Established in 1953, Starday Records quickly became one of the premier independent country labels of the 1950s. Specializing in hardcore honky tonk and rockabilly, Starday released some of the wildest rockabilly of the 1950s and launched the career of country music superstar George Jones. When label co-owner "Pappy" Daily sold out to his partner Don Pierce in 1958, country music was transitioning to a slicker, pop-oriented sound. Pierce chose a different path, targeting a still-thriving market for LPs of traditional country music and such niche genres as bluegrass and steel guitar instrumentals. Over the next 10 years, Pierce built Starday into the largest independent country label in the world through a massive mail order operation and a rack jobber distribution network placing Starday's distinctive-looking LPs in truck stops and rural markets across the United States. Modern Harmonic is proud to begin its exploration of the vast and eccentric Starday catalog with classic steel guitar instrumental long players.
Pete Drake began his career on the steel guitar at the age of 18 and quickly gained a reputation as one of the top country instrumentalists in Atlanta, Georgia. Moving to Nashville in 1959, Drake backed Audrey Williams, Marty Robbins, and Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper on the road before jumping into session work. Drake's reputation as an instrumentalist continued to grow throughout the 1960s with high profile work on scores of country records as well as on albums by Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. Drake also stepped forward as a technical innovator through his invention of the "talk box", a device that simulated human speech through a steel or electric guitar, later used by Peter Frampton, Joe Walsh, Roger Troutman, and Jeff Beck.
In 1962, Drake cut his first album of instrumentals, The Fabulous Steel Guitar Sound of Pete Drake, at Starday's Madison, Tennessee studio, writing a dozen original tunes for the album, ranging from the playful swing of "For Pete's Sake" to the honky tonk shuffle of "Loves I've Known" to the hip jazz menace of "The Spook", and on through the hillbilly cosmic in the album closer, "Galaxie", in which Drake trades licks with steel guitar legend, "Little" Roy Wiggins.
Mastered from the original analog mono reels and pressed on red vinyl, Modern Harmonic brings this essential U.S. steel from Nashville to your record collection!
Mastered from the original analog mono reels
1. For Pete's Sake
3. Oriental Twist
4. After Hours
5. Southern Sunday
6. Loves I've Known
1. The Spook
2. Till Tomorrow
3. Kick Off
4. Star Gazing
5. Tearing Down The Tee Pee
6. Galaxie - with "Little" Roy Wiggins