Vinyl Frontier Playlist 6/30/13

Vinyl Frontier Playlist 6/60/13

Artist – Song Title/Album Title (Year) Record Label 0:00

luke baldwin 2

Luke Baldwin – Tattoo on My Chest/Tattoo on My Chest (1976) Flying Fish 2:26

   1950 – 1998

Luke Baldwin. An original, that’s for sure. The following research (and idiosyncratic spelling) is from Johnny Westurn.

Luke Baldwin, called a hard drinking wild man by some of his Compadres in the early day’s. Bodie Wagner told me that luke was a guy with a heart of gold, and a songwriters, songwriter. I for one have spent many good hours listening to lukes songs, he has taken me on mental feild trips with his songs, and i charish those moments, Bruce Phillips (U.Utah Phillips) has spoke of luke in the liner notes to luke’s only LP, Tattoo on my chest,where he states, Not content to have lived the lives of a dozen men, how audacious – nay, how fitting it is – that this prince of vagabonds should attempt the pinnacle, the supreme height, the final ascent to that bastaion of all that is good and noble and wise; in aphrase: the writing of songs. And what songs the are !! Luke Baldwin Portrait of a gentelman.

On June 14, 1998, Luke Baldwin Passed away. He was 47 years old. He leaves his wife Corinne, and his children, Wilson and Olivia. His death was unexspected and it is very hard to exept that he is gone to many of his co workers and old music friends. At the time of his death, Luke was Lesley College‘s Interm Provost. During his 15 years at Lesley Collage, he served as a member of the faculty and administrator. As an academic, Luke examined areas such as adult education and reading. He co-authored “The Reading Crisis: Why Poor Childern Fall Behind,”published by Harvard University Press in 1990. Both his masters degree and doctorate where earned in the Graduate School of Education of Harvard University.

Luke was a fine musician, singer and song writer, as well as social activist guided by an unbreakable commitment to social justice. At Lesley College he worked hard on issues od diversity and community service. He had a great sence of humor and a passion for colorful shirts.

Kenny Baker & Joe Greene – High Country/High Country (1967) County 3:00

Norman Blake & Red Rector – Lorena/Norman Blake & Red Rector (1976) County 2:40

Bashful Brother Oswald – Kansas City Kitty/Brother Oswald  (1972) Rounder 2:41

Upland Express – For What It’s Worth/Upland Express (1979) Leather Records 3:56

upland express

l-r: Ronnie Simpkins, Barry Collins, Rickie Simpkins, Tonya Gibson and Ken Farmer

By the time they produced this album for Leather Records, Upland Express was a smooth, solid Progressive Bluegrass band who had been working together for 3 years and more.

Bassist Ronnie Simpkins went on to become one of the most-respected bassists in Bluegrass, moving from this band to The Heights of Grass, The Bluegrass Cardinals, The Virginia Squires and finally, the pinnacle: The Tony Rice Unit. Although he now works with The Smithsonian’s Folkways Records, he still plays music at a high level as a member of The Seldom Scene.

Brothers Rickie Simpkins and Ronnie competed in fiddle contests and played together in a family band, then joined Upland Express. When Ronnie left in the early 80′s to join The Bluegrass Cardinals, Rickie joined the McPeak Brothers as their fiddler. They were reunited musically when, along with the McPeaks, they formed the Heights of Grass, which with the addition of the Knoxville Grass’s Mark Newton became The Virginia Squires. Rickie and Ronnie went on to play together in The Tony Rice Unit. Today, Rickie is one of the most highly-esteemed guest artists and instructors in fiddling.

Banjoist Barry Collins was a contest powerhouse who repeatedly took the blue ribbon at Galax and Union Grove. Now a music dealer, he spreads the gospel of Classic Banjo: fingerstyle, nylon strings and written arrangements. He also continues to lead a different version of Upland Express in Floyd County, Virginia.

Today, guitarist Ken Farmer is also a dealer,  but in antique instruments. He is the stringed instrument expert for the PBS television program “Antiques Roadshow.”

I believe that vocalist Tonya Gibson is now a financial advisor living and working in Kentucky, but still apparently an avid lover of Bluegrass music.

The Bailey Brothers – The Sweetest Gift/Have You Forgotten (1971) Rounder (recorded for Rich-R-Tone, circa 1948) 2:45

Buddy Rose – Bud’s Chimes/single (1960′s) Rich-R-Tone 2:16

Darrell Glenn – Hang Up That Telephone (1953) Valley 2:25

Brewster Brothers – I Never Knew (1966) Gold Standard 1:56

Jim Edwards – Talk to Your Heart (1966) Re-Echo 3:48

Connie Cato – Super Skirt/single (1973) Capitol 2:41

Born in St. Louis in 1955, it was Connie Cato’s misfortune to come of age when what she did best – hard-core Honky Tonk and dramatic Nashville Sound Country – was just about to fall off the table, as Pop Went the Country and John Denver “burned up” the country charts for a while.  “Super Skirt” is a real Honky-Tonker; “Hurt” (in the video) is the other side of Connie.

Lewis Pruitt – The Worst Is Yet To Come/single (1964) Vee-Jay 2:27

Billy Henson – No One But Me/single (early 1964) Nugget 2:21

Country Johnny Mathis – Come Home to My Heart/single (1969) Little Darlin’ 2:41

Jeanette Weeks – I Would Like to See You Again/single (early 70′s ?) 2:40

Hymn Time

True Gospel Quartet – Reach Down Lord and Lead Me On/A Visit With (1966) Jayla 2:00

The Bridges Quartet – Lord It’s Just Another Hill/same (1973) Jewel (OH) 2:55

The Summers Trio – I Heard From Heaven/This Is Why We Sing (1970) Tri State 3:07

True Gospel Quartet – I Made a Vow to the Lord/A Visit With (1966) Jayla 3:00

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