Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Western swing

"Hey Mister Cotton Picker"
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“Hey Mister Cotton Picker”: On the Cusp of the New Rock Sound

Nick Tosches would include a “Chronology of the Coming of Rock ‘n’ Roll” in 1984’s Unsung Heroes of Rock ‘n’ Roll (subtitle: The Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll in the Dark and Wild Years Before Elvis) that begins in January, 1945.  October, 1946 is when Cincinnati’s King Records makes its first

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"I Love to Yodel"
Zeroto180

King’s Classic Yodeling 78

78 RPM claims that King released Carolina Cotton‘s signature song “I Love to Yodel” (penned by the singer herself) as the B-side – Discogs, too.  I find that hard to believe: “I Love to Yodel”     Carolina Cotton     1946 According to the person who posted this audio clip on YouTube: Recorded

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"Let's Go Sparkin'"
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Joaquin = Jazz + Steel Guitar

Earl ‘Joaquin‘ Murphey (who co-wrote yesterday’s featured song “Steel Guitar Jubilee“) is held in very high esteem among steel guitarists, with one performance in particular — “Oklahoma Stomp” by Spade Cooley’s Orchestra — almost single-handedly cementing his reputation (Bob Dunn, notwithstanding) as the first “sophisticated jazz steel guitar player,” as

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Cherokee Cowboys: Proven Band

Thanks to the late, great Charlie Coleman for singling out Ray Price’s redoubtable backing band, The Cherokee Cowboys and their 1965 Columbia debut (and sole) solo release – check out Buddy Emmons’ hot jazz steel guitar solo on “Devil’s Dream,” the kick-off tune from Western Strings: “Devil’s Dream”     The Cherokee

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(Son of) Plays Guitar Like a Piano

I finally got around to learning how to convert VHS into DVD so that I could preserve a rare piece of Ameri-music-ana:  a live performance of “Tulsa Trot” by noted western swing outfit, Tex Williams and His Western Caravan, that offers a second startling peek at the unorthodox technique of

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Plays Guitar Like a Piano #2

It’s shocking & sad what little footage exists of “Dickie“ Phillips that shows his unorthodox method of playing the electric guitar.  Here is the only clip on YouTube that shows Phillips playing with Tex Williams & the Western Caravan — note how he places the guitar across his lap and

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Joe Maphis Also Had a Doubleneck

Joe Maphis – “The King of the Strings” – was the ace picker of the top-notch house band at the Town Hall Party, a radio and television show filmed in Compton and broadcast over the West Coast airwaves in the 1950s.  The success of the Friday and Saturday night broadcasts

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“Electrified Donkey”: Western Swing on King – The Later Years

Really nice toe-tapper of a tune from Ferlin Husky during a brief period in the dawning Rocket Age when he was on Cincinnati’s King Records: “Electrified Donkey”     Ferlin Husky      1959 “Electrified Donkey” was the album closer on Ferlin’s King LP, Ferlin Husky, as well as the A-side of a 45

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“Twin Guitar Polka”: Western Swing on King – The Early Years

According to Michel Ruppli’s, The King Labels:  A Discography, in King Records’ first year of existence – 1943 – there was exactly one recording session that yielded two singles  (Grandpa Jones and Merle Travis using aliases, since they were under contract to WLW).  King’s first recording session took place in

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