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Late July 2016 bopping fortnight’s favorites, and the « Daydreamin’ » saga!
juil 15th, 2016 by xavier

This fortnight’s favorites feature will be separated in two sections. First we will be wandering between some artists of various importance. Second we will hook up on a familiar theme in 1954-55, that of « Daydreamin’ »…

First comes the very unknown from the early days, WALLY MOORE & His Tennesseans. He cut seemingly first for the R&B indie Acorn (a subsidiary of N.J. giant Savoy label), which had its Hillbilly serie : « A dream lives on » (# 317-B) in 1951. A sweet little jumping bopper with good voice from Moore. The steel is uninspired, but the guitar takes a fresh short solo. Earlier he had been on the big concern Savoy – again in its 3000 Hillbilly serie – for the proto-Rockabilly « Down at the picture show » (# 3025). He had also a good disc on # 3023, « Tie a little string around your finger » (announced by 7th Jan. 1950 Billboard issue); I include the reverse side, « A vision of yesterday« , a weeping ballad for a change, because of the mandolin accompaniment and the Hawaii style steel (which sounds like Jerry Byrd, according to the provider of this 78rpm, Ronald Keppner). Finally Moore had another record on Regent 170 [unheard] then he disappeared from my researching antennas.

acorn 317B Wally Moore - a dream lives on

« A dream lives on«  download

« Down at the picture show« download

« Tie a little string around your finger« download

« A vision of yesterday« download

 

Galen Gart’s ARLD gives the date of Savoy 3024 (wedged in between the two Wally Moore issues) as issued in January 1950, and Acorn 316 on March 1951.


savoy 3025A wally moore - down at the picture show
savoy 3023B wally moore - tie a little string savoy 3025B wally moore - a vision of yesterday

 

BB 18-2-50 Wally Moore

Billboard Feb. 18, 1950

 

 

curley sanders

Curley Sanders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The name CURLEY SANDERS surely rings a bell to many. He had first waxed for Dallas’ Star Talent label (« Last on your list », # 749), then he came to Imperial in 1951, Concept later, finally on Jamboree. That’s when in 1956 he cut his most famous track « Brand new Rock’n'Roll », a fiery slice of wild Rockabilly (# 590). I’ve chosen his second issue on Jamboree (# 1833A) « Heartsick and blue », again with the Kentucky Rangers : backing of piano, a rockabilly picking guitar solo, a good steel solo and a welcome mandolin solo over a urgent vocal. Sanders story was told in this site in March 2013.jamboree 1833A curly sanders - heartsick and blues

 

 

« Heartsick and blue« download

From West Monroe, La. comes the back-to-back Doss record by AL DOSS (# 944). Fine uptempo of « That’s my baby ». Quieter is the double-voiced flipside « Everytime you waltz again ». A nice little record.

DOS a

DOS b

 

 

« That’s my baby« download

« Everytime you waltz again« download

doss 78-945 al doss - why do don't

thanks to Ronald Keppner who had posted the other 78 issue of AL DOSS in 78rpm-world. The disc was released in May 1956. Let’s wait now for music..

 

 

Then we enter the « Daydreamin’» saga.daydreamers pic

In 1954 on Meteor # 5014 BUD DECKLEMAN had a mammoth hit with « Daydreamin’ », the quintessential Hillbilly bop heard even in New Orleans [n° 2 in Cashbox charts], or Des Moines (Iowa), not to say Memphis [n° 1] of course. Sam Phillips had previously turned down Deckleman and was bitterly biting his fingers..Les Bihari (Meteor label’s boss), who had renamed Daydreamers the label’s house-band (for Jess Hooper, Barney Burcham and Jimmy Haggett), was very cutup when Deckleman agreed to the offer made by M-G-M, still in the hunt for another Hank Williams. Bud Deckleman waxed a dozen sides [all were released] between 1955 and 1956, and athough he had a small success with « No one dear but you » (M-G-M 11952, March 1955), his style really out of date at the time being eluded him the renewal of his contract with M-G-M. Here it is « I gotta find a way », the very last song he cut for M-G-M on October 18, 1956 (# 12419), and the penultimate issue (before # 12552, « I done fell too fer/As long as I can dream », a prophetically title !). Good, excellent bopper, very confident and driving. The story of Bud Deckleman can be found in this site, as it has been told in May deckleman2009. Unfortunately Deckleman’s career gradually came at its end in 1957, because he was out of date and, according to Q. Claunch « You’d never be quite sure you could rely on him ». Final record in 1961 on Stompertime # 1400, « I’ll be the one/I’m sorry now », a fine swansong in the M-G-M days mould. Deckleman died in February 1998.

mgm 12419 deckleman - I gotta find a way

« I gotta find a way« download

« I’m sorry now« download

 

And that’s when the story of « Daydreamin’ » begins, thanks to its writers, Mrrs. Bill Cantrell and Quinton Claunch. (respectively guitarist and fiddler on the  « Daydreamin’ » session) : led by Sam Phillips in astray, they wrote the follow-up,   « Daydreams come true » for Maggie Sue Wimberly at Sun (# 229) and Buddy Bain, Kay Wayne and Merle (Red) Taylor at Meteor (# 5027). Note that both of them played on the two sessions!

maggie sue wimberly pic

sun 229 maggie - daydreams come true

 

Maggie Sue Wimberly, « Daydreams come true« download

Buddy Bain, Kay Wayne & Merle (Red) Taylor, « Daydreams come true« downloadbuddy bain

 

 

 

 

meteor 5027 45 buddy bain - daydreams, come true

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the meantime « Daydreamin’ » had been covered at least 7 times, first by Jimmy Newman (Dot), who hit to # 7 in early 1955 with it; then by Wanda Jackson, Carl McVoy, and later by Tibby Edwards (on Todd) or Warren Storm. I include the version made very early by DOUG BRAGG on Coral (# 61364) – recorded January 1955, it’s a carbon copy of Deckleman’s, which went unsuccessful. He liked the theme, as he even had also his sequels to                 « Daydreamin’ » on Houston, Tx. D Records 3 years later : « Daydreaming again » (# 1018)[with little yodels..] and its reverse, « If I find my dream  girl » ! Of course Bragg also recorded for Dixie and Skippy. His story was told in this site in December 2012.

Doug Bragg, « Daydreamin’ » download

Doug Bragg, « Daydreaming again« download

Doug Bragg, « If I find my dream girl« download

doug bragg pic

Doug Bragg

 

coral 61364 doug bragg - daydreamin' D 1018B doug bragg - dream girld 1018A doug bragg - daydreaming again

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources : my own archives ; notes by Martin Hawkins to Ace CD « The complete Meteor rockabilly and hillbilly recordings » ; 45cat and 78rpm-world. Michel Ruppli’s « The M-G-M label » (session details). As usual thanks to Ronald Keppner for his precious help on Wally Moore 78rpm. Thanks DrunkenHobo for the press snippet.

ROY MOSS: Rockabilly & Country-rock (1955 to 1994) [Mr. ACTION]
juil 11th, 2016 by xavier

70858 45  roy moss -corinne, corinnaBorn August 1929, Plainview, Arkansason stage

Roy Moss started out in country music just in time to get caught up in rock’ n’roll when it began taking hold in 1954-55. Elvis Presley helped him get onto the Louisiana Hayride during his early days (uncertain detail). Roy got his first big break when he appeared on radio WNOP in Newport, Kentucky, and met up with the host, Jimmie Skinner. Skinner (1909-1979) was an important country singer who scored his biggest hits between 1957 and 1960, on Mercury (for example, « Doin’ my time » or « I found my girl in the U.S.A.« ).

In November 6, 1955, Roy Moss played a big country show in Cincinnati with Pee Wee King, The Stanley Brothers, Jimmy William, Betty Foley and Jimmie Skinner acting as emcee. He was then managed by Lou Epstein of Jimmie Skinner’s Music Center. Around that time Moss signed to Mercury.

Skinner got Moss signed to that label in 1955 and at the tail end of that year, Roy was taken to Nashville for his first recording session. Four songs were recorded, two of them written by Skinner and all four were released on two singles : « You’re My Big Baby Now« / »You Nearly Lose Your Mind » (Mercury 70770, released January 1956 – value $ 60-75) and « Corrine Corrina« / « You Don’t Know My Mind » (Mercury 70858, May 1956 – value $ 75-100). Authentic rockabilly with an effervescent acoustic quality. These four Mercury sides have all been reissued on the Bear Family CD « That’ll Flat Git It, Vol. 11 » CD (BCD 16101), devoted to the Mercury label. Alas, sales must have not been interesting enough, because Roy Moss’ contract with Mercury Records was not renewed. In the meantime, Moss was a regular of the Jimmie Skinner Show aired by WNOP from Newport, KY. 

It was a 1000 watts radio station working daytime.  Read the rest of this entry »

Hillbilly bopping and fiddling: the MERLE ‘Red’ TAYLOR story
juin 26th, 2016 by xavier

Merle Taylor, also known as Mason Dixon, was from the little town of Glen a few miles north of Tupelo, MS where he was born in May 1927. He started with a group called the Country Gospel Singers and then joined the Blue Seal Pals in 1949.

mason dixon (AMM)« Merle was one of the best country fiddle players around », says Quinton Claunch. « He was a good bluegrass singer too, and a super, super guy. He worked with all the big acts in Nashville, Bill Monroe, Cowboy Copas, people like that. I first me him when he joined my group the Blue Seal Pals when we moved from WMC Nashville to WJOI in Florence, Alabama. Bill Cantrell had gone to Chicago for a while and Merle – we called him ‘Red’ – came in. He worked with Buddy Bain’s band on WOMA in Corinth, MS too and Buddy came with us on Meteor’s session ».

Behind Taylor’s assured vocals on « Don’t worry ’bout nuthin’ », there is a classy band kicked off by Bill Cantrell on fiddle [so Merle Taylor is confined to vocal duty] and featuring solos by Terry Thompson on guitar and Kenneth Herman on steel guitar . Ronald Smith also played guitar using the percussive rockabilly effect achieved by damperin’ the strings with paper or a matchbox, and Dexter Johnson played the bass.

« Don’t worry ’bout nuthin’« downoad

« I’ll never fall out of love with you« downoad

meteor 5028 mason dixon - don't worry 'bout nuthin'

meteor 5028 mason dixon - I'll never fall out of love with you

 

 

« When Rockabilly came in, Red used to do a little section of club dates under the persona of « Mason Dixon ». recalled Quinton Claunch:   »Because he was well known as a country fiddler, he did not want people to get confused. So, when it came to this recording, Red said he wanted to use the name Mason Dixon on the record too. It was not a style he was normally associated with. In fact, Les Bihari, boss of Meteor Records] liked the idea so much he called the band the Redskins, after Merle’s nickname. »

 

 

It should be noted that another singer popular in the Memphis area, Walter « Tex » Dixon from Alabama, also used the name « Mason Dixon » – which still had huge resonance in the South – on the Reed label in the late 1950s. [research on Walter « Tex » Dixon is on its way for future feature in bopping.org...]

The much more country-oriented « I’ll never fall out of love with you» sees Quinton Claunch add his walking bass style on electric guitar to the mix, underspinning Merle Taylor’s high tenor voice. Kenneth Herman takes a wonderful steel solo.

 

Merle Taylor had previously recorded two discs for Decca in 1952 (session probably held on Oct. 18) and 1953 (On March 23, 1953) in Nashville, largely with local musicians but including guitarist and songwriter Buddy Bain. Both records paired a slowie and a shuffler. Taylor’s wife Martha Jean Ellis wrote the songs for the second session. Then Taylor toured with Hank Williams at this time and was billed to appear in Canton, Ohio on 1rst January 1953 for the show the latter never lived to give.

« You can’t be a bride without a groom« (Decca 28496)download

« Gimme a little sugar« (Decca 28741)download

Decca 28496B merle taylor - you can't be bride without a groomdecca 28741 merle taylor - gimme a little sugar

 

 

 

 

Merle’s career in Nashville had many high points. He wrote the melody and played fiddle on Bill Monroe‘s classic « Uncle Pen » in October 1950 for Decca. Taylor also toured with the Monroe band for at least two stints between 1950 and 1955, with an interim sojourn with Little Jimmy Dickens. Then he worked with Jimmie Martin and later Ferlin Huskey. Merle played on sessions for M-G-M by Jimmie Martin and the Osborne Brothers. Fiddler Gordon Taylor has said about Red’s work with Monroe : « He did a slow brow with a lot of finger work and a funny reverse. I don’t think there would be the tunes there are now had he not played fiddle because he did something nobody else did ». 

Bill Monroe, « Uncle Pen« (Decca 46283)download

Bill Monroe, « Close by« (Decca 29645)download

Taylor continued at a high level for a few years before he quit playing with the top bands. People say that he had a really bad driking problem and that he had a serious altercation with singer Little Jimmy Dickens one time when he was drunk.meteor 5027 buddy bain - can we live it down?meteor 5027 buddy bain - daydreams, come true

 

buddy bain carte

Bain’s profesional card. Courtesy Eddie DJ Cesc

 

decca 46283 bill monroe - uncle pendecca 29289 bill monroe - close by

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buddy Bain « Can we live it down« (Meteor 5027)download

 

Buddy Bain « Daydreams come true« (Meteor 5027)download
 

 

 

After the Meteor recordings, Merle Taylor had cut two songs [in a more poppish vein] for the Bill Justis enterprises, which were issued only in 1989s on the U.K. Zu-Zazz label (# 2005) « Memphis Saturday Night ». One can forget « There’s a light », full of choruses and frankly pop; sole remains of interest the second song, « Love fever », embellished by some fine bluesy guitar and piano. These two unissued songs – not demos- do go stylistically back to 1957 or 58.

« Love fever« download

Taylor also made various sessions as a sideman in Memphis and Muscle Shoals over the years, and was involved in half a dozen bluegrass and fiddle Lps on Old Homestead, Atteiran and Mississipi Trace labels. He also made a solo album produced by Bill Cantrell for Hi Records’ short-lived Hi Country label.

Merle Taylor died on May 3, 1978 in Tupelo, MS.

With thanks to American Music Magazine (Bo Berglind) for the permission given to freely use the Martin Hawkins’ article (AMM # 136, September 2014) on the Meteor label. Pictures were taken from 78rpm-world or from the AMM Magazine, or the Ace CD 885 « The complete Meteor Rockabilly & Hillbilly Recordings ». Thanks to Imperial Anglares for his help. Thanks to Ronald Keppner, who provided both label scans and music of a rare Decca 78. Thanks to Uncle Gil for the loan of Bill Monroe’s music, as the Zu-Zazz LP. Thanks to 45-cat member « Excello-2101″ for the sound to a rare Decca Merle Taylor issue. I have also used Michel Ruppli’s indispensable book : « The Decca labels – A discography, volume 5 » for details on Bill Monroe sessions from 1950 to 1954, and the two Merle Taylor sessions.

Late June 2016 bopping fortnight’s favorites
juin 15th, 2016 by xavier

Some real rarities this time, several being medium-paced. The name JACK HOLDEN does ring a bell ? With his brother Fairley he had on the White Church (ca. 1946-48) label some issues. We find him in 1948 on the sister label RED BARN (# 1152), located in St. Louis, MO, whom he released three singles for. Red Barn « Mama I’m sick » is a fast, typical late ’40s sounding bopper. Call-and-response format, it includes a vocal backed only by a powerful rhythm guitar and a great fiddle (Wayne Miskiff?). Holden appeared on Cincinnati « Renfro Valley Barn Dance ». Love his style.

« Mama I’m sick« download

red barn 1152A jack holden

Then in Louisiana’s West Monroe. Jiffy was a short-lived affair, however important by the quality of its issues, and the celebrity of some names, Jimmy Pickard, Tommy Spurlin or Jimmy Simpson. Here is the least known ED RAYBORN & his Southern Hillbillies, and the good medium paced « I’ll go on hurting » (# 208). Nice fiddle/steel and sincere vocal.

jiffy 208 ed rayborn

« I’ll go on hurting« download

Kustum appears to have been a subsidiary to Jiffy, yet had only one issue # 4000 (an ambitious numbering) by DAVID CRAIG and the medium uptempo « Just forget it » : nice vocal & steel. Craig was also on Imperial (« Replace my heart » # 8284): hear him on a future Fortnight.

« Just forget it« download

kustum 4000 david craig - just forget it

Late ’50s still had their goodies, here on the Starday custom Dixie 634 by RENAUD VELUZAT for « Race track boogie ». Insistant guitar boogie riff over a youngful voice. A record for Rockabilly buffs 

 

renaud veluzat pic

dixie 634 renaud veluzat - race track boogie

« Race track boogie« download

 

ERNIE HUNTER next was a long-time fiddler for various Starday sessions. Here he’s the leader for the very first Houston Longhorn label ( 503) « At ease my friend » (1957). Uptempo medium paced, piano led with confident vocal and steel. Hunter also appeared on a Gold Star custom Rainbow issue (# 1203/1204).

longhorn 505 ernie hunter

« At ease my friend« download

 

On the Rose City label (unknown location, # 1004), there’s nothing particular with « At the drug store cowboy’s ball » by ROY JACKSON. With much accordion, this record surely dates from the late ’40s. Good hillbilly bop.

« At the drug store cowboy’s ball« download    rose city 1004 roy jackson

 

 

 

There were at least two SNUFFY SMITH : one on Star Talent and own Snuffy Smith label ; the other on Western. I don’t know. Or his record which is called « Johnny Acton » is actually titled « Snuffy Smith » ? Anyway it’s great fast Rockabilly, urgent vocal backed by steel and a very nice lead guitar. Oops, Kasko label # 1644.

 

kasko 1644 snuffy smith

« Johnny Acton« download

 

« I’m a country boy« download

 

 

Finally on the Covina, CA. Toppa label (# 1014), let’s get late ’50s Hillbilly. Very intricating : piano, bass figure lead guitar, steel (solo) and..claphands and screams. It’s « I’m a country boy » by WALLY BLACK. He had already cut for Fable « Rock and roll mama » and apparently knew how to rock.toppa 1014B wally black - I'm a country boy

Source: main is Youtube (my favorite chains), also own researches on the Net.

Early June 2016 bopping fortnight’s favorites
juin 1st, 2016 by xavier

All aboard ? For a new journey in Hillbilly bop music , with some forays ito Rockabilly, and even rocking Country blues.

The Fox label did emanate from Abilene, TX, but registered in Hollywood, CA. Its early recordings include a very young LITTLE DEDON with the Tex-Mex sounding Hillbilly « My Pedrecito » (# 404). To the best of my knowledge, the girl had never had another issue.

abilene, texas

 

« My Pedrecito« download

« The boy next door« download

On the same FOX label, we find in 1954 the great « I’m a hillbilly at heart » (# 403) by GENE DUNN. A fast bopper, great bass plus piano and fiddle backing  (« The Fox-Four Sevens », label’s band also backed Little Dedon). The flipside « Girl from nowhere » is a real slowie.

 

 

fox 404A pedrecito

thanks DrunkenHobo!

fox404B boy

 

 

« I’m a hillbilly at heart« download

ernest eugene dunn

Ernest « Gene » Dunn

fox 403 gene dunn - hillbilly

Further on, the first ever DEAN BEARD recordings, from 1955 are pure hillbilly : « Wake up, Jacob/Red Rover » (# 405). But his next # 408 is worth the waiting : « Sing sing sing » is a Rockabilly Starday style, with a very nice lead guitar. Its flipside « Time is hanging heavy on my hands » is a lively bopper next to Rockabilly (it features a steel). Beard was to cut on Edmoral the first version of his signature song « Rakin’ and scrapin’ », that Atlantic leased from Edmoral, before leaving behind him a good amount of unissued sides at Sun Records.

 

 »  Red Rover« download

dean beard

Dean Beard

 

fox 405 red rover

 

 

« Sing sing sing« download

« Time is hanging heavy on my hands« download

fox 408 dean beard - sing

fox 408 dean beard - time is hanging heavy

 

The FOX label had another interesting issue, that by CURTIS POTTER, « I’m a real glad daddy »(# 409), a bona fide Rockabilly from 1957.

« I’m a real glad daddy« download

 

fox 409 curtis potter - real glad daddy

Let’s turn now to Rocking Blues. First selection does come from Miami, and it’s a small classic, « A fool no more » (Marlin 804) by drummer and bandleader EDDIE HOPE & his Manish Boys. With an harmonica well to the fore and a solid backing, the tune reminds me of Jimmy Reed who would have turned to Rock’n'roll. The B-side « Lost child » is in the same vein !

« A fool no more« download

« Lost child« download

marlin 804 eddie hope a fool no more
eddie hope - lost child
Final tune is sung by the veteran LEROY DALLAS (b. Mobile, Alabama, 1920). « Jump, little children, jump » and its solid rhythm guitar (done by Brownie McGhee), is a good example of the Big Apple blues on the Sittin’ in With label (# 522) from 1949.

« Jump, little children, jump« download
siw 522 leroy dallas - jump little children

Sources : Allmusic, YouTube and various compilations. Help from DunkenHobo.

 

Late May 2016 bopping fortnight’s favorites
mai 15th, 2016 by xavier

Let’s begin this new fortnight with a seemingly Virginian. CARLTON LINK had on the Freeman label (# 100) the fine uptempo bopper « Lovesick and sorrow », of unknown origin. But he issued a single on the Virginia Lark label in 1970 yet untraced (sound at least, even the actual label).freeman 1 carlton link - lovesickand sorrow

« Lovesick and sorrow« download

Then from Paoli, Indiana, on the Four Wheels label (# 0001) KENNY HOLIDAY with « Little heart don’t be disgusted » (1961) : an agreeable tune with a jumping little guitar.
four wheels 001 kenny holiday - little hear (61)t « Little heart don’t be disgusted« download

J. G. MORRISON had a fruitful career with no less than 3 aliases ! As previous, he cut two good ballads, « Ace in the hole » and « Old man honest » on the Texan Maridene label (# 103). Good piano vaguely a la Teddy Reddell. This must come from the early ’60s. The same artist was also simply Jim Morrison on Curley Q. in 1963 with a version of « Ace in the hole ». Finally he was also at the turn of the ’50s as CURLEY JIM the author of some fine Rockabillies, like this « Air force blues », a very strong Rockabilly from 1958, on Mida 100 from Florida.

 

 

« Ace in the hole« download

« Old man honest« download

« Air force blues« download
maridene 103 j. g. williams - ace in the holemida 100-B curleyjim - airforce blues

From probably the late ’40s and Canada, RAMBLIN’ LOU and the accordion led « Seashore blues » on the Ramblin’ Lou label (# 207). He also had « Cindy » on Beaver.

« Seashore blues« downloadramblin'lou 207AA ramblin' lou - sea shore blues

Down South in Houston, on the Gold Star custom serie, we find V. CECIL WILLIAMS on the Gilbert label (# 1004/1005) for the nice uptempos, « Two timin’ baby » and « Maurine », typical of the Houston sound of 1952-53, that was to evolve in the Starday sound in the following years.
« Two-timin’ baby » download

« Maurine« download

gilbert gs 1004 v. cecil williams - two-timin' babysources: Youtube for most part, HBR for Gilbert, 78-world,45rpm

ROY DUKE, « Behave, be-quiet or begone »: Nashville Hillbilly/Rockabilly (1953-57)
avr 29th, 2016 by xavier

‘I Mean, I’m Mean’, ‘Behave, be-quiet or begone’ – Roy Duke

A Country Music Anomaly

By Shane Hughes (Rock-a-Billy Hall of Fame)

 Additional content by bopping’s editor.

roy d. réd

court. Tony Biggs’ book

 

Roy had the potential to find success too, especially after signing with Decca in ’56. By this stage of his career Ernest Tubb had already cut a few of his songs and he was still tight with Tubb’s nephew Douglas Glenn. However, as with the trail of Douglas Tubb’s career, Roy’s tapered radically after minimal sales of his Decca releases (although Roy Junior confessed to Colin Escott that « Honky Tonk Queen » was a moderate hit in Nashville). Roy’s ill-defined style could have been the cause. Staid hillbilly fans may have heard something too progressive in Roy’s recordings, whilst southern teens probably shied away from the melodic hillbilly vocals and languorous rhythm so evident in Roy’s music. Regardless, Roy’s music has persevered and is still very much revered. It’s time his story was finally told.

Read the rest of this entry »

Early March 2016 fortnight’s bopping favorites: pack of R&B rockers, Rockabillies, Country-rockers and Country-boogies
mar 1st, 2016 by xavier

Howdy folks ! It’s never been done before : this fortnight will begin with two R&B Rockers. HARMONICA FATS (rn. Harvey harmonica fatsBlackstone) appears to have cut a good amount of records in Los Angeles during the early to late ’60s. His output vanished in obscurity, except for those die hard Blues buffs, and he’s mostly remembered today for his best well-known song « Tore up ». Brawny R&B, heavy harmonica over solid backing of guitar and saxes on Skylark 602, reissued on the more affordable Darcey 5000 label. The original song had been issued in 1956 on Federal 12270 by the Midnighters (lead and writer : Hank Ballard) in a typical vocal group style. Sometime later Sleepy LaBeef covered « Tore up » as Tommy LaBeff on Wayside as a solid rocker – watch out his harsh vocal ! Finally Harmonica Fats had also his wild version of J. B. Lenoir’s « Mama mama talk to your daughter for me » on Darcey 5003, a song he credited to himself and seen on Youtube…He covered Hank Williams‘ « Mind your own business » on Kris.

 

Harmonica Fats, « Tore up« download

fed 12270 midnighters - tore up

The Midnighters, « Tore up over you« download

 

Tommy La Beff, « Tore up« download

tommyLaBeff - tore up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second R&B artist is even more obscure : AL SIMMONS with Slim Green & the Cats from Fresno cut in 1957 on the (I believe) Johnny Otis‘ Dig label a great « Old folks boogie » (# 138). An half screaming/half spoken vocal over an hypnotic lead guitar and a nice sax solo for a Little Junior Parker’s/ John Lee Hooker « Feeling good » type song..

Al Simmons, « Old folks boogie« download dig 138 al simmons - old folks boogie

We turn now to usual Country records in this site. EVERETT SPEARS has his own version of the Terry Fell‘s classic «Truck driving man » on the Epto (no °) label. A cool vocal , lot of echo and heavy drums do combine a very nice mid-60′s country rocker, although of unknown area.

epto everett spears - truck driving man

Everett Spears, « Truck driving man« download

 

 

 

 

RAYMOND WEBB now is an unknown artist from the Kentucky or Tennessee. He had only two records. On Rich-R’-Tone 1063 issued in 1953, he gives us a very bluesy track, « Hot water blues » : wailing vocal and a great piano backing. The flipside, « Bucket special » noted on labeI « Instrumental boogie woogie », is a good side too. I ought not be surprised if the piano player was a Black one.

Raymond Webb, « Hot water blues« download

Raymond Webb, « Bucket special« download

rich-t-tone 1063A raymond webb - hot water blues
rich-r-tone 1063B raymond webb - bucket special

Raymond Webb, « Wherever you are« download

kyva 102A raymond webb -wherever you are

 

He can also be heard 5 years later on the microscopic label Kyva [KentuckY-VirginiA] (the only other record known on this is Luke Gordon‘s) and « Wherever you are ». On a waltz tempo with a prominent steel, it’s a good record for 1958.

GEORGE STOGNER cut in Miami, FL ca. June 1953 on the Rockin’ label # 522 the great double-sider « Hard top race/Big yellow moon », arguably the best ever and the fastest hot rod type song. Label’s owners Henry Stone and Andy Razaf sold it to King’s Sid Nathan in August of the same year. The latter reissued part of the Rockin’ masters on his own DeLuxe label, hence Stogner had the honour of opening the new Deluxe 2000 serie. Back to « Hard top race », with its urgent vocal, fabulous piano and steel, it’s really a berserk wildie taken at an ultra-fast tempo, while the flip « Big yellow moon » is an uptempo ballad with sentimental words, written by Rod Morris : a good song anyway.

deluxe 2000 stogner - hardtop
George Stogner, « Hard top race« download

deluxe 2000 stogner -moon

George Stogner, « Big yellow moon« download

Finally here is the unknown HAROLD MORRISON, who seemingly never got to issue any commercial record ; only remains an acetate of the fabulous « I gotta have her », a supercharged Rockabilly : great vocal, very fine guitar. I wonder if someone ever took notice at the time of such a talented guy.

acetate audiodisc haeold morrison - I gotta have her

 

 

 

 

 

Harold Morrison, « I gotta have her« download

Note: the indefatigable visitor Phil Watson sent about Harold Morrison (March 27): »Not sure if it’s the same man, but Harold Morrison was a respected singer/comedian who recorded for several labels including Starday. I have two LPs by him. He started out with Red Foley on the Ozark Jamboree, then worked for the Wilburn Bros for seven years, followed by six years with George Jones & Tammy Wynette, up to 1975 when a now-single Tammy fired him. » also, « Yes, according to Praguefrank, this acetate is by « the » Harold Morrison, and was his first recording in 1956. He recorded for RCA and Decca but not Starday. He died in 1993. ». Thanks Phil!

 

Sources : Raymond Webb material provided by Allan Turner – thanks to him ! Other selections from my collection (Harmonica Fats and Tommy LaBeff, George Stogner reissues). Label scans as usual from 78rpm-world or YouTube.

Comments or corrections/additions welcome !

« Texas » Bill Strength (1949-1973)
nov 30th, 2015 by xavier

avec Presley pic pic seul buste tex ritter+T. Bill Strength (dvdman49) Texas Bill Strength (Aug. 28, 1928 ~ Oct. 1, 1973): Although much better known for his career as a radio personality, Texas Bill Strength also cut a series of country and rockabilly efforts, including a session for the legendary Sun Records backed by former Elvis Presley guitarist Scotty Moore. Perhaps his biggest success came as a songwriter, having penned the blockbuster hit, « He’ll Have to Go » for Jim Reeves [actually written by J. Allison & A. Allison].

Born August 28, 1928 in Bessemer, Alabama, Strength was sixteen when he won an amateur contest at Houston’s Joy Theater. Local station KTHT was in the market for a cowboy act and soon he was working part-time on the air. In 1945 Strength began working as a DJ full-time for St. Joseph, Missouri station KFEQ, followed by a stint singing for Sioux Falls, South Dakota radio KSOO. After tenure with Denver’s KMYR, he returned to Houston, in quick succession appearing on KLEE, KATL and KNUZ. During that time, Strength also cut a serie of minor singles for the 4-Star label. Among them were « Who’s the lucky one » and « I’m doing a peach of a job ». By September of 1949 Bill was in Birmingham, Alabama doing daily radio programs at WRBC, which was a network of thirty-seven stations throughout the Southeast. In late 1949, Bill’s career had taken him back to Houston, Texas. Bill was one of the mainstays at a new venue in Houston along with others such as Floyd Tillman and Leon Payne. In early 1950 he was hired by the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) to promote the organization via radio and convention.

 

 

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Early September 2015 fortnight’s favorites: Billy Ray, Otis Parker and Don Teague (1952-1963)
sept 1st, 2015 by xavier

 

Howdy folks ! Everybody’s back from holydays ? Ready for stomping hillbilly !

 

The first artist chosen is BILLY RAY, born William H. Ray. He was living in Baton Rouge when he was signed by Columbia in November 1952. He cut 8 songs during two sessions. « Tired of talking to the blues » was issued on Columbia subsidiary Okeh 18009. It’s a real blues number with a spare instrumentation (guitar, piano and bass) probably cut in New Orleans. The second interesting song from the next session is « You gotta pet me baby » (Okeh 18030), a nice uptempo hillbilly. Alas, sales were poor, Columbia did not renew the contract and Ray disappeared. Maybe he’s the same on Titan in 1960.

okeh 18009 tired

okeh 18030 billy ray

 

« Tired of talking to the blues« download

« You gotta pet me baby« download

 

James « OTIS » PARKER was a Tennessean (1920-1992), whose career began in 1949 on Rich-R’Tone. How he came to have in 1955 a record issued on Covington, California’s New Star label # 529 (a Starday custom) is a mystery. « They don’t have to operate (they just pull the zipper) » is a comedy-hillbilly not so far from Homer Clemons of 5 years before on Modern (« Operation blues »). Good fast proto-rockabilly. Previously he also had an issue in 1951 on Holyday (untraced).

« They don’t have to operate« download

 

Otis Parker pic

new star 529 otis parker

 

DON TEAGUE is a completely unknown artist from the Lexington, KY area. I picked up his two records on the Rains label from 1963. First is billed as « Don Teague with Pap and the Young’uns » and gives a radio station WZEJ indication : « Oh, how bad I feel » (Rains 103) is a fast hillbilly – lot of fiddle, a rockabilly guitar solo, a nice dobro, and an assured vocal. The second (Rains 108) has no connection indication, just « Don Teague with the Blue Valley Boys ». Much slower (« Pure country music » on the label), « I’ll take a walk » is nevertheless a very nice tune, with good dobro and fiddle.

rains 103 don teague - oh how badrains 108 don teague

 

 

« Oh, how bad I feel« download

« I’m gonna take a walk« download

 

Just for a change, a R&B rocker by (Napoleon) CHICO CHISM on the Shreveport, La. Clif label (# 102) – the very same that beared T.V. Slim‘s first issue of « Flat foot Sam ». « Hot tamales and Bar-B-Que » (1957). Enjoy all !
« Hot tamales and Bar-B-Que« download
clif 102 chico chism

Sources : 45rpm.com (Dan De Clerk), Youtube, Okeh 18000 (Willem Agenant), malcychapman.blogspot (Starday customs)

 

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