Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tommy Baldwin on REM

Tommy Baldwin

CP-4027 ~ Since You've Been Gone

CP-4028 ~ I Know

Rem 301

The initial release on the Bob Mooney's REM [Robert E. Mooney] label.

Not much is found about Tommy Baldwin who had a gospel record the following year on the Jack Rains' Rains label, also located in Lexington, Kentucky. Guitarists Kenny Whalen & Frank McDaniel backed him on that record.


Anna May Johnson sings

Anna May Johnson

20985 - Time And Time Again
20986 - Songs Tell A Story

Rite 1913

Produced by Clay Eager


Anna May Johnson had started her music career in 1940 at the age of 14, appearing as the “Sunbonnet Girl” on WMRN-AM in Marion, Ohio. At 24, she married fiddler Hank Johnson, and the two went on tour together playing barn dances and radio shows on the weekends. As their family grew, so did the band. Daughter Janet played drums; son Billy sat in on guitar. It wasn’t just a hobby. The family needed the money.

“Those were very lean times, and music kept food on the table,” remembered Billy Johnson from his home in Madison. “She always did the best she could with what she had.

By 1977, however, her children had grown and moved away, and Anna May grew tired of the music business. She decided to relocate to Nashville, where Billy had moved. She got a job in the Opryland gift shop and abandoned her hopes for a singing career. Then one night she was at Stage Door Lounge when the performers onstage recognized her in the audience and asked her to sing. The appearance led to a regular gig, and by 1980 she was singing weekly at the Nashville Palace.

Boxcar Willie was there one night when the woman singing onstage. Anna May Johnson was more than 60 years old, but she belted out songs and worked the room with professional aplomb. After the show, Boxcar Willie drew her aside. “What you need is a gimmick,” the Singing Hobo is said to have told Anna May. “I picture you in some kind of granny outfit.”

From that day forth, Anna May was Granny Johnson.

She died died April 1, 1997 of breast cancer at the age of 72.

From [http://www.nashvillescene.com/nashville/vox-kronoid/Content?oid=1181241]


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Chuck Barr and the Playboys on Barclay

Chuck Barr and the Playboys
10137 ~ Espanie'l

Clyde & Chuck with the Playboys
10138 ~ My Lonely Guitar


Orwigsburg, PA

Chuck Barr, 1999

"We did a lot of hoedowns back then," he said of his group Chuck Barr and the Blue Mountain Playboys. But I'd sneak a rockabilly song in there once in a while."

Locally we had Bill Haley and his Comets and "Rock Around the Clock," Barr said. "He was from Chester, so he played up there a lot. He only had the one song, though. He really couldn't sing."

Barr got deeper into rock and roll by establishing a "hop" at the Fieldhouse in Hamburg. By that time he was fronting a group called Chuck Barr and the Playboys. "We had the hop every Sunday night, he said. And we were also at the Route 83 roller rink, the Fleetwood Grande, the Kutztown Armory... we were all over the place. The Playboys also played the clubs on Penn Street including the Melody Bar and Oasis. He remembers that rock and roll wasn't always accepted by the other musicians who played the same venues. They hated us, he said. "They were more jazz fellows and we were rockabilly. They didn't like our music at all. They were musicians and we were three chords and hammer away."

Barr's own musical tastes were developing and he was more of a fan of Carl Perkins than Elvis Presley. "I just thought Perkins was the better artist," he said " Elvis didn't impress me". He and the Playboys cut a record at the home of Clay Barclay (a record-producer whiz kid at 16) as the '50s ended. I wrote a three-chord song called "Joe Botch " he said. And we recorded it at Clay Barclay's house. His father had bought him a tape recorder so that's where we went to record it. We were around the microphone and the drummer was in the closet. ...

From an (edited) article published by the Reading Eagle on August 30 ,1999.

Ronald G. "Chuck" Barr, 77, died Friday surrounded by his loving family at his home in Hamburg.

Born in Hamburg, he was a son of the late Joseph and Florence Barr.

At the age of 17, he joined the Marine Corps and served in a tank battalion in Korea in 1951-52.

He worked at Hamburg Plow Works and later became a painter, most recently at the Hamburg Center, until his retirement.

Music was his great joy. He began with country western music, playing with several local bands. He moved on to rock 'n' roll, with the Rockabillies and then the Playboys. Loss of hearing curtailed his music for a time, but ear surgery brought it back. His love of folk music, especially Irish, led to the formation of The Shanachians. This group was well-known in Berks and Schuylkill counties and beyond. Later, as a solo performer and song writer, he continued to sing and tell stories for a wide variety of audiences. Although weakened by lung cancer, his last gig was with the Jalappa All-Stars in Centerport on Feb. 10.

Obituary published by Republican & Herald on April 9, 2011

Clay Barclay is still recording today in Louisville, Kentucky :

50 years ago, Clay Barclay Jr. started recording the coolest Rock and Roll bands in the basement of his parent's house in Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania. Throughout the 1960's he recorded a slew of Rock 'N Rollers including The Triumphs, The Ramrods, The Flowerz, The Yankee Rebels, The Starlites, and some songs by the man whom we now know as Pat Garrett. Using cutting edge Crown Electronics, and mad skills, Clay was able to capture these bands with a clean sound that still sounds great today. Now based out of Louisville, Kentucky, Clay is still recording big name acts with cutting edge equipment, although now it's all digital and high definition. Learn more at barclaysound.com.

Links :


Ralph Studer with the Dixie Drifters

Ralph Studer with the Dixie Drifters

CP-6517 - Just Me and My Aching Heart
CP-6518 - I'm Heartbroken (Mildred O. Kish)


[Grand Rapids, OH]

Ralph Raymond Studer (1929-1995) was a farmer, factory worker and musician. Thus are the meager details gathered from a genealogy website.

Composer of the B-side, Mildred Oretta Kish (born Studer) was Ralph's sister. More details are found here.

Ms. Kish was born in Waterville in 1919 to Asher and Carrie Studer. She and her husband ran a grain mill in Grand Rapids. She died in 2006.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Linda Talley on Raindrop

Linda Talley
Music By The Mavericks

26327 - My Heart Overruled My Mind
(Robert G. Chilton, Jr., Drone Music Pub. BMI)

26328 - Don't Ever Trust A Man

Raindrop Records

St. Charles, Missouri