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Jay Bruder’s  big Washington music retrospective set, “R&B in D.C. 1940-1960” has been released by Bear Family Records and is available from their website.  It’s been reviewed in the Washington Post and Washingtonian magazine.  .


Sunday May 29

Tonight on the Home Town Special we start with a little hep talk from Bobby Lee Trammell, Norman Witcher, and Andy Starr. “Little Liza Jane” can be traced back to a 1916 copyright, and then it became a staple of country music through the 20th century. All the more reason to be surprised when it emerged in a rock’n’roll and r&b context in the 1950s. We hear versions by Dale Hawkins, Huey ‘Piano’ Smith and the Clowns, and Joe Dyson’s Orchestra. Ray Davis was a long-time host for BluegrassCountry, but back in the early 1950s he was attempting to break out as a recording artist. We’ll hear “Ray’s Boogie” by Ray’s band featuring Chubby Wise on fiddle. Washington did have some legitimate recording successes in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The Syncopators out of SW Washington covered Buzz Butler’s ‘Mule Train.” They couldn’t beat out Frankie Laine, but their version must have sold moderately well as it is not very scarce today. In the country field Buzz Busby, John Duffy and The Country Gentlemen, and The Bluegrass Champs all put in an appearance. Joe Dyson makes a return appearance with the unusual “Merc-O-Matic Boogie’ which is a boogie, just not a piano boogie.  Likewise for “Boogie” by Snooky Pryor and Floyd ‘Moody’ Jones out of Chicago in 1948. “Anna Lee” got both Robert Nighthawk and Elmore James moving, though in different decades. Cecil Gant delivers some fine piano boogies and when Snooky and Moody return we delve in to the Chicago blues sound of Junior Wells. The only thing to follow that would be Viola Wells doing business as Miss Rhapsody. Then its Helen Humes, and LaVern Baker as Little Miss Sharecropper. A short set of vocal group records from Atlantic Records of New York City is about all we have time for at the end of the show. I hope you hear something you enjoy!

Thank you for your donations to bluegrasscountry.org

Jay Bruder

You Mostest GirlBobby Lee TrammellRadio 102Mar1956
Somebody’s Been Rockin’ My BoatNorman WitcherPoor Boy 102 -IndyDec1958
She’s A Going JessieAndy StarrM-G-M 12315Aug1956
Liza JaneDale HawkinsChecker 934Sep1959
Little Liza JaneHuey “Piano” Smith and the ClownsAce 521Oct1956
Little Liza JaneJoe Dyson Orch. w Luther HillChampion 102circa1952
Ray’s BoogieRay Davis’ Band, Chubby Wise, fiddleDC 6001Aug1953
Mule TrainSyncopatorsNational 993Nov1949
Mule TrainBuzz ButlerDecca 46194Nov1949
Tiro de Mulas (Mule Train)Lalo Guerrero con El Mariachi ImperialImperial 395Jan1950
Muleskinner BluesBuzz BusbyBFCD 17370-5-25Aug1956
East Virginia BluesJohn Duffy and the Country GentlemenDesign DLP-613circa1963
I Ain’t Getting’ NowhereDonna Stoneman Bluegrass ChampsYep Roc CD 2555circa2018
Pan American – song demoHank WilliamsCMF CD-067circa1946
Pan AmericanHank WilliamsSterling 210May1947
Pan American BoogieDelmore BrothersKing 826Nov1949
Long Journey HomeDelmore BrothersKing EP 322Fall1947
Sand Mountain BluesDelmore BrothersKing 849Mar1950
What He Done For MeClover Leaf Jubilee QuartetteBlack & White 756Dec1945
Black Mountain RagGlen Neaves Grayson County BoysFolk Star 613Sep1951
Merc-O-Matic BoogieJoe Dyson Orch. w Luther HillChampion 102circa1952
BoogieSnooky and MoodyPlanet 101Dec1948
Anna Lee BluesRobert NighthawkAristocrat 2301Nov1949
Anna LeeElmore JamesFire 15031961
Evil Man BluesRudy GreenBullet 260Nov1946
Nashville JumpsCecil GantBullet 250Apr1946
Loose As A GooseCecil GantBullet 250Apr1946
Telephone BluesSnooky and MoodyPlanet 102Dec1948
Hoodoo HoodooSonny Boy Williamson No. 1RCA Victor 20-2369Mar1947
Hoodoo ManJunior WellsStates 134Mar1954
Cut That OutJunior WellsStates 122Aug1953
Blues Hit Big TownJunior Wells Muddy Otis Spann Louis MyersSates NOIApr1954
Eagle RockJunior WellsStates 122Apr1954
Groovin’ The BluesMiss Rhapsody [Viola Wells]Savoy 5511Nov1944
Sad FeelingHelen Humes w Marshall Royal and his OrchestraDiscover 519Jun1950
Take Out Some TimeLittle Miss SharecropperNational 9153Jun1951
A Beggar For Your KissesThe DiamondsAtlantic 981Dec1952
The Door Is Open To My HeartCardinalsAtlantic 1052Feb1955
Blue VelvetThe CloversAtlantic 1052Jan1955
Jack Pot- Jack-PotBunny Williams and His ShufflersChampion 103circa1952

Sunday May 22

Tonight on the Home Town Special we are going to cover some ground and Roy Orbison’s “Go Go Go!” gets us moving. Mac Curtis split the difference between rockabilly and rock’n’roll quite nicely so we’ll hear three of his King recordings, including “That Ain’t Nothing But Right.” It’s not uncommon for 1950s musicians top recycle religious songs into love songs, but on rare occasions they would use biblical metaphors to recount the bitterness of rejection. We’ll hear a handful of these gems. Then it’s back to Washington, D.C. for Luke Gordon and Marvin Rainwater. Mickey Gilley recently passed so I’ll play a few of his tunes that did not make the TV obits. The Southern Wonders live up to their billing with a fine version of “Shady Green Pastures” followed by an updated version from Washington by Mae Gooch and the Gospel Stars recording for Mrs. Lillian Claiborne in 1949. Pete Johnson makes a return appearance with two great piano boogies. Gladys Palmer and Jo Evans gives us a sense of Black Pop music in the transition to the R&B years. We don’t need much of an excuse to paly Washington’s own Clovers. Here they are augmented by The Blue Belles, also recording for Atlantic. Then it is out to Los Angeles for a particular style of vocal group ballads by The Jewels, The Marbles, and Jesse Belvin. Then it’s up to Detroit for some rough and ready country from Fortune Records. Buster Turner shows us how close his band came to classic bluegrass in 1956. Boots Gilbert gives us some honky tonk country with “Take It or Leave It.” While Skeets McDonald gives us his juke box hit, “The Tattooed Lady.” The Davis Sisters and The Carter Sisters with Mother Maybelle take us back to more conventional country sounds, followed by Jimmy Reed’s slow and easy blues style to ease us out for the week. I hope you hear something you enjoy!

Thank you for your donations to bluegrasscountry.org

Jay Bruder

Go Go GoRoy OrbisonSun 242Jun1956
Shadow BluesJohn HamptonUnited 210Sep1957
Don’t You Love MeMac CurtisKing 4995Oct1956
GoosebumpsMac CurtisKing NOIcirca1957
That Ain’t Nothing But RightMac CurtisKing 4995Oct1956
Mark Of CainArnold TerryLiberty VA 109circa1957
Love CommandmentsBob RoarkJoyce 101early1957
Crown of ThornsOrvall ProphetDecca 28206April1952
Forty Days and Forty NightsMuddy WatersChess 1620Apr1956
30 Pieces of SilverPrince BusterAmy LP 8002circa1964
Baby’s GoneLuke GordonStarday 555Apr1956
Heart ThiefEdwards BrothersAirway 108 Ohiocirca1959
Trouble In The MountainsJimmy Kay and Marvin RainwaterStardale 15circa1957
Drive-In MovieMickey GilleyKhoury’s 712Jul1959
Call Me ShortyMickey GilleyDot 15706Feb1958
Is It WrongMickey GilleyPotomac 901Mar1960
Shake It BabyBlind Boy FullerOKeh 05575Mar1940
I’m Not A Bad GirlMemphis MinnieOKeh 06624Mar1942
Shady Green PasturesSouthern WondersElite 5XJul1940
Shady Green PasturesGospel Stars Mae Gooch, Lois Russell, Fanny Tappin pianoDC 8070circa1949
Shady Green PasturesGeorgia Peach w Mae Gooch in 1946Apollo
SleepwalkD. Clinton ThompsonColumn One 1010circa1978
Death Ray BoogiePete JohnsonDecca 3830May1941
Blues On The Down BeatPete JohnsonDecca 3384Aug1940
I’m Pulling ThroughGladys PalmerMiracle M-149Nov1949
Goody Goody BabyJo Evans w Maxwell Davis OrchBlack & White 785Jul1946
I Played The FoolClovers John “Buddy” Bailey leadAtlantic 977Oct1952
The Story of A FoolBlue BellesAtlantic 987Jan1953
Here Goes A FoolCloversAtlantic 1000Jun1953
A Fool In ParadiseJewelsR and B 1303Oct1954
Golden GirlMarblesLucky 45-002circa1954
Betty My DarlingJesse BelvinHollywood 1059Jun1956
That Old Heartbreak ExpressBuster Turner, Pinnacle Mountain BoysFortune 187Sep1956
Take It Or Leave ItBoots Gilbert, Bob SykesFortune 176Feb1954
Tatooed Lady w whistleSkeets McDonaldFortune 145Jan1950
Foggy Mountain TopDavis SistersRCA Victor 20-5701Apr1954
Foggy Mountain TopCarter Sisters and Mother MaybelleColumbia 20920Mar1953
He’s Solid GoneCarter Sisters and Mother MaybelleColumbia 21138Jul1953
Zig-ZagJulian DashVee-Jay 117Dec1954
High And LonesomeJimmy ReedVee-Jay 100Jul1953
She Don’t Want Me No MoreJimmy ReedVee-Jay 153Aug1955
Boogie In The DarkJimmy ReedVee Jay 119Dec1954

Sunday May 15

Tonight on the Home Town Special we are really going to jump around the country and styles of music. Four Star Records run by Bill McCall out of Pasadena, California was best known for its country output, but there were a few rockers and boppers on the label. We’ll hear Ramblin’ Tommy Scott’s version of ‘Cat Music,’ Charlie Ryan updates “The Hot Rod Race” as “Hot Rod Lincoln” in 1959, and Arkie Shibley sends up the typical movie-star cowboy with “Pick, Pick Pickin’.” Rocking is our business and we trace back “Rock The Joint” from Jimmy Cavallo, through Billy Haley, to Jimmy Preston. LaVern Baker worked hard to break through at the outset of her career. We’ll hear her first record with Eddie “Sugarman” Penigar, a jumper with Maurice King (who would become a key force at Motown), and the flip of her first release for Atlantic called “How Can You Leave A Man Like This.” Her move to Atlantic led to a very successful career as a pop-oriented rock’n’roller.  Rosetta Perry from Baltimore sets us off on a trace of female vocalists who really could rock. And that leads us to rock’n’rollers Mac Curtis, Johnny Carroll, and Carl Mann. Louie Setzer delivers his unique brand of Pennsylvania bluegrass. In hour two Roosevelt Sykes commends “This Tavern” with a boogie, while Amos Milburn documents the consequences from “Vicious, Vicious Vodka.” ‘Right, but wrong’ is a common theme in R&B. Charmaine Neville out of New Orleans gives an animated live performance of “The Right Key, But The Wrong Keyhole.” We get a little rejoinder from The Four Jacks with “The Last of The Good Rockin Men.” Elmore James was one of the leading proponents of Delta-style electric slide guitar, but he had more that one trick and we’ll get to hear a couple of his later non-slide performances. Otis Rush was one of the late- 50’s generation of Chicago-based guitar players. Along with Elmore James they pioneered new sounds which influenced guitar recordings into the 1960s and beyond. D. Clinton Thompson was so taken the with the 60s surf music sound of the Ventures that he reprised their “Driving Guitars” in 1978. That brings us back to Piedmont Blues, acoustic style with Dan Pickett’s “Driving That Thing.” The Flamingos and The Jumping Jaguars wrap things up for us. I hope you hear something you enjoy!

Thank you for your donations to bluegrasscountry.org

Cat MusicTex Harper w Tommy Scott and his RamblersFour Star P-111May1955
Hot Rod LincolnCharlie Ryan Timberline RidersFour Star 1733Oct1959
Pick Pick Pickin’Arkie ShibleyFour Star 1737Dec1959
Rock This JointJimmy Cavallo and his HouserockersBSD 1005circa1955
Rock The JointBill Haley and the SaddlemenEssex 303Apr1952
Rock The JointJimmy Preston and the PrestoniansGotham 188Aug1949
Easy BabyLittle Miss Sharecropper w Eddie Sugarman PenigarRCA Victor 50-0020May1949
I Want A Lavender CadillacMaurice King with Bea BakerOKeh 6800Jul1951
How Can You Leave A Man Like ThisLaVern BakerAtlantic 1004Aug1953
Farewell BluesRosetta PerryBBK 107Aug1957
QuicksandMaymie WattsGroove 4G-0103Mar1955
Shack DaddyBetty Jean MorrisCapitol F3296Dec1955
What You WantMac CurtisKing 5107Jan1958
That’s The Way I LoveJohnny CarrollSC Phillips Int 3520Dec1957
If I Ever Needed YouCarl MannSC Phillips LP-1960circa1960
Sweet Alla LeeLouie Setzer and the Appalachian Mtn BoysRip Saw 200Oct1976
King of FoolsLouie Setzer and the Appalachian Mtn BoysRip Saw CD 224Jun2015
A Red Red RoseBryant Wilson and the Ky RamblersAdair 601Sep1967
Clay County BreakdownBryant and Catherine WilsonAdair 602Sep1967
God’s Gonna Ride On The Rain and TideClover Leaf Jubilee QuartetteBlack & White 756Dec1945
CharmaineLoumell Morgan QuintetAtlantic 953Dec1951
This Tavern BoogieRoosevelt Sykes TrioBlack & White 100Aug1945
Vicious, Vicious VodkaAmos MilburnAladdin 3252Aug1954
Right String But The Wrong Yo YoPiano RedRCA Victor 22-0106Dec1950
The Right Key But The Wrong KeyholeCharmaine Neville Reggie HoustonGert Town GT-1111circa1992
Last Of The Good Rocking MenFour JacksFederal 12087Jul1952
How Long Must I Wait For YouLarksApollo 435Mar1952
I’m Tired of Your Sexy WaysMac Burney and The Four JacksAladdin 3274Feb1955
Dust My BroomElmore JamesTrumpet 146Dec1951
Happy HomeElmore James and his BroomdustersFlair 1069May1955
Cry For Me BabyElmore JamesChief 7006Dec1957
Stranger BluesElmore JamesFire 1503Jul1962
If You Were MineOtis RushCobra 5010Apr1957
Jump Sister Bessie JumpOtis RushCobra 5015Jun1957
Driving GuitarsD. Clinton ThompsonColumn One 1010circa1978
Driving That ThingDan PickettGotham NOIAug1949
Lizzie LouDoug QuattlebaumGotham 519circa1953
You Got To Do BetterDan PickettGotham 264Aug1950
Someday SomewayFlamingosChance 1133Mar1953
Shut The Door BabyJumping JaguarsDecca 9-29938May1956
Ridin’ With RustyRusty Bryant Club Carolyn BandDot 15376Jun1955