Howdy, folks. Here is the usual batch of bi-monthly hillbilly boppers. This time completely unknown artists, even (but one case) location of recording.
Jay T. Starr must have been a West coaster, since I know of a 1951 record by him on Coast (# 9017, « Rattle Snake Boogie« ). Here is his 4 Star 1708 from 1957. « Dark Clouds Ahead » has a muddy sound (transfered from YouTube), nevertheless a fine uptempo bopper, while its flipside, « Wa-Na-Chee » has a strong guitar in it. Indian bopper.
Howard Perkins hails certainly from the early ’60s, and has a possible answer to Lattie Moore‘s « Out Of Control ». Here is his « Under Control » on the Juke label, # 2012.
One Little Carolyn Sue declares « I Hate Men » on the Lar label (# 738) with a sour voice. Rasping late ’50s hillbilly, near rockabilly.
Finally Leon Collard with two tracks. « Silver Queen » on the Basic 816 label. Apparently a train song. Good anyway. Then on the Louisville, KY Spiral label (# 800) « Hello USA« . Enjoy them all.
Howdy folks, welcome to newcomers. The aim of this feature is to spread my favorites around…
Let’s begin with a recently covered CLIFF DAVIS, without doubt a Southerner (« & his Kentucky Play Boys » as shown on the label), on the Chicago Jay Jay label (# 161) for this fabulous rendition of a classic, modernized (for 1956…) « Rocky Road Blues« . Fast, call-and-response format, even slap-bass sounding like drums and a superlative guitar. Second, thanks to Youtube chain-owner HillillyBoogie1, who frequently adds gems to his chain, PERRY WASHBURN on the Los Lunas, N. M. Mustang (# 300) label is no exception: on a obliged Indian beat, a very effective medium-paced vocal on perfect backing of steel-fiddle-guitar (nice solos) for « Pocahontas Baby« .
On the Joplin, MO. Joplin label, owned and composed by one Robert T. Nelson, a superior shuffler, « Oklahoma Blond Headed Gal » by deep-voiced SAMMIE LEE. Nice fiddle, steel all along. Year 1958 (issue J80W-3138, RCA pressing). Thanks to Tom Sims for this rare one.
PORKY FREEMAN is maybe the best known of this serie, for a string of guitar-led instrumentals from 1944-1947 on Ara and Four Star labels. Here I offer his « Porky’s Boogie Woogie » (Ara 4009) from September 1945. Red Murrell on rhythm and Al Barker on bass, Porky indeed on lead guitar.
From Chicago or Eastern states come BOB PERRY. On the small Bandera label (# 1301/1303) the fantastic « Weary Blues Goodbye » from 1958. Very strong rhythm, firm vocal, and a FABULOUS steel-guitar solo, which sounds as a slide guitar. I added the flipside, very different, and more countryfied « Can’t Hardly Wait ». Perry had at least another disc on Cool, outside the scope of this site: it’s a late ’50s rocker.
Finally someone I recently put everything I could gather on, the Kentuckian born RAY ANDERSON. In the case you missed him, here is his great « Done Gone Dirty Shame » from 1952-53 on the Illinois Blue Ribbon (B2) label. Nice guitar picking a la Merle Travis.
Finally there is an hidden gem in the podcasts: « Haunted House Boogie » by Jack Rivers, for halloween.
Hello, folks! This is the latest batch of Hillbilly bops/rockabillies I’d like to help you discover. Only unknown names, and microscopic record labels!
The exception being a 1951 Mercury recording by PAUL & ROY, the Tennessee Valley Boys. They had 4 sessions for the label, and I chose the moving, bluegrass flavored (even a mandolin) « Spring Of Love » (# 6374). From Texas probably, because « Bluebonnet Pub » appears on the label, on BOB WHITFIELD. He does a nice medium paced Rockabilly, « What Can A Man Do » on Spotlight 5018. Fine strong lead guitar (echo), an haunting steel. A fine record which grows on you everytime you listen to it.
On the Karl label (# 3022), and from I don’t know where, a cross between hillbilly bop and Rockabilly, with LACY KIRK doing the fast » This Is Saturday Night« . Strong bass, a short fiddle solo. A good record.
From Louisville, KY. do come JIMMY SETTLE & the Blue Grass Rangers for the next song, « Admitting Defeat » on the Pier-Wats label # 1301. There is nothing pertaining to Bluegrass here, because the song is a nice Hillbilly bop dominated by steel.
On the Tycer label # 1304 we come now to JMMY BANKSTON and the « I Come From Louisiana« . No concession Rockabilly, with unobstrusive drums and fine guitar.
Finally from around 1960, one of the earliest Nashville label releases (see the story in the site) with DAVE STEWART for « Thinking About You » (# 5006). The song has fiddle and bass, and reminds me somehow of early George Jones on Starday.
Howdy, folks. Sometimes it is easy to assemble a « fortnight » feature, sometimes not. This time it has not been that easy, I don’t know why. I tried to vary tempos, origin, labels, and I am not sure I did succeed. Only your visits and interest could say I was O.K.
First in this new serie, CECIL CAMPBELL, backed by the Tennessee Ramblers. He was steel player (born 1911) in the Virginia/North Carolina region, and found moderate but constant success with his records on RCA-Victor. Here I’ve chosen his 1951 « Spookie Boogie« ; he explains in his own words what he wanted to do with this tune:
He was looking for an « …unusual hollow type of rattling sound designed to send cold chills rushing down the spine. » He couldn’t find that sound on the musical instruments. But as fate would have it, one of the members of the Tennessee Ramblers had false teeth and that mysterious sound that appears on the tune « Spooky Boogie » was made by a pair of chattering false teeth. » Later on, he was to have a minor Rockabilly classic in 1957 on M-G-M (12487) called « Rock and Roll Fever« .
From Kentucky comes now JIMMIE OSBORNE, the « Kentucky Folk Singer ». He had a string of releases on KING, with strong success, among them the amusing « Automobile baby« . Osborne played the Louisiana Hayride, as well as the Opry, until his suicide in 1957, at the early age of 35.
On to Texas. FRED CRAWFORD is a relatively well-known artist, whose 9 Starday singles were of constantly highest musical level. « Cornfed Fred », as he liked to be called, was a long-time D.J. on KERB radio station of Kermit, and considered himself more a radio man than an artist. Here below is « You Gotta Wait« , a very nice 1954 Bopper. He later went to D, and committed a pop song, « By The Mission Walls », whose main claim to fame is the backing by no one but Buddy Holly.
Then TEXAS BILL STRENGTH, who had on Coral Records « Paper Boy Boogie« . Another version does exist by Tommy Trent on Checker 761 from 1952. I don’t know which one came first. The song was even revived by Hank Williams as a demo. Strength (1928-1973) had a long carreer, beginning on radio KTHT, Houston, in 1944, and recording for 4 Star, Capitol, Sun and Nashville. He re-recorded « Paper Boy Boogie » on Bangar as late as 1965.
During the Sixties, ARK records from Cincinnati did issue many a fine disc, mainly in Bluegrass or Sacred. In a past fortnight I included a Jimmy Murphy song, which I consider one of his best, « I Long To Hear Hank Sing The Blues« . Here we have a pseudonym, and there is not any chance, I’m afraid, to discover who really was TEXAS SLIM. A very superior double-sided « When I’m old And Gray » and « Look What You Gone And Done To Me » (ARK # 309). Stunning association of banjo and steel. Hear it!
Finally a classic R&B rocker: « Flat Foot Sam » by T.V. SLIM & His Heartbreakers. Hope you enjoy the selections! Bye.
Howdy folks! The new batch of stomping Honky tonks and Hillbilly bop tunes for this early November 2010 fortnight.
First, from Nashville, JIMMIE SELPH. He seems to have had a long career, both in Bluegrass and Hillbilly, in the late 40s and early 50s, although mainly as a backing member (rhythm guitar and steel) for such luminaries as RED FOLEY or WEBB PIERCE. Here I’ve chosen his nice, relaxed Bopper « That’s Why I Worry » (Majestic label). Below he is shown with a whole bunch of Nashville musicians in 1950. SELPH had records on BULLET, and in 1956 a famous « TOM CATTIN’ AROUND » on COIN.
Then later, in Kentucky. Small BLUEGRASS label in 1957. A real wildie « MAMA, MAMA » by JESSE STEVENS. Urgent vocal, fine guitar. Wonder what happened later to the man?
The ARCADE label of Philly had a whole string of Hillbilly boppers, and was well documented on two « Rockaphilly » albums once in the 70s. Here is JIMMY COLLETT and the great « FOUR ALARM BOOGIE (# 106, 78 rpm), with sound effects.
Back to Nashville with the brother to Chet, JIM ATKINS, and a decent « I’M A DING DONG DADDY » on the CORAL label. We stay in Tennessee, this time in Gallatin, home of Randy Wood’s DOT label (1000 serie). One BILLY WORTH was fronting vocally the TENNESSEE DRIFTERS (whose personal is unknown) for the great early sounding (1950-1951) « BOOGIE WOOGIE BABY ». Fine piano, which may be played by George Toon.
Finally I offer to you one of the best, harsh Rocking blues ever. LUE CAZZ was at one time fronting the JIMMY McCRACKLIN’s band (he also had a 45 on ART-TONE, out of Oakland, Ca.). Here he is covering the classic « THE WALK » in 1962 for the VEE-JAY label. Fine, energetic version: the drummer is pounding like mad!. Don’t miss the great Joe Conwright’s alto-sax solo!
Howdy, folks! We start this fortnight with a stalwart version of the classic Honky Tonk « I’m Moving On » (Decca) by the great HANK « Sugarfoot » GARLAND (1930-2004). He appeared at 19 on RED FOLEY records, and never gave up backing on thousands sides cut in Nashville. Fine Tommy Jackson fiddle backing, and a short but brilliant guitar solo.
Then I go on with JIMMY MYERS and an unissued tune for the Super label out of Georgia, « Go Cat Go » (recently published on an European anthology). I wonder if this is the same as the one JIM MYERS who cut marvelous sides for the FORTUNE label in Detroit (the frantic « Drunkman’s Wiggle » for example). Here it is raw, crude Rockabilly…
Leiber/Stoller’s « Hound Dog » (Willie « Big Mama » Thornton, 1952) was an enormous hit, and no one could know how many Country versions were made of. This time I chose the humorous version on King by CHARLIE GORE and LOUIS INNIS, « (You Ain’t Nothin’ But A Female) Hound Dog« , both artists I’d like very much set the story up in future articles.
Billboard March 11, 1950
Already a Country star, both under his own name, and as harmonica player for the DELMORE BROTHERS, WAYNE RANEY had many sides on KING. He also had sides on London under the disguise of LITTLE WILLIE EVANS, hence « Lonesome Railroad Blues« , in 1950.
One of the highlights of the regular Starday label: LONNIE SMITHSON for his double-sider « Me And The Blues« / »It Takes Time » (# 330) from 1957. Fine lead guitar and a firm vocal. Nothing is known about Smithson, who had another Starday disc, « Quarter in The Jukebox« , in 1958.
RUDY THACKER, a Kentucky guitar player, appeared on the Cincinnati, OH, Lucky label (with his String Busters). Here we have an instrumental (a rare opportunity in Bopping…), the romping « Guitar boogie Shuffle« .
Finally a Rocking Blues by ROBERT NIGHTHAW. 1964, Chicago, Chess label. Backed by Buddy Guy on guitar and Walter Horton on harmonica, he delivers a very nice « Someday« .
Hope you enjoy the selections. Comments welcome! Till then, bye-bye…
Howdy, folks! I didn’t have a particular « theme » chosing the selections this time (as I did sometimes in the past): just a few songs I like at the moment.
Early September I posted something about the ubiquitous Mr. DIXON. Since then, I did not find something new on him, be it at hillbilly-music.com or with google, under his 3 aliases (Walter, Mason, or Ted). There is even on Youtube a bishop named Walter Dixon, and I wonder if this is the same person! I even found a Mason Dixon Country 45 on ebay. This time you will be exposed to a 1961 rendition for the Alabama based REED label, and a great shuffle by MASON DIXON, « Hello Memphis« .
Staying in the South with a minor classic by SPECK & DOYLE , the Wright Brothers, « Music to my ear » on the Columbus, Georgia based strangely named SYRUP BUCKET label. A nice guitar, a medium beat for this relaxed Rockabilly/Hillbilly Bop from 1959.
On to, probably, Texas, with a fast romper by JIMMY STONE on the IMPERIAL label from 1951, « Midnight Boogie« . I’ve never heard Stone had another record, but what’s this one? Entertaining lyrics, and most of all, a wild bluesy Rockabilly guitar! Who may the player be? Fine piano and even a short fiddle solo, Texas style. We are pursuing the musical journey to Indiana with a very young GAYLE GRIFFITH (he was fourteen when he cut his solitary record) and the out-and-out romper « Rockin’ And A Knockin’ » for the EMERALD label, from 1954. Griffith was at one time associated with WFBM Indiana Hoedown, although despite this promising first platter, he seems to have soon disappeared from the music scene.
Billboard 1951 advert for "Drifting Texas Sand"
Now to California for the Louisiana-born EDDIE KIRK (1919-1997), who was consistently working with the Los Angeles musicians’ cream for CAPITOL records. Here he delivers a fine rendering of the 1936 Tune Wranglers‘ classic (also cut around the same time as Kirk by Webb Pierce) « Drifting Texas Sand » (Capitol F 1591). The backing is sympathetic, although ordinary. Harmonica player could be George Bamby, who cut with, among others, Johnny Bond.
As a bonus, we go to an end in Chicago with the underrated LITTLE MAC SIMMONS, singer-harmonica player (altho’ no harp heard here) and the frantic (great piano throughout, with usual Honking saxes, and a nice guitar) « Drivin’ Wheel » (PALOS label) from 1961.
I hope you enjoy the selections. Don’t miss the other « regular » posts: recently Bopping had had Jack Bradshaw story, the Daffan label, Roy Hall and Riley Crabtree, to name just a few. Not to mention in the « hillbilly profile » section, Chuck Murphy. Till then, bye!
As usual, pictures from various sources. Excellent Terry E. Gordon’s Rockin’ Country Style site, or ebay. Sounds from my collection, or various compilations. I can name for every track who provided me! BUT you CAN download everything!
Howdy folks. Maybe you’re still on Holydays? Bopping (and the editor) didn’t take any spare day to rest, and kept busy all Summer long, and were preparing a new hot slice of Hillbilly goodies. This time it spans from 1947 to…1966. Lotta good music, for your own pleasure, all of you Cherished visitors/listeners/downloaders all over the World! Some strong numbers, one could say hard-core Rock’n'Roll influenced Rockabilly, just to make a change from the previous post devoted to the gentle, sometimes smooth music by JACK BRADSHAW. I like Jack anyway, be sure to check this post! And another tune, in particular, very near to Western swing (even a very risqué song for the time being).
Jimmy Murphy, 1950's
So, OK for embarking? We begin with JIMMY MURPHY (see elsewhere in this site with help of the search engine at upper right). His commercial days at Columbia (1955-1956) were largely over when he entered (after an unreleased Starday session – now available on Ace records) again in the Bill Lanham studio and recorded one of his best tunes ever, very sensitive and sincere, in 1962, for the Ark label, « I Long To Hear Hank Sing The Blues« . Unclassifiable music: between Hillbilly, Folk music and Bluegrass.
Let’s go on with HOMER « Zeke » CLEMONS. He hailed from Texas during the mid to late forties with his outfit, the Swingbillies. As soon as 1947, they were recording their « Operation Blues » (lyrics below), an early risqué song which actually met such enormous success on the first label, Bluebonnet, that Modern out of Los Angeles leased the tune, as « Operation Blues # 2« , next year, and re-released it even 16 years later, under the name « Hank Brown » (Royalty label)
OPERATION BLUES (Homer Clemons) ?Now won’t you climb up on the table,?Pull up that gown?Raise up that left leg, ?Let that right leg down?Pull off them stockin’s,?That silk underwear?’Cos the doctor’s got to cut you, mama, ?Don’t know where??The doctor knows his business?The doctor knows just what to do??Too much of (?), ?One old ( ?)?Two pair of step-ins?That’s all I can say (save)?Your ribs are all loosened,?Your carburettor’s stalled?I’ll duck into your hood, ?And clean your spark plugs all??The doctor knows his business?The doctor knows just what to do… Is it a car (spark plugs), or anything (-one) else that the doctor is visiting?
On to 1966. Dayton, Ohio. WIBBY LEE is a real unknown – no information has ever surfaced about him, at least to my knowledge. He cut 3 disks for the small Jalyn label, all good Boppers, Rockabilly borderline, a real anachronism for the time. Just vocal and electric guitar (Is there any bass?) on « I’m Lost Without Your Love » .
Just WHO was Ted DIXON, or Walter DIXON, or even MASON DIXON? Once in the now-long-ago defunct « Roll Street Journal » magazine, the handsome Phillip J. Tricker promised the readers the story of Mr. Dixon, which never saw the light…First, it seems the three were the same person. Second, they had numerous records on labels as small and elusive as Reed (Alabama), Erwin (Tennessee), the most approaching to a major (everything is relative) being Meteor, out of Memphis (the Los Angeles’ Modern label outfit). Here I have chosen by MASON DIXON the superlative « Don’t Worry About Nuthin‘ », complete encouragement to leave troubles behind, and take the good side of life. Swirling fiddle, great happy vocal, thudding bass: the optimal crossing between Hillbilly and Rockabilly, being cut 1955.
Then on to Texas. Ted Daffan’s label, ably named Daffan (its story is on the line). A great 1957 offering by a guy by the strange name of FIDLO. « Trifling Heart » has a solid Country-rock guitar, the singer’s voice is firm and confident; great steel-guitar throughout (solo interplay between lead and steel), all loped by a thudding bass. Finally we have a minor classic in « We’re Bugging Out » (Murco 1014) by another unknown, TOMMY BOYLES (1959). I think the tune could easily fall in the category of Country-rock. Never-the-less, a fine romper in its own right. Boyles had another record on the N.J. based Granite label in 1960. A good country-rocker too.
Tommy Boyles, late 90's
As a bonus, a great Rocking Blues in the hand of FENTON ROBINSON on the Duke label (# 191), « Crazy Crazy Loving« , from Texas, 1958. I LOVE Blues too!
And as usual, I hope you all will appreciate the selections. I do my damn best to give you pleasure (pics and music). Bye!
Not enough time to have long comments this time; Just the music, various styles…
Darby & Tarlton open the sequence with « SWEET SARAH BLUES » from the Hillbilly early days; WILD dobro. Then onto Bluegrass with Frank Hunter from Tennesse for « TENNESSEE BOY ». West coast, and Terry Fell (singer & songwriter) and the classic Hillbilly Bop « GET ABOARD MY WAGON » (Harold Hensley on fiddle, Speedy West on steel, Jimmy Bryant on guitar!). Back to Kingsport, Tennessee, with Reece Shipley and the original to Red Foley’s « MILK BUCKET BOOGIE », complete with clockwork alarms and that wonderful sound of the milk pouring in the steel bucket…On to Blues? Elmore James with « LOOK ON YONDER WALL » (Sammy Myers on harmonica). We come to an end with Steve Young’s recent « ALABAMA HIGHWAY ». Comments welcome, folks!