Monday, February 1, 2021

Wagon Wheel Recordings


 Hey all!

I've been meaning to database my Wagon Wheel label record collection for many years. I figure hunkered down in a pandemic is probably a good time to sort through this massive stash of hoedown tunes.

If you told me that I would someday be in possession of close to 100 square dance records, from one label, I might have believed it - being the obsessive Colorado vinyl collector that I am. Fact is, I'm not even close to having the entire Wagon Wheel run of releases, but I'm still trying!

The short history is, former Lighting S label dance caller Don Franklin, of Arvada, started the label in 1963 and had it until 1981, when he sold it to the family of his producer, Cody Bryant (son of Bob Ruff, who is in the Square Dance Hall of Fame and founder of the Windsor record label). Ruff would also release albums entitled Square Dance Party under the Wagon Wheel name (see last photo). 

Of course Wagon Wheel was hardly the only Colorado square dancing record label (Lighting S out of LaVeta, the Prairie Hornets / Al Horn's Prairie label out of Pueblo, and later Desert Recording, Mountain Recording, and Ocean Wave Recordings, all out of Pueblo / Penrose, CO, and of course the originator - the Lloyd Shaw label out of Colorado Springs), but its discography is massive. In Franklin's time owning the label, he released more than 100 singles, and an album. While Franklin called the earlier singles, he later released 45s with Jerry Haag, Beryl Main, Joel Pepper, Glen Nokes, John Winter, Ken Bower, Gary Shoemake, Jim Bahr, and Gaylon Shull. When Bob Ruff took over the label, he would release his own singles (as also noted by the address change from Arvada, CO to Whittier, CA in those later releases).

(All records and Sets in Order ads are from the author's personal collection)

The first Wagon Wheel record label advertisement - Sets in Order (June, 1963)


Introduction To Wagon Wheel (WW 1001 -1964)

Lots of country twang on this LP. The album features members of the Levee Singers, with Smokey Montgomery, and most notably "The Blonde Bomber" rockabilly guitarist Ronnie Dawson (singing on "Scotch 'n Soda"). The LP also features bass player Ken Cobb and guitar picker Bill Hudson.

SINGLES (Partial Discography)

1 “Cattle Call" / Pick Up My Heart” – Wagon Masters (Don Franklin) 

100 "Basanova Beat" - Wagon Masters (Don Franklin)

100 “Tricia” / “Laura” – Wagon Masters

101 “Rocky Mountain Fling” – Wagon Masters (Don Franklin) 

102 "That's Rhythm" - Wagon Masters (Don Franklin)

103 "Sweet Personality" - Wagon Masters(Don Franklin)

104 “Sugar Coated Baby” – Wagon Masters (Don Franklin) 

105 “Hootenanny Hoedown (key of G) / Hotenanny Hoedown (key of A)” - Wagon Masters

106 “Rose Marie” – Wagon Masters (Don Franklin) 

108 “Swinging Billy Joe” – Wagon Masters (Don Franklin) 

109 “King of the Road” – Wagon Masters (Don Franklin) 

110 “England Swings” – Wagon Masters (Don Franklin) 

111 “Square Guitar” / “Smokey Dokey” - Wagon Masters 

112 Walkin’ In The Sunshine” – Wagon Masters (Don Franklin) 

113 “Gentle on My Mind” – Wagon Masters (Don Franklin) 

114 “Little Green Apples” – Wagon Masters (Don Franklin) 

115 “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” – Wagon Masters (Don Franklin) 

116 “Drummer Boy” / “Hoedown #2” – Wagon Masters 

118 "Release Me" - Wagon Masters (Don Franklin)

119 “Bumble Bee Square” – Wagon Masters (Don Franklin) 

120 "Can't Help Believing" - Wagon Masters (Don Franklin)

121 “Billy John” / “Freddie’s Fancy”– Wagon Masters 

122 “Coming Down” – Wagon Masters (Don Franklin)

123 "Soft Sweet and Warm"- Wagon Masters (Don Franklin) 

125 “Dueling Banjos” / “Pitter Patter” - Wagon Masters

127 “Listen to a Country Song” – Wagon Masters (Don Franklin) 

128 “You’re Wearing Me Down” – Wagon Masters (Don Franklin) 

129 “Starry Eyes” – Wagon Masters (Don Franklin) 

131 “Merry Go Round of Love” – Wagon Masters (Don Franklin) 

133 “Easy on my Mind” – Wagon Masters (Don Franklin) 

134 “Timber” / “Rain” - Wagon Masters 

200 “Smoke Along The Track” – Wagon Masters (Jerry Haag) 

201 “Hey Li Lee Li Lee” – Wagon Masters (Jerry Haag) 

202 “Shortnin’” – Wagon Masters (Jerry Haag) 

203 “Engine No 9” – Wagon Masters (Jerry Haag) 

204 “The Race is On” – Wagon Masters (Jerry Haag) 

205 “Just Like All The Other Times” – Wagon Masters (Jerry Haag)

Sets in Order (November 1967)

206 “Shindig in the Barn” – Wagon Masters (Jerry Haag) 

207 “Gonna Have to Catch Me” – Wagon Masters (Jerry Haag) 

208 “Here’s to Me” – Wagon Masters (Jerry Haag) 

209 “New World In the Morning” – Wagon Masters (Jerry Haag) 

210 “Singing Your Song” – Wagon Masters (Jerry Haag) 

211 “Baby’s Coming Home” – Wagon Masters (Jerry Haag)


Sets in Order (December 1967)

212 “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” – Wagon masters (Jerry Haag) 

213 “I Love You True” – Wagon Masters (Jerry Haag) 

214 “Good News” – Wagon Masters (Jerry Haag) 

215 “Round and Round” – Wagon Masters (Dean Salveson) 

300 “What a Lonesome Life” – Wagon Masters (Beryl Main) 

301 “Long Black Veil” – Wagon Masters (Beryl Main) 

302 “Houston” – Wagon Masters (Beryl Main) 

303 “Love In the Country” (Beryl Main) 

304 “Big Sombrero” Wagon Masters (Beryl Main) 

305 “Robinson Crusoe” – Wagon Masters (Beryl Main) 

306 “What’s Her Name” – Wagon Masters (Beryl Main) 

307 “Sally Was a Good Old Girl” – Wagon Masters (Beryl Main) 

309 “Long Lonesome Highway” – Wagon Masters (Beryl Main) 

310 “Live For the Good Times” – Wagon Masters (Beryl Main) 

312 “Travelin’ Light” – Wagon Masters (Beryl Main) 

313 “Bad Situation” – Wagon Masters (Beryl Main)

400 “Bird of Paradise” – Wagon Masters (Joel Pepper) 

401 “World of Our Own” – Wagon Masters (Joel Pepper) 

500 “Walkin’ in the Sunshine”- Wagon Masters (Glen Nokes) 

502 “Wagon Wheel Waltz” – Wagon Masters (John Winter) 

503 “Call Me Lonesome” – Wagon Masters (John Winter) 

504 “My Darling” – Wagon Masters (John Winter) 

505 “Why Ask for the Moon” – Wagon Masters (John Winter) 

506 “Dance With Me” – Wagon Masters (John Winter) 

507 “Blue Blue Day” – Wagon Masters (John Winters) 

508 “Music is My Woman” – Wagon Masters (George N. Smith) 

600 “If They Could See Me Now” – Wagon Masters (Ken Bower) 

601 “But For Love” – Wagon Masters (Ken Bower) 

602 “Your Time Hasn’t Come Yet” – Wagon Masters (Ken Bower) 

603 “Mississippi” – Wagon Masters (Ken Bower) 

604 “When You’re Hot You’re Hot” – Wagon Masters (Ken Bower) 

605 “Best is Yet to Come” – Wagon Masters (Ken Bower) 

606 “Bloody Red Barron” – Wagon Masters (Ken Bower) 

607 “Darlin’ Raise the Shade” – Wagon Masters (Ken Bower) 

608 “Honeymoon Feeling” – Wagon Masters (Ken Bower) 

700 “Eli Stubbs Grass Band” – Wagon Masters (Gary Shoemake) 

701 “Dock of the Bay” – Wagon Masters (Gary Shoemake) 

702 “Flat Foot’in It” – Wagon Masters (Gary Shoemake)

Sets in Order (April 1975)

704 “I Was Born a Ramblin’ Man” – Wagon Masters (Gary Shoemake) 

705 “Lovin’ You” – Wagon Masters (Gary Shoemake) 

800 “Hey Good Lookin’” – Wagon Masters (Jim Bahr) 

801 “Mockingbird Hill” – Wagon Masters (Jim Bahr) 

900 “Living on Love Street” – Wagon Masters (Garylon Shull) 

901 “Sun Coming Up” – Wagon Masters (Gaylon Shull) 

Sets in Order (December 1982)

912 “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” – Wagon Masters (Bob Ruff)

913 "Engine No. 9" (Bob Ruff)

924 "Houston" (Bob Ruff)

928 "The Race is On" (Bob Ruff) 

Wagon Wheel Square Dance Party For the New Dancer No. 1 and No. 2 (1983)

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