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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Friday, December 2, 2016

Howard Chandler on Marble Hill

Howard Chandler - The Poverty Rag (Marble Hill 300), 1968

Only snippets of info have survived on Howard Chandler, a local Memphis country singer who recorded demo tapes for Sun at some point in 1957. He also released a couple of records on his own labels but otherwise has fallen through the cracks.

Although it is stated James Howard Chandler hailed from Mississippi on the back of the Redita LP "Rock from Memphis" (Redita LP #102), Chandler spent most of his live in Memphis, on 1171 Central Avenue to be precise. It can be assumed he did occasional gigs around Memphis from the 1950s onwards and sent a tape of his "Wampus Cat" to Sam Phillips at Sun Records. A countryfied and primitive rockabilly piece with steel guitar backing, Chandler nevertheless got the chance to record another song for Sun, "Golden Band." Nothing else came of this session and both tapes vanished into the Sun vaults.

Chandler then simply set up his own record label, Wampus Records, which he operated out of his home on Central Avenue. He re-recorded "Wampus Cat" and released it with "Island of Love" on the flip early in 1958. Two more records on Wampus followed. In 1968, Chandler went into partnership with John Cook, a local label owner and gospel singer, to form Marble Hill Records. Cook also ran the country/bluegrass/gospel label Blake Records and performed country gospel music with his wife Margie. Chandler had the debut release on Marble Hill, "The Poverty Rag" / "No One Will See the Teardrops," on Marble Hill #300. By then, Chandler had switched to strictly country music and several discs on Marble Hill followed.

Little else is own about Howard Chandler. He spent the rest of his live in Memphis, where he died in 1989.


Wampus W-100: Island of Love / Wampus Cat (1958)
Wampus 104:  Black Gumbo Land / A Million Friends
Marble Hill 300: The Poverty Rag / No One Will See the Tears (1968)
Marble Hill 306: My Old Guitar / Did I
Marble Hill 307: There's a Wolf Around / My Bluebird Has Flown (ca. 1970) 
Marble Hill 312: I Just Got Out of the Can / The Road to Happiness (1970)
Marble Hill 317: Another Point of View / You Can't Be My Star
Marble Hill 318: Little Boy from Missouri / For All the Soldiers
Marble Hill 319: It's Parkin Arkin / I Wouldn't Take the World for Your Love
Wampus 105: Mean Ole Tomcat / Before You Wanted to Be Free (1972)

Thanks to Anonymous

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

from Terminal Boredom forum post

(Another John Cook label from Memphis, very good for Howard Chandler fans)

300: Howard Chandler - The Poverty Gig / No One Will See the Teardrops
302: Kenneth Peterson - Wake Up Crying / To Some Girl
306: Howard Chandler - My Old Guitar / Did I (2)
312: Howard Chandler - I Just Got Out Of The Can / The Road To Happiness (3)
313: Cliff & Elsie Moore - Not Dreaming / Just A Closer Walk With Thee
317: Howard Chandler - Another Point Of View / You Can?t Be My Star
318: Howard Chandler - Little Boy From Missouri / For All The Soldiers (2)
319: Howard Chandler - It?s Parkin Arkin / I Wouldn?t Take The World For Your Love (2)
320: Walter O Russell, Jr - Move On, Buddy / I?m Gone And Free