Red Perkins

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This country artist recorded off and on for several small labels starting out as a country and country blues artist and eventually getting involved in both Western swing and rockabilly. In the latter…
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This country artist recorded off and on for several small labels starting out as a country and country blues artist and eventually getting involved in both Western swing and rockabilly. In the latter genre, he had nowhere near the impact of the better-known Carl Perkins, who was no relation, but his records are respected and sought after by collectors. His best-known material comes from a series of 78s originally cut for the King label, some of which have been reissued on compilation discs. His song "Long Neck Bottle and a Tall Water Glass" has been toasted by lovers of country & western drinking songs, and even more glasses might have been raised to the song had the label not been so poorly distributed. He also wrote a song about living on a turpentine farm, certainly an obscure subject even in the wild world of rockabilly. Producer Syd Nathan was fond of Perkins and released some of his records on compilations for his Audio Lab label in the late 50s, including the interesting song "Big Blue Diamond." Perkins' stint as lead vocalist with Paul Howard & his Arkansas Cotton Pickers, which lasted off and on from 1947 through 1949, is well represented by a release on the Cattle label entitled Western Swing at Its Best. This material was recorded in 1948. Other members of this especially cooking Western swing band included Jabbo Arrington on lead guitar, Billy Bowman on steel guitar, the twin fiddle team of Roddy Bristol and Red Taylor, and bassist Bob Moore. Other numbers by Perkins include the Kentucky favorite, "Aggravatin' Lou From Louisville," and "Hoe Down Boogie." Perkins played on Ohio's WLW television station in 1949 and 1950 in a duet with the jumpy country performer Hoppy Hopkins. Perkins made his last recordings in the early '50s in Cincinatti. If there is a Sherlock Holmes of rockabilly, he is hereby called out to solve the mystery of whether an actor known as Red Perkins, who appeared as a Union soldier in the 1962 film How the West Was Won as well as an uncredited appearance in the film Two Weeks in Another Town, is our rockabilly dude.