Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Felco Records Texas

Jimmy Fields, George McCoy and Joe Bill who run a weekly new talent 45 minutes TV Show named Joe Bill's Country Picnic - broadcasted each sunday at 12:30 p.m. on KRLD-T.V. Dallas.By and by the show gets so popular that Jimmy Fields and Co. decided to launch a record Label.Among two subsidiary labels (Jamaka, Kick) the Felco Record Company was born.
Mentioned in the Billboard Magazine (issue March '59) as a newcomer of the "Record Parade", the Felco Record Company - located in 5513 E. Grand Ave., Dallas 23 - and owned by Jimmy Fields put out some fine, no, excellent rockabilly and rocker discs right at the beginning.Not only that they're rockin' - those Felco records are more and more hard to get and you will pay $$$$ for it.

Fields also own Kick Records
(Billboard June, '58)

In the horror vein Billy Taylor and the Tear Drops brought us at Felco F-101 the "Wombie Zombie".
Reviewed by the Billboard Staff in Feb '59 they rated Taylor's record with only "ONE Star"! It seems they oriented at the verse "...who's this crazy wise guy said rock'n'roll was dead..." or what!?
The solid Beat coupled with cool Doo-Wop grouping and crazy lyrics makes this one worth a listen!

Billy Taylor - "Wombie Zombie" Felco 102 (Feb. '59)

Felco F-102 better known as an example of killer rockabilly type record is Bobby Crown with his legendary Felco record "One Way Ticket".

Bobby Crown and the Kapers (his Dad on the right)

At the age of 12 he started singin' and playin' along with his father Leslie Krajca.With his Dad, Bobby sang Country Music at the Cowtown Hoedown, a weekly live c&w show held at the Majestic Theater in Forth Worth and broadcasted on KCUL.
His father Leslie seemed to be very impressed by the talent of his son cause he brought Bobby to the attention of the Forth Worth music scene.
As The Krajcas they played in bars and clubs.His Dad Leslie played the upright bass and Bobby recalls "...The reason I could do this was because my dad was playing bass fiddle. My dad drank a lot when we were playing the clubs and sometimes I wondered if he was holding the bass up or if it was holding him up"(Shane Hughes)
Around 1955 Jay Cashion and Bob Lumpkins joined and later Bob was replaced by Eddie Conley. In short, the Kapers were founded.Like many others, the cats where infected by Mr. Presley and his wild beat so they booked in the Clifford Herring's Studio in Forth Worth to cut their first rock'n'roll.
The result is this acetate two-sider!
Shake Rattle And Roll (acetate '56)

Fraulein (acetate '56)

At this time, Bobby and his buddys started to act at The Country Picnic.But not in the line-up they giged before.Again a band member left.Now guitarist Jay Cashion left the band due to private reasons and Dale Morgan replaced him.However, the new line up delighted Jimmy Fields (he produced the show) so much, that he was on fire to hold a record session for "Your Conscience" at his Felco label.
A year passed by and no session for "Your Consciense" was done.Instead Jimmy Fields hired the Kapers as session musicians at his studio for more or less talented vocals..During this period as a backing band Bobby co-writed songs with Fields.Such as "Lucky Lucky Me" (Fields skills for writing songs wasn't so much heady).Fields took Bobby to record a demo of this tune. Bobby's and Kapers' talent finally produced a decent recording of "Lucky Lucky Me".
Listen to the first demo recordings of "Lucky Lucky Me" and finally to the master! Do you hear "Butch" Evans wild piano pounding?

Lucky Lucky Me (never released) Demo Version

Lucky Lucky Me (unreleased) Studio Version

To continue the story here is another Demo done by Bobby Brown and the Kapers.
A Chicken Is A Bird co-written by Bobby and Field

By the way Jimmy Fields tempted as a singer on some tunes.Backed by the Kapers.Dig this one!
Birth Of Rock and Roll

onth passed by and at last Fields concern to cut "Your Conscience" as a regular record.Fields liked the demo recording, tough he need another song for the flip side.Bobby suggest his self written, at the age of fourteen - not so long ago, song "One Way Ticket".
Fields agreed, they changed little details in lyrics and settings, to recording both songs.
The result is a masterpiece of prime Texas rockabilly.Go for "One Way Ticket"!!
One Way Ticket Demo Version

One Way Ticket - Felco Records F-102 May-1959

Your Conscience - Felco Records F-102 May-1959

After two mistitled pressings ( first one with Bob Lumpkins as the writer of "One Way Ticket", second press with Bobby Lumpkins as the singer) - the third one was the right one.
(didn't found a label shot of the correct one - leave a comment if you have one, thank you!)

Craaaazy Alligator! "Crazy Alligator" - Irvin Russ does a not bad relaease at Felco F-201 with his tune. Twistin' lyrics, the answer upon Horton's "Battle Of New Orleans" - Now the alligator talks! Co-written by Irvin Russ and Jimmy Fields. Recorded in mid '59 and first mentioned in the Billboard Magazine August 17th '59 at least "two star" rated.Flip "My Imagination" is a ballad.

The F-201 came with a nice picture sleeve.
Even though Dick Glasser recorded at a different label, his cover version of Irvin "Crazy Alligator" sense me even more.(well known for his '56 "Ball Room Baby" as Dick Lory - Dot 15496) He recorded for Dot and Columbia Records.And his Columbia release 4-41472 is more a rocker to me! It's more powerfully then Irvin Russ's Felco.That's besides.
The staff from the BB ranked Irvin Russ record a moderate sales potential - two stars.

Billboard Magazine Aug. 17, 1959

But Dick Glasser's Alligator receiving a good sales potential with three stars.
Billboard Magazine Sept. 7, 1959

Listen to both
Irven Russ - Crazy Alligator - Felco F-201

Irven Russ - My Imagination - Felco F-201 (flip)

Dick Glasser - Crazy Alligator - Columbia Records 4-41472

The Twisters
Another band that recorded for the Felco label are "The Twisters".There is practically nothing i could find about this band.Except the Band members.They are Bobby Boatman, Robert Harwell Jr., Red Brenson, William Mitchell and Jimmie Evans (not the JimmY Evans).
I found another instro combo named The Twisters from the early sixties.This same-named Band recorded for Dual Records "Pepermint Twist".But are they the same one?
And a third one, issued a record on Decca "Peppermint Twist Time"
This is not much, isn't?
But their, i mean the Felco Twisters, sound tells a lot.Real gone wild instro pounders!!Ha!
Here are the Felco rankings done by the Billboarder and there records too:

Billboard May 25, 1959The Twisters - Count Down 1-2-3 Felco F-103

The Twisters - Speed Limit Felco F-103

Billboard, Aug 17, 1959
"....a real wild, down to earth blues instrumental...fine dance side that the kids could take to."...goooooone
The Twisters - Bandstand Rocket Felco F-301

The Twisters - Kat Walk Felco F-301
The Twisters recorded two more instros "Hurricane" and "Just Before Dawn" but never released.And - i dont have it.What a shame!
To close down this spotlight of records from the Felco Record Company - i can't tell you what happend with Jimmy Fields and his label.Perhaps this company didn't survive much longer then any of the hundred other small idependent record labels to.If you have any corrections, informations about Felco Records or tunes, please let me know.
Have Fun!


Mean Gene said...


ries said...

really great stuff! Thanks for your efforts.

Anonymous said...


Thanks - I'm impressed with your knowledge and material. More of the same, please.

best regards,


Mean Gene said...

Thank you!
I'm pleased that you like it.
More to come!!
Cheers Mean Gene

Gerard said...

Thanks Gene

Ian said...

I LOVE that kinda stuff man! That's my drug, wild instrumental R&B with honky saxophone.
Thanks a lot!

Have a look to my blog, many things could turn you on :


KL from NYC said...

Thank you.

Bop-A-Saurus said...

just found your blog. AWESOME! was 'a chicken is a bird' ever re-recorded? great song and not just because the bird is the word.

Anonymous said...

My neighbor is Jimmie Evans from the Twisters, I can get any info you need?

Anonymous said...

Any chance of a new link. Great info. please keep up the great effort.

Mean Gene said...

Yes i will repair all broken links

Dennis West said...

For Felco records - I have original photos of all the singers and fan club cards. I purchased all the records, photos, etc from Jimmy Fields about 40 years ago. He sent me a huge box of the above items. There were both of the different labels for The Saucers, several copies of the Bobby Crown, Copies of the Crazy Alligator with the sleeve, The Twisters, Billy Taylor. Send me an email address for you and I will forward photos for you.

PS I met Bobby Crown in Birmingham AL at a collector's show several years ago. He was surprised that I knew Jimmy Fields.

Mean Gene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

My name is Linda Baker was Linda Fields. Jimmy Fields was my dad. I visited my dad many times on Joe Bills Country Picnic in the early 50's. Visited him many times at his Felco Records on E Grand Dallas. My dads royality checks put me through Catholic School. I would love to have pictures and any arhive imformantion to pass on to his grand children and great grand children. I was born to Jimmy Fields on June 26 1943. Please help. Thank you. Linda Baker Fields. powacket43@sbcglobal.net or pocket2643@gmail.com