Rockabilly, Psychobilly and everything in between.

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Reissues

Reissues is for recordings made before the first Rockabilly revival wave of the early 70's. It also includes blues, western swing, honky tonk etc.

Little Jimmy Dickens

in Reissues

little-jimmy-dickens-gonna-shake-this-shackLittle Jimmy Dickens – I’m Little But I’m Loud!

Bear Family BCD 16198
Buddy’s Boogie – Salty Boogie – You All Come – Stinky Passed The Hat Around – I’m Gettin’ Nowhere Fast – A Hole In My Pocket – Love Must Be Catching – Country Boy Bounce – Happy Heartaches – Wabash Cannon Ball – Blackeyed Joe’s – Slow Suicide – I Never Had The Blues – Raisin’ The Dickens – Big Sandy – Country Ways And City Ideas – You Don’t Have Love At All – Hannah – Me And My Big Loud Mouth – Hey Worm! – Hey Ma! – Walk Chicken Walk – Out Behind The Barn – Red Wing – I’m Coming Over Tonight – Rockin’ With Red – Hillbilly Fever – I Feel For You – I Wish You Didn’t Love Me So Much – Jambalaya – Goodbye.

Like the other releases of this serie, this collection of 31 tracks focuses on Little Jimmy Dickens uptempo numbers he recorded in the 50’s.
You have to search to find a weak track in Dickens’ career, and for this collection Bear has choosen the best sides, which means they didn’t include the good ones but only the excellent!
It’s full of hillbilly, some with a western swing flavor (Hey Worm, Me and My Big Mouth), country boogie (Salty Boogie), proto rockabilly (Blackeyed Joe’s) and frantic rockabilly (Hole In My Pocket). On all this recordings, Dickens leaves plenty of room for his musicians to shine, most notably a young Buddy Emmons on steel and the incredible pair of Howard Rhoton and James Wilson both on electric lead guitar. They are also featured on four amazing instrumentals. This great pieces of cowboy jazz equal the recordings made by Speedy West and Jimmie Bryant and are worth the price of this cd alone.
It comes with a 32 page booklet with an interesting song by song analysis.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Jimmie Lee Maslon

in Reissues
Jimmie Lee Maslon - My Wildcat Ways
Jimmie Lee Maslon – My Wildcat Ways

Jimmie Lee Maslon – My Wildcat Ways

PART-CD 6109.001 [2014]
Your Wildcat Ways – Hard Hard Man – The Haunt You Baby Rock  – Salacious Rockabilly Cat – All These Things – Please Mr. Dee Jay – The Girl I Left Behind – Please Give Me Something – Rockhouse Dreams – Turn Me Around – Sugar Coated Baby – I’m Gonna Love You Tonight – Hello My Darlin’ – I’m A One-Woman Man – Be Careful – Be Bop Boogie Boy  – Dance To The Bop – I Need Love – Love Me  – Yeh! I’m Movin’ – Long Gone Daddy – The Drag – Bip Bop Boom – A Rockin’ Good Way – Your Wildcat Ways – Please Give Me Something

May the Gods of Rock’n’roll, whoever they are, bless Andy Widder and his label Part-Records for their unflagging work. After Ravenna & the Magnetics, Mac Curtis and Ray Campi, he continues to explore Rollin’ Rock back catalog and reissues the one and only Jimmy Lee Maslon.
Maslon is a one of a kind Rockabilly singer, like a volcano always menacing to erupt, something like Charlie Feathers, Lux Interior and Gene Vincent all rolled into one. Feathers for he shares the same Rockabilly integrity and no nonsense approach, Lux for the weird aspect he sometimes has and Vincent for the torrid side he can reveal (when he’s not weird). And don’t forget to add some Clarence Frogman Henry for good measure.
Those twenty-six rockabilly jewels recorded in the early 70’s influenced countless of bands all around the world and you won’t find absolutely no fillers here, how many can claim that?
And this beautiful music comes with a rich booklet with liner notes written by Ronnie Weiser, Poison Ivy, Ray Campi, Johnny Legend, Wild Bob Burgos, Rip Masters and Jimmie Lee himself.
Essential to any Rockabilly collection.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Ricky Nelson

in Reissues
Ricky Nelson - Ricky rocks
Ricky Nelson – Ricky rocks

Ricky Nelson – Ricky rocks

Bear Family BCD 16856
Shirley Lee ~ Stood Up ~ Be-Bop Baby ~ If You Can’t Rock Me ~ Waitin’ In School ~ Your True Love ~ Boppin’ The Blues ~ My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It ~ Baby I’m Sorry ~ Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On ~ Am I Blue ~ Believe What You Say ~ There’s Good Rockin Tonight ~ Down The Line ~ I’m Walkin’ ~ My Babe ~ I’m In Love Again ~ There Goes My Baby ~ I Got A Feeling ~ One Of These Mornings ~ You Tear Me Up ~ It’s Late ~ Hey Pretty Baby ~ Don’t Leave Me ~ Just A Little Too Much ~ You’ll Never Know What You’re Missing ~ Mighty Good ~ Milk Cow Blues ~ Stop Sneakin’ Around ~ I’ve Been Thinkin’ ~ Ain’t Nothin’ But Love ~ Travelin’ Man ~ Hello Mary Lou.
With his angel face and soft voice Ricky Nelson has been too hastily pigeonholed as a Teenage Idol. But Ricky, who was a huge fan of Carl Perkins, had a guenine love for Rockabilly. With the help of songwriters like the Burnette brothers and guitar aces like Joe Maphis and the young but talented James Burton he cut a serie of solid rockabilly numbers – maybe on the soft side (sure he wasn’t Charlie Feathers) but none the less Rockabilly. If you only know him from the movie Rio Bravo, the song Teenage idol, the later Garden Party or the country sides from the second part of his career this cd is the occasion to discover the rockin’ side of Ricky Nelson (and I bet that pretty soon you’ll buy the boxed sets).

https://www.bear-family.fr/nelson-ricky-ricky-nelson-ricky-rocks.html

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Bill Haley

in Reissues
Bill Haley and His Comets - the Decca Years and more...
Bill Haley and His Comets – the Decca Years and more…

Bill Haley & His Comets – The Decca Years and More

Bear Family BCD 15506
CD 1: Rock Around the Clock, Thirteen Women, Shake Rattle and Roll, ABC Boogie, Happy Baby, Dim Dim the Lights, Birth of the Boogie, Mambo Rock, Two Hound Dogs, Razzle Dazzle, ROCK, Rock-a-Beatin’ Boogie, The Saint’s Rock and Roll, Burn That Candle, See You Later Alligator, The Paper Boy, Goofin’ Around, Rudy’s Rock, Hide and Seek (vocal by Billy Williamson), Hey Then There Now (vocal by the Comets Trio), Tonight’s The Night (vocal by the Comets Trio), Hook Line and Sinker, Blue Comet Blues (aka. Blue Home Blues), Calling All Comets, Choo Choo Ch’ Boogie, A Rockin’ Little Tune, Hot Dog Buddy Buddy, Rockin’ Thru the Rye.

CD 2: Don’t Knock the Rock (without overdub), Teenager’s Mother, Rip it Up, Don’t Knock the Rock, Forty Cups of Coffee, Miss You, Billy Goat, Rockin’ Rollin’ Rover, Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone, You Can’t Stop Me From Dreaming, I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter, Rock Lomond, Is it True What They Say About Dixie?, Carolina in the Morning, The Dipsy Doodle, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Beak Speaks, Moon Over Miami, One Sweet Letter From You, In Apple Blossom Time, Somebody Else is Taking My Place, How Many?, Move it On Over, Rock the Joint, Rip it Up (without handclaps).

CD 3: Me Rock-a-Hula, Rockin’ Rita, Jamaica DJ (vocal by Williamson), Piccadilly Rock, Pretty Alouette, Rockin’ Rollin’ Schnitzlebank, Rockin’ Matilda, Vive le Rock and Roll, It’s a Sin, Mary Mary Lou, El Rocko, Come Rock With Me, Oriental Rock, Wooden Shoe Rock, The Walkin’ Beat, Skinny Minnie, Sway With Me, Lean Jean, Don’t Nobody Move, Joey’s Song (stereo), Chiquita Linda, Dinah, Ida Sweet as Apple Cider, Whoa Mabel!, Marie, Eloise, Corrine Corrina (without handclaps), Joey’s Song (mono).

CD 4: Corrine Corrina, B.B. Betty (vocal by Williamson), Sweet Sue Just You, Charmaine, Vive le Rock and Roll (vocal by Bill Haley and Catarina Valente), Hot Dog Buddy Buddy, The Dragon Rock, ABC Rock (vocal by Williamson and Franny Beecher), The Catwalk, I Got a Woman, A Fool Such as I, Be By Me, Where Did You Go Last Night?, Caldonia, Shaky, Ooh Look-a There Ain’t She Pretty?, Summer Souvenir, Puerto Rican Peddlar, Music Music Music, Skokiaan, Drowsy Waters, Two Shadows, In a Little Spanish Town, Strictly Instrumental, Mack the Knife, The Green Door, Yeah She’s Evil, Football Rock and Roll, Six Year Olds Can Rock and Roll.

CD 5: Behind-the scenes studio recordings from 1959, featuring incomplete and alternate takes of : The Dragon Rock, ABC Rock (vocal by Williamson), The Catwalk, I Got a Woman, A Fool Such as I, Be By Me, Where Did You Go Last Night?

On April 12 1954 when Bill Haley and his Comets entered the studio to cut their first single for Decca their new label under the direction of Milt Gabler (who previously worked with notorious jazz musicians like  Billie Holiday). Little did they know that the little tune recorded in a hurry at the end of the session would change the face of the popular music. This five cd boxed set gathers all the sides recorded for Decca between 1954 and 1959 (with some extras) and proves – if needed – that Haley was far more than a one-song-man.
The songs are presented chronologically with the exception of cd 1 that opens with “Rock Around The Clock” rather than “Thirteen Women“.
Haley’s most well known songs are on this first platter. After a few sessions new Comets (Franny Beecher, Al Rex, Rudy Pompilli, Ralph Jones) replace Dick Richards, Joey D’Ambrosio and Marshall Lytle who left after a financial disagrement to form the Jodimars. But it would be a mistake to believe that Haley had little consideration for his musicians. He takes every chances he can to put them in the spotlight as shown on the second half of this cd. Billy Williamson, steel guitarist and Haley’s partner takes the lead vocals on Big Joe Turner’s Hide & Seek (he used to sing Big Joe’s Feelin’ Happy on stage too). He is joined by Beecher and Grande too for the Comets trio on Tonight The Night and Hey There, Hey Now.
A couple of instrumentals are thrown in allowing Beecher (“Goofin’ Around“) and Pompili (Rudy’s Rock“) to show their skills. Grande is not forgotten and get his own one with “A Rockin’ Little Tune” (who said you couldn’t rock with an accordion?).
All the hits are on this cd and by the time you reach the last song Haley’s commercial success (with a few exceptions) is over, and this cd alone would be enough for the casual listener.

When cd2 two opens, the Comets haven’t charted for a while and the band is looking for a hit or a second breath. With “Don’t Knock The Rock” and “Teenager’s Mother” Haley takes the defense of Rock music. If not masterpieces, these are good songs and I don’t really understand why Colin Escott has a real go at this songs in his notes. “You Hit The Wrong Note Billy Goat” clearly tries to reproduce the success “See You Later Alligator” but the songs is far from being as good as Bobby Charles’.
Next are the sessions that gave the “Rockin’ the oldies” album. Maybe the constant touring didn’t allow them to write original material and led to the decision to make an all cover of Tin Pan Alley material. Whatever the reason, the result is not really convincing. It’s not the fault of the band but more to the songs that were not suitable to be turned into rock’n’roll. For example “Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone” features a superb bluesy guitar solo from Beecher and Al Rex plays some of his best bass part here.
But the band is in a dead end, trying to apply a formlula instead of exploring new creative ways. Logically this recordings didn’t chart and the following session (July 1957) finds Haley trying at last new things, even if it marks a return to his country roots. “How Many” is a very good country-pop ditty that had everything to chart (but didn’t), and their cover of”Move It On Over” was excellent as is their remake of “Rock The Joint“.

Cd3 features another concept album: “Rockin’ Around The World” (Rocking Tunes representative of 12 different and exciting parts of the world to quote the ad). For this session the band is joined by Rusty Keefer on second guitar which brings a little excitement to a very poor material. You can’t even blame songs that would be hard to transform into rock material as most of them are originals. Even for die hard fans there’s not much to save here except “Vive Le Rock’n’Roll“, “Roch Lomond” and maybe another one or two.
The worst enemy of Haley was maybe his will to make Rock’n’roll music acceptable by the whole family. While Elvis, Gene Vincent, Jerry Lee Lewis were playing with the parents vs teenagers conflict. Haley in trying to please everyone, didn’t please anyone and despite good musicianship there were not much to please teenagers in “Pretty Alouette” and “Rockin’ Rollin’ Schnitzlebank“.
Things get better with the following session (February 1958). The band now featuring an electric bass delivers an instant classic with the Bo Diddley-esque Skinny Minnie and the lesser known follow-up Lean Jean. The sound is dirty and mean and Haley’s voice shows an agressivity rarely heard. In comparison Sway With Me sounds weak.
After a single for the instrumental market (Joey’s Song / Chiquita Linda) the Comets return to their trademark sound with another concept album based upon, girls’ first names. This is by far the best of the three. It’s not 100% successful but the band seems fresh again, inspired (Pompilli cuts some of his best solo on “Woah Mabel” and plays clarinet on “Ida”) and rocking. This is the first time in ages that Haley’s voice has sounded that good and the arrangements are very tight(especially on “Marie“).

This session continue on cd4. Also on this cd are 2 songs recorded for a German movie (“Vive Le Rock’n’Roll” with Caterina Valente and “Hot Dog Buddy Buddy“).
After that Bill Haley and his Comets seem to experiment various genres and tracks hoping to chart again. The result ranges from good to average. There’s attempts at new things like the crooning on “I Got Woman” or “A Fool Such As I“, first-rate rockers (“Where Did You Go Last Night”, “Caldonia“) and old mistakes (“ABC Rock” couldn’t really compete with Chuck Berry’s School Days). Then there’s the material for an instrumental album with different degrees of success, some announcing the forthcoming mexican releases.
The cd ends with two tracks recorded in 1964 seeing Haley returning to Decca for a single and also proving he still had plenty of good thing in store (though the public didn’t think so) and two songs recorded for the consideration of Milt Gabler that never went any further than the state of demos probably because Football Rock was too close to Crazy Man Crazy.

Cd5 gives you an inside view in the recording process of Haley, Gabler and the Comets.You can hear the evolution and the construction of the songs. Just wish they could have found the same tapes for a more interesting session.

This boxed set is perfect to discover the complexity of Bill haley. The only regret I have concerns the booklet. The liner notes seem to have been written by someone who doesn’t really like Haley but the discography is very complete and the pictures are beautiful.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Bill Haley - Rocks
Bill Haley – Rocks

Bill Haley – Bill Rocks

Bear Family BCD 16807
Rock Around The Clock – Shake Rattle And Roll – Dim Dim The Lights – Happy Baby – Mambo Rock – Rocket ’88 – Birth Of The Boogie – Razzle Dazzle – Two Hound Dogs – Rock The Joint – Burn That Candle – Rock-A-Beatin’ Boogie – See You Later, Alligator – Real Rock Drive – The Saints Rock And Roll – A.B.C. Boogie – R-O-C-K – Crazy Man Crazy – Hot Dog Buddy Buddy – Rockin’ Through The Rye – Rip It Up – Fractured – Rudy’s Rock – Choo Choo Ch’Boogie – Don’t Knock The Rock – Live It Up – Forty Cups Of Coffee – Skinny Minnie – Lean Jean – Where Did You Go Last Night? – Green Tree Boogie.

Bill Haley’s greatest hits have been compiled over and over again , mostly on budget series with ugly covers and no liner notes. It is justice that the true father of Rock’n’roll finds his place in the Bear Family’s Rocks serie because Bill Haley didn’t rock, he was the Rock (the same way Charlie Feathers was the rockabilly).
The core of this collection is made of the hits he cut for Decca in the wake of the success of Shake Rattle & Roll and Rock Around the Clock. Are also included some of his Essex sides when he first tried to mix Western swing with Rhythm’n’blues showing a man and band figuring how to find a new sound, how they succeeded and changed the face of the popular music.
That’s without a doubt the best thing from Bill Haley you could buy if you’re not fan enough to get the boxed sets ‘The Decca Years & More” and “The Real Birth Of Rock’n’roll”. As usual it comes with a thick booklet.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Tommy Johnson

in Reissues

Tommy Johnson – 1928 – 1929

Tommy Johnson


DOCD-5001
Cool drink of water blues – Big road blues – Bye-bye blues – Maggie Campbell blues – Canned heat blues – Lonesome home blues (take 1) – Lonesome home blues (take 2) – Big fat mama blues – I wonder to myself – Slidin` delta – Lonesome home blues – Boogaloosa woman – Morning prayer – Black mare blues (take 1) – Black mare blues (take 2) – Ridin` horse – Alcohol and jake blues
Probably because he doesn’t have the same romantic aura around him as his homonym Robert, Tommy is not the Johnson that history, or more exactly the medias, remember.
His recording career was brief, only 17 titles all available here, but the quality was constant.
During two sessions, one for Victor (songs 1-8) and the other for Paramount (9 to 17) he recorded one of the most interesting, rich and unique work in term of Delta Blues, that’ll influence many generations after him (Howlin Wolf, Houston Stackhouse…). He was also one of the first to come with the “crossroad mythology”.
His voice is full of intensity especially on autobiographical pieces like “Canned heat Blues” or “Maggie Campbell Blues” (named after one of his wife) and can turn into a high pitched falsetto, sometimes close to yodel. He supports it with a solid guitar style inspired by Charley Patton. Some sides show him backed by a second guitar (Charlie McCoy) or a clarinet and a piano on Black Mare Blues.
Maybe the Paramount sides compared to the Victor recordings don’t fit your quality standards, which is not a surprise from the label (Paramount not Document), but make the effort and you’ll be rewarded ten times by the quality of the music you’ll hear.
Sadly Johnson’s bad temper and his alcoholic habits didn’t allow him to build a “serious” career, which I guess lead to more alcoholism. He lost his royalties gambling and drinking and died in extreme poverty in 1956.
His musical legacy is a must have for anyone who’s interested in Delta Blues and Blues in general.
Available here
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

V/A El Mexican Rock And Roll

in Reissues

V/A El Mexican Rock And Roll
V/A El Mexican Rock And Roll

Volume 1
El Toro [2009]
La Orquesta de Pablo Beltran Ruiz : Mexican Rock And Roll – Gloria Rios : El Relojito – Orquesta De Cuco Valtierra : Only You – Los Lunaticos : Ya Vistete Kitty – Orquesta De Venus Rey : Al Compas Del Rock – Los Llopis : Basta Arturo – Las Supersecas : El Rock De La Carcel – La Orquesta Royale Y Sus Cantantes : Por Lo Que vivo – Daniel Santos : Baila Conmigo – The Goya Cats : El Gato Del Express – La Orquesta De Pepe Luis : El Rock Universitario – Ricardo “Rebelde” Lemus y Sus Rocks : Arroz – Los Xochimilcas : Xochimilcas Rock – Los Lunaticos : Donde La Pescaste – Gloria Rios : Es Un Golfo – Los Supersecas : Te Quiero, Te Adoro Y Te Necesito – Los Lunaticos : El Reloj – Ricardo “Rebelde” Lemus y Sus Rocks : Perro Callejero – Juan Garcia Esquivel y Su Orquesta : Politecnico Rock And Roll – The Goya Cats : Mezcal – Los Trincas : Nena – Gloria Rios : La Mecedora – Los Xochimilcas : Rock Rollin’ Rock – Gloria Rios : Jazzeando “En Vivo” Uniseed – Los Supersecas : Tutti Frutti

By 1955 the rock’nroll craze hit the world. Separated by just one border, Mexico was among the first to succumb. This compilation gathers some of the first Mexican musicians that tried to play this music.
If some are just big bands or hotel / dance orchestra trying to jump on the bandwagon and are not very good, the carefull listener will find a couple of little gems. Gloria Rios, featured here with four songs, has a good Bill Haley like rocker and shows a good understanding of the genre. The other songs are tamer but quite good too. Los Lunaticos can play both wild and melodic stuff. One of my favorite band is Los Llopis, that manage to emulate Haley’s sound and that’s too bad they only have one song. Another highlight are the Goyo Cats that play two hot instrumentals with sax, guitar and steel guitar. You’ll also find hot guitar and piano solos but drawned in average material.
Next to original material, you’ll hear Spanish covers of Elvis’ Hound Dog, Jailhouse Rock, Tutti Frutti and I Want You, I Need You I Love You executed with various degrees of success.
An interesting compilation but probably more for curious listeners than the casual rock’n’roll fan..
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

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