Sunday, March 25, 2018

Sound Files Restored (and Other Renovations)

When our former file hosting site (DivShare) went kaput in March, 2015, all the sound files on this blog disappeared into the ether. Discouraged, I moved on to other things, but the voices unfairly resigned to a digital purgatory kept nagging me and calling me back. I'm pleased to announce that after three years of silence, the sound files on Wired For Sound have now been restored via a new hosting site, Soundcloud.

It appears that many of the files on this blog were also cloned by YouTube users (or were uploaded from their own collections in some cases). Since I don't have any faith that Soundcloud will be any more reliable or longer-lived than DivShare, I've linked to these YouTube videos in many cases.
A few B-sides were lost during the reconstruction, but 98% of the songs on the blog in March, 2015, are back again -- sometimes in improved sound.

I've also added sound files to former posts that had none, such as the Lightnin' Hopkins, George Ogg, and Durwood Haddock pages, and while doing that I decided that a complete sweep of the blog was necessary to bring it up to date. Dead links were corrected or deleted, new information was added to certain pages, and new images were added where I could find them.

Here are the pages most affected by the renovation:

"No Color in Poor": San Antonio's Harlem Label - Sound files added for most releases, and the discography has been updated to include the two Harlem LPs released by L.R. Docks in 1979. We've come a long way since 1998, when I first began searching (in vain) for any information on this label.

Otis Glover on Phamous 101 - Updated and rewritten to include information from a 1951 article about the Phamous label that ran in the Austin American-Statesman, and more information about "Blind Boy" Otis Glover.

Lightnin' Hopkins - The 1954 ACA Sessions - Sound files added.

Goldband Records: The Early Years - Sound files added, label images added.

Vanity of Vanities: The Special Edition Label - Sound files added, including (for the first time on the Internet) Peppermint Harris's single "I Had a Dream" b/w "Twenty-Four Hours."

Solid Jackson Hipsters on Nucraft 103 - Rewritten with new information and sound files of Jack "Scat" Powell's 1930s recordings.

Rusty McDonald on Chesterfield 354 - Updated with new information about McDonald's previously unknown association with Albuquerque, New Mexico, during this period.

Rusty McDonald on Intro 6061 - Updated with a new photo from McDonald's family, and the only known film footage of a young Rusty from the 1943 film "Springtime in Texas" has been restored.

Durwood Haddock - Updated with sound files.

Western Swing in Houston: The George Ogg Interview - Updated with sound files, including previously unknown live radio broadcasts of the Peck Kelley Trio posted on YouTube recently.

A lot more new information and sound files will be added this year, so check back often.

Onward and upward.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Rusty McDonald with Cliff Bruner on Ayo 105

Rusty McDonald in the late 1930s/early 1940s.

Rusty McDonald, vocal with Cliff Bruner and his Texas Wanderers - Ouch/You Took Advantage of a Broken Heart (Ayo 105)


Rusty McDonald's second record, which may be described as a "jump blues-western swing novelty," went unnoticed at the time of its release in 1950, buried on the flipside of an organ-drenched pop ballad on a local Houston label. The 28-year-old McDonald's absence from recording during the previous decade is still one of the unexplained mysteries in Texas/Oklahoma music. It could not have been simply that he was constantly on the road during those years -- plenty of other people were, too, and that didn't prevent them from seeking out (or being sought by) the labels so active both in the pre- and postwar years in Texas. Perhaps record companies thought his voice was too "pop" sounding -- but the same could be said about dozens of others who did record, from Dickie McBride to Adolph Hofner.

The circumstances surrounding this session, held at ACA around October, 1949, are somewhat chaotic. Credited to Cliff Bruner and his Texas Wanderers, the group is actually Richard Prine and his All-Stars from Beaumont. Bruner's band had broken up not long before this, but he was called back to play fiddle and share singing duties. The other musicians heard are: Deacon Anderson (steel guitar), Ben "Moon" Mullins (piano and writer of "Ouch"), Buck Henson (bass), and Richard Prine (drums). McDonald may play rhythm guitar. How he came to sing with the All-Stars isn't known, but he remained associated with the Beaumont area off and on for years, holding down a daily radio program there in 1953.

Shortly after this, Bruner would leave Beaumont for Amarillo, where he opened a club with Rip Ramsey. McDonald was soon off with Bob Wills. On April 27, 1950, they recorded "Faded Love" for MGM in Los Angeles, and nobody asked about "Ouch" ever again.