Eddie was born in 1925 and became interested in singing at the young age of 9. He bought himself his first guitar for $3.00, learning to play by ear. His inspiration came from such artists as Gene Autry, Montana Slim & Ernest Tubb. He used to play for the local fire dept as well as the police dept. As a young man, he entered the U.S. Navy and served during WWII, until the age of 21. He played guitar and sang while on the ship. When he returned home, he started playing nightclubs, stage shows & in radio stations. He first became a professional when a man by the name of Steve Nelson approached him while performing in a nightclub. Nelson asked him if he would like to cut a 'demo' record ; Eddie agreed and recorded two songs (one by Hank Snow, the other by Eddy Arnold). Nelson took the songs to RCA where A&R man, Steve Sholes, played them to both Hank Snow and Eddy Arnold. They were impressed enough to ask who the singer was. That's when Sholes contacted Eddie Marshall and invited him to come to New-York for an audition. He was signed to RCA Victor in 1949.
Eddie's first record was 'The Tom Cat Blues', an excellent track written by Steve Nelson & Jack Rollins (the same pair who composed 'Frosty The Snowman'), coupled with a Bob Newman-Shorty Long song, 'Three Kisses'. His very competent band was called The Trail Dusters although they're not credited on all his singles. They consisted of Tony Matola (lead guitar), Buck Lambert (fiddle), George Johns (steel guitar) and Gabby Craig (bass), Eddie playing rhythm guitar. Next came 'Buddy, Stay Off Of That Wine', which was directly inspired by Tex Williams' 'Smoke, Smoke, Smoke (That Cigarette)'. The third single, 'Coffee, Cigarettes & Tears' (# 48-0413), again written by Nelson & Rollins, is one I particularly like. A fast Western Swinger, it features some hot fiddle (playing yodel-like lines during the solo) and a fantastic jazzy guitar. Eddie's vocal is clear and seems adaptable to any kind of material. Here, two band members join him during the refrain.
Click on the pic at right to hear it -------------------------------------------------------------->
I don't know if he had the original version on that tuneful song because there was a superb rival version by Charlie 'Peanuts' Faircloth on Decca ; it was taken at a slower pace and didn't feature any fiddle but the steel guitar and guitar breaks were great, the guitar sounding a lot like Billy Byrd. Eddie doesn't recall hearing Faircloth's version of this song.
The flip side, 'The Lovin'-You-Continu'lly Blues', a song penned by Hal Miller, was reminiscent of Tennessee Ernie Ford's everlasting 'I've Got The Milk'Em In The Morning Blues' ; again, the guitar backing & solo are tremendous and the steeler takes off in fine fashion, the fiddle taking a back seat. Eddie's acoustic rhythm guitar is very audible here, helping to keep a steady, bluesy tempo.
My copy is on black vinyl but, like most other single releases in RCA Victor's '48' series, it probably exists on green vinyl too.
Benefitting from RCA's promotion tools, Eddie's records enjoyed some success. He went on tour with Tex Ritter, Bill Carlisle, even a young Bill Haley. He was sent to Nashville where he appeared on the 'Grand Ole Opry' and cut at least one session with Chet Atkins on lead guitar in 1950 ; Chet is therefore present on 'My Bucket's Been Fixed' (# 48-0437) and 'Honky Tonk Blues' (# 48-0459). Then, in the wake of Tennessee Ernie Ford's hugely succesful pairing with Kay Starr on Capitol, RCA decided to team up Eddie with Rosalie Allen. Rosalie was an established artist who had her own radio show on WOV in New-York at the time and who was more than familiar with duets, having cut numerous records with fellow yodeler, Elton Britt. The bluesy 'If You Don't Believe I'm Leaving, Just Count The Days I'm Gone' (# 47-4227) was released in 1951.
Another nice record was 'Mine, All Mine' (#47-4447), written by Lasses White. 'You may want her but you can't have her' sings Eddie in a lively style not far removed from Gene O'Quin's, the then new Capitol star who'll be discussed elsewhere on this very site. Fiddle, piano and guitar each take a solo here. The other side, 'Blue Eyes (How Could You)', is a nicely sung Pop song with organ solo and steel backing à la Jerry Byrd.
with Gene O'Quin is adequate
since Eddie Marshall's last RCA single (# 47-4661) was a cover of
Rodney Morris's 'Mobilin' Baby Of Mine' which was also recorded by
Gene O'Quin (Capitol # F 2075) in January '52. There are sound effects
at the beginning and end of the song which features fiddle and piano
breaks plus nice steel guitar fills. To date, 'Mobilin' Baby Of Mine'
is the only song by Eddie Marshall which saw a legal re-issue ; it
was on the fabulous 'Hillbilly Houn' Dawgs & Honky-Tonk Angels'
compilation LP put out by Boppin' Bob Jones in 1989 on his (UK) Detour
label (# 33.008, now deleted). Arguably, Eddie's version was slightly
better than Gene's.
[A million thanks to both Eddie and Jane Marshall.]
© Paul VIDAL * Privas, France * November 2002/July 2007
EDDIE MARSHALL's COMPLETE DISCOGRAPHY
compiled with the help of Big Al Turner and Jerry Kendall & updated by Jane Marshall and Shane Hughes
|RCA VICTOR 21/48-0357||E0VB-4653 The Tom Cat Blues / E0VB-4652 Three Kisses|
|RCA VICTOR 21/48-0385||Buddy, Stay Off Of That Wine / I Could Lose These Blues|
|RCA VICTOR 21/48-0413||48-0413 B Coffee, Cigarettes & Tears / 48-0413 A The Lovin'-You-Continu'lly Blues|
|RCA VICTOR 21/48-0437||My Bucket's Been Fixed / Crossroads|
|RCA VICTOR 21/48-0459||Honky Tonk Blues / A Hundred Ways To Break A Heart|
|RCA VICTOR 21/48-0487||Oh Dear, Where Could My Honey Be ? / There's No Escape|
|RCA VICTOR 20/47-4227||If
You Don't Believe I'm Leaving, Just Count The Days I'm Gone /
Playhouse Of Love
[duet with Rosalie Allen, both sides]
|RCA VICTOR 20/47-4447||E1VW-4602 Mine, All Mine / E1VW-4603 Blue Eyes (How Could You)|
|RCA VICTOR 20/47-4661||E1VB-4626 Mobilin' Baby Of Mine / ? I Shoulda Said|
|RCA VICTOR RECORD PREVUE EP 50-26||Featuring tracks by Eddie Marshall, Jesse Rogers, Slim Whitman & Arthur Crudup|
|DETOUR 33-008||Featuring Mobilin' Baby Of Mine|
|---> The '20' and '21' prefixes denote '78s ; the '47' and '48' are for '45s <---|