Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Country rock

"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 would interview Kilgore for 2011’s

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Waylon Did Dylan in ’65

How humorous to browse a chronological listing of Waylon Jennings albums starting in 1964 – eleven on RCA by my count, following his debut LP At JD’s – when out of nowhere, A&M suddenly decides to issue its first and only album by Jennings, long after his brief run of singles (1963-65)

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Hearts & Flowers: Country Rock

Back when I did the daily commute to Baltimore and my car radio had better reception, I used to enjoy a great community radio station that shares programming with its owner, WXPN, the Philadelphia radio station known for its “World Cafe” program, and yet operates out of a high school

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"Hey Truckers"
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“Hey Truckers”: Cover Your Ears

Thanks to Bill Hanke, I’ve been privileged to witness several live performances by a  Canadian band who – along with Los Straitjackets – have brought blazing guitar instrumentals into the 21st century.  Among musicians-in-the-know, word has gotten out about this musical conflagration, as evidenced by their collaborations with Neko Case,

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Red Simpson/David Bowie Tribute

Shame on Zero to 180 for not celebrating Red Simpson‘s musical legacy as a pioneer of the “Bakersfield Sound” until now – after his spirit has already left this mortal plane. I’m afraid Simpson’s passing might have gotten overlooked in all the media attention given to the unexpected loss of

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"Semi Truck"
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Dieselbilly for the Long Hairs

Somebody [the Commander himself, I would later learn] went to considerable effort to stitch together all these images to tell the story behind Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen‘s “Truck Stop Rock” from 1972’s Hot Licks, Cold Steel & Trucker Favorites album — the least you can do is

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(Inter) Galactic Twist Queens

One of my mom’s neighbors and good friends was present at the founding of Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen and served as part of an accompanying group of renegade (redundant?) performance artists — agents of history who helped to generate the band’s initial buzz.  Yet, their story remains

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Swampwater: Country Rock on King

Here’s a tuneful country rocker from 1970 that sure sounds like a radio hit: “Louisiana Woman”     Swampwater     1970 John Beland:  Guitar, Resonator Guitar, Piano, Vocals Gib Guilbeau:  Fiddle, Guitar, Vocals Thad Maxwell:  Bass, Vocals Stan Pratt:  Drums Roger Jannotta:  Strings John Wagner:   Producer And yet this rather obscure debut album*

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Hager Twins: Holding the World’s Hands

Jim and John Hager – like the Chaparral Brothers – were (1) identical twins, who (2) once recorded for Capitol.  Unlike the Chaparral Brothers, the Hager Twins (1) would perform on TV’s Hee Haw from 1969 to 1986, and (2) get close to a Top 40 Country hit in 1969

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The Chaparral Brothers: Shattered Men

At last weekend’s Arbutus Record Show, I picked up some interesting long-players, including one each by a pair of unsung Capitol country artists – both, as I discovered, identical twins:  The Chaparral Brothers and The Hagers. Paul Vorhaben + John Vorhaben = The Chaparral Brothers Indeed, I was happy to

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