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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Monday, October 21, 2013

Old South Jamboree

Happy Harold's Old South Jamboree was one of two country stage shows that originated from Miami during the 1950s. Only rivaled by the Gold Coast Jamboree on WMIE, the Old South Jamboree was at least on air around 1956 up to ca. 1958 on WMIL. Harold was one of the few country DJs in Miami and emceed the show from the porch of an old parking lot. The house band included Bill Phillips on vocals (recorded for Columbia), Charlie Justice on guitar, Bill Johnson on steel guitar (who had previously worked with Tommy Spurlin), and Johnny Paycheck on bass (later became a hit making country singer). Kent Westberry, also a local Miami musician, remembered that Happy Harold also recorded for Harold Doane's Perfect label.

Charlie McCoy, who also appeared on the show, recalls the Old South Jamboree:
I was a Chuck Berry singer. I was playing at a barn dance called 'The Old South Jamboree,' and my job was to get up onstage for fifteen minutes each hour, and play rock'n'roll for the young kids. 
If anyone has more info on this show, please pass it along.

Artists that appeared on the Old South Jamboree:

  • Kent Westberry: back then still a local rockabilly singer, who recorded for Art in Miami. Had a band called the Chaperones (Westberry, Snuffy Smith, Wayne Grey, Louie Stewart)
  • Carl Perkins
  • Mel Tillis
  • Charlie McCoy
  • Bill Phillips
  • Jimmy Voytek: recorded for Scott and Caper. Worked with Tommy Spurlin and Kent Westberry.

2 comments:

Russ said...

I knew and worked with Happy Harold in the early sixties. I guess the first time I met him was probably when I stopped by his radio show one afternoon to get him to listen to a demo record my band and I had recorded. He not only listened but played it on the air right then on the spot, even though it was only a demo. He was doing his show then from the back of a Volkswagon bus parked next to
NW 36th Street in Mun. Auto Sales parking lot.
This led to many appearances with Happy Harold at dances and shows all over South Florida. My band and I even played for Happy all over Hialeah from the back of a flat bed truck when he ran for city council. I'll always believe the only reason he wasn't elected is that even though people knew Happy Harold they did not know Harold Thaxton, his real name.

Anonymous said...

Alma Sexton has a picture taken at the Old South Jamboree in 1959 or 1960.
She can be reached at: alma_sexton@comcast.net