Hello there folks - it's me, red... it's been almost six months now since our friend Reggie Young  was called home, and I just wanted give you an idea of where the project stands now:

67bookAs you may recall, we are now up to the all important year of 1967. This is when Reggie finally made up his mind to leave Hi Records and work with Chips Moman at American. Upon opening the book, I found out that the break was not as abrupt as I had originally thought it was, and Reggie continued to cut locally at Royal and Sam Phillips pretty much throughout the year. In April, however, Jerry Wexler had flown Reggie and Tommy Cogbill up to New York to cut sessions for Atlantic Records, an event which (I believe) conviced Moman to keep them closer to home, and make the major labels come to him there on Thomas Street.

jerryleexAs I delved further into the book, I began to see a lot of entries that had been crossed out. Did this mean that a session had been cancelled, or perhaps that Reggie had gotten paid for it, or like what? Since I could no longer consult the man himself, I had to look elsewhere for an answer. On the page for July 24th, it simply says Jerry Lee Louis, with a line struck through it... hmmm.

jerryleexI figured that had to mean Jerry Lee Lewis, so I contacted my friend (and noted Jerry Lee authority) Jay Halsey who had this to say: "I think it's likely that Reggie crossed thru the dates because the sessions may have been cancelled, as he had no sessions with Jerry Lee in July 1967. He did have a session with Jerry Lee two months prior, however, on Tuesday, May 9th. The session took place at American Sound... as part of the Soul My Way album project" - only when I went to look for that session in the book, it wasn't there. As a matter of fact, there were no entries at all from May 5th to June 6th. This seemed rather odd for our man Reggie, as the books were usually meticulously kept...

overandoutAs a matter of fact, the last entry Reggie made in the book was for a September 1st session on Norris Wilson for Stan Kesler at Sun. I'm not sure if he felt that since he was working for Chips more or less full time now he didn't need to keep as close an eye on his paycheck but, in any event, it seems highly unlikely that Reggie was not working at all for the next three months.

jerryleexThere may be a second book somewhere (as we found out there was for 1966), I'm not sure, but I felt it wouldn't make sense to continue the discography until we dug a little deeper, and tried to fill in some of the blanks. And so, dear detectives, I've decided to publish a 'beta' version of the 1967 page annotating all of the sessions that Reggie did include in the book, and I'm asking all of you to take a look and see if you know of any others we should add. The 'Liner Notes' and mp3 playlists will follow later on, God willing.

In other developments on the Reggie front, John Broven and I were honored to have been asked to appear on WFMU for a two hour tribute on Rex Doane's Fool's Paradise this past March, and we've also been working with Ace Records in the UK on plans for their upcoming Volume Two CD of Memphis Boys: The Story Of American Studios. I can't believe it's been seven years since they released Volume One!

playboys

In another exciting development, I've been contacted by a gentleman named Brandon Rowe, who is the great grandson of one Henry Shropshire, the drummer in Reggie's very first band, The Arkansas Playboys. He has been kind enough to provide us with some never before seen photographs of the band circa 1952. That's Henry with the white hat in the center of the photo above, and Reggie with his arm around his friend and mentor, fiddle player Kinky King. Through conversations with Brandon and Kinky's wife (who is still sharp as a tack at 90 years old), I hope to piece together the story of this Western Swing period in Reggie's career, before the dawn of Rock 'n' Roll... Stay Tuned!

- red kelly, July 2019
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