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Date News Posted: October 22, 2004

September took two more of America’s    classic artist, Skeeter Davis and Roy Drusky, I would say that Jeanne Pruett’s Golden Voice show in Franklin, Tennessee in June of this year was Skeeter’s last performance.

Skeeter was born December the 30th 1931 in Dry Ridge, Kentucky and scored a giant hit with Betty Jack Davis who she teamed up with in 1953 and at which time Mary Frances Penick was to be forever known as Skeeter Davis, the duo hit all the charts with “I Forgot More” then you’ll ever know about him.

As the Davis sisters it was looking like a one way street to fame but a dead end came shortly after when Betty Jack Davis was killed in a car crash and Skeeter came very close to the same fate.

Atlanta, Georgia born Roy Drusky was, it seemed, one of the quiet men of country music, other then his great singing voice not much was ever heard about him good or bad, after Faron Young recorded Roy’s “Alone With You” in 1958 which topped the charts for twelve or thirteen weeks, Roy Drusky was here to stay.

Roy scored two back to back hits after moving to Nashville in 1960 with “Another” and Anymore” and at the same time Johnny And Jack were hotter then a fire-cracker and so was Johnny’s wife Kitty Wells, Miss Kitty teamed up with Roy to create another hit, “I Can’t Tell My Heart That”.

Like all singers so it seems, no matter how many, how big how anything, a song may have been for them there is always that one that forever sticks in the mind like  “Yes, Mr. Peters”.

However one of our favorite Roy Drusky songs was one written by Kris (Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down) Kristofferson called “Jody And The Kid” that hit the charts for Roy in 1968 and hung around somewhere in the middle of those charts for about 8 weeks.

Roy Drusky was born June the 13th 1930.

Hugh X. Lewis is one of our all time favorite classic country music singers who in the mid 60’s was just riding’ high on the Kapp record label, the same label that produced some great music for Freddie Hart and Cal Smith and several others that are still classics to this very day.

Hugh X was born Hubert Brad Lewis December the 7th. 1932 in Yeaddiss, Kentucky, Hugh was a featured member of the TV Show “Tennessee Barn Dance” in 1963 then on to the Grand Ole Opry in 64 and the ABC TV’s “American Swingaround in 1967.

While with Kapp in the 60’s Hugh X charted 5 times in a row with “What I Need Most”+ “Out Where The Ocean Meets The Sky” + I’d Better Call The Law On Me” + “You’re So Cold I’m Turning Blue” + & “Evolution And The Bible”.

While I played all of the above plus several others of Hugh’s songs, one of my favorite songs by anyone at any time has always been Hugh X Lewis’ 70’s hit of “All Heaven Broke Loose” just a great piece of material well done.

Even though these movies never showed up on the Academy Award list, never the less they were fun movies to watch and if you have a copy of any of them, how about sending me a copy.

One of them is “40 Acre Feud” “Golden Guitar” and although I never saw this movie the title is priceless, it’s called “Cottonpickin’ Chicken Pluckers” .

Hugh X was in all of the above Classic flicks and if anyone today is thinking about filming “Chicken Pluckers Two” I want to be in it.

AND!!! In December of 1963 The Great Stonewall Jackson hit the number one spot on the national charts with the Hugh X Lewis penned song “B.J The D.J” and it stayed  in the charts for 22 straight weeks.

What is Hugh X doing now? I’m pure glad you ask that question, he is recording and releasing some of the finest Gospel music on record, he is just a good person that if you are a D.J then you oughta be playing some of these releases and you can pretty darn easy, just send us an email which we’ll shoot to Hugh and he will shoot’ye back a CD, now if you are just a regular good ole human country music fan like most of us, then  they are for sale at a good price so there is no excuse not to own one, he may even autograph that bugger for you if you ask.

 Del Reeves, now there is a name the whole world knows, if for nothing else “Do-Doolidy-De-Do” which of course is, or was on March the 27th. 1965 a number one song for the young man from Sparta, North Carolina, the whole title of course being, “Girl On The Billboard”.

Del followed G-O-T-B up in August of that same year (65) with the “Belles Of Southern Bell”.

In those great 50’s years Del did a lot of things, one of them being a part of the Chester Smith show in California and Chester is probably just where Del left him to go on with his career. Except for the fact that Chester now owns 8 or more TV stations in California and I think a couple in Oregon, with the home base still in Modesto.

In 1969Del had what we though was a real winner with “Good Time Charlie’s” got the blues which stayed on the national charts for 15 straight weeks, and in 2004 it should still be on the charts somewhere, or maybe everywhere.

Del charted 24 times in the national charts and probably hit the number one spot in hundreds of radio stations around the country, so called charts do not always tell the true story of a record and how much air play it received and sometimes, especially a few years ago how well it did in foreign countries which now days is big business.

A few years ago a friend of ours did an interview with   Del for his radio show in Idaho and in that interview he played a record of Del’s that I was never able to find  (and we really tried) called “Louisiana Legs”.

Can you believe this, Del was also in the movie “Cotton Pickin’ Chicken Pluckers”  that Hugh X was in, well like we said, maybe Chicken Pluckers two.

If you want to write to Del send us an email and we will make sure he gets it, the fastest way in the world to get anyone to cheer up, even if they are already cheered up is to hear from you, their fans.

Remember the great old Mac Wiseman song “It’s Sweet To Be Remembered” well, that’s what I’m talking about.

Del Reeves, one of the good guys of country music:

Hank Penny was born (Herbert Clayton Penny) on the 18th of August, 1918 and left us April the 17th 1992, Little did Eddie Dean or I know that the Hank and Shari Penny party we attended  that day in 92 would be the last one we would ever attend because a few months later, Hank was gone, they say it was a heart attack so I guess it was all I know is every one sure missed those great parties.

Shari had a few more after Hank died but slowly one by one even the guest were passing away, Hugh Cherry, Eddie Dean, Doye O’Dell, Cliffie Stone, Iron Eyes Cody, and the list went on until at last it was all over for those great get-togethers at the Penny house.

I think Hank loved being a funny man, a comic more then anything else he ever did, even though he had some good music out on those great old records he still loved being funny and he was full of funny, along with his silly lookin’ hat on Doye’s Western Variety Show and just about every other TV show that was on the air during those great years with Billy Mize, and Cliffie’s Home Town Jamboree and the great Town Hall Part Show and those that went on from week to week up in Bakersfield it was a great time for all those artist and any appearance on any of the above mentioned TV shows meant work in clubs from Compton, California to San Francisco, Modesto, Sacramento and all points in between, some of them scattered out as far as Las Vegas at mostly the Casinos located down town, I know that Mr. Binion that owned (was it the Horse Shoe Club) in Vegas loved Chill Wills and Walkin’ Talkin’ Charley Aldridge both enjoyed spending time with him, of course they didn’t get to much funnier then Chill Wills.

What was even more funny was, getting three or four of those guys in the same room, it was wall to wall fall down on the floor laughing at the bunch of them.

In the late 30’s Hank hooked up with steel guitar player Noel Boggs and with that fell into a love of western swing that was down around New Orleans then back to Birmingham where he formed his band the “Radio Cowboys” .

Later in the 30’s he turned down a vocal job with Pee Wee King’s band a job later filled by Eddy Arnold  and you see how far he went but Ole Hank knew where he was going and never had a hankerin’ to be anyone’s side kick.

Over the years Hank played with many, many other known acts both from the east-west and in between, taking time off here and there to record several singles and albums, Hank usually left us at those great parties with “Won’t You Ride In My Little Red Wagon”.

Shari is doing fine, she called us just a couple of weeks ago and was appearing at a concert hall here in California, she too is really a great singer and is keeping really busy  she to will no doubt be in the recording studio one of these days soon and it wouldn’t be surprise’n  if she recorded an album load of songs that Hank’s fans love to hear him perform.

Buddy Knox  was from day one our favorite Rockabilly artist, the driving beat on “Party Doll” was as distinct as was Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line”.

Buddy was born July the 20th 1933 in Happy, Texas.

One of Buddy’s band members Jimmy Bowen who played upright bass in the Rhythm Orchids band scored a good hit with the flip side of “Party Doll” with “I’m Stickin’With You”.

Well, “Stickin’ With You” was the “B” side ‘till Roulette Records peeled the record apart, then they had two hits.

Buddy followed “Party Doll” with  “Rock Your Little Baby To Sleep” & “Hula Love” and several others over the next few years and then just seem to kinda’ disappear, even though we would hear about him in the trades showing up for one of the Rockabilly shows here and there we never heard anything more from him, then one day we read where he was killed in a car accident in Florida which wasn’t true but that was the last time we heard from Buddy Knox “till February of 1999 when he did die in Bremerton, Washington from lung cancer.

According to the Bremerton papers Buddy would appear at one of the local clubs there from time to time and to the end I would say he was still rockin’ the joint with “Party Doll”.

What tee’s me off is, where Buddy lived in Bremerton was just a few miles from where my Brother lived, but neither one of us knew he was there ‘till it was to late, I would have walked to Washington to hear him do any of those great classics.

Anyway, Rhino Records has captured most all of Buddy’s music on a couple of great CDs, and they are worth looking for.

Cindy Walker has written so many hit songs that has been recorded by, well, pert-near everybody that was looking for a hit song, if we listed everyone that has recorded a Cindy Walker song you would be reading names for the next hour.

Other then the smooth voice of Jim Reeves or Eddy Arnold there was the voice that would just make you stop and listen to every word, and who might that be? Jerry Wallace, I loved um all and if you have read all that we have written over the years then you already know that but Jerry Wallace had a way with making a song his very own like he did on “Primrose Lane” and countless others.

When you mention the name Jerry Wallace around those that loved country music most from those great years, someone in the crowd will always say, “ Wasn’t he the guy that did that thing in the Rod Serling Night Gallery that got stuck on the juke box”? yep, he was, “If You Leave Me Tonight I’ll Cry” was on the charts for 16 weeks in a row and two of those weeks in the number one position.

We went to Borders Books & Music store a couple of days ago, and there with five compartments filled with the number one CD was Ray Charles brand new one, and again on that CD is another great Cindy Walker hit done by Ray called “You Don’t Know Me”.

If you still have your old collection of albums around, (that’s those big black things with a hole in the middle) look on the back cover or on the label it’s self and see how many Cindy Walker songs you can find.

It wouldn’t surprise us with the breaking of the Ray Charles movie “Ray” that this CD don’t go gold a dozen times over.

We mentioned a few weeks back the fact that Cal Smith was putting on his half of the Ernest Tubb/Cal Smith duo CD a two CD set which I think will be sold as a two parter other then a box set of two, which is good, you won’t have to lay out a large piece of change all at once .

Rose Drake, Pete Drake’s (the steel guitar player) wife is carrying on the label that released some great things over the years, not only on Cal Smith but The Wilburn Brothers, Lonzo & Oscar, Ray Pillow and others on First Generation Records, so look for that one or you can check our catalog and order it from us or straight from 1st. Generation if you want to.

Anyone know where Lamar Morris is? He had a nice hit some years ago on MGM called  “The Great Pretender” .

How about Jimmy Payne from EPIC with one called “Where Has The Love Gone.

Or Jim Alley from DOT and “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line”

Maybe Duane Dee who was on CAP & the first version we ever heard of the Freddy Fender hit of “Before The Next Teardrop Falls”

Anyway, we could do some stories on them if we could find them;

That’s gonna do it, we’ll see ye next time, but just in case we don’t.

Take care of yourself.

Don Bradley


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