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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Friday, August 5, 2011

Tennessee Thompson story

Tennessee Thompson with the Boomerangs
"Slippin & Slidin" b/w "Saturday Ball"
RCT 7033/4 (1959)

Loyal visitors of this blog will recognize this singer, which was presented on this blog some years ago. Tennessee Thompson is best known for recording a rocking rockabilly two-sider on the RCT label out of Indiana.

Edward R.C. "Tennessee" Thompson was the son of Jesse Frank Thompson and Elvie Thompson (Capps).  Not much is known about his private life, so we continue with his musical efforts. Thompson's nasal voice suggests that he was a country singer before rock'n'roll conquered the musical world but that's only a guess.

Tennessee Thompson and the Boomerangs in a Chicago recording studio, 1959. From left to right: unknown, Aubrey Cagle, Jerry Williams, Tennessee Thompson, "Boomer," unknown
In 1959, he and his band went into a studio in Chicago to record two songs: "Slippin & Slidin" and "Saturday Ball." Both were fine rockabilly pieces with a driving guitar work and slap bass. On this day, Thompson was accompanied by Aubrey Cagle (guitar), Jerry Williams (lead guitar), a guy called "Boomer" (guitar) and two unidentified musicians (bass/drums). Thompson played rhythm guitar and sang. Both songs were released in 1959 on the RCT record label out of Indianapolis, Indiana. The fact that Aubrey Cagle and Jerry Williams played on his record as well as the label's location indicates that Thompson was also from Indiana. RCT Records was probably owned by Thompson (R.C. Thompson). However, the record had not much impact on the record buying public in 1959.

Thompson possibly went out of the music business eventually and founded a family. He was married at least two times and had several children. He married in 1956 and lived together with this woman the rest of his life. Tennessee Thompson died in 1992.

Tennessee Thompson, ca. 1950s
Sources: Rockin' Country Style, Family geneology website, Special thanks to Thompson's granddaughter


dj nyc said...

Would love to hear some of Thompsons music, any suggestions on where I could dig it up?
dj nyc

brittnie stapp said...

this is my papaw!! you can listen to him on you tube!! his record is now worth about $600

cobweb said...

This is also my grandfather (pretty sure the photos came from my site... I don't mind and neither would he).

Mellow said...

Hello cobweb! yes, the photos came from your site, thanks for putting them up. Is there a possibility to contact you (email)? I sure would like to know more about your grandfather!

cobweb said...

Sure. You should be able to e-mail me through my website or my blogger account.

I was contacted today by Jerry Lee Williams (he wrote Saturday ball and played guitar in the band) and he told me that the name of the drummer was Jack Wagley.

cobweb said...

Just in case anyone is interested, after being contacted by several people about the band this week... I have created a Facebook page for it.