Shirley Bates


In the late 50s Shirley Bates (Bryant) headed west to Southern California wanting to be part of the thriving country music scene. Spotted at a talent show by DJ Squeakin’ Deacon, he helped her find her feet and after live appearances on radio and the new media of television, she found herself performing alongside the likes of Ray Price and Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys

Shortly after, maverick record producer Fabor Robison signed her to his Fabor Records label where she recorded and released a variety of country flavoured singles.

The extraordinary Crimpton Krompton Canary Bridge appeared as a Fabor ‘B’ side. A scratchy copy of it was discovered in 2006 by Philadelphia record collector Mark Johnson who then shared MP3s of it amongst friends. Spoke Records began talking to Shirley Bates about the song in 2010.

‘I wrote the part that say’s “Uh Huh,  treat’s me like I’m dunce.”  I also did the arrangement on it.  You should also know three of the band members were part of Elvis Presley’s band.  James Burton who played guitar on Crimpton played with Elvis Presley right to the end of his life.

Donny Cotton was the drummer and Joe Osborn was on bass.  Mary Ford of the husband and wife team of Les Paul and Mary Ford sang back up for me along with her brother.  The guitar licks on my record were done the same day James recorded the sound track of “Secret Agent Man” so he used the same lick on my song.   I just thought you would like to know that.’