Welcome to Mellow's Log Cabin. This blog's purpose is to supply information on a diversity of American southern music - ranging from country, blues, old-time and folk to R&B, rock'n'roll and rockabilly. I regularly present my research results about artists, labels, shows and also give guest writers a chance to publish their texts here on occasion.

UPDATES

• New info on the Sylvia Mobley discography.
• Updated my post on the Gene Wester acetate.
• Added discographical infor on Blake Records.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ray Harris - Greenback Dollar

This one's by request. My first selfmade compilation... Thanks Matt, you know why!
Download

Monday, December 8, 2014

Big Jim Edwards

Big Jim Edwards (Clearpool 102), prob. 1965
 
"So Undecided"
  
"Long Line of Sorrow"

Here are two neat little country outings by Big Jim Edwards, judging from his voice an elder singer already back then. You can read more about the Clearpool label here. I assume the componist of "So Undecided," Evelyn Edwards, was Jim's wife. I couldn't find anything on the writer of the other side except that his full name was H. Curtis Marshall.

Big Jim Edwards sings in a nasal country style here, similar to Billy Wallace. Before hearing the disc, I guessed he was the same Big Jim Edwards that was a DJ on several pop radio statios across the US, including in Memphis for some time. I have changed my mind by now - but who knows?

The same Big Jim Edwards? Probably not!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Clearpool

Clearpool Records Inc.

Clearpool Records Inc. was most likely owned by Memphis bassist Bill Black and located in Memphis, Tennessee. Clearpool was named after a popular night spot in the city, the "Clearpool" restaurant, an entertainment complex that also included a swimming pool. The released recordings were published through Black's Lyn-Lou Publishing company.

Bill Black
The label was set up in the first half of 1965. During the previous six years, Black had been very successful nationally with his "Bill Black Combo" and toured with the Beatles in 1964. The founding of Clearpool was possibly one of his last activities in the music business; Black was diagnosed with cerebral tumor and died on October 21, 1965, in Memphis.

Due to Black's passing in 1965, the label was only a short-lived affair. Memphis music vetetan Marlon Grisham had the initial release on the label (#101), it was his last rock'n'roll record. Clearpool #102 was by Big Jim Edwards, "So Undecided" b/w "Long Line of Sorrow," two country performances. I first suspected this to be the same Big Jim Edwards, who was a popular DJ on different stations, including CKLW, but this one was more of a 1960s pop and rock lover. The Edwards on Clearpool sounds more like an older country artist. Also on the label were Billy and the Fabulous Echoes as well as Dennis Turner, who sang with Bill Black's Combo at that time.

You can find more info on Clearpool #103 at DeadWax.

Discography
101: Marlon Grisham - Why Did She Go / Jungle Love (1965)
102: Big Jim Edwards - So Undecided / Long Line of Sorrow
103: Billy and the Fabulous Echoes - Just Love Me Right / Jump and Shout
4002: Dennis Turner - Roll On / Confused

Thanks to DrunkenHobo

Thursday, November 27, 2014

More Willie Gregg...

 
Willie Gregg - Rebel (Bridge-Way 1003), 1968

I presented a superb version of Merle Haggard's "If You Want to Be My Woman" by Gregg here. Today's disc is more of a teen record with a slight country feel, which is more promiment on the flip "A Heart Afraid to Break." As it turns out, I'm still not able to come up with some assured information on him. My assumption is that he was a local artist, active in the Orange-Port Arthur area in Texas. I have evidence he recorded in the 1960s for three different labels at least, all of Texan origin. Here a short overview:

Kay-Bar Dane No.#: Willie Gregg and the Velvetones - You Fool / ? (1960?)
Bridgeway 1003: Willie Gregg - Rebel / A Heart Afraid to Break (1968)
Waterflow 702: Willie Gregg and the Country Kings - She's No Good / If You Want to Be My Woman (1969)

The Kay-Bar Dane label was based in Orange, Texas, near the Texas-Louisiana state border. Waterflow was run by Tee Bruce in Port Arthur, which is located less than 20 miles southwest of Orange. I have no info on the Bridge-Way label except for the fact it was pressed by Houston Recorders, just as the Waterflow and Kay-Bar Dane discs were.

BMI lists Willie Gregg with seven different compositions, two of them as Willie Clyde Gregg. The majority of these songs were published by Tabitha Publ. of Livingston, Texas. There was a Willie Gregg from Groves, Texas, who was born on February 20, 1940, and died on September 10, 2005. Groves is located in the Port Arthur/Nederland/Port Neches area. Probably our man?

Friday, November 21, 2014

George Hamilton IV on ABC-Paramount

 
George Hamilton IV - If You Don't Know (ABC-Paramount 45-9765), 1956

Although I have to admit that I am neither an expert on his life nor on his recordings, I always considered George Hamilton IV a great artist. His "Abilene" hit recording is one of the best from that period but he was also versant with the rockabilly sound, as "If You Don't Know" as well as his other great rocker "Everybody's Body" testifiy. 

Born on July 19, 1937, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, as George Hege Hamilton IV, he came - in contrast to the majority of country singers of his era - from a relatively worthy family. Hamilton's father was vice president and manager of a company in Winston-Salem. Growing up in a city, Hamilton enjoyed many of the advantages of urban life a country boy could not. One of those was going to the cinema, where he would see the movies of the singing cowboys. His love for country music was stimulated by his grandfather, a railroader, who had many of the old Jimmie Rodgers records. Hamilton would also listen to the Grand Ole Opry out of Nashville every Saturday evening.

Hamilton learned to play guitar and formed a band while at high school. The outfit performed at local gatherings, civic events and social meetings. By 1955, he attended the University of North Carolina and then the American University in Washington, D.C., which enabled him to perform on the Jimmy Dean TV Show.

In the summer of 1956 came his first big break. Hamilton knew Orville Campbell, who owned Colonial Records in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He persuaded Campbell to sign him to a recording contract and recorded a first session for the label in March 1956 at the WUNC Swain Hall at the University of North Carolina that produced "I've Got a Secret" and "Sam." On that date, Hamilton was backed by Joseph Tanner on electric lead guitar and Henry Heitman on bass. Though, those titles were reserved initially.

When John D. Loudermilk, at that time also a young and unknown songwriter, pitched a song entitled "A Rose and a Baby Ruth" to Campbell, Hamilton was given the chance to record it. In return to recording Loudermilk's teen ballad, Hamilton was also allowed to cut one of his originals, the rockabilly tune "If You Don't Know." Campbell set up a second session again at WUNC Swain Hall on June 18, 1956, which resulted in recording both songs that day. In addition to Hamilton, Tanner, and Heitman, drummer Dennis Beams and a vocal group called "The Blue Notes" were added for the recording of "A Rose and a Baby Ruth." On "If You Don't Know" however, the trio turned into a great rockabilly performance with a strong rhythm guitar by Hamilton, a sophisticated lead guitar by Tanner, and a deep, slapping bass by Heitman.

Billboard review on September 1, 1956
Billboard review on October 20, 1956

It was released in late summer 1956 on  Colonial #420 credited to "George Hamilton IV and the Country Gentlemen", followed by a national release through the ABC-Paramount label (ABC-Paramount #45-9765). It was "A Rose and a Baby Ruth" that caught on and eventually peaked at #6 on Billboard's Hot 100. The record became a million-selling hit and catapulted Hamilton into stardom. He was transferred to the ABC-Paramount label and recorded more teen pop material, similar to "A Rose and a Baby Ruth." His only other pure rocker, "Everybody's Body," again showed his love for a solid rockabilly sound.


In 1959, Hamilton moved his family to Nashville, in order to establish himself as a country singer. In 1960, he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry and singed with RCA-Victor. Country hits followed, including the No.1 "Abilene," written by Loudermilk and Bob Gibson. The hits faded in the early 1970s but Hamilton remained active, especially as a live act. He undertook wide tours around the world, which earned him the nickname "The International Ambassador of Country Music." George Hamilton IV died September 17, 2014, in Nashville.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Another Lightning Ball 45

 
 Slim Dortch - Below the Dixie Line (Lightning Ball LB-45-8701), ca. 1993

Here we have another of Slim Dortch's late Lightning Ball releases. In addition to the two I had found earlier, I discovered there were two more of them around. This is one of them. While "Below the Dixie Line" was included on Dortch's 1993 album of the same name, the flip side "I Found Happiness" saw first and only release on this 45rpm record. It is certainly from the same session as all his other 1990s Lightning Ball material. I wonder if there are more of these discs around...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

ART Records

The ART record label 

Harold Doane's ART label out of Miami is mainly well-known for its Calypso/Goombay music releases during the 1950s. Mike Callahan has compiled an excellent overview of Art's complete longplay album output on "Both Sides Now Publications." What has been largely neglected by researchers is Art's 45rpm releases. 

Harold E. Doane set up his recording studio early in 1945  on 304 Lincoln Road in Miami Beach and called it "American Recording and Transcription Service, Inc." At first, Doane did not record music but weddings, funerals and parties for private use only. It was probably in the late 1940s, when Doane released his first 78rpm EP discs. Somtimes between 1949 and 1951, Doane moved his business to Miami on 2185 NW 79th Street. At some point in the 1950s, he again changed locations and settled on 1224 NW 119th Street in Miami. Also sometimes between 1952 and 1956, Doane renamed his company "Art Records, Inc." and eventually to "Art Records Manufacturing Company." In 1960, Doane changed locations one last time and moved his studio to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

In 1951, Doane signed a contract with Charlie Freeman from the Royal Victoria Hotel in Nassau to record the local musicians that were appearing at the hotel. The first of those artists was Blind Blake Higgs, a black calypso musician that appeared regularly at the hotel. Two albums appeared in 1951 and 1952. In addition, Doane released "John B. Sails" by Blind Blake Higgs on a 78rpm single in 1952. Around 1955, Doane began releasing also 45rpm records from local groups and singers. Tommy Spurlin recorded his classic rockabilly sides in 1956 for Art, followed by Kent Westberry, Randy Luck, The Roxsters, and more. 

Doane also released discs for Panama's and Costa Rica's record markets. From the 1960s onwards until Art's close-down in 1979, Doane concentrated on recording local groups and releasing the results on LPs. A detailed view on Art's LP material can be seen on Both Sides Now Publications.

ART 45rpm (and 78rpm) Discography

Art 2
Blind Blake and his Royal Victoria Calypsos
John B. Sails (n.c.) / ?

Art 500
Blind Blake Higgs
Those Good Ol' Asta Boys () / My Name is Asta ()

Art 45-C-109
Tommy Spurlin with the Southern Boys
Hang Loose () / One-Eyed Sam ()
1 / 2
1956
Note: Both songs were previously released on Perfect 45-C-109. The Art version feature overdubbed drums.

Art 45-C-157
Rudy Lewis and the Sputniks
Moonbeam (Rudasill) / Beer, Beer, and More Beer! (Rusasill)
1 / 2

Art 45-160
The Four Bits
Don't Call Me (I'll Call You) (Watson-Evans-Cary-Zadeh) / Trouble on the Cable To-Night (Watson-Evans-Cary-Zadeh)

Art 45-170
Randy Luck / Tommy Miles, Guitar
I Was a Teen-Age Cave Man (Luck) / Twelve O'Clock (Luck)
1 / 2
1958
Billboard pop review on June 9, 1958

Art 45-172
Kent Westberry and the Chaperones
My Baby Don't Rock Me (Westberry) / No Place to Park (Westberry)
1 / 2
1958
Note: Art 45-172 was re-released soon after on Trail A-103.

Art 45-174
Kent Westberry with the Chaperones
Turkish Doghouse Rock () / Popcorn and Candy Bars (Ruth Hardt)
1 / 2
1958

Art 175
The Roxsters
So Long (Ward-Johnson) / Goodbye Baby (Ward-Johnson)
1 / 2
1958

Art 184
Rico Bertoni with the Dante Trio
Stay Here with Me (Modugno) / Ti Diró (Bracchi-D'Anzi)
ART 184-1 / ART 184-2

Art 191
The Danny Bridge Trio
All By Myself () / Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime ()

Art 210
 Bob Bellows
Chippewa Town (Sedaka-Greenfield)
1
Ronnie Kemper
The Doodle Bug Song (Kemper-Hillman)
2

Art 212
Bob Bellows
Stranger at the Fair () / Yes, You Can in Spokane ()
1974

Art 1003
Lucho Azcarrago y su Conjunto
Tengo Un Novio (Luis Séptimo Dominguez) / Guarare (Ricardo Fábrega)
Note: This was a Costa Rican release. 

Art 1004
Lucho Azcarrago y su Conjunto
Taboga (Ricardo Fábrega) / Dice Que Me Qiere (T. Plicet)
Note: This was a Costa Rican release.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Glolite Records

William E. "Bill" Glore's Glo-Lite record label and recording studio was located on 625 Chelsea Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee. Although Glo-Lite record labels often showed different adresses, it seems the studio was (at least until 1972) located on Chelsea Ave. Other adresses shown on labels included: 760 Los Angeles - Memphis, Tennessee (Glolite #103) and 1366 Cherry Road - Memphis, Tennessee (Glolite #95), 4081 Jackson - Memphis, Tennessee (Glolite #98). Both the label and the studio were established in 1968 by Glore.

In addition to engineering the sessions and producing many of the Glolite records, Glore offered his studio for custom recording. Martin Hawkins produced a session at Glolite when recording Charlie Feathers, Malcolm Yelvington, and Red Hadley (brother of Jay Hadley, who also recorded for Glolite) in 1974. The results were released on a Shelby County EP #001. 

Glolite GL 92
Southwind Symphony
Your Love Is Fading (George L. Pride) / Coming Home (George L. Pride)
"Produced by: Kenneth Smith for Albatros Production Co."

Glolite GL-93
Buck Ridley and the Band-ettes
Hot Tears (on Cold Cheeks) (B. Ridley) / Bad Luck Day (B. Ridley)
"Prod. by Bill Glore & Buck Ridley"
"Dist. by Southern Records, Nashville, Tenn."
"Recorded at Glo-Lite Studios, 4081 Jackson Ave, Memphis, Tenn."

Glolite GL-95
Charlie Bee and the Cockleburs
Life (Early, Bradfield, Fuller) / Lonely Tears (Early, Bradfield)
333A / 333B
"Prod. by Mace Productions"
"Dist. by Southern Records, Nashville Tenn."

Glolite GL 96
John Hendricks & the Moonriders
Moonrider Pt. 1 (E. Adcock & J. Hendricks) / Moonrider Pt. 2 (E. Adcock & J. Hendricks)
96 A / 96 B
"Produdced by: Edward L. Adcock"
"Dist. by Southern Records, Nashville, Tenn."
"Recorded at Glo-Lite Studios, 4081 Jackson Ave, Memphis, Tenn."

Glolite GL-97
The Excentrics
Hold Me Tight (I Feel So Fine Inside) (Ron Smith) / What Can I Do, What Can I Say
97-A / ?
"Prod. by R. Smith & B. Glore"
"Dist. by Southern Records, Nashville, Tenn."

Glolite GL 98
Travis Lee
I Wish the Sun Would Shine (Travis Lee) / Then I'll Go ()
GL 9-17 A / ?
"Prod. by Travis Lee"
"Dist. by Southern Records, Nashville, Tenn."

Glolite GL 99
Roy Jones
I Got Everything (Roy Jones) / Your Pilot Light Went Out (Roy Jones)
GL 12-20-A / GL 12-20-B
"Prod. by Johnny Brazil and Roy Jones"
"Dist. by Southern Records, Nashville, Tenn."

Glolite GL 100
Jim Waldrip & the Tunedrops
Wino of the Year () / It Don't Hurt Much Anymore (Jim Waldrip)
? / GL 100 B
"Prod. by J. Green & C. Spencer"
"Dist. by Southern Records, Nashville, Tenn."

Glolite GL 102
Charlie Bee & Cockleburs
P. O. W. (Thurman Pruitt) / Average Worker ()
"Produced by Bill Glore & Lewis Willis"

Glolite 103
Dena Adams
Neglected Woman (Dena & Dusty Adams) / For Better or Worse (Dena & Dusty Adams)
9030 / 9031
Note: "Apr 26 1971" stamped on label.

Glolite GL-104
Jay Hadley 
Dance, Baby, Dance (W. Hadley, Jr.) /  Darlin' How Was I to Know (W. Hadley, Jr.)
9288 / 9289
"Prod. by Bill Glore & Jay Hadley"

Glolite GL-105
Johnny Moon
I Don't Want You to Go () / Mississippi Moon (McPeters, Cypert, Nichols)
? / 9727
"Produced by Bill Glore & O.L. Ervin"

Glolite CL 106
Roy Alden & the 6-S Aldenaires with the Memphis Sound Singers
How Do You Break an Angels Heart (Jesse Craig-Roy Alden) / Crazy Memories ()
106-A / ?
"Produced by Lewis Willis"

Glolite 107
Ray Austin
Love Is () / You Stole the Key ()

Glolite GL-109
Paul England
The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (Is the Hand That Rules the World) / Heart Be Still (J. Hadley)
? / 109-B

Glolite GL 111
Jay Hadley
Come On and Be My Woman () / I Just Stopped to Say Goodbye ()

Glolite GL 112 
Donna Jean Bennett
#1 Fool (Donna Bennett & Les Isaacs) / You Can't See the Forrest ()
A-1 / ?
"Prod. by Ray Harris"

Thanks to DrunkenHobo

Monday, October 20, 2014

In the Beginning: My 78 RPM Collection


IN THE BEGINNING: MY 78 RPM COLLECTION
An essay with music

Another Bobsluckycat post presented by Mellow's Log Cabin

Most of the people out there reading this besides being followers of Mellow's Log Cabin and interested in music are probably record collectors or now in the digital age "music collectors" of one sort or another. I am and have been a record collector since 1948 when I was eight years old, and I'm now seventy-four. I have been at one time or another a novice, an avid collector, a fanatic, a buyer or a seller and now probably just an "emeritus" old timer.

In 2011, I felt I had gathered most of my original 78's Collection to issue a very limited edition 2 CD set of them in mp3 from newer sources of the original material, mostly from Europe and the followings songs resulted. So here is the story.

In early 1948, a family friend, Joe Yost, was moving to Ft. Lauderdale, Fl., and he gave me a solid steel "portable" Vogue phonograph and several records, basically because he couldn't fit them in his car. Those few records were the start of my record collection. A few months later, our family moved to an apartment over a juke-box and pinball machine vendor by the name of Roland Raney. I started hanging around his shop and soon he was giving me "take-offs" from the juke-boxes, well worn on one side or another for the most part. Over the next two years I collected from him a few hundred records. To skip a few years for a moment, after moving into a much larger home in 1952 and the 78 RPM discontinuation of manufacture in 1957, I sold all of my 78's (BIG mistake) to a record dealer and received a $50.00 check which bounced. I spent every year since then trying to get the songs from that original collection back in my possession, which can be and was frustrating at times. I really liked them then and still do. Many are still not available for a variety of reasons, but thanks to the digital age, a lot of them are and they never sounded better.

All of the listings released before 1948 were part of the original batch from Joe Yost, except for two new Ernest Tubb records that my Aunt Gladys gave me, since she had no phonograph. Most of the rest came from the juke-box take offs and later on, a few I bought with my own money.

This started out to be a single CD collection but it grew to two on it's own. These are the original recordings as I had them on 78's. The sound quality is mostly excellent and re-mastered in MP3 audio. Each of the songs listed have been extensively researched as to recording dates, record labels and numbers, and in many cases both sides of a recording is listed, mainly because I liked both sides then and still do now.

One interesting fact that I discovered was that some juke-box records had two different "hits" and were not part of the general catalog. Note the King records by Lonnie Johnson and Homer & Jethro for example.

I could have put a lot of other songs on this collection from the same time frame, but these are the authentic records that I had and liked and I find are still as fresh as way back when. It is an eclectic mix to say the least. However, it's where I started from in my travels through recorded musical history. I currently have from 40,000 to 50,000 songs in some form or another in my collection, and I am, if I can say this with modesty, somewhat of an expert on American music. Age has a way of doing that to a person. My hope that in listening to these songs you also appreciate them and get an idea of where my musical roots are. Enjoy. - Bob O'Brien (aka Bobsluckycat)

Download

INFORMATION ABOUT THE RECORDINGS AND MY COMMENTS

This is divided into two parts; POPULAR MUSIC and COUNTRY MUSIC in general terms.

• Cuts 2-3-4 were already "standards" by the 40's. I like their old time feel and they are classic cuts.
• Cuts 1 and 5 to 15 were pop hits by top artists of the day. They are still fresh.
• Cut 7 is the complete unedited recording of the song from the vaults of Capitol Records, never released.
• Cuts 9 & 10 was a two-sided hit which was classic in every way. My father was also a Frankie Carle devotee and he loved this record and a large part of my collection has a ton of Frankie Carle in it.
• Cut 13 was such a poorly pressed copy that for years, I though the vocalist was female as listed only as R. Nance, only much later did I found out it was a man, Ray Nance.
• Cuts 16 and 17 were unique piano recordings which topped the charts well into 1949 and actually put little Bullet Records on the map and in financial clover for many years to come. Another two recordings my father loved and played every Saturday for years. He played my records while house cleaning.
• Cut 18, cut 23, cut 24 and cut 25 were jukebox hits that blared out over the whole town or so it seems.
• Cuts 19 and 20 was the first R&B recording I ever owned, such as it is. It is so simple and straightforward and unadorned it's as fresh now as then. I had heard The Ink Spots, The Mills Brothers, and a few others previous to this but never owned any R&B (race records) before this. Now, and I'm guessing here, a full 20 - 25% of all my collected recordings would fall into this general category.
• Cuts 21 & 22 are two Frankie Yankovic recordings which were big hit records. Polka and ethnic recordings were popular after World War II and he was the King. He was famous out of Cleveland OH, but well known locally as he was born just up the road a few miles away in or near Davis West Virginia.
• Cuts 26 through 33 were in the original batch of records from Joe Yost.
• Cuts 34 through cuts 42 were from the Roland Raney take-off 78's.
• Cuts 43 and 44 was a two sided pop/country hit which I can't remember for sure, but I think I bought it myself as well as cuts 45 and 46.
• Cuts 47 through 51 are important here as they are the last 78 RPM records I ever bought. Besides being top hits for Ray Price and Hank Snow and now are "true" Country classics and "Steelin' Home" was a great instrumental and got a ton of air play besides. For Christmas of 1954, My father gave me a brand new 3 speed record player and some 45 RPM records and himself a 10" LP recording of familiar polkas. The 78 era for me had ended, but I must admit I still played these old 78's every so often. Now I am enjoying them again and you can too.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Johnny Barnes on Clearmont

 
Johnny Barnes - Big Johnny Blues (Clearmont C-501), 1962

This is one of the records mentioned in my previous post about Marshall Ellis. Clearmont was one of the labels he operated in Memphis. This disc was released in 1962 and was the first of only two singles that appeared on this label. Who Johnny Barnes was? I don't know. But the band comes along nicely and breaks out into a enjoyable, bluesy solo.