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, October 12, 2011

Jimmy Stayton

 Jimmy Stayton & Country Cats - "You're Gonna Treat Me Right" (Blue Hen 224), 1956

Jimmy Stayton recorded this great historical piece of New England rockabilly probably in 1956 after releasing his first single on Blue Hen, "Hot Hot Mama" b/w "Why Do You Treat Me This Way" earlier that year. Stayton was born in 1937 in Delaware and was caught by the new rockabilly sound when he visited his sister in Virginia in 1955. By then, Elvis Presley was already a household name in southern musical circles and Stayton instantly fell in love with rockabilly music. Back in Delaware he put together a band and in 1956, began recording for Blue Hen. "Hot Hot Mama" and "Why Do You Treat Me This Way" were recorded in Harrington, Delaware, in April 1956 with a band consisting of Stayton on vocals and rhythm guitar, a lead guitarist (possibly Morton Walker), and a drummer. "You're Gonna Treat Me Right" b/w "Midnight Blues" was released in late 1956 as his second single and Billboard gave it a promising review:

You're Gonna Treat Me Right
In this upbeat material, Stayton essays a rather successful Elvis Presley styling. Not many of these imitations have succeeded commercially; if any could, this one might.
Midnight Blues
A traditional-style blues plaint to steady, restrained beat. The harmonizing of the duo is competent but a little old fashioned. Guitar backing is excellent.
While Stayton's band was known as "The Rockabye Band" around the time of his first Blue Hen release, the second one was credited to "Jimmy Stayton & Country Cats." In addition, Stayton was joined on vocals by band member Morton Walker on "Midnight Blues." Another musician in his band was Honey
Voshell, who was a local musician from Kent County, Delaware.

Jimmy Stayton (center) and his band
Stayton became a quite popular entertainer in the area. A contemporary witness remembered him doing barn dances in the Armory Hall in Milford, Delaware, which were attented by teenagers. He also performed at the Teen Canteen in Dover, Delaware, during the mid-1950s. He was some kind of a "local rock star" back then. Stayton was also one of the featured acts at the Cumberland County Co-Op Fair in Bridgeton, New Jersey, during November 1957. In the early 1960s, he recorded "The Hep Old Frog" b/w "The Only One (for Me)" on the Dover based Del-Ray label, which was partially owned by regional musician and producer Howard Vokes. While "The Hep Old Frog" was a rock'n'roll novelty song, the flip was a nice country ballad in the style of Don Gibson.

Not much else is known about Jimmy Stayton's career. There was a release by the European Dee-Jay Jamboree label entitled "Jimmy Stayton and his Rock-a-Bye Band," most likely containing a couple of his 1950s recordings. More information is appreciated!

Sources: Adam Komorowski, Rockin' Country Style, various Billboard issues, thanks to a Milford resident, Carl Roshong

5 comments:

Carl Roshong said...

"Honey" was Honey Voshell, a local name in Kent County Delaware. Stayton and Marker played at the "Teen Canteen "( Old Century Club) in Dover, DE in the mid 50's. They were wonderful!

Mellow said...

Hello Carl, thanks for the info! Can you tell me more about Jimmy Stayton and his band?

Anonymous said...

I will interviewing Jimmy for the RabHall very soon.
Also, will be releasing a cd of all of his records + plus un-issued cuts.

Steve Kelemen

Mellow said...

Great news Steve, thanks for the info!

Anonymous said...

http://www.rockabillyhall.com/jimmystayton.html