Jim Oertling

60’s Rockabilly 

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Jim Oertling and The Bayou Boys

Jim Oertling

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Born / Died Unknown


Info! Jim Oertling

Louisiana-born Jim Oertling never landed that badass fish he battled in his epic 1963 swamp rocker "Old Moss Back," but that rollicking single and a clutch of other classics landed him in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 1997. Growing up in San Antonio, Oertling was a student at LSU when he entered Cosimo Matassa's studio in 1963 to cut his twangy fish tale for the Hammond label. He followed up with another Hammond single before moving on to Lafayette's legendary La Louisianne to wax the rockabilly gem "Louisiana Gambler." After decades spent as "a bull rider, cattle ranch foreman, combat infantry officer, commercial banker, and always an outdoorsman," Oertling is back on the music scene with a 2013 release, "Mossback Revisited," a mix of rockabilly, ballads, Tex-Mex, and more.  Read original text here >>> Jim Oertling

Original release  HAMMOND 267 (La. US) 05/1965

This release, re-issue on  DEE-JAY JAMBOREE 45-107 [1970’s]

Old moss back - (rec. 1963) - 1965   b/w   A wild rose - (rec. 1963) - 1965

Old moss back - 1965

(Jim Oertling)

Oh, way down south among the cypress trees
Where the deep dark waters flow
There lives an old grandpa black bass
All the oldtimers know
Old moss back busted many line
He done busted many a poles
Some say he's a ghost that can't be caught
He never seem to get old
No, he never seem to get old
Well I found his hiding place one day
It was early in the fall
I crept down to him on my hands and knees
He didn't know I was there at all
Well I faded him a line
And a twitch of the wrist
The bait went bucking on in
And with a great big splash and a mighty swirl
Old moss back had done it again
Old moss back had done it again
I'm gonna fish that bass till the day that I die
Till the bayou stops to flow
And when I catch him, I'll spit in his eye
And then I'm gonna let him go
Yes, I'm gonna let him go

Well as many battles we had, moss and I
He's never lost a fight
But he knows that I'll never let him rest
He does it all for spite
No fish has ever got the best of me
And old moss thinks he's a-gonna win
'Cause he bust one line and he breaks another
I'm going back and try it again
Yes, I'm going back and try it again

© Stefan Schröder 2017