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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Monday, February 21, 2011

Golden Wing Records story

The Golden Wing label out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is most famous for releasing Dave Dudley's first real hit "Six Days on the Road". Dudley had recorded before and also had chart entries in the early 1960s but Golden Wing gave him his breakthrough.

More lesser known is the story behind Golden Wing. Many biographies of Dave Dudley state that he owned the label or even founded it with Earl Green and Carl Montgomery (writers of "Six Days on the Road") but actually, it was owned by Jim Madison (possibly founded in 1960). In 1960, Dave Dudley moved to Minneapolis, where he led the Country Gentlemen and was a regular on KEVE and at the Gay 90's Club. He joined Madison's business as a record producer and A&R manager. That may have caused the rumor of Golden Wing being Dudley's own label - at most he partially owned it.

Dave Dudley
During the first two years, there were many different artists on Golden Wing, most notable Texas Bill Strength, who had already enjoyed a long recording career. The only known Golden Wing LP from that period was an album by Jerry Smith, released in January 1963. Dudley, who had recorded in 1960-1962 for Jubilee and Vee, held his first session for Golden Wing in the fall of 1962 and recorded "John Henry" / "Barbara Allen", two traditional country songs that became his first single on Golden Wing. After releasing it, he recorded his legendary "Six Days on the Road" in April 1963 and it was because of the national distribution by Soma Records that the song rose to number three on the Billboard country charts. His follow-up, "Cowboy Boots", was recorded at his first session in 1962 and was also a success (#3 on the country charts).

The success of Dudley's records brought him and the label to the attention of Mercury Records. Mercury had a subsidiary called Wing Records, so Golden Wing had to change its name to "Golden Ring" because Mecury was afraid people could confuse both labels and threatened Golden Wing with legal consequences. "Cowboy Boots" was already released under the new name. Around that same time, the managers of Golden Ring put on a subsidiary called Rosie Records.

Mercury also signed Dudley to a new recording contract, which was the best thing Dudley could do. The next decade saw him releasing several top ten hits, inlcuding the number one single "The Pool Shark". Golden Ring, on the other side, lost its cash cow. I don't have much information on Golden Wing/Ring after 1964. Billboard reported in its June 27, 1964, issue that Jerry Byers' "Red, White and Blue" was still going strong in juke boxes, although Byers died in 1963 from cancer. He had previously also recorded for the subsidiary Rosie and was a regular at the Silver Saddle Saloon in Des Moines, Iowa, in the 1950s. For now, this is the last hint I was able to find about Golden Wing.

You can hear Dick Van Hale's Golden Wing record here on Some Local Loser. Van Hale was apparently the bass player for the Flame Cafe house band in Minneapolis, which was open until around 1977. Also on Some Local Loser is Jerry Byers' first and second Rosie single.

Golden Wing/Ring Discography

No.#: Bobby "Roscoe" Wharton and the Little Green Men - I'll Cry / You Don't Believe Me (1962)
3001: Barbara Lee Mac - Careless Fool / Memories of You
3002: Johnny Long - The Other Side of Love / As Much
3003: Woody Sorenson - Polka on a Piano / Life in the Finnish Woods
3004: Ralph Beebeau, the Singing DJ - The 601 / River of Broken Dreams
3005: Dick Van Hale - Lonely Hours / Much Too Much
3006: Betty Lee - Crying Out Loud / Foggy River
3011: Len Gale - What Did I Do / Don't Awaken Me (1962)
3012: Tony Wolf - Black John Polka / Alpine Leander
3013: Texas Bill Strenght - Foolish Pretender / Let the Chips Fall
3016: Deutschmeisters - Silver Bells Polka / Bunny Hop Schottische
3017: Dave Dudley - Barbara Allen / John Henry (1962)
3018: Woody Sorensen - Maggie's Polka / Unfinished Schottische
3019: Rene Waters - Hurry Up Hollywood / Stop Sending Me Forget Me Nots
3020: Dave Dudley - Six Days on the Road / I Feel a Cry Coming On (1963)
3021: Jack Barlow - All I Need Is You / A Day Late and a Dollar Short (1963) [first Golden Ring pressing]
3022: Brooks Twins - Big Love / Love Comes Easy (1963)
3023: Deutschmeisters - Johnny's Polka / Honey Bee Polka (1963)
3024: Texas Bill Strength - Tears In My Beer / Let's Make Love (1963)
3025: Jerry Byers - Red, White and Blue / Bonnie By the Sea (1963)
3030: Dave Dudley - Cowboy Boots / I Think I'll Cheat (A Little Tonight) (1963)
3035: Rene Waters - Pass a Bale Down / Sleepy Time (1963)
3040: Bobby Hodge - Taxi Cab Driver / Alligator Man
No.#: The Deutschmeisters (with Tony Wolf) - Kujawiak No.6 / Lindenau Polka (Wir gehen nach Linden)

No.#: Jerry Smith - Start Each Day with a Hymn
103: Various artists - Midnight in Minneapolis
110: Dave Dudley - Sings Six Days on the Road (1964)

Rosie Discography
5001: Jerry Byers - Loves Been Good to Me / Face in the Crowd (1963)
5002: Jerry Smith - Little Ah Sid / Easy Rockin' Chair (1963)
5003: Jimmy Colvard Trio - Six Days on the Road / Traveling Guitar (1963)
5004: Jerry Byers - Perdido / Corina, Corina (1963)

Special thanks to: The Directory of American 45 RPM Records (by Ken Clee), Bob, Mr.TeenSwe, Derik


Bob said...

3002 Johnny Long : The Other Side Of Love b/w As Much

3004 Ralph Beebeau The Singing D.J. : The 601 b/w ?

3013 Texas Bill Strenght : "Foolish Pretender" b/w "Let The Chips Fall"

3017 Dave Dudley : "Barbara Allen" b/w "John Henry"

LP 103 "Midnight In Minneapolis" Includes tunes by Dave Dudley, Johnny Voit, Dick Van Hale, Barbara Lee Mac, Woody Sorensen, Johnny Long, Paul Nelson, Betty Lee, and Ralph Beebeau. (No details.)

Ken Clee said...

Last week I sent you a dozen or so additions to this discography, along with a mention as to where they came from. I was about to send you the info for #3019, as well as help for your Jim Dandy Label. However, I see that you have removed my email from your blog and taken credit for the additions yourself. That's not playing fair my friend. If you get help, it should be acknowledged. You won't be getting anymore help or contributions from us.

Mellow said...

that was not my intention. Actually, I credited your book as a source for my write-up, you have to see at the bottom of the post. If it's not enough, just tell me. I'll change that. Moreover, I did not intend to delete your comment. Unfortunately, it got lost while I was editing the previous Golden Wing post (shame on me, I deleted the whole post by accident). Now I have posted it again and gave you credit as a source.

Ken Clee said...

Sorry about the misunderstanding. All is well. Here's one more for the Golden Wing/Ring discography:
3019 Rene Waters Hurry up Hollywood/Stop Sending Forget Me Nots

Mellow said...

Thanks. I added it to the listings.

Derik said...

I found this record recently:


Thanks for your post and info,

Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm looking to find a download for Jerry Byers "Three Cheers for the Red White and Blue". Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

Derik said...

No. #
Artist:The Deuchmeisters (with Tony Wolf)
Aside: Kujawiak No. 6
Bside: Lindenau Polka (Wir Gehen Nach Linden)
Dead Wax: Rite 609-6124 Flint 62561-1/2
Catalog: CP-6123/4

Gary Myers said...

noHi. If it's of interest, the following Golden Wing artists are covered in my books on WI music of the 50's & 60's: Dave Dudley, Barbara Lee Mac & Len Gale. Info on my books (now at clearance prices)on my music-gem site.

Johnny Carter/ NRC said...

I'm considering re-releasing the 2 cuts Dave Dudley did for NRC Records in the late 50's. The CD compilation will also include Sonny James, Jerry Reed, Johnny Sea(y), and David Houston. It will be called "Best of NRC Country". Johnny Carter, President, NRC

Jerry Cadwell said...

Looking for as much info as I can find on Golden Wing LP 103 "Midnight In Minneapolis". Would like to know release date and bio of artists, particularly Johnny Voit, who I believe is a long lost friend.

Unknown said...

Here's an addition for your list GW LP107-The Greenwood Singers. They were a folk music trio who played locally in Mpls. Members were Mark Anderson(volcals,guitar,banjo), Dave Mott(guitar,banjo), and Gary Francisco(upright bass). I don't know if any other pressings are out there besides the one I have, not sure about actual release date, my dad played in this group and I've kept the album in mint condition and love the sound of old vinyl. I know they played @ The Here, coffee house in Mpls when they were all enrolled @ the U of M.