Gene Vincent Cut Our Songs: Primitive Texan Rockabilly & Honky Tonk

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
In the small East Texas town of Mineola in the 1950s, songwriter Jack Rhodes -- most known for writing material that Gene Vincent covered on his early recordings, as well as penning the country/pop standards "A Satisfied Mind" and "Silver Threads and Golden Needles" -- operated a demo studio in the hotel he ran. Specialized even by rockabilly collecting standards, this CD assembles 30 such recordings Rhodes made circa the mid-to-late '50s, only four of which actually found release on singles at the time; all of the others came out for the first time on this disc. Yes, it's crude and pretty crudely recorded, for the most part and, to a point, generic rockabilly, some ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
In the small East Texas town of Mineola in the 1950s, songwriter Jack Rhodes -- most known for writing material that Gene Vincent covered on his early recordings, as well as penning the country/pop standards "A Satisfied Mind" and "Silver Threads and Golden Needles" -- operated a demo studio in the hotel he ran. Specialized even by rockabilly collecting standards, this CD assembles 30 such recordings Rhodes made circa the mid-to-late '50s, only four of which actually found release on singles at the time; all of the others came out for the first time on this disc. Yes, it's crude and pretty crudely recorded, for the most part and, to a point, generic rockabilly, some of the songs straddling that awkward bridge between honky tonk and rockabilly itself. Yet it's also more interesting than the average obscure rockabilly anthology, for several reasons. First off, those two singles that actually did get released in the '50s include two highly sought-after, highly regarded items: Elroy Dietzel's "Rock-n-Bones" covered in a more frenetic version by rockabilly great Ronnie Dawson, and then much later by the Cramps and Jimmy Johnson's yet rarer original version of "Woman Love," which became the flip side of Gene Vincent's "Be-Bop-a-Lula" a few months later. Second, the unreleased stuff includes demos all by really uncelebrated singers of a few other songs that Vincent and Dawson later recorded, among them "Bi-Bickey-Bi, Bo-Bo-Boo" redone by Vincent as "Bi-I-Bickey-Bi, Bo-Bo Go"; "Git It," "Five Days, Five Days," and "Red Blue Jeans and a Pony Tail," also cut by Vincent; and "Action Packed," which became one of Dawson's greatest songs. Third, the tracks themselves have a raw homespun quality, often with the tentative clumsiness of country musicians who aren't quite able to adapt to the rockabilly trend. Though some of these tunes were picked up by Vincent, and others sound rather like the kind of thing that Vincent recorded in his early sessions, it's easy enough to tell why none of these singers became Gene Vincent: they lacked the youthful ebullience and recklessness via which Vincent, Dawson, and other similar talents transformed hillbilly into rock & roll. Play Jimmy Johnson's "Woman Love" and Don Carter's "Bi-Bickey-Bi, Bo-Bo-Boo" back to back with Vincent's far wilder versions, and it's like hearing the grandfather on the porch throw away his cane and get magically rejuvenated by the fountain of youth. That doesn't mean that these recordings don't have their own rustic country-blues-honky tonk charm, even if it's rather like hearing guys who can see the promised land but aren't quite up to storming its gates to demand entrance. Plus, not all of the demos lack pure rockabilly energy: Johnny Fallin in particular has genuine fire, and recorded with a band including a couple of latter-day members of Gene Vincent's Bluecaps. Add on Rob Finnis' quite absorbing liner notes, and it's like getting a fly-on-the-wall glimpse into the kind of backroom to the music business to which few outsiders ever gain access.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/9/2004
  • Label: Ace Records Uk
  • UPC: 029667002721
  • Catalog Number: 1018
  • Sales rank: 201,806

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Rock-N-Bones - Elroy Dietzel & The Rhythm Bandits (1:58)
  2. 2 Shang-Hai-Rock - Elroy Dietzel & The Rhythm Bandits (1:51)
  3. 3 Too Much Lovin' (Going On) - Derrell Felts (2:25)
  4. 4 I'm Doing All Right - Jerry Hanson (1:55)
  5. 5 Shake It Up and Move - Derrell Felts (2:07)
  6. 6 Woman Love - Jimmy Johnson (2:33)
  7. 7 All Dressed Up - Jimmy Johnson (2:38)
  8. 8 Don't Tell Me Your Troubles - Jimmy Johnson (2:01)
  9. 9 Five Days, Five Days - Jimmy Johnson (2:56)
  10. 10 Lovin' Up a Storm - Johnny Dollar (2:03)
  11. 11 Action Packed - Johnny Dollar (2:23)
  12. 12 Trying to Be My Baby - Freddy Franks (2:12)
  13. 13 Red Blue Jeans and a Pony Tail - Freddy Franks (2:11)
  14. 14 If You Don't Like My Peaches - Jimmy Johnson (2:00)
  15. 15 Too Many Honky Tonks - Jimmy Johnson (1:42)
  16. 16 Rock Saturday Night - Derrell Felts (1:41)
  17. 17 Slowly Going Crazy - Jimmy Johnson (1:38)
  18. 18 Sitting on the Doorstep - Jimmy Johnson (2:20)
  19. 19 Preview of the Blues - Jimmy Johnson (2:09)
  20. 20 Git It (2:25)
  21. 21 Party Kiss (2:21)
  22. 22 Cradle Rock (1:49)
  23. 23 Lost in the Jungle (2:05)
  24. 24 A Great Big Day (2:22)
  25. 25 Heart Appeal - Johnny Dollar (2:02)
  26. 26 Long Haired Johnny (2:23)
  27. 27 Slim Jim Baby - Johnny Dollar (2:13)
  28. 28 Cigarettes and Coffee - Jimmy Johnson (2:07)
  29. 29 B-I-Bickey-Bi, Bo-Bo-Go - Don Carter (1:41)
  30. 30 Shotgun Boogie/Jole Blon (Medley) - Trail 80 Gang (3:46)
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Album Credits

Technical Credits
Bill Davis Composer
Don Carter Composer
Ernest J. Ford Composer
Dick Reynolds Composer
Rob Finnis Liner Notes, Annotation
Johnny Fallin Composer
Jack Rhodes Arranger, Composer
Bob Center Composer
Chris Popham Cover Design
Bob Kelly Composer
Traditional Composer
Elroy Dietzel Composer
Derrell Felts Composer
Jerry Hanson Composer
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