Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

Tag: Starday

Cincinnati (OH-KY-IN tri-state area)
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King Records — In a Nutshell

What a revelation to find out that World Radio History‘s website not only allows access to a comprehension collection of music trade publications, including Billboard, Cash Box, and Record World, but also the ability to search all back issues simultaneously! What’s especially helpful is how the search results often show

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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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"When I Come Driving Through"
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Willis Brothers: Giants of Diesel

When you think of truck-driving country classics, the names of four artists should come readily to mind:  Dave Dudley, Red Sovine, Red Simpson … and The Willis Brothers!  Brotherly harmonies + offbeat humor + trucker tales = a winning sound and track record. “Give Me Forty Acres (To Turn This

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"Steel Guitar Chimes"
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Leon’s “Steel Guitar Chimes”

Zero to 180 couldn’t take it any more, so it added a new category – steel guitar – and instantly populated a set of 25 pieces from the past three years [40 items as of January 2023] that feature many of the world’s foremost steel guitarists, including today’s post, which

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"Ode to Big Joe"
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“Ode to Big Joe”: Big Joe Talbot, That’s Who

Thanks to the contributor of YouTube’s only audio clip of “Ode to Big Joe,” I now know which country singers are being affectionately parodied by The Willis Brothers in this song. Question:  Can you close your eyes and identify the four music legends being spoofed? Scroll down for the answer

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"Baby Rocked Her Dolly"
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“Baby Rocked Her Dolly”: Frankie (Miller) & Johnny (Horton)

Merle Kilgore really brings the pathos on an original composition that absolutely could have come from the canon of Johnny Cash: * <streaming audio no longer available> * “Baby Rocked Her Dolly” was also covered by Starday labelmates, Frankie Miller (1960) and Red Sovine (1967).  However, for his own version,

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"Bob" (1967)
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“Bob”: The Willis Brothers, Not Weird Al

“Bob” is the title track of a Willis Brothers album released on the Starday label in 1967 (actually, the full album title is ‘Bob’ And Other Songs To Make The Juke Box Play). The song is written from the perspective of Bob’s wayward pal, who playfully chides him for choosing

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"Gibson Girl"
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“Gibson Girl”: Actually, Billy Byrd’s a Gibson Guy

Guitarist Billy Byrd – according to Ernest Tubb‘s biographer, Ronnie Pugh – ”came from a pop and jazz background, and there were some people who were leery of the notion that he could play country with Tubb.  [But] he did it and did it well.  The ten years Billy was

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"Beatle Crazy"
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“Beatle Crazy”: Will Somebody Pass the DDT?

Thanks to the research staff at Ace UK for the great story behind Bill Clifton‘s attempt to cash-in on the initial Beatles hysteria, 1963’s “Beatle Crazy” — probably the only Beatle tribute song done in a talking blues style. Clifton, who was born into a wealthy family in Baltimore County,

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"Springfield Guitar Social"
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“Springfield Guitar Social”: Who’s Who of Guitar Wizardry

If you’re pressed for time but curious to know more about the stringed instrument masters who inspired and laid the groundwork for the the classic rock generation to come, here is a two-and-a-half minute Cliff Notes guide that demonstrates Thumbs Carllile‘s uncanny ability to play in the style of such

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