SPEEDY WEST - HIS BACK UP SESSIONS ON PAUL VIDAL's BIG V JAMBOREE

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Speedy's Back-Up Sessions.Talk about a mammoth task ! From 1950 to 1956, Speedy is said to have played on 6,000 records by 177 different artists. Hank Penny, who was a close friend of Speedy's, had memories of West rushing out of a Hollywood studio and loading his equipment into a truck only to unload it minutes later at another location in order to cut a new session. Hey, they all wanted the Man with the triple-neck Bigsby pedal steel guitar and the otherworldly sound ! Yet, he never seemed to be tired or bored ; he always played with
his usual fire and taste.
I would even add that a sizeable portion of the best Country Boogies & Hillbilly Boppers stemming from the West Coast indeed features Speedy's energetic stylings.

A good majority of the 'outside' recordings he played on also featured
Jimmy Bryant on lead guitar and most of the Cliffie Stone Gang (Harold Hensley, Billy Liebert, Roy Harte, Billy Strange, Eddie Kirk...) ; we'll add all session details if & when available.

Your additions & corrections will be dearly appreciated.
Copyright PAUL VIDAL * France * April 2003/October 2004


Rex Allen
DECCA
-
-
The Billy May Orchestra
CAPITOL
-
-
Johnny Bond
COLUMBIA
20808
RHCO-4446 Sick, Sober And Sorry
RHCO-4447 Tennessee Walking Horse
20844
RHCO-4448 Keep Your Cotton Pickin' Hands Off My Gal
RHCO-4513 Ten Trips To The Altar
20876
RHCO-10004 In Old New Mexico
RHCO-10006 Broke, Disgusted And Sad
20902
RHCO-4511 I Found You Out
RHCO-10007 Alabama Boogie Boy
20948
RHCO-10157 The Man Behind The Throttle
RHCO-10158 Louisiana Lucy
UNISSUED TRACKS
RHCO-4449 The Son Of Old Casey (03/13/51)
RHCO-10005 Unknown title (August 1951)
RHCO-10159 Tears (March 1952)
Jimmy Boyd
COLUMBIA
-
-
Rosemary Clooney
COLUMBIA
-
-
Bing Crosby
DECCA
28969
L 7461 Y'All Come
?
Eddie DEAN
CAPITOL
-
-
Ramblin' Jimmie Dolan
CAPITOL
1322
6834 Y Hot Rod Race
6835 Z Walkin' With The Blues
1633
5612 Z I'll Sail My Ship Alone
6834 Y Hot Rod Race
1720
7677 Y Jukebox Boogie
7672 Z Sailor's Blues
2713
12125 Tool Pusher On A Rotary Rig
12126 If I Could Look Inside Your Heart
2830
12127 Looka Here Baby
12124 I'll Never Go Sailing Again
Tommy Duncan
INTRO
-
-
Terry Fell
X
0010
E4LW-3040 Truck Drivin' Man
E4LW-3041 Don't Drop It
0078
E4LW-3038 You Don't Give A Hang About Me
E4LW-4460 Get Aboard My Wagon
0114
E4LW-3039 Mississippi River Shuffle
E4LW-4461 He's In Love With You
Speedy does not play on 'Get Aboard My Wagon' and 'He's In Love With You' - both come from an August 20, 1954, session featuring Ralph Mooney on steel and Joe Maphis on lead gtr. The X label was a subsidiary of RCA Victor.


Tennessee Ernie
Ford

A portrait of Tennessee Ernie.

CAPITOL

At Capitol, Speedy probably backed up Tennessee Ernie more than anybody else. Ernest J. Ford was a super singer as well as a talented writer whose humorous lyrics, combined with the high degree of musicianship brought by Speedy and the whole Cliffie Stone Gang, turned his Country Boogies into instant classics. They're now all sought after even by Rockabilly collectors. Really, who could argue that 'Blackberry Boogie' ('52) and 'Catfish Boogie' ('53) aren't 'proto-Rock' affairs ? As for 'The Shot Gun Boogie' ('50), it has been covered and plagiarized ad infinitum. Good versions include those by Jesse Lee Turner (GNP 188) and Hawkshaw Hawkins (King 932).

His duets with Kay Starr but also Helen O'Connell, Ella Mae Morse and Betty Hutton fall into the same classy category.

Although he is mainly known for his remarkable rendition of Merle Travis's 'Sixteen Tons' and his later Gospel recordings, most of us agree with the fact that his early Capitol sides (1949-1954) are THE business !!

The above painting of Tennessee Ernie appeared on the cover of his 'Sixteen Tons' LP in 1960 (Capitol T 1380) - which contained a dozen of his best songs.

15400
3893 I've Got The Milk'Em In The Morning Blues
?
15430
3984 Country Junction
?
40212
4601 Smokey Mountain Boogie
?
40258
5062 Anticipation Blues
5108 Mule Train
40280
5359 Cry Of The Wild Goose
?
985
5598 My Hobby
5600 I've Got The Feed'Em In The Mornin' (Change'Em), Feed'Em In The Evenin' Blues
1275
6629 Y Leetle Juan Pedro
6630 Z Bryant's Boogie
-> top side, duet with Eddie Kirk
1295
6458 Y The Shot Gun Boogie
6457 Z I Ain't Gonna Let It Happen No More
1349
6767 Y Tailor Made Woman
6768 Z Stack-O-Lee
-> with Joe 'Fingers' Carr, both sides
1470
7308 Y The Strange Little Girl
7309 Z Kentucky Waltz
1567
7537 Y Ocean Of Tears
7538 Z You're My Sugar
-> duet with Kay Starr, both sides
1623
6168 Z I'll Never Be Free
6169 Y Ain't Nobody's Business But My Own
-> with Kay Starr ; reissue of Capitol # 1124
1695
5359 Cry Of The Wild Goose
5108 Mule Train
-> reissue of songs from # 40258 and # 40280
1775
7924 Y The Kissin' Bug Boogie
7925 Z Woman Is A Five Letter Word
1809
Hey Good Lookin'
Cool Kisses
-> duet with Helen O'Connell, both sides
1911
7922 Rock City Boogie
7923 Streamlined Cannon Ball
-> with The Dinning Sisters, both sides
2017
9776 Hambone
? Gandy Dancers Ball
2042
9830 Everybody's Got A Girl But Me
5061 Put Your Arms Around Me
2066
9832 Snowshoe Thompson
? Fatback Louisiana, USA
2170
10308 Blackberry Boogie
10307 Tennessee Local
2179
3984 Country Junction
4601 Smokey Mountain Boogie
-> reissue of songs from # 15430 and # 40212
2215
10392 I'm Hog-Tied Over You
10393 False Hearted Girl
-> duet with Ella Mae Morse, both sides
2338
I Don't Know
Sweet Temptation
2443
11227 Hey, Mister Cotton Picker
11228 Three Things (A Man Must Do)
2473
11160 Don't Start Courtin' In A Hot Rod
11161 We're A-Growin' Up
-> duet with Molly Bee, both sides
2602
11709 Catfish Boogie
11688 Kiss Me Big
2809
12454 This Must Be The Place
12455 The Honeymoon's Over
-> duet with Betty Hutton, both sides
3058
13544 The Ballad Of Davy Crockett
? Farewell
Jeanne Gayle
CAPITOL
2144
10026 I'm Movin' On
10028 Mr. Fly By Night
Monte Hale
M G M
-
-
Johnny Horton
ABBOTT
108 Somebody's Rockin' My Broken Heart *
Betty Lorraine (Betty Lou)
* duet with Billy 'Hillbilly' Barton
109 Bawlin' Baby *
Rhythm In My Baby's Walk
* duet with Billy 'Hillbilly' Barton
There's been controversy over the years about the above session, which took place in Hollywood on February 13, 1952. Steeler Jimmy Day, who later played with Horton, said that Speedy never played on any Johnny Horton recording session (cf. 'Goldmine', March 1981 issue) ; however, aural evidence is there to prove him wrong : Speedy tears it up, especially on the fantastic 'Rhythm In My Baby's Walk' !
Red Ingle
CAPITOL
-
-
Spike Jones
R C A Victor
-
-
Eddie Kirk
CAPITOL
40285
5376 Y A Year Of City Livin'
5377 Z Away Out On A Mountain
1287
? Blue Bonnet Blues
? In The Shambles Of My Heart
Skeets Mc Donald
CAPITOL
1518
7385 Scoot, Git And Be Gone
7401 Blues Is Bad News
1570
7386 Bless Your Little Ol' Heart (You're Mine)
7400 Today I'm Movin' Out
1771
7563 I'm Hurtin'
7585 Ridin' With The Blues
1890
7544 Fuss And Fight
7545 Baby Brown Eyes
1967
9584 Tell Me Why
9585 Be My Life's Companion
1993
9586 The Love That Hurt Me So
9734 Wheel Of Fortune
2073
9861 Please Come Back
9863 Curtain Of Tears
2216
9583 Big Family Trouble
10486 Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes
2326
9864 I'm Sorry To Say I'm Sorry
10793 Let Me Know
BEAR FAMILY
BFX 15195
9733 Heartbreaking One
-> unissued from the 'Wheel Of Fortune' session, held on February 6, 1952
BCD 15937 9862 You Made Me Cry
-> unissued from the April 7, 1952, session which also produced masters # 9861/3 & 4
Merrill Moore
CAPITOL
3311
14621 Cooing To The Wrong Pigeon
14623 Down The Road Apiece
3397 15136 Rock Island Line
15137 King Porter Stomp
3536 14622 Gotta Gimme What'Cha Got
14624 She's Gone
3721 16595 Barrel House Bessie
16596 Tuck Me To Sleep (In My Old 'Tucky Home)
3788 16593 Buttermilk Baby
16594 Nursery Rhyme Blues
Buddy Merrill
DOT ? Goin' Away
San Antonio Rose
-> a rare 1959 release
George Morgan
CAPITOL 15391 3891 Candy Kisses
?
Ella Mae Morse
CAPITOL
2072
9737 Oakie Boogie
9301 Love Ya' Like Mad !
BEAR FAMILY
BCD 15956
9374 Oakie Boogie (with horns ; without Jimmy Bryant ; unissued cut from December 12, 1951)
Moon Mullican
KING
1137
Pipeliner Blues
?
1164
Ooglie, Ooglie, Ooglie (The Tokyo Boogie)
?
Helen O'Connell
CAPITOL
1837
9024 Slow Poke
9025 I Wanna Play House With You
1895
9310 Crazy Heart
9311 Any Time
1944
9355 Come What May
9515 Baby, We're Really In Love
1976
9313 There's Been A Change In Me
9540 Stingy
Doye O'Dell
INTRO
6047
RR 1867 Diesel Smoke
RR 1859 If Tears Were Gold

Gene
O'Quin

Another Capitol artist who had a distinctive vocal
style. He also
had the unique privilege of
having Speedy available at each
& every recording session !
Between '50 and '52, Gene would cut many classic boogies such as the single on the right (Capitol # 1508), which comes
from a March 8, 1951 date.
In 1987, Speedy told me that he really liked Gene despite his personal problems and that, ugly as he was, he was always seen with pretty girls around him !!
After Capitol, he had two releases on Intro (without Speedy). His last single appeared in the '70s on the Unicorn label.
CAPITOL

Boogie Woogie Fever !
1148
6382 The Pinball Millionaire
6383 The Hard Way
1219
6381 Keep A-Talkin' Baby
6384 (You're Gonna Have To Stop) That Low Down Running Around
1315
6802 Devil On My Shoulder (And An Angel In My Arms)
6803 You're Smiling At Another
1346
6801 I Get The Blues
6804 Butane Blues
1433
7067 You Played Around With My Heart
7069 Heads You Win (Tails I Lose)
1508
7194 Y No Parking Here
7195 Z Boogie Woogie Fever
1708
7068 Triflin' Woman (You're Gonna Have To Settle Down)
7648 Texas Boogie
1821
7066 It's No Use Talkin' Baby
7192 I'm Lonesome For You
1943
7193 Let Me Change Your Name
7650 I'm Gonna Find Another Sweetheart
2050
7649 You Better Change Your Ways
9676 Come Around To Me
2075
9677 I'll Never Be The Same
9679 Mobilin' Baby Of Mine
2210
9678 You're Gonna Be Sorry
10423 Tennessee Talkin' Doll
2344
10339 Close Your Eyes (And I'll Be There)
7647 I'm Gonna Take My baby Dancing
2490
10338 I Don't Want Your Kisses (If I Can't...)
11070 I'll Stop Loving You
2655
11069 I Believe In Lovin'
11071 I Wish It Was Only A Dream
2715
12200 I Specialize In Love
12201 Too Hot To Handle
2843
10337 I'm Gettin' Rid Of You
11068 Tired
2935
12955 You Name It (She's Got It)
12956 It's No Wonder
BEAR FAMILY
BCD 16194
12202 I Don't Know Anything About Love
12203 I Can't Stand The Thought Of Losing You
-> unissued cuts from the December 29, 1953, session which produced Capitol # 2715
12957 Stand Back And Let Me At That Gal
12958 Someone's Gonna Be Lonely
-> unissued cuts from the August 24, 1954, session which produced Capitol # 2935
Hank Penny
KING
795
2879 Hillbilly BeBop
2623 Sweet Talkin' Mama

-> Speedy plays on 'Hillbilly BeBop' only
813
2878 We Met Too Late
2214 My Inlaws Made An Outlaw Outta Me

-> Speedy plays on top side only
828
2877 I was Satisfied
2880 Bloodshot Eyes
DECCA
29926
9127 Southern Fried Chicken
9129 Rock Of Gibraltar
30179
9130 Wham! Bam! Thank You, Ma'Am
9174 Texas Never Would-A Made It
UNISSUED
9128 I'd Rather Pick A Guitar
-> from the April 5, 1956, L.A. session which produced 'Rock Of Gibraltar' among others
Bob Roubian
CAPITOL
3373
15011 Blue Suede Shoes
15012 Candy Coated Kisses
Jean Shepard
CAPITOL
2358
10697 Twice The Lovin' (In Half The Time)
10698 Crying Steel Guitar Waltz
2502
Dear John Letter
I'd Rather Die Young
2586
Forgive Me John
My Wedding Ring
2791
Two Whoops And A Holler
Why Did You Wait
BEAR FAMILY
BCD 15956
10699 Keep It A Secret
10700 Nobody Else Can Love You Like I Do
-> unissued cuts from the same September 30, 1952, session which produced Capitol # 2358
The
Sons Of
The Pioneers
R C A Victor
47-4639
E2VW-5288 Diesel Smoke
E2VW-5289 Almost
BEAR FAMILY
BFX 15283
E2VB-5288-1 Diesel Smoke
-> unissued version cut on March 14, 1952
Cliffie Stone
CAPITOL
1496
? Jump Rope Boogie
? Hokey Pokey
2362
10846 Listen To The Mockingbird
10848 When The Bloom Is On The Sage
2910
12901 Please, Please
12903 Blue Moon Of Kentucky
-> vocal by Homer Esk, both sides
3131
12902 Barracuda
13384 The Popcorn Song
-> vocal duet by Speedy West & Billy Strange on 'Barracuda' ; other side sung by Bob Roubian
Billy Strange
CAPITOL
2032
9811 Almanac Song
9812 Diesel Smoke
2112
10065 I Love You 24 Hours A Day
10066 Hell Train
2797
12220 Am I Seeing Things
12222 The Devil In Me
DESIGN DLP-622 'HOME ON THE STRANGE'
-> 1965 LP featuring The Speedy West Orchestra
Hank Thompson
CAPITOL
2063
9365 Waiting In The Lobby Of Your Heart
9366 Don't Make Me Cry Again
Merle Travis
CAPITOL
-
-
Wesley Tuttle
CAPITOL
-
-
Slim Whitman
IMPERIAL
8163
IF-374 An Amateur In Love
IF-380 By The Waters Of The Minnetonka
8189
IF-375 Song Of The Old Water Wheel
IF-466 Restless Heart
-> Speedy's present on top side only
Jess Willard CAPITOL
1562
7513 Hang On The Ball And Chain
7514 Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor
1755
7512 Java Junction
7624 Oil The Hinges On Your Door
2235
7606 Gonna Take That Fast Train
9774 Honky Tonkin' All The Time
-> Speedy's present on top side only
BEAR FAMILY
BCD 16256
7623 Boogie Woogie Preachin' Man
-> unissued cut from the June 6, 1951, session which produced masters #7606 and # 7624
Tom 'Red' Wilson
CREST
1007
CR-1007-Z Can You Bop ?
CR-1007-Y Hillbilly Parade
Sheb Wooley
M G M
11910
54-XY-3048 38-24-35
54-XY-3049 I Flipped

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