Sunday, December 20, 2009
Jimmy Johnson 1951 acetate
Jimmy Johnson at home in Tyler, c. 1954. Photo courtesy Betty Lou Love.
"Mama Loves Papa (And Papa Loves The Women)"
Probably from the same demo session for Burton Harris that produced the Curtis Kirk acetate (heard here), Jimmy Johnson's first attempt at the Jack Rhodes song "Mama Loves Papa (And Papa Loves The Women)" is slightly faster, but otherwise close to the version he cut in Dallas for Columbia the following year. Lyrically, this is not one of Jack's better efforts, though if the stories of his womanizing are true then it can be seen as autobiographical. The steel guitarist dominates the song, and the playing is quite good considering that Al Petty and Bobby Garrett (the two possible steel guitarists) were both still teenagers at the time. It's probably Bobby, as some of the fills here are very similar to the Columbia version, which he plays on.
Jimmy Johnson, who was barely out of his teens himself here (but sounding years older), couldn't sustain a career in music past the mid-1950s. His now-famous Starday single in 1956 was his last hurrah before turning to the oil fields in Tyler full-time. He died at age 49 in 1980.
Thanks to Burton Harris.