Richard Lockmiller

Folk, Country Richard & Jim

Born: Gadsden, AL

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame








Now Richard and Jim, they come from Gadsden, Alabama. They were born there, and made a fuss there when they were kids, and grew up together, and went to school there, and caught pigtaily girls in the haystacks there, and ever since they started singing songs, a whole bunch of people around the world, when asked what's all this jumping around, busting-out folk music, can only answer that's where Gadsden is.

Not that the boys had all that much to say about what they'd been doing for their hush-puppy money. For one thing, Jim Connor has a Grandmother. We all get to have Grandmothers sooner of later, but Jim's, her name is Florence Drucilla Setzer, and she id from Caney Fork River, Tennessee. She sings like you might think she would; she's been doing it for 88 years, and there's talk in Alabama that says she's about ready to change gears. Then there's Richard Lockmiller's dad. He hasn't been singing anywhere near that long, but he hasn't started to le out the clutch, either. Back in the 1930s when the breed of music represented here was finally taking form and finding expression, he picked up his guitar and minstreled through the South for his living. He must've been pretty good, too. The folks at the Grand Old Opry said come on around, we got a job for you. Thing is, he's just met this girl and the way he figured, he had to get tied up with one or the other. He picked the girl and she turned out to be Richard's mother. That's a true story.

So Richard and Jim learned their songs. They learned them in Gadsden, and brought their first  instruments in Gadsden, and got cloth for their neck straps at the Gadsden J.C. Penney's and their mothers did the stitching up., and the boys grew to look just about the way they do on the cover here.

They stopped growing one day and started making more music than the town's Union Grange Hall and High School Auditorium could possibly contain. They moved from old WAAX Radio in Gadsden to Birmingham and WBRC-TV, and people in the colleges wanted to listen some, so they made their music in places  that had never heard anything more jump-up than chamber recitals. But you couldn't hold them. On nearby Sand Mountain they began rising Cain and up there Jim learned to rap and flail a banjo from Arthur Kuykendall. They sat around and listened to the old-timey music of Foncy Maddox. They were out to whoop it up, and they whooped it right into New York, to Gerde's Folk City, and The Bitter End, and the Blue Angel uptown, and Club 47 in Cambridge where the Radcliffe girls and the Harvard boys went poking their heads out the windows to try and figure out all that sound. Then with a bit of steam behind them and not much more than they had on, they lit out for Paris and Amsterdam, and all over England, and finally Hollywood, California, where they put this record together.

There's a story there too. They'd stopped off in Gadsden to pick up Steve Young, an old guitar playing buddy; then headed West just in time to make a wedding on the coast and give the guests a chance to hear what they'd been up to. They'd carried an old wrought iron kettle all the way from Alabama. They gave it to the bride and groom, said so ling and sang their way right into the Capitol recording studio. If the boys sound spirited and full of fun, well there's mighty good reason.

Songs like TRAVELIN' KIND, with more finger-dancing flatpicking than you'll hear in a long time, have a way of celebrating what Richard and Jim are all about. You can nearly hear their hominy-grit roots out there vibrating with the knife guitar as it slides up and down the steel strings on MIDNIGHT SPECIAL and MUDDY WATERS. Even old Dave Jackson on bass, who'd never worked with them before, had big enough ears to know what they were into after the first one or two choruses. He couldn't keep out of the fooling in STAY ALL NIGHT and nobody wanted him to.

That's the idea, too. These fellas want you right smack dab into the middle of their music. They want to keep right on going until people can hear it all the way back in Gadsden. Which by now, they probably do.-- Dick Fariña

Source: Jim Connor page




1982 Actor Dallas - "The Ewing Touch" [TV] Curtis

1980 Actor The Aliens Are Coming [TV] Patrolman Strong

1977 Actor Barnaby Jones - "The Captives" [TV] Curtis

1977 Actor Outlaw Blues Associate Warden

1976 Actor Rattlers [TV] Deputy

1976 Actor Jackson County Jail Officer Jessie

1968 Band Musician Stone Country (RCA LPM/LSP-3958) Dann Barry (bs, vcls,)  Don Beck (12 string gtr, banjo,) Doug Brooks (gtr,) Dennis Conway (perc,) Richard Lockmiller (gtr,) Steve Young (ld gtr)

A truly excellent, but difficult to categorise, psychedelic album, at times country oriented with strong lead vocal and beautiful harmonies and at times similar to some tracks by Ars Nova or Kaleidoscope. Produced by Rick Jarrard (Loading Zone, Jefferson Airplane, Harry Nillson), it was recorded in Hollywood and is worth searching for.

In her 1969 rock encyclopedia, Lilian Roxon mentioned that "they played a combination of rock, folk, country rock, pop, country that just covers everything and even has its own name: mod country". A gifted singer and songwriter, Steve Young shortly afterwards went solo and recorded a long series of critically acclaimed albums in the country rock style, his most well known song being Seven Bridges Road. Don Beck went on to join Dillard and Clark, whilst Denny Conway became a session man.

(Stephane Rebeschini/Loic Gestin)

Source: Steve Young

Stone Country (With Bonus Tracks), Stone Country





Folk Songs and Country Sounds is a fair, though not notable, '60s folk revival album with a much heavier bluegrass and country flavor than most in the genre. For collectors, it might be far more noteworthy for some ancillary contributions by a few musicians who became much more interesting figures in their own right. Richard Fariña, who would soon become an important folk-rock singer/songwriter as half of Richard & Mimi Fariña, wrote the liner notes; Dave Jackson, presumably the same David Jackson who played on albums by Dillard & Clark and Hoyt Axton, played bass. Most interestingly, Steve Young, who would later play with the "Richard" half of the duo (Richard Lockmiller) in Stone Country and then become a cult folk/country/rock solo singer/songwriter, wrote three of the songs; perhaps he also contributed some guitar, as the liner notes do mention him, without specifically crediting him with guitar work on the album. Young's songs are better than Richard Lockmiller and Jim Conner's or the traditional tunes, particularly "Journey Afar," a nice (if typical of the period) rambling troubadour ode, and "Travelin' Kind," on which it sounds like he tried to combine "Wayfaring Stranger" and "John Riley." The picking and harmonies on the LP are quite accomplished, but the vocals are a little stilted and hokey in their good-time shuck. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide [-] Collapse


Source: Folk Songs and Country Sounds - Richard & Jim - Song Listings

Listen: Stone Country (With Bonus Tracks) by Stone Country - Download Stone Country (With Bonus Tracks) on iTunes

Listen: Stone Country: Stone Country: Music



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