Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Rare Cousin Jody material.

Cousin Jody (real name Clell Summey, Dec. 11, 1919-Aug.17. 1975) was a virtuoso on dobro & lap steel, but is better remembered for his comedy and novelty material. He was in the music scene of Knoxville, TN in the 30`s where he got aquaintted with Roy Acuff becoming his first dobro player. They wound up auditioning for WSM`s Grand Ole Opry I believe first in 1937 some time. Apparently they didn`t pass audition and had a second chance later. Seems that most of Roy`s band (including Jody) wanted to go in a more "pop" style direction than Roy cared for. They went to the Opry with plans behind Roy`s back to desert him as they went on stage, but Jess Easterday (one of Roy`s band members for several years) warned Roy of what the others had planned and had another band secretly lined up (including Lonnie Wilson who played rhythm guitar, Pete "Oswald" Kirby on dobro and keeping Jess Easterday on bass) and when they were ready to go on stage the "new band" just crowded out the old members and went on with Roy and left the old band just standing left alone in the wings.
So now Jody was out of a job and started playing for Pee Wee King. I believe about this same time is when he switched from the dobro to electric lap steel, which was better suited to Pee Wee`s musical styles. I don`t know how long he played with Pee Wee King, till the mid to late 40`s at least.
After playing with Pee Wee King, I think he was a solo act awhile till him and Lonzo & Oscar joined up and this is where the comedy & novelty stuff really started. They were hilarious and if you`d like to see them in action there are some clips on You Tube a person can search for.
After Lonzo & Oscar Jody was pretty much a solo novelty act (with some different occasional partners such as Oral "Cousin Odie" Rhodes on bass, which had toured some with Roy Acuff in the 40`s) up until his death in 1975.
He was hilarious to watch with his outrageous outfit, such as pants made from a Purina checkerboard feed sack, no teeth and some musical acrobatics with his "biscuit board" (that was his nick-name for his Gibson lap steel). He also had suffered an accident in the late 40`s where he dropped a trailer hitch on his left hand (his bar holding hand) resulting in the loss of some fingers and some of the palm of his hand. He seems to be absent from music in the late 40`s, likely due to this accident.
I hope you all enjoy these crazy songs. Some are novelty songs, some parody songs and some mighty hot instumentals.


45 RPM titles include---sound quality on some of these are pretty poor.
Money
Unpucker
Ramblin` Sam
I Miss Him So
Blues In Reserve
Beyond The Next Hilltop
Mr. Farnsworth`s Rooster
On Top Of Old Smokey
Lady Cop
Television Set

Click here to download 45`s


Opry transcription tracks from my good friend Robert Montgomery. Robert is a fine old-time & bluegrass musician and has cd`s you probably should buy at www.robertmontgomerymusic.com
Opry transcription tracks---
Cripple Creek
A 20 Acre Farm And A Television Set
Dear Joan
2 versions of The Mockin` Bird
2 versions of Jody`s Chimes
Unpucker
2 versions of Wabash Cannon Ball
No Help Wanted
Wabash Blues

Click here to download Opry transcriptions

12 comments:

  1. Clell Summey is one of my favorte comedians. I have some of his material but this is great. Thanks for the great blog.
    Billy

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  2. Hi Allen --

    Nice post... you may know already, but the "Country Cousins" listed on Television Set, Unpucker, Lady Cop and Money are Smiley and Kitty Wilson (and Odie, of course). The Tag and Forest records must be real late -- it hardly even sounds like Jody!
    I've got some of the 'Classic Country' clips of Jody up on dailymotionDOTcom if'n you want to take a look.
    Keep up the good work!

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  3. Thanks you! Very interesting blog - thanks to you i has learned about Cousin Jody...

    Tell - and whether there are no at you casually lyrics of Cousin Jody?

    The matter is that I from Russia and my english is not so good)) i am badly understand while listening, it would be nice to translate Unpucker! Have you this lyric?

    Andrew

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  4. Hi, It is nice to know that Uncle Clell has not been lost completely to society. He was a great comedian and a wonderful "BiscuitBoard" player. He was my dad's brother. I miss him and have wished for some of his music. Thank you for your blog. You have made my day!! Judy

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    Replies
    1. Judy, my aunt Dorothy Barnawell was married to Clell. I never met him as she had remarried my Uncle Bill by the time I was born. I do know his son Clell, though. Great to find this website.
      Alan

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    2. I live in Ohio and Arizona and loved Cousin Jody and his music and antics. I remember him well. I am not that old - 58 - but just hope he is not lost in history...dave johnson 520 289 7086

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  5. Judy, as I write this, "Unpuckered" is playing on WSM, and he appears on some of the other transcriptions that WSM airs on Saturday nights from when the Opry ends at about 9:15 until "Inside the Opry Circle" at 11. Your uncle was a talented comedian and musician, and I'm glad he's getting attention.

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  6. i have cousin Jodys signature if anybody is interested. make offer

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  7. $3.27 for Jody's signature?

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  8. a most talented man. I watched cousin jody when I could find him, mostly on the old tv shows. comedy like that would sure be welcome in the times, we going thru now. laughter is the best medicine.

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  9. I'd heard of Cousin Jody but, thanks to your site, have just listened to him for the very first time. Brilliant.
    Thanks for keeping your links live since 2009.

    Ted P

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  10. Anytime you find a link that has a problem, let me know and I`ll fix it.

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