Found a hot Texas swing instrumental called “Western Limited Boogie” on a Starday cassette about which little to no information exists. The front cover indicates this is part of a series called “Best of the Instrumentals,” and the volume that I own is called Texas Style Instruments. The featured artist on this blazing instrumental cannot be the twin vocalists, Pee Wee King & Redd Stewart (as it says on the label) but rather Pee Wee’s ace ensemble, The Golden West Cowboys:
[Pssst: Click on the triangle above to hear “Western Limited Boogie” by Pee Wee King & The Golden West Cowboys.]
I am reading a fascinating history of the storied Starday label – The Starday Story: The House That Country Built – by Nathan Gibson in collaboration with one of Starday’s founders, Don Pierce. The book includes a selected discography of Starday recordings, and I had hoped that I would find out something about this obscure instrumental by the Golden West Cowboys so that I could say, “See kids – it still pays to read books!” But alas, the book simply states that Pee Wee King was “among the new crop of country music legends to appear on Starday LPs in the mid-sixties.”
To find a live western swing recording, especially of this high fidelity, on a 1960s Starday compilation is a bit unusual. I would love to know if other instrumentals by The Golden West Cowboys are in the Starday vaults somewhere or have enjoyed release on other vinyl/tape offerings.
As Starday historian, Nathan Gibson, points out, not only was it not unusual for Starday to release live recordings, Starday was, in fact, “one of the pioneering country labels releasing live recordings (from the Big D Jamboree, from K.C. benefit shows, from the Nashville Disc Jockey convention Starday shows, as well as many in-studio live albums). They are fun to find and hear, though due to their success, Starday in later years began issuing a lot of ‘live’ albums with studio tracks and added applause. Be wary of some of those. The only way to know, though, is to buy it and find out.”
It would appear I have a gaping hole in my Starday record collection.
Also important to point out that this cassette was released sometime in the 1970s/80s after the Starday-King catalog had been sold to Moe Lytle’s Gusto Records. Lytle and his team would be the ones who could help identify the source of this live recording by Pee Wee King’s Golden West Cowboys.
Starday-King’s Shared History
“King Records [upon Syd Nathan’s death] was sold in October, 1968, to Starday Records. The Starday-King catalog was almost immediately sold to Lin Broadcasting in Nashville, who ran the company without changing much. In July, 1971, Lin sold James Brown’s contract to Polydor, then sold the label to a company that [famed songwriting duo] Leiber and Stoller had set up called Tennessee Recording and Publishing. From 1971 to 1974, not much happened at King except the designs of the labels changed. Very few albums were being released and even fewer hits emerged. In one move, the sale of James Brown’s contract, the label went from a chart force to a shell of its former self. In 1975, Tennessee Recording and Publishing, still running under the Starday-King name, sold the masters to another Nashville concern, GML, Inc., [owned by Moe Lytle] who operated the Gusto label.” The King/Federal/DeLuxe Story by David Edwards & Mike Callahan