Horsing Around

KeelingRidingJim Keeling
“Riding for Jesus”
1982

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watn2s1Now folks, THIS is how you make a web page.

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Barroom Stories #3: fake barroom edition

Hickory
“Whiskey Woman”
Country Kitchen #2010

The cover of Hickory’s album appears to have been taken at one of those old timey carnival shooting galleries (notice the fake bottles and colored targets).  Since the band is from Houston, it was probably at Astroworld.  (Aaaand, confirmation:)

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Barroom Encounters #1: Cowboy edition


Gentle Ben featuring Sonja
“Barroom Stories”
Jewel #81063

This cover has it all.  Literally.  Rainbow suspenders, fringe vests covered in feathers, light beer, cheap cowboy hats, and a giant freaking head of hair.

It does fondly remind me of one of the BizarreRecords classics, however:

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The Economics of Nights Game

Clifford Fry
“For the Players Of Nights Game”
1979

Dr. Clifford fry was an Economics professor at the University of Houston.  On the side he had a decent little country rock band, and apparently stayed up late playing “nights game” and getting drunk.

“Drunk Again”:

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The last I can find, Dr. Fry and his band the Texas Medicine Band still play.   He has a few cd’s on Amazon

I even found a pic of him, his hat, and Ventures records from 2011:

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Cowboy Crusader

Ben Swett
“Riding the Range For Jesus”
Sacred Recordings, St. Paul, MN

“Riding the Range for Jesus”:

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Lockup of Love

John Gunter, the Singing Sheriff
“Captive Audience”
Captive Audience #0001

This guy was sheriff of Madison County, Indiana.

John Gunter, “Prisoner of My Heart”:

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Apparently, the Singing Sheriff is still available to sing and speak at your event.

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Devil in Disguise

Orion
“Reborn”
Sun-1012, 1979

Jimmy Ellis aka Orion was the most successful Elvis impersonator (who claimed not to be an Elvis impersonator) of all time.

For years Ellis tried to make a career as a country singer, but his voice and manor were so similar to Elvis’ that he was dismissed as an imitator.  His voice and appearance apparently caused enough confusion  that fans thought he might actually be The King himself performing. One of his early singles was titled, “I’m Not Trying To Be Elvis”.

from www.orionjimmyellis.com

After Elvis’ death, he finally stopped resisting the comparisons and developed the “Orion” persona, named after the title character of a book about a rock star who fakes his own death.  Orion’s ultimate coup was getting signed to Sun Records, Elvis’ original label, for his first album. As one might expect, many fans apparently believed that Orion actually was Elvis Presley.

Orion released several albums in the early 80′s and even had a few charting singles.  He then quit the Orion/Elvis charade until the early 1990′s, when he released several more records.  He died in 1998, when he was gunned down in a robbery of his convenience store in Selma, Alabama.

TV interview with Orion: http://youtu.be/niLmJGgtVVI

Official Web Page:  http://www.orionjimmyellis.com/

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Not a chance

Chance
“Chance”
1985. Mercury #826 029-1 M-1

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A four-part vision in Aqua Net and acid wash

The Steffin Sisters
“Country Time”
Windward #103

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Hitchin’ a ride

Sharie Lynn and her Show-Fers
“Keepin’ It Country”

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