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The AMHF Perfect Record Award

The AMHF Perfect Record Award has nothing to do with chart positions, real or imagined sales figures, or any of that industry hoopla and hype. Read More..

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The AMHF Perfect Record Award has nothing to do with chart positions, real or imagined sales figures, or any of that industry hoopla and hype. Records of this quality have an ABSOLUTE VALUE based solely on the “real magic” of their content and it doesn’t matter that they never went platinumb, gold or even got as high as the very bottom of the top of the pops. More often than not, the heaviest musical treasures sank to the very bottom of the musical well where they remain way off the radar and absent from the awareness of all but the most committed musical explorers, a crowd which fortunately, is getting more crowded all the time. Why isn’t our musical heritage taught in schools?

Levon and the Hawks – He Don’t Love You (and he’ll break your heart) 1965

  • Here’s the whole fam-damnily Band “Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel, Rick Danko and Robbie Robertson fairly fresh out of their Ronnie Hawkins rockabilly apprenticeship faze, a few minutes before sayin’ Hey! Bob (a-re-bob) and many moon pies before any of them began to think about getting “Big,” let alone Pink.

    This is the REAL “A” side. When slipped in with the right bunch of mid-sixties soul 45s, almost everybody believe’s these guys are black. This is a mighty mean and nasty sound to be coming out of four Canucks and an essential Arkansas-American who could hold the whole damn band together and sing his ass off and right back on all over again. It ain’t Levon singing here, it’s my main man, King Richard the Manuel, man. Other blues-influenced bands in 1965 included the Stones, the Animals and Them, but none of those invasive British cats could hold a candlelabra to the band singing and playing on this track.

Levon and the Hawks – The Stones That I Throw (1965)

  • The “plug” side, “Stones That I Throw,” coulda been a contender or first runner up but instead gets the Miss Congeniality Award, a much higher honor. “Stones,” is, however, a totally noticeable notch less wonderful than the intended “un-plug” side which defines a major moment is the real history of rock ‘n’ roll music. As cool-ass as this is, I would throw out that this band is clearly white, and it is the more “commercial” folk-rockish” side, which was in 1965 briefly in some kind of vague vogue. The Great Folk Scare of the sixties was speedily morphing into folk-rock, first with Richard and Mimi Farina, then Dylan, the Byrds and all the rest of that “Eve of Distractions” that soon ensued, dude, while topped 40 stations struggled to keep up with the latest teen trends and tastes. The top 40 radio (square) waves were about to get rocked sixties-style, before they had a chance to figure out that they couldn’t twist and control the kids styles like they did last summer.

    Moral: Always play the flip sides because some of those flips will flip you out!

Chet Atkins – Main Street Breakdown (1954)

  • We believe that “Mainstreet Breakdown” has the greatest lick this Nashville Cat ever came up in the endless stream of records he cranked out under his own name, few of which could even be considered “country,” let alone as “country” as this. By the early 60s most of his records could fit quite nicely into an easy listening format, back when that genre hadn’t caught on with the punk rockers, but was still for the original now mostly dead or deaf tired old businessmen who were too pooped to pop out after work and relax to Little Richard and Fats Domino like his kids were doin’ back in the day. Still, Chester was always worth checking out, especially if you were or are a guitar player yerself.

    That’s definitely Jethro Burns burnin’ up the mandolin, so the rhythm guitar has got to be Homer Haynes and though there are no personnel listed anywhere on any of the three major religions (78, 45 & 33 1/3) this cut was issued on, we suspect that it was the usual gang of idiots, the RCA studio musicians, producers and arrangers, that talented as they were, spent their later years in the 60s and 70s pounding the real country music into the ground with their Nash-villianous Sounds-scam style of Country Poop.

    Chet’s earlier stuff was recorded live in the studio with little or no overdumb overdubs and these film clips are are a tribute to a man so good on the guitar that I can almost forgive him for his “countrypolitan” over-productions. He took the edge off the real country music to garner “pop” music sales at the expense of its soul by removing the fiddle and steel guitar and adding strings, tubas, oboe sections, background vocal groups and ran-dumb inappropriate other instruments as “sweeteners.” Somebody should invent something to remove the over-productions from the basic tracks. If “I need a” Kerr singers, I’ll ask for I’ll ask for them but don’t hold your breasts.

    Find Chet Atkins in

Jimmy Liggins – Drunk (1953)

The Honey Bears – One Bad Stud (1954)

  • “One Bad Stud” is an early Jerry Lieber-Mark Stoller tune written for the Spark label which they started with the profits of Big Mama Willie Mae Thornton’s “Hound Dog.” Willie Headen, the Honey Bears lead singer also recorded “Love Me,” (later covered by Elvis Presley) as Willy and Ruth.

  • AMHF Advisory Board members, the Blasters were featured covering this rare R&B monster, in the following clip from the 1984 film, Streets of Fire. When lead singer Phil Alvin, suggested this song as perfect for the scene and tried to get a license from Lieber-Stoller’s publishers, he was told they didn’t write it. Phil had them contact the writers themselves to tell them they had an artist who wanted to record a song in the film that they had forgotten they wrote, and he’d tell them the what it was if the Blasters could perform it in the film.

  • Also joining in on the fun on this brilliant cover of what was basically an unknown fifties R&B classic was Lee Allen, the classic New Orleans tenorman, a former Advisory Board man and now a member of our Ouija Board of Advisors.* At the AMHF, we’ll be “Walkin’ with Mr. Lee” happily ever after.

  • Other band member include Dave Alvin (still playing his Fender Mustang), lead guitar; Gene Taylor, piano, Johnny Bazz, bass; Bill Bateman, drums and Steve Berlin (soon to permanently join Los Lobos) on baritone sax.

George Cordoba – Body and Soul (1966) from Shades of Django

George Cordoba – Tea For Two (1966) from Shades of Django

Bunker Hill – Hide and Go Seek

Little Richard – Oh! My Soul

Little Richard – True Fine Mama

Complete Works Vol. 1 (EMS 401) Edgar Varese (1950)

Luke Wills – Nickel in the Jukebox

Arlie Duff – Y’all Come

Arlie Duff w/ Red Foley’s Band – Grady Martin on guitar

Hedy West – Little Sadie

Hedy West performs Cotton Mill Girl on Pete Seeger’s Rainbow Quest

Hedy West – 500 Miles (1963)

Roberto Firpo – Fuegos Artificiales

Jararaca e Ratinho – Bambo do Bambu (1940)

Coca Cola Gay Desparados

The Videos – Trickle, Trickle (1958) audio only

Janis Martin – Drugstore Rock ‘n’ Roll (1958)

Janis Martin – Will You, Willyum (1958)

Sammy Gowans – Rockin’ By Myself (1958)

Ze e Zilda – Olha O Coco Sinha (1953)

Ze e Zilda – Saca-rolha (1953) The flip side

Alvino Rey – Bloop Bleep (1947)

Alvino Rey – Cumana (1947) the flip side

Chris Columbo Quintet – Summertime (1963)

Max Morath – That Celebrated Maestro (In A Scintillating Program Of Waltzes, Shouts, Novelties, Rags, Blues, Ballads And Stomps)

Max Morath – I’m Certainly Living a Ragtime Life; Dill Pickles Rag; Grizzly Bear (1963)

Max Morath – Sister Susie Sewing Shirts for Soldiers; If He Can Fight Like He Can Love (Good Night Germany); We Don’t Want the Bacon (What We Want is a Piece of the Rhine); K-K-K-Katy; Stop Your Stuttering Jimmy (1963)

Max Morath – Then We’ll All Go Home; She’s More to be Pitied than Censured; By the Light of the Silvery Moon; All Alone; Maple Leaf Rag (1963)

Max Morath – Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now; Take Me Out to the Ball Game; My Name is Morgan (But it Ain’t J. P.); Always Take a Girl Named Daisy; If You Talk in Your Sleep (Don’t Mention My Name); Row, Row, Row (1963)

Max Morath – Ragtime Nightingale; Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl (1963)

Max Morath – Where Did Robinson Crusoe Go (With Friday on Saturday Night; Saloon (1963)