Sunday, June 13, 2010

Jerry Dove on TNT 122



Jerry Dove and his Stringbusters (vocal by Bob Martin) - You're Wasting Your Time / Stand Still (TNT 122)


"You're Wasting Your Time"


"Stand Still"


The TNT label of San Antonio is like the Rodney Dangerfield of Texas labels -- despite releasing something like 200 singles and EPs between 1953 and 1966, it's never gotten much respect. This is understandable: of the many country artists who recorded for the label, only Bill Anderson became famous. Next to Starday or Sarg (its closest relatives), there was comparatively little rockabilly and rock and roll on the label. There was an interesting R&B/gospel series, but it only lasted for ten releases. And of course, the label's country output is littered by unbelievably stupid novelties by Red River Dave (who had a financial stake in the company). Anybody who can listen to "James Dean's Deck of Cards" all the way through without thoughts of suicide must have a serious masochistic disorder.

Local labels shouldn't be of interest solely because they're local: they need to have actually been creative or unique in some way. But Bob Tanner doesn't seem to have had any sort of guiding vision like Pappy Daily or Charlie Fitch had. There's probably more bad releases on TNT than good ones. So the Rodney Dangerfield Syndrome is, ultimately, deserved. Tellingly, although Starday and Sarg have been anthologized for 30+ years now, the first TNT retrospective only appeared in 2009.

None of this has any bearing on this superb single from Jerry Dove and his Stringbusters, however. Dove was a San Antonio car dealer who led a band on weekend gigs for many years (he had recorded for Everstate back around '49). He is best remembered today for his rather lame attempt at rockabilly ("Pink Bow Tie," also on TNT), but I think he should be remembered for this single. A young Bobby Martin, who later sang with several Alamo City groups, wrote and sang "You're Wasting Your Time." The A-side is the original version of the great ballad "Stand Still," which Tanner wrote, and is also sung nicely by Martin. Wink Lewis and Charlie Walker both covered this without success. This should have been at least a regional hit, but I'm guessing that TNT's promotional budget didn't exceed the cost of an enchilada dinner at Mi Tierra. Billboard gave it a lukewarm review in its May 7, 1955 issue:



The Stringbusters heard here are: Jerry Dove (rhythm guitar), Jimmy Latham (lead guitar), Jack Jackson (fiddle), B.J. Clay (steel guitar), and Pat Patterson (bass). No photos of this band have ever surfaced...but the Internet has been known to work small miracles before, and perhaps one will turn up in cyberspace one day.

5 comments:

  1. Hi! Andrew, Another great post! I already knew "You're wasting your time" from an European collector, not the flipside, which is really nice ballad. Great interplay between Latham, Jackson and Clay, especially during the bridge. Good sincere vocal too. You surely know another Jerry Dove TNT offering: Losing the blues/ Why don't you love me (unknown #). One of my ever-faves! If you have some spare time, please do me a scan of this latter record (both sides), for a future post in www.bopping.org. Bye, Andrew, keep up the nice work! Greetings from France

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  2. Hi my name is Lorian Dove, Jerry Doves son. I recorded a 15 song CD which includes Stand Still along with 5 other songs dad wrote. Dad wrote Stand Still. My favorite song written by Dad and recorded at TNT is Let's Pretend, vocals by Jimmy Burton, who did a great job. My Mom, whose name is Peggy sang low harmony on a number of the songs recorded by Ray Stone and others. I have a lot of great memories.

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  3. Lorian, see if you can find some pictures of your dad and his band. I have heard this story many times. I am Florian Rogers step-son Ricky, your dads nephew from San Antonio. He has a CD of your dads music. I am very impressed! I remember visiting your dads house in Floresville when I was a kid.

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    1. Hi Ricky, it's good to hear from you. I'll go through the photo album and see if I can find any. I do not recall any photos but I 'll will look.
      Stay in contact. My email address is loriandove@sbcglobal.net.

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    2. Lorian,I am researching early rockabilly artists in the SW (TX, AR, LA) and any photos that you think might be of interest would be greatly appreciated. My e-mail is agbk7749@gmail.com. Thank you very much. Tony Davis

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