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This is a companion piece to our recent release which covered western bands from California's San Joaquin Valley. We now turn the spotlight on the San Francisco Bay area from 1944 to 1952. The Bay Area's hillbilly and western music scene had been a lively one since the mid-1920s and this continued through the 1930s and even more during the war when things exploded with the region bursting at the seams with military personnel and shipyard and other defence industry workers from all over the US. Ray Wade’s Rhythm Riders was a fine western swing group who were packing the dance halls in the mid 1940s and included future star Dave Stogner on fiddle as well as members of Bob Style’s pre war band. One of Wade's featured vocalists, Dusty Dale had been active on the local scene for at least a decade and recorded six fine sides with his own group The Trail Blazers in 1946. Five of these tracks are included here – great western swing with wonderful fiddle and accordion – and a fine banjo intro on the novelty Cal-i-for-ny-i-a! Don Churchill was one of the best known western band leaders in the Bay Area from the war years Into the 1960s. Here we feature seven late '40s tracks on the Trilon label with Clint ‘Curly’ Burns on lead vocals as well as some Four-Star recordings from 1952 with Don himself on vocal duties. Nice version of Texas Plains. We also have four recordings by "Tiny Mite of Yodelling Dynamite" Arvada Miller. Brought up in Colorado she was performing in Northern California by 1930 becoming vocalist with Dude Martin’s band during the war years. Her replacement on leaving to get married was her admirer, the teenage Caroline Cotton. Post war, Arvada had her own band the Rhythm Rustlers but the four tracks here were recorded with the Gallion Brothers for the LA-based Cormac label in 1950-51. In great voice on covers of Lovesick Blues, Mockingbird Hill and she also waxed My Ever Lovin' Ducky Daddy Blues, which her former protégé Carolina Cotton also cut for MGM. Beyond Miller's vocals, the highlight of the sessions was Rex Gallion's fantastic lead guitar work.
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