ROY DUKE, “Behave, be-quiet or begone”: Nashville Hillbilly/Rockabilly (1953-57)

‘I Mean, I’m Mean’, ‘Behave, be-quiet or begone’ – Roy Duke

A Country Music Anomaly

By Shane Hughes (Rock-a-Billy Hall of Fame)

 Additional content by bopping’s editor.

roy duke poitrin

court. Tony Biggs’ book


Roy had the potential to find success too, especially after signing with Decca in ’56. By this stage of his career Ernest Tubb had already cut a few of his songs and he was still tight with Tubb’s nephew Douglas Glenn. However, as with the trail of Douglas Tubb’s career, Roy’s tapered radically after minimal sales of his Decca releases (although Roy Junior confessed to Colin Escott that « Honky Tonk Queen » was a moderate hit in Nashville). Roy’s ill-defined style could have been the cause. Staid hillbilly fans may have heard something too progressive in Roy’s recordings, whilst southern teens probably shied away from the melodic hillbilly vocals and languorous rhythm so evident in Roy’s music. Regardless, Roy’s music has persevered and is still very much revered. It’s time his story was finally told. (more…)

“I’m a truck driving man” – the ART GIBSON story (1912-1971)

Despite recording fairly prolifically (36 sides cut for Mercury between 1946 and 1949) in the years immediately following World War II, Art Gibson is not widely remembered these days among the fans of vintage country music. Among hard-core collectors of the music of the 1940s-50s, however, he is highly revered, his recordings ardently collected , and celebrated as one of the most individual and infectious honky-tonk performers of the era. He’s cut mostly for Mercury (1946-49), and two single sessions later, one for the small Replica label in 1954, the other for Sunny during the gibson 2

The high quality of his output aside, it isn’t surprising that Gibson is not better remembered these days for he kept a surprisingly low profile for most of his career. Other than a mid-40s photograph in the music mag The Mountain Broadcast and Prairie recorder, and a handful of very brief mentions in other music press of the era, he seems to have mostly operated under the radar, not courting much publicity, playing clubs and letting his music speak for itself. This low-key approach accounts, at least in part, for the fact that he didn’t become a bigger star, as it has proved a frustrating roadblock for any researcher hoping to build a fuller picture of his activities in his recording heyday and beyond. Much about Art Gibson’s career remains a mystery, and internet is mute about him. What is certain, however, is that he was a fine honky-tonk singer and songwriter, and that he left a compelling recorded legacy that deserves to be more widely heard. (more…)

early July 2009 fortnight

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 Fairclothh (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…