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.
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).