SWAMP POP BY THE BAYOU-TROUBLES, TEARS AND TRAINS.

SWAMP POP BY THE BAYOU-TROUBLES, TEARS AND TRAINS.

One of Ace Records longest-running, and most successful compilation series, is their By The Bayou series. Compiled by Ian Saddler, the thirteenth instalment in the By The Bayou series was recently released. However, Swamp Pop By The Bayou-Troubles, Tears and Trains is only the second compilation of swamp pop.

The first compilation of swamp pop was, Swamp Pop By The Bayou, which released back in May 2014. Since then, Ian Saddler’s had his listeners bopping and bluesin’. However, Swamp Pop By The Bayou-Troubles, Tears and Trains sees Ian Saddler return to the vaults of J.D. Miller, Eddie Shuler, Floyd Soileau, Sam Montel, Huey Meaux and Joe Ruffino, Pappy Daily, Murray Nash and Jim Rentz. Ian Saddler even looked for hidden gems with the Hitt and Mercury labels. He struck gold.

Among the treasure unearthed by Ian Sadlder are six tracks that have never been released before. This includes tracks from swamp pop royalty Warren Storm plus Frankie Lowery, The Boogie Kings, Larry Hart, Frankie Lowery and Buck Rodgers. There’s also a trio of alternate tracks on Swamp Pop By The Bayou-Troubles, Tears and Trains. The other nineteen tracks are real rarities. They’re a mixture of skirt swirlers and buckle polishers.

For those unfamiliar with the parlance of swamp pop, skirt swirlers are the uptempo dance tracks; while buckle polishers are the slow songs. Providing the skirt swirlers and buckle polishers are Roy Perkins With Jerry Starr and The Clippers, Dale Houston, Phil Clay, John Fred, Gene Dunlap and The Jokers,Warren Storm, Dale Houston, Johnny Preston and Jay Richards. 

Just like previous volumes in the By The Bayou series, familiar faces and new names rub shoulders on Swamp Pop By The Bayou-Troubles, Tears and Trains. So do skirt swirlers and buckle polishers from the land of “gaters and gumbo.” However, how does Swamp Pop By The Bayou-Troubles, Tears and Trains compare with Swamp Pop By The Bayou?

Complier Ian Saddler knows the importance of picking the right track to open a compilation. Swamp Pop By The Bayou-Troubles, Tears and Trains is the thirteenth in the series. He’s almost a veteran. Just like previous volumes, Ian picks the perfect track to open Swamp Pop By The Bayou-Troubles, Tears and Trains, Train To Nowhere.

Just like many tracks on Swamp Pop By The Bayou-Troubles, Tears and Trains, Train To Nowhere is a real obscurity. This buckle polisher from Roy Perkins With Jerry Starr and The Clippers was penned by Ernest Suarez, and recorded at Eddie Shuler’s Goldband studio. It then became the B-Side to Jole Blon, which was released on the Eric label in 1962. Sadly, the single sunk without trace. Since then, Train To Nowhere has been a hidden gem awaiting discovery. It’s tale of heartbreak, hurt and betrayal where Roy Perkins doesn’t so much deliver the lyrics, but live then with his worldweary vocal. He makes a reappearance later in the compilation.

Roy Perkins had released Sweet Lilly three years earlier in 1959. This is a very different from track Train To Nowhere. It’s a skirt swirler, recorded at Mira Smith’s studio. The single was then released on Huey Meaux’s Dart label. Sadly, despite being capable of filling many a Louisiana dance-floor, Sweet Lilly failed commercially. It makes a welcome reappearance on Swamp Pop By The Bayou-Troubles, Tears and Train.

So do two tracks from Dale Houston. The first is Won’t You Believe Me, which was recorded at J.D. Miller’s studio. This heartfelt, needy buckle polisher was released on Rocko in 1958. Three years later, Dale Houston was signed to Sam Montel’s Montel label.

One night in 1960, Sam Montel heard Dale playing in a bar in Baton Rouge. That night, Dale’s set consisted of some of his own songs. Sam Montel like these songs, and signed Dale Houston to his Montel label. In December 1961, Dale Houston released (Big Bad) City Police on Sam Montel’s Montel label. With a much tougher, modern sound Sam Montel hoped that Dale Houston would enjoy a hit single. Sadly, commercial success eluded Dale Houston, and this would be a familiar story as his solo career progressed.

John Fred is another artist that features twice on Swamp Pop By The Bayou-Troubles, Tears and Train. His first contribution is You Know You Made Me Cry, which was the B-Side to Good Lovin’, which was released on Montel in 1959. It’s another tale of hurt and heartbreak. Shirley however is a truly irresistible skirt swirler from John Fred and His Playboy Band. It was released on Montel, and is a truly timeless track.

King Savoy and The Rhythm Rockers released I Beg Of You on the Rocket label in 1957. It’s another buckle polisher, featuring a needy, pleading and impassioned vocal. Sadly, I Beg Of You was the band’s only single. Their career was cut shot when King Savoy left the band, to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a chef. Thus the King Savoy and The Rhythm Rockers’ story is one of what-if?

One of the previously unreleased tracks comes courtesy of Frankie Lowery. Baby What Can I Do is an irresistible skirt swirler, that surely, would’ve filed any Louisiana dance-floor?

The Boogie Kings were one of the most successful of the South Louisiana swamp pop bands. Given the quality of Please Forgive Me, that’s no surprise. With a slow, bluesy arrangement, where horns punctuate the arrangement, lead vocalist Doug (Charles) Ardoin begs and pleads for forgiveness on this buckle polisher. Despite the quality of Please Forgive Me, it was never released. Ian Saddler has rescued this hidden gem from obscurity, and for that, we should be grateful.

Buck Rogers is another artist who features twice. Born Lawrence Rodrigues in 1936, he was discovered by Sam Montel. Crazy Baby was Buck Rogers’ most successful single. However, an alternate take features on Swamp Pop By The Bayou-Troubles, Tears and Trains, allowing listeners to hear a different take on a swamp pop favourite. I Can’t Live Alone is Buck Rogers’ other contribution. It was released on Montel in 1958, and Buck’s vocal is a mixture of hurt and loneliness on this buckle polisher. 

Warren Storm is swamp pop royalty, so it’s no surprise that he features twice on Swamp Pop By The Bayou-Troubles, Tears and Trains. Neither the jaunty skirt swirler Troubles, Troubles (Troubles On My Mind), nor the blues-tinged take on I’m A Fool To Care have been released before. The version of I’m A Fool To Care finds compiler Ian Saddler finding swamp pop gold in J.D. Miller’s vaults.

Another hidden gem from J.D. Miller’s vaults is Al “Puddler” Harris’ Wait A Minute. It was released on J.D. Miller’s Rocko label in 1959. Featuring a heartfelt, needy vocal from Al “Puddler” Harris, who also plays piano, Wait A Minute a beautiful belt buckler, is musical gold. 

Blazing horns usher in Johnny Preston’s vocal on Satan In Satin. With its jaunty arrangement, hooks haven’t been rationed. Despite this, Satan In Satin was never released and has lain in the Mercury vaults. Thankfully, not any more. This skirt swirler been rescued from obscurity by Ian Saddler, and is the perfect addition Swamp Pop By The Bayou-Troubles, Tears and Trains.

Originally, Forest Rye recorded My Sweet Baby’s Gone for Murray Nash’s Nashville based Do-Re-Me. However, the single was never released, and made its debut on the Stomper Time Records compilation My Sweet Baby’s Gone. Emotive and heartfelt, My Sweet Baby’s Gone is another buckle polisher, this time, from Forest Rye.

Before recording So Many Tears, Johnny Jano had recorded for both Eddie Shuler and J.D. Miller. The ballad Shed So Many Tears was recorded at Eddie Shuler’s Goldband studio, with Johnny playing a steel guitar. The single was then released on the Jador label in 1964, and featured a soul-baring vocal from Johnny Jano, whose a veteran of the By The Bayou series. Given the quality of Shed So Many Tears, that’s no surprise.

My final choice from Swamp Pop By The Bayou-Troubles, Tears and Trains, is Jay Richards’ Sneaking Home. It was recorded at Huey Meaux’s studio, and released on the Tear Drop label in 1962. It’s a delicious horn driven skirt swirler, where Jay Richards shows why producers like J.D. Miller and Huey Meaux were so keen to work with him. Sadly, despite being a talented singer, commercial success seemed to elude Jay Richards. That was the case with many of the artists on Swamp Pop By The Bayou-Troubles, Tears and Trains.

That’s why many of the tracks on Swamp Pop By The Bayou-Troubles, Tears and Trains are such rarities. Those that have been released as a single, are almost possible to find. Far fans of swamp pop, and the music on Louisiana, this has been frustrating in the past. Not any more.

Ian Saddler’s thirteen volume By The Bayou compilation series features many swamp pop rarities. They can be found on Swamp Pop By The Bayou and Swamp Pop By The Bayou-Troubles, Tears and Trains. These two compilations concentrate purely on swamp pop, and for anyone interested in the genre, are a must have. They feature rarities, obscurities, hidden gems, familiar faces old favourites. That’s the case with Swamp Pop By The Bayou-Troubles, Tears and Trains, which was recently released by Ace Records.

It’s packed full of quality swamp pop. This includes skirt swirlers  and buckle polishers from the vaults of J.D. Miller, Eddie Shuler, Floyd Soileau, Sam Montel, Huey Meaux and Joe Ruffino, Pappy Daily, Murray Nash and Jim Rentz. Ian Saddler even looked for hidden gems with the Hitt and Mercury labels. He struck gold several times, finding unreleased tracks from swamp pop royalty Warren Storm plus Frankie Lowery, The Boogie Kings, Larry Hart, Frankie Lowery and Buck Rodgers. There’s also a trio of alternate tracks on Swamp Pop By The Bayou-Troubles, Tears and Trains. This is just the tip of the musical iceberg.

The other nineteen tracks on Swamp Pop By The Bayou-Troubles, Tears and Trains feature a mixture of familiar faces, hidden gems, obscurities and rarities from Roy Perkins With Jerry Starr and The Clippers, Dale Houston, Phil Clay, John Fred, Gene Dunlap and The Jokers,Warren Storm, Dale Houston, Johnny Preston and Jay Richards. This mixture of skirt swirlers and buckle polishers on Swamp Pop By The Bayou-Troubles, Tears and Trains brings a taste of the music of Louisiana in the late-fifties and early-sixties to your living room. All you’ve got to do is clear the floor, and let the party begin.

SWAMP POP BY THE BAYOU-TROUBLES, TEARS AND TRAINS.

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