early November 2012 fortnight’s favourites

Howdy folks, welcome to newcomers. The aim of this feature is to spread my favorites around…

Let’s begin with a recently covered CLIFF DAVIS, without doubt a Southerner (“& his Kentucky Play Boys” as shown on the label), on the Chicago Jay Jay label (# 161) for this fabulous rendition of a classic, modernized (for 1956…) “Rocky Road Blues“. Fast, call-and-response format, even slap-bass sounding like drums and a superlative guitar. Second, thanks to Youtube chain-owner HillillyBoogie1, who frequently adds gems to his chain, PERRY WASHBURN on the Los Lunas, N. M. Mustang (# 300) label is no exception: on a obliged Indian beat, a very effective medium-paced vocal on perfect backing of steel-fiddle-guitar (nice solos) for “Pocahontas Baby“.

jay hay davis road


mustang washburn pocahontas




On the Joplin, MO. Joplin label, owned and composed by one Robert T. Nelson, a superior shuffler, “Oklahoma Blond Headed Gal” by deep-voiced SAMMIE LEE. Nice fiddle, steel all  along. Year 1958 (issue J80W-3138, RCA pressing). Thanks to Tom Sims for this rare one.


PORKY FREEMAN is maybe the best known of this serie, for a string of guitar-led instrumentals from 1944-1947 on Ara and Four Star labels. Here I offer his “Porky’s Boogie Woogie” (Ara 4009) from September 1945. Red Murrell on rhythm and Al Barker on bass, Porky indeed on lead guitar.

joplin lee oklahoma

ara freeman porky's





From Chicago or Eastern states come BOB PERRY. On the small Bandera label (# 1301/1303) the fantastic “Weary Blues Goodbye” from 1958. Very strong rhythm, firm vocal, and a FABULOUS steel-guitar solo, which sounds as a slide guitar. I added the flipside, very different, and more countryfied “Can’t Hardly Wait”. Perry had at least another disc on Cool, outside the scope of this site: it’s a late ’50s rocker.

Finally someone I recently put everything I could gather on, the Kentuckian born RAY ANDERSON. In the case you missed him, here is his great “Done Gone Dirty Shame” from 1952-53 on the Illinois Blue Ribbon (B2) label. Nice guitar picking a la Merle Travis.


Finally there is an hidden gem in the podcasts: “Haunted House Boogie” by Jack Rivers, for halloween.bandera perry goodbye

ribbon anderson shame

early October 2012 fortnight’s favorites

******* REMEMBER: you can now ask for any artist or label covered in the site by pushing on the upper left buttons. Enjoy hunting! ******************

Howdy, folks. En route for a new batch of bopping billies. This time they are all fast. The first on Hep Records is LES TUCKER with the fine “Wrong Kinda Lovin” (sic)(# 2144) from Saint Paul, Minnesota. It has two nice solos of fiddle then steel, and a call and response format.

Was CLIFF DAVIS (& Kentucky Playboys) a Southerner having migrated to North? The Banana label (# 501) is from Chicago. Anyway Davis offers a strong “Hard Hearted Girl” over a solid backing. He also had a fine rendition of “Rocky Road Blues” on another label, for a future fortnight.

al barkle

Al Barkle

AL BARKLE must be a solid name on the West coast. He had a record on M&M (this original of “Jumpin’ From 6 to 6“), Vita and Frantic among others. A native of Wisconsin, where he had “Honky Tonky Mama” on the Polkaland label as early as in 1951, he cut this Odie Ervin song in 1956 on M&M 4041. The song is aknowledged now as a rockabilly classic since Big Sandy re-recorded it for his LP debut in 1994. Firm vocal, a fabulous guitar solo over a thudding bass, it has everything you could hope. Barkle had later a “Sputnick I” song.

hep tucker wrong

banana davis girl

polkaland barkle mama

m&m barkle jumpin'DON RAY must be familiar. Here he does “Step Aside” a good medium shuffler on the New Orleans Meladee label (# 118). He probably is the same artist who appeared on Rodeo (“Imogene“) on the West coast in 1959.

Completely unknown, with a un-familiar name, ULYSSES L. BAXTER nevertheless offers on the Rue label (# 725) the superior double sider “Beautiful Woman/Congratulate Your Son“. The A side is a cross between bop and rockabilly, while the flipside with its insistent guitar is a very nice white rock.

Finally you can hear CHARLIE CONRAD and Black Mountain Boys on Spec 125. A great double-sider too: “Dizzy Love/Night Club Blues“, two rockabillies from I don’t know where..



meladee ray step



rue baxter womanspec conroad night











Addition from a regular visitor, DrunkenHobo: Al Barkle M&M (CA) 45 – 4041 (1957 is a recut of M&M (CA) 45 – 3036 (1956) THe 1st version is good Rockabilly as well and has not a piano break. Thanks, Dean!