LITTLE ROY WIGGINS - THE STARDAY YEARS ON PAUL VIDAL's BIG V JAMBOREE
Many steel players of
note have cited Roy Wiggins as one of their influences
: Curly Chalker and Ernie Hagar
among others. Roy was an integral part of Eddy Arnold's sound - and fame - on
RCA for quite a while ; he also made some good solo records - notably on Dot,
where tracks such as 'Wiggle Waggle' and 'It's A Sin' display another side of
his immaculate playing, and on Starday where he was signed in the early '60s.
Here's an appreciation of the latter.
ROY WIGGINS The Starday Years
recorded three LPs at Starday Sound Studios in Nashville, both produced by Tommy
Hill and engineered by 'Hoss' Linneman.
To my mind, the first one is his best. It's an excellent showcase for Roy's tasty
playing. The uptempo stuff - like 'Rise & Shine' and 'Flapjack' - is irresistible,
while the slower tunes - like 'Love Theme' and 'Starburst', the latter a duet
with Pete Drake - are haunting. It should be noted that many of the tracks are
also highlighted by the superb piano playing of the late Dean Manuel, as distinctive
as Floyd Cramer's.
Starday SLP 188 (Mono)
Rise & Shine * Love Theme * Eddy Arnold Medley (Chained To A Memory/Molly
Darling/Bouquet of Roses) * Ting-A-Ling * Cryin' Steel Guitar * The Weasel * Flapjack
* Thru' The Night * Wiggins Wiggle * Starburst * Eddy Arnold Medley (Any Time/A
Heart Full Of Love/
Just A Little Lovin') * South Seas
Roy's second Starday LP ('The
Fabulous Steel Guitar Artistry Of Little Roy Wiggins') is quite good, but consists
only of Hawaiian tunes - a style that Jerry Byrd was particularly fond of ; thus,
the record somewhat lacks the diversity of the previous one. Backing Roy on this
one are : Harold Bradley (electric guitar & ukulele), Junior Huskey (bass)
and the Willis Brothers - Skeeter, Vic & Guy - on fiddle, piano and guitar
respectively. Outstanding tracks include 'My Tane', 'Waikiki Wiggle' and 'Driftwood'.
Starday SLP 259 (Mono)
Song of The Islands * Waikiki Wiggle * Sweet Leilani * Driftwood * South Sea Melody
* Blue Hawaii * Steel On The Hula * Hawaiian Sunset * Honolulu Nights * My Tane
* The Hilo Hattie Shake * 'Till We Meet Again (Aloha)
His third Starday was '18 All
Time Hits' (SLP 392). Roy cut several other fine duets with Pete Drake during
his stint with the label in the early sixties; he also did some session work there
(e.g. for Johnny Bond). He, too, is gone now.