Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Darrell Tatum

When Dave Travis of Stomper Time Records bought the Fernwood and Santo masters from Wayne McGinnis (Meteor recording artist), he had some masters he has bought on an artist named Darrell Tatum. He asked to Larry Manuel if he can find information about the label and on Darrell Tatum :

"I've checked all my sources here in Memphis and have come up with almost nothing. Stan Kessler remembers a Santo label but never heard of Darrell Tatum. " said Larry.

The two first Santo label releases involved Darrell Tatum. A full page ad in Billboard contains a bit of info that is not found on the label of Santo 500.

Billboard ad, detail

So the Holidays were a trio and Darrell Tatum was the guitarist. "Dark Valley","a twisting instrumental", was backed by "Desperate" another instrumental.

The second release on Santo ("Battle Hymn Of The Republic/Dixie ") was credited to Darrell Tatum.

Santo 501

Three years later, he was on Fernwood ("My Darling Wears White Today / Best Man Always Wins", Fernwood 141, '64).

Fernwood 141

And, finally :

Billboard, Nov. 18, 1967 picture
showing (center) a Darrell Tatum of Big Foot Music in Flint, Mich.

Is he the same Darrell Tatum?



  1. RCS has a couple of Santo records listed, for example by Thomas Wayne and Bobby Lee Trammell.

    Wayne Gray, featured in the Billboard picture, started his career in his teens when he was playing guitar in Miami for such artists as Kent Westberry and Buck Trail. He later went to Nashville, where he recorded for Gold Circle and at the end of the 60s, joined Tex Ritter's band. In the 1970s, he was with Tommy Cash's backing band.

  2. Great stuff, van you upload the fernwood recordings??
    Herman van der Meij

  3. Actually Wayne joined Tex's band in the early 60's. He was also with the Johnny Cash show in the late 70's and worked with Stonewall Jackson and Jimmy Dickens in the 80's. Johnny Preston recorded his song "Cradle of Love" that hit Billboard #2.

  4. Yes, he is the same Darrell Tatum (guitarist) shown in the article with Wayne Gray and records shown above.

  5. Darrell Tatum was my uncle. I have a 33rpm called "The Fabulous Guitar" on SanWayne Records.I'm not sure how meany are in circulation. He engineered a 7 string guitar for the the recording. He seemed good at wherever he did. Good body man. Hell of a music maker, and an inventor at heart. All in all a beautiful soul. Lee Chameleon

    1. I found a copy of that LP in an antique store in West Monroe, LA. I'm a Chet Atkins and Merle Travis fan, so this is right up my alley. Thanks for sharing thoughts about your uncle.