First three are exceptions to the rule. CAL DAVIS does a shuffler, with a bit of echo on the steel for »Loving lifetime » on the Mack label (# 258). No indication at all of its origin. A RCA Custom of 1954.
« Loving lifetime«
« I reckon so« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/hilton-00001-Raybon-Busby-I-Reckon-So-alexandria-La-cheese.mp3download
Second dates from 1957 on the Hilton label, yet still unknown origin. RAYBON BUSBY does the complex, half slow, half fast « I reckon so » (# no #) : A sort of talking blues, steel phrases on the slow side ; fast side reminds me much of the Blankenship Brothers.
Note: Hilton was based in Louisiana, according to DrunkenHobo.
TOMMY RIDDLE with « Rayford line » pertains apparently to the late ’50s/early ’60s on the Staircase label (# 6651), from where I don’t know. Good fast honky-tonk, a lot of echo on the lead guitar.
Note: DrunkenHobo says the record came in 1961.
« Rayford line« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/staircase-Tommy-Riddle-Rayford-Line.mp3download
No we begin exploring 1960′s sounds.
With a classic theme – either in Blues or Country – « Walking blues », RAY BEACH couldn’t go wrong in 1968. Solid guitar and light drums for a good uptempo. 3 backing members are listed on label (Ray Beach, really?), which don’t give any clue to the origin of this record.
« Walking blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Ray-Beach-Walking-Blues.mp3download
Picked from my good friend Alexander’s site « Mellow’s log cabin», here is the nice « After I have broke your heart » by LEO GRAY, from Mt. Healthy, OH, in 1965, issued on Log Cabin 903. Good steel over a jumping tempo.
« After I have broke your heart« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/log-cabin-903-Leo-Gray-After-I-Have-Broke-Your-Heart.mp3download
On the presumably Ohio Harron label, here are two fine Bluegrass duets (male/female) led by ERNEST STACEY (great vocal) and backed by HARLIN KAZY on vocal and fiddle, the fast « I do » and the dynamic « I made up my mind » from 1962 (# 995A). They had also at least one other record, « Lonesome road » on Arvis, another label from Ohio. Usual Bluegrass backup : dobro and bass.
« I do« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/harron-995A-Ernest-Stacey-Harlin-Kazy-I-Do-1962.mp3download
« I made up my mind« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Ernest-Stacey-I-Made-Up-My-Mind.mp3download
From Iona, Michigan, BOB WAYLEE offer in 1962 on the Northway Sound 1002 label a fine fast (flying guitar) « Looking out the window ».
« Looking out the window« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/northway-1002-Bob-Waylee-Looking-Out-The-Window.mp3download
Finally the famous CAL SMITH burns the pedal steel-guitar in 1968 on Kapp 938 with his solid version of « Honky tonk blues ».
« Honky tonk blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Kapp-938-Cal-Smith-Honkey-Tonk-Blues.mp3download
Howdy folks ! Eleven selections (yes, 11) this time of small labels and very minor artists, who made for the most part of them only one known record then vanished into obscurity or did something else than a career in music.
From California on the Pico Sundown label (# 113, very late ’50s, let’s hear at BOBBY AUSTIN‘s « Fool, fool, fool » : a jumping little tune, very expressive vocal – the singer knows what he’s talking about, of course. A prominent steel guitar, whose style must BE Ralph Mooney‘s.
« Fool, fool, fool« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/sundown-113-Bobby-Austin-Im-A-Fool-Fool-Fool.mp3download
« I made a mistake« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/azalea-118-coye-wilcox-I-Made-A-Mistake.mp3download
Recently I posted both Freedom records of COYE WILCOX from 1951. He cut later on several small Houston labels, among them this one, Azalea (# 118), « I made a mistake » from 1959. The singer possesses a very distinctive phrasing, and his ballad grows and grows on you at every listening.
« It’s money« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/national-sounds-Mike-Clay-Its-Money-.mp3download
A lively « It’s money » by MIKE CLAY follows on the National Sound label (# 1501), mid ’60s. It’s an uptempo with a harsh guitar. The record itself is produced by « Jack Rhodes », famous producer and songwriter residing in Mineola, TX.
« Carry me back to Ark.« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/hood-1031-Carl-Dixon-Carry-Me-Back-To-Arkansas.mp3download
« Hunting out of season« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/hood-1031-Carl-Dixon-Hunting-Out-Of-Season.mp3download
From Louisville, KY, here they are, back-to-back of the Hood label # 1031 by CARL DIXON. More ‘Country’ than hillbilly, however two fine medium-paced Country rockers : « Carry me back to Ark. » and « Hunting out of season ». Surely Dixon has to watch for gamekeepers.. A harmonica throughout is the main instrument.
DICK BILLS began seemingly his career in Arizona on the Vicki label in 1954-55 (an OP- custom issue, « Beggars can’t be choosers »)[see elsewhere in this site my feature on the Four Star OP-serie]. We find him later on the Morgan label (# 107) in California for two medium paced numbers (one is sung by Buzz Burnam – I can’t for Heaven’s sake remember him where/when, but his name rings familiar to my ears). Tracks are « Lost without you », an ordinary bopper, while « Old dusty sun » has a surprising hawaiian-style steel guitar.
Finally Bills reappears in 1961 on the Crest label for a solid « Rockin’ and a rollin’ » (# 1091), backed on the lead guitar by his nephew Glen Campbell.
« Lost without you« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/morgan-107-Dick-Bills-Lost-Without-You.mp3download
« Old dusty sun« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/morgan-107-Dick-Bills-Old-Dusty-Sun-.mp3download
« Rockin’ and a rollin‘ »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/crest-1089-dick-bills-rockin-and-a-rollin.mp3download
JIMMY RINGO next artist offers a very nice bopper as late as 1958 on the big concern W.C. Dot (reputed for its pop orientation). « I like this kind of music » (# 15787) has everything Boppers’ addicts could wish for : a nice guitar (a short solo), an interesting vocal, a prominent fiddle, of course no drums and even a banjo solo.
« I like this kind of music« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/dot-Jimmy-Ringo-I-Like-This-Kind-Of-Musicr.mp3download
Red River Dave McEnery
The following artist had a long career as Red River Dave, mostly songwriter, he takes here his real name of DAVE McENERY for a solitary single on a subsidiary label to T.N.T., the aptly named Yodeling # 500. I wonder if they are more numbers in the serie. Both tracks are unusual. « Did the gypsy lie ? » is an intense ballad, while « Jailhouse blues » (backing is made of 2 guitars and a bass) is a sort of folkish hillbilly, very pleasant with its yodel efforts.
« Did the gypsy lie?« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Dave-McEnery-Did-The-Gypsy-Lie-Yodeling-501_B.mp3download
« Jailhouse blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Dave-McEnery-Yodeling-501_A.mp3download
Note: Phil Watson, a visitor, had noted what follows: « I heard this was recorded when T Texas Tyler was jailed in 1958 for a drugs offence (he was found carrying weed) and, quick off the mark as always, Red River Dave wrote a song about it – Jailhouse Blues. The lyrics mention a couple of Tyler’s songs. ». Thanks Phil!
Last artist is a completely unknown from Kansas City, MO : ROY BEEMER comes with a shuffler, « Cheatin’ don’t count » has a guitar solo « a la Hank Garland », solos of steel and fiddle. A real good disc on the Artist label # 1459.
« Cheatin’ don’t count« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/artists-1459-Roy-Beemer-Cheatin-Dont-Count.mp3download
Enjoy the eleven selections, comments welcome !
Sources : Internet (Youtube) or my own collection.
(Follow-up of the good article by Phillip J. Tricker in a 1992 Hillbilly Researcher issue, with additions by Bopping’s editor). See earlier the first article.
For the next release in order of issues we return to a Western swing disc with « Jelly roll blues » (# 5010) by fiddler/vocalist Guy « COTTON » THOMPSON & his Village Boys. The song, a jazz standard, which had been cut Western swing style by Cliff Bruner in 1937, has the steel player definitely Herb Remington. Thompson is best known for making Kokomo Arnold‘s « Milk cow blues » (1934) a western swing standard via his 1941 recording with Johnnie Lee Wills [brother of Bob] on Decca 46012, largely to be recorded later by e.g. Joe Martin on Coral, even in a folkish version by Tom Rush. A well known personality in Houston for a long time he had already recorded for GOLD STAR under his own name (« How long » #1381) and a vocalist on early Moon Mullican KING releases. Here he is in great form and the Village Boys cook along well.
« Jelly roll blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/freedom-5010-Cotton-Thompson-amp-His-Village-Boys-Jelly-Roll-Blues.mp3download
« Milk cow blues« (1941)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/decca-46012A-Johnnie-Lee-Wills-Milk-cow-blues.mp3download
« How long« (Gold Star, 1950)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/gold-star-1381-cotton-thompson-how-long.mp3download
Cotton Thompson ? – center
JACK RHODES RAMBLERS (# 5011) had « Missing persons » and « How can I tell », although untraced do beggar two questions. First, who would the vocalist be : one Fiddling Bob Henderson ? This was not Mr. Rhodes, already a songwriter, bandleader and promoter, and evidently not a singer. Could it be JIMMY JOHNSON the vocalist, although many others fronted Rhodes’ band? As to « Missing persons », a song with that title appeared on Capitol by FERLIN HUSKEY, and the label credit « Reynolds-Rhodes-Huskey » as songwriters.
Freedom 5013 is untraced. The mysterious TRAILBLAZERS cut « A cowboys silent night » (# 5014), which is delivered ‘acapella’ and has a recitation by CAROL while « Little Moohee » has an acoustic guitar support and GEORGE handles lead vocal. Issued for Christmas 1950, it was cut at ACA studio, a location often used by Freedom, although they also are known to have made recordings at Bill Quinn’s Gold Star setup.
However where the next 78 was cut is a real mystery. HUB SUTTER and his Hub Cats were a superb outfit who recorded for LASSO, 4* and Columbus and Hub had a reputation for putting on a very fine act. « I don’t want my baby back » (# 5015) is a magnificent slab of bluesy Western swing, with Hub’s unique vocal style well suited to the song : he was capable of crooning the cooziest ballads or shouting the most whiskey-soaked blues; the backing is excellent with guitar and steel interweaving well.
« I don’t want my baby back« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/freedom-5015-hub-sutter-i-dont-want-my-baby-back.mp3download
« Tellin’ my baby bye-bye« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/freedom-5030-hub-sutter-tellin-my-baby-bye-bye.mp3download
The matrice numbers have a ‘W’ prefix and this is the only known case at this time. Sutter commenced his career in 1941 with ace guitarist Spud Goodal’s band in Galveston. At the end of WWII he was in Austin with Cecil Hogan’s Swingsters doing his recording debut on the local Hi-Fidelity label, before around 1946 joining Jesse James’ popular band thru 1950 ; so he was singing on some of James’ Blue Bonnet and 4* recordings. He even cut under his name a record on Lasso with « his Galvestonians » [actually Jesse James' band in disguise]. On Freedom, « I don’t want my baby back » was intended as an answer to Floyd Tillman‘s « I gotta have my baby back », and had an excellent relentless electric mandolin, and quite possibly Herb Remington on steel. His next Freedom release, the rocking « Tellin’ my baby bye-bye » (# 5030) was recorded with R.D. Hendon’s Western Jamboree Cowboys, probably at the same session as Charlie Harris’ « No shoes boogie » (# 5033).
Another gap in our knowledge appears at # 5017 and then we have the arrival of one of the most talented Hillbilly singers to come from Texas: JOHNNIE NELMS (born Houston in 1931). His output covers many years and includes a range of labels that extends from Decca to Gold Star, Starday, D and obscure labels like Westry (not in order given). With his Sunset Cowboys, his « If I can’t have you » (# 5018) is pure Texas Hillbilly/Honky tonk music. Great vocal over a superb band with swirling fiddles (Doug Myers), haunting steel (Herb Remington) and brilliant « knocked out rinky dink » piano. The flip side, « The bride to be » has unfortunately an organ backing, but even so Jimmie’s vocal is pure class. Another gap appears at # 5019.
Johnny Nelms « If I can’t have you« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/freedom-5018-johnny-nelms-If-I-cant-have-you.mp3download
TOMMY SANDS is the most well-known name to record for Freedom. His # 5022 (« Love pains/Syrup soppin’ blues » is extremely rare. Credited as Little Tommy Sands (The West’s Wonder Boy), it is his debut on record. He was not a Texan, born in 1937 in Chicago ; his family moved to Houston when he was young, and he would have been only 14 when he cut his record. Yet his vocal is assured and insouciant, and both sides are excellent boppers with great backing from an uncredited band, except Herb Remington on steel (the lead guitarist, unfortunately afforded no solo space, remains unidentified).
Tommy Sands « Syrup soppin’ blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/freedom-5022-little-tommy-sands-Syrup-Soppin-Blues.mp3download
The fine uptempo « Somebody’s stealin’ (my baby’s kisses) » (# 5023) by BOB JONES & his Troubadours is a fast Hillbilly bop ditty. One may wonder if this is the same Bob Jones who appeared later on Starday (# 148 and 210) and more later on, on Dixie # 1070 (April 1964)(I want’ cha baby), valued at $ 50-60. Sorry, no picture available.
Bob Jones « Somebody’s stealin’ (my baby’s kisses) »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/freedom-5023-bob-jones-somebodys-stealin-my-babys-kisses.mp3download
Gaps appear on # 5024 and # 5026, sandwiching the great double-sider (# 5025) « Cross roads » and « Hula boogie ». The former is a lugubrious ballad, that was quite a regional hit of little interest, but the latter is a fine bopper with good vocal and the Westernairs providing fine backing which include nice steel. TOMMY DURDEN also recorded for 4* (« That’s where you dropped your candy » with Boots Gilbert) with a band of the same name, led by Vic Cardis (4* 1500) , and for Pappy Daily’s ‘D’ label later, but his main claim to fame is as co-writer of « Heartbreak hotel ».
Tommy Durden « Hula boogie« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/freedom-5025-Tommy-Durden-Westernaires-Hula-Boogie.mp3download
Issue # 5027 is by LAURA LEE & The Ranch Hands, but I’ve not heard « Everybody but me » ; « I’m lonely for you darling » is a good jumping uptempo (fiddle, steel) song..However it would seem that she is LAURA LEE McBRIDE, the wide of Dickie McBride, whose band probably supply the backing. LAURA LEE is a well-known and respected Western swing vocalist, who, besides recording under her own name (i.e. M-G-M 11086 « I love you boogie »), also sang and recorded with Bob Wills.
Laura Lee « I’m lonely for you darling« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Freedom-5027-laura-lee-Im-lonely-for-you-darling.mp3download
Laura Lee & Dickie McBride « I love you boogie« (M-G-M 11086)
Third and last part of the serie (# 5028 to 5042) with more great music in a soon feature.
This fortnight begins with a heck of wildness: MICHAEL RAYE & Judy Shaye (“two voices and four hands” on the label) do offer the storming “Rockin’ Jamboree” on Arcade (Philly) # 112. Boogie woogie pano, trombone and guitar combine for this from 1953.
« Rockin’ jamboree« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/arcade-113-michael-raye-judy-shaye-rockin-jamboree.mp3download
JOHNNY FOSTER (announced a month ago) from Alabama offers the perfect rock-a-ballad “Locked away from your heart” on the Sandy label (# 1028). Good steel and sincere vocal. 1958. He had an earlier issue (# 1014) on the same label, which sounds promising (alas untraced): « It’s a hard life/You gotta be good« . I don’t know if he’s the same artist who appeared later on Capa and Carma during the early ’60s. Anyone can confirm, or deny?
« Locked away from your heart« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/sandy-Johnny-Foster-Locked-away-from-your-heart.mp3download
Cope McDaniel and the Cimarron Valley Boys are backing EDDE LEE for a fine melodic ballad, “I can’t believe you mean it” on Indianapolis Sunset label # F70W-2603 (1955).
« I can’t believe you mean it« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/sunset-2603-Eddie-Lee-I-Cant-Believe-You-Mean-It-Sunset-F7OW-2603.mp3download
« Ain’t got a nickel« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/waterfall-502-Aint-Got-A-Nickel-Aint-Got-A-Dime-Max-Lowe.mp3download
« Little Tom« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/J-F-K-L-701-Max-Lowe-Little-Tom-.mp3download
MAX LOWE enters for two issues, both came out from Morristown, TN. First “Ain’t got a nickel, ain’t got a dime”, a banjo led bluesy ballad, is to be found on Waterfall 502. More of the same on J-F-K-L 701 and “Little Lou”, from 1961 (thanx to Youtube Cheesebrew Wax Archive chain).
« I left the dance« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/ozark-1236-billy-glenn-I-Left-The-Dance.mp3download
« I’ll never cry again« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/ozark-1236-billy-glennIll-Never-Cry-Again.mp3download
That’s 1960 when BILLY GLENN issued on (California) Ozark label L30W-1236 a lovely mid-paced bopper with “I left the dance” (nice steel). The flipside is an uptempo ballad, “I’ll never cry again”. Curiously for a West coast label, the publishing house is “Mississipi Valley”. Glenn also appeared on Yucca 208 (“Bakersfield town”).
The “REAVES WHITE COUNTY RAMBLERS” go back to the late ‘20s on Vocalion 5218 for the romping “Ten cent piece”. It’s a fast raw hillbilly, showing prominent fiddle and a strong vocal. Courtesy 53jaybop on Youtube.
« Ten cent piece« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/vocalion-5218-Reaves-White-County-Ramblers-Ten-Cent-Piece-VOCALION-5218.mp3download
From Wichita, KS, emanate the Kanwic label on which OWEN McCARTY & His Troubadours cut “Key to my heart” (# 145), an uptempo ballad with nice steel, in 1968. McCarty was to have two other known records: on Show Land (produced by Benny Hess) and Air Cap.
« Key to my heart« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/karwick-145-owen-mc-carty-Key-To-My-Heart.mp3download
AL URBAN doesn’t need introduction. He cut the great Hillbilly bopper (1957) “Looking for money” (Sarg 148), and the fabulous twin-sider Rockabilly “Gonna be better times/Won’t tell you her name” (Sarg 158), without forgetting his two issues on Fang 1001 and 1003 (untraced). Here he appears on a “manufactured by Tanner ‘n’ Texas [T.N.T.]” A.P.U. 201, which shows two addresses: Gonzales (hometown to Urban) and San Antonio, TX. His “Run away” is similar to his Sarg sides, with a heavy Starday sound: a piano player sounding like Doc Lewis, a fiddle sounding like Red Hayes. Could it be that this record has actually been recorded in Houston?
»Run away« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/a.p.u.-201-Al-Urban-Run-Away.mp3download
For this Xmas 2015, as a gift, you faithful visitors of bopping.org will get 13 (yes, thirteen) selections, instead of the usual only 6 ; although for several months I gradually posted more and more tunes. Merry bopping Xmas to y’all !
« Deep Elem blues » was first recorded by the SHELTON BROTHERS (Bob & Joe on vocals and mandolin/guitar) in February 1935 in Chicago (Decca 5422), before the Prairie Ramblers gave their own version in August of the same year. The song refers to the black quarter in Dallas, where you need 50 $ because of the red headed women there. It was an immediate success, revived by others over the years, namely by JERRY LEE LEWIS, whose 1957 version remained unissued in the Sun archives for 40 years ! Same year saw the WILBURN BROTHERS‘ version (Decca 29887) : Doyle & Ted do a fine job on this song. Later on Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead) and Levon Helm had their versions too, outside the scope of this blog, as they say.
Shelton Brothers « Deep Elem blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/decca-shelton-brothers-deep-elem-blues.mp3download
Jerry Lee Lewis « Deep Elem blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Sun-LP-Jerry-lee-lewis-Deep-Elem-Blues.mp3download
Wilburn Brothers (Teddy & Doyle) »Deep Elem blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/decca-29887-Wilburn-Brothers-Deep-Elm-Blues.mp3download Read the rest of this entry »
Texas Bill Strength (Aug. 28, 1928 ~ Oct. 1, 1973): Although much better known for his career as a radio personality, Texas Bill Strength also cut a series of country and rockabilly efforts, including a session for the legendary Sun Records backed by former Elvis Presley guitarist Scotty Moore. Perhaps his biggest success came as a songwriter, having penned the blockbuster hit, « He’ll Have to Go » for Jim Reeves [actually written by J. Allison & A. Allison].
Born August 28, 1928 in Bessemer, Alabama, Strength was sixteen when he won an amateur contest at Houston’s Joy Theater. Local station KTHT was in the market for a cowboy act and soon he was working part-time on the air. In 1945 Strength began working as a DJ full-time for St. Joseph, Missouri station KFEQ, followed by a stint singing for Sioux Falls, South Dakota radio KSOO. After tenure with Denver’s KMYR, he returned to Houston, in quick succession appearing on KLEE, KATL and KNUZ. During that time, Strength also cut a serie of minor singles for the 4-Star label. Among them were « Who’s the lucky one » and « I’m doing a peach of a job ». By September of 1949 Bill was in Birmingham, Alabama doing daily radio programs at WRBC, which was a network of thirty-seven stations throughout the Southeast. In late 1949, Bill’s career had taken him back to Houston, Texas. Bill was one of the mainstays at a new venue in Houston along with others such as Floyd Tillman and Leon Payne. In early 1950 he was hired by the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) to promote the organization via radio and convention.
Read the rest of this entry »
DUSTY TAYLOR, first selection of this fortnite, offers with « My shining star » a pleasant shuffler, with nice sawing fiddle (solo). An average although nice tune to find on Nugget OP-190 (4 Star custom) from 1956. I don’t know where it comes from. Taylor had another issue on Nugget 191 (« Down grade/Just rumors »), and a record in 1968 on the Nashville Stop label.
« My shining star« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/nugget-OP-190-Dusty-Taylor-His-Rainbow-Valley-Rangers-My-Shining-Star.mp3download
« The hillbilly hop« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/leo-1824-Curly-Gibsons-Sunshine-Playboys-The-Hillbilly-Hop.mp3download
« The hillbilly hop » is a medium rockabilly (short piano solo) by CURLY GIBSON‘s Sunshine Playboys (vocal by Colin Prevette, who has even here some hiccups) on a Leo label (there were dozens by this name) # 1824. A clue of location is given by another record by Curly Gibson on the Pennsylvania Record label out of Pennsburg, PA. The Leo issue is from 1957.
With « All by myself » by DOUG DAVIS on the Texan Nite star label (# 007, from ca. 1963), we touch the real thing ! Already posted in 2010, this time with a nice label scan. It has haunting steel, perfect ballad vocal and confident backing. My prefered all-time ballad. Davis had another record on Malinda 113 (untraced)
« All by myself« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Doug-Davis-All-by-myself.mp3download
Next three tracks all by the veteran AL DEXTER, who, at the time they were cut (1950), had already records since 1936. All three do come from a long Cincinnati session for King.
As the title implies, « Walking with the blues » (King 884A) is a mid-paced item with fine harmonica and good guitar (Zeb Turner ? Louis Innis?). The whole sounds much like the Delmore.
Further on, « Hi de ho boogie » (# 884AA) is a lively tune. The harmonica has been dropped, replaced by fiddle and good steel. And the third track of this session is « Diddy wah boogie » (# 913AA): the harmonica returns for a pleasant and fast track.
« Walking with the blues« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/king-884A-Walking-With-The-Blues-Al-Dexter.mp3download
« Hi de ho boogie« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/king-884AA-Hi-De-Ho-Boogie-Al-Dexter.mp3download
« Diddy wah boogie« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/king-913-AAAl-Dexter-his-Troopers-Diddy-Wah-Boogie.mp3download
We conclude with BILL HUSKEY on the Meritone label (Lenoir City, TN) for a great « Record Spinning boogie », half sung, half played (solid acoustic guitar), which reminds me a lot of « Doin’ the boogie woogie » by Johnnie Barfield (Bullet 620).
« Record spinning boogie« http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/meritone-1001-Smokey-Mountain-Ramblers-Record-Spinning-Boogie.mp3download
This time we focus on 3 artists only. First DARNELL MILLER, who has enjoyed a comfortable Country music career for 5 decades in W. Va (a long-time affiliate to the famous WVA Jamboree), is present here with three of his early records. On the Dale label (a Starday custom) # 630 from Bluefield, W.Va, in May 1957, he released a very honest medium-paced hillbilly (fiddle present) with « Gettin’ out of the woods« . Two years later, he was to have two nice Country-rockers on the main Starday serie (in the meantime, he had been presented to Don Pierce, boss of the label, in Nashville). He delivers the energetic « Royal flush » (Starday 422) as well, several months later, the equally nice (where he seems to double his voice over) « Back to you » (Starday 459). Later on, he cut many, many records until his retirement early in the 2000s.
Darnell Miller, ’90s
Darnell Miller « Gettin’ out of the woods » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/630-B-Dale-Darnell-Miller-Gettin-out-of-the-woods.mp3download
Darnell Miller « Royal flush » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/starday-422-Darnell-Miller-Royal-Flush-.mp3download
Darnell Miller « Back to you » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/07-Darnell-Miller-Back-To-You.mp3download
The second artist presented here has no biographical data. BILL DUDLEY had cut in Nashville a good amount of records from 1953 to 1972 (in Canada) then disappeared from Dick Grant’s antennas. I’ve chosen the nice hillbilly released in November 1953 by Capitol (# 2662) « If I cry« . All in all, he recorded between 1953 and 1954 thirteen tracks for this label, which issued 4 singles. The next track by him is the fine Country-rocker « Oh please Mr. Conductor » on the Todd label (# 1046) from 1959. This tiny label issued several good disks during this period by Lee Bonds, Jimmie Fletcher or Jericho Jones, to name the most well-known in the Hillbilly bop/Country-rock field.
Bill Dudley « If I cry » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/capitol-2662-bill-dudley-if-I-cry.mp3download
Bill Dudley « Oh please Mr. Conductor » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Bill-Dudley-Oh-Please-Mr-Conductor-TODD-Records.mp3download
Down in Louisiana, I will dwell on JOEY GILLS upon. A protégé of Jay D. Miller, and né Joseph Guillot, he hailed from Thibodeaux vicinity, La. where he was born on a farm in 1929 (died 2013).A relative to Cajun superstar Johnnie Allan, during the early ’50s, he often gigged with Rusty & Doug, and he sounded so much as Hank Williams that J. D. Miller often used him to test new songs. Here it is his first record from 1953-54 « Hey Meon » (Feature 2002), cut in Crowley, La (J. D. Miller studio): Gills is backed by Lonnie Jones (later known as « Lazy Lester« ) on washboard, Johnny on steel (Miller can’t remember his full name) and Wiley Barkdull on piano for a very good waltz-paced ditty, partly sung in French. In February or March 1956, he cut 4 tracks for Mercury, either in Crowley, or in Nashville, which included the great medium boppers « (I am) Like a dog without a bone », « My name is Joe » and « Consolation prize« . From then on, Gills had his own radio show in Thibodeaux on KTIB, but recorded only this song (found on Youtube).
Joey Gills: « Hey Meon » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/feature-2002-Joey-Gills-Hey-Meon.mp3download
Joey Gills « Like a dog without a bone » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Joey-Gills-Im-Like-A-Dog-Without-A-Bone-1956.mp3download
Joey Gills « My name is Joe » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/06-My-Name-Is-Joe-Joey-Gills.mp3ref= »http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/06-My-Name-Is-Joe-Joey-Gills.mp3″ target= »_blank »>download
Joey Gills « Consolation prize » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Consolation-Prize-Joey-Gills.mp3download
Joey Gills « Baby, leave your troubles at home » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Baby-Leave-Your-Troubles-At-Home-Joey-Gills.mp3download
Howdy folks, the first serie of the two selections for May.
The exuberant « It always happens to me » by RUFUS SHOFFNER & JOYCE SONGER (wife of Earl) cut in Detroit in 1962 seems stylistically go back to the mid to late ’50s. It’s a great fast bopper (piano, guitar and an energetic rhythm, and an exulting duet vocal), which was issued on Fortune’s label subsidiary Hi-Q 14, and can still be found on various recent compilations, as in Boppin’ Hillbilly vol. 5. Shoffner made several fine sides on Hi-Q or Fortune, or earlier on Kentucky’s Countryside label. More on him later in this site. »It always happens to me » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/rufus-shoffner-it-always-happens-to-me.mp3download
More famous from the West coast is TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD (1919-1991),who cut a fine string of Hillbilly boogies from the end of the ’40s (« Milk ‘em in the morning blues« ) to the mid-50s, when he crossed the marked with the top-seller « Sixteen tons » (written by Merle Travis). Here he delivers from July 1950 on Capitol 1295 the much acclaimed « The shot gun boogie » (which had many, many versions later by others, even during the R&R era, f.e. Jesse Lee Turner), backed by the Cliffie Stone crew, among them the excellent Speedy West (steel), Billy Liebert (piano) and Jimmy Bryant (ld guitar).
T. Ernie in 1957
T. Ernie Ford « The shot gun boogie » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/capitol-1295.mp3download
For the rest of the selections, we’re turning to obscure artists. From Pennsylvania in 1958 on the Skyline label (not to be confused with the Indianapolis label: the Blankenship Brothers) # 106 comes BOB ENGLAR and » Always dreaming« , a very nice bopper (guitar/steel/fiddle solos). FRANK DARRIS had in 1963 the same energy as Englar for an honest Rockabilly, his personal version of Marty Robbins’ « Ruby Ann » on the Roy label. The wizardry is the same two-sided disc came on two other labels, Thunder and Advance. Another Rockabilly we find from Alabama, early ’60s, « Baby I don’t care » (not the Elvis’ song) by DAVID GREGG on the McDowell label.
Bob Englar « Always dreaming » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Bob-Englar-amp-The-Southland-Playboys-Always-Dreaming-Hillbilly-45.mp3download
Frank Darris « Ruby Ann » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Frank-Darris-Ruby-Ann-Rockabilly-45.mp3download
David Gregg, »Baby I don’t care » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/David-Gregg-Baby-I-Dont-Care.mp3download
Dempsey Sims, « Blue eyed baby » (Sam version)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Dempsey-Sims-Blue-Eyed-Baby-Country-Bop-45-Sam-Version.mp3download
Dempsey Sims, « Blue-eyed baby » (Huber version)http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Dempsey-Sims-Blue-Eyed-Baby-Country-Bop-45-Huber-Version.mp3download
Finally the same song, « Blue eyed baby » is a yodeling bopper first issued in 1956 on Esta 284 (untraced)and later recorded twice by DEMPSEY SIMS in 1957 on Huber (time 2’39″) and Sam (time 2’07″). The Sam version seems more polished. Dempsey later had « Blues tomorrow » in 1967 on the Nashville label.
I feel sorry for the light defaults of the scans: my sight is failing (too much reading microscopic master numbers on records!)
For this early Spring favorites selection, I’ve chosen mostly – that is unusual – major labels recordings!
The first three on King probably all cut in Cincinnati between 1949 and 1950. The earliest track is by RED PERKINS (born in 1890), who had begun his career before WWII and was later the featured vocalist of PAUL HOWARD Arkansas Cotton Pickers (see below). Here it is his « Hoe-Down Boogie » (King 792), a fine call-and-response fast bopper. He also had « Crocodile tears » the next year. His first issue on King (# 773) was « Texas Boogie« , and the personnel was then Jabbo Arrington [gt], Billy Bowman [steel], Bob Moore [bass], Roddy Bristol [fiddle], Fiddlin’ Red Herron [fiddle], Joe Rea [drums], poss. Harold Horner [piano]. The backing is probably similar.
Second selection is of course by PAUL HOWARD: « The boogie’s fine tonight« . Fine piano bopper (# 871), and the next is by the famous REDD STEWART, featured vocalist of Pee Wee King‘s Golden West Cowboys. Actually, except accordion (inaudible) the GWC are the backing band of Stewart for this great « Brother drop dead » (# 843). Fine piano, aggressive steel punctuating the beat.
Red Perkins, « Hoe-down boogie » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Red-Perkins-Hoe-Down-Boogie.mp3download
Paul Howard « The boogie’s fine tonight » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/king-873AA-Paul-Howard-The-boogie_s-fine-tonight.mp3download
One step away to West coast on the Capitol label for GENE O’QUIN and « I specialize in love » (# 2715). Fast bopper from 1954.
Gene O’Quin « I specialize in love » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Gene-OQuinn-I-specialize-in-love.mp3download
Back to early days. Dallas, Texas, Jim Beck’s studio, April 1951. The MERCER Brothers (Wallace and Charlie), an old-time male duet do a very energetic « Wish bone » on Columbia 20978. They sound like the Delmore Brothers, and even have WAYNE RANEY on harmonica for a great solo! Thanks to Jack Dumery to have led me to them (and for the CD!)
Mercer Brothers « Wish bone » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/columbia-20978-mercer-bros-wish-bones.mp3download
Eddie Crosby « Blues stay away from me » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Eddie-Crosby-quotBlues-Stay-Away-From-Mequot-78-rpm.mp3download
Danny Dedmon « Hula hula woogie » http://www.bopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Danny-Dedmon-Hula-hula-woogie.mp3download
The link with the former is the Delmore and a version of their all-time great « Blues stay away from me« , a cityfied rendition (Cincinnat, August 1949) by EDDIE CROSBY. Nice guitar (could be Zeke Turner).
Finally back in Dallas with DANNY DEDMON, former vocalist of Bill Nettles. Actually his Rhythm Ramblers are Nettles’ Dixie Blues boys. Here he does in 1947 the amusing « Hula hula boogie » on Imperial 8019.
Sources: my own collection and the net for artists pictures.