SONGS OF THE HILLS Audio Lab

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Another Audio Lab album from 1959, this time "Songs Of The Hills", AL 1515. I recently was lucky enough to add this fine album to my collection. It contains tunes by many regional country acts who recorded for the King family of labels at some point. Of special note is Jimmy Martin and Bob(by) Osborne's 1951 recording of "My Lonely Heart", and Red Perkin's original recording of the frequently covered "Big Blue Diamonds", not to mention Jack Cardwell's descriptive tribute, "The Death Of Hank Williams". I also really enjoyed "The Lights Are Growing Dim" by unique-voiced Harvie June Van. With the exception of Martin, Osborne, and Redd Stewart of Pee Wee King fame, these are all artists that had followings, but never made the big time, which to me just makes it that much more interesting. Hopefully all of you out in blogland feel the same. Enjoy!

Includes jacket and label scans

Tracks:

1. Jimmie Osborne-The Death Of Little Kathy Fiscus
2. Shorty Long-Good Night Cincinnati, Good Morning Tennessee
3. Clyde Moody-Shenandoah Waltz
4. Luke McDaniel-Honey, Won't You Please Come Home
5. Redd Stewart-Thy Burdens Are Greater Than Mine
6. Jimmy Martin & Bob Osborne-My Lonely Heart
7. Jack Cardwell-The Death Of Hank Williams
8. Ann Jones-God Gave Me You
9. Red Perkins-Big Blue Diamonds
10. Charlie Gore-If God Can Forgive You, So Can I
11. Harvie June Van-The Lights Are Growing Dim
12. Pop Eckler-Money, Marbles And Chalk

*download here*

TIME FOR PRAYER Audio Lab


Hey folks, Lefty here. Just wanted to apologize for the lack of posts of late. Things have been very busy around the old Double L Ranch, and they are probably going to continue to be throughout the summer. I just won't be able to post as much as I'd like. I will, however, try to make the posts I can get together count, with fairly primo stuff. I have been lucky to come into some rather special albums in my travels, and the LP shown here is no exception.
Audio Lab was King Records' attempt at a budget subsidiary, with albums issued between 1959 (the issue date of the present LP) and 1962. They were made up for the most part of back catalog material from the Cincinnati label's vaults, much of it never otherwise issued on long play. King must not have sold these in great volume, as today they are extremely scarce, sought after, and valuable, even in less than perfect condition.
It always astounds me how many avid record collectors neglect to check in on their local thrift shops. Although many of these outings are duds, the gems that can be found at other times can really make up for it. In what is, I suppose, the kind of boasting only fellow record collectors would understand, I am rather proud to relate that I purchased "Time For Prayer" (AL 1518) at a "Bibles For Missions" thrift store in Windsor, Ontario. In an attempt to clear their vinyl stock, they had reduced LPs to three for a quarter (Rose Maddox on Harmony was one of the the other records involved in this purchase). So your pal Lefty's advice, buckaroos and buckarettes, is get out there and scavenge!
I really love this album from start to finish. Some particular points of interest are:
"Jesus Will Save Your Soul" - This track by Tommy Magness features Don Reno and Red Smiley at what I believe is the first session they participated on together.
"John Three Sixteen" - Originally released on 78 as King 1050-AA. The Harlan County Four are actually the Delmore Brothers along with Red Turner and Zeke Turner (no relation). Very cool.
"Little David Play On Your Harp" - Whew, it's the Gospel Ranger hisself!
"I Feel Like Travelling On" - My ears tell me Alton and Rabon Delmore's voices and guitars accompany Clyde Moody on this track. I beleive Clyde was a sometime sub for Merle Travis on Brown's Ferry Four sessions, as was Red Foley.
"Be On Time" - I've been just nuts about Mac O'Dell for a very long time, having grown up with a 78 of "Penicillin". Note harmony by Don Reno, that could even be Don on mandolin (he did, after all, play everything...)
Once again, I appreciate all you good folks patience as the posts get farther apart. Things should pick up in the fall, until then I hope all the followers of this blog have a great summer!

Includes jacket and label scans

Tracks:

1. Tommy Magness-Jesus Will Save Your Soul
2. Harlan County Four-John Three Sixteen
3. Brother Claude Ely-Little David Play On Your Harp
4. Clyde Moody-I Feel Like Traveling On
5. Kitty Mann-Paradise
6. Musical Millers Quartet-I'm On The Battlefield For My Lord
7. Shannon Grayson-I'm Gonna Walk On
8. Trace Family Trio-My Mother's Dying Message
9. Mac Odell-Be On Time
10. J.E.Mainer-Walking For The Lord
11. Cope Brothers-I'll Have A New Life
12. Gurney Thomas-Savior Of The Old Rugged Cross

*download here*

EARL HEYWOOD Serenade Ranch

Sunday, May 17, 2009


The late Earl Heywood (1917-2006) was one of Canada's pioneering country music performers. Born in Exeter, Ontario, he resided most of his life in Wingham where he became one of the personalities most associated with station CKNX and it's famous traveling Barn Dance. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Heywood on a few occasions, as well as exchanging letters and phone calls with him. He was always most encouraging of my musical pursuits. He also never failed to mention that his radio debut had occured in 1941 over station CFCO, in my hometown of Chatham, Ontario.
The album featured in this post is a cassette I purchased at the Ernie King Music Store in Wingham about twenty years ago (I'm not sure if this was ever on LP or not). It is comprised of recordings of Earl's old "Serenade Ranch" show which was broadcast live over CKNX from 1946 to 1953, only seven of the programs having been saved on transcriptions. These were rather crudely edited to create the program here, with what sounds to be mostly later commentary by Earl, and some mighty annoying applause and crowd noise which is certainly not original. However, this is still a fascinating document of early Canadian country radio, especially in light of how little of this type of material is extant. The performances here are top notch, with Earl and his wife Martha accompanied by "the fiddling champions" Mel Levigne and Ward Allen (who we also hear sing harmony!), Bill Mankiss on accordion, Lloyd Bank on steel, and Jack Kingston on bass(!). I hope you enjoy these memories of "Canada's Singing Cowboy", Earl Heywood.

Includes a scan of the cassette insert.

Sides One and Two are included as individual mp3s of the continuous program.

Tracks:

Side One - Theme Song (Intro.), You Can't Break My Heart - Earl, I Love You - Earl & Martha (Duet), Roll Along Jordan - Sage Brush Trio, My Crazy Heart - Earl, Square Dance Time - Earl Calls, Old New Brunswick Moon - Earl & Martha (Duet), Cowpoke Pokin' Along - Earl, Theme Song

Side Two - Theme Song (Intro.), Tho I Tried - Earl, Tag Along - Earl & Martha (Duet), Wait A Little Longer - Little Patsy Anne, Blues In My Heart - Earl, Square Dance Time - Earl Calls, Christmas Candles - Earl & Martha (Duet), Ridin' Down The Canyon - Earl & Martha (Duet), Theme Song

*download here*

BOB WILLS Keepsake Album

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


This 1965 LP on Dewey Groom's Longhorn label (transferred from a 1980's reissue) features the legendary Bob Wills in a wonderfully relaxed setting, recalling fiddle tunes of his youth with a small group of musicians. As the liner notes state:

This recording was made with one microphone strategically suspended above the group as they sat in the studio reminiscing over several cups of coffee. There wasn't any rehearsal or arrangements and our efforts to capture the spontaneity that goes with this "visit" were a complete success.

Although many of the tunes on the LP have been issued on several budget compilations through the years, I really feel the original uninterrupted program must be heard for full effect. Therefore this transfer is presented as two continuous mp3s for sides one and two.

Includes jacket and label scans.

Tracks:

Side One - Big Taters In The Sandy Land, Mayflower Waltz, Billy In The Low Ground, Beaumont Rag, Faded Love

Side Two - Dian Waltz, Done Gone, Put Your Little Foot, Bob's First Fiddle Tune, Bob's Schottische, Gone Indian, No Disappointments In Heaven

*download here*

BILL LONG My Favorite Songs

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Bill Long was a country singer who despite being born in New Mexico had a substantial career in Canada. It is written that early on he worked at times with both Clayton McMichen and Red Foley, but it was at station CHCH in Hamilton, Ontario, that he seems to have had his greatest success. In addition to the album shown here, recorded for Toronto's Arc label around 1965, he left behind a scattering of 1950's 78's on the Capitol, London, King (pressed by Quality in Canada), Arrow and Sparton labels.
This post features as many of these 1950's tracks as I could locate, plus all the tunes from the Arc LP. The earliest of these feature accompaniment by the "Ranch Girls", some feature the "Mainstreeters" (no doubt the band from CHCH's "Main Street Jamboree"), and the LP features backing from such Arc mainstays as Mickey McGivern and Ollie Strong. Of special note is the "Ranch Of The Golden Rule" where Bill is joined by "the Yonge Street Children's Choir". It has been noted that Long hosted a Sunday children's TV show, and it is to be imagined that is the origin of this number.
I really enjoy his interpretations of Canadian classics such as "Memories That Never Die", "Blue Canadian Rockies" and Buddy Reynold's "Spruce Bug" and "Little Shoes". Despite being American, he had a real feel for the Canadian country repetoire. "What A Waste (Of A Good Corn Likker)", popularized by Mac Wiseman, was also written by Canadian Slim Gordon. I don't believe there has been a CD compiling Bill Long's work, so I hope this post fills the void.

Includes jacket and label scans for the Arc LP, as well as scans of the 78 labels where available.

Click here for more about Bill Long at hillbilly-music.com


Click here for more about the Main Street Jamboree at hillbilly-music.com

Tracks:

1. Call Of The Mountain
2. I Couldn't Think Of Anything To Write
3. What A Waste (Of A Good Corn Likker)
4. Your Daddy Is A Railroad Man
5. Little Shoes
6. Memories That Never Die
7. Candy Coated Apples And A Lem'n An' Lime
8. Relax, Relax, Relax
9. Ranch Of The Golden Rule
10. Blue Canadian Rockies
11. Won't You Ride In My Little Red Wagon
12. One Has My Name
13. Mind Your Own Business
14. Across The Wires
15. One Fallen Leaf
16. No One Will Ever Know
17. Spruce Bug
18. The Love That You Give
19. This Ole House
20. I'll Sail My Ship Alone
21. Send Me The Pillow
22. If Jesus Came To Your House

*download here*

CAFÉ DE PARIS 24 Accordion Classics


Through the years, I have become rather partial to Parisian bal-musette music. This collection of tracks recorded 1930-1941 is a fantastic introduction to a wonderful genre that should be heard more widely. The following online review says it best:

CAFE DE PARIS brings together traditional French songs (with accordion prominenly featured) from the 1930s and '40s. Songs by Edith Piaf, Jean Gabin, and Emile Vacher are included on this charming, nostalgic collection.

Take a trip back in time to pre-World War II era Paris, where intellectuals, artists, bon vivants, bourgeoisie, dandys, military, socialists, fascists all mixed together in the cafes and clubs of one of the most vibrant cities in the world. The presence of the accordion in these recordings is a French trademark, harkening back to an era when the pace of life was slower, but the subtext of angst became the predictor of the turbulent years that would mark the end of the decade and continue into the next. Features songs from the legendary Edith Piaf, Emile Vacher, Jean Gabin, Gus Viseur, Freres Peguri, Damia and many more.

Tracks:

1. Gus Viseur-Flambee Montalbanaise(Valse Swing)
2. Edith Piaf-L'accordeoniste
3. Medard Ferrero & Ses Clochards-El Ferrero
4. Les Freres Peguri-Enivrante
5. Michael Warlop Orchestre-Strange Harmony
6. Emile Vacher-Mado
7. Gus Viseur-Matelotte
8. Jean Gabin-Quand On Se Promene
9. Emile Vacher-Sporting Java
10. Tony Murena Et Ensemble-Pepee
11. Damia-La Guinguette A Ferme Ses Volets
12. Gus Viseur-Swing Valse
13. Guerino & Son Orchestre-Brise Napolitaine
14. Orchestre Musette Victor(Boris Sarbeck)-Coeur Vagabond
15. Tony Murena Ensemble-Nostalgia Gitana
16. Gus Viseur-Soir De Dispute
17. Quartette Swing Emile Carrara-Le Charmeur De Serpents
18. Medard Ferrero & Ses Clochards-Les Triolets
19. Guerino & Son Orchestre-Gallito
20. Gus Viseur-Swing 39
21. Emile Prud'homme Orchestre-Pinsonnette
22. Gus Viseur-Rosetta
23. Tony Murena Ensemble-Melancolie
24. Gus Viseur Et Son Ensemble-Jeannette

*download here*

ALBERTA SLIM with the Bar X Ranch Boys

Monday, April 20, 2009


Eric C. "Alberta Slim" Edwards (1910-2005) is another one of the great Canadian country pioneers who should not be forgotten. He was an early radio star, and was a fixture in western Canada at rodeos and fairs (he never played bars). Performing in a style inspired by Wilf Carter (yet distinctive and unique), he began recording in 1948, his releases appearing on RCA Victor's 55-0000 Bluebird Series, as well as having records issued on Gavotte, Sparton, and Point.
Although born in England, he migrated to western Canada with his parents as a young boy, and spent his youth homesteading, eventually drifting away from home via the boxcars, and entertaining for tips on street corners. A fellow musician who called himself Alberta Slim joined the army in 1939, leaving Edwards some shirts emblazoned with the name. Rather than remove it, he began performing with the handle himself, and continued to do so up until two years before his death at age 95.
I'm always glad to turn up and present recordings which prove there were songs extolling the virtues of our country in the days before the great Stompin' Tom, and that baby boomers did not invent "distinctly Canadian" music. This post collects the content of his two RCA Camden LPs, plus two tracks from volumes one and two of the "Canadian Country Jamboree" collections, also on RCA Camden. The tracks from the first LP (CAL-699, 1962) as well as the CCJ comps (CAL-677, 1962 and CAL-992, 1966) are earlier recordings from the 78 era, while the final album, "Canada, My Homeland" (CAL-2113, 1967) presents tunes newly recorded during the centennial year.

Click here for a fantastic site dedicated to Alberta Slim

Includes jacket and label scans.

Thanks to Andyrama for the use of CAL-2113 to transfer.

Tracks:

1. New Canadian Polka
2. Treasure You Can't Buy
3. It All Seems To Happen To Me
4. I'm Lonesome For Mommy Tonight
5. Sitting On A Hill Top
6. Little Tin Cowboy
7. When You Play Your Last Card
8. Red River Two Step
9. When The Good Lord Knocks On Your Door
10. Red River Waltz
11. Tears Of Shame
12. North Of The Border
13. Canada,My Homeland
14. The Calgary Stampede
15. Canada Land Of The Free
16. Call Of The Cariboo
17. The Laura Secord Story
18. Beautiful British Columbia
19. Red River Valley Two Step
20. Canadian Sunset
21. When It's Apple Blossom Time In Annapolis Valley
22. My Home By The Fraser

*download here*

CARL MANN The Sun Story

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Tennessee born Carl Mann was only sixteen years old when he had a minor hit with his version of "Mona Lisa" in 1959. Although the influence of fellow Sun pianists Jerry Lee Lewis and Charlie Rich can be heard, Mann's style is unique, and very catchy.
This 1977 LP collects twelve of his Sun recordings, and as bonus I have added his cover of the Hank Williams classic "Take These Chains From My Heart" from a 1980's Plantation budget cassette.

Click here for a biography of Carl Mann

Tracks:

1. Mona Lisa
2. Too Young
3. Kansas City
4. Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes
5. Baby I Don't Care
6. Blueberry Hill
7. Ubangi Stomp
8. South Of The Border
9. Crazy Fool
10. Pretend
11. Mexicali Rose
12. Rockin' Love
13. Take These Chains From My Heart

*download here*

SONS OF THE PIONEERS 25 Favorite Cowboy Songs

Friday, April 10, 2009


A little while ago I featured a post by the Farr Brothers which included two tracks drawn from this album. Upon listening to the LP, which comes to us via courtesy of our good buddy Andyrama, I was so impressed I decided to feature it in it's entirety. Recorded in 1956, it features the classic Sons of the Pioneers sound, unlike some of the later 60's LPs. The album features 25 tracks, but being well before the K-Tel era, the songs tend to clock around 1:30 to 2:00. For 1956 this makes it almost like a concept album! Despite the quick durations, this album has some exceptional performances ("Along the Santa Fe Trail" being a personal favourite) and I hope you all enjoy.

Includes jacket and label scans

Tracks:

1. Tumbling Tumbleweeds
2. Press Along To The Big Corral
3. Wind
4. Bunkhouse Bugle Boy
5. Home On The Range
6. La Borachita
7. Timber Trail
8. Happy Cowboy
9. Cowboy Lament
10. Pajarillo Barrenquero
11. So Long To The Red River Valley
12. Come And Get It
13. Cool Water
14. Curly Joe From Idaho
15. Cowboy's Dream
16. Along The Santa Fe Trail
17. The Last Round-up
18. Farr Away Stomp
19. Red River Valley
20. Carry Me Back To The Lone Prairie
21. Sweet Betsy From Pike
22. Slow Moving Cattle
23. Texas Stomp
24. Yellow Rose Of Texas
25. The Everlasting Hills Of Oklahoma

*download here*

T. TEXAS TYLER 4 Star Recordings

Wednesday, April 8, 2009



David Luke Myrick (1916-1972), professionally known as "T. Texas Tyler" was exceedingly popular on the West Coast during the postwar years. A unique and engaging performer, he made many records during this period for Wm. McCall's 4 Star label in Pasadena. These recordings have endeared Tyler to generations of listeners, as they were extensively re-issued through the fifties and sixties as fodder for a slew of "budget" LPs. At one point, there was hardly a country cheapie comp issued that did not contain at least one track by him.
This post features 51 tracks recorded by 4 Star, although some were originally released through other labels such as Decca for wider distibution. They have been transferred from 78s, electrical transcriptions, and of course dimestore LPs on labels like Design, Hilltop, etc. Of particular interest is a promo 78 which features a spoken message from Tyler to plug his personal appearances, and some rare gospel tracks from 10", 33⅓ rpm discs that 4 Star sent to radio stations in place of heavy, breakable 78s. I have tried to use the best source available for each track.

Click here for a biography of T. Texas Tyler

Tracks:

A Beautiful Life, A Boy And A Girl, A Million Tear Drops, Bumming Around, Careless Love, Country Boy, Courtin' In The Rain, Cowboy's Prayer, Cry-Baby Heart, Dad Gave My Dog Away, Deck Of Cards, Did You Ever Go Sailing, Farther Along, Filipino Baby, Fireman's & Engineer's Ball, Go On And Sweep Around Me, God Put A Rainbow In The Sky, Golden Wrist Watch, He Remembered Me, Hot Rod Rag, I Ain't Got A Lick Of Sense, I Tickled Her Under The Chin, If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again, In The Sweet Bye And Bye, Just Out Of Reach, Kiss Me Like Crazy, Let's Get Married, Light Hearted Guy, My Bucket's Got A Hole In It, Nothing At All, Oklahoma Hills, Old Blue, Personal Announcement for Appearance, Praise The Lord, Pretender, Remember Me, River Girl, Shake My Mother's Hand For Me, She Wouldn't Do For You, Since I Gave My Heart To Jesus, Tattler's Wagon, Ten-Ten-Tennessee Line, That Beautiful Picture, That's What You Mean To Me, The Land Where We'll Never Grow Old, The Old Country Church, The Old Hymns Mother Used To Sing, The Scratchin' Itch, Tired Of It All, What A Friend We Have In Jesus, You've Got To Live Your Religion Every Day

*download here*

HILTONAIRES Ska-Motion In Ska-Lip-So

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


This curious LP jumped out at me when I discovered it at a local bookshop. I'm usually pretty suspect of "tourist" LPs, but these guys looked interesting, and the album had some great song titles. I was not let down, for here is Jamaican mento recorded in 1965 when first wave ska was the craze. It was an education for me, as I was not terribly familiar with this wonderful genre, which is referred to in Jamaica as "country music", and in some ways is to Reggae what American country music is to Rock. For more about this album and mento music in general, please visit the site below:

Click here to visit www.mentomusic.com

Tracks:

1. Ska-Motion
2. Bollo-Man
3. Chiney Baby
4. Ska And Fall Back
5. Jack-Ass
6. Jamaica
7. Shame And Scandal
8. The Dove
9. Seven Bells
10. Ethiopia
11. Tom Dooley
12. Parson And All

*download here*

JACK TEAGARDEN A Teagarden Party


Another budget CD I've had for many years, this features twelve great 1930's recordings by one of my favourite jazz entertainers ever. As with the previous post, there's really not much I can say other than this is truly great music. Enjoy!

Click here for more Jack Teagarden tunes @ Red Hot Jazz

Tracks:

1. Muddy River Blues
2. Wolverine Blues
3. You Rascal You
4. Love Me
5. I Just Couldn't Take It Baby
6. A Hundred Years From Today
7. Blue River
8. Ol' Pappy
9. Fare-Thee-Well To Harlem
10. Stars Fell On Alabama
11. Junk Man
12. Gotta Right To Sing The Blues

*download here*

FATS WALLER Have A Little Dream On Me


This is a CD I picked up several years ago featuring ten great Waller tracks recorded in 1934. It begins with Waller's classic recording of "Honeysuckle Rose" and continues on with more obscure but great titles. "A Porter's Love Song To A Chambermaid" is one of my particular favourites. There's really not to much else to say - Fats was one of the greatest!

Click here for a bio and more tunes by Fats Waller

Tracks:

1. Honeysuckle Rose
2. I Wish I Were Twins
3. Armfull O' Sweetness
4. Do Me A Favor
5. A Porter's Love Song To A Chambermaid
6. Georgie May
7. Then I'll Be Tired Of You
8. Don't Let It Bother You
9. Serenade For A Wealthy Widow
10. Have A Little Dream On Me

*download here*

WORLD'S GREATEST COUNTRY FIDDLERS

Friday, March 20, 2009


Another great southern fiddle compilation here, this time from the CMH catalog. This collection was first released on LP in 1982, with a CD issued in 1989. It spans scope and style from Paul Warren's 1960's radio broadcasts right through to Vassar Clements 1980's electric violin.

Tracks:

1. Johnny Gimble-Flower Of Mexico
2. Buddy Spicher-Soldier's Joy
3. Fiddlin' Red Herron-Goodnight Waltz
4. Paul Warren-Sally Goodin'
5. Ramona Jones-Whiskey Before Breakfast
6. Benny Martin-Home Sweet Home
7. Clarence 'Tater' Tate with Lester Flatt's Nashville Grass-Fiddlin' Cricket
8. Kenny Baker with Bobby Osborne-Dusty Miller
9. Chubby Wise-Chicken Reel
10. Buddy Spicher & Benny Martin-Down Yonder
11. Joe Maphis with Johnny Gimble-Bonaparte's Retreat
12. Buddy Spicher-East Tennessee Blues
13. Fiddlin' Ronnie Stewart-Durham's Bull
14. Benny Martin-Beautiful Dreamer
15. Fiddlin' Red Herron-Rock Jenny Rock
16. Paul Warren-Denver Belle
17. Vassar Clements with Josh Graves-Katy Hill
18. Johnny Gimble-Dreamy Eyes
19. Fiddlin' Red Herron-Fire On The Mountain
20. Johnny Gimble-Darling Nellie Grey
21. Clarence 'Tater' Tate with Lester Flatt's Nashville Grass-Nashville Wagoner
22. Buddy Spicher & Benny Martin-Put Your Little Foot
23. Cliff Bruner with the Johnny Gimble Band-Crafton Blues
24. Paul Warren-Stony Fork
25. Buddy Spicher-Bitter Creek
26. Ramona Jones-Ramona's Choice
27. Vassar Clements with Josh Graves-Paddy On The Turnpike
28. Benny Martin-Fiddler's Dream
29. Buddy Spicher-Silver Bell, Red Wing
30. Kenny Baker with Bob Osborne-Sally Ann
31. Paul Warren-New Five Cents
32. Johnny Gimble-Carroll County Blues
33. Chubby Wise-Chubby's Cacklin' Hen
34. Randall Collins & Jerry Moore with the Pinnacle Boys-Latin Leprechaun
35. Ramona Jones-Cluck Ol' Hen
36. Chubby Anthony-Lee Highway Blues

*download here*

30 FIDDLER'S GREATEST HITS


First released by Gusto as a 2 LP set in the seventies, this collection presented 30 (well, 29) classics from the legendary Starday-King catalog. It has since become a sort of a classic in itself, as it's never been to hard to obtain. It has probably appeared in every format, eventually even CD.
The only real flaw in the collection was that it included the same recording twice under two different titles. Tommy Jackson's "Cotton Eyed Joe" appears as track 15, and then reappears as "Fiddlin' Joe" at track 25. Therefore, for this post I have substituted "The Original Jole Blon" by Harry Choates as track 25. It was taken from the LP set "Country Music Hall Of Fame", Starday SLP 164.
This is a really important collection of southern fiddle tunes. Some of the LPs this material are drawn from have (Fiddlin' Arthur Smith) and will (Chubby Wise) be featured in their entirety at the Attic, but there are many great recordings here that are otherwise hard to find. Enjoy!

Tracks:

1. Scotty Stoneman-Orange Blossom Breakdown Revival
2. Howdy Forrester-Still On The Hill
3. Chubby Wise-Peacock Rag
4. Buck Ryan featured with Reno & Harrell-Maiden's Prayer
5. Buddy Spicher & Shorty Lavender-Three Fiddle Swing
6. Ken Clark-Lee Highway Ramble
7. Benny Martin-Big Tiger Special
8. Joe 'Red' Hayes-Sweet Nellie
9. Harry Choates-Drag That Fiddle
10. Mac Magaha featured with Reno & Smiley-Mac's Hoedown
11. Curly Fox-Black Mountain Rag
12. Fiddlin' Arthur Smith-Tulsa Hop
13. Jerry Rivers-Molly And Tenbrooks
14. Fiddlin' Red Herron-Listen To The Mocking Bird
15. Tommy Jackson-Cotton Eyed Joe(Fiddlin' Joe)
16. Mac Magaha featured with Reno & Smiley-Richmond Ruckus
17. 'Curly' Ray Cline featured with the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers-Kentucky Fiddler
18. Scotty Stoneman-Talkin' Fiddle Blues
19. Fiddlin' Red Herron-Devil's Dream
20. Fiddlin' Arthur Smith-Louise
21. Joe 'Red' Hayes-Texas Quickstep
22. Howdy Forrester-Trott Along
23. Bob Wills-Beaumont Rag
24. Jerry Rivers-Joys Of Quebec
25. Harry Choates-The Original Jole Blon
26. Chubby Wise-Opry Fiddler's Blues
27. Buddy Spicher & Shorty Lavender-Twin Fiddle Polka
28. Ken Clark-Merry Mountain Hoedown
29. Curly Fox-Whistlewood
30. Benny Martin-Sparta Waltz

*download here*

HANK SNOW Radio & Rare Demos



Fourteen rare tracks are featured in this post by the Singing Ranger, Hank Snow. The source for most of them is the old "Country Style U.S.A." series of recruitment programs. The balance are demos that Snow likely made at his home studio (he was one of the first in Nashville to record at home). These recordings were transferred from a small run bootleg tape in my possession.

Tracks:

1. Intro-Devil's Dream & Caribbean
2. New Blue Velvet Band
3. Conscience I'm Guilty
4. The Tramp's Story
5. Maple Leaves
6. My Blue Eyed Jane
7. Closing-Devil's Dream & Stay A Little Longer(Faron Young,vcl)
8. Intro-Devil's Dream & Golden Rocket
9. Lifetime Blues
10. A Fool Such As I
11. Stolen Moments
12. Aunt Nana's Courtin' Party(Instrumental)
13. Just A Faded Petal From A Beautiful Bouquet
14. Train Of Love & Closing

*download here*

JOHNNIE WOODS Souvenir Album

Thursday, March 19, 2009



The late John Woods was a native of Brockville, Ontario who played for many years with Tom Wilson and his Western All Stars. Tom and the All Stars were a very popular band in Eastern Ontario during the late fifties onward. In fact, Tom Wilson still plays with a popular Bluegrass Band, "Tom Wilson and Border Bluegrass".
In the eighties Wilson produced this tape in honour of his departed fiddler, "The Johnnie Woods Album". It is comprised of tracks from the All Stars' old Banff albums as well as radio airshots. As a bonus I have included "The St. Lawrence River's My Home" from one of the group's Banff LPs, RBS 1262. This tune became a regional hit and remain's Wilson's theme song to this day.
Woods tackles a few bluegrass numbers here, but the bulk of this is good old Ontario fiddling. Some of the tunes are his own compositions. John Woods is not one of the big names remembered by fans of Canadian fiddling, but he's a great fiddler who should be heard more. I hope this post is enjoyed as much as I enjoyed transferring it! Includes a scan of the cassette insert.

Tracks:

1. Big Sandy River
2. Ploughboy's Reel
3. Thousand Islands Jig
4. Bill Cheatham
5. Katy's Jig
6. Drifting and Dreaming
7. Golden Triangle Reel
8. All Stars Reel
9. Bowin' The Strings
10. Swamp Lake Breakdown
11. Rambler's Hornpipe
12. Snow Deer
13. Beldoon Quickstep
14. Blue Mountain Rag
15. The St. Lawrence River's My Home

*download here*

PETE PIKE


Five tunes here from the late Pete Pike. Pike was a Virginian who spent many years recording and playing with the legendary bluegrass mandolinist Buzz Busby. Indeed, Pete Pike is most often remembered as a bluegrasser, however his performances here are pure honky tonk. These tracks are all taken from budget LP comps, and I believe they were made in connection with 4 Star records, though released originally on Coral or Decca. The sessions were all done at Ben Adleman Studios in D.C., and interestingly are from some of the same sessions as many of Busby's classic sides.

Click here for a great site with a very comprehensive biography of Pete Pike!

UPDATE! - May 20, 2011 - The above link is now dead, but much of the same information is available at this great blog. I have added three more files to the five originally posted, Pete's original "I Can See An Angel", and a couple of Rebel tracks, the requested "Cold Grey Dawn" (this and "Angel" from the above link) and a bluegrass version of "In The Pines", which is from the old Rebel LP box set.

Tracks: new tracks and info in red...

1. I'm Burning All You Letters (4 Star - rec. June 7, 1955)
2. I'm Walking Alone (4 Star - rec. June 7, 1955)
3. All Because Of My Jealous Heart (4 Star - rec. 1956)
4. In The House Of The Lord (4 Star - rec. September 2, 1954)
5. It's Just Between Us Two (or "Just Between The Two of Us") (4 Star - rec. 1956)
6. I Can See An Angel (4 Star - rec. September 2, 1954)
7. Cold Grey Dawn (Rebel - rec. Fall 1958)
8. In The Pines (Rebel - rec. circa February 1963)

*download here*

EDDIE POIRIER Irish, Scottish & Cape Breton Fiddle


Eddie Poirier is a great Canadian fiddler and multi-instrumentalist originally from Rogersville, New Brunswick. He has made many albums through the years in a variety of styles, playing fiddle, banjo, etc. I picked this one up on cassette about fifteen years ago, and it has been a great favourite. The first edition on vinyl probably came out in the mid seventies, I believe on the Buckshot label.
These tunes are all old style repetoire, bowed in an aggressive manner. The late Johnny Wilmot of Cape Breton was somewhat of a mentor to Poirier during these years, and no doubt some of these tunes were learned from him. There's a lot a faux "celtic" fiddling floating around out there these days, if you want a taste of the real old maritime stuff, I strongly recommend this album.

Tracks:

1. Hughie Shorty's Reel, Walker Street Reel
2. French Reel
3. Mora Shien Reel, Capre Phe
4. Donegal & Sandhill Hornpipe
5. Seige Of Innis
6. Sheehan's Reel, Patty On The Turnpike
7. Moon Coin Paddy, Cronin's Reel
8. Reeve's Reel
9. Tea Toddler's Reel
10. Pet Of The Piper, Harper's Fancy
11. Lord Albert's Jig
12. When The Kettle Boils Over, Lark In The Morning

*download here*

THE AMERICAN COWBOY


Here is a mysterious but wonderful little tape I found at a thrift shop. It's a collection of ten early recordings of cowboy songs by performers both legendary and obscure. Dated 1987, it was a product of something called "Demand Performance Cassettes" out of Glendale, California. A web search brings up very little about this outfit, but it seems they had a fantastic catalog. No info here other than the artists and titles, but these largely speak for themselves. Enjoy!

Tracks:

1. Mac McClintock-Old Chisholm Trail
2. Dude Martin-Git Along Little Dogies
3. Carl T.Sprague-The Cowboy
4. Ken Maynard-The Lone Star Trail
5. Goebel Reeves-Cowboy's Prayer
6. Carl T.Sprague-Following The Cow Trail
7. Delmore Brothers-Bury Me Out On The Lone Prairie
8. Goebel Reeves-The Cowboy's Lullaby
9. Arizona Joe-Down The Old Texas Trail
10. Mildred And Dorothy Good-Bucking Bronco (My Love Is A Rider)

*download here*

FARR BROTHERS Texas Crapshooter

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Texas brothers Hugh and Karl Farr were the musicians who brought a bit of Django /
Grappelli style jazz to the records of the Sons of the Pioneers for over twenty years. Here are twenty-five examples of the brothers holding forth with their hot and highly developed instrumental prowess. The first twenty-three tracks are from the collection "Texas Crapshooter" and are from 1930's radio transcriptions. The remaining two tracks are drawn from a 1956 Sons of the Pioneers album on the RCA Victor label (LPM-1130). Thanks again to Andyrama for access to these LPs.
Some great info about the Farr Brothers can be found at the links below:

Click here for a biography of Hugh Farr

Click here for a biography of Karl Farr

NEW - Courtesy author Michael Mendelson:

Click here for a page with PDF files of the original book and notes for the "Texas Crapshooter" LP!

Tracks:

1. 'Deed I Do (Std Q107)
2. Fine Time At Our House (Std MB 2580 A)
3. Farr Into The Night (Ortha 064059)
4. Old Maderia Waltz (Std B 2553 A)
5. Bye, Bye Blues (Std Q107)
6. Skinner's Sock (Std MB 1721 A)
7. Main Street (Std B 2564 A)
8. Oom Pah Rag (Std B 2545 A)
9. Lazy River (Std Q107)
10. Bon Ton Schottische (Ortha 064469)
11. Tom & Jerry (Std B 2553 A)
12. Ragtime Annie (Std B 2545 A)
13. Now Or Never (Ortha 064059)
14. Bluebird Blues (Std M 3062)
15. Prairie Reverie (Std MB 3366 A)
16. Soldier's Joy (Std B 2545 A)
17. Alabamy Stomp (Std 1722 A)
18. Seaside Schottische (Std M 1717)
19. Rye Whiskey Waltz (Std B 2553 A)
20. Desert Hokum (Std M 3373)
21. Karlen Stomp (Std Q109)
22. Whing-Ding (Std MB 1721 A)
23. Texas Crapshooter (Std M 1716)
24. Farr Away Stomp (RCA Victor LPM-1130)
25. Texas Stomp (RCA Victor LPM-1130)

*download here*

Mercury-Starday HILLBILLY HIT PARADE


Colin Escott writes:

In late 1956, there was a realignment in some of the top management jobs in Nashville. Jim Denny, who had booked George (Jones) through the Opry's Artist Service Bureau, quit to head his own agency. His place was taken by Dee Kilpatrick, formerly A&R director at Mercury Records. Mercury tried to fill Kilpatrick's shoes with Bob Shad and Art Talmadge, but, toward year-end, Mercury president Irv Green concluded a deal with Starday Records that saw Pappy Daily and Don Pierce take over Mercury's country roster to form the Mercury-Starday label. By this point, (Jack) Starnes (original partner in Starday with Pappy Daily) was out of the picture. The deal became effective January 1, 1957...

...In July 1958, Mercury-Starday dissolved with acrimony on all sides. Pierce had fallen out with Daily, and assumed sole control of the Starday label. Daily kept the Mercury distributorship in Texas and hung onto George's management contract. The Starday assets were divided, some of George's masters remained with Pierce and some were assigned to Mercury. George himself remained with Mercury, Pappy as his producer.

The above saga sheds some light on this 1958 LP. The title, of course, is the same as Starday SLP-102, but shares none of the same tracks. It certainly features the same artists and sound, it's clearly a Starday production. It features some Jones' tracks not often found on Starday/Mercury comps (Singing The Blues) as well as duets by George and both Benny Barnes and Jeanette Hicks. Some fantastic Benny Barnes solo numbers are here as well, including the classic "Poor Man's Riches" and a few cool Johnny Cash covers. James O'Gwynn covers the Mel Tillis penned "I'm Tired", then a big hit for Webb Pierce. Leon "The Blind Balladeer" Payne sounds very unlike himself singing Sonny James' teen ballad, "Young Love". The surprise for me on the album was Earl Aycock, who I'd never really heard of. "The Same Two Lips" is a great track by Earl, who it turns out was a Texas disc jockey who also made a few records.
All in all this follows the same pattern of mostly covers of major-label country hits as the Starday version. It could practically have been a second volume to it. There was in fact a Volume II (MG 20328) on Mercury-Starday, and I believe it as well as Starday SLP-102 have been featured on other blogs. Thanks to the attic's good friend Andyrama for the opporotunity to transfer this fantastic album!

Includes jacket and label scans

Tracks:

1. Benny Barnes-Poor Old Me
2. George Jones-Singing The Blues
3. George Jones and Jeanette Hicks-Yearning
4. Benny Barnes-There You Go
5. George Jones-Uh,Uh,No
6. George Jones-Just One More
7. Benny Barnes-Train Of Love
8. Benny Barnes-Am I Losing You
9. George Jones-Don't Stop The Music
10. Benny Barnes-Poor Man's Riches
11. James O'Gwynn-I'm Tired
12. Leon Payne-Young Love
13. George Jones-Gonna Come Get You
14. Earl Aycock-The Same Two Lips
15. Earl Aycock-I'm Comin' Home
16. Earl Aycock (as George Jones and Benny Barnes)-I've Got A New Heartache

*download here*

ERVIN ROUSE Original Recordings

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


The late Ervin Rouse (1917-1981), composer of the enduring classic "Orange Blossom Special" has perhaps one of the most fascinating biographies in the history of country music. In his sixty-four years, he went from playing vaudeville and New York City's "Village Barn" to informally entertaining roughians at dive bars in the depths of the Florida Everglades. Along the way he met and played with greats, refused an offer to join the Grand Ole Opry, drank to excess, spent time in a mental institution, and made a small fortune in royalties which he seemed to barely appreciate.
These six recordings are about the only work in circulation by Ervin Rouse and his brother Gordon. The first four tracks are from a Rouse Brothers session for Bluebird in Manhattan on June 14, 1939. Included is Ervin's original version of "Orange Blossom Special" as well as a variant of "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" titled "The Family Circle".
"Jackson Schottische" was recorded by Bob Miller in October of 1953. Miller traveled twice that year to Ervin's swamp residence in Florida to record some selections for King records. The October trip was his second and yielded this track, which was released on the Deluxe label, number 2007.
The final track here is a home recording from 1973 of Ervin playing "Sweeter Than The Flowers" (the other country standard he composed) with his ex-wife's brother Virgil. Although the song was initially recorded commercially by both Moon Mullican and Roy Acuff, this is believed to be the only recording of Rouse playing and singing it himself. Unfortunately the tape has been rather over-processed.
The above photograph is from 1939, the same year as the Bluebird sessions. It is a stark contrast to the photo below, taken in 1976 at the Gator Hook, a rowdy establishment in Florida's Big Cypress Swamp. The full saga of Ervin's life is too involved to fully disclose here, I strongly recommend the book "Orange Blossom Boys: The Untold Story of Ervin T. Rouse, Chubby Wise and the World's Most Famous Fiddle Tune".

Click here for "Orange Blossom Boys" at Amazon.com


Author Randy Noles tells us he has a new revision called "Fiddler's Curse"!

Click here for "Fiddler's Curse" at Amazon.com


Click here for an interview with Johnny Cash about Rouse at the Folk Archivist


Tracks:

1. My Family Circle
2. Orange Blossom Special
3. Bum Bum Blues
4. (I've Got Those) Craven County Blues
5. Jackson Schottische
6. Sweeter Than The Flowers

*download here*

JOHNNY HORTON & BILLY BARTON Speedy West

Saturday, March 7, 2009


A bit of a mystery here for all the Johnny Horton fans out there. Several really cheap LPs, two of which are pictured here, were issued in the 1960's featuring four tunes recorded Feb. 13, 1952 for Abbott records. These were duets with Billy "Hillbilly" Barton and two of the tracks featured some smoking hot solos by the inimitable Speedy West.
The budget LP versions of these recordings don't credit Barton, they were really trying to capitalize on Horton's name and later success. They even hacked up the titles ("Rhythm In My Baby's Walk" strangely became "Rhythm Baby Walk"). The later LP editions also suffer that lousy echo that all old mono recordings were inevitably treated with for such issues, and were generally pressed on the very poorest excuses for vinyl going. However, to those of us who go after such dimestore fodder, these lost gems with Speedy West were a secret treasure.
It was thus when I was listening to Bear Family's fantastic four CD set of Horton's "complete" early (pre-Columbia) recordings I listened with special attention when these four tracks came up (tracks 20, 21, 22 and 23 on CD one). I was very surprised to notice that Speedy's solo was noticeably tame compared to what I remembered. Upon comparison, the tracks "Rhythm In My Baby's Walk" and "Bawlin' Baby" on the Bear Family have completely different solos, and are presumably different takes. In both cases, the budget LP versions are way hotter. Were Speedy's solos too far out for the producers? Did they re-record the tunes and ask Mr. West to tone it down a little? As far as I can tell the remaining two songs, "Somebody's Rockin' My Broken Heart" and "Betty Lorraine" are the same takes on both the LPs and the CD. It must be remembered that the LPs are echoed and somewhat muddy while the CD from Bear is, as usual, pristine. Incidentally, the original issues were Abbott 108 and Abbott 109. If anybody has either of these for comparison I'd like to hear them (which versions were on the original releases?).
I'm looking forward to some input on this! Did the mighty Bear miss some really hot alternates that have long been in circulation? No disrespect, they're the world's greatest re-issue label, but it did catch my attention...

Click here to download CD 1 of the Bear Family set featuring the above mentioned songs from "Johnny One-Note's Earcandies"

The above link is now dead. The same folder can be downloaded here.

The download below features the versions from the LP "Johnny Horton & Sonny James", Custom CS 1018

Tracks: Bawlin' Baby, Betty Lorraine, Rhythm In My Baby's Walk, Somebody's Rockin' My Broken Heart

*download here*

DAVEY GIBBS and his Country Hoppers


Two wonderful albums are featured in this post. I know very little about this fantastic Canadian country band, other than what is written in the notes to the LP at left, RCA Camden CAL-704. It states that Davey and the Hoppers began in 1948 as the "Riders of the Southern Trails" and went on to broadcast out of Kingston and then Peterborough at the time of the album's release. An online obituary notes that David William "Davey, The Country Kid" Gibbs passed away in 2000, and had resided in Peterborough and Belleville.
The notes on CAL-704 identify the band members as follows:

"With his great vocalizing and guitar stylings, Davey Gibbs (the Country Kid) heads the group, staunchly supported by Garry "Gizz" Watt on the fiddle, Fred "Pappy" Ryan on the steel guitar, Paul "Hiker" Gurry on a "take off" Spanish guitar and Larry "Dooley" Protheroe on the bass fiddle."

Although the second LP ("Mister Hoedown", RCA Camden CAL-775) features only a generic back slick advertising other RCA Camden titles, the cover photo shows the same band members, so we may assume the LP features the same personel. On the second cover it may also be noted that Ryan is shown on dobro instead of steel and Gurry, rather than electric guitar is shown with a mandolin. Both covers feature a border collie posed with the band, which the above-quoted notes explain thus:

"Like any team, the Country Hoppers have a silent partner - in this case, Smokey, the faithful canine mascot, a favourite of concert and TV audiences everywhere."

These albums are excellent in all regards, well performed and well recorded. Gibbs, despite being leader, sings only four numbers across the two LPs, and these are superb. "Love's A Losing Game" is so good, I hope there was at one time a single release of the tune, if only so it could have been played on local jukeboxes. The balance of the numbers are instrumentals; fiddle tunes, steel and dobro solos and and ensemble pieces. What strikes me most is how a band from central Ontario covers so much variety with only five musicians, honky-tonk country, ballads, with southern instrumentals right alongside Canadian square dance tunes.
Based on the issue numbers, it's a pretty safe bet that CAL-704 was released in 1962 and CAL-775 a year later in 1963. I hope you all enjoy these recordings, in my opinion they're another lost gem of Canadian country. If you have any other info about this band you would like to share please drop me a line. Enjoy!

Includes jacket and label scans.

Tracks:

1. Smokey's Rag
2. Old Vienna Special
3. Love's A Losing Game
4. Southern Comfort
5. Twinkle,Twinkle,Little Star
6. Mockin' Bird Hill
7. Travellin' Joe
8. Born To Cry Alone
9. Rose City Chimes
10. Ragtime Annie
11. Buckshot Rag
12. Lord Alexander's Reel
13. Honky-Tonk Baby
14. Buck Fever
15. This Is Southland
16. Red Wing
17. Pappy's Dobro Chimes
18. What's Your Reason For Your Teasin'
19. Cliff's Jig
20. Speedin' West

*download here*

HOMER & JETHRO King Recordings


24 King tracks are featured in this post by Homer & Jethro, who recorded for the label between 1946 and 1949. They are drawn from the LPs "Homer and Jethro Will Drive You Nuts with Their Version of the Standards" from 1959 (King 639) and "Cornier Than Corn" from 1963 (King 848). The final track in the folder comes from the various artists LP "Nashville Bandstand" also from 1963 (King 813).
The recordings are an interesting contrast to their RCA Victor years. On the King tracks, the boys cover many of the standard pre-war pop tunes in a deadpan hillbilly, very to the point, although not without asides. They take ballads at dramatically increased tempos, and the guitar seems to always use open chords for comic "hillbilly" effect. Jethro's mandolin is as always incredibly nimble, and already showing sparks of what was to come.

Includes jacket and label scans.

Tracks:

1. Five Minutes More
2. Always
3. Donkey Serenade
4. Glow Worm
5. I'm Glad I Waited For You
6. For Sentimental Reasons
7. Night And Day
8. Symphony
9. I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now
10. Margie
11. I'll Close My Eyes
12. Managua, Nicaragua
13. It Bruised Her Somewhat
14. Goodbye Old Booze
15. Groundhog
16. It's A Bloody War
17. Fly Birdie Fly
18. (Don't Telephone, Don't Telegraph) Tell A Woman
19. Bill Bailey
20. When It's Long Handle Time In Tennessee
21. Poor Little Liza, Poor Girl
22. Rye Whiskey
23. I Feel That Old Age Creeping On
24. Don't Let Your Sweet Love Die

*download here*

ROBERTA SHERWOOD Decca Recordings

Friday, March 6, 2009


This post features 12 original Decca recordings by Roberta Sherwood (1913-1999), the torch singer who in 1956, in her early forties, became a surprise hit on television and recordings. Sherwood had grown up entertaining, but her husband's illness and subsequent death from cancer caused her to pursue a career more aggressively, to great success. She spent the next few decades entertaining at supper clubs around the U.S. and appeared on many television variety programs.
There is precious little discographical information to be found for Ms. Sherwood, but it is known that she began recording for Decca in '56 and kept doing so into the early to mid '60's. These recordings are from this period. The recordings are credited as "Vocal With Chorus And Orchestra Directed by Jack Pleis". They were, therefore, probably recorded in Decca's New York City studios as Mr. Pleis' was the house band there at the time. The "chorus" is clearly Nashville's Anita Kerr Singers, they were travelling to New York for Patsy Cline sessions about this time, perhaps some of these tracks are from the same bout of sessions. Those familiar with Cline's 1950's work will notice a distinct similarity of production on these tracks.

Click here for a biographical obituary of Roberta Sherwood

Tracks:

1. Alabamy Bound
2. Blue Moon Of Kentucky
3. Cold, Cold Heart
4. Hallelujah
5. I Believe
6. I Love You So Much It Hurts
7. Jealous Heart
8. My Song
9. Sing You Sinners
10. Someday, Sweetheart
11. There'll Be Some Changes Made
12. Waiting For The Robert E. Lee

*download here*

COUNTRY HALL OF FAME A Song Is Born


Here's a real little gem. This 7" LP from 1967 was a souvenir of Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame. It takes the listener on a nine minute journey through the production of an instrumental recording of "Ya'll Come". Hosted by the legendary Columbia producer Frank Jones, it features many of the great Nashville session men.
Narrator Jones begins with a brief overview of the process of arranging a "head", or improvised session. He then turns it over to a live recording of the banter between the control room and musicians. What jumps out at me at this point is that they are using both upright acoustic bass, and electric bass, obviously played with a pick! So that's not just a Nashville legend...
You may also notice that during the studio chatter the musician's mics are mixed in stereo, when they actually play the tune everything is panned mono. Hmmm......

"Some of Nashville's finest recording musicians are heard on this record. They are:

D. J. Fontana - Drums
Bobby Dyson - Bass Guitar
Joe Zinkan - String Bass
Kelso Hurston - Rhythm Guitar
Fred Carter - Electric Guitar
Bill Pursell - Piano
Tommy Jackson - Fiddle
Peter Drake - Steel Guitar
Jordanaires - Background Voices"

Includes scans of picture sleeve and labels.

Tracks are Side One and Side Two.

*download here*

CARTER FAMILY 1936 Radio Transcripts


From the liner notes:

The songs contained in this album were taken from radio transcriptions recorded in New York City between two Decca recording sessions on June 10, 1936.

Includes jacket scans

Tracks:

1. No Depression In Heaven
2. Jealous Hearted Me
3. I'm Working On A Building
4. My Dixie Darling
5. Kissing Is A Crime
6. Little Darling Pal Of Mine
7. Cannonball Blues
8. Are You Lonesome Tonight
9. My Native Home
10. A Distant Land To Roam
11. East Virginia Blues (No.2)
12. Keep On The Sunnyside
13. Single Girl,Married Girl
14. Lonesome Valley
15. Happy Or Lonesome
16. Just Another Broken Heart

*download here*

SPEEDY WEST Guitar Spectacular

Monday, February 23, 2009


1962's "Guitar Spectacular" was Speedy West's fourth Capitol LP and his third without his original partner, Jimmy Bryant. Nonetheless, with guitarists Roy Lanham and Billy Strange in Bryant's place the album cooks. The arrangements and musicianship are spot-on and highlight Speedy's "space-age" steel to tremendous advantage. There's really not much I can say about this music that can do it justice, but below is a link to a fantastic page:

Click here for a great Speedy West bio

There will be more West's LPs to follow on Scratchy Attic.

Includes jacket scans

Tracks:

1. Space Man In Orbit
2. Sunset At Wakaki
3. Lazy Summer Evening
4. Totem Pole Dance
5. Afternoon On A Swan
6. Speedy's Special
7. Double Or Nothing
8. Slow And Easy
9. Reflections From The Moon
10. Tulsa Twist
11. Rippling Water
12. Wild And Woolly West

*download here*

PHIL HARRIS That's What I Like About The South


The late, great Phil Harris (1904-1995) has a many faceted legacy. Initially a drummer and orchestra leader in the 1930's, he drifted into movies but achieved his first widespread exposure with the wisecracking and shady bandleader character he portrayed on Jack Benny's wildly popular radio show. This led to a radio spin off in 1948 with his wife of the time, movie actress Alice Faye. To modern listeners, however, he will be most instantly recognized as the voice of Baloo the bear in Disney's adaptation of "The Jungle Book".
This 1958 LP collects twelve of his late '40's/early '50's RCA Victor recordings. With national network radio exposure, Harris had some fairly successful hits during this period. The title track, "That's What I Like About The South" became the subject of a running gag with Benny. "Goofus" was a popular revival of the 1930 original, while "The Thing" became a staple of novelty song collections. Harris apparently appreciated the great comedian Bert Williams, as evidenced by "The Dark Town Poker Club", "Woodman, Spare That Tree" and "The Preacher And The Bear".

Includes jacket scans.

Tracks:

1. The Dark Town Poker Club
2. Woodman, Spare That Tree
3. That's What I Like About The South
4. The Preacher And The Bear
5. Deck Of Cards
6. Is It True What They Say About Dixie
7. Goofus
8. The Thing
9. The Persian Kitten
10. St.James Infirmary
11. Muskrat Ramble
12. Row, Row, Row

*download here*

HOMER & JETHRO Playing It Straight


Jethro Burns was one of the greatest mandolinists of his or any other generation. I always had the feeling that he and his partner Homer Haynes' country novelty act was a sort of device to get away with playing music that was largely over the heads of their audience. Like predecessor Spike Jones, much of the true humour in the act was derived from the extreme virtuosity required by their outrageous antics.
1962's "Playing It Straight" gave the boys a chance to showcase that virtuosity sans the usual schitck. It features twelve instrumental tunes, mostly standards, featuring only H & J's mandolin and guitar along with Nashville cats Bob Moore on Bass and Buddy Harman on drums. The LP has become somewhat of an underground classic, often taped and circulated amongst mandolinists and all lovers of great music.

Includes jacket scans.

Tracks:

1. If Dreams Come True
2. I Want to Be Happy
3. Melody from Raymond
4. Don't Be That Way
5. It's All Right with Me
6. Autumn Leaves
7. I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover
8. Around the World
9. Homer and Jethro Boogie
10. Tico Tico
11. Nanner Puddin'
12. I've Found a New Baby

*download here*

HANK FORT Sings Her Own Great Songs

Thursday, February 19, 2009


The name Hank Fort conjures images of some lanky cowboy singer in full regalia, most likely standing in black and white, with a western swing orchestra behind him and a post war Cadillac or an old bullet-back bus. We find however that Ms. Fort was no such thing, as evidenced by the cover of this 1958 Epic LP.
Alma Louise Middleton Hankins Fort (b. June 19, 1914) was a Nashvillian who reflected not the hillbilly image of that fair city, but rather the cultured and somewhat antebellum aspects of "the Athens of the South". Her father was the painter Cornelius Hankins, her mother a writer of children's verse. With a background in theatre and music, Fort was very much a presence in the early days of broadcasting and recording in the the soon-to-be country music capital. In 1947 she composed the first radio jingle to be recorded in Music City, an ad for Shyer Jewelers that would run for the next twenty years.
Fort is best remembered, however, for the many novelty songs she composed and recorded. The most famous of these is undoubtedly "I Didn't Know The Gun Was Loaded", which has received decades of airplay via Dr. Demento. "Put Your Shoes On Lucy" was recorded by many artists and remains a standard piece of forties nostalgia. I first heard "You Can't Hurt Me Now Cause I'm Dead" on an old 78 (a different recording that the one featured here) and it stands out as one of the most bizarre songs I have ever heard.
Although the present album indicates no particular recording data, it was almost certainly recorded in Nashville. The Anita Kerr Singers can be clearly identified by listening, and I could be wrong, but the lead guitar sure sounds like Hank Garland to me (If not, Harold Bradley maybe?).
There is very little information about Hank Fort to be found online. There is no date of passing given in any of the brief bios, if in fact alive, Ms. Fort would be 90 years old. If anyone knows for sure, please comment.

Tracks:

1. Put Your Shoes On Lucy
2. Gray Flannel Shirt
3. I Didn't Know The Gun Was Loaded
4. In Arkansas
5. Honey Pie-Sugar Lamb
6. Save Your Confederate Money,Boys
7. Never Took A Lesson In My Life
8. You Can't Hurt Me Now Cause I'm Daid
9. Tall Tales Of Texas
10. Kissin' Kin
11. Florida Shore
12. Southern Cookin'
13. I Love Connecticut
14. My One Track Heart

*download here*

THE A.P. CARTER FAMILY

Monday, February 9, 2009


Two albums featuring the other side of the Carter Family, A.P., Sara, and their children Janette and Joe. The first LP is on the Pine Mountain label and features early to mid 1950's recordings by the elder Carters and their children, as well as visit by none other Mrs. Jimmie Rodgers! A.P. introduces many of the songs, even if he seems a little distracted at times by things like "the guitar gettin' outta line a little".
The second LP by Joe and Janette is on the County label and was recorded in 1966. Both LPs feature some songs otherwise not recorded by any of the Carters.

Includes jacket and label scans.

Tracks:

1. Midnight On The Stormy Deep
2. The Fate Of George Allen On Engine 143
3. Soldier And His Sweetheart
4. Westward Hobo
5. Wildwood Rose
6. Railroading On The Great Divide
7. The Last Letter
8. The Curtains Of Night
9. Wildwood Flower
10. Wabash Cannon Ball (with Sound Effects)
11. Pretty Raindrops
12. Two More Years And I'll Be Free
13. The Broken Engagement
14. Beautiful Isle O'er The Sea
15. Curtains Of Night
16. Will You Miss Me
17. I'm Going Home
18. Lonesome Blues
19. Farther On
20. Kitty And I
21. Anchored In Love
22. Waltzing With You
23. Higher Ground
24. Let Old Jordan Roll
25. Ramblin' Man
26. Sweet Story Of Old

*download here*

ESMERELDY Slap Her Down Again Paw

Sunday, February 8, 2009


The only information I could dig up on Esmereldy was the following by Richard Carlin:

Like her contemporary JUDY CANOVA, Esmereldy, a "hillbilly" performer who popularized the music in the 1940s in New York City, helped perpetuate the image of the slightly illiterate, comical female hillbilly for audiences in the Northeast. She was born in rural Tennessee but raised in Memphis, where she began her radio career at age eight. Upon moving to New York in the late 1930s, she quickly began performing with ELTON BRITT, CANOVA, and other transplanted country artists at spots like the Village Barn. She also landed her own radio program on NBC, working as a country disk jockey. In 1941 she was among the first country artists to make a soundie, a short film used to promote her recordings.
Esmereldy is best remembered for her late-1940s "authentic hillbilly" recordings. Many of her songs were comic novelties, including her biggest hit, "Slap 'Er Down Ag'in, Paw." By the early 1950s she was back in Memphis, hosting the Tennessee Jamboree syndicated country show and working as a country deejay.
Her daughter, Amy Holland, had a brief career as a pop singer in the mid-1980s. She married pop singer/songwriter Michael McDonald and toured with him as a backup singer through the 1990s.

Well, there you have it. Featured here are four 1940's tracks by Esmereldy, including the exceptionally politically incorrect "Slap Her Down Again Paw". This tune and "Red Wing" are from a Canadian pressing of a Musicraft 78 on Musicana. The remaining two titles are taken from a very cheap 1960's budget LP on the Sutton label which in addition to the present tracks features songs by Red River Dave and Dick Thomas. Esmereldy recorded a few more titles in her career, but these are all I've ever been able to track down.

Tracks:

1. Slap Her Down Again Paw
2. Red Wing
3. Clementine
4. Billy Boy

*download here*

ALEX CAMPBELL & OLABELLE Travel On

Saturday, January 31, 2009


Ola Belle Reed (nee Campbell, 1916-2002) and her brother Alex recorded two LPs for Starday in the '60's, this being the second. On both they were accompanied by their band of the time, the New River Boys, featuring notables Deacon Brumfield on dobro and Ted Lundy on banjo. Lundy would go on to make some top notch albums for Rounder in the 1970's before unfortunately commiting suicide by jumping from a bridge.
Ola Belle (or Olabelle, as she's credited on the Starday albums) and her husband ran the legendary "New River Ranch" country park at Rising Sun, Maryland before moving their operations to Sunset Park in West Grove, Pennsylvania. She became somewhat of a legend in her later years, and made albums for Rounder in the '70's as well.
Below are two links to biographies of Ola Belle and her Brother:

Ola Belle Reed

Alex Campbell & Ola Belle

If any followers of this blog could help me in finding a copy of Alex & Ola Belle's first Starday LP (SLP-214) to transfer, it would be most appreciated. Contact me at lonesomelefty@yahoo.ca. Thanks!

1. Travel On
2. All The World Is Lonely Now
3. I Threw Away The Key
4. You Don't Even Know
5. I Can't Be Satisfied
6. When My Time Comes To Go
7. When I Lay My Burden Down
8. Just Over In The Gloryland
9. I Marked The Spot
10. Indecision
11. Paul & Silas
12. Forever I Know

*download here*

MILLS BROTHERS Early Recordings


Twenty files here by the Mills Brothers mostly from the early thirties. At the beginning of their career the brothers were billed as "Four Boys and a Guitar", a jazz novelty act who imitated band instruments vocally during their performances. If you've never heard this material, believe me, it's quite different from their middle-of-the-road "Paper Doll" years.
Much great information about the Mill's early years can be found by clicking the link below:

Mill Brothers biography

Tracks:

1. Pennies From Heaven
2. Rockin' Chair Swing
3. Rhythm Saved The World
4. Lulu's Back In Town
5. Swing Is The Thing
6. Shoe Shine Boy
7. St.Louis Blues
8. What's The Reason
9. Loveless Love
10. Swing For Sale
11. Diga Diga Doo
12. Caravan
13. The Song Is Ended
14. Sweet Sue, Just You
15. Tiger Rag
16. The Love Bug Will Bite You
17. Long About Midnight
18. Nagasaki
19. Sweet And Slow
20. London Rhythm

*download here*