Thursday, July 1, 2010

Classic Recording Sessions - On This Date (7/1)

George McCormick - 56 years ago
Thursday, July 1, 1954 (1:30 pm - 4:30 pm)
Castle Studio, The Tulane Hotel, 206 8th Ave. North, Nashville 3, TN
George McCormick: vocal, guitar; Sam Pruett: lead guitar; Don Helms: steel guitar; Jerry Rivers: fiddle; Cedric Rainwater: bass.
Producer: Fred Rose

Today's recording session may be of particular interest to Hank Williams fans. George McCormick was a Nashville musician that played with a variety of bands in the late '40s and early '50s including a gig with Big Jeff Bess (the husband of Tootsie of Orchid Lounge fame) and his Radio Playboys. George was eventually featured on occasional solo vocals emulating his favorite, and recently deceased country singer, Hank Williams. While the Radio Playboys were playing a run at the Starlite Club in Nashville, George was heard by Jimmy Rule who was a songwriter and the co-author with Hank Williams of his book on country songwriting. Rule brought McCormick to the attention of his employer Fred Rose who was impressed enough to sign McCormick to MGM Records and give him songs that were planned for Hank Williams. Rose produced at least three sessions on George McCormick - two in 1953, and the one from today in 1954. McCormick's MGM records were obvious and conscious nods to Hank Williams, but this third session recorded today is particularly Williams-like in that it utilized Hank's Drifting Cowboys, including the great Don Helms on steel guitar who co-wrote "Don't Fix Up The Doghouse" which was intended for Hank as a followup to "Move It On Over" (much after the fact, as "Move It" was originally recorded in 1947). None of these songs were hits, but I think they're thoroughly enjoyable recordings that have a definite Hank Williams sound to them. I hope you enjoy them too...


jim said...

Thanks. Never heard of him before but really enjoyed these. He was one of the better Hank Wannabes. I'll have to find more by him.

Don said...

It's fair to say George McCormick sang in the style Hank Williams on these recordings. He sure did it well too! He sounds authentic to me, which is to say I think he is better than an imitator because he successfully puts himself into the songs. In my opinion this music is a lot more satisfying than a lot of the music recorded back then.

By the way, there's a hilarious youtube video of George McCormick (in his Porter Wagoner band days) singing "The Game of Triangeles" with Norma Jean and Mac McGagaha.

It is a spoof of Norma Jean, Liz Anderson, and Bobby Bare's earlier hit: