Howdy folks. We begin with the Starday label and CHUCK MAYFIELD, « Lucky Me » from 1955. Fine backing. Then, a perhaps surprising choice for Hillbilly bop, HANK PENNY, whose I like the drive and pugnancy of « Hadacillin Boogie » for RCA.
A personality and band leader more than a good singer, DUDE MARTIN had good moments, like this Dick Stratton’s version of « Pistol Boogie ».
Back to Starday and the fine, Rockabilly bordering Hillbillybop « Living High and Wide » by GLEN BARBER, deceased in 2010. He had previously cut the famous classics « Ice Water » and « Shadow My Baby » (which even had a sax – Link Davis?).
Very early ’50s, on the London label, we come to HANK DALTON (was it another pseudo for Wayne Raney) and his great « Hummingbird Special ».
To finish, back to April 1956 with PAUL DAVIS, « I Don’t Want A Back Seat Driver » (MGM 12472), a loping rhythm on this fine uptempo. I am pretty sure this is the same who cut 4 years later « Six Days On The Road » for the Bulletin label, forerunner to giant Bill Dudley hit in 1963.
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).
First we have a boogie by Dick Lewis (Imperial, Los Angeles, 1947) « Beale Street Boogie » – Is this about Memphis’ most famous alley? Let’s stay in Memphis with Ernie Chaffin for a strong Country-rock on Sun records, « Laughin’ and Jokin' » (Pee Wee Maddux on steel). Then to Nashville with Dick Stratton, a 1951 romper, « Fat Gal Boogie »(Nashboro label). From Florida comes Joe Asher « Photograph Of You » (DeLuxe label) – I dig interplay between fiddle and steel. Then on to Texas, Jimmy Heap’s « That’s That » (Imperial, 1949) energic & never reissued! We come to an end with the York Brothers and their « Monday Morning Blues »; Hope you enjoy, and post your comments if any…