Category Archives: Tennessee

The Breakaway Five “Jivin” on Bullet

Breakaway Five Bullet 45 JivinThe Breakaway Five cut the great instrumental “Jivin” for Red Wortham’s revived Bullet label, featuring pounding drums in the intro and great guitar work, including a quote from Hank Snow’s “I’m Movin’ On”. The flip “I’m Gonna Walk” is a country song by F.L. Parrish, livened up by the echo on the guitar lines.

Members of the Breakaway Five included Norman Davis, Larry Davis, Larry Morgan, and possibly Ronnie Morgan. According to a comment on youtube, the band may have started as the Rivieras from Dickson, Tennessee, just west of Nashville.

Sur-Speed Music ASCAP is listed as publisher on both songs, though “Jivin” does not have any writing credit.

I’m not sure of the release date on this, but I would guess late ’50s or early ’60s. The label credits do not match the Villains 45s or any other Bullet 45 releases of the 1960s. The release number 241 is closer to Bullet’s early 78 rpm releases by Cecil Gant and Wynonie Harris. No other Bullet 45s have similar mastering codes (869-1165/6 in this case), a production credit to Wortham, or (in most cases) lack of an address.

The Bacchantes & the Bacchanalia label of Kit Haaland

Bacchantes Bacchanalia 45 Child of the Morning Sun

The Bacchantes were a studio creation of producer Carsten “Kit” Haaland. Kit Haaland ran the Bacchanalia label and production company in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, with enough of a presence to get a listing in the Billboard Buyer’s Guide for five years running from 1968-1972, once with Tom McBryde and DanTaylor listed as Vice Presidents.

Beginning in 1967, Haaland registered a number of songs with the Library of Congress copyright office, including such intriguing titles as “Sun Machine Goddess”, “Bad Dream”, “Focus Your Love Lamp Baby”, “Get Off Your Rock” and “I Want You, Big Man”. I’d like to see the lyrics for these as Haaland seems to have had some message he was trying to deliver.

Bacchantes Bacchanalia 45 I'm Leaving YouThis single also appears to be from 1967. “Child of the Morning Sun (Bacchanalia #9)” was one of the first songs Haaland copyrighted. The production is upbeat baroque-psychedelic with female vocals. “I’m Leaving You (Bacchanalia #3)” has complicated shifts in tempo and melody.

Both songs were also released in a soul style with different arrangements and vocalists. This exists on a white label with blue print – if anyone has a scan of that 45 please let me know. As far as I can tell, these were the only releases on the Bacchanalia label.

If music was a dead-end for Haaland, he received much more attention for his next venture as an expert on UFO sightings. A 1975 profile in the Kingsport Times-News states “Dr. Kit Haaland is a physicist in the Oak Ridge National Laboratories, currently working on a study of how the nation might survive a hypothetical nuclear war. In his spare time, he directs a group of about 40 scientists who are establishing a tracking network for aerial phenomena [UFOs].”

I believe Carsten Haaland passed away in December 2010.

The Nu-Trons and Spot Records Discography

Nu-Trons Spot 45 I Told You SoI can’t find any specific info on the Nu-Trons. Spot Records came from Johnson City, Tennessee, but recorded groups from locations as far as Knoxville and western Virginia.

“I Told You So” (written by B. Frye) is a moody shuffle with a great r&b feel and fine lead vocal.

“From Now On” (written D. Bradford, G. Shell) has a slower tempo, with more prominent piano and a descending guitar line.

Released on Spot SP7-1123, the RCA custom press matrix S4KM-2012/3 dates this to early 1965.

Spot was in operation for about ten years, from 1959 until about 1968, releasing a couple dozen singles in that span. The Nu-Trons may be the only ‘garage’ style single on the label, though I’d really like to hear The Malibus “She’s Gone”.

There’s a lot of sharp r&b on the label from Little Benny and Richie Weems & the Continental Five, and ’50s style vocal rock from the Rock-Alongs and the True Tones. Infinity’s “Ride on the Milky Way” is a western-tinged instrumental. Lonnie Salyer, who helped me with the discography below, has compiled a youtube playlist with 11 songs from the label, a good start for those interested.

The True Tones were Lanny Green, Neil Walker, Gerald Barber, Jay Henderson, Joby Wheat and Richard Way, out of Central High School in Knoxville.

Spot Records discography (compiled with help from Lonnie Salyer)

I’ve included prefixes because at least two numbers, 1123 and 1124, were reused with different prefixes.

SP-101 – Don Bradford – “Someone’s Gotta Go” (Stan Ratliff) / “That Ain’t Much” (Don Shannon), K8OW-0544/5, 1959

SP-103 – Eddie McKinney And Belvederes ‎- “Teen Town Hop” / “I’m Hooked“ (both by Bradford, Campbell, KO8W-0977/8, with picture sleeve)

SP-106 – Little Benny & the Stereos – “Drinking Wine, Spodie Odie” / “Mine All Mine” (M80W-8134/5, prod. Don Bradford, 1961)

1107 – Bobby Joe – “My Life I’ll Spend With You” (B. Tipton) / “Hellbound” (N80W-8467/8)

SP1108 – Reece Shipley – “I Counted The Raindrops” / “Too Big To Cry” (R. Shipley, Ronald Talley) (ZTSB 83092
SP-1109 – Paul Sutton – “Lucy” / ? (P4KM-3604)
SP-1110 – The Rock-A-Longs – “Don’t ‘cha Know I Love You” / “Theme from the Beachcomber”
SP 7-1111 – Wayne Boling – “Please Cry” / “What Kind of Friend Was He” (with picture sleeve, SO 1467/8)
SP 7-1112 – Wayne Boling – “She’s Coming Home” / “Little Hit and Run Darling” (SO 1611)
SP 7-1113 – Eugenia Anderson – “Soul of a Child” / “Send Down the Fire”

SP 7-1115 – The True Tones – “Lovin’ From My Baby” (Joby Wheat) / “Never Had a Chance” (J. Wheat, L. Green, R4KM-8431/2
SP 7-1116 – Jackie Bair & the Cubs, featuring Skip Lane – “Bare Hug” (Lane, Bair, Miller, Parker) / “You’re In Love” (Prod. by Don Bradford, RK4M-7113)
SP 7-1117 – Richie Weems & the Continental Five – “That 8:30 Special” / “Making Believe” (RK4M-7262/3)
SP-7-1118 – The True Tones – “Please Be True” (J. Henderson) / “Kiss Me Now” (J. Wheat), RK4M-7260, prod. by Don Bradford

SP7-1121 – The Tru Tones – “Little Hit and Run Darling” (Don Schroeder, Wayne P. Walker) / “La La La La La” (Clarence Paul), S4KM-1633/4

SP-1122 – Richie Weems & the Continental Five – “Tricks of the Trade” / “Natural Born Man” (S4KM-1706/7)
SP-1123 – Richie Weems & the Continental Five – “Wild In the Night” (B. Bradford) / “Mine All Mine”
SP-1124 – Little Ceaser & the Euterpeans – “It Ain’t What You Do It’s The Way How You Do It” / “Good Good Lovin’”

SP7-1123 – The Nu-Trons – “From Now On” (D. Bradford, G. Shell) / “I Told You So” (B. Frye), S4KM-2012/3
SP7-1124 – Lon Nave – “I’ll Think of You” / “Just Lookin’ Around” (Lon Nave, Harold Nave), TK4M-4056/7, 1966

SP-7-1128 – Kenny Springs & the Scat Cats – “Nobody Else But You” (K. Springs) / “Let Nobody Love You”, prod. by Don Bradford, TK4M-4722
SP7-1129 – Glenn Shell with Jackie Bair & the Cubs – “It’s Too Late” (G. Shell) / “Ain’t No One Woman Man” (U4KM-2575)
SP7-1130 – The Malibus – “She’s Gone” (J. Boyle, E. Fielden, J. Melton for East Tenn. Music) / “Oop Poo Pa Do” (U4KM-4837, 1967)

SP-7-1132 – The Kool Kuzzins – “Love Can Be True” (D. Rose, B. Rose, M. Powell) / “Hey Little Girl” (1968)
SP-7-1133 – The Infinity – “Ride on the Milky Way” / “Moon Gazer” (both by Charles Stafford & Gene Wheelon) W4KM-6546/7, 1968
SP 7-1134 – Little Caesar & the Euterpians – “Love Is A Beautiful Thing” / “I Can’t Stand It Together” (W4KM-)

Most originals on the label published by East Tenn. Music Pub, BMI.

The Kool Kuzzins came from Castlewood and Oakwood, Virginia and featured Danny Rose on lead vocals and drums, his brother Bill Rose on guitar and Mike Powell on bass & organ. The Kuzzins lived in the Tidewater during the summer of 1967, recording some unreleased sides for Frank Guida. After the band made their single at Spot, Danny Rose left to join Sound on Sound, based in nearby Grundy, VA, as lead vocalist. (Info from the CD Aliens, Psychos & Wild Things Vol. 2 on Arcania International.)

This was not the same label that released the Shytones or the Los Angeles label with the Poets and Effie Smith.
Nu-Trons Spot 45 From Now On

The Madhatters on Re-Echo Records

Madhatters Re-Echo 45 Unchain My Heart

The Madhatters have the earliest single on the Re-Echo Records label out of Livingston, Tennessee, about 100 miles northeast of Nashville. The A-side was a better-than-average version of “Unchain My Heart” b/w a breezy garage pop song, “That Kind of Girl”, released on Re-Echo Records 1003-45 in 1966.

T. Bradford, M. Peterman, J. Holloway wrote “That Kind of Girl” and were probably members of the band. I can’t find any further info on the group.

The Madhatters – “Unchain My Heart”
The Madhatters – “That Kind of Girl”

The label reads published by Middle Tenn. Music Co. BMI and Atwell Studio Production. Unfortunately, though many other songs published by Middle Tennessee Music were registered in the ’60s, I can find no copyright notice for this song or the writers.

Like many early releases on Re-Echo, this is a Rite pressing 17843/4, account number 1810. Other than the Madhatters, all other releases on the Re-Echo label seem to be either country or white gospel music.

Livingston, TN also had the Breeze Records label, based out of 209 South Church Street, with a connection to Atwell Publishing on 704 Bennett St. in Lafayette, TN, and featuring Dickey Cherry and Lonnie Holt, among others.

Re-Echo Records discography (probably incomplete)

1003 – Madhatters – “Unchain My Heart” / “That Kind of Girl”
1004 – Jim Edwards – “Talk to Your Heart” (James E. Hensley) / “If You Were My Darling”
1005 – Crownsmen Quartet – “Sweet Jesus” / “When God’s Chariot Comes”
1007 – Herman Hatfield and the Tennessee Valley Boys – “Sweet Memories of You” / “He Is The Master of Us All”
1008 – Sharlet Sexton & the Tennessee Valley Boys – “I Ain’t Good For Nothin ‘cept Pickin and Singin” / “Boys Like You”
1010 – Leon and Earl & the Bluegrass Mountain Boys – “There Could Never Be Another” / “False Dreams”
1011 – The Poston Family – “I Remember Daddy” / “It Might As Well Be Me”
1012 – Vic Jason & the Lonely Ones – Home Again” / “To Be Free” (both by Charles ‘Clint’ Cravens)
1014 – Dickey Cherry and the Common People – “All But Me” (Terry Muncy) / “Anita, You’re Dreaming”
45-6-2328-69 – Lonnie Holt – “Overton Hanging” / “One Little Things At a Time”

plus a spiritual album by the Four J’s Keeper of the Door.

Madhatters Re-Echo 45 That Kind Of Girl

The Tangle on Canary Records

Tangle Canary 45 Any Time, Any WhereThe Tangle recorded the very cool single “Any Time, Any Where” / “Our Side of Town” for Canary Records of Nashville, Tennessee in October 1966.

Alvin Holland and Nyman Furr came from Camden, Tennessee, about 50 miles west of Nashville, so that was possibly the base for the group.

Members included:

Alvin Holland – guitar and lead vocals (?)
Ronnie Waters – guitar
Nyman Furr – bass
(?) Hayes – drums

“Any Time, Any Where” has great riffing guitars and a relaxed Stones-like feel to the vocals and band.

When I can make out the lyrics to “Our Side of Town” they’re wild: something about munching her box…lunch.

According to the labels, Halland, Furr, Hayes, Waters wrote both songs. C.L. Womack produced the single and also published both songs through C.L. Womack Pub. Co. BMI but I can find no copyright listing in the Library of Congress indexes.

Halland is a typo for Holland and a site for the Tennessee River Crooks band featuring Ronnie Waters on guitar listed the members of the Tangle as Alvin Holland, Ronnie Waters and Nyman Furr.

Holland, Waters and Furr later played in versions of Maggie Lee & the Percussions.

Nyman Furr passed away on March 10, 2007, according to Wikipedia.

Thank you to Max Waller and Mario Aguayo for their help with finding info on this band.

Tangle Canary 45 Our Side of TownCanary Records had at least seven releases, most seem to be country music. J.C. Rhoton, Jr. shows up a lot on the labels, possibly he owned the label. Howard Rhoton may be his son, his “I’ll Skip School” on Canary was advertised in Billboard on April 25, 1964.

Gower-Moore Studio seems to be connected to the Gower guitar makers in Nashville.

Canary had two Nashville addresses on its labels, 2906 Ironwood Drive and 2911 Harlin Drive.

Canary Records discography (any help with this would be appreciated)

Canary 1002 – Rhodes Boys – “Pretty Little Miss” (V. Rhodes, B. Rhodes, V. Rhodes) / “Got A One Way Ticket”, prod. by Curtis McPeake, Gower-Moore Studio Production.

Canary 1008 – Howard Rhoton – “Look Back” / “I’ll Skip School” (H. Rhoton, J. Rhoton), Gower-Moore Studio Production.

Canary 1010 – Bob Hayes – “Johnny Reb Was a Fighting Man” / “1862” (both by B. Hayes, C.L. Womack for Ironwood Music)

Canary 1012 – The Tangle – “Any Time, Any Where” / “Our Side of Town”

Canary 2001 – Barbara Dale – “Winner Take All” (Joe South) / “There Stands My World”, produced by J.C. Rhoton, Jr.

Canary 2002 – Charlie Rife & the Chordsmen – “Are You Sure” (C. Rife) / “Here’s the Key”, prod by J.C. Rhoton, Jr, for J.C. Rhoton Music BMI

Canary 2003 – Barbara Dale – “Missing You Again” (Baker Knight) / “Greatest Show on Earth” (Mike Cain)

The Sound Track on Trail and Action

The Sound Track Trail 45 I See The Light

The Sound Track are another unknown group, probably from the area around Kingsport, Tennessee, more than four hours east of Nashville.

Their first single has two cover songs, including one of the best versions of the Music Explosion’s “I See the Light” (E. Chiprut) b/w “Groovin’”. It came out on Trail Records TSRC-1706 in November 1967. It’s a Rite pressing, #20781/2, account #400.

Trail Records came from Kingsport, TN, and had many other releases, mostly gospel. Early releases such as the Grim Reapers “Under My Thumb” / “See See Rider” (Trail TSRC-1702) have a diamond logo and list Tri-State Recording Co. and 1767 Fort Henry Drive. Some later releases such as the Downbeats “Pain” / “Got To Get You Into My Life” (Trail SRC-1736) have a rustic logo with pine trees and “Trail” spelled out in wood logs.

The Sound Track Action 45 Face the New DayOver a year later the Sound Track put out their second single, this time featuring two band originals. “Face the New Day” has distorted guitar riffs repeating throughout, and solid backing of organ, bass and drums. It sounds almost like an English freakbeat track. Ron Allgood and Jerry Melton wrote the song, they were probably members of the band.

The flip “People Say” is also good, and the composer credits give six names, probably most of the band: Ron Allgood, Jerry Melton, T. Melton, Layton Bentley, Kim Dillard and B. Richmond. Copyright records give B. Richmond’s full name as Randy Richmond. The release came on Action 101, with the codes WS 1000 and PRP 7731/2.

The Sound Track went to Nashville to make their Action single. It was produced by Hoss Linneman and Al Gore, two country musicians with many recording credits to their names. Washington Square Music, BMI published both songs. This was a very rare single until 15 or more copies turned up in August, 2016.

Hear both songs at this Open Drive link while it lasts.

The Sound Track Action 45 People Say

Atwell Records of Lafayette, Tennessee

The Children Atwell 45 I Long to See Her

Atwell Records of Lafayette, Tennessee released a number of interesting rock record in the late 1960s. Lafayette is about 60 miles northeast of Nashville, and a similar distance southeast of Bowling Green, Kentucky. I haven’t heard all of these, but my favorite so far is the Children single: two very well-crafted original songs featuring strong vocals with lead guitar bubbling in the background.

The A-side was “I Long to See Her” (by Mike Gibson), backed with “Lost Soul Seeker in the Rain” (by Mike Gibson and L.S. Goodman). It came out as Atwell 45-109 in the second half of 1968

Loryn Atwell produced the single, with both sides published by Lonesome Ern & Atwell Publishers, BMI. Publishing credits give full names, Michael Freeman Gibson and Louis Samuel Goodman.

One source stated the band was from Georgia, but this is incorrect. One member and a friend of the band commented below, stating the band was from Munfordville, Kentucky and members were Mike Gibson on vocals and guitar, Sam Goodman on lead guitar, Mike Rife on drums and vocals and Clint Nichols on bass. Joe Terry Crenshaw joined a later version of the band before it finally broke up.

Since writing this post, Lee Bryant contacted Hoot Gibson and wrote an expanded article on the group for this site.

The Children – Lost Soul Seeker in the Rain

The Children Atwell 45 Lost Soul Seeker in the Rain

Atwell had a couple fine rural country releases by the Pedigo Brothers & the Tennessee Rhythm Boys and some later teen releases:

Atwell 100 – “She’s Gone” (Earl Pedigo, Hillard Cliburn) / “You Never Looked Sweeter”
Atwell 101 – “A Love Affair Gone Wrong” / “It’s Hard To Smile” (with picture sleeve)
Atwell 102 – Randy & The Rockets – “Once Upon A Time” (Randy Dillahey) / “Rattlesnakin’ Daddy” 8/1965 “kids”
Atwell 109 – The Children – “I Long to See Her” / “Lost Soul Seeker in the Rain”
Atwell 111 – New Musical Express – “Child Of The Midnight Sun” (Gary Agers, Tommy Ramsey) / “Wrong Side Of Love” (Jerry Ford) 1969
Atwell 115 – Midnite Strobe – “Beyond Reason” / “The Future”
Atwell 45053 – Sweet Revenge – “Love Machine” / “Sweet Revenge” (released with picture sleeve of the band around one member in a coffin, mid 1970s)
Atwell 45057 – Bad LT – “Rock & Roll”/ “God Taketh”

Atwell also released EPs by the Tennessee Harmoneers, spiritual LPs by the Singing Youth, the Singing Gospeltones, and the Tomes Four (actually a quintet), a bluegrass album by Ron Knuth, among other religious and country 45s and LPs.

Atwell Studios is credited on some releases on the Re-Echo Records label of Livingston, TN, including The Madhatters “Unchain My Heart” / “That Kind Of Girl”, as well as on releases on the Breeze Records label, also from Livingston.

Thanks to Max Waller for a couple additions to the Atwell 45 discography.

The Red Coats

The Red Coats of Memphis photo
The Red Coats. Photo from The Memphis Garage Rock Yearbook by Ron Hall.

Red Coats Orchid of Memphis 45 You Told a Lie
The Red Coats came from Ripley, Tennessee, about 50 miles northeast of Memphis.

Members were:

Bill Gurley – guitar and vocals
Tommy Bearid – organ and vocals
Johnny Shands – bass and vocals
Chris Tucker – drums

Guitarist and vocalist Bill Gurley moved to the Raleigh section of Memphis, but continued in the band despite having to travel to meet them at gigs around the West Tennessee area.

Their debut single for the Orchid of Memphis label in late 1966 featured Bill Gurley’s original song, “You Told a Lie”, which has a guitar intro akin to “Paint It Black”. There’s an effective gloominess throughout, helped by the echo on the vocal harmonies.

The flip was another Gurley original, “I’m Going to Tell You About My Baby”, both songs published by Black Orchid Music BMI.

In early ’67 the Red Coats went to the Stax Studio to record a second single, “Poison Ivy” / “Just Send Her To Me”, which was released as by the Sunday Funnies, a name the band did not use in live performances. I haven’t heard either song but the sound has been described as soul. “Just Send Her To Me” was recorded by another Orchid of Memphis act, The Tight Little Unit, who made it the title track of their album in 1967. The cover of that LP lists Terry Rose from Orchid Records and engineer Allen Worley.

Orchid of Memphis also released a rare Christian LP by Steve Engelhardt, Is It True, recorded at Cardinal Sound in Lexington, Kentucky.

Information from The Memphis Garage Rock Yearbook 1960-1975 by Ron Hall. Thanks to Kip Brown for the single!

Red Coats Orchid of Memphis 45 I'm Going to Tell You About My Baby