Friday, May 27, 2016

Another great LP featuring the classic 1960s Stoneman Family lineup, including fiddle whiz Scotty, is budget issue on Liberty's Susset imprint. Issued in 1968, it is comprised of recordings of a 1964 performance in Hollywood. All in all a nice companion to the previously posted Starday album, both of which highlight the unique take on Bluegrass the Stonemans presented to appreciative audiences during the 1960s folk revival.


1. Big Ball In Monterey
2. Little Maggie
3. Dominique
4. The Girl I Left In Tennessee
5. Lost Ball In The High Weeds
6. Groundhog
7. Take Me Home
8. Darlin' Corey
9. Dark As A Dungeon
10. Fire On The Mountain

*download here*


Saturday, May 21, 2016

This 1966 LP is comprised of tracks the legendary Stoneman Family recorded at Starday Studios in Nashville in 1962/63. Featured are the classic lineup of Van on guitar, Scotty on fiddle, Donna on mandolin, Roni on banjo, Jimmy on bass, and occasionally Pop on autoharp and guitar. All contribute vocals. Enjoy!


1. White Lightning
2. Out Of School
3. Guilty
4. Talking Fiddle Blues (Instrumental)
5. Nobody's Darling But Mine
6. Little Suzie
7. Turn Me Loose
8. Going Home
9. The Girl From Galax (Instrumental)
10. The Sinking Of The Titanic
11. That Pal Of Mine
12. Orange Blossom Breakdown

*download here*

MAC MARTIN & The DIXIE TRAVELERS Rural Rhythm Recordings

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Bluegrass legend Mac Martin and his band "The Dixie Travelers" made four classic albums for the Rural Rhythm label between 1968 and 1971. This was a really great and possibly underrated band and I really feel these albums stand up very well against any of the classic era stuff, and I am pleased to present all four of them here in their entirety. Below is a brief biography of Mac from

b. William D. Colleran, 26 April 1925, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, USA. Colleran began his career as a teenager singing with Ed Brozi in a touring medicine show, and was influenced by acts such as the Monroe Brothers and the Blue Sky Boys. After World War II, he became interested in bluegrass music. In 1949, he and his band played regularly on WHJB Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and since there were three members of the band called Bill, he decided he would become Mac Martin. In the early 50s, he was noted for his banjo playing and fine vocal work, and in 1953, was playing with a band on WHOD Homestead, Pennsylvania, which was likened to that of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. In 1957, he and his band took a residency at Walsh’s Lounge in Pittsburg where they played weekly for the next 15 years. In 1963, the Travelers recorded two albums for Gateway records, although only one was released. A few years later, they recorded four albums for Rural Rhythm. Noted mandolin specialist Bob Artis (b. 26 July 1946, Santa Monica, California, USA) joined the band and when Mac Martin left for a time in 1972, Artis took over. In 1974, when the band recorded for County, Martin had returned. In addition to his playing, Artis wrote many articles for publications such asBluegrass Unlimited and Muleskinner News, and his bookBluegrass was published in 1975.

I first heard of Mac Martin as an adolescent when I checked Bob Artis' great book "Bluegrass" out of the local library and read it cover to cover, and I am glad to pass this great music along. Enjoy!

Rural Rhythm Presents Mac Martin & The Dixie Travelers
"With The Travelin' Blues" Rural Rhythm RRMM 201


1. Weary Lonesome Blues
2. Smoky Mountain
3. Mississippi Sawyer
4. Memphis Blues
5. Farewell Blues
6. Maple Sugar
7. Home In Tennessee
8. Natchez
9. I Don't Love Nobody
10. Peacock Rag
11. Fiddler's Farewell
12. Train On the Island
13. Lost River Blues
14. Reuben's Pardon
15. Mustang
16. I'm Working On A Banjo
17. Old Uncle Joe
18. Travelin' Dixie
19. Black Mountain Blues
20. Life's Railway To Heaven

*download here*

Rural Rhythm Presents Mac Martin & The Dixie Travelers
"Goin’ Down The Country" Rural Rhythm RRMM 214


1. Goin' Down The Country
2. Southern Moon
3. Love In My Heart
4. Little Star
5. Would You Care
6. Blue Railroad Train
7. Billy's Choice
8. We Can't Be Darlings
9. Me And My Fiddle
10. Katie Kline
11. Cotton Eyed Joe
12. Francis Lee
13. Why Do You Weep
14. Fireball
15. Faded Rose
16. Wheel Hoss
17. Don't Forget Me
18. Billie Wilson
19. Honeysuckle Rose
20. Gold Watch And Chain

*download here*

Rural Rhythm Presents Mac Martin & The Dixie Travelers
'Just Like Old Times" Rural Rhythm RRMM 232


1. Charlotte Breakdown
2. Sparklin' Brown Eyes
3. I'll Be A Friend
4. Stacey Lynn
5. Have You Come To Say Goodbye
6. Resurrection Morn
7. Durham's Reel
8. I Can't Forget
9. Corn Bread
10. This Rambler's Ramblin'
11. Greenfields
12. Swinging A Nine Pound Hammer
13. The Last Request
14. My Bonnie Banjo
15. Is She Praying There
16. How Will The Flowers Bloom
17. Sugar In The Gourd
18. Some Must Win
19. Going Home This Evening
20. Lee Highway Blues

*download here*

Rural Rhythm Presents Mac Martin & The Dixie Travelers
"Backtrackin'" Rural Rhythm RRMM 237


1. Backtrackin'
2. After Dark
3. This World Can't Stand Long
4. Fiddler's Farewell
5. Come Back Darling
6. If You See My Savior
7. Moonlight Waltz
8. Nobody Cares
9. I'll Live On
10. Fourteen Days In Georgia
11. When The Cold Rain Is Falling
12. Wake Up Susan
13. Will You Miss Me
14. East Tennessee Blues
15. Guilty Tears
16. Last Waltz
17. Weary Heart
18. I'm Waiting To Hear You Call Me Darling
19. Dixie Breakdown
20. A Silent Place

*download here*


Good morning! For today's "Starday Saturday" feature, we go back to 1956 for the second LP the label issued, "Hillbilly Hit Parade". The idea seems to have been to combine some of the label's early hits (such as George Jones' "Why Baby Why" and Red Hayes' "A Satisfied Mind") with covers other artists' hits performed by 1950s Starday mainstays George Jones, Leon Payne, Jeanette Hicks, Benny Barnes, and Eddie Noack (credited here as "Eddie Blank"). Ol' George even takes on Elvis' "Heartbreak Hotel" as "Thumper Jones", a handle that was used on a few of the possum's forays into rockabilly.

Liner notes are as follows:

Country music has come a long way in recent years. Many believe that so-called hillbilly music spread rapidly in popularity during and after the war. The vast movement of people from place to place resulted in widespread exposure to a sincere type of music that tells a story.
The artists who have helped spread the popularity of country music are too numerous to mention, but certain songs have come to the front. These are the songs that are performed on records, in the home and in juke boxes, on radio, on T.V., in movies, and on stages all over America. These are the songs of the people, This is Americana in every sense of the word.
Starday Records has selected the sixteen most popular country songs of the past few months and they have been recorded by top artists with the sound and arrangement which made the songs so successful.
It would normally cost $16.00 or more to purchase the 16 top country songs on single records. By combining the songs on one record, the top country songs in America are available at less than 1/5th the price that would ordinarily prevail.
It is the public who make the hits and here in one collection are the country hits of today.
Watch for future issues of The Hillbilly Hit Parade on Starday long play records.


DON F. PIERCE, President

Artists and Repertoire


1. George Jones-Why Baby Why
2. Leon Payne-You Are The One
3. Jeanette Hicks-Searching
4. George Jones-Any Old Time
5. George Jones & Jeanette Hicks-I Take The Chance
6. Benny Barnes-Conscience I'm Guilty
7. George Jones-Hold Everything
8. Eddie Noack-I Want You, I Need You, I Love You
9. Leon Payne-Crazy Arms
10. George Jones-You Gotta Be My Baby
11. Benny Barnes-I Walk The Line
12. George Jones-Sweet Dreams
13. Leon Payne-Blackboard Of My Heart
14. Joe ''Red'' Hayes-A Satisfied Mind
15. George Jones-Yes I Know Why
16. Thumper Jones-Heartbreak Hotel

*download here*

>>> A related 1958 LP on the Mercury-Starday label, also titled "Hillbilly Hit Parade" but containing different selections, was previously featured on Scratchy Attic and may still be downloaded, click here. <<<


Sunday, May 8, 2016

For Sunday morning, here's some great vintage country gospel from the mighty Rural Rhythm catalog. First released on LP in 1961, this collection of twenty tunes is performed by Rev. G.M. Farley accompanied by The Wear Family; both Farley and the Wears were featured on many early Rural Rhythm albums.
There is little information on Farley to be found on the net, but has the following bio:


Give Name: George Milburn Farley, Jr.
Date of Birth: January 16, 1927
Place of Birth: Kayford, West Virginia
Date of Death: November, 1991
Marital Status: Francis E. Castle
Children: 3

Musical Style: Bluegrass/Country Gospel
Talents: Fiddle, Guitar, Singer, Songwriter

Rev. G. M. Farley was a coal miner like his father, until he was called into the Gospel Ministry around 1950. Before his conversion he had a bluegrass band called Fiddling Slim Blue in which he played the fiddle and sang.
Part of his church ministry was singing, so in the 1960's cut several albums with Rural Rhythm Records. These were sold mostly in his evangelistic meetings and by Rural Rhythm Records' mail order service.

He always planned on doing another album with just songs that he had written but never got around to it. Most of his free time was committed to his writing. He had numerous articles and several books published. He was also an accomplished artist with oil painting.

He pioneered Trinity Bible Church in 1977, which is still thriving today.

The present transfer is from a 1990 cassette issue and although, like many early Rural Rhythm albums, the selections are on the short side and the fidelity not optimal, it is still an enjoyable collection of traditional country gospel. Incidentally, another collection of vintage G.M. Farley recordings is available for download here.


1. When I Lay My Burden Down
2. He Set Me Free
3. There's Going To Be A Meeting
4. When I Call Him
5. Only A Prayer
6. Need The Prayers Of Those I Love
7. Everybody Talks About Heaven
8. Down By The Riverside
9. Home Coming In Heaven
10. The Great Speckled Bird
11. Glory Bound Train
12. Let The Lower Lights Be Burning
13. I Don't See A Reason
14. Kneel At The Feet Of Jesus
15. On The Inside Looking Out
16. House Of Gold
17. Where Shall Be
18. Pass Me Not
19. He Came A Long Way
20. My Boy's Bible

*download here*


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Another Starday Saturday here at Scratchy Attic in today's post of the 1965 LP "Wild Child Roger Miller - Madcap Sensation of Country Music". The recordings contained on the album were recorded 1957-1960 when Miller was a struggling honky-tonk singer who had been brought to the attention of Starday by his buddy George Jones. In fact, ol' George can be clearly heard singing the harmony on "You're Forgetting Me". These recordings were originally singles, demos, and uncredited cover tracks on early Starday collections which featured covers of contemporary country hits of the time. The LP was obviously issued to capitalize on Miller's mainstream 1960s success, but it preserves some great classic raw Starday honky-tonk in the process. Enjoy!


1. Poor Little John
2. Under Your Spell Again
3. Jimmy Brown The Newsboy
4. I Wish I Could Fall In Love Today
5. My Pillow
6. Can't Stop Loving You
7. I Ain't Never
8. The Tip Of My Fingers
9. Country Girl
10. Playboy
11. You're Forgetting Me
12. Who Shot Sam

*download here*

BIG SLIM The Lone Cowboy

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The complete Arc recordings of Big Slim, The Lone Cowboy, comprising of three LPs released 1961-1964, are presented here. Below is a brief biography of Big Slim from "Mountaineer Jamboree: Country Music in West Virginia" by Ivan M. Tribe (The University Of Kentucky Press, 1984):

One of the musicians who came to WWVA as a Border Rider soon branched out on his own. Big Slim McAuliffe had already experienced a wide degree of geographic and occupational variety. Born in Mercer County, West Virginia, on May 9, 1903 (or 1899, or 1904, or 1905), the facts of Slim’s personal life have become somewhat clouded largely because of his own capacity for contradictory statements. For instance, in a 1939 autobiographical statement in one of his songbooks Slim claimed to have been born in the city of Bluefield and on a 750-acre farm. He also contended he had been orphaned at eight, left home at eleven, and become a radio trick rider that same year, while on another page he displayed a contemporary photo of his father. Slim also punched cows and railroaded according to his “Life Story” before entering radio work in 1929. He gained radio experience in Pittsburgh and on a border station at Eagle Pass, Texas. On December 17, 1936, he did a session for Decca under the name Big Slim Aliff which included the initial recording of the country standard “Footprints in the Snow” under that title. He came to WWVA late in 1937. At five feet eleven inches and 175 pounds he was neither very big nor very slim, but the nickname did seem to be in character with his other qualities.
Big Slim possessed a rich and deep voice and rendered good versions of both common and more obscure western songs such as “The Strawberry Roan” and “Patanio, the Pride of the Plains.” He also sang mountain ballads like “Hills of Roane County” and copyrighted some good original material such as “On the Sunnyside of the Mountain” and “Moonlight on My Cabin” (although he reportedly wrote none of them). Slim had other talents which supplemented his stage shows, including whip and rope tricks along with a trained horse act. While the Lone Cowboy generally stayed close to WWVA, he went to other stations for brief stints and later helped younger artists such as Hank Snow and Hawkshaw Hawkins.

Harry C. "Big Slim" McAuliffe passed away in 1966, two years after the release of his last Arc album.

Big Slim The Lone Cowboy
Arc 523


1. Sunny Side Of The Mountain
2. Put Me In Your Pocket
3. Where The Old Red River Flows
4. Wondering
5. Thought I Heard You Call My Name
6. Release Me
7. Patanio
8. Golden River
9. Speckled Bird No. 4
10. Rainbows End
11. Tragic Romance
12. Over The Hill

*download here*

Big Slim "The Lone Cowboy"
"Old Favourites" Arc 544


1. Little Joe
2. Go Down To The Graveyard
3. Pink Party Dress
4. Footprints In The Snow
5. Blue Velvet Band
6. Little Blossom
7. Old Rover
8. Cowboy Dance
9. Don't Blame The Children
10. Will You Love Me When I'm Old

*download here*

Big Slim The Lone Cowboy With The Blue Valley Boys
"On Tour With Big Slim" Arc 583


01-Rainbow at Midnight
02-Letter Edged in Black
03-Billy Veneero
04-Old Shep
05-Mother Queen of My Heart
06-Oklahoma Hills
07-Little Old Rag Doll
08-Never Say Goodbye
09-Weary River
10-When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold

*download here*

BUCK OWENS Country Hit Maker #1

An early bird Starday Saturday special! This collection of early Buck tracks plus some covers by Starday standbys popped up through the years with a few different covers and issue numbers. This edition is from 1965, and supposedly Buck worked a deal with Don Pierce to sell it at live shows at a time when Owens wasn't getting along so well with Capitol. All great stuff, enjoy!


1. Buck Owens-Down On The Corner Of Love
2. Buck Owens-There Goes My Love
3. Tommy Hill-Above And Beyond
4. Buck Owens-The House Down The Block
5. Cowboy Copas-Under The Influence Of Love
6. Cowboy Copas & Dottie West-Mental Cruelty
7. Buck Owens-Sweethearts In Heaven
8. Buck Owens-It Don't Show On Me
9. Eddie Wilson-Foolin' Around
10. Buck Owens-Right After The Dance
11. Darrell McCall-Excuse Me (I Think I've Got A Heartache)
12. Cowboy Copas & Dottie West-Loose Talk

*download here*


Sunday, April 17, 2016

I am very pleased to present yet another rare LP on the Audio Lab label, "A Variety Of Country Sacred Songs". This fantastic transfer comes to us courtesy of the Attic's good friend Rounder, who previously sent the J.E. Mainer track from this album to add to the recent post of J.E.'s King recordings. Thanks Rounder!
Standard vintage King country gospel fare comprises this 1961 collection, with many great titles including the Delmores and Turners as the "Harlan County Four" and early Johnny & Jack as "King's Sacred Quartet". Prime stuff....


1. Brother Claude Ely-Holy, Holy, Holy
2. Shorty Long-No Wars In Heaven
3. Harlan County Four-Show Me The Way
4. Bill Franklin-That Moon's No Stopping Place For Me
5. Esco Hankins-Wait For The Light To Shine
6. J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers-If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again
7. Wade Mainer-I'm Not Looking Backward
8. Trace Family Trio-Take Time To Understand
9. Gene Davis-I Won't Tell Anybody But My Lord
10. Kitty Mann-My Bright Tomorrow
11. King's Sacred Quartet-I'll Be Listening
12. Gurney Thomas-Jesus And Mother

*download here*

Tennessee Fiddler CHUBBY WISE and the Rainbow Ranch Boys

Saturday, April 2, 2016

I am most glad to present today a truly classic Starday album by one of country music's greatest and most legendary old time fiddlers, the late Robert Russell "Chubby" Wise. This 1962 LP was his first, and many of its tracks found their way onto various Starday and Gusto compilations through the years. Interestingly, the sessions were recorded at Chubby's boss Hank Snow's home studio, and he contributed notes as well. Although these notes credit "Gene Martin on the open-string Martin flat-top guitar", I have to wonder if the Singing Ranger himself isn't playing some of the acoustic guitar here as it seems to have his characteristically stiff but rhythmic quality. I would imagine that as he was contacted to RCA Victor he couldn't be credited here, although there is no way to know for sure.
Starday honcho Don Pierce and Snow's notes are below:

“Fiddlin”, country style, has become a highly developed art in the United States and Canada. Some 36 years ago, the World famous Grand Ole Opry started in Nashville, Tennessee with a weekly gathering of Tennessee fiddlers playing a variety of the tunes that expressed the joys, sadness, love, sorrow, and hardship of our rural people.
The great old fiddle tunes, played in waltz time, in rag time, and with the real traditional southern blues feeling have been “hard to get” in recent years. Therefore, Starday is fortunate to be able to offer this outstanding collection of recordings in the true Tennessee Fiddler style by Chubby Wise, a long time favorite at the Grand Ole Opry, and accompanied by Hank Snow’s internationally famous Rainbow Ranch Boys. We were also fortunate to obtain the valued assistance of the one and only Hank Snow, an all time country music great, to produce the recordings at the studio in his Rainbow Ranch home in Nashville, Tennessee. Hank has been an outstanding recording star for RCA-Victor for over 25 years and is presently one of RCA’s top selling country artists.
Hank, and his Rainbow Ranch Boys are known throughout the world for the purity of their country music style. Since Chubby Wise has been Hank’s assistant for many years in the management of the Rainbow Ranch Boys, and has appeared with Hank throughout the United States and Canada, we feel that no one is better qualified than Mr. Hank Snow to provide the following interesting highlights concerning the personality and career of the featured artist, Chubby Wise.

DON PIERCE, President

“During the many years that Chubby Wise has worked with me and my Rainbow Ranch Boys, we have covered a lot of territory, met a lot of wonderful people, and made many wonderful friends. We have had so many requests from our friends for recordings of the many fiddle tunes that Chubby Wise plays on our personal appearances, on my RCA-Victor records, and on the stage at the Grand Ole Opry, that I personally wanted his fiddle work to be recorded. We welcomed the opportunity to work with Starday Records on this project because Starday is a label that specializes in the traditional type of country music that seems to become more popular every year. Let me point out a few things about my good friend, Chubby Wise, the Tennessee Fiddler extraordinary.
“Chubby has been a professional fiddler for 30 years. His childhood was spent in the Lake City, Florida area, but in 1942, he entered on the Tennessee musical scene as a member of Bill Monroe’s famous Bluegrass Boys on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Chubby played fiddle on all of Bill Monroe’s older recordings on the Columbia label. The recognition he received for his fiddle work with Bill Monroe resulted in the opportunity to record with many other great country music stars such as Hank Williams, Eddy Arnold, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and Jimmy Martin, to name only a few.
“In 1948, Chubby joined the Clyde Moody band working out of Washington, D.C. A little later on, he was a regular on Connie B. Gay’s GAYTIME TV SHOW out of Washington. Then he appeared with Elton Britt on a TV show for several months.
“It was in 1954 that he joined my Rainbow Ranch Boys and he’s been with us ever since. He’s the leader and head arranger of the Band and a sincere and dedicated person that I have enjoyed working with. In 1957, I had the pleasure of working with Chubby Wise on the “Perry Como Show”. We have appeared on radio, television, stages and recordings together for many years. Our type of music is not written out, but it is played from the heart, spontaneously, and each member of the group has to know his job. Chubby is a good showman, a good musician, and above all, he is the type of person that can spend long hours on the road and still look fresh and put on a good performance for the fine people who honor our show by coming to see us.
On the personal side, Chubby Wise is married, has one daughter, and lives in Nashville. His hobbies are fishing and fiddlin’. We’ve had many good times together but we have never had more fun than the informal get-togethers when these recordings were made at the small studio that I have in my home in Nashville.
“Gathered together was Howard White, on steel guitar, Gene Martin on the open-string Martin flat-top guitar. Ed Hyde on rhythm guitar and Junior Huskey played bass. The boys took their time and rambled through a collection of the great old songs that are the most adaptable for the Chubby Wise fiddlin’ style. We wanted to offer a variety of tunes and the listener can tell that these boys were having a ball.
“Speaking on behalf of all the Rainbow Ranch Boys, this old Singin’ Ranger hopes that folks in the U.S. and Canada, and all over the world for that matter, enjoy this music as much as we enjoyed recording it.”

Country Musically,



1. Opry Fiddler's Blues
2. Peacock Rag
3. New Sidewalk Waltz
4. Memphis Blues
5. Shenandoah Waltz
6. Rainbow Breakdown
7. Orange Blossom Fiddle
8. Smoky Mountain Waltz
9. Tennessee Blues
10. Cacklin' Hen
11. Georgiana Moon
12. Whistlin' Rufus

*download here*