Charles Wesley « Charlie » Fitch was born in Halletstsville, Texas, on October 9, 1918. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1940, serving as a tail gunner on B-17 bombers during World War II, and was a German prisoner of war in 1944-45. He married Bennie Lou Bassett of Luling, TX in September 1945 and they had three daughters and a son. He worked at San Antonio’s Brooks Air Force Base until his honorable discharge in 1950. He then moved to Luling and started the Luling Phonograph & Record Shop, and began Sarg Records in December 1953 with Neal Merritt’s « Korean Love Song. » In 1954 Dave Isbell & The Mission City Playboys featuring Willie Nelson on lead guitar, recorded for the label, and a 12-year old Doug Sahm released « A Real American Joe » in January 1955. Drawing from a talent pool that stretched from Houston to San Antonio and throughout South Texas for more than 35 years, Sarg Records released more than 150 singles in Western swing, country, polka, rockabilly, rock & roll, R & B, and conjunto. Sarg Records’ biggest hit was Cecil Moore’s 1964 instrumental « Diamond Back ». Fitch also served as Caldwell County’s Veterans Services Officer until his death on May 7, 2006.
Hi there. First the state of Utah is not well known among Hillbilly lovers. Sole artist I know from this state is RILEY WALKER. I already posted in a past « fortnight’s favorites » his great « Uranium Miner’s Boogie » (Atomic label – 1951? 1955? Impossible to date this, as it is so crude and primitive). Here I’ve chosen a second offering from Walker, less impressive, although almost equally good, on Atomic (# 703) , the amusing « It’s A Little Late« . Solid backing from his band, the Rocking-R-Rangers.
Let’s get back to the mid-sixties and NORMAN SULLIVAN (With The Country Rhythm Boys) on th ROTO label (unknown location), and a fine rendition of the Johnny Cash’s classic « Folsom Prison », given a Country-rock treatment. Could mid-sixties.
Then, from a definitely not as known as he deserves – I’ve named SARG records, out of Luling, Texas. This label issued many a fine Hillbilly/Rockabilly/Rock’n’Roll. You name? DAVE ISBELL, Neal Merritt, Herby Shozel, Eddy Dugosh, The Moods, Chester McIntyre, just a few of artitts on the Sarg label between 1954 and 1964. I’ve chosen the great DAVE ISBELL‘s « Let’s Do It Up Brown » (45-109), which has nothing to do with the Memphis’ Bud Deckleman song of the same name. More on SARG records on the pipeline!
Completely unknown to me, this PAUL CARNES, who apparently cut the record at his own expense on the P.R.C. (penned by Paul R. Carnes) label. I cannot suspect any location, neither date: 1957-1958, I’d assume, for the fabulous « I’m A Mean Mean Daddy« . Very crude vocal, sparse backing. That’s HOW a true rural Hillbilly should be sung and played!
A little more light shed on the COUNTRY COUSINS (Denny Buck and Harold Weaver), who cut the B-side (A- unknown to me) for the very rare Country Records out of Oklahoma City, apparently only on 78rpm. Hence his rarity. This could be from 1955.
Finally, back to Rocking Blues for a change. The nickname « Sonny Boy » was adopted by two big figures in Blues, the first (prewar harmonica artist) was from Chicago, and died in 1948; the second (rn Rice Miller, hailed from Mississipi) came North in 1954 to cut for Chess as « Sonny Boy Williamson« . A third, far less known, without douby capitalizing on the popularity of the others, called himself only « Sonny Boy Williams« . He came from Florida, and cut in Nashville for the Duplex label, late ’50s, this little opus, « Alice Mae Blues« . It rocks!
As always, envoy the selections, as I did preparing this feature. Don’t forget to go to « Contact Me » section: some records/books I am selling could be of interest to you. Till then, bye-bye!
The name LINK DAVIS is well knownto the fans of a number of musical styles. Over a period of three decades, he was involved in Western Swing, Hillbilly, Cajun, Rockabilly, Roll and Roll and Blues recordings, either as a recording artist in his own right or as a supporting musician. (suite…)
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.