James Arthur “Jimmie Heap” (later Jimmy) was born March 3rd, 1922 in Taylor, Tx. He died at only 55 on December 3rd, 1977, on account of a boat accident in Lake Buchanan. His corpse was rescued only one day after.
Jimmie’s career did begin shortly after discharge from U.S.A.F. during WWII, more exactly said in 1947. Arlie Carter (piano), Horace Barnett (rhythm guitar), “Big” Bill Glendenings (bass) and Louis Renson (or Rencon) (fiddle), all belonged to the Melody Masters right from the start. Later they were joined by Cecil R. “Butterball” Harris (steel-guitar). Indeed Jimmie Heap was on vocal and lead guitar.
With appearances on radio KTAE (from 1948 to 1956) and in clubs, they were always fully booked up. A Barnett composition about a club they were frequently playing at, “Dessau Hall Waltz” soon found the interest of Lasso Records, who cut the band during the Spring of 1948. Their first singles appeared therefore on this tiny label. They even had leased masters on 4 Star, wrongly credited to “Dolores & Blue Bonnet Boys”. (more…)
Howdy folks! Here we go for another fortnight’s batch of favorites. 1947, Capitol studios, Hollywood, California, the MILO TWINS and the classic duet “Truck Driver’s Boogie” (78rpm). Later on I will give you everything I know of the Milo Twins, who disappeared shortly afterwards. Then on 4 Star: AL VAUGHN and his great midtempo “She’s An Oakie”, from 1950-51. From Texas, 1952, we can listen to another classic (originally Harry Choates’ on Gold Star), “Cattin’ Around”, Western swing style, by CHARLIE ADAMS (Columbia). His story is also can be traced on this blogsite. Texas too, and a phenomenon: BILL MACK, D.J. in Beaumont, had many sides on Starday. I’ve chosen “Play My Boogie” (fabulous piano) from 1953. Cisco, Texas, on the Rose label, from 1955; a transition between Hillbilly Bop and Rockabilly, “Have You Heard The Gossip” by CHARLIE BROWN. Finally, a much later disc on the Solar label (could be as well from 1959 to 1962!), nice Country-rock by LEE EDMOND, “When I’m Alone”. Anyone has got details? Enjoy the music, comments welcome!Cashbox November 12, 1955 (addition July 1rst, 2019)
SLIM WILLET (notes to Collector CD 2857)
Slim Willet will forever be remembered as the composer of « Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes ». The song was a monster hit in 1952, initially for Slim Willet himself, then for the likes of Skeets McDonald, Ray Price and Red Foley. The song also made inroads into the pop field, with successful covers by a slew of pop singers, including a N° 1 hit for Perry Como in 1953.
Ironically « Don’t let the Stars Get In Your Eyes » was the B side of Willet’s second release on his own 4 STAR Custom pressed SLIM WILLET label. Slim gleefully recalled in a 1950’s article in COWBOY SONGS that 4 STAR had written to him upon receipt of his masters advising him that « Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes » was – quote – « Off beat, off meter, off everything and would not sell ». Needless to say when the record started to attract considerable attention, 4 STAR speedily reconsidered their position, brushed aside any doubs they may have harboured about the song, and signed Slim Willet to a recording deal.
Before taking a closer look at what led on from the success of « Don’t let The Stars Get In Your Eyes », it would be better to first take a glance at Willet’s formative years in order to put events into perspective. (more…)