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, February 7, 2013

Alden Holloway on Dixie

 
Alden Holloway - Blast Off (Dixie 45-2020), 1959

This record ranks among the more expensive 45s, if you find it on ebay, a collector fair or something like this. Lucky are those who found it left alone in a box of other 45s at a flea market. The highest price I saw was 455 USD. However, the late and great Alden Holloway died at the very beginning of this year and gone is the chance now to interview him about his musical career.


Born Alden William Holloway on January 26, 1925, in Moko, Arkansas, he already performed as a child. He had his first appearance at the age of five years on the counter of a local store. In addition, he also sang in the church choir. Holloway became an accomplished musician and played guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, and steel guitar.

By 1944, Billboard reported he was a DJ on KNET in Palestine, Texas. How and when he came to Texas is not known. However, that same year, he married his girlfriend Polly (whom he had met at high school in Arkansas) and moved way up north to the state of Washington with her, where he would be active for most of his career. By the mid-1950s, he had his own band and appeared on local radio stations such as KPKW (Pasco, Washington) and KWIE (Kennewick, Washington). In 1955, he released probably his first record on the Four Star OP custom label Northwest Records. Based in Richland, Washington, this was likely also Holloway's home at that time. The disc featured "Beaumont Blues" and "Rabbit Ears" with Holloway on vocals and his Prairie Riders providing the background music.

The late 1950s saw Holloway releasing the records he is best remembered for today. Being previously a stonehard Country musician, he now tried his hand at Rock'n'Roll. Holloway and his band, now called "The Tri City Playboys," cut "Loving Is My Business" (written by Holloway) and "Chiquita" probably 1958 in their home state Washington. They sent the tapes again to a custom pressing service, this time Starday's Package Deal. It was released on Starday 714 around June 1958 and I assume, there weren't much more than 1000 copies pressed. The second single is definetly Holloway's claim to fame, at least in the Rockabilly collectors scene. "Blast Off" b/w "Swinging the Rock" (Dixie 45-2020) are two great guitar driven rockers from 1959. The lead guitarist on both songs was to all acounts Holloway.

There are a couple of more songs in the Country style but I have no other details about them. For the next decades, Holloway kept on performing in the Tri-City area of Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland but also had regular day jobs, for example working at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and the Alaska pipelines. He appeared with such stars as Little Jimmy Dickens, Porter Waggoner, among others and also continued to record. On the private side, he had two children with his wife.

On January 1, 2013, Alden "Shorty" Holloway passed away at Kadlec Medical Center. He was 87 years old.
Discography

Northwest OP214X45
Shorty Holloway & his Prairie Riders
Beaumont Blues (Alden Holloway; C. Tucker) / Rabbit Ears (Bert Wells)
OP-360 / OP 361
1955

Starday 45-714
Alden Holloway and his Tri City Boys
Chiquita (Floyd Hogien) / Loving Is My Business (Alden Holloway)
A / B
1958

Dixie 45-2020
Alden Holloway
Blast Off (Alden Holloway; B.R. Thomas) / Swinging the Rock (Alden Holloway)
2953 / 2954
1959

Big Sound No.#
Alden Holloway
Walking the Blues Away () / Oklahoma Sweetheart ()
1968

There are a couple of more songs which Holloway recorded, including "Butterflies in My Heart," "Cotton Pickin' Boogie", "I'm a Married Man," "Red Rose of Arkansas," and "Telephone Blues."

8 comments:

Bob The Scared Data Miner said...

A 116 pages Shorty Holloway biography - in german - was published in 2010.

SEE http://www.infibeam.com/Books/alden-holloway-german-lambert-m-surhone/9786133433304.html

Mellow said...

This is really surprising! The author doesn't sound like a German. Do you have this one?

Bob The Scared Data Miner said...

NO, I haven't. But found something intresting about the publishing company :

"This is one of the oddest things I’ve ever seen on the internet. A company variously calling itself Alphascript Publishing and Betascript Publishing is taking articles from Wikipedia and publishing them as books....."

more here:

http://www.chrisrand.com/blog/index.php/2010/02/27/odd-tale-alphascript-publishing-betascript-publishing/

Mellow said...

Okay Bob, then I think I know all about this. First let me say that I am the author of the German Wikipedia article on Holloway. Seems they took it and published it in this book. But it can't be 119 pages long, my article barely is one page long!

Unknown said...

Anyone familiar with this version?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4TnKdp5H38

Bob The Scared Data Miner said...

Found this one on Northwest not listed in your discography :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTH5x4ujyfs

Martin said...

Here is one of Shorty's doublenecks on Antiques Roadshow:
http://video.pbs.org/video/2365085733/

jjflash@canby.com said...

One of his guitars, a leather bound, twin neck, the upper neck being a 4 vs. an 8 string mandolin was shown, if I'm remembering it correctly, by his daughter, on PBS's Antiques Roadshow last Monday.
jjflash@canby.com