Saturday, March 28, 2009

Speedy West Interview

More for ya JimE !!

I've trawled the tape archives in the tower of sound here & found for you a Speedy West interview sent to me by the girl who ran the Speedy West fan club in the 50's, she was also an old girlfriend of Gene O'Qinn & had some great stories!

I think the interview must be from 1979 or 1980 as he speaks of Jimmy Bryant being still alive but stricken with Cancer, JB died in 1980 so I think this came from this time

There were music clips that were spliced out, I've been meaning to try to edit them back together, but it's been on the back burner ever since I got this tape!

I don't think this is available anywhere but enjoy!
I don't know what happened to this link but it got mixed up w/ something else.
It has been re-posted to the correct file . sorry about that .

Link :

WOW !! A Jimmy Bryant podcast !!!!


I just found this for ya jimE !
yer gonna love it !

This Week I pay tribute to the wonderful guitar sounds of JIMMY BRYANT with a spin through his CAPITOL & IMPERIAL 45's & LP's...being to lazy to fill in Biographical info here's some cool stuff lifted from the internet:

Jimmy Bryant: faster guitar player resurfaces
By Jon Johnson, December 2003

Born in Georgia on March 5, 1925, Ivey J. Bryant, Jr. (he didn't adopt the nickname "Jimmy" until he was in his mid-20s) was the oldest of 12 children. By most contemporary accounts, Bryant's father was a sharecropper and music lover who was proficient on several instruments. He, in turn, encouraged his son's interest in music at an early age, even building a fiddle out of a cigar box for his son. Unfortunately, Bryant's father also had a bad temper and a fondness for the bottle, characteristics which would sometimes surface in the son later in life.

"My mom and dad got divorced when I was born," says Bryant's son, John. "So when I was growing up, he'd come get me on the weekends. We'd go jeeping in the valley because there was a lot of open space, but he didn't really know how to be a father because he didn't have a good role model."

During the years of the Depression, Ivey Jr. (alternately called Buddy and Junior around this time) supplemented the family's income by playing fiddle on street corners. Drafted in 1943 when he turned 18, Bryant was shipped off to Europe where he served with General Patton's Third Army, participating in the invasion of Germany.

Severely wounded by a grenade in early 1945, Bryant sat out the closing months of World War II in a hospital, spending the down time recovering and teaching himself to play guitar. When he emerged from the hospital a few months later, peace had broken out, and Bryant found himself in demand by the USO as both a guitarist and a violinist.

After being discharged, Bryant returned to the U.S., purchased an electric guitar and an amp and spent the latter half of the '40s in Georgia, Nashville and Washington D.C. before heading to Los Angeles, where he'd been told there was growing hillbilly and country music scene, thanks largely to a huge influx of southerners during the '30s and early '40s.

"He kept hearing about California," says Jimmy Bryant's sister, Lorene Bryant Epps, who is the author of the biography "Jimmy Bryant: Fastest Guitar in the Country." "He and Russell Hayden and Doug McGinnis (two other musicians with whom Bryant was playing at the time) went to California together in a '37 Ford, and they played (gigs) all the way there. And when he got there, I remember he said (he) was not disappointed. He loved it from the start. And it wasn't long after he got there that he met Speedy West."

West, about 25 when he and Bryant met when playing down the street from each other in separate bars, was already a first-call studio musician at Capitol in 1949 and was one of the first steel guitarists to make the switch to pedal steel guitar, which offered greater sonic possibilities than the earlier non-pedal models. Late in 1949, West began appearing on Cliffie Stone's weekly TV series "Hometown Jamboree," and following the departure of guitarist Charlie Aldrich the following year, Bryant soon joined him.

California-based guitarist Deke Dickerson, 35, has been a booster of the West/Bryant recordings for years, going so far as to reissue a Jimmy Bryant 45 on his Ecco-Fonic label in the mid-'90s and producing a 1999 collaboration between guitarist Dave Biller and steel guitarist Jeremy Wakefield, which clearly owed much to the West/Bryant records of the early '50s.

Dickerson played a small role in producing "Frettin' Fingers," lending Sundazed a mint copy of Bryant's rare 1962 "Ha-So"/"Tobacco Worm" 45 when the original master tapes couldn't be found. Dickerson also contributed an essay on Bryant's guitars and amps for the collection's liner notes.

Asked when he first became aware of the West/Bryant recordings, Dickerson says, "Believe it or not - and I'm not making this up - I found the 'Two Guitars Country Style' album at a garage sale for 25 cents when I was about 15 (or) 16 years old. I bought it because I remembered Ray Campi mentioning them in an interview. At the time, I was just a dumb little rockabilly kid. Never heard western swing or hot jazz in my life, but when I heard Jimmy Bryant's guitar playing it was like hearing the Eddie Van Halen of the 1950s. His speed and his phrasing...blew my mind."

Although given a great deal of creative freedom by Ken Nelson at Capitol and by Cliffie Stone on TV, Bryant chafed when given directions or suggestions. By 1955, he quit "Hometown Jamboree" and quit doing sessions for Capitol the following year.

"I've read that Jimmy could ' be difficult to get along with and that he didn't like playing 'commercial,'" says Dickerson. 'He liked playing 'outside,' which he was better at than anyone else in the world, but it doesn't get you hired for mainstream projects."

Bryant did a little of this and that during the remainder of the '50s and into the early '60s: session work (he can be heard playing fiddle on the Monkees' "Sweet Young Thing"), production, and some live performances before landing a long-desired solo contract with Imperial Records in 1965. He also wrote "Only Daddy That'll Walk the Line" done by Waylon Jennings in 1968.

The new Bryant collection compiles most of the important West/Bryant instrumentals, as well as a strong cross-section of Bryant's solo recordings made between 1962 and 1967, including 5 previously unreleased tracks.

"When that stuff was coming out, I was in grade school," says Jimmy Bryant's son, John. "When we'd have show and tell, I'd bring the albums - 'This is what my dad does.' I remember one time, I was walking through this parking lot for a grocery store, and I looked over and there was this band on a stage. And it was my dad. It just seemed like that was the norm."

Asked why he thinks Bryant's solo recordings have been out of print for so long, Dickerson says that there really isn't much of a mystery, attributing it to "lack of interest, mainly."

"There are cyclical musical styles that people get interested in," says John Bryant. "Since the mid-'90s I've been doing a lot of work to keep his name alive. I think that Bear Family (the German record label put out a set in 1997) collection helped."

John Bryant says he possesses some unreleased recordings of his father, some of which will probably see the light of day sooner rather than later.

"Audie Murphy (the U.S. war hero and actor who was also a close friend of Bryant's) bought Scotty Turner (Bryant's producer in the '60s) a brand-new multitrack recorder in the mid or late-'60s. Scotty and my dad set up this recorder, and my dad and (jazz guitarist) Herb Ellis were jamming, and they recorded all this stuff. There was a drummer and a bass player in another room, so it's got good separation. I've got the master (tape), and it is just so much more jazzy than anybody's heard. I'm going to be releasing (it) early next year."

During the '60s, Bryant had learned to read music well enough to be competitive with other Nashville pickers, but the acerbic nature of his personality seems to have been in full flower during this period, and he made at least as many enemies as friends while in Nashville, though he and Speedy West did manage to get together to record one final album in 1975 (released in 1990 on the Step One label as "For the Last Time").

During the '70s, Bryant tried his hand as a Nashville session musician, but found that his style was less in demand than it had been 20 years earlier and 2 thousand miles away.

John Bryant had less frequent contact with his father as a teen, since he remained in southern California while his father lived elsewhere.

"I was in high school, and he was living off in Nashville. I went into the Air Force, then he got sick, so I asked the Air Force to transfer me to Georgia to be near him. They said no and sent me overseas. It was kind of a drag. When he got sick, I flew over there to be with him for a while. Then when he got real bad I was there for a couple of weeks before he died."

Bryant was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1978; probably the result of a lifetime of smoking. Although surgeons removed most of Bryant's right lung, the cancer was found to have spread to his heart. Radiation therapy slowed the cancer, but did not stop it.

Bryant's final public performance was in August 1979 at the Palomino Club in L.A. Bryant was by all accounts in terrible shape (he was on furlough from the hospital that evening and was helped into the club by two friends), but turned back into the Jimmy Bryant of old when he had a guitar in his hand.

Moving back to Georgia the following year, Bryant died Sept. 22, 1980.

The year after Bryant's death Speedy West's musical career was ended by a stroke. Although he recovered to some degree and attempted to start playing again, the stroke left the right side of his body with a combination of pain and cold, and playing soon proved to be impractical. During the remainder of his life. West contented himself with a growing reputation as an honored guest at steel guitar conventions around the country.

Asked if there are any guitarists around today whose styles remind him of his father, John Bryant says, "Today? There's no one else out there who's doing Jimmy Bryant."

Asked about his own musical interests, Bryant seems uncomfortable with the thought of living up to his father's reputation as a guitarist, initially fessing up only to playing drums.

"It's funny with this business, because people introduce me - 'This is John Bryant; he's Jimmy Bryant's son, and he's a great drummer' - and they've never even heard me play. People just think that you follow in your father's footsteps, but I've never felt comfortable with a guitar in my hand."

Bryant soon admits, though, that Fender's introduction this year of a Jimmy Bryant Telecaster modeled on his father's instrument (complete with trademark leather pickguard) has prompted him to finally tackle the guitar.

"Now that this guitar is out, I've been picking it up lately," says Bryant. "And it feels pretty darn natural. I'm learning how to play it and understanding theory. Since I have a JB Tele, I've got to do something with it."

Yeah Man !!! DIG IT !!!

Link :

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant !!

Here's some more stuff that JimE asked for!
If you like hot country guitars,these guys are the real deal.

3 LP Links in this post !!!

Wesley Webb West, 25 January 1924, Springfield, Missouri, USA, d. 15 November 2003, Broken Bow, Oklahoma, USA. An outstanding exponent of steel guitar playing, West worked with many noted performers, most of them California-based. These included the equally gifted guitarist Jimmy Bryant, as well as Hank Penny, Spade Cooley and Cliffie Stone, remaining with the latter from the late 40s through the 50s. In 1951, West was signed by Capitol Records and gained kudos from an appearance at the Grand Ole Opry. After some success with singles, he collaborated on Two Guitars Country Style with Bryant. In the 60s, now freelancing, West's virtuoso playing earned him thousands of recording sessions with artists as varied, and as famous, as Bing Crosby, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Phil Harris, Jim Reeves, Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra and Ernest Tubb. Becoming involved in the production side of recording, West worked with Loretta Lynn on her debut single. His role in Lynn's career was depicted by Billy Strange in the biopic, Coal Miner's Daughter (1980). In 1980 West was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame but virtually simultaneously a stroke put an end to his performing career. After a very difficult period, West reappeared on the music scene in non-performing roles but by the end of the decade had opted for retirement in Oklahoma. His son, Gary West, began his own career performing as Speedy West Jr.

With steel guitar wizard Speedy West, guitarist Jimmy Bryant formed half of the hottest country guitar duo of the 1950s. With lightning speed and a jazz-fueled taste for improvisation and adventure, Bryant's boogies, polkas, and Western swing -- recorded with West and as a solo artist -- remain among the most exciting instrumental country recordings of all time. Bryant also waxed major contributions to the early recordings of singers like Tennessee Ernie Ford, Merrill Moore, Kay Starr, Billy May, and Ella Mae Morse, and has influenced country guitarists like Buck Owens, James Burton, and Albert Lee. While he enjoyed a career that spanned several decades, it was his sessions with Capitol Records in the early '50s that allowed him his fullest freedom to strut his stuff.

Bryant was a prodigy on the fiddle while growing up in Georgia and Florida. He only took up guitar when he got wounded while serving in the Army in 1945, mastering the instrument quickly during his recuperation. In the late 1940s he moved to Los Angeles, hooking up in jam sessions with West, the first pedal steel guitarist in country music. Bryant soon joined a group of musicians, also including West, that played on Cliffie Stone's Hometown Jamboree radio show, and the West connection also helped him land session work at Capitol Records (though he'd previously done a bit of work for Modern Records). It was only natural that he and West began to record under their own names for Capitol too, while continuing to back other's acts in the studio. During this time Bryant was also one of the first musicians of note to play the electric Telecaster, a model that's become legendary and hugely influential in the sound of the electric guitar throughout popular music.

Bryant became harder to work with by the mid-1950s, in part because of his heavy drinking, and he did his last Capitol recordings with West in late 1956. He'd never be as active in the studio again, and most fans regard his 1950s Capitol output as his best by far. But he did continue to play live and in the studio, doing quite a bit of obscure recordings in the 1960s in Hollywood and Nashville, mostly for the Imperial label. (A lot of his post-West material finally found wide circulation in 2003 with Sundazed's three-CD box set Frettin' Fingers: The Lightning Guitar of Jimmy Bryant, which was about evenly divided between the West and post-West eras). He only did a little recording after the 1960s, dying of cancer in September 1980 back in his native Georgia.

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Link 2 :

Link 3 :


Ken Nordine-Colors

The second Ken Nordine post for Jim E !!

Link :

Ken Nordine - Best of Word Jazz Vol.1

I will post 2 of Ken Nordine's Lp's(borrowed from zorch) just for my pal Jim E Knight of Lost Discs Radio.

Ken Nordine (born April 13, 1920) is an American voiceover and recording artist best known for his series of Word Jazz albums. His deep, resonant voice has also been featured in many commercial advertisements and movie trailers. One critic wrote that "you may not know Ken Nordine by name or face, but you'll almost certainly recognize his voice." [1]

The son of an architect, Ken Nordine was born in Chicago, Illinois. In Chicago he attended Lane Technical College Prep High School and the University of Chicago. He has three sons with his wife Beryl whom he married in 1945. During the 1940s, he was heard on The World's Great Novels and other radio programs broadcast from Chicago.

He attracted much wider attention when he recorded the aural vignettes on Word Jazz (Dot, 1957). Word Jazz, Son of Word Jazz (Dot, 1958) and his other albums in this vein feature Nordine's narration over cool jazz by the Chico Hamilton jazz group, recording under the alias of Fred Katz, who was then the cellist with Hamilton's quintet.[2]

Nordine began performing and recording such albums at the peak of the beat era and was associated with the poetry-and-jazz movement. However, some of Nordine's "writings are more akin to Franz Kafka or Edgar Allan Poe" than to the beats. [3] Many of his word jazz tracks feature critiques of societal norms. Some are lightweight and humorous, while others reveal dark, paranoid undercurrents and bizarre, dream-like scenarios.

link :


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

That's All Folks!

Another treat from the zorchman !
This CD collection is a wonderful collection of the works of Carl Stalling and countless other performers and composers. This contains clips and complete soundtracks from dozens of cartoons from a variety of time periods.I love it personally, and I think this kind of collection is long overdue. True, it leaves off a few of the more popular titles, but what is included instead is far more valuable. Such highlights include the complete "Have You Got any Castles", a medley of tunes from such politically-incorrect masterpieces as "Tin Pan Alley Cats" and "Clean Pastures", and a bunch of memorable Bugs Bunny songs previously unreleased. The best thing about this CD is that it includes the voices, not just music, and actually has a wonderfully detailed essay explaining just who you're listening to, without erroneously crediting everything to Mel Blanc, who, while a genius himself, did not voice all of the memorable bits in these cartoons. The compilers have included the complete soundtracks to six cartoons, including the classic "Three Little Bops". This is an often overlooked cartoon due to the fact that it doesn't feature any of the regular WB characters. The jazzy score by Shorty Rogers and the wonderful vocal performance by Stan Freberg make this the coolest addition to this collection (in my opinion).True, many people may not have heard some of these, but folks, it's time to learn just how much classic stuff Warner Bros. has not shown you before. They should. This CD is hopefully a step in the right direction.

Link to part 1 :

Link to part 2 :

Enjoy !

Live Moby Grape !!!


Yet another unjustly forgotten 60s group. This is a weird story all around. Skip Spence, a budding singer-songwriter, was recruited by the Jefferson Airplane to play drums (!) in their original lineup. He cut one record with them and quit in mid-1966, at which point he and the Airplane's manager hatched a scheme of forming a new band in the same mold. Like the Airplane, Byrds, and Buffalo Springfield, the new group was to be a harmonizing alliance of singer-songwriters with a fan following of rebellious teenage girls. And like those groups, Moby Grape was to go within just a few months from initial rehearsals to full-blown recording sessions.

The plan almost worked: Spence landed four talented songwriters, all from the West Coast and all with extensive gigging credentials. The group's first album was a careful blend of compositions by all five band members. Released within weeks of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band, it was full of trendy pseudo-psychedelic two-minute pop songs. At this point, however, everything fell apart. The record company's efforts to hype the album's release (e.g., foolishly releasing five debut singles at once) were a total flop. The same week, three of the band members were busted for drug possession and (ahem) contributing to the delinquency of minors. The album's cover photo had to be modified when someone noticed that it showed a band member flashing a finger.

And so on. Things got worse and worse, with the group falling out with its manager, its performances deteriorating, and Spence consuming enough hallucinogenics to kill a stadium full of Deadheads. In early '68 Spence flipped out completely, running amok with a fire axe and landing in Bellevue for six months (!), which needless to say weakened the group's second album. The Grape cut a third album without him, and later a bizarre country-western fourth album with only three of the original band members, but the spark - and opportunity to cash in on the nation's Summer of Love cultural detour - was gone forever. Nonetheless, Spence cut a solo record in 1969; the other members released their own solo records throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s; and various combinations of the five founders have regrouped to cut no less than four reunion records, all of them hard to get except by mail order

There's a good, nationally-released two-disk compilation (Vintage) that includes all the stuff from their regular records you'll want to hear, plus a pile of pretty good bonus tracks. It's also got endless liner notes, which explains why I know way too much about these guys.

There used to be a full-blown, non-commerical Moby Grape web site with lyrics, photos, a really good discography, etc., but it has disappeared and I can't find anything comparable to it.

Lineup: Peter Lewis (guitar, vocals); Jerry Miller (lead guitar, some vocals); Bob Mosley (bass, vocals); Skip Spence (guitar, vocals); Don Stevenson (drums). Spence died of multiple medical problems, April 1999.

Link to Part 1:

Link to Part 2 :