Howdy folks, we embark for a new serie of obscure hillbilly bop records. TED WEST is not an unknown artist. He cut 1952 for Republic in Nashville the fine « She Bent My Pole » and the equally good (with sound effects) « Parking Worries » (see in the site the article on Republic Records, from July 2011). He cut two sessions in 1953-1954 for M-G-M, which I did extract the nice « Call Of The Devil’s Ride » (# 11539) from. Backing accompaniment may be by the Drifting Cowboys. A good shuffler from the days before Nashville was not rotten neither too commercial. (suite…)
Billy Wallace, successful songwriter and not-so-well known notwithstanding hillbilly and rockabilly singer (1950-1964)
Billy Wallace had one of the most unique voices in rockabilly music and played a different guitar style than most of the guitarists back then would do. Both, his voice and full-bodied guitar play worked well together on his classic session with the Bama Drifters in 1956 for Mercury Records, on which he laid down four songs. But Wallace had also a long and more successful (but also unknown) career in songwriting. He never achieved the honor he should have.
Wallace was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in 1917, but his family moved soon after to Athens, Alabama. Previously, his father had worked on the oil fields in Oklahoma. He grew up on his father’s farm and learned to play the guitar at an early age. As a teenager, he began to write songs and was later influenced by the country music stars back then like the Delmore Brothers, Rex Griffin and Roy Acuff but also listened to Hank Smith, Ernest Tubb and Hal Smith.
I found the story on RaB-HOF site. It’s not that often a relative to an artist offers such a complete and accurate story. It even goes back to the beginning of 20th century! So I decided to let its author speak by herself. Here it is:
LLOYD ARNOLD McCOLLOUGH STORY
by: Annette Wondergem (Lloyd’s niece)
A raw December wind sent an icy chill through the tall, lean young man who stared longingly at the mandolin in the display window of the music store. Just a few more dollars saved from odd jobs and sacrificed lunches and that fine instrument would be his. He pulled his collar closer about his throat and turned wistfully homeward. The year was 1950, the place was Memphis, Tennessee and the young man was Lloyd Arnold McCollough. At this point Lloyd had a lifetime ahead of him and he could imagine the possibilities that a mandolin could bring. Twenty years later the pressure of a touring musician had begun to take it’s toll. But, let’s not go ahead of time, the story of Lloyd Arnold, who became a pioneer of early Memphis music, began many years earlier.
Republic records started when Tennessee left. Bill Beasley had law troubles with Decca Records, who wanted Del Wood masters, and Decca won (but Del Wood went later to RCA). So Beasley started Republic. Billboard (March 1953) announced that “Republic company had to legally acquire the master recordings from the formerly Tennessee label”. By July 1953, there were well over 50 singles on the new label.
Significantly, Republic was launched in August 1952 with a pop singer, Snooky Lanson. This trend continued with Del Wood, Jimmy Sweeney and Pat Boone, but half the Republic catalog remained Country. Beasley transferred such Tennessee stalwarts J.T. Adams, Allen Flatt, Lee Bonds and Sonny Sims to his new label. There were a few new names on Republic like Ted West and Jimmy Simpson. Beasley also continued to record R&B and gospel: Edna Gallmon Cooke, Christine Kittrell, who had hits on their own. Bernard Hardison cut “Too Much”, a hit for Elvis in ’57. Apparently Beasley wrote most of the songs, published by a New York group, under the names of Norris/Beasley/Richards, or Rosenberg, the latter being Lee Rosenberg, Beasley’s secretary.
In June 1953, Alan Bubis connection came to an end. Bubis went to construction, coin machines and liquor stores, far more predictable thanrecord business.
In 1955, Beasley moved Republic to 714 Allison Street, and concluded with Murray Nash (ex-Acuff-Rose and Mercury staffer). Nash engineered most of the Republic sides.
The Republic name and logo was bought in 1957 by Ray Scrivener, and along with Gene Auytry, launched Californian Republic label..
After Republic folded, Dot bought Pat Boone’s contract. Other labels (Chess, Vee-Jay) bought Republic masters. (suite…)
Lee Bonds (1924-Present)
By Tony Biggs (thanks Tony: he’s the bass-player of the Rimshots, Gene Gambler & The Shufflers, Bill Fadden & The Rhythmbusters and Ponchartrain)
Lee Bonds was born in Albertville, Alabama on April 22, 1924. At a very young age he became interested in Honky Tonk music and by the age of 18 decided to leave his dad’s farm and head down the musical road. He toured throughout Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida for five years. On his return to Alabama he secured a slot on local Radio station WGWD in his home town city of Gadsen, where he became a regular performer. He joined the ‘Midway Jamboree’ show in 1951 that was relayed by WGWD and became their resident bassman.
Bonds and his band, The Shady Lane Playboys, made their first recording sessions in Nashville during early 1951 for the newly formed Tennessee Records (also based in Nashville).
His style was typically Honky Tonk, but alongside his very rural voice, Bonds incorporated a trumpet into his music giving it a slight bluesy feel. His self-penned ‘Uh-Huh Honey’ was later covered by several artists including Charlie Feathers.
Bonds only saw two releases for the label before Tennessee Records folded under inauspicious circumstances.
Sometime in 1952 he ventured to California and guested for ‘Walkin’ Charlie Aldrich and
Spade Cooley in the summer.
second release (suite…)