Charlie Adams: Cattin' Around (1950-56)
Although he never enjoyed a major hit nor became a household name, Charlie Adams & his Western All-Stars were a popular band on the Southwestern dance hall and recording scene in the early-to-mid-1950s and left an enduring recorded legacy of classic Texas dance hall music. Best known perhaps for a topical novelty, Hey! Liberace, this 30 track-CD collection begins to set the record straight on Charlie Adams, proving that he's an appealing ballad singer and can sell an uptempo beerhall classic as well as anyone.
This is the cream of Adams' six year recording career, and it includes Imperial, Decca and Columbia sides, like T.T. Boogie, Cattin' Around, and early rock 'n' roll-influenced tracks like Black Land BluesandSugar Diet, as well as several previously unissued recordings. This set belongs squarely in our critically applauded ongoing series devoted to neglected post-War honky tonkers, rockabillies, and western swingsters like
Leon Payne, Roy Hogsed,Leon Chappel, Big Bill Listers, and Ole Rasmussen.
Article properties:Charlie Adams: Cattin' Around (1950-56)
|Adams, Charlie - Cattin' Around (1950-56) CD 1|
|02||Black Land Blues||Charlie Adams|
|03||Stop Your Bawling Baby||Charlie Adams|
|04||I'm An Army Man||Charlie Adams|
|05||I Lost An Angel||Charlie Adams|
|06||Cattin' Around||Charlie Adams|
|07||Baby Let Me Kindle Your Flame||Charlie Adams|
|08||I'm A Railroad Daddy||Charlie Adams|
|09||Before You Say I Do||Charlie Adams|
|10||Hey Liberace!||Charlie Adams|
|11||Sugar Diet||Charlie Adams|
|12||Waltzing With Sin||Charlie Adams|
|13||My Blue Monday||Charlie Adams|
|14||You're Getting Too Old||Charlie Adams|
|15||Gloomy Sunday||Charlie Adams|
|16||Goodbye Baby||Charlie Adams|
|17||Jolie Fille (Pretty Girl)||Charlie Adams|
|18||Hidin' Out||Charlie Adams|
|19||Plain Horse Sense||Charlie Adams|
|20||Baby, I Want You So||Charlie Adams|
|21||I Hope You're Happy Now||Charlie Adams|
|22||If A Beer Bottle Had A Nipple On It||Charlie Adams|
|23||You've Wounded The Heart||Charlie Adams|
|24||Skip One, Skip Two||Charlie Adams|
|25||That's How I Want It To Be||Charlie Adams|
|26||I'm Drinking And Thinking Over You||Charlie Adams|
|27||Pistol Packin' Mama Has Laid Her Pistol Down||Charlie Adams|
|28||I'm Gonna Put My Foot Down||Charlie Adams|
|29||Your Memories Make Me Cry||Charlie Adams|
|30||I'll Remember Your Love In My Prayers||Charlie Adams|
Charlie Adams was born in Waco, Texas in 1920 and grew up on the central Texas city's musically rich East side. Of Italian ancestry -- the family name was anglicized from Adamo -- he grew up playing alongside local youngsters like Vince and Sammy Incardona, Tony Sepolio, Buddy and Ernie Ray, and Jimmy Thomason, all of whom would enjoy long and successful musical careers in Texas and beyond. Adams picked up guitar and bass and recalls playing for cream puffs as a child before graduating to small beer joints as a teenager, working for two dollars a night. By the mid-30s, he was working locally with the all-teenage Sammy Incardona & the Melody Boys, playing guitar alongside Sammy (bass), Sammy's brother Vince (tenor banjo), and fiddler Tony Sepolio. The group managed to land a Saturday radio spot on WACO, former home base of Bob Wills' original Play Boys in 1933-34. Wills' increasingly popular group in Tulsa and Fort Worth's Milton Brown & his Musical Brownies provided the Melody Boys' main inspiration, alongside local groups like steel guitarist Doug Bine's Dixie Ramblers, which featured the twin fiddle team of Jimmy Thomason and Cotton Collins. Thomason, incidentally, had recorded for Victor's Bluebird subsidiary in 1936.
Adams left the Melody Boys circa 1937, commencing a career as a sideman with various Texas bands that would last to the outbreak of World War II. He worked with Buddy and Ernie Ray in Happy Jack True's band in Victoria, in Austin with the KTBC Jolly Texans, in San Antonio with Adolph Hofner and All The Boys and Tom Dickey's Showboys, before winding back to Waco in 1941. He joined the WACO staff band, the Rhythm Riders, fronted by Jimmy Thomason, though he was odd man out when Doug Bine used the group for a recording session for Bluebird that fall and Victor would spring for only five musicians.
Adams served as a medic in Europe during World War II then returned home to Waco, catching on with up-and-coming honky-tonker Hank Thompson's band in 1946. He made his first recordings with Thompson for the Dallas-based Blue Bonnet label early in 1947, then joined the Lone Star Playboys, who also recorded for Blue Bonnet, that same year. Originally formed by the Incardonas and some other local brothers, Ed, Morris and Hamlet Booker, in 1937, the Playboys really hit their stride after the war. They had a popular WACO radio show, held forth at the local nite spot the Circle R Ranch (as well as numerous other halls around central Texas) and enjoyed a major regional hit with fiddler Cotton Collins' adaptation of a waltz he'd learned while in Europe, renamedWestphalia Waltzafter one of the band's nearby central Texas strongholds.
The Playboys were the area's most popular country dance band. They continued to record for Blue Bonnet through 1949 and that summer toured California with Hank Thompson. Best known for tough, inventive instrumentals, the group's main featured vocalist during this period was the pleasant but somewhat bland Hamlet Booker, with an occasional novelty turn from Cotton Collins. But, as Adams recalls, "Vince [Incardona] was manager of the Lone Star Playboys, and he'd ask everybody to do a vocal or two, a song or two. I think the first song I did was 'Lovesick Blues.'" Adams' tongue-in-cheek approximation of Hank Williams' half-blue yodel on the latter's '49 hit proved popular with dancers and radio listeners and he was featured more and more often. Novelties with yodeling ("If you can call it that," Adams laughs) became Adams' trademark, but he was far better when playing it straight on honky-tonk ballads; a sometimes incongruous split between uptempo novelties and heartfelt ballads would characterize his recording career from the start.
Charlie Adams Cattin' Around (1950-56)
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