Late January 2022 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Hello Folks! Welcome to new visitors, howdy to faithful ones! The feature of regular bi-monthly fortnights does keep on. Soon you will find a “donate button” everywhere in the site. This is to let you say “thank you” lovelier style; also to help me get a refund for the time and efforts to maintain this site alive and well, as the hard researches I do everyday only for your own amusement.

In its 13th year of existence, this is the first time does go the uppermost North, actually Canda. More precisely Montreal where acted in the early ’50s a well-known personality both on radio (CFRN in Edmonton) and personal apperances. Incidentally has was also a “laddie’s man”. SCOTTY STEVENSON( guitar player) & the Edmonton Eskimos does provide us with a solid “Red Hot Boogie” cut for Canadian RCA-Victor. According to files,this record was issued very early ’50s, although it sounds as if it was recorded a pair of years later. Firm vocal, even some hiccupping, a demented fiddle,a string-bass solo. It has everything a Hillbilly bop lover wishes, a real dream-come-true! Hey, Dean, a more accurate date for this record, please! Although RCA-Victor will never be covered by your great blog “Small Independant Labels”! Let’s keep up the great work, Drunken Hobo…

Alberta state, home to Scotty Stevenson.

Now we are back in the Southern states of U.S., more precisely in Mississipi. Trumpet Records’ owner, Ms. Lillian McMury had found reasonable success with her early ’50s Hillbilly acts, like Kay Kellum or the Hodges Brothers when she signed in April 1951 a young fella from Hattiesburg, born 30 years ago from German and Cherokee ancestry. He’s begin his career shoe-shining for Jimmie Rodgers, then later as a D.J. at WFOR.

« Cowboy Jim  & his Range Riders» as the label called him, was really JIMMY SWAN & his Blue Sky Boys, which comprised a young before fame Hank Locklin. Swan cut an old Al Dexter song, « Juke Joint Mama », revived in 1945 by Denver Darling – a refugee of the ’30’s « Singing Cowboys » era. But it was the reverse side of Trumpet 176, « I Had A Dream » which became a regional hit. Slow weeper, mourn soulful boppers a la Hank Williams.

Juke Joint Mama

by JIMMY SWAN Cowboy Jim and his Range Riders

Other notable records by Swan while at Trumpet were « Triflin’ On Me » (# 177) ; « The Last Letter », a morbid song cut after the death of Hank Williams and leased to M-G-M, « Lonesome Daddy Blues » (# 198).

Cashbox 3-22-1954

Jimmy Swan & Orchestra. Swan (center), Hank Locklin far right

While at M-G-M, he cut in 1956 the great « Country Cattin’ » (# 12348). Other notable records were made in Mobile, Alabama for the JB label : the semi-autobiographical « Honky Tonkin’ In Mississipi » ( # 102) and « Ratllenake Daddy » # 106, very fine guitar). Swan went nowhere in 1960 with a Decca record, and in 1968 on the microscopic Big Howdy label. And that was it for Swan.

Jimmy Swan & Band

Let’s stay downsouth : in Alabama. JIMMY WELCH « The Boy From Alabama » did release on A-B-S JS-146 (date unknown-the label was out of Pennsylvania) the fast, very fine bopper « Searight Blues » on a unusual backing of bass, steel guitar and accordion. The price for this record does flicker between $ 75 to $ 200 .

To sum it up. In Missouri, on the Kansas City rich Choice label, here’s now TENNESSEE JIM (McDonald) & the Hillbilly Playboys. First he does « Hanging Out My Tears To Dry » (# 546A, out 1956) : a very melodic duet (actually McDonald’s voice doubled) – very nasal voice, earthy rural sound with a fine backing. The reverse, « Don’t Steal Her » is a Rockin’ bopper.

Next year (May 1957), McDonald did a Rockabilly classic : « Hold Me Tight (Choice # 852) while the reverse, « My Baby, She’s Rockin’ » is a great Rocker with a very good piano. Record worth $ 100-150.
He had afterwards on his own Tenn.Jim’s (T.J.) label # 1108 a reviving of the old Roy Acuff’s standard « Wabash Cannon Ball » (unheard, so cannot comment).

Sources and thanks :
« Trumpet Records » (by Marc W. Ryan), 1993 ; «Country Hicks » serie (Barklog # 3 and 6), « Hillbilly Boogie1 » Youtube chain (Scotty Stephenson biopic details) ; the indispensable (if you can locate it) «Cowboys,  Honky Tonk And Hepcats » (207,p., 2006), a scrapbook privately edited by and from Tony Biggs. 45cat site for several label scans.

January 2022 3rd week’s favorites

Howdee, folks! this post is unusual .When I posted late December 2021 fortnight’s favorites’ selection, by mistake I posted early January 2022 too. That’s why in order to get you paient for late January fortnight, I decided to post a week’s favorites in the meantime. So here it is an occasional post just to wet you appetite for more boppers.

BUTTERBALL PAIGE, “I’m To Old To Boogie Anymore”, Bullet 695a
fine bpoper; joyful vocal, lotsa steel

Afterwards Gunter was a very prolific artist until the late ’60s, , having recorded at Bama (the justly acclaimed « Gonna Dance All Night »), King, Decca, M-G-M, Sun (#201, #238), Emperor, Island (as Sydney Jo Lewis), GeeGee, Starday, Eagle and Heather Enterprises (as Rock Gunter).. He also duetted 3 times with Roberta Lee and Buddy Durham. What a recordi ccarrere

HARDROCK GUNTER & The Pebbles : My Bucket’s Been Fixed Bullet 690
Medium uptempo, nice lead guitar (Gunter?) and cool vocal.
Afterwards Gunter was a very prolific artist until the late ’60s, ,

Next tune is very melodic, late ffties or early sixties :»I Was Standing Too Close To A Heartache » from 1964 on Kocobo 1009 by BILLY TIDWELL & the Chivlles.. A sort of soft country Rocker. On the reverse a fine version of Johnny Cash’s « Folsom Prison Blues » (not included).

Next artist, Jimmy Lee (rn ; Fautheree) also had numerous records on his own name, or as non-sibling duets. First alone in 1954 on Capitol # 3012 with the fine, fast bopper- lotsa fiddle – « Open For Trade ». Earlier he had been on Louisiana Feature label with « If You Don’t, Somebody
Else Will » (Feature 1092) – no success at all, until he re-recorded the tune at Capitol, which did hit big ; He then teamed up with WAYNE WALKER on Chess out of Chicago. They issued the furious, splendid (sublime aggressive steel) « Love Me ».(Chess 4863 At the times being a common phrase in American popular music (e.g. Buddy Holly’s Rockabilly in 1956 on Decca). The pair of fellows do a proto-rock’n’roll with this berserk wildie  ; urgent vocal, cut under supervision of the famous talent-scout Stan Lewis at Shreveport, La. KWKH studio.

Now a short entry into the fiield of polished Honky Tonk with CARL SMITH and his « Back Up Buddy » Columbia 21226).

Back to earthy Hillbilly on the Shreveport (or to be precise, the near Monroe town). JIMMY PICKARD cut on Jiffy 209 a very good doublesider. The side to look for is the A-side, « I Got Another Love », while the reverse « Hold On », although quieter is not odd.

Now it’s over. I made up my mind to issue this week’s favorites, to offset the absence of early January fortnight, already published in December by error.

No source this time, because lack of time and urgency, sorry! Howevera special big thank ou to Big All turner, who oidentiied the Jimmy Lee track “Open for trade”.

Early January 2022 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdee Folks! This is the first fortnight for 2022. With many thanks to them visitors who sent very sympathetic messages, inquiring for my health problem Now everything is working fine: thank you Mrrs. George (Edmonson), Ken (Hippler), Willem Van Putten (aka Zandaas), Rob (Kopp). My best personal wishes to you.

EDDIE MILLER 4* 1693 « You Walked Away » 1956. intro : discreet el. Guitar on the first verses, over a piano. Then excellent bluesy guitar solo by none other than Eddie Cochran, backed by his faithfull stand-up bass player Connie « Guybo » Smith. A fine little record !

The CLOVERS : Hey, Miss Fannie. Doo-wopping black Rock’n’Roll (Atlantic 977, 1956)

BENNY LEADERS « Hey Miss Fannie » Ok’ed 1060
Uptempo bopper close to Rock’n’Roll. Lovely drums. Steel, fiddle and el. guitar solos b+ piano solo. A disc not to be missed.

BLACKIE CRAWFORD & His Western Cherokees « Jump, Jack, Jump » (Coral 64138)
Crawford and his crew backed any of the early Starday label issues. It’s a jumping bopper. A long steel solo, a piano and an agile guitar solos.The tune has nothing to do with the same Cecil Gant (1947), or ’30’s Andy Kirk’s 5 Clouds of Joy, neither Wynona Carr on Specialty (1956), all three Black artists.

DON FOWLER « Oklahoma Baby » on Oakridge ORM 121, 1966. excellent slapped bass (rare in a ’60’s recording) ; a good rhythmic thing, nice euxuberant vocal. Steel and fiddle solos.

WHITEY KNIGHT « From Angel To A Devil «  ( Nielsen 5-1, 1957)
A medium uptempo very rhytmic and steel. Typical West coast sounding bopper. Alas, afterwards Knight turned pop-rock on Dot Records :« Teenage Blues » is almost awful.

LANIE WALKER « Drop In » Blue Hen 219. (1957). Reverse of A-side « Why Baby Why ».
A bluesy number with steel to the fore. Great disappointed vocal. One of Walker best efforts among his whole product at Blue Hen.

« Tell Me Baby », a Louisiana Rocking Blues number by one of the best Chicago singers/piano players (backed Howlin’ Wolf from 1957 to 1961) HENRY GRAY, although mainly a backing musician. He made very fine sides on his own (e.g. On Parrot records, 1953, or Chess, 1954). Here fabulous piano + harmonica. A solid rocker (1988) on Sun Land 106.

Late December 2021 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdee folks! With thanks to followers who expressed their sympathy with their messages: George (Edmonson), Ken (Hippler), Willem (Van Pitten, aka “Zandaas)),Rob (Kopp) I am feeling better, a recent eye operation (too much looking at tiny matrix numbers!). And money injuries are not lethal, as they say over there. Now the time is brighter, which is not the case with bad weather – yet the Christmas feast and New Tear’s lights are to come, thanks God.

TOM JAMES: « »I’m A Pig About Lovin’ », RCA 20-5790, 1954. A very nice bopper. Relaxed vocal. Uptempo bass and typical Nashville guitar.

»Don’t Lead Me On », a fast number, loping rhythm given by a banjo. Same comment as A-side.

More Tom James with « Sample Of Your Love » on RCA 20-5695. Mid-paced bopper. Again banjo and steel backing. The flipside « Your Kind Of Lovin’ » is faster.

Something different now with a microscopic Nashville Klix label : « Hey Baby » is a rockabilly from 1958. A classic ! As the A-side « Track Down Baby » (Klix 0001). Solid Rockabilly, another cl kilo

Tom James also cut for Whiz (untraced) and Peaceful Valley.

JOHNNY TYLER was a prolific artist to say the least : he had got records published on no less than 8 labels between 1947 and 1956 ! Bixby (« Oakie Boogie »), Fargo, Stanchell, RCA, Specialty {all Hollywood labels), Ekko (« Devil’s Hot Rod »), Tops and Starday 263 « Lie To Me Baby « ). Here he delivers a strong rocker, a piano solo, an embroiding guitar and a fine vocal on « Devil On My Shoulder » (Rural Rhythm 510, another W.C. label)

LUCKY BOGGS & The Tune Toppers. A Texas artist, presumably from Marshall. He cut for Buddy label several great tunes, as « Tears In My Heart » (# 108), « How Long » (# 109), and the Rockabilly « Drillin ‘ Rig Boogie » (# 112). How this tune has been reissued on the Portsmouth, Ohio Shawnee (# 101) label is open to any speculation. One final track, « You Can ‘t Stop Her » : boogie guitar intro.

LUCKY BOGGS & The Tune Toppers. A Texas artist, presumably from Marshall. He cut for Buddy label several great tunes, as « Tears In My Heart » (# 108), « How Long » (# 109), and the Rockabilly « Drillin ‘ Rig Boogie » (# 112). How this tune has been reissued on the Portsmouth, Ohio Shawnee (# 101) label is open to any speculation. One final track, « You Can ‘t Stop Her » : boogie guitar intro.

The Buddy label is also well-known for the very first record of TOMMY BLAKE, “KoolIt” (#107) valued at $ 700-800. Later on he went to Sun records.

Another Texas artist, from San Antonio : RANDY KING and The Westernaires. In 1954, he released on T.N.T. (« Tanner and Texas »!) # 108, the uptempo bopper (steel, fiddle) « Crazy A A Loon ». « Tied And Bound » its flipside is a mid-paced bopper ; a fine vocal, a bit crooning.

More of Randy King, also on T.N.T. (#9009) with the mid-tempo rockabilly, »Be-Bopping Baby ».

That’s it for now Sources : very numerous. Tom James from reissue (Cactus) programs.. Lucky Boggs out of hard-working research (Internet, 45cat), Johnny Tyler from my archives, Randy King from Internet.

Hope you will enjoy all of this music. Leave me a comment please. This helps me a lot ! Have a nice Xmas and a bopping New Year 2022 !

Early December 2021 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Howdy folks! Very bad times for me now (health and personal problems)
. I think I’ve reached the bottom, so things can only be better from now on! For this fortnight, I’ve chosen very different bopping tunes, that I hope will please you all. Please leave me your comments below. And if you have any particular title or artist hat you will be featured in the next articles, please let me know and I will do the utmost to satisfy you. Watch out for some forthcoming features! Now here we go:

KEN PATRICK « So You Love Me » Trend 603B.with Chet Tant on Steel guitar. 1961
Plaintive although fine and moving hillbilly/ Grand Canyon, AZ. Different to another Ken Patrick on Maken (« Night Train »).

RAYMON WEBB w. John Hampton & the Tipton Family « Bleeding Heart » Kyva 102B
(Kentucky/Va)./ « Bleeding Heart »
Slow hilllbilly. Plaintive vocal. Uninventive lead guitar. A good hillbilly anyway.

JACK FINCH & The Collin Cty Four « Nickels Wortth Of Pennies » Skippy 124 (1961)
Steel, nice electric bass, good vocal : Typical early 60s bopper.
« Why I’m Stepping Out » (A-side)
Good country-bopper. Same comment (good steel!)

KED KILLEN « Lonesome Blues » Western Ranch Music 119B (1965)
Disappointed haunting vocal, bluesy. Bopping guitar, moving solo.
Killen had other great bluesy records during the 60s (e.g. « Worried Blues »)

JOE FRANKLIN & his Mimosa Boys – « There’ll be no wedding bells for me » Blue Ridge » 401
A banjo all throughout, mandolin and fiddle. Double vocal on refrain. A fine Buegrass/Hillbilly record. Franklin had also a fantastic hillilly rocker double sider in 1953 on M-G-M with « Hillbilly Boy » and « Hitch-hiking Blues ».

Plays LOUD and CLEAR!

JACK WYBEE with the Rhythm Wranglers « Drifting Down The Stream » Dixiana 106A
Slow bopper, vocal OK, steel.

JOE HOLLIDAY « The Waiting Game » Dee 1261
piano country-rocker. Good vocal. {incomplete – missing beginning}
« So Much Love » (B-side)
Late ’50s country bopper, sincere and sympathetic vocal, a bit poppish.

In complete contrast Walker (as Lenie) published some Rockabillies between 1955 and 1958 among them the renowned double-sider (Blue Hen 230) “Ennie-Meey-Miney-Mo” and “No Use Knocking On My Door”, both solid rockers, aimed at aficionados in this style from 1958. The 45′ is valued at 400-500 $.

GENE STACKS « I Know (My Baby Loves Me) » Cooper 57 (1957)
Rockabilly guitar, joyful vocal, a bit « Sun » style rockabilly.A good record !

“Side Track Daddy” issued 1955 on the Delaware Blue Hen label does the transition between Hillbilly and Rockabilly to come.

Finally a great Rocking Blues tune :
LOUISIANA RED «  I’m Too Poor To Die » Glover 3002 (1964)
Trembling guitar and harmonica. (Red?). Stop-and-go vocal.

That’s it, folks! Sources? Too numerous to mention, sorry.Remember, your comments are welcome, and if you are a relative to any of the artists involved, just drop me a line. A picture appreciated!

Early November 2021 bopping and rocking fortnight’s favorites

Lotsa Rock”Roll, some boppers anyway too !

CHARLIE GRACIE (rn Graci) was a precursor of Rock’n ‘Roll as early as 1951.

He then cut for the Cadillac label (# 141) a fine R&B tinged hillbilly boogie : « Boogie Boogie Blues ». As planned it’s a R&B rocker, fine guitar, vocal OK (Gracie was only 15!), even a good sax solo.

The second offering (same era), « Wildwood Boogie » was published by 20th Century Fox # 5035. Same pattern for this stop-and-go rocker.

Being an excellent guitarist, he played live a tremendous « Guitar Boogie » in 1987.

Finally he paid homage to Eddie Cochran with « I’m allright ».
Some 6 yeas later, he turned pop-rock on Cameo wih « Butterfly », or « 99 Ways » and hit it big. He didn’t although completely ceased Rock’n’Rolling, as heard on live gigs released in UK, eg. on Rollercoaster.

Way up North with RAY TAYLOR and his Alabama Pals for the brilliant « Connie Lou » on the Clix 802 label. His son backs him on drums. Urgent vocal, great, great guitar. The reverse side « My Harmtrack Baby » is equally good at least.

Several years later he turned modern Country, as heard in this « Another Yesterday » on the Voice of Country label (# 107).

Let’s turn back the years. On Clix 801, he had released the fine « Clocking My Card », very bluegrass styled with its mandolin backing all through.

Now we go on the West Coast for an artist who did not seem his career seriously ; he had a great hillbilly voice and the finest musicians team in town (L.A.) GENE O’QUIN missed the train to stardom, being more interested with horses than his own music. Nevertheless he left behind him some of the best ever boppers ever cut and released in the early ’50s by Capitol Records. Heres he is with the funny « I Specialize In Love » (# 2715), circa 1951-52. Excellent backing, steel to the fore.

And now we’re entering the Rock’n’Roll field with another Gene, the Screaming End, born in Norfolk, Va. GENE VINCENT found national success in 1956-57, then he relocated in Texas where he was immensely popular. Here backed by a very young (17 years old at the time, 1958) Ronnie Dawson on lead guitar, he belts out « Hey Mama » (only available until recently on an acetate record), which became the same year a regular « Say Mama », one of his signature songs on Capitol 4105 in December 1958.

The following extract is a transcription of a show he gave in San Francisco in 1971, backed by the Commander Cody Band. Enjoy his rough voice ! Here is a pot-pourri of covers of Chuck Berry, Little Richard and of course Gene’s songs!

RONNIE DAWSON from Dallas had a great career, even with pseudonyms. I chose the great rocker « Rock The Blues Tonight », issued 1982 on Demon (« Monkey Beat »).

And Dawson is for the last two tracks of this selection, cut live in Lyon, France, in November.1991.
First the great rocker (the original was released by Champion Jack Dupree), backed by the Dutch group the Sneat Sniffers (note the prodigious 15-years old lead guitarist, and the good work of both the bassman and the dummer) « Shim Sham Shimmy ».

For a change, we got the old Sam Nichols tune « Who Put The Cat Out (When Papa Was Out Of Town )», sung bluesy style. Very nice lead guitar, before Dawson takes his own solo. Good Lord!

Sources: Ronnie Dawson live (personal collection); Ray Taylor’s “Voice Of Country” 45rpm from Armadillo Killer archives; Gene Vincent’s “Hey Mama” from Internet, as Ray Taylor’s Clix 801; more of Gene Vincent (SF gig) from Internet; Gene O’Quin from my collection; Ray Taylor’s Clix sides from my collection; Charlie Gracie tracks from Internet. Enjoy all the tracks and your comments are welcome!