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Post new topic Early Curly Chalker pic w/Blackie Crawford
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Author Topic:  Early Curly Chalker pic w/Blackie Crawford
Andrew Brown

Houston, Texas, USA
Post Posted 14 Nov 2010 10:24 am     Reply with quote

This is the earliest photo I've seen with Chalker in a band. The group is Blackie Crawford and the Tune Toppers, pre-Western Cherokees.

They are playing in a club in Kansas City. I guess the date is 1950 or slightly earlier.

There's other great photos in this album, but mostly unknown performers.
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Mitch Drumm

Frostbite Falls, hard by Veronica Lake
Post Posted 14 Nov 2010 1:03 pm     Reply with quote

Yeah, that certainly looks like Curly. Here are the only other early pix I have for comparison. He may be even younger in the pic with the cowboy hat. Blackie looks sinister.

Good find, Andrew.

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Andrew Brown

Houston, Texas, USA
Post Posted 14 Nov 2010 1:28 pm     Reply with quote

Another pose of the same band:
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scott murray

Asheville, NC
Post Posted 15 Nov 2010 12:41 pm     Reply with quote

great shots guys!!!
Sho~Bud Pro III D-10 / Sierra Session D-10 / Collier 8-string dobro / Oahu 6-string lap steel
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Jack Stoner

Inverness, Fl
Post Posted 16 Nov 2010 3:06 am     Reply with quote

My friend and lead guitar picker, Joe Gunther, worked with Curly when he was in Kansas City. I'm not sure if that's Joe in the photo as I worked with Joe about 30 years after that photo.

Roger Hurst, from KC, would know. He is on the forum.

They would work the clubs in KC until they closed then go out in the county where there wasn't any "closing time" and work them until dawn.
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Jason Odd

Stawell, Victoria, Australia
Post Posted 13 Nov 2013 3:58 pm     Reply with quote

I've been thinking about these pics [the Stone Arch Ranch set], I keep seeing them on forums and posts.
Technically I don't think it's the Tunetoppers, if the pics are from 1950, the Tunetoppers were Lefty Frizzell's band, which evolved into the Western Cherokees, and used different pickers in 1950, as Curly and Blackie don't seem to have joined Lefty until early 1951.

The Stone Arch Ranch pics might be later than '51, but I don't think the drummer is Jimmy Dennis, the long serving Tunetoppers - Western Cherokees drummer, so I'm starting to think it might be a band Blackie and Curly had prior to the Tunetoppers. Maybe the The Sons Of Texas, which I hear were outfit was active in Dallas in 1949-1950 with Blackie Crawford, Curly Chalker, Pee Wee Reid played bass for a time and Billy Gray was involved, probably just prior to his joining Hank Thompson’s band.

jes... thinkin'...
Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
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