Who was/is james Gallagher ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more

JAMES GALLAGHER, real name Rubon Theodore Golliher, was born in Birdsbranch, Tennessee on February 28, 1925.

The first thirty years of Gallagher's life remain a blank but on May 18, 1956 he recorded four titles for Decca. Crazy Chicken was coupled with Don Wales's C&W ballad Just For You while Mean Mean Mama and Hut Hope Hip Four (an instruction used, apparently, by the quarterback in American football) were never issued. The Artist Card was stamped 'Reject' and the tapes are no longer available.

Blacks popularised The Chicken - a parody of The Lindy Hop - and some R&B singers (the Olympics, Tony Harris) made even crazier chicken records. But Gallagher was likely the first rockabilly to promote the dance and, what's more, he knew how to do it right (or so he says).

Post-Decca, Gallagher recorded a clutch of downhome rockabilly items for Starday. None appeared on that imprint but in 1959 Steady Flame and a guitar instrumental, Crazy Legs, were issued on both B&G and Dixie (as by Jay Gallagher). Crazy 'Bout You Baby, another B&G release, has been reissued on Stomper Time's 'Nashville Rockabilly' anthology (STCD 12). The Lexington, Kentucky-based B&G label also coupled Are You The One with Ford And Shaker.

In '56 or '57, Gallagher cut Searching (I'm Always Looking) c/w Gotta Roam for Nashville's Republic label under the pseudonym of Whitey Gallagher. This is one scarce record; the label number (7134) postdates the hitherto last known release in the 7000 series (ie 7130 by Lou Millet).

Like a hillbilly equivalent of John Lee Hooker or Country Paul, his records continued tumbling out under various names. At one point he reverted to Rubon Golliher for She's Gone c/w Take This Ache From My Heart on the Briar label. And as Rube Gallagher he recorded two singles for Hickory issued in October 1965 and April 1966.

He made another five records for Detroit-based labels including Dearborn (as Rube Gallagher and Ruby Gallagher) and One-Way (as Rube Gallagher and Marlin Theodore). He helped write both sides of Chuck Dockery's Dearborn single and produced Ace Pack’s 45 for the same label.

Gallagher subsequently moved to Toledo where he lived with his wife. He continued writing songs without success and worked in a sheet metal shop until his death on March 4, 1988.

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