Discography: Detroit steel guitarist Chuck Hatfield

Chuck Hatfield played some of the finest steel guitar ever heard, while based in Detroit during the 1950s. Want to hear for yourself? Here is his discography.

One of the most talented musicians in Detroit during the 1950s, the dynamic, charismatic – and some say enigmatic – Chuck Hatfield played the fire out of a standard (non-pedal) steel guitar. His story, as well as that of his wife, Boots Gilbert, and their group the Treble-Aires, is finally told in the book “Detroit Country Music: Mountaineers, Cowboys, and Rockabillies.”

Chuck Hatfield with two-neck steel guitar, ca. 1948. Source: Craig Maki, courtesy Hatfield family

Chuck Hatfield, ca. 1948. Source: Craig Maki, courtesy Hatfield family

After leaving his home in Flint, Michigan, in 1948, Hatfield worked in the Southwest with Texas-based musicians such as Bob Manning, Billy Gray, and Hank Thompson, before returning to Detroit, where he played in nightclubs, radio, and TV. Here is a discography, compiled with the help of Kevin Coffey, listing the titles of records Hatfield is known to have played on.

Bob Manning and his Riders of the Silver Sage
“Lola Lee” b/w “Old Folks Boogie” Dude 1605 (1948)

Bob Manning and his Riders of the Silver Sage
“The Green Light” b/w “I Left My Heart In Texas” Dude 1606 (1948)

Texas Rhythm Riders (all recorded for the Royalty label, ca. 1948-49)
“I Turned And Slowly Walked Away”
“A Handful Of Kisses”
“The Green Light”
“Tennessee Saturday Night”
“12th Street Rag”
“Red Sails In The Sunset”
“I’m A Fool To Care”
“Blues In My Heart”

Davis Sisters
“Your Cheatin’ Heart”
“Cryin’ Steel Guitar Waltz”
“Rag Mop”
Previously unissued WJR radio transcription (ca. 1953) / Bear Family Records BCD 15722 (1993)

Davis Sisters
“You’re Gone” (swinging version)
“Sorrow And Pain” (fast version)
Previously unissued studio recordings (1953) / Bear Family Records BCD 15722 (1993)

Davis Sisters
“Sorrow And Pain” b/w “Kaw-Liga” Fortune 174 (1953)
Note: Band erroneously credited to Roy Hall

Davis Sisters
“Heartbreak Ahead” b/w “Steel Wool” Fortune 175 (1953)
Note: “Steel Wool” credited to Chuck Hatfield and his Treble-Aires

Listen to: Steel Wool – Chuck Hatfield and his Treble-Aires

"Steel Wool" by Chuck Hatfield And The Treble-Aires (Fortune 175-B)Boots Gilbert and Bob Sykes with Chuck Hatfield and his Treble-Aires
“Take It Or Leave It” b/w “Man! Turn Me Loose” Fortune 176 (1954)
Note: Different takes of “Man! Turn Me Loose” were issued on 78rpm and 45rpm records.

May Hawks with Chuck Hatfield and his Treble-Aires
“Meet Me Down In Nashville (At The Opry Tonight)” b/w “Wasted Years” Fortune 178 (1954)

Boots Gilbert and Bob Sykes with Chuck Hatfield and his Treble-Aires
“Fickle Heart” b/w “Please Mister Bartender” Fortune 181 (1954)

May Hawks and Lester Thomas with Chuck Hatfield and his Treble-Aires
“Straighten Up And Fly Right” b/w “Baby You’re A Bygone Now” Fortune 182 (1954)

Boots Gilbert and Bob Sykes with Chuck Hatfield and his Treble-Aires
“Sadie And The Cop” (a.k.a. “The Club Song (Nite Club Song)”) b/w “When The Senorita Comes To Hear The Senor Play” Fortune 184 (1955)
Note: “When The Senorita Comes To Hear The Senor Play” was reissued with “You Can’t Stop Me From Loving You”

Boots Gilbert
“He’s A Mighty Good Man” Fortune LP 3001 (recorded ca. 1955)

 

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Detroit Country Music: Mountaineers, Cowboys, and Rockabillies book cover

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