Smokey Joe Baugh & Black

From Helena, Arkansas, one time pianist with Clyde Leoppard's Snearly Ranch Boys, solo artist and radio personality. Born on July 25th, 1932 Joe took up playing professionally around 1947 in the Memphis area, and eventually joined Leoppard's band. He toured with many of the Sun packages and later toured with the Bill Black Combo.
He cut four sessions for Sun between 1955-56, recording three versions of She's A Woman sometime in 1955 with Buddy Holobaugh on guitar, Jan Ledbetter on Bass and Johnny Benero on drums. One version of the song appeared on a couple of Charly albums, and a second one on the Bear Family Country boxset.


One of the more shadowy, peripheral figures at Sun, Joseph E. Baugh was around the Memphis music scene from an early stage. Born July25, 1932 in Helena, Arkansas, he embarked on a musical career around 1947 working as a pianist in Memphis and West Memphis. Subsequently joined Clyde Leoppard's Snearly Ranch Boys with whom he recorded, appeared not infrequently on local radio and toured with many of the Sun package tours. He also recorded several times at Sun as Smokey Joe.
Hula Bop (of which there are two versions extant) was recorded at his first session on August 25, 1955, the same session that saw him record Signifying Monkey. Backing came courtesy of Buddy Holobaugh (gtr), Stan Kesler (stl gtr), and Johnny Benero (dms) with Baugh tinkling the ivories. With a hint of Hawaii, this rocking opus features Smokey distinctive hoarse vocals. It was not released at the time, and Jimmy Knight, a member of the Snearly Ranch Boys, profited by recording a version on it on Crystal in1956. The version here is the one that appeared on the Bear Family Boxset which is some five seconds longer then the one on ROCK BOP BOOGIE (SUN LP 1021).
Baugh also worked extensively with the Bill Black Combo in the Sixties, and in 1970 started up a countryband called The Midnite Cowboys with Buddy Holobaugh in Waco, Texas.

More about Joe Baugh in the Rock & Roll section.