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Country Western baritone Roy Smiley Maxedon (1921-2001) had one of the most remarkable, if not underrated, voices in the history of Hillbilly Music. Originally from Illinois, he went west and California's San Joaquin Valley near Fresno became his base of operations in the 1940's. Roy Smiley Maxedon formed his band The Okaw Valley Boys. and recorded for his own Okaw Records label and Columbia between 1952-55 recording mostly at Radio Recorders on Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood. His most famous number is 1953's Give Me A Red Hot Mama And An Ice Cold Beer - the rest of his issued recordings were cut between 1951 and 1955 and offer a nice mix of slow and mid tempo honky tonk numbers all sung with his distinctive dark baritone voice and accompanied by a solid group of musicians.

One of the members of his Okaw Valley Boys was great electric guitarist Roy Nichols (he also recorded over 100 sides with the Maddox Brothers & Rose band). Maxedon was clearly tapped into the early West Coast/Bakersfield honkytonk scene, as several songs in his repetoire by regional legends Fuzzy Owens and Tommy Collins will attest… The Steel guitar, fiddle and bass players are not known, but they really sound very professional and create a genuine early to mid 50s Hillbilly music atmosphere. Maxedon was a fine country performer who was rescued from oblivion by a relatively recent reissue on Cattle Records.


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