Red Perkins, Paul Howard’s front man: « The boogie’s fine tonight » (1948-1950)

 

addition (3-12-17) courtesy Dan Tinsley

Red Perkins, nor related to the jazz trumpeter Red Perkins as with Carl Perkins, until today remains more or less a mystery within the country music since little is known about him. Not even a picture of him has ever surfaced. Nobody seems to know how he came to appear in 1947 on the country music scene, when he started as a singer for Paul Howard in its western swing band, the Arkansas Cotton Pickers to work. This group he belonged to until 1949, but Red at the same time also has his own career.

 

paul howard pic

Paul Howard

In May 1949, King let Perkins cut his first solo titles : « Aggravatin’ Lou from Louisville » and « Hoe-down boogie » (# 792) were the best of four tracks recorded. In November 1949, as well as in the course of 1950, followed other sessions,

We find him in on the amusing « Crocodile tears » (# 836) and « One at a time » (# 850). The titles of his last studio visit were published on Kings sublabel DeLuxe Records [ named Red Perkins and his Kentucky Redheads, perhaps Howard’s Cottonpickers in disguise]. In March 1950, Perkins played once again as a singer with Paul Howard and the band in the studio KWKH in Shreveport, Louisiana for 4 more tracks, among them « The boogie’s fine tonight » (# 871)- great pounding piano from Harold Horner, and a good guitar from either Paul Howard himself or Jabbo Arrington.

Under Perkins’ recordings for King to songs like « A Long Necked Bottle »(# 920), « Hoe-Down Boogie » (# 792), « Rag man boogie » (# 903) or « Aggravating Lou from Louisville »(# 792) were, however, found none of his singles off the charts, not least was due to the poor marketing of the label. What Perkins did after that is uncertain.

 

All in all, a career that lasted not more than 2 years ; nearly not more than a dozen 78pm singles ; and a very few to remember as shufflers and good’uns.

bb 9:7:49 Perkins hoe-down

Billboard 9 Jul. 49

king 871-AA paul howard - the boogie's fine tonightking 792-AA red perkins - hoe-down boogie

792A aggravatin' lou

bb 4 nov 50 red perkins

Billboard 4 Nov. 1950

 

 

 

« The boogie’s fine tonight »

download

« Hoe-down boogie »

download

« Aggravatin’ Lou from Louisville »

download

« Texas boogie »

download

king 779-A paul howard - texas boogie

903A rag man boogie

courtesy Dan Tinsley & Red Perkins’ family

courtesy Dan Tinsley

« Rag man boogie »

download

« I live the life I love »

download

courtesy Dan Tinsley and Red Perkins’ family. Chubby Howard on steel guitar

DeLuxe 5047B red perkins - I live the life I love

Sources: a short biography Wikipedia (which is confusing with the pre-War Red Perkins on Champion) translated from German language. A discography on Praguefrank site: http://countrydiscography.blogspot.fr/2009/10/red-perkins.html. Internet for label scans. With help from Ronald Keppner (DeLuxe issue).

Additions : March 12th, 2017

Out of an email from Dan Tinsley (Red Perkins’ nephew), here are some precious details on Perkins’ life. All pictures do come from his Family.

His real name was WUSTER LAMONT NUNEMAKER.

Born Aug 3rd 1920 in Breathitt Co. Kentucky

Died Aug 15th 1990 Columbus Ohio

He lived in Fairborn Ohio & is buried there in the Byron cemetery. He also lived in Springfield Ohio for a long time & was there that he passed. He was also a WWII veteran.

He was employed with the railroad most of his life from the steam engine days to diesel power. Brakeman, fireman, & engineer etc.

Syd Nathan recorded Long Neck Bottle & Big Water Glass on his Audio Lab label (think that one was autobiographical). Uncle Red was a rounder & honky tonk hero. He was the first artist to cover Big Blue Diamonds in 1950 I think. Aside from Paul Howard, The Kentucky Redheads, he last performed with his band Red Perkins & the Southerners in the early 1950’s. It’s my belief that he went to Korea with the USO & entertained the troops during that war. There is a post card to my aunt from him at Christmas time he sent & was on Formosa with the band, also there is a Korea & Golden Gate bridge sticker on the guitar case I have.

He also did some local TV out of Dayton Ohio on WLW-D I can remember him singing Old Shep to me once after my dad shot my dog for biting my cousin.

I (bopping’s editor) will have to ask Mr. Tinsley some more details, that I will publish later in bopping.org.

late April 2014 fortnight favorites

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.

king 792-AA red perkins hoe-down boogie

king 871-AA DJ paul howard the boogies fine tonight

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.

 

paul howard

Paul Howard

Red Perkins, « Hoe-down boogie » download

Paul Howard « The boogie’s fine tonight » download

 

 

king 843AA Redd stewart brother drop dead boogiecapitol 2715 gene o'quin I specialize in love

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 » download

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!)

redd stewart

Redd Stewart

Mercer Brothers « Wish bone » download

Eddie Crosby « Blues stay away from me » download

Danny Dedmon « Hula hula woogie » download

 

 

 

 

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.

columbia 20927 mercer bros. wish bonedecca 46180 eddie crosby blues stay away from meimperial 8019 danny dedmon hula hula woogie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources: my own collection and the net for artists pictures.