Thursday, July 21, 2011
The little 45rpm disk pictured here is another total mystery. I purchased it about five years ago in a thrift shop in Wallaceburg, Ontario. It contains two great country tunes by one Jimmy Williams, with both of the compositions credited to Hank Martin. I'm assuming the "JW" tag for both the label and publishing company is a reference to Mr. Williams. The only other info shown is "W. Cutcher/R. Jacoby Productions", with no indication of a date or locale on the label. I have no idea who either Williams or Martin are; I'm pretty certain this is not the Jimmy Williams that recorded with Red Ellis on Starday. I have been unable to find any reference to this record online, as you can imagine, there are many people who go by these names!
The "a" side, "Two's A-Plenty - Three's A-Crowd" is fairly uptempo, while the flip, "Revenge" is a good deal slower, and a pretty convincing honky-tonk "weeper". The recording quality is somewhat raw and lo-fi (the brief tape drop-out on the second side is on the actual disk), but I find this record very enjoyable. Williams is a good, if not especially technical, honky-tonk singer, and the harmony on the choruses adds a lot to these performances. To my ears the sparse rhythm section consists of acoustic rhythm, electric bass, and snare, with the vocal driven along by an incessant but tasteful steel player.
All in all, this is nice little country obscurity. It's hard to say if this is a local act from Southwestern Ontario, or was left behind by someone "passing through". We may never know, but, as always, if anyone has any info about this record, please drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Two's A-Plenty-Three's A Crowd