Sunday, December 15, 2013


Ronnie Byrd

Louise Shields
Corette Music / Crazy Cajun Music,  BMI

Dante Records

Dante was one of the three labels started by Ray Doggett in Houston in 1961 (the other two were Cadette and Eric). It appears that B.J. Thomas and the Triumphs, Dean Scott, and Steve Tyrell all had their debut discs on Dante.   Most of them probably didn't make much of an impression, but the Triumph's "The Lazy Man" and Steve Tyrell's "Payday Someday" were local hits on KNUZ and KILT.   The final Dante came out in late 1964.  

Another song recorded by Ronnie Byrd from around the same time is "Back to School Blues" credited to Ronnie Byrd and the Hi-Liners.  The track was first issued (or re-issued?, but then what was the original release? anyone?) on the first volume of the "Kiddie Sound" a multi-volumes series issued by Magic Rabbit.    YouTube link

Veskants 45 (1966)

A post-puberty Ronnie Byrd was the vocalist of the Veskants who recorded a 45 on W.M.C., a label out of Waco, Texas.   See
Chattanooga, Tenn. songwriter, producer and promoter Louise Fields wrote both sides of the Dante 45.   See Louise Shields: Standing In The Shadows  where you will learn that "Elvis is not the only singing star that Mrs. Fields has been able to call "friend." Add to the list Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis."

Less at the Mrs Fields' advantage (but a little more credible, in my opinion) is the following bit of info which can be found HERE. Larry Banks, member of The Squires, a Chattanooga band, recalls :
In the spring of 1960, we met a woman named Louise Shields who owned a small recording studio on South Broad Street.  Small is an understatement, it consisted of one Wollensack (sic) tape deck and a couple of microphones. She asked us to “audition” for her by coming out to a school in Tiftonia one Saturday and play.  As it turned out, she was being paid by a local politician to furnish entertainment for an election campaign barbecue he was having.  Louise was getting us for free and calling it an audition (typical Louise as we later learned). 

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