The Mississipi legend LUKE McDANIEL (1952-56)

Born 3 February 1927, Ellisville, Mississippi. Died 27 June 1992, Mobile, Alabama.

luke mcdaniel pictureLuke McDaniel, like many a good singer was born in the good ole southern state of Mississippi, in Ellisville on February 3, 1927. He started in music as a mandolin player, and was influenced by hillbilly singers like The Bailes Brothers. He formed his own band and turned professional in 1945. He opened for Hank Williams in New Orleans in the late 40’s and appears to have become hooked on the lonesome sound of Hank. In 1952 he recorded “Whoa, Boy” for Trumpet Records (# 184) in Jackson, Mississippi. It’s a hillbilly boogie belter (call-and-response format) : strong steel guitar and sawing fiddle over an insistant fast rhythm. The flip side « No more » is a good uptempo hillbilly weeper, nicely done. He also cut as a tribute single, “A Tribute To Hank Williams, My Buddy“, a forgettable morbid slow weeper. The Trumpet records were all high quality hillbilly, but as with many at the time, showed him at this stage as little more than a Hank Williams clone.

trumpet mcdaniel whoa
trumpet mcdaniel more

Whoa, boy!


No more



In 1953 he was introduced to King Records by fellow artist Jack Cardwell (The Death of Hank Williams/ Dear Joan). He joined King but failed to register any hits despite half a dozen fine singles. He cut them either in radio station KWAB in Mobile, AL ; either at KWKH in Shreveport, La.; either in Cincinnati King studio.

« The automobile song » (King 1336), a fast hillbilly bopper, is done in gaiety, “Money Bag Woman” (King 1380) was particularly strong, fusing his hillbilly with a rhumba beat.

billboard 1954 mcdaniel

Billboard April 10, 1954

King mcdaniel automobile

The automobile song


« I can’t go » (King 1276) is also a strong, although ordinary bopper. The mid-paced « One more heart » (King 1426) is less interesting as the slowie forgettable « Let me be a souvenir » (# 1356) and « Honey, won’t you please come home ». « Crying my heart out for you » (# 1356) renews with the « Money bag woman » rhumba beat with a welcome mandolin (maybe played by himself?). « Drive on » (# 1287) is a strong although ‘quiet’ bopper in the Hank Williams vein.

I can’t go


It has been reported in a music paper circa 1954 that Luke was « spinning country records » at WLAU in Laurel, MS.


King mcdaniel goking mcdaniel cryingKing mcdaniel drive


Crying my heart out for you


Drive on



When the King contract expired, he went back to New Orleans where he recorded for the Meladee label in 1955/56 under the alias Jeff Daniels at the legendary Cosimo’s Studio with the pick of the city’s black musicians. Only one single was released, the great frantic “Daddy-O-Rock” coupled with the quieter “Hey Woman” (# 117)


downloadmeladee Daniels daddymeladee daniels woman

Hey woman





In 54 he joined the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport and became a part of the touring Hayride show. It was no doubt here that he saw Elvis Presley and started to move towards a more rocking sound. Around this time, McDaniel wrote “Midnight Shift” [a song about prostitution] under the pseudonym of Earl Lee, which Buddy Holly would later record on Decca.

Buddy HollyMidnight shift


In 1956 Elvis and Carl Perkins urged McDaniels to submit a demo to Sam Phillips. Sam was impressed and signed McDaniel to a contract with Sun Records. It’s unsure whether he cut two sessions or just one at Sun (either September 56 or/and January 57). Nothing was issued though, as Sam and Luke had a financial disagreement. The unissued Sun sides have now seen the light of day thanks to reissue labels like Charly Records (Ferrero/Barbat 600 serie reissues). “Uh Babe” (Sun 620) is seminal-Sun rockabilly with Jimmy Van Eaton on fine form behind the skinned boxes. “High high high” is more a good uptempo rocker and sounds like a cross between Hayden Thompson and Gene Simmons.

620A mcdaniels huh620B mcdaniels high

Uh babe


High high high


Later McDaniel went to pure rock’n’roll on Venus, Astro, Big Howdy or Big B, but never achieved the big time.

Some songs he published : “Out of a Honky Tonk” and “Six Pallbearers” – co-written with Bob Gallion; “Blue Mississippi” and “You’re Still On My Mind”; and finally, “Mister Clock”, co-written with Jimmie Rogers. Another song credited to “Earl Lee” – “Seven or Eleven”, co-written with Jimmie Rogers and someone named Ainsworth, perhaps Arlene Ainsworth.

Biography taken on « » and « ». Additions from bopping’s editor. 

Starday custom 651-675 (July-October 1957): 7th part

Since Malcolm Chapman did suspend some time in 2011 his study on Starday custom in his excellent blogsite, all we have is a short survey of records I did hear.

COWTOWN RECORDS 651   HARRY PEPPEL and the Shenandoah Valley Rangers  Vocals by Alice Brammer



Po Box 1694, Fort Worth, TX                            Jul 57  (Billboard Review on 15th August 1957)cowtown peppel baby


45-651-A – No Baby No

(M.L. Miller / J.W. Stephenson)   (***)

45-651-B – Take A Letter, Mr. Moon

(M.L. Miller / J.W. Stephenson)   (***)



starday rainwater broke


45-652-A – I Broke My Heart Waltzing           

(C Johnson / V Graves)   (Starrite BMI)

45-652-B – The Man That Wrote Home Sweet Home 

                                (Never Was A Married Man)

(None listed)   (Starrite BMI)

A lively fast hillbilly bopper, nice guitar. Short steel solo.

BMI Clearance on 27th September 1957.


PO Box 111, Jefferson, GA.

Aug 57


45-653-A – The Hardest Fallpeach bailey fall

(Kenneth Bailey)   (Starrite BMI)

45-653-B – You’ve Always Got A Frown

(Kenneth Bailey)   (Starrite BMI)

BMI Clearance on 11th October 1957.



Aug 57


House Of God

(No info)   (No info)

Footprint Of Jesus

(No info)   (No info)

Tenderly He Watches Over Me

(No info)   (No info)

Where Shall I Be On That Judgement Day

(No info)   (No info)



1206 West Joseph St, Perryville, MO.

Aug 57stardust mcrlll money

CHANDOS McRILL and the Perryville Melody BoysChanos McRill

45-655-A – Money Lovin’ Woman

( C McRill / E LaHomme)   (Starrite BMI)

45-655-B – Little Bit Too Bashful

(C McRill / E LaHomme)   (Starrite BMI)

BMI Clearance on 11th October 1957.

Fantastic hick vocal double-sider. Side A is focused on guitar sounding like a steel; B side has

sewing fiddle all along, even a nice solo. A must!



606 Pierre Ave, Shreveport, LA

Aug 57


45-656-A – Ho’Bo’s Heaven

(Hardin)   (Starrite BMI)

45-656-B – I’ve Wasted My Love On You

(Hardin)   (Starrite BMI)

BMI Clearance on 11th October 1957.


STARDAY RECORDS 657starday walker tennessee

Aug 57


45-657-A – Rock and Roll (Tennessee Style) :Falls into the white rock category, with a nice saxophone (solo) and a wild guitar.

(Walker)   (Starrite BMI)

45-657-B – I’ll Always Be In Love With You

(Walker)  (Starrite BMI)

BMI Clearance on 11th October 1957.



Aug 57


45-658-A – All Because Of You: Lively side, is Martin really Red Smith? I also hears he was Bob Newman.starday martin becausestarday scoggins waiting

(Red Smith)   (Starrite BMI)

45-658-B – Do You Still Love Me

(Red Smith)   (Starrite BMI)

BMI Clearance on 11th October 1957.




Aug 57

HOYT SCOGGINS – Curley Bingham and Band

45-659-A – Waiting For An Answer

(James Backley)   (Starrite BMI)

45-659-B – One Heart, One Love

(H Scoggins / O. Milsap)   (Starrite BMI)

BMI Clearance on 25th October 1957.

A-side: a lively banjo led bluegrass number. Two nice fiddle solos.



Aug 57starday holmes half


45-660-A Half A Chance : a lively side. Strong guitar.

(Leon Holmes)   (Starrite BMI)

45-660-B Lost Love

(Leon Holmes)   (Starrite BMI)

BMI Clearance on 25th October 1957.



Sept 57


661-A – Baby

(No info)   (No info)

661-B – Tell Me

(No info)   (No info)



WBVI, Barberville, KYdixie hubbard sweet

Sept 57


45-662-A – If I Had A Nickel For Every Time You’re Untrue

(David Lundy)   (Starrite BMI)

45-662-B – Sweet Love: a fabulous version of the Jimmy & Johnny/Johnny Burnette’s “Sweet love On My Mind”. Strong vocal, wild guitar. A must. Hubbard was also on Lee (Cincinnati)

(Ray Hubbard)   (Starrite BMI)

BMI Clearance on 15th November 1957.

Note:  On December 11th, 2014, the Starday specialist Nate Gibson says that “Sweet love” is not at all a Jimmy & Johnny song, but a Hubbard original that was later covered by Rusty York. Thanks Nate. I should have kicked mysef: the song is signed “Ray Hubbard”!


Sept 57

BILL FLOYD – music by the Swingstersstarday floyd boy

663-A – Hey Boy: a very fine shuffling hillbilly bop: fiddle and guiar (solo) over a relaxed vocal

(No info)   (No info)

663-B – Heartbreak

(No info)   (No info)

Billboard review on 14th October 1957.



STARFIRE 664 BILLY MATCH and the Starfires

Orlando, FL September 1957

I Want My Baby: fine white rock with chorus (doo wop influenced). Remember Jerry Arnold’s “Race For Time”. Very solid.starfire match want

Girl Of Mine

This artist was actually Billy J. Killen


SHOTT 665 HERBIE SHOTTschott schott tomorrow

Van Wert, OH September 1957

You’ll Cry Tomorrow / A Tip From A Fool


DIAMOND 666 GENE HARPER and his Saddle Pals


Thank The Lord For The Rain / Jesus Is A Friend To Me



Pritchard, AL. September 1957venus mcdaniel mind

You’re Still On My Mind (McDaniel): an average slow ballad by the “Whoa Boy” man.

Homeward Mule (McDaniel): fast folkish number

STARDAY 668 LARRY NOLEN and the Banditsstarday nolen king

larry nolenBlue River

King Of The Ducktail Cats: topical lyrics. Great guitar. A must!

also on Sarg (see elsewhere in this site)


STARDAY 669 DANNY BROCKMAN and his Twilight Ramblers

Foolish Pride (Bailey-Kaiser)

Feel Sorry For Me (Jimmy Logsdon) : urgent vocal over a very good backing (guitar, steel). Uptempo. A great track


STARDAY 670 JOYCE LOVE with Curley Sanders and his Santones

Why Did You Leave Me (Sanders-Shirley-Sprowls)

Peace Of Mind (Love): a fabulous bluesy ballad. Welcome female strong voice. A nice guitar.

starday bockman feelstarday love peacestardust voorhies load

STARDUST 671 LEE VOORHIES and his Ozark Country Boys

Kansas City, MO. October 1957

Load Up My Blues (Voorhies): uptempo song. Fantastic hick vocal, nice guitar. A must! Similar to Westport sides (see elsewhere in this site the Westport label story)

Hand In Hand (Voorhies)

This artist also recorded as Lee Finn on Westport Records.


CORVETTE 672 JOHNNY SKILES with the Harmony Ranch Hands

Portland, OR.

The Twinkle In Your Eyes (Johnny Skiles): avery fine uptempo rockaballad, atmospheric – lot of steel. Skiles had other fine records on Rural Rhythm, Romac.

Ghost Of My Lonely Past (Johnny Skiles): “ghost” song – steel for good effect.corvette skiles twinkle


STARDAY 673 BILLIE & GORDON HAMRICK with Red Farrellstarday hamrick crel

Cruel Jealous Heart (Nell Palmer)

Gypsy Waltz (Nell Palmer)


STARDAY 674 FRANK EVANS and his Top Notchersstarday  evans patent

I Got A Patent (On My Kind Of Love)(Jimmy Dunkin)

Lonesome Love (Bonnie Burke)


STARDAY 675 : no details

TRUMPET Records (Jackson, MS) – The Hillbilly sides

Trumpet records – the Hillbilly/Rockabilly sides

One of the earliest record companies to set up business in Jackson, MS. was Lilian McMurry’s TRUMPET label. This company was based at her husband’s furniture cum record store on Farish Street, five blocks West from the old Capitol building in downtown Jackson. She recorded first Gospel, then discovered Aleck Miller, aka Sonny Boy Williamson, and Elmore James. She had also Willie Love, Jerry McCain and Tiny Kennedy (« Strange Kinda Feeling » later cut Rockabilly style by Eddie Dugosh on the Luling, Tx. label Sarg – to be heard in another post: the Sarg label story) in her roster. (more…)