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)

"Lost Highway"

Leon Rausch's debut record remains virtually unknown, possibly because (a) his name isn't on the label, instead crediting "Leon Ralph," and (b) despite bring pressed on both 45 and 78, few copies survive. 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. 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.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Blogger Mellow said...

Very interesting! Clyde Chesser and the Texas Village Boys were also the house band (Chesser was the host) of the Blue Bonnet Barn Dance that was seen over KCEN-TV from 1953 through the 1950s, I think. Chesser later moved to KOKE(Austin, TX), where he emceed the CC Jubilee, probably another barn dance show. You can see another photo of Clyde Chesser and his band at this German site (I wrote this article about the Blue Bonnet Barn Dance):

Mery Christmas,

December 25, 2009 at 6:07 AM  
Blogger WESTEX said...

Just picked up a copy of a Texas Village Boys gospel 45 on Central this week. Also got a souvenir booklet for the group that I found in a Belton, Texas flea market a few years back. I'll get some scans done after the weekend and send a few your way.

December 25, 2009 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger Mellow said...

That would be amazing! Thank you very much!

December 26, 2009 at 5:01 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home