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.


• Jack Turner recordings available here.
• Update on Les Randall acetate.
• Thanks to Bob more info on Bill Harris.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Buddy Miller on VEM

Buddy Miller - "Teen Twist" (1960) on VEM 2226

Buddy Miller is one of those Rock'n'Roll artists that did not get the recognition they deserve. Miller cut incredible rockin' records in the 1950s and 1960s, including "Little Bo Pete" and "The Twist." Not much information surfaced on Miller - the following write-up contains all info I was able to gather.

Buddy Miller around 1963
He was born as Doyle Stone and took the name "Buddy Miller" probably as a professional name in music business. Miller's first record for the small Security record label out of Mt. Pleasant, Texas, was produced by Burton Harris, who had been in the local recording business for some years when Miller approached him. Harris was not very keen on recording Miller and his band, the Rockin' Ramblers, but did it, though. Miller also brought in a female vocal group called the Starliters (actually a bunch of girls who couldn't sing) and Harris placed one microphone in the center of the studio. The session produced "I Got Me a Woman" b/w "Rock and Roll Irene", which was issued in 1958 on Security. Another single followed on the label, comprising "Little Bo Pete" b/w "I Found My Love." Both titles were also issued by Gem Records out of Dallas. Billboard reported in its October 13, 1958, issue that "I Found My Love" was "breaking out" in Kilgore, Texas. Around the same time, Miller was finishing a tour through Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas in order to promote his Security single.

After one single by the New York City based Felsted label, Miller had one release on Eko Records and then switched to VEM Records from Batavia, Illinois. No mentions of the Rockin' Ramblers were made from that point on, so I assume Miller and the band had departed.  On VEM, Miller had three singles out, including a remake of "Little Bo Pete" and the wild "Teen Twist." His style had changed from southern Rockabilly to mainstream Rock'n'Roll, an unconscious transition many Rockabilly artists made in the late 1950s because of changing musical tastes in the record buying public. Miller's last known records were made for Band Box out of Denver, Colorado. His third single on the label, "Walking Slowly from You Darling" b/w "With Tears In My Eyes" was "arranged and directed by Conway Twitty," as the label said. The A side was a Earl King composition from Louisiana (although the label credited the song to "unknown"), which was also recorded by Sleepy LaBeef in the early 1960s for Wayside.

Billboard review of VEM 2226 - February 22, 1960
After his singles on Band Box, Buddy Miller vanished from the music scene. Rumor goes that he is now deceased. Many of his songs have found their way onto compilations since 1980.

Sources: RCS, various Billboard issues, Rockabilly Hall of Fame


Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Buddy's drummer from the Rockin Ramblers is alive and well and living in Gladewater, Texas. His name is Johnny Mills and he can tell you exactly what happened to Buddy Miller. 256 677 7044

Anonymous said...

This is Buddy's Grandson, I was looking for his records online with my mother and came across this blog. My grandfather unfortuanley is no longer with us. He passed away from cancer when I was only 3 years old. Thank you so much for all the kind things you have said about my Grandfather. He really did not get the recognition he should have.

Mellow said...

Hello there! Thank you for leaving a message. Really would like to know more about your grandfather. Any chance to contact you?