Hello again ! This time I will concentrate on a Wheeling, W. Va label by the mid-50s : ADMIRAL, and two artists from its roster, ABBIE NEAL and DUSTY OWENS. Actually the Admiral label had a short life and a very few artists, among them RAY ANDERSON (remember « Stalin Kicked The Bucket » on Kentucky, and « Sputnicks And Mutnicks » on Starday?)

DUSTY OWENS was the most well-known of both, originally from Detroit, MI. By the time he had relocated in W. Va. And had had a long stint with Columbia Records. He opens the serie (# 1000), duetting with a certain Donna Darlene and backed by the Rodeo Boys. « Once More » is a fine hillbilly shuffler, later revived by the Osborne Brothers on M-G-M, and in the ’90s by Chris Hillman and his Desert Rose Band. The flispide « It’s Goodbye And So Long » is a fast fiddle led hillbilly. On # 1004 Owens revives in 1957 the Wiley Barkdull « Hey, Honey », originally issued on Hickory 1074. A good version, with a lot of slap-bass on.


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admiral owens honeyabbie nealadmiral neal hillbillyABBIE NEAL is a Rockabilly chick, backed by her Ranch Girls. « Hillbilly Beat » (# 15000, unusual in the sequence) however has nothing to do with hillbilly music : it’s a fast Rock’n’Roll opus led by a hot saxophone ; some might call it « jump ». Flipside « I’ll Take Back That Heartache » is an urgent vocal rockabilly, excellent backing. « If Again » on # 1006 has Neal duetting on a fast, jumping hillbilly – strong guitar, fiddle all along.

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I know nothing more than that I wrote, except Dusty Owens, whose long career is well documented. He even had a CD a few years ago on the German Bronco Buster label gathering some of his Columbia sides. Abbie Neal has a serie of very nice video clips on YouTube.

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Let’s now hear the podcasts. Enjoy and comment !

Labels from Youtube or popsike. Admiral 15000 was supplied (sound and label) by Tony Biggs. Thanks!