Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bill Kent and the Country Playboys

Bill Kent and the Country Playboys
Winchester 1001

19057 – I've Been Jumping Your Fence
19058 - Quicksand

Country on a Winchester, Virginia label owned by Jim McCoy.
In the early sixites, Jim McCoy teamed up with Jean Alford, a Virginia singer-songwriter, and launched Alear Records. The third Alear release, "It's a Big Old Heartache" by Teenie Chenault of Richmond, looked like it would be the big payoff for their efforts. As the song gathered airplay, record distributors began calling, and they rushed to ship out more copies. Unfortunately, they were never paid for most of those records, Jim says.

By the late 1960's, the McCoy-Alford partnership became strained, and Jim started his own Winchester Records,

A string of regional performers trooped through his studio at 314 Lanny Drive. Aside from recordings by Jim McCoy and Jean Alford themselves, the Alear and Winchester catalogues included material by country singers Mel McQuain and Frank Darlington, both of Martinsburg; gospel music performer Kenny Johnson of Hedgesville; and the fairly well-known Carroll County Ramblers from nearby Maryland. The majority of the singers they recorded were country artists, but there were also releases by The Lone Star - a folk-rock singer from Romney whose real name was John Mark Hott - and by The Smacks - a Winchester rock group. Most of the records were 45 rpm, but there were also a few album releases.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Bob Shue’s Carolina Mountain Boys

Bob Shue’s Carolina Mountain Boys
Dexter GH-1002

37427 - Bluegrass Border
37428 - Brush Arbor Meeting
Arranged by Ken Munds

Bluegrass recorded by the Grass Hut, Monroe NC.

Bob Shue (banjo player) formed Southern Junction in 1990. (members : his sons Terry (bass) and Todd (mandolin), Mack Watson (guitar), Eddie Carr (fiddle).

The Mighty Wonders on Jamack

The Mighty Wonders
Jamack 105

Jamack Productions P.O. Box 4265 Winston Salem,North Carolina

30291 - Gone The Last Mile (Lead : Clarence McMillen)
30292 - What It Means To Have A Friend (Lead : Charlie L. Jones)

The Mighty Wonders of Winston-Salem, North-Carolina have a career in gospel singing dating back to the late 1950's. In the 21st Century The 'New' Mighty Wonders have relocated to Maryland and are still performing and recording, although with an entirely different line-up
More on the Mighty Wonders and discography HERE.

Rev. LeSure and The Christian Brothers Of Cleveland Ohio

Label : Dee-Jay
42717 A - There's Going To Be a Meeting
42717 B - Tell Heaven

From left to right : David LeSure, Sr., Rev Esqulaira LeSure (in back, lead guitar), Darrell Harriston (at the mic), Chuck Stanbberry (back, bass guitar), Jimmy Gray (at the mic) and David LeSure, Jr.

In 1979 under the direction of the Holy Spirit Rev. David LeSure Sr. fulfilled one of his dreams; singing praises unto God with his sons. In that year The Christian Brothers were created. The original members consisted of Rev. David LeSure Sr., David LeSure Jr., Rev. Kelvin LeSure Sr., Rev. Esqulaira LeSure and with several other members.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Carl Berth With Big Joe And His Moonlite Drifters

Carl Berth With Big Joe And His Moonlite Drifters
Delta 101
Saginaw, Michigan

CP-5485 - Water Wonderland
CP-5486 - Michigan Waltz


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Excellent - Cincinnati, OH

Ray Lunsford
Excellent 310
CP-1078 ~ Blue Grass Blues (Bluegrass Inst.)
CP-1079 ~ Under The Double Eagle (Bluegrass Inst.)
Billboard C&W Review - August 4, 1956

Dunbar Faris
with Gene Muse and J. D. Faris
& The Fox Valley Gang
CP-1287 ~ I Love You Till The End Of The World
CP-1288 ~ You Have Forgotten Me
Released 1957

The Excellent label was owned and operated by Estel Lee Scarborough (stage name, Estel Lee) who worked at the Jimmie Skinner Music Center located at 222 East 5th Street, Cincinnati 2, Ohio. The earliest Excellent releases list the address Box 45, Hooven, Ohio. The majority of the releases list 224 East 5th Street, Cincinnati 2, Ohio which is located right next door to the Jimmie Skinner Music Center. The final address was 2643 Cora Ave., Cincinnati 11, Ohio.

The label included country, bluegrass, sacred and a couple of good rockers by Don Brooks and Launa Gunter. More than half the releases on the label were pressed by Rite Records. Please Click Here for an extensive listing of the Excellent label.

Photos courtesy of Al Turner.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Donnie Quinn on Big K

Donnie Quinn
'Reno Junction'
Big K

Side one [39863]
1. Reno Junction (Terry Swope)
2. 2. Rockin’ Fever (D.R.Quinn)
3. If You Want (Walt Hummel)
4. Yellow Pages (Russ Pyburn)
5. Your Love (Donald J. Brundridge)
6. Six String Guitar Pickin’ Man (Michael Angelo-Sonna Legrand)
Side two [39864]
1. King Ot The Highway (Terry Swope)
2. Legend Of The Hillbilly Cat (Charle Kellogg-Michael Angelo-Sonna Legrand)
3. Your Special Way (Neva Cessnum)
4. Form Follows Function (Jeff Littrell)
5. You’re Living In My World (Ron Hake)
6. Your Living With The One You Love (D.R. Quinn)
All Selections BMI Momu Publishing Co.

Musicians :
Jeff Littrell : Drums & Piano
Terry Swope : Bass, Lead Guitar & Sax
Doug Mcbain : Sax
Jack Hensley : Steel Guitar
Beki Nixon & Terry Swope : Backup Vocals
Produced & engineered by Charlie Kellogg & D.J. Brundridge
Arranged By Terry Swope & Jeff Littrell

Recorded & Mastered at Big K Studio K. C. M.O.

The Big K label was owned by Charlie Kellogg. He (and the Ozark Drifters) recorded hillbilly in late fifties and in the sixties on :
Manning –59-61
Central – 61
Laredo (Chicago) - sixties
CARS -67
Peach (Nashville) -68
Acknowledgments : Meikel Jungner


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Clicks on Rush

The Clicks
Rush 2004

CP-6831 - You Ran Away From My Heart
CP-6832 - Twisting Saturday Nite

Carolina black vocal group.

Jim Hardin ("High Stepping Woman" on Volcano) and Jim Nesbitt were on the same label, owned by Charles Rush in Greenville, South Carolina. Plaid was another label. he had in Greenville.

You Ran Away From My Heart

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Capreez on Sound

The Capreez
Sound 149

17951 - It's Good To Be Home Again
17952 – How To Make A Sad Man Glad

Produced by Larry Lick and Johnny Powers

Also on Sound by The Capreez (not Rite) :

126 : Over You b/w Rosanna

Label owner Howard Walker almost went bankrupt when "Rosanna" hit because he couldn't afford all the pressings he needed to support the demand and he wasn't getting paid fast enough by the distributors.
171 : Soulsation b/w Time

Al Reid was the lead singer of the Capreez. Before that, he was with the Ook-piks (also on Sound) and played with the Soul Survivors and Messiah & The Goodtime Band.

How To Make A Sad Man Glad

Norm Burns - Sterling 656

Norm Burns & The Five Stars
Sterling 656

33113 - It's Nice To Know You
33114 - Deep Love

Update (Jan.22, 2011) :
Label shots and audio files posted HERE (The Wonderful and the Obscure blog)


Monday, May 18, 2009

Kathleen Bryant and Kita Grant on Gravity

Kathleen Bryant and Kita Grant
Label : Gravity

26145 – The Unanswered Question (Of The Nelson Flood)
26146 - Earth’s Sorrows Will End

Tony Farr and his Swingin’ Steel Guitar

Tony Farr and his Swingin’ Steel Guitar
LP Pop and Country Steel Guitar
Label : JAR

Side One [26571]

1. We Could
2. Woodchopper’s Ball
3. Tenderly
4. The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise
5. Stardust
6. September In The Rain

Side Two [26572]

1. Wildwood Flower
2. Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On
3. Danny Boy
4. I Love You Because
5. ?
6. Steel Guitar Rag

Tony Farr, one of country music's finest steel guitar players, was born Anthony Fardella in New Orleans, Louisiana, October 13, 1937. Tony learned to play the steel guitar and landed his first job by age 15. The steel guitar has continued to be his bread and butter instrument. He also plays piano, rhythm guitar and dobro.

Tony moved to Dallas, Texas, as about 20 years old. There, he really began to accomplish things as a professional steel man. There, he worked the BIG D Jamboree with some of country music's best. Around this time, he got a job working for George Jones and became known as one of the Jones Boys.

After this, Tony began working with George Kent. whom he had known since childhood. Working with Kent took Tony to Minneapolis, Minnesota. There, he worked at a place called the Flame Cafe for many years. He backed many artists, such as Bob Luman, Red Sovine, Rex Allen, Sr., and many others.

Tony has worked the road for such artists as Jeanie C. Riley, Tommy Overstreet, Claude Gray, Jerry Wallace and others.

He has worked in the studios in Nashville, Tennessee, for many artists doing recording sessions.

Johnny Garner, who played rhythm guitar and did vocals in the Tony Farr band, got a deal at Imperial Records in California through Tony.

Tony Farr has published his memories : "My Life As a Country Musician: Fifty Years of Clubs and Bar-Rooms".

One of his more recent album "Playing The Fire Out Of It" (Farview LP 1001) is available for download at Red Neckerson's Radio Round Up HERE.


Jim Musgrave & Don O.E. Miller on CEI

Jim Musgrave & Don O.E. Miller
CEI 143

24927 - The Wayward Wind
24928 - I'm Going Home


Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Owens Family with the Blue Valley Boys

The Owens Family with the Blue Valley Boys
Circle “D” 12
Speedwell, Tennessee

15559 – Windin’ Road
15560 – I Don’t Care Anymore

Dave & Alida Owens with Monroe Queener, Carlos Henderson, “Red” Harris


The Singing McMurrays

The Singing McMurrays present...
"Jesus Is Coming Soon"

Pastor McMurray and his wife and his two young children from Federal Way, WA sings.

The Singing McMurrays with 2-Year Old Brenda and 4-Year Old Brian - Put Your Hand In The Hand/Jesus Loves Me/You Laid Your Hand On The Range

Audio clips courtesy of Otis Fodder, who says :
Play very loud... for others.

Robert Gazaway and The Gospel Larks

Robert Gazaway and The Gospel Larks
LP Let Us Break Bread Together On Our Knees

Side 1 [31935]

Let Us Break Bread Together
Amazing Grace
Lord, Use Me
I Am Thine O Lord

Side 2 {31936]

There Is A Balm In Gilead
What A Blessing In Jesus
A Wretch Undone
The Cross Os Calvary

Update :  You can hear "Let Us Break Bread Together" HERE courtesy of Mark Bletcher. 

The group had at least another LP released : "A Personal Experience With Christ;" on Grace Note, a Louisville, KY label.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mor Thiam

Mor Thiam
LP Dini Safarrar (Drums Of Fire)

Side one [30947]
Ayo Ayo Nene (Blessing For The New Born Baby)
Sindiely (Song For The Black Beauty)
Kele Mubana (Overpain And Struggle To Black)
Side two [30948]
Kanfera (Return ofFisher)
Africa Dedication to all the People

Bass - Rayman Eldrige
Congas - Billy Ingram
Drums - Charles 'Bobo' Wesley Shaw Jr*
Drums [Bass] - Zak Diouf
Guitar - Philip Wesdmoread
Piano - James Mathis
Saxophone [Alto], Flute - Oliver Lake
Trombone - John Evens
Trumpet - Lester Bowie
Vocals - Abdoulaye N'Gom
Written-By, Leader, Djembe - Mor Thiam

Recorded in St.Louis, Missouri, produced by Oliver Sain.
Mor Thiam was born in Dakar, Senegal to a family of historians from the Dagon tribe, who sued drums to tell their stories of the Wollof people in Senegal. Incidentally his surname, Thiam, means “historian” in his native tongue. He started playing the drums from an early age and professionally from the age of 12.

He perfected his skills, learning to play various African drums including the
tama, the

sabar, and the


His percussion skills got the attention of noted choreographer Katherine Dunham who invited Thiam to join her dance company in the United States as its composer-in-residence.
Further reading : Conversations with Mor Thiam

Ken Rogers on National

Ken Rogers
National 6089
19259 - El Dorado*
19260 – Hollywood Wheels

*From Paramount picture starring John Wayne and Robert Mitchum

Another custom label promoted and distributed by Brite Star Records, possibly the best customer of Rite Records.

<--- Billboard ad June 17, 1967

Patty Gibson on Northway

Patty Gibson
Northway 1004
15019 - I'm Tired
15020 - It's Easy To Forget You

Country. Patty Gibson had also releases on the Topic label.

The label was owned by Sandy Salyers:
His parents named him George, but country music fans came to know this native of Prestonburg, Kentucky as Sandy Salyers. He moved to Michigan back in 1942 where he lived since then except for a tour of duty serving in the U.S. armed forces.

Sandy started his musical endeavors at an early age. He started singing when he was just 9 according to a 1995 interview, entering and winning his share of talent shows. He also sang baritone in a church choir for four years. He told Teresa Frith of the Maple Valley News that one of the highlights early on was when he and his brother got to sing at a land auction in Prestonburg, Kentucky. That came about when the main act that had been hired to appear didn't show, Flatt and Scruggs, so instead of just going around town and putting up posters for the show, the promoter put them on as singers on the show.

From about 1962 to 1965, he was a country music disc jockey in Ionia, Michigan at radio station WION. He decided he wanted to add to his career choices and left the radio work for a time to go to Barber school where he graduated in August of 1966.

The Wondering Souls (of Memphis)

The Wondering Souls
FHR 100
Fast Hit Record
17019 - Living In The Last Days
17020 - The Day I Found The Lord

Friday, May 15, 2009

Property on RCM

RCM (no #)
Winchester, Kentucky
31799 ~ I'll Be Here
31800 ~ Game On You

Ernest Martin and later Bill Martin released a steady stream of bluegrass, country and sacred records from Winchester, Kentucky from the late 1940's into the 1970's. Earlier releases were on the "A Martin Blue-Grass Special" label and later releases are on the RCM label.

This 1973 release by Property includes a picture sleeve with the members of the group pictured on the front and listed individually on the back. The songs are best described as country/folk style. Notice the song title on the a-side is listed incorrectly on the picture sleeve.

Photos courtesy of Leonard Yates.

John and Margie Cook - Volunteer 737

John And Margie Cook
and The White River Valley Boys

Volunteer 737
1745 Lamar Avenue, Memphis, Tenn.
CP-1603 ~ The Love I Have For You
CP-1604 ~ Do I Have To Stay Alone

Starday Custom country 45 pressed in late 1958.

Photos courtesy of Malcolm Chapman and Phil Tricker.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hillside LP 1

Hillside LP 1
Various Artists

side one: [18035]

1. The Possums - She Don't Care
2. The Possums - Stepping Stone
3. The Grim Reapers - Good Lovin'
4. The Grim Reapers - Hang On Sloopy
5. The New Breeds - Girl In Love
6. The Penetrations - Midnight Hour
7. Terry Davidson & Baracudas - Hurray for Hazel

side two: [18036]

1. The Brickwalls - Walkin' the Dog
2. King's English - Mister Your [sic] a Better Man
3. The Gears - Time Won't Let Me
4. The Eggs - Little Red Book
5. The Noblemen - Under My Thumb
6. The Marquis - Little Black Egg
7. The Deadlys - On the Road Again

The Possums - Stepping Stone

The LP's were delivered in a plain white jacket - no liner notes, no pictures and no band info. Just the track listing on the record label, printed with the address and phone number of McKenzie Studio and the phone numbers for each band.

Read he story of this LP told by Doug Tracy here.

Label owner, Larry McKenzie had a musical equipment rental service in Columbus, Ohio. (Printed on the label of a Hillside promotionnal EP : wanted guitars-amps-microphones-speakers- Cash or Trade). He recorded himself a full album (pressed by RCA) titled the Larry McKenzie Restaurant Experience.

Hillside LP II

Glenn Paul Flannery

Glenn Paul Flannery
Harbored in Jesus

Side One: His Love; I Believe In Miracles; I've Never Loved Him Better; Oh, What A Love; Amazed; Harbored In Jesus. [10453]

Side Two: The Love Of God; Troubled Heart; For All My Sins; Jesus Led Me All The Way; Ship Ahoy; God Did A Wonderful Thing For Me. [10454]

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Imodean Lister

Imodean Lister
(Anderson College, Indiana)
I Feel The Touch (LP)
Oracle 29503/4
(Houston, Texas)

Imodean Lister, daughter of Rev. V.V. Lister, pastor of A Mountain Church of God, Tucson, Arizna, enrolled in Gulf-Coast Bible College in September, 1965. Early in her training we realized she had an unusual talent. She has been faithful to this God-given talent in her efforts to develop the full potential of her voice and has combined her talent with a dept of spiritual perception that has given her singing a unique quality enjoyed by all who hear her.

Imodean has sung the soprano solos from many of the great oratorios including « The Messiah », « Elijah », « St. Paul », and the « Prodigal Son ». She was a soloist with the A Cappella Chir and travelled with them from coast to coast. She also has been a soloist at Anderson Campmeeting several times, and traveled with the Christianaires Trio in 1968.

This spring (1971) Imodean was invited to sing for the Inaugural Prayer Breakfast for Texas Governor Preston Smith. The audience of state senators, representatives, and friends demonstrated their appreciation for her singing with a standing ovation.

Robert A. Adams, Chairman, Music Department
Gulf-Coast Bible College
[From her previous LP on Oracle released in 1971 recorded and pressed in Houston, Texas]

The Rhythm Masters : Songs We Remember

The Rhythm Masters
Songs We Remember

Playing Time: 26:42

Side one - 28479

1. What A Friend (3:08)
2. At the Cross (2:09)
3. Sweet Hour Of Prayer (2:22) (Traditional)
4. Showers Of Blessings (1:40)
5. There is A Fountain (2:35) (William Cowper/Lowell Mason)

Side two – 28480

1. Wonderful Peace (2:36)
2. Follow Me (3:30) (Eli "Chico" Velasquez)
3. The Old Rugged Cross (3:15) (George Bennard)
4. Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone (2:35)
5. Near the Cross (2:52)

The track listing and Rite numbers above are pulled out of The Record Room, where Doug Williams has put on-line the detailed catalog of his own records collection. As of February 11, 2009, his stats are :

# of albums 39,545
# of items 41,810
# of tracks 310,192
Avg. # of tracks per album 7.8

Total playing time 14385h 34m 46s
Estimated playing time 18611h 31m 12s
(775d 11h 31m 12s)

Longest album 654:18
Shortest album 0:05
Avg. album length 26:08

Longest track 240:00
Shortest track 0:01
Avg. track length 3:36

Lookup Artist/Person 60,949
Lookup Label 3,740

Superior Angels

Superior Angels
Skylark 0023


32799 – Crying in the Chapel
32800 - There's Been A Change In Me

Friday, May 8, 2009

Long Tall Texan - Murry Kellum (K&M 503)

One night in 1957, a tall, rather lanky man in western entertainer clothes strode into an all-night diner on the Bessemer Highway near Birmingham, Ala. He and his band, the Western Ramblers, had stopped in for a bite to eat while enroute to an engagement.

A 17 year-old Birmingham lad named Henry Strzelecki took in with wide-eyed awe the man’s colorful attire, his large, white Stetson, big shiny boots, easy gait, and height.

Then Strzelecki wrote the famous song that went pop as a million-selling hit recorded by Murry Kellum. The song the lad penned waws entitled Long Tall Texan and the subject was none other than Tex Ritter.

Birmingham, AL-born Henry Strzelecki started out in country music in his teens, recording with songwriter Baker Knight on the Decca label out of Nashville in the mid-'50s. He played with his brother Larry in the Four Flickers (later the Four Counts), who toured the southern and border states late in the '50s. The Four Flickers was the first group to record the song in 1959 which was released by the Memphis Lee label (Lee 1003).

Jerry Woodard, a rockabilly singer of Strzelecki’s acquaintance, recorded it for Century Ltd, a small label run by another Jackson, Mississippi artists, Andy Anderson & the Dawnbreakers. [Century Limited 603, 1960]. Though Woodard’s version wasn’t a hit, Andy Anderson liked ‘Long Tall Texan” enough to play it on personal appearances.

Murry Kellum, a local kid who occasionnaly sat in with the Dawnbreakers, was even more taken with the song. He decided to record it himself with help from his parents, who put up the money for a session at the Pepper Studio in Memphis in March 1963. Kellum was accompanied on the trip by his friend, Glen Sutton, and members of Sutton’s band – brother Ronnie Sutton on bass, Sammy Martin on piano, Woody Coates, sax, and Dick Thomas on drums. Kellum sing and played guitar on ‘Long Tall Texan’ while Sutton performed on the other side.

‘Long Tall Texan’ b/w ‘I Gotta Leave thius Town’ was issued on Kellum’s own K&M label (the initials stood for his parents’ names)

Glenn Sutton :
« For $182 we cut four sides, including « Long Tall Texan ». We came back to Jackson and pressed about two hundred records and put ‘em out there in town. And a little guy at a record store in Jackson, Mississippi, played it for a salesman at Hi Records in Memphis. They leased as it was, the two sides. I was one side of the record, and Murray was the other . ‘Long Tall Texan’ – his side – went to number fifty with a bullet in the pop charts .
Joe Cuoghi, a Memphis distributor who owned the mighty Hi label, re-issued Kellum’s master on his M.O.C. subsidiary and with national distribution, ‘Long Tall Texan’ crept up to #51 in the late summer of 1963.

The Beach Boys further popularised the song by including it on their best-selling “Beach Boys Concert” LP n 1964.

Kellum, who was born in Jackson in 1942, tragically died in a plane crash at the age of 47 in 1990.

Murry Kellum : Long Tall Texan

K&M Records

P.O.Box 2613, Jackson, Mississippi
PO Box 39, Plain Station, Jackson, Miss.

501 - (61)
Murry Kellum-Alton Lott And The Ramblers
CP-4937 - Brand New Baby
CP-4938 - Love Wagon

Winfield Kay / The Ramblers

CP-6069 - True Love Is Right
CP-6070 - Hill Of Fire

Murry Kellum And The Balladiers
CP-6301 - River Of Tears
CP-6302- Nine Pound Hammer

504 - (Re-issued on MOC 653)
Murray Kellum
9663 -Long Tall Texan
Glenn Sutton
9664- I Gotta Leave This Town

Diana Kellum11097 - Tears In My Diary
11098 - What's Your Name Little Boy?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Bethel Quartet

The Bethel Quartet

7655 - He's Already Done / When I Inherit My Mansion
7656 - Lord Keep Your Mighty Hand On Me / Just For Today

Recorded by Piedmont Recordings, Lexington, North Carolina

Gospel female quartet