Saturday, January 20, 2018
Country singer June Stearns was born on April 5, 1939 in Albany, Kentucky. Her family relocated to Franklin, Indiana when she was a small child. The Stearns' were a musical family and June learned to play guitar and was singing locally in her early teens. During the late 60’s and early 70’s, June Stearns could be considered to be one of the ladies-in-waiting for the Country Queen crown.
In 1957, on completing her high school education, June became a member of the WLW Midwestern Hayride in Cincinnati, where she remained for two years. Her big break came in 1960, she became a member of Roy Acuff’s Smoky Mountain Gang. She had written to Acuff, enclosing a photograph with her sister, under which she wrote, "I’m the one with the guitar." No doubt Roy had heard about her work on the Midwestern Hayride. She remained a member of "Smoky Mountain Gang," appearing on the Grand Ole Opry and on live dates. During this time, she also took time out to appear solo on the Louisiana Hayride. In 1965, she broke her ankle in an automobile crash in Roy Acuff’s vehicle and never returned to the group. She can be considered the last regular "Smoky Mountain Girl."
June Stearns first recorded for Starday in 1963, who teamed her with Gene Martin. She signed with Columbia Records in 1967. In December of that year, she and Lefty Frizzell recorded ‘Have You Ever Been Untrue’ and ‘If You’ve Got The Money (I’ve Got the Time),’ which Columbia released as a single under the pseudonyms of Agnes And Orville."
In 1968, June Stearns was voted third "Most Promising Female Artist" by Cash Box. That year, she enjoyed three Billboard country chart hits ‘Empty House,’ ‘Where He Stops Nobody Knows’ and the biggest, which peaked at #21, ‘Jackson Ain’t A Very Big Town,’ a duet with Johnny Duncan. They recorded an album together and had further chart success in 1969, with ‘Back To Back (We’re Strangers).’ She also had three solo hits that year, including ‘Walking The Midnight Road.' She moved to Decca Records in 1970, where she gained three Top 60 solo hits: "Tyin' Strings," "Your Kind Of Lovin" and "In Case Of A Storm / Man (Sensuous Man)."
(June Stearns' Discography)
June 1963 Starday Sound Studio, 3557 Dickerson Road, Nashville, TN – June Stearns and Gene Martin
001 6402 Three Sides to the Story - Starday 639/SLP-261 SLP 274
002 6403 Family Man - 660/SLP 276
003 6404 Just Another Song - 639/SLP-276
w. Roy Acuff - Starday SLP 274 The Country Music Festival (1964); Starday SLP 276 Country Music Cannonball (1964)
July 1963 Starday Sound Studio, 3557 Dickerson Road, Nashville, TN – June Stearns, and Red Sovine  Gene Martin  (Producer: Tommy Hill)
004 6493 A Dear John Letter -1 7014//SLP-261 SLP-341 SLP 9-385 S-SLP 9-449 NLP-2044
005 6494 Slippin' Around -2 7012/SLP-261
006 6496 Accidentally on Purpose-2 SLP-261
007 6497 We‘ve Got Things In Common -2 660/SLP-261 SLP-276
6495 is by Bobby Sykes and Helen Carter
May 15, 1967 Columbia Recording Studio, 804 16th Ave. South, Nashville, TN – June Stearns
010 NCO 120217 Habit Not Desire 4-44206/CS-9783
011 NCO 120218 Where Did The Good Times Go 4-44321
012 NCO 120219 I'm The Queen (Of My Lonely Little World) 4-44483
013 NCO 120220 Tear For Fear 4-44206
September 8, 1967 Columbia Recording Studio, 804 16th Ave. South, Nashville, TN – June Stearns
014 NCO 120277 River of Regret 4-44321/CS-9783
015 NCO 120278 Empty House 4-44483/CS-9783
December 5, 1967 Columbia Recording Studio, 804 16th Ave. South, Nashville, TN – Lefty Frizzell and June Stearns aka Agnes and Orville (Lefty Frizzell [vcl], June Stearns [vcl], Grady Martin [gt], Ray Edenton [gt], Harold Bradley [gt], Joseph Zinkan [bass], Buddy Harman [drums], Floyd Cramer [piano]. Producer: Frank Jones)
016 NCO 120911 Have You Ever Been Untrue 4-44490/ BCD 15550
017 NCO 120912 If You’ve Got The Money (I’ve Got The Time 4-44490/C 30896 BCD 15550
March 1968 Columbia Recording Studio, 804 16th Ave. South, Nashville, TN – June Stearns
018 NCO 98496 I Cry Myself Awake 4-44575
019 NCO 98497 Where He Stops Nobody Knows 4-44575/CS-9783
August 9, 1968 Columbia Recording Studio, 804 16th Ave. South, Nashville, TN – June Stearns
020 NCO 98595 Some Of These Days 4-44795 4-44946
September 4, 1968 Columbia Recording Studio, 804 16th Ave. South, Nashville, TN – June Stearns and Johnny Duncan, and June Stearns (*solo) (Producer: Frank Jones)
021 NCO 98604 The True And Lasting Kind* 4-44656/CS-9910
022 NCO 98605 Jackson Ain't A Very Big Town 4-44656/CS-9910 CCM331-2
023 NCO 98606 Walking Midnight Road 4-44695/CS-9783
024 NCO 98607 No Good Man 4-44795
September 1968 Columbia Recording Studio, 804 16th Ave. South, Nashville, TN – June Stearns
025 Flower OF Love CS-9783
026 I Started Loving You Again CS-9783
027 NCO 98628 Plastic Saddle 4-44695/CS-9783
028 To My Sorrow CS-9783
029 The Future Ex-Mrs. Jones CS-9783
030 Time Wounds All Heels CS.9783
December 1968 Columbia Recording Studio, 804 16th Ave. South, Nashville, TN – Johnny Duncan and June Stearns (Producer: Frank Jones)
031 NCO 100582 If That's The Only Way 4-44752
032 NCO 100583 Back to Back (We're Strangers) 4-44752/CS-9910
March 28, 1969 Columbia Recording Studio, 804 16th Ave. South, Nashville, TN – June Stearns
033 NCO 100769 What Makes You So Different 4-44852
034 NCO 100770 unknown title unissued
035 NCO 100771 A Piece at a Time 4-44946
036 NCO 100772 Trouble in Mind 4-44852
May 23, 1969 Columbia Recording Studio, 804 16th Ave. South, Nashville, TN – Johnny Duncan and June Stearns (Producer: Frank Jones)
037 NCO 100835 We'll Get Married or Nothing 4-44992/CS-9910
038 NCO 100837 Now I Lay Me Down To Dream 4-44992/CS-9910
May 1969 [some tracks possibly recorded earlier] Columbia Recording Studio, 804 16th Ave. South, Nashville, TN – Johnny Duncan and June Stearns (Producer: Frank Jones)
039 We Had All The Good Things Going CS-9910
040 What Locks The Door CS-9910
041 Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain CS-9910
042 The Wild Side of Life CS-9910
043 Sweet Thang CS-9910
044 Can You Match That Kind of Love CS-9910
September 22, 1969 Columbia Recording Studio, 804 16th Ave. South, Nashville, TN – June Stearns
045 NCO 100983 He Was A Carpenter 4-45042
046 NCO 100984 Drifting Too Far (From Your Arms) 4-45042
July 7, 1970 Bradley's Barn, 722 Bender’s Ferry Road, Mount Juliet, TN – June Stearns (Producer: Owen Bradley)
047 122994/NA 16137 Pack Your Lunch unissued
048 122995/NA 16138 Tyin' Strings 32726
049 122996/NA 16139 Don't Trouble Trouble 32726
March 19, 1971 Bradley's Barn, 722 Bender’s Ferry Road, Mount Juliet, TN – June Stearns (Producer: Owen Bradley)
050 123463/NA 16381 Another 32876
051 123464/NA 16382 Sweet Baby On My Mind 32828
052 123465/NA 16383 How's My Ex Treating You? 32828
053 123466/NA 16384 Your Kind of Lovin' 32876
June 12, 1972 Bradley's Barn, 722 Bender’s Ferry Road, Mount Juliet, TN – June Stearns (Producer: Owen Bradley)
054 123984/NA 16806 Man (Sensuous Man) 32986
055 123985/NA 16807 In Case of a Storm 32986
056 123986/NA 16808 Am I Still A Part of You
ca 2009 Whiteway Recording Studio – June Stearns with Petie Stearns (Danny Shatswell [gt], Carl Lambert [steel], Dan Furmanik [bass/gt], Earl White [fiddle/gt], Terry Duncan [piano], Shelton Bissell [sax]. Producer: Earl White)
057 Fiddle Diddle Boogie*
058 Bouquet of Roses
059 If My Heart Had Windows
060 He Called Me Baby-Baby
061 The Heart of a Clown
062 All of Me
063 End of the World
064 Only You
065 Try Again
066 Kansas City
067 Some Day
068 Make The World Go Away
069 Too Many Rivers
070 You Belong To Me
071 No One Will Ever Know
072 Trouble In Mind
Starday SLP-261 Slippin' Around: [Gene Martin and June Stearns:] Slipping Around; 3 Sides To Every Story; We've Got Things In Common; Accidentally On Purpose; [Cowboy Copas and Dottie West:] Loose Talk; [Carter and Willis Brothers:]; Wild Side; [Young:] Window Up Above; [Wilson and Warren:] Back Street Affair; [George Jones and Jeanette Hicks:] Yearning; [Benny Martin:]; Sinful Cinderella; [Blue Sky Boys:] Don't Trade; [Bobby Sykes:] Release Me; [Frankie Miller and Dottie Sills:] Out of Bounds; [Red Sovine and June Stearns:] Dear John Letter - 64
Columbia CS-9783 River Of Regret: River Of Regret; Flower Of Love; I Started Loving You Again; Plastic Saddle; Empty House; To My Sorrow; Where He Stops Nobody Knows; Habit Not Desire; The Future Ex-Mrs. Jones; Time Wounds All Heels; Walking Midnight Road – 03-69
Columbia CS-9910 Back To Back: Jackson Ain't A Very Big Town; We Had All The Good Things Going; What Locks The Door; We'll Get Married Or Nothing; Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain; The Wild Side Of Life; Back To Back; Sweet Thang; Now I Lay Me Down To Dream; Can You Match That Kind Of Love; The True And Lasting Kind – 09-69 w. Johnny Duncan
"Release Me -The Best Of Dolly Parton Dottie West Jan Howard And June Stearns," was released in 1977 on the Birchmount label (BM 834).The album features June Stearns singing Three Sides To The Story and Just Another Song, Dolly Parton singing Release Me and Two Little Orphans, Dottie West singing Angel On Paper and I Should Start Running, and Jan Howard singing Weeping Willow and The One You Slip Around With.
Whiteway - Many Sounds Of Country: Fiddle Diddle Boogie (with sister Petie); Bouquet of Roses; If My Heart Had Windows; He Called Me Baby-Baby); The Heart of a Clown; All of Me; End of the World; Only You; Try Again; Kansas City; Some Day; Make the World Go Away; Too Many Rivers; You Belong to Me; No One Will Ever Know; Trouble in Mind – ca 09
639 Three Sides To The Story (w. Gene Martin) / Just Another Song (w. Pete Drake) - 63
07-63 (rev. Aug. 3)
660 Family Man / We've Got Things In Common (w. Gene Martin) – ca. 12-63
7012 Slipping Around (w. Gene Martin) / (The Willis Brothers:) The Wild Side Of Life-64
7014 A Dear John Letter (and Red Sovine) / (Eddie Wilson and Dorothy Warren:) ? - 64 Columbia (1967-69)
4-44206 Habit Not Desire / Tear For Fear – ca. 27-06--67
4-44321 Where Did The Good Times Go / River Of Regret -10-67
4-44449 Have You Even Been Untrue? / If You've Got The Money (I've Got The Time) - 02-68 w. Lefty Frizzell as by Agnes and Orville
4-44483 Empty House / I'm The Queen (Of My Lonely Little World) – 19-03-68
4-44575 Where He Stops Nobody Knows / I Cry Myself Awake – 23-07-68
4-44656 Jackson Ain't A Very Big Town / The True And Lasting Kind – 17-09-68 w. Johnny Duncan
4-44695 Walking Midnight Road / Plastic Saddle – ca. 29-11-68
4-44752 Back To Back (We're Strangers) / If That's The Only Way Back – 21-01-69 w. Johnny Duncan
4-44795 No Good Man / Some Of These Days – 69
4-44852 What Makes You So Different / Trouble In Mind – ca. 04-69
4-44946 Some Of These Days / A Piece At A Time - 07-69
4-44992 Now I Lay Me Down To Dream / We'll Get Married Or Nothing - 08-69 w. Johnny Duncan
4-45042 Drifting Too Far (From Your Arms) / He Was A Carpenter – 11-11-69 Decca (1970-72)
32726 Don't Double Trouble / Tying Strings - 09-70
32828 Sweet Baby On My Mind / How's My Ex Treating You? - 05-71
32876 Your Kind Of Lovin' / Another - 09-71
32986 Man (Sensuous Man) / In Case Of A Storm - 07-72
Source: PragueFrank's Country Music Discography
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Several discs in my 78 r.p.m. collection turn 100 years old in 2018, including "The Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane," recorded by the Metropolitan Quartet. It is listed as 80484-L on the Edison Records label.
"The Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane" was a popular style song written by Will S. Hays in 1871, demonstrating that popular music was well known to southern musicians and performed by them in the early years. The lyric is typical minstrel fare, sung by a blackface character, and is nostalgic and sentimental.
The song tells the story of an elderly man, presumably a slave, or former slave, who is getting old and feeble, and can't work any more. Everyone is gone except his old dog. In earlier days, people would gather around his door and he'd play the banjo while they danced, but now his house is falling down and the footpath to it is overgrown.
And the roof is caving in
I ain't got long 'round here to remain
The angels watches over me
When I lay down to sleep
In the little old log cabin in the lane"
Performers modified the lyric over the years, eliminating some dialect, including the original reference to slavery. The song's melody has been widely used down through the years in songs set in the cowboy West, like "Little Joe, The Wrangler," railroad songs like "Little Red Caboose Behind The Train" and in one very popular hymn, "The Lily of the Valley."
It seems like everyone wanted to record this popular song and there are many variatons in different tempos that you might want to check out. Fiddlin' John Carson's version was one of the first commercial recordings by a rural white musician. Its popularity ensured that the industry would continue recording rural folk songs. There is a great version recorded by blind guitarist Riley Puckett in New York City that became one of the biggest country releases of 1924 and made him a star at Columbia Records.
"The Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane" was so popular that it was still being recording a century later. There were more than 20 recordings of it from 1903 to 1940. The Metropolitan Quartet's harmonized sentimental minstrel version was recorded in 1918.
Here is their version from my collection, presented in this video on an Edison Blue Amberol cylinder:
The song's writer, William S. Hays, was born in Louisville, Ky on July 19, 1837. He published his first poetry in 1856 while attending school at Georgetown College. The S stands for his nickname, "Shakespeare," so dubbed because of his writings. He eventually made it an official part of his name.
Hays finished school and returned to Louisville in 1857. He found employment at D. P. Fauld's music store, where he continued to write music and poetry. Over his career, Hays is credited with over 350 songs, and he may have sold as many as 20 million copies of his works, making him more prolific than most of his 19th century peers. In his later years, Hays claimed to have written "Dixie" but no evidence could be produced to back up his pretensions. Hays died on July 23, 1907.
Sunday, December 24, 2017
The first months of World War I had seen an initial German attack through Belgium into France, which had been repulsed outside Paris by French and British troops at the Battle of the Marne in early September 1914. The Germans fell back to the Aisne Valley and in the subsequent Battle of the Aisne, the Allied forces were unable to push through the German line, and the fighting quickly degenerated into a static stalemate with neither side willing to give ground. To the north, on the right of the German army, there had been no defined front line and both sides quickly began to try to use this gap to outflank one another. In the ensuing "race to the sea", the two sides repeatedly clashed, each trying to push forward and threaten the end of the other's line. By November, there was a continuous front line running from the North Sea to the Swiss frontier. The action was swift and both sides were determined.
But, in December something unexpected happened: An unofficial truce involving about 100,000 British and German troops along the length of that front. The reason? Christmas. It began on Christmas Eve when German troops began decorating the area around their trenches in the region of Ypres, Belgium. The Germans began by placing candles on their trenches and on Christmas trees, then continued the celebration by singing Christmas carols. The British responded by singing carols of their own. The two sides continued by shouting Christmas greetings to each other. Soon thereafter, there were excursions across the 'No Man's Land, where small gifts were exchanged, such as food, tobacco and alcohol, and souvenirs such as buttons and hats. The artillery in the region fell silent that night. The truce also allowed a breathing spell where recently-fallen soldiers could be brought back behind their lines by burial parties. Joint services were held. In many sectors, the truce lasted through Christmas night, but it continued until New Year's Day in others.
Ironically, just days before Christmas a group of 101 British women suffragists wrote a letter to the women of Germany and Austria. Under the heading "On Earth Peace, Goodwill towards Men, the letter said, "The Christmas message sounds like mockery to a world at war. Is it not our mission to preserve life?
The next Christmas, the two sides again observed an unofficial cease fire at the front but it was not as successful, thanks to strongly-worded orders from the high commands of both sides prohibiting such fraternization.
My prayer is that one day we will have peace on earth...may Christmas hasten that day.
God bless you all and may each of you have a blessed Christmas!
"It Could Happen Again"
Saturday, December 2, 2017
For the compact disc-age person, the LP was an analog sound storage medium, a vinyl record format, characterized by a speed of 33 1/3 rpm, a 12 or 10-inch diameter, and use of the "microgroove" groove specification.
At the time the LP was introduced, nearly all phonograph records for home use were made of an abrasive shellac compound, employed a much larger groove, and played at approximately 78 rpm, limiting the playing time of a 12-inch diameter record to less than five minutes per side. The new product was a fine-grooved disc made of vinyl. Originally 23 minutes per side, it was later increased by several minutes.
Although the LP was suited to classical music because of its extended continuous playing time, it also allowed a collection of ten or more pop music recordings to be put on a single disc. Previously, such collections, as well as longer classical music broken up into several parts, had been sold as sets of 78 rpm records in a specially imprinted "record album" consisting of individual record sleeves bound together in book form. The use of the word "album" persisted for the one-disc LP equivalent.
Today, technology is at an all-time high. In so many ways, sound technology is great and the way we listen to music is great. Now, there is digital audio tape (DAT), digital audio broadcasting, HD Radio tuners, which can be connected together with fibre optic TOSLINK cables, universal serial bus (USB) ports (including one to play digital audio files), or the awesome technology known as Wi-Fi, Blu-Ray and Bluetooth. Another modern component is the music server consisting of one or more computer hard drives that hold music in the form of computer files where the music is stored in an audio file. The computer playback of recorded audio can serve as an audiophile-quality source for a hi-fi system.
Some people who were around during the vinyl era appreciate where sound technology has gone. Some of us also moss the vinyl days.
Dr. Peter Carl Goldmark was born in Budapest on December 2, 1906. He died on December 7, 1977 at Port Chester, New York.
The Bing Crosby holiday perennial song, which had appeared every year on the Billboard charts since 1942, became the center of controversy upon "Elvis' Christmas Album's" release, with calls by the song's composer Irving Berlin to have the song, and the entire album, banned from radio airplay. After hearing Presley's version of his song, which Berlin saw as a "profane parody of his cherished yuletide standard," he ordered his staff in New York to telephone radio stations across the United States, demanding the song be discontinued from radio play. Most stations ignored Berlin's request.
The controversy was fueled by Elvis' performance of the song in a style mirroring the version by Clyde McPhatter's group, The Drifters, which had been a Top 10 hit on the R&B singles chart in 1954 and 1955. Unlike Elvis' recording, however, their version attracted virtually no adverse reaction, and certainly no reported opposition from Irving Berlin. Part of the reason that The Drifters' version of "White Christmas" was less controversial was because that version was played only on black radio stations.
In reality though, Berlin looked at Elvis' version of his song as a kind of sacrilege, a reaction born out of a personal tragedy that was the heart and soul of the song. In Berlin's eyes, there was good reason "White Christmas" was meant to be performed very melancholy, bluesy if you will, the way Crosby sang it, and not in the typical festive Christmas tune formula.
Irving Berlin’s 3-week-old son, Irving Berlin Jr., died on Christmas Day in 1928, and every Christmas after, he and his wife would visit their baby boy’s grave. Perhaps, Berlin's writing of the song, which in all honesty echoes many peoples' feelings over the holiday season, was his deep response to his feelings about the death of his son.
As Jody Rosen, author of White Christmas: The Story of an American Song, said, "it’s pretty poignant and special that a song born out of such grief and loss would become one of the world’s all-time best-selling and most widely recorded songs ever– of all genres, not just holiday songs."
At the end of the day, you have to imagine that Berlin was comforted in some measure by the royalty payments Elvis' version sent his way. According to the most recent record album certifications, the holiday album title that has shipped the most copies in the United States is "Elvis' Christmas Album," which is certified by the RIAA for shipment of 16 million copies in the U.S. (3 million copies of the original 1957 release on RCA Victor Records, plus 10 million copies of a "budget" edition first released by RCA Camden in 1970 and then by Pickwick Records in 1975, and 3 million of a RCA reissue titled "It's Christmas Time," released in 1985.
For the record, Elvis Presley did reach out and extend an olive branch to Irving Berlin, which was rejected. Elvis sent an autographed photo to Berlin as a sort of peace offering– “To Mr. Irving Berlin with respect and admiration, Sincerely Elvis Presley.”
Friday, November 17, 2017
We each have periods in our lives where we wonder, "Where are you God?" But, it is during these times that, if we seek Him, we can allow our spiritual roots to grow deeper and closer to Him.
During the struggles and trials which I have endured in my life, I found myself clinging to His garment. I realized later that my trials were disguised as His mercies. What if that's really what trials and tribulations are all about?
God loves me!
And, that helps me endure.
His strength is perfect and it is all that I need.
"Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted." Isaiah 49:13
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Police officer Robert T. Thurman was murdered just after midnight on September 18, 1914 on West Main street in Glasgow, Kentucky, about a half block from the Courthouse Square. Parties were reportedly drunk and disorderly and Thurman had received a telephone message to go to North Glasgow and make an arrest. He was returning with two prisoners when he fell to the ground after being shot just below his heart. Before making their escape, the two prisoners were seen kicking and cursing Thurman as he lay on the ground. The shots aroused citizens, who found the officer and carried him to the Murrell Hotel, where he died a few minutes later.
Nothing in the history of Glasgow had so aroused the people as the murder of Robert Thurman. The 37-year-old former marshall of Burkesville and Edmonton, Kentucky had killed two or three men, but was always acquitted on the grounds of self-defense. He had shot and killed Bud McCandless in Edmonton, who had killed Judge George H. Pierce, one of the prominent men of Metcalfe county.
More than one year earlier, bootlegging had. become so open in Glasgow that something drastic had to be done. The City Council hired Thurman with the understanding that he would try to arrest every violator of the law. Within a few weeks he had arrested 25 bootleggers, which naturally made him many enemies. He was offered large sums of money to leave, but had refused to. Threats of killing him were frequently heard, but Thurman, described as a man without fear, had paid no attention them. A few months prior to his murder, an attempt to assassinate him had failed because Thurman did not fall for a trap that had been set.
During the inquiry, there was sufficient evidence to suppory the arrest of Milton Mansfield, a young man well-known around town, and Louie Pace, a printer in the Glasgow Times office. According to the online "Officer Down Memorial Page," both men were convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
Thurman, a widower and father two children, was to have been re-married in a few days. Two thousand people attended the viewing at Jewell’s undertaking establishment. As a matter of fact, the crowd became so great that it became necessary to close the doors. There was equally as large a crowd at the funeral the next day. The most tragic affair ever to occur in Glasgow up to that point had profoundly moved the community.
Thurman, who was born in Clinton County, Kentucky on April 4, 1879, was buried on September 22, 1914 at Thurman Cemetery on Malone Ridge in Clinton County. He was the son of Turner and Elizabeth "Betsy" Riddle Thurman.
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