For quite some time I've been immensely enjoying Truckers Shuckers Freeks & Geeks, produced and hosted by a hardcore record maniac named Mark Lee Allen (not to be confused with Beware Of The Blog contributor Mark Allen). Over on his myspace page, Mark Lee Allen describes himself as a "record collector, idiot, DJ, and all-around geek" and he's certainly got discs to prove it. His massive collection of original issue rockabilly, hillbilly, rhythm and blues, and doo-wop 45s and 78s, seems pretty close to endless.
Originally from Portsmouth, England and now living in Oregon, Mark's been in the US only about 5 years. Unfortunately for the rest of us record hunters here in America, it seems he's wasting no time in his efforts to acquire every cool disc ever waxed. Listening to his show is always a blast. On mic, his between song ramblings absolutely brim with enthusiasm, humor and arcane record collecting details that invariably ring true.
The shows themselves usually (but not always) have themes, frequently centering on a specific record label or topical theme.
His "record label" shows usually involve diving incredibly deeply (really, where does he find these discs?) into the hillbilly-flavored obscurities released by a given label. Examples include, but aren't strictly limited to, Columbia, Starday, Mercury, Coral, Goldband, and King.
His topically-themed shows are all over the place and have included subjects like truck driving, guitar blues, Johnny Cash soundalikes, and Elvis Presley tribute records. And any show with "Trailer Park" in the title is sure to be a winner as that's where Mark spins some of his most deranged discs covering subjects like hippies, beatniks, gambling, oddball trucker songs, murder, suicide, alcoholism, all-purpose oddities, assorted parodies and demented novelties. I'm told that tomorrow he'll be uploading a show called Garage Sale At The Trailer Park. I'm there.
Don't know where to start? You could always check out his January 8, 2009 show, which kicks off with Pee Wee King's soaring version of Dragnet, recorded in 1955. That's right, Dragnet - with steel guitars, fiddles and cowboy hats! And for some additional fun, hang in there until at least 47 minutes in (or cheat and move the positioning bar) and listen in as Mark gleefully mangles his repeated attempts to pronounce Nuevo Laredo when back-announcing an Elton Britt recording by that name.