Monday, April 15, 2013

Danny Griffith

Steve Mackin interview conducted March 2012.

Anyone who ever visited Cripple Creek from the mid 1960s to mid 1980s, specifically the Gold Bar Room at the Imperial Hotel, were entertained by the “King of Melodrama Pianists,” Danny Griffith.

“Danny grew up in Glenwood Springs. His father was part of a big band, and my folks heard him perform at the Oxford Hotel in Denver,” said Steve Mackin, who spent many years at the Imperial, which was owned by his family. “This was about 1966. They invited him to come work for us, at the Imperial – which he did, for 18 years.”

It’s estimated that Griffth performed in 3,000 melodramas, while at the hotel.

Danny Griffith passed away in 1993, in Tucson, where he had been the regular performer at the Gaslight Theatre. He was 50 years old. He is buried in Cripple Creek.

Listen to Griffith's cover of Jerry Lee Lewis' "Who's Gonna Play This Old Piano."

(Partial) Danny Griffith LP discography:
Cripple Creek Gold 
Danny Griffith and Jim Tracy - Sounds of the Gold Bar Room 
The Glad Rags Volume One 
The Glad Rags Volume Two 
Sounds of the Gold Bar Room - featuring the Glad Rags
Danny Griffith in Cripple Creek
Imperial Rag Time
Imperial Treasures
Sounds of the Gold Bar Room #12
Gold Bar Room 30th Anniversary Album

The Gold Bar Room has recently remastered a few of Griffith's recordings, which are available for purchase here.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Solve the Mystery - Gene Lewis

Earlier this year I acquired a 78 by Gene Lewis and the Dude Rancher's (apostrophe in band name is noted).  "Mother Goose Boogie," issued on Barne's Recordings (apostrophe in label name noted) out of Colorado Springs, is a great hillbilly bopper. Give it a listen.

Audio sample
Cool, huh?

The invaluable Rockin' Country Style website, notes a few Gene Lewis recordings from 1957-1959 (see here). But is the Gene Lewis who appears on those 45s, the same Gene Lewis who appears on this 78? Give a listen to those samples.  Pretty darn similar.

No telling, but wow, wouldn't that be something to uncover an unknown hillbilly rocker from Gene Lewis--one that has ties to Colorado?

If you know of something that can help solve the mystery, let me know.

By the way Barne's Recording Studio, located at 2314 E. Platte, is now home to Milt’s Coffee Shop.