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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Sunday, December 23, 2018

Hob Nob Records

One of the most interesting things in record collecting is (for me, at least) the many small labels in Arkansas. Often, you discover an unknown record with a familiar name - a rock'n'roller from the 1950s that made another record later on, maybe returning to his first love, country music. Or a gospel quartet that performs to this day. One of these hidden treasures is Hob Nob Records in Northern Arkansas.

Hob Nob Records was a low scale label, based in Harrison, Arkansas. It was owned by Earl Nicholson and operated by Hugh Ashley out of his store, which also included a small recording facility. Ashley had played in a band with Mike McAllister, Mike Collins, and Kirk Coffman and in fact, McAllister would record a single for Ashley's label in 1958.


Wallace Waters
Ashley recorded a couple of local country and rock'n'roll artists on Hob Nob, most notable Wallace Waters, the aforementioned Mike McAllister, and Upton Horn. Wallace Waters led a local band in Harrison that played dances all over Boone County. Apparently, Waters was the drummer and the vocalist in the band. He recorded memorable rock'n'roll tune called "Holiday Hill" in 1959. The song had been previously cut by Slim Wilson on Hob Nob. With just his guitar and his singing, it turned out to be a totally different but charming style of old down-home folk. Wallace Waters recorded another single for Trend and kept on performing locally. He is still active in the Harrison area.

Mike McAllister recorded a rollicking and echo-loaded "Twenty One" with a girl called Nancy, whose identity otherwise remains unknown. The flip side was "I Don't Dig It," written by Hugh Ashley. It very well could be that the band heard on this record was Ashley and McAllister's group. "I Don't Dig It" was also re-issued by Rockin' Ronnie Weiser on his Rollin' Rock Records in the 1970s.

Upton Horn recorded a country single for Hob Nob, also in the late 1950s. He went on to become a DJ on KHOZ in Harrison and recorded another single for Table Rock Records in Omaha, Arkansas. Horn was born September 26, 1924, but died tragically way too early on September 9, 1984, in Harrison at the age of 59 years. He was a local celebrity in the Harrison area through the 1960s and 1970s.

If anyone has more info on Hob Nob Records, feel free to pass it along.


Discography

410: Upton Horn - In and Out (Of Every Heart in Town) / A Good Way (for a Good Man to Go Wrong) (poss. 1958)
441: Mike & Nancy - Twenty One / Mike McAllister - I Don't Dig It (1958)
442: Slim Wilson - Holiday Hill / Jealousy's Made of Fear (1959)
443: Wallace Waters - Holiday Hill / Walking and a-Thinking (1959)
EP-401: Frank Watkins - Blue Mule / Saddle Old Spike / Soldier's Joy / Bay Rooster
EP-408: Frank Watkins - Girl I Left Behind Me / Kansas City Rag / Watkins Hoedown / Bad Whiskey / Missouri Fever / Frank's Breakdown (1958)

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