The term Hillbilly used here is designed
as a generic term to describe Country & Western Music of the nineteen
forties and fifties. Feel free to use any of the information contained herein for what ever
purpose you deem appropriate; however, please acknowledge The Hillbilly
Researcher, and any individual who contributed information used to compile
these listings.
If you wish to reproduce any
photograph that is contained in the Blogg, please check first with the
individual who supplied the original. This does not apply to label scans which
you are most welcome to copy and use.

Feedback is most welcome, as are any
additions or corrections to the published listings. Check back on earlier
listings as they are updated when new information is received. Also click on
the Comments button, some great feedback coming through, Thanks to everyone who
has taken the time to contribute, especially Johan for the BILLBOARD data.

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Sunday, 19 October 2014


The RICH-R'-TONE label, in its original incarnation, was a fascinating concern that turned out a esoteric selection of releases during the late forties and early fifties. Known primarily for its Bluegrass offerings, the label did release material from across the Country Music spectrum. Here is one of the later issues, an odd beast, which celebrates the musical diversity that was to be found on the label, Raymond Webb later had a release on KYVA, however, that was more mainstream Hillbilly. I just love the pianist, who may or may not be John Henry Eston, the composer of "Bucket Special".

Saturday, 11 October 2014


Alabama state Governor "Big" Jim Folsom was first elected to office in January 1947, his four year term ending in January 1951. Folsom served a second term as Governor from 1955 to 1959. In 1962 he stood again, but was defeated in the primaries by George Wallace, who then went on to be elected as Governor. Prior to Folsom's run off against George Wallace Jack Cardwell recorded two campaign songs in 1962 for Folsom. The first was a single sided King Custom pressed disc on the LE NOIR label on which Cardwell was accompanied by Luke McDaniel and his band. Although the record label states that the recording is three minutes long, in reality the song only runs for one minute thirty six seconds. The second song was a commercial release issued on the Alabama CINEMA label, the flip side of this release was by Roland Johnson, who turns in a decent rendition of Arlie Duff's "Y'All Come".

Sunday, 5 October 2014


Before recording for the 4 STAR label, the Miller Brothers made a dozen sides for a DELTA Label, first in Dallas, and then (later) in Wichita Falls. Here we have the four sides, recorded around 1947, at the ULTRA TONE Recording Studios in Dallas. According to Prague Franks' Miller Brothers discography  the band's line up was  Jay Starnes (Vocal – where noted). Sam Gibbs (Guitar), Leon Gibbs (Fiddle), Nat Gibbs (Bass), Lee Cochran (Trumpet), Forrest Fulcher (Sax), Clyde Smith (Sax), Pauline Fulcher (Piano), Bob Steed (Drums).

Dead Wax DR 101

Dead Wax DR 102


Dead Wax DR 103

Dead Wax DR 104

Thanks To Phil Tricker



Sunday, 28 September 2014


One of Cecil Campbell's more obscure releases, the second side features a vocal duet by Cecil Campbell and Millard Pressley. To the best of my knowledge this is the only secular recording that features Millard Pressley, an artists who is normally  associated with gospel material, look out for his excellent BLUE HEN disc.

Thursday, 25 September 2014


I've been trying, on and off, to set up a Country / Hillbilly / Bluegrass Gospel blog. I can't quite get it as I want it, I shall persevere and hopefully will find a solution to the way I want to lay out the blog. In the meantime here's a nice little gospel record from Georgia .

Saturday, 13 September 2014


I thought it would be nice to have all the Vandergrift Brothers KING recordings in one place, so here are the two known releases on the label. Billboard reported, 30th March 1963, that the Brothers were recording for KING, which I assume refers to the release shown below (KING 5533).

Monday, 8 September 2014


The Vandergrift Brothers, Don, Ronnie, and Darrell, were regulars on WWVA's Worlds Original Jamboree from Wheeling, West Virginia. Prior to their recordings for Hardrock Gunter's ESSGEE label in 1962, the brothers had recorded for the COZY label in 1959, and would later record for both KING, and the Wheeling EMPEROR label. Four of the six ESSGEE recordings were subsequently reissued on a RURAL RHYTHM album.

Monday, 1 September 2014


There is an excellent piece on The Jacoby Brothers to be found on HILLBILLY-MUSIC.COM (cut and paste the following into your browser -http://www.hillbilly-music.com/groups/story/index.php?groupid=11653
in which Gene's son Wade outlines the brothers story. 

I once read an article on the Jacoby Brothers which stated something to the effect that Red River Dave (Dave McEnry), who was apparently the Brothers manager at the time, set up the TNT label in partnership with Bob Tanner as a vehicle to promote the brothers, and some of the other artists he managed, as well as himself. This notion is given some credence by the fact that McEnry is involved in one way or another in the majority of the early releases in the TNT 1000 series, which date from 1953 and 1954, but I don't think his involvement was long term.

45rpm copy of TNT 1001(Thanks to DrunkenHobo)

BILLBOARD 6th February 1954

(Above) Australian issue of "Bicycle Wreck"

A later version of "Bicycle Wreck" by The Geezenslaw Brothers on which they added an additional verse! 

Master Number CO 51833
Recorded 29th July 1954

Master Number CO 51834
Recorded 29th July 1954

Master Number CO 51835
Recorded 29th July 1954

Master Number CO 51836
Recorded 29th July 1954

Their COLUMBIA session was supposedly the last time they recorded together as the Jacoby Brothers. However, there was a release on TNT in 1961 credited to The Jacoby Brothers; it has been suggested that this was earlier material, but musically, with drums and piano, it fits the later period of time!

"Counting Drops Of Rain" clearly generated some interest as Larry Nolan recorded the song for the RONO label

acknowledgements: William Agenant's COLUMBIA 78 RPM Record Listing 20001 thru 21571 (Joyce Record Club Publication - 1996) for Columbia master numbers and recording date.

Here is one that I completely overlooked, I am indebted to the DrunkenHobo for drawing this release to my attention. Reverse is "Dream Dust", record dates from 1956

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

ATLANTIC "Folk And Western Series"

In the mid / late Forties many of the larger independent recording companies, like ALADDIN, APOLLO, ATLANTIC, and MODERN, tested the market to see if they could secure a share of the growing Country & Western record sales. No focus groups were involved, no slick marketing analysis, they just seemed to have put out a hand full or more of records, over a relatively short period of time, and monitored sales. It is interesting to ponder what might have happened if anyone of the aforementioned labels enjoyed significant sales of one of their Country releases, I doubt if they would have reviewed their marketing strategy, as all were fairly established as purveyors of quality R&B and Blues, although it might have led to the formation of a subsidiary company as a vehicle for Country music, who knows it's only a little bit of indulgent speculation. 

Peter A. Grendysa's excellent little booklet "ATLANTIC Master Book #1" from 1975 provides us with recording dates, location, details of unissued titles, etc. Now nearly forty years old my well thumbed copy is still the source of much data on all the early aspects of the ATLANTIC story, that was £2.00 well spent (that would have been $4.00 to our American cousins)

Both sides were recorded at the APEX Recording Studio New York City on 23rd August 1949. Note subtle change to the lyrics of “Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee”.

Both sides were recorded at the APEX Recording Studio New York City on 28th September 1949. Bands name changed from Pleasant Valley Boys to The Buckeye Buddies!

I'm not sure if the guys at Atlantic knew where to place this release, in any event they dropped it into the 700 series, but removed from the label any mention of The "Folk & Western Series"? In its place are the old familiar musical descriptions "Fox Trot" and "Novelty" .Both sides were cut at Apex in February 1950.  It would appear that Pete Sherman's Showboys, credited here as The Playboys, provide the musical accompaniment. I must admit that I can't think of many Western themed songs ("Rebel Yell!") which feature kettle drums!

Pete Sherman and His Playboys recorded five sides for ATLANTIC  at the Apex studio in April 1950. The three unissued titles are (396) "Padlock On My Heart" 9397) "There's A Blue Sky Way Out Yonder", and (400) "When My Dreamboat Comes Home", the vocalist on the issued sides was one Freddie Hughes. You will note from the label scans that the notation "Folk & Western Series" is still absent from the label, although "Yesterday's Dreams" is described as a "Folk Ballad". Pete Sherman later recorded for ARDENE label (posted here 18th May 2010)

The notation "Folk & Western Series" returns to the label of ATLANTIC 725. These recordings were purchased, from whom it is not noted, on 12th June 1950. A total of four songs were acquired, the two unissued titles were (448) "I Did Everything To Make You Happy" and (449) "If All My Heartaches Were Roses"

Another batch of purchased masters, although this time just the three titles, which were acquired, possibly from Lillian Claiborne down in Washington DC, in June 1950. The unissued title from this selection was "Road Of Heartaches" (461). Humorous little label misprint, ATLANTIC 725 is credited to The Howington Brothers and His Tennessee Haymakers? Apart from Dub Howington, who played lead guitar, his brother Roy, bass, the band on these recordings may also include Eddie Dean on accordion, with possibly Herbie Jones on Rhythm Guitar.

For many collectors Bill Haley's release is the Jewel in the Crown of ATLANTIC's "Folk & Western Series". Unfortunately I do not have an original copy of the ATLANTIC disc, but I do have a copy of the belated English release of the record, issued in the United Kingdom in 1956. Thanks to "DrunkenHobo", who supplied label scans for ATLANTIC 727, I can now confidently state that the MELODISC label credit of Bill Haley And The Comets is incorrect, it is as you can see from the scans Bill Haley And His Saddle Men. ATLANTIC purchased four masters from James Myers (aka Jimmy DeKnight) in September 1950. The two unissued sides are (524) "Teardrops From My Eyes" and (525) "Loveless Blues".

ATLANTIC 727 scan courtesy of "DrunkenHobo"
Thanks also to Slim D for his offer of scans

ATLANTIC master number (522)

ATLANTIC 727 scan courtesy of "DrunkenHobo"
Thanks also to Slim D for his offer of scans

ATLANTIC master number (523)

The seven records above does not represent the sum total of ATLANTIC's "Folk & Western" output. In 1953 they put out a record by Buddy Hawk And His Buddies "The Death Of Joe Stalin (Good Riddance)" / "Painting The Big Town" ATLANTIC 7024. There is also the vexed question of Billy Grammer's PLAZA release, it has been suggested that PLAZA was an ATLANTIC subsidiary. Grammer's material was recorded at Radio Station WWDC, Washington, DC and purchased by ATLANTIC in January 1950. There is no notation on label of the PLAZA release that the label was part of ATLANTIC, nor can I find any other reference to PLAZA in the ATLANTIC files. Why didn't they release the two sides in their newly launched "Folk & Western Series", they had already recorded material by Loy Gordon, and the first release in the series was probably out or imminent when ATLANTIC acquired the material in January 1950?