Date News Posted: June 8, 2004
THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL
Which was normally the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, was home for the country boys to shine that August the 6th Saturday 1955 at 8:30 PM.
The line up included Lefty Frizzell, Freddie Hart, Hank Snow, Eddie Dean, Hi Busse and the Frontiersmen, Eddie Cletro and the Round Up Boys, Larry and Laurie Collins, the Y-Knot Twirllers featuring Homer Garrett doing the calling (the great square dance group that worked many of the local shows) and one of the great Master of Ceremonies that the L.A.area had to offer, Jolly Joe Nixon.
EDDIE CLETRO & THE ROUND-UP BOYS opened the show with the “Steel Guitar Rag” and then a vocal tune called “Daniel Boone”.
We are happy to say that Eddie Cletro is alive and well, still smilin’ and probably still singing in the shower.
As you probably know, Eddie Cletro was Doye O’Dell’s band on the Western Variety’s show in Hollywood during those great 50’s years.
Couldn’t help but notice Eddie himself and the whole band was dressed to the 9’s every time you saw them as was every single artist on that and all the other shows.
FREDDIE HART was next to appear that night doing one of our favorite tunes still to this day called “From Canada To Tennessee” and another great song that was just a monster for Freddie when he first recorded it called “Loose Talk” it wasn’t long after Freddie’s release of “Lose Talk” that Columbia Records released it on Carl Smith and Carl’s version stayed at number 1 for 7 weeks and a total of 32 weeks on the national charts.
LARRY AND LAURIE (LAURCENE) COLLINS (better known from Town Hall Party as The Collins Kids) did some rockin’ next with “Dance With Me Henry”, “Davy Crockett” and closed off with “Shake, Rattle and Roll” not exactly country but these kids were the apple in Joe Maphis’ eye so they could get away with singing about anything they wanted to.
With the help of Joe and his good fast pickin’ and double neck guitars, Larry Collins is probably one of the best pickers still around, they sure made a team, big ole Joe and little smilin’ Larry.
LEFTY FRIZZELL was next in line with four of his monster hits “Always Late”, “If You Got The Money, I Got The Time” “Making Believe” and finally “I’m Lost Between Right And Wrong”.
It is hard to say how many artists over the years were influenced by the singing style of Lefty Frizzell, it is for sure Merle Haggard was because he has said so many times in interviews he has done, in fact he has a couple recordings that are hard to tell if it is Hag or Lefty singing them
Then came a little intermission with “Turkey in the Straw” and the “Y-Knot Twirllers” doing some square dancin’.
HANK SNOW AND HIS RAINBOW RANCH BOYS straight from the Grand Ole Opry was next and although his songs that he sang on this show were not listed, it is a good bet that “Movin On” was one of them, he had so many hits by that time he could have stayed on that stage for a month and as popular as he was at the time they would have probably let him.
If you ever get the chance to read Hank Snow’s story growing up, then do because he had one hard life as a kid with a step father that didn’t exactly treat him like a son.
HI BUSSE AND (his great group) THE FRONTIERSMEN did “Blue Shadows on the Trail” and followed by the Classic” Johnny Bond song “Cimmaron”.
Hi and I remained close friends right up ‘till he had moved back to Tome, New Mexico to “Retire”, Sure, he retired alright he had another group put together faster then a kitty could blink an eye and was not only playing again but doing radio shows and tape recordings called “The Rest Of The Story” and a few TV specials and you name it, old friend Hi Busse was doin’ it, Hi Busse was one big man, from his heart to his music, always a good word to say about those he had known and worked with over the years.
EDDIE DEAN last but not least by any means, even though nobody sang like Eddie Dean and they always say the big star comes on last, ole Eddie would be the first to admit he had some strong competition that night of the Hollywood Bowl as he sang, “The Hills Of Old Wyoming”, “Whoopee Ti-Yi-Yo” and the Eddie Dean, Hal Southern smash hit called “Hillbilly Heaven”.
It took us a long time (about 4years) to get both Eddie and Hal just a little bit of their just dews for “Hillbilly Heaven” which amounted to 4 gold records, by the time we did get the gold it was almost to late, friend Hal Southern was blind by then and couldn’t even see it and even though Eddie cried and was grateful for all the work put into the project it was almost to late in his career for it to mean much.
To this day 40-50 years later some version by some artist somewhere is still cutting “Hillbilly Heaven” and somewhere there must be a pile of money just waiting for someone to scream loud enough to get it.
Eddie Dean and I were close as brothers for the last 13 years of his life and we miss him still, we are working on his last recordings to release someday. One truly great cowboy rode away.
P.S. If you are ever in Palm Springs, California visit Eddie’s star on the Sidewalk of stars in that fair city.
Some folks still called Country Music Hillbilly Music in those early 50’s years, maybe they should have kept on calling it that and it would have drawn a darker line between good understandable music and what they are playing and calling country music today, the emphasis today is on how many songs and commercials they can play every hour and you better know who is singing because they ain’t a gonna tell ye.
Gone are the days when the D.J. would talk about an artist, tell you where he will be appearing and who some of the pickers were on his album, good ole Cliffie Stone could get more out of an artist interview in 30 minutes then water runs over Niagara Falls in a week, but Cliffie is gone and so is Hillbilly music, except for my studio and good friend Smokey Silver’s place where we have about 130 thousand albums stashed away, and every day we get emails or a phone call or a letter asking about one of them albums or a song all but lost in another one or who sung “Candy Kisses”.
And Western music has about disappeared altogether except for the poetry festivals and the shindigs they have in Arizona once or twice a year, and not that we even listen to the local country stations but even if we did Marty Robbins or Red Steagall or Don Edwards are about as rare as a three legged moose in Sunday school.
About the only place to hear Western music anymore is on the Western’s channel watching Gene Autry, Roy Rogers or Eddie Dean, we can’t even count the times day or night we get a phone call saying Eddie is on the western’s channel or we heard Eddie singing “Wagon Wheels” on TV last night or my friend Wayne in Tennessee saying I never get tired of ole Gene singing “Back In The Saddle Again”.
But like old Andy Brennan says, those were our days, these days belong to the new people, but there is one thing few of our generation had to bear and that was 90 year old women with tattoos on their butts, now as they used to say back when, my goodness child, that will be a sight for sore eyes, maybe it is safe, that’s something we can’t say, but one thing we can say is, nobody is gonna tattoo my spine with a picture of a rose bush cause when I get to be 90 and my fanny’s saggin’ that rose bush has dropped down to where my doctor has to check out my business and starts whistlin’ the “Yellow Rose Of Texas” that’s gonna be mighty embarrassing.
Old friend Cal Smith is back working in Branson and is lovin’ it, Freddie Hart will be on his way to Nashville in a few days to do Jeanne Pruett’s show then Fan Fair then a Gospel show at the Opry and some radio shows and a few other things but we would say the Pruett show will almost be the last of a one of a kind show with 20-30 guest all classic artist including like I said Freddie, and George Jones and the list goes on, I think we mentioned them all last news letter.
Herb Jeffries and Clint Walker were inducted into the Hall Of Fame or Great Westerns in Oklahoma, City Saturday April the 17th, we received a phone call from actor Johnny Ferguson saying it was one of the greatest shows he has ever seen and they were treated like royalty from the staff of the Western Heritage Museum there in O.K. City.
Well thank goodness they inducted them before they died, we have heard that one before right?
A note on the end of the Hollywood Bowl show program reads “All talent secured by arrangements with Steve Stebbins Americana Corporation, good ole Steve, at one time or the other he booked about everybody, he didn’t pay them much but then, what the heck is money, people still loved that ole cop.
We’ll see ye later, but just in case we don’t, take care of yourself.