Today’s blog subject is quite an obscure 45 by an artist whom I’ve learned very little about, though not for a lack of trying. Monticello GA’s Eddie Marcello Gude is no longer with us, but left behind one heck of a wild 45 to enjoy. While there’s not much else known about Eddie right now, quite a bit of information about the studio where “The Cripple Chicken” was recorded, and the man behind that studio have recently come to light, so I wanted to share that story with you to make up for my lacking knowledge about the musicians on this 45.
The town of Monticello GA is easy to miss at 3 square miles and a population fewer than 2,500 people. There is a quaint town square which has everything you’d expect in a town this size. There’s an antique store, hardware store, restaurant, police station and the ubiquitous courthouse. As you may expect there are also some vacant store fronts.
Musically, you’d think there’s not a lot to talk about. The town’s favorite daughter is Trisha Yearwood, but that’s not who you’re here to read about today.
Once upon a time there was a fairly busy studio in Monticello that was owned and operated by Franklin Lynch (pictured left), a Baptist minister who broadcast a religious radio show for decades, possibly through Armed Forces radio. Franklin’s Southern Baptist beliefs evolved into a Universalist and pro-Quaker message over time, which I’m sure, had to ruffle more than a few feathers in a small town in South Georgia. It seems very likely that even while Franklin was still in the Baptist Church, he had already begun to adopt some progressive ideas about how to treat people of all walks of life. Within his Middle Georgia studio, he recorded music made by both white and black musicians, from both religious and secular backgrounds.
Monticello happens to be 40 miles North of Macon, where Franklin sometimes travelled to recruit talent such as Hill Lamar, a Macon singer who recorded two 45s in Franklin’s studio. One was released on Franklin’s own Midnight label, but Franklin shopped the other to the Rhode Island based Taurus label, hoping to expand his reach in the music business. Unfortunately, both singles were commercial flops. Franklin’s brother, Calvin, had a garage band called The Fugitives who also regularly played gigs in Macon and when in town worked as the studio band at Franklin’s studio.
As the story goes, The Fugitives spent a great deal of time on the road and held down long residencies in Atlanta, Macon and also toured around the Southeastern states during the mid 60s. Calvin (pictured left) recalls that they had received a great deal of interest towards the later 60s from Alan Walden and were set to record at Capricorn Studios. However, the trio had some problems when it came to adopting the all for one and one for all concept. The band toted their gear around in a trailer, which was hitched to one of their cars. Two of the band members already had hitches, but the third refused to have one attached to his car. Just like that, The Fugitives were no more, and never got a crack at recording in one of the most well known studios in the South. Before transportation woes brought The Fugitives to an abrupt halt though, they did manage to record three 45s. Two were released on the New Talent label and the other on the Midnight label.
Back in Monticello, Franklin was running three record labels out of his studio. Midnight and New Talent were dedicated to secular music, though what Franklin’s beliefs were about the differences between the labels were is anyone’s guess at this point. Both labels had white and black artists, rock, country and R&B. Franklin’s Golden Spiritual label was dedicated to gospel.
By the early 70s, Franklin felt that he had outgrown Monticello and left for Nashville to pursue his career in the music industry and surprisingly enough, Franklin recorded at least one 45 himself for the Nashville-Paramount label. Franklin remained close to his faith, however and as recent as the early 90s was still mailing out a newsletter called “Universalist” an organization called CAAC World-Wide Inc (Comprehensive Arts, Action and Consciousness). Franklin was still living in Nashville when he passed in the 1990s.
Here’s a less than complete discography. I know there’s more out there, but I sure don’t know what it is yet.
100 Hill Lamar and the Bossa Nova Band – The Duck Walk / Baby Please (R&B)
101 The Fugitives – Easy Come, Easy Go / Wind of Love (Garage)
104 Eddie Marcello – The Cripple Chicken / part 2 (R&B)
110 The Time Peace – There’s Been A Change Come Over Me / Love Can Get You Too (Country)
101 The Fugitives – Cry Me A River / I’m Gonna Hurt You (Garage)
102 Pam Treadway – Hobo Joe / The Losing Hand In Love (Country?)
103 The Fugitives – Meggie / Too Easy (Garage)
104 Willie Standifer and Robert Whidby – I Need All of Your Loving / I’ve Got To Win Your Love (R&B)
GS-105 Now Generation – Life Is Hard Sometimes / A Man Called Jesus part 1 (Gospel)
100 The Franklin Lynch Variety Show EP (Originally presented on “Country Music Time, Dept of the Army’s Terrace Service Club, Neu Ulm, Germany)
A: Franklin Lynch – Why Did You Pretend / I’m Sorry You’re Lonesome
B: Buttermilk and Clabber (comedy)
103 Bill Reemes (“featuring Cal Lynch On Bass”)- Paying For Your Own Crime / Love Like Ours (Country)
105 – Paul Wilson – Poison Gas / Hippie Invasion (Country)
Thank you to Greg over at the Atlanta Time Machine. Hear both sides of Country Town 105 at his site by following this link.