’ work. It was issued on Decca 5349.
Jimmie Davis, « High geared daddy »
In August 1949 WEBB PIERCE, after having obviously heard Davis’ tune, revived it (taking the credit to him). Nice honky-tonker (Buddy Attaway on steel?). The lyrics were a bit different from Davis’. Here they are Pierce’s ones:
Come on here girls and hear my song
I’ll tell you my troubles as I step along
I’m a high geared daddy and there’s nothing I won’t do
I’m a two time papa when you leave me at home
I’ll call another momma on the telephone
I’m a high geared daddy that’s never been made blue
If you leave me at home well that’s allright
I’ll take a new momma with me tonight
[continued this style] this perfect example of honky tonk machism was issued on 4 Star 1413, and many times reissued (e.g. 4* 1601), then was the model for other versions.
Webb Pierce « High geared daddy« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/webb-ierce-high-geared-daddy-249.mp3download
TOMMY LITTLE & the Sunrise Rangers, from Durham, N.C. recorded the song, although actually it’s a completely different one same time as Pierce’s and Davis’, because it is an old warhorse of the Thirties, frequently known as « Sweet mama put him in low », first recorded by KARL & HARTY (Karl Davis/Hartford Taylor) in Chicago, January 1941 (Okeh 06066). Not surprisingly the song was credited to « Davis »! Fairley Holden had his own version on King 771 in 1947. Tommy Little’s version, first issued on Tommy’s personal label, Tommy’s, was picked up by Colonial, a sub-label to Hollywood giant Modern diskery. Little gives the song a superbly energetic treatment with the mandolin giving it a wonderful old-time flavour.
Karl & Harty « Sweet mama put him in low« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/06-Sweet-Mama-Put-Him-Low.mp3download
Fairley Holden « Sweet mama put him in low »
Tommy Little « High geared daddy« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/colonial-116A-Tommy-Little-And-His-Sunrise-Rangers-High-Geared-Daddy-.mp3download
Returning to Webb Pierce’s « HIGH GEARED DADDY‘, the song found a new life in the hands of JIMMY WALKER on the West coast Intro label # 6025 in July 1951. He was backed on this occasion by Joe Maphis and Noel Boggs, augmented by George « Crazy » Tracy on harmonica and did offer an fine, relaxed although energetic version. Finally in a novelty style it was revived as a RCA LP track in 1956 by HOMER & JETHRO.
Jimmy Walker « High geared daddy« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/jimmy-walker-high-geared-dddy.mp3download
Homer & Jethro « High geared daddy« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/HOMER.mp3download
We start with a fast bopper by RANDY WALKER, « If I held you in my arms » on the Ludwig 1004 label (1958). This label was named after Rod Morris‘ second name’s son and was located in Eureka, California. Any help to review the 16 sides issued by Morris on his label would be welcome !
PERK WILLIAMS is well known for his 10 years association as singer and fiddler with Jimmy Heap (Lasso, Imperial and Capitol sides, 1949-1959), and can be heard for best effect on « Release me », « Cat’n around », « That’s that », « Ethyl in my gas tank » and other boppers. See elsewhere in this site for Jimmy Heap. Here Perk Williams is backed by the Sidewinders for a solitary issue on the Twirl label # 103 out of Taylor, Texas. « Defeated » has a bluesy guitar, a very intense vocal, plus steel and fiddle solo. The flip side « Why the blues are blue » is a medium fiddle led ditty, again with this intense vocal. Both very nice sides.
Randy Walker, « If I held you in my arms« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Ludwig-1004-Randy-Walker-If-I-Held-You-In-My-Arms-1958.mp3download
Perk Williams « Defeated« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Defeated1.mp3download
Perk Williams « Why the blues are blue« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Why-The-Blues-Are-Blue.mp3download
Next artist is something of a mystery. Last time I heard of him was as part of the Dixieland Drifters, out of Chattanooga, Tennessee, in the mid-60s. CHARLIE « Peanut » FAIRCLOTH was born 1927 in Georgia and was dee-jaying on Macon WNEX in 1950-51. Decca Records offered him a 4 tracks session cut in Nashville (April 1950), which I podcast 3 tracks on. First, the fast « F-O-O-L-I-S-H me, me » (Decca 46237), then the bluesy, lazy vocal of « Missississipi river blues » (Decca 46271), and its flipside the fast « Coffee, cigarettes and tears ». Both last tracks taken from a 78rpm I had sold a long time ago so no image available, only sound track. From this session only remains a version of Moon Mullican‘s « I’ll sail my ship alone« , never heard by Faircloth. On Youtube I found a 17 minutes snippet of a live show done at the Turner Club in Chattanooga, during the mid-60s. Nice sound and combination of tunes.
Charlie Faircloth, « F-o-o-l-i-s-h me, me« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/25-Charlie-Peanut-Faircloth-F-O-O-L-I-S-H-M-E-Me.mp3download
Charlie Faircloth, « Mississippi river blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Charlie-Faircloth-Mississipi-river-blues.mp3download
Charlie Faircloth « Coffee, cigarettes and tears« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Charlie-Faircloth-Coffee-cigarettes-and-tears-78-tours.mp3download
From Bloomington, Indiana comes JACK NOEL on Honey 1101. Hard to ascertain when this was issued, I’d say around 1955. « Ragged heart » has an accordion and the band singing chorus in unisson. Drunken Hobo says 1959!
Finally on Log Cabin 903 LEO GRAY does offer « After I have broke your heart », a good 1965 country-rocker, with a moving guitar, from Mt. Healthy, Ohio.
Jack Noel, « Ragged heart« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/honey-1101-Jack-Noel-Ragged-Heart.mp3download
Leo Gray, « After I have broke your heart« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/log-cabin-903-Leo-Gray-After-I-Have-Broke-Your-Heart.mp3download
courtesy Drunken Hobo
En route for a new batch of goodies. I hope you will have as much pleasure to listen to them (or download) as I had chosing them.
Here we go with the same song, a Bluegrass bopper, by its originators first, DON RENO & RED SMILEY in 1957 (banjo and guitar, I’d assume) for King # 5002 : « Country boy rock and roll » combines the energy of both musics for a stupendous number. Two years later, the same tune was revived by a small Maryland duet, FRANKIE SHORT and DEE GUNTER on the Wango label # 200. A very fine version, even faster than the original.
Don Reno, Red Smiley « Country boy rock and roll« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/DON-RENO-RED-SMILEY-Country-Boy-Rock-N-Roll.mp3download
Frankie Short & Dee Gunterhttp://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/wango-201-Frankie-Short-Dee-Gunter-Country-Boy-Rock-And-Roll.mp3download
We go up north now for the pure Hillbilly bop beat of « Niagara moon » (Niagara 53727) by ERIC & JOHNNY & Lincoln County Peach Pickers.
Back to Nashville and the Excello label. Indeed it was famous for its Blues and R&B releases, but it had also the odd hillbilly number, for example here RAY BATTS (# 2028) for the great relaxed « Stealin’ sugar ». Batts was also on Bullet and Nashboro.
Eric & Johnny « Niagara moon« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Eric-Johnny-Lincoln-County-Peach-Pickers-Niagara-Moon.mp3download
Ray Batts « Stealin’ sugar« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/excello-2028-Ray-Batts-Stealin-Sugar.mp3download
BILLY McGHEE may have been out of Texas, as he had several records on Imperial. Here on RCA 4727 he cut the good easy-going « I’ll copyright my baby ».
Finally from Texas on the TNT (# 136) label, the only woman of the pack, BETTY BARNES, does offer the fine rockabilly «What would you do ».
Billy McGhee, « I’ll copyright my baby« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/RCA-4827-Billy-McGhee-Ill-Copyright-My-Baby.mp3download
Betty Barnes « What would you do« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/tnt-136-Betty-Barnes-What-Would-You-Do.mp3download
Source : Internet.
Other intended features on their way: Valley label, G&G label, early Toppa label, important update of Forest Rye feature, and other articles.
Valley Records was owned by Jack Comer and Dave Garrison and located somewhere in Knoxville, east of Tennessee.
The label lasted for a little more than twelve issues from 1953 to 1954, then several years later changed to Valley’s Meadowlark, taking the same numbering system since the start (not avoiding confusion).
Best records were done by Lonnie Smith, Reese Shipley and Shorty Long. Its biggest hit came in 1954 with Darrell Glenn and the weeper « Crying in the chapel », written by his father Artie. But even Glenn did some hillbilly too.
Lonnie Smith offers a lovely Hillbilly bop tune, « You’re my honky tonk angel » (# 103) : swirling fiddle and a good steel. Flip is nice too : « Gal’s below the Mason Dixon line » (sic). « In the valley by the mountains » (# 100) by Archie Campbell is a fast ditty with yodel vocalizing while its flipside « Blue memories » is an average medium paced one.
« You’re my honky tonk angel »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/valley-103lonnie-smith-you_re-my-honky-tonk-angel.mp3download
« Gal’s below the Mason Dixon line« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/valley-103-lonnie-smith-gal_s-below-the-Mason-Dixon-line.mp3download
« In the valley by the mountains« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/valley-100-archie-campbell-In-the-valley-by-the-mountain.mp3download
« Don’t let me down » (# 107) has Darrell Glenn a bit crooning in a rather good medium-paced Hillbilly bopper. « Hang up that telephone » (# 105) is quite good too.
« Don’t let me down« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/valley-107-darrell-glenn-dont-let-me-down.mp3download
« Hang up that telephone« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/valley-105-Hang-Up-That-Telephone-Darrell-Glenn.mp3download
His other sides are in the « Crying in the chapel » vein. He had later on Dot 15476 his own Rock’n'roll version of « My little red wagon ». I much prefer Reese Shipley‘s sides, « Catfish boogie » and « Middle-age spread » (# 106), both very fine Boppers, the former having nothing in common with Tennessee Ernie‘s song. Both songs have a fine and clear lead boogie guitar over a nice piano, « Catfish boogie» being to me the better of both not to forget a stunning (although too short) steel solo.
« Catfish boogie« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/valley-106-Reece-Shipley-Catfish-Boogie.mp3download
« Middle-age spread« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/valley-106-Reece-Shipley-Middle-age-spead.mp3download
Roy Sneed « I’ll be so blue tomorrow« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/valley-111-roy-sneed-Ill-be-so-blue-tomorrow.mp3download
Roy Sneed is also a crooner in « I’ll be so blue tomorrow » (# 111), but has a nice guitar. He was also on a Four Star custom , Scenic OP-238, with « Blue hillbilly ».. Finally the fast « I’ll never tell » by Mary Jane Johnson retain the feeling of Darrell Glenn with a fine guitar.
« I’ll never tell« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/valley-112-mary-jane-johnson-Ill-never-tell.mp3download
We’ll forget « Angels in the sky », (#113), one of the very first efforts by Buddy Cunningham (later on Phillips Int’l). And I kept one of the best for now, Shorty Long (#108) and his amusing « I got nine little kisses » (guitar, piano soli), coupled with « Who said I said that ». It’s the same style as Bill Haley on Essex : no surprise, they were neighbors in Philadelphia. Shorty Long’s story is in this site.
« I got nine little kisses« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/valley-108-Shorty-Long-I-Got-9-Little-Kisses1.mp3download
Valley of Knoxville had nothing to do with the other Valley labels, e.g. Fletcher Hanna in Raymondsville, Texas (« Hepcat boogie », # 101).
Research done with help from Ronald Keppner. Internet was a good source too.
Women only this time !
LITTLE AUDRY first on the Nashville Walker label (#130) from 1965. A very melodic weeper with a lot of echo for « How can the ashes burn ».
Little Audry http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/walker-130-Little-Audry-How-Can-The-Ashes-Burn.mp3download
Wanda Ballman http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/45-528a-Wanda-Ballman-Think-It-Over-Before-You-Cast-Your-Stone-starday-08-55.mp3download
WANDA BALLMAN is no unknown. She had more than one issue, e.g. on Starday custom serie # 528 (August 1955) for « Think it over », which bears on label a collective personnel. Very solid mid-paced vocal, a short steel guitar solo over basic instrumentation.
SALLY MASSEY obviously on her own Sa-Ma label (no #). Two well sung hillbilly weepers : « « Ole Michigan moon » and « Saving all my kisses ».
On the Arkansas Vaden label (# 101), one JERRI PATTERSON tells « That’s why I think of you » in a lovely bopping style.
Sally Massey « Ole Michigan moon »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Sa-Ma-Sally_Massey_Ole_Michigan_Moon.mp3download
Sally Massey « I’m saving all my kisses »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Sa-Ma-Sally_Massey_I_M_Saving_All_My_Kisses.mp3download
Jerri Patterson http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/vaden-101-jerri_patterson-thats-why-I-think-of-you.mp3download
Mary Ann Johnson http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/mgm-11927-MARY-ANN-JOHNSON-Blue-Teardrops-MGM.mp3download
Another unknown MARY ANN JOHNSON has a bluesy weeper with « Blue teardrops » (MGM 11927). Nothing spectacular, a nice little record.
LITTLE RITA FAYE does offer « Rock City boogie » – I don’t know if it’s the Tennessee Ernie’s song – on MGM 11505. It’s a bluesy shuffler, with steel and a barely audible fiddle.
Little Rita Faye http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/mgm-11505-rock-city-boogie-Rita-Faye.mp3download
Source : Internet
Earl Songer was born in 1915 (nearly a century ago..) in Ruth, W. Va. His father was a miner, and none in his family was interested in music, but at an early age Songer became hooked to guitar and harmonica. As a fan of Bill Cox, he developped a one-man band formula.
Later on in the late ’30s, he secured employment with the Ford Motor Co. In Detroit, Michigan. Never playing professionnally, he nevertheless found opportunities to entertain friends at parties and local functions. It was on such an occasion (a party given by Ford Motors) that he met Joyce (rn Miami Florida) Goode (born in 1924 in Polk Cty, Tennessee), herself being a guitarist : she was so impressed by Songer’s one-man show, that they became close friends. She had been listening closely to Grand Ole Opry and particularly Bill Monroe‘s « Mule skinner blues », so to mastering the instrument.
Earl and Joyce maintained their friendship during his war service and were married in 1945. Settling down in a Detroit suburb, Dearborn, Earl returned to work at Ford while they continued to develop their music, at first for their own pleasure, and gradually more seriously. The professionnal name « Joyce » was chosen for their first 1949 record for Fortune (# 129). They organized their band, the Rocky Road Ramblers. Joyce’s brother Chester played bass, and remained the most consistent member during the five following years.
« The fire in my heart » is intense, with the lifting intro provided by two guitars and great vocal harmonising; this was covered later by Mac Wiseman. The reverse side « Honky tonkin’ blues », an original composition, has a fiddle solo taken by Elton Adams. « Fox chase », second record (# 131), may be boring, as everybody has heard it but once. « Will there be any flowers on your grave », a gospel tune, finds Songer playing harmonica on a rack together with his rhythm guitar, a rare occasion heard although he regularly performed live in this format.
« The fire in my heart« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/02-Fire-In-My-Heart-Will-Be-Drowned-In-Tears.mp3download
« Honky tonkin’ blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/03-Honky-Tonkin-Blues.mp3download
« Whose naughty baby are you?« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/05-Whose-Naughty-Baby-Are-You.mp3download
Mid 1950 and the third session: a proficient mandolin player, either Bobby Sykes (part of the band in 1953-54) or Ray Taylor, who often sat with them. The latter of course recorded for Clix in the late ’50s (see elsewhere in the site). The amplified mandolin is heard to excellent effect on « Who’s naughty baby are you ? » (# 144), which combine with the boogie guitar provided by Joyce.
More of that session saw « My wife, and sweetheart too » (# 141). It may look a sentimental song, but it turns out that Earl Songer is singing about two persons ; and the only answer is « to build a cottage for them both, with the rose ’round the door ». Fine solos from mandolin and guitar. The mandolin sets the pace for the frantic « Mother-in-law boogie » (# 141). Amusing lyrics, and, although not being a hillbilly boogie stricto sensu, it could well be the fastest piece of its type ever recorded, highlighted by Chester Goode’s slapping bass solo. « Mother-in-law boogie« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/10-Mother-In-Law-Boogie.mp3download
Possibly from the previous session, but without the mandolin, « Spanish fire bells » (# 144) is a joy to hear – a subtle piece of guitar artistry: a friend of Joyce had introduced her to a Chet Atkins piece that impressed her. Elton Adams returns with two fiddle solos, the second one being plucked to sound like a banjo. Also important: the event of a light double-time strumming of the rhythm guitar, which sounds as if there were a third guitar playing the bass runs.
On the next recording date, they chose to bring Walter Atkins (a neighbor) on harmonica. « I won’t confess I’m sorry » (# 155) quite reminiscent of Wayne Raney on his earlier sides (who copied who?) « In a broken heart no love is found » (# 151) finds Earl Songer in good voice, while Bill Monroe‘s « In the pines » is recalled as Joyce joins to duet on « Someone to call my own » (# 155).
Elton Adams returns at his best on a mid-1951 session on which Joyce’s guitar is amplified effectively to a full sound. The guitar and the fiddle basically duet together on the hilarious « Dissatisfied » (# 160), which paints a doomsday scenario when women take over the world. Earl tells us of a day where there will be « a mayor lady in every town » and « women policing the streets« . Worst of all is the prospect of « having to obey to your mother-in-law« . The actual title doesn’t appear until the last line and « I guess they’ll always be dissatisfied » seems to infer that such events will never actually happen.
« Dissatisfied« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/15-Dissatisfied.mp3download
A November 17th, 1951 date for Coral (recorded in New York or Chicago) saw « We’re satisfied » (# 64127), unusual for string effects, and the vibrant, boogie instrumentally « Smiling through the years« . With the same opportunity they recorded late 1952 another session for Coral: best tunes were the fine « Sansoo » (# 64149) and « Too free with your love » (# 64167), same style as on Fortune.
« We’re satisfied« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/coral-64127-Earl-Joyce-Songer-Were-Satisfied-1952.mp3download
« Sansoo« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Coral-64149A-Earl-Songer-Sansoo.mp3download
Finally relocated in Dallas, Texas, on May 16th, 1954 (the very same day that Gene Henslee cut « Rockin’ baby« ), they recorded four tracks for Imperial, whose best is the fast « Whoopie baby » (8259). Joyce played steel guitar on them, and sang « It’s a cold, cold love« . « I want your love » (8292) is a fine part-time duet bopper.
« Whoopie baby« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Earl-Songer-Whoopie-baby.mp3download
Sad reality: they parted ways and divorced in 1955. Personal and professional problems caused Earl’s increasingly frequent bouts of excessive drinking and Joyce to feel that their career was set back and opportunities were lost because of his unreliability. After the break of the band, Earl got into real estate and car sales and unfortunately dropped out of music. He moved to Charleston, W. Va. in 1969-70 and passed away in 1972. Joyce teamed up with Rufus Shoffner, a popular local artist who also recorded (« It always happens to me« , Hi-Q, 1962, or « Orbit twist » (American Artist, 1962). She formed a new band similar to those she had organized with Earl, further records followed and she was in demand to many a country, bluegrass, or rock’n'roll session during the later half of the ’50s and early 60s.
It has to be noted that, as far as I know, Earl Songer wrote all his songs.
Freely adapted from Dave Sax’s notes to « Earl & Joyce Songer & the Rocky Road Ramblers – early Country from Detroit vol. 1″ on Old Homestead LP 338 (1991). Never seen a volume 2, supposing gathering the rest of the Earl Songer sides. Thanks to Craig Maki for his help with several Fortune label scans.
I try to be complete with music presented. If you wish some more tracks, please let me know which ones and I’ll try to satisfy.
Addition (Jan. 22nd, 2015). Craig Maki points out that mandolin player Bobby Sykes is not the singer Bob Sykes, and that a second volume of Earl & Joyce Songer sides was published but only on cassette.
Here is the new selection of this end of January 2015.
First, two records by BILL LANCASTER, on the Birmingham, AL. G.G. label . The first one « Too young to get married » (# 516) is credited to Bill Lancester. The second is « It’s saturday night now » (# 519). Both are fine Bopping billies, fast loping rhythm (fine fiddle and piano + steel).
« Too young to get married »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Bill-Lancaster-Too-Young-To-Get-Married-G.G.-516.mp3download
« It’s saturday night now »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Its-Saturday-Night-Bill-Lancaster.mp3download
From Middletown, OH comes DON JOHNSON and his « Feeling low ». I can’t believe this is the same artist as Don Johnston on Mercury (« Born to love one woman »). Fine fiddle throughout.
Don Johnson « Feeling low »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Don-Johnson-Flying-Low.mp3download
Ferlin Huskey « Slow down brother »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Ferlin-Husky-Slow-Down-Brother.mp3download
FERLIN HUSKEY, also Simon Crum, also Terry Preston (on 4*) is too well known. He delivered several good Hillbilly boppers ; I chose his best-known track, the rockabilly « Slow down, brother » (Capitol 3316).
WALT McCOY is a West coast veteran, whom nothing is virtually known about, although he had a long recording career. Here he is represented with « U.S.A. » on the late ’40s Chrystal label # 292.
Finally the very elusive too T.J. SKERO and his fine « Gold diggin’ mama » from 1950 on 4* 1468.
Walt McCoy « U.S.A. »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/19-U.S.A.mp3download
T.J. Skero « Gold diggin’ mama »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/4-1468-T.J-Skero-And-The-Sunset-Play-Boys-Gold-Diggin-Mama-1950.mp3download
Tom Beamon Forse, « You better go now » on Rodney 514 (Starday custom), 1954-55 : great rockabilly guitar led, slap bass bopper featuring Beamon on vocals, his brother Ted on lead guitar, JT “Tiny” Smith on bass, Charlie Craddock on steel guitar and a unknown piano player. Born Beamon Tom Forse on 4th December 1934 in San Augustine, TX, he had a radio show with his brother Ted at KTXJ (Jaspar, TX) and he knew George Jones since he was a child.This disc was cut at Gold Star Studios, Houston TX., and it was inspired by hearing Elvis Presley’s “That’s All Right Mama” being played over the radio. Flipside is an equally good medium paced bopper « The rest of my life ». The disc was financed by Rodney Spaford (hence the label name I guess) who was a rich guy from Sabine, TX.
« You better go now« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Beamon-Forse-You-Better-Go-Now-.mp3download
« The rest of my life« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Beamon-Forse-The-Rest-Of-My-Life25-.mp3download
Beamon moved to California after this release, and he recorded as Tom Forse on Rich-Vein Records (owned by Terry Fell) : « I’m gonna tell your conscience on you » and « They call you a small fry » are superlative 1955-56 medium boppers. Beamon/Tom on vocal, Eddie Cochran on rhythm guitar, Connie « Guybo » Smith on bass and Ralph Mooney on steel. Beamon also booked top acts on the west coast and wrote songs for Terry Fell, who would pay him cash for them. Beamon died in 2004. Tom and Truitt Forse were cousins.
« I’m gonna tell your conscience on you« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/rich-vein-101-Tom-Forse-Im-gonna-tell-my-conscience-on-you.mp3download
« They call you a small fry »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/rich-vein-101-tom-forse-they-call-me-a-small-fry.mp3download
Eddie Cochran, « Cradle baby« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Liberty-eddie-cochran-cradle-baby-.mp3download
Then Eddie Cochran revamping Tom Forse’s « They call me a small fry » on Liberty LRP 3060 « Singing to my baby » as « Cradle baby », a pop rocker from mid-1957.
Finally both tracks of Johnny Vincent‘s Ace 528 (June 1957) by Mercy Baby (rn. Jimmy Mullins). He was a drummer/singer for Frankie Lee Sims ; actually Sims handles the lead guitar duties on the haunting « Marked deck » and the energetic « Rock and roll baby ».
« Marked deck« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/ace-528-mercy-baby-marked-deck.mp3download
« Rock and roll baby« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/ace-528-mercy-baby-rock-and-roll-baby.mp3download
Sources: Malcolm Chapman’s « Starday custom site »; 45rpm.com for Mercy Baby sides. Have a Bopping New Year!
For this last 2014 fortnight, I’m lacking time and imagination so I’ve chosen several particular records. We begin listening to BILL HICKS and the Southerners on Fortune 188 (from 1956) for two well driven rockabillies/boppers « She’s done gone » (slow) and « Blue flame » (fast).
« She’s done gone »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Bill-Hicks-Shes-Done-Gone.mp3download
« Blue flame »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Fortune-188-Bill-Hicks-Blue-Flame-.mp3download
A real rarity now on the Family Library 1021 label : it’s GENE LAVERNE and what I think is an original « Hot rod mama » on a 6-track 78rpm record.
« Hot rod mama« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/family-libraey-1021-gene-Laverne-Hot-Rod-Mama-Gene-Laverne.mp3download
The following artist has a long recording story behind him : he can be found as early as 1951 on Blue Bonnet, as part of the Texas Round-Up Gang. Later, DEWEY GROOM went to Mercury, then founded early ’60s his own Longhorn label, where he cut among other tunes « Butane blues » (# 517). I didn’t verify if this is the same track as Gene O’Quin‘s one.
« Butane blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/longhorn-517-Dewey-Groom-Butane-Blues.mp3download
Surprising Bluegrass music from Texas by PAUL HUFFMAN and « T-e-x-a-s » on the Abilene Winston (# 1034) label : nice banjo led.
Back to Louisville, Kentucky and the Pier-Wats label (# 1200), and the fast bopper (nice fiddle and steel) by F. EDDY PIERCE, « Your kisses don’t thrill me anymore ».
Finally GENE DAVIS, who meddled almost at any style of music since his beginnings in 1954 on the West coast : hillbilly, rockabilly (as « Bo Davis » on Crest), rock’n'roll (on R-Dell), finally back to Country on various labels. I’ve chosen both sides of his solitary TOPPA ’61 record (# 1110). « When he let’s her forget »[sic] and « I won’t care » are top notch California country-rockaballads (sublime Ralph Mooney on steel).
Paul Huffman « T-e-x-a-s« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/winston-1034-Paul-Huffman-T-E-X-A-S-Winston-1034-1.mp3download
F. Eddy Pierce « Your kisses don’t thrill me anymore« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/pier-watts-1300B-F.-Eddy-Pierce-Your-Kisses-Dont-Thrill-Me-Anymore-1956.mp3download
Gene Davis « When he let’s her forget« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Gene-Davis-When-he-lets-her-forget.mp3download
Gene Davis « I won’t care« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/I-Wont-Care-Gene-Davis.mp3download
As usual, various sources : ebay, YouTube, my virtual collection. Have a Bopping Christmas !
Howdy folks, over a period of 15 years, here are the selections of this fortnight.
The earliest track on a strange label, Atlantic, mostly known for R&B and Jazz. They had a short-lived (1 year, 1949-1950) « Folk and Western series », and the very first issue was by LOY GORDON & his Pleasant Valley Boys, for a revamp of the then-popular Sticks Mchee’s original « Drinkin’ wine spo-dee o-dee » (Atlantic 721). Here they are very true to the original. No solo taken by any instrument, but a fine Hillbilly romper. A mean fiddle and steel, and a fine boogie guitar. This was billed as « Folk ballad » on the label !
Loy Gordon « Drinkin’ wine spo-dee-o-dee »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/atlantic-721-Drinkin-Wine-Spo-Dee-O-Dee-Loy-Gordon-his-Pleasant-Valley-Boys.mp3download
From Marion, Ohio, 1960. The ROUND UP BOYS (hidden identity) do offer « Rock and Roll baby » on Hark 504. Like the title says, it’s rockabilly with a chugging rhythm. The composer, a Mz . Edna Bright, doesn’t help much.
Round Up Boys « Rock’n'Roll baby »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/hark-round-up-boys-rock-and-roll-baby.mp3download
Next is by two brothers who had a career of at least 30 years, Bob & Joe, the SHELTON BROTHERS. They recorded as early as 1935 a first version of « Deep Elem blues » [the Red Light quarter of Dallas]. The song had been done in 1933 by the Lone Star Cowboys (Leon Chappelear), and was cut by numerous artists later, including a second version (there) by the Sheltons in 1947 on Decca 46008.
On the flip side they had their own « Just because », revived in 1955 by Guess Who. Chugging rhythm, great mandolin. Next Decca 46009 was another nugget : « Ida Red » later renamed « Maybelline » by Chuck Berry. That’s how popular the Sheltons were.
Shelton Brothers « Deep Elem blues »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/DEEP-ELEM-BLUES-by-the-Shelton-Brothers.mp3download
Shelton Brothers « Just because »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/decca-46008B-Shelton-Brothers-Just-because.mp3download
A Gene Simmons production then from Memphis on the Tupelo label (# 2984) from 1964, a good rockabilly by CHARLES K. « The Right bird ».
Way up North in Detroit on the Michigan label Elm 724 : BETTY PARKER does offer « Love is even colder », a fine Bopper backed by Eddie Jackson & Swingsters (of « Rock’n'roll baby » fame on Fortune). Piano led, steel, guitar, an organ solo. Whole thing reminds me of another artist of the area, Palford Brady.
Finally PAUL MIMS, from Louisiana. He delivers « I blowed my top », a call-and-response format, medium paced ditty (long guitar solo and fine steel) on the Shell 121 label.
Charles K « The right bird« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Charles-K.-Right-Bird-Baby.mp3download
Betty Parker « Love is even colder« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Love-Is-Even-Colder.mp3download
Paul Mims « I blowed my top« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/shell-121-Paul-Mims-I-Blowed-My-Top.mp3download