Vintage Rock 'n' Roll & Rockabilly - New Releases: July 2010 -> March 2011 - Freddie Bell & The Bellboys -> Conway Twitty


New Releases: July 2010 -> March 2011
Vintage Rock 'n' Roll & Rockabilly
Freddi Bell & The Bellboys  -> Conway Twitty + Books + DVD





UGLY THINGS #31 ● BOOK $8.95
200 pages / perfect bound / full-color glossy cover, essential
Counts as five CDs for shipping
These Ugly Things magazines only come out about twice a year, but they are certainly worth the wait. Covering the best in vintage Rock 'N' Roll, '60s Garage, Psych, and Experimental, as well as usually a dab of '70s Punk and Power-Pop, and a few current acts that have the R&R spirit. This new issue continues at the high standard they have set with features like the first ever-major interview with Billy Harrison, guitarist and founder member of Van Morrison's seminal R&B group THEM. Then there's a big in-depth feature on the great Norton record label and the Kicks zine that it started out of. You also get the final installment in the ongoing Masters Apprentices story, James Williamson and the Stooges, swingin' '60s scenester and Rock star confidant Prince Stash de Rola, Cleveland Garage Rock of the '60s, etc. Topping it all off is extensive record, CD, Book, and DVD reviews, covering the latest re-issues, excavations and more, much more. Regular readers will know how essential this mag is, if you haven't checked it out yet, you certainly need to pick one up. (JM)

ROCKET IN MY POCKET The Hipsters Guide To Rockabilly Music by Max Decharne ● BOOK $23.98
Import paperback, 326 pages, counts as four CDs for shipping
When Elvis Presley walked into Sam Phillips' Sun Studios in May 1954 to record his debut single "That's All Right"/"Blue Moon Of Kentucky", he laid down the blueprint for the worldwide rock explosion of the 1950's and so began the biggest and most successful career the music world has ever known. And yet the story of rockabilly is largely one of individual recordings, rather than stars. Many of the great performances were by unknowns whose careers were over almost before the ink dried on their record contracts. "A Rocket In My Pocket" makes sure these unknowns get their due, alongside the legends - Jerry Lee Lewis, Wanda Jackson, Buddy Holly and revivalists like The Stray Cats and The Cramps. In his book, musician and writer Max Decharne celebrates the original teenage rebel music, the primal mix of country, blues and hillbilly that came out of the American South and conquered the world. And don't forget the CD issued by Ace to complement this book (Ace CDCHD 1268 - Rocket In My Pocket - $18.98)

I DON'T SOUND LIKE NOBODY Remaking Music In 1950s America by Albin J. Zak III ● BOOK $29.95
Hardbound, 308 pages, counts as five CDs for shipping
The 1950s marked a radical transformation in American popular music as the nation drifted away from its love affair with big band swing to embrace the unschooled and unruly new sounds of Rock 'N' Roll. The sudden flood of records from the margins of the music industry left impressions on the pop soundscape that would eventually reshape long-established listening habits and expectations, as well as conventions of songwriting, performance, and recording. The central story line of this book is change itself. The characters included here are not just performers but engineers, producers, songwriters, label owners, radio personalities, and fans-all key players in the decade's musical transformation. In his book-written in an engaging and accessible style-Albin Zak approaches music and historical issues of the 1950s through the lens of recordings, while fashioning a compelling story of the birth of a whole new musical language.

SMART ASS The Music Journalism Of Joel Selvin ● BOOK $19.98
Paperback, 400 pages, counts as seven CDs for shipping
In the world of Bay Area rock and roll, music journalist Joel Selvin has become a mini legend. For over 40 years he has been a champion to some, and a thorn in the side to others, but his always provocative pieces are thought provoking and entertaining. In this collection of his writings, mostly for the San Francisco Chronicle, the scope of his music interest is exposed: he has examined everyone from Merle Haggard to Neil Young, the Beach Boys to Phil Spector, John Lee Hooker to Steve Miller, The Grateful Dead to Mimi Farina; he has covered everything from Southern California rock/pop to Chris Strachwitz's roots music odyssey, and the common thread running through all of them is Selvin's enthusiasm and honesty about his subjects. There is something for everyone in this book; whether your poison is country, blues, pop/rock, or soul, Selvin has you covered. Because he spent most of his career writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, Joel Selvin's name might not be well known outside of the Bay Area, but one taste of this book might make you think that it should be.



VARIOUS ARTISTS Stomper Time STDVD 5 Hot Shot Rockabillies ● DVD $28.98
45 performances, 100 mins, essential
Fantastic collection of rockabilly, rock 'n' roll and rockin' country performances drawn from the legendary Southern California based TV show "Town Hall Party." Best known as an outlet for country performers the show, on the air from 1953 to 1960, also featured some great rock 'n' roll and rockabilly performers. Fortunately kinescopes of a number of the original shows are preserved at the Country Music Foundation which is the source of these priceless recordings. Bear Family has issued an extensive series of DVDs drawn from these shows including a number of complete shows but this disc strips it down to the essentials - just the musical performances without any introductions or dull acts. Most of the artists are backed by the Town Hall Party house band (who were exceptional) though several brought their own groups. Most of the performances here are from 1958 and 1959 when most of these artists were in their prime and we get to see - Eddie Cochran, Bob Luman, The Flairs (a fine white rock 'n' roll band), Wanda Jackson, Johnny Cash, The Collins Kids, Carl Perkins, Gene Vincent, Marty Robbins, Skeets McDonald, Jimmy Pruett and others. Sound and video quality are not perfect but are generally fine and since they are licensed from Bear Family they are probably as good it's going to get. (FS)



FREDDIE BELL & THE BELLBOYS Hallmark 709812 Rock & Roll ... All Flavors ● CD $8.98
12 tracks, 29 mins, recommended
Freddie Bell etc. are a Rock & Roll group by the most lenient of definitions; mostly, they were a high-energy lounge act that played in the R&R style. So, much more akin to Louis Prima than Bo Diddley, and honestly sounding pretty similar to what Brian Setzer's big band would sound like a few decades later. Legend has it that a young Elvis Presley, on his first (failed) stint performing in Las Vegas, watched Freddie Bell and the Bellboys in concert and was inspired by (among other things) their arrangement of Hound Dog. This bare-bones collection gathers up a sampling of their "classic" recordings. So you get Hound Dog, as well as Hucklebuck for examples of their covers and most of the rest of this collection is their crowd pleasing originals like Voo Doo/ Stay Loose Mother Goose/ Giddy Up Ding Dong, (featured in the groundbreaking "Rock Around The Clock" movie) and Big Bad Wolf. All in all this is fun, and fans of hot Sax playing especially should dig it. (JM)

THE BONZO DOG (DOO DAH) BAND EMI 947 497-2 A Dog's Life ● CD $29.98
3 CDs, 72 tracks, 230mins, highly recommended
Falling somewhere between Monty Python and The Firesign Theatre, the great Bonzo Dog (Doo Dah) Band put out a string of fantastically bizarre albums, starting in 1967, that are still a blast today. Mocking just about everything in British and American culture, these art school misfits made five sublime albums in just about as many years, all of which are collected here, plus more than a handful of "Extra Treats." I'm the Urban Spaceman, probably the best actual song here and a modest top-five hit in 1968 was produced by none other than Paul McCartney, who song-writer Neil Innes would pay back in a way with his future project "The Rutles." The five albums are all classics and the bonus tracks are a real treat, but the unfortunate thing about this collection is, that despite the wonderful production and thorough track compilation, there isn't a single line of notes accompanying this set. They have missed a grand opportunity to make the definitive "Bonzos" release and tell their story along with the music, which is a shame. Nonetheless, I can still heartily recommend this collection, its still quite the surrealist smorgasbord. Among the bonus tracks, you get such choice cuts as I'm Gonna Bring A Watermelon To My Girl Tonight/ Alley Oop/ Mr. Apollo (German Version,) by the "Bonzos" and Labio Dental Fricative by Vivian Stanshall Sean Head Showband featuring Eric Clapton, and more. (JM)

THE BURNETTE BROTHERS El Toro 1037 If You Want It Enough ● CD $26.98
Two CDs, 57 tracks, recommended
Having already told the story of the Burnettes' legendary Rock 'n' Roll Trio from beginning to acrimonious end (El Toro 10010 - $24.98), El Toro Records now takes the story of the talented Memphis-born brothers forward from the parting of the ways in 1956 through their separate relocation to the West Coast and their happy reconciliation a year later, and on to their subsequent recordings both individually and collaboratively until they each began to enjoy national chart success in the early 1960s. Johnny continued with four more rockabilly sides for Coral before moving out West where he recorded for Liberty subsidiary Freedom before moving to the parent company and starting his successful career as a pop rock singer which was cut short in 1964 by his premature in an accident. Dorsey first recorded for Abbott before his two rockabilly classics for Surf - Bertha Lou and Til The Law Sais Stop and ending up on Imperial where he recorded a number sides with Ricky Nelson's backing band including James Burton on guitar. The duo reunited for one Imperial single with a tough band featuring hot rockabilly guitar from Joe Maphis and later had four instrumental sides issued as by The Texans on the obscure Infinity and Gothic labels. The set includes lots of originally unissued songs and a bunch of demos - the duo were very active as songwriters and were responsible for a number of Ricky Nelson's big hits and this set includes Dorsey's originally unissued version of It's Late and a great demo of I Believe What You Say. The last half a dozen songs on the set are other artists doing Burnette songs including Nelson, Fohnny Faire, Bob Luman and The Ring A Dings. Although there is a fair amount of pop oriented material here there are also many fine rockers. (FS)
JOHNNY BURNETT: I'm Restless/ Kiss Me/ DORSEY BURNETTE: At A Distance/ Bertha Lou/ Circle Rock/ House With A Tin Roof Top/ I Believe What You Say (demo)/ I Only Came Here To Dance (unissued)/ It's Late (unissued)/ Jungle Magic/ Let's Fall In Love/ Lonely Train/ Lonely Train (undubbed master)/ Misery/ The Devil's Queen/ Til The Law Says Stop/ Try/ Way In The Middle Of The Night/ You Came As A Miracle/ Your Love/ JOHNNY BURNETTE: Butter Fingers/ Eager Beaver Baby/ Gumbo/ I'll Never Love Again/ I'll Never Love Again (take 2)/ If You Want It Enough/ Kentucky Waltz/ Kiss Me/ Love Kept A-Rollin' (unissued)/ Me And The Bear/ Settin' The Woods On Fire/ Sweet Baby Doll/ That's All I Care (unissued)/ Touch Me/ THE BURNETTE BROTHERS: Ballad Of The One-Eyed Jacks (demo)/ Blue School Days (demo)/ Boppin' Rosalie (unissued)/ Do Baby Do (unissued)/ I'm Happy (demo)/ Just A Memory (demo)/ Just Keep On Goin' (demo)/ Just Keep On Goin' (demo)/ My Honey/ Warm Love/ You're Cheatin' On Me (overdubbed master)/ You're Cheatin' On Me (rehearsal)/ You're Cheatin' On Me (undubbed master)/ JOHNNY FAIRE: Til The Law Says Stop/ BOB LUMAN: Whenever You're Ready (AKA 'Let's Fall In Love')/ RICKY NELSON: Believe What You Say/ It's Late/ THE RING A DINGS: Snacky Poo/ Snacky Poo #2/ THE TEXANS: Bloody River/ Green Green Grass Of Texas/ Ole Reb/ Rockin' Johnny Home

AL CASEY El Toro 1036 I'm A Guitar Man ● CD $26.98
Two CD set, 59 tracks, very highly recommended
Complementing El Toro's recent Hal Harris release and Rev-Ola's Grady Martin issue this great set puts the focus on another superb session guitarist whose career has been overshadowed by that of the artists he recorded with. Most of the recordings here are from the period 1955 through 1960 made for more than a dozen different labels - most in his home state of Arizona. Al's first work as a session guitarist was accompanying Sanford Clark on his big hit The Fool and a couple of years later provided some more unique guitar sounds on Jody Reynolds' classic Endless Sleep - both included here. In an interesting twist of fate Al's band was joined by a young guitar player Duane Eddy in 1957 as a second guitarist and the group recorded the hot instrumental Ramrod which was issued under Duane's name though that great lead work is by Al. A year later when Duane was a star, Jamie reissued an overdubbed version of Ramrod and subsequently Al joined Duane's band as second guitarist! In addition to more cuts backing Sanford Clark and Jody Reynolds Al also provided dynamite work behind Jimmy Johnson (his rockabilly classic Cat Daddy), Dave Lowe, Gene Maltais, Judy Faye, Don Cole, Loy Clingman, Ted Newman and others. There are also a dozen cuts issued under Al's name - half vocal and half instrumental and while no great shakes as a vocalist most of his songs have hot guitar breaks. In the late 50s Al moved to the West Coast and became a founder of the surf guitar movement and acted as session guitarist for the like of Elvis, The Beach Boys, Dean Martin and others. It's a real treat to hear all these tracks together and realize what a talented and versatile musician Al was - mostly rock 'n roll but with some country and jazz elements. Sound quality is superb and there are informative notes by Dave Penny. (FS)
THE BARKER BROTHERS (MONTY & FREDY): Hey Little Mama/ AL CASEY: A Fool's Blues/ Come What May/ Guitar Man/ If I Told You (Wouldn't Know It All By Myself)/ Juice/ Keep Talking/ She Gotta Shake/ The Pink Panther/ The Stinger/ Willa Mae/ Give'n Up/ (Got The) Teen-Age Blues/ The Adventures of Frank N Stein/ SANFORD CLARK: 9LB. Hammer/ A Cheat/ A Cross-Eyed Alley Cat (unissued)/ Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens (unissued)/ Don't Care (unissued)/ Every Minute Of The Day (unissued)/ Lonesome For A Letter/ Modern Romance/ New Kind Of Fool/ Ooo Baby/ The Fool/ Usta Be My Baby/ LOY CLINGMAN WITH AL CASEY & THE ARIZONA HAY: Time Wounds All Heels/ DON COLE: Saturday Nite Party Time/ Sweet Lovin' Honey/ Snake Eyed Mama/ JIMMY DELL: I've Got A Dollar/ JERRY DEMAR: (She Wantsa) Lover Man/ DUANE EDDY & HIS ROCK-A-BILLIES: Caravan/ Ramrod/ JUDY FAYE: Rocky-Rolly-Lover Boy/ JOE D. JOHNSON: Rattlesnake Daddy/ JIMMY JOHNSON WITH AL CASEY & THE ARIZONA HAYR: Cat Daddy/ How About Me? pRETTY bABY/ DAVE LOWE: A Tramp/ GENE MALTAIS: Lovemakin'/ The Bug/ JOE MONTGOMERY: Planetary Run/ JIM MURPHY & THE ACCENTS: I'm Gone, Mama/ Plumb Crazy/ TED NEWMAN: Plaything/ JODY REYNOLDS: Daisy Mae/ Endless Sleep/ Fire Of Love/ Beulah Lee/ Tight Capris/ DICK ROBINSON & HIS MAKEBELIEVERS: The Boppin' Martian (Gibo Miban Gibo)/ 'FRANTIC' JOHNNY ROGERS: Sassy/ LONESOME LONG JOHN ROLLER: Hay Momma/ Long John's Flagpole Rock/ JIMMY SPELLMAN WITH AL CASEY: Doggonit/ JIMMY SPELLMAN WITH THE SUNSET RIDERS: It's You, You, You/ THE STORMS: Tarantula/ Thunder/ THE TADS: The Pink Panther

DANY & THE JUNIORS Singular 711 Rock And Roll Is Here To Stay ● CD $17.98
32 tracks, recommended
Danny Rapp and the Juniors were a White South Philly vocal group that had a national #1 hit in 1958 with the rousing dance tune At The Hop. Due to its overexposure on oldies stations through the years you might be a bit tired of it by now, but this collection should give you a fresh jolt since there are many more energetic tunes like their big smash. Sure you have a few Four Freshmen type ballads, but for the most part they stick with the tried and true dance floor boppers. This includes just about everything they recorded between 1957 and 1963 including all eight of their chart hits. Includes Doing The Continental Walk with hot guitar from Roy Buchanan. (AE/ FS)

JACKIE DESHANNON Ace CDCHD 1290 Come And Get Me - Complete Liberty & Imperial Singles 2 ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, 67 mins, very highly recommended
The first volume of Ace's collection of DeShannon's Liberty singles (Ace 1243 - $18.98) tackled the beginning of her career in the early 60's; this set (the second of three) picks up in 1964 and takes us through 1967. And what we are given is an assortment of tracks-all singles, although some were UK releases-that further show Jackie's talents as a singer (on the covers) and as an exceptional songwriter in her own right. She does Buddy Holly proud on rowdy versions of Oh Boy! and I'm Looking For Someone to Love, and sings the Bacharach/David compositions A Lifetime of Loneliness/ Come and Get Me Windows and Doors, and the peerless hit What the World Needs Now with a skill and feeling rivaled only by Dionne Warwick. And as always, her own songs sit alongside the pros as beautiful pieces of pop masterworks: a cool fast mix of When You Walk in the Room/ Don't Turn Your Back on Me/ I Remember the Boy/ Are You Ready For This, and two gossamer collaborations with Randy Newman, Hold Your Head High and She Don't Understand Him Like I Do, which are worth the price of admission all by themselves. Upon listening to this collection, it's easy to see that Jackie's mid 60's work reached a peak in her career; it will be interesting to see what Vol. 3 has in store. Meanwhile, fans of singer/songwriters, 60's pop, and plain old good tunes will lap this music up like fine wine. (GMC)

DION & THE BELMONTS Jasmine 153 Teenagers In Love, 1957-1960 ● CD $15.98
2 CDs, 43 tracks, 103 mins, highly recommended
Here's something that I have been wanting for a long time; a comprehensive collection for Dion & The Belmonts that includes all the hits, plus a whole bunch of tracks covering the groups original three-year recording run. This even features the first two tracks that Dion sang on when they group first were signed to the Mohawk record label; the ridiculous western themed The Chose Few and Out In Colorado which feature Dion's vocals plopped down on top of tracks by Hugo Montenegro orchestra. Things get a lot better from there, and that beautiful street corner vocal group sound that Dion & The Belmonts perfected will dominate most of the rest of the tracks. I Wonder Why/ Teen Angel/ No One Knows/ Don't Pity Me/ A Teenager In Love/ Lonely Teenager/ That's My Desire, and many, many more great tunes. (JM)

LONNIE DONEGAN Spectrum 553 906-6 The Lonnie Donegan Collection ● CD $28.98
Inexpensive five CD set with 108 tracks spanning Lonnie's career from his first hit Rock Island Line through to 1983's Ding Ding. It includes all 32 songs that reached the British top 30, including three that topped the charts. All your favorites are here - Bring A Little Water Sylvie/ Don't You Rock Me Daddy-O/ Puttin' On The Style/ Jack O' Diamonds/ Grand Coulee Dam/ Lonnie's Skiffle Party, Parts 1 & 2/ Tom Dooley/ Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour/ Battle Of New Orleans/ My Old Man's A Dustman and many more plus a whole heap of lesser known but fine sides. Includes 16 page, full color, illustrated booklet with a full biography.

DUANE EDDY Jamie 3926 The Birth Of A Guitar Legend - The Jamie Singles Sessio ● CD $36.98
Three CDs, 75 tracks, highly recommended
All the twang you could want and more featuring every single the Rebel Rouser made for Jamie between 1957 and 1962, from his great hits (Rebel Rouser/ Cannonball/ Moovin' n' Groovin'/ Peter Gunn Theme/ Forty Miles of Bad Road/ Ramrod/ Because They're Young/ Yep/ Dixie/ Kommotion/ Some Kinda Earthquake/ Pepe, etc.) to lesser known titles and flipsides. Many of the cuts feature his fine backup band The Rebels with tough sax from Steve Douglas. Although his music gradually moved in a pop direction, with strings and vocal choruses there are plenty of fine rockin' sides here. In addition to both sides of all the singles there are bonus cuts featuring undubbed and/ or unedited versions of some his singles and a couple of tunes that were not originally issued. About 2/3 of the tracks are in stereo and the set ends in new digital stereo versions of two of his earliest hits Moovin' 'n' Groovin and, of course, Rebel Rouser. Includes 16 page illustrated booklet with notes on the recordings. If you missed out on the long deleted Bear Family box this is your chance to get a com,prhensive collection of twang. (FS)

THE EVERLY BROTHERS Legends 019 100 Hits ● CD $19.98
Five CDs, 100 tracks, highly recommended
Another impressive budget priced collection devoted to important performers from the Legends label. This time its the great Everly Brothers who had a slew of hits in the 50s and early 60s and whose harmonies influenced many later groups. The first disc is mostly devoted to their Cadence recordings made between 1957 and 1960 and features most of their Cadence hits though the omission of the gorgeous I Wonder If I Care As Much (the flip of Bye Bye Love) is really unfortunate. The other four discs are devoted to their Warner Brothers recordings made between 1960 and '67 and includes all their hits for that label (Cathy's Clown/ Ebony Eyes/ So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)/ Temptation/ Crying In The Rain, etc.) along with non hits, flip sides and album cuts. Although some of the material they recorded for Warners was questionable (Mention My Name In Sheboyagn/ My Mammy/ Bye Bye Blackbird) there are lots of fine sides including such gems as The Price Of Love/ This Is The Last Song I'm Ever Going To Sing and the sublime Love Hurts plus some great and unique covers of rock 'n' roll, R&B and country songs - dig the fuzz guitar on their cover of Chuck Willis's See See Rider! Booklet has brief introductory notes by Stuart Batsford - if you have little or no songs by the Everlys this is a perfect collection. (FS)

AL FERRIER El Toro 1032 I'm The Man - Louisiana Swamp Rockabilly, 1955-1959 ● CD $18.98
32 tracks, 79 mins, highly recommended
Superb collection of rockabilly, rock 'n' roll and honky tonk country Louisiana bayou flavor, laid down by an artist whose solid feel for his material is shared by his back-up band which usually featured his brother Brian on lead guitar and on the earliest cuts his other brother Warren on fiddle or bass. Among the many highlights are the Johnny Cash flavored title track, the wild Hey Baby the originally unissued Blues Stop Knocking at My Door, the great My Baby Done Gone Away which adds some fiddle into the rockabilly mix plus No No Baby/ You Win Again/ Send Her Back, and the pure country It's Too Late Now. As the 50s progressed Al moved to a more straight ahead rock 'n' roll style but with solid vocals and great accompaniments they are all a joy. In addition to all the issued sides this includes originally unissued songs and alternate takes that turned up in the 1980s and help round out the picture of Al's considerable talent. Excellent sound and 8 page booklet with detailed notes. (FS)

BILLY FURY Jasmine 154 Maybe Tomorrow - The Billy Fury Story, 1958-60 ● CD $15.98
Two CDs, 50 tracks, 123 mins, recommended
Billy Fury (born Ronald Wycherly) from Liverpool was one of the finest rock 'n' roll artists to emerge in Britain in the late 50s. With a style obviously influenced by Elvis and similar smoldering good looks he soon became a teen idol though in spite of influences Billy was definitely his own man and wrote a good number of his songs. Although most of his hits were rock ballads he was also a fine up tempo rock 'n' roll singer and had some excellent backup groups. He was also a controversial performer whose on stage antics led him to be banned from performing in several cities! Disc 1 opens up with six solo demos made in 1958 - four Elvis covers and two originals. Sound quality is rough but the performances are impressive. Disc 1 also includes his Decca singles from 1959 and 1960 - a mix of ballads and rockers including his hits Maybe Tomorrow and Margo (Don't Go). It also includes all the tracks from his "Sound Of Fury" LP - accompanied by a first class band and singing all original songs this is considered by many to be the best British rock 'n' roll album of the era. The first disc is rounded out by some live performances from radio shows including a hot version of My Babe where he duets with Gene Vincent and is given great guitar accompaniment by Joe Brown. Side two features a bunch of solo demos by Billy of songs intended for the "Sound Of Fury" album - some of which did not appear on the final album along with an alternate take of Maybe Tomorrow and stereo mixes of songs issued on singles and LP. 12 page booklet has informative notes on Billy's career. (FS)

THE GOODEES Ace CDCHD 1291 Condition Red! The Complete Goodees ● CD $18.98
22 tracks, 64 mins, highly recommended
On initial listen, the Goodees' Condition Red sounds like a Shangri-La's Leader of the Pack-style rip-off, which doesn't bode well for the rest of this collection of everything recorded by this last gasp girl group, but listen closer. By 1969, when the Goodees' sole LP "Candy Coated Goodees" was released, girl group pop was well and truly dead (with the exception of the Supremes.and one could debate whether or not they were really a "girl group") and it should come as no surprise that neither the album nor any of their singles (with exception of Condition Red) were hits. But what makes this trio of ladies interesting are several facts: they were Memphis white girls who recorded for Stax (and Stax imprint Hip), and worked with the cream of Memphis talent, including Isaac Hayes and David Porter, and Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham. With that kind of talent in the background, one would think that these girls are a great lost act, buried in the mists of time and bad luck. Well, although they didn't record anything as memorable as The Letter or Cry Like a Baby, I would certainly say that their LP is as good as any of the Box Tops' LPs, overseen by Penn and Oldham (which this album wasn't). There's some decent covers of Worst That Could Happen/ My Boyfriend's Back and He's A Rebel, but the highlights are definitely the singles Condition Red and Jilted, and the sultry, Isaac Hayes co-written Didn't Know Love Was So Good. In fact, it's when Hayes and Porter start writing and producing the girl's non-album singles that things really start heating up: from the evidence here, formula appeared to be to give the girls the same treatment that Dusty Springfield got for "Dusty in Memphis." Needless to say, these girls were not in Dusty's class vocally, but they do acquit themselves well on the sophisticated Southern soul that was created around them. For a Little While/ Would You Could You (from Hayes/Porter) and Goodies (from Penn/Oldham) were gems that were completely of their time and yet not in step with the prevailing trends of the day. As for the seven previously unreleased tracks, Angry Eyes/ Show Me How, and Have You Ever Hurt the One You Love are the keepers. Anyone who is interested in "girl group" pop should definitely give this CD a spin. (GMC)

BILL HALEY & HIS COMETS Hydra 27112 On The Air ● CD $22.98
32 tracks, 74 mins, highly recommended
Back in print. Certainly this is most appealing to Bill Haley fanatics, but casual fans (like me) will find a lot to love about this collection as well. This CD features radio shows Bill Haley & His Comets did in 1962 for Armed Forces Network, recorded over in Frankfurt, Germany. By '62 Bill Haley's hit years were definitely behind him, but he could still put on a great performance and could retain fantastic players to back him up. This has a ton of music and a ton of interview material in-between. Haley is charming and upbeat, the band is hot, the interviewer is cheesy. You'll get versions of the big hits, of course--Shake Rattle & Roll/ Rock Around The Clock, etc. -- stabs at new hits, like The Peppermint Twist, etc, as well as other lesser known songs, some of which he'd not recorded before. The sound is a little off, but only on a couple small moments, not enough to be a distraction. All in all, a great historical document, with lots of great Rock 'n' Roll, plus a big thick booklet with rare info, stories, etc., that Haley fans will love. (JM)

RONNIE HAWKINS Jasmine 592 Dynamic Ronnie Hawkins - Early Album Collection ● CD $15.98
Two CDs, 49 tracks, highly recommended
Two CD set with 49 tracks comprising all four albums issued by Roulette in 1959 and 1960 which also included most of the singles issued during this period. The first disc with "Ronnie Hawkins" and "Mr Dynamo" features his hard driving rockers and rock ballads with his own band The Hawks with great lead guitar by Jimmy Ray Paulman, piano from Willard Jones and Levon Helm on drums. It includes his first two hits - his cover of Chuck Berry's Thirty DaysForty Days and Young Jessie's Mary Lou. The rest of the materials is fine originals (Wild Little Willie/ Need Your Lovin (Oh So Bad)/ One Of These Days/ Hey Boba Lou, etc) and excellent copvers of rock 'n' roll and R&b classics (Ruby Baby/ Dizzy Miss Lizzy/ Honey Don't/ Sick And Tired, etc). The second disc features his two thematic LPs - "The Folk Ballads OF Ronnie Hawkins" and "Ronnie Hawkins Sings The Songs Of Hank Williams" - these were recorded in Nashville with standard studio musicians (Grady Martin, Bob Moore, Floyd Cramer, etc.) though Levon Helm is also on drums and on the first session Robbie Robertson is featured on guitar and turns in some fine solos. Ronnie's performances of songs like Sometimes I Feel LIke A Motherless Child/ Wayfaring Stranger/ John Henry/ The Death Of Floyd Collins/ Hey Good Lookin'/ Weary Blues From Waiting and Ramblin' Man are fine, unfortunately the ever present Anita Kerr Singers make these performances less rewarding that they could have been. There is a bonus track Ballad Of Caryl Chessman - a plea to spare the life of the convicted robber and rapist (not murderer - he was sentenced to death for what was considered the kidnapping of his rape victim - at the time a capital crime in California) that was only ever issued as a single. (FS)
RONNIE HAWKINS: Baby Jean/ Brave Man/ Clara/ Cold Cold Heart/ Dizzy Miss Lizzy/ Dreams Do Come True/ Fare Thee Well/ Forty Days/ Hayride/ Hey Boba Lou/ Hey Good Lookin/ Honey Dont/ Horace/ I Cant Help It (If Im Still In Love With You)/ I Gave My Love A Cherry/ I Hear That Lonesome Whistle/ Im So Lonesome I Could Cry/ Jambalaya/ John Henry/ Lonely Hours/ Love From Afar/ Love Me Like You Can/ Mary Lou/ Mister And Mississippi/ My Girl Is Red Hot/ Need Your Lovin (Oh So Bad)/ Nobodys Lonesome For Me/ Odessa/ Oh Sugar/ One Of These Days/ One Out Of A Hundred/ Ramblin Man/ Ruby Baby/ Sick And Tired/ Someone Like You/ Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child/ Southern Love/ Summertime/ The Ballad Of Caryl Chessman/ The Death Of Floyd Collins/ Therell Be No Teardrops Tonight/ Virginia Bride/ Wayfaring Stranger/ Weary Blues From Waitin/ Whatcha Gonna Do (When The Creek Runs Dry)/ Wild Little Willy/ You Cheated, You Lied/ You Win Again/ Your Cheatin Heart

WANDA JACKSON EMI Gold 397120-2 The Ultimate Collection ● CD $11.98
Available again at a lower price. One of the great female rockabilly and country artists of the 50s and 60s this budget priced two CD with 50 tracks recorded for Capitol includes one CD of country sides (I Gotta Know/ In The Middle Of A Heartache/ Slippin'/ Tears Will Be The Chaser For The Wine/ Fancy Satin Pillows, etc) and one CD of raucous rock 'n' roll (Let's Have A Party/ Money Honey/ Hard Headed Woman/ Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On< etc). Not as attractively packaged as collections from Ace and Bear Family this is the perfect way to get some of Wanda's best recordings at an unbeatable price.
WANDA JACKSON: A Girl Don't Have to Drink to Have Fun/ A Woman Lives for Love/ Both Sides of the Line/ Brown Eyed Handsome Man/ Candy Man/ Cold Cold Heart/ Crazy/ Fancy Satin Pillows/ Fujiyama Mama/ Funny How Time Slips Away/ Hard Headed Woman/ Honey Bop/ Honey Don't/ Hot Dog! That Made Him Mad/ I Gotta Know/ I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry/ If I Cried Every Time You Hurt Me/ In the Middle of a Heartache/ It Doesn't Matter Anymore/ Jackson/ Jambalaya/ Kansas City/ Let's Have a Party/ Lonely Weekends/ Long Legged Guitar Pickin' Man/ Long Tall Sally/ Mean Mean Man/ Memphis Tennessee/ Money Honey/ My Baby Left Me/ My Baby Walked Right out on Me/ My Big Iron Skillet/ Right or Wrong/ Riot in Cell Block Number Nine/ Rip It Up/ Silver Threads and Golden Needles/ Singing the Blues/ Slippin'/ Slippin' and Slidin'/ Stupid Cupid/ Tears Will Be the Chaser for Your Wine/ The Box It Came In/ The Violet and the Rose/ Two Separate Bar Stools/ Who Shot Sam?/ Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On/ Yakety Yak/ You Win Again

WANDA JACKSON Nonesuch 525263 The Party Ain't Over ● CD $15.98
11 tracks, 39 mins, recommended
Let me begin by saying that I enjoy hearing old school performers making a comeback; some of the best albums of the last decade were from old-timers like the late great Solomon Burke, Mavis Staples, Candi Staton, and Sharon Jones. This album from Wanda Jackson-which is not the first time she's attempted a comeback, she has secular albums dating from 2003-had me excited because it's produced by Jack White, the mastermind of the late lamented White Stripes and, most importantly, producer of Loretta Lynn's excellent 2004 album "Van Lear Rose." White worked wonders with Lynn and I had hoped that he'd do the same for Wanda, and he does, sort of. First off, the album is a collection of covers - which is not a bad thing nor unexpected, since Wanda was never really a songwriter - and they're well chosen for the most part. My problem is the choice for the arrangements: way too much horns, and the effect is needlessly busy. The first three songs - Shakin' All Over/ Rip it Up, and Busted - suffer the most from the bombastic arrangements, which is too bad because Wanda's singing is very good. Happily, things start to pick up with a fun take on Rum and Coca-Cola, a driving take on Dylan's Thunder on the Mountain, and a bluesy version of Amy Winehouse's You Know I'm No Good (an inspired choice, by the way); the arrangements don't quite overshadow Wanda as much and she can really sink her teeth into well matched material. Another inspired match of artist and song: the Bailes Brothers' Dust on the Bible done as uptempo R&B, and it's fabulous. But the best comes last in the form of Jimmie Rodgers' "Blue Yodel #6" performed simply with just Wanda, an acoustic guitar and a tambourine for percussion. If the whole album had been like this, it would have been truly great. As it is, there are enough enjoyable moments to make this LP worth while for Jackson fans 'cos the lady's still got it. (GMC)

JOHNNY JANO El Toro 1038 Rocking And Rolling, 1956-58 ● CD $17.98
23 tracks, 48 mins, almost highly recommended
Complementing El Toro's recent Al Ferrier collection this is another fine slab of rockabilly - Louisiana style - which is not a whole different to Memphis Style. Only eight of the tracks here, recorded between 1956 and 1958 were originally issued as singles on Excello, Goldband, Hollywood and Showtime but thanks to research in the vaults in the 1980s a whole bunch of excellent unissued songs and alternate takes were discovered which makes up most of the rest of the album. Johnny was an excellent singer accompanied by tough small bands - in the case of Excello, some of the tracks featuring the fine guitar work by Guitar Gable and the Goldband sides feature blues inspired guitarist Johnny Duhon who turns in a fine rendition of Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown's Okie Dokie Stomp. Sound quality is excellent and there are informative notes by Dave Penny. My only disappointment is the lack of inclusion of the sides he records around the same time for Lyric and his own Jador label. They may, or may not, be as good as the tracks here but I think it would have been worth including to round out the picture and give us a bit more value for our money. (FS)

JOHNNY AND THE HURRICANES Smith & Co. 2429 Red River Rock Anthology ● CD $21.98
Two CDs (60 tracks) + DVD (16 tracks), highly recommended
All the Johnny & The Hurricanes music you could possibly want and then some. Led by saxophonist Johnny Paris (aka John Pocsisk) this group produced a series of immensely appealing instrumentals often based around old folk or pop songs and had a string of hits in the late 50s and early 60. In addition to Paris the group featured the wonderfully cheesy organ sound Paul Tesluk and the dynamic guitar of Dave Yorko. This collection includes all their big hits (Red River Rock/ Beatnik Fly/ Crossfire/ Reveille Rock/ Down Yonder, etc) along with loads of non hits, B-sides and album tracks. The bonus DVD features a 45 minute concert by the group in Germany in 1983 and although Johnny Paris is the only original member of the group they generally recapture the old sound though the guitarist tries to sound too contemporary. Being live Johnny gets a chance to stretch out on his solos showing what a fine musician he was. (FS)
JOHNNY & THE HURRICANES: Bam boo/ Beanbag/ Beatnik fly/ Buckeye/ Bye bye blackbird/ Catnip/ Come on train/ Corn Pone/ Corn bread/ Crossfire/ Cut out/ Cyclone/ Down yonder/ Farewell farewell/ Greens and benas/ Happy time/ High voltage/ Hot fudge/ It's a mad mad world/ Ja-da/ James bond theme/ Joy ride/ Kaw-liga/ Lazy/ Milk shake/ Minnesota fats/ Miserlou/ Mister Irving/ Molly-O/ Money honey/ Mr. Lonely/ Oh du lieber augustin/ Old smokie/ Red river rock/ Reveille rock/ Revival/ Rock-cha/ Rockin' T/ Rocking Goose/ Rough road/ Salvation/ San antonio rose/ Sand storm/ Shadowns/ Sheba/ Sheik of araby/ Storm warning/ Teensville tonight/ That's all/ The 'Hep' canary/ The hungry eye/ The kid/ Thunderbolt/ Time bomb/ Tom's tune/ Traffic jam/ Travelin'/ Walkin'/ Whatever happen to baby Jane/ You are my sunshine

JERRY LEE LEWIS Spectrum 753 322-6 Fireball! The Collection ● CD $18.98
2 CDs, 41 tracks, 110 mins, highly recommended
I have long though that Jerry Lee Lewis' recordings for Smash records are some of the most underrated in music history. People tend to put Jerry Lee Lewis' career into two segments; his early fiery rise to the top and the handful of amazing records that he did for Sun records in the '50s and then his later mellowed down Country music successes of the late '60s through the '70s. Guess what, though: from right out of the gate with Smash records in 1963, Jerry Lee started doing great work. This fantastic set covers Jerry Lee Lewis' best work throughout his tenure at Smash and contains a whole bunch of red-hot rockers, a mess of stone cold Country classics and a number of downright weepers all done like no one else could. This collection fires right up with the 1963 mono album version of Great Balls Of Fire, which is only the second greatest version of the song, then keeps tearing it up through versions of Roll Over Beethoven/ Hit The Road Jack/ Walking The Floor Over You, and Lonely Weekends. The collection lets up the pace a bit by track six, his powerful rendition of Joe South's Walk A Mile In My Shoes, but that isn't the end of the barnburners by a long shot. I think what the collection does the best, though, is that it shows the wide variety and depth of the talent that Jerry Lee Lewis had/has, not the least of which is his talent for working his own name into songs no matter who the actual songwriter is. Country fans especially will like this, Rock 'n' Roll fans will also like this, even some Rhythm & Blues fans will like it as well, everyone should dig a little deeper into Jerry Lee Lewis' catalog, most will be glad that they did. (JM)
JERRY LEE LEWIS: Baby (You've Got What It Takes) (with Linda Gail Lewis)/ Before The Snow Falls (with Linda Gail Lewis)/ Break Up/ Crazy Arms (Featuring Dennis Quad - From the "Great Balls Of Fire" OST)/ Don't Boogie Woogie/ Don't Put No/ Down The Line (Live)/ Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)/ Flip Flop And Fly/ Fraulein/ Funny How Time/ Georgia On My Mind/ Great Balls Of Fire/ Hey Baby/ High Heel Sneakers/ Hit The Road Jack/ How's My Ex/ I Can Still Hear The Music In The Rest Room/ It Makes No/ Jack Daniels Old No.7/ Life's Little Ups And Downs/ Lonely Weekends/ Long Tall Sally/ Louisiana Man/ Me And Jesus (with Linda Gail Lewis)/ No Particular Place To Go (Live)/ Pen And Paper/ Roll Over Beethoven/ Secret Places (with Linda Gail Lewis)/ Sexy Ways/ She Thinks I Still Care/ She Was My Baby (He Was My Friend)/ Slipping Around/ The Hole He Said He'd Dig For Me/ The Wild Side Of Life/ Turn On Your Love Light/ Walk A Mile In My Shoes/ Walking The Floor Over You/ Wolverton Mountain/ Working Man Blues/ You Win Again

BOBBY LORD Bear Family BCD 16524 Everybody's Rockin' But Me ● CD $21.98
The first ever CD of Bobby Lord's vintage recordings. Bear Family has carefully selected his finest proto-rockabilly, upbeat country and pop recordings for Columbia from 1954-1960. The collection also features three previously unissued numbers from 1956 and '60, plus the complete January, 1956 session (two days after Elvis recorded Heartbreak Hotel) that produced Beautiful Baby and Lord's blazing cover of Johnny Cash's hit So Doggone Lonesome. Elvis's bassist and drummer stayed around to work the session. Also featured is the original recording of Boudleaux Bryant's Hawk-Eye, later a chart single for Frankie Laine! The star sidemen include Chet Atkins, Hank Garland, Harold Bradley, Grady Martin, and two of Hank Williams's Drifting Cowboys.
BOBBY LORD: Ain't Cha Ever Gonna?/ Am I A Fool/ Beautiful Baby/ Everybody's Rockin' But Me/ Hawk-Eye/ High Voltage/ I Can't Do Without You Anymore/ I Know It Was You/ I'd Rather Be Blue/ Just Wonderful/ No More, No More, No More/ Party Pooper/ Pie Peachie Pie Pie/ Run, Honey Run/ Sack/ Sittin' Home Prayin' For Rain/ So Doggone Lonesome/ Swamp Fox/ The Fire Of Love (1)/ The Fire Of Love (2)/ Too Many Miles (Down The Road)/ What A Thrill/ Why Should I Cry/ You Robber You

WARNER MACK RC 2003 Rockin' The Country, 1957-1966 ● CD $19.98
We've turned up a couple of copies of this limited edition release featuring 31 of country singer Warner Mack's more rocking recordings. Mack started his career in the mid 50s and has racked up numerous country hits. Like many country singers Warner tried his hand at rock 'n' roll in the mid 50s and turned out some fine releases. This collection opens with his classic Roc-A-Chicka from 1957 and includes 30 more songs recorded between 1957 and '64, some prettty much straight country, including Is It Wrong/ That's My Heart's Desire/ Yes There's a Reason/ Prison Of Love/ I Heard You Crying In Your Sleep/ Surely, etc.

ROY ORBISON Charly SNAP 296 At The Rock House ● CD $12.98
37 tracks, 77 mins, highly recommended
Originally released in 1961, "At The Rock House" was not so much a proper album, but Sun records cobbling together the best of what they had the rights to after Roy Orbison had hit big on Monument records. So, although released in '61, the tracks were mostly recorded in 1957. Certainly none of that is necessarily a bad thing, because what Orbison recorded for Sun records was fantastic and easily represents the best of his pure Rockabilly numbers, often featuring his hot guitar work. This new edition comprises the original '61 album, with such great cuts as Devil Doll/ You're My Baby/ Rock House/ Ooby Dooby/ Problem Child, etc, plus singles versions of 7 songs Go Go Go/ Chicken Hearted/ I Like Love, etc. and 11 tracks of demos and recordings unreleased from the time including killer versions of The Clown/ Domino, and Claudette, and then seven undubbed versions of songs from the album. Since Charley has the rights to the original Sun masters, the sound here is pretty much as good as it gets. All in all, a feast for Roy Orbison fans, of which I am a big one, and as such I highly recommend it to others. (JM)

GLENN REEVES Bear Family BCD 16658 Johnny On The Spot ● CD $21.98
This 25 track collection is the first and only compilation of music by an important but little-reissued singer and songwriter. Includes the original demo recording of Heartbreak Hotel, one of the most important recordings in rock 'n' roll. All eight singles by Glenn Reeves issued on TNT, Republic, Atco and Decca in the 1950s are included! Also here are six unissued 1950s recordings and a very rare single from the 1960s on the Envy label. There are rare photographs and interviews with Reeves's friends and family. The comprehensive 44-page booklet by Martin Hawkins covers all of Glenn's various careers as a singer, songwriter, disc jockey, TV star, music promoter and more.

CHARLIE RICH Ace CDCHD 1298 It Ain't Gonna Be That Way - The Complete Smash Session ● CD $18.98
29 tracks, 69 mins, very highly recommended
Before his 70's renaissance at the hands of Nashville producer Billy Sherrill, Charlie Rich's most noteworthy period was the 18 months he spent Mercury Records' Smash subsidiary. Starting in 1965 and on into 1966, Rich produced some of his most adventurous music; mixing R&B, Jazz, and Country and performing songs mostly written by himself or his wife, he created a sound uniquely his own and these tracks are considered to be as close as we would ever get to the "real" Charlie Rich. Of these songs, the only one that was hit was Mohair Sam - written by Dallas Frazier- but there's many fine compositions that deserved to hear by the masses: ballads like It Ain't Gonna Be That Way/ I Can't Go On or A Field of Yellow Daisies (which, in fact, was a minor hit for Smash, cashing in on Rich's newfound success in the 70's); and up tempo jivers like Everything I Do is Wrong and Just a Little Bit of Time. For those keeping score, these tracks were originally released as the Smash LPs "The Many New Sides of Charlie Rich" (1965) and "The Best Years" (1966); in 1992, Mercury issued three additional tracks from these sessions that had never been released before. But for the first time it's all here in one place: the glorious gospel inflected You Can Have Her and I Washed My Hands in Muddy Water, the Ray Charles-style of Down and Out, the rock and roll of When My Baby Comes Home, and the update of his Sun classic Lonely Weekends. If you're a fan of Charlie's, this CD is mandatory. (GMC)

BILLY RILEY Bear Family BCD 16529 The Mojo Albums, plus ● CD $21.98
29 tracks, 88 mins, recommended
Billy Riley was a rockabilly legend who never got the hit record that he deserved. This CD comprises material he recorded for his own Mojo label during the 60s, after his Sun Records heyday had passed. The live material, recorded in Atlanta in 1966, is lively, contemporary and shows his unwillingness to pigeonhole himself musically. Although there is nothing bad about these songs and performances, there is nothing extraordinary about them either; just enthusiastic romps through some great rock and roll, R&B and folk songs. Basically, this CD is for fans of Billy "Lee" Riley who want a better picture of his post-Sun career; and for that purpose, this CD does the job extremely well. (GMC)

BILLY RILEY Bear Family BCD 17122 The Outtakes ● CD $44.98
2CD, 79 tracks, highly recommended
Bear Family recently launched a series where they have culled through the archives and begun compiling "outtake" collections of assorted artists (the list so far includes Johnny Cash, Janis Martin, the Everly Brothers, and Gene Vincent). This set geared toward cult rockabilly god, Billy (Lee) Riley, contains alternate takes and false starts (some with studio chatter, some without) of 12 tracks Riley recorded for Sun Records between 1956 and 1959. Bear Family's claim that these recordings have never been released before is not strictly true as alternate versions of I Want You/ She's My Baby/ Pearly Lee, and Wouldn't You Know appeared on a 1990 Bear Family Riley compilation, "Classic Recordings 1956-1960." And their claim that the set includes the outtakes to every Riley Sun single is certainly not completely accurate. Nitpicking aside, the set is catnip for Riley fans, rock 'n' roll historians, and rockabilly junkies. For most people, trying to tell the difference between one take of She's My Baby (aka Red Hot) or Flying Saucer Rock 'n' Roll and another is a daunting proposition at best, boring at worst; for those so inclined, it's nirvana and you know who you are. The transfer quality is excellent, there's a 68 page booklet with never-seen-before photos of Riley in the studio, as well as a revised and expanded Sun discography, detailed track-by-track commentaries, and new interview material by Sun historian Hank Davis. So what are you waiting for? (GMC)

THE RONETTES Legacy/ Spector 61286 Be My Baby - The Very Best Of The Ronettes ● CD $11.98
18 tracks, 56 mins, essential
There are not that many perfect records in the history of Rock 'n' Roll--plenty of great ones, but a small number that achieved perfection-but The Ronettes with Phil Spector at the helm arguably made five of them! Be My Baby/ Baby, I Love You/ The Best Part Of Breaking Up/ Walking In The Rain, and I Can Hear Music, all here sounding crisp and clean and as good as I have ever heard them. On top of those masterpieces you get thirteen other great tracks from the groups legendary 1960's recordings. Some cuts, like So Young/ I Wonder, and Born To Be Together, would be enough to make a great career for most other artists; for The Ronettes, they were just icing on the cake. You want to fill your home up with music, just put this collection on and crank it up; it will rock your house to the foundation. Collection also features brand new liner notes by the great Lenny Kaye. (JM)

DOUG SAHM Norton CED 274 San Antonio Rock ● CD $13.98
18 tracks, 47 mins, highly recommended
This came out a while back, but we just got a stack of them recently and its so good, we thought that we should feature it. There are only a small number of artists that have contributed to American music and culture more than Doug Sahm, and when you're talking about Texas, there are far fewer, if any, above him. When he died in 1999 at the age of 58, it seemed pretty young, but by that point Doug Sahm had already given the world about 40 years worth of great music. His most famous years were from the mid 1960s onward with the Sir Douglas Quintet, Texas Tornadoes, Solo, etcetera, but Sahm had already been making music for over a decade before the Quintet even formed. This collection presents a selection of tracks from his child prodigy years into adulthood, when he was famous in and around San Antonio, before the rest of the world would know. Recording under the guidance of music entrepreneur E.J. Henke and putting out records on Henke's multitude of record labels (Harlem, Warrior, Satin, Cobra, etc.) Sahm would grow Country & Western prodigy to Rock & Roll genius. These early tracks of Doo Wop, R&R, and Rhythm & Blues feature Sahm fronting a number of bands like The Pharaohs, Mar-Kays, Dell Kings, Knights, and so on, plus as well as some numbers with Sahm accompanying artists like the Spot Barnett Band, and Jimmy Dee. All in all this is a fine collection of early Rock & Roll that shows the blossoming of a great artist. Many of the tracks here are making their first appearance ever. (JM)

PHIL SPECTOR & THE TEDDY BEARS Jasmine 582 Building The Wall Of Sound ● CD $13.98
23 tracks, 52 mins, highly recommended
CD featuring the earliest recordings of one of the greatest producers in pop music - Phil Spector. It includes all 17 tracks by Phil's first group The Teddy Bears from 1958 and 1959. The Teddy Bears have always been a guilty pleasure for me with Annette Kleinbard's haunting plaintive lead vocals, Spector's mournful lyrics and tunes and the gentle background harmonies of Phil and Marshall Lieb. This disc features all the group's singles as well as all the tracks from their only LP that were not on singles - the latter mostly pop standards. In addition to their big hit To Know Him Is To Love Him it includes their minor hits Oh Why and I Don't Need You Anymore - both Spector compositions plus Don't You Worry My Little Pet/ Til You're Mine/ Unchained Melody/ True Love/ Tammy and others. 12 of these tracks are in stereo. It also features Phil's 1959 recordings and earliest production efforts as by Phil Harvey and The Spectors Three. Phil Harvey was a fine rock 'n' roll instrumental group and The Spector's Group were a studio group with Phil, Ricki Page and Russ Titleman and their style was similar to that of The Teddy Bears though not as compelling. This was Phil's last appearance on record as a vocalist. These were produced for the Trey label under the supervision of Lester Sill who would soon join up with Phil to form the Philles label and produce some of the greatest pop records of the 60s. Includes informative notes by Bob Fisher describing how much of a perfectionist (or control freak, if you prefer) Phil was right from the very beginning of his career, horrifying Imperial head Lew Chudd by taking two weeks to record six songs by The Teddy Bears. (FS)
PHIL HARVEY: Bumbershoot/ Willy Boy/ THE SPECTOR'S THREE: I Know Why/ I Really Do/ Mr. Robin/ My Heart Stood Still/ THE TEDDY BEARS: Don't Go Away/ Don't You Worry My Little Pet/ I Don't Need You Anymore/ If I Give My Heart To You/ If Only You Knew (The Love I Have For You)/ Little Things Mean A Lot/ Long Ago And Far Away/ My Foolish Heart/ Oh Why/ Seven Lonely Days/ Tammy/ Til Your Mine/ To Know Him Is To Love Him/ True Love/ Unchained Melody/ Wonderful Lovable You/ You Said Goodbye

CLYDE STACY Bear Family BCD 17152 Hoy Hoy ● CD $21.98
Just arrived. This CD is a comprehensive look at the career of Clyde Stacy, a man who grew up in Tulsa, went to school in Lubbock with Buddy Holly, had a minor hit with a rocking version of the R&B song Hoy Hoy and charted with the ballad So Young (the first chart success by a Lubbock artist), moved to Scranton, appeared on 'Bandstand' and other TV shows, recorded in New York with top session men, saw many hits in Canada, and is still working country, blues, and rockabilly venues. His part in the story of rock 'n' roll has been little-known but is told here in words, pictures, and rocking music. This disc features all 12 tracks issued on six singles on the Candlelight, Bullseye, and Len record labels between 1957 and 1961 plus another 10 vocal and instrumental tracks not originally issued - many with Big Al Downing on piano!
THE FOUR FLAMES: Scotch On The Rocks (instr)/ Transquilizer Cins (instr)/ CLYDE STACY: A Broken Heart (Is So Hard To Mend)/ Baby Shame/ Be My Love/ Dream Boy/ End Up With The Blues/ Good Rockin' Tonight/ Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor/ Hoy Hoy/ I Sure Do Love You Baby/ I'll Try/ Live And Learn/ Nobody's Darlin'/ Once In A While/ Return To Me/ Sit'in Down Crying/ So Young/ Summertime Blues/ Well I Love You/ You Want Love/ You're Satisfied

THOM STARR & THE GALAXIES Sundazed 11173 Anthology, 1963-1964 ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, 59 mins, highly recommended
The part of California coastline between Orange County and Los Angeles to the north is usually referred to as the South Bay-stretching from Palos Verdes to the neighboring beaches of Redondo, Hermosa, and Manhattan. In the early 60's, while Dick Dale was grabbing all the surf rock glory, there was a surf music scene developing in the South Bay, and one of the guitar heroes of that scene was Thom Starr. With his band the Galaxies, Starr became a popular fixture in the South Bay and Orange County throughout 1962 and 1963. This collection contains the group's unreleased "Sons of the Beach" (1963) LP and 12 other unissued tracks from 1963 and 1964. This music has been locked in the almost five decades, but it was worth the wait because this is brutal stuff. As a guitar player, Starr was the equal of Dale although he was reportedly influenced by another local player, Paul Johnson of the Belairs (who were the seminal band from that scene). The songs here - Launching Pad/ No. 1 Son/ Strange Fever, etc. --would warm the heart of any surf music fan and can measure up to any thing Dale has recorded, before or since. Whether you're a fan of the original stuff or the revivalists, all surf music fans owe it to yourselves to check this CD out. (GMC)

CONWAY TWITTY Bear Family BCD 15982 The Ballads Of Conway Twitty ● CD $24.98
33 tracks, 79 mins, very highly recommended
A great collection featuring some of the earliest ballad recordings of Country superstar Conway Twitty when he was a great rock 'n' roll singer. Conway recorded in a number of styles and always sounded good and convincing. This collection is drawn from his recordings made for MGM along with one cut each from his Mercury and Sun recordings (the latter originally unissued). He was one of the best ever rock-ballad singers featuring heatfelt lyrics delivered with great intensity and his It's Only Make Believe was a deserved no #1 hit and there are other fine ballads like The Story Of My Love/ Heavenly and Lonely Blue Boy - all cowritten by Twitty. Twitty's covers of well known R&B songs (Pledging My Love/ Blueberry Hill/ What Am I LIving For) and Tin Pan Alley standards (You'll Never Walk Alone/ Unchained Melody) are exceptionally well executed; without a doubt, he makes these songs totally his own. The highlights are many, but one of our favorite tracks is his superb cover of Big Jay McNeely's There is Something On Your Mind, which features one of Twitty's very best vocal performances. This is primo stuff and a most welcome addition to any music library. (GMC)


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