Late February 2017 bopping fortnight’s favorites

First two selections for this late February 2017 fortnight do come from Florida. Absolutely nothing is known from the vocalist/bandleader JOE ASHER. Apparently unknown on the Net, and not associated to another of the same name, he was a one-off record man. His record was first issued at Rockin’ # 515 in 1953, then reissued by DeLuxe ( # 2001) for a perfect Bopper, « Photograph of you », a fast, fantastic tune : very assured vocal, great solos – fiddle, guitar and steel. The flipside, « Daddy dear », a mid-paced opus, is just as good (steel is prominent). I wonder why this guy never recorded more, at least under his name.

« Photograph of you« 

download

« Daddy dear »

download

Next selection : BOB DEAN & the Travelaires give a solid rocker for October 1958, issued at the Philly label Arcade (# 195). « Hot Rod Daddy », of course a car song, has a guitar a la Chuck Berry, a prominent piano and a great vocal. This Bob Dean was also on a much later label, Artisty (’70s), and is not to be confused with Bob Dean of the « BOB & CINDY DEAN » Bluegrass duet from Virginia. They had more than a link with guitarist Link Wray : they shared an EP with him, and issued on their side « Walk, walk, walkin’ blues » (Kay EP 3690) from 1957, a good mix of Bluegrass and Rockabilly. They were also on Starday custom serie # 627, « I’m knocking at the door (of your heart) » – excellent driving banjo. Bob Dean had previously released in 1947 on the Lilian Claiborne D.C. label (# 4101) a very rural outing « I’ll take her from the valley » [for a future fortnight’s favorites].

« Hot rod daddy« 

download
« Walk, walk, walkin’ blues« 

download

« I’m knocking at the door (of your heart)« 

download

Then to early ’60s in Birmingham, AL. with OTHELL SULLIVAN & the Southern All-Stars (are they the house band of the label?) on Reed 1053. The song is written by Leon Bowman, a prolific songster and singer in is own right. « There’s sure to be goodbyes » is a jumping tune, sympathetic backing (steel and discreet drums) over a good vocal : a nice tune for 1961. Sullivan had had already « Call me, baby » on Wonder (unheard) in 1958 ; later he joined the Longhorn stable (# 513).

« There’s sure to be goodbyes »

download

JIMMIE STONE (acc. by Coy McDaniel guitarist) had on the New Jersey Cross Country label 45-22 a great Country rocker, « Found » in April ’56. Strong lead guitar and good backing over an assured vocal (lot of echo). The disc must have had a certain impact under chart-angle, because the big N.Y. concern Gone reissued it next year as it was on Gone # 5001. The flipside « Mine » is an insipid slowie, largely forgettable.

« Found »

download

From Indiana on a rather devoted to Blues/R&B label, Falcon, here’s to be found the Hillbilly bopper/Rockabilly of CURLEY SHELTON (# 609) « with Doug Oldham & his Dixie 6 ». « Have you seen my baby » is a medium bluesy tune, assured vocal and an embroidering very good guitar.

« Have you seen my baby »

download

From the Hometown Jamboree on the West coast, the next track by TEX HOLLAND. He does a fine job with the mid-paced hard-driven « Why don’t you change your ways » on Ivory 103. 

« Why don’t you change your ways »

download

Finally a song, « Hillbilly wolf », wrongly attributed to Dave Dudley on a low-bdget album cover, is actually sung and played by LINK WRAY. A medium uptempo, good vocal but rather uninspired guitar. This tune may come from the late ’50s or even the early ’60s.

« Hillbilly wolf »

download

Sources : 45cat.com and 78rpm-world, Rockin’ Country Style, Hillbilly Researcher compilations, YouTube and my own archives.

Early November 2016 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdy folks ! Hi ! to returning visitors. Here is my choice of bopping billies (and a classic rocking blues) for this fortnight, mainly from the late ’40s.

We begin with JIMMIE SAUL on his own Redskin label out of Detroit, in 1947. His singer Jimmy Franklin, out of West Liberty, KY. (maybe artist with the same name, much later on Drifter, Acorn and M-G-M labels) fronted Saul’s Prairie Drifters for three sides (the 4th being instrumental) cut in Dayton, OH. Redskin 500 revealed « My long tall gal from Tenn. », a fast ditty, very-much over the top jazz tinged opus, comprising either James ‘Chick’ Stripling or Doug Dalton on crazy fiddle, and Jimmie Saul on bass, plus Marvin « Whitey » Franklin on steel. It has been suggested the guitar virtuoso may be Roy Lanham, who had at that time his band the Whippoorwills in Dayton. The second fast song was « Firecracker stomp » (# 501), an instrumental with guitar and bass solos as explosive as its title. Through an arrangement with Bill McCall, owner of 4 * Records in Pasadena, CA., « Firecracker stomp » was reissued twice on 4*. Meanwhile Jimmie Saul had become Jimmie Lane.

redskin-500-jimmie-saul-my-long-tall-gal

« My long tall gal from Tenn. »4-1630-jimmie-lane-firecracker-stompredskin-501-jimmie-saul-firecracker-stomp

bb-8-5-48-jimmie-saul

billboard May 8, 1948

 

download

« Firecracker stomp »

download

I really don’t know if this is the same man who came on a Waldorf/Top Hit Tunes 11-artists EP (TN 17) in 1958 with covers of respectively Elvis Presley, « I beg of you », and Ricky Nelson, « Waitin’ in school ». It is very doubtful, as his involvement in « Little lover », a teen rocker on Vestal 1906 from 1961 (Birmingham, AL). There was even a Jimmie Lane on Time from Philly. I include Top Hit Tunes and Vestal sides by tame comparison to his earlier sides.

« I beg of you« top-hit-17-jimmy-lane-waitin-in-school

download
« Waitin’ in school« 

download
« Little lover« 
vestal-1906-jimmy-lane-little-lover

download
We move to Kentucky with EDDIE GAINES, a famous rocker for « Be-bop battlin’ ball » on Summit 101 (1958): the
eddie-gaines-pic-nbflipside « She captured this heart of mine » is a fine country rocker with eddie-gainesprominent mandolin backing, and was reissued the following year on Summit 109. Later on he had a ’45 on Tri-Tone (# 3000/3001 : « Out of gas/I never had it so good ») which was a teener, before becoming a minister.

« She captured this heart of mine« summit-109-eddie-gaines-she-captured

download

From the East coast went BILLY STRICKLAND & his Hillbilly Kings for two tracks, the great « Hillbilly wolf » on Sylvan 354, an elusive label which I suspect had something to do with Ben Adelman, from Washington, D.C. Second tune is released on the Hill & Country label (# 103) a sublabel to Apollo : « Baby doll, please come home » has a dynamite steel all along, over a well-assured vocal. Both records were released early in 1949. Strickland also had records on King among others.

sylvan-354-billy-strickland-hillbiilly-wolfhc-103-billy-strickland-baby-doll-please-come-home

« Hillbilly wolf »

download
« Baby doll, please come home« 

download
We now come to the lone girl of the selection, COUNTRY GIRL KAY, who may be from Arkansas, hence her « Arkansas boogie » (Whitkay 1001) : a very agile and fine acoustic guitar is the sole instrumentation, and the girl is in good voice ! She also had « Life is not a bed of roses », same style, same label.

« Arkansas boogie« whitkay-1001-ctry-girl-kay-ark-boogie

download

And to sum this fortnight’s up, a classic bluesy R&B which deserves no introduction : « Drinkin’ wine spo-dee-o-dee » by its creator « STICK » McGHEE on the Harlem label 1018 (1947). Spare instrumentation (only two guitars), and a lot of fun ! « Drinkin’ wine spo-dee-o-dee« harlem-1018-stick-mcghee-drinkin-wine

download

Sources : as usual, many finds on YouTube ; carcitycountry site for the Jimmie Saul/Jimmy Franklin details ; John E. Burton tube for « Stick » McGhee disc ; Cactus, « High on the hop » vol. 3 for Eddie Gaines track.