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May 1st. Holidays, the thing everybody has but me, it’s my own fault! I could shut everything down for a couple of weeks, but then I’d have a couple of starving cats to worry about and a lot of customers asking what has become of their CDs that they ordered whilst I was away. So I’m sticking to my guns and not worrying about going away, things are more important around here. Apart from the fact that going away means walking and a 100 yards at tortoise rate is about as far as I can go without a ten minute rest. What’s the fun in that? Oh how I wish I could turn back a few years, like we all say at times.
As Brian will be away for a time in May he is already working hard on June CD tracks, so we can make sure we don’t disappoint our regular customers. I keep getting letters saying how much they enjoy it when the packet of three new CDs drops through the letterbox every month. As we are such a small company I cannot be sure of the exact dates when your CDs will arrive but I’ll be at the reins doing my utmost to make sure we don’t get behind.
I’m very pleased with our selection for May – all three CDs are 40s/50s music. This was the second period of Country Music, as Old Time was dying out and the sound of the 40s was fast making progress on all the radio stations – bringing Western Swing and also the smoother kind of ‘Cowboy & Western’ and the beginnings of a honky tonk as well as something close to what would become rockabilly. The first era of recorded country music was the 20s and 30s; the old time sound of country music when the musicians kept the music simple; guitar or banjo plus fiddle and maybe mandolin, all in perfect harmony. The musicians didn’t have to go to music schools or university, they just learned it from the family and other players living in their town, and put their heart into it.
BILLY BARTON a.k.a. Johnny Grimes & Hillbilly Barton. BACM CD 557. When I purchased my first Billy Barton 78 on Parlophone here in London I thought what a tremendous voice he had and became mesmerised with the lovely Wanda Wayne, not at all knowing she was his wife at the time. I wished that I could have bought more of him but I didn’t know where to look. Now after all these years Al Turner has come up with a big bunch of his records from his collection so we can put together this CD. This is pure down to earth hillbilly music from around the mid fifties.
DUSTY ELLISON & THE SADDLE DUSTERS – Trail Of Dreams. BACM CD 558. This artist had only one release in the UK – Goofus, a great version of this instrumental classic; can anyone who likes Country Music say that this is not to his liking? When Dusty sang cowboy harmony with his group there were none better, but he adjusted to his audience on many occasion.
CURT BARRETT & The TRAILSMEN – Texas Jubilee. BACM CD 559. This performer had a pretty big following in and around the Los Angeles area in the late 40s. There’s a lot of songs that you will remember other artists performing, so this will jog your memory if you can go back that far.
Thanks to Kevin Coffey for all his hard work on the liner notes, digging up the information on Curt and Dusty – and to Dusty’s family for sharing some memories. Thanks also to Andy Parker’s son for giving us the 1944 Curt Barrett/ Andy Parker/Hank Caldwell demo recording of You Should Know.
We’ve had to make a small price increase for our regular subscribers (our Archive Buddies). We here at the archive don’t want to make a profit out of our friends that we have grown up with over the years but just need to cover our expenses and get onto CD those obscure country music artists from decades ago. If we could reduce our prices for a change it would give me the greatest of pleasure, but I’m afraid the world doesn’t work that way.
I think I’ll be about 90 years old when our 1000th CD rolls off the block, I wonder if we’ll make it?, I hope so.
Well that’s it for another month. I hope that you’ll all enjoy everything we’ve put out this month.
DAVE, BARRY, BRIAN The BACM Boys. Plus our overworked and unpaid sidekicks which we all have to be thankful for