Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bashful Vic on Premium 101

Bashful Vic (with) Charlie Frost, Glen Barber's Music Masters - Ramblin' Fool / Let Love Show Us How (Premium 101)

"Ramblin' Fool"

It's not often that previously unknown singles on Texas labels from the 78 rpm era turn up these days, but that's what we have here. Bashful Vic Thomas is known for his later "Rock and Roll Tonight" on Premium (heard here), a prime example of a country band thinking that they could jump on the rock and roll bandwagon by simply writing a song that had the words "rock and roll" in the lyrics -- leaving the steel and fiddle intact. I suspect that teenagers at the time weren't impressed, but the honky-tonkers probably thought they were being "hip" by dancing to it.

"Ramblin' Fool" is a Gold Star pressing, dating from around 1952-53. Glen Barber, whose band provides the music here, was probably still a student at Pasadena High School when he cut this. The steel guitarist is "Dusty" Carroll, and the fiddler is Charlie Frost. Musically, this is far from great, but hey, it's a group of teen-agers. Cut them some slack.

Bashful Vic lived up to his name -- I've never heard anyone on the Houston '50s scene mention him at all. After re-cutting "Ramblin' Fool" for a Nebraska label in the late '50s, he disappears from the vinyl map completely.

Thanks to Al Turner for providing the sound files and label scan.


  1. I think Vic (Bashful Vic Thomas) believed if he was going to make the big time in music, he'd have to go with the Rock and Roll venue. I remember my grandfather telling him that one time when he was trying to still make it with country/western music. Vic was my uncle by marriage so I had a chance to see and hear him singing a lot of songs he never recorded.

  2. Vic Thomas laster in his life moved to Florida and eventually was committed to an asylum for his depression. Originally from New York City, Vic was attracted to the sweet sounds of West Texas trubidors and aspired to be one himself. I have hundreds of his recordings that he made on overdubbed 8-tracks and dedicated to his estranged wife Dorothy. I picked them up in a pile outside his home when it was being demolished. The recordings are very interesting and sad eith Vic's old fading high pitch voice quivering but on key, singing songs like "If you're going to cheat on me, don't cheat in my hometown" and "Kawliga" and many other great songs from his Idol Hank Williams. I have been trying to find anyone who knew him to try to construct a biography (at least a wikipedia page) of his tragic life. Please let me know if you have any information about