Friday, February 28, 2014

Gene Ray (Cowtown EP 702)

Gene Ray
CP-1557 - Oklahoma Waltz
               A Picture Of You

CP-1558 - Indigo Blue
              Learning The Mambo

Cowtown EP-702
P.O. Box 192, Avery, TX

Gene Ray's name can be found on three other Cowtown releases between 1957 and 1960.  I can't add much to that.
The four songs were penned by one D. E. Winstead who was quite probably Dr Dabney Edgar "D.E." Winstead (1889-1963) whose obituary report  :
Long-time doctor in Graham, Texas practicing since 1921. He graduated from Baylor Medical School in Dallas. He enjoyed a good practice in his profession.
In 1930, Dr. Winstead published a science fiction article, "Earthworms of Karma" in the pulp magazine "Weird Tales" in the July-September 1930 issue. With this issue, Dr. Winstead began his successful journey as a science fiction author. Dr. Winstead used a pen name "Lon Dexter" in all of his science fiction publications.
Among other songs he penned are "I Need Vitamin You", "Mambo is Going to School" and "My Rock 'n' Roll Baby And Me".

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Uncle Clyde on Bryte

Uncle Clyde

15089 — Mother Went A-Walking
15090 — Dear Ivan  

Pro-Per P.
with Tony Richards

Bryte Records
Brite-Star Prod.
Newbury, Ohio


"Cold War themed recitation". 

Uncle Clyde, M.C., dee jay and comic, was  a regular member of the Southern Jamboree on WSLR in Akron, Ohio at the time of this release.  He recorded four sides for Tex Clark's Bryte Records.  Next he had a gospel music show at WWIZ (Lorain, Ohio) and was later with Roy Rogers, Jr. at WBKC (Chardon, Ohio).  His real name was Harry Fay. He died in 2011.

Obit  :
Harrison B. “Uncle Clyde” Fay, 77, of Canton, died unexpectedly Saturday afternoon, July 16, 2011 in the Mercy Medical Center, Canton, Ohio. He was born July 3, 1934 in Norwalk and was a 1952 graduate of Monroeville High School. Harry was employed at the Stark County Jobs and Family Services, for 15 years, retiring in 1996. Prior to this, he had worked at Spector Freight Company and the Norwalk Truck Line. He was a member of the Friendship Community Church, Canton, North Canton Playhouse, was one of the original Shoestring Players, lifetime member of the Ohio Country Music Association, where he is a member of their Hall of Fame. Harry was a country music comedian, known as “Uncle Clyde”. He was on the Roy Rogers Jr. T.V. show, and on “A Little Country” T.V. show, and had performed on many other stages.

Uncle Clyde here with Roma Leah
late 1960s or early '70s picture

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Beech Resorts


18829 - Springtime (T.Resor)
18830 - Distortion Don't Know (D.Williams)
Key Records
Produced by Raebet's Productions
1609 Miles Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI


Beech Resorts don't known,  Raebet's don't known much either despite hours of research.   Raebet's produced all the records issued on Key Records and on Grace Note Records (a religious label) as well.

I think possible that the Rev. Reinhold A. Barth and his wife Helen McAlerney Barth may have been involved in some way.  Research still in progress...

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Calvin "Hound Dog" Ruffin, Billy Stewart, the Michael Graham Crackers

Calvin "Hound Dog" Ruffin And the Michael Graham Crackers
CP- 2010  Tell It Like Tee I Tis (Calvin C. Ruffin)

Billy Stewart And the Michael Graham Crackers
CP-2011  I Want a Sweet Little Girl  (Michael A. Graham)

Mag Music record no. 103

(BALE 103 in dead wax)

 address label of label owner

"2 nice little-known '59 D.C. R&B tracks" currently on ebay HERE.   Or rather unknown, I would say,  There is no mention of this record anywhere on the internet. 
 This record was perhaps intended to be issued on Bale Records, a tiny Washington label owned by Bea Tibbitts (Betsy B. Tibbs).  It showcases two artists probably managed at the time by Michael Graham, artists who had already recorded several singles (on Chess/Argo and Okeh for Billy Stewart,  on Josie (as Frank Motley band vocalist) and Golden Crest for Calvin Ruffin).

A native of Savannah, Ga., Michael Angelo Graham (picture on left is from 1946) started as an entertainer and was" nationally known in theatrical circles" as "Georgia's Glamour Boy".  He came to the nation's capital in the late 1940s, working in night clubs and also touring with his Washingtonians and then with his Graham Crackers.   Both groups featured blues and scat singer Nudie Williams who recorded for Wheeler Records, a New York label, in the early fifties.
Michael Graham worked with various singers and doowop groups and helped launch the careers of Van Allen McCoy, Marvin Gaye, the Clovers, Johnny Hartman, Don Covay, and Billy Stewart.  

Master of ceremonies at the old Howard Theater, he also promoted a number of musicals and a variety of shows in Washington (Graham Crackers and Oldies But Goodies, a TV program that featured The Clovers, The Jewels, and Sonny Till and The Orioles).   
Graham joined The New Observer, Washington D.C.'s oldest Black-owned community newspapers in 1956, worked his way up from a reporter to editor-in-chief. 
He died in 1985, aged 72.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Al Blevins, Cousin Frank and the Silver Sands

Al Blevins, Cousin Frank and the Silver Sands

20955 - Kennedy The Great (Al Blevins)
20956 -  Red River Jump (Al Blevins)
Silver Streak Records

2016 7th St.
Portsmouth, Ohio

sample (both sides)

Bobby Lawson played with Al and Cuz Blevins in West Virginia and Ohio in the fifties  :

When he returned home in West Virginia after serving his tour in the Army, Bobby and Junior Lawson played with Al and Cuz Blevins. "We would all load up in a car and drive around looking for nite clubs and roadside bars where we could play. We would just go in, get permission to set up and start playing. We used a tip box (usually a cigar box taped shut with a slit in it) for folks to drop in their money."
"At this time I began singing Rockabilly (Jerry Lee, Elvis, and Perkins) and people liked it. So we decided to look for other places to play. Ohio here we come! We got work as soon as we got to Portsmouth. We were now getting a salary plus tips. WOW! This was great. "

 William Hobbs (Middle), Grandpa? (Left), Chuck? (Right)
West Virginia Hot Shots; abt. 1961
Original caption of a picture posted by Marilyn at
Someone at  is "looking for AL HOBBS aka: AL or WILLIAM BLEVINS - Played in a Bluegrass band in the early to mid 60's called THE WEST VIRGINIA HOT SHOTS in the Portsmouth, Ohio and surrounding areas. Believed to originally come from Pennsylvania, probable but not likely. Other members of the band was "Chuck" ??? perhaps HOBBS."

"A special thanks to Al Blevins wherever you are". are the last words on the Bobby Lawson''s page at Rockabilly Hall of Fame.   Nobody seems to known what happened to Al and the Blevins, including members of their own family.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Gene Nitz And The W. Va. Ramblers on Rhododendron

Gene Nitz And The W. Va. Ramblers

19401 - I Don't Know What I'm Looking For
 You Broke My Heart in Tennessee

19402 - How Much Longer
Kentucky Sweetheart

Directed By Yolanda Owens
Produced  By Gene Nitz

Rhododendron EP


Detroit country
Gene Nitz and his West Virginia Ramblers played at Ray Taylor-owned country bar at the corner of Milwaukee and Brush in the 70's.  (Ray Taylor of "Hamtramck Baby" fame on Clix).

"Running From The Law" b/w "Bail Bondsman" were recorded in 1969 for the Country Caravan label, a subsidiary of Mutt Records, owned by Nate Dore, a bail bondsman who had a small studio in the back of his office. These sides are on YouTube.

And there was also a single on Rich-R-Tone ‎#2026 (Blue Shoes / My Kentucky Sweetheart) recorded at Champ Studio in Nashville, Tennesse and issued as by Eugene Nitz (date unknown).

Probably Eugene R Nitz (1928-1994)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sonny Flaharty and his Young Americans on Falcon

Sonny Flaharty and his Young Americans
9593 — Hurricane
9594  — Joann

both A.L. Webster - S. Flaharty, Glenway Music Co. BMI  
A Young American Production
Falcon 1000
3029 Springboro
Dayton, OH

Glenway Music was a subsidiary of Pam Enterprises formed in 1960 by Geno Abbatiello, president of the Electro-Sew-Vac Corporation in Cincinnati and former ESV and Flame Records prexy, and Ed Labunski, head of Labunski Productions, producer of jingles and independant sessions.
After a first single on Spangle Records in 1958, Sonny Flaharty was signed by Pam Enterprises Inc. of Cincinnati in 1960.   Under the guidance of Ed Labunski Sonny cut a session in Nashville. The resulting masters were leased to Epic Records.  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Plague (LP)


Side One #26907
 Songs Written by McMahon - Jones - Potter - Seese  - Dewitt - Kropf

A Million Tunes (Can't Make You Love Me)
Hard To Wait ( I Need You)
College Bound
Somebody Help Me

Side Two #26908
Songs Written By Jones And McMahon

I Want To Say
Young Boy

Rite account #4091

Recorded at Smitty’s Studio on the NW side of Grand Rapids, Michigan, home of Acid Records (The Psychotics).
A group of high school guys from Lowell that played high school dances, many Battle of the Bands and Ray Hummell III venues.  Two titles from this LP (Somebody Help Me and Hard To Wait) were also issued on a single on the Smitty's Recording Studio imprint pressed by the Archer Record pressing plant.

 Not related to any other band by the same name from  :
  • Albuquerque (New Mexico) on Epidemic
  • Bismarck, (New Delaware), unreleased
  • Wilkaukee (Wisconsin) on Wright
  • Norfolk (Virginia), on Nottingham Disc Co.
  • Richmond (California)  unrecorded

or to bands named The Plagues :
  • Taunton (Massachusetts), on Robb
  • Lansing (also from Michigan),  on Fenton and Quarantined

Monday, February 3, 2014

Stan Johnson : On The Banks Of Big Muddy

 Stan Johnson
On The Banks Of Big Muddy

Side 1 #32839

Big Muddy
Lora Ann
Demand To Be Free
Try Try Again
I Won't Let Them Know

Side 2 #32840

Big Black Train
Preparations For A Wedding
I Don't Have A Thing To Call Mine
Take A Letter Bartender
Baby Baby Doll

side 1 : Hanks Music Inc. - Annis House - LR Publ. - L&R Publ. - Hanks Music
side 2 : Cedarwood - L & R Publ. - L & R Publ -Hanks Music Inc. - Annis House

Ruby RU74200C

Stan Johnson came into Ruby Records for an audition, early in February 1957.  Even though he wrote the material we used, it took eight hours to complete his first session. Stan started his career at a young age, with his own band, The Blue Chips. He appeared at different clubs and lounges, such as The Southern Inn for three consecutive years. He also appeared with Smoky Ward on WPFB, Middleton, Ohio.
Stan has played our local venue, at Liberty, Indiana. Also on a number of tours I have set up, in Kalamazoo, Lexington, and Richmond, Virginia.

 (based on Derek Glenister’s interview of Larry Short, owner of Ruby Records – New Kommotion # 16, Summer 1977, reproduced from the bopping website (link below) with thanks for posting the Stan Johnson picture.

Links :
 Stan Johnson discography  
 Ruby Records discography  
Ruby Records Story