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Post new topic Tunes Of The Week #11 - Curly Chalker, Big Jim Murphy
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Author Topic:  Tunes Of The Week #11 - Curly Chalker, Big Jim Murphy
Joe Goldmark


From:
San Francisco, CA 94131
Post Posted 29 Mar 2011 2:28 pm     Reply with quote

Steeler: Curly Chalker
Artist: Carl Smith
LP Title: I Love You Because
Tune: I Love You Because
Label: Columbia CS 9898
Year: 1969



It's C6 time! Curly Chalker does his thing on this legendary (in the steel guitar world) recording, and this record is an enigma. By the late '60s, you never heard C6 on a commercial country record, and you barely heard any steel at all on a Carl Smith album. Yet, this was a big country hit and apparently convinced Carl to continue in this vein into the '70s.

http://www.vinylbeat.com/forum/11ILoveYouBecause.m4a


Steeler: Big Jim Murphy
Artist: Carl Smith
45 Title: Red Door/You Walked In My Sleep Last Night
Label: Columbia 4-45436
Year: early '70s



This tune never made it onto an album as far as I know, although it should have. Big Jim Murphy is the steeler and there's never been a cooler steel man. I saw him play many times with Vasser Clements, Johnny Paycheck, AATW, & Redd Voelkaert. He would play a hot C6 break, and then pick up his sax and blow bebop. Then he'd sit down and play the prettiest E9 you'd ever want to hear.

http://www.vinylbeat.com/forum/1-23RedDoor.m4a

Since we're on a Carl Smith theme, here's another great album below that features Jim Murphy. Another favorite is Paycheck Live in N.Y.

Joe



Last edited by Joe Goldmark on 25 Apr 2017 6:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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Louie Hallford


From:
denison tx
Post Posted 29 Mar 2011 4:28 pm     Reply with quote

DAT'S GOOD STUFF!!!!
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post Posted 29 Mar 2011 5:56 pm     Reply with quote

Red Door was awesome Joe!

Here's an E9th tune called Big Murph, the last one listed on the C.S. and the tunesmiths LP you listed above and another Murph tune with some hot C6/Sax picking that Wade Ray used to sing a lot (and a lot slower):


Big Murph


My Mother's Eyes


I was 17 years old when I saw Murph play with Hank Thompson in Grand Isle at a bowling alley with all of 8 people in the audience. No guitar picker, no fiddle player, just drums, bass, Hank and Murph who played the Merle Travis parts on his steel and lots of guitar stuff too and all the classic Hankisms. Seeing Murph cut loose in a club setting was unreal. He also plays some great stuff on Hank's Mills Brothers tribute album.


Cab Driver


I've Come Awful Close


Greg
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Larry Lorows


From:
Zephyrhills,Florida, USA
Post Posted 29 Mar 2011 7:13 pm     Reply with quote

Man, I'd sure like to have a copy of that Red Door. That's good as it gets for sure. Larry
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U12 Williams keyless 400
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David Wright


From:
Pilot Point ,Tx USA.
Post Posted 30 Mar 2011 3:45 am     Reply with quote

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy When I Love you because came out, I was here in dallas early 70's...Carl Smith came to Ft Worth Panther Hall, in the radio add it made BIG Thing of the steel guitar of Curly Chalker...I was there that night, more people around the front of the stage on Curly s side than Carl's...never forget it... Love Curly's playing...
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M.S.A.


M.S.A.on Facebook.
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chris ivey


From:
california - r.i.p.
Post Posted 30 Mar 2011 11:23 am     Reply with quote

joe...this is the stuff that i always wanted to be...but alas, i was never disciplined enough. absolutely love it!
i still have the 'i love you because' album. best stuff ever!
then i also saw big murph with vassar at the american music hall and they both blew my mind. jim on sax and steel. years later i met murph at gabe's in nashville and and he was very kind to me. i was sad when he died. that same trip was '95 at jeff newman's june jam. curly was in the wings in the wheelchair.
what wonderful pickers!
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Brint Hannay


From:
Maryland, USA
Post Posted 1 Apr 2011 12:01 pm     Reply with quote

On Curly's solo in I Love You Because, his volume pedal technique kills me! I don't have many (hardly any) recordings of his, but ever since reading in Winnie Winston's book about Curly's using a volume pedal technique called "gutting", I've always wondered what that sounded like. Now I think I know!

Seems like there's some non-pedal steel behind the chorus before the solo--What's the story on that?
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Howard Kalish


From:
Austin, Tx USA
Post Posted 1 Apr 2011 12:34 pm     Reply with quote

Excellent selections Joe. Curly and Big Jim certainly could play that thing. I'm a sucker for those low notes on the C6.

I've always liked Carl's version of Good Deal Lucille. Great steel on that one too. Do you know if that's Curly, Murph or someone else? Here it is on youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Um0sistslgo


Last edited by Howard Kalish on 1 Apr 2011 2:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Johnny Cox


From:
Lives in Schulenburg Texas
Post Posted 1 Apr 2011 1:30 pm     Reply with quote

Just a little tid bit for the Curly / Big Jim fans. The last time Curly ever played was at Gabes Lounge in Nashville. Curly and Jim sat side by side and played all night. They both had great respect and admiration for each other both as players and personally. Curly found out two weeks later that he had brain cancer. It was a night to remember and I didn't even take a camera.
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Johnny "Dumplin" Cox
"YANKIN' STRINGS & STOMPIN' PEDALS" since 1967.
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Billy Carr


From:
Seminary, Mississippi USA
Post Posted 1 Apr 2011 5:15 pm     C6th Reply with quote

Wow! My kind of pickin'. This is what it's all about.
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Bill Cunningham


From:
Atlanta, Ga. USA
Post Posted 1 Apr 2011 6:43 pm     Reply with quote

Jim Murphy cost me a large speeding fine in Pickens County Georgia several years ago. I was on my way to a Sunday afternoon gig, engrossed in his steel and sax "A Train" cut on the Shot Jackson Tribute album. I never saw the cop with radar in the median and was charged for 73 in a 45!

The first time I ever saw him, I was about 15 and my cousin and I went to the Great Southeastern Music Hall in Atlanta to see him with Vasser. (I don't think I was there legally.) They played the heck out the Allman Brothers tune "Jessica" in three parts. After the song Vasser said, "How about Jim Murphy. He had never heard that tune"

What a player. I remember hearing "Red Door" when it was on radio and have looked for it several times.

I have an old Dale Potter Stoneway LP that features him. I will convert it and put a couple of cuts up soon.

Thanks for putting that one up for us, Joe!
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Bill Cunningham
Atlanta, GA
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Kevin Hatton


From:
Buffalo, N.Y.
Post Posted 1 Apr 2011 6:57 pm     Reply with quote

I was in Gabe's in Nashville one night with another steel player visiting from Buffalo. Never met Big Jim before. It was a slow night and when he found out we were steel players from N.Y. he came over and starting drinking and talking with us at the bar. I was a beginner at the time and mentioned to him that I wanted to learn C6th after a few years on E9th. He said to watch him the next set and he would play C6th style on E9th neck , and E9th style on the C6th neck. The man put on a mind blowing demonstration for us for two sets. I was shell shocked at his ability. He was a wonderfully nice guy. Just a fabulous steel guitar player. I had no idea that he played Sax until later.
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Larry Tracy


From:
Nevada City, CA, USA
Post Posted 1 Apr 2011 10:56 pm     Reply with quote

On the Wolfgang's Vault site there are 3 early 80's Johnny Paycheck shows with Murph blazing away.
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post Posted 2 Apr 2011 11:27 am     Reply with quote

Thanks Larry! You can hear Murph play a live instrumental version of Take This Job And Shove It on C6th by clicking on the first concert on this page. Yes you have to sign up which takes all of 2 minutes. I would say that this cut captures 100% of what you'd hear if you were seeing him live and sitting in front of his amp!


http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/johnny-paycheck/


Greg
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Don McClellan


From:
California/Thailand
Post Posted 2 Apr 2011 5:41 pm     Reply with quote

Joe, This stuff is great fun to listen to. Thanks so much. Don
P.S. I've Come Awful Close has some GREAT steel pickin' on it too.Wow!


Last edited by Don McClellan on 2 Apr 2011 6:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Billy Wilson


From:
El Cerrito, California, USA
Post Posted 2 Apr 2011 5:56 pm     Reply with quote

I played that cut for Bobby Black, he named that steel player in 2 notes!!
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Frank Estes


From:
Huntsville, AL
Post Posted 2 Apr 2011 7:36 pm     Reply with quote

Outstanding!
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Joe Goldmark


From:
San Francisco, CA 94131
Post Posted 2 Apr 2011 10:06 pm     Reply with quote

Curly was a giant. The amazing thing is that he scorned the E9 neck for years, then finally learned it in self defense when he moved to Nashville. He needed to play it to get work. He said later that he had underestimated E9 and that he was starting to appreciate it. Well, he quickly had the most advanced and unique approach to the tuning, this side of Emmons. Here's some of videos with the Wilburn Brothers.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b75msHFynvU

Then there's that great early one with Thumbs Carlille from the Ozark Jubilee.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHBdUuYKM6I&NR=1

Also, if you missed the tune of the week #1, with Curly & Buddy playing "Home In San Antone" with Johnny Bush, you need to dig that out and hear it.

Joe
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Bob Ake


From:
Colorado, USA
Post Posted 4 Apr 2011 7:26 am     Reply with quote

Great Stuff! regarding Curlys E9th, he made a record in the 70's on GNP called Nashville Sundown, "Plays the songs of Gordon Lightfoot" all E9 and just totally awesome. Features all of those great "A' team guys backing him, it's a record that needs to be reissued.
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