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.


• Jack Turner recordings available here.
• Update on Les Randall acetate.
• Thanks to Bob more info on Bill Harris.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Gulf / Gulf Reef label

Bill Barton also recorded
as "Laurel London" for Gulf Reef.
Founded approximately in the fall 1961 under the name of Gulf Records in Clearwater, Florida, this label was first associated in some way with the Reef Hotel in Clearwater. The initial release was by Billy Barton, who I assume was involved in this label. "Monkey Business" b/w "Blue Lover" was released in 1961. By January 1962, the label had changed its name to "Gulf Reef" and had moved to 1708 Grand Avenue in Nashville, Tennessee. Many records were produced by Les Geeting and some songs published by Barton-Geeting Publishing Company, to all accounts a joint venture by Billy Barton and Les Geeting.

Barton was born on November 21, 1929, as John Grimes and died on October 8, 2011. He was a veteran singer and songwriter by 1961, having recorded for such labels as King, Abbott, and many others. He was married to Wanda Wayne for some time and a cousin of Russell Sims', owner of Sims Records. He was the composer of "A Dear John Letter," a country hit for Ferlin Husky and Jean Shepard in 1953. Barton lived in Nashville for a while but settled down in Florida in the 1960s after recording for Sims.

It turns out that no info survived on Les Geeting.

Apart from a musical point of view, there were some interesting discs on the Gulf Reef label. Carlyn Johnson was accompanied by Bill Woods' Orchestra. Was this Bill Woods from Bakersfield, California? "Why Do I Love You," which she recoded for Gulf Reef, sounds like a Nashville production, though. Benny Martin also recorded for the label as well as Ernest Stoneman's group, the Stonemans.

Billboard February 17, 1962, review of
Benny Martin's Gulf Reef single.

1001: Billy Boy Barton - Monkey Business / Blue Lover (1961)
1002: Johnny Wildcard - Say It Again / Rock and Roll Yodel (1962)
1003: Billy Barnoski & Bill Woods - So Called Friend / 12 O'Clock Polka
1004: Carlyn Johnson & Billy Barton - Two Kids in Love / Carlyn Johnson & Bill Woods Orch. - Why Do I Love You (1962)
1005: Benny Martin - The Man Next Door / Thinking About Love
1006: Curley Henson - Wichita Nell / Ten Steps Apart (1962)
1007: Laurel London - Don't Knock the Rock / My Conscience and I (1962)
1008: Blondie Brooks - Please Pardon My Past / We'll Make Out Together (1962)
1009: Grant Turner with the Stonemans - My Greatest Friend / Guilty
1010: The Stonemans - Sadness / White Lightning (1962)
1015: Danny Miller with the Stonemans - Silver City / The Million Dollar Fiddle


Bob The Scared Data Miner said...

1003: Billy Barnoski And Bill Woods : So Called Friend / 12 O'Clock Polka

1009: Grant Turner With The Stonemans : My Greatest Friend / Guilty

1015: Danny Miller With The Stonemans : Silver City /
The Million Dollar Fiddle

Bob The Scared Data Miner said...

Whatever says the label (Florida or Nashville) it seems like all these records were recorded in Bakersfield...

Mellow said...

In Bakersfield? Many of those sound like Nashville recordings. Benny Martin, for example, was a longtime Nashville artist...

Mariam said...
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