Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dotty Anderson on Tra-X

Dotty Anderson
With Dickie Thompson's Orchestra

I Can't Sit Down (Til I Know Where I Stand With You)
(Dotty Anderson- Ben Smith, Styletone Music BMI

There's A Jungle Out There
(Smith-Bragg, Sylvia BMI)

Tra-X Records 5/6

☆ ☆ ☆

Tra X Records was part of Ben Smith's stable of New York labels, including :- Tarx, TraX, TriX & X-tra.

Ben Smith
had been, with Big Al Sears, a sax player in Andy Kirk's Clouds Of Joy and then lead of the Ben Smith Quartet. Aside from Teenage Records (co-owned with Bill Gordon), he owned the X-Tra label at 1650 Broadway in New York. It was run out of an office he shared with Al Sears' Sylvia Music Publishing Company. (source : Marv Goldberg)

Dotty Anderson had also, on the same Tra-X label, . "Real Jive Cat" b/w "Never Mind The Gypsy Woman".


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sweetheart Boogie

"Dreamy Joe"

Sweetheart Boogie

Action Productions
Division of Action Advertising Agency, Inc.
Memphis, Tenn


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Pink Cadillac(s)

Here at Dead Wax, we — I, myself and my ordinary Toyota — are following the news very closely, with a real taste for the tasty details.

From recent news (and, yes, the seized Cadillac Convertible is really pink) :
In addition to a multiple bank accounts and PayPal accounts, the government seized more than 20 vehicles including 15 Mercedes-Benzes, a Lamborghini, a Rolls-Royce Phantom, a 1957 Cadillac El Dorado, a 1959 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible and a 2010 Maserati GranCario registered to Megaupload’s chief marketing officer, Finn Batato.

Some of the vehicles sported unusual vanity license plates, such as “God,” “Stoned,” “Mafia,” “Hacker” and “Guilty.”

At DivShare, "All your files will stay online forever!" That's what they say at DivShare. Forever! A perfume of Eternity!


Friday, January 20, 2012

Love Me Tender '69

Herman Schmerdley

Love Me Tender '69

Guitar Accompaniment by Hereas Schlumberger

Freeway Records

Herman : "I left Louisville, KY on April 2, 1956. I moved to Los Angeles. I started a record company in L.A. that same year. I did not release any records until about 1963. My label was called Freeway Records. I never had a hit."

Tom Willett (nickname Herman Schmerdley), height 1.93 m, was born in Chenault, Kentucky in the 1930s. He grew up in Hammond, Indiana. His grade school was Lafayette on Calumet Av. He moved to Andyville, Kentucky at age 14 and dropped out of high school.

Tom helped with the family farm which also had a poolroom and beer bar. He enjoyed listening to the country and popular music radio stations and enjoyed singing along with the songs. As rock and Roll began to evolve from the Country and Rhythm and Blues, Tom became a big fan.

At age 16 the family moved to Louisville. Tom got a job in a service station pumping gas into the cars of that day. Gas cost 22 cents per gallon in 1955. A new Chevy would set you back about $1600. Tom saved up $400 and moved to Los Angeles at age 17 with the idea of getting into the movies.

23 years later Tom appeared as an extra in his first movie Smash (1979)with Dean Paul Martin. Soon after that 1979 beginning, Tom had appeared in more than 100 feature films as an extra. Then he got his big break.

"Dear John" (1988) became a successful TV series and Tom worked as a cast member for the entire run of 4 years on NBC TV.

Tom also has enjoyed success as a radio announcer, musician, songwriter and stand up comic.

☆ ☆ ☆

Tom Willett, quite a character, has an extensive "digital" presence on his own websites one is HERE, on Youtube, on Flickr. All worth to check it out.

On his latest CDs is titled "5 Decades of Recording and STILL NO HITS!"

Dynamic Sound Studios in Las Vegas. L to R. : Dick Richards, Gene Burch, Tom Willett, Johnny Cassata and Huey Meaux, (1965 or 1966)


Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Man

Shirley McPherson

My Man

Musical Accompaniment by Jan Stanley & the Convicts

Bowery Records, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Arthur Smith Studios Charlotte, N.C.

Pressed by Kay Bank in Minneapolis (in 1964, according to the KB number printed on label).

One-off release on a label perhaps named after "The Bowery", sometimes referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World - a landmark located 50 yards from the Atlantic Ocean in Myrtle Beach (cold drinks and live entertainment every night since 1944...)

The one recognizable name on label is Arthur Smith. But he was just the owner of the studio where was recorded the Bowery single. Someone has to explain one day why the Arthur Smith Studios had their records pressed so far away in Minnesota...

Jan Stanley & the Convicts are completely unknown.

I've found several references to Shirley McPhersons but none are conclusive. One was a singer with a group touring Army bases when she met (and married) the Arthur Prysock's bass player, named Lucky Romain. (ref.Pamela McPherson-Cornelius CDBaby page HERE).


Friday, January 13, 2012

I Felt A Little Teardrop

vocal by Betty Dodd accompanied by Babe Zaharias on the harmonica

I Felt A Little Teardrop

w & m Frank "Pee Wee" King, Redd Stewart & Neal Burris.


Recorded in Nashville in 1953

Mildred Ella "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias (June 26, 1911 – September 27, 1956) was an American athlete who achieved outstanding success in golf, basketball, and track and field.

Mildred Ella Didrikson was the sixth of seven children born in the coastal oil city of Port Arthur in southeastern Texas. Her mother, Hannah, and her father, Ole, were immigrants from Norway.

Already famous as Babe Didrikson, she married the "Crying Greek from Cripple Creek," (George Zaharias), a professional wrestler, in St. Louis, Missouri, on December 23, 1938. Thereafter, she was largely known as Babe Didrikson Zaharias or Babe Zaharias.

Betty Dodd, her closest female friend (i.e. her lover) was a promising golf protegee from San Antonio who was twenty years Babe’s junior.

The Babe Zaharias article in Wikipedia has not a word about Betty Dodd.


Thursday, January 12, 2012


Esse and the Showman


Recorded Live at El Cajon Valley High School

Produced by Currie & Irvin

Among the El Cajon Valley High School notable alumni is Lester Bangs, rock critic and journalist.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

This Is Love

The Fortunes

This Is Love

Yucca Records

"This is Love" is the slower side (doo wop). S. Hebert wrote it and it's Steve Rollins on vocal.

The rocking side is "Lonely teardrops" written and sung by Jim Decker. Already available on Youtube HERE

Both songs were published by Renda Music, a name usually found on Phoenix, Arizona labels. Perhaps The Fortunes were from there?


Monday, January 9, 2012

Peak Records of Memphis

Here is the transcription of an article published by Billboard on August 10, 1959.

MEMPHIS – This quiet, cotton-ginning river town is coming up with a new commercial gimmick again. The town’s got a talent for turning up the unexpected in music.

The new gimmick is more commercial than any, in that it has to do with money more than with music. A group of Memphis businessmen has devised an intriguing new way for financing a record company, embellished by the latest styles in capital gains and all that jazz.

Ten men have launched Peak Records, which has released six singles to date with 10 more due in the next 60 days. Among these new mahoffs [ 1 ] are a grocer, a manufacturer of ornemental iron, two lawyers, a bakery manager (who doubles as the label’s musical director), a radio station engineer, a chicken and egg wholesaler, a cosmetic distributor, and a clothier. Together, these men put up half the risk capital for their disks. Where does the other half come from ? That’s where the gimmick is.

For every artist signed, Peak sets up a company within the company in the form of a limited partnership. Then it seeks outside investors in each artist. That is, the owners put up $1,000 per artist, and raise an additional $1,000 from others, preferably in small chunks of $200 apiece. The company retains a 60 per cent interest in the artist, the outside money buying a 40 per cent interest.

Starting with a $2,000 fund behind an artist, the label issues a release, usually at a cost of about $1,000, followed by another very thereafter. Then the investors pray that one of them hits at least moderately. If it does, no profits are paid out. Instead, they are plowed back into the artist for a third release within six months, followed by a fourth within a year. After 13 months, an accounting is made and profits are paid. The timing is such, that the profit on the original investment - if there is one - is now eligible for a capital gain.

The label meanwhile retains an option to buy back the outstanding interest in the artist before the end of the second year. If they decide to this – which, of course, they would do only if the artist turns out to be a money maker – the original investors make out just dandy.

Suppose, for instance, that one of the first two records by an artists is a modest hit, netting $10,000. The other three are total failures, losing $6,000, including promotional costs taken out of previous profits. The company would buy the artist back from the partnership for $4,000, representing undeclared profits, plus about $500, representing additional sales to be expected out of inventory. Total price is thus $4,500. Total investment was $2,000. In less then a year, an investment was more than doubled at a low capital gain tax rate.
The company advises its investors to hedge against risks of the disk business by investing small amounts in any one artist, spreading available cash around a number of them on the theory that one or more of them is bound to pay off. A number of ivestors are expected to buy a piece of as many as 10 artists, as fast as the label signs them.

The big risk rides on the first couple of releases of any artist. If both flop, the fund is wiped out. In fact, if the first release is produced in an expensive session, consuming most of the original $2,000 fund, a single flop can end the partnership. But the theory is that most investors will be riding several entries simultaneously, so that one winner, ever on a small investment, will cover a good many losers.

Peak’s chairman of the board, Abe Sauer, an iron manufacturer, points out that the owners of the label take 50 per cent of the loss, thus management shares the risk with outside investorts. On winners, management takes 60 per cent of the profit, thus enjoying only a 10 per cent differential for their role as entrepreneurs. Of course, their option to buy back the full ownership of successful artists provides another long-range advantage to the management group.

Among the early releases on Peak’s partnership plan are two by Eddie Cash, « Land of Promise » and « Doin’ All Right, » and one by the Eberly Twins [ 2 ], who are deejays in Little Rock, « Sittin’ in the Drive-In ».

- - - - - - - - -

[ 1 ] mahoff : "big cheese", "important person". See The Word Detective. Ex. : Madoff was a mahoff.

[ 2 ] Actually, the Morgan Twins.


Four Peak Records releases are listed in Rockin' Country Style. Another release is #155 "Sputnik Hires A Band" by Sputnik Monroe. Label shot here. (45cat)

I'm not aware of any other releases on the same label. But the American Recording Corporation of Memphis Tennessee produced also at least two records on the Al-Be label [ Charlie Fury & the Rebel Rockets and Jay Rainwater ]

Dale Vaughn on Von was also produced by the American Recording Corp. (cut in the studio built on to back of Lansky Brothers Clothes Shop on Beale Street).

Chairman Abe Sauer is the only name cited by the article.

Bernie Frieden (or Freiden), Howard Chambers, and Curtis Foster were execs of the Peak and Al-Be labels.

The clothier cited in the article was one of the Lansky Brothers (Alvin?).


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Chime Bells

Sheri Lee Douglas: Chime Bells
(Maverick Records)

Unusual, exactly like wrote the reviewer (Billboard July 25, 1960).

Sound file is borrowed from Kogar the Swinging Ape. Kogar says : "Lux and Ivy swear this is KAY MARTIN singing, and I have to agree with them. It sounds exactly like her."

Label pic from Gerd Miller/Rockin' Country Style.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Barber Shop Blues

Ira Lee
Accompanied By Bill Jeffery

Barber Shop Blues

Henagar, Alabama

From the birthplace of the Louvin Brothers come this custom record released in 1972 or 1973.

Born on 16 Aug 1907. Ira L married Manilah Mae Hicks and had a child. He passed away in Henagar, Alabama, in 1986.

All the man's life coming down to just few words. That's quite frightening. I can't find anything else about the man.


Monday, January 2, 2012

I Don't Know

Bonnie Fussell and the Dixie Crystals

I Don't Know

Red Stick Music BMI

Bonnie Fussell had a minor local hit in Baton Rouge in 1959 with "Where Are You" on the Hammond label. And you have certainly heard the flip "Too High Class".

This Carmie release is probably from 1964. Carmie 102 is by Bobby Loveless (aka Little Lee Allen). Buck Rogers' "Nobody's Darling but Mine" was also probably on the same label.

The label was possibly owned by Sam Montalbano (also known as Sam Montel), who operated the Montel and Montel-Michelle labels in Baton Rouge (red stick in french, name of his publishing company).

In the mid-sixties Bonnie launched his own label, Bofuz, in partnership with Tom Guarino.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sleeve only, no record


(Her name is Carolyn Crawford)