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.


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*


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!


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.


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.


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*


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.


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*


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!


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!


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*


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


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

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

Click here for "Fiddler's Curse" at

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


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*


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.


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.


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*


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


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*


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


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*