Billy Wallace had one of the most unique voices in rockabilly music and played a different guitar style than most of the guitarists back then would do. Both, his voice and full-bodied guitar play worked well together on his classic session with the Bama Drifters in 1956 for Mercury Records, on which he laid down four songs. But Wallace had also a long and more successful (but also unknown) career in songwriting. He never achieved the honor he should have. Wallace was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in 1917, but his family moved soon after to Athens, Alabama. Previously, his father had worked on the oil fields in Oklahoma. He grew up on his father’s farm and learned to play the guitar at an early age. As a teenager, he began to write songs and was later influenced by the country music stars back then like the Delmore Brothers, Rex Griffin and Roy Acuff but also listened to Hank Smith, Ernest Tubb and Hal Smith. (more…)
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…)
Hi! there all, friends, visitors, listeners. This is not April fool! Another batch of good ole’ Hillbilly Bops, Hillbilly Boogie and Honky Tonks from the golden age, and various sources.
Let’s begin with the earliest track, from Texas, 1950-51. TILMAN FRANKS was an entrepreneur, bassist, and associate with various labels and artists. For example, he launched the carrers of very young WEBB PIERCE (Pacemaker label, before 4 * and Decca) and FARON YOUNG, recording them in Houston, then placing the products with East Coast labels. FARON YOUNG made his vocal debut on Philly GOTHAM with this “Hot-Rod Shotgun Boogie N0. 2“. Way before Young specialized on Capitol with sweet ballads, this is raw Hillbilly Bop, Texas style!
Second then, a legend, the great MERLE TRAVIS, with a little known opus, “Louisiana Boogie” – fabulous piano by Capitol session man Billy Liebert. Indeed Travis takes his solo too...
More on Capitol with very recently deceased FERLIN HUSKEY, who disguised under 3 personas. As a comedian, as Simon Crum. As Honky-tonker (early in carreer) as Terry Preston. Here he’s attempting as FERLIN HUSKEY on Rockabilly in 1955 with the famous classic “Slow Down Brother“.
More Hillbilly Bop from Detroit, 1953- almost Rockabilly in spirit: FOREST RYE and “Wild Cat Boogie” on the Fortune label. Like the sparse instrumentation and lyrics! More on “Cat music” on the site with the “research” button above right!
1956, from Louisiana, hence his name, CURLEY LANGLEY (l’Anglais, in French) and the minor classic, “Rockin An’ A Rollin” on the Arcadia label. Fine backing. Langley made more quiet Hillbilly on the same label.
Finally, a 1957-58 disc from Indiana (Iowana label) by WES HOLLY, “Shufflin’ Shoes“. Holly had already cut the same song as “Shuffling Shoes Boogie” in 1952 for the Nashville TENNESSEE label (see elsewhere in the site the story to this label).
Enjoy the selections, folks! You also can see what’s available for sale from my collection (overstocks, as new) on “Contact Me” button.
See you, as always, comments welcome. Bye!
Howdy folks! Beginnnig a New Year (and nearly two years of this site) with my Bopping wishes and a lot of good hillbilly music, here are BADEAUX (rn Ellas ) & THE LOUISIANA ACES. It’s Cajun cut during the ’80s, “I Can Live A Better Life“. Up onto North in Mississipi with MACK HAMILTON. He had records on Diamond and Feature out of Jackson. Here I’ve chosen the stomping medium tempo Honky tonk “Will You Will Or Will You Won’t“.
RICKY RIDDLE was a native of Rector, Arkansas (as Skeets McDonald), and as the former, moved with family during the ’30s to Detroit. Early ’50s saw him entertaining in Nashville, and recording his first sides (moderate success) for the Tennessee label (see elsewhere for the label’s story). In 1954, he had switched to M-G-M and cut “Steamboat Boogie“, with Don Helms, ex-Drifting Cowboys, on steel-guitar. The words “Steamboat boogie / Rock, rock” are contemporary to Bill Haley’s “Rock Around The Clock”, and Riddle pursued in the same vein on Coral and Decca in 1955-56
Billboard advert, 1954
HAWKSHAW HAWKINS had several hits on King when he stopped in 1954 on RCA-Victor. As Riddle, he also used the new trend in “Waitin’ For My Baby (Rock, Rock)”. Nice uptempo Bopper, almost Rockabilly.
Now a real rarity by RED MOORE, about whom nothing is known. He revived on his own label, Red (located North in Iowa), the old traditional “Crawdad Song” during the late ’50s.
Finally way up North with Chester Burnett, aka HOWLING WOLF, for a classic Chicago Rocking Blues from 1961, “Little Baby” (Hubert Sumlin on lead guitar). Enjoy the selections!
January 2nd. Someone did visit the site and gave me the link to RED MOORE. Here it is:http://www.rockabillyhall.com/RedMoore1.html
Lee Bonds (1924-Present)
By Tony Biggs (thanks Tony: he’s the bass-player of the Rimshots, Gene Gambler & The Shufflers, Bill Fadden & The Rhythmbusters and Ponchartrain)
Lee Bonds was born in Albertville, Alabama on April 22, 1924. At a very young age he became interested in Honky Tonk music and by the age of 18 decided to leave his dad’s farm and head down the musical road. He toured throughout Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida for five years. On his return to Alabama he secured a slot on local Radio station WGWD in his home town city of Gadsen, where he became a regular performer. He joined the ‘Midway Jamboree’ show in 1951 that was relayed by WGWD and became their resident bassman.
Bonds and his band, The Shady Lane Playboys, made their first recording sessions in Nashville during early 1951 for the newly formed Tennessee Records (also based in Nashville).
His style was typically Honky Tonk, but alongside his very rural voice, Bonds incorporated a trumpet into his music giving it a slight bluesy feel. His self-penned ‘Uh-Huh Honey’ was later covered by several artists including Charlie Feathers.
Bonds only saw two releases for the label before Tennessee Records folded under inauspicious circumstances.
Sometime in 1952 he ventured to California and guested for ‘Walkin’ Charlie Aldrich and
Spade Cooley in the summer.
second release (more…)