Friday, March 2, 2012

The Spades on Rebel

The Spades

Jim Dandy, vocal by Sara Lee

Hey Hey, vocal by Jerry Bradford

Rebel Records
A Bill Cooley Enterprise

South Pittsburg, Tennesee

Fetched $US 990 at a recent auction, a real bargain for this outstanding and quite rare two-sider.

Jerry W. Bradford (1944-2009)

Born Feb. 11, 1944, in Athens, Tenn. Jerry W. Bradford, a resident of Carrollton, Ohio, for more than 20 years, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 1, at Bowerston Pointe Care and Rehabilitation Center in Bowerston, Ohio. He was of the Baptist faith and employed as an electrician for many years. He enjoyed fishing and was the drummer and lead singer in a band called The Spades in the late 1950s, later known as The Dolphins. They played in Athens, Cleveland, Atlanta and Texas. A native and former resident of Athens, he also lived in Sweetwater and Niota. He was the son of Pauline Hafley Bradford of Niota and the late Paul Bradford.
Source: The Monroe County Advocate (Sept. 1, 2009)

Bill Cooley (1931-2010)

Bill Cooley had a distinguished, but brief, military career in which he wrote propaganda for the United Nations in Korea with the poet Rod McKuen and country music artists Country Boy Eddy.

After the [Korea] war he returned to South Pittsburg and became a disc jockey at radio station WAPO (Chattanooga). Soon after he moved to Nashville and enrolled at the Middle Tennessee State University. After a decent stay at the MTSU, during which time he sang in gospel quartets, sang solos on Wally Fowler concerts at the Ryman and on other southern stages.

During his years in Nashville he had his own rock' n roll band.He started Rebel Records in 1956 and recorded a very young Brenda Lee and Archie Campbell of Hee Haw fame.

Few questions remains :

Is this the only Spades record ?
Who is Sara Lee ?
What about the Bill Cooley r'n'r band ?
And, above all, what about the Brenda Lee record (on Rebel Records, I assume)?

The last assertion is quite surprising, but possibly true, even I can't find no evidence of such recording on the Rebel label (its listing has many gaps). Unissued songs, perhaps, before Brenda Lee was signed to Decca Records in 1956 ? Or released as by an alias ?

Audio files from "Real Black Rhythm", SLCD 1156 (a black rockers compilation!).
Label picture : restored image (my work)



  1. Sounds like a young Brenda maybe?

    1. From NokieTaylor:

      And great rough background choir