Monday, March 29, 2010

I'm Gonna Spin My Wheels

Picture credit : Terry Gordon

Hank The Drifter : "I'm Gonna Spin My Wheels"


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Elvis Presley Blues

Annita Ray was born in Hudson Falls, New York.

In 1956, she performed "On A Saturday Night" in the movie SHAKE, RATTLE, AND ROCK.

Annita Ray had at least three record releases from 1957 thru 1959 prior to joining Ray Anthony's Bookends Revue in 1960. Following her departure from the Bookends, Annita once again went solo, recording for the Choreo and AVA labels, both owned by Fred Astaire. On the AVA label, she also released one album, SLOW GLOW. In 1964, she re-teamed with Diane Hall as Diane & Annita for two releases.

"Elvis Presley Blues" was written by Eden Ahbez, the man who wrote the song "Nature Boy" and lived under the first "L" of the HOLLYWOOD sign. More about Eden Ahbez : A VERY STRANGE ENCHANTED BOY by Brian Chidester

Annita Ray discography (fifties only)

Zephyr 017 -Billboard, 27 Apr 57
Letter To A Soldier
Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Dream 1300 Bb 10 June 57
Frankie’s Song
Elvis Presley Blues

Jamie 1131 – Bb 17 Aug 59
You Always Hurt The One You Love
Someday, I’m Comin’ Home
"Elvis Presley Blues"


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Back In The U.S.A.

Ron Winters with The Patriots
Back In The U.S.A.



Monday, March 22, 2010

Don't Rock, Let's Roll

Paul Kosty, of Greek origin I think, part-time actor (he played in Buster Ladd in 1969), singer, and prize fighter was a full-time taxi driver in Baltimore.

In his youth, in 1951, he was awarded The Teke Trophy, by the Maryland Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity - offered to the student who during his four years at the University has rendered the greatest service to football.

To the listening (?) audience, he offered numerous recordings on his own Clarity, Fleet and U-235 (?) labels. For which I'm not aware of any awards.

Here is a (probably incomplete) discography :

1 - Dad From Trinidad / Panama Mama
6 - Dolly /Cigarette
7 - Dad From Trinidad/ Jacqueline
9 - Kostylypso / Last Cigarette
14 - Transplanted Heart/Cause Of My Troubles

3103 - Don't Rock, Let's Roll / The Last Cigarette

U-2 - Zembekiko / This Time For Keeps

You can hear the two sides of Clarity 1, courtesy of Bob Purse, HERE.

Don't Rock, Let's Roll


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bob Eberly : Heartbreak Hotel

Bob Eberly
Heartbreak Hotel

Popular big band singer Bob Eberly spent much of his career with Jimmy Dorsey's orchestra, starting work in the spring of 1935. His younger brother, Ray Eberle, sang with Glenn Miller and later led his own band.

In his early days, Bob, who changed the spelling of his last name because the announcer of the Milton Berle radio show kept mispronouncing it, gained prominence by winning the ''Allen Amateur Hour'' on Fred Allen's radio show. He began his professional career singing in clubs around his hometown of Hoosick Falls, in upstate New York, where the Dorsey Brothers discovered him and later hired him to replaced the departing Bob Crosby.

He stayed with Jimmy for eight years and became one of the top male vocalists of his day, rivaling Bing Crosby and later Frank Sinatra for that title.

Throughout his career he was encouraged by many in the industry to strike out on his own, but he refused. He was perfectly happy earning a weekly salary with Dorsey's group.

During the early 1950s he was a regular on the television program TV's Top Tunes.

Information above (and picture) from The encyclopedia of big band, lounge, classic jazz and space-age sounds.

"Heartbreak Hotel" was just one of the hits of the day covers that Bob Eberly recorded in the fifties for Enoch Light's Waldorf and 18 Top Hits labels. subsidiary of the Waldorf Corporation from Harrison, New Jersey.

Speaking of Heartbreak Hotel, the Weekly World News issue dated November 1, 1988, inform us of the following :

Scientists say a painting of Elvis Presley weeps when the owner puts Heartbreak Hotel on the stereo and doesn’t stop until she plays Jailhouse Rock. [See the article]


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

There Goes Another Rocket

In 1958, American leaders established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Three years later, President John F. Kennedy set forth an unimaginable dream for the nation – for humans to safely travel to the moon and back by the end of the decade.

The race to the moon had begun.

There was a lot of groundwork to be done, including the selection of various sites to implement a space program. By early fall of 1961, NASA officials had chosen three of the four needed locations – a launch site in Cape Canaveral, Fla., a manufacturing site near New Orleans and a spaceflight laboratory site in Houston.

All that remained was the selection of a site for testing the new powerful rocket engines that would be needed to propel astronauts some 238,000 miles to the surface of the moon.

There were several criteria to consider, such as proximity to river navigation and isolation from populated areas. It came down to six sites – all of which were visited by a committee of decision makers. NASA officials settled on a relatively unknown area in western Hancock County, Miss., not far inland from the Gulf of Mexico – an area not so far removed from its swampy, uninhabited natural state.

In the past, the area had been populated by Indians, pirates and soldiers. At the time of the site selection, there were a few small sawmill towns had occupied the area. However, by the 1960s, the lumber industry had declined – and the towns of Santa Rosa, Westonia, Napoleon, Gainesville and Logtown were suffering. Now, the government needed this land for a new purpose, a national purpose. For a year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers negotiated with residents and land owners, relocating the area population.

Source : Stennis Space Center

Resentment followed the shock. Riverboat captain Johnny McKean went home and composed a ballad :
Logtown, Gainesville,
And up the river too
We all gotta go
And it makes us mighty blue
The song (There Goes Another Rocket) was issued as by Johnny Mac on the J&M label, out of Picayune, Mississippi, probably owned (or co-owned by Pee Wee Maddux). It's likely the same Johnny Mac who recorded The Tug Boat Song on the Hi-Lite label.

Further reading about the event : Moon Race Blots Out a Town by Ronald Bailey, LIFE 25 Sept. 1964

There Goes Another Rocket


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Murray Cohen

Murray Cohen
With The Cohencidentals
Plus The Supremes
With The Biscaynes

Twistin' Boogie

Co-En label (or is it Co-Encidental?) was located in Toledo, Ohio


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Johnny H. & his Henchmen

Johnny custom made his flying "V" acoustic

Johnny Haemmerle aka ENIS aka Jesse Presley

Jesse was using the name Johnny H when three family members told him he was a Presley, not a Haemmerle. Around this time his legal dad obtained for him a 1-8-35 birth certificate from Tupelo, Miss.

According to his MySpace resumé his influences were : Elvis Presley, Johnny Mathis, Tom Jones, Englebert Humperdinck, Tiny Tim, Carl Perkins, Andy Williams, Ole Blue Eyes, Motown, Beethoven, Bach, Handel, Vivaldi and Mozart.

And what connection does Jesse have with such Stars as Arnold Schwarzenegger , Sylvester Stallone, Frank Sinatra, Frankie Avalon, Peter Boyle, Helen Hays, Ed Fury, Bill Smith Al Pacino, The Isley Brothers, Little Anthony & The Imperials, Pat Boone, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Elvis, Gary Moore, Bud Collyer, Orson Bean, Art Carney, Bob Hope, Ethal Waters, Columbia Pictures and Joe Weider? His space at MySpace has all the answers and much, much more (pictures and sounds).


Monday, March 8, 2010

Jay Stevens : Tiger

Jay Stevens - Tiger

No other record by Jay Stevens seems to have been issued on Bell.

Bell was originally specialized in budget generic pop music, with the slogan "music for the millions". Sold on seven-inch 78rpm and 45rpm records for 39 cents.

Ace Records (UK) issued a 26-tracks compîlation on CD : Rock 'n' Roll Bell Ringers.

A Bell Records discography is available online HERE.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Margo White : I'm Not Ashamed

Margo White did reasonably well in 1963 with « Don’t Mess With My Man » and « I’m not Ashamed. »

Floyd Soileau (owner of Jin Records) :

« She came through my door, she was an attractive black girl from Franklin, her real name was Marguerite Wright. Already she had recorded for George Khoury (‘Down By The Sea’ with the Cupcakes). She got a little reel-to-reel thing at the time, and I listened to her voice and said, ‘Yeah I’d like to record you for sure.’ Margo had one song she had written, and as she had no band I hired the Boogie Kings and we went down to Carol Rachou at his studio in Lafayette and we did a couple of sides on her.

« We redid the old Irma Thomas thing ‘Don’t Mess With My Man’ and it sold some, but I just couldn’t get it going. And the next thing I wanted her to do as a female R&B version of the Bobby Bland classic « I’m Not Ashamed’. That was a Bobby Bland favorite for years over here, people still asked for it and couldn’t buy it anymore. So I said, ‘Now a black female version of this song, maybe we could find a place,’ you wouldn’t want to compete a male artist against the Bobby Bland cut, no way. But my mistake was I had a white musician group. She was putting everything into it, but the musicianship, the background, wasn’t just right. It turned out more of a pop side, it didn’t have black soul feeling like it should have. But it turned out to be a pretty good seller anyhow, still selling. And she took on with a fast-talking promoter… when this thing was there, he recognized there was some money to be made with it. See, I never did fool with booking. I had enough irons in the fire without going into that, thats a full-time job, promoting and booking. Anyway this guy came on, the first thing I knew they went to California someplace and I’ve yet to heard of Margo White again, that’s been it."

Quoted from South to Louisiana: The Music Of the Cajun Bayous, book by John Broven

I'm Not Ashamed


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Beverly Buff

No Part Time Love

Bethlehem Records, 1963

It's in His Kiss

Best known as "The Shoop Shoop Song ", a hit for Betty Everett in 1964, the song was first recorded in New York City by Merry Clayton with vocal accompaniment by the Blossoms; produced by Jack Nitzsche and entitled "It's in His Kiss", Clayton's version was released in June 1963 on Capitol with no noticeable result.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Louis Louis

Louis Louis (Louie Louie actually)

Summertime News (Summertime Blues actually)

Members of The Shags included two brothers, John and Tom Ginkel. (Tom Ginkel was inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in 2008)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mini-Your Dress Is Too Short

Madame Nellie Robinson

Mini - Your Dress is Too Short (new link)

Viet Nam

Produced by Brother Henderson.

Brother Henderson obituary (from Jet magazine, 3 May 1973) :

Calif. Gospel Promoter Henderson Dies At 48

Sylvester Clarence Henderson, renowned promoter of gospel music and Religious disc jockey on his popular « Glory Bound Train » broadcast over several southern California radio stations, was found dead in this Pacoima, Calif., home recently, the victim of an apparent heart attack. He was 48.

Henderson, widely known as « Brother Henderson , » was a native of Liberty, Mo. He moved to Los Angeles in 1945 from Kansas City, Mo., and opened the first gospel music store in Los Angeles. The corner where the store was located is commonly referred to as « The Gospel Corner ».

Additionally, Henderson worked as producer, organizer and promoter of many gospel groups, including The Mighty Clouds of Joy and the Inspirational Souls. He was a producer and executive director of Kent Gospel Records and an ordained minister of the Apostolic faith.

Henderson’s survivors include his wife, Leona, a daughtern Lill etta, and his parents, Mr. And Mrs. Johnnie Henderson of Liberty, Mo.

Gospel Corner discography


Monday, March 1, 2010

Testa Records - Joe Adams

Testa Records, the Missouri diskery, wasn't just Larry Terry and his legendary "Hep Cat" platter. Other -obscure- records were issued between 1957 and 1960, none reaching the sheer splendor of the Missouri Hepcat.

Testa 100 -[May '57]

Adi Bell & the Bel Boys
Memory Waltz
Don’t Let Me Be The Last To Know
Likely the same artist who recorded "My Santa Claus" b/w "I Cried And Cried" (Kay Records, St. Louis) as Adi Bell Nelson.

Testa 103 [Billboard Feb. 23, 1959, Country & Western]

Janet & Eileen, the Ozark Sweethearts
Gotta Travel On
♦♦ The folk tune, now a hit via the Billy Grammer disking, is handed a listenable country chant by the gal duo. May get some spins in the country marts (Sanga, BMI)

Ozark Moon
♦♦ On this side the gals tackle a ballad to fair results as they sing of their lonely days and nights. (Ozark, SESAC).

Testa 104

Chris Christian and the Chordaires
Lover Boy
No Use Pretending
Deke Dickerson wrote in his Missouri discography published many moons ago in Show Me Blowout #3 : "Anybody know this record? Cashbox reviewed it in 1960 and called it "rockabilly". If anybody knows, swing the info my way.". Even Deke didn't hear this record, is to say how obscure it is! And, yes, it's rockabilly in the Elvis mold, especially on the "No Use Pretending" the ballad side. To best of my knowledge, none of these sides were compiled. Intriguing note : the Ozark Music Pub. address on label is St. Cloud, Florida, which was also the home, around the same time of the Blue Sky label (Rocky 'Hot Rod Baby' Davis)

Testa Records and Ozark Music Publications were owned by Joe Adams. Before establishing his own label in 1957, Joe worked hard to promote a record he wrote and probably also produced. According to a snippet from the Billboard issue dated 5 January 1957 :

Joe Adams, of Ozark Music Publications, Normandy, Mo., typewrites : « Since Sarg Records released No. 141 with my company two numbers, ‘Our Secret Rendezvous’ and ‘Down in Brazos Valley,’ I have personally visited over 100 stations and jocks and mailed out over 250 copies. The jocks are in favor of the ‘Rendezvous’ side. I have about 150 more stations to cover, and if that doesn’t do it, I might as well take a job with some name record company and get paid for my hard labor. My agreement with Sarg was to cover the South. So, if I missed any C&W stations, I’d like to have them drop me a card. The Key Twins are the vocalists on the record. I was somewhat disappointed in the rating I got in The Billboard, and I intend to make your reviewer unhappy when it makes the charts. »

Fiddlin' Willie and his Ozark Pals
Vocal by the Key Twins

Down in Brazos Valley …………..67
Here’s an appealing Western tune with a bright melody. Key Twins handle a lilting vocal with gutty fiddles in backing.
Our Secret Rendezvous………….. 66
More « slippin’ around » going on here in a very down-to-earth country theme. Key Twins handle vocal in emitional style.
[Billboard 17 Nov. 1956]

♦ ♦ ♦

"Down in Brazos Valley" will be heard in the soundtrack of a new documentary film by Damon Cook & Dan Pringle " Sgt. Fitch The legacy of Sarg Records" :
Sgt. Fitch explores the advent and influence of Sarg Records, a small independently owned record label cultivated by WWII hero, Sgt. Charlie Fitch. With his unconventional approach to the recording industry, Fitch redefined Texas music in the 1950s by mixing ethnic styles and different genres to create entirely new ones. Although, Sarg played a significant role in launching some of today's rock 'n roll and country music legends, the label's legacy arguably lies in the overlooked and undervalued treasures from it's relatively unknown artists....