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.
MERLE KILGORE is not a newcomer. He met in the ’60s and ’70s a lot of success as a songwriter in Nashville : wrote « Ring of Fire » for Johnny Cash, and « Wolverton mountain » for Claude King. But I am more interested with his beginnings for Imperial records, seemingly all cut at KWKH in Shreveport, La. Here’s « Everybody needs a lttle lovin’ » that Merle released on # 8300. A Rockabilly guitar
Tillman Franks on double bass with Johnny Horton
(fine solo), propelled by a thudding bass (Tillman Franks?) over an urgent vocal. Later Wyatt Merle Kilgore (his actual name, being born in Chickasaw, OK. In 1934) turned frankly towards Rock’n’roll with tunes like « Please please please », cut in New Orleans in Jan. 1956 with an-all Black group, that of Dave Bartholomew, and « Ernie » . So eclectic was the man ! He was also a board member of the Hank Williams Montgomery museum, being very close to Hank’s family. He was back to his Country roots in 1959 with Country rockers on the « D » label (‘Take a trip to the moon »). Died of a lung cancer in 2005.
I didn’t find anything on the next artist : TROY JORDAN & His Cross-B-Boys, except to location of the label: Midland, Texas. So can only comment both sides of his disc issued on Tred-Way 100. The A-side is a good uptempo, « Who Flung that mater », with a too-discrete steel-guitar and well-sung, although nothing rxceptional. B-side is really fine bluesy a tune: guitar, steel, a piano solo, lazy vocal for « Don’t cry on my shoulder». Jordan was a distant cousin of the Carter Sisters, so it may be they are the right way for a research on him.
HILLBILLY HERMAN, & his Tennessee Valley Boys, despite his name, is a Blugrass artist in 1966, who offers « Today I watched my dreams come true » (Breeze 366, located in Livingston, TN), a solid uptempo, with great backing in the background The main instrument is a very nice mandolin ; alas the guitar solo is very insipid. The Breeze label had issued a very rocking version of “Wreck of the old 97” (# 381) by Jim Sebastian. A record to watch for. In the meantime, do YouTube searching! Herman had an elusive issue on Hatfield (no #)[untraced]
Howdy Folks ! This is the early May 2017 bopping fortnight’s favorites selection.
First rank for a mid-tempo Western swing bopper : « Alone by the telephone » from 1947 by RALPH REYNOLDS & his Dude Ranch Wranglers (vocal Curley Burns). From California, it has a lazy vocal, a bit, as you say, disillusioned. Long guitar solo and piano, fiddle parts. The record was first (?) issued on Red Bird 102, then appeared on Globe 127. A very good example of bopping Swing of the ’40s.
Then again in NYC on the Choice label (# 6504) [so, not the revered by Collectors Kansas City label] for a strong rocker: « You don’t love me like you used to do » from 1959. Loud drums, and a good duet between piano and guitar. Still a good side. Finally « Big train » (Choice 6508) from 1960, with a more folky approach (use of a prominent banjo in the backing). And again, a great record. Tommy Faile seemingly never failed ! He was reported as having worked with Arthur Smith too (« Bye bye black smoke choo choo » on M-G-M) and was having records as early as 1948 (Capitol, 40 000 serie) !
Back on the West coast on the Nielsen label (# 57-1-2) and WHITEY KNIGHT and « From an angel to a devil ». A very nice uptempo ballad, with steel to the fore. A touch of the Bakersfield sound.
PHIL BEASLEY on the Dayton, OH Jalyn label (# 349A) cut in as late as 1970 the fine « The restless wind » : the song is a bit folkish, and a fast ditty. Good guitar and vocal.
Finally in Hollywood, TOMMY SARGENT’s Range Boys do come with three tunes. First a good revamp of the old traditional « Frankie and Johnnie », a good jumping version, fiddle-led, on the Corax 1328B label from 1947-48 (vocal Gabe Hemingway). The steel guitar is played by Sargent , as noted on the next track sticker « featuring Tommy Sargent and his Steel Guitar » : « Steel guitar boogie » (# 1328A) is a quite good instrumental, a serious contender in this category. The third and final track by Sargent is also cut on Corax # 1084B (non consecutive serie, but same period!). It’s a prettily different affair : « Night train to Memphis » (vocal Gabe Hemingway) is a very fast call-and-response romper. The accordion imitates a train, we even have a solo of a seemingly welcome clarinet (or is a flute?). A fabulous Western bopper !