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, May 15, 2013

Slow Boogie Rockin' with Lloyd Harp

While "Slow Boogie Rock" is not a Rockabilly classic (yet), the original 45rpm record is hard to come by and worth 300$ if you can believe collectors. Though, the band behind this recording remained in obscurity since the record's release in 1960. Neither references in specialized books, magazines or booklets nor an internet search turns up a snippet of information. I am very thankful to Lloyd Harp's son Lloyd, Jr., who now shared some memories about his father with me. I am glad to present you details on Harp and the Hoosier Rhythm Boys for the first time.


From left to right: Lloyd Harp, Blackie's wife, "Blackie" (last name unknown)
Lloyd G. Harp was born in 1919 in Sidney, Ohio, but later moved to Indiana. Not much is known about his early life. Like so many other young singers back then, Harp's favorite Country music star was Hank Williams, Sr. Other influences on him included Chet Atkins, Little Jimmy Dickens, and Hank Snow.

By the late 1950s, Harp had organized a little band called "The Hoosier Rhythm Boys" with Harp on vocals and rhythm guitar, Les Sexton on lead guitar, and Bob Frame on bass. They played some taverns around Indianapolis and somehow managed to get the chance to record for a small local label called Yolk Records. Yolk was one of the labels owned by Jerry (Lee) Williams along with Stan Cox and Earl Brooks. Williams was a guitarist and played a lot with many local artists such as Aubrey Cagle, Tennessee Thompson, Lattie Moore, and others, around Indiana. He also ran the Nabor and Solid Gold labels. 

Likely recorded in a tiny studio in Indianapolis, "Slow Boogie Rock" was much more in the vein of mid-1950s rural Rockabilly than 1960s popular Rock'n'Roll. Coupled with "I'll Always Love You," it was released in the summer of 1960 (Yolk YR 102) but had no chance to enter the national charts due to lack of distribution and its out-of-fashion style. Billboard reviewed it in its August 29 issue but did not bother to write a review; the magazine rated Harp's single only as "one star."

Lloyd Harp and band: Lloyd Harp on far right, the others are unknown
Harp and the Hoosier Rhythm Boys kept on playing local venues around town up until the mid-1960s, when the band broke up. He settled down on the east side of Indianapolis, performed rarely after that but always found time to play his guitar once in a while, according to his son: 
Dad would pick up his big Gibson acoustic guitar and play every once and awhile... always would bring a smile to his face...
Lloyd Harp died in 1980 at the age of 61 years.

From left to right: Lloyd Harp, unknown, Lex Sexton, unknown
Special thanks to Lloyd Harp, Jr., for providing me with some details about his father's career in music.

5 comments:

Duke said...

Excellent Mellow 5 stars

DrunkenHobo said...

Looks like the flips sides never had a reissue. Would love to here it. The A sides a killer
Loyd Harp on Rockin' Country Style has labe shots.

http://rcs-discography.com/rcs/artist.php?key=harp0700

Lloyd J. Harp said...

Thank you Mellow for the excellent article about Dad and his band. Nice work. :)

Anonymous said...

hi all
1.
do you know when will restart the famous rockit blogspot?
2.
url link to download lloyd harper?

Mellow said...

Thank you all for the nice words. @Anonymous: I no information on the rockit blog and there's no download intended for this post.