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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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The United Southern Artists label

United Southern Artists, Inc. made the attempt to become one of the more successful independent labels, but in the end, nothing happened. To rockabilly collectors, United Southern Artists issued at least two interesting records that are now collector items.

Billboard reported in its March 20, 1961, that United Southern Artists was founded on March 13, 1961, in Hot Springs, Arkansas. With Burton W. LeMaster as the president, the company served both as a record label and as a management firm for musicians and groups. A&R director became Carl Friend. United Southern Artists used the RCA custom pressing service for producing their records from 1961 on.

The first known release of the label was Leo Castleberry's "Teenage Blues" / "Come Back to Me" (United Southern 5-101), which was picked up by United Southern Artists from another Arkansas based label called Spa Records. Castleberry recorded the songs in 1960 for Spa and the single maybe showed up the signs of success, so that United Southern Artists sensed a hit and took over the record.
But the first success reportedly came with Hank Milton's release on the label. Milton, still a mystery to me, got some airplay on bigger radio stations KCUL (Forth Worth, TX), KDXE (Little Rock, AR) and KWAM (Memphis, TN) with "Gatling Gun" / "As You Were" according to Billboard. However, no Hank Milton appeared on the national charts. The record must have went nowhere. Milton, a member of the Big D Jamboree out of Dallas on KRLD, had another release on Wildcat ("Drop Me Gently" / "Where Do Dreams Go", Wildcat 0062).

Memphis rockabilly star Eddie Bond also had one release on United Southern Artists in 1961 featuring "This Ole Heart of Mine" b/w "Second Chance", a country-rockabilly mix. Born in Memphis in 1933, Bond influenced by country stars Ernest Tubb and Roy Acuff. He began to perform locally as a teenager and after his stint in the Navy, he founded the Stompers (featuring a young Reggie Young on guitar). After auditions at Sun and Meteor, Bond found himself at Ekko and later at Mecury, where he recorded a slew of classic rockabilly songs. After his contract wasn't renewed, he cut singles for a a variety of small Tennessee and Arkansas labels.

Another well-known act among rockabilly collectors are the Pacers, who recorded one single for United Southern Artists. The Pacers were the backing band of Sunny Burgess, who recorded on Sun from 1956 to 1959. Their recordings of such songs as "We Wanna Boogie", "Red Headed Woman" or "Sadie's Back in Town" are now rockabilly classics. After Burgess' last session, the band departed from him and Burgess went with Conway Twitty on tour. The Pacers went on the road on their own with a new front man and recorded "New Wildwood Flower" / "The Pace" for United Southern Artists in 1961. They went on to cut records for Razorback, another Arkansas based label, and recently reunited with Sonny Burgess. Today, Burgess and the Original Pacers continue to tour the worldwide rockabilly circuit with lots of success.

Sonny Burgess and the Pacers around 1956

United Southern Artists 115 was by a rockabilly group called the Thunderbirds. Nothing is known about this band, but it appears probaly that it was the same band that recorded "Flying Saucers" / "A Whole Lot of Shakin'" for the obscure Buffalo label out of Monette, Arkansas. Both songs were covers of Billy Lee Riley's "Flying Saucer Rock & Roll" and Jerry Lee Lewis' "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On". The Thunderbirds on United Southern Artists also recorded some unissued demos of rock & roll classics ("Blue Moon of Kentucky", "Ubangi Stomp"), but their single was comprised of the two originals "T Bird Rock" / "End Over End", two up-tempo instrumentals. Both groups may be the same, but there's no proof for this theory because virtually no information exists on the Thunderbirds.

The Thunderbirds from Monette, Arkansas, who may be the same group that appeared on United Southern Artists

Although United Southern artists had some promising artists under contract and it seemed that this new label out of Arkansas could "make it" in the record business, nothing happened at the end. The label disappeared from the scene soon after these recordings were made.


Additions are highly appreciated!
5-101 – Leo Castleberry: Teenage Blues / Come Back to Me (1960)
– Ray Mitcham: Initiative / Long Lonely Nights
5-103 – Steve Stephens: Pizza Pete / How It Used to Be
5-104 – Uniques: Renegade / Malaguena
5-105 – Hank Milton: Gatling Gun / As You Were
5-106 – Eddie Bond: This Ole Heart of Mine / Second Chance (1960)
Dave's Travelers: Traveler's Rock / Movin'
5-108 – Beau-Hannon: It’s All Over / Brainstorm (1961)

5-109 – Dean Purkiss: Chivato / Alone Without Love (1961)
5-109 Lloyd Marley: Fade with the Tide / Ooh Poo Pah Doo
5-110 – Jimmy Forrest: Night Train / Bolo Blues
5-111 – Earl Grace: Christmas Is Just Around the Corner / Santa Town (1961)
5-112 – Pacers: New Wildwood Flower / The Pace (1961)
Ray Mitchum - Stood Up Again / I Can't See (1961)
Geannie Flowers: There Oughta Be a Law / Lock, Stock and Barrel
5-115 – Thunderbirds: T Bird Rock / End Over End (1962)

5-116 Ricky Durham: Raining in My Heart / Mr. Were-Wolf
5-117 – Galaxies: It’s All Over Now / Be Mine

5-119 Russ Elmore - Black Gold / Sittin' at the Table
5-120 Dot Beck: Ed Went a-Courtin' / When Is Tomorrow
5-121 Crystal Mountain Boys: Homin' Heart / A-Hangin' on the Vine
5-125 – Ramblers: Riverside Twist / Lonely Senorita
5-130 Pauline Boyette: Parade of Broken Hearts / Footloose
5-131 – Walter Archie: The Joke's on You / ?
5-132 – 
5-133 – Lance Roberts: It Was Fun While It Lasted / ?
5-134 Bob Land: Down in the Valley / Lost Soul

6-101 – Bob Millsap: Daugie Daddy / Peggy DeCastro: The Ring From Her Finger
6-103 – Dale Fox & the Gene Lowery Singers - It Can't Be True / Call Me Again

Download a set of United Southern Artists recordings
track list:

1. Thunderbirds - A Whole Lot of Shakin'
2. Thunderbirds - Ubangi Stomp
3. Thunderbirds - T Bird Rock
4. Eddie Bond - This Ole Heart of Mine

Sources: Various Billboard issues, Rockin' Country Style, special thanks to Johan L, Rocky Lane, DL, Ken Clee of the "Directory of American 45 RPM Records", Franck, & Bob for providing discography details


Rocky Lane said...

Another Southern Artists record:

5-107 - Dave's Travelers: Traveler's Rock / Movin'

The A-Side is on Collectors CLCD 4418 track 3.

Mellow said...

Thanks Rocky! Your additions is highly appreciated!

Bob said...

104 : flip is Malaguena

5-111 Earl Grace : Christmas is just around the corner/ ?

6-101 Bob Millsap : Daugie Daddy/Peggy DeCastro : The ring from her finger

5-125 The Ramblers : "Riverside Twist", "Lonely Senorita"

jean-pierre said...

i believe some isuues are on u.s.a labels stamped?

Anonymous said...

United Southern Artists, Inc/United Southern (from #117) Hot Springs, AR
United Southern Artists 101 - Dean Purkiss - Chivato/Alone without Love 1961/Aug. 7 Bb pop rev. [May be wrong issue number in Bb, should be 109??]
United Southern Artists 5-101 – Leo Castleberry - Teenage Blues (Leo Castleberry) (LO8W-7783)/Come Back to Me (LO8W-7784)(1960)
United Southern Artists 5-103 – Steve Stephens - Pizza Pete (Carl Friend) (M8OW-3329)/The Way It Used to Be
United Southern Artists 5-104 – The Uniques - Renegade/Malaguena 1961/Jun. 5 Bb rev.
United Southern Artists 5-105 – Hank Milton - Gatling Gun/As You Were 1961/Jul. 24 Bb rev.
United Southern Artists 5-106 – Eddie Bond - This Ole Heart of Mine (Clunch-Cantrell) (M8OW-8051)/Second Chance (M8OW-8052) 1961/Jul. 24 Bb rev.
United Southern Artists 5-107 - Dave's Travelers - Traveler Rock/College Affair 1961/Oct. 9 Bb rev.
United Southern Artists 5-108 – Beau-Hannon and The Mint-Juleps - It’s All Over (Jim Bohannon) (M8OW-8036)/Brainstorm (Larry Fity?) (M8OW-8035) 1961/Sep. 4 Bb rev.
United Southern Artists 5-111 – Earl Grace - Christmas Is Just Around the Corner (Earl Grace-Stan Kesler)/? 1961/Nov. 27 Bb ment.
United Southern Artists 5-112 - The Pacers - The Pace (Quachita, BMI) (M8OW-8403)/New Wildwood Flower (Quachita, BMI) (M8OW-8402) 1961/Dec. 18 Bb rev.
United Southern Artists 5-113 - Ray Mitchum - Stood Up Again/I Can't See 1961/Dec. 25 Bb ment.
United Southern Artists 5-114 - Geannie Flowers - There Oughta Be A Law (Quachita, BMI)/Lock, Stock and Barrel (Quachita, BMI) 1962/Jan. 27 Bb pop rev. singing debut!! 11 years old, http://www.genniferflowers.com/home.html
United Southern Artists 5-115 – Thunderbirds - T Bird Rock (Davis-Wiemers-Haffron-Garrett) (M8OW-8397)/End Over End (Davis-Wiemers-Haffron-Garrett) (M8OW-8397) 1962/Jan. 27 Bb pop rev.
United Southern Artists 5-116 - Ricky Durhan - Raining In My Heart/?
United Southern 5-117 – Galaxies - It’s All Over Now (Alfred Chersowith?) (MO8W-4247)/Be Mine (Doise Taylor) (MO8W-4248) 1961
United Southern 5-119 - Russ Elmore - Black Gold/?
United Southern 5-120 - Dot Beck - Ed Went A Courtin/When Is Tomorrow
United Southern 5-121 - Crystal Mountain Boys - Homin' Heart (MO8W-4336)/A-Hangin' On The Vine (MO8W-4337)
United Southern 5-125 – Ramblers - Riverside Twist/Lonely Senorita
United Southern 5-130 - Pauline Boyette - Parade Of Broken Hearts/Footloose
United Southern 5-134 - Bob Land - Down In The Valley (Arr: Bob Land) (P4KM-5406 609U-134)/Lost Soul
United Southern 6-101 – Bob Millsap - Daugie Daddy (609U?) / Peggy DeCastro: The Ring From Her Finger

Billboard 1963/Jan. 19 states that Lance Roberts and Dan Emory are being signed for managements and recording contracts (to united)

Connected with
Hot Springs, AR
100-10 Leo Castleberry - Teen Age Blues (LO8W-7783) / Come Back to Me (LO8W-7784) 1960
25-1001 Eddie Bond - Only One Minute More (Sonny James & Richard Hollingsworth) (LO8W-3326) / I Walk Alone (LO8W-3327) 1960

Some copies of these have SPA crossed over and stamped with United Southern Artists.

/Johan L

DL said...

I stumbled across this article while researching this United Southern release:
Dale Fox (with the Gene Lowery Singers): It Can't Be True bw Call Me Again. Both were written by Carl Friend and Dale Fox.

Ken Clee said...

Here are some additions for the United Southern Artists label courtesy of "The Directory of American 45 RPM Records":
102 Ray Mitcham Initiative/Long Lonely Nights
110 Jimmy Forrest Night Train/Bolo Blues
111 flip is: Santa Town
116 flip is: Mr. Were-Wolf
133 Lance Roberts It Was Fun While It Lasted/
I have a possible alternate flipside for #107: Traveler's Rock/MOVIN'
Also have a different listing for #109: Lloyd Marley Fade With The Tide/Ooh Poo Pah Doo

Mellow said...

Thank you very much Ken, your additions are always highly appreciated! I have incorporated your information, exept for #107. As you noted, I also list "Movin'" as the flip side. Your mistake or mine?

Ken said...

My listing for #107 agrees with your listing - Traveler Rock/Movin'. Anonymous listed another flip, "College Affair" as the flip to Traveler Rock. I was agreeing with you, but perhaps the one he lists is an alternate flip.

Unknown said...

If anyone here has the recording in a digital format, or would be willing to sell me the record, I would really like to own a copy of my great-grandfather's record: 5-121 – Crystal Mountain Boys: Homin' Heart / A-Hangin' on the Vine. I can be contacted at shmorglegorf@gmail.com

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

United Southern 6-102 "Curley" Williamson, The Creator & I Know.

franck said...

Another Artist

5-131- Walter Archie: The Joke's On you/??????

DrunkenHobo said...

Link dead

lfite said...

My name is Larry Fite, one of the original members of the mint juleps,,,I wrote the back side of "its all over"---please correct my name spelling----my email if anyone is interested is lfite21@windstream.net----Blessings, L. Fite

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me where I can get a copy of the song "the pace" by the pacers? My father first heard it at his prom in 1963...jeepinbaby4ever@yahoo.com. thank you

Unknown said...

Great information on this label.I just recently found a 45rpm on United Southern by The Galaxies.Good stuff.