• Added info on Jimmy Ford, thanks to Volker Houghton. • Extended and corrected the post on Happy Harold Thaxton (long overdue), thanks to everyone who sent in memories and information! • Added information to the Jim Murray post, provided by Mike Doyle, Dennis Rogers, and Marty Scarbrough. • Expanded the information on Charlie Dial found in the Little Shoe post.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Vaughn Riley on Ornament

Vaughn Riley and the Blue-Diamonds - It's All Your Fault (Ornament No.#), 1977

Thankfully, Dean from the cherished Small Independent Rockin' 45rpm Labels blog pointed me towards this disc in 2023. Naturally, I got intrigued with Vaughn Riley's story. There's not much out there on him or the Ornament label, though, so if you know more than I do, please feel free to share your knowledge with me.

Early on in his career, Vaughn Riley was a member of the Arkansas based rock'n'roll band the Jokers. Members of this band included at one time or another Jimmy Bone and Jimmy Doyle Payne on vocals, Steve Hanford (sometimes also spelled Handford) and Riley on guitars, Ivan Wood on bass, and John Stice on drums. The Jokers recorded three rare records. The first one was released on Grace in 1961, featuring their Clovers cover "Little Mama" and "Say You're Mine", written by Vaughn Riley. Their second release came in 1964 with covers of two Bobby Lee Trammell classics, "Arkansas Twist" and "It's All Your Fault". These recordings were released by the Bro-Ket label of Batesville, Arkansas. A third 45 was issued as by "Jimmy Payne and the Jokers" on George Whitaker's Zay-Dee label featuring "I Wouldn't Be Seen Alive with Her" b/w "Don't Ground Me".

I couldn't find any more info on Riley until his Ornament disc was released. This came along in 1977 and Riley again tried his hand at the Trammell song "It's All Your Fault". The flip side is not known to me sadly. The Jokers' and Riley's "obsession" with Bobby Lee Trammell material may be due to the fact that some of the Jokers members actually performed with him - at least Steve Han(d)ford and Jimmy Doyle Payne.

Ornament was based in North Little Rock and I know of two releases on this label, the other one being by Riley's old band mate Jimmy Doyle Payne.

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