like we've been better served over the years as regards Spade Cooley's DECCA
recordings. In 1985, UK's Charly Records put out an excellent compilation
of these sides, 'Swinging The Devil's Dream' (CR 30239) - with fine liner
notes courtesy of noted Music historian, Adam Komorowski. Spade signed with
DECCA in 1950 but didn't begin to cut songs for the label until 1951 ; he
stayed there until 1955, although the session dates were few and far between.
The chemistry was pretty much the same as with RCA Victor although the horns were less often present. More vocalists appeared (like Betsy Gay or the excellent Phil Gray), but the first sessions still featured the talented Ginny Jackson whose vocal in Hank Snow's 'The Rhumba Boogie' is a delight. Cameron Hill joined Jimmy Wyble on guitar for a while and Noel Boggs stayed on board but Joaquin Murphey returned
for a few sides. Hank Penny, who was one of Spade's closest friends, explained to me that Cooley had a tendency to 'fire'em then hire'em back' ! Among the highlights from that period are a clutch of nicely swingin' Boogies (notably 'Horse Hair Boogie' and 'Carmen's Boogie',
the latter featuring a dynamite 'block chords' steel solo by Boggs), the superb 'One Sweet Letter From You', the lively 'Break Up Down' (an instrumental with a killer steel guitar solo from Joaquin) and the really hot 'Y'Hear' (another stompin' instro where all band members are allowed to cut loose !). Some of the early outings were billed as by 'Spade Cooley & His Fiddlin' Friends', but it was soon back to 'Spade Cooley & His Orchestra'. That was also the time when DECCA used to label this music as 'Fox Trot' : as late as 1954, they would apply the same terminology to Bill Haley's 'Rock Around The Clock' !!
© Paul Vidal * Privas, France * November 2000 - July 2007
L6138 Chew Tobacco Rag (Billy Briggs)*
And many thanks to Jason Odd for solving the 'Andy Climax' mystery ! It appears that he was none other than Del Porter AKA Delmar Smith Porter (04/13/1902 - 10/04/1977). A talented clarinetist, composer, arranger and singer, he exerted substantial influence on Spike Jones and had been one of his famous City Slickers. He also sang at Spade's next Decca session.
June 14, 1951
Vocals : Ginny Jackson *, Del Porter **
L6311 My Heart Is Broken In Three*
: Decca 46339 issued on July 30,1951 ; Decca 46376 on November 5, 1951.
L6379 The Cowboy Waltz* 46376
L6778 Crazy 'Cause I Love You (Spade
L6780 Carmen's Boogie (George Cates-Mel
: Decca 28344 put out on August 25, 1952.
Here's an item which is worth considerably more than it seems ! Signed by both Spade Cooley & Hank Penny !!