Thursday, December 24, 2009
Leon Rausch & Texas Village Boys on Central 119
Clyde Chesser and the Texas Village Boys, c. 1956. From left: Tex Compton, Frankie McWhorter, Chesser, Curtis Williams, Lou Rochelle, and Leon Rausch. From the book "Cowboy Fiddler" by Frankie McWhorter (Texas Tech Press, 1992). Click to enlarge.
Clyde "Barefoot" Chesser and his Texas Village Boys - Lost Highway / Smudges on the Wall (Central 119)
Leon Rausch's debut record remains virtually unknown, possibly because (a) his name isn't on the label, instead crediting "Leon Ralph," and (b) few copies survive. (Not surprisingly, it isn't even mentioned on Leon's website.)This excellent, western swing version of "Lost Highway" dates from around 1956 and probably features Frankie McWhorter on fiddle, Curtis Williams on lead guitar, and Lou Rochelle on steel. Chesser, trying to be cute, renamed Rausch "Leon Ralph" and Frankie McWhorter "Frankie Quarter." The band was based in Waco and Temple, but also had a regular TV gig in Fort Worth on KFJZ. Central was primarily a gospel label, a subsidiary of the Word label in Waco. Both Rausch and McWhorter would go on to better things with Bob Wills in the early 1960s.
Frankie McWhorter singing with the Texas Village Boys on Fort Worth television, c. 1956. From the book "Cowboy Fiddler" by Frankie McWhorter (Texas Tech Press, 1992). Click to enlarge.