Late November 2015 fortnight’s favorites
nov 15th, 2015 by xavier

Not much info this time on artists or music I am afraid.

HAROLD MONTGOMERY has already been posted for his great 1969 bopper on Sun-Ray 139 « All them wives/Pardon me Jim« . This time I’m putting an equally good side with «How much do you miss me ». Wolf-Tex # 103 label, which emanates from Lancaster, KY. Solid backing by the Ray Johnson band over a hiccupy vocal. This record is sold between $ 300 and 400, maybe a lot more ! Montgomery had also « Thank you little girl » on Wolf-Tex 105, and « Gabriel doesn’t play a steel guitar » on Lemco (no #), both untraced.

wolf-tex 103harold montgomery - how much do you miss me« How much do you miss me«  download

johnny daume picThe next artist was an itinerant D.J., who also carried from town to town his own record for sale. JOHNNY DAUME (Johnny Daume label # 1001) is an early ’50s double-sider with strong Western swing overtones : lazy vocal, a prominent fiddle and a discreet steel , all this reminds me of Texas bands of the mid to late ’40s. »Boogie woogie blond » and « Lookin’ fer a gal in Tennessee » are mouled in the same matrix, one slow, the other side more medium uptempo. A nice record.

johnny daume 1001B lookin' fer a gal fromTjohnny daume 1001A BW blond
« Lookin’ fer a gal from Tennessee« download

« Boogie woogie blond« download





From Johnson City, TN hails BILLY SIZEMORE. A fine country-rocker (heavy drums) over fiddle and steel for « My baby’s gone » (Edmac # 104). No other data available.

« My baby’s gone« download

edmac 104 billy sizemore - my baby's gone
Marty Robbins had done « Mean mama blues » on Columbia in early 1956 – urgent vocal and fast rockabilly backing. Same song is revived 4 years later on Circle Dot # 1002 (Minneapolis, MN) by RONNIE RAY. This version is on a par with the original. Ray also had another issue on Demand 101 (« My heart has to make it (on it’s own) » (untraced).

columbia 21477 marty robbins - mean mama bluescircle dot 1002 ronnie ray - mean mama blues

Marty Robbins « Mean mama blues« download

Ronnie Ray « Mean mama blues« download



« I don’t care anymore« download

« It’s rough« download

LES & His Western Playboys comes next in 1961 on the B-W label (# Q-609). A prominent steel over a light country rocker. Maybe Les was named « Haven » : that’s the writer of « I don’t care anymore ». This outfit had another on the Wel Burn label (parent to B-W) # 103 with the good uptempo from  1962, « It’s rough« , cut in Wooster, OH and reviewed on May 5th, 1962 by Billboard. Nice steel throughout.

w-b 103 les - it's rough B-W 605 les - I don't care anymore

armoneer 1003A ronnie newton - workingman's blues
« Workingman’s blues« download







Armoneer 1003 : RONNIE NEWTON and « Workingman’s blues ». A good 1959 record ; solid vocal and backing, fine boogie guitar and piano backing. Cut in Wynona Lake, Indiana.










Notes : all selections from the net or (Johnny Daume) from « Hillbilly Researcher » blogspot.

A R&B label goes Hillbilly: the SPECIALTY 700 serie (1949-1954)
nov 13th, 2015 by xavier


red point: Shreveport


Art Rupe

Around 1948-49, several big R&B concerns, like Apollo, Modern, Imperial began to squint from the East and West coasts at the lucrative Country music market of the South. Major labels (RCA, Decca, M-G-M) were already running it, but without being locally positioned, they were losing sales, and could not exploit completely this rich soil. So people like Modern’s Bihari Brothers, Imperial’s Lew Chudd, or Specialty’s Art Rupe did seek for D.J.s and A&R men to help them to recruit good talent. And studio for recording locally. The Biharis concluded contracts with Sam Phillips, who leased them a good amount of Blues, which not prevented him to sell other sides to the Chess Brothers in Chicago. Finally Les, one of the Biharis, launched on place in Memphis Meteor records in 1952. The label found immediate success with Elmore James, and later in 1954 in the Country charts with Bud Deckleman. The Chesses came to an agreement to furnish them with masters with local promoter in Shreveport, La. Stan Lewis, who used the facilities of recording at night in the KWKH radio studio. Lew Chudd liked Jim Beck’s studio better in Dallas, Texas and found a certain commercial success with Texan artists : Billy Briggs or Jimmie Heap to name only two. Art Rupe (Specialty)specialty cover 45 prefeJerry Green cut - BB January 3, 1953rred KWKH for its East Texas/Louisiana border position. It has been suggested that his first Southern sides had been engineered by Johnny Vincent in Jackson, MS. But the aural evidence show the very distinctive Stan Lewis feel. Billboard (January 12, 1949) gave notice that Rupe had just inked his first 4 artists on the new Specialty 700 label. All of them were barely known, no doubt they had been approached by Stan Lewis’ relations or talent scouts. Actually only Earl Nunn may be localized with his band, the Alabama Ramblers, for the first issue. Previously he had co-written in 1944 with Zeke Clements the controversial (for its racist words) « Smoke on the water » for Red Foley (Decca 6102). He was probably vocally fronted by Billy Lee, who would have his own record (# 704) a little later.

EARL NUNN offers an enjoyable lazy mid-paced « Double-talkin’ woman », with a steel well to the fore (# 701). Actually the very same steel appears on these early sessions, and one can wonder if this is a studio man, possibly Shot Jackson ; the latter was indeed hanging around at KWKH, and even had his own issues (# 704 and 710, discussed below), not to talk about his work on Pacemaker with Webb Pierce. JOHNNY CROCKETT (# 702) has «Just a minute », a very fast talking blues in the manner of Tex Williams with piano and steel effects, that could easily fall into the novelty category. BRUCE TRENT third (# 703) delivers a jumping sad « Alimony » and the medium paced bluesy « River blues ». It can be noted that he had backed with his Western Tunesters some Hal Carey on a Ca. Jewel label (# 7002).

BILLY LEE does the ordinary hillbilly « I don’t know why I love you » (# 704), while LEO STANCIL had to wait July 52 for the release of his excellent effort « Why don’t you quit hangin’ around »(# 707)(two sides penned by Earl Nunn). Long steel solo for an awesome bopper, with sweet Southern accent !

Earl Nunn « Double-talkin’ woman« (701)downloadBB 5-3-49 earl nunn

Johnny Crockett « Just a minute« (702)download

Bruce Trent « Alimony« (703)download

Bruce Trent « River blues« (703)download

701 earl nunn702 johnny crockett703A bruce trent703BB bruce trent










Leo Stancil « Why don’t you quit hanging’ around« download

707 stancil - hangin'It seems that the first 4 issues were released in a relatively short time after the label was launched, for example Specialty 703 (Bruce Trent) was reviewed by Billboard in March 1949, 704 in June 1949 although both the full years 1950-51 were blank in releases. Maybe Art Rupe was expecting more sales before cutting more records.

Things began to change a bit in 1952 with the advent of three new artists in the roster : namely CLAUDE KING, BIFF COLLIE and SHOT JACKSON. Collie has been discussed in full earlier in this site, so I omit him here. Claude King (born in Louisiana in 1923,deceased 2013) was not a newcomer. As soon as 1947, he had teamed with guitarist Buddy Attaway and bassist/entrepreneur Tillman Franks as « Buddy and Claude » for an issue on the small President label (HB-10), and a frequent theme for the era, « Flying saucers »
« Buddy & Claude«  »Flying saucers« download

an agreeable and fresh jumping little tune, similar in style to that of the Bailes Brothers. president flying saucers

In December 1950, he recorded 4 tunes for the local Pacemaker label, which were also leased to the big Gotham East coast concern. On Specialty he cut three sessions, 10 tunes in all (2 remained unissued) – he wrote them all – between Spring and December 1952. « She knows why » (# 705) is an uptempo sad ballad (the same old story of the broken-hearted guy), which became seemingly the first hit of the Specialty Country & Folk label. At last, it had good sales and spinning reports in the South. So much so that it even had its answer song « He knows why » by Jeanette Hicks (Okeh 18021). « Take it like a man » (# 708) : the second release of Claude King has more rhythm and an insistant bass, a prominent piano and nice steel solo. Vocally King is in fine form, as in the next song « Got the world by the tail » (711), a little faster although in the same format as 708. Indeed King and his Hillbilly Ramblers had already found their way to the Louisiana Hayride saturday night show that had strong connection with KWKH radio. Actually Claude and Buddy Attaway were cast members of the Hayride since 1948, and wrote songs at the turn of the decade for Kitty Wells and Webb Pierce, who got them through Tillman Franks. Last Specialty 716 by him, « Now that I have you », remains untraced.

708 take it like a man

Note the ‘old’ Specialty design

711 claude king got the world by the tail

a rare 45

705 she knows why

Claude King « She knows why« (705)download

bb 14-2-53 claude king

Claude King « Take it like a man« (708)download

Claude King « Got the world by the tail« (711)download

Claude King « Run baby run« (Dee-Jay 1248)downloaddee jay 1248 claude king


claude king buste

Claude King

claude king--tillman franks







Claude also worked one of Hank Willams’ last tours, as his driver and opening act. He also toured in the Shreveport area with Johnny Horton, but they spent more time fishing and hunting together than in the studio ! Record wise, he remained without a contract until 1957, when he cut the famous rockabilly/rocker « Run baby run » for Dee-Jay (# 1248), and turned in 1961 on Columbia in Nashville for « The comancheros » and « Wolverton mountain » ; but this is another story..It’s interesting to note that, if King wrote all his material, he’d publish his songs sometimes at a curious « Ark-La-Tex » publishing house other than the regular « Venice music » for Specialty recordings.








The third new artist to appear in 1952 on Specialty is SHOT JACKSON (1920-1991), a steel guitar player. He did hang around at KWKH in 1950 and was the player (even sometimes singer on « Beautiful Hawaiian shores », or solist on some instrumentals) for all the Pacemaker sessions of Webb Pierce between December 1949 and January 1951. So it’s him playing steel on « California blues » to name only 1 of the score (circa 23) tunes cut by Pierce at KWKH. Jackson even had his Pacemaker record (# 1004) although sung by Pierce uncredited ! Needless to say, since Pierce, except 2 or 3 occasions, never used a fiddle, that hot Jackson was the real force behind Pierce. He was indeed naturally intended to record for Specialty as soloist.

His 4 sides are uptempo honky-tonks, nothing spectacular, except in a negative way :  the machist « I’m trading you in on a later model » (# 706), and the deceiving « You can’t get the country out of the boy » (# 710) – such a title did merit a better treatment. Barely audible steel (short solos), an omnipresent fiddle; the voice of Jackson is forgettable. Note that current Hayride artists Johnnie & Jack gave him 3 of his 4 songs ; in return Jackson was to play dobro for them on numerous records onwards. Surely he was better on instrumentals, and after he built, with the help of Buddy Emmons (house steel-player at Starday), a double-neck steel baptized « Sho-Bud », he was to come again in light in 1962 on a compilation dedicated to steel guitarists (Starday EP 236).

706 shot jackson - trading

Shot Jackson « I’m trading you in on a later model« (706)download

Shot Jackson « You can’t get the country out of the boy« (710)download

shot jackson ? pict

Shot Jackson with Ricky and David House

courtesy David House, one of the boys















The third generation of artists on the Specialty 700 serie begins with the Texan JERRY GEEN. (born 1931) He was signed by Art Rupe early in 1953 and cut 4 sides.

« Naggin’ women and braggin’ men » (# 712) is a real good bopper, a tinkling piano well to the fore, followed by a nice steel and a rather embarrassed lead guitarist. « Are you going my way » (# 714) is a shuffler, well-sung and agreeable, with the same backing format. Leader is still shy ! Luckily piano and fiddle come to rescue the solo ..Green was also active indeed on the La. Hayride, before being drafted into the Army until 1955. He then relocated in Arkansas for a radio show « Country Capers » on a Fort Smith KFPW station. Then later he hit the big time with « Tripod the three leggged dog » which led him to Grand Ole Opry in 1967.

Jerry Green « Naggin’ women and braggin’ men« (712)download

Jerry Green « Are you going my way« (714)download

jerry green today

Jerry Green today

712 green - naggin' women

Jerry Green - 1951(Imperial)

Jerry Green 1951

Next artist was SMOKEY STOVER, D.J. in Baytown, Tx. He liked Claude King « She knows why », according to a Billboard snippet! Very few details came to light about him, except these : a native of Texas (Huntsville, 1928), he had his own band at 16 and began a long carreer Country D.-Jaying in Pasadena in 1948 only to retire from radio in 1995 in Gallatin, TN! In the meantime, he had been on numerous stations out of Texas, Mississipi, Louisiana (where he tried a career as singer), even New Mexico. He had records on Starday, Ol’podner, Stampede, Sage, Toppa. So now let’s value his Specialty product, cut at KWKH on November 15, 1952. « What a shame » (# 715) is a mid-paced opus ; nothing particular, a nice shuffler as too many in this era. Soli (guitar and fiddle) are interplayed and welcome. Vocal is firm but without any personal touch.

Smokey Stover « What a shame« (715)download

smokey stover

Smokey Stover

715 stober - shame

This is not the case with JOHNNY TYLER, a veteran (first sides in 1946 : « Oakie boogie » on Stanchel) whose story has been told in this blog before. He offers the bluesy partly double-voiced mid-paced « Take your blues and go » (# 713) ; good surprise : a spare harmonica a la Wayne Raney, without a sufficient volume. « Hillbilly preacher » (# 715) reminds me at times of someone sounding like, say, Luke McDaniel : fine guitar over an insistant rhythm backing. This type of material predates Tyler’s Ekko sides of March 1955.

Johnny Tyler « Take your blues and go« (713)download

Johnny Tyler « Hillbilly preacher« (715)download

Joyce Lowrance & Earney Vandagriff « Hush money » (718)download

717 tyler - preacher718 vandagriff - hush money

Last but not least, the elusive EARNEY VANDAGRIFF, whose story is hard to write. The details on him are near zero, except he came from Texas, and that he had records on Starday and Rural hythm between 1954 and 1957, among them the famous « Atomic kisses ». Here he delivers in a duet with Joyce Lowrance the happy and fast bopper « Hush money » (# 718), with a fine steel throughout and insistant fiddle.

And that was it, Art Rupe decided after 18 issues it was time to close a relatively not so lucrative affair, and concentrate his hopes (and money) on black music, be it Gospel (e.g. Soul Stirrers), R&B (a huge catalog) or, before long, Rock’n'Roll. A sign moreover of poor sales is given by the rarity of these Specialty 700 sides. Rupe’s rivals of Chess, Modern and Aladdin had come to the same conclusion for their part. Sole Meteor in Memphis remained open with the smash success of Bud Deckleman (« Daydreamin’ ») in 1954, before the advent of Rockabilly in 1956, and closed in 1957. But Sun was then at the right position to take advantage in the race for the hits.


Sources : Cactus CD « Specialty hillbilly » for music and CD tracks. Iconographic material : 78tpm.worlds for 78rm scans. Youtube for President Claude King 78 (scan & msic). Various entries on Internet for Art Rupe, Speciaty logo, Smokey Stover, Billboard records reports. Dominique Anglarès (warm thanks !) for Jerry Green and Shot Jackson pictures, also a full Bllboard page and interesting precisions. David House for Shot Jackson picture with Mr. House on Shot’s knee.

Houston, TX: the hillbilly novelties of BIFF COLLIE (1949-1972)
nov 6th, 2015 by xavier


Biff (Hiram Abiff) Collie, pioneer country (DJ), show promoter and trade paper reporter, was born on November 25, 1926 in Little Rock, biff collie2 picArkansas, but raised in San Antonio, Texas. He graduated from Thomas Edison High School (San Antonio, Texas) in 1944. Biff’s professional career spanned forty years working such major markets as Houston and San Antonio, Texas and Los Angeles and Long Beach California.


Biff Collie began his radio career at KMAC radio in San Antonio as a teenager. After brief stints at Browning and Alice, Texas, he moved on to KNUZ radio in Houston and later to KPRC. Biff started with KNUZ (1948) working as sports reporter, before moving into a disc jockey role. During that time, Glad Music Company had a record store on 11th Street. KNUZ had regular remote broadcasts from their store. Popular recording artists were frequent visitors to the shop. Hank Williams was one of the many artists to stop by. Biff was conducting a remote broadcast from Glad Music in 1948 when Hank Williams visited the store.

biff collie pic


Biff was the first country disc jockey (see note below) in Houston, which remains one of the premiere markets for country music radio. While in Houston, he also promoted and booked shows, becoming one of the first to ever book Hank Williams, Sr. and Tennessee Ernie Ford. In 1957, he became manager and emcee for the Philip Morris Country Music Show, which was broadcast nationally on Mutual Broadcasting Radio and CBS Radio. Later he worked mornings on KPRC and hosted a certain up and coming singer from Memphis by the name of Presley at the Grand Prize Jamboree.


In 1960, Collie moved to Los Angeles where he remained for the decade, gaining huge popularity over KFOX Radio. He was consistently in the top ten radio personalities in Billboard and Music Reporter magazines and was also named « Best Radio Personality » by the Academy of Country Music, an organization which he served on the Board of Directors and produced the annual awards show in 1967. He moved to Nashville in 1969 and produced the first syndicated radio show, « Inside Nashville, » which ran on stations across the country for many years. He also was a morning man (Collie’s Coffee Club) on KLEE radio in Ottumwa, Iowa.


Collie made an attempt at recording, first on Macy’s records in Houston and later for Specialty. His only charted hit was as Billy Bob Bowman in 1972 on United Artists. Collie married the former wife of country legend Floyd Tillman in 1953. Biff later married Shirley Simpson, who as Shirley Collie recorded several duets with Willie Nelson. It was Biff who introduced Shirley to the up-and-coming singer/songwriter and Shirley eventually divorced Collie to marry Nelson.biff Collie's Coffee Club


Before his death, Biff earned the Ernest Tubb Humanitarian Award for his contributions. Biff is a member of the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame (1978). Collie died on February 19, 1992 in Brentwood, Tennessee.


Radio stations where Biff worked: KMAC (San Antonio, Texas, 1944-45), KWD (Browning, Texas, 1945-46), KBWI (Alice, Texas, 1946-47), KNUZ (Houston, Texas, 1948-55), KPRC (Houston, Texas, circa 1955-57), KLAC (Los Angeles, 1959), KFOX (1960-69, Long Beach, CA), KLEE (Ottumwa, Iowa, circa?), KSIX (Corpus Christie, Texas, circa 1958)


Note: Some articles claim that Texas Bill Strength (8/28/1928 — 10/1/1973) was the first country DJ in Houston, but that may not be the case. Texas Bill Strength was a sixteen year old teen in 1944 when he won an amateur contest at the Joy Theatre in Houston. A representative from KTHT radio happened to be present and decided to give Bill his first radio job as a fledgling western singer. In remembering that episode, Bill was quoted, « My Mother thought for sure I was dying and I can’t say what the old man said. » Texas Bill Strength had a modestly successful singing and recording career. He recorded for 4Star, Capitol and Coral records.


About KFOX-AM 1280: KFOX was called The Country King. It was the original country music heavy weight in Southern California. It broadcast from the International Tower in Long Beach. During the 1960s, the country music hosts consisted of Dick Haynes, Biff Collie, Charlie Williams and Clifford « Cliffie » Stone. (RJB: Country Music Historian, 9/2010).


About the recordings of Biff Collie (bopping’s editor)

The earliest were made for Macy’s in Houston, first with Collie as vocalist fronting Smitty Smith orchestra for « Broken memories » (# 109, November 1949). As you could expect from such a title, it’s a slowie, well sung, but nothing else. Superior lazy backing.

macy's 109B Smitty smith - broken memories

« Broken memories« download


On Macy’s 126, the record is credited to Biff Collie, either a sign of greater popularity as a D.J, either of his exposure on stage. Both sides, the macho « I want a gal (that cook for me) » and the uptempo « I’ve said it before » are somewhat ruined by an organ, and partly saved by a nice steel guitar.

« I want a gal« download

« I’ve said it before« download

macy's 126A biff collie - I want a galmacy's 126B biff collie - I've said it before





November 1950 : Collie was then signed by Columbia and cut two sides with Little Marge (rn. Margarete Hartis). Let’s forget a boring weepie « Why are you blue » ; the best side is the upempo (backed by the Range Hands) « I don’t care who knows » : pretty hard piano boogie solo, and nice steel (Columbia 20776). Margarete Hartis was born 1921 in Goose creek, TX, and was D.J. in Houston, also talent scout for Hill & Range publishing company. Common friend Floyd Tillman got them in touch, and soon they were married, but the duet was shortly over. Hartis died in 2001.

columbia 20776 biff collie & little marge - I don't care who knows

« I don’t care who knows« download


Next record by Biff Collie was on the short-lived Specialty Country serie. He’s here nicknamed « Bellerin’ bowlegged boy ». I didn’t put until now my hand [see note below] on « Everybody wants me but you »(Specialty 709). «  Don’t talk about love (the way you do)» on the other side is a fast ditty, with a wild piano well to the fore, added by a typical (for the era) fiddle and a steel. Collie is in good vocal form.


« Don’t talk about love« download

specialty 709 biff collie - don't talk about lovespecialty 709 biff collie - everybody wants me

« Everybody wants me but you« download


(Note) « Everybody wants me but you » is a good shuffler. Thanks to Steve Hathaway.


Then he was signed to Starday and cut 4 singles for them between January 1955 and July 1956. Several tunes remained unissued. The first issue « What this old worlds needs » (# 178) has the typical Starday sound and combination of fiddle, guitar and steel over an assured vocal. Nobody can say if Collie, as a D.J., was not pushing a little more his own record ! I don’t ever heard the flipside « Lonely ». In any case, he returned to the Gold Star studio in Houston for « Goodbye, farewell, so long », a nice piano led uptempo (# 203); Its flip « Look on the good side » is fast, same vein.

« What this old world needs« download

« Goodbye, farewell, so long« download

« Look on the good side« download

starday 178 biff collie - what this old world needsstarday 203 biff collie - goodbye, farewell, so longstarday 203 biff collie - look on the good side




As a proof of his success, he was called again in January 1956 for 4 sides (2 remain unissued).. « Doodle-doo » ( 230) is a novelty, happy side, while « Empty kisses » is a forgettable weeper.




Last session for Starday in July 1956,and it’s a completely different style : »Joy joy joy » (# 251) is an out-and-out rocker, with sax (Link Davis?), in the manner of Glen Barber. The flipside is untraced (« All of a sudden ») nor of course the unissued « Baby let’s mix », which looks promising. There is a lot of music stilll to unearth from the Starday vaults.

« Doodle- doo« download

« Joy, joy, joy« download

starday 230 biff collie - doodle doostarday 251 biff collie - joy, joy, joy




One must wait 1972 for the next record of Biff Collie, cut in Nashville under the name of « Billy Bob Bowman ». « Miss Pauline » (U.A. 50597) is plain main Country music, with steel and chorus. Not disagreable music, but nothing exceptional. Another label in 1974 : Collie cut for Capitol 6 sides, 4 remain unissued, and the 45 is untraced.

UA 50957 billy bob bowman - miss Pauline




« Miss Pauline« download



Sources : biographical details from HillbillyBoogie1 Youtube chain (my sincere thanks to him, whoever he may be), with additions. Scans from 45rpmcat and 78rpmworlds. Music from Hillbilly Researcher serie (Macy’s) or Cactus (Specialty). « Starday » (scans and music) is easily found on the Net. Discography [partly inaccurate] from Praguefrank site.

Early November 2015 fortnight’s favorites: a majority of unknown artists
nov 1st, 2015 by xavier

EARL MONTGOMERY (backed by Shorty Underwood) delivers first « You played me for a fool » on the Slim Willet owned Edmoral label (# 954). It’s an uptempo hillbilly bop, with assured vocal. Backing consist of piano, steel and fiddle, each one having a short solo.

-edmoral 954 eal montgomery - you played me for a fololearl montgomery pic

« You played me for a fool« download



On the microscopic Marshall label (no #) probably from Atlanta, Ga. we find now PERCY MARSHALL and the double-sider « Leaving town/Give me my guitar and traveling shoes ». A GREAT lazy vocal Country-blues from the late ’50s or early ’60s. It reminds me of Harmonica Frank Floyd, and even has words to the traditional « Matchbox ». The faithful Drunken Hobo adds this: « rite pressing 16481/2 = 1966 Marshall 45- # ». So now we have a probable date of issue.
« Leaving town« download

« Give me my guitar and traveling shoes« download

marshall percy marshall - leaving town
marshall 2 percy marshall - give me my guitar and traveling shoes
« For wrongs you done« download

In a previous Fortnight I had posted HAL ANDREWS and his famous « Brown-eyed girl » on Choctaw. Now here is, with a nice mid-paced shuffler (steel, piano), « For wrongs you done » on the Escambia label ( 0502) from 1959. Indeed he had had earlier at least one record on Rich-R’Tone.

Escambia b hal andrews - for wrongs you done (1959)




columbia 21259 jimmy littlejohn - no parkin' hereNext artist is not familiar, although he offers a fine bopper (complete with sound effects) with « No parkin’ here » on Columbia 21259 (not apparently to be confused with the Bobby Grove song on King – posted early in this site). JIMMY LITTLEJOHN had another (maybe for a future fortnight) great «Haunted blues » (# 21320).

« No parkin’ here« download

« Devil or an angel« download

A-B-S 118 jimmy avants - devilor an angel




On JIMMY AVANTS (A-B-S label # 118), « Devil or an angel » (some crackings, sorry), I could find nothing, even a location for the label. A fast bopper with a nice steel solo. Value: $ 50-60. You can find many informations on the A-B-S label on: (Dean C. Morris site)

From Kalamazoo, Michigan comes WAYNE ROBERTS on the Key label (# 15305) for the fine « Do blonds have more fun ? » : great interplay between steel and lead guitar. A short rockabilly solo. A nice awesome find.

Finally from Tampa, Fla. « My world keeps rolling on and on » by CLYDE GUTHRIE on the Nugget label (# 1005). A fast number, an husky voice and a short steel solo.

key 15305 wayne roberts - do blonds have more fun?

nugget 1008 clyde guthrie - my world keeps rolling on

« Do blonds have more fun?« download

« My world keeps keeps rolling on and on« download








All selections taken from the net. 

Bopping duets, last post (1947-1963)
oct 18th, 2015 by xavier

Howdy folks ! This is the last post on bopping duets. As surely you did notice it, my English is far from fluent ; actually I don’t dream neither think « in English », because it is not my natural language. I really hope you can understand it, and excuse me for writing such intricate phrases yet very common. But I LOVE this bopping music, and let’s keep it first ! My aim is to figure the music posted with record labels and odds and ends on the artists.

mccormick brothersThe McCORMICK BROTHERS were a Tennessee/Kentucky family affair. Lloyd and Kelly held the guitars, younger Haskel was on banjo, Hayden Clark on bass and Charlie Nixon on dobro. They cut for Hickory in Nashville between 1954 and 58 a fine line of Bluegrass and Rockabilly boppers, among them this « Big eyes » (1958, Hickory 1080). Strong strumming boogie electric guitar and vocals in unison. They even had a full album, « Songs for home folks » on Hickory 102 (1961) and still are playing today.

« Big eyes« download

hickory  1080 mccormick - big eyes

Hickory102 mcCormick - songs for home folks
Chester and Lester, the BUCHANAN BROTHERS were another duet group. They hit big in August 1946 with the pioneering « Atomic power » on RCA, and revived a similar theme in November 1947 with « (When you see) Those flying saucers ». (RCA-Victor 20-2385) « You’d better pray to the Lord when you see those flying saucers, it may be the coming of the Judgement Day ». Good vocal and guitar duet. The song was used in 2009 in the animated release of « Monsters VS. Aliens ».

« Those flying saucers« download


Buchanan brothers


rca 20-2385 buchanan bros. those flying saucerspalford brady

« More lovin’« download

PAL (or Palford) BRADY (1922-1988) was a native of Tennessee ; himself relocated too in Michigan, where he had records on Lucky 013 (Cincinnati), Clix (Troy, MI), Bragg, among others (late ’50s to mid-60s). His « More lovin ’ » (Conteste 45-2) from 1961 has two voices for a good « city hillbilly bopper ».

conteste 45-2 pal brady more lovin'




Charlie & Wallace, the MERCER BROTHERS came from Metter, GA and began a professional career during the late ’30s. After the WWII they had their own radio show on WMAZ before joining in 1948 the prestigious « Louisiana Hayride ». From 1951 to 1954 they cut a dozen sides for Columbia in Dallas, with their Blue Ridge Boys (Clyde Baum on mandolin and Doyle Strickland (fiddle) + Wayne Raney (harmonica). I chose from their equally constant in quality output « No place to hang my hat » (Columbia 20927, 1952-53), very Delmore Brothers styled. After 1954 they settled in Macon, GA, and WIBB radio station before completely disappear.

« No place to hang my hat« download


columbia 20927 mercer bros. no place

JOHNNIE (Wright) and JACK (Anglin) were regulars on the ’50s charts, before Anglin was killed in a car crash in 1963. Their «Oh boy ! I love her »  (RCA 47-6932) from ’57 is an enjoyable jumping little opus. Earlier on they had cut the C&W classic « Ashes of love » (revived during the ’80s by the Desert Rose Band), and « Cryin’ heart blues » in 1951, supposed to have been recorded (but lost) by Elvis Presley on Sun Records.
rca 47-6932 johnnie & jack - oh boy I love her (57)
« Oh boy, I love her« download

pic Johnnie_Wright,_Kitty_Wells,_Jack_Anglin

dixiana 105 cliff gross hog pen hop








On the Kentucky Dixiana label # 105 from 1954, CLIFF GROSS offer a sort of fast talking blues (with the band chanting in unison) with « Hog pen hop », probably recorded in Dallas. Gross was a mountain type fiddler, and Dixiana emanated from Bowling Green, Wayne County.

« Hog pen hop« download

« Spring of love« download

PAUL & ROY, The Tennessee River Boys, already discussed in another « Duet » feature (they had a two-sider on Nashville Pace label), have recorded for Mercury in 1953 « Spring of love » (# 6374) : it’s a fast Bluegrass influenced ditty – lead vocal & backing vocal.

mercury 6374 paul & roy - spring of loveshamrock 717 golden state always dreaming


« Always dreaming« download



Next track GOLDEN STATE BOYS‘« Always dreaming » was already posted here in April 2013. But I like very much this tune with its urgent vocal, the dobro part of Leon Poindexter, the vocal/mandolin of Herb Rice, and the energetic banjo of Don Parmley [personnel give then by a visitor]. Date : early to mid-62, Shamrock 717, Artesia, California.

A solid rocker (with drums), « Good gosh gal » on the Nashville Briar label # 111 by PHIL BEASLEY & CHARLIE BROWN. Nice guitar and steel solo, 1961.

« Good gosh gal« download


briar 111 phil beasley - good gosh gal ((61)



It’s useless to present the YORK BROTHERS (their story is on this site). Here is one of their rarest issues on their own York Bros. Records # 600Y-100, from 1963, and the great « Monday morning blues ».

« Monday morning blues« download

york bros. 600Y-100 Monday morning blues


colonial 7000 franklin bros. so real (Chapel Hill, 6-59)More of a solid rocker on Chapel Hill, NC Colonial label (# 7000 from June 1959) by the FRANKLIN BROTHERS. « So real » is strong, that’s not Hillbilly bop, but a real Rocker for a change!

« So real« download


We are going to the end with FRANKIE SHORT & DEE GUNTER on the Balto, MD Wango label (# 201) : again a solid version of Don Reno‘s « Country boy rock’n'roll » . Remember L.C. Smith and « Radio boogie » (2nd version) on this label.

« Country boy rock’n'roll« download

wango 201 frankie short - country boy r&r



Used sources: Wikipedia, Youtube, (Pal Brady),, Galen Gart’s ARLD,

Late October 2015 fortnight’s favorites (1947-1964)
oct 16th, 2015 by xavier

First selection, « Afraid to love again » on the Rhythm Kings label (location unknown) # 1207 by WAYNE CROSS with Porter Fender (on guitar?) is a jumping little thing with fine guitar throughout. A short and uninspired solo – as my current notes of course ! Cross cut another very Cash-styled effort on Rhythm Kings 1208 « Put another dime in the juke box« .

« Afraid to love again« download
rhythm kings 1207 wayne cross afraid to love again
BOBBY HODGE second. Born 1932 in N.C. He was active during the ’50s and ’60s in Wisconsin. Here he delivers « Gonna take my guitar » on Rebel 819, it’s difficult to give a date of issue. Urgent vocal, hard lead guitar (2 soli) and a steel solo. In a very different manner, in 1964, he had on Golden Ring 3040 a new version of Jimmy C. Newman‘s « Alligator man ». Same guitar as on previous record. Add Hodge re-cut « ..guitar » as « Carolina bound » on Nashville 5014 (1960), perhaps in a next fortnight.
« Gonna take my guitar« download

« Alligator man« download

rebel 819A Bobby Hodge Gonna take my guitar

golden ring 3040 bobby hodge - alligator man

bobby hodge promo small





« I can’t (take the easy way out) » is a fine uptempo with good although too short steel solo, by JEANNE JOHNSON on the Maarc label # 1501 (Ohio origin). Sincere vocal.

From Lakeland, Florida comes LEFTY NICKS on the Nicktone label # 6019, « Always alone ». Steel and lead guitar interplay. Rite pressing from 1961.


« I can’t (take the easy way out« download

« Always alone« download

marc 1501A jeanne johnson - I can'tnicktone 6019 lefty nicks always alone



LAWRENCE WALKER on the La Louisiane 6019 label with the Cajun classic « Allons Rock and roll » from 1961-62, which could well have been cut 10 years earlier.


« Allons rock and roll« download


lalouisiane lawrence walker - allons rar





Finally Red (vocal, guitar) & Lige (vocal and mandolin), the TURNER BROS. Sometimes called the Kentucky Boys as their other competitors of the same name (Zeb & Zeke, on Bullet). They do here « When harvest days are over » (Radio Artist 235) and « Honky tonk mama » (243), both from 1947. Delmore Bros . Or York Bros. style. They also appeared on Imperial 8071 (« Boog-boog-boogie », from Radio Artist 234) and a half a dozen of singles on Mercury in 1949-50.

« When harvest days are over« download

« Honky tonk mama »download

radio artist 235 turner bros. -when harvest days are overradio artist 243 turner brps - honky-tonk mama


All selections taken from the net or (Turner Bros., Lawrence Walker) from my own collection.

turner brothers pic

Turner Bros.



Harmony duets in Hillbilly bop songs
oct 8th, 2015 by xavier


More of these Hillbilly bop duets, even a foray into Rock’n'Roll (country overtones)


It’s useless to present the DELMORE Brohers (Rabon & Alton). They began their career in 1931 ! When they stopped at King studio in Cincinnati in 1946, they cut many, many Hillblly boogies, either as vocal duet, or with spare instrumentation (Wayne Raney and Lonnie Glosson on harmonica). It’s been a real task to choose « Down home boogie » (King 784AA) : the Brothers sing in harmony for this romper cut in November 1947 in Cincinnati. Lead electric guitar player could be Roy Lanham or Zeke Turner.

king 784AA delmore - down town boogie


« Down home boogie« download


A dozen years later or so, a man led a typical Hillbilly combo : JERRY DOVE (instrument unknown). He had already put a minor rockabilly classic in 1956, « Pink bow tie » on T.N.T. Label (# 144), but he was more a producer and musician than a singer. Here he gathers the duet (male/female) of Ray Stone and Dove’s wife, Peggy. First side is bluesy, and very atmospheric : « Losin’ the blues » (# 173), paired with an uptempo « Why don’t you love me ».

« Losin’ the blues« download

« Why don’t you love me« download



Let’s get back to December 1947 with the Arkansas born real ARMSTRONG TWINS. They recorded for 4* a serie of boogies showing the prowesses of Lloyd on mandolin, Floyd backing on guitar, especially on « Mandolin boogie » (4* 1231), a fast and furious piece of Bluegrass.


« Mandolin boogie« download4* 1231 armstrong twns - mandolin boogie





On the Cincinnati, OH based label Jalyn (# 208) JOHN & FRANCIS REEDY have « Quit kicking my dog around » : fine uptempo tune,  amusing lyrics. This record goes back to ’64.

jalyn 209 john & francis reedy - qui kicking my dog around


« Quit kicking my dog around« download



More of the same with RUFUS SHOFFNER & JOYCE SONGER, clearly billed « Vocal duet » although both join on chorus only, with the powerful « It always happens to me » on the Detroit’s Hi-Q label (# 17) from 1962. Awesome and driving guitar playing by Earl Songer’s ex-wife. Both seem unlucky in the song.


Next is « Truck driver’s boogie » by the MILO TWINS (Edwin and Edward), originally from Arkansas. Their style is pretty close to that of the DELMORE, the CALLAHAN, the SHELTON or the YORK Brothers. Released December 947 on Capitol 40138: fine harmony vocals over a good harmonica playing.

« It always happens to me« download


Milo Twins » « Truck driver’s boogie »downloadmilo 1949

hi-q 17 **it always happens to me


capitol 40138 milo twins truck driver's boogie











Finally GENE PARSON’S BAND, who’s backing Kimble and Wanda Janes on vocals in a classic, « Night club Rock’n'roll » from March 1959 on Southland label (# 4501) from lllinois. Parson was the owner of this small label. He already had cut for Chicago’s Eko label. I’m pretty sure this Gene Parson has nothing to do with the member of Byrds or Flying Burrito Brothers bands of the ’60s. The Southland issue falls into a collector’s hands for $ 400-500.

« Nightclub rock’roll« download



southfield 450 gene parson - night club R&R


Sources: various compilations and reissues for the most part, the odd record from my collection.

Harmony vocals: some bopping Bluegrass duets
oct 7th, 2015 by xavier

This first batch of duets will concentrate on bopping Bluegrass tunes. Indeed the choice of tunes is entirely mine, and I post the ones I like very much. The main instruments, as expected, are fiddle and banjo or mandolin, all pushing often an urgent vocal.

The DIXIE DRIFTERS were a small Bluegrass group from Houston, TX ; actually they were the first one to make Bluegrass music so far from Kentucky or Tennessee. Hank Wilson (guitar/vocal & composer) was the leader when they cut « Lies, lies and alibis », a fast ditty on the Minor label (# 112). Enjoy the dobro part! (According to ARLD, this record came out in October 1958). No label scan available, sorry: I’ve just got the music from a Tom Sims’ cassette. Earlier on the boys had another issue on Azalea 110, same style (« Gone forever »). Hank Wilson, as « Slim Wilson » recorded probably one more single for Minor (# 117) »The ring around your finger/Bring a wall around Texas« . And I really don’t know if Hank Wilson and Leon Russell are the same person.

azalea 110 dixie drifters - gone forever

« Lies, lies and alibis« download

« Gone forever« download

BB 22-6-59 dixie drifters

Billboard June 22, 1959



Way up north with the THOMAS BROTHERS (Melvin and Erwin) for an oustanding « Way high, way low » on the Hammond, IN. Mar-Vel’ label (# 355 from 1956). Each voice (3 actually) compete strongly : the highpitched, then the bass man, finally the medium singing « Right in the middle, that’s where I want to be ». A pity they never had another issue.



« Way high, way low« download

mar-vel 355a thomas brothers - way high, way low



Third we have a decisive ‘Vocal duet’ on the label : Rena 803 from Ripley, WV by RALPH & RUTH. « Hard hearted girl», great rhythm guitar. It’s difficult to assume a date for the issue, maybe late ’50s, or even 1961, as suggested by HillbillyCountry45 (Youtube).

« Hard hearted girl« download

rena 103 ralph & ruth - hard hearted girl







From Pico, California on the Sundown label # 106 : TOMMY GUESS & BILL LOWE do give a lot of energy in their « My foolish heart ». Mandolin solo. They disappeared afterwards 1958.

A beautiful harmony with the NASH BROTHERS, probably from Georgia on the Peach label (# 569) : « My prescription refilled » from March 1959.

« My foolish heart »download

« My prescription refilled« download

sundown 106A Tommy Guess & bill love foolish heartpeach 569 nash brothers - my prescripton refilled

early October 2015 fortnight’s favorites: « Record spinning boogie » or « Hi de ho boogie »?
oct 1st, 2015 by xavier

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« download

nugget OP190 dusty taylor


« The hillbilly hop« download

leo 1824 curly gibson hillbilly hop






« 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)
nit star 007A doug davis
« All by myself« download


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« download

« Hi de ho boogie« download

« Diddy wah boogie« download

king 884A al dexter walking with the bluesking 884AA al dexter -hi de ho boogieking 913AA al dexter - diddy wah boogie

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« download

meritone 1001 bill huskey record spinning boogie

al dexter pic

Al Dexter

Early September 2015 fortnight’s favorites: Billy Ray, Otis Parker and Don Teague (1952-1963)
sept 1st, 2015 by xavier


Howdy folks ! Everybody’s back from holydays ? Ready for stomping hillbilly !


The first artist chosen is BILLY RAY, born William H. Ray. He was living in Baton Rouge when he was signed by Columbia in November 1952. He cut 8 songs during two sessions. « Tired of talking to the blues » was issued on Columbia subsidiary Okeh 18009. It’s a real blues number with a spare instrumentation (guitar, piano and bass) probably cut in New Orleans. The second interesting song from the next session is « You gotta pet me baby » (Okeh 18030), a nice uptempo hillbilly. Alas, sales were poor, Columbia did not renew the contract and Ray disappeared. Maybe he’s the same on Titan in 1960.

okeh 18009 tired

okeh 18030 billy ray


« Tired of talking to the blues« download

« You gotta pet me baby« download


James « OTIS » PARKER was a Tennessean (1920-1992), whose career began in 1949 on Rich-R’Tone. How he came to have in 1955 a record issued on Covington, California’s New Star label # 529 (a Starday custom) is a mystery. « They don’t have to operate (they just pull the zipper) » is a comedy-hillbilly not so far from Homer Clemons of 5 years before on Modern (« Operation blues »). Good fast proto-rockabilly. Previously he also had an issue in 1951 on Holyday (untraced).

« They don’t have to operate« download


Otis Parker pic

new star 529 otis parker


DON TEAGUE is a completely unknown artist from the Lexington, KY area. I picked up his two records on the Rains label from 1963. First is billed as « Don Teague with Pap and the Young’uns » and gives a radio station WZEJ indication : « Oh, how bad I feel » (Rains 103) is a fast hillbilly – lot of fiddle, a rockabilly guitar solo, a nice dobro, and an assured vocal. The second (Rains 108) has no connection indication, just « Don Teague with the Blue Valley Boys ». Much slower (« Pure country music » on the label), « I’ll take a walk » is nevertheless a very nice tune, with good dobro and fiddle.

rains 103 don teague - oh how badrains 108 don teague



« Oh, how bad I feel« download

« I’m gonna take a walk« download


Just for a change, a R&B rocker by (Napoleon) CHICO CHISM on the Shreveport, La. Clif label (# 102) – the very same that beared T.V. Slim‘s first issue of « Flat foot Sam ». « Hot tamales and Bar-B-Que » (1957). Enjoy all !
« Hot tamales and Bar-B-Que« download
clif 102 chico chism

Sources : (Dan De Clerk), Youtube, Okeh 18000 (Willem Agenant), malcychapman.blogspot (Starday customs)


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