Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rusty McDonald on Intro 6061 (Update)

Rusty McDonald - You Got the Right Number / Call Operator 209 (Intro 6061)

"You Got the Right Number"

We've already heard Rusty McDonald's outstanding Chesterfield record (heard here). This one on Intro pre-dates that by two years, and we find Rusty going for a pure honky-tonk sound here a la Frizzell. In fact "You Got the Right Number" sounds as if it was intended to be the answer record to "If You've Got the Money (I've Got the Time)." The flipside is a cover of the Floyd Dixon R&B tune.

Rusty McDonald in the 1950s.

The musicians are unknown but this was recorded in Los Angeles at Radio Recorders on August 5, 1952. Dick Stubbs remembered sitting in on a couple of Rusty sessions so perhaps he's present on the steel.

Rusty McDonald appearing at Crystal Springs in Fort Worth, late 1950s.

McDonald was living and playing in the Beaumont area as well as his home town of Lawton, Oklahoma, during these years. Billboard reported on December 5, 1953, that McDonald was a DJ on KSWO in Lawton and had his own TV show there.

Some film footage of Rusty McDonald has been posted to You Tube. It captures him appearing with the Callahan Brothers and Spud Goodall (lead guitar) in the 1943 western, "Springtime in Texas." I think this is the only film footage of Rusty.


Kevin Coffey: "The personnel on "You've Got The Right Number" is in fact known. It included Rusty on rhythm guitar, Harry Sims on fiddle, Freddie Tavares on steel, Hank Caldwell on bass, and Rusty's Dallas/Callahan pal Freddie Burkhalter on piano. Dick Stubbs' memory about recording with Rusty was correct, too -- he's on the 10 tracks cut at Rusty's previous Intro sessions a few months before. Those sessions used Eddie Kirk's big group, which was almost entirely made up of Texas-Oklahoma guys (Stubbs, Manson & Belken on fiddles, Burkhalter on piano, Bill Carson on lead guitar, Jack Loyd on bass, Lucky Word on drums).

"Old Joe Clark"

"Turkey in the Straw"

Thanks to the Hillbilly Researcher #3 for information on the Intro label.