El Toro Records ETCD1019
That Girl of Mine (demo) – I Guess It’s Mean That Way (demo) – Baby Come Back (demo) – Do Me No Wrong (RPM 461) – Baby Come Back (RPM 461) – Long Gone Daddy (RPM 473) – To Be The One (RPM 473) – Long Gone Daddy (Crown CLP 5364) – Do Me No Wrong (Crown CLP 5364) – Baby Come Back (Crown CLP 5364) – That Girl of Mine (Crown CLP 5364) – I Guess It’s Meant That Way (Crown CLP 5364) – Baby Come Back (Rollin’ Rock 45-002) – Do Me No Wrong (Rollin’ Rock 45-002) – Long Gone Daddy (Rollin’ Rock 45-003) – That Girl of Mine (Rollin’ Rock 45-003) – I Guess It’s Meant That Way (Rollin’ Rock 45-009) – I Won’t Remember To Cry (Rollin’ Rock 45-009)
Pat Cupp’s fifties recordings stand as some of the finest rockabilly ever made. His legacy may be modest in term of quantity (18 cuts for only 7 different songs) but the quality equals the likes of Carl Perkins and Mac Curtis (to name two that pop in my mind). Songs 1 to 3 are demos recorded at the Onyx studio in Memphis in January 1956 to get interest from Sam Phillips. Had he only recorded these demos, his place in the rockabilly pantheon would have been assured. Powerfull rhythmic, hiccupy voice, mean guitar… all the ingredients are here to satisfy the most exigeant rockabilly fan. But more was to come. Cupp and his band (the Flying Saucers) secured a contract with Joe Bihari from Modern Records. The result is the session of May 13 1956 that saw the release of two singles, RPM 461 (Do Me No Wrong/Baby Come Back) and RPM 473 (Long Gone Daddy/To Be The One). The fact that Modern/RPM was more R & B oriented shows on this recording. A tamer rock’n’roll sound was favored, like the sax version of “Long Gone Daddy” (recorded with session musicians) or “To be The One“, written by Pat’s sister Ruth, with doo woop backing vocals. Despite the high quality of these recording, the true genius of Pat cupp lies in his rejected blistering rockabilly version of this songs recorded that same day (10 in total). They later resurfaced on Crown and another batch in the 70’s on Rollin’ rock. I guess I’ll soon run out of superlative, but if someone asked me what rockabilly is, Pat Cupp’s complete 50’s recording would be one of the records I’d play to help him understand.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis