Forty-seven songs cut by Jimmy C. Newman for Dot Records between late 1953 and February of 1958, showcasing the singer in his early prime -- Newman's recordings go back to 1946, but these were the ones where he hit his stride. The sound is a mix of Cajun and country, with the strong influence of Ernest Tubb, whom Newman grew up idolizing along with Gene Autry -- Tubb's lead guitarist Billy Byrd even played on Newman's first sessions (alongside Chet Atkins), although Jimmy's real sound can be heard on the songs from his second and third sessions, which prominently feature Cajun fiddler Rufus Thibodeaux. Newman's earliest Dot sessions, directed by Fred Rose (who was then looking for a successor to the recently deceased Hank Williams), show him working in a hillbilly vein, on songs like "You Didn't Have To" and "Cry, Cry Darling" -- the early sessions also show Newman with a marked lisp from a badly fitted gold tooth, which was later corrected. Surprisingly, a lot of the better material here, such as "Do You Feel Like I Feel About You," was not released until a decade later, when Dot started putting out albums on Newman and dipped into their vaults. Disc two includes Newman's attempts to crack the rock & roll and pop markets, with numbers like "Bop a Hula," "Step Aside Shallow Water," and "Carry On," which work to varying degrees (the last is considered a classic by rockabilly fans) but were more aberrations than a genuine new direction for him. When asked to do an Elvis-like piece like "I Can't Go On This Way" (complete with the Jordanaires, who also appear on the same session's cover of Jim Reeves' "Need Me"), however, he gave a good account, and rock & roll history buffs will find at least a half-dozen tracks worth hearing on this disc.