late March 2010 fortnight

Howdy folks! No post since a long time. I have been out of town, sick and busy elsewhere. Now I’m back with another batch of Hillbilly bop and Rock’n’Roll goodies… First we have JACK RIVERS’ « Haunted House Boogie » (was on Columbia, 1954), complete with sound effects on steel-guitar! Then onto a little classic on King (1953) « The Creek’s Gone Muddy (and the Fish Won’t Bite) » by JIMMY BALLARD. I will tell you someday the story of Jimmy Ballard, very strange one: he had risqué songs (some call it pornobilly) same time as sacred, on small Kentucky labels. Earlier (40s) with CLIFF CARLISLE’s « Shanghaï Rooster Yodel # 2 » – fine dobro. Same period (or even the 30s?) with UNCLE HENRY and the haunting harmonica instro « Lost John ». Then back to 1953, another interesting artist from Virginia or D.C., JOE FRANKLIN. Here is the reverse of his fabulous « Hillblly Boy » on M-G-M: the mid-tempo « Hitch-Hiking Blues » . Nice Hillbilly piano (Franklin himself?). We come to an end with the frantic « Don’t Happen No More » (78 rpm) from 1956 (Atlantic – Mickey Baker on guitar) by YOUNG JESSIE. Enjoy these gems!

Late August 2009 fortnight

Howdy folks, here I am back with some goodies. First, Ole’ Buck is back for a song he recorded late in career for kids, IF YOU CAN’T FIND A REASON TO BE HAPPY. Romping Country rocker à la Buck Owens, of course! Then back to late 50s, early 60s, the unknown (to me) Doug Davis on the obscure Nite Star label (from Texas, I think) and the beautiful Country-rockaballad ALL BY MYSELF – lot of nice steel and heavy bass, rich vocal too. Joe Franklin next had a rich career by himself, and I still wonder what instrument he plays here, since the piano is to the fore – maybe him? The nice HITCH-HIKIN’ BLUES on MGM (1953). A romper now with Hardrock Gunter and his first version (on Bama, out of Birmingham, Alabama, 1951) of GONNA DANCE ALL NIGHT (he recut the same track in 1954, and leased it to Sun). In 1950 there were Country singers chanting « Gonna Rock and Roll, gonna dance all night », yes sir! Something different now. A fine duet Bluegrass style, already a classic of the genre, ROAD OF BROKEN HEARTS, by the Webster Brothers, from 1954. We come to an end with a Prestige recording of Otis Spann – he lays down a very atmospheric OTIS IN THE DARK on the 88; Enjoy the selections!