Kentucky records (1952-1955): Cincinnati Hillbilly

BURKHARDT, CARL Carl Burkhardt was the owner of Rite Records in Cincinnati, the parent company for Kentucky, Gateway, Big 4, Big 6, Arc, Deresco, Worthmore, and others.  The operation started as a radio repair shop and record store at 3930 Spring Grove Avenue in the Knowlton’s Corner area of Cincinnati in 1940.  They began pressing records there but eventually moved to the Evendale area, where their building was across Interstate 75 from the GE Plant and could be seen from the highway.  In this location they added a studio, pressing plant, and printing presses, so they could do everything in house.  In 1955 a custom pressing division was opened to manufacture records for anyone who wanted to record and had the money to pay for it.  This continued until 1985, and in that span of time, Rite did custom pressing on approximately 21,000 different singles, most of which were country, bluegrass, or gospel.  During its existence, Rite produced 78 rpms, 45 rpms, and some LPs. (suite…)

late March 2009 favorites

Several tunes I enjoy now…

First a tribute to two bopping artists recently deceased. HANK LOCKLIN, famous Hillbilly crooner, had also done Hillbilly Bop, as here « Down Texas Way ». BUCK GRIFFIN, a Rockabilly great (LIN/MGM sides) – it was hard to choose, but I decided finally to include his « Stutterin’ Papa » complete with hiccups a la Charlie Feathers.

Then we got to unknowns. JOE ‘Cannonball’ LEWIS, whose « I’m gonna tear your playhouse down » (Kentucky label) is already a hillbilly bop classic. Then KED KILLEN. His « Worried blues » (Western Ranch) is dramatic.

Don’t quit! Now Bluegrass with The CHURCH BROTHERS (Ralph, Bill & Edwin) from North Carolina with their powerful « I Don’t Know What To Do » (Blue Ridge). And we go to the end with Cajun live: PAUL DAIGLE’s « I Told A ie ».

Hope you enjoy these selections