Early July 2016 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Early July 2016 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdy folks ! Over here in France, it’s the final run for Soccer’s Europ Cup – that’s not really Hillbilly !


First a mostly known artist for his Rock & roll and Pop records. He went with 2 aliases to pursue 2 careers at least. Originally from Canton, OH, DICK GLASSER first fronted for one record the Pee Wee King band in 1956, and sang on two tracks full of energy and dynamism (without noise, all is fluid and lowdown although uptempo) : « Catty town » and « Hoot scoot », to be found on the RCA-Victor 47-6584 label. A cross between Hillbilly bop and Western swing. Later Glasser renamed himself Dick Lory on the Liberty label.

dick glasser pic2

Dick Glasser


rca 6584 PWK - hoot scoot

rca 6584 PWK - catty town

« Catty town »


« Hoot scoot »





Next four tracks were cut in 1959-60 and issued on the Demorest, GA. Country Jubilee label. The city is at the upper north limit of the State, very near of Virginia and Tennessee frontiers.demorest, ga map

# 517 is done by BILL ALEX and the Dixie Drifters : « I‘m just a nobody » is a typical late ’50s medium uptempo country-rocker. It’s flipside, « I’ll remember you » was untraced by me, but issued along with the A-side on Top Rank EP 2055 in 1960.

« I’m just a nobody »


ctry jub 517 bill alex - I'm just a nobody










BILL WATSON on # 525 has here two selections, « I’m dying darling » is a soft uptempo country-rocker, while the reverse side « You’re the one for me» is a bit bluesy, with a sort of hypnotic guitar throughout.

ctry jub 525bill watson - I'm dying darlingctry jub 525 bill watson - you're the one

« Im dying darling »


« You’re the one for me »






On # 529 we find JIM PARKER and « Did I do alright». Same average vocal, with good guitar and steel. The thing is listenable.

« Did I do alright »


ctry jub 529 jim parker - did I do

Finally for the Country Jubilee label, we jump to # 539 by BILL LEATHERWOOD and   « My foolish heart », a slow uptempo ; nothing exceptional, although the man has a sort of treble in his voice. Steel present. I’ve added as a bonus his « Hillbilly blues » issued by Peach (# 756), also in Georgia, well into 1961-62, a good country rocker with lotsa steel and a fiddle solo.

« My foolish heart »


« Hillbilly blues »


top rank 396 bill leatherwood - heartpeach 756 leatherwood - hillbilly blues





Last record I review this fortnight is done by MASON GAY on the Country Music label, from Forest, MS (# 501). Confident vocal for a country rocker (no drums), « I never have the blues », while the flipside is catchy (« The girl I met at the bar ») which is part-spoken. Has a Rite number, dating the record from 1960.

« I never have the blues »


« The girl I met at the bar »


cm 501b mason gay - I never have the bluescm 501A mason gay - the girl

As usual, main source is Youtube, with forays into 45rpm-site and my own archives. Current research goes on Merle ‘Red’ Taylor, Bill Morgan (of Bill & Carroll), Redd Stewart and Dub Dickerson, among other less important irons-on-the-gentle heat.

Bobby Roberts: « I’m gonna comb you outta my hair » ! (1955), from pure Hank Williams-style honky-tonk to wild rock’n’roll..

One of the newest members of the King country andEP sky

western roster is eighteen year old Bobby Roberts.

Young Bobby was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee on

September 12, 1937. Bobby always dreamed of becoming a

recording artist and he started getting his experience

young. He appeared in a musical show when only nine.

Both his mother and father encouraged Bobby in his

chosen career. Young Bobby Roberts did part time work

to help him through high school. He was graduated in

June 1953 and began going about the task of gaining

experience in the music world. His biggest thrill was

when over three thousand persons attended one of his

personal appearances. Roberts has worked as a grocery

clerk, car hop, shined shoes, polished cars and washed

dishes, always dreaming of becoming a professional

musician‘.(as written on the DJ bio copy of King 4868)


At least some factual data can now be gleaned on

Roberts’ origins. He recorded one session for King in August

1955 and I’m assuming that it is the same Bobby

Roberts that recorded for the Memphis based Hut label

in 1958. However, I’m not entirely convinced that the

Roberts on Sky is the same person. I base this

assumption on aural evidence (the vocalists on both

records contrast distinctly) and the fact that Sky was

based in Mississippi. Having said that, from a logical

point of view it most likely is the same Roberts on

all three labels, as Joe Griffith, a high school

friend of Roberts, covered both of Roberts’ Sky

recordings and both were apparently based in Memphis

at the time. Further, considering Roberts Tennessee

origins, it possibly is the same Roberts on all four



My query here is, can anyone confirm that the Bobby

Roberts on King, Sky and Hut is the same person? Or

can anyone else shed any light at all on this? It has to

be noted Roberts wrote all his material.


Using a number of different sources, I managed to

compile the following Bobby Roberts discography,


19 August 1955. Cincinnati, Ohio

Bobby Roberts And The Ozark Drifters.

Bobby Roberts – vcl, other personnel unknown : steel, fiddle,st-bass.


K3995 ‘Her And My Best Friend’ King 4868

K3996 ‘I’m Gonna Comb You Outta My Hair’ King 4837

4868 her

king 4837I'm gonna comb you
« Her and my best friend« download

« I’m gonna comb you outta my hair« download

bb 5 nov 55 B. Roberts

billboard Nov. 5, 1955

« My undecided heart« download

« I’m pulllin’ stakes and leavin’ you« download

king 4837 my undecided heartking 4868 45 I'm pulllin' stakes and leavin' you

bb 21 jan 56 king 4868

billboard Jan. 21, 1956




K3997 ‘My Undecided Heart’ King 4837

K3998 ‘I’m Pullin’ Stakes And Leavin’ You’ King 4868









Bobby Roberts with Highpockets Delta Rockets. Mississippi labelsky 101 sandy

Bobby Roberts – vcl, other personnel unknown : ld-g, b, d .sky 101 woman


45-S-34 ‘Big Sandy’ Sky 56-101

45-S-33 ‘She’s My Woman’ Sky 56-101

« Big Sandy« download

« She’s my woman« download







Bobby Roberts with Bad Habits. Memphis, TN, label.

Bobby Roberts – vcl, other personnel unknown : ld-g,b,d.

« Hop, skip and jump« download
« Cravin« 
4706 ‘Hop Skip And Jump’ Hut 881

4707 ‘Cravin » Hut 881

hut 881 hophut 881cravin


from the notes of Shane Hughes, « Yahoo » « rockin’ records» group.


This Roberts has obviously nothing to do with the one on U.S.A. label and the other on Cameo, who came later early ’60s, and drastically change in style.


Bobby Roberts’ music, from editor’s point of view.


It is hard to imagine such a change in so little time in style between the King session and the Sky one.

All 4 sides cut at King (« with the Ozark Drifters ») are pure dreamed hillbilly a la Hank Williams. All medium paced tracks, they feature a strong string-bass, and a weird steel-guitar, both propelled by a crisp fiddle. Vocal is a dream, Roberts has a firm voice, even some semi-yodelling vocalizing over nice lyrics.

In complete contrast, the Sky sides are out-and-out rockers. « Big Sandy » is a screamer, and the whole thing is a gas. « She’s my woman », a bit slower, fetches to Rockabilly. Note on the reissue the presence of the Jennings Brothers.

« Cravin’ » is a routinely rocker, while « Hop skip and jump » (not the Collins Kids’ number, neither the York Brothers’ on Bullet ) is an average rocker – even a sax – which Billy Riley could have cut this style. Actually it bears a little similarity with « Pearly Lee »..

The son to Bobby Roberts once posted in « bopping » that his father was the same man on King, Sky and Hut ; so I asked for some details and a picture, if available – no answer..

With thanks to Uncle Gil (King 4868 sound file) and Dave Cruse (King 4868 label scan). Internet research.

Joe Griffith « Big Sandy » (Reelfoot unissued)download

Joe Griffith « She’s my woman« (Reelfoot unissued)download

Louisiana Lannis, rockabilly (« Tongue twister boogie »)

Lannis Trahan, born in 1923, hailed from Louisiana, hence his artist name « Louisiana Lannis », and was also a songwriter: he wrote his 6 sides. He had three singles in 1956 before disappearing. The one on Starday is pure hillbilly rock : « Muscadine eyes » is a fast ditty opus, with a furious fiddle, apparently cut at Goldstar in Houston, Texas while its flipside « Much too much » (Starday 268, actually A-side) has more than a Latin appeal with its hopping rhythm. « Muscadine eyes » is not a common track, only being revived moons ago on the U.K. Ace album « Stars of Texas honky tonk » # 703 (1987)

starday 268 muscadine

« Muscadine eyes« download

« Much too much« download

starday 268 much





Lannis will however be best remembered today for his second offering, this time on Snowcap 1215/1216 : « Tongue twister boogie » has a great wild steel guitar and is a really fast rockabilly rocker, not dissimilar to Jimmy Lee & Wayne Walker « Love me ». A demented piano player comes for a short solo. « Walking out » is no less good, and just a little less furious. Both sides prefixed « GS » surely were cut at Goldstar. As fiddle is the main instrument on the 4 previous sides, one can wonder if it’s Lannis playing ? The Snowcap issue fetches $ 700-800, and is only currently available on collectors’ reissues.

« Tongue twister boogie« download

« Walking out« download

snowcap 1125 tongue

snowcap 1126 walking





BB 16-2-56

Billboard Feb. 16, 1956, « a good country novelty »










Alas « Fido/Doomed to love » (Snowcap 101) are, according to Pascal Perrault, pop songs to escape (weepers), and of no interest at all. Strange that a man capable of such songs as « Tongue twister boogie » could do pop songs in the same period. Trahan, whose name is common among Cajun area (see Cornelius « Pee Wee Trahan« , who made a career also as Jericho Jones and Johnny Rebel), died in February 1983 (age 59, cause of death unknown), and was buried in the Marine’s veteran branch of the Houston National Cemetery. The Trahans had came from France, maybe Burgundy during the XVI° or XVII° century.
snowcap 101A fido
snowcap 101B doomedSources: various and Internet thing!

Jitterbugging baby: the short story of David Ray Smith (1956-58)

David Ray, a top singer and song stylist of Texas/Oklahoma Rockabilly and Honky-tonk, was born Oscar Ray Smith in Duncan, Oklahoma on March 14, 1934. When he was at an early age, his faùily moved to Roswell, New Mexico. At age 8, he learned to play guitar, and in his youth became friends with Lefty Frizzell, who on many occasions invted David to his recording sessions. In 1950, the family moved back to Duncan, and David formed a country music band. Early employment included aD.J. Program on radio station KRHD, and a live show on Channel 12, KXII-TV. How he got the forname « David » is unknown.

David Ray got his first records on Heart (# 245), a Four Star custom label out of Oklahoma, in 1956. Two fine sincere Hillbilly duets by himself and Johnny Doggett, « Farewell goodbye » and « Maybe I should have cheated too » ; then two Rockabillies (Ray Smith solo) « Gone baby gone » and « Swinging boogie », both fine rockers (# 250). Many thanks to John Burton (53jaybop) for posting these songs on Youtube.
heart 244 farewell

heart 244 maybe

heart 250 gone baby gone

heart 250 swinging boogie
Johnny & Ray « Farewell goodbye« download
Johnny & Ray « Maybe I should have cheated too« 

Ray Smith « Gone baby gone« download

Ray Smith « Swinging boogie« download

In 1957 he signed a recording contract as David Ray with Gainesville, Texas recording executive Joe M. Leonard, Jr. His early recordings of « Jitterbugging baby » and « Lonesome baby blues » (Kliff 101 and 105) were instant successes on the Kliff Records label. Not only did Ray’s first records releases sell well in the United States, but they attained immense success in Europe when reissued by Ronnie Weiser on his Rollin’ Rock label. Personal for these sessions were Johnny Baggett or Joe Dean Evans on guitar and Paul Jorgenson on bass, including a wild piano player.

kliff 101 lonesome baby


kliff 105 jitterbugging baby


kliff 105 lonesome feeling











David Ray « Lonesome baby blues » (original version)download

David Ray « Lonesome baby blues »(Kliff)download

David Ray « Jitterbugging baby« download



Other songs were « Lonesome feeling » and the less fast, almost poppish « I’m a fool », while « All the time », « Why can’t you and I », « No, oh no », all ballads, « Too fast, too wild » and the original gutsy, less fast « Lonesome baby blues » were withheld until their release on Collectables.
David Ray « Lonesome feeling« download

David Ray « Why can’t you and I« download
In 1962 Ray Smith had a Country-rocker « A place within my heart » on the Toppa label (# 1071)
, honest honky tonk, a far cry from his Kliff sides (Thanks to Uncle Gil to have provided this song). Alexander Petrauskas points out this may be a different artist, because of songwriting credits. Thanks, Alex!

toppa 1071


Ray Smith « A place within my heart« download

Since David Ray’s voice has remained strong and vibrant over the years, Leonard productions decided to record him on some new Texas songs. In August 1993 a session was held in Tyler, Texas. The songs were « Long cold winter », « You make my day », « Ways of a woman » and « Package deal ». The musicians were Ronnie Redd (keyboards), Jim Holley (bass), Greg Hough (drums), Bobby Garrett (steel guitar), Donny McDuff and Jerry Tiner (electric guitars), Ken Shepherd harmonica and rhythm guitar) as well as Lonnie Wright (producer, engineer and rhythm guitar). Back-up vocalist : David’s ex-wife, Lavinia Smith.

David Ray « You make my day« download


David Ray was then living near Ft. Worth, Texas, where he continued to compose and entertain. He died in 1997.


Freely adapted from the notes to Collectables CD 5770.david Ray Smith

early July 2014 fortnight favorites: traveling way up north from Mississipi to Nebraska, via Kentucky and Indiana!

Howdy folks,
Hope you’re all well and ready to visit some more boppers and rockabillies. The name JAMES MASK isn’t that familiar (he had not big hits), although he appeared on Bandera (Illinois), Arbet (Tennessee, « I miss my teen angel », a teen rocker), and later (1972) on MGM-Sound of Memphis (the country rocker « Humpin’ to please »).
Here we find him on the Pontotoc, MS (where he was born in 1932 – Tupelo area) Tom Big Bee label (# ) with a fine early ’60s version of the Rocky Bill Ford‘s classic, « Beer drinkin’ blues ». Honest country rocker. He had some tunes (unissued in the ’50s) on an old White label LP  2305 « Mississipi R’n’R ». The Dutchman wrote there that Mask was backed by his two brothers Charles and Willie.

tom big bee
James Mask « Beer drinkin’ daddy » download

Let’s stay in Mississipi with an otherwise very well known artist, at least in Europe (he drives, latest news, a taxi at Chicago Int’l Airport), Mr. HAYDEN THOMPSON. I offer his first record, on the Booneville, MS, label, Von [which issued Lloyd McCollough and Johnny Burnette’s first records,] « Act like you love me » b/w « I feel the blues coming on« . (original in 1951 by Elton Britt, although not credited on the label) Great slow Hillbillies, whispering vocal over confident backing. Same last tune was done (but it’s a different song) by Loy Clingman on the Arizona Elko label in 1956. Penned byLee Hazlewood, it’s a soft Country-rock effort. The third Thompson track is taken from his sessions at Sun in Memphis, and he retains the same feeling with « Blues, blues, blues » (U.K. Charly 605B) – although more echo, as usual from Sam Phillips’ manner.

Von B 1001

von A1001605B

Hayden Thompson, « Act like you love me« download

Hayden Thompson, « I feel the blues coming on« download

Hayden Thompson, « Blues, blues, blues« download
Elton Britt « I feel the blues coming on » (RCA, 1951)download









Let’s get up north in Lancaster, KY, and with HAROLD MONTGOMERY. His fine sides on Sun-Ray were documented in the site (see « Sun-Ray » label). Here he comes once more with a good side, similar style, on Wolf-Tex 103, « How much do you miss me », from the ’60s. Great mumbling vocal, similar to early Elvis!

Way north a little further. Muncie, Indiana on the Poor Boy label. A small one, but important artists, the best known being its owner Wayne Raney (« We need a whole lot more of Jesus (and a lot less of Rock’n’Roll »!) ; others are the Van Brothers (« Servant of love », to name only one) and Les & Helen Tussey (already recently posted in fortnight’s favorites).
Harold Montgomery, « How much do you miss me« download

The artist was named DANNY BROCKMAN & the Golden Hill Boys, on Poor Boy 107. First side is Hillbilly bop, « Stick around » from 1959, when Brockman was D.J. at WTMT in Louisville, KY. Great Starday sound, a powerful rhythm guitar, great interplay between lead guitar and steel during the solo, fabulous (altho’ too short) fiddle solo. A ‘must ‘ record for Starday sound lovers. The flipside is sung in unisson duet with a certain Carl Jones. Nothing exceptional with « Don’t you know it’s true », a real Everly Bros. -alike. With fine steel and fiddle solos. Brockman also appeared on Dixie 859 (« Big big man »), more on him in a future fortnight.
Danny Brockman, « Stick around » download

Danny Brockman & Carl Jones, « Don’t you know it’s true« downloaddanny brockman

Finally in Omaha, Nebraska (frontier to Canada). 1958, with the wild double-sider « The itch/Baby doll » by CARL CHERRY on the Tene label. « Baby doll » is a typical White doo-wop rocker, good although average. THE side is the garage Rockabilly « The itch » (Tene 1023), prettily sensual. Cherry has got the feel and itch, and the drummer and lead guitar player (RaB HOF says the guy was legally blind!)  too ! Fantastic garage sound…They don’t play this way anymore, even with the wilder neo-rockabilly European bands.

Carl Cherry & Wild Cherries, « The itch » download
Carl Cherry & Wild Cherries, « Baby doll »

tene CarlCherryphoto1

Carl Cherry & Wild Cherries