Thursday, November 15, 2012

Daddy Bruce (Success with Ron Franklin)

Given we are in the Thanksgiving season, I thought it would be appropriate to feature a record tribute to Daddy Bruce Randolph.

Born in Arkansas, in 1900, Randolph made his way to Denver, after years of picking cotton, and working in the neighboring coal mines--where he'd sell barbeque sandwiches to the workers.

Taking the name "Daddy Bruce" (a nickname from one of his sons), he opened his name sake restaurant in 1963, at the corner of Gilpin and 34th. Four years later he would open his Five Points restaurant.

His philanthropy was legendary...

He gave away clothes and food every year, on his birthday and on Christmas, held Easter egg hunts, and staged massive Thanksgiving dinners for the homeless.

The first documented Daddy Bruce gang feed occurred in the late 1960, for about 200 people, in City Park. The meals grew to the point that he was dishing up thousands of turkey dinners during the holiday.

In 1986, local singer Ron Franklin recorded a rap tribute, "Salute to Daddy Bruce" (same song on the flip - Success 70017). The song featured the group Success as backup singers. The record was recorded at Avalanche Studios in Denver, and produced by Jim Mason.

In 1980, his son opened Daddy Bruce Bar-B-Que, at the corner of Arapahoe and 20th streets, in Boulder (In 2012, Bruce Randolph, Jr. sold the establishment).

Daddy Bruce passed away in 1994, at the age of 94. In 1985 a section of 34th Avenue, from Downing to Dahlia streets, was renamed Bruce Randolph Avenue.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Jerry Street

Found this Jerry Street disc via eBay, and remembered the name from a 2010 blog post over at LoneStarStomp.

According to that post, it appears Jerry did quite a bit in New Mexico and Texas, but he must have headed north in his later career, as this find is on a Golden, Colorado label.

On this disc Jerry teams up with Lloyd Green, the steel guitar ace, who appeared on records for everyone from Johnny Cash and Charley Pride, to Sir Paul McCartney.

Also of note is co-producer Buster Jenkins, who started out in Denver (on the Rocky Mountain Jamboree, and then later with his band the High Country Travelers). Buster also produced on the Band Box label before he started up the High Country label, in 1968 (producing Dewey Knight's "A Mind of Your Own," among others).

Listen to a sample

There is one other High Country/Jerry Street collaboration that I know of. "The Same Old Thing" / "Listen They're Playing My Song" (High Country 70012).

Prairie Hornets

A few months ago I read in the Pueblo Chieftain that Elmer Swartwood passed away at the age of 87 (December 3, 1924 - July 17, 2012). Elmer was the founder of the Prairie Hornets, a local Pueblo country and western and square dance music band.

Somewhere along the way Elmer teamed up with caller/singer Al Horn, and his Prairie Recording label, out of Denver. The partnership resulted in several recordings for the group, including "Mr. In-Between" (PR 1004), "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" (PR 1009), and "Coon Dog" / "Square Chords" (PR 2001), among others.

Al went on to be a pretty prolific caller, recording almost 100 singles for the Desert, Mountain, and Ocean labels, and later a Hillbilly bopper on the Do-Ra-Me label, "Where Does Love Go" / "It's Much Too Soon" (1424).