Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes

 Dawn Owens
 And The Rhythm Kings

Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes

In the 1950s, Fred Rumfelt and some friends formed a band called the Rhythm Kings. Soon, the Rhythm Kings were playing gigs throughout the region. They performed on television shows in Charlotte, Asheville and Spartanburg, S.C. Although they started out in bluegrass and traditional country, they soon adapted to the new rock and roll sound.  

Before long, the group recorded two songs in a Nashville, Tenn. studio. They recorded “Billy Boy,” a song written by Rumfelt, and Elliott’s rock and roll instrumental “Boppin’ Guitar.”  The record was issued in June 1960 on Brooke Records.  The lineup included Ed Elliott on lead guitar and Ray Hall on steel guitar. Jim Jones, who had worked with Rumfelt at Marion Manufacturing, sang harmony vocals and also played guitar.

In 1961, Hall left the Rhythm Kings but the group continued making music. The lineup would change some more. Eual Owens and his wife Dawn later joined the group. Eual played drums while Dawn was the lead vocalist.

The band went down to Arthur Smith’s Studios, recording the old Chuck Willis song (Atlantic Records 1179, 1958) backed with "Talk To Me", and has the 45 out on their own Star label pressed at the Kay Bank plant.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Dances

The Starfires

The Dances

W. Osborne, Y plus X Music (BMI)

Atomic 1912

After The Starfires initial release on George Goldner's Bernice Records  “Yearning For You” failed to chart, their one year contract with George Goldner was allowed to expire. The group continued singing at various engagements around Philadelphia.

The Starfires went through some changes. Wally Osborne dropped out of the group in order to manage them. “I wanted to be like Richard Barrett,” recalled Wally. “So we got a guy named Rudy [last name long forgotten] from West Philly. He was a tall thin fellow and he became the new lead.” Though Wally no longer sang with the Starfires, as their manager, he continued to rehearse them.

Wally met Steve Hodge of D&H Records while networking at a local radio station. Stephen Hodge ran a thriving jukebox operation in NYC.  He’d previously owned the Atomic label and had recorded Jimmy Castor & the Juniors and Dennis Brown & the Atomics. Hodge’s partner at the time was Julius Dixson [sometimes listed as Dixon]. Dixson also had a long history as a label owner and songwriter. He’d co-written “Dim Dim The Lights” (Bill Haley), “Lollipop” (Chordettes) and It’ Hurts To Be In Love” (Annie Laurie). Earlier, Dixson had managed and written for the Jaytones (Timely and Brunswick labels) and owned the Alton label (“Clouds” by the Spacemen). By 1961, the two shared an office on 125th Street in Harlem with record label icon, Bobby Robinson.  As you opened the door there was a partition – on one side was Bobby Robinson’s Fury label and on the other was Dixson and Hodge’s D&H Records.

In February 1961, D&H released their first and only record by the Starfires. The ballad side was the old standard, “These Foolish Things”. The flip was “Let’s Do The Pony,” a song written by Wally Osborne about the popular dance.

The Starfires’ next release, “You’re The One” b/w “So Much” came out on the Bargain label. Both songs
were written by Wally Osborne. It was quickly followed by “Love Will Break Your Heart,” a song co-written by Wally Osborne and Jimmy Bishop. The flip, “The Dances,” was a Wally Osborne composition. All four
songs were recorded at Tony and Don Luisi’s Sound Plus Studio in Northeast Philadelphia. “You’re The One” did fairly well on the East Coast and also in Cleveland.

Late '61, Steve Hodge, probably in search of a better national exposure, also issued “Love Will Break Your Heart” on his reactivated Atomic label shortly after,  Bill Lasley's Lesgal Productions distributed the record.

Acknowledgements : "The Wally Osborne Story: The Starfires and the Early Years" by Charlie Horner

Saturday, February 17, 2018


Jimmy Cicero


Penthouse P-621

James Stanley Cicero

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area Jimmy Cicero started playing piano and singing professionally when he was about 12  His mother encouraged him to take piano lessons as a child.   His mother played saxophone and sang. She worked in a band with Jimmy’s aunt who played piano for many, many years in the East Bay Area.

“My first gig was singing at a church dance.”
That was in 1957, two years after Elvis Presley’s emergence and three years into the rock ’n’ roll era. 
Also a composer.  Three of his songs have been placed in a Francis Ford Coppolla film. It's called "The Florentine".

Friday, February 16, 2018

Runnin' Bare

Miss Hilton Hammond
and The Wesbters

Runnin' Bare
Jim Nesbitt

Rooster Records
1332 Bush Blv'd Birminhgam, Ala.
Early 70s
Produced by Hap Hammond

Miss Hammond's take on "Runnin' Bare",  a parody on the Johnny Preston hit ‘Running Bear’ penned and recorded by Jim Nesbittt in 1970, and his last chart entry.

Hilton Hammond and her husband Hap have performed together since they married in 1938. Before World War II there was a radio show down here called, ‘Bill and Kate,’ that was very popular. Hap and Hilton would play on there.  They even ran a bluegrass barn behind their Pickens County home for 26 years, until the maintenance got to be too much.

From an article published by  The Republic from Columbus, Indiana in 1972:
Hap said, "You have to leave the farm to make the money to go back to the farm."   Hilton, who has sung at hospitality areas in national conventions, worked with dance bands and helped raise funds for duo. and appearing before campfire crowds. They are NCHA members from the Bama chapter at Birmingham, Ala. Complaining that "campers always like the kookiest songs, they don't like the pretty ones," Hilton said "Butterbeans," the song with which they opened their segment of the Saturday show, is always a crowd-pleaser. One of her favorites is a "pretty" song she wrote herself, "Lonely Highways."
Hilton, a junior high English and art teacher, began her music career at three. She was the soprano in the gospel group formed with her, her mother, sister and a cousin.    Hap. now a salesman for Sears and Roebuck, formerly a schoolteacher and a farmer, wants to go back to his farm at Reform, Ala.
Hap (John Austin) Hammond, Sr. left this life on Feb 15, 2013.

Miss Hilton Hammond discography

K-Ark 744      1967
A     Giving It Away    
B     Misery And I

K-Ark 803
A     King Size Papa   
B     Don't Make A Strong Man Cry

K-Ark 829
A     I Wonder Where You Are Tonight
B     Don't Ever Say Goodby

Hammond - PRP 2041/2 (1968)
A     We're Voting For Wallace For President    
B     Won't You Come Home George Wallace

Rooster 1/2
A     The Rooster Song    
B     Ode To The Little Brown Shack

Rooster 3/4
A     Charlie   
B     Lonely Hi-Ways

Rooster 5/6
A     Butterbeans    
B     Runnin' Bare

Rooster 7/8
A     NCHA Ditties
B     How Great Thou Art

Rooster 9/10
A     Life Is Like A Mountain Railway    
B     How Great Thou Art

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Chicken Delight(s)

"Dance the Chicken Delight Ring-A-Ding"

Track list

"Chicken Delight Twist"
"Dance the Chicken Delight Ring-A-Ding"
Chicken Delight radio spot (1963)

Two instrumentals from promotional one-sided carboard flexi records. No artist credit on record. Early sixties. Bonus: a radio spot from 1963.

The Chicken Delight restaurant chain were known for delivering chicken dinners to your door via a VW Beetle with a fiberglass chicken on the roof

Sunday, February 11, 2018

I've Got It

Joey Delmar
I've Got It
Britone / Ben-Lee Music

Bell-Glade Records
A division of Dimarcap Enterprizes, Inc.
Laurel Springs, New Jersey


The rarest of the Joey Delmar two singles produced in 1962 by B & L Productions (Frank Bendinelli and Lee Leroy Lovett) and one of their earliest, before Patty & The Emblems (1964)
Musician-producer-songwriters Frank Bendinelli and Leroy Lovett formed a production company, Ben-Lee Music, that generated tracks that were leased to other labels, as well as sides that were put out on their own small Philadelphia labels, like Benn-X and Sonata. The exact routes (whereby each side got placed where) are painstaking to trace nowadays; all the lay fan needs to know is that the Ben-Lee umbrella produced obscure Philadelphia soul throughout the decade. Twenty-four of their 1963-68 efforts were collected by the Kent Soul label (Ben-Lee's Philadelphia Story , 1999).

The other single on Joey Delmar, issued on Britone 1001 (Friendship Seven / Happiness) is available on YouTube

Saturday, February 10, 2018

All Grown Up

Darby Anne
And The Jay Jay Kay Trio

All Grown Up
Herbert Baker, Carrie Music Co. ASCAP

Darby 45-609
Ellettsville, Indiana
1957 or later

Presumably, "All Grown Up" is a cover of the song previously recorded by Debbie Reynolds MGM 12560 in 1957. Not much can be found on Darby Anne.  Only thing I known is she recorded another 45 on the same label, also a King custom pressing, backed by the Johnnie Wattles Orchestra  (Betwixt And Between , Darby 45-D3)

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Sky Rocket Love

(Paula Cloud)
The Cruisers
Vocal Paula Cloud
MacGillvray, Gentry, McKenzie)
(The Spacers Vocal Sid Mack

 Nike Records

Mrs Hortense Cludius (aka Paula Cloud) was born around 1912 in Louisiana.  She resided in Ohio with her husband, Harold C. Cludius, in 1940 and the couple moved afterwards to Texas.  She copyrighted "Sky Rocket Love" in 1958.  As far as I know, this was the only song she wrote.

Even less is known about The Spacers featured on the top side.  One Sid Mack from Dallas posted some fifteen years ago various messages on alt.assassination.jfk, a forum dedicated to the President Kennedy assassination, he's possibly him, the vocalist on XR9?

Both sides were published by S & M Music launched by "Skippy" Settle at the same time as his Skippy Records label in March 1958.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

After Five


After Five

Callin' My Love

De-Icer 45-100
King custom press

Tulsa, Oklahoma band started by Joe Haskew.

Joe Haskew was born in Tulsa on June 2, 1926. He grew up in Tulsa and attended Central High School. The youngest of 4 children, Joe served in the U.S. Navy as a Chief Petty Officer during World War II. After the War he worked as a Mechanic and at one time formed a business that manufactured micro-cycles in Tulsa.   Joe was a musician and during the 1950s started a band named The De-Icers. They played live on the Curtis Lane Radio Show.  He played the guitar and sang lead. He appeared on Channel 6's Dance Party, and entertained at the Apache Drive-In, the Admiral Twin and some others, and he had a ongoing gig at the Moose Lodge. 

He also played in a country band in the the 1980s called Country Sunshine in clubs around Tulsa, and was the founder and President of the Tulsa Bluegrass Club or Society in the 1970s. 

He passed away in 1998.

Monday, February 5, 2018

The Pirate Parrot

Ray Heatherton, with Richard the Milton O. Ford's parrot
Cadence Records 1296 (1956)


   NEW YORK — What RCA Victor did for the canine family
with its Singing Dogs, Cadence Records hopes to do for 
the birds with its new recording artist, Richard, 54-year old 
parrot.   Richard, booked by GAC and owned by deejay
Milton Q. Ford (WMAL, Washington),  will make his wax
debut this month on "The Pirate Parrot," with Ray "Merry
Mailman" Heatherton joining him on the vocal and backing 
by Archie Bleyer's orchestra.  The tune, a hit in Italy as 
"Curri, Curri, Sciccareddu!" ("Hurry, Hurry, Little Donkey")
is published here by Veronique Music, with English lyric by 
Al Stillman.

   Cadence prexy Bleyer put in six and half hours on tape 
sessions with Richard and a least 60 hours more on the
editing job, the parrot seemingly to talk his way continuously
thru the disk, a la Singing Dogs.  However, Richard has an
advantage over the European pooches, in that he can make
radio and TV appearances, and plug the record.

   His first network video show will be on Julius La Rosa's 
summer sub for Perry Como, CBS-TV show July 21, following 
which he will meet the dealers at the National Association of 
Music Merchants' convention here.  Then Ford is scheduled 
to take him on a deejay tour to plug the platter in other cities.

   The flip side of the disk ("Alfred, the Air Sick Eagle") is also 
a bird-entry, featuring Heatherton, a kid chorus, and authentic
eagle-crys recorded by the Bronx Zoo.

Billboard July 21, 1956