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From the Land of Band Box Records

Eddie Kirk – The Singing/Acting Cowboy from Greeley

September 28, 2019
craigr244

From Northern Colorado to Hollywood

Eddie Kirk

Eddie Kirk was born in 1919, Edward Merle Kirk, residing with his family in a ranch nearby the northern Colorado town of Greeley.  He began his venture into entertainment and music at the very young age of 9, He remained in Colorado for most of his growing up years, finally relocating to California in 1934 as a teenager.

He began working with a group called the Beverly Hillbillies and was crowned as the “National Yodeling Champion” for 2 consecutive years in 1935 and 1936.  During that same time period, Kirk entered the ring as an amateur boxer.  In Hollywood he found his way into motion pictures with minor rolls.

Kirk signed up with the U.S. Navy during WWII, returning to Hollywood in 1945 where he joined the “Hollywood Barn Dance Choir”.  The Barn Dance was made into a motion picture in 1947, starring Ernest Tubb.  Not sure if Kirk appeared in this film uncredited.

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Later in the 1940’s, Kirk appeared on Gene Autry’s radio program and a few years later (1952) appeared on the country and western TV show “Town Hall Party” along with fellow cowboy singer Eddie Dean.  Kirk made appearances on a TV series called “Hometown Jamboree” broadcast out of Pasadena, California and hosted by country singer Cliffie Stone, which ran from 1949 until 1960.  The show featured some of the biggest names in country music including Tennessee Ernie Ford, Johnny Horton. Kirk was a regular supporting musician throughout the entire run of the program.

He kept busy, working as a DJ on KXLA out of Los Angeles in 1948 and at the same time heading up his own band in Long Beach, California on Friday nights

Kirk embarked on a tour of the Northwest in the summer of 1949 sponsored by Capitol Records through Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Utah.  Earlier in the year Kirk, along with Cliffie Stone, Tennessee Ernie Ford and Merle Travis bought stock in Capitol Records country subsidiary, Capitol Americana.  The label issue records for only a year with some big names and many upstarts.

Other appearances for Kirk included the Legion Stadium in El Monte, CA, weekly appearances on the Armed Forces Radio Services show (1949)

Kirk Investment

Eddie wrote this note to fellow Town Hall Party country performer George Sanders.  Notice that Eddie refers to the music as “Folk”.

Hometown Jamboree – 1949

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Kirk in The Movies

Eddie Kirk crossed paths with Colorado’s Ozie Waters when he picked up an uncredited part in the 1947 motion picture “Prairie Raiders” – one of the movies in the “Durango Kid” series.

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Recording Career & The Charts

In 1947, Kirk was contracted by Capitol Records.  His debut recording was released on Capitol’s country subsidiary label Capitol Americana, “Judy” backed with “Memories Are My Souvenirs”.  Kirk managed to place two recordings on the Billboard Country Charts.  In all, Capitol released 17 singles on 78 rpm format by Kirk up to late 1951.  He teamed up with Capitol country recording artists Merle Travis, Tennesse Ernie For and Cliffie Stone’s Band to record two sides in late 1949.

On local stations, Kirk would only manage to chart on radio station KYA out of San Francisco with his “The Gods Were Angry With Me” reaching the number one position on October 16th, 1948

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Kirk moved over to RCA Victor in early 1953 cutting six sides.

Eddie Kirk passed away on June 27th, 1997

Eddie Kirk Discography

78 – Capitol Americana 40046 – Judy/Memories Are My Souvenirs – November, 1947

78 – Capitol Americana 40069 – Those Dark Clouds Don’t Bother Me/Sad and Blue – January, 1948

78 – Capitol 15176 – The Gods Were Angry With Me/You Little Sweet Little You – August, 1948 – Charted Number 9 Billboard Country Charts

78 – Capitol 15310 – No Tears Tomorrow/You Drove Me To Another’s Arms (And Now I’m Happy There) – November, 1948

78 – Capitol 15369 – When My Castles Came Tumbling Down/I’ve Lived A Lifetime For You – January, 1949

78 – Capitol 15391 – Candy Kisses/Save The Next Waltz For Me – March, 1949 – Charted Number 9 Billboard Country Charts

78 – Capitol 40092 – What’s Another Heart To You/A Petal From A Faded Rose – 1949

78 – Capitol 40116 – Born To Lose/How Do You Mend A Broken Heart – 1949

78 – Capitol 40127 – Tomorrow The Sun Will Shine Again/A Little White House (With You Inside) – 1949

78 – Capitol 57-40188 – You Can’t Pick A Rose In December/Promise Me – July, 1949

78 – Capitol 57-40226 – I’d Rather Hear Most Anything (Than Hear You Say We’re Through)/I Wouldn’t Take A Million – September, 1949

78 – Capitol 57-40254 – Blues Stay Away From Me/Philosophy – November, 1949 (with Merle Travis, Tennessee Ernie Ford and Cliffie Stone)

78 – Capitol 57-40260 – Dear Hearts and Gentle People/Careless Kisses – November, 1949

78 – Capitol 40285 – A Year Of City Livin’/Away Out On the Mountain – February, 1950

78 – Capitol 877 – The Two Years We Were Married/Unfaithful One – 1950

78 – Capitol 974 – Four Hearts/Saturday Nightime Blues – April, 1950

78 – Capitol 1048 – Sugar Baby/An Armful Of Heartaches – June, 1950

78 – Capitol 1175 – Puppy Love/Somebody’s Crying – August, 1950

78 – Capitol 1275 – Bryant’s Boogie (with Jimmy Bryant)/Leetle Juan Pedro (with the Cliffie Stone Band

78 – Capitol 1287 – Blue Bonnet Blues/In The Shambles Of My Heart – November, 1950

78 – Capitol 1372 – Solitary Blues/(My Love For You) Rolls On Like The World – January, 1951

78 – Capitol 1445- Honey Costs Money/Sowing Teardrops – 1951

78 – Capitol 1591 – Drifting Texas Sand/Alone In A Tavern – June, 1951

78 – Capitol 1790 – Freight Train Breakdown/I’ll Save My Heart For You – September, 1951

78 – RCA Victor 20-5149 – Five Star President/Hit and Run Lover – January, 1953

78 – RCA Victor 20-5287 – Wanderin’ Eyes/Country Way – May, 1953

78 – RCA Victor 20-5412 – Caribbean/As God Is My Witness – September, 1953

45 – Capitol F877 – Unfaithful One/The Two Years We Were Married – 1950

45 – Capitol F1175 – Puppy Love/Somebody’s Crying – August, 1950

45 – Capitol F1287 – In the Shambles of My Heart/Blue Bonnet Blues – November, 1950

45 – Capitol F1377 – Solitary Blues/(My Love For You) Rolls On Like The World – 1951

45 – Capitol F1591 – Drifting Texas Sand/Alone In A Tavern – June, 1951

45 – RCA Victor 47-5149 – Five Star President/Hit and Run Lovers – February, 1953

45 – RCA Victor 47-5287 – Wanderin’ Eyes/Country Way – May, 1953

45 – RCA Victor 47-5412 – Caribbean/As God Is My Witness – September, 1953

LP – Castle 8107 – Eddie Kirk – Country Memories of the Late 40’s and Early 50’s – 1981

CD – Blue Bonnet Blues

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CD – Eddie Kirk Vol. 2

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CD – Cattle Compact 270 – The Gods Were Angry With Me (Germany)

 

Captain of the Colorado Rangers

September 26, 2019
craigr244

Ozie Waters The Singing Cowboy on Screen, Radio and Vinyl

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Watched the final installment of the Ken Burns “Country Music” series on PBS last night.  Loved every minute of the series.  It has prompted me to dig in a little deeper with my country posts and material.  While going through my copy of Joel Whitburn’s “Hot Country Songs” along with Tony Russell’s “Country Music Originals”, I was led first to Eddie Kirk – who I learned resided up near Greeley , Colorado (more about him soon).

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And I revisited Ozie Waters – learning much more about the singing cowboy who loved his Colorado home:

The Journey begins

Ozie journeyed from Hawaii to Kansas City to Texas before landing in Denver, Colorado where he appeared on the “Ford Motor Co. Show” – With Harvey Gossman on fiddle and Gill Blagg on bass – Embert Michner lead guitar

Ozie was born in 1903 in Calloway, MO.  He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and first performed on the radio in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Next, after his military stint, he migrated to Kansas city appearing for six years on the “Happy Hollow Show” performing as “Ozie the Ozark Rambler.  Next top was in Del Rio, Texas for a short time before moving to Denver, Colorado taking a job on KOA radio starring in a program called the Ford Ranger Review.  He was christened by Colorado Governor Edwin Johnson as “Captain of the Colorado Rangers” – a title he would continue forward with.

Ozie departed KOA for California and the call of Hollywood. He signed on with the “Hollywood Barn Dance” and also a recording contract with Coast Records.

Waters in The Movies

Waters (right) in Landrush – 1946

While in Hollywood, Waters would appear in 16 motion pictures including “The Durango Kid” series as well as appearing in a movie with Hopalong Cassidy titled “Mystery Man” from 1944.

Durango Kid Series

Other motion pictures included “Lumberjack” (1944), ” Prairie Raiders” (1947), and Phantom Valley” (1948).

 

During this same time, Waters took to the road touring with his recording band “The Colorado Rangers”.  At the end of WW II, Waters decided to return to Denver – in part to help with his wife allergies.  Before long it was time to hit the road again and he headed for Nashville, Tennessee where he would appear on WSM TV (WSM had long hosted the Grand Ole Opry which debuted in 1925).  Waters made a stop in Springfield, Missouri appearing on the “Ozark Jubilee” and then to Chicago, Illinois working on radio station WLS while also appearing on the very popular  “National Barn Dance”

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Waters, according to his daughter Melody, always thought of Denver as his true home and so he returned to work on KBTV acting as a host – singing and showing westerns.  His “Junior Ranger Club” in Denver had 40,000 youthful members.  Most of them showed up at Elitch Gardens when Hopalong Cassidy visited Denver and made an appearance on Water’s TV show in 1954,

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Cassidy at Elitch Gardens with the Junior Rangers

Waters attempted to create a tourist attraction which he located not far from Central City which was named “Fort Cody” which featured Sioux Indians.  The endeavor was too costly and folded after one year.  Waters began appearing in Central City (see the long play albums below).  He was actually elected as Central City’s town Marshall – serving for two years.  He became known as “The Singing Marshall of Central City”.  He found law enforcement wasn’t to his liking so he returned to singing.

His bands included his Coast Records group the “Colorado Hillbillies” (first appearing on “Rodeo” records which would become “Coast”.  The original Colorado Hillbillies included Walt Shrum (bass), Rusty Cline (guitar), Jeannie Akers (vocals), Don Weston (steel guitar) and Pappy Hoag (fiddle).

His next band was The Plainsmen who backed other Coast artists as well as Waters.

Waters performed long after his recording days – in Colorado – and passed away in 1979.

Ozie Waters 78 Discography

78 – Rodeo 2002 – Tie A Saddle String Around Your Troubles/Dry Your Eyes/Tie  (B Side Walt Shrum) – November, 1944

78 – Rodeo 2003 – Don’t Sweetheart Me/There’s A Tear In Your Eye – November, 1944

78 – Coast 2002 – Tie A Saddle String Around Your Troubles/Dry Your Eyes (B Side Walt Shrum) – 1945

78 – Coast 2003 – Don’t Sweetheart Me/There’s A Tear In Your Eye (B side Walt Shrum) – June, 1945

78 – Coast 2004 – I Lost You/I’ll Be Around Somewhere (B side Walt Shrum) – June, 1945

78 – Coast 2007 – At Mail Call Today b/w Don’t Fool Around Me Any More (B Side Walt Shrum) – September, 1945

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78 – Coast 2009 – Stars and Stripes on Iwo Jima b/w There’s A New Star In Heaven Tonight – September, 1945

78 – Coast 2012 – Cool Water/At Least a Million Years – September, 1945

78 – Coast 2020 – Lazy Day b/w Broomstick Buckaroo – May, 1946

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78 – Coast 221 – Told You So/Someday – May, 1946

78 – Coast 221 – Told You So/Someday – May, 1946

78 – Coast 228 – That’s My Name/No One To Cry To – August, 1946

78 – Coast 237 – Once In A Blue Moon/That’s The Last Straw – August, 1946

78 – Coast 249 – I Can’t Get Out Of Texas In My Dreams/It’s Indian Summer – November, 1946

78 – ABC Eagle 120 – Utah Trail/Home On The Range – 1949

78 – Topps 1013 – Jack-O-Diamonds/along the Navajo Trail – 1950

78 – Coral 64047 – Father Time Is Knocking at My Door/Iron Horse

78 – Coral 64050 – Give Me Wings to Fly/Old Man Atom (A Talking Atomic Blues)

78 – Coral 64060 – If Memories Were Made Of Money/If We Had It To Do All Over Again

78 – Coral 64067 – My Dearest, My Darling/Silver Drew On the Blue Grass Tonight – December, 1950

78 – Coral 64069 – It Is No Secret/The Place Where I Worship (with the Kentones) – December, 1950

78 – Coral 64083 – Don’t Even Change A Picture On the Wall/The Attitude Of Doin’ Right – February, 1951

78 – Coral 64091 – My Angel/That Old Gang of Mine – April, 1951

78 – Columbia HSF 5/7 – Blanket Me With Western Skies of Blue/Too Many Parties

78 – Capitol Rodeo Series 208 – Don’t Sweetheart Me

Ozie Waters 45 Discography

45 – Coral 60483 – Ace In the Hole/Just A Girl That Men Forget

45 – Columbine (Greeley Colorado Label) – “Old Man Atom” b/w “Iron Horse”

45 – Tops – Jack-O-Diamonds/Along the Navajo Trail – 1950

Ozie Waters Long Play Discography

LP – Columbine – Central City Favorites – Collector’s Album Number 1

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LP – Columbine – Central City Favorites – Collector’s Album Number 2

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LP – Germany – Castle 8109 – Ozie Waters Wings Great Western Songs from the 1940’s

CD – BACM British Archive of Country Music (UK) – 2010

On Pleasant Street in Boulder

September 13, 2019
craigr244

“Siberia With a View”

I came across a very interesting Blog Post recently relating to a band I had not heard of previously – The Pleasant Street Blues Band out of Boulder, Colorado.

The Blogger is Karl Isberg who has been posting since 2014 on his site “Siberia With a View” of which he tells us here in Colorado:

“My name is Karl Isberg. I live in a place I call Siberia With a View.  Siberia With a View is located near the Continental Divide, in the southern San Juan Mountains, in Colorado.  At 8,000 feet above sea level.  There’s not a lot of oxygen up here.  That explains a lot.  I have been here 27 years, an exile, removed from the city, and the many things that likely would have killed me long ago.”

Karl goes on to tell us about his career as a newspaper reporter, editor and also as an artist – painting being his mode of expression.  His posts are creative – intriguing – and beg to be shared.  I’ve spent some time perusing through his monthly contributions (he averages about four or five comprehensive Posts a month – so I have a lot of perusing ahead of me.

The Band

Luckily, I came across a Post from February 24th, 2015 titled “Waiting for the still point, the end of the set”.  This Post was a sobering tale relating to a Colorado ‘garage band’.  His Post commences:

“They’re all gone, but me.  I have a photo, a black and white pastogram.  A group of five young men gather atop a pile of rubble, in front of a single-story brick structure in Boulder, Colorado. A sign fixed to the building indicates the place is occupied by Rolands Beauty Salon.  It is late winter, 1966.”

The young men pictured above were – Standing Left: Mark Kincaid, Mick Durbin, Grady Waugh and Steve Hacker.  Karl kneels in front – all posed in front of Rolands Beautify Salon (long gone) back in 1966.  The band took its name from Pleasant Street of course, a street which appropriately enough runs directly through the famous “Hill” district adjacent to the University of Colorado.

Kincaid and Durbin had both played with a Boulder band called The Children.  Kincaid went on to join another Colorado band called “Climax” around 1968.  Kincaid, along with John Herron and Richard Whetstone would go on to a revised version of the Electric Prunes of “I Had Too Much To Dream” fame.

BOSS BANDS CHILDREN

The Children

Mark and Mick would be replaced by guitar players Neal Jordan and Micky Emeson – who had been with Denver’s Galaxies.  Karl and Steve – according to Karl “were debris cast from one of the worst wrecks in music history of music: The Night Walker”.  The band played Denver’s Exodus and Galena Street East.  They were run out of small towns, locked spurs with Cowboys in Greeley and Cheyenne, escaped a near small airplane disaster, paid their dues in eastern U.S. city venues.  Drugs were prominent and destructive.  Micky and Steve later on formed a Beatles’ cover group in Denver.

Mick would head west and befriend Joni Mitchell.  Grady would do the same and would play behind Janis Joplin.  Emeson recorded one single for the Crested Butte label which – yep – was composed by the University of Colorado students Tim Gilbert and John Carter.  Gilbert was a guitar player and composer for The Rainy Daze and along with Carter composed “That Acapulco Gold” and “Incense and Peppermints” for the Strawberry Alarm Clock.

Galaxies

The Galaxies

Sadly, of the seven members of the Pleasant Street Blues Band, all but Karl have passed on.

Here is the entire tale as related by Karl at “Siberia With a View”

Drum on Karl – Drum On….