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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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Cash McCall on Topic

Cash McCall - My Friend Johnny (Topic 8010), 1965

Not connected with the blues musician of the same name, country singer Cash McCall was an uprising talent during the mid-1960s in the music scene. What predicted him from being a star is lost to history. He had a string of releases on independent labels but real success eluded him.

In 1963, Billboard reported that a British country artist named Cash McCall recorded for Ember Records in the UK. He is also probably the same who had a string of releases in Italy but not connected with this Cash McCall on Topic.

Today's featured Cash McCall possibly hailed from Michigan and started his career as a DJ in 1964 on WIBM in Jackson, Michigan, before switching to WJCO in November that year, also based in Jackson. The station underwent a change at that time and changed its programming to a country music format. McCall had a morning as well as afternoon show and soon became the station's program director. Other DJs on WJCO included Red Howard, Chuck Bedwell, Tex LeFleur, and Cowboy Barney Oaks. In addition to his activies in radio, he also performed in the area with his band, the Greenbacks.

McCall started his recording career probably in 1962 on the Executive label ("The Ballad of Billie Sol" / "Breaking Up", Executive #1019, September 1962). In 1965, he began recording for Topic Records in Nashville. His first single coupled "Once in Every Lifetime" and "My Friend Johnny" (Topic #8010), which appeared around October. Later that year, he followed up with "In Time" / "My Best Friend" (Topic #8014). Both "In Time" and "Once in Every Lifetime" were "predicted to reach the Hot Country Singles Charts" according to Billboard but seem to have failed in the end. In May 1966, "Don't Give Me a Chance" appeared on Topic #8022, which was promoted by Topic as a "smash country hit" in Billboard. Around the same time, "Shoot Low Sheriff" on the Sincere BB label was released (Sincere BB #8336).

McCall eventually left WJCO but returned to the station in early 1971 to his early morning slot. Around the same time, the Greenbacks disbanded and McCall formed a new group called "Free Soil." By 1974, he was backed by the Honky Tonk Stardust Cowboys and started a tour with them through Canada that summer, booked by Cat Billue Enterprises. Billboard reported on October 12, 1974:
SIOUX STE. MARIE, Ont. - Country music reached new dimensions this week when Cash McCall & his Honky Tonk Stardust Cowboy Band began peform behind a strip act here. Strippers heretofore had not been known to the strains of country music. McCall and his group are at the Lock City Hotel here, where the show is taking place.
An interesting footnote to be sure but this is the last hint I was able to find. After 1974, McCall's trail grows cold.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Cash McCall passed away today(05/20/16) in Jackson County Michigan. Reported by WIBM 970 AM