Friday, November 9, 2012

Mama Loochie

Tommy Cherry And His Niteriders
Featuring Denny Smith on the vocals

Lee Diamond, Tollie Pub. BMI

Smokey Records


A cover of the Lee Diamond song (Vee Jay Records,  1958)
(Dan Phillips has a much detailed Lee Diamond story HERE)

Smokey Records (and not Smoke, as the label is frequently listed and misspelled) was NOT  a subsidiary of Sandy Records, despite the inclusion of Kenny Spivey, Smokey recording artist, in Gulf Coast Grease: The Sandy Story, Vol. 1 (Ace UK, 1996).  

The label was almost certainly owned by Pete McCord, a session bass player and songwriter  (he played bass on the revered The Phantom rockabilly classic "Love Me" -  Dot Records, 1958).    Pete McCord married one of the Creel Sisters (who recorded for Abbott Records in 1955).

Tommy Cherry
 (who was NOT Tommy Stiglets, as assumed by Ray Topping in the Gulf Coast Grease booklet)

Tommy :  “I’m basically an uneducated musician, but I studied and learned a lot about muic. I’d write the musical arrangement for every instrument in a band or orchestra. I got started doing this in Korea (serving in the Army from 1955-1958, mainly in Special Services). I also compose music.”

Following his discharge from the military,Tom and brother Joe, a bass player, joined a touring group, the Nite Riders.
Johnny Faircloth was the lead guitarist and his father bought the band a big bus. We looked good. We played at colleges and clubs.”,  throughout the Gulf Coast, and then in Las Vegas. Tommy Cherry later spent 26 years hitting the highway with Boots Randolph’s band,   

He died in 2008, aged 72.

The Nite Riders 

Band line-Up in 1964 was:  

Tommy Cherry, head saxophone, Julian Graddick, vocalist, Denny Smith, bass; Joe Cherry, guitar; Johnny Elmer, drums; Joe Dunlap, sax, and Leon Miller, piano. 

Bob Moffitt was also noted as one of the band vocalist at an earlier stage.

Various members of the band have made recordings, especially to be noted is Julian Graddick who recorded on Smash Records. 



  1. This was my fathers band before I was born. What a surprising find. I had no clue it existed.

    1. Thanks long did it take you to find this. And where and how? Oh, how I wish I could get a copy of this record, I have danced to that song so many times. Sure do miss that man. There will NEVER be another one like him. Sure was a lucky girl, wasn't I? Thanks again, Tommy.

    2. My cousin, George Sullivan played piano at some time with the band.
      I remember a single which was on the juke box at the Frosty Treat that
      had a line "Get on the moon, baby, ride it around- I'll still love you when you
      get back in town.