Friday, April 30, 2010

Ernest Martin With The Norvel Brothers & O.C. Robbins

Ernest Martin With The Norvel Brothers & O.C. Robbins
A Martin Bluegrass Special E.P. 1019
RITE Pressing 4111/4112
Dayton, Ohio/Winchester, Kentucky 1960
Gabriel Blow Your Silver Trumpet / I Want To Live Humble / White Dove Of Peace / The Golden Crown

Ernest Martin recorded as many as thirteen 45's, three 78's, and eight albums, before calling it a career in 1986. Born January 27th, 1914 in Clay City, Kentucky, Martin spent alot of time in the Hamilton, Dayton and Middletown areas of Ohio. Almost exclusively a gospel artist, his recordings feature wonderful "rockabilly" style guitar playing courtesy of Bob Norvel. If this sound interests you, check out the BRITISH ARCHIVE OF COUNTRY MUSIC CDD 152 "Ernest Martin And His Gospel Melody Makers" from the U.K.

I Want To Live Humble

Les & Helen Tussey & The Golden Hill Boys

Les & Helen Tussey & The Golden Hill Boys
Poor Boy Records 105
RITE pressing 2232/2233
Muncie, Indiana 1959
They Went Around / Married To A Friend

The Poor Boy label is familiar to most for its releases by The Van Brothers (Servant Of Love), and Norman Witcher (Somebody's Been Rocking My Boat). But this little ditty is by far my favorite that the label has to offer. Les & Helen Tussey had two releases for Poor Boy, the other being a nice country gospel tune, and also released a pure country two-sider on the Madison label from Cincinnati, famous for its release by The Big Whopper (Nelson Young). Everytime I listen to this song, it makes me think of the Darlin Family on the "Andy Griffith Show". I can just picture them pickin' and singin' this tune with Andy in front of his fire place in the living room...

They Went Around

Glenn & Vivian Watson

Glenn & Vivian Watson
BMC Records 1000
RITE Pressing 2264/2265
Dayton, Ohio 1959
I Couldn't See You / Just Keep On Going

Glenn & Vivian Watson originally hailed from Estill County, Kentucky, but spent most of their proffessional music career in the Ohio valley. They worked as a radio disc jokey team in Dayton, Middletown and Piqua Ohio. I am almost certain all of their five 45's were released through the help of Cark Burkhardt, the owner of the RITE pressing plant, and the Gateway/Kentucky/Big 4 Hits labels.
This is one of my personal all-time favorite country boppers from Ohio.

Just Keep On Going

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sharlet Sexton & The Tennessee Valley Boys

Sharlet Sexton & The Tennessee Valley Boys
Breeze Records 401
Livingston, Tennessee 1968
My Old Heartaches Are In The Past / Since Baby Put Me Down

Here is one of the real true treasures of the Ohio Valley! Miss Sharlet Sexton & the Tennessee Valley Boys were buried in obscurity for almost 42 years until recently being compiled on CD by Collector Records head honcho, Cees Klopp. The "Nuclear Wildman" hipped me to this record nearly four years ago when I traded for my first copy, and I have never been the same since. This record has been a staple on my turntable at least twice a week since bringing it home from rural Indiana. Miss Sexton recorded this number when she was sixteen years old with the help of Herman Hatfield (deceased), her Uncle Johnnie Flatford (mandolin; deceased), cousin Jimmy Flatford (upright bass), and Bud Wall (lead guitar). They traveled and performed in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Virginia until 1972 when she decided to get married and walk away from the trials and tribulations of being a country music troubadour. She and the boys left behind (to the best of my knowledge) five 45's, and one incredibly obscure LP.
Currently Miss Sexton resides in Anderson, Indiana, works as a police/fire dispatcher and has been working on some home recordings on her computer.

Since Baby Put Me Down


Will The Circle Be Unbroken

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Walt Cochran & His Holly River Boys

Walt Cochran & His Holly River Boys
Olimpic Records 249
KING Custom Pressing
Columbus, Ohio 1963
(Darlin' What Am I Gonna Do / I'm Sittin' On Top Of The World

From the capitol of Ohio comes this rough and tumble version of the timeless classic "Sittin' On Top Of The World". This record was re-released on the Holly label based in West Virginia which might be where Cochran orriginated from. A fine example of "The Ohio Valley Sound".


Tom Craig & The Trenton Valley Boys

Tom Craig & The Trenton Valley Boys
Jay Records E.P. 1960
RITE Pressing
Sidney, Ohio 1960
My Dream Girl / Your Daddy's Coming Home / Your Girl Or Mine / Please Tell Me

The Jay Records label was owned and operated by Jim & Edith Young, who also recorded many great records in their own right, for the label. It basically was a "song-poem" operation where local yocals could write a song, and have professional talent set their words to music in hopes of making a hit. Labels like "Tin-Pan-Alley", and "Preview" seem to be some of the more popular song-poem labels, and we know that they pressed a significant amount of each record, but that is not the case with the Jay label. Sometimes as little as 25 copies were given back to the song writer, making it nearly impossible to track down every release. E.P. 1960 seems to be one of the most obscure offerings in the label's vast catalog. No idea who Craig was, or where he came from but he sure delivers with two fine primitive rockabilly tunes.



Bob Martin & The Chapel Hill Singers

Bob Martin & The Chapel Hill Singers
Mar-Tone Records 0001
King Custom Pressing
Hamilton, Ohio 1962
World I Left Behind / Why

This is the same Bobby Martin who recorded for Ruby, and Bel-Kay out of Hamilton, Ohio in 1957/58. He was a disc jokey in 1959 at WHBN in Harrodsburg, KY, home to the Al Vic label. Song writer Kendall Hayes recorded many records as well for Ohio, and Kentucky labels in 1962.
I love the piano and guitar work on this one, and the vocal delivery reminds me of Bob Luman's approach.

Cherokee Rhythmaires vocal by Billy Parsons

The Cherokee Rhythmaires vocal by Billy Parsons
Cherokee Records 780
King Custom Pressing
Wellston, Ohio 1958
My Everything / What I Get For Loving You

As far as I know this is the first offering from Bill Parsons, famous for his "All American Boy" release on Fraternity Records. The Cherokee label is best known for the releases by Earl Reed & His Rhythm Rockers featuring Johnny Scoggins, but this is has proven to be the hardest release to find. A great melodic, almost "teen" sounding bopper with a rockabilly feel.


Dick Fowler & The Original Ohio Valley Boys

Dick Fowler & The Original Ohio Valley Boys
Maarc Records 1546
RITE Pressing 25543/25544
Akron, Ohio 1970
My Eyes Were Wide Open / Tap Room Blues

Here is a classic example of "The Ohio Valley Sound", and from 1970 no less! One of the most interesting attributes about the music from the Ohio Valley, is that we never lost touch with our roots, and here is the proof. While city slickers in New York, or Los Angeles were digging the sounds of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, or C.C.R., this is what "buckeyes" were doing...
A fast paced bopper with fantastic guitar breaks supplied by Rudy Thacker!