early July 2021 bopping fortnight’s favorites

Enroute for the Fortnight (early July 2021). Lo of boppers ; some rockers.

New Jersey’s HAROLD BAILEY & The Country Drifters do present their only issue ever on Gira # 300. Both are superior boppers. The main instruments are steel guitar and fiddle on « I’m Gonna Leave » and « I’m A Fool ». Both are boppers’ music dreams ! And a fine vocal from:Bailey (1959).

Next, DEAN ARMSTRONG on the aptly named Dance Hands label for « Cowboy Boots », apparenntly the very first record of KENNY SMITH, who made his way later on Johnny O’Neal’s Rural Rhythm label (« Go Right Back » ; bw. the more famous from 1957 « Walkin ‘ By My Lonesome », # 507).. Later on he releaed some great rockers, e.g. »I’m So Lonesome » on the Starday Custom Top-Per label # 281), then on La. Pek label # 7001 for « Wild Man » (1958) and in 1960, « Rockin’ Roll Party » on K-Ark 304.

On Florida’s Blue Sky label ( # 509) : the fast rocker (very nice fiddle) by LYNN CRAMER and « Wild She Devil ».. The same label had other good dics, by Rocky Davis and Billy Smith (1959)  and Jeanie Christie («Flying High », # 697 from 1958). All;these songs are easily available on compilation labels like Buffalo Bop.

The name Trepur rings a bell to you, visitors ? Well, this is the very first disc of the label, Trepur 100 by HUGH LEE OTT : « I’m Through With You », a joyful bopper. Maybe a first isssue had been released on the aptly named Country Bop label (a 78Rpm). On Trepur 503 we find a spendid bopper in the hands of a FUZZY LOFTON, « Bounce Baby Bounce », issued 1956.

On the ULC (« United Low Country ») # 1003, then a lucky find from Tom Sims’ cassettes, the fantastic « No Hard Time Blues ». Nice steel all through, a great rural sounding vocal by BUDDY CUDD (even some yodeling). Great, great record ! Even rarer and better (if one can of course), here’s JACKIE BRYSON, « I’m A Hillbilly Boy » (U.L.C. 1001) with string bass, very good vocal and lyrics, a lot of dobro. A fabulous record !

Another artist who rings a bell to you was JIMMY WORK. Out of Detroit, Michigan, he cut the first version of « Tennesse Border » on Alben records (1947), a song promptly revived by, among others, Hank Williams. He pursued his career in Nashville on various labels, e.g. Decca (« BlueGrass Tickling My Feet ») or this medium tempo « Who’s Been Here Since I’ve Been Gone » (# 46223), a slow weeper, although moving. Later on, he had a sequence of hits on Randy Wood’s Dot label. Songs like « Making Believe », also mostly copied by others, or this «When She Said You All ».

Back in Indiana for a rockabilly classic «  Servant Of Love »:by the VAN BROTHERS » and his extremely good THREE guitar solos . (Dale Gentry) on the Wayne Raney ‘s « Poor Boy » label (# 100).

In Mississipi now for RALPH REYNOLDS &the Dude Ranch Wranglers and their nice medium bopper, « Alone By The Telephone » on Lilian McMurry Globe label # 127. A fine guitar embroiding the lazy and cool vocal and piano throughout.

Back to rockabilly with more of a classic, Joe Turner‘s « Boogie Woogie Country Girl » : pounding piano (Westwood 201). . Disc came from Jackson, Tennessee, home of Carl Perkins. The label had also in its roster, Tony Snyder and Joe Rickman. Its best claim to fame (a must-have for collectors) was 1962 Larry Brinkley’s, « Move Over Rover » ( # 205)

Sources : labels mostly from Rockin’ Country Style ; music from my huge sound/labels collection stored on my Mac computer.It has proven in spite of hard research, impossible to find U. L. O. 1001 (I’m A Hillbilly Boy) by Jackie Brysons, sorry.

early February 2014 fortnight’s favorites

Howdy folks. Excuse me, a little bit late…

First on the D label (#1034), the very Hollyish “Sady” by DOUG STANFORD. Very nice Rockabilly guitar and vocal hiccups. A medium bluesy “Separate ration blues” by BILL FREEMAN (later on All-star)(vocal “Buddy” Young): good piano, sax and fiddle.

d stanford sady

tex-talent freeman separatewinkler winkler boatHillbilly boogie with AL WINKLER for “Show boat boogie” on the Winkler label # 45-88 . Boogie guitar, mandolin, and call-and-response format.

Doug Stanford, “Sady”

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 Bill Freeman (Bddy Young) “Separate ration blues”

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 Al Winkler, “Show boat boogie”

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From Indiana, a fast bluegrass, “A use to be” by BRYANT WILSON on Adair 620. A nice atmospheric (steel led) “Stoney mountain” by BOBBY BROWN on Backwater 945.

And finally CHUCK GODDARD on the famous Georgia Trepur label (# 1005) with the piano-led “The moon won’t tell“.

adair wilson use blackwater brown mountaintrepur goddard moon Bryant Wilson “A use to be”

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Bobby Brown “Stoney mountain”

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Chuck Goddard “The moon won’t tell”

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There will be next fortnight in early March only.

late October 2011 fortnight favorites

Here I am again, and I arranged a nice (I think) program for you all.

First an unknown artist (as often during the Fifties), who cut several marvelous Hillbilly bop sides between 1955 and 1957. I didn’t find anything on LUCKY HILL, though he may have been from the Cincinnati area. A fine, entertaining singer, and because the fiddle is always to the fore, he may also have been playing it. First selection: both sides of COUNTRY 501, a King label custom pressing (hence the Cincinnati possible connection), the fast “I’m Checkin’ out“, the flipside being a weeper, “I’m Missing You“. He apparently re-recorded the latter song for Starday 329 (flipside “Wait For Me“, a very great Hillbilly bop – part slow, part fast). Thanks to “HillbillyBoogie1” (YouTube), I’ve got some personal details. From a 1957 article,

“Lucky remembers that his first radio show was over WTFM in Tiffin, Ohio in 1947. He was nervous back then that the audience wouldn’t like his music. And remained so as he knew music was constantly changing. Back in 1947 he mentioned, you were either ‘established’ or you weren’t.”

He had a few recordings released, too – songs such as “That Old Sweetheart Of Mine“, “Now You Know“, “Technical Love” (all untraced).

Then he had in the Starday custom serie (# 622), the great uptempo “Fickle Baby” in March of 1957. After that, Hill disappeared, at least on my part.

country  hill Icheckin'starday  hill fickle

The ARMSTRONG TWINS were one of the last duets to master the great harmonies of the traditonal country music that came from ’30s and ’40s. The twins, guitarist Lloyd and mandolin player Floyd, were born in DeWitt, Arkansas but were raised in Little Rock. They made their radio debut at age five and by the age of nine were hosting their own radio show. Greatly influenced by the Blue Sky Boys and the Bailes Brothers, the Armstrongs were appearing on two daily radio shows and on the Arkansas Jamboree by 1946. Between then and 1951, they cut over a dozen songs, most of which were bluegrass covers. Here I’ve chosen their furious “Mandolin Boogie” (4 * 1231) from 1947, here taken from an old Arhoolie album which gathers all of their 4 * output. Buy it in confidence, if you can find. It’s re-released on CD 9046 “The Armstrong Twins – Mandolin Boogie” ).

armstrong twins front

(from the notes to the CD – year unknown – “Keepin’ It Country” (Wedge Entertainment):

RALPH JOHNSON was born in the Clinch Mountains of south West Virginia. south west virginia

He began developing his musical career at the age of six, after receiving his first guitar.  At the age of

fifteen, his singing and musical talent had developed enough to enable him to put together his own band.  Ralph and his band auditioned for a radio show in Richlands, VA. They landed the job on WRIC radio.  During this time, his band played schools, halls and theatres in the area.  They later auditioned for a spot on a new TV station in Bluefield, WV.  Some time later, they had earned the privilege of performing two shows on WOAY in Twin Oak Hill, WV.  It was here that he recorded his first record, “Henpecked Daddy” (released on his own abel, RALPH JOHNSON records)

ralph johnson henpecked

Hillbilly meets old Country Blues! Solid rhythm guitar, assured vocal. A timeless Rockabilly…  After appearing on different radio and TV stations throughout the country, he moved his operation to Baltimore. MD.  While in Baltimore, he launched Wedge Records, Dome Records and Fleet Records.  Along with all of his record labels, he opened his own publishing company, Big Wedge Music.  He released all types of music from the Washington and Baltimore areas.  He later moved his operation to Vineland, NJ where he became the co-owner of WDVL Radio.  As a DJ, he played country music five hours a day, every day.  He went on to develop and book country music acts from Nashville, TN into Palentein Park every Sunday.  In 1976, he decided to move to Nashville, TN, where he proceeded to record and promote records on his Wedge Entertainment record label.  He used songs from his own publishing company, Big Wedge Music.  As you can see, Ralph Johnson has made a big splash in the music industry.

His  CD can be found direct from his address: http://wedgeentertainment.net/keepinitcountry.htm

Last artist, FUZZY LOFTON, recorded his solitary single for the Lagrange, GA, Trepur label (# 503),

Trepur lofton Bounce “Bounce Baby Bounce“, from ca. 1957. A fine, interesting hick vocal, propelled by a nice guitar (the player has apparently much heard Chet Atkins, Eddie Hill and Merle Travis). He takes a very good solo, then a shy steel player enters for a short solo. A nice, relaxed shuffler.

Keep bopping, folks. Enjoy the selections! Comments welcome.