|Starr Struck, Frank "Andy" Starr a.o.
Wild Oats Records, OAT-817
PATRICK -- Frank "Andy" Starr, 70, of Patrick died Sept. 12, 2003, at the Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville. He was born Oct. 21, 1932, in Combs to Grover and Tennie Elizabeth Faubus Gulledge. He was a veteran of the Army serving during the Korean War. Survivors include his wife, Virginia Starr of the home; one son, Billy Gulledge of Helena, Mont.; five daughters, Sharon Miller of West Jordon, Utah, Linda Hone of Rathburn, Idaho, Deborah Brown of Killene, Texas, Trena Gulledge of Smelterville, Idaho, and Elizabeth Gulledge of Spokane, Wash.; one stepson, Lloyd Smith of Fayetteville; one stepdaughter, Patricia Hixson of Durham; one brother, Bob Gulledge of Combs; two sisters, Ernestine Shepherd of Mountainburg, and Margie Larkin of Sherman, Texas; 27 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Franklin Delaulledge, aka Frank "Andy" Starr was born on a farm in Mill Creek, near Combs, Arkansas on October 21, 1932. The part-Cherokee son of Grover Gulledge. His mid-teens were spent riding the rails and working on migrant farms. Starr formed the Arkansas Plowboys in the early fifties with his brothers, Bob and Chuck. They played in California until Starr lit out for Dennison, Texas where he obtained a slot on KDSX.The station manager advised him to seek out Joe Leonard for whom Starr cut his debut single in 1955, "Dig Them Squeaky Shoes". It was issued under the name of Frank Starr and his Rockaway Boys. The top deck, a novelty tune called "The Dirty Bird Song", was a regional success and Starr toured Iowa and Minnesota on the strength of it. Another Lin single, "Tell Me Why", chugged along more fiercely than most up-tempo country tunes but it failed to click anywhere and further Lin tracks, including the anthemic "Rockin' And Reelin' Country Style" were hidden away until Ronny Weiser issued them on his Rollin' Rock label in 1975. The core of Andy Starr's work centres on the eight rockabilly headreelers which Joe Leonard sold to MGM in 1956. (Also see The Strikes elsewhere on this website.)
Now, more than 45 years later, the Arkansas-based rocker who they call "The Ultimate Rebel" is still going strong. There's a documentary film in the works about his very colorful life... Frank lived in hobo jungles as a teenager, had his own rock 'n' roll revue (including strippers) in Alaska, has run for President of the United States a couple of times, and is a member of the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame. The legendary Mr. Starr -- who hasn't recorded in many years, but is still sounding great ! -- went into the studio in Nashville in July of 2002 to make a brand-new album for America's renegade record label Wild Oats Records, called The Rockin' Return Of Frank "Andy" Starr, this CD, which features seven Starr originals among its 11 songs, will be released in April 2003. In the meantime, four of those brand-new, rockin' Frank "Andy" Starr tracks can now be heard on our rockabilly sampler "Starr Struck", a release that also contains recordings of The Haywoods and Gail & The Tricksters.
Andy Starr's songs included on this release are "Dickson Street Blues", "Santa Is A Rocker", "Round & Round" (with Gail Lloyd) and "I May Be Used". The recordings do sound very modern, not like his fifties recordings. His duet with Gail is the most memorbale of the four. "I May Be Used" is not what I call rockabilly at all, country-rock is probably better classified.
The Haywoods however, deliver a far better rockabilly act on their tracks "I Want A Gal", the Andy Star rendition "Rockin' Rollin' Stone", "1000 Miles Away" and "That Cash Number (In E)". Rockabilly fans should also check out their full length release on Wormtone titled "Drinkin', Cryin' And Moanin'".
Besides Gail's duet with Andy Starr, she also has a couple of songs here with her own Tricksters. Don Woody's original "Barking Up The Wrong Tree" is a bit countryfied, with added harmonica and the strangest "barks" you ever heard. Although Gail has a very specific country music voice, she handles the bluesy "Suffered Enough" pretty neat. Another blues song is "Tom Cat Blues", which doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the tracks, not rockabilly, not even close...
Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2003