Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy XMas

That's how John and Yoko wished "Happy XMas" to the people of America.  
Depressing, no ?

Christmas 1971

If you wish, Wikipedia has the details

[ this post, for your convenience, has no sound ]

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Buddy Holly second death ?

 "Portrait Of Buddy Holly Series" #3
picture sleeve

"In the 1980s the British division of MCA issued a limited-edition 10-record 45RPM set of Buddy's greatest hits, They called it the "Portrait Of Buddy Holly Series" because of the beautiful, high-gloss picture sleeves that were created exclusively for each single."

I don't known who was the "artist" who executed the sleeves.

File under "unsolved murders cases"

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rugged Ralph The Rapid Rabbit Runner

wr G. Shelton

first issue by Raunchy Ron & His Ravishing Ruckus Rompers

Greenlake presents 45-GL-109-A
Publ. : Sabra Music (BMI)

second issue by Ralph, on Candix 321 (1961)
Dixsil Music/ Sabra Music (BMI )

Who was Raunchy Ron/Ralph ?  

I've spent a  part ( immoderate, some will say ) of my time trying to find the answer.  The only sure thing I can say after many hours of research is that he's definitely NOT Gary Shelton a.k.a. Troy Shondell, as it's rumored.   The confusion was made first, I believe, by re-issue company Dunhill Records in their Troy Shondell compilation called "The Trance" probably based on the songwriter credit featured on the A-side of this record, G. Shelton.

No other releases on Greenlake are known.  Greenlake (or Green and Lake?)  doesn't ring a bell.  Sabra Music, the publishing company, doesn't have published other songs that I'm aware of.   But I did found a Greenlake Music (ASCAP),  in a music directory book published in 1972,  located at 106 South Flores, Los Angeles, Calif. 90048.

Several records were issued by Gil Shelton, who may be the author of the A-side and also the Ralph/Raunchy Ron real name  :

  • 56  Trinity 106 : Lullaby At Midnight / Thought I Heard Your Voice  (both Greenwald, BMI, Austin, Texas)   
  • 60  Lute 6004 : Penny In The Wishing Well  / Shirley, My Love  (charted Jan. 1961 on KTSA San Antonio, TX) 
  • 65  Valiant 6062  : Not Now / Your Heart Wasn't In It
  • ??  Emmett :  You Don't Love Me  / On The Road Again  "great growley garage mod fuzz," arr & cond. by Gil Shelton & Marvin Montgomery   (Dallas?)
  • ??  Gilly-Boy 101 : You Don't Love Me/ ?

The most intriguing observation is related to the master identification allocated by Candix Records (and printed on the label)  :

Matrix of Candix 321 and Candix 325 are both identified by the letters PM, which means some kind of relation between the two releases :
Candix 321 - Ralph
PM-1  Rugged Ralph The Rapid Rabbit Runner
PM-2  I’ve Got It 

Candix 325 - The Kelly Four (also issued as by Big Daddy Deerfield and The Kelly Four)
PM-3C Sweet Angelina
PM-4C Annie Had A Party
note : letter C = Capehart, the producer ?

List (not exhaustive) of masters letters found of Candix labels  :
 F  Frogmen
SW Sonny Wilson
MC Marc Cavell
TJ The Jackaels (Jay Jackson and)
BL Bill Lyons
TS The Beach Boys aka The Surfers
GA Gene Anderson
MG Moongooners
SS Skip Soder Band
CB Curtis Byrd
DB David Box
DB Dean Beard

It's quite clear that ALL letters above are initials of the recording artists or groups.  Is it also the case for PM ? If so, like it's probable, who is PM ?

'Annie Has A Party' was first issued on Silver Records in 1960.  A speeded-up version of 'Annie Has A Party' was also released on Crest 1088 in 1961 by the Gee Cees.   'Annie Had A Party' (normal speed) was released on Candix 325 by The Kelly Four in 1962.  The three versions were all produced by Eddie Cochran's manager, Jerry Capehart, who recorded a novelty song with a rabbit theme as Jerry Neal  (Dot 15810, 1958).

Was Jerry Capehart involved in the production of the Raunchy Ron single ? 

Was Raunchy Ron the actual artist on Silver,  The Kelly Four taking credit for the recordings ?

 Or perhaps Raunchy Ron was a member of the Kelly Four ?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Breaking In A New Heart

Bennie Dixon And The Rebels

Bennie Dixon, Celann BMI

Soma 1455

Bennie/Benny Dixon
(from the cover of his album on Studio 5)

Benny Dixon on YouTube :

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Raymond's Beat(s)

Ray McArthurs Hill Stoppers
Vocal Hayward Norred

Norred - Dixon - Thompson
Flag Music Pub. BMI

Flag 116


Ray McArthur and the Generals

Ray McArthur-Haywood Norred
Flag Music Pub. BMI

Mac Arthur Records 101M


Sax player Ray McArthur was one of The Escorts on Judd Records (#1014 : My First Year / Clap Happy, 1959).   Afterwards The Escorts backed guitarist Wade Cagle on Sun Records (4 songs recorded in 1960 in Memphis, two released in 1961 on Sun 360).  It is said that the Escorts were from Pensacola, Florida.

In 1961, there was a much obscure release on Q-T Records as by Ray McArthur and His Generals, pressed by Rite Records :  Come Back Baby / Irish Rock,  possibly a second issue or unissued Flag recordings from 1959 ?

In 1962, Ray McArthur launched his own Mac Arthur label ( "We Shall Return" says the label).  Second release on the label was Conner Cagle with the Generals.( see the Calico Wall )

The Mac Arthur label was probably out of Georgia,  based of the initials HG printed on label.  Master identification letters HG stands for the mysterious Harry Gorlin,  owner of the Druid publishing company (BMI) and almost certainly also owner of Trumpet Records  (P.O. Box 62, Atlanta, Georgia).  His initials, probably indicating the ownership of the masters, are found on a number of tiny Georgia labels such Lyon, Lenox, Shane, Young and also indeed on Trumpet.

Perhaps, I wonder,  Mr Gorlin was the theater agent who posted the following ad from the same P.O. Box 62 in Atlanta in 1953  :

GIRL TO WORK WITH A LARGE, SAFE  snake in act in theaters. Experienced or not experienced.  Salary and expenses. Tour starts March.  Send photograph and particulars. 
Billboard, March 7, 1953

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Rockin' Guitar

Jimmy McBride

(J. Brandon, Monument Music BMI)

Madison Records


The initial release on the label.   

Nothing is known of Jimmy McBride.  

The song is from the pen of Brit Johnny Brandon, aka (in the UK) as The King of Zing who, in the early 1950s pre-rock ’n roll days, was the British heart-throb with countless radio, television and personal appearances across the country.  Apart from singing Johnny also composed songs for the likes of Jessie Matthews and Vera Lynn.   He starred in hit West End musical “Love from Judy” and made the Top Ten charts with his self-penned “Tomorrow”.

Wanting to achieve more, Johnny emigrated to New York in the mid-1950s with his life-long partner Robert Richardson.   In the States, he slowed down his singing career and got involved in record production and wrote musicals.  Notable off-Broadway successes include “Billy No-Name” and “Cindy”.

Madison Records owner,   Larry Uttal, owned and operated several record labels (Bell, Amy, Mala, Private Stock) in the sixties and seventies.  He folded Private Stock in 1978, moved to London and entered the film business. On his return to New York, he entered the travel business.  Mr. Uttal was active in the Gay Men's Health Crisis and the National Gay and Lesbian Caucus.   He died of AIDS in November 1993.   He was 71.

Friday, December 14, 2012

At The Hop

Richard Maltby and his Orchestra

A. Singer - D. White - J. Madera
Sea-Lark Music Enterprises & Singular Music Pub. BMI

Big band instrumental version of the Danny and the Juniors hit

Richard Eldridge Maltby, Sr. (1914 – 1991) was an American musician, conductor, arranger and bandleader, most notable for his 1956 recording (Themes From) The Man With the Golden Arm".

After studying briefly at Northwestern University's music school, he left college to become a full time musician. He played trumpet with several big bands, including those of Little Jack Little, Roger Pryor, Bob Strong and Henry Busse, as well as also doing some arranging.   In 1940, he took a job as an arranger for the orchestra of the Chicago-based radio station, WBBM, before moving to New York in 1945 to become an arranger-conductor on network radio, where he worked with Paul Whiteman.   In 1942, Benny Goodman recorded his composition "Six Flats Unfurnished."

During the post-war years, he made several recordings for subsidiary labels of RCA Victor, and in 1954, finally scored a Top 40 hit with "St. Louis Blues Mambo".    In 1955, he began leading his own dance band, with which he had his Top 20 hit, "(Themes From) The Man With the Golden Arm," in the spring of the following year.   He left RCA for Columbia Records in 1959, then moved to Roulette Records a year later.   He stopped recording on his own during the mid-1960s.

A heart condition in his later years forced him into retirement, and he underwent several operations prior to his death. He died in 1991, aged 77.        

source: Wikipedia

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Bop

 Niki Stevens

Jack Stern and his Orchestra feat.

Buddy Cole -piano & organ; 
Alvino Rey - guitar; 
Nick Fatool - drums; 
Clint Neagley - sax & clarinet; 
Don Whitaker - bass; 
Jack Stern - trumpet

Flint & Stern, Ridgeway BMI

Ridgeway Records


The Ridgeway label was a short-lived offshoot of Ridgeway Music, a publishing company affiliated with BMI and owned by Charlie Adams and Pee Wee King.    Maestro Jan Garber was their partner in the Ridgeway label.

Niki Stevens

After completing high school in her home town of San Francisco Niki Stevens made her professional singing debut at the Royal Hawaiian Club in Palo Alto, California.   She returned to San Francisco and joined a singing group locally known as the Doubledealers.   Then she was invited to join a well known vocal group, The Cheerleaders.   With this group she toured the country, appeared in the motion picture "Starlift"  and recorded on the Decca and Capitol labels.   She left the group to tour as soloist with the Chuck Foster Orch.  

This record is her first solo recording. 

She recorded again, in 1958, for Rip Records  ( "Johnny Blue"/"Roses Without Thorns" )  another Hollywood label, owned by Rochester, NY entrepreneur Dick Puccio.

I have no trace of further recordings made by her.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Fannie Mae


(Jim Dye , Tronic BMI)

A Tommy Hill / Starday Studio Production

Nashville Records


Ted Dye, back left, Jimmy Dye, back right
Bill Smith, center, drummer
plus two

We played around Vincennes and in Terre Haute at the Club Idaho in 1963. We were the house band there for awhile and opened for a group called “The Champs” (that had out Tequila), with Jimmy Seals and Dash Crofts, later to become “Seals and Crofts”. They were there with us for a week. We also played in Evansville in ’64 on the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars, opening for, Johnny Tillotson, Paul and Paula and Gene Pitney. In late 1964, “The Seventeens” went to Nashville and made a record.. It was on the Starday [ed. actually Nashville, a Starday subsidiary ]  Record Label and the first side was called I’m Not talking and the flip side was Fanny Mae...    The songs were sung by our band’s leader, Jimmy Dye. We went on tour after that and played in Michigan, Iowa, Ohio, Illinois and back to Indiana.    We came back home to Vincennes and reformed the band as “The Jimmy Dye Combo” and played locally at the Showboat across the river from Vincennes until I was drafted into the US Army in May 1966.   

Jimmy Dye died in 2005.   Bridget Ikerd remembers :

I read with interest and sadness Dave Kyle's letter about Jimmy Dye. Dave, who is a great musician himself, spoke with good words about this wonderful icon of the Idaho Club in the '60s. I also was friends with the Jimmy Dye band, as I worked at the Idaho Club myself for seven years. We became good friends, all of us, and I as well as many others thought the world of him.

As Dave said, Jimmy never drank, smoked or did drugs, and that alone was to be admired at that time. But above all, his beautiful clear voice is what we will all remember. He sang with such clarity and fullness that he made every song special, especially his ballads. He was friendly to everyone and tried to fulfill everyone's requests. His band followed in the tracks of such musicians as Hoover Baker and the Embers and Jim Foley and the Invasions when he started playing at the Idaho Club.

Jimmy's music and voice caught on immediately at the Idaho Club and before long, that was where all of us wanted to go. Sure, we had good bands everywhere at that time, we had Boone Dunbar at the Hyspot, Sam Swayze at the Alibi Lounge and several great bands of the time at the Sixth Avenue (at that time it was a respectable place to go to hear bands and dance).

But far and above all was the Jimmy Dye band at the Idaho Club. People came from all around to hear his velvet voice and to hear the talented musicians who played with him; Ted Dye, Steve Ridge, Denney Jewell and John Lamb, just to mention a few. They were all talented in their own right as well. John and Steve could also sing as well as play keyboard and drums. But Jimmy was the great one; without him and his music, the Idaho would have been just another place to drink and dance. His friendliness and personality, besides his voice, drew people from far and near.

As my husband Bill says, “Anyone can sing a song, but nobody can sing a ballad like Jimmy Dye.” Goodbye my dear, dear friend. You will be missed by all of us.

Monday, November 26, 2012

My Little Skipper-oo


Tin Pan Alley Records


Their second single on the label founded in the forties by Jack Covais.

A discography of the label can be found at the ASPMA website HERE.   

Of interest is a story of the label found at the Darryl W. Bullock blog HERE.

On Jack Covais, as admirer of Gina Lollobrigida, see this

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Spider Webb

W.Webb, Tuneville Music, BMI

Scottie 1326


The last issue on this NRC subsidiary.  The Scottie label was started in 1959 and lasted just one year, releasing two dozens of singles from #1301 to 1326.   #1317 and 1322 are still to be found.

Publisher of the song, Tuneville Music, was owned by Bill Justis, who has been signed by NRC chief Bill Lowery as a.& r. chief for the label a few months before (Billboard, Februrary 15, 1960).   And if Spider Webb had a release of Scottie, that was probably thru Bill Justis.  

Several "Spider Webb" distinguished themselves in the music field :

  • Gary "Spider" Webb, drummer, member of The Hollywood Argyles, who recorded The Cave on Bamboo ('61
  • Bobby "Spider" Webb, a bluesman, native of San Francisco
  • Spider Webb (r.n. Kenneth Rice), drummer, a Detroit native
  • Spider Webb (r.n. Willbern M. Welten) steel guitarist of Sparta, IL
  • Spider Webb signed by 'Teen Records, subsid of Teen Magazine in 1961
  • Spider Webb (and The Insects) on Lugar ( Maggie / Big Noise From Winnetka)
  • Spider Webb, LP "Life Of The Party" on Astari Records in 1982 ("treated Vocals, Fuzz Guitar Blasting, Weird Songs,Kinda Lo-Fi Sounding")
  • Spider Webb, Chicago disc-jockey (fifties)
  • and probably some more........
But OUR Spider Webb is none of the above.

Our Spider Webb, whose first name initial letter was W., according to the songwriting credit printed on the label, is almost certainly Woodrow C. Webb, aka Jimmy Webb, whose song "No Traffic Out of Abilene" was recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis in 1972.

He is also almost certainly Jim "Spider" Webb, country singer on the Memphis Select-O-Hits label. (late sixties).

Jim "Spider" Webb
From the Select-O-Hits 001 picture sleeve of
"Biggest Coward Of The West" b/w  “When You Snooze You Lose"

Friday, November 23, 2012

Timin' Man

Dick Michaels

Kent Records


Dick Michaels recorded several "teen" songs in the early sixties for various L.A. labels such as Question Mark, Explosive, Cross Country and Mike. 

On Explosive he produced the Sharlets, a girl group, who backed him in return on his own release on the same imprint.    He gave up singing and had a host of  independant production assignments, all equally obscure, such as The Orphans (Iowa band) on Herbst Records, a record co-produced with Larry Herbst in 1966.  

On this Kent release (the biggest label for which he recorded),  the arranger is D'Arneill Pershing, one of his earlier production.   D'Arneill was later the producer and arranger, among others, of Johnny Mathis on Columbia Records.

D'Arneill A. Pershing tombstone
His song ended too soon

Saturday, November 17, 2012

51st And Broadway

Genie Pace
The Midtowners

Jade Records
Musical direction : Frank Metis

Genie Pace
From the cover of her Bright LP

After high school Genie Pace took a job as a typist at CBS and while working there in 1953, Gene became interested in the Roller Derby. She soon was quite a fan with  a growing wish to be an active skating part of the thrilling sport. 

During the same period a pianist, friend of her father, heard her sing and found much that he liked and recommended her to Jimmy Rich, a vocal coach. Genie took vocal lessons with him during two years in 1953-54... 

She was signed to Jade Records in 1957.  

There were more records later on Dery ("Just Counting Stars", 1960),  Capitol ("La Pachanga", 1961), Jade again ("Balling The Jack Twist", 1962) and a LP on the Bright label.

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. 


Thursday, November 8, 2012


The Chelette Sisters

Wr. Carol Tevis
Fairway Music and Big D Pub. Co. BMI

NRC 009


Trio of young ladies were big on the hillbilly music scene in the mid-1950s.  Mary Jo Chelette was the leader and the oldest of the Chelette Sisters.   The girls had already starred on radio station KPAC in Port Arthur, Texas in the early fifties. Mary Jo could sing both popular and western tunes.   Mary Jo was managed by Neva Starns, wife of Jack Starns.   She was the one signed to the newly formed Starday Records and had the initial release on the label in 1953.

The Chelettes Sisters were featured with Rick Johnson on the Comet label (1957-1958) and on the Goldband's Trey Records subsidiary with Tommy Curtis (1959).

 Mary Jo (1940-1984)

 Carolyn (born 1942)

 Judy (born 1945)

Carolyn Chelette-Monte and Judy Chelette-Thomas

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Babylon Party

Tom Kerry (feat.) The Rembrantds

Thomas Koranas, Conway Music
Star S 6411
 An Ed Conway Production

Listed in Rockin' Country Style, this record is one of the 350, or so, labels listed by Terry Gordon without any information on their location.   On RCS, the title is listed as "The Babylon Twist Party".  But the correct title is probably "The Babylon Twist". Anyhow, that's exactly how the song was copyrighted by Thomas Stephen Koranas on May 19, 1964, the same day as "This Christmas", which is possibly the song on the flipside.

The black and white label shot above is from the booklet of "Compated Cats" (a CD on the Cees Klop's Collector label).  The picture seems to have been "doctored".   Perhaps Mr. Klop has developped a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system known as twistosis, which is reputedly hitting frequently the aficionados of the "true rock'n'roll".

 The label

The label was one of the subsidiaries of Celtic Recording Productions ["The Ultimate In Barbershop Sound", says a musical program from 1964],   a company owned by band leader Ed Conway and located at  2403 Stewart Avenue.  Westbury, N.Y. (Long Island).   Other labels formed by Celtic Recording Productions were Starfire (artists : Carol Thomas, Mark Jackson), Ebbtide (artists : Nicky Dee and Billy Clanton) and, in 1967,  Dottie Records.

 The artist

The most interesting information that I've found is related to the artist, Tom Kerry, whose real name was Thomas Stephen (or Stephan?)  Koronas.  

According to his daughter, Lynda Kerry Rakers :

My father was , born in Brooklyn, and he was a self taught artist, He explored all types of art, as he had many jobs restoring all types of artwork (impressionism,abstract,realism) He liked the artists Andrew Wyeth and Norman Rockwell and many of the old masters, he loved doing fine art realism the most even though it took the most time(to put all the fine detail in)  Not many people know how great a singer he was ,he sang with a swing band on the side .   He loved singing as much as he loved to paint .   He was a true artist in every sense of the word. He settled in Long Island and started painting a lot of broken barns he would come by.   He also liked to paint still life's, children.   I really don't know what else you might want to know he was in the navy ,and some called him Rembrandt (he drew portraits for the guys and caricatures) and some called him Elvis(because he would sing and entertain them ) he died in April 1983 at the age of 54.


Lynda Kerry, again,  has also a rather moving story regarding how one of a song penned by her father,  "The With Doctor", was a little more than an inspiration for David Seville, aka Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. [full text quoted] :

When I was a young girl, around six or seven, I recall my father taking me to, what I believe to have been, The Brill Building in New York City. My father had several songs with him that he had written, one of them called "The Witch Doctor". I recall a man inviting Dad into a room with an upright piano, the room is a blur to me, now, but I recall warm lighting and wood paneling. They closed the door while I sat outside the door, listening to Dad's songs being played on the piano, with Dad explaining to the man how he "speeds up a tape" to make a funny-sounding voice for the "Witch Doctor" character. When they emerged, I will never forget the perplexed, hurt, look on my father’s face as the man said “Sorry, it is an interesting sound, but I can’t use it, it will never sell records…”.

The day he brought that song to NYC was one of the saddest days of my life. But, for my father, the sadness turned to anger as a short time later, he heard the song on the radio! Not only had his song been stolen, but the idea to speed up a tape to make a crazy voice was blatantly used! After the song became a hit, we saw “David Seville” on a TV show. We recognized him, immediately, as Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., the man who listened to my father’s songs, only a few months prior to our hearing “The Witch Doctor” on the radio!

My father’s friends urged him to file a law suit against Bagdasarian. However, Dad’s take on the situation was one of confidence in the fact that he still had his talent, no one could take that from him and that he would prosper in the long run. He did go on to become prominent Long Island artist, Thomas Kerry. His multi-talent spanned the world of art, music and comedy. Today, 30 years after his death, you can “Google” him in, at least, two of those genres. Under the name “Thomas Kerry”, you can view his phenomenal Americana oil paintings. If you enter “Tom Kerry” or “Tom Kerry and the Rembrandts”, you will come across his recording of a song he wrote, “The Babylon Twist”(he also, sang and played guitar on this recording). Unfortunately, the world will never know Dad as the great comedian he was. I can’t help but feel if he had gotten the credit he deserved for “Witch Doctor” his life would have been much different and a lot easier.

After reading an article about Oprah Winfrey and how she sued someone for trying to take credit for her catch-phrase “AH- HA moment”, I realized that it doesn’t matter how much money or fame a person has when it comes to credit entitlement. The fact of the matter is, my father was the true creator of an idea that spawned a billion-dollar dynasty and I intend to set the record straight whenever and wherever I can. I intend to persist until the truth is known publicly. I know my father was the true writer of this song...I was there!!

Sincerely yours,

Lynda Kerry Rakers

One of the songs Tom Kerry wrote in 1958 (and one I'd like to hear) is a "The Little Fat Eskimo", a song he wrote with Grace, his wife.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Ain't That Just Like A Man

Merry Lou With Texas Tiny's Western Band

Clock Pub. Co., Inc.

High Time Records
Santa Monica, Calif 

Merry Lou is probably Mary Lou Brunell a.k.a. Mary Lou Nell  who was a regular member of the cast of TV’s “Town Hall Party” aka “Ranch Party”.

Texas Tiny's real name was Guy Norris Cherry (1917-1971).  He was a 400-pound band leader and  country disc jockey.. He’s the guy who suggested to Richard Monsour that he should change his name. That’s why the “King of the Surf Guitar” is named Dick Dale, not Richard Monsour.

Co-writer Henderson is Johnny Henderson who was the A&R man (and recording artist too) for High Time Records, a subsidiary of Clock Publishing Company, headed by Gloria Coombs in Santa Monica, yep! the publisher of the immortal "Sunglasses After Dark" recorded by Dwight Pullen.

Earlier releases on High-Time are listed by the Hillbilly-Researcher (see HERE). 

Pic found HERE at the page's bottom
(Western Treasures)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Good Luck, Best Wishes

Bill Lowery

Lowery Music BMI

NRC 1958

Breakable, unplayable, but still a smoking item !

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Gone Twisting

Alane Cochran  And The Nomads

Conco 149

Mfg. by Confederate Record Corp.

The unknown Alane Cochran is perhaps a relative of Wayne Cochran, a Macon recording artist who may have been owner of the Conco label, or part-owner with Bobby Smith.

I'm aware of only two other records on the same label :

  • 145 Rocking Capris : Money / Lights Out
  • 146 Otis Redding : Fat Gal

Bobby Smith died recently. He founded Confederate Records, Boblo Records, and Macon Recording Studio, the first recording studio in Macon.

Macon, GA- James R. "Bobby" Smith died Thursday, October 11, 2012.
Mr. Smith attended Mabel White Baptist Church and Musella Baptist Church. He was a die-hard University of Georgia fan. A former baseball and basketball coach, he played against the Harlem Globetrotters in an exhibition match in Macon. Mr. Smith founded Confederate Records, Bob-Lo Records, and Macon Recording Studio, the first recording studio in Macon. He worked with many artists, including Otis Redding, James Brown, Wayne Cochran, Bobby Lee, Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Ellis [Orion]. After retiring, his passion was working in his yard. He was predeceased by his daughter, Linda Neal, and brother, Billy Smith.

Published in The Telegraph on October 14, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Shirley Ward With The Rockets

Shirley Ward With The Rockets 

101 Johnny "On The Run"
R.Golden - S.Long - P.Ferraro
Becks Music BMI
J.Speca - S.Long
S&S Music BMI
Blossom Records

I'm not aware of any other releases on this Blossom label or any other releases by Shirley Ward.  It has to be a label out of Reading, Pennsylvania, as the four songwriters are from the seat of the Bercks County  :

  • Emidio Vagnoni, better known by thousands of Berks County country music fans as Shorty Long. His career spanned more than 50 years, from Broadway shows to fronting his own performances. Not to be confused with soul singer Frederick Earl "Shorty" Long 
  • John Speca wrote many songs with Shorty Long. He resided, I believe, in Pottstown, Pa.
  • Patrick Ferraro headed Kingston Records, a Reading label, in 1963-1964.
  • Russ Golding (R. Golden) was the associate of  Grover Barbour, owner of Bee Records, also a Reading label.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Shimmy Shimmy Shimmy

The Millionaires

(Do The Cocaminny)

Ann Curry, Stinson Music BMI

Cadillac 163

The previous release on Cadillac was the R'nB sounding "Arkansas Jane"  also by The Millionaires, oddly enough a cover of a  Dallas Frazier-penned song first recorded by Elwood James on the tiny Robie Lester's Bonanza Records, a Los Angeles concern.  Here, "Shimmy" is obviously sung by a white group. But perhaps the Millionaires were an "integrated" group after all ? I don't known.

Anyway, for want of any better regarding the Millionaires story or line-up ,  I made some progress in my research regarding the quite obscure Cadillac label, and was able to fill some gaps in the label discography that I've tried to compile.

Cadillac Records was founded in 1949 in Detroit as a subsidiary of Park Avenue Music publishers headed by songwriter, vocalist and former orchestra leader  Jerry Harris as president.  

The label moved to New-York in 1951,  a move mentionned by Billboard in their September 15, 1951 issue.   Graham Prince is then designed as the owner of the firm.   I've seen mention of another owner, Charles Boulanger, who like Graham Prince, was a band director.  One of the first release on the new New-York label was Ruth Casey's "Hold Me Just A Little Bit Longer" and "Cry" on #103. The ballad "Cry" was soon covered for Columbia Records on its subsidiary label Okeh, by Johnny Ray and became a national sensation, a big hit.     

The less obscure artist on the label is perhaps Charlie Graci/Gracie whose first three records were on Cadillac Records.  

I've not be able to found any trace of activity (release) on the label between 1955 and 1960, except the mention of a Cadillac recording artist performing in front of the inmates at the Detroit House of Correction.  One of another artists of this 1956 Yule confined show was Jack Scott and His Rock-A-Billies,  well before his very first record on ABC.

In the early sixties, there were new releases out of Detroit,  still produced by Graham Prince on Cadillac, and on S.A.K. Records  and Go-Gee Records as well.

Graham Prince (1904-81) started out in the 20s with Whitey Kaufman's band. He is credited with quite a few publishers' arrangements and some co-credits on songs.

In compensation for the lack of a Millionaires picture, please find below one of Ruth Casey. It's so cold and rainy tonight.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Little Texarena with Texas Roy Lucas and his Rangers

Little Texarena with Texas Roy Lucas and his Rangers

537-A - Jolly Old Fellow
(Lucy V. Penny) (Starrite BMI)

537-B - Oh Gee - Oh Gosh - Oh Golly
(Frances Rodgers / Roy Lucas) (Starrite BMI) 

4414 West Crest, Tampa, FL
 (Florida State Barn Dance address)

December 1955
(Record in the Starday Custom Series )

 Texas Roy (1947)
The tall cowboy with the white hat, I assume

The child (female?) singer is perhaps related to Texas Roy Lucas who ran a dance band in Salt Lake City before relocating to Tampa, Florida where is was a regular on the Florida State Barn Dance in the early fifties.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Johnny Cale Quintette (Chan 860)

Johnny Cale Quintette

Both wr. Cale,  Westwall BMI
Chan Records 


Blues vocal number b/w bluesy instrumental

Born John Weldon Cale (better known now as "J. J.," Cale)  on December 5, 1938, in Oklahoma City but raised in Tulsa, Cale played in a number of rock and roll bands and Western swing groups, moved to Nashville, and moved back to Tulsa before reconnecting with Leon Russell. The two young musicians moved to Los Angeles in 1964.

Chan Records was owned by Lloyd Linville, former Southern Regional head of United Artist Records and Bobby Boyd.

This is the first release on the label, pressed by King Records of Cincinnati and it's in the Starday Custom Series.

Link : Chan Records page at the Rockin' Country Style website.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Somethin' Else

The Trophies

(Cochran-Sheeley, Metric Music BMI)

Nork Records 79908


The Trophies hailed from Brattleboro, Vermont and got together sometime in 1963, before the British Invasion in other words. Their first outing on vinyl was 'Walking The Dog'/'Somethin' Else'  recorded in early 1964. It was a very popular record in their locale reaching the #1 spot on both WBZ and WMEX in Boston.

The flip side,"Walkin' The Dog", is on youTube

Friday, October 5, 2012

Rock And Roll Is Spreadin’

Plaz Adams

Verve Records


If all my assumptions and deductions regarding this obscure Verve release are correct, 

Then :

  • Plaz Adams' real name is Precious A  Adams, Jr
  • This was recorded at Cosimo Matassa's studio in New Orleans' French Quarter at the same session that Gerri Hall's "School Boy".    Jazz guitarist Barney Kessel was the A&R man for the session. 
  • He's the same Plaz Adams who played bass in the George Lewis New Orleans All Stars during the 1964 Japan Tour.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ronny Johnson on Sunset

With Curly Fagan’s Band And The Flickers

J08W-1717 - If A Dream Means Anything

J08W-1718 - Rainbow Of Love 



Ronny had a second release on the same label in 1960  :  My Everything  / Midnight Moon  (Sunset 101). 

Curly Fagan (Clark Fagan) was a long-time performer with Rebe and Rabe at WVOK, Birmingham, Ala., likely the home of this Sunset label.   The backing vocal group (the Flickers) is likely the Henry Strzelecki's group who was the following year  on Lee Records in Memphis (as by the Four Flickers).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

One of These Days

Lee Randy

One Of These Days 

(Eddie Williams, Duchess Music Corp. BMI)

Arranged & Conducted by Hardy Salwitz  

 Square 45-S304

July 1962

A perfectly square record.  

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Why Elvis? Why mice?

The King is dead -- long live the genetically-engineered mouse version of the King.

Why Elvis? Why mice?

See answer HERE


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Shakey Pattie Lou

The Big Shots

Shakey Pattie Lou
Fred Wolf, Active (ASCAP)

Air Records

Unusually good song-poem record.

The writer, Fred Wolf, wrote several songs also issued by Air Records just about the same time :

Music For Four Footers (sung by Jeff Reynolds)

Get Yourself A Mountain Woman / Got My Mountain Woman (both sung by Joe Staunton)

Come With Me My Billie (Ruby Rogers)

Blue Butterflies (Rod Rogers)

Three Old Men On A Farm / Too Much Zoo (both sung by Joe Staunton)

Spanishtown Polka / Little Red Schoolhouse Polka (both by Rod Rogers)


Monday, September 3, 2012

Hot Doggies

Billy Falbo
With Mike Simpson And His Orchestra

Hot Doggies

Wr. Jim Hoyt, Midway Music Co. ASCAP

Scope Records


Billy Falbo was born In Chicago in 1927. While attending Wells High School, he joined the Catholic youth Organization and the Union League Boy Club where he developed an interest in boxing.

He became an amateur boxer in his late teens, eventually entered the Golden Gloves tournament. After two years in the Coast Guard in World War II, he started his comedy career in 1945. touring the country with various bands as a pickup vocalist.

He was a regular performer at Las Vegas hotels such as Caesars Palace, the Flamingo, Dunes, Desert Inn and MGM Grand, and was known for his impressions of singers and his standup comedy. He had a long-standing contract to perform at Chicago's Playboy Club, and he appeared at many other nightclubs in the city and around the country. In addition to Sinatra and Damone, the performers Mr. Falbo opened for Dean Martin, Connie Francis, Frankie Avalon, Tiny Tim, Tony Bennett and Bobby Darin, among others. Among his more popular impressions were those of Al Jolson and Louis Armstrong.

For his last 20 years, he entertained passengers on Caribbean cruises until shortly before his death November 1999, in his Boca Raton, Fla., home. But he lived for most of his career in Chicago's West Town neighborhood, near where he grew up. During the 1960s, he operated Billy Falbo's Restaurant on West Grand Avenue.

Like many entertainers of his generation, Mr. Falbo crossed paths with organized crime figures.

In the late 1960s, Mr. Falbo was the secretary of the Sante Fe Saddle and Gun Club, a west suburban hangout for high-ranking members of the Chicago crime syndicate. The club raised a stir in 1967 by throwing a "testimonial" party for mob figure Fiore "Fifi" Buccieri in the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago.

Mr. Falbo apparently enjoyed guns but had bad luck with them. In 1962, he shot himself in the knee with a .22-caliber revolver while practicing his "quick draw" in the basement of his summer home near Island Lake in McHenry County. A few years earlier, he was arrested for illegal possession of a handgun in upstate New York after accidentally shooting a hunting companion in the knee with a .38-caliber revolver.

Mr. Falbo also acted in several TV commercials, including spots for Wendy's, Alaskan Airlines, Federal Express and Northern Electric Blanket. He won a Clio Award for the blanket commercial.

In 1961, Billy Falbo was featured in a sexploitation movie, "The Adventures of Lucky Pierre", filmed in Fleshtone Color and Skinamascope, " a picture for broadminded adults (for those with broads on their minds)".