The novelty-oriented Western swing of Hank Penny has been fairly well represented on CD between a pair of transcription packages and Westside's reissue of his classic King recordings. King of Hillbilly Bebop ups the ante with two discs containing a total of 50 recordings at an affordable price. The set begins with Penny's late-'30s recordings for Vocalion and Okeh, then navigates through a selection of his King sides from the '40s (including his three hits, "Steel Guitar Stomp," "Get Yourself a Red Head," and "Bloodshot Eyes"), and finishes up with ten of his RCA recordings from the early '50s. The early cuts lean toward Jimmie Davis-style hokum blues songs about hot mamas and papas, while the later tracks show an increasing hillbilly jazz bent with instrumentals like "Penny Blows His Top" and "Hillbilly Be-Bop." Penny played with a number of talented musicians -- Merle Travis, Noel Boggs, Zeke Turner, Speedy West -- whose talents are displayed throughout on the instrumental breaks. Despite the musicianship of Penny's band and their interest in pushing the envelope, most of the cuts retain their mainstream appeal via Penny's humorous vocal performances. The King material offered here doesn't overlap enough with the Westside anthology to discourage serious fans from buying both.