This fortnight begins with a heck of wildness: MICHAEL RAYE & Judy Shaye (“two voices and four hands” on the label) do offer the storming “Rockin’ Jamboree” on Arcade (Philly) # 112. Boogie woogie pano, trombone and guitar combine for this from 1953.
JOHNNY FOSTER (announced a month ago) from Alabama offers the perfect rock-a-ballad “Locked away from your heart” on the Sandy label (# 1028). Good steel and sincere vocal. 1958. He had an earlier issue (# 1014) on the same label, which sounds promising (alas untraced): “It’s a hard life/You gotta be good“. I don’t know if he’s the same artist who appeared later on Capa and Carma during the early ’60s. Anyone can confirm, or deny?
MAX LOWE enters for two issues, both came out from Morristown, TN. First “Ain’t got a nickel, ain’t got a dime”, a banjo led bluesy ballad, is to be found on Waterfall 502. More of the same on J-F-K-L 701 and “Little Lou”, from 1961 (thanx to Youtube Cheesebrew Wax Archive chain).
The “REAVES WHITE COUNTY RAMBLERS” go back to the late ‘20s on Vocalion 5218 for the romping “Ten cent piece”. It’s a fast raw hillbilly, showing prominent fiddle and a strong vocal. Courtesy 53jaybop on Youtube.
From Wichita, KS, emanate the Kanwic label on which OWEN McCARTY & His Troubadours cut “Key to my heart” (# 145), an uptempo ballad with nice steel, in 1968. McCarty was to have two other known records: on Show Land (produced by Benny Hess) and Air Cap.
AL URBAN doesn’t need introduction. He cut the great Hillbilly bopper (1957) “Looking for money” (Sarg 148), and the fabulous twin-sider Rockabilly “Gonna be better times/Won’t tell you her name” (Sarg 158), without forgetting his two issues on Fang 1001 and 1003 (untraced). Here he appears on a “manufactured by Tanner ‘n’ Texas [T.N.T.]” A.P.U. 201, which shows two addresses: Gonzales (hometown to Urban) and San Antonio, TX. His “Run away” is similar to his Sarg sides, with a heavy Starday sound: a piano player sounding like Doc Lewis, a fiddle sounding like Red Hayes. Could it be that this record has actually been recorded in Houston?
For this Xmas 2015, as a gift, you faithful visitors of bopping.org will get 13 (yes, thirteen) selections, instead of the usual only 6 ; although for several months I gradually posted more and more tunes. Merry bopping Xmas to y’all !
« Deep Elem blues » was first recorded by the SHELTON BROTHERS (Bob & Joe on vocals and mandolin/guitar) in February 1935 in Chicago (Decca 5422), before the Prairie Ramblers gave their own version in August of the same year. The song refers to the black quarter in Dallas, where you need 50 $ because of the red headed women there. It was an immediate success, revived by others over the years, namely by JERRY LEE LEWIS, whose 1957 version remained unissued in the Sun archives for 40 years ! Same year saw the WILBURN BROTHERS‘ version (Decca 29887) : Doyle & Ted do a fine job on this song. Later on Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead) and Levon Helm had their versions too, outside the scope of this blog, as they say.
Howdy folks! Let’s begin in Ohio with a native (Portsmouth, 1919), HOWARD PERKINS, early in 1960 on the Shawnee label (# 102) for the fine fast, energetic “It’s A Cryin’ Shame” – nice rhythm, welcome short guitar & steel solos. Shawnee 101 was Lucky Boggs‘ “Drillin’ Rig Boogie“. Later in 1964, “It’s A Cryin’ Shame” reappeared (re-recorded with a lovely fiddle well to the fore – long guitar solo) on Bob Mooney’s Rem (# 346) Lexington, Ky. label. Finally PERKINS had another goodie with “Under control” on the Indianapolis Juke label (# 2012, 1969).
Now a real stomper perfectly sung and played: that’s how a real honky tonk should sound in 1956. WYNN STEWART, fronting the Skeets McDonald Orchestra with the solid “Slowly But Surely” (Capitol 3515).
Very near to Rock’n’Roll, the Rockabilly tinged “I won’t be able to make it” by GLENN CANYON on the Cincinnati Adco label (# 781) from 1965. Stinging guitar, haunting riff.
Back to early ’50s with JACKIE DOLL and the topical “When They Drop The Atomic Bomb“. A fast classic honky tonk: piano, guirar, steel, even a landolin solo. It’s on the Mercury label # 6322 (1952)
Now an excellent fast atmospheric Hillbilly Rockaballad “Courtin’ Under The Moon” by RONDELL BARKER (Excellent 804). Great steel & guitar.
Finally on Philly’s Arcade 163, “It’s Nobody’s Fault But Your Own” by REX ZARIO. A medium steady rhythm over a firm baritone vocal. Zario deserves to be researched.
P.S. Thanks Drunken Hobo for sending me the second version (Rem) of Howard Perkins’ “It’s A Cryin’ Shame”.
‘Cat’ has been used as a term in popular music since the Jazz years of the 1920’s. Revered by the ancient Egyptians, cats have a mystique and grace all over their own – no wonder these independent and mysterious animals became such a byword for ‘Cool’ in music from Hep Cats, jazz be-boppers of the ‘40s, and right through into 1950’s Rock’n’Roll.