Skeets McDonald, Heartbreakin' Mama
Skeets McDonald

Skeets McDonald (who was christened Enos William) acquired his extraordinary nickname while picking cotton as an infant plagued by mosquitoes, he shouted "I go home, Skeets bite". The soubriquet stock. Skeets left Greenway, Arkansas, where he was born in 1915, and traveled North to Michigan in the thirties. He formed a band of his own but served overseas during World War II. After the war he returned to Michigan and recorded for Fortune, one of Detroit's small independent labels. There were other records on London and Mercury (as Skeet Saunders). In 1951 Skeets moved to Los Angeles where he auditioned for Cliffie Stone and Ken Nelson.

The Capitol affiliation lasted over seven years and produced some 85 recordings, the best of which are to be found on the Bear Family two volume retrospective (BFX15191 and BFX15195). Skeets covered Slim Willet's "Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes" and both versions s topped the C&W chart in 1952. At the age of 41, Skeets was pushed in the direction of rockabilly. Eddie Cochran flicks off the tasty guitar' playing on "You Oughta See Grand Rock" and "Heartbreakin' Mama". Skeet's treatment is brilliantly poised between Cochran's snarling urgency and the homespun accent of more traditional singers. Skeets left Capitol for Columbia in 1959 and racked up a handful of C&W hits. There was a release on Uni in 1968, shortly before his death from a heart attack.

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