Late February 2019 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdy folks ! It’s the second fortnight of February 2019, and there are already in this blog 5 issues since January 1st, that of two bopping fortnight’s favorites selections, and two throroughly researched hillbilly profiles, that first of the North Carolina Church Brothers and second of the harmonica extraordinaire Lonnie Glosson. Now we embark for the late February bopping selection. Latch on, folks !

Lacy Kirk

A very fast 1961 Hillbilly rocker bt LACY KIRK, « This Is Saturday Night » – guitar played on the bass chords, too short steel-guitar and fiddle solos. Singer in a good voice. This record was released on Ohio Karl 3022, a label of Clay Eager bopping is now actively researching on (see « I’m Looking For » section) . The man had many good records to his credit, and maybe you can help to share your knowledge of him with me and all the readers of the blog. « This Is Saturday Night » will cost you $ 270 if you can locate a copy in good shape.

Carson Willis

CARSON WILLIS is rightly interesting for more than one reason. He hailed from South Carolina it seems, and released the fast Hillbilly rocker « Sal’s House # 1 and # 2 as talking songs on Dixie (another of this name) # 121 (duet with Goldie Norris) complete with animals’ yells. Actually it was a reworking of « Going Down To Sal’s House » issued on the Starday custom Dixie # 903 in September 1959 under the name BILL WILLIS.

The flipside « Poor Man » is similar in style.

Bill /Harmon R. Willis

And Willis (if he’s really the same man) was to publish in 1958 as « HARMON R. WILLIS & Family », again on Dixie-NC [=North Carolina, one can assume] 123, « Crossing Over Jordan », a very good sacred Hillbilly. Finally Bill Willis also issued the fine double-sided « Boogie Woogie All Night »/ »Where Is My Baby », a classic Rockablly on Dixie 825 (value $ 300 to 400).

Another Rockailly bopper, « Wanted, Dead Or Alive » comes next on the G. B. 406 label by CURTIS WILSON : urgent vocal, and a good rhythm guitar. Other records of interest are : « Teenage Party Line » (Canary 6417) and « My Heart Is Made Of The Blues » (Cherry 1014 – the very same Scottsville Kentucky label which did bear Art Adams, Judy Capps or Johnny Hargett and Tommy Holmes – phew ! what a Rockabilly poster!). Alas, Wilson’s records didn’t live up to their promises, as they were teen rockers.

Carl Perkins

On to a star, which is unusual in bopping. CARL PERKINS in May 1955 cut the Hillbilly bopper (very near to Rockabilly) « Let The Juke Box Keep On Playing ». A very great Rockaballad, warm voice, guitar and bass – steel by Stan Kesler and fiddle by Bill Cantrell, both stalwart accompanists on more than one Hillbilly session at Sun or Meteor. This record is perfect !

Wayne Busbice

Frankie Short & Dee Gunter

Finally from Baltimore, MD the frantic voiced duet « Country Boy Trock And Roll » (mandolin, fiddle and banjo) by FRANKIE SHORT and DEE GUNTER on the Wango label (# 201), which bopping researches on. Short (with Green Valley Boys) had another interesting record, « No Longer Sweetheart Of Mine » during the early ’70s. Indeed the original to “Country Boy..” had been cut late 1956 by Don Reno & Red Smiley on King 5002: Short and Gunter do frankly copy this original.

And that’s it for this late February 2019 selection. My thanks go to CheeseBrewWax YouTube chain ; to 45-cat for several label scans, as « Ohio River Records » site ; Tom Lincoln’s book for the value of Rockabilly/Rock’n’roll records ; consulting also Michel Ruppli’s book « The Mercury Discography » was also helpful (Merle Lindsay record) ; finally my own archives.

End of January 2019: bopping fortnight’s favorites (nearly all 78rpm)

Howdy folks, hi ! to previous visitors, welcome to new ones

. This is the second selection of bopping tunes for the end of January 2019. Hope you will enjoy any of the tracks, nearly all taken at 78rpm speed from the ’47-’51 era.

First « Dog Bite Yo’ Hide », a minor Country classic : Jimmy Vernon cut his own version on the King label (# 1367) ca. 1953, and Jimmy Martin released his interpretation on Decca 30281 (1957). The apparently original song was done in November 1951 by SMOKEY WARD on the Barrel Head Gang label, # 1001-A. It’s an energetic Bluegrass tune, full of fiddle and mandolin.

Joe Rumore

Second selection is done by JOE RUMORE with Happy Wilson, on the Vulcan 5001B label, located in Birmingham, ALA. « I Butted In » is a Western swing flavored bopper : an happy uptempo disc with a lot of accordion, the main instrument, and the release date is March 1948. Hardrock Gunter is the lead guitar player on this one. Happy Wilson also had another issue on Vulcan [for a future Fortnight selection] plus a great version (MGM 10877, 1951) of the evergreen « Haunted House Boogie ».

Happy Wilson & band (who is he?)

Happy Wilson (L) – a young Hardrock Gunter (R)

Next artist is HARMIE SMITH & the Southern Swingsters, whose « Knocking at your door » (RCA-Victor 20-1869) goes back to May 1946: it’s an uptempo good bopper – a fine voice and an agile lead guitar. His second one, « Weary Trouble In My Mind » # 20-1996, from November 1946, is done in the same joyful style. (Sorry, low-quality of the song uploaded from Youtube).

Harmie Smith, KWKH studio

Again a good backing (steel to the fore) for a record seemingly related with Jimmy Rhodes, the famous producer out of Mineola, TX – he wrote « Party Girl », a nice mid-paced uptempo track for an extrovert vocal by DANNY BROWN. He was at a time related to Blackie Crawford’s Western Cherokees. At last, he was part of the former band when published by he HBR team.(# 45, Coral Records volume 1).

BOB WELLER & Will Coffman’s Night Riders released at an unknown date « Heartaches And Gloom », a medium-paced bopper, with a good vocal and guitar solo on another Dixie label # 850. No clue this time neither date nor location on the label, and one can assume only by the general sound an early ’50s (or late 40s) recording.The flip side “Devil’s Heart” was published in the August 2013 “fortnight”.

Sources: Indeed of great help was the « 78rpm » site, also YouTube + my own archives.

A bopping New Year’s 2019! Early January fortnight’s favorites selection

My best wishes to anyone reading this blog. May this New Year 2019 bring you Happiness, good Health and the Boppinest music. I will try to give you the last gift possible all along the year.

We begin with a Texan, very probably Houstonian minor artist, JOHNNIE FORRER. To the best of my knowledge, he only had three records ever cut. First in 1958 on the D label (# 1021) : « Fool’s Paradise » and « Understand » are two uptempo Rockaballads, good steel solo (even with strange effects, when it plays like a « musical saw » on « Paradise » side). Publishing house is « Starrite », which denotes a Starday imply, in any row, in the record. His second one « My Blues/The Real Thing », issued in 1959/60 on D 1074, goes on with the same formula (not posted).
Then his third known 45 was released in 1963 on the Bow & Arrow ( 1003) label. « Long Gone » is a good shuffler, piano to the fore (nice solo) and fair vocal.

Ray Pridie

From Bellingham, Wash. came RAY PRIDIE on the Car (# 102) label who’d sing the very good « Lonesome Broken Hearted Me ». Good steel, an electric guitar played on the bass strings on an uptempo rhythm. Barytone voice of the singer.

Cook Brothers

« Juke Box Play For Me » was cut in 1958 and released on a (no #) Island EP dedicated to the COOK BROTHERS in Wheeling, W.Va. A cross between fast Hillbilly Bop and Rock’n’roll, this vocal duet is a jumping (nice guitar) and moving little tune.

Lyle Keefer

Another Dixie issue, # 877, 1959), « Hand Full Of Love » (his only known record) by LYLE KEEFER is a nice uptempo bopper: barytone voice, steel annd piano present. Whole song moves !

Johnny Rector

A renegade from Blacky Crawford’s Western Cheroekes (backing the first Starday records in 1953), JOHNNY RECTOR had already cut in 1950 for Imperial, then had a long string of releases on his own on Coral Records. His « Have You Ever Been Kissed » (# 64168) is fast steel led goodie ; each (steel, piano and lead guitar) taking its solo. Rector’s voice is smooth running and very agreeable.

Jim Dickinson

A R&B rocker for a change. The producer being a « Bill Justis », one can indeed speculate on a Memphis, TN recording issued by Soutthtown # 28006. « Shake ‘Em On Down » hold its promises : vocal belter by JIM DICKINSON, a nice harmonica, and a long, GREAT guitar solo.

Carl Tilton

In 1957 on the Morris, OK Stardale label you’re stumbling now on CARL TILTON for two issues. First is a rollicking « Bearcat mama ». Guitar and piano are doing their best here, while Tilton is aided by one Dale Davis on vocal (latter having himsef releases on Stardale)(# 500). The flipside « Little Cabin » is a great shuffler : good guitar, a steel solo and nice piano. Exuberant vocal.

Hal Smith

Finally HAL SMITH releases his record « Hard Hard Times » on the Yucca label # 116 (late ’50s). A fine Country-rocker, guitar led played on the bass chords and a very fine vocal. Smith also had (# 108), « Make My Livin’ With My Guitar ».

Sources :Sources : mainly YouTube ; some tracks from HBR serie ; 45-cat.

Late December 2018 bopping fortnight’s favorites (1947 to 1966)

Howdy folks ! This is the last selection for the last December 2018 fortnight of bopping favorites. There is no actual link between the tracks, maybe a tenuous (banjo present) between two songs. Rest is otherwise very varied, from 1947 to 1966.

First artist is a duet of two siblings: the WOODWARD BROTHERS, from the Boston, MA area. They cut in 1954 the uptempo Hillbilly « Cuttin’ Paper Heart » on Sheraton 1001.

Their leader was Mick Woodward, whose « Hot Rod Race Navy Style » is very good styled Hot Rod song.

They were part of the W.C.O.P. Hayloft Jamboree, which also starred Jack Clement, future Sun’s A&R man and artist in his own right.

From Cincinnati, OH, a female Rockabilly, LAUNA GUNTER with Queen City Ramblers: they do « He’s My Man » (Excellent 807, from 1958) : a sugary voice over a solid backing (guitar and romping/hopping piano).

LYNN CRAYMER & Blue Sky Ramblers, from Florida, do come next with a dramatic, atmosheric Rockabilly, »Wild She Devil » : fiddle to the fore, Blue Sky 109, located in St.Clair, Florida.

« Banjo Boogie » (Modern 534) was an unusual instrumental tune in the repertoire of the LONE STAR PLAYBOYS, cut in 1947 by this legendary combo.

Based in Waco, Texas, Lone Star Playboys were a popular country touring band in Central Texas from 1937 to the 1950s. Members of the group included vocalist Hamlet Booker and his brother Morris Booker on mandolin,

Vince Incardona on banjo, fiddler Cotton Collins, bassist Pee Wee Truehitt. They were long associated to Bob Wills.

From Louisiana, young DOUG STANFORD released, after his famous two-sider « Sadie/Won’t you tell me » on D (1957, issued in Fortnight August 2016, or February 2014), a very nice another double-sider on Carma Records (# 514) « Can You Explain/The Way You Used To Be » :

jumping Country-rocker and a Rockaballad issued circa 1960. Two pleasant songs. Another 45 by Stanford has until now escaped my researches : on the Bofuz 1108 label, «Same Old Crazy Me ».

Second artist to border Bluegrass is the veteran banjo player BILL CLIFTON, backed by his Mountain Boys, for « Lonely Heart Blues » (Mercury 71200, September 1957).

WHITEY KNIGHT (1920-1977), already posted in a past Fortnight’s favorites (November 2017). Here he claims to the fine, heartbroken song

« Another Brew, Bartender » released on Sage & Sand 205 in California. Good fiddle.

Here is JIM BOYD & His Men Of The West, for a romping « Boogie Woogie Square Dance ».( RCA 20-4263, released September 1951). Boyd had previously cut the very first version of « Dear John ». See the story behind this song in the article devoted to Aubrey Gass. Note this « Boogie Woogie » was penned by the prolific Billy Hughes, an artist in his own right.

On the Evana label (# 0001) in 1966 one can finally hear WAYNE SATKAMP & the Five Aces and the minimalist backing (fiddle to the fore) «Barber Hair Blues». A good bopper for this era.

Sources : more than one YouTube posts ; 45-world for Jim Boyd and Lone Star Playboys label scans; Gripsweat for Doug Stanford on Carma, among others ; Rocky-52 for the Lone Star Playboys info ; Aradillo Killer for Bill Clifton music and label scan ; 45 Ohio River for Launa Gunter; thanks Dean C. Morris for two corrections.

Early December 2018 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdy folks, welcome to new visitors. This is the early December 2018 fortnight’s favorites selection, and, as usual, it will be very various in styles from late 1947 to 1964.

Bennie Hess

BENNIE HESS was a Country singer born February 10, 1914 at Chriesman (Texas). He formed his first band The Rhythm Wranglers in 1940 and a show on the local radio KFYO Lubbock (Texas). First hit in 1945 for the Black And White Records.

Bennie spent at the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport (Louisiana), the Big D Jamboree in Dallas (Texas) and the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville (Tennessee). Died November 22, 1984 in Houston (Texas) Here he is with a B-side of Jet 1920 («You Can’t Catch A Fish Where Is No Water»): You Are In My Heart To Stay» is a nice uptempo ballad, with a fine rhythm section (piano and steel solos) (circa 1955), without doubt recorded in Houston.
He had an abundant stack of records on Pearl, Major, Musicode, Space and Spade during the ’50s. Maybe one day bopping.org will search about him.

He got her up to an hundred and ten
But he met Number Four comin’ around the bend
He told his fireman it’s now too late
’Cause they saved this space for the Pearly Gates
He passed Number Four with a great big sigh
The set’n on a Switch to let him by
He boogied and he boogied on down the line
With a big relief and a day to live on
Whooo whooo hear that whistle
Ding dong hear that bell
He stated down on a mighty hill

Richard Prine

(Slim Watts vocal)

RICHARD PRINE was a band leader (and drummer) during the early ’50s in Houston. Here he has Slim Watts (several discs on 4*) as a front man for «Highball Boogie» on Ayo 111. It’s a train song : rollicking piano, whistle effects (steel?) and a very agile guitar player. The band has even a Western swing touch with a nice fiddle and a saxophone (Link Davis?).

Prine also used Deacon Anderson as singer/steel player. As to regards to Slim Watts, he had half a dozen issues on 4 * or “Tu-La-Lu” on Starday 286.

The following 4 records were issued on Dixie, being a very frequent label name. So various places (when given on labels) of the U.S.

GUY GARDNER & His Country Four

On Dixie 1068 (1961) by GUY GARDNER & his Country Four, here’s «High Society», an uptempo ballad : jumping vocal and instrumentation (piano and steel). Madison, TN label (sublabel to Starday).

ART BUCHANAN

On Dixie 1002, ART BUCHANAN and «Hi Yo Silver» from January 1963. Energetic vocal, call-and-response format. He had also «Queen From Bowling Green» on Dixie 823, and under the name of Art Ontario, he had cut «It Must Be Me/Last Goodbye» in 1959 on the PD Starday sublabel Dixie from Madison, TN (# 2019) (valued at $ 300-400). Finally his rarest from 1958: «Wiggle walkin’ boogie» on Illinois 725 ($ 700-800).

JESSIE FLOYD

Third artist in this short Dixie serie is JESSIE FLOYD in 1964, for «Hangover Blues»(# 1063). A fine vocal, and a demented piano. This record could have been cut as well in 1958.(valued at $ 350-450). Ashboro, N. Carolina label.

JAKE THOMAS

Finally JAKE THOMAS (« with Bluegrass Band ») is releasing «What’ll I Do, a really fine bluesy tune: an ideal voice, a bit husky at times, for this type of song.

A dobro is the main instrument, and a slap-bass is going well its way. A fiddle also present. Value 300-400. Thomas had also released « Meanest Blues » on Dixie 1112.

PEE WEE KING (Redd Stewart vocal)

Something really dfferent with the swinging, bluesy Redd Stewart vocal for «Juke Box Blues» of PEE WEE KING (RCA-Victor 20-2841) from December 1947. A bluesy uptempo, a fine guitar ; indeed King’s accordion fighting with the steel, and even a fiddle solo. A great disc.

AL URBAN

To sump up, a short cut of the AL URBAN story (in this site) with his better known song, «Lookin’ For Money» (Sarg 148, from Spring 1956) – down to earth fast hillbilly bop, lot of echo.

Sources : mainly YouTube and 45cat (for label scans) ; Pee Wee King from my personal library ; C. Klop Dixie serie (Dixie 3333) ; various compilations (issued during the late ’90s.).

Made on a Mac!

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Late November 2018 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Hi ! This is the late November 2018 bopping fortnight’s favorites selection : I try to add regularly this section of bopping.org. Obscure artists and record labels, as better known ones, but the emphasis is done on lesser known tunes. They do represent anyhow my feeling for the Hillbilly Bop music between 1945 and 1965 (occasionnally I am sticking these time limits out).

First artist is DICK DYSON, whom I still doesn’t know anything about. I had posted a tune (« I Work In The Daytime, (She Works At Night) » in the early July 2018 faves’ selection, here is one more : « Warmed Over Coffee And Woke Up Kisses » is a fast song, a lot of steel and a very agile lead guitar. Vocal by Johnny Pearson. This was released in 1947 on Tri-State 103.

The November period is favourable to witches and haunted houses. JACK RIVERS on Coral 64072 cut in 1954 the classic half-sung tune of the genre with « Haunted House Boogie : piano, steel, and skeleton’s clinketings.

From Columbia, TN, came in 1960 the rousing « The Drifter », released on Maid 1000 by the Tennessee Drifters (with TOMMY MORELAND on vocal). Great trembling guitar over an high-pitched vocal. More of the same with « The Tennessee Blues » on the Columbus (located in…Columbia, TN, near Nashville) label # 1501. He released also the out-and-out rocker «  » in 1962 on Skoop 1054.

On the West coast, GENE O’QUIN delivers « I Specialize In Love » (Capitol 2578), cut in December 1954. A fast bopper, steel played by Speedy West and fiddle by Harold Hensley.

On the Houston based Shamrock label (no #) I am releasing RAY COATS (Collins and The Ranch Boys) for the fine « Texas Blues », from 1952 or 1953.

In West Monroe (La.)(near Shreveport) was cut the good « Just Me And The Jukebox » by the veteran BUZZ BUSBY on vocals and mandolin. A fast song, a banjo solo as expected on the small Jiffy label # 207.

Next artist was primarily a ballad singer. RUSTY McDONALD, a native of Lawton, Texas (1921-1979, aged only 57 years) worked with Bob Wills, the Callahan Brothers, Tex Ritter as guitarist or front singer. Here he appears on the 1951 released « Baby Sittin’ Boogie » (Intro 6035) : lazy vocal, shufflin’ and sympathetic rhythm. He scored big the same year with « Postage Due », a very styled uptempo tune.

The veteran TEX RITTER has an assured vocal and a dreamed backing behind him, that of Speedy West on steel, Merle Travis on guitar, Cliffie Stone on bass and Harold Hensley on fiddle for « Boogie Woogie Cowboy » (Capitol 928, from January 1950)

Sources : as usual, YouTube, Uncle Gil’s Rockin’ Archives, Internet.