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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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hap Records

Hap was a label based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. To be honest, I have not much information on the company except that it was owned by Herbert "Happy" Schleif, who was said to "[...] always had a delightful grin on his face," thus the label's name. It was a subsidiary of Schleif's Mountain City recording studio, located in "Suite 3, Dome Building" in Chattanooga. The Dome was built in 1892 for the Chattanooga Times and it seems that it later housed also offices by other businesses.

Billboard mentions Hap Records in December 1960 as being a "record manufacturer". In addition to running a studio and the label, Schleif also oparated his Mountain City Publishing Company. The first singles appear to have been released in the spring of 1960 and there were at least 60 discs with Hap 1018 showing the location as Daisy, Tennessee (if the numerical system has no gaps or skips). Most of them were by local artists such as the Dixieland Drifters, a group that included at one time or another Howell Culpepper, Norman Blake, Peanuts Faircloth, Buck Turner among others. Blake was good friends with Schleif, so possibly through this connection, the band had the chance to record for Hap. Their first release on the label was Hap #1005 "You Won't Fall in Love" b/w "Will Angels in Sweethearts." The first song was written by Fletcher Bright, who recalls:
"I don't recall anything about the label. It was an old 45 single. I think Norman Blake was on the dobro, Peanut Faircloth was singing. My late wife Marshall wrote the words, borrowing heavily from a Jimmy Van Heusen tune (It Could Happen to You), and I supplied the melody. I was playing with the Dixie Land Drifters at the time (Norman, Cecil Powell, and Howell Culpepper)."
It is not known where these song were laid down on tape, possibly at the Mountain City studio. However, for their next release, the Dixieland Drifters visited Murray Nash's Recording of Nashville studio in Nashville, Tennessee, where they recorded "Bongos and Uncle John" and "How Big a Fool," first released on Hap #1009 in 1961. "Bongos and Uncle John" was re-released on 20th Century Fox as well as twice on Murray Nash's Do-Ra-Me label.
Billboard May 16, 1960
For further reading on the Dixieland Drifters, see American Music Magazine issue #130 (09/2012).


7998-5/7999-6: Gloria Ramsey and Sound Dealers Orchestra - Good Poppin' Daddy / My Love (1960)
1003: Kirk Hanserd - Johnny Collins / Two Won't Care (1960)
1004: Gene Woods - Afraid / The Ballad of Wild River (1960)
1005: Dixieland Drifters - You Won't Fall in Love / Will Angels Have Sweethearts (1960)
1006: Alan Marlo - Sleepy Time Girl / ? (1960)
1008: James Padgett - Gonna Rock the Ocean Waves / ? (1960)
1009: Dixieland Drifters - Bongos and Uncle John / How Big a Fool (1961)
1015: Sand Mountain Playboys - Wild Bill / ? (1961)
1016: Chuck Cain - Blue are the Tears I Cry / ? (1961)
1017: Arlie & Charlie - Johnny Reb Get Your Gun / ? (1961)
1018: Earl Scott - Opal Lee / ?
1021: Warrior River Boys - My Love Song for You / Five String Ramble
1024: Yellow Jackets - There's No Telling / ? (1962)
1025: Jim Taylor and the Yellow Jackets - Zemo / ?
1060: Viola Schleif & Cathy Chapman - The Voice of the Americans / ?

The Dome Building in Chattanooga, Tennessee, home of Hap Records.
Sources: RCS, Billboard
Special thanks to DrunkenHob, Bob, C. Brown, Lon Eldridge, Fletcher Bright


DrunkenHobo said...

1006 Alan Marlo - Sleepy Time Girl / ? 1960
10-08 James Padgett - Gonna Rock The Ocean Waves / ? (1960)
1015 Sand Mountain Playboys - Wild Bill / ? (1961)
1016 Chuck Cain - Blues Are The Tears I Cry (1961)
1017 Arlie & Charlie - Johnny Reb Get Your Gun / ? (1961)
1021 Warrior River Boys - My Love Song For You / ?(1962?)
1024 Yellow Jackets - There's No Telling / ? (1962)
1025 Jim Taylor & The Yellow Jackets - Zemo / ? (1964?)

Lon Eldridge said...

Hey there! I live in Daisy, TN (Soddy Daisy since 1969) and I'd never heard of Hap Records until a friend showed me your blog post. Cool stuff! I was looking at the picture you have of Hap 1005 and noticed that the writer credit is one Mr. Fletcher Bright. I know Fletcher and I showed that picture to him. Here's what he said:

"I don't recall anything about the label. It was an old 45 single. I think Norman Blake was on the dobro, Peanut Faircloth was singing. My late wife Marshall wrote the words, borrowing heavily from a Jimmy Van Heusen tune (It Could Happen to You), and I supplied the melody. I was playing with the Dixie Land Drifters at the time (Norman, Cecil Powell, and Howell Culpepper)."

Mellow said...

Hi Lon, that's some really great memories from Mr. Fletcher. I wrote an article about the Dixieland Drifters. Do you have an email adress?

Daniel said...


I am a graduate student at the University of Memphis working on a dissertation on Norman Blake. I came across your website while trying to research Norman's early career and compile a discography of his recording activities with the Dixieland Drifters. Your site contains much valuable information. I noticed above the reference to an article you wrote on the Dixieland Drifters. Would it be at all possible for you to forward me the article or let me know how I might access it? Please do contact me at dfleck@memphis.edu. Any assistance or further information you could provide on the group and its recording activities would be very much appreciated.

Many thanks,

CBrown said...

Hello! I'm a lifelong resident of Chattanooga,and I thought I might have some useful information about HAP records. My great-grandfather was the man running the studio here at Chattanooga. His name Herbert Schleif. Everyone who knew him called him "Happy" Herbert because he always had delightful grin on his face, thus the name HAP records was derived. The story also goes that he was good friends with Norman Blake. At least this is what my grandmother has told me. I didn't believe her at first tell she handed me an old 45: HAP 45-1060, "The Voice of the Americans" with Viola Schleif and Cathy Chapman. I realize a random isn't a reliable source, but I did find this thread.

Mellow said...


thank you! Great information. Do you have an email adress? I'd like to know more about HAP Records and I consider a much more detailed article.

CBrown said...

I'm afraid that's all I know at the moment, but I will definitely get back to you as soon as I have more information. My grandmother will be thrilled to know that there is someone interested in her grandfather's history.

raif faircloth said...

Hap was an acronym for Herb and Peanut. They were partners with the label. I was at Herb's house near Soddy Daisy a number of times. I remember him as a fine fellow.
My memories of the Dixieland Drifters were mainly going way out lookout mtn, past plum nelly to the Blake home place when they'd rehearse. It was dad, Hal, Charlie and Norman at that time.
Raif Faircloth

Mellow said...


thank you for sharing your memories with us. Would like to get in touch with you regarding Hap and the Dixieland Drifters. You can find my email adress on my profile page!

DrunkenHobo said...


1021 Warrior River Boys - My Love Song For You

Flip = Five String Ramble

Cheryl Ann. said...

Herbert and Viola Schleif was my mother and father in law's. ..I joined the family in 1976 and gave them the youngest 2 grandchildren. ..Beth and Jason Schleif. ..they would be so proud of them. .I've met a lot of these people..not to mention Ray Stevens got cigarette money from Herb before he became the man we know today. ..my children have records that was recorded by Viola. .they don't have a way to listen to them because of technology today. .no turntables.

Cheryl Ann. . said...

His name was Herbert Hap Schleif. ...he also had a twin brother.

Cheryl Ann. said...

They called him Junior. ..HAP WAS HIS MIDDLE NAME. .

Mellow said...

Cheryl, any chance to contact you concerning Herbert Schleif?

Jason Lamar Schleif said...

I am (HAP) Herbert Schleif's Grandson Jason Lamar Schleif. I just want to say that I greatly appreciate the comments and information I have stumbled across and read on this page! I would love to learn more if there is anyone in the area that might have more details on my grandfather and Peanuts accomplishments in music! I also have an old suitcase of Herberts that is full of old photos that are all in black and white. They all appear to be original photos and I would absolutely love to identify the individuals if possible. I can be reached via Email at Jas0np4@aol.com