Howdy folks! Here is my new selection. First GEORGE KENT from Texas. He must have cut « Don’t Go Back Again » circa 1961-62: heavy bass, weeping steel and fiddle solo, on the Maverick label (# 1001). The whole has been influenced by Wynn Stewart and reminds me of the Bakersfield sound. Now from Kansas City and a real hillbilly boogie on the Red Barn label, « Bad Daddy Blues » by BOBBY COOK & BUDDY NELSON with the Texas Saddle Pals. Chorus on a guitar/fiddle/mandolin backing.
A pleasant hillbilly on the Ohio Esta label from 1956, « Within These Four Walls » by one SYBIL GIANI. 2 guitar solos, but nothing spectacular though. Esta from Hamilton was better known for its Rockabilly sides.
Then from Nashville, a veteran from the Bullet label, RAY BATTS. It’s on the Ernie Young’s R&B Excello label, a rare opportunity to hear bop music on a « black » label » (the other notable in this case being « I’m The Man » by Al Ferrier). Anyway, « Stealin’ Sugar » (# 2028) is a fast number, with nice guitar soloes on a solid piano backing.
On the big Carl Burkardt concern of low-budget labels, here Big 4 Hits, we find PRESTON WARD and « New Green Light« . I don’t know who cut the original version, anyway here is top class backing over a fine vocal.
Finally two Rocking blues wildies by GAR BACON. On Okeh first, he does the rasping Bo-Diddley-beat « Marshall, Marshall ». On the Baton label, « There’s Gonna Be Rockin’ Tonight » strangely sounds like a white singer. You’ve got to hear both to compare.
I will be out of town circa May 15, so next fortnight on June 1rst, ok?
Howdy, folks. It’s hot over there (South of France), nevertheless I am determined to offer you once more your bi-weekly dose of Hillbilly bop! This time I will give you mostly Bluegrass oriented Hillbilly, and banjo woll be prominently used. Let’s begin on the famous Dixie label (although quite uncommon one to find), with Malcolm Nash and the good « I Guess I’m Wise » (# 833). We go on further with Pinky Pinkston, an artist already surveyed in a recent fortnight. Here he cut a marvelous Bluegrass version of « Blue Moon Of Kentucky » (Fine-R-Tone # 6). The Wilburn Brothers are already a well-known successful brother duet: here I offer their fine rendition of another brothers duet, the Shelton Brothers‘ ’30s classic »Deep Elem Blues« . Well, I know, this version date from 1956, and is very main country-Nashville sounding. Nevertheless, it’s a good version to be heard while playing
On to West Coast and for a very interesting artist: Black Jack Wayne. I am gathering information on Mister Wayne for a planned feature. I post today his very nice « Shallow Water Blues« , cut with Cal Maddox (of the Maddoxes) on his own Black Jack label (# 104). We return to another recently covered artist, Dennis Goodrich, for a ballad - actually the flipside to « All Alone« , « My Love for You » on the Debute label (# 500).
Let’s go further in Bluegrass style with a Bryant Wilson and the Kentucky Ramblers issue, « A Use To Be » on Adair 620, a small label from Edinburg, Indiana..
And we come to and end with the fabulous piano-led « Slow Down Baby » by Bob Gaddy on the Harlem label. The guitar player is none other than Larry Dale for this NYC 1953 issue.
Howdy folks. Welcome to newcomers, hi! to returning visitors. Every two weeks in this site I offer 6 selections of obscure, unknown hillbilly bop/rockabilly records, sometimes a rocking blues like this time. I give data, comments (both musically and what is needed to a better appreciation of the music), and wait for your own comments. In the past, more than one visitor has posted and given a detail unknown to me. This is an exchange between you and me, beyond frontiers and seas, thanks to the magic of internet.. Read the rest of this entry »
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.
Howdy folks. We begin in Texas (Marshall) with the energetic duet MACK & GWEN for « Baby I Want Another Date With You » – could be from 1959-60 on the Phil label. Then JOHNNY BROWN on the Big State label (El Paso, Texas) for the fabulous « Shame » (3 steel solos!), vocal assured by « Sammy » (Sammy Smith is the songwriter)
This is a very special feature. I’ve noticed a singer from Georgia, CLYDE BEAVERS, who sounded interesting. First he appeared on the famous STARDAY CUSTOM serie (he gave his own state as label, GEORGIA) as a Hillbilly Bopper in 1955; he pursued his carreer on other labels, finally hitting a bit on Mercury in 1957 with « Crying For My Baby« . Constant quality of his recordings. Hence 4 tracks by him in chronological order.
The seventh track is a favourite of mine. Alexander « Papa » Lightfoot cut the wild (raucous vocal + harmonica) « Wine, Women And Whiskey » in New Orleans, added by a guitar player (Guitar Gable) and just a drummer in 1952. What a sound, what a savagery! Imperial label.
Enjoy every tune, folks! Comments welcome!
Howdy folks! Here are my ‘new’ favourite tunes of early this month. As usual I try to give you oddities to illustrate the music, although lacking of inspiration and enthusiasm this time!
Red and Lige, The TURNER BROTHERS, were a duet group from Tennessee. I don’t know if they were related to the more famous brothers, Zeke and Zeb (King and Bullet labels). They offer here a strong Country-boogie with »Honky Tonk Mama » on the Radio Artist label (the one which issued Jimmie Skinner first sides). Circa 1950.
PECK TOUCHTON, a native of Texas, had a solitary release on Sarg (« You’ve Changed Your Tune« ). He also recorded for Pappy Daily’s Starday label, without seeing any issue, following a mixing of label stickers during a car wreck! The whole story was told by Andrew Brown in his excellent site, Wired For Sound. See it here:
Touchton’s record, « Let Me Catch My Breath » was finally issued under the name of George Jones (Starday 160).
Out of Texas or West Louisiana, and at one time associated as a singer with Bill Nettles, DANNY DEDMON had records as early as 1947 on Imperial. Here is his « Hula Hula Woogie« , typical Texas Honky-tonk of the late Forties, with a touch of Western swing. The Rhythm Ramblers were actually Nettles’ band.
George McCormick (he had discs on M-G-M, for example, « Fifty-Fifty Honky Tonkin’ Tonight ») and Earl Aycock teamed as GEORGE & EARL in 1956, and had a string of Rockabilly releases on the Mercury label. I’ve chosen one of their most dynamic sides, « Done Gone« . Nashville musicians behind them. The duet folded shortly afterwards.
Out of Nashville came CLAY EAGER on the Republic label. Although he was a celebrity as D.J. in the St.Louis/St.Paul, MO, area, he had cut this fine « Bobbie Lou » in Nashville. We finish with the wild, rasping young ETTA JAMES on the West Coast. « Tough Lover » is backed by the ubiquitous Maxwell Davis.
Howdy, folks! We start this fortnight with a stalwart version of the classic Honky Tonk « I’m Moving On » (Decca) by the great HANK « Sugarfoot » GARLAND (1930-2004). He appeared at 19 on RED FOLEY records, and never gave up backing on thousands sides cut in Nashville. Fine Tommy Jackson fiddle backing, and a short but brilliant guitar solo.
Then I go on with JIMMY MYERS and an unissued tune for the Super label out of Georgia, « Go Cat Go » (recently published on an European anthology). I wonder if this is the same as the one JIM MYERS who cut marvelous sides for the FORTUNE label in Detroit (the frantic « Drunkman’s Wiggle » for example). Here it is raw, crude Rockabilly…
Leiber/Stoller’s « Hound Dog » (Willie « Big Mama » Thornton, 1952) was an enormous hit, and no one could know how many Country versions were made of. This time I chose the humorous version on King by CHARLIE GORE and LOUIS INNIS, « (You Ain’t Nothin’ But A Female) Hound Dog« , both artists I’d like very much set the story up in future articles.
Billboard March 11, 1950
Already a Country star, both under his own name, and as harmonica player for the DELMORE BROTHERS, WAYNE RANEY had many sides on KING. He also had sides on London under the disguise of LITTLE WILLIE EVANS, hence « Lonesome Railroad Blues« , in 1950.
One of the highlights of the regular Starday label: LONNIE SMITHSON for his double-sider « Me And The Blues« / »It Takes Time » (# 330) from 1957. Fine lead guitar and a firm vocal. Nothing is known about Smithson, who had another Starday disc, « Quarter in The Jukebox« , in 1958.
RUDY THACKER, a Kentucky guitar player, appeared on the Cincinnati, OH, Lucky label (with his String Busters). Here we have an instrumental (a rare opportunity in Bopping…), the romping « Guitar boogie Shuffle« .
Finally a Rocking Blues by ROBERT NIGHTHAW. 1964, Chicago, Chess label. Backed by Buddy Guy on guitar and Walter Horton on harmonica, he delivers a very nice « Someday« .
Hope you enjoy the selections. Comments welcome! Till then, bye-bye…
Howdy, folks! I didn’t have a particular « theme » chosing the selections this time (as I did sometimes in the past): just a few songs I like at the moment.
Early September I posted something about the ubiquitous Mr. DIXON. Since then, I did not find something new on him, be it at hillbilly-music.com or with google, under his 3 aliases (Walter, Mason, or Ted). There is even on Youtube a bishop named Walter Dixon, and I wonder if this is the same person! I even found a Mason Dixon Country 45 on ebay. This time you will be exposed to a 1961 rendition for the Alabama based REED label, and a great shuffle by MASON DIXON, « Hello Memphis« .
Staying in the South with a minor classic by SPECK & DOYLE , the Wright Brothers, « Music to my ear » on the Columbus, Georgia based strangely named SYRUP BUCKET label. A nice guitar, a medium beat for this relaxed Rockabilly/Hillbilly Bop from 1959.
On to, probably, Texas, with a fast romper by JIMMY STONE on the IMPERIAL label from 1951, « Midnight Boogie« . I’ve never heard Stone had another record, but what’s this one? Entertaining lyrics, and most of all, a wild bluesy Rockabilly guitar! Who may the player be? Fine piano and even a short fiddle solo, Texas style. We are pursuing the musical journey to Indiana with a very young GAYLE GRIFFITH (he was fourteen when he cut his solitary record) and the out-and-out romper « Rockin’ And A Knockin’ » for the EMERALD label, from 1954. Griffith was at one time associated with WFBM Indiana Hoedown, although despite this promising first platter, he seems to have soon disappeared from the music scene.
Billboard 1951 advert for "Drifting Texas Sand"
Now to California for the Louisiana-born EDDIE KIRK (1919-1997), who was consistently working with the Los Angeles musicians’ cream for CAPITOL records. Here he delivers a fine rendering of the 1936 Tune Wranglers‘ classic (also cut around the same time as Kirk by Webb Pierce) « Drifting Texas Sand » (Capitol F 1591). The backing is sympathetic, although ordinary. Harmonica player could be George Bamby, who cut with, among others, Johnny Bond.
As a bonus, we go to an end in Chicago with the underrated LITTLE MAC SIMMONS, singer-harmonica player (altho’ no harp heard here) and the frantic (great piano throughout, with usual Honking saxes, and a nice guitar) « Drivin’ Wheel » (PALOS label) from 1961.
I hope you enjoy the selections. Don’t miss the other « regular » posts: recently Bopping had had Jack Bradshaw story, the Daffan label, Roy Hall and Riley Crabtree, to name just a few. Not to mention in the « hillbilly profile » section, Chuck Murphy. Till then, bye!
As usual, pictures from various sources. Excellent Terry E. Gordon’s Rockin’ Country Style site, or ebay. Sounds from my collection, or various compilations. I can name for every track who provided me! BUT you CAN download everything!
Hello folks! This is REALLY a hot summer over there in France, lot of heavy clouds but…no rain at all. Perfect time anyway to keep oneself well dry inside and stomp to that good ole’ Hillbilly beat. We begin with a very elusive artist from the Cumberland Valley/Cincinnati area. I’ve told before in this site about him, and did promise I should post everything I gathered for one year and a half. This could be later this year, so watch out for the fullest possible story on Mr. JIMMIE BALLARD. The first cut in this fortnite is Ballard’s own version of « Birthday Cake Boogie » (Kentucky 508)
of course, the same song was also recorded by, among others, BILLY HUGHES and SKEETS McDONALD, and stands out as a classic ‘risqué‘ or ‘double-entendre‘ song. Ballard was the front man then of BUFFALO JOHNSON‘s Herd (who was active in the D.C. area, and a full story on him is on the line. And he keeps the vocal duties with the also ‘risqué‘ (Kentucky 520 ) « T’ain’t Big Enough« . Both songs are from 1953/1954, fine uptempo Boppers, altho’ just above average, except for lyrics.
Back to a Wildcat out of Texas, a very long career as steel guitar player as soon as 1936, then singer and front man of his band, the XYT Boys, BILLY BRIGGS. I will have some day a complete story on him. He was (maybe he’s still alive, I dunno) to have a sound on his own, and produced very strange ditties from his steel in 1951 for his greatest success (much covered) « Chew Tobacco Rag N° 2 » . Here I’ve chosen the amusing « North Pole Boogie » (Imperial 8131, late Forties), complete with icy wind effects (on steel), and Briggs’ own barytone voice imitating a sort of ‘polar bear’ .
Back to Cincinnati and BILL BROWNING. I’ve written about him elsewhere in the site with the story of the LUCKY label. Today I listen to his composition « Dark Hollow« , which was a hit in 1958 when picked up by JIMMIE SKINNER, before the very nice version on BLUE RIDGE by LUKE GORDON (watch out for his story later in 2010), then even by The Grateful Dead in 1973, among others. I particularly like the recent version made by FRED TRAVERS (90′s) which I’ve included in the podcasts; almost falsetto urgent vocal and great dobro.
More from Cincinnati. BOBBY ROBERTS (I think there were at least 2, or 3 personas by the same name during he 50′s). Here he’s the great Hillbilly singer, who cut late 1955 4 sides for KING records. I cannot rememeber if I posted earlier his great « I’m Gonna Comb You Out Of My Hair » (what a title!). This time, I offer the second KING (4868, unverified – Ruppli’s book still stored) « I’m Pulling Stakes And Leaving You », same lyrics format. Great, great Hillbilly Bop. Later in 1956, Roberts (or one of his aliases) had « Big Sandy » or « Hop, Skip and Jump« , pure Rockabillies. I still wonder if it’s the same man; if so, he would have adapted very well and quickly (within some months) from pure Hillbilly vocal to almost Rock’n'Roll. By the way, he would not have been the first to do so: SKEETS McDONALD, GEORGE JONES, MARTY ROBBINS did very well the transition early in 1956.
Another elusive artist: guitar player/singer PETE PIKE. Recently deceased (2006) just after a CD ‘back to roots’ (Bluegrass) issued in 2005, he was active both in Virginia and D.C. areas from 1947 onwards, and associated several years with another interesting man, BUZZ BUSBY (Busbice). Pike had Hillbilly Bop records on FOUR STAR and CORAL in 1954-1955, among them I’ve chosen the superior ballad »I’m Walking Alone« . Another future entry in www.bopping.org, research is well advanced.
Finally, on the Rocking Blues side, you’re in for a treat with L.A. ‘black Jerry Lee Lewis’ (as the Englishmen call him when he visits their shores), WILLIE EGAN and « What A Shame » from 1957 (Vita label). Pounding piano, wild vocal, strong saxes, heavy drums, the whole affair rocks like mad, althoug relaxed. Enjoy, folks. Comments welcome. ‘Till then, bye-bye.
Well, you’re in for another good time with rarities! First the 40s withthe late great Ernest Tubb (Billy Byrd on electric guitar) for the classic « I Ain’t Going Honky Tonking Anymore » – love the cool vocal! Next an unnown Charlie Faircloth (or nearly forgotten these days) for the lively « Coffee, Cigarettes & Tears » – nice lazy vocal too. Then we go Hillbilly Bop/Rockabilly with the fast version of Bill Monroe’s « Rocky Road Blues » by Boston’s Eddie Zack (arian) complete with fiddle solo and steel (1955 Columbia). Now a real berserk wildie: Jim (my) Myers and « Drunkman’s Wiggle » on Fortune. REAL STRONG STEEL. Another wildie in Rocking Blues this time, way down south: Leroy Washington, 1958, Guitar Gable soloist on the great « Wild Cherry » (Excello). We come to an end with a piano master, Memphis Slim alone for a bluesy « The Lord Have Mercy ». Hope you N-joy! Welcome comments…