About The Group
In the late 1930s, Western Swing music was sweeping through country music and keeping the fans happy with their big sounds and music to dance by. While the big legendary bands such as Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys or Clif Bruner's group or the Light Crust Dough Boys got a lot of attention, other acts achieved their own niche and history and left behind their musical memories on record. One such band was known as the Port Arthur Jubileers.
The band came together around 1937 in Port Arthur, Texas. Initially or perhaps locally, the band was known as the Sears Jubileers as the Sears, Roebuck & Company retail chain was their sponsor. The band gained a rapid following and their reputation grew. They began to broadcast over radio station KPAC in Port Arthur.
By 1940, the band was becoming a known entity to the major record labels of the day. In April of 1940, the band did their first recording sessions for the Decca Records label in Houston. Their first two tunes were "Jones Stomp" and "Pussy Willow". Sources seem to indicate this was their ownly session with Decca. The band back then included Dick Jones on fiddle, Earl Carruthers on fiddle and mandolin, Toby Kelly on guitar and banjo; Barney Youngblood on bass; Jimmie Hart on piano and Alton Bailey played the accordion.
Another label in the late 1930s that was on the scene was the Bluebird label. This label was based in San Antonio and their artist roster included mostly acts from that area. But they began to explore other areas of Texas, including the Gulf Coast area where the Port Arthur Jubileers were located. The fact that they had been under contract with another label did not deter Bluebird it seems for they would have the act record under another name. In April of 1941, the band recorded two sides for Bluebird at the Jerfferson Hotel in Dallas, Texas under the name of Jimmie Hart and his Merrymakers. No indication can be found as to why Jimmie Hart was given the lead name on this session. The band recorded "Teeny-Weeny" and "Cheatin' On Me" at this session. History shows that the band included Earl Carruthers on fiddle, Billie Mack "Tiny" Moore on mandolin; Jimmie Hart playing the piano; Kenny Taylor was on guitar and Byron "Barney" Youngblood was again doing bass.
In October of 1941, the band did another recording session with Bluebird, but by this time Jimmie Hart had left the band and Tiny Moore (who later gained fame with the Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys) was leading the band. The band broke up shortly after this session.
Timeline & Trivia Notes
Original Group Members:
Later Group Members Through The Years
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