Friday, March 31, 2017

Geneva's Blues

Geneva Vallier

Geneva's Blues

Cash Records 1009

The flip is “Said You Had A Woman”, answer to the Ray Charles smash “I’ve Got A Woman.” available on several compilations and on YouTube

West Coast night club vocalist, Geneva Vallier was born Geneva Griffin near Crew Lake, Richmond Parrish in 1918.  She recorded with the Emanon Trio on Swing Time Records (1952) and with Clarence "Candyman" McGuirt  on Irma Records (1956).

Geneva died Geneva Phipps in Los Angeles County in 1982

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Please Please

Jackie Johnson
Leon Smith & His Guitar

Please Please

Willamette 102
product of Orbit Sound Company


Jim Reeves and Jackie Johnson in 1956 (1)

Jackie Johnson

Jackie Johnson, singing an original song, was first place winner in the amateur talent show sponsored by the Medford Junior Chamber of Commerce in April 1956.  But it was'nt before 1959 that she recorded her first single. According to the Medford Mail Tribune [July 1, 1959] 
Jackie Johnson, . 14-year-old former Jackson county resident, has had her first recording released under the Willamette label.  She is the daughter of Mr. and  Mrs. John Johnson, ' who lived in Eagle Point until ' moving to Eugene last month ' after Jackie completed the eighth grade.    The new recording is "Star Light Star Bright" backed by "Please, Please written by the singer and her mother.    The singer had performed with various local bands and appeared on a program over KBES-TV.  She also sang for Rogue Valley ballroom dances. According to the report from Eugene, the singer has appeared on the same programs with such stars as Hank Thompson, the Maddox Brothers and Rose, and last September toured- for a week with the Jim Reeves show.  She is now on a show staged in Eugene by Leon Smith who made the hit recording of "40 Ford."  The Johnsons will return to the valley for the week end and Jackie will sing at the Camp Corrall July 4.  

Located at 2272 Roosevelt Blvd in Eugene, Oregon, Orbit Sound Company, Willamette Records and Myrtle Mountain Publishing Company were founded by Lloyd “Grandpappy” Smith, an upright bass player and bandleader of the Western Valley Boys, the Melody Ranch house band.  Located at the same address Melody Ranch was a country western dance hall operated by Grandpappy Smith from 1947 to 1957.  

Leon Smith, son of Grandpappy Smith, recorded “Little 40 Ford” and it was released in May of 1959 on Willamette, the master was sold to Columbia later that year and released on the Epic label.

Leon Smith discography
Jackie Johnson discography
(1) Jim Reeves & Jackie Johnson picture is from David Bussey Scrapbooks

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Love Party

Chano and The Rialtos

Love Party
J.O. Duncan, J.D.A. Music (BMI)

Cue 711
Produced by Jimmy Duncan

This is Chano Rodriguez from Galveston County, Texas. 

Paul Renfro, who played drums with Chano and the Rialtos, still recalled in his mind's ear walking down the hall at Lovenberg Jr. High School in 1954, and hearing Chano singing the "Ave Maria" solo in a choir classroom.
 "I get goose bumps when I think about it, just like I did then, and I didn't even know Chano at the time," Renfro says. My brother, Frederick Cherry, says Chano's voice had a sweetness to it, a very unusual quality, and he followed Chano's entire career beginning with his performances at Larry Kane's Record Hops at the Pleasure Pier's Marine Room in the 1960s. Often when Rodriguez was appearing, his wife Margaret, the only wife he ever had, would sit alone at a table for two. It was obvious to everyone, including her, that she wasn't really alone, because Chano sang every one of the romantic ballads to her. He would join her during the breaks. They would hold hands, and she would get his undivided attention. And then sometime during the night he would leave the bandstand, go to her table and ask her for a dance. The floor would become theirs, and theirs alone
Chano Rodriguez, 58, died of a heart attack in 1998, and a big part of the hearts of Galvestonians went to his grave with him.    

(From The Galveston Daily News, November 21, 1998)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Shake It Baby

Ilene Rushing

Shake It Baby
Leo Teel, Phil York
Buena Vista Publishing Co., Teelbilly Publishing Co.,
Yorkshire Music, BMI

Bollman Int'l Records 936

Ilene Rushing had three releases on the Bollman International imprint out of Texas.  This is her second record.

The Plano Daily Star-Courier from Plano, Texas, reported the release of her third record in January 1974 as follows :
A former area resident, Ilene Rushing, has cut a new record. Bollman International Records in Dallas has released “Brand New- Key” and “He's My Baby." Bollman International is a new recording company, and Miss Rushing was the first artist to sign with the company three years ago. She was discovered by Bob Massey of Blackbird Records and B L. Bollman while she was performing with J.W. Davis and "Saturday Night in the Country Band" at Wylie, Miss Rushing was formerly employed by the Plano Star-Courier and also played softball with the Plano Women’s Softball League for three years under coach George Henson.    The daughter of Mr. and Mrs, John E. McCrary of McKinney, Miss Rushing is an active member of her church. She is soloist, teacher of the Young Adults, Youth Director and was elected delegate to the G r a y s o n Baptist Association, Miss Rushing travels over Texas with Joe Paul Nichols and the Four Pennies and Orvile Couch and the Troublemakers. She has performed for radio, television, carnivals, rodeos, benefits, gospels and various other activities. When she has an open Saturday night, she sings at Farmersville with “Saturday Night in the country Band."

Richard Wolfe

Shake It Baby

Bollman Int'l Records 115

Leo Teel and Phil York had probably faith in their song as they recorded also an instrumental version by Richard Wolfe, also conveniently here for your enjoyment

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Dance With The Drummer Man


Dance With The Drummer Man
Duane Eddy, Lee Hazelwood
Linduane,  BMI

Surfs Up
Legends, Dunes, BMI

Doc Holiday Records 107

45cat (fredhoyt)
Picture Sleeve
(posted by fredhoyt at
The Legends : two saxes, three guitars and one drums : Ron Anderson, Brad Ritter, Doug Donoghue, Sherman Koons, Frank Silva & Pat Shew (not necessarily in that order on the picture).  Perhaps not band regular members, the girls on vocal duty on Dance With The Drummer Man are not credited on label and not pictured on the sleeve. Too bad.

The largest record company in the world (below sea level) was owned by Irvin "Doc Holiday" Smith (1931-2009), from Charleston County, South Carolina.  Doc Holiday was a disc jockey on various radios and later a show host in Las Vegas, Nevada.  He was with KREO, Indio, Calif. when in 1962 he started his own label, releasing about eight singles in 1962 and 1963.   In his last few years, Irvin Smith owned and operated Payless Tires on Jefferies Blvd. in Walterboro (South Carolina)

Doc Holiday label listing :
101 Bobby Verne
102 Gale Davis
103 Jimmy Doyle
104 Diplomats
105 Barry Richards
107 Legends
108 Johnny Royal

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Ko Ko Mo (I Love You So)

Bill Darnel and Betty Clooney
with Sid Bass and orchestra

Ko Ko Mo (I Love You So)
Wilson - Porter - Levy
Meridian Music

X Records 4x-0087

Cover of the Gene and Eunice [Forrest Gene Wilson and Eunice Levy] song first issued by Combo Records in 1954.

According to the always knowledgeable mickey rat at regarding the copyrights intricacies :
Theoretically "Ko Ko Mo" should have funded the futures of Gene Forrest and Eunice Levy and hopefully healthy royalties trickled down to them. The initial Combo label issue added label owner Jake Porter as a joint songwriter and his Combo Music as publisher, meaning he personally would have got a much larger cut of publishing royalties than either Gene or Eunice. They were all lucky that at that time the major labels were flirting with R&B and rock& roll and this song fit the bill for established white artists to record. Every man (and woman) and their dogs recorded the song, notably Perry Como. The song was a big hit. E.H. "Buddy" Morris's Meridian Music bought the publishing from Jake Porter and sheet music was published.

Picture credit :  Second Hand Songs

Bill Darnel was a band singer in the 1940s. By the end of that decade he started a solo career recording for a variety of labels in the 1940s and 1950s : Coral, Decca, X,  Rex, London ,Jubilee and Paris.

Betty Clooney was a singer and television performer from Kentucky. With her older sister, Rosemary Clooney, she sang with the Tony Pastor band in the 1940s. In the 1950s she appeared on network television shows and made solo recordings (Coral, Columbia and X Records)

Friday, March 17, 2017

Mack The Knife

Jeff Gray

Mack The Knife

From the LP  'Live...In Concert At Saltair' issued by Kall 910, a local radio station in Salt Lake City, Utah.  In the mid/late 1970's they released a number of LP oddities.

From the liner notes :
Those who witnessed Jeff's Farewell Concert at Evergreen Junior won't forget him, and neither will owners of this Album, his parents, the truant officer, the drum teacher (who is now in a Home), nor I.

Jeff has a rare talent, that magic spark, for doing the dumbest thing at the worst possible time.  I see his creative genius on a giant Caterpillar Tractor perched at the top of a huge hill.  It could sit there forever.  But let's look at the bright side of it. Jeff doesn't have any inspirations to medical school.

And if you want to start a Jeff Gray Fan Club, go right ahead.  Jeff's favorite color is carrots, he likes to ride his motorcycle inside empty swimming pools in the winter, and he likes medium-sized crowds

Lee Barker

Thursday, March 16, 2017

He's My Bag

Connie Saul

He's My Bag
Oscar B. Gilley, Benosan Music

Koremagma Records
Box 2132, Martinsville, Virginia

Connie Saul had a second release on the same label the following year : A Wedding Ring / Fifty Cents Down.  There was at least one more recording : "Coal Miner's Daughter" which can be found on a various artists LP on Outlet Records (a 1973 release) titled Bluegrass on Campus. Vol. 1.

Oscar Gilley, I'm guessing, owned the Koremagna label, who also issued "The Tender Touch" by Brenda Pratt.

Obscure label, for sure.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

People Are Talking About Watergate

Sons of Truth
 (Bill Spivery)

People Are Talking About Watergate


Agency Recording Studios
Cleveland, Ohio
(issued on Dee-Jay Records)

The Agency Recording Studios 1730 East 24th Street, Cleveland, Ohio were located above the Agora Theatre and managed by William C. Noyes

Gospel, r&b singer-songwriter, Bill Spivery, whose song “Operator” was made famous by the Manhattan Transfer, died in 2004. He was 73.

He wrote “Operator” in the 1950s. It had the catchy refrain: “Operator, information, give me Jesus on the line.” The song was featured on the soundtrack of the 2002 film, “Phone Booth.”

Spivery lived in the Cleveland area since the early 1950s. He held various day jobs while pursuing a musical career.   He performed with three groups: the Friendly Brothers, the Sons of Truth and Bill Spivery and the Operators. He also sang at churches throughout the Midwest and appeared on show bills with Diana Ross, Leslie Gore and Bobby Womack.

In 1964, Spivery wrote and recorded “Mr. John” in honor of the late President John F. Kennedy. It became a regional hit, reaching No. 3 on local charts behind the Beatles and the Dave Clark Five.

He also wrote “Non-Violent Man,” a musical tribute to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sons Of Truth
From the book Cleveland's Gospel Music by Frederick Burton

Dee-Jay Records discography (Bill Spivery own label)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Rock 'n Roll Music

Bob Lenox
with the Promenade Orch. & Chorus

Rock 'n Roll Music


Budget label, a product of Synthetics Plastics Company of Newark, New Jersey.
Bob Lenox, whoever he really was, got his assumed name when he did first a Hula Love cover, originally a hit for Buddy Knox, for Promenade Records.

That was the gimmick often used at Promenade, recording sound-a-like covers of the hits of the day, and billing the singer-for-hire with a moniker vaguely reminding the original.  That's how you can find on Promenade such artists as John Garrison (Wilbert Harrison, Kansas City), The Grasshoppers covering The Crickets, Dottie Gray covering Doris Day, Dick Stetson (Stood Up, Ricky Nelson), or even Eli Whitney (Elvis Presley)

Bob Lenox, who are you really?

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Jukebox Hula

Allen Greenfield

Jukebox Hula

Dyson - Poynter, Tubb Music, BMI
Goldenrod 201

Western Swing out of Scottsville, Kentucky.  Artist's 2nd release on the label.  One of the songs from his first record, "The Kentucky Shuffle" has been recently compiled by El Toro Records, a spanish label.

No info on the artist. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

What About Me

Lorry Peters

What About Me
Don Gibson, Acuff-Rose, BMI

A Statue In A Window
Boudleaux Bryant, Felice Bryant

Hickory 45-1228

Hickory Records signed Lorry Peters to a recording contract in a move taking the traditonally country label further into the pop field.  Lorry Peters recorded just one 4-songs session for Hickory in Nashville in late January of 1963. This is her second single.

Brown-eyed and brown-haired, Lorry (or Lorrie) Peters was born in Middletown, Conn., May 30, 1932. She was graduated from Syracuse University where she majored in radio.  Singing was her earliest ambition. She took coaching lessons when she was three and appeared on kiddie talent shows for several years afterwards.

Miss Peters, while working as a secretary in New York, recorded a jingle for the Ansco Company. Ray McKinley, director of the New Glenn Miller Orchestra, heard the commercial and asked who had recorded it.  Later, when he was looking for a female vocalist, he remembered the girl and the voice and he signed Miss Peters immediately.  She can be heard on several tracks from a couple of Glenn Miller Orchestra albums released by RCA Records at the end of the fifties.  
Note : I've added "Lady Is A Tramp" from her big band period to the Hickory single in the following archived file :


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Waxmate of the month : Mitzi Mason

Mitzi Mason

According to a trade paper, Mitzi Mason, a lass from a Bronx bakery, [was] the newest MGM recording "find"  was "discovered" by composer Larry Douglas, who heard her humming as she wrapped a dozen rolls for him and felt she had "a sound."   He asked her to sing, and the result was a disc contract with MGM Records, with her first release scheduled for June 1954. 

06 54 — K11760 : So Much More/Who Can Say?
09 54 — K11823 : Don't Drop It/I Don't Want Your Pity
04 55 — K11978 :  Me! /  You All You
10 55 — K12097 : Bring Me A Bluebird/But I Was Wrong

03 56 — 45-9696 : The World Is Mine  / Hearts Weren't Made For Breaking 

12 56 — 001 : You Can't Come Back / I'll Go Way Up On A Mountain

05 57 — 4X-0278 : Hickory Dickory Dock  / For The Last Time
10 57 — 4X-0301 : Fair Winds And Full Sails  /Autumn On The Campus 

04 60 —1062 : My Heart Belongs To You / Dance, Dance, Dance


Mitzi Mason has signed with Strand Records in April 1961, but no records were issued as far as I know

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Skippy Roberts


Ohio RnB rocker Skippy Roberts had two singles released in 1958 and 1959.  Both were probably recorded in Cleveland, Ohio, despite a Gardena, California address for his second release. A release on Lark would be explained by the fact that the eastern distributor for the Hugh Jensen's Lark label happened to be Sandy Beck's Custom Distributors in Cleveland who also headed Reserve Records (note the publisher name on the Pett single : Reserve Music)

1958 Pett
Skippy Roberts/ Barrett Singers /Jack Price And Orch.    
Rock 'N Roll 'N 45 / Little Pumpkin

1959 Lark
Skippy Roberts And The Four Jacks
Holy Mak'ral Andy /  Brown Sugar

Zipped Skippy file contains 3 of the 4 songs.  Brown Sugar has been on the Harvey Leisure's Interstellar Interruption playlist for 10/07/2016, but I can't find a way to dowload the archive? Anyone?