Born on 8 August 1921, near West Monroe, Louisiana, USA. His father died when Pierce was only three months old; his mother remarried and he was raised on a farm seven miles from Monroe. Although no one in the family performed music, his mother had a collection of country records which, together with Gene Autry films, were his first country music influences. He learned to play guitar and when he was 15, he was given his own weekly radio show on KMLB radio in Monroe. (suite…)
The story of Frank Rice and Ernest W. Stokes goes back to 1933, when they were known as « Mustard and Gravy« . They came from Virginia, and discovered by Smiley Burnette, doing minstrel-shows. In 1950, they cut for Gotham the fine « Be Bop Boogie« , accompanied by a trombone! The song found its way several years later in a Calypso style by Don Hager on the Oak label.
Nothing is known on Les Willard, surely a Nashville singer, here backed by Hank Williams’ Drifting Cowboys, for the romper « Double Up And Catch Up » in 1955.
Red Mansel was from Texas, and had a contract with Dan Mechura‘s Allstar label ca. 1958 for the equally fine « Johnny On The Spot« . He had already cut for Starday Custom (# 523) in 1955, the piano-led medium tempo « Broken Fickle Heart » (see elsewehere in this site for « Starday Custom serie (# 500-525).
From Texas came also on the T.N.T. (« Tanner’n’Texas ») label the duet The Jacoby Brothers (George, the uncle and Boy, the nephew), respectively on mandolin and guitar. They offer here the very fast « Bicycle Wreck« , with a fantastic mandolin solo.
Red Woodward and his Red Hawks were familiar in the period 1945-1950 on WBAP radio from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I’ve chosen his « Cowboy Boogie » from 1947, on Signature label. Relaxed vocal, fine backing, and a guitar solo which seems being acoustic one!
Finally a R&B Rocker from 1954 by the great Lightning Hopkins. Hope you enjoy the selections. Don’t forget to have a look at my « contact Me » section, for records and books for sale from my collection. You could be amazed! Bye
Hi! there all, friends, visitors, listeners. This is not April fool! Another batch of good ole’ Hillbilly Bops, Hillbilly Boogie and Honky Tonks from the golden age, and various sources.
Let’s begin with the earliest track, from Texas, 1950-51. TILMAN FRANKS was an entrepreneur, bassist, and associate with various labels and artists. For example, he launched the carrers of very young WEBB PIERCE (Pacemaker label, before 4 * and Decca) and FARON YOUNG, recording them in Houston, then placing the products with East Coast labels. FARON YOUNG made his vocal debut on Philly GOTHAM with this « Hot-Rod Shotgun Boogie N0. 2« . Way before Young specialized on Capitol with sweet ballads, this is raw Hillbilly Bop, Texas style!
Second then, a legend, the great MERLE TRAVIS, with a little known opus, « Louisiana Boogie » – fabulous piano by Capitol session man Billy Liebert. Indeed Travis takes his solo too…
More on Capitol with very recently deceased FERLIN HUSKEY, who disguised under 3 personas. As a comedian, as Simon Crum. As Honky-tonker (early in carreer) as Terry Preston. Here he’s attempting as FERLIN HUSKEY on Rockabilly in 1955 with the famous classic « Slow Down Brother« .
More Hillbilly Bop from Detroit, 1953- almost Rockabilly in spirit: FOREST RYE and « Wild Cat Boogie » on the Fortune label. Like the sparse instrumentation and lyrics! More on « Cat music » on the site with the « research » button above right!
1956, from Louisiana, hence his name, CURLEY LANGLEY (l’Anglais, in French) and the minor classic, « Rockin An’ A Rollin » on the Arcadia label. Fine backing. Langley made more quiet Hillbilly on the same label.
Finally, a 1957-58 disc from Indiana (Iowana label) by WES HOLLY, « Shufflin’ Shoes« . Holly had already cut the same song as « Shuffling Shoes Boogie » in 1952 for the Nashville TENNESSEE label (see elsewhere in the site the story to this label).
Enjoy the selections, folks! You also can see what’s available for sale from my collection (overstocks, as new) on « Contact Me » button.
See you, as always, comments welcome. Bye!