1-CD with 28-page booklet, 30 tracks. Playing time approx. 71 minutes
The rockabilly explosion triggered a three-alarm anxiety attack among the record industry's panjandrums. They idn't like it, they didn't understand it--they simply knew that they needed some rockabilly acts of their own. During the short period from late 1955 to 1957, there was a general misconception within the business that rockabilly was a market force to be reckoned with.
More exactly, it was a true and honest folk music, and, in common with other true and honest folk musics, it sold poorly. During its brief moment in the sun though, it caused a flurry among the major labels who didn't want to be left trailing in the quest for Next Big Thingdom. The responsibility for locating and recording rockabillies usually devolved to their country divisions because Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and their ilk were viewed as mutant country artists.
In late 1955, RCA Victor and Mercury were the only major or quasi-major record companies that maintained a full-time presence in Nashville. Decca, Columbia, Capitol and MGM all sent in their A&R representatives. At Decca, the man handed the brief of recording rockabilly was Paul Cohen--chief of country A&R.
His response was much the same as his contemporaries: he recorded a few of his regular roster singing the new music and recruited newcomers on a fairly indiscriminate basis, giving them a shot or two before unceremoniously dumping them when they didn't deliver. In this way, he not only lost Don Woody, but also Buddy Holly.
Cohen is generally credited with knowing nothing about music, and the `de facto' producer of most of these sessions was ace guitarist Grady Martin. In return for the session leader's fee ($82.50 for three hours work--twice the pickers' fee) he assembled the groups, sketched out the head arrangements and often played his bristling lead guitar parts. It was a task he performed for every label that recorded in Nashville, but particularly for Columbia and Decca.
This CD contains 30 of the best tracks culled from British MCA's 'Rare Rockabilly Volumes 1-4', issued between 1975 and 1978. The series took its cue from the unexpected success of the 'Sun Rockabillys' series and was compiled in the wake of Rockabilly From the Vaults', a two-part feature I'd written for 'Let It Rock' magazine.
The last fifteen years have brought considerable changes to many of the artists. Some have, to use the undertaker's favourite euphemism, passed on. A number have toured Europe, and most have been researched to the point where what I wrote about them fifteen years ago scarcely bears close scrutiny.
So stand back: the time machine has burped thirty joyous, pre-stereo, `pre-everything' tracks, studded with spiky rhythms and country-twang vocals, full-to-bursting with that
"Flip,flop and fly, don't care if l die" hedonism.
(Bill Millar, Bear Family Records BCD15623)
|Vol.2 - Rockabilly From The Vaults Of Decca Records (CD) 1|
|1:||Hot Rock||Carroll, Johnny|
|2:||You're Barking Up The Wrong Tree||Woody, Don|
|3:||Be Bop Baby||Inman, Autry|
|4:||Sweet Love On My Mind||Jimmy & Johnny|
|5:||Wild, Wild Women||Carroll, Johnny|
|6:||Bird Dog||Woody, Don|
|7:||Diggin' The Boogie||Hall, Roy|
|8:||Teenage Boogie||Pierce, Webb|
|9:||Mamy Don't You Think I Know||Cochran, Jackie Lee|
|10:||Crazy, Crazy Lovin'||Carroll, Johnny|
|11:||Ten Little Women||Noland, Terry|
|13:||Off-Beat Boogie||Hall, Roy|
|14:||Way Out There||Chuck & Bill|
|15:||Tryin' To Get To You||Carroll, Johnny|
|16:||I Wanna Bop||Harlan, Billy|
|17:||Flip, Flop And Fly||Bell, Johnny|
|18:||Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On||Hall, Roy|
|19:||Make Like A Rock And Roll||Woody, Don|
|20:||Corrine, Corrina||Carroll, Johnny|
|21:||See You Later Alligator||Hall, Roy|
|22:||Ruby Pearl||Cochran, Jackie Lee|
|23:||It Would Be A Doggone Lie||Inman, Autry|
|24:||Baby Don't Leave Me||Five Chavis Brothers|
|25:||Rock 'n' Roll Ruby||Carroll, Johnny|
|26:||Three Alley Cats||Hall, Roy|
|27:||Teenage Love Is Misery||Kennedy, Jerry|
|28:||Cool It Baby||Fontaine, Eddie|
|29:||Cast Iron Arms||Wilson, Peanuts|
|30:||Crazy Baby||Maltais, Gene|