There are (at least) four known country bands, using the name The Rhythm Rangers, noted in Colorado music archives.
earliest appears to be Cal Shrum's Republic Rhythm Rangers, who got
their start in Denver, in the 1930s, on KOA radio. Cal later moved to
Hollywood and made quite a career for himself in films. By 1946 he
appeared in over 50 western movies. He passed away in 1996 (age 85).
note - Cal, and his brother Walt, teamed up in the Colorado
Hillbillies. Brother Walt also recorded on the Calico label (brother
After Cal, Shorty Thompson and his Rhythm
Rangers appeared on KOA radio. Shorty also recorded for Mercury and
produced a couple of ditties, "Fishin'" / "Smiles Are Made Out of
Sunshine" (Mercury 6012), and "Foolish Love" / "Smiles Are Made Out of
Sunshine" (Mercury 6135).
Story in the February 15, 1942 issue of Down Beat (note mention of Albany Hotel, in Denver)
(OF NOTE: Before he
headed up the Rhythm Rangers, Shorty Thompson's group, Saddle Rockin'
Rhythm, which also appeared on KOA, featured Shorty's wife Sue, her
sister Sally, and a then-unknown guitar picker, Chet Atkins).
1950, Columbine (before it was Band Box) released recordings from Will
Graves and his Rhythm Rangers. I have two in my collection - "When the
World Has Turned You Down" / "Guess I'm Better Off Without You" (104)
and "Iron Horse" / "You Two-Timed Me One Too Often" (108).
Then, along came Dave Spielman's Rhythm Rangers.
researching Mr. Spielman, I found a notation of a single on 4-Star
(from 1951). "Little Gal (from Across the Street)" / "Rich Man Blues,"
however I couldn’t find a label number in the 4-Star discography.
I found this brief blurb in a 1952 Billboard
– “Dave Spielman and his Rhythm Rangers, who are headquartered in Colorado
Springs, have two new sides out, one on the Ranger label, and the other on
Rocky Mountain. Spielman has also
inked a five year pact with Four Star Records."
invaluable Hillbilly Researcher website notes Ranger OP-129 – “Out of
Nowhere” / “Ride, Ride, Ride” - (vocal trio featuring Billie Lane with
Fran Strubble and Bud
Walker), and Ranger
“It’s Paw Who Pays"/ “Colorado Waltz."
have another Spielman/Rhythm Rangers 78 in my stash, with the band
backing Sonny Le Barron on "Vagabond Dreamer" / "Much Too Old to Cry"
Sadly, Dave Spielman's life was cut
short, when he passed away, in 1955, at the age of 35. His wife (and
singing partner) Billie passed away in 1986 (age 60). Both are buried
in Evergreen Cemetery, in Colorado Springs.
Listen to a sample
Spielman's contribution to early Colorado Springs country music lives
on with the inclusion of "It's Paw Who Pays," on the Bear Family
compilation, Foot Loose and Fancy Free
Post a Comment