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Looks 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.

Courtesy of Linda Piro.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' !!

Spade Cooley.

Here, for the first time, is Cooley's complete DECCA sessionography and discography.

Personnel details and other data are missing, thus I encourage all interested readers
to e-mail me with their additions and corrections. Thanks beforehand !!

© Paul Vidal * Privas, France * November 2000 - July 2007

March 9, 1951
Vocals : Andy Klimax *, Ginny Jackson **
Steel guitar : Noel Boggs

L6138 Chew Tobacco Rag (Billy Briggs)* 46310
L6139 The Rhumba Boogie (Hank Snow)** 46310

Notes : Decca 46310 released on april 23, 1951.
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* 46376
L6312 Hitsitty Hotsitty* 46339
L6313 Lucky Leather Britches** 46339

Note : Decca 46339 issued on July 30,1951 ; Decca 46376 on November 5, 1951.
July 31, 1951
Vocals : Ginny Jackson *

L6379 The Cowboy Waltz* 46376
L6380 Down Yonder 46355
L6381 Horse Hair Boogie 46355

Courtesy of Linda Piro.

Spade & His Band, featuring Noel Boggs, Ginny Jackson and Billy Wright among others.

May 21, 1952
Vocals : Careless Love *
Steel guitar : Noel Boggs

L6778 Crazy 'Cause I Love You (Spade Cooley)* 28253
L6779 Swingin' The Devil's Dream (Pedro DePaul-Spade Cooley) 28253

Freddie 'Careless' Love
: Decca 28253 released on June 16, 1952.

And another round of thanks to Jason Odd for solving a second mystery : 'Careless Love' is in fact Freddie 'Careless' Love, the Sailor Singing Cowboy (what else ?!). Courtesy of Jason, you can enjoy a picture of a September 1953 invitation card to the Santa Monica Ballroom where Spade Cooley was giving a party in honor of Freddie's birthday.

Courtesy of Linda Piro.

May 29,1952
Vocals : Phil Gray *
Steel guitar : Noel Boggs

L6780 Carmen's Boogie (George Cates-Mel Leven) 28344
L6781 One sweet Letter From You (Lew Brown-Sidney Clare-Harry Warren)* 28344

Note : Decca 28344 put out on August 25, 1952.
January 5, 1953

L6982 Nashville Special (Tempo 132) 40238
L6983 Baltimore Bounce (Tempo 132) 40237
L6984 San Fernando Square (Tempo 130) 40235

L6985 Rochester Reel (Tempo 136) 40236
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ HOLLYWOOD
January 7, 1953

L6988 Santa Monica Rambler 40237
L6989 Jersey Jig (Tempo 134) 40236
L6990 Seattle Square (Tempo 134) 40235

L6991 Y-Knot Rag (Tempo 136) 40238

: Decca 40235, 40236, 40237 and 40238 all released on November 16, 1953.
September 2, 1954
Steel guitar : Joaquin Murphy

L7841 Down By The Pecos ED-2226/DL-5563
L7842 Anita 29544
L7843 Y' Ready ED-2225
L7844 The Ping-Pong Song ED-2226/DL-5563/DL-8730
L7845 Y' Hear ED-2226/DL-5563/DL-8730
L7846 Yearning ED-2225
L7847 Not assigned ??
L7848 Sail On
L7849 The Cryin' Waltz 29544

: Decca 29309 issued on November 15, 1954 ; Decca 29544 on June 13, 1955.

September 20, 1954
Vocals : Betsy Gay *
Steel guitar : Joaquin Murphy

L7906 Charmaine ED-2225
L7907 You Clobbered Me (Spade Cooley-Red Fox)* 29309
L7908 Break Up Down (Spade Cooley) 29309
L7909 Sparkling Silver Bells ED-2225/DL-5563

Click & hear a bit of 'Break Up Down' !!

: Decca ED-2225 and ED-2226 are EPs in the 'Country'n'Western Dance-O-Rama' series. All tracks were in fact taken from Decca DL-5663, a ten-inch LP in the same 'Dance-O-Rama' series, which is billed under the name 'Spade Cooley With The Buckle Busters' ; like the two above EPs, the album was released on October 17, 1955. The 'Dance-O-Rama' series also featured 10" LPs (and EPs) by the likes of Milton Brown, Grady Martin and others. Decca DL-8730 is a compilation album titled 'Western Swing In Hi-Fi', originally published on August 11, 1958.

Location unknown
November 13, 1955
Vocals : Chuck Reed

88300 No Need To Cry Anymore 29788
88301 Seasons Of My Heart 29788

: Release date of the above single : January 9, 1956.

Talk about inflation !!!

Here's an item which is worth considerably more than it seems ! Signed by both Spade Cooley & Hank Penny !!


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