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, April 6, 2015

House of Joan

Johnny Albert and Bobby Wayne - Roll Clean Out of Your Life (House of Joan No.#), 1962

This is possibly another piece of radio personality Bobby "The Wizard" Wayne's career in music history, of which I didn't know when writing about his life in 2012. There are some indications that lead me to the conclusion this could be the same Bobby Wayne, although it is not confirmed yet.

Bobby Wayne started his career as a DJ on local Charleston, West Virginia, radio stations. He recorded a thrashing slab of rock'n'roll in 1962 for the local Bonita label ("Swing Train Twist" / "Twistin' Swing Train", Bonita #45-1313). Wayne would spin records on various stations across the USA until his death in 1990.

The House of Joan record was pressed in 1962 by Rite Record Productions in Cincinnati, like Bobby Wayne's Bonita disc. Label design, especially color and font types, are very similar. In addition, both records must have been pressed very close to each other since the matrix numbers are very close: House of Joan had 7585/7586, Bonita had 7589/7590.

Unfortunately, I cannot spot any link between neither Wild Bill Graham and Bobby Wayne nor between the Johnny Albert and Bobby Wayne. Wayne left for Cincinnati in either late 1962 or early 1963 for a short while. So there was a short time frame when Bobby Wayne and Wild Bill Graham could have met in Ohio and recorded this song.

Wild Bill Graham was a drummer and band leader from Columbus, Ohio. He probably first recorded in 1956 for Cliff Ayres' Emerald label out of Fort Wayne, Indiana ("Mama Chita" / "Sinbad Blues", Emerald #2010). In 1958, he recorded with Paul Rey the R&B song "Good News Baby" on Canto Records (Canto #CN-45-31458). This label was also from Ohio. 

Billboard R&B review, May 12, 1956.

By 1967, Graham had founded the Escalators and performed regularly around Columbus. As Tim Fleischer, member of the Edicates, put it: "Wild Billy Graham and The Escalators were a black soul band with a brass section and they were about as funky as it gets. We opened for them a couple times. They released a record called Ooh Poo Pa Do in ‘67 (I think) which became a big regional hit." This particular hit record was in fact was "Oop-Poo-Pa-Doo," which was originally released on Nassau Records from Columbus. Coupled with "East 24th Ave," it was the label's first single (Nassau #100). Nassau was operated by WVOK DJ Bill Moss, also called "The Bass Hoss" and "Big Nassau Daddy." He was a colourful person and business man, also running "Nassau Daddy's Pit Bar-Be-Que" for some time. Graham's single became a regional hit and was picked up by Atlantic in late 1966 (Atlantic #45-2372). It was also distributed by Atlantic in Canada and the UK. Wayne Lowery, son of the Escalators' lead singer, recalls: "Used to hang out at Uncle Billy's house with my sisters [...]. Used to watch the band practice on many occasions and saw them play one of the little stages at the Ohio State Fair a couple of times." See here for two pictures of Graham.


Wild Bill Graham and the Escalators

Johnny Albert was also a local Columbus musician. He performed jazz with Bobby Shaw in the 1950s under the name of "Chickadee and Chickadoo." See here for a picture of Albert and Shaw.

See also: Interview with Tim Fleischer with 60sgaragebands.com

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