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.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Something about Bill Bowen

Meteor Records is one of these legendary labels from Memphis, TN, with lots of rhythm & blues and rockabilly recordings. In 1956, Meteor released one single of a singer called Bill Bowen. Here's all I know about him:


Bill Bowen was a rockabilly singer who recorded only one single at the famed Meteor studios for Les Bihari's Metor record label. On this record, Bowen was backed by the Rockets, a group composed of lead guitarrist Terry Thompson and an unknown bass player. However, releasing "Don't Shoot Me Baby" b/w "Have Myself a Ball" (Meteor 5033) on June 30, 1956, the record dind't sell well and Bowen vanished from the music scene. Ray Harris stated in an interview shortly before he died, that Bowen and Harris played together in a country band around Memphis in 1954. They also played together on a radio station outside of Memphis. Bowen reportly also cut a country version of "Don't Shoot Me Baby" at the Sun Studios. The reissue LP "Memphis Bop" also credited Bowen with cutting "Two Timin' Baby", and the singer on this tape sounds very much like Bowen. Anyway, Bill Bowen remains one of the obscure figures in rockabilly music.


You can find his Meteor songs on "Rockabilly Party", which I posted last week and also on a reissue called "Meteor Rockabillies" over at the Rockabilly Ranch. His sun demo "Two Timin' Baby" can be heard on "Memphis Bop" (thanks Uncle Gil). Here are the lyrics (and chords) for Bowen's song "Don't Shoot Me Baby":


(E)Well, I slipped out dancin' with the cats last night
The party was fine and a-goin' just right
(A)Boy, I was havin' the time of my life
(E)When somebody hollered, here comes your wife
(B7)I jumped and I hollered, I screamed and I cried
(N/C)Don't shoot me baby, I'm too young to die (E)


Well, I knew darn well from the way she looked
My doggone goose was really cooked
I grabbed my coat and my rockin' shoes
I hollered, move over buddy, I'm a-comin' through
I stumbled on a table, fell down on the floor
Howlin', don't shoot me baby, I won't do it no more


Well, she said, now boy you'd better stop
The louder she hollered, well the faster I got
I thought to my soul, I was gonna get free
But the doggone door got in front of me
I wiggled and I hollered, I screamed and I cried
Don't shoot me baby, I'm too young to die


Well, she knocked me down, she picked me up
She shook me around like a little bitty pup
I closed my eyes and I held my breath
I thought to my soul, she'd beat me to death
I wiggled and I hollered, I screamed and I cried
Don't shoot me baby, I'm too young to die

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