(2000/DEE JAY) 27 tracks - 16 page booklet - Philadelphias´s own rockin´ swingin´ dance outfit breaks all records and shuffles together a complete set of hit tunes for first time CD released.
(2011/YELLOW) 20 tracks (47:39) w. 8 page booklet. The rare 1960s SPAR material, featuring the cream of the crop of Nashville´s studio musicians who became country-rock legends with Area Code 615 & Barefoot Jerry. Feat. Grady Martin, Johnny Elgin, Lloyd Green, Pete Drake, Floyd Cramer, Hank Garland a.o.
(Rollercoaster Records) 4 tracks - triangle centre - mastered at CTS, Wembley with ´B.J. at the control´ written in dead wax - Wash Machine Boogie by the Echo Valley Boys was the Island Record Company´s first release in April 1957. Like many of the more obscure 50´s recordings now regarded as rockabilly classics by boppers and collectors alike the release has been as extensively bootlegged as it has been ´covered´ by present-day rockabilly bands. Little is known of the Echo Valley Boys, but Bill Browning appears to have been more than just the lead vocalist, having arranged, produced and written most of the band´s material. Bill was born on May 16th 1931 in Wayne County, West Virginia, where he became interested in music at the age of fourteen. At sixteen he formed his first band, the Kanawha Valley Boys, and broadcast regularly over WTIP in Charleston, West Virginia until 1950 when he and members of his band were drafted into the services. In August 1955 Bill moved to Cleveland, Ohio, and formed the Echo Valley Boys, who were soon appearing every Saturday night on the Circle Theatre Jamboree. In the spring of 1957 Bill submitted some of his material to Frank J. Videmsek, president of the Island Record Company, and his first recording - Wash machine boogie and Ramblin´ man was soon on the presses. This was followed by Born with the blues, Breaking hearts, Sinful woman and Hula rock. Although Bill remained actively involved in songwriting and recording, national success eluded him and he died in January 1978, a victim of cancer.
(2004/COW ISLAND) 12 tracks (32:19) Boston´s blend of Honky Tonk, Hillbilly and Western Swing. Produced by Sean Mencher. Longtime fans of Boston´s hillbilly scene get misty-eyed when the conversation turns to the golden age of the early ´50s. There was a day when the airwaves crackled with WCOP´s Hayloft Jamboree (three shows a day at one point!), country music was all you heard at dozens of nightspots in and around BostOn, and even the snootiest Hah-vand-educated Boston Brahmin could walk into II Walker´s Riding Apparel and walk out looking like Bob Wills. Indeed, it´s been reported that Boston alone accounted for 25% of all country record sales in the American east during that era. So it´s bats off to The Twilight Ranchers for doing their level best to turn back the clock to that golden age. I first encountered them on a Friday night at the Plough and Stars in Cambridge; a bunch of guys dressed to the nines in vintage western duds and playing instruments at least as old as the songs they were playing. What stood out was the music, though; a blend of classic honky-tonk, hillbilly, and a bit of western swing that had feet a-tappin´ and liquor a-pourin´. There was really no room to dance, but people did anyway. Having since hooked up with string wizard/producer Sean Mencher (High Noon, Wayne Hancock) and engineer Matt Robbins (King Memphis), The Twilight Ranchers now offer the rest of the world a bit of. what Boston´s been hearing for the last couple of years. So without any further ado, I give you WJ, Rob, Jon, Brad, and Matt - The Twilight Ranchers! -Jon Johnson, Country Standard Time magazine.
(Rollercoaster) 4 tracks - small center - Sherry Davis met Gene Autry when she was taken to visit his house as a child, and from that day she wanted to be a singer. Success in Amateur Nights and Talent Shows led Sherry to singing on the Cowtown Round-Up where she met Smokey Montgomery who helped her join Texo Ted Gouldy´s Hired Hands about October 1949. The Hired Hands were effectively the Light Crust Doughboys in disguise and had a daily show on Radio WBAP, Fort Worth. About a year later Sherry switched to WBAP-TV´s Bewley Barn Dance which she co-hosted with Darrell Glenn, who was replaced by Pat Boone when Glenn went on the road to promote his big hit ´Crying In The Chapel´. Gene Autry encouraged Sherry to move to the West Coast about 1954. She recorded advertising jingles for American Music and played on the Foreman Phillips Show and Town Hall Party before becoming featured singer on the nationally syndicated Lawrence Welk TV Show. The American Music connection led to her disc debut ´God Speaks´/´Did You Stop To Pray This Morning?´ (Crest 1005). Sherry returned to Dallas in 1955 and was soon a regular on the Big D Jamboree playing alongside the biggest names in music. She also hosted KRLD-TV´s Opus ´56 show. In October 1956 Sherry became one of the very few artists ever to support a tour by RCA artist Elvis Presley; they played to over 60,000 people in 4 days. The following summer the Big D´s Ed McLemore and Johnny Hicks set up a recording session, financed by Ray Winkler (Radio KZIP, Amarillo), which took place in Norman Petty´s studio overnight July 25-26, 1957. Petty hired the musicians and it wasn´t until later that Sherry realised she´d been backed by Buddy Holly (lead guitar) and JI Allison (drums) who at the time were still a few weeks away from stardom with the Crickets. The other musicians were George Atwood on bass, Vi Petty on organ, the Picks (Bill & John Pickering and Bob Lapham) backing vocals and Jack Vaughan or Niki Sullivan on rhythm guitar. ´´Broken Promises´´ and ´´Humble Heart´´ made up the debut single on Winkler´s Fashion label (1001) in late August. Mitch Miller wanted to buy the masters for Columbia but the deal fell through when McLemore refused to relinquish the publishing rights; a devastating blow for Sherry as Miller would have been the perfect person to promote her career. The two songs have never been reissued until now and the original single is one of the highest priced discs to emerge from Texas. The two superb and previously unissued rockers on side one of this EP are a mystery. Sherry recognises her voice but cannot recall recording them. They were probably cut in Dallas about 1957. The classy backings may well be the Big D Jamboree houseband. Whatever the origins the two songs are among the best femme rockers to come out of Texas. This is just a little bit of Sherry Davis - further material by Sherry will appear on a forthcoming Rollercoaster CD, Highway 84. Sherry later worked the Holiday Inn circuit and then spent almost a decade as a Las Vegas headliner singing for lounge-pop genius Esquivel before retiring from music in 1971. It´s a pity we had to wait so long for Sherry´s first release in the UK, but maybe it´s not too late for her career to take off on this side of the Atlantic ....(John Ingman)
(Ace Records) 50´s ERA label material backed with his comeback LP cut in 1984. - This fine twofer is very much tied in with Ace’s history, especially with our original Chiswick label. The first album on Chiswick in 1977 was ´Hollywood Rock’n’Rol´” which contained some tracks by Glen Glenn that attracted appreciative reaction from European fans. Ace founder Ted Carroll met Glen near Los Angeles soon after and was able to assemble a new album that included alternate takes of his best-known songs plus some radio and TV performances. This was issued as ´The Glen Glenn Story´ in 1982, once again to much acclaim around the UK and Europe, which spurred Glen to return to the studio to make a new album, ´Everybody’s Movin’ Again´, released on Ace in 1984. Glen Glenn, real name Glen Troutman, was born in Missouri in 1934. Being raised near the Ozark Mountains meant that any musical career would have at least a country slant, but a move toSan Dimas, California brought fresh influences into the mix. He befriended guitar player Gary Lambert, and by 1954 they were working as a duo named Glen & Gary, The Missouri Mountain Boys, playing local dances and jamborees. They learnt a good deal of road craft as part of the Maddox Brothers’ touring show. Glen’s break as a rockabilly soloist came in early 1958 when he recorded ‘Everybody’s Movin’’ at Gold Star studio in LA, backed by Eddie Cochran’s bassist Connie ´´Guybo” Smith. Released on the Era label, the record became a strong seller. The follow-up, ‘Laurie Ann’ / ‘One Cup Of Coffee’, sold even better, but Glen’s career was interrupted by a two-year spell in the Army, although 1959 saw the release of another splendid rockabilly double-sider, ‘Would Ja’ / ‘Blue Jeans And A Boy’s Shirt’. All these releases featured distinctive rocking guitar work that rivals anything from the period. The material on the first album here includes strong versions of ‘Baby Let’s Play House’, ‘Be-Bop-A-Lula’, ‘Shake Rattle And Roll’, ‘Treat Me Nice’ and ‘I Got A Woman’. The 1984 album contains excellent covers of songs by Roy Orbison, Wayne Raney, Larry Williams, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams alongside Glen’s new version of the title track. The fine old-style rockabilly feel was achieved by Glen calling in Gary Lambert and Connie Smith, both of whom had played on his original Era recordings. Unsurprisingly, the results captured all the spirit of the 50s with drummer Ernie Lopez providing a fine framework for the many hot guitar licks, making the album one of the best and most convincing rockabilly remakes you could hope to find.
(2016/Stomper Time) 40 tracks (79:30) 20 page booklet! A generous 40 tracks taken from Gene Williams´ West Memphis-based Cotton Town Jubilee Record Company. The label, one of the last in Memphis to have a proper reissue, released a great selection of R´n´R, Rockabilly and Hillbilly from 1962 until its closure in 1971. 20-page booklet contains rare photos and full discography! In the grand scheme of musical matters, the name of Gene Williams may well not mean much to many people,but it is fair to say that this man of Dyess,Arkansas and one time neighbour of Johnny Cash, surely has a story to tell. Determined to make it somewhere in Show Business, Gene literally talked his way into having a Radio Show at KWAM in Memphis in 1957. His DJ work lit up the airwaves,the show was extended and he also became the Station´s sales manager. Ever ambitious, by January 1962, Gene was running the ´Cotton Town Jubilee´, a live radio show broadcast over KWAM every Saturday night, which lead to him opening the Cotton Town Jubilee Record Company later in that year,kicking off with the excellent Sonny Williams,his first signing. The CTJ radio show featured a variety of singers and musicians, who became regulars on the show and would record a large number of singles for the label. There were however exceptions,one being Jay Chevalier from Louisiana, who gained considerable fame for his political songs and a song about Billy Cannon a well known footballer. Jay was with CTJ for 2 years producing singles and an L.P. and is still working to this day. Another star of Memphis radio and records was Slim Rhodes, who began broadcasting his family band in the 1930´s. Slim´s main claim to fame today is the fact that he recorded a number of strong sides for Sam Phillips at Sun, which are much sought after in today´s world of Sun Records collectors. In 1963,Slim recorded a ´Live´ in the studio LP for CTJ and 3 of the Hottest tracks are included here. Whilst the radio show flourished, Gene began his long running ´Country junction TV Show´, which offered the same cast as the radio show,but with a few more guest stars of the era such as Merle Haggard and Ray Price. In 1968,the Big Screen beckoned and Gene and several members of his show were featured in ´The Sound of Country Music´ with Marty Robbins, Faron Young, Webb Pierce and Ray Price. In 1969 Gene financed his own movie ´Country Music Jamboree´, which exclusively featured the singers and musicians of the Jubilee.A soundtrack LP was issued, but Gene had already decided to shut down Cotton Town Jubilee records having had no hits and only local sales. On this CD are 40 of the finest recordings made for the label. There is a taste of Rock´n´Roll,Rockabilly,Hillbilly,Honky Tonk and a spectacular 1.20´´ of Bluegrass. I believe that only 3 of these titles have been released in the UK before,so this CD represents a ´breath of fresh air´for the music market place, albeit a long way from Arkansas. DAVE TRAVIS - Stomper Time Records