VARIOUS - Page 2

V/A – Listen to the Ape Call

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Listen to the Ape Call (1988)
Listen to the Ape Call (1988)

Jungle Noise [1989]
1. Catfish Trio  – Chasin’ A Dog  – 2. Little Green Men – Please Don’t Leave Me – 3. Cruisin’ – Burnin’ Love   – 4. Pilgrim Breads – Runic Ryhme – 5. Rockabilly Mafia – I Don’t Want To Be A Tennis Playing Shitface – 6. Clear Rats – Night Train To London  – 7. Rockabilly Mafia – Is This Wrong, Baby?  – 8. Swamp Dogs – Ardath Bey – 9. Cruisin’ – Where Have You Been?  – 10. Clear Rats – Rockin’ Time – 11. Little Green Men – The Little Green Men – 12. Pilgrim Breads – Humdrum And Humbug

Listen to the Ape Call is an excellent compilation of neo-rockabilly with plenty of slap bass and light guitar like they used to play in the 80’s.
On the more traditional side stand the Little Green Men (ex Swamp Dogs) who add a touch of jazz and blues to their rockabilly. At the other end of the “billy” spectrum, you’ll find the psychobilly sound of the Pilgrim Breads or the Swamp Dogs (again!) that remains one of the most original band to emerge in that period. In between the Catfish trio, Clear Rats and Cruisin are pure neo-rockabilly the latter being the less convincing of the three, playing a weak cover of Elvis’ Burnin Love. Rockabilly Mafia, whose style is already in place, completes the set with two songs.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

V/A – Welcome to the Club!– Early Female Rockabilly

femalerockabilly El Toro Records
Anita Carter – He’s a Real Gone Guy / Bunny Paul – Sweet Talk / Charline Arthur – Hello Baby / Barbara Pitman – Sentimental Fool / Jan Smith – It’d Surprise You / Patsy Cline – Stop, Lookin & Listen / Janis Martin – Let’s Elope Baby / Dottie Jones – Honey, Honey, Honey / Wanda Jackson – Baby Loves Him / The Collin Kids – I’m in Your Teens / The Davis Sisters – Everlovin’ / Rose Maddox – Wild Wild Young Men / Sparkle Moore – Skull & Crossbones / Brenda Lee – Bigelow 6200 / Mimi Roman – Little Lovin’ / Janis Martin – Drugstore Rock’n’Roll / Wanda Jackson – Hot Dog! That Made Him Mad / Patsy Ruth Elshire – Watch Dog / Jean Chapel – I Won’t Be Rockin’ Tonight / Charline Arthur – Welcome to The Club / Bolean Barry – Long Sideburns / Nettles Sisters – Real Gone Jive / Ladell Sisters – Rockin’ Robert / Barbara Pittman – I Need A Man / Bunny Paul – History / Sparkle Moore – Rock-A-Bop / Rose Maddox – Hey Little Dreamboat / Betty Bryant – I’ll Take Back That / Alvadean Coker – We’re Gonna Bop / Betty Barnes – What Would You Do? / Connie & The Cytations – Boogie Rock / Patsy Ruth Elshire – Sugar Lump / The Collins Kids – Move a Little Closer.
Girls can rock too ! This is what, with no less than 33 songs, this nicely made compilation proves. Hardcore collectors will know most of the titles here, but this is a good start for anyone who’s interested in early female rockabilly singers.
Anita Carter opens this selection with a country/rockabilly version of Nellie Lutcher’s “He’s A Real Gone Guy”. A good version with a short but good steel guitar solo but a little bit wasted by the female background chorus. Born in 1924, Bunny Paul had already a solid experience when she cut her self penned “Sweet Talk” (with a similar intro as Elvis’ “My Baby Left Me”) and “History” for Point Records. Charline Arthur is almost a legend for her renegade attitude on and off stage which compromised her career a bit. Her recordings are like her. Included here are “Hello Baby” and the song that gives this compilation its name “Welcome To The Club” also recorded by Jean Chapel present here with “I Wont Be Rockin’ Tonight” written by the same winning team who gave the world “Heartbreak Hotel”. While Barbara Pittman’s Sentimental Fool is a good rocker (with sax and piano) who could believe she was only 13 when she recorded “I Need A Man” as good as anything Wanda Jackson released. Talking about Wanda, she’s well represented here with two songs, her own “Baby Loves Him” and “Hot Dog That Made Him Mad” (good choice from El Toro to choose different songs than the usual “Funnel Of Love” or “Fujiyama Mama”). This songs confirm (if needed) her status as the one and only Queen of Rockabilly. If Wanda is the Queen, Sparkle Moore, though she had recorded just a handful of singles, could possibly be the princess. “Skull & Crossbones” and “Rock-A-Bop” both from her pen are faultless. The other name that comes to mind when you think about female rockabilly is of course the late Janis Martin. “Let’s Elope Baby” and “Drugstore Rock’n’Roll” (a self penned tune), both from her first session for RCA, are the songs present here. Coined as “the female Elvis”, Janis proved she was much more than a pale imitation and truly had a style of her own. For this session she benefited of the best talents of the Nashville studios including Bob Moore, Chet Atkins and Grady Martin. He also lends his guitar on Mimi Roman’s “Little Lovin’” and Brenda Lee’s “Bigelow 6200”, giving to both of this songs a strong Johnny Burnette flavour. Like Brenda Lee, The Collins Kids were teenagers when they recorded their best tunes. If for some artists 2 songs are far enough I warmly encourage you to buy anything you can from this two wild kids. High pitch harmonies, Lorie’s beautiful voice and Larry’s sizzling guitar, they are absolutely brilliant ! Talking about family bands and harmonies, the “sisters” bands (even if contrary to The Collins Kid they weren’t real sisters for some of them) like the Nettles and the Davis bring a strong rural flavour to their rockabilly with their hillbilly harmonies. The Ladell Sisters are different and more urban.
Jan Smith sings “It’d Surprise You” and yes I’ve been surprised as I first though this voice belonged to a man. This apart, that’s a great rockabilly with a good dash of blues in it. During its short spell of success Rockabilly seduced some country singers who cut some songs in that style like Patsy Cline and Rose Maddox even if in her case the result is more “hillbilly boogie” than strictly rockabilly. Patsy Elshire is for me one of the best vocalists on this selection. Her two songs, recorded for Capitol, Watch Dog and Sugar Lump are very good. The later features an amazing steel guitar solo which could possibly be played by Speedy West but I don’t have more infos. Far from Elshire’s relatively polished sound, Dottie Jones and Betty Barnes give us two fine pieces of raw Texas rockabilly.
As I said, “Welcome To The Club” is an excellent compilation that reunites the essential female rockabilly singers and their best cuts. So make yourself a favour and spend 80 minutes with those lovely ladies.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

V/A Home Grown Rockabilly

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Home Grown Rockabilly - Nervous
Home Grown Rockabilly – Nervous

Alligator / Nervous
Crazy love – The Meteors / London is my hillbilly home – Johnny Key And The Kool Kats /Rockin’ this joint tonite – The Rhythm Cats /Hi ho fiddle dee dee – Gentleman Jim Mealey /I’m on my way – The Rhythm Cats /Tears fallin’ down like rain – Johnny Key And The Kool Cats /Go away – The Meteors /Move over baby – The Rhythm Cats /Rockin’ all nite – The Polecats /Little confused – Gentleman Jim Mealey /My baby loves me – The Meteors /My baby’s gone – The Rhythm Cats /Second hand information – Gentleman Jim Mealey /Fallin’ for you – Johnny Key And The Kool Kats /I’d find you – Gentleman Jim Mealey /Keep my big wheels turnin’ – Johnny Key And The Kool Kats / Make you realise – Johnny Key And The Kool Kats /Rockin’ on down the line – Gina And The Rockin’ Rebels /Thinkin’ on you – Gina And The Rockin’ Rebels

This compilation first issued on Alligator records in 1980 captures the British rockabilly scene at a key moment of its evolution. It was produced by Terry Earl, Pete Pritchard and Niggsy Owens, respectively drummer, bassist and guitarist of Flying Saucers. They were also the “house band” of the label appearing under the moniker of the Kool Kats on some sides.
The Meteors tracks are three Fenech originals that he sings too. It’s first class Rockabilly with a touch of skiffle on “My Baby Loves Me (Yes She Does)“. We’re far from the sound that ‘d be latter found on “In Heaven”. Actually these three songs were recorded during the transition between Raw Deal (who featured Terry Earl and Pat Panioty who later went on to form the Deltas) and the Meteors. By the time this compilation was released their sound had changed.
Another band who had a lasting influence on the Rockabilly scene was the Polecats. They only recorded one song for this album as they wanted to keep their material for a major record deal.
Before joining the Polecats, Neil Rooney played with the Rhythm Cats along with Peter Davenport and Anders Janes who later formed the Stargazers another rockin’ band to get a deal with a major. The recorded four songs of rural hillbilly bop mixed with rockabilly and early Bill Haley. “Move Over baby” was later reworked by the Stargazers and is/was available on “Rock that Boogie” on Vinyl Japan.
Gentleman Jim (Mealey) played solid rockabilly in the Sun/Meteor style while Johnny Key leaned more toward the hillbilly side of things with mandolin, banjo, fiddle and dobro.
The cd and mp3 version contain the other singles released by the label. Gina and the Strollers released two hot rockabilly numbers. “i’d Find You” is a solid western swing with sax and fiddle by Gentleman Jim while Johnny Key produced “Make You Realise” in the style of Johnny Cash and “Hillbilly Music” covered by Kitty Daisy and Lewis nearly 30 years later on their debut album.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Collector’s Choice

variouscollectorschoice_texasfever Vol 1 – Texas Fever
El Toro ETCD-CH101
1. Ken Marvin – Uh Uh Honey – 2. Fred Crawford – I Learned Something From You – 3. Leon Tassin with Charlie Stuckey’s Westerners – Get A Move On, – 4. Hub Sutter and The Hub Cats – Gone Golsing – 5. Jacoby Brothers – Who Ye Primpin Fer? – 6. Al Urban – Run Away – 7. Alden Holloway and His Prairie Riders – Woodpecker Love – 8. Lucky Hill – I’m Checkin’ Out – 9. Perry Washburn and The Rocky Mountain Canary Boys- Pocahontas Baby – 10. Earney Vandagriff – Where You Been – 1. Jimmie Walton – High As A Georgia Pine – 12. Stoney Calhoun and The Night Owls – Hot ‘N’ Cold – 13. Johnny Maxwell and The Rhythmmasters- Ole Satan’s Mother-In-Law – 4. Ken Marvin – Two Tone Ten Ton – 15. Jack Cardwell – Walking Away My Blues -16. Walter Scott – I’m Walking – 17. Chuck Ray and His Gang- I May Not Be Able But I’m Willing To Try – 18. Unknown Artist Acetate – Texas Fever – 19. King Sterling and His Blue Grass Melody Boys – Too Many Taverns – 20. Sammie Lee – Olahoma Blond Headed Gal

variouscollectorschoice_campusboogieVol 2 – Campus Boogie
El Toro ETCD-CH102
1. Jimmy Collie – I’m Not Giving Up That Easy – 2. Slim Williams – Out Running Around – 3. The Hooper Twins – You’re Always The Last To Know – 4. Leonard Sipes And The Rythmn Oakies – Smooth Sailing – 5. Ed Camp – Tie A String Around Your Finger – 6. Chuck Kyles With Excel Country Music Makers – You’ll Like Count – 7. Terry Fell And The Fellers- Smoking Cornsilks – 8. Al Runyon With The Gateway All-Stars – My Baby Left Me – 9. Betty Coral With Raymond Mccollister And His Orchestra – Chili D – 10. Jack Derrick – Rainbow Of Love – 11. Gene O’quin – You’re Gonna Be Sorry -12. Frank Evans And His Top Notchers – Barrell Of Heartaches – 13. Joyce Lowrance And Earney Vandagriff – Hush Money – 14. Don Johnson And The Mountain Wizards – Flying Low – 15. T. Texas Tyler And His Oklahoma Melody Boys – Black Jack David – 16. Al Brumley And The Brumley Brothers – You’ve Been Tellin’ Lies – 17. Hank Crowe – Love Love Love – 18. Tiny Adams – Long Gone Daddy – 19. R.D. Hendon And His Western Jamboree Cowboys – Ain’t Got A Lick – 20. Leonard Sipes And The Rythmn Oakies- Campus Boogie
“Collector’s Choice” a perfect name for this great and exciting serie launched by El Toro Records from Spain. It gathers a majority of unknown and rare recording from the 50’s that were until now only available on scarce 45’s and 78’s.
Volume 1 focuses on the Lone Star state artists. Home of musical legends, it was also full of lesser known but talented guys. The result is a 20 songs compilation filled with Hillbilly Bop (Ken Marvin, Alden Holloway, Stoney Calhoun), Hank Williams’ brand of country tunes( Jack Cardwell, Fred Crawford, Sammie Lee and Perry Washburn), talking blues (Leon Tassin’s Get A Move On Baby) proto rockabilly (Johnny Maxwell, King Sterling, Lucky Hill and Jimmmie Walton, both very close to Charlie Feathers’ vocal on tunes like Peepin’ Eyes), straight hillbilly (Jacoby Brothers), rock’n’roll (Hub Sutter’s Gone Golsing produced by Sonny Fisher). It comes with a 8 page booklet full of info including pictures of the original labels.
Volume 2 is equally good, the sole difference is that this time you find artist from the whole States. Though names like Gene O’Quinn, Terry Fell, Leonard Sipes/Tommy Collins and T Texas Tyler may be familiar you still have plenty of obscure and rare stuff. So if you’re ready for good dose of uptempo hillbilly with raw steel guitar and fiddles, don’t look no further. Like the previous one you can hear the influences of “big names” on local artists: Hank Williams is almost everywhere but also Ernest Tubb (just listen to Jimmie Collie) and Elvis Presley (Al Runyon’s cover of My Baby Left Me).
It’s also fine to hear some ladies on this selection wether it’s solo (Betty Coral) or duet (Joyce Lawrence and Earney Vandagriff). Volume 2 comes with a 12 page booklet.
Buy both, you won’t regret it, believe me.

variouscollectorschoice_firecrackerstompVol 3 – Firecracker Stomp
El Toro ETCD-CH103
1 Firecracker Stomp  – Jimmy Lane – 2 That Done It – Opal Jean – 3 Hillbilly Wedding – Shorty Long & Dolly Dimple – 4 Wild Oats – Lonzo & Oscar – 5 I’m Movin’ On – Jeanne Gayle – 6 I’m Your Man – Myrna Lorrie & Buddy de Val – 7 A Gambler’s Love – Marty Roberts – 8 I’m Gonna Comb You Outta My Hair – Bobby Roberts – 9 Store Bought – The Andrews Brothers – 10 Jack & Jill – Bill Taylor – 11 Tennessee Courtin’ Time – Opal Jean – 12 One-Two-Three Skidoo – Pete Lane – 13 Oh, I Like It! – Carolyn Bradshaw – 14 Standing In The Station – Shorty Long – 15 Cry, Cry, Cry – Texas Bill Strength – 16 Freight Train Blues – Jimmy Dean – 17 Love Me, Love Me – Eddy Star – 18 Hawk-Eye – Bobby Lord – 19 Rock Love – Elaine Gay – 20 Dig These Blues – The Rhythm Rockers

variouscollectorschoice_whatanightVol 4 – What A Night
El Toro ETCD-CH104
1 Ponytail – Muvva “Guitar” Hubbard – 2 Hoebe Snow – Benny Martin – 3 It’s A Long Road  – Nancy Dawn & The Hi-Fi Guys – 4 I Want Her Blues  – Bob Gallion – 5 Crash Out  – Jaycee Hill – 6 Blue Moon Of Kentucky – Roberta Sherwood – 7 My Honey – Jimmy Edwards – 8 Lonely Man – Jack Tucker – 9 Woody’s Rock – Jimmy Woodall – 10 Don’t You Realise? – Eddy Dugosh & The Ah-Ha Playboys – 11 One Of These Days – Tracy Pendarvis – 12 Eskimo Boogie Betty Jo & Johnny Starr – 13 What A Night! – Lee Emerson – 14 The Stop, Look & Listen Song  – Ernie Chaffin – 15 Open Up Your Door, Baby – Eddie Dean & Joanie Hall – 16 Uncle Sam’s Call – Jimmy Woodall – 17 Next – Billy Brown – 18 The Fire Of Love – Bobby Lord – 19 One Mile – Eddy Dugosh & The Red Tops – 20 Swingin’ The Gate  – Gatemouth Brown
The third and fourth volume of this excellent serie gather stuff from the collection of Dave Penny. Like volume one and two, the material compiled is mostly rare and comes from obscure artists though the names of Ernie Chaffin, Lonzo and Oscar, Gatemouth Brown and Jean Chapel are surely familiar to our readers. But once again this is lesser known recordings that appear here.
“Firecracker Stomp” focuses on the hillbilly side of things. It kicks off with a Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith kind of instrumental from Jimmie Lane. The rest of the selection is made of classic honky tonk, country duets (I’m Your Man by Myrna Lorrie and Buddy De Val will make the pleasure of Ginny Wright/Tom Tall fans), hillbilly comedy act (Lonzo & Oscar), muscled hillbily that just demands to mutate into rockabilly (I’m Movin’ On), hillbilly bop (Pete Lane)… The influence of Hank Williams van be vividly heard on Bobby Roberts’ I’m Gonna Comb You Outta My Hair and Eddy Star Love Me, Love Me. Also included is Carolyn Bradshaw, who’s in addition of being talented, shows that Chess record actually release some country flavored tunes too. Another of my fave here is Jimmy Dean’s rockin’ hillbilly blues version of Freight Train Blues. This song is sure to appeal fans of Ray Condo and His Hardrock Goners. The closer is a great cowboy jazz instrumental from the Rhythm Rockers, actually Nashville session musicians led by Chet Atkins.
“What A Night” is about Rock’n’roll under its different forms: instros (the strange “Ponytail” and the jazz blues of Gatemouth Brown), Rockabilly (Ernie Chaffin with a non Sun single not available on the Bear cd), Hillbilly Boogie (Eskimo Rock), Blues and Rhythm’n’Blues.
Both records come with detailed liner notes and photos.

variouscollectorschoice_5boogiewoogiefeverVolume 5 – Boogie Woogie Fever
El Toro ETCD CH105
1. Coal Miners Boogie – The Singing Miner (George Davis) – 2. Black Berry Boogie – Outpost Scotty and his Ramblers – 3. Dallas Boogie – Freddy Dawson – 4. Drop In Boogie – Bob Presley – 5. Boogie Woogie Square Dance – Jim Boyd and his Men from theWest – 6. Pisto Boogie – Dude Martin – 7. Steamboat Boogie – Ricky Riddle – 8. Ghost Town Boogie – Orville Newby and the Saddle Serenades – 9. Blue Hen Boogie – Tex Daniels and his Lazy Ranch Boys – 10. Hot Rod Boogie – Dorse Lewis “The Scared Coal Miner” and the Shadow Mountain Boys – 11. Mule Boogie – Jack Shook – 12. The Shot Gun Boogie – Outpost Scotty and his Bar-X-Boys – 13. Billy Goat Boogie – Red Sovine – 14. Food Plan Boogie – Jacoby Brothers – 15. Houn’ Dog Boogie – Sheldon Gibbs and the Arizona Ranch Boys – 16. Nail Drivin’ Boogie – Curley Smith and Blue Mt. Boys – 17. Hart’s Boogie – Curley Hickson and Band – 18. Straw Brown Boogie – Dick Spain with the Boogie Valley Boys – 19. Highall Boogie – Richard Prine and his All Stars – 20. Eskimo Boogie – Betty Jo & Johnny Starr
The new volume of this collection is entirely devoted to Boogie Woogie. It seems that, at one time, everybody and his cousins recorded boogie woogie following the path of Tennessee Ernie Ford (whom 2 covers are included here). Maybe 20 country boogie in a row would sound too much but the selection is well done and avoids as possible repetitions. Okay it follows more or less the same pattern but the instrumentations are varied (steel, guitar, fiddle, accordion, piano you name it…) as well as the tempos.
It goes from the raw sound of George Davis the Singing Miner to the more polished arrangement ala Spade Cooley of Jim Boyd, brother of western swing bandleader Bill Boyd and one time member of Roy Newman’s band and he Light Crust Doughboys.
A good overview of a major subgenre of hillbilly music, that comes with an informative booklet.

variouscollectorschoice_6boppinhitparadeVolume 6 – Boppin’ Hit Parade
El Toro ETCD CH106
1. Kaw-Liga – Delbert Barker – 2. Weary Blues – Delbert Barker – 3. Go, Boy, Go – Bob Sandy & The Rhythm Rangers – 4. Hep Cat Baby – Rusty Howard& The Rhythm Rangers – 5. Hearts Of Stone – Delbert Barker – 6. Live Fast – Love Hard – Die Young – Marlon Raimey With The Country All-Stars – 7. I Forgot To Remember To Forget – Bob Sandy & The Rhythm Rangers – 8. Cry, Cry, Cry – Bob Sandy & The Rhythm Rangers – 9. Folsom Prison Blues – Bob Sandy & The Rhythm Rangers – 10. Blue Suede Shoes – Hank Smith & The Nashville Playboys (Leon Payne) – 11. There You Go – Arkie Small – 12. Honky Tonk Man – Charlie Chain With The Gateway All-Stars – 13. I’m A One Woman Man – Jack Williams & The Nashville Playboys (Leon Payne) – 14. Uncle Pen – Al Runyon With The Gateway All-Stars – 15. 20 Feet Of Muddy Water – Dixie 508 -Uncredited Artist (Leon Payne Or Eddie Noack) – 16. My Baby Left Me – Rusty Howard& The Rhythm Rangers – 17. Geisha Girl – Dixie 526 – Uncredited Artist (Country Johnny Mathis) – 18. Invitation To The Blues – Dixie 536 Uncredited Artist (Eddie Noack) – 19. Gonna Give Myself A Party – Dixie 536 Uncredited Artist (Eddie Noack) – 20. Alone With You – Dixie 537 Uncredited Artist (Eddie Noack)

The 6th volume of this serie is a collection of top hits cut by obscure artist for budget label. The evidence forces to say that most, if not all, suffer from the comparison with the original (in a way it sounds suicidal to cover Hank Williams) but some deliver a certain charm that belongs to weird and even amateurish things (like B-movies if you want). Others are terrible failure but none the less fascinating (the musical equivalent to Ed Wood if you want to stick with the movie metaphor). Hank Smith (aka Leon Payne) plays Blue Suede Shoes with a rather unrehearsed band that doesn’t seem to know where the breaks are, Bob Sandy has a very personnal conception of tempo, too bad his band doesn’t share his view and My Baby Left Me by Rusty Howard is totally insane (but would almost make the Legendary Stardust Cowboy jealous).
It may not be the best of the serie in term of musicianship but it’s probably one of the most interesting.

The Best of Ripsaw records

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Best of Ripsaw records - Vol. 1
Best of Ripsaw records – Vol. 1

Vol. 1
PART Records 650.005
The Boogie Disease – Billy Hancock & The Tennessee Rockets / Bad Boy – Tex Rubinowitz / Feelin’ Right Tonight – Martha Hull / When I See You – Billy Hancock / Get A Little Goner – Marti Brom / Wheels On Fire – Kid Tater & The Cheaters / This Time – Billy Hancock & The Tennessee Rockets / Oooh-Wow! – The Uptown Rhythm Kings / Both Wheels Left the Ground – Bobby Smith / Rootie Tootie – Billy Hancock & The Tennessee Rockets / Mascara Tears – Marti Brom / Sweet Alla Lee – Louie Setzer & The Appalachian Mountain Boys / House Rocker – The Uptown Rhythm Kings / Lonely Blue Boy” – Billy Hancock & The Tennessee Rockets / Hot Rod Man – Tex Rubinowitz / Alley Cat” – Billy Hancock / What Do I Hafta Do – Bobby Smith / No Use Knockin’ – The Uptown Rhythm Kings / Oh, Caroline – Billy Hancock / Finders Keepers – Marti Brom

Nest of Ripsaw records - vol. 2
Best of Ripsaw records – vol. 2

Vol. 2
PART Records 650.007
Billy Hancock & The Tennessee Rockets – Do It If You Wanna / Tex Rubinowitz – Red Cadillac and A Black Moustache / Martha Hull – Fujiyama Mama / Billy Hancock – I Need You Now / Marti Brom – A Fool Such As I / Kid Tater & The Cheaters – You Oughta Know Better / Billy Hancock & The Tennessee Rockets – Rockabilly Fever /
Uptown Rhythm Kings – Open Up The Back Door /
Bobby Smith – I Wanna Be With You Billy Hancock – Christmas In Tennessee / Marti Brom & Bill Kirchen – Sweet Thang / Louie Setzer – Bluegrass Hall Of Fame / Uptown Rhythm Kings – Let Me Give You Lovin’ / Roy Kyle – I Like Your Style Baby / Tex Rubinowitz – Ain’t It Wrong / Billy Hancock – Sarah Lee / Bobby Smith – Tough Girls / Uptown Rhythm Kings – Sad As A Man Can Be / Artie & Curt – I Wanna Bop With You / Marti Brom – Feelin’ Right Tonight.

Best of Ripsaw records - vol.3
Best of Ripsaw records – vol.3

Vol. 3
PART Records 650.009
Billy Hancock & The Tennessee Rockets – Miss Jessie Lee / Tex Rubinowitz – I Wanna Bop With You / Marti Brom – Write Me In Care Of The Blues / Billy Hancock – Broken Heart / Martha Hull – Fujiyama Mama / Switchblade – She Makes Me Rock Too Much
Billy Hancock – Marie Marie / Uptown Rhythm Kings – ‘Til I Say Well Done / Bobby Smith – It’s Summertime / Billy Hancock & The Tennessee Rockets – Knock-Kneed Nellie Marti Brom – I Get The Blues When It Rains / Louie Setzer – Wood Smoke
Uptown Rhythm Kings – I’m Gonna Have To Send You Back / Billy Hancock & The Tennessee Rockets – Stay A While / Tex Rubinowitz – Feelin’ Right Tonight / Narvel Felts – It’s Not The Presents Under My Tree / Roy Kyle & Nite Life – Flyin’ High / Memphis Rockabilly Band – Lindy Rock / Billy Hancock – Great Shakin’ Fever / Marti Brom – Forbidden Fruit

Ripsaw records was a mostly Rockabilly label founded in 1976 and active until 1990, though the label was revived in September 2010 to release, jointly with Goofin records of Finland, “Not For Nothin’” by Marti Brom. With the years Ripsaw gained, with reason, a cult status.
Recently Part-Records, from Germany released a bunch of compilation albums titled “the best of Ripsaw records”. A very good idea as the vast majority of this recording never made it to cd. There are three volumes so far and I guess a fourth one is in the making. Part hasn’t cut corners and each cd comes with a detailed booklet featuring a song by song analysis, biographies and a complete and detailed sessionography.

One of the most prolific and best known artists is Billy Hancock. With or without his band the Tennessee Rockets, he’s featured here with no less than 18 cuts of high. The listener is treated to the whole gamut of Rockin’ music like Hillbilly bop (Rootie Tootie), classic Rockabilly (Caroline, Do It If You Wanna, Knock Kneed Nellie that sounds like a cross between Charlie Feathers and Buddy Holly), Presley influenced Rock’n’roll, some with Jordanaires type of vocals (Stay Awhile, Lonely Blue Boys, I Need You Now), Rock’n’roll (Marie Marie), frantic rockin’ blues (Boogie Disease), Christmas (Christmas in Tennessee) and neo-rockabilly pastiche (Alley Cat).
Though Tex Rubinowitz made just a few recordings for Ripsaw, his legacy is equally important. He influenced countless band and acts like High Noon or Go Cat Go respectively covered Ain’t It Wrong and Hot Rod Man. They’re all here as well as a live cut.
Hancock and Rubinowitz also recorded once together under the moniker of Artie and Curt and their Classmates a fine duet with hillbilly harmonies.
Martha Hull only had one single out on Ripsaw on which she’s backed by Rubinowitz’s touring band of the time featuring Eddie Angel (Planet Rockers, Los Straitjackets). Both sides (a cover of Tex’s Feelin Right Tonight and Wanda Jackson’s Fujiyama Mama) are solid rockabilly and are included here as well as an alternate track previously unreleased. Also linked to Rubinowitz is Switchblade a band that consists of members of the Bad Boys. It’s a hard rockin’ combo. She Makes Me Rock Too Much is a hard rocker ala Chuck Berry but lacks of originality on the chorus.
Also a one single band for the label, Kid Tater and the Cheaters provide two solid rock’n’roll with piano. Bobby Smith’s songs come from his album the two sides of… Guitar freaks will jump on his cover of Crazy Cavan’s Both Wheels Left the Ground that features an amazing guitar part by the late Danny Gatton. There’s a chance of pace with the joyful It’s Summertime, the boppin’ I wanna Be You. Most surprising is Tough Girls that has a strong 60’s feel revisited by the 80’s with sax and weird guitar part, a bit like John Cafferty.
Roy Kyle
brings a welcome country feel with I Like your Style while Flyin’ High is more on the rockin side of things.
Though Ripsaw is mostly associated with Rockabilly and Rock’n’roll they also released stuff by the Uptown Rhythm Kings, a hot Jump Blues combo that is also at ease with straight blues and even some mambo, and Louie Setzer & the Appalachian Boys an excellent Bluegrass combo.
Some artist didn’t have releases on Ripsaw but were linked to the label in on way or another. Narvel Felts is a Rockabilly legend and needs no introduction. His song It’s Not the Present is a Christmas ballad, originally released on Billy Poore’s Renegade records and penned by Poore and Rubinowits. Likewise the Memphis Rockabilly Band has reached a cult status. Lindy Rock is one of their earlier cuts and features an amazing guitar solo by Bill Coover.
Latest artist who released an album on the label is Marti Brom. The songs included here mixes some average cuts like I Got the blues When It Rains that doesn’t really swing with the best tracks of the album (Mascara Tears, Get A Little Goner).

As said before, this collection is very well done and features very interesting stuff and it is safe to say that these three volumes belong to the collection of anyone interested in the Rockabilly Revival movement.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis