Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Herman McFadden on Cawthron

Herman McFadden
Chuck Tillman and Band

1833 - The Girl I Love
Herman McFadden, Lyco, BMI

1834 - Gal Crazy 
James Waugh, Lyco, BMI
Cawthron 505

4767 Maffitt Avenue, St. Louis, Mo.


Gal Crazy

The Billboard of June 29, 1959 has this record in a listing of new releases. The reviewer was not very enthusiastic. He gave two stars for "The Girl I Love": Feelingful rockabilly-styled delivery by McFadden on so-so tune with interesting backing". For the flip he had just one star left: "Routine rocker is sung in personable fashion." It cannot have helped that Billboard erroneously gave the label's name as "Cawthorne". 

Chuck Tillman led his own bands in St. Louis for a few years. Tillman played tenor sax on "Gal Crazy" (Cawthron 505-B) and flute on "The Girl I Love" (505-A).

The detailed activities of Dunlap J. Cawthron (the "J" is for James) and his companies remain somewhat unclear.   According to a letter from Los Angeles Gospel DJ John Phillips to Armin Büttner, the "Allegro Recording and Music Studio" was run by Cawthron in Los Angeles from 1955 to around 1965. However most (if not all) records on his first – eponymous - label, Cawthron, were issued around 1959 with a St. Louis address.   John Phillips told researcher Opal Louis Nations that Cawthron had a day job as traveling government meat inspector in the late fifties and early sixties. So could it be possible that Cawthron had bases in both towns?

 Source: THE CAWTHRON, C&C AND ALLEGRO LABELS, compiled by Armin Büttner and Opal Louis Nations

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