Big bill broonzy - hey, hey / walkin' the lonesome road

Born in Highland Park, MI, in 1925, Haley was blind in one eye from birth, and, as a consequence, suffered from terrible shyness as a boy. The family moved to Boothwyn, PA, during the mid-'30s, where Haley developed a strong love for country music and began playing guitar and singing; by 14, he had left school in the hope of pursuing a career in music. He bounced through a few country bands based in the Middle Atlantic states and also tried to establish himself as a singing and yodeling cowboy. His first big break came in 1944, when he replaced Kenny Roberts -- who was being drafted -- in the Downhomers, with whom Haley made his first appearance on records. Haley left the group in 1946 and went through several other bands before returning to his home in Chester, PA, where he initially hoped to get some work as a DJ. Instead, he formed a new band, the Four Aces of Western Swing, with keyboardman Johnny Grande , bassist Al Rex , and steel guitar player Billy Williamson , and signed a contract with Cowboy Records, a new label formed by James Myers , a composer, musician, and publisher, and his partner, Jack Howard . Their first record was released in 1948, a version of "Candy Kisses"; by 1949, the group had changed its name to the Saddlemen and began moving between labels, including liaisons with the fledgling Atlantic Records, Ivin Ballen's Gotham Records, and Ed Wilson's Keystone Records, before finally settling at Holiday Records, a small label owned by David Miller, in 1951. Their first release, done at Miller's insistence, was a cover of "Rocket 88," a song that originated out of Sam Phillips ' fledgling recording operation in Memphis, courtesy of Jackie Brenston . It was a pumping piece of sexually suggestive, rollicking R&B, and Haley and the Saddlemen simply put a broader, slightly loping country boogie sound onto it and boosted the rhythm section, while a lead guitar (probably played by Danny Cedrone ) noodled some blues licks on the break. Haley hadn't liked the idea of doing the song, but Miller wanted it, and the result -- though no one knew it at the time -- was the first white-band cover of what is now regarded by many scholars as the first real rock & roll song.

The prefixes to the Scepter albums are very confusing. Some mono and stereo albums both just had the number on the jacket, with the stereo album having a stereo banner at the top. Some had no prefix for mono and an "S-" prefix for stereo. Some had an "S-" prefix for mono and an "SS-" prefix for stereo. At some time during 1964, the jacket prefixes for the albums were changed to "SRM-" for monaural releases and "SPS-" for stereo releases, which was the matrix prefix on most of the early labels. These prefixes also appeared on reissues of the earlier albums, but some later issues used different prefixes on the album jackets than on the records themselves. We have used the prefixes "SRM-" and "SPS-" throughout this discography for mono and stereo issues, respectively, assuming that Scepter eventually (at least in reissue) came to their senses.

The first Scepter label was red with black printing. "SCEPTER" in black above the center hole, with a silver scroll behind it. This label may have only been used on 501 and 502. During 1962 and 1963, a white label with black printing and "SCEPTER RECORDS" on two lines above the center line was also used. Copies of LP-502 and LP 510 are known with this label, and other early numbers probably also had it. The third label was red with silver printing. A black oval with a gray and white outline coming from the left and going around the center hole, "SCEPTER RECORDS" in white on this black oval to the left of the center hole. The title of the album was above the center hole and the artists' name below the center hole, with track names at the top and bottom of the label. Around the bottom edge in white letters it read, "Scepter Music, Inc., New York, ." or later, "Scepter Records, 254 West 54th Street, ." This label was used from 1962 to 1971, approximately to #593, although some copies as late as SPS-5100 are also known with this label, as the blanks were used until depleted. Some time about 1964, the printing became black so it could be better read, but labels with silver print were still in use as late as 1968. The fourth label was multicolor with black printing. Overall background ran from very yellow on some printings to almost red on others. "SCEPTER RECORDS" was in black in a white oval rimmed in black above and to the left of the center hole. Around the bottom of the label it read, "Scepter Records, 524 West 54th St.", sometimes with a production date added. This label was used from late 1971 to 1973, about SPS-595 to about SPS-5113. The fifth label was blue with a white "SCEPTER" logo to the right of the center hole. This label was used from 1973, starting about SPS-5114, to the end of the series in 1976. A sixth, custom, label was black with silver print. This label was used on some releases in 1975.

The Scepter label was sold to Springboard, International, in 1976, and was eventually acquired by Gusto Records of Nashville. Dionne Warwick apparently arranged to buy her own masters, and the Kingsmen won control of their masters via a highly publicized lawsuit.

We would appreciate any additions or corrections to this discography. Just send them to us via e-mail . Both Sides Now Publications is an information web page. We are not a catalog, nor can we provide the records listed below. We have no association with Scepter Records, which is currently inactive. Should you be interested in acquiring albums listed in this discography (which are all out of print), we suggest you see our Frequently Asked Questions page and follow the instructions found there. This story and discography are copyright 1999 by Mike Callahan.

Big Bill Broonzy - Hey, Hey / Walkin' The Lonesome RoadBig Bill Broonzy - Hey, Hey / Walkin' The Lonesome RoadBig Bill Broonzy - Hey, Hey / Walkin' The Lonesome RoadBig Bill Broonzy - Hey, Hey / Walkin' The Lonesome Road