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, April 6, 2010

Jerry Williams and his labels

Jerry Williams somehow managed to leave behind no biographical information. He is seen on only three photos, on which he accompanied Aubrey Cagle, another local Indianapolis musician and label owner (see here). In fact, Jerry Lee Williams, to give him his full name, was a guitarist and he played with such artists as Cagle and Tennessee Thompson. He even released the two instrumentals "The Go-Tune" / "Wibcee" on his own Solid Gold label.

Williams' Solid Gold label was active as early as in 1956, although Billboard announced the founding of Solid Gold in its March 24, 1958, issue. Many of the records which appeared on Solid Gold were maufactured by RCA, at least every 45 from 1956 to 1959. From that point on, the label used various pressing plants. Judging from the few Billboard reviews/ads and the obscurity of the artists, Solid Gold was only a small label out of Indiana. The adress was 359 Burgess Avenue, Indianapolis.

Nabor, one of Williams' other labels, was very similar. It was affliated with Solid Gold and was based on 243 South Summit Street in Indianapolis. Many of the releases were pressed by Rite, some also by King and RCA. Artists on Nabor included Tommy Lam (of "Speed Limit" rock-a-billy fame) and Charlie Stewart. The last known singles were released around 1972 by Nabor.

The last label Williams owned was Yolk, which was also headquartered in Summit Street, Indiana. It first appeared in 1960 releasing a gospel EP by Ron Frazer and several country/rockabilly singles, including Lloyd Harp's "Slow Boogie Rock" (Yolk 102). Nearly all Yolk records were pressed by Rite, one by RCA (Yolk 501 by Matt Huston) and the last known single by King (Yolk 130 by Andy & the Carbon Hillbillies) in 1964.

Both Nabor and Solid Gold labels were part of the Nabor Recording Company and it wouldn't surprise me if many of the releases were recorded in Jan Eden's studio in Indianapolis. Don't know a thing about Jerry Williams' later life. Solid Gold Records made one last appereance in 2000, when the label released a compilation of Aubrey Cagle's rockabilly songs.

Thanks to Bob for his addition about Yolk. If anyone of you has more info on Jerry Williams or his labels, feel free to contact me. Thanks Bob!

Lloyd Harp and the Hoosier Rhythm Boys

8 comments:

Bob said...

Also, a third label called YOLK.

Anonymous said...

I interviewed Jerry Williams about four years ago. He was a close friend of Lattie Moore and had played guitar for him in the 1960s and 1970s around the Indianapolis area. He played for Caigle in the 1950s and recorded Art Adams a few years back. He also released Caigle's 'Real Cool' CD on Solid Gold Records and Ronnie Haig's 'Branching Out' CD (1996) where he not only produced and engineered the music but also played drums. He owned the Solid Gold, Yolk and Nabor labels and also bought the SAGA label that Lattie Moore recorded for c1959. Coincidently he bought the Solid Gold label from Lester M Cox who had also owned the Arrow label that Lattie Moore had debuted on. I have a copy of the SAGA EP and the Arrow 78 in my collection along with several photos of Jerry with Caigle, Adams and Moore.
I hope this helps you with your biog on one of Indianapolis's unsung heros Jerry Lee Williams.

thanks and keep up the good work

Tony Biggs

Mellow said...

Tony, thank you very much. I appreciate this really. Do you know if Mr. Williams can be contacted over an e-mail adress? I sure would like to ask him some questions about his career and his activities in the Indianapolis music scene.

Regards

Anonymous said...

Do you seek the Jerry Williams that played with Tommy Lam? If so, Mr. Williams is living in Indianapolis, IN. My husband is adopted and was told by his birth mother, that Tommy Lam is his birth father. Mr. Williams was selling an autographed Tommy Lam 45 of Speed Limit on eBay and I inquired with him about how he knew the signature to be authentic. He played and had been friends with Tommy for many years.

On a cross-country trip, we had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Williams this Summer and my husband got to shake the hand of a man who was great friends with his dad.

Tommy supposedly died a few years ago, but we have been unable to find any other information about him, or any living relatives, and continue searching. If you have any leads about Tommy Lam, please send to falloaks@yahoo.com.

Out of respect for Mr. Williams', please send me your name and telephone to the above email and a little about yourself and your interest in his music, and I will call Mr. WIlliams and pass along your contact info.

Take care,
Jill

Anonymous said...

Hello,

My ex-husband, Thomas, is Tommy Lam's son. I am the mother of Tommy Lam's grandson who is 11 years old and also has a great niche for music. Please feel free to contact me at crystalalam20@yahoo.com.

Sincerely,

Crystal

Lloyd J. Harp said...

Dear Mellow,

Thanks so much for all your hard work and research. Although I have no information about the record lables my Dad recorded with, I appreciate the memories. As a child I remember the lables "Nabor" and "Yolk". I even still have one of the 45's! Thanks again.

Mellow said...

Lloyd,
thanks for the memories. Any chance to contact you? I'd like to know more about your father!

Lloyd J. Harp said...

Mellow,

My e-mail is lj at harpllo dot com