Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

Category: Country music

Honky tonk
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Blink And You Miss It — Nudie Recording Co.

“Nudie Bows Own Label” reads the headline at the top of Billboard‘s “Country Music” section in the magazine’s May 12, 1973 edition. LOS ANGELES — Nudie, who creates costumes for the leading recording artists in the world ranging from Elvis Presley to The Grateful Dead and almost every other country

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Columbia/Epic
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Curly Chalker’s Dutch-Only 45: Party Game for Steel Guitar Fanatics

Zero to 180’s summertime celebration breezes right along with this parlor game for music nerds: First, launch a new web browser and point it at 45Cat — www.45cat.com(go ahead, I’ll wait) Next, type the name of ace steel guitarist, Curly Chalker, in the search window(and press Enter) Curly Chalker  (c.

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Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys
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Gary Burton’s Tennessee Firebird

Jimmy Colvard was a teen in 1963 when he played those distinctive snapping and popping guitar sounds that helped make “Six Days on the Road” a runaway hit for Dave Dudley.  I have since learned that Colvard played guitar on a number of albums in the 1960s and 70s by

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"Blues Stay Away From Me"
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“Countrypolitan” – 1st Sightings

Paul Hemphill‘s The Nashville Sound: Bright Lights and Country Music — published in 1970 during a particularly vibrant musical era — includes this passage about the pushback against attempts to de-emphasize country’s less “polished” elements in order to increase the music’s appeal in the (more lucrative) “pop” marketplace: It isn’t

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"Hip Cat's Weddin'"
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Grandpa Jones & His Swingin’ Grandchildren’s Sole 45

Grandpa Jones‘ toe-tappin’ countrypolitan “Hip Cat’s Weddin’” is one of Zero to 180’s recent discoveries: “Hip Cat’s Weddin’” Grandpa Jones & His Swingin’ Grandchildren Recorded November 1960 Too little has been written about Boudleaux Bryant‘s clever composition and its fetching arrangement — virtually nothing, in fact.  “I Don’t Love Nobody”

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"Wild Blue Yonder"
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Lloyd Green Stumps for Baldwin

Check out the Clavinet-like sounds coming from Jerry Whitehurst‘s electric harpsichord on “Wild Blue Yonder,” side one’s closing track from Lloyd Green‘s third solo LP Day of Decision, an album that was recorded (like Stones Jazz) in one day — in this case, on June 18, 1966 at RCA Studios in Nashville: “Wild

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"(Baby You Can) Scratch My Egg"
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Rusty York’s Cincinnati Indie Label

Billboard, in their January 8, 1972 edition, reported this quirky news item in the Cincinnati division of their “From the Music Capitals Around the World” column: Rusty York, who heads up the Jewel Recording Studio[s] here, learned last week that the new ‘Smash-Up Derby’ commercial [for Cincinnati-based Kenner Products], which he

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"Boogie King"
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Merle Kilgore on Starday-King

Former Starday recording artist Merle Kilgore would have an unsuccessful stint at Columbia/Epic in the mid-1960s before rejoining the fold at the newly-expanded Starday-King (the King label having consolidated with Starday upon the death of its founder/owner Syd Nathan in 1968).  Starday historian emeritus Nathan D. Gibson interviewed Kilgore for 2011’s superb

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"Prayer of a Truck Driver's Son"
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King Truck Driver Bluegrass 45

Fans of both bluegrass and truck-driving country music take note:  “Prayer of a Truck Driver’s Son” was recorded by The Stanley Brothers In Cincinnati’s King Studios on September 20, 1965.  King issued the song as a B-side for “Never Again” in July, 1966. Gary B. Reid writes in The Music of The Stanley

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