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