Saturday, April 24, 2010

Goldband Classics from the 1950's

The success of genre related record labels throughout the 1950's preserve some of the finest American Roots music ever recorded. Well known labels like Sun, Chess, Checker and Decca flourished during the decade and to date not all the vaulted treasures have been released. Another superb regional label that preserved the diversity of roots music originating from the Louisiana and east Texas region was the Goldband label, founded by Eddie Shuler in Lake Charles, Louisiana in the early 1940's. Although Goldband's national recognition is owed primarily to the timeless Phil Phillips swamp pop classic "Sea of Love" from 1959, Goldband's eclectic approach included everything from the earliest Dolly Parton to the most obscure zydeco sounds of the 1950's. Shuler was prescient enough to preserve virtually the entire panoply of roots sounds from 1950's Louisiana: R&B, blues, rockabilly, cajun, zydeco, hillbilly boogie, the early swamp rock sound, country and more mainstream pop. In recent months a lot of this material has been uploaded on youtube. Several anthologies of Goldband classics are also available. What I would like to do here is offer a sampling of the diverse sounds from Goldband in the 1950's. Although some of these appear on different labels on youtube, the original recording were released on Goldband.

1) Hop Wilson's Rockin in the Coconut Top is an absolute classic of early R&B that uses allusions to "jungle sounds" as a backdrop, a common trope of early R&B. Great steel guitar from Hop.

2) Guitar Junior recorded several sessions for Goldband in the 50's. Roll Roll Roll is a great example of 50's Louisiana R&B. Nice accompaniment and sax solo.

3) Big Chenier's "Let Me Hold Your Hand" from 1957 is another gem from the Goldband vaults whose title seems to anticipate later pop hits.


1) Al Ferrier's 1956 "Let's Go Boppin Tonight" is classic rockabilly with a Louisiana flavor. Outstanding cut with nice piano and guitar solos.

2) Along with Ferrier and Joe Clay, Johnny Jano epitomizes Louisiana rockabilly. "Havin a Whole Lot of Fun" captures the energy.

3) Gene Terry: Like so many rockabilly recordings of the 1950's Terry's Cindy Lou enjoyed regional success for Goldband in 1958. Nice arrangement.

4) Jay Chavalier: This is a very unique sound by rocker Chavalier, who also recorded Castro Rock about 1960's Cuba. Rock n' Roll Angel moves, very unique.


1) Juke Boy Bonner's Runnin' Shoes recorded for many small label but he also recorded extensively for Goldband. This cut is from 1960. Classic one man blues show.

2) Ashton Savoy: Really more of a R&B and early rock n' roll sound, Savoy's 1950's recording "I Want's You" is a mid 1050's gem from Goldband. Ashton passed away in Houston last May.


1) Cleveland Crochet's Sugar Bee combines the zydeco styled accordion with a distinctly Louisiana R&B sound. Outstanding cut.

2) Boozo Chavis' Paper in my Shoe is more representative of traditional zydeco. While I'm not sure what label this recording comes from, Chavis did record for Goldband in the 1050's.

Rock n Roll

1) Ivory Lee Jackson: A wild ride here, Jackson's "I'm a Country Boy" this is unadulterated early Goldband Rock n' Roll from 1956.