Mercury-Starday HILLBILLY HIT PARADE

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


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*

4 comments:

Mellow said...

The Starday & Dixie custom pressings are one of my favorites. Obscure but fantastic! By the way: Earl Aycock was also of half of the Nashville country/rockabilly duo George & Earl. See here more: http://www.hillbilly-music.com/artists/story/index.php?id=14047

I'm going to feature some info on my site, also! regards

Lonesome Lefty said...

thanks mellow. i knew of george & earl, but didn't realize it was the same guy...

1966 said...

"I've Got a New Heartache" is also an Earl Aycock track. It is not Jones & Barnes like the cover of the LP said.

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