We start with a fast bopper by RANDY WALKER, « If I held you in my arms » on the Ludwig 1004 label (1958). This label was named after Rod Morris‘ second name’s son and was located in Eureka, California. Any help to review the 16 sides issued by Morris on his label would be welcome !
PERK WILLIAMS is well known for his 10 years association as singer and fiddler with Jimmy Heap (Lasso, Imperial and Capitol sides, 1949-1959), and can be heard for best effect on « Release me », « Cat’n around », « That’s that », « Ethyl in my gas tank » and other boppers. See elsewhere in this site for Jimmy Heap. Here Perk Williams is backed by the Sidewinders for a solitary issue on the Twirl label # 103 out of Taylor, Texas. « Defeated » has a bluesy guitar, a very intense vocal, plus steel and fiddle solo. The flip side « Why the blues are blue » is a medium fiddle led ditty, again with this intense vocal. Both very nice sides.
Next artist is something of a mystery. Last time I heard of him was as part of the Dixieland Drifters, out of Chattanooga, Tennessee, in the mid-60s. CHARLIE « Peanut » FAIRCLOTH was born 1927 in Georgia and was dee-jaying on Macon WNEX in 1950-51. Decca Records offered him a 4 tracks session cut in Nashville (April 1950), which I podcast 3 tracks on. First, the fast « F-O-O-L-I-S-H me, me » (Decca 46237), then the bluesy, lazy vocal of « Missississipi river blues » (Decca 46271), and its flipside the fast « Coffee, cigarettes and tears ». Both last tracks taken from a 78rpm I had sold a long time ago so no image available, only sound track. From this session only remains a version of Moon Mullican‘s « I’ll sail my ship alone« , never heard by Faircloth. On Youtube I found a 17 minutes snippet of a live show done at the Turner Club in Chattanooga, during the mid-60s. Nice sound and combination of tunes.
From Bloomington, Indiana comes JACK NOEL on Honey 1101. Hard to ascertain when this was issued, I’d say around 1955. « Ragged heart » has an accordion and the band singing chorus in unisson. Drunken Hobo says 1959!
Finally on Log Cabin 903 LEO GRAY does offer « After I have broke your heart », a good 1965 country-rocker, with a moving guitar, from Mt. Healthy, Ohio.
Born De Armand Noack, Jnr., 29 April 1930, Houston, Texas/ Died 5 February 1978, Houston, Texas A.k.a. Tommy Wood.
Eddie Noack, 1950
Noack who gained degrees in English and Journalism at the University of Houston made his radio debut in 1947 and made his first record for the Gold Star label in 1949, « Gentlemen Prefer Blondes ». In 1951, he cut several songs for Four Star including « Too Hot To Handle« . Leased to the TNT label, it drew attention to his songwriting and was recorded by several artists (including Sonny Burns) , most recently by Deke Dickerson, who also included « Gentlemen Prefer Blondes » on his new (excellent) CD, « Deke Dickerson In 3 Dimensions ».
Noack joined Starday in 1953 (beginning a long association with ‘Pappy’ Daily), where his immediate success came as a writer when several of his songs were recorded by top artists including Hank Snow who scored a # 5 Country hit with « These Hands » in 1956.
Noack moved with Daily to his D label where in 1958, after recording rockabilly tracks as Tommy Wood, he had a country hit with « Have Blues Will Travel » (# 14).
During the ’60s, Noack quit recording to concentrate on songwriting and publishing and had many of his songs including Flowers For Mama, Barbara Joy, The Poor Chinee,A Day In The Life Of A Fool and No Blues Is Good News successfully recorded by George Jones as album cuts.
In 1968, Eddie recorded « Psycho » for the K-Ark label.
This bizarre song, about a serial killer, was virtually unknown then since the original fifties version by its composer, Leon Payne (yes, the « I Love You Because » guy), had – understandably – never received any airplay. Since Eddie’s version it has become a cult favourite, covered by, among others, Elvis Costello.
Noack did make some further recordings in the ’70s, including arguably some of his best for his fine tribute album to Jimmie Rodgers. He moved to Nashville and in 1976, recorded an album that found release in the UK (where he had toured that year) on the Look label. He worked in publishing for Daily and Lefty Frizzell and in an executive role for the Nashville Song- writers Association until his death from cirrhosis in 1978. A fine honky tonk performer, somewhat in the style of Hank Williams, he is perhaps more appreciated today as a singer than he was in his own time.
Biography taken from Black Cat Rockabilly (Dik De Heer)
Below is a reprint of a New Kommotion article from 1976, « Talk Back With Noack », in which Noack tells his early story in his own words.