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, March 5, 2014

Gene Walton on Alley

 
Gene Walton - Hello Josephine (Alley 1099), 1982

Here's a cool 1980s cover of the old Fats Domino song "Hello Josephine" by Gene Walton on the Alley record label. Domino recorded his original version of it in 1960 for Imperial (Imperial #5704) under the title of "My Girl Josephine," which reached #7 on Billboard's R&B charts and #14 on the Hot 100.

Alley Records was founded by a couple of entrepreneurs in 1962 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, including jazz musician and record producer Joe Lee. Their Variety Recording Studio was built on 213 East Monroe Street in Jonesboro, from which they also operated the label. The label's history began already in late 1961 when Bobby Lee Trammell recorded his local hit "Arkansas Twist" at Variety, even before the studio was completely furnished. Joe Lee eventually became the sole owner of it and released records well into the 1970s.

No info on Gene Walton it seems. It's a common name so it could be any Gene Walton appearing on the web. There was a Gene Walton who wrote such songs as "Love Is a Dream," "The Puppet Boogie," "Rocking Rhythm" and "These Are the Things," copyrighted in 1946. I doubt this is the same guy.

A side of this disc is "Ballad of Wayne Cryts." Farmer Wayne Cryts gained some public attraction first in 1979. The June 25, 1982, issue of the "Lakeland Ledger" included the following article about Wayne Cryts and this record:
Country song supports farmer in battle with U.S. over soybeans JONESBORO, Ark. - "There's a world of difference between law and justice, and sometimes doing wrong is right..."

Those are a few of the words from the "Ballad of Wayne Cryts," a country tune about the Puxico, Mo., farmer who got into trouble with the law for removing soybeans from a grain elevator and refusing to tell a bankruptcy judge who helped him do it.

Jonesboro musicians Joe Lee and Gene Walton wrote the song and recorded it here a few weeks ago. Walton said the American Agricultural Movement, which is backing Cryts in his court battle, plans to help distribute the ballad to radio stations around the country.
The disc was pressed by Queen City Albums in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1982, judging from the matrix number:

206003XB
  • 2: the year 1982
  • 06: pressed in June that year
By that time, Alley had moved from East Monroe Street to 1851 So. Church Street. It's unknown to me if the studio moved also to that adress or if it remained on East Monroe Street.


Further reading:
Alley Records discography

Thanks to Slim D

6 comments:

Slim D said...

The year for this release is probably 1982 rather than 1972.

According to People Magazine (see http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20093426,00.html ) Wayne Cryts, the subject of the song on the A-side of this single, didn't attract public attention until 1979.

Also, the June 25, 1982 issue of the Lakeland Ledger contained the following article titled Country song supports farmer in battle with U.S. over soybeans

JONESBORO, Ark. - "There's a world of difference between law and justice, and sometimes doing wrong is right..."

Those are a few of the words from the "Ballad of Wayne Cryts," a country tune about the Puxico, Mo., farmer who got into trouble with the law for removing soybeans from a grain elevator and refusing to tell a bankruptcy judge who helped him do it.

Jonesboro musicians Joe Lee and Gene Walton wrote the song and recorded it here a few weeks ago. Walton said the American Agricultural Movment, which is backing Cryts in his court battle, plans to help distribute the ballad to radio stations around the country.

Freddie Ann said...

Hi, I am Gene Walton's sister. He now resides in Munford, Tennessee.

Freddie Ann said...

I forgot to mention that Gene Walton wrote and performed the song. He recorded a couple of fantastic songs, but unfortunately they never got much attention. He is a talented person and his love for music has continued throughout his life.

Marti Allen said...

Hi to Freddie Ann,

I'm so glad you left these comments about Gene Walton! I'm the director of Arkansas State University Museum, where we are working on developing an exhibition on rockabilly and musicians from Northeast Arkansas who performed and/or recorded rockabilly music going back to the 1950s and continuing through the 1980s. Would it be possible to get more bio information on your brother Gene Walton? Where he was born, parents, parent's occupation, Gene's early life, when he started playing music, why he recorded Josephine when he did, did he perform live, if so where, and so forth? Thanks! Marti

Mellow said...

Hi Marti,

if you need any help, let me know. I have spezialiced in Northeast Arkansas rock'n'roll for some time now.

Marti Allen said...

Good to know, Mellow, thanks!