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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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bill Helms day

It's getting harder to find musicians with pictures... so no photo again, but two label shots instead. Today, you will get something to hear from Bill Helms, a fiddler who played around Atlanta and belonged to the "Skillet Lickers orbit". William Joseph "Bill" Helms was born near Thomaston, Georgia, in 1902 and spend much of his life working in the textile mills around Atlanta. As a musician, he began to gain some fame in the late 1928s as a recording partner of Riley Puckett in 1929 for Columbia and also as a member of the Home Town Boys in 1931, who recorded one unissued session for Columbia (the other members were Riley Puckett, Gid Tanner and Melvin Dupree). Helms and his own Upson County Band held one session for Victor in 1928, which included the fine fiddle piece "Alabama Jubilee". After 1931, Helms didn't record again and he retired from his textile mill job in 1964. In his later life, he was often interviewed about his time with the Skillet Lickers because he toured widely with them during the late 1920s and early 1930s. Bill Helms died around 1985.

Here are two of his 1928 Victor recordings with the Upson County Band. The label shots seen at left show the two other tunes recorded at the same occasion for Victor.

1. Alabama Jubilee
2. Roscoe Trillon

2 comments:

Thomas said...

Bill Helms was my uncle. I have a picture of him with his fiddle.

Mellow said...

Hello Thomas,

great to have contact with Bill Helms' nephew. Would you like to send me the picture?