Vernon Solomon | Texas Breakdown

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Country: Western Swing Folk: String Band Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Texas Breakdown

by Vernon Solomon

Spring Fed Records reissue of Davis Unlimited 33038 featuring Texas fiddling legend, Vernon Solomon. Also includes four bonus tracks from western swing pioneer, Clifford "Sleepy" Johnson.
Genre: Country: Western Swing
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Gray Eagle
2:37 $0.99
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2. Texas Breakdown
2:06 $0.99
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3. Honeymoon Waltz
2:13 $0.99
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4. Sally Goodin
2:44 $0.99
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5. What a Friend We Have in Jesus
2:42 $0.99
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6. Don't Let Your Deal Go Down
2:22 $0.99
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7. Leather Britches
1:50 $0.99
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8. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
2:04 $0.99
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9. Just a Closer Walk with Thee
2:41 $0.99
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10. I Got the Blues for Dixie
2:25 $0.99
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11. The Ruby Waltz
4:02 $0.99
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12. I Don't Love Nobody
2:29 $0.99
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13. Shortnin' Bread (Bonus Track) [feat. Sleepy Johnson]
2:34 $0.99
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14. Blue Bonnet Waltz (Bonus Track) [feat. Sleepy Johnson]
2:50 $0.99
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15. Old Sport (Bonus Track) [feat. Sleepy Johnson]
2:40 $0.99
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16. Morning Glory Waltz (Bonus Track) [feat. Sleepy Johnson]
2:07 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
MUSICIANS
FIDDLE-VERNON SOLOMON
TWIN FIDDLE-RICKIE SOLOMON
GUITAR-BILL DEWBRE, RUSSELL GILLIAN, RICKIE SOLOMON
MANDOLIN-BILLIE JOE FOSTER, STEVE GILLIAN
BANJO-BILLIE JOE FOSTER, RUSSELL GILLIAN
BASS-RICKIE SOLOMON, RUSSELL GILLIAN, STEVE GILLIAN
DRUMS-STEVE GILLIAN

THE SOLOMON TRADITION
It was a November day in 1960, and I was in Tom Coburn’s violin shop in Fort Worth, Texas. I had just purchased a fiddle from Tom and was visiting with another customer in the shop who asked if I would like to go meet a good fiddler that night. I agreed, so he called Vernon Solomon who invited us up.
That evening we journeyed about 25 miles north of Fort Worth to Rhome, Texas, where Vernon lives. A note on the door told us that he had gone to see one of his sons play basketball at the school and that we should just come in, make ourselves at home, and that he would be home shortly. It wasn’t long before the family arrived home. After introductions, Vernon asked to play my new fiddle. I quickly assented. I can’t remember the first tune he played, but it didn’t take long for me to decide that Vernon Solomon was the finest fiddler in Texas. Since then I’ve heard just about all the great Texas fiddlers, and while many may not agree with me, nothing has ever caused me to change my original opinion of Vernon.
Born in the “fiddlin’ country” of North Texas, on December 23, 1924, Vernon grew up at Forney, a few miles east of Dallas. His father, Ervin, was a legend in Texas fiddling. There were always fiddlers visiting at the Solomon household. With people like Oscar Harper, Red Steele, Major Franklin, and of course, his father playing around the house all the time, it’s no wonder that Vernon took to fiddling. His father would not let Vernon play on his fiddle, so when the boy was five years old, his grandfather gave him a homemade instrument of bois d’arc. Vernon recalls that the first tune he learned to play was “Bully of the Town.”
During the depression Ervin Solomon supported his family largely by competing in fiddlers’ contests around the state. When Vernon was seven he went to one of these contests with his father and competed for the first time. His efforts gained third place. It wasn’t until the next year at Athens, Texas, that he beat his father in a contest and won his initial first prize – a suit of clothes. His father kidded him that he would never take the boy to another contest if he was going to beat him. Of course he did, and Vernon went on to countless contests, winning many and losing a few.
Vernon went into the Army in 1943 and served in the South Pacific. While on Iwo Jima he met Carl Hazlewood, another fine Texas fiddler. As Vernon tells it, “I listened to Carl for about four days playing around the barracks. I didn’t say anything but after the fourth day of listening to that fiddle I wanted to play so bad I was about to bust. I asked Carl could I try his fiddle and he consented. We got to playing around there till I thought we’d never quit. The rest of the guys in the barracks begged us to stop so they could finally get some sleep.”
Receiving his discharge in 1945, Vernon returned to Texas. In 1947 he married his wonderful wife, Ruby, and they became the parents of four sons - - Mike, Ricky, Terry and Steve. All the boys became musicians. Ricky is heard with his father on this album.
When Dr. Perry Harris initiated the Grand Masters Contest in Nashville in 1972, it was to be a contest that pitted fiddlers who had proven themselves champions in premiere contests around the country against each other. When that first Grand Masters Contest was over, Vernon Solomon was champion. Since then he has played in that contest in 1974, 1975, and 1977. He has always finished in the top ten. No easy accomplishment.
The tunes on this album reflect Vernon’s versatility with the fiddle. From breakdowns to blues, from swing to bluegrass, the man does it all well. The two hymns are typical of Vernon, he being a deeply religious man. The two tunes, “Texas Breakdown” and “Ruby Waltz” show him to be a fine composer also.
Vernon Solomon is a many sided man - - an outstanding fiddler, a wonderful family man, a good fishing partner, but above all else, a friend and a real gentleman.
Bill Northcutt
Houston, Texas
March, 1978


(Bill Northcutt, in addition to being one of the best fiddlers in the State of Texas, is the proprietor of The Fiddle and Bow Music Shop, 4836 Mt. Houston Road, Houston, Texas 77093. Phone (713)442-0213. Give him a call, or drop in, when you’re in the area. )
ORIGINAL LP PRODUCED BY – Steve Davis, Bill Harrison, Vernon Solomon
RECORDING – Gillian Recording Studio, West 15th Street, Box 39, Chandler, Oklahoma 74834
Sleepy Johnson cuts recorded by Steve Davis.
REISSUE REMASTERING - Martin Fisher
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE – Bill Trigg, Kim-Pat Enterprises
ORIGINAL COVER DESIGN AND LAYOUT – “By Ellyn” (Trigg), Kim-Pat Ent.
REISSUE COVER DESIGN AND LAYOUT - John Fabke
LINER NOTE TRANSCRIPTION - Yvonne Elliott
REISSUE PRODUCERS - John Fabke & Greg Reish
REISSUE CONSULTANT - Steve Davis
THANKS – Center for Popular Music Staff at Middle Tennessee State University
SLEEPY JOHNSON BONUS TRACKS
The four bonus tracks included on this CD reissue of Davis Unlimited 33038 feature the fiddling of western swing pioneer, Clifford G. “Sleepy” Johnson. Johnson started his professional music career as a rhythm guitar player for the original Light Crust Doughboys, Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys and the Hi-Flyers. The bonus tracks included here, recorded by Steve Davis in Sleepy’s living room show off Johnson’s excellent, Texas-style fiddling. Popular contest-style rhythm guitar player, Tommy Berger, provides solid backup for Sleepy as he swings through two classic breakdowns and a pair of waltzes. These four cuts, originally released on a rare Davis Unlimited 45rpm record, are being reissued for the first since their initial vinyl pressing.

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