Week 49 - Fri 9 Dec

Welcome to the RPM Seven Day Soundtrack, week ending Friday 9th December 2022. The temperature might be plummeting but the music's still as hot as ever; over to...

John -

"Hi Everyone, hope you're all keeping warm and healthy. Here are three tracks from albums I've listened to this week."

Working Man's Cafe by Ray Davies -


It's Not Cricket by Squeeze -


Piers -

"Bit of a mixed bag this week, and to be honest I still haven’t shaken off that deep Dixie vibe entirely. (Or the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band either!) The first maintains something of it. Written by Robbie Robertson of ‘The Band’ (first heard on the glorious Northern Lights Southern Cross album). Back in 1980 I bought the Ray Charles album ‘Brother Ray is at it again’ on the strength of this track. The whole album is a gem in my opinion."

Ophelia by Ray Charles -


"Next up as the mercury dives, I thought the most shiver making song I have ever heard rather appropriate…"

Little Pot Stove by Nic Jones -


"And to prepare you all for the onslaught of Christmas… A bit of Norwegian introspection, technically a hymn and not a Carol but suitably contemplative for the world in which we find ourselves…. "

Jeg Ser Deg Sote Lam performed by Susanne Lundeng -


"And as it is nearly Christmas, I hope to get away with the most famous quote from Oliver Twist, no, not "Down Bullseye!" the other one.... “Please Sir, I want some more!”

Just to cheer everyone up again after the chill and introspection may I please include this little extra beam of sunshine?" (Absolutely...Tim.)

Jolity Farm by Leslie Sarony with Jack Hylton & His Orchestra -


Kevin -

"Hi everyone. I hope you’re all coping with the seasonal stress. Here’s my three for the week."

Hurt No More by Ronnie Brooks -


Blues Before Sunrise performed by Mickey Baker -


Rock This Town performed by The Brian Setzer Orchestra -


Alan -

"This week's crate digging from the compilation collection features three 'rockers' from 1957, all with some connection to the Sun label to a greater or lesser degree."

Peanuts Wilson- 'Cast Iron Arm' (7" single b-side, initial UK release 27th November 1957. Vogue/Coral label (US Brunswick label). This from 'Rare Rockabilly' LP released 1983. MCA label)

"A scarce recording artist to start, but with a little luck, persistence, and the confidence of a committed record company things may well have changed (Johnny) 'Peanuts' Wilson fortunes. Born in Riversville, West Virginia in 1935, the family moved to Odessa when he was a child where he befriended neighbour Freddie Ray Daniel who developed a similar love of music which led to the pair beginning to perform in their early teens. Early in 1956 Johnny met Roy Orbison and The Wink Westerners and, within a short time, Orbison asked Wilson to join as rhythm guitarist just as the group changed their name to the Teen Kings. The group recorded early versions of the Big O's first single, 'Oobie Doobie' at Norman Petty's Clovis Studio which was initially issued on the small Je-Wel label and the group were soon signed to the Sun label. However, Orbison was unhappy with Sam Phillips recording methods and the sound at Sun after a few demos and brought the group back to Clovis for further recordings. In late 1956 Orbison agreed a solo deal with the Sun label and the group decided to carry on with Wilson as the de-facto leader. They secured a regular slot on the local TV, Channel 7, using the name The Drakes and, as Orbison's career had not yet progessed, they regularly performed live with Orbison on lead guitar. May 1957 saw the group return to the Clovis studio to record the 'Cast Iron Arm/You've got love' single. However, there is some confusion over just who played on the disc. What's certain is that Wilson played rhythm guitar and Fred Daniel supplied the 'crazy voice'. It's reported that Orbison attended the session, ostensibly to play lead guitar, but some articles list Roy Underwood on lead, Jim Seals is listed on sax, but so is James Morrow and similarly, bass may have been supplied by either Jack Kennely or Fred Daniel. Whatever the line up, this part Orbison composed song (with Norman Petty and Alton Delmore) is a real cracker, released under the 'Peanuts' Wilson name, ostensibly due to Wilson's diminutive stature but maybe also to differentiate Wilson from his near namesake Jackie Wilson who was just becoming popular at that time. The record proved a 'jukebox' favourite, even achieving a number 60 placing on the UK jukebox listing in March 1958 (I didn't even know there was such an animal!!) but it seems that Brunswick had little confidence in the disc and did nothing to promote it. As a result Wilson continued to play small venues out in the countryside but could not secure any dates in the major towns or achieve any radio play and the single, despite its merits, stiffed. Wilson made further visits to Norman Petty's Studio, cutting "Silly Lily"; "Paper Boy"; "I've Had It"; "My Heartbeat" and "You've Got Everything" but Brunswick did not issue any of the tracks and Wilson returned to Odessa until he signed with the tiny Coronodo label where he issued "Little Miss Fortune/Twilight Zone"(as Coronada 001) in 1963. And that is where Johnny's career ended............ until Nashville called and he began a new career as a composer, having a plethora of songs placed on the country charts including "Easy As Pie" by Billy "Crash" Craddock (No 2, 1975), "Roses For Mama" by C.W. McCall (No 2, 1977) and "It's Too Late" by Jeanne Pruett (No 9, 1980). Wilson died of a heart attack in September 1980, just as Kenny Rogers was providing him with his biggest ever hit composition, "Love the World Away" (No 4 country, No 14 pop). Other country stars who have recorded his songs include Conway Twitty, Brenda Lee, Loretta Lynn, Faron Young and Bobby Vinton.

'Rare Rockabilly' just does what it sez on the tin! There's great tracks from the (slightly better known) Johnny Carroll, Webb Pierce and Roy Hall plus, at least for me, the lesser known but equally worthy Don Woody, Autrey Inman and Gene Maltaise amongst the rest. A good buy if you see one at anywhere between £3 and £9."


Johnny Horton- 'Lovers Rock' (7" single b-side, US only release November 1957. Columbia label. This from 'Rockabilly Vol 2 - CBS Rockabilly Classics.', Released 1978. CBS label)

"Perhaps better known for songs such as 'North to Alaska', 'The Battle of New Orleans' and 'Sink the Bismarck', Horton's career was tragically cut short just at the time he was achieving chart success in November 1960. Born in LA, his family moved to East Texas but became 'migrant' workers traversing between the two states in search of work. After attending university, where he didn't complete his course, Horton secured a job in the movies........ working in the mailroom at the Selznick International Pictures studio, but soon wanderlust struck again and Horton went 'north to Alaska' to become a gold prospector! Whilst panning for gold he began to write songs and, after returning to Texas, he won a talent competition and relocated to California to begin his musical career in the early 1950's. He made guest appearances on Cliffie Stone's Hometown Jamboree on KXLA-AM and KLAC-TV in Pasadena and secured his own half-hour show, 'The Singing Fisherman' which led to the opportunity to record some songs on the Cormac record label where he had ten singles released. He progressed to the nationally networked Louisiana Hayride and secured a contract with Mercury Records, formed his own trio, The Singing Fishermen (after his non-musical pastime) and released the well received "First Train Headin' South" single in 1952. There was a swift name change for the trio, to Johnny Horton and the Roadrunners, plus a divorce from his first wife, and this was followed by marriage to Hank Williams' widow and a spell working in a fishing tackle shop when the "All for the Love of a Girl" single failed to promote interest in his career. A new manager, Tillman Franks, secured Horton a contract with Columbia and Horton picked up on the waves currently being made by Sun Records latest signing, Elvis Presley, and began recording in a rockabilly style. The 11th January 1956 saw Horton in the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville backed by Grady Martin, Harold Bradley and Bill Black, all of whom would go on to back Elvis, laying down four songs including his first Country hit 'Honky Tonk Man' which reached number 14 on the charts. There followed a run of Country hits, including the 'You're my Baby/Lovers Rock' coupling (where Johnny seems to have picked up on Gene Vincent's breathy style), over the next three years but it was the trio of film related singles mentioned above which saw him enter the national charts in 1960. "The Battle of New Orleans" (written by Jimmy Driftwood), was awarded the 1960 Grammy Award for Best Country & Western Recording and was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. However, on the night of November 4–5th Horton and two other band members, Tommy Tomlinson and Tillman Franks, were traveling from the Skyline Club in Austin, Texas, to Shreveport when they collided with an oncoming truck on a bridge near Milano in Milam County, Texas. Horton died en route to the hospital, and Tomlinson was seriously injured and his leg later had to be amputated. Franks suffered head injuries, and James Davis, the driver of the truck, had a broken ankle and other minor injuries. Hortons good friend Johnny Cash read a lesson at the funeral and is quoted as saying after Hortons death "I locked myself in one of the hotel's bathrooms and cried." and he later went on to record Hortons ``When It's Springtime in Alaska (It's Forty Below)" on his 'Personal File' LP. After his death, Horton's 'Greatest Hits' album achieved platinum sales and reached number eight on the album charts.......... a belated success for one of the early pioneers of rockabilly.

'Rockabilly Vol 2 - CBS Rockabilly Classics.', a good collection with tracks by both Rose Maddox and her 'parent' group, The Maddox Brothers and Rose, alongside Pat Boone in a rock and roll stylee (following his 'exposure' to Elvis), Sid King and the Five Strings, Little Jimmy Dickens and Lefty Frizzell all weighing in with good tracks. Good value at £4 to £8 and one of a short series of three albums."


Billy Lee Riley and his Little Green Men- 'Flyin' Saucers Rock and Roll' (7" single, US/Canada only release February (occasionally listed as January) 23rd 1957. Sun label.This from 'The Sun Story 1952-1958', released 1974. Sun label)

"Essentially, Billy and Co were the Sun studios houseband but, on this occasion they were coupled with the label's latest signing, Jerry Lee Lewis. In fact, therein lay the problem, but more of that in a moment (or three!). Billy was born in a sharecropper's cabin in Pocahontas Arkansas in 1933 and learnt to play the guitar at an early age with the help of his black farm labour neighbours. He made some early recordings at the Sounds of Memphis Studio for Stan Kesler including the influential 'Kay' single but it was the "Trouble Bound/Rock with me Baby" single, produced by Jack Clement and Slim Wallace which attracted interest from Sam Phillips who duly leased and released the disc on the Sun Records label on September 1st 1956. Its follow up, 'Flying Saucers Rock and Roll', was released on February 23rd 1957 and featured Roland Janes on guitar, Jimmy Van Eaton on drums, Marvin Pepper on bass and, generally, Jimmy Wilson on either bass or piano. Riley himself was an excellent guitarist as well as a fine harmonica player (an instrument he featured on many occasions later in his career) but, on this occasion, Phillips requested that his latest signing, Jerry Lee Lewis, sit in with the group. For the follow up single, 'Red Hot', Phillips again sequestered Lewis to add piano but, crucially, despite Riley's growing popularity, Phillips dedicated much of the Sun labels meagre publicity finances to Jerry Lee's 'Great Balls of Fire' single at the expense of Riley's disc. Riley continued at Sun and released around a further half a dozen singles but the killing of sales of the 'Red Hot' single continued to rankle and, in 1960 he left Sun and set up his own label, 'Rita', hitting both the r&b charts (number 7) and the Billboard Hot 100 (number 25) immediately with the "Mountain of Love" single by Harold Dorman. Rileys career then dissipated with a succession of further releases on new labels, and often under aliases, before he commenced session work for Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jnr, Herb Alpert, the Beach Boys and Johnny Winters amongst many others. There was a brief resurgence in 1965 following his live 'Whiskey a go go presents....' blues album and again, in 1978, when 'Red Hot' and 'Flying Saucers Rock and Roll' were covered by Robert Gordon and Link Wray which saw Riley return to the Sun Studios to recommence both his recording and live career. The approbation of none other than long time fan Bob Dylan in 1992 provided a further boost to his career and this was followed by his 1997 'Hot Damn!' album being nominated for a Grammy Award. He was injured in an accidental fall in a Department store in 2005 and later developed cancer in 2009 to which he succumbed on August 2nd that year.

'The Sun Story' double album is (conveniently) separated into four different aspects of Sun's output, Side One is 'Feelin' Good' with Billy 'The Kid' Emerson, The Prisonaires and the Five 'Tino's, Side Two promises 'Hillbilly Fever' courtesy of the crazy Harmonica Frank Ford, Carl Perkins and Dane Stinit whilst Side Three has Billy Lee Riley, Barbara Pittman and a Roy Orbison demo for the Everly Brothers ('Claudette'). Side Four dips into 'Sun in the '60's' with more three from Frank Frost and the Nighthawks, The Climates and The Jesters making for a well rounded package without dipping into the Presley/Lewis canon and, again. shouldn't cost you more than £4 to £6!!! A bargain......"


Bonus Track - "Too good to miss this 1965 'Scopitone' jukebox video of 'High Heel Sneakers' at the Whiskey..."


"Probably just another couple of weeks of bargain basement stuff.......... not covered 60's Garage yet. My favourite!!!!! Hope you're enjoying 'em?"

Philip -

"I've discovered someone new- to me at any rate- this week, although I feel I ought to have noticed his name in a non-musical context. John Fusco is a screenwriter with credits such as "Crossroads" (rather contrived, but it has good performances and a Ry Cooder soundtrack), "Young Guns" and "Young Guns 2" (the first of which is surprisingly good, the second is the one where Jon Bon Jovi was involved), "Hidalgo" (very good if you can get past the Arabs beginning statements with "It is written..."), "Thunderheart" (I've not seen it but would like to), and the Dreamworks animation "Spirit: Stallion of The Cimarron" (again, not seen it).

This tells us two things- that he's a storyteller, and that his interests include the Blues and the American West. I read one rave review and decided to take a chance. I received the album this week and it is excellent, including several story songs with distinctive evocative lyrics, some of them featuring Biblical allusions. My favourite song so far is my first choice this week. "

Cowboy Picture by John Fusco - "The album's title is one letter different from that of Tom Russell's 2001 record. The album cover is a painting by Tom Russell. My second choice (surprise!) is by Tom Russell."


Touch of Evil by Tom Russell - "...from "Borderland." I think I once chose another song from this record, namely "When Sinatra Played Juarez."


"My third choice is not strictly musical although there is a pianola playing in the background- it's a clip from the film referenced in the title and lyrics of Mr. Russell's song."

"Your future's all used up," from "Touch of Evil" (1958) -


"Best wishes to all RPMers as always."

Jean -

"I think the first type of jazz I enjoyed was by the Dave Brubeck Quartet – they did have a hit single in the 60s with Unsquare Dance. Here’s a video from late 50s."

Blue Rondo à la Turk by Dave Brubeck Quartet -


"I got to know Trad Jazz from Kenny Ball and Acker Bilk who appeared on tv regularly in my teenage years.

Both excellent players and with their own bands. I prefer the clarinet lead as it’s more mellow."

Sweet Georgia Brown '87 by Mr. Acker Bilk -


"Lastly, something completely different. The smooth sounds of George Benson who had a fabulous voice but was an accomplished jazz guitar player."

Breezin' by George Benson (Live HQ 1977 Old Grey Whistle Test) -


"Hope everyone keeps safe and warm during this freezing weather. Cheers."

Jayne -

"With all good wishes to RPMers near and far…"

The Ivy n’ the Holly by The Kipper Family -


Dave -

"Hi RPMers; hope you all have your thermals on!!! Here’s my 3."

54 Cymru Beats by Aphex Twin -


Lone Pine Hill performed by Steve Earl & the Dukes -


Tim -

"Here's my three..."

Badlands by Bruce Springsteen - "The brilliant Darkness on the Edge of Town still in the car CD player..."


Sticks and Stones by Smoke Fairies - "Something from the new Smoke Fairies EP, available for streaming or download only, at the moment..."


Oom Pah Rag by The Farr Brothers - "Something old, but new to me; I was listening to a mix CD of old Bluegrass and Country music that Jonothan (ex Elsing resident some of you know) had put together as our car soundtrack for driving back and forth each day to Folk in a Field a few years ago. A fiddle and guitar instrumental stood out and upon further investigation I discovered it was by the Farr Brothers who were also members of the Sons of the Pioneers, who possibly Piers and Philip will have heard of. So this is from an album called Texas Crapshooter: 1934 -1940 Transcription Recordings, compiling the brother's duo material onto a single disc....and top notch Western Swing it is too."


'Til Next Time...