Harmony duets in Hillbilly bop songs

 

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.

Early May 2014 fortnight’s favorites

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 » download

rufus shoffner

Rufus Shoffner

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).

220px-Tennessee_Ernie_Ford_1957

T. Ernie in 1957

T. Ernie Ford « The shot gun boogie » download

 

hiQ 17 rufuscapitol  1295 shotgun boogie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 » download

Frank Darris « Ruby Ann » download

skyline 106B

 

 

roy 1030mc dowell

 

 

David Gregg, »Baby I don’t care » download

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)download

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!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sam 122huber 1003