Saturday, April 18, 2015

BLUES KINGS - Half Baked (K-Dee, circa 1965)


BLUES KINGS - Half Baked (K-Dee, circa 1965)

Time to highlight another record that seems to have slipped through the cracks.  Clocking in at 99 seconds, the Blues Kings' instrumental "Half-Baked" brings to mind the mid-1960s sounds that jarred ears on the Bossier Strip.*  The record's label indicates the involvement of Dale Hawkins, whose performances on the Strip in the late 1950s are well-documented in Shreveport newspapers.  As for arranger Maurice Varnado, according to his obituary, he worked as a school teacher in Bossier City and passed away April 13, 2015.  But who were the Blues Kings?  We could use your help solving this mystery.

BLUES KINGS
K-Dee 1000 (circa 1965)
Produced by Dale Hawkins, Arranged by Maurice Varnado
711-1 Blues Stay Away From Me (Glover - Rainey - Delmore - R. Delmore) Lois Publishing Company
711-2 Half-Baked (Dale Hawkins) Bossier Music Co.

*Travelers headed east from Shreveport's downtown meet the Long-Allen bridge, which takes them over the Red River.  On the other side sits Bossier City.  In 1963, author Erskine Caldwell wrote, "After dark, when the rainbow-colored, plastic-encased, rocket-shaped neon lights burst into all their crazy-crystal glory, Bossier City is a dazzling three-mile strip of booze, girls, and ear-jarring nightlife" ("Bossier City, La., Quakes And Quivers At Nightfall," Toledo Blade [Toledo, OH], December 29, 1963, p. G-3).



2 comments:

  1. Hello, I am Stephen Varnado. My Father is Maurice Varnado the arranger of Half Baked. Is there anyplace that had this record for sale? I would love to have it. Also, does anyone no if he has any other arrangements he may have done while in Shreveport? Thank you for you time. stephenvarnado@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. Stephen, thanks for the message. If we locate another copy of this record, we'll let you know. Hopefully our readers can assist with your search and provide details about any other Shreveport arrangements. Everything we knew made it into the original post.

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