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
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.
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