Friday, 13 November 2009

STARDAY RECORDS 550

LUKE GORDON acc by C Smith and the Tenn Haymakers
Summer 56 (Billboard Review 7th Apr 56)
45-550-A - Goin' Crazy
(L Gordon)    (Starrite BMI)
45-550-B - Married Life
(L Gordon)    (Starrite BMI)
STARDAY RECORDS 550
Possible Location:- Quincy, KY
Here's the Starday version of the L and C disc Luke had issued previously. They are the same recordings, just reissued on the Starday label. (MC)

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Label Shots: Phil Tricker



L&C RECORDS 550

LUKE GORDON acc by C Smith and the Tenn Haymakers
Mar 56
45-550-A - Goin' Crazy
(L Gordon)    (Starrite BMI)
45-550-B - Married Life
(L Gordon)    (Starrite BMI)
L and C RECORDS 550
Washington, DC
Luke Gordon was born Gordon Brown in Quincy, Kentucky on Friday 15th April, 1932; and was next to the youngest of 6 boys and 2 girls. Luke started his music career on radio station WPAY in Portsmouth, Ohio with the Rhythm Rascals and became good friends with Zeke Mullins who was a DJ at WPAY. Luke served in the US. Army during the Korean Conflict and upon his discharge in 1953 he headed for Norfolk, Virginia where he met up with Jimmy Dean and did a show with him. He then went from there to Warrenton, Virginia with Jimmy and they won the 'Best Vocalist' at a JC contest. He also appeared on the 'Old Dominion Barn Dance in Richmond, Virginia. Luke then went to Tennessee and entertained the folks with Ray Price and The Western Cherokees.
After his stint in Tennessee he returned to Virginia and the Washington D.C. area to work with fiddler Curley Smith at radio station WGAY, Silver Springs, Maryland and do personal appearances. Curley set up a number of recording sessions for Luke with Ben Adelman and the result was released on L and C and STARDAY during 1956. Luke started his own QUINCY record label which was based in Quincy, Kentucky. He also appeared on ISLAND, BLUE RIDGE, EMPIRE and NASHVILLE amongst others.
“Married Life” is a Luke The Drifter type monologue which bemoans how bad married life can be. I class this type of song as “Bar Room Advice”, the wisdom of an unhappily married man. (Then again, if they were so smart ....... ) “Goin’ Crazy” is a nice shuffling country ditty, supported by a fine lead guitarist. Dick Grant has just done an extensive interview with Luke so hopefully more info will follow., although, at the time of writing, it's been at least a year since Dick mentioned sending me the interview. (Just a slight hint). (MC / Dick Grant)

LABEL SHOTS: Kent Heineman and Lars Lundgren

RAMBLER RECORDS 549

CURLEY MONEY and the Rolling Ramblers
Mar 56 (BMI clearance 6th Apr 56)
45-549-A - Playing The Game
(Curley Money)    (Starrite BMI)
45-549-B - Why Must I Cry
(Curley Money / Ruth Sanders)    (Starrite BMI)
RAMBLER RECORDS 549
Columbus, GA
Unlike many of the artists in the Starday Custom series, Curley was quite a prolific artist, though this seems to be his only Starday pressing. Curley was born Robert Earnest Money in Halesburg, Alabama in March 1925. He moved to Columbus in 1942 and passed away in 2003. Quite a few of his Rambler Record releases were pressed by RCA. The A side is a nice country bouncer, with guitar, steel guitar and sawing fiddles. Flip is a waltzy-little number. (MC / Bear Family CD 16210 - That’ll Flat Git It Vol 14 - notes by Colin Escott)

Label Shots: Phil Tricker

GULF COAST RECORDS 548

TOMMIE TOLLESON and the Western Playboys from Palacios, Texas
Mar 56 (BMI clearance 23rd March 56)
45-548-A - Warm Springs Waltz
(Tolleson)    (Starrite BMI)
45-548-B - Think Of Me
(Tolleson)    (Starrite BMI)
GULF COAST RECORDS 548
Box 195, Palacios, TX
Just for a change, I have more info on this artist than I know what to do with, thanks to Adam Komorowski and Bobbie Brunes’ excellent and informative sleeve notes on the Tommie Tolleson CD - “A Boogie King From The Gulf Coast” on Collector Records CD-4498. Adam was editor of the UK New Kommotion magazine, so it’s always a good bet he’s done some top-notch research. So, if you need a fuller picture on this interesting artist, then grab yourself a copy from your nearest stockist.
Tommie was born on the 5th July 1936 - one of six children. Blind from an early age, he attended the Texas State School for the Blind (although Tommie could differentiate between day and night but not much more) which could boast other such luminaries as Leon Payne and Hub Sutter. Learning not only how to play but to tune a piano, he formed the Western Playboys to perform in bars when he was home from the school. Aged 19, this is his first record release - 300 copies pressed and another 100 shipped out to DJ’s , Radio Stations etc - the standard Starday Custom deal. Warm Springs Waltz was dedicated to the Warm Springs Foundation which was a cure centre. He was 22 when he graduated from the school and returned to Palacious, TX where he took up music pretty much full time. He recorded for Dan Menchuras’ KOOL label before operating his own record label - Gulfcoast Records - where he released polkas, waltzes, boogie woogie and the torrid rocker “Carla Blues” (Gulfcoast 101). He died April 23rd 1997. “Think Of Me” is a ballad whilst the flip has a cajun/waltz feel. Not as torrid as Carla Blues or A Gal Named Sue, but nevertheless a nice little tune. (MC / Adam Komorowski and Bobbie Brunes / Collector Records CD-4498)

Label Shots: Phil Tricker

STARDAY RECORDS 547

MACK KING with the Western Hayriders
Mar 56 (BMI clearance 9th March 56)
ST-2387 - This Is Your Life
(A. R. Preddy / R. N. Williams)    (Starrite BMI)
ST-2388 - No Wings - No Halo
(A. R. Preddy / M King)    (Starrite BMI)
STARDAY RECORDS 547
(Artist location - Tampa, FL)
This is the same Mack King who also appears on Nugget Records (“No Special Reason” / “You Better Get Going” - NUGGET 1004), and is also backed by the the Western Hayriders (who also backed Frank Evans -who also appears on Nugget). But we’re getting ahead of ourselves as Nugget 1004 was pressed in 1958. By the time Starday 547 was issued, Mack had served in military and was at this time, located in Tampa, FL. Mack also played 3 shows supporting Elvis Presley in Tampa. For some reason they issued this 45rpm with Starday matrix numbers instead of the usual A/B prefix. Not a huge revelation, for to be honest; just because I noticed it, doesn’t mean I have a clue what it suggests :-). Anyhow, The A side is a nice country ballad. The flip is a mid-paced hillbilly/country swinger with fine guitar and steel guitar support. Mack’s got a nice voice for this kinda stuff; melodic but slightly lazy vocals. Cool stuff! (MC / Andrew Brown)

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Label Shots: Phil Tricker



HOYT'S RECORDS 546

WALTER PONDER Jr.
Mar 56 (BMI clearance on 13th April 56)
546-A - I Had A Chance
(No writers info) (Golden State Songs)
546-B - Carry On
(No writers info) (Golden State Songs)
HOYT'S RECORDS 546
SC

A nice piano led gospel-type number, sung with feeling (as almost all gospel records are). Both sides are slightly similar to each other and that’s a good thing cos it’s a great record. I found a Walter Ponder Jr listed on the net as having a CD release in 2001 (Breathless - no label info) where he sings 14 gospel songs. The brief bio says he was a two time winner of a contest at the the Apollo Theatre in NYC (no dates). he also had his own TV show in Jacksonville, FL and has been singing since the age of four. He also had his own prison ministry and apparently received high recognition for his rendition of the National Anthem. He was last heard of running and  organizing "Thunderbolt Ministrys" out of Jacksonville. # 521 lists SC as the location, but this and the previous disc doesn't have a location. Is is part of the same label, or is this like Dixie Records - one label - various locations.(MC)