BIRMINGHAM RECORD COLLECTORS
DEDICATED TO THE COLLECTING OF MUSIC, ITS PRESERVATION, AND LASTING FRIENDSHIP
MONTHLY MEETING THIS SUNDAY, JANUARY 14th 2018
2:00 PM HOMEWOOD LIBRARY – 1721 OXMOOR ROAD 35209
NEXT MEETING SUNDAY, FEBUARY 10th, 2018 THE SECOND SUNDAY
THIS MONTH’S MEETING
Well we sent all comers home last month with a wonderful gift I’m sure. Dirty Santa always brings out the best in us. Hope everyone in attendance had fun and I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
This month I’ll be spinning some platters that I hope everyone will enjoy. I’ll be bringing a stack-a-records that most of you probably never heard before. And I think only about 2 or 3 of them even charted or the maybe the flip side charted. Every genre will be included so maybe there will be something for everyone. Hope to see you there.
TWO SIDES OF WEBB
Ask a baby-boomer who Webb Pierce was and if they had their ears pinned to the radio back then they’d say he had a hit with Jimmie Rodgers ‘In The Jailhouse Now‘. If they were really paying attention they’d also know of his hit, ‘I Ain’t Never‘. But that may be all they know about him. Of course I’m talking about the pop charts or pop radio, not the country side. On that chart Webb really made his mark. He had 13 singles that went to #1 and had over 50 that were in the top 10. He was very popular on country radio but only rarely did he make the pop charts having less than 10 records make the Hot 100 Pop chart.
Most of us grew up in a time when radio stations played a wide range of music. You may hear Elvis, Ricky, and Jerry Lee but you also got Brenda, Connie, Chuck, and Bo. The Everly’s, Patsy Cline, Sue Thompson and Marty Robbins were also mixed in there. So a country star could cross over ever now and then with a recording that we enjoyed even though a listener may not have been a country fan. Hank Locklin, Jim Reeves, and Eddy Arnold were often heard on pop/rock radio.
Going through some of my records the other day I came across some of Webb’s that I had basically forgotten about but have really enjoyed over the years. He had some really good rocker and rockabilly style recordings that I wanted to share with you to remind you of his ability to add a rock/boogie beat when he wanted to. Now if you’re looking for a crooner or blue eyed soul voice you won’t find it from Webb. His singing style was purely country. Of course you can start with ‘In The Jailhouse Now’ and “I Ain’t Never’. Those 2 had a toe tapping, finger tapping beat but he had many others that were even more upbeat. ‘Any Old Time‘, another Jimmie Rodgers song, shows what can be done with traditional country music instruments to make a good early rock sound. Slide guitar, fiddle and a country strumming sound on the guitar makes for a good swinging tune. And then there’s the top 10 country hit that may have gotten no pop radio airplay, ‘Teenage Boogie‘. This one was a Webb Pierce composition. It talks about the younger generation and their desire to ‘reel and rock’. Really good swinging or shuffling sound as Webb says in the lyrics. With a good beat keep by the guitar and some really nice piano work, Webb adds another recording to his country swing / country rocker side with ‘Honky Tonk Song‘, another Mel Tillis song. Webb sings about trying to sleep with that honky tonk beat coming from that joint down below and what a rough night it can be. I’ve always enjoyed a song with just enough rocking/bluesy piano in the background to make me want to hear it again and this one does just that. And another, maybe my favorite, that adds a fast piano beat is ‘No Love Have I‘. Maybe Webb can’t find a love but he sure sings his woes in a rocking style. This is one that Webb and Mel Tillis wrote together. The duo also penned the aforementioned ‘I Ain’t Never’. By the way, another great version of ‘No Love Have I‘ was done in 1978 by country star, Gail Davies. She really does a rocking good job. Although a little slower, Webb’s ‘Drifting Texas Sand’ has the same style finger snapping beat. Again, the slide guitar along with a constant bluesy sounding guitar really makes this song a country swinger. In 1966 Webb covered a song by Joe Hudgins entitled ‘Where’d Ya Stay Last Night‘. Although Webb’s version had more of a traditional country sound than Hudgins’ original, Webb still gave it a good bopping sound. Using a country guitar sound but once again adding some really swinging piano Webb added another good rocking recording to his repertoire.
Webb did a few others with a more upbeat sound than his pure country songs such as ‘Love, Love, Love’, ‘Bye, Bye Love’, a cover of the Everly’s classic hit, ‘(Doin’ The) Lover’s Leap’, ‘You Ain’t No Better Than Me’, ‘Saturday Night’, ‘Showing His Dollar’, ‘I’m Gonna Be A Swinger’, and a song with a groovy electric guitar sound, ‘The Good Lord Giveth And Uncle Sam Taketh Away’.
We all know George Jones, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Don Williams, and on and on, but I think Webb Pierce, in the overall big picture, is not given the credit he is due for his career in the music industry, be it country or be it pop. So the next time you searching through records or you’re on the internet listening to songs via youtube, don’t overlook a Webb Pierce recording. It will be well worth it.
UPCOMING RECORD SHOWS
Bessemer, AL – The Alabama Record Collectors present their 37th annual Record and CD Show. March 2-3, 2018. Friday 4 PM-9 PM with earlybird at 1:00 PM @$10. Saturday 9AM-5PM. $5 admission. Bessemer Civic Center, Bessemer, AL. 1130 9th Ave SW 35022. Exit 108 off I-59.
Atlanta, GA – Sunday, March 4, 2018. 10 AM-4 PM (eastern time). Marriott Century Center Hotel. 2000 Century Blvd NE Atlanta, Ga 30345. 1-770-463-2727. $3 admission.