Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Merle Travis - "Petticoat Fever" & "Too Much Sugar for a Dime" (1951)

Soundies are short films, usually lasting about three minutes. They were produced in the 1940s for visual jukeboxes where customers paid a fee to view as well as hear popular songs of the day.

Snader Telescriptions are similarly short performances produced in 1951-1952 for local television stations needing "filler" programming.

Scopitones are short musical films made for visual jukeboxes in Europe and the U.S. in 1966. Unlike Soundies and Snaders, Scopitones are in color.

Merle Travis (November 29, 1917 – October 20, 1983) was an American country and western singer, songwriter, and musician. Born Merle Robert Travis in Rosewood, Kentucky, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970 and elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1977. Some of the songs he wrote or performed include: "Sixteen Tons", "So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed", and "Smoke, Smoke, Smoke that Cigarette"; however, it is his masterful guitar playing that he is best known for today. "Travis picking", a style of guitar picking, is named after him.

As far as I know, there were 6 Merle Travis Snader Telescriptions produced in the early 1950's:

Merle Travis, "Mus'rat"

Merle Travis, "Dark As a Dungeon"

Merle Travis, "Sweet Temptation"

Merle Travis, "Too Much Sugar for a Dime"

Merle Travis, "Petticoat Fever"

Merle Travis, "Lost John"

I got these two from Dave Stuckey's Youtube page...

"one of my all time favorite Travis 'Telescriptions'. I love it because it's the whole package -- you get Travis' sharp and funny songwriting, 2 crackin' good solos, another Bigsby, his then-wife Judy Hayden and the cream of the Capitol hillbilly swingers... Speedy West doesn't get his close-up (!), but you get a nice Eddie Kirk chord solo (he's in amazingly good spirits considering that's his ex-wife singing with Travis!), Harold Hensley gets off a good fiddle break... kinda looks like Cliffie Stone on bass, but don't think that's him... don't know the trumpet player, but it's all good! Run, don't walk to buy the Travis video collections that are out there - you won't be sorry! p.s. note the shout-outs to Capitol label mates..."
-Dave Stuckey-

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