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Bear Family

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

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

High Noon the Rockabilly trio

in Albums/Contemporary artists/GH/Reviews
High Noon - Flatland Saturday Night
High Noon – Flatland Saturday Night

High Noon – Flatland Saturday Night

Bear Family
Glorybound – Stranger Things – She Forgot Her Memory – When She’s Good – Let’s Go Daddy-O – Long Empty Stretch Of Highway – My Ex Is Why – Beautiful – Rock Too Slow – Rockin’ Wildcat – Rockin’ Beauty – Old Habits – Flatland Saturday Night – Bluebonnet Boogie – Not For Nothin’ – Rattlesnake Man – Mixed Signal Mama – Fishing Hole Boogie – I’m Not Blue – Gotta Lotta That – Doggone That Cat – Now You’re Gonna Be Loved – Comanche Moon – Kiss And Tell Baby – Slow Down Baby – It’s The Beat – High On A Hill – Hanging From The Old Oak Tree – My Little Thrill – Call Of The Honky-Tonk – Quick Hand (demo) – My Heart Cries Yes (demo)

If you’re familiar with the Rockabilly genre, High Noon needs no introduction. But just in case… They were with Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Trio and the Dave and deke Combo, one of the bands that led the revival of American Rockabilly and among the first in the USA to play this music as if it came straigth from the fifties.

For any true Rockabilly lovers, High Noon almost sounded too good to be true: Shaun Young’s voice conjured the memories of the great Texas Rockabilly singers (among them a certain guy from Lubbock). Sean Mencher’s bag of riffs seemed bottomless. Unlike too many Rockabilly guitar player who were happy to copy Hank Garland or Scotty Moore, Mencher developped his style by listening to the generation that came before like Merle Travis but also Oscar Moore or Charlie Christian. And there was Kevin Smith who showed everybody what “slapping a doghouse bass” really meant (and he was more than able to sing harmonies too.)

Like an aknowledgement to their contribution to this music, High Noon now receives the Bear Family treatment, a well deserved treatment to the legends they are.

Except for the two demos (Quick Hand and My Heart Cries Yes) all songs (32 !) here are lifted from their Goofin’ records. So don’t expect to find songs recorded for Willie Lewis’Rock-A-Billy records or songs from their mini-album Texas style that saw High Noon playing with steel, fiddle, banjo and accordion (maybe for volume 2, who knows?)

Anyway if you don’t own anything from this great band, this is the best introduction you’ll find with a thick 40-page booklet (though the interview with shaun Young looks exactly like the interview I did with him a couple of years ago).
Read more at: https://www.bear-family.com/high-noon-flatland-saturday-night.html


High Noon - Texas Style
High Noon – Texas Style

High Noon – Texas Style

 Exile Records ‎– EX10EP09 [1994]
Crazy Mixed Up World – He Won I Lost,  She’s Found – Across the River – My Heart Cries Yes (but my mind whispers no) – Movie Magg – Red Barn Boogie

The Texas Rockabilly trio released this 10″ mini album in 1994. First, look at that cover! It’s perfect! Congratulations to Carlos Fernandez who captured the band in action. Then the music… For this one, High Noon took a slight departure from their usual brand of stripped down rockabilly and brought some guests to the party.
The opener is a cover of the Willie Dixon song made popular by Little Walter. The trio with the help of Alvin Crow on fiddle and John Ely on steel turns it into a superb hillbilly bop with Shaun Young yelling the name of the musicians in the great Bob Wills tradition. As usual Shaun’s vocals are superb, Sean Mencher’s guitar inventive and Kevin Smith provides the perfect backbone with his slap.
Next is He Won, I Lost, She’s Found, penned by Mencher. This Honky Tonk with steel, fiddle and harmony vocals (provided by Brent wilson of the Wagoneers) is sure to make you cry in you beer. The side A closes with Across the River, another Mencher original. It’s another fine ballad enlightened by Mike Maddux on accordion.
Side B opens with My Heart Cries Yes. Can these boys play bluegrass. You bet they can! With the help of Danny Barnes (Bad Livers) on banjo. Perkins’ Movie Magg is here to remind you that High Noon is one of the very best (if not the best) Rockabilly band of the late 80’s/early 90’s. Finally the steel and the fiddle return for Hank Harral’s Red Barn Boogie to conclude this mini album in beauty.

BR5-49

in Reviews
BR5-49 - One Long Saturday Night plus
BR5-49 – One Long Saturday Night plus

BR5-49 – One Long Saturday Night, plus

Bear Family BCD 17347
Even If It’s Wrong – Long Gone Lonesome Blues – Heartaches By The Number – Bettie Bettie – Right Or Wrong – Hometown Boogie – Honky Tonk Song – Go Boy Go – Lonesome 7-7203 – My Name Is Mud – I Ain’t Never – Little Ramona (Gone Hillbilly Nuts) – Big Mouth Blues – Cherokee Boogie – Ole Slewfoot – Crazy Arms – Gone, Gone, Gone – One Long Saturday Night – Take Me Back To Tulsa – Hillbilly Tramp – Settin’ The Woods On Fire – Knoxville Girl – Sweet Georgia Brown

BR5-49 came like a breath of fresh air in the musical landscape of Nashville. Sure they weren’t the first to play traditionnal country, others played it on a smaller level, but they managed to get signed on a major lbel and for a while this music was at the place it deserved in the country music industry.
But though I like their songs and style a lot, I always thought that their studio albums sounded a little bit too clean and would have been better with a little more grit. Just imagine how they would have sounded had they been recorded by Wally Hersom at his Wallyphonic studio.
On this live album, recorded in Germany (and four bonus tracks recorded in Japan) in 1996, they show that the stage whether it’s a honky tonk in Dallas or a German TV show was the place where they belonged.
With no pression but the sheer joy of playing for an audience, the band felt free to play whatever they wanted from western swing (Bob Wills’ Right Or Wrong and Take Me Back To Tulsa) to 60’s country rock (Graham Parson’s Big Mouth Blues) with a solid dose of classic Honky Tonk and Rockabilly in between. This is fun from start to finish. Both Mead and Bennett are mighty fine singers and their harmonies are superb (without mentionning their guitar skills), Don Herron is a wizard with anything that has strings while Wilson and McDowell provide the beat with a subtility that too often lacks in modern country. In the end “One long Saturday Night” could possibly be the band’s best album (and as usual with Bear family it comes with a thick booklet including many pictures and liner notes by Chuck Mead).
And for those who think that the experience can’t be complete without Jay’s smile, Chuck’s legs, Gary’s hat, Shaw’s mustache and Don’s overall, Bear has a also released a dvd from the same live.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Eddie Cochran

in Reissues

Cochran BrothersThe Cochran Brothers – Latch On with The Cochran Brothers

ALP 10502 RV
Side 1: Mr. Fiddle – Two Blue Singin’ Stars – Your Tomorrow Never Comes – Guilty Conscience – Latch On (Version 1)
Side 2: Latch On (Version 2) – Tired And Sleepy –Fool’s Paradise – Slow Down – Open The Door

If you’re a fan of Eddie Cochran you probably already own this sides. They are available on the superb Bear family box set released a couple of years ago or on the Rockstar CD titled “Mighty Mean”. But this limited ten 10 inch records that comes in a gatefold sleeve is a superb object that is sure to make you want to buy it even if you

If you’re new to the music of Cochran and only know his big hits like Twenty Flight Rock, Something Else, Summertime Blues and so on, this album is the perfect introduction to Eddie’s early years as a country and rockabilly singer and the team he made with Hank Cochran (no relation) under the name of the Cochran Brothers.
Side one focuses on their country sides, with harmony vocals reminiscent of the “brothers group” of the era, with some occasional steel and fiddle. The success of Elvis Presley will have an impact on the duo and they will quickly start to record in a more rockin’ vein, as shown on side two. It’s easy to compare the two versions of Latch On to see the evolution of the band in a very short time.


Eddie Cochran – Eddie Rocks

Bear Family BCD 17136
Pink Peg Slacks – Blue Suede Shoes – Long Tall Sally – Twenty Flight Rock – Completely Sweet – Pink Peg Slacks – Mighty Mean – Skinny Jim – One Kiss – Mean When I’m Mad – Am I Blue – Twenty Flight Rock – Completely Sweet – Stockings And Shoes – Cradle Baby – Sweetie Pie – Pretty Girl – Jeannie Jeannie Jeannie – Teenage Cutie – Little Lou – Cruisin’ The Drive-In – Nervous Breakdown – Summertime Blues – Ah Pretty Girl – Nervous Breakdown – Let’s Get Together – Teenage Heaven – C’mon Everybody – My Way – Teenage Heaven – Weekend – Somethin’ Else – Jelly Bean – Don’t Bye Bye Baby Me – Cut Across Shorty
If someone would come to me asking “What is Rock’n’roll?”, the best answer I could give would be “Listen to Eddie rocks… on Bear Family”.Though I consider Bill Haley as the true father of Rock’n’roll, I believe that Eddie Cochran, who died at only 21 in 1960, inspired more musicians. Songs like Something Else, C’mon Everybody and Summertime Blues have been played one day or another by the Who, the Sex Pistols, T-Rex, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and many more. Only Chuck Berry can claim the same score.
This collection focuses on Eddie Cochran’s solo releases (no Cochran brothers here) and rockers only (no ballad, no instrumentals, no hillbilly). You won’t be disapointed and BearFamily being the perfectionnists we all know couldn’t help but include a rarity even on a “best-of” collection, namely the original version of Cut Across Shorty at the correct speed the song having been speeded up for its release.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

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