Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Johnny Be Good

Chuck Howard

Johnny Be Good

Garrett Records

Chuck Berry cover [instrumental] - 1963

The first release on the label, out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The label was owned by George Garrett,also proprietor of the Uncle George's Record Shop and of the Bangar and Twin Town labels.

Chuck Howard was born in rural Kentucky but like many of his peers migrated to the bigger cites across the Ohio river. He cut his first 45 on Nashville for the Sand label, an interesting operation that was a local (Cincinnati area) affiliate of Sage and Sand labels from California.

Chuck recorded two more 45s for Cincinnati labels, "Joy Gray" on ESV and "Gossip" on Flame. All three of these 45s are great rockers and some of Ohio's best recordings of the time.

Around 1960 Chuck relocated to Columbus. He helped start a label, Kim records, and recorded a couple records himself along with writing many songs recorded by a variety of artists including Cliff Nash and the Shilos. The Kim label recordings are in the 'countrypolitan' style (RCA records/Nashville) that was popular at the time.

He was also on Port, Do-Ra-Me, Allison, Fraternity, Columbia, Monument, Boone, etc.

He passed away in 1983.

[Bio notice from]
Chuck Howard picture : from YouTube (Thanks Bruce!)



  1. More on Chuck Howard and a bit on his Son Chuck Howard JR.

    "The father in the country & western Chuck Howard dynasty, this guitar picker was a musician's musician type, the kind of guy whose licks are played on a thousand records but nobody knows who he is. One of his most famous credits is on the often overlooked country album by Ringo Starr, Beaucoups of Blues. In fact, Howard was one of the main reasons this record happened at all. Howard first entered the extremely private world of the Beatles when he traveled to London with frequent playing partner Pete Drake. The latter player went to London at the bequest of George Harrison, who was hard at work on his epic All Things Must Pass album and wanted some of Drake's expertise. In the meantime, Howard became good friends with Ringo Starr and was the man who convinced him to spend an extended stay in the United States in order to record the country project. The finished record included four of Howard's songs, as well as extensive contributions from songwriter, picker, and peanut farmer Sorrells Pickard.

    The Kentucky-born Howard recorded a series of honky tonk singles in the late '50s and early '60s for esoteric regional labels such as Sand, Kim, Flame, and Do-Re-Me. These songs have become popular candidates for anthologies of hardcore country, hot rod country, honky tonk, or rockabilly, with titles including "Crazy, Crazy Baby," "Out of Gas," "Gossip," and a rockabilly cover of "Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy." Since rockabilly represents the wildest, least disciplined side of the country & western music spectrum, perhaps it was hearing these records being played around the house that influenced young Chuck Howard Jr. to rebel against his father and become a slick Nashville record producer and A&R man, responsible for many string-laden pop hits as well as launching the careers of many photogenically appealing but strictly bland country artists in the '90s"

    Also a picture of the man on this YouTube video

    Thanks for posting this up!

  2. Great instro, it will definitely be on my next chuckalike comp.

  3. Great not sure if crowd is overdubbed or its live? Any chance of the flip? Thanks for continually digging out the rare goods.

  4. Had a local Cincinnati Top 40 hit on Fraternity in 1964 called "A Thing Called Sadness"