Following a lengthy, five show month in January, The Prairie Lily Special (Saturdays 6 – 8 pm) presents four little-known but highly worthy performers for our Bookender Spotlights during February. Let me introduce them to you;
February 7th – RUSTY YORK
Kentuckian Rusty York grew up in a musical family and was honing his chops playin’ Bluegrass when Elvis came along and changed his way of thinkin’! Despite the bad luck he had on Billboard’s ‘Hot 100’ chart, Rusty made some memorable, highly danceable records for Chess, King and other imprints, with his 1959 single “Sugaree” serving as his calling card.
February 14th – JACK BRADSHAW
Born in Kentucky, raised in Tennessee but a Hoosier by choice, Jack Bradshaw overcame a nomadic life as an orphan and later took-up the guitar, eventually gaining notoriety playing midwestern Honky-Tonks and recording sides for Decca, Mar-Vel and Glenn Records before calling it a day.
February 21st – BILLY BROWN
Headquartered through much of his musical career in Central Florida, Billy Brown is known to most Country Music historians as the guy who first recorded Jim Reeves’ immortal classic “He’ll Have To Go” in 1958. Brown also waxed some great post-war Honky-Tonk singles and even contributed a few raving Rockabilly sides. We’ll be hearing these and a whole lot more from Billy and released by Columbia, Republic and Challenge Records.
February 28th – ROD MORRIS
Speaking of Ol’ Kimberley Jim, did you know that his first big 1953 hit “Bimbo” was written by a midwestern bandleader named Rod Morris, who would also score a second success that same year with Slim Whitman’s recording of “North Wind”? Morris was a performer content with setting up shop in cities like Sioux City and Sioux Falls, playin’ on the radio by day and the joints by night. It was Rod’s prodigious songwriting talent that attracted the interest of Capitol Records, who hoped that Morris could provide a bountiful harvest of songs for their other artists. A starcrossed story to be sure, but it left behind some great music by Mr. Morris and his beloved Missourians.
Coming up in March will be our Ladies Of The Eighties Lorrie Morgan (March 7th & 14th) and K.T. Oslin (March 21st & 28th). They’ll be followed by two more talented women; Billie Jo Spears (April 4th & 11th) and Jo Ann Campbell (April 18th & 25th) in April.
Make plans to tune-in throughout May if you’re a fan of Country Rock when TPLS presents a month-long Booklender event; The History Of Country Rock – The Early Years (1966 – 1970). More details in a later blog.
Rockabilly Boogie Time (during TPLS, 7 – 7;30 pm) has been bringing you a special series devoted to Kern County’s rockin’ side called “The Other Side Of Bakersfield”, collecting ground-pounders recorded by hillbillies and hellbillies in that town North Of LA (Fresno…?! You’re hopeless man…). A condensed but amazingly comprehensive musical history of HOW The Bakersfield Sound was created. Miss at yer’ own peril.
‘Later Friday Freedom Riders and Pards’ Of All Ages!