Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Roger Lablanc

Roger LaBlanc
Music below, please have sound turned on.

L-R George Smith, Roger LaBlanc, Ralph Raulerson, Jay Hollingsworth and Dave Brooks.
Photo made in Dundee Florida, probably early seventies. Photographer unknown at this time.

I don't seem to have any photos of Roger alone, so I used the photo of him while playing with Ralph Raulerson. Roger is the one kneeling. I know Ralph wouldn't mind.

Roger was a wonderful musician, singer and song writer. Back in the seventies he was a big part of the local country music movement here in South West Florida. He had a personality the was a real people pleaser, just as his music was. He could do a great job covering other artists songs or he could just sit down and write one himself. 

I have posted a couple of songs here for your listening pleasure. One is a cover of the great Mel Tillis song "I'm Tired" and one Roger wrote himself  "This Is The Place".  "This Is The Place" is a song that will take anyone back to those honky tonk days of the sixties and seventies. After all these years listening to Roger can still make me feel like I'm right there in that bar with him.  A true country song written and recorded when country music was still country music, not what's being passed off as country music today.

Like the photo at top indicates, Roger could work with the best around, and often did, but he was also his own man and could please any crowd anywhere. I remember many years ago when he was with Ralph and they were going to do a big package show down at the old expedition hall in Fort Myers. Well, for what ever reason Ralph was nowhere to be found at showtime. They were just about ready to not perform when Roger said "Let's go on as usual, I'll take care of it", and he did too. Roger carried them through the show with standing ovations. I was there and it was a a night of country music I'll never forget.

On the songs posted below, just click on the one you want to hear and it will play via SoundCloud.
Do enjoy and be sure to drop me a line via the guestbook which is at bottom of page, or leave a message in the comment section, or what the heck, just do both!

Pick a song.....

Please check my photography site at Gary's Facebook Page

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Y'all come back any ole time, the latchstring's always out.......Gary.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Ralph Raulerson

Ralph Raulerson and The Countrymen
L- R George Smith, Roger Lablanc, Ralph Raulerson, Wes Hollingsworth and David Brooks
Photo probably from early 70s, location Dundee Florida. Photogrepher unknown at this time.

Lets go back to the seventies and listen to a couple of songs by Ralph Raulerson and his band The Countrymen.

Ralph was very popular in SW Florida back in the seventies. Folks would come from all near by counties to hear him and his band sing real traditional country music. And if you were home you could just turn on your radio, tune to one of our local country music stations and you could probably hear one of his records being played there.

We lost Ralph on the 11th of this month, Feb 11, 2018. He was 77 years old.

So many of us will always remember Ralph as one of the good guys who played "REAL country music, and wanted no part of what's been called country music for quite a few years now.

Below is a couple of songs from Ralph One is his cover of Willie's "The Party's Over" this did very well for Ralph on the local scene. It was on the radio very regularly, many a 45s were worn out and replaced on local jukeboxes, and of course many folks baught his 45 of this song. The other one is one he wrote called "It Breaks My Heart" (To Have To Let You Go) featuring the fiddle work of George Smith. Just click on title to listen.

Please note, I in no way make any profits from the music listed on these pages. All music is from my private collection,  and is posted here for your personal listening pleasure or educational purposes.

Please sign the guestbook or leave a comment in the comment section below so folks will know you were here and wanna come here too! :)

Tags: Ralph Raulerson Donna Hodges, Country music, Felda, Labelle, Florida, Gary Carico, Obscure country music, Gary's Country. MP3
Johnny Noles, Carl Bowyer, Sam Thompson, Little Enis, Gary Link, Kendall Hayes, Big Still Lounge, Jack Hall, Ralph McKee, Roy Cunningham, Lonnie Mills

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Donna Hodges

Please have your sound on to enjoy this page!

A great big thanks to Donna Hodges for making some of her music available to me and giving me permission to share it with you right here on Gary's Country and the good ole WWW! I am proud to make this my first artist post of 2016!

In this collection Donna has covered some of the most beautiful songs ever recorded, along with a couple of down right rowdy ones! Heck, she's even got an Elvis song here, and a dang good version of it too!  In my opinion, these songs have never  been recorded any better than what you're gonna hear right here from Donna.

Donna is from, and still resides right here in good ole rural South Florida! She is highly respected by the many great country entertainers and recording artists in the area, not to mention her many fans! So just click on the titles in the list below to listen to some great songs and one of the prettiest voices you will ever hear!

I will try to add more info and photos as time permits, but for now, lets just get on with the music, and thanks a million for stopping in. And remember, the latchstring's always out, here!

Make sure songs are loaded and click on title to listen in the MP3 format...... Enjoy!!

Here's Donna with the Lonnie Jolson Band!  L- R, Robbie Sheene, Donna, Lonnie Jolson, Waddy Thompson and Barry Bryant. Photo taken at The County Line Bar in LaBelle Florida. Probably early to mid eighties. Photo courtesy of Robbie Sheene. Thanks, Robbie!

Here's what some are saying about Donna!

" I spent my younger days listening to Donna sing at the Long My favorite was always Blue Bayou!!! miss those days!"

"Omg great to hear you once again. Was flooded with good memories, of some really fun evenings"

"I remember the long ago days she did Stevie Nix flawlessly . I always requested Fleetwood Mac !"

"Always loved her Patsy Cline renditions - beautiful voice."

Please note, I in no way make any profits from the music listed on these pages. All music is from my private collection,  and is posted here for your personal listening pleasure or educational purposes.

Please sign the guestbook or leave a comment in the comment section below so folks will know you were here and wanna come here too! :)

Tags: Donna Hodges, Country music, Felda, Labelle, Florida, Gary Carico, Obscure country music, Gary's Country. MP3
Johnny Noles, Carl Bowyer, Sam Thompson, Little Enis, Gary Link, Kendall Hayes, Big Still Lounge, Jack Hall, Ralph McKee, Roy Cunningham, Lonnie Mills

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Kendall Hayes

1936 - 1995

Photo: Danville  Advocate Messenger
Made available to me by Bill Randolf.

Kendall Hayes was a song writer from Perryville (Boyle County) Kentucky. Ken never made it big as an recording artists or entertainer in the country music field. However he did record a few singles and I just happen to have a couple of them! And though Ken may have not made it big as an entertainer or recording artist, he did write one monster hit that opened up an important spot for him to always be remembered in his field. Ken wrote LeRoy Van Dyke's super hit "Walk On By". In 1961, "Walk On By" was No. 1 on Billboard magazine's country singles chart for 19 weeks, and reached No. 5 on the pop chart. I would say Hayes and Van Dyke both did well with it!

I knew Kendall, but not very well. We both were from Boyle County Kentucky, but I moved from there just short of my 18th birthday, and just about the time Walk On By was topping the charts for Hayes. I did have some nice phone conversations with him in the years following moving from Kentucky, but never saw him again. Kendall died in 1995, he was 59 years old.

Below is both sides of a 45 I have be Kendall, Just click on title to listen. I think I can round up a few more, but for now you're welcome to enjoy these two by Kendall Hayes, the man who wrote "Walk On By"

And Kendall's super hit "Walk On By" by Leroy Vandyke

Please sign my guestbook so others will know you were here. You may also read what others have had to say by viewing the guestbook!

Please note: I realize no profit from the music on these pages. They are from my personal collection, and for educational purposes, or maybe just bring back a memory for you!

And remember: Come back any old time, as the latchstring's always out!!

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Tags: Sam Thompsom, Kendall Hayes, Johnny Noles, Jack Hall. Gary Link, Carl Bowyer, Burley Morris, Lonnie Mills, Kathy Fiscus, Jimmie Osborne

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Ralph Mckee & Roy Cunningham (Ralph & Roy Show)

Cast of the Ralph & Roy show, WHIR studios, Danville KY. Probably mid to late fifties

If you should be from the Boyle County area in the fifties and sixties, then you probably remember Ralph McKee and Roy Cunningham. Below is a YouTube presentation I put together of their last show back in 1968. Thanks to Ralph's daughter Doloros McKee for sending me this historic broadcast! This was their last broadcast. Ralph died a short time later, but make no mistake, he is remembered well to this day by the folks in Boyle County KY., as well as many other areas of Kentucky!

Ralph & Roy often hosted a Saturday night show at the Danville KY State theater back in the fifties and sixties. It was an armature/open mic kind of show. There were many there including Clarence and Jimmy Walls,  Earl Vanhook, Tommy Long and many others! It was a great small town show where everyone regardless of their talent level had a great time. Kids dancing in the isle and down in front of the stage! It was a real down home knee slapping shindig! One young man that was there regularly and often won the contest was Carlos Toadvine,  later to be known as Little Enis! Carlos was a great entertainer. I have a page about Carlos on this site. So why not pay him a visit for some great music and photos, as well as some great stories others have told about him. Just click on his name in the right side bar on this site.

Now why not rare back and enjoy a good half hour of The Ralph & Roy show?!
Just click below. Also not there's more music tracks below for you to enjoy!

Below are some single tracks from Ralph, with "Barbados Bells Were Ringing" being sang by Roy Cunningham. A great big thanks to Ronnie Coffman of Danville KY for sending me the titles to these tracks, as I wasn't sure about them! Thanks, Ronnie!

Ralph McKee
About mid fifties
Courtesy of Doloros McKee
Roy Cunningham & Ralph McKee
Probably mid fifties
Courtesy of Doloros McKee

Photos and radio show courtesy of Doloros McKee
YouTube video and this page by yours truly,
Gary Carico

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Pleas note, I realize no profit from the music on these pages. They are from my personal collection, and are for your personal listening and musical education.

Tags: Jack Hall, Sam Thompson, Johnny Noles, Carl Boyer, Kendall Hayes, Gary Link, Little Enis, Carlos Toadvine

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Gary Link - Shell Factory Billboard Blues

A little slide show I made using some SW Florida photos to go with Gary's Shell Factory Billboard Blues.
Just click on arrow to watch slide show and hear song!

Now who else but Gary Link could have talked then Sheriff Frank Wanicka (in suit) to pose for this record album?
More of Gary's music listed below, but first a little about the singer and our relationship.

Back in 1980, Fort Myers Florida recording artist Gary Link recorded a song titled "Shell Factory Billboard Blues". It was a humorous song about a man running from a gambling debt, and he just keeps on seeing that same old sign....The Shell Factory! Though I wasn't running from the law, I remember when I moved to Florida in 1962, I just couldn't get over how many of those billboards were scattered around the state.

My wife Debbie and I had the pleasure of being business neighbors of Gary's back in the early 1980s. Gary had a recording studio, and I had a photo studio next to him. My wife also had a beauty salon a couple of doors down.

While Gary wasn't actually a country artist, he did do some country flavored songs. As for "Shell Factory", well I'm not sure what the genre of the song is, but it really doesn't matter. The fact is it's a funny song that touched the hearts of many folks in the Southwest Florida Area. I think it made the folks at the world famous Shell Factory pretty happy too!

Gary was a very talented singer, writer and piano player. Sadly we lost him much too early. He died in a auto accident in 1986. He was only 48 years old.

Give a listen to Gary's version of Shell Factory Billboard Blues. This is a good song for anyone. But for those who live in, or have visited the Fort Myers Florida area, it will have a special meaning for you, just as it always has for me.

More info, photos, fan and friend comments below, but first how about a few songs from Gary? Just give songs time to load, then click on title to listen in the MP3 format.

More On The Way! Please Stay Tuned!

In the mean time, please feel free to sign the guestbook so folks will know you were here! Or leave a message in the space below!

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Friday, May 1, 2015

Little Enis (Carlos Toadvine)

Little Enis (Carlos Toadvine)
1936 - 1976
Above LP Cover Photo by John Alexander

Make sure you sound is on to enjoy this site!
Enjoy the music, photos and info here, and please leave comment or sign guestbook!

Back in the 1950s, When I was growing up in my hometown of Danville, Kentucky, I would often go to the Saturday night amateur contest and country music show at the old State theater there. There would be many local performers who would come to show of their talents. There was one who would often win the contest, and that was Carlos Toadvine. Carlos was a left handed guitar player. Now I know left handed guitar players are pretty common. But there was nothing common about the way Carlos played the guitar. Instead of reversing the strings on the guitar as most left handed pickers do, Carlos left them as they were, and played the instrument upside down and backwards. He chorded over the top of the neck with his right hand, and strummed or picked upwards from the bottom with his left hand. But that was only one small part of this teen’s talents. He could sing you a song that would make you jump up, clap your hands and dance a jig, or he could sing a tearjerker that would have you reaching for your hankie.

I moved away from Kentucky in 1962, and don’t know too much about Carlos’s career after that. I do know that he took on the stage name of Little Enis, with his band being “The Table Toppers. He worked the clubs in the Lexington Kentucky area, and toured for a while with Jerry Lee Lewis.
Little Enis is remembered by many as a rockabilly artist, and is listed in the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame. He is also remembered as a rocker and Elvis impersonator who could tear the house down. But I know down deep his true roots were in traditional country music, which will come out on the songs listed on this page
Carlos died in 1976 at only 40 years old while visiting his sister in Florida. He was never a major star, but he did have his fans. More than 1000 people showed up for his memorial service.
There are many of us who will never forget the little left handed boy who played his guitar backwards and upside down. And to this day, I believe he’s a folk hero in Kentucky. Especially to the folks of Hogue Hollow, Danville, Lexington, and many other Kentucky counties.

I would like to extend a personal thanks to Virgina Hammons of Kentucky and Pamela Manning of Florida for making this music available to me, so I could make it available to you. And a great big thanks to Michael Cassidy of Canada for sending me the tape of Little Enis songs. And also to Ed McClanahan for sending Michael the tape in the first place. Now I ask you, ain't this internet somthing?

Also, many thanks to Carlos' daughter Cindy Toadvine for the many photos she made available to me. Thanks Cindy, I would have never gotten them without you!

Enis' version of "So Plain To See" lots of nostalgic photos here!

Give music time to load, then click on title to listen in the MP3 format.

Photo by Guy Mendes

I searched for this record for many years, and only found it two or three years ago.
It's Enis' version of Good Old Mountain Dew. I first heard this on WAKY radio
in Louisville, probably about 1958. Not sure if it was his first single or not, but it's
the first one I recall hearing from him. When I first listened to this record, I thought
they had hired Boots to play sax, but then I remembered, Enis already had a great
sax player in the band. Give a listen, and see some great photos!


Here's a rare one I found online. It's on the Klondike label. Enis at his rockin' best!

A side

B Side

Some comments taken from my guestbooks. You to can sign the guestbook at the bottom of the page

We used to know a great left handed guitarist and singer they called Little Enis, in Lexington Kentucky. Playboy Magazine did an eleven page story on him. They wrote that he had a fine band, but the "tackiest go-go dancers you've ever seen!" 

I thought they were perfect. One day I got a call from our friend. He said, Jack, I'm dying. I'm calling to say goodbye." His real name was Carlos Toadvine. We loved him and we miss him.

Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan

Hi Gary,
I happened onto your web-site by accident, it is great. In 1976 when Carlos Toadvine died I was a Junior in high school in Lexington. My days of going to Boot's Bar to listen to country music had not arrived, but I had heard him around town a few times. Many of the men I knew were big fans. I am fairly certain that the brick building on the album cover was on South Limestone Street and once housed a small grocery and a restaurant called Alfalfa's there were apartments upstairs, it was only a few blocks from Boot's and Comer's. Last time I ate at Alfalfa's they still had photo's of Carlos on the wall nicely framed, so I suspect the connection.  Alfalfa's is now on Main Street.  The building may have been torn down, I seldom get back home anymore.
Buzz Lail

I knew Little Enis, Bucky, Frank and Johnny, mostly at Brocks also at Comer's and The Palms. I loved dancing to the Table Toppers back in the 60's. I live in Florida now, but I will never forget them.
Nancy Hamilton Reynolds

"Little Enis" Toadvine. He was one of a kind, and we miss him.
Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan

Hi Gary
I really enjoyed reading this page. So many nice things you said about him and we still miss him to this day. I'm his youngest daughter and he has one granddaughter. Her name is Hannah Toadvine. I have some old pictures that I would like to share with you if you're interested let me know. Take care and thanks again for the many compliments you made about my Father.
Cynthia Toadvine

Hii Gary--my name is Ed Mcclanahan, and i wrote the article about little enis for Playboy, back in 1974--the piece also appears, in slightly different form, in my book Famous People I Have Known--i'm aware that some members of the toadvine family disapprove of my essay, in the belief that it casts carlos in a bad light--but my motives were deeply affectionate, and i believe the essay contributed much to the longevity and durability of the enis legend, especially here in kentucky, where it continues, more than 30 years after its original publication, to be read with pleasure by a great many people--Famous People I Have Known has never been out of print--the current edition was published by the University Press of Kentucky in 2003, and is available from UPK ($20), or from friend discovered your website, and directed me to it-i enjoyed  it very much by the way, i think you're absolutely right that enis's roots were in country music; his album, I Kept the Wine and Threw Away the Roses, proves that, indisputably Little Enis Lives!
all best, Ed Mcc

Thanks for the memories. I remember Little Enis mostly from Comer's Restaurant and Bar. Best Hot Brown Sandwich ever! My Mother was a teacher at Cassidy Elementary School, and had both of Carlos' daughters in 5th or 6th grade; one in each, I think. When Donna arrived, Mom expected trouble, due primarily to the "Little Enis" reputation. She was astounded at the little girl's manners. It was always, "Yes, Ma'am",  "No, Ma'am", "Please" and "Thank you". She was an excellent student, too. Mom was better prepared when Hannah started in her class!

More photos, music and fan comments coming soon!

Please note: I realize no profit from the music on these pages. They are from my personal collection, and are here for educational purposes or to just bring back a memory.

#Little Enis, # Lexington KY, # Left Handed, # Carlos Toadvine

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