Friday, April 24, 2015

Lefty Pritchett on Bama


Lefty Pritchett
And His Country Cats
(Pritchett-Dickenson)
Vocal By Lefty Pritchell And Lucy Carter

CP-4104 – She Stole My Heart Away
(Pritchett)
Vocal By Lefty Pritchell

From The Heart of Dixie It's
Bama Records 00001
1960

Claude "Lefty" Pritchett
, a self-taught musician, was born in 1931 in Alabama, the son of Alabama sharecroppers.   He had an ear for music at a young age, especially the guitar.  "My first guitar was used.  I paid $1.75 for it," he recalls.
 
    His guitar playing and singing were constant companions when he joined the Army in 1950.  Korea was his first stop after basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky.  Serving with the Seventh Infantry Division in Korea, he organized a country music group, which has became popular with the GI's overseas.    "Lefty Pritchett and His Country Rhythm Boys", as the group was commonly known in Korea, played at service clubs, parties and entertainment programs in Korea.    Pritchett wrote many of his songs and broadcasted his original tunes on a weekly radio program    
 
     The troops weren't the only ones Claude serenaded.  Korea is also where he met his future bride Bonnie.  "I saw her for the first time with a dark corduroy uniform on and she had pigtails and she just took my heart away."

     Claude also saw duty in Vietnam in the late 60's.  And, yes, his guitar made the trip, too.  "If I wasn't on duty I'd start playing and singing and all the troops would come around.  We'd have a big jam session."

     When Claude got back to the states he recorded one of the 150 songs he has written.  It was called "Vietnam Rotation Blues." (*)  Claude says over there they wanted to hear something about coming home, so that's why he wrote the song.
     
     Once back home Claude became an Army recruiter.  His guitar was one of his recruiting tools.  "When (a recruit) would make up his mind to go, I would sing him a song and ask him when he wanted to leave.  We'd have to send him to get his exam and everything.  I always met my quota," Claude said with a big smile.

__________

 *Released on Dee Lark Records, you can hear the song here

4 comments:

  1. "Vietnam Rotation Blues" was recorded by Bill Monroe already on July 1, 1951, for Decca under the name of "Rotation Blues." On that day, he was backed up by Carter Stanley on guitar, Gordon Terry on fiddle, Rudy Lyle on banjo, and Ernie Newton on bass with Monroe on mandolin and vocals (Decca #9-46344). A budget cover version was rushed out on Tops by Del Gillman and his Bar-X-Boys. Back then, the topic of the song was of course the Korean War and not the Vietnam War as later recorded by Pritchett.

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  2. Are you sure the version you have posted is not a re-cut?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDhhCDp-dQY sounds more 1960 to me.

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  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUzuO4r0buI flip

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