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 !
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.
Howdy folks, over a period of 15 years, here are the selections of this fortnight.
The earliest track on a strange label, Atlantic, mostly known for R&B and Jazz. They had a short-lived (1 year, 1949-1950) « Folk and Western series », and the very first issue was by LOY GORDON & his Pleasant Valley Boys, for a revamp of the then-popular Sticks Mchee’s original « Drinkin’ wine spo-dee o-dee » (Atlantic 721). Here they are very true to the original. No solo taken by any instrument, but a fine Hillbilly romper. A mean fiddle and steel, and a fine boogie guitar. This was billed as « Folk ballad » on the label !
From Marion, Ohio, 1960. The ROUND UP BOYS (hidden identity) do offer « Rock and Roll baby » on Hark 504. Like the title says, it’s rockabilly with a chugging rhythm. The composer, a Mz . Edna Bright, doesn’t help much.
Next is by two brothers who had a career of at least 30 years, Bob & Joe, the SHELTON BROTHERS. They recorded as early as 1935 a first version of « Deep Elem blues » [the Red Light quarter of Dallas]. The song had been done in 1933 by the Lone Star Cowboys (Leon Chappelear), and was cut by numerous artists later, including a second version (there) by the Sheltons in 1947 on Decca 46008.
On the flip side they had their own « Just because », revived in 1955 by Guess Who. Chugging rhythm, great mandolin. Next Decca 46009 was another nugget : « Ida Red » later renamed « Maybelline » by Chuck Berry. That’s how popular the Sheltons were.
A Gene Simmons production then from Memphis on the Tupelo label (# 2984) from 1964, a good rockabilly by CHARLES K. « The Right bird ».
Way up North in Detroit on the Michigan label Elm 724 : BETTY PARKER does offer « Love is even colder », a fine Bopper backed by Eddie Jackson & Swingsters (of « Rock’n’roll baby » fame on Fortune). Piano led, steel, guitar, an organ solo. Whole thing reminds me of another artist of the area, Palford Brady.
Finally PAUL MIMS, from Louisiana. He delivers « I blowed my top », a call-and-response format, medium paced ditty (long guitar solo and fine steel) on the Shell 121 label.(March 23, 2018. I add a clip (1mn31) of his 1950 issue on Echo (New Orleans), “My New Career Is In Korea“)
Republic records started when Tennessee left. Bill Beasley had law troubles with Decca Records, who wanted Del Wood masters, and Decca won (but Del Wood went later to RCA). So Beasley started Republic. Billboard (March 1953) announced that “Republic company had to legally acquire the master recordings from the formerly Tennessee label”. By July 1953, there were well over 50 singles on the new label.
Significantly, Republic was launched in August 1952 with a pop singer, Snooky Lanson. This trend continued with Del Wood, Jimmy Sweeney and Pat Boone, but half the Republic catalog remained Country. Beasley transferred such Tennessee stalwarts J.T. Adams, Allen Flatt, Lee Bonds and Sonny Sims to his new label. There were a few new names on Republic like Ted West and Jimmy Simpson. Beasley also continued to record R&B and gospel: Edna Gallmon Cooke, Christine Kittrell, who had hits on their own. Bernard Hardison cut “Too Much”, a hit for Elvis in ’57. Apparently Beasley wrote most of the songs, published by a New York group, under the names of Norris/Beasley/Richards, or Rosenberg, the latter being Lee Rosenberg, Beasley’s secretary.
In June 1953, Alan Bubis connection came to an end. Bubis went to construction, coin machines and liquor stores, far more predictable thanrecord business.
In 1955, Beasley moved Republic to 714 Allison Street, and concluded with Murray Nash (ex-Acuff-Rose and Mercury staffer). Nash engineered most of the Republic sides.
The Republic name and logo was bought in 1957 by Ray Scrivener, and along with Gene Auytry, launched Californian Republic label..
After Republic folded, Dot bought Pat Boone’s contract. Other labels (Chess, Vee-Jay) bought Republic masters.(more…)
Howdy folks! Here we go with a new offering from my collection. Kingsport, Tennessee, 1954, and a fine rendition by fiddler L.C. Smith, RADIO BOOGIE. Yes it’s a crossover between Hillbilly Bop and Bluegrass. Much earlier (March 22, 1937) and the great Roy Acuff on STEEL GUITAR BLUES (Clem Slumley on dobro – slide effects). Then on to Texas, both tracks on the TNT label. Energic BICYCLE WRECK by the Jacoby Brothers, and the bluesy LOSING THE BLUES by Jerry Dove (Remember his “Pink Bow Tie”?). Back to Ohio for Lawson Rudd’s SHAKE THIS TOWN. We finish with the Black R&R DON’T HAPPEN NO MORE by Young Jessie (Mickey Baker on guitar) – frantic! (78 rpm). Enjoy the tracks. Comments welcome!