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Art Gibson
and His Mountain Melody Boys
Born:  March 21, 1912
Died:  June 5, 1971
KILO Grand Forks, ND

About The Artist

Art Gibson was an important early day figure in the development of Mercury Records in the late 1940's. He had an atypical background in that he spent much of his career in such locales as Wisconsin and North Dakota in addition to Chicago. Born Chester Arthur Gibson in Langlade County, Wisconsin, his father died when he was quite young. His mother had a tough time rearing him and his younger brother Orbie (later known as Arbie).

But only the older boy seems to have been a major problem. In fact, Art spent some time in the federal reform school in Chillicothe, Ohio. At about the same time, Arbie went to Kentucky and lived with relatives.

Promo Ad Nomar Theatre - Wichita - June 1940 Following Art's release from reform school, he and Arbie teamed up musically although the latter became better known as a songwriter, composing among other numbers the Ernest Tubb classic, "Letters Have No Arms." (Note: The sheet music in an Ernest Tubb song folio shows writer credits for Arbie Gibson and Ernest Tubb).

Art Gibson and his Mountain Melody Boys began their recording career with Mercury (a brand new company at the time) about March 1946. Through 1947, they were among the busiest artists on the label. The AFM recording band took time out of the studio through 1948, but in 1949 they were back for another session. Thereafter, Mercury seemingly shifted their recording bases southward toward such places as Knoxville and Nashville, but they kept releasing Gibson's masters still in their vaults. He did a final record session for the small Replica label in 1954.

Art Gibson — Record Reviews From Cash Box
Date Label Rec No. Review
1/10/1948 Mercury 6075 Who's That Blonde— Bright side of the week for folk spots is this hunk of wax by the Art Gibson ork. Titled, "Who's That Blonde," Art and the boys show with loads of splendor in this side, tailor made for those hill locations. Wordage weaves around the title, with the instrumental work offered shining in bright styling.

No More Records — On the flip with a double-take on the current recording ban, the gang come thru with "No More Records." Altho the lyrics miss the boat, the stuff nevertheless makes for pleasant listening time. Get next to "Who's That Blonde."
5/28/1949 Mercury 6194 Everybody's Sweetheart— Art Gibson singing two tunes that he composed is something to listen in to. On the top side, "Everybody's Sweetheart," Art and his Mountain Melody Boysa cut a grand side in medium fast metro, grand fingering of the 88's behind it, as Art himself gives out with the piping to produce on eof the best sides he's yet cut.

I'm Backin' Up — On the flip with "I'm Backin' Up," Art slows down the tempo somehwat and with grand instrumental backing of his Mountain Melody Boys again cuts wax that deserves your complete listening. Listen in.
8/20/1949 Mercury 6205 I'm A Walkin' and Talkin' To Myself — Some wax which music operators may care to use as filler items are thse offered by Art Gibson. Top deck is a cute hit that might catch on. Lyrics evolve about the title, with Art's vocal coming thru effectively. It's a pleasant romance tune with a bit of rhythm thrown in.

A Little Love From You — The coupling is just what the title sez it is, a romantic folk lament. Art's heavy following may account for unusual play of these sides.

Promo Ad Nomar Theatre - Wichita - June 1940

Gibson played shows eastward as far as Michigan and southwestward to Texas, but spent much of his career in such states as North Dakota being based for some time at KILO Grand Forks, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Greater Chicago area where he owned nightclubs at various times. Research also shows he spent time at radio station WNAX in Yankton, SD a station that attracted many country performers in the early years. This is based on the fact that research showed a group called "Mountain Melody Boys" in the radio logs for that station. But surprisingly, the research of newspapers available to research did not include any promotional ads for he and his group's appearances.

In 1962, Ernest Tubb revived one of Art's 1946 originals, "I'm Looking High and Low for My Baby" for a hit.

Gibson was married twice and fathered ten children. Unfortunately, he also had a drinking problem. As his son told Kevin Coffey, he recalled "Hard-living, working, and drinking got the best of a wonderful, talented man" and "liver disease" took his life at the age of 59.

In 2009, BACM (British Archives of Country Music) Records in England re-issued a disc containing many of his original recordings.

Credits & Sources

Appearance History This Month

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Recordings (78rpm/45rpm)

Rec. No. Side Song Title
  6005 A I'm Checkin' Out
  6005 B Learn To Love Your Brothers
  6020 A When I Leave Town Tonight
  6020 B You're Laughing Up Your Sleeve
  6025 A I'm Looking High And Low For My Baby
  6025 B You Lied
  6048 A Layin' Down The Law
  6048 B Mail Order Mama
  6065 A Honky Tonk Mama
  6065 B I'm A Truck Driving Man
  6075 A No More Records
  6075 B Who's That Blonde
  6103 A Gambling Blues
  6103 B I Don't Want You No More
  6119 A Gallivantin' Woman
  6119 B One More Waltz With You
  6141 A Cold Hearted Blonde
  6141 B I'm Ashamed Of You
  6164 A I'm Not Lookin No More For No Women
  6164 B My Memories Of The Past
  6194 A Everybody's Sweetheart
  6194 B I'm Backin' Up
  6205 A A Little Love From You
  6205 B I'm A-Walkin' And A-Talkin' To Myself
  6262 A Anytime, Any Place
  6262 B I'm Checkin' In
  6352 A Same Old Thing All The Time
  6352 B Worried 'Bout My Gal
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  102 A I'm A Cry Cry Baby
  102 B Road Of Regret
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  S-72 A Checking Out
  S-72 B I Lost The Love Of A Lifetime

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