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.