1-CD DigiPac with 52-Page Booklet, 34 tracks. Playing time 84:33 minutes.
'What is my type of song ' Ella Mae Morse once asked her mentor, the songwriter, singer and record label owner Johnny Mercer when he told her that a certain song didn't fit her style. He wasn't alone in pigeonholing her. 'Cliffie Stone said, 'You're a country singer.' And Benny Carter said, 'You're a jazz singer.' T-Bone Walker said, 'You're a rock 'n' roll, blues black singer -- that's what you are.' They were all right -- and her versatility was both Ella Mae Morse's greatest asset and her biggest problem. Ella Mae Morse came of age in the Swing Era and her own tastes tended toward blues-tinged swing jazz and torchy ballads, but her breakthrough hit from 1942, the jivey, bluesy novelty Cow Cow Boogie aside, she has ironically been less remembered for her early forays in these styles than for her 1950s stabs at R&B, rock 'n' roll and hillbilly boogie.
This collection gathers many of Ella Mae Morse's most rocking and hard-swinging sides, as compiled by the noted music historian Bill Millar. It runs the gamut, from the song that made Ella Mae Morse a star, Cow Cow Boogie, to covers of classic early '50s R&B and early rock 'n' roll like Money Honey, Have Mercy Baby and Ain't That A Shame. The telling link between these two styles were classic, forward-looking piano and vocal showcases from the early postwar period like The House Of Blue Lights and A Little Further Down The Road A Piece, many of them cut with Freddie Slack, the boogie woogie stylist with whom Ella Mae Morse had originally hit the big time.