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Jimmy Wray & The Shreveport Boys
Rockin` in Louisiana
(White Label Records, 19??)
Time for a little hometown pride, y'all.
I was born in Shreveport, LA and spent the first 181 months of my life there, i.e. fifteen years plus a month. While I lived there, I was not aware of any local music at all. Sure, I went to see bands, but only big, out-of-towners. The closest I came to seeing a local band was seeing Hot Sauce open for Styx on January 1, 1977. Hot Sauce were from Dallas, TX, a three or four hour drive away. About all I remember is the guitarist wore a silver leather jacket and had a very long, coiled red guitar cord. That and they were terrible, and I wanted them to go away.
Oh, and I also saw Bliss, from Tulsa, OK. I was told years later that Bliss opened for the Sex Pistols in Tulsa, and I've just confirmed that they did, about six months before I saw them. Wow! The main things I remember about them were the singer had HUGE, frizzed out hair and they played a metal version of
The William Tell Overture. When I saw them, they opened for REO Speedwagon and Rainbow. My friend Marshall and I were there to see the latter, and left after the former's first, crappy song.
Anyhow, local music from Shreveport? Sure, we had the Louisiana Hayride, a hugely influential country music showcase and radio show, but that was about it, to the best of my knowledge. Aside from that, the only group I know of from my hometown is avant garde lunatics The Residents, whom I featured here several months ago.
So, now that that's out of the way . . .
When I saw this Dutch LP, the title immediately grabbed my attention. I flipped it over, and noticed the artist for three tracks on side two was Jimmy Wray & the Shreveport Boys. Luckily, the store where I saw it is very cool about playing things for customers, and it sounded pretty good. The remaining tracks on that side are just credited to Jimmy Wray, by the way.
Who is Jimmy Wray, aside from the handsome young man in the pictures? Let's ask the liner notes, shall we?
The second side of the LP contains only unreleased material by the mysterious JIMMY WRAY. Nothing is remembered of him in the studio except that he worked hard and the reasons for not issuing any of his material is long forgotten. Why though is left for you to decide. As his recordings demonstrate he was yet another cat who tried his heart out without any resultant recordings being issued, that we know of anyway.
Perhaps it might have something to do with him singing about scoring cocaine (in a different song) a decade or so before Lou Reed was singing about waiting for his dope dealer? Regardless, the above is the entirety of what the compilers of the LP chose to share with us. Most of the material on his side of the record is original, but this song is my favorite, and it pops into my head all the time, and it's a cover. I've tried researching it to find out more about it, but to no avail. It's credited to Mills/Eskew. Knock yourself out!