MACK HAMILTON & his Drifting Texans: « I’m a honky tonk daddy » (1953-54)

Nothing at all is known about MACK HAMILTON, (not even a picture), except he came probably from the Gulf, between Port Arthur, a mere 90 miles East of Houston, TX, and nearby Louisiana. And that is asserted only by the location of the two record labels he got to wax on between 1953 and 1954.

His first ever record was cut in Port Arthur for the Diamond Recording Company in 1953. To add much more confusion, a Diamond diskery was active during this period, which emanated from Beaumont, TX (on the Gulf too) and issued Country records, for example one by Morris Mills (Diamond # 101, « Jumbalaya answer« ), a rather prolific regional artist (also 4* and Macy’s). Although you may say it’s the same company with two locations, which has nothing to do with two other Diamond Co. in New York. This « Diamond Recording Company » was also a short-lived concern with only two issues, one therefore by Mack Hamilton (vocal and guitar): (Diamond CW-1001/1002) : the lugubrious mid-tempo « Moaning in the morning » (fiddle and steel prominent) and the self-conscious very Hank Williams styled « Sweet little Rosebud », a solid bopper, with even a short accordion solo, but steel and fiddle are once more well present.

Billboard, 31 October 1953

« Moaning in the morning »

download
« Sweet little Rosebud »

download

The second issue of the label was cut by Roland (R.A.) Faulk, as « Roland and his Rythm Boys » (sic). Sides CW 1003/1004 : « Send

me someone/I’d own the world ». are pleasant waltz tempo hillbillies. Nothing special, except a heay bass, a steel and a good piano and guitar. The singer is firm and confident : he was active on the Port Arthur area, and was to record in October 1956 the great Rockabilly « My baby’ gone » on Big State 592, a Starday custom, out of Port Acres, TX.(valued $ 700). But I am wandering from Mack Hamilton.

« Send me someone »

download
« I’d own the world« 

Roland (R.A.) Faulk, « My baby’s gone »

downoad

His next offerings were commited to wax in late 1953 for the Feature label, which was located in Crowley, La. and run by J.(Jay) D. Miller. Hamilton’s sides however were recorded at radio KTRM in Beaumont, TX. seemingly as a 4-tracks session. Backing Hamilton were Rusty (guitar) and his brother Doug Kershaw on fiddle, plus Louis Fourneret on steel. The tracks included two great Boppers : « I’m a honky-tonk daddy », completely Hank Williams styled with thudding bass and hot steel (Feature 1087A), and in the same pattern, « Will you will or will you won’t ?» (Feature 1095A).

« I’m a honky-tonk daddy »

download
« Will you will or will you won’t? »

download

« In a world without you »

download
« A girl with too many sweethearts »

download

 

 

 

 

Less fast were the flipsides, although very good on their part : the weepers mid-tempo « In a world without you » and « A girl with too many sweethearts ». And that was it. J. D. Miller wrote every Feature song, and must have had faith in « I’m a honky-tonk daddy », because he offered it to Wink Lewis on the very following number (# 1088). Lewis did a great version too. Later on he cut the great piano led Rockabilly « Zzztt, zzztt, zzztt » on the Texas Tone label (with Buzz Busby & his Band). I am wandering once more from Mack Hamilton, but there’s no more to relate about him : he disappeared completely from the music scene.

Wink Lewis, « I’m a honky-tonk daddy« 

Billboard Sept. 8, 1956

download

Wink Lewis, « Zzztt, zzztt, zzzttt« 

download

 

Notes : with great help from Ronald Keppner (Diamond recordings); notes by Bruce Bastin for Flyright vol. 19 (557) « Bayou boogie » ; my own archives.

late March 2012 fortnight’s favorites

Howdy folks! After a week of inconvenience (the site could not be opened) and a few ajustments, we are back for a new batch of goodies.

First from California, the unknwon (to me, at least) FREDDIE BYRD, backed by California Playboys, lays down the fine « Somebody Stole My Love » on the microscopic Ka Hi label. Even not an issue number! This is the same label as the one Jess Willard had his great « I’m Telling You » in 1957 on (see his story with the reasearch button). Fine Hillbilly ditty.

 

From Tennessee, the HOWINGTON Brothers for a good (unusual in bopping) instrumental « Haymaker’s Shuffle » on the Loop label (# 903B). The title says it all.      

 

 

Then a certain TOM JAMES on the Nashville KLIX label, from 1957. I’d assume this is the same guy that had some very good boppers on RCA several years before (« I’m A Pig About Your Lovin » or « Don’t Lead Me On« ). Here we have a real knack of Rockabilly with « Track Down Baby » (Klix 0001). Great guitar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From California again: DOUG AMERSON offers the very solid « Bop, Man, Bop » on the Intrastate label (# 15-25), from 1955. This is how Hillbillies went to wilder things.

 

 

 

From Mississipi, MACK HAMILTON. Indeed he had other records, namely on Feature from Jackson (« Will You Will Or Will You Won’t » has already been posted a couple of years ago). Backed by his Drifting Texans, he does a nice shuffling « Moaning In The Morning » on Diamond 1001 (reviewed October 1953 by Billboard). This was a brother label to Trumpet I’ve discussed before in this site.

Finally, a berserk wildie from 1963 on the NYC based Mala label: « Red Ridin’ Hood And The Wolf » by BUNKER HILL (# 457). They don’t go any wilder like this today.

Enjoy the selections. Constructive comments welcome.