Thursday, January 30, 2014
Wayne Evon Busbice (1929-2011), who performed and recorded in the fifties and sixties as Red McCoy, is a fascinating and unusual figure in Country Music history to say the least. He is probably most remembered for two things; being the older brother of the troubled and brilliant bluegrass mandolinist/tenor Buzz Busby, and for having written and recorded a strange pseudo-Rockabilly track, "Rock And Roll Atom".
Red and Buzz were Louisiana farm boys whose life trajectories could not have been more stark in their differences. While Buzz led a life riddled with drug and alcohol problems, prison stints, and a shattered career, brother Wayne’s many faceted career involved distinguished military service, advanced higher education, and a long run in music as a performer, recording artist and producer. Late in life he authored a volume on the family history of the Busbice name in Louisiana titled "Uncovering the Secrets of a Southern Family: A Memoir", about which a press release states "But the undercurrent of Wayne's life remained a driving need to uncover the family secret: a killing the adults whispered about when they gathered behind closed doors. Wayne discovered he was living under a false name; Cousin Allen was really his grandfather; and Allen had lived a double life as a fugitive from the Pinkerton detectives of the 1890s." I'm really just scratching the surface of the story of someone who seems to have been a really interesting guy, I think you get the idea...
"Country & Gospel" was released on the Mount Vernon Music label in 1962 and seems to comprise of various selections recorded in Washington D.C. at Rodel Studio in the late fifties and early sixties. A few of the tracks such as "Goin' Back To Dixie" were released as 45s on the Empire label, but many, including "Rock And Roll Atom" (written as a teaching device for his high school students) were only released on this LP. The voices of brother Buzz and Pete Pike are clearly audible on many tracks, which despite the piano and electric guitar, often have a generally old-timey feel. The audio is very lo-fi for the time, and interestingly, although this copy is labeled as being in "Studio Stereo", the actual disc has the mono issue number in the dead wax, and is in fact simply the mono edition rebadged as "Stereo".
Also included in this post is 1965 single on the Almanac label containing a couple more tunes written by Busbice. "3000 Miles Lonesome" was cut in 1964, while "What's The Use" was waxed back in 1961. Both sides were recorded in D.C., the latter featuring Buzz on harmonies.
Red McCoy with the Sons Of The Soil
"Country & Gospel"
1. Let Jesus Come Into Your Heart
2. I Heard My Savior Calling
3. I Want To See My Mother Again
4. Be Careful Of Your Father's Name
5. Rainbow Joe
6. Rock And Roll Atom
8. Goin' Back To Dixie
9. Live Your Life With Care
10. I Just Couldn't Say Goodbye
Almanac 808 (45rpm single)
1. 3000 Miles Lonesome
2. What's The Use