Curley Ray Sanders was born in 1935 in St John, KY. he was a DJ on WCTO (Campbellsville, KY) in 1956, and on WBRT (Bardstown, KY) in 1958. WBRT is where he recorded with Joe Brown on San Records, possibly paid for by Curley. He was a regular on the Renfro Valley Barn Dance (KY) in 1958.
I may not know much about Curley but I found quite a few records by him. He shows up in about 1949/50 on Star Talent from Dallas, TX (#749 – Last On Your List / Penny For Your Thoughts). There was a Curley Sanders (assuming it’s him) appearing on the Saturday Night Shindig over WFAA (Dallas) in the early 50′s. Then I find two discs on Imperial (#8197 – Love ‘em Country Style / My Heart Is Yours Alone – Mid 53), (#8226 – Too Much Lovin’ / I’m Reaching For Heaven – Dec 53/Jan 54).
By 1956, Curley’s obviously incorporated some « Cat Music » in his repertoire and he’s found here hollering for all he’s worth (well, not quite hollering, but there’s an urgency in his vocals). The A side I’ve yet to hear. Flip « Brand New Rock And Roll », (Jamboree 590) is a stop/start rocker with cool lyrics and some fine accompaniment by his band (who I presume are the Santones.) I think there’s an under recorded mandolin or something playing through the solos but the guitar is drowning it out. Anyhow, it’s a fabulous track, reviewed by Billboard April 27, 1957. Almost awesome! [Malcolm Chapman, Starday Custom Series]
Curley springs up on the Concept label twice after the issue here and records another disc on Jamboree (which isn’t pressed by Starday). (Concept #897 – Dynamite / You’re Smiling (I’m Crying) 1957 – Elizabethtown, KY), (Concept #898 – Walking Blues / This Time – 57/8), (Jamboree 1833 – Heartsick And Blue / I’ll Obey My Heart - 57/58 – still located in Buffalo, KY and featuring the Kentucky Rangers).
Joel Ray Sprowls, owner/producer of the Jamboree, recalled that his first meeting with Sanders, from Cecilia, was at a talent show Sprowls emceed at Buffalo School in May 1954.
“The Kentucky Rangers band won the contest and Curly was their featured singer,” Sprowls said.
When Sprowls started his Jamboree [label] the following September, he added Sanders as a featured singer.
“Curly, who got his nickname because of his curly hair, was around 6-feet-tall, muscular, had a smooth voice and was good looking,” Sprowls said. “He played a flattop guitar, and I remember his big song while at the Jamboree was ‘Rose Marie‘.
With Sanders’ looks and talent, Sprowls didn’t think the entertainer would remain in the local area very long.
“He worked as a DJ at WBRT-AM radio in Bardstown, but I knew he would move on if the opportunities arose,” Sprowls said. “He was only at the Jamboree for about two months.”
Sanders performed at Renfro Valley and debuted on the Opry in 1959 which led to his big break in 1960 when he signed with Liberty and recorded “Lonelyville,” a record that rose to the top-20 country songs that year.
During a long career, he had 26 Billboard charted songs, winning the Academy of Country Music’s most promising new male artist award in 1968. His recording of “All I Ever Need Is You” stayed on the charts for 16 straight weeks in 1971.
He spent two and a half years on the road singing harmony for Ray Price, including Price’s signature recording of “Heartaches by the Number,” and was a cast member of Hee Haw 1971-73.
In 1977, he became the house act at the White Sands in Riverside, Calif.
“I lost touch with Curly years ago, but I understand he played the night club circuit, then moved to Hawaii,” Sprowls said.
According to an online press release, he toured with many of the great names in music including Elvis Presley, Marty Robbins, Waylon Jennings, Connie Smith, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Johnny and June Carter Cash, plus he had several hit songs in Europe.
Jo Jones, an Elizabethtown resident whose late husband Bob played steel guitar at a performance with Sanders and Price in Owensboro, met with Sanders while she was on vacation in Hawaii in 2006.
“He didn’t say if he was still singing or not, but he did say that he was a representative for a vitamin company and did demos at local pharmacies each Saturday,” Jones said. “He was living in Waimea at the time, but said he was thinking of moving to Honolulu.”
from an article by Ron Benningen (Dec. 29, 2011) in « LaRue », Kentucky newspaper. Infos on Jamboree 590 from Malcolm C. Chapman site « Starday Custom ». Music from various sources: my collection or Internet. Does someone have « Heartsick and blue » on Jamboree 1833? Unable to find it. Thanks Drunken Hobo, who provided the sound to it. It’s a fair hillbilly rocker, lotsa rockabilly guitar, even a mandolin, and Sanders in fine vocal form.
This time is a little special one. Very recently the legendary CLAUDE KING passed away. I chose first from his Louisiana original days. First hillbilly bop , 1953, with « Take It Like A Man » (708) on the short-lived hillbilly Specialty serie (mostly cut in Shreveport), then his solitary Rockabilly on the small Dee-Jay label of Nashville (1957)(1248), « Run Baby Run« .
From I don’t know where, but « Mountain » label seems to refer to Appalachian mountains, a LEO GOSNELL on this 4 Star custom, OP 299, for two fine sides: « Juke Joint Honey » and « Woman Running Around« .
Savoy from New Jersey was indeed a big R&B concern. However it had a short lived Country 3000 serie. Here it is RAY GODFREY and his « Overall Song » (3021).
On Adair 620, a tremendous Bluegrass « A Use To Be » by a BRYANT WILSON.
Finally in California, Fable 546 label, with RAMBLIN’ EVERETT and « Cincinnati Woman« . Excuse me, I was not that inspired to comment this time. Music speaks by itself. Maybe you prefer it?
Hello folks ! Hi to returners, welcome to newcomers…
This is my bi-monthly choice of stomping, shuffling hillbilly boppers, sometimes rockers, and by surprise, R&B rockers.
Let’s begin on the West Coast, but I am not sure, as the Sage label used to sweep products largely from other areas along: the gentle rocker « Seven Come Eleven » by Al Muniz (# 262). It seem date from 1958. A prominent piano, a bit jazzy guitar solo. All this transpires laziness !
Then in Ohio, (Cincinnati) by Miss Joy Whittaker. She seems to have been a good seller, as she has records as soon as 1955 on M and J, and Esta in 1957. Excellent 215 is a label owned by Mrs. Estel Scarborough as the others. Dating this record « Toe Tappin Rhythm » has proven difficult : the only other I know is # 279 (Logan Valley Boys) from May 1957. So I’d assume this one as being from late ’55/early ’56. As from the bass beginning instro, we have a a mix of hillbilly bop (fiddle has its solo) and a rock-a-billy guitar. Exciting firm voice and many breaks. Could please to Rockabilly fans.
Down to Texas with the Corpus Christi DJ Kenny Everett, who does a fine country-rocker (1958) on All Star 7173 with « What Is It ». Accompaniment is a typical Houston one : fiddle (solo), steel (2 solos), piano (solo) and drums.
Marshall Lail then from Atlanta, Georgia for two tracks. On Sunrise first (# 001) for the energic late ’50s complaint « I need You So » (More Than You Know), before a more melodic and sentimental «Countless Hours Of Heartaches », podcasted by a certain « Mr. Honky Tonk » on his channel. No indication of the label. Finally way up North, in Hammond, Indiana, for the great bluegrassstune on the Mar-Vel 355 label by the Thomas Brothers, Melvin and Elvin, « Way High , Way Low« . Great interplay between the three voices (falsetto and barytone). A classic !
Billboard 17 Nov. 58
Billboard 8 Aug. 56
March 28th, 2013. Dan Nail wrote the following line: « Marshall Lail was my Father. He recorded « I Need You So » and « Countless Hours of Heartache » in 1960 at NRCO Studios in Avondale, Georgia. He printed up 500 copies on his own label called Sunrise Records. »
Hello again ! This time I will concentrate on a Wheeling, W. Va label by the mid-50s : ADMIRAL, and two artists from its roster, ABBIE NEAL and DUSTY OWENS. Actually the Admiral label had a short life and a very few artists, among them RAY ANDERSON (remember « Stalin Kicked The Bucket » on Kentucky, and « Sputnicks And Mutnicks » on Starday?)
DUSTY OWENS was the most well-known of both, originally from Detroit, MI. By the time he had relocated in W. Va. And had had a long stint with Columbia Records. He opens the serie (# 1000), duetting with a certain Donna Darlene and backed by the Rodeo Boys. « Once More » is a fine hillbilly shuffler, later revived by the Osborne Brothers on M-G-M, and in the ’90s by Chris Hillman and his Desert Rose Band. The flispide « It’s Goodbye And So Long » is a fast fiddle led hillbilly. On # 1004 Owens revives in 1957 the Wiley Barkdull « Hey, Honey », originally issued on Hickory 1074. A good version, with a lot of slap-bass on.
ABBIE NEAL is a Rockabilly chick, backed by her Ranch Girls. « Hillbilly Beat » (# 15000, unusual in the sequence) however has nothing to do with hillbilly music : it’s a fast Rock’n'Roll opus led by a hot saxophone ; some might call it « jump ». Flipside « I’ll Take Back That Heartache » is an urgent vocal rockabilly, excellent backing. « If Again » on # 1006 has Neal duetting on a fast, jumping hillbilly – strong guitar, fiddle all along.
I know nothing more than that I wrote, except Dusty Owens, whose long career is well documented. He even had a CD a few years ago on the German Bronco Buster label gathering some of his Columbia sides. Abbie Neal has a serie of very nice video clips on YouTube.
Let’s now hear the podcasts. Enjoy and comment !
Labels from Youtube or popsike. Admiral 15000 was supplied (sound and label) by Tony Biggs. Thanks!
Welcome for a new serie of honky tonk/bopping hillbilly recordings.
A certain Lyle recently asked me if I know Red Smith. Of course I know him. He was a D.J. On several stations, in New Orleans and Shreveport, then for KLLL in Lubbock, Tx, and even for WCKY in Cincinnati, Oh. He cut a very nice version of Luke McDaniels‘ « Whoa Boy » (issued on Trumpet out of Jackson, Ms) on Coral 61312 (1953). Snare drums, energetic fiddle and steel. I believe he never recorded anything else. But he wrote « All Because of You » for Rocking Martin (Starday 658). Could it be him?
Now in Indianapolis, In for the Nabor label (many rockabilly goodies, « Speed Limit » by Tommy Lam for example). Bob Hill and his Melody Boys had « This Old Train (Is Leaving My Blues Behind) » (# 105) : a fast fiddle led song, train effects done by the steel and a good guitar.
Then to Texas, and very probably out of Jim Beck’s studio in Dallas, a nice honky tonk, « Foolin’ Women » by Neal Jones. It’s shuffling, it’s solid. Columbia 21292.
From Franklin, Pa, a completely unknown Ralph Ryan and the Country Boys on the rare Process label # 132 does the very sincere ballad « Cry A Million Tears ». Intimate guitar.
1959 on the Georgia Country Jubilee label # 541, Richard Morris & the Morrisettes (!) has « Rosetta », apparently an Indian love song – strumming drums and fiddle. An haunting side.
Finally Ken Marvin on Mercury 6391(1954) has an husky voice for a good honky tonk « I’ve Got My Love » over fiddle and steel backing.
As usual, have a listen and send comments, please…
Indiana is not the first American state you’d associate wih primitive Rockabilly, but it was there, hidden away among the steelworks and the industrial areas. Indianapolis was seething with young, spotty hopefuls, all wanting to be Elvis and looking more like the greek next door. Eddie Smalling, Tommy Lam, Van Brothers, Tex Neighbors, Dennis Puckett…All true blue Indiana boppers.
The Blankenship Brothers certainly weren’t the next « Teenage sensation ». Hell, this small but tightly packed band didn’t even pretend to cut Rockabilly. Led by Floyd and Dennis Blankenship, this small outfit cut some of the best primitive rock north of Tennessee, but to them it was more like country and bluegrass music., blended with a little rough Johnny Cash edge. They played all the local honks and jukejoints, entertaining the masses of factory workers who were looking for entertainment after a hard week of being frazzled by the burning steel mills. Hell, maybe these guys worked there too…
Read the rest of this entry »
Not much is known about Rudy Hansen, except that he was raised on a farm in New York (unknown date of birth). Later on, he was one of the stars appearing on the WLA’s Midwestern Jamboree, aired every saturday from Cincinati, Oh. Inspired by the Shreveport-based Louisiana Hayride, the show was originally called Boone County Jamboree (named for nearby Boone County in Northern Kentucky). Midwestern Hayride was first broadcast before 1937 and was carried live on the radio each Saturday evening through the early 1970s.
WLW television came on the air in 1948, sharing larger quarters with WLW-AM in the former Elks Building, re-christened Crosley Square. It eventually became the originating studio for the regional network Avco Broadcasting Corporation, which included WLW-A in Atlanta, WLW-D in Dayton, WLW-C in Columbus and later WLW-I in Indianapolis (after WLW-A was sold) when the program moved to television in the early 1950s. Then originating from WLW-TV, Midwestern Hayride was simulcast on WLW-AM until the early 1960s, then was revived in the mid-60s. At the show’s peak there was a one-year waiting list for tickets to be in the audience (100 people was the limit for each weekly show).
Hansen had much success in New Jersey, and got help from Smokey Warren.
In 1954 he cut his first two sides for RCA-Victor « X » sub-label (# 102). Neither « I Walked Away » (ballad) nor « The Mambo Queen » were spectacular songs, the only outstanding being the B side, Country mover, almost pop song.
Then we found him circa July 1956 (according to the Rite matrix system) with two songs on his own label, Rudy Hansen # 1226, cut or issued in Springfield, Oh. « Cry Baby Baby » is an average Country ballad, while « Saturday Jump » is THE side. Fast Rockabilly, urgent vocal, nice steel throughout, wild slapping bass, it’s got everything a ’50s lover could look for. I don’t know if the record itself is rare, although I always seen it labelled « advance copy », so Hansen seemingly sent it only to D.J.s. Note that the song was co-written with an interesting artist in his own right, Clay Eager, whom I will discuss one day upon.
In 1957, Hanson got a contract with Decca and recorded in Nashville 6 songs during 3 sessions, all pop : chorus (Anita Kerr), and I cannot really recommend any song, except « Puttin’ On The Style » or « Just As Long » from his last, early 1958, session.
After that Hansen disappeared. Maybe, like many others, he went disillusioned and hung up music.
(C. Eager – R. Hansen)? RUDY HANSEN (Springfield Oh, 1956)
Boppin’ the blues and blue suede shoes?
Baby, lots of fun?
Down on the farm on Saturday night?
That’s were it all begun?
Everyone was waltzin’ in the ol’ red barn?
And they’re jumpin’ to the caller’s call?
When all of a sudden they got real wild?
This is what I saw?
Uncle Ben got his fiddle down off the wall?
Uncle Judy got his ol’ banjo?
And Sarah jumped up, kicked out her shoes?
Screamed out, Go Ben Go!?
Fiddler was a pickin’ like you never did hear?
You oughta hear the rooster crow?
That Saturday night down on the farm?
When uncle Ben started rock ‘n’ roll
What do hardcore collectors expect from a GOOD Rockabilly or vintage Rock’n'Roll record ? Wild vocals ? A driving beat ? Numerous and extended guitar/piano breaks ? Yes, and the whole lot will be even closer to the mark ! However, one can also dig laid back vocals, a more relaxed beat, unobtrusive choruses and sax or steel guitar soli.
Now, in the two TOMMY PEDIGO singles, the main feature is the presence of THREE guitar breaks in three songs out of four (‘Memphis Town Blues‘ – alas, untraced, containing only two breaks). Thus, those highly distinctive latter-day Country Rockers find their place in any Rockabilly collection. They’re also definitely distinctive because of Tommy’s very nasal and laid back vocals (certainly Bob Dylan’s influence can be felt there) and thanks to the lead guitarist’s clear, treble and slightly echoey sound (I bet he used a Fender Telecaster). The songs, four Pedigo originals very similar in sound and structure, might have been cut at one same session but they were issued on two different labels, OLO and ANA (three letters each!), both based at the same address (Box 7831 – Nashville, Tennessee) and distributed by Sound Of Nashville. Olo 103 sees Tommy backed up by The Ridge Runners whereas Ana 106 credits The Barren River Boys as backing band ; they’re obviously the same outfit. Unless Tommy plays one of the instruments, the band is comprised of an electric lead guitar, an acoustic rhythm guitar, an electric bass and a snare drum (beaten with brushes).
‘Redheaded Woman‘ (Olo 103) is probably the pick of the bunch among Rockabilly lovers but the flip, ‘Memphis Town Blues‘, grows on you with each new spin. ‘Trouble‘ (Ana 106) is my own favorite (by a hair, really) ; the other side, ‘Whiskey, Women & Wild Living‘, is the most ‘Countryfied’ of the four. There’s a date written in the dead wax of Olo 103 : ’4/27/66′, proving to the most rabid collectors that the Sixties did not ring the knell of Rockabilly. Hear « Trouble », too : fine fast Rockabilly, nothing to do with Presley’s classic.
Tommy Pedigo had his own start in 1959 on wax : Atwell 100, a fine rural rockabilly, « She’s Gone », from Lafayette, TN. and under the name of the Pedigo Bros. They have another 45 on Atwell 101.
A survey of Ana/Olo label (taken from I forgot where)
OLO Records (Record No. 100) “ONLY IN MY DREAMS” and “LOVE IS BLIND” (Tommy W. Pedigo) REBECCA MAY & TOMMY with The Cumberland Coasters. The Cumberland Coasters were Rebecca & Tommy Pedigo playing guitars, Leonard Perry Whiteaker on bass fiddle, Melvin (Hezzie) McCormick on banjo and Rayburn Simmons, fiddle.
ANA Records (Record No. 101-a) “LOVE IS BLIND” (Tommy W. Pedigo) CHARLES REED and Rebecca Pedigo with The Cane River Boys. The band members were Delmus Neal on electric guitar/singer, Rayburn Simmons playing fiddle, and Mac Simmons on the bass fiddle. (Record No. 101-b) “GOODBYE OLD SAINT LOUIS” (Tommy W. Pedigo) CHARLES REED & DELMUS NEAL with The Cane River Boys.
ANA Records (Record No. 102-a) “I LOVE YOU” (Tommy W. Pedigo) Rebecca Pedigo & Delmus Neal with The Cane River Boys. (Record No. 102-b) “YOU HAVE WON MY LOVE” Rebecca Pedigo & Charles Reed with The Cane River Boys.
OLO Records (Record No. 103-a) “Red Headed Woman » and No. 103-b) “Memphis Town Blues” (Tommy W. Pedigo) Tommy Pedigo with The Ridge Runners. Band members were Delmus Neal on electric guitar, Robert Reed on bass and Billy Hillis on drums.
ANA Records (Record No. 104-a) “ONLY IN MY DREAMS” and (Record No. 104-b) “GREYHOUND BLUES” (Tommy W. Pedigo) REBECCA ROGERS with The Country Classics. The band members were Billy Yearwood on steel guitar, Johnny Sutton on electric guitar, Clint Walden on drums and Hank Rowland playing bass.
ANA Records (Record No. 105-A) “LITTLE BITTY DEVIL » and (Record No. 105-B) “SINGING THE BLUES AGAIN” (Tony Williams) TONY WILLIAMS with The Nashville Nighthawks.
ANA Records (Record No. 106-A) “WHISKEY WOMEN AND WILD LIVING” (Tommy W. Pedigo) and (Record No. 106-B) “TROUBLE” TOMMY PEDIGO with The Barren River Boys. Band members were Delmus Neal on electric guitar, Robert Reed on bass and Billy Hillis on drums.
ARTISTS REVUE Records (Record 1A) “MEMPHIS TOWN BLUES” (T. Pedigo) and (Record 1B) “SLAP HAPPY JAIL” (J. Austin) DEXTER, artist.
ANA Records (Record 108-A) “NASHVILLE BLUES” (Tommy W. Pedigo) COUNTRY CLASSIC ESQUIRE. Band members were William (BILL) Hardin singer and on sax, Rebecca Rogers on keyboard and backup singer, Mike Johnson on electric guitar, Jimmy Payne on bass and Jerry Cole on drums. (Record No. 108-B) “I LOVE YOU” (Tommy W. Pedigo) COUNTRY CLASSIC ESQUIRE. Band members were Rebecca Rogers on keyboard and singer, Mike Johnson on electric guitar and singer, William (BILL) Hardin on sax, Tommy Pedigo on bass and Jerry Drums on drums.
J&P CO. “SLAP HAPPY JAIL” and DON’T BOTHER ME, JIM” (J. Austin – P. Capshaw) Sung by Former Jailer DIAMOND JIM AUSTIN
ANA Records, “LITTLE BITTY DEVIL” (Tony Williams) JAMES & PATSY AUSTIN. Band members were Rebecca Rogers on keyboard, William (BILL) Hardin on sax, Mike Johnson on electric guitar, Tommy Pedigo on bass and Jerry Cole on drums. “START ALL OVER” (James Austin) JAMES AUSTIN, artist. Band members were Rebecca Rogers on keyboard, Mike Johnson on electric guitar, Tommy Pedigo on bass and Jerry Cole on drums.
Reprint of Paul Vidal’s BigVJamboree site for most of the information. The idea of the article come from when I visited Paul during the ’80s, and he made me familiar with Tommy Pedigo.
Hi! to everyone visiting this blog early new year. If you are looking for bopping music, this is the site for you! Latest story (published on Christmas day!): Autry Inman. Let’s take a look and a listen. Great hillbilly/rockabilly music.
First, one of those Rockabilly acetates flourishing over the web. Never heard of the artist, HAROLD MORRISON, but his « I Gotta Have Her » has got everything to enjoy your ears.
Then on for bit pop flavoured « Baby, Baby, Baby » on RCA 47-6188 (1955) by FLOYD WILSON. Male chorus, and the whole sounds New York but still enjoyable.
Return to JAY T. STARR, recently covered in a previous fortnight. This time for a serious Hillbilly boogie: » Rattle Snake Boogie« , on Coast 9017, complete with fiddle and boogie guitar.
Also I did announce the DALTON BOYS (Shorty Long and Bob Newman). Both had begun their recording career on King (1951) with a split session. 1955 sees them reunited under a disguise for the fine train song « Roll, Rattler, Roll » on X 0045. Great boogie guitar, and harmony vocals all the way. Flip is slower « Just Like Me » (not podcasted).
From Waco, Texas, for a superb « Shorts Crazy » by MACK McCRAY on the Ford label (#1 or # 1074-A, the sequence in unclear on the label). All in all, piano, fiddle and steel do provide an almost Starday sound.
Finally from New Jersey, Jersey City on the Cevetone label (# 1866), a fine hybrid Hillbilly/Bluegrass « Mountain Boy » by VERLIN SPEEKS. Very fast, fiddle and banjo all along, and an energetic rhythm guitar. Just take a listen! In the meantime, have a nice Bopping New Year!
Robert Autry Inman was born in Florence, Alabama, on January 6, 1929. He passed away at 59, on September 6, 1988. Read the rest of this entry »