Welcome to Mellow's Log Cabin. This blog's purpose is to supply information on a diversity of American southern music - ranging from country, blues, old-time and folk to R&B, rock'n'roll and rockabilly. I regularly present my research results about artists, labels, shows and also give guest writers a chance to publish their texts here on occasion.

UPDATES

• Additions to Eddie Bond discography.
• Massive update on Blake Records. Thanks to Eric from Goner Records (Memphis, TN)!
• Discography updates on Willie Gregg.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Shelby R. Smith on Silver Skip

Shelby R. Smith - Big Boss Man / Crying for Pastime (Silver Skip 202)

Both sides had been released earlier on Rebel #729 by Smith in 1963. No exact release date for this one is reported but I read somewhere this was also dated 1963 (although this is very doubtful). While "Big Boss Man" is cover of the classic Luther Dixon-Al Smith composition, "Cying for Pastime" is a country song out of the Fernwood Records vaults. This Silver Skip release lists only Eddie Carroll as a songwriter. The Rebel release added also Fernwood owner Ronald Wallace. Eddie Carroll was a local Memphis singer in his own right and had a couple of releases on Fernwood, Pure Gold (another Ronald Wallace label), Santo, and Guyden.

Read more:

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Shelby Smith's Empire of record labels

Shelby Smith's Empire of Record Labels

Shelby R. Smith's empire of small record labels is a confusing one. Dave Travis released a 34 track CD in his "Memphis Rockabillies, Hillbillies & Honky Tonkers" series on Stomper Time, which dealt with Smith's productions. Dave likely put all his knowledge into the liner notes of this CD, which I don't own, unfortunately. Hence, I decided to take an approach at exploring Shelby Smith's story on my own.

Generally, Smith is associated with five different record labels: Rebel, Rebel Ace, Silver Skip, Smitty, and Silento. The aforementioned Stomper Time CD also contained tracks released on a Rebel label from South Pittsburgh, Tennessee, which was to all accounts a different label, owned by Bill Cooley.

Shelby R. Smith was a local singer from Memphis and according to my researches, first registered in 1958 when he copyrighted the song "Crossword Puzzle." By 1960, Smith was recording for the Smitty label, which belonged to Fernwood, according to Terry Gordon's RCS site. In fact, some of Smith's productions were recorded by Ronald Wallace in his Fernwood recording studio. However, in 1962, the Rebel label appeared on the radar with two singles by Smith, including his "Rocking Mama." This label was said to be based in Batesville, Arkansas (if this is true, is another question). It seems Rebel was later replaced by Rebel Ace by the mid 1960s (based in St. Louis, Missouri, according to the label of Rebel Ace #743). Smith was likely forced to use another name because there had been a label of the same name in Maryland since 1959. Uncertain is the chronology of Smith's Silver Skip and Silento labels.

As it became probably obvious in my explanations, there are a lot of question marks and doubts regarding Smith and his labels. Only Dave Travis' liner notes will probably bring some clarity into this story. Stay tuned.


Billboard C&W review July 28, 1962

Billboard C&W review May 4, 1963


Rebel / Rebel Ace
728: Shelby Smith - Since My Baby Said Good-By / Rocking Mama (1962)
729: Shelby Smith - Big Boss Man / Crying for a Pastime (1963)
730: Davis Brothers - How Can I Tell Her / Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow (1966)
731: Bobby Davis - Troubles Troubles / ?
732: Bob Downen - Blue Yodel No.1 T for Texas / Reaching Out
733:
734: S. R. Smith - This Old Town / ?
734: Glen A. Linder - I'll Always Care / Out Come of War (1966)
735: Alma Herndon - True Love Where Have You Gone / Oregonian Blues
736: Jean Henderson - Too Many Sunsets / Put It On My Charge Account (1966)
737: Jimmy Evans - Call Me Mr. Lonesome / Dudley Do-Rite (1967)
738/9: Eddy Beers - You're Both the Cheating Kind / The Open Road (1967)
740/1: Marilyn Strothcamp - Until Today / Plaything (1967)
742: Marilyn Strothcamp - Just a Dime Away / Second Girl
743: Eddy Beers - What's Your Excuse / Big Mack Waitin'
743: Marilyn Strothcamp - I Cried a Tear / All I Feel for You Is Sorry


The first three releases were issued under the Rebel brand, subsequent releases under the name of Rebel Ace.
• Numbers #734 and #743 were used twice.
#742 and #743 give location as 2404 Charlack - St. Louis, Missouri.

Silver Skip
101: S. R. Smith - North to Alaska / Foolish Love Affair
201: Eddy Beers - I'm Gonna Be a Wealthy Man / Overdrawn on Heartaches (1966)
202: Shelby R. Smith - Big Boss Man / Cryin' for a Pastime
203: Shelby R. Smith - Wake Me Up / Jim-Dandy Handy Man
203: Jackie Underwood - Her Heart Would Know / ?

Recordings on #202 were possibly the same as on Rebel #729.
#203 by Shelby Smith was recorded at Bill Glore's Glolite Studios.

Silento
100: S. R. Smith - Why Does You Cry / Social Security

Label gives location as 297 N. Main - Memphis, Tennessee (home of Fernwood Records).

Smitty
55783: Shelby Smith - What's On Your Mind / So Long to Get to You (1960)
55784: Shelby Smith - Rosalie / To Heart for a Moment

• Smitty was a Fernwood subsidiary intended for custom recordings.
• #55784 was also released as by "Roy Lett." 

Thanks to Apes Ville

Friday, April 21, 2017

Selected Cover Versions

Another bobsluckycat post presented by Mellow's Log Cabin!

I'm sure you will enjoy this. Bob O'Brien presents his third compilation, full of "hits to curios." Great tracks here to be sure, "Sixty Minute Man" is one of them.

♫♪

track list:
1.Floyd Tillman - I Almost Lost My Mind
2. Fran Warren & Hugo Winterhalter‘s Orch. - I Almost Lost My Mind
3. Homer & Jethro - Oh Babe!
4. Dale Evans - Please Send Me Someone to Love
5. Hawkshaw Hawkins - I‘m Waiting Just for You
6. Bill Haley & his Saddlemen - Rocket 88
7. Hardrock Gunter with Roberta Lee - Sixty Minute Man
8. Bill Haley & his Saddlemen - Rock the Joint
9. Bill Haley & his Comets - Rock the Joint
10. Hawkshaw Hawkins - Got You on My Mind
11. Buddy Morrow & his Orch. - Night Train (instr.)
12. Rex Allen - Crying in the Chapel
13. June Valli - Crying in the Chapel
14. Doris Day - Secret Love
15. The McGuire Sisters - Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight
16. Johnnie & Jack - Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight
17. The Fontaine Sisters - Hearts of Stone
18. The McGuire Sisters - Sincerely
19. Ella Mae Morse - Jump Back Honey, Jump Back
20. Gene Vincent & his Blue Caps - Jump Back Honey, Jump Back
21. Johnny Burnette Trio - Honey Hush
22. BONUS Ahmad Jamal Trio - Secret Love

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Rare R&B, Volume II

Another bobsluckycat post presented by Mellow's Log Cabin!

Here's the second installment of Bob O'Brien's "Rare R&B" series, another one will follow on this blog. I'm sure you will enjoy this and leave a comment, if you like it!

 ♫♫♫

1. Ivory Joe Hunter - I Almost Lost My Mind
2. Wynonie Harris - Good Morning Judge
3. Big John Greer - Got You On My Mind
4. Percy Mayfield - Please Send Me Someone to Love
5. Hadda Brooks - Brooks‘ Boogie (instrumental)
6. Fats Domino - Goin‘ Home
7. Lloyd Price - Lawdy, Miss Clawdy
8. Little Walter and his Night Cats - Juke (instrumental)
9. Roy Brown - Letter from Home
10. Ray Charles - It Should Have Been Me
11. Wynonie Harris - Bloodshot Eyes
12. The Moonglows - Secret Love
13. Sonny Till and the Orioles - Crying in the Chapel
14. Hank Ballard and the Midnighters - Work with Me Annie
15. Hank Ballard and the Midnighters - Annie Had a Baby
16. Otis Williams and the Charms - Hearts of Stone
17. Johnny Ace with Johnny Otis‘ Band - Pledging My Love
18. The Penguins - Earth Angel
19. Roy Brown - Old Age Boogie Pt. 1
20. Roy Brown - Old Age Boogie Pt. 2
21. Big Joe Turner - Honey Hush
22. Rufus Thomas, Jr. - Bear Cat
23. The Moonglows - Sincerely
24. Smiley Lewis - I Hear You Knocking
25. The Spaniels - Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight
26. BONUS The Flamingos - For All We Know

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Delmore Brothers on King

Delmore Brothers - Got No Way of Knowing / Muddy Water (King 45-1084), 1952

I first learned of the Delmore Brothers when hearing their "Rounder's Blues" years ago. This song was recorded at a time, when they were already recording boogie oriented numbers. "Rounder's Blues," however, was pure blues material, which could have been recorded easily ten years earlier by the Delmores. I was instantly struck with their intense harmony singing and the powerful harmonica solos by Wayne Raney. The brothers had developed their own sound by then, comprising boogie woogie elements, their close harmony singing, and a signature sound provided by their guitars, electric lead guitar and energetic harmonica performances by Raney or Lonnie Glosson.

The Delmores were Alton, born December 25, 1908, and Rabon, born December 3, 1916, to Charles Edward (1875-1951) and Mary Ann Delmore (1978-1958). The brothers had six other siblings and were born and raised in Elkmont, Limestone County, in the Alabama mountainside. Their musical influences rooted deeply in white gospel music and old-time. Their mother composed several gospel tunes and was joined by Alton later on.

The Delmore Brothers at WSM, 1930s
The brothers formed a duo in 1926, whem Rabon was just ten years old. They built up a local reputation by singing at fiddle concests and took a first try at recording when they held a session for Columbia on October 28, 1931, in Atlanta. Two tracks were produced, "Got the Kansas City Blues" and "Alabama Lullaby," which were released on Columbia #15724-D. In 1933, the Delmores began a longer association with Bluebird and recorded countless singles for this label during the 1930s. The duo soon became a member of the Grand Ole Opry and built up a high popularity at the show. Their stint with the Opry ended in 1939 due to disagreements with the show's management and their popularity ceased again. At that time, the brothers were backing their harmony singing mostly with their own guitars. Their style was bluesy and clear, comparable to the Carlisle Brothers, but much smoother.

Their association with Bluebird ended in 1940 and they began recording for Decca that same year. Although record sales were still good, the Delmores struggled to find a solid radio station base to broadcast. By 1943, they settled in Cincinnati, which borught them back on the map. That year, Alton put together the "Brown's Ferry Four," a gospel quartet consisting of Alton and Rabon, Merle Travis, and Grandpa Jones. The group began recording for Sidney Nathan's King record label in Cincinnati and soon, the brothers were allowed to record solo sides again. On King, they found their signature sound, fusing their blues and gospel roots with boogie woogie. "Hillbilly Boogie" was the first of those, cut with Merle Travis and Louie Innis on guitars and Roy Starkey on bass in Hollywood.

Adding electric guitars, bass, and harmonicas played by Wayne Raney or Lonnie Glosson, added to the sound, which soon began making waves in country music, known simply as "Hillbilly Boogie." Their biggest hit became "Blues Stay Away from Me" in 1949. 

Today's selections came from a May 21, 1952, session at the King Recording Studio in Cincinnati. The line-up included Alton Delmore on vocals and rhythm guitar, Rabon Delmore on vocals and tenor guitar, an unknown musician on bass, as well as Wayne Raney and Lonnie Glosson on harmonicas. It was one of their last sessions for King, before Rabon died of lung cancer in December 1952, at the age of 36 years. 

Alton, struggling with mental and health problems after the loss of his father, his brother, and his daughter, moved back to Hunstville, Alabama, but quit the music business. He recorded one last single for the small Linco label out of Fayetteville, Tennessee, in 1958. You can hear the melancholy and trouble of his life, listening to "Good Times in Memphis." Alton died on June 8, 1964. His biography, "Truth is Stranger than Publicity," was posthumously published in 1977.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Chuck Berry R.I.P.

Chuck Berry - No Particular Place to Go (Chess 1898), 1964
 
Chuck Berry has passed away at the age of 90 years. He will always be remembered.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

That Million Dollar Memphis Sound

"That Million Dollar Memphis Sound"
The Story of Eddie Bond's Millionaire and Western Lounge labels

Memphis music personality Eddie Bond had many occupations at the same time. A singer, club owner, radio DJ, TV personality, producer, promoter, and label owner are likely only a couple of functions. He set up his first label Stomper Time Records in 1959, named after his background band, the Stompers. He went on to cut countless 45s for small local labels, including the Millionaire and Western Lounge imprints.

Eddie Bond at KWEM
After Stomper Time folded in ca. 1961, he switched to small Arkansas and Memphis based labels, for which he recorded various discs. Bond filed a petition in bankruptcy in early 1965. He had led a night club in partnership with Baxter Turnage but the club proved to be unsuccessful however, and after Turnage's sudden death in 1964, Bond was left alone with the debths.

Bond however, was provided with enough engagements, recording releases and his steady job as the programm director of KWAM. He released "Cold Dark Waters" on Buford Cody's Memphis label in 1965, which turned out to be a moderate seller for Bond. Soon, things were "looking rosier" for Bond, as Billboard reported in February 1965, and around the same time, he became involved in the Millionaire Music Corporation, which included a publishing firm and two labels, Millionaire and Western Lounge (also shortened to Western at times). The company's name and its slogan "That Million Dollar Memphis Sound," which was printed on both labels variously, were of ironic nature, regarding Bond's financial problems. It is not clear to me if Bond really owned the companies but he was at least heavily involved in them.

In November 1965, Billboard reported that the Western Lounge on 1298 Madison Avenue, Memphis, had set up a label of the same name. Bond's involvement in this label was not mentioned probably due to his bankruptcy. The first two discs on the label were by Dean Cross, a local singer who regularly appeared at the Western Lounge. On February 13, 1966, Cross took part in a charity concert at the Lounge at also included Ace Cannon, Ray Scott, Jerry Fox, and Eddie Bond.

Bond released several 45s on Millionaire as well as an album "Favorite Country Hits from Down Home" (Millionaire #MLP1618) in 1967. Both Millionaire and Western Lounge became dormant after 1967. Bond recorded one disc for Stan Kesler's XL label in 1968 and that same year, his Tab recording label came into existence, for which he recorded steadily during the early 1970s.


Discography

Millionaire

Millionaire 45-101
Leftus & Rightous
Wobbling Stone () / ?
SK4M-0887 / SK4M-0888 (RCA)
1965

Millionaire MC-108
Eddie Bond and the Stompers
I Just Found Out (B. Cody-C. Leatherwood) / Back to Viet Nam (Jim & Gary Climer)
S4KM-0934 / S4KM-0935 (RCA)
1965

Millionaire MC-109/10 (698B-3587)
Chuck Comer - Jukebox Serenade (n.c.) / Doug Stone - She Moved to Kansas City (n.c.) / Buck Turner - What Will I Do (n.c.)
S4KB-3588 (RCA)
Eddie Bond - Hey Joe (n.c.) / Jim Wells - Home in Shelby County (n.c.) / Jim Morgan - What's Gonna Happen to Me (n.c.)
S4KB-3588 (RCA)
1965

Millionaire MC-111/2
Melvin Endsley
To Have My Baby Back () / Keep the Water Running (Melvin Endsley)
SK4M-3643 / SK4M-3644 (RCA)
1965


Millionaire 660S-0885
Sylvia Mobley
Hearts Have a Language (G. Williams) / In and Out of Love (Melvin Endsley)
SK4M-0885 / SK4M-0886 (RCA)
1965

Millionaire 45-120
Leon Starr
Honey Child () / ?
T4KM-5282 / ? (RCA)
1966

Millionaire MM-126
Lloyd Arnold
Wake My Heart () / That's How I Wake Up (Lloyd Arnold)
T4KM-5279 / T4KM-5280 (RCA)
1966

Millionaire MM-128
Ed Veglio
I've Got to Tell Somebody (Ed Veglio, Wm. H. Talbert) / I Just Thought I'd Ask ()
TK4M-4066 / ? (RCA)
1966

Millionaire MC 444/5 (698B-9721)
Eddie Bond
Is My Ring on Your Finger (Wayne Walker) / The Little Black Book (Webb Pierce; Wayne Walker; Polly Harrison)
T4KM-9721 / T4KM-9722 (RCA)
1966 

Millionaire MC-446
Eddie Bond
Looks Like a Monkey () / Daddy's Drinkin' Up Our Future ()
112 / 113
1967


Western Lounge

Western Lounge 1298
Dean Gross
Hello Frisco, Goodbye Viet Nam (Gene Rowe) / The Stronger of the Two (Gene Rowe)
SO 2731 / SO 2732 (Plastic Products)
1965

Western Lounge W-1300
Dean Cross
Look In My Boot (Curtis Marshall) / Six By Six By Three (Curtis Marshall)
TK4M-4030 /  TK4M-4031 (RCA)
1966 

Western Lounge W-1301/2
Tommy Tucker
Everybody's Darlin' Plus Mine (Robbins) / Sorry About That (Edna Lee)
TK4M-4547 / TK4M-4548 (RCA)
1966

Western W-111
The Fabulous Jack Fargo
Little Rosa (W. Pierce; R. Sovine) / I Just Dropped In to Say Goodybe (J. Pierce)
P-14 / P-15
Note: This disc was also released in 1962 on Pen #111. 

Western Lounge WPR-311
Frankie Bonds
Ballad of H. H. McKnight (Tommy Tompsen) / Go on Break My Heart (Frankie Bond)
A / B 

Thanks to Apes Ville

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Rare R&B, Volume 1

Another bobsluckycat post presented by Mellow's Log Cabin!

Here is a nice compilation by Bob O'Brien, featuring "rare R&B" that all of you will enjoy, I'm pretty sure. Track information has been carefully researched by Bob and can be found in the original file names.

♪♫

track list:
1. Bill Doggett Combo - Big Dog, Pt. 1
2. Mildred Anderson with Bill Doggett‘s Combo - You Ain‘t No Good
3. Bill Doggett Combo - Glo‘ Glug
4. Mildred Anderson with Bill Doggett‘s Combo - Your Kind of Woman
5. Rusty Bryant‘s Carolyn Club Band - Castle Rock
6. Anisteen Allan with Lucky Millender & his Orch. - I‘m Waiting Just for You
7. The Dominoes - Sixty Minute Man
8. Fats Domino - The Fat Man
9. Jimmy Forrest - Night Train
10. Rusty Bryant‘s Carolyn Club Band - Night Train-All Night Long Medley
11. Big Joe Turner - Chains of Love
12. Jackie Brenston with Ike Turner‘s Band - Rocket 88
13. Rusty Bryant‘s Carolyn Club Band - Pink Champagne
14. Julia Lee & her Boyfriends - The Spinach Song
15. Oscar McLollie & his Honey Jumpers - The Honey Jump, Pt. 1 & 2
16. Rusty Bryant‘s Carolyn Club Band - The Honeydripper
17. Jimmy Preston & his Prestonians - Rock this Joint
18. Annie Laurie - 3 Times 7
19. Louis Jordan & his Tympany Five - Saturday Night Fish Fry
20. Big Joe Turner with Wynonie Harris - Battle of the Blues, Pt. 1
21. Wynonie Harris with Big Joe Turner - Battle of the Blues, Pt. 2
22. Big Jay McNeely - 3-D
23. Hadda Brooks - Jump Back, Honey, Jump Back
24. Wynonie Harris with Lucky Milliner & his Orch. - Oh! Babe
25. Albert Ammons, Meade ‘Lux‘ Lewis, Pete Johnson - Boogie Woogie Prayer (live)

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Cindy Price on Delta

 Cindy Price - Our Love Is Like Sunshine (Delta DR-1003)

Judging from the sound of this record, it was recorded and released in the 1970s. I wasn't able to turn up any info on Cindy Price, unfortunately, but the background band is credited as "Marianna Jamboree Band." It is likely this was the house band of the "Arkansas Jamboree" in Marianna, Arkansas, a live stage show that also included rockabilly musician Jimmy Evans and his daughter Debbie for years. Country music singer Truman Lankford was also part of that show for five years. The Arkansas Jamboree was produced partially by Jack Richard Northrup and also released a LP (see here). It is neither to be confused with the "Arkansas Jamboree Barndance" (later renamed "Barnyard Frolic"), which aired over KLRA from 1946 until 1960 in Little Rock, nor with the 1980s Arkansas Jamboree in Hot Springs.

Delta Records was one of the labels Dan Craft was operating out of his recording studio in West Memphis, Arkansas, which is located only 50 miles northeast of Marianna. Songwriter Harold F. "Buddy" Clements registered six different songs with BMI. Apart from that, he left no info behind. The publishing firm Jamdan also published compositions by Sonny Blake, who also recorded for Dan Craft.

Read more:

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Bob Taylor on Express

Bob Taylor, the Singing Truckdriver - Timber Falling (Express ES 1)

The great quantity of artists with the name "Bob Taylor" in the music business makes it hard to tell who is who. This one, and this is pretty sure, was a local Memphis artist. However, several persons with this name appeared over the years in the Memphis music scene and it is again difficult to tell them apart (if this is necessary at all).

Today's Bob Taylor was born Robert R. Taylor and recorded at least five records for the Express label (likely his own imprint), another two for Gene Williams' Cotton Town Jubilee Records and one for Style Wooten's Tentay custom label.

The chronology of Taylor's Express singles is not clear. The first one was probably the sentimental "Timber Falling" b/w "It's All Over Now," which was produced by Thomas Wayne and thefore probably recorded at Roland Janes' Sonic Studio in Memphis. The disc was pressed by Wayne Raney's Rimrock plant in Concord, Arkansas. The record label credits Taylor as "The Singing Truck Driver" and shows a truck as the label's logo. It is obvious Taylor held a day job as a truck driver. Four more discs on Express followed. Publishing was credited to Rexclan Publishing Company, which has 22 compositions listed by BMI, the majority of them by Bob Taylor. It can be assumed Express as well as Rexclan were both Taylor's own companies.

In 1963 and 1965, Taylor had two releases respectively on Cotton Town Jubilee in West Memphis. He possibly appeared on Gene Williams' Cotton Town Jubilee show as well. Through Williams, Taylor made the connection with Style Wooten, who made his first steps in the recording production business at that time. In 1965, Taylor recorded for Wooten's Tentay label "After the Trial" b/w "Like a Crazy Fool" (both Rexclan Publ.). This is what we know for sure.

There was also a Bob Taylor who played drums with Narvel Felts in the 1950s and another one who became president of the Memphis Federation of Musicians. Murray Nash also recorded a singer named Bob Taylor on his Do-Ra-Me label in 1963. All three could be the same Bob Taylor from Memphis, which has to be proofed yet.

Discography

Express ES 1: Bob Taylor, the Singing Truckdriver -  Timber Falling / It's All Over Now
Express ES 2: Bob Taylor - Ode to Jimmy Hoffa / Our Country Has Had It
Express 711: Bob Taylor and the Mystics - Love That Woman / Like I Want to Be Loved (1962)
Express 713: Bob Taylor - Don't Accuse Me / Blue Lights
Express 714: Bob Taylor - Hall of Fame / You'll Never Want for Love 
Cotton Town Jubilee 107: Bob Taylor - If I Had Back What I Used to Have / Walking the Street (1963)
Cotton Town Jubilee 114: Bob Taylor - Did You Miss Me / You've Gone and Broke My Heart (1964)
Tentay 45-1041: Bob Taylor - After the Trial / Like a Crazy Fool (1965)

Thanks to Bayou Bum