Two Missing Paramount L- Series Recordings Found
(And the Ozark Rambler Unmasked)
Two late Paramount recordings unlisted in the Van Rijn & Van der Tuuk discography and Country Music Records have been located. Unfortunately, neither is particularly remarkable, but at least we’re able to fill in the missing numbers (and unmask a pseudonymous artist in the process):
L 1424 – 2 • OZARK RAMBLER: The Mule Song
(Paramount 586 – A)
L 1426 – 1 • OZARK RAMBLER: Lazy River
(Paramount 586 – B)
“The Mule Song” is a reworking of Charlie Poole’s “I’m the Man That Rode the Mule Around the World,” done somewhat in the style of Harry McClintock. The reverse side is actually the pop tune “Up a Lazy River,” performed in a style reminiscent of Bing Crosby and the Mills Brothers. They apparently are from the same March 1932 Grafton session that produced the Ozark Rambler’s “Abdul Abul Abul Amir” (Paramount 585).
So, who was this Ozark Rambler? Obviously a commercial artist, although assuredly not New York crooner Leroy Montesanto, as is stated in Country Music Records. A little sleuthing placed him in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he was a staff singer at radio station WOWO during the 1930s. His real name was Ambrose Haley, and he often performed with his daughter, Little Mary Lou (The Ozark Sweetheart). In addition to radio work, they played small-time theaters and social clubs throughout the upper and lower Midwest well into the late 1930s.
So, sorry — Not two long-lost Skip James or Son House blues masterpieces, just a quirky souvenir of Paramount’s dying days. If there are any Paramount “completists” out there who just have to have the record, trade offers are being considered. Condition is solid EE-, with some superficial, non-sounding scuffs on the A side, and quiet, shiny surfaces.