Hello, folks, howdy, visitors! Below are my favorites of the last 15 days which I’d like you (maybe) discover, both by music and my own words – what I know about these records, sometimes nearly nothing!
We begin in Nashville, early Sixties, with the DIXIELAND DRIFTERS and « HOT TO TROT » cut for the B.B. label. The presence of a dobro, and an unusual infectious rhythm, plus the unisson vocal, make this record very particular. I know the tune had a commercial impact, because, without doubt, its unlikely Bluegrass nature.
Then a decade earlier in Texas. JIMMIE STONE had this solitary « MIDNIGHT BOOGIE » on Imperial (8000 serie) in 1951. Firm vocal, a fine backing, and a completely stunning guitar solo. Surely the man knew the Blues!
On to Memphis and Meteor label. BARNEY BURCHAM is a real unknown, only for his solitary « CAN’T STEAL MY WAY AROUND« . Typical Memphis Hillbilly bop from 1955.
Next two choices are more Rock’n’Roll oriented. First, GRAHAM B. and « ROCK AND ROLL FEVER« . It’s been suggested that the man had connection with Buzz Busby, so a Washington, D.C. location is possible.
Second, for the well-known Bandera label out of Chicago, we find another unknown, certainly a pseudonym: LONESOME LEE and the cool 1958 « CRY OVER ME » – very nice guitar solo.
Finally a R&B classic, « CALDONIA« , sung and played on piano by the 8-years old wonder SUGAR CHILE ROBINSON in 1951. He disappeared afterwards.
Howdy folks. Maybe you’re still on Holydays? Bopping (and the editor) didn’t take any spare day to rest, and kept busy all Summer long, and were preparing a new hot slice of Hillbilly goodies. This time it spans from 1947 to…1966. Lotta good music, for your own pleasure, all of you Cherished visitors/listeners/downloaders all over the World! Some strong numbers, one could say hard-core Rock’n’Roll influenced Rockabilly, just to make a change from the previous post devoted to the gentle, sometimes smooth music by JACK BRADSHAW. I like Jack anyway, be sure to check this post! And another tune, in particular, very near to Western swing (even a very risqué song for the time being).
Jimmy Murphy, 1950's
So, OK for embarking? We begin with JIMMY MURPHY (see elsewhere in this site with help of the search engine at upper right). His commercial days at Columbia (1955-1956) were largely over when he entered (after an unreleased Starday session – now available on Ace records) again in the Bill Lanham studio and recorded one of his best tunes ever, very sensitive and sincere, in 1962, for the Ark label, « I Long To Hear Hank Sing The Blues« . Unclassifiable music: between Hillbilly, Folk music and Bluegrass.
Let’s go on with HOMER « Zeke » CLEMONS. He hailed from Texas during the mid to late forties with his outfit, the Swingbillies. As soon as 1947, they were recording their « Operation Blues » (lyrics below), an early risqué song which actually met such enormous success on the first label, Bluebonnet, that Modern out of Los Angeles leased the tune, as « Operation Blues # 2« , next year, and re-released it even 16 years later, under the name « Hank Brown » (Royalty label)
OPERATION BLUES (Homer Clemons) ?Now won’t you climb up on the table,?Pull up that gown?Raise up that left leg, ?Let that right leg down?Pull off them stockin’s,?That silk underwear?’Cos the doctor’s got to cut you, mama, ?Don’t know where??The doctor knows his business?The doctor knows just what to do??Too much of (?), ?One old ( ?)?Two pair of step-ins?That’s all I can say (save)?Your ribs are all loosened,?Your carburettor’s stalled?I’ll duck into your hood, ?And clean your spark plugs all??The doctor knows his business?The doctor knows just what to do… Is it a car (spark plugs), or anything (-one) else that the doctor is visiting?
On to 1966. Dayton, Ohio. WIBBY LEE is a real unknown – no information has ever surfaced about him, at least to my knowledge. He cut 3 disks for the small Jalyn label, all good Boppers, Rockabilly borderline, a real anachronism for the time. Just vocal and electric guitar (Is there any bass?) on « I’m Lost Without Your Love » .
Just WHO was Ted DIXON, or Walter DIXON, or even MASON DIXON? Once in the now-long-ago defunct « Roll Street Journal » magazine, the handsome Phillip J. Tricker promised the readers the story of Mr. Dixon, which never saw the light…First, it seems the three were the same person. Second, they had numerous records on labels as small and elusive as Reed (Alabama), Erwin (Tennessee), the most approaching to a major (everything is relative) being Meteor, out of Memphis (the Los Angeles’ Modern label outfit). Here I have chosen by MASON DIXON the superlative « Don’t Worry About Nuthin‘ », complete encouragement to leave troubles behind, and take the good side of life. Swirling fiddle, great happy vocal, thudding bass: the optimal crossing between Hillbilly and Rockabilly, being cut 1955.
Then on to Texas. Ted Daffan’s label, ably named Daffan (its story is on the line). A great 1957 offering by a guy by the strange name of FIDLO. « Trifling Heart » has a solid Country-rock guitar, the singer’s voice is firm and confident; great steel-guitar throughout (solo interplay between lead and steel), all loped by a thudding bass. Finally we have a minor classic in « We’re Bugging Out » (Murco 1014) by another unknown, TOMMY BOYLES (1959). I think the tune could easily fall in the category of Country-rock. Never-the-less, a fine romper in its own right. Boyles had another record on the N.J. based Granite label in 1960. A good country-rocker too.
Tommy Boyles, late 90's
As a bonus, a great Rocking Blues in the hand of FENTON ROBINSON on the Duke label (# 191), « Crazy Crazy Loving« , from Texas, 1958. I LOVE Blues too!
And as usual, I hope you all will appreciate the selections. I do my damn best to give you pleasure (pics and music). Bye!
G.D. « Bud » Deckleman was born on 2 April 1927 in Harrisburg, Arkansas. After spending the war in the Air Force, he worked in Chicago where he met songwriter and fiddle player Bill Cantrell, formerly of the Blue Sea Pals. While Cantrell was in Chicago his co-Pal, Quinton Claunch, was in Memphis. By 1954 both Cantrell and Deckleman were back in the Memphis area. Bud had a band with his brother Thadeus (known as Dood) and Claunch recalls : « One day Cantrell met Bud again at a club and said I should go on down and check him out. He was a natural. He had a voice that just knocked me out. He had great tonal quality and he could sing rings around some of the star names, like Webb Pierce. (suite…)