Rockin' Bones: 1950s Punk and Rockabilly

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Though rockabilly may be a mongrel music that barely even had a commercial heyday -- only Carl Perkins's "Blue Suede Shoes" ranked as a national hit until the Stray Cats emerged in the early '80s -- few musical styles, in fact, have been more attuned to the zeitgeist of their day. Born of hillbilly boogie, country & western, and rhythm and blues, rockabilly surfaced with Bill Haley in 1953, broke out on Sun Records via Elvis in 1954, and by 1958 had settled into a permanent place in the American music underground, where it remains today. The bulk of the 101 tracks on these four discs hail from that fertile timespan, with a sampling of other efforts dating from the ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Though rockabilly may be a mongrel music that barely even had a commercial heyday -- only Carl Perkins's "Blue Suede Shoes" ranked as a national hit until the Stray Cats emerged in the early '80s -- few musical styles, in fact, have been more attuned to the zeitgeist of their day. Born of hillbilly boogie, country & western, and rhythm and blues, rockabilly surfaced with Bill Haley in 1953, broke out on Sun Records via Elvis in 1954, and by 1958 had settled into a permanent place in the American music underground, where it remains today. The bulk of the 101 tracks on these four discs hail from that fertile timespan, with a sampling of other efforts dating from the late '50s to the early '60s. Even with the popularity of reissues in the CD era, most of these sides have been unavailable domestically -- some almost from the day of their original release, cut as they were by obscure artists recording for fly-by-night labels. Together, they prove that rockabilly cedes nothing to any genre in terms of originality, inventiveness, energy, or even cultural resonance.

Although it seems a simple music, played originally by trios sans drums, its rhythms and dynamics have a logic all their own. No wonder that pickers on the order of Carl Perkins, Scotty Moore, Paul Burlison, James Burton, Cliff Gallup (of Gene Vincent's Blue Caps), and Eddie Cochran remain reference points for aspiring rock 'n' roll guitarists. In this collection, the rockabilly gods -- Elvis, Perkins, Johnny Cash, Ricky Nelson, Cochran, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent, Buddy Holly -- are duly acknowledged with familiar monuments (Elvis's "Baby, Let's Play House" is a nice touch, as the King's hiccupping, stuttering vocal provided a vocal model for all succeeding rockabilly), but the day belongs to the inspired, wild-eyed rarities. For those of a lascivious bent, check out John & Jackie's 1958 soft-porn window steamer, "Little Girl," notable for Jackie's orgasmic moans; for pure American primitivism, there's Link Wray's epochal home-recorded instrumental, "Rumble," and Hasil Adkins's stark, scorched-earth howl, "Chicken Walk." Culturally revealing ditties abound, from Joe Clay's spitfire "Duck Tail" to Dwight Pullen's stomping "Sunglasses After Dark" to, of course, Perkins's "Blue Suede Shoes." UFOs show up all over the place, as do juvenile delinquents and wild, wild women -- and speaking of women, this set performs a valuable service in including the seldom-heard work of rockabilly queens including Barbara Pittman (Sun's lone female artist), Wanda Jackson (with her sassy "Fujiyama Mama"), Janis "The Female Elvis" Martin, and even Jackie DeShannon in her earliest incarnation, covering Elvis's "Trouble." With bright, crisp remastering and entertaining, authoritative annotation, Rockin' Bones brilliantly captures rock 'n' roll in its larval stage and honors the inspired supernovas who, in their fleeting moments of glory, created a new world that still sounds like the best place to be.

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
It's easy to look at Rhino's four-disc 2006 box Rockin' Bones: 1950s Punk and Rockabilly and confuse it with the label's 1999 four-disc box Loud, Fast & Out of Control: The Wild Sounds of '50s Rock. It has the same garish neo-pulp artwork, covers the same era, and even has several of the same songs, usually big hits like Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" or Jerry Lee Lewis' "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," or Ricky Nelson's "Believe What You Say," but it also has cult classics like Joe Clay's "Duck Tail" or the Phantom's "Love Me," or Vince Taylor's "Brand New Cadillac" -- plus, this builds on the speeches and dialogue that were interspersed throughout Loud, Fast & Out of Control by adding the audio from '50s and '60s exploitation movie trailers; a cool idea on mixtapes that is unbearable in the digital age because for some reason, Rhino did not index the trailers as individual tracks, so whenever you try to make your own mix or listen to it on your iPod it's a mess. So, Rockin' Bones is very similar in many respects to Loud, Fast & Out of Control except in one important way: this contains only rockabilly tunes, cutting out any of the R&B, jump blues, and straight-up rock & roll that made the 1999 box an excellent, essential portrait of the rock & roll revolution. In other words, with the exception of Big Al Downing, there are no black artists here -- no Chuck Berry, no Little Richard, no Bo Diddley, three artists who were as crucial to '50s rock & roll (not to mention greasers) as Elvis Presley, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent and Buddy Holly. While the argument could be made that Berry, Little Richard and Diddley weren't rockabilly, their absence nevertheless casts a shadow over the set, as if the compilers were trying to rewrite history so they could shoehorn the beginning of rock & roll into the nebulous "1950s Punk" of the set's subtitle, since punk in its 2006 incarnation is pretty much devoid of black musicians (but, let's face it, a generation raised on Hot Topic punk-pop and emo is unlikely to buy 50-year-old recordings no matter if they're labeled punk or not). It's a decision that can be defended, but it still leaves a bad aftertaste. It's not the only flaw on Rockin' Bones, either. The set is pitched halfway between a basic introduction to rockabilly and a collection of wild-cat rarities for collectors, with the big, big hits alternating with oddball selections, including several songs that have never been on a U.S. CD before this box. This gives the set a bit of an unbalanced feel, particularly for listeners who have "Baby Let's Play House," "Rumble," "Get Rhythm," and "Who Do You Love" on countless comps, but it also doesn't function as a good introduction for the curious since it provides little context for either the hits or rarities; it just plays like a very good rockabilly station on shuffle. Of course, there are some benefits to this -- it makes for good, consistent listening -- but it doesn't make this a definitive portrait of a style, the way that Rhino's first Nuggets set did, nor does this work as a worthy rarities roundup for the hardcore collector, the way that their girl group box One Kiss Can Lead to Another did. Instead, Rockin' Bones occupies a netherworld where it has too much familiar stuff for the hardcore fans and too many samey novelties for the less dedicated listener who would be better off getting Loud, Fast & Out of Control. But for those listeners who fall somewhere between those two extremes -- those who really like rockabilly, have a bunch in their collection, but want some good rarities and novelties -- this is worthwhile, since there are some great sides scattered throughout these 101 songs, including the tribal thump of Tommy Blake's "Lordy Hoody" or John & Jackie's "Little Girl," a truly bizarre single where the duo's perky vocals are overshadowed by a female backing vocalist who sounds as if she's writhing in orgasm for the song's entire two-minute running time. These, along with such other highlights as rockabilly singles by George Jones and Buck Owens (released under pseudonyms: Thumper Jones and Corky Jones, respectively), are the reason for serious rock & roll fans to get this set: cuts like these, and there a lot of them here, are enough to forgive the severe flaws on Rockin' Bones as a historical set and just enjoy it as 101 tracks of pure raw rock & roll.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/27/2006
  • Label: Rhino
  • UPC: 081227334628
  • Catalog Number: 73346
  • Sales rank: 49,678


Disc 1
  1. 1 Rockin' Bones (1:55)
  2. 2 Let's Go Baby (2:49)
  3. 3 Baby Let's Play House (2:17)
  4. 4 Little Girl (2:12)
  5. 5 Cat Man - Gene Vincent & the Blue Caps (2:18)
  6. 6 Lobo Jones (1:56)
  7. 7 Juvenile Delinquent (2:20)
  8. 8 Froggy Went a Courting (2:40)
  9. 9 Rattlesnake Daddy (1:45)
  10. 10 Down on the Farm (1:33)
  11. 11 Rockin' in the Graveyard (2:39)
  12. 12 Dancing Doll (1:55)
  13. 13 Long Blond Hair, Red Rose Lips - Stan Getz & His Tom Cats (2:10)
  14. 14 Action Packed (2:57)
  15. 15 Boppin' High School Baby (2:30)
  16. 16 Believe What You Say - Rick Nelson (2:03)
  17. 17 Sunglasses After Dark - Dwight "Whitey" Pullen (2:09)
  18. 18 Rumble (2:24)
  19. 19 Down the Line - Bob Montgomery (2:02)
  20. 20 Pink Cadillac (1:54)
  21. 21 Black Cadillac (2:27)
  22. 22 Who's Been Here (3:33)
  23. 23 I Need a Man (3:14)
  24. 24 Please Give Me Somthing (2:15)
  25. 25 Sinners (2:36)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Rock Around with Ollie Vee (2:12)
  2. 2 Lou Lou (2:50)
  3. 3 Rock Crazy Baby (2:16)
  4. 4 Love Bug Crawl - Jimmy Edwards (2:01)
  5. 5 Fool I Am (2:03)
  6. 6 Red Hot (2:02)
  7. 7 Love Me (1:27)
  8. 8 She's My Witch (2:19)
  9. 9 Lordy Hoody - Rhythm Rebels (2:26)
  10. 10 Bloodshot (2:50)
  11. 11 Trouble (2:28)
  12. 12 Hot Shot (2:20)
  13. 13 Long Gone Daddy (2:28)
  14. 14 Curfew (2:24)
  15. 15 Put Your Cat Clothes On (2:49)
  16. 16 Pink and Black (1:58)
  17. 17 Domino (2:43)
  18. 18 Jungle Rock (2:44)
  19. 19 Ubangi Stomp (1:59)
  20. 20 Chicken Walk (1:53)
  21. 21 Chicken Rock (1:57)
  22. 22 Eeny-Meeny-Miney-Moe (2:09)
  23. 23 Shirley Lee (1:46)
  24. 24 Woman Love - Gene Vincent & the Blue Caps (2:32)
  25. 25 One Night of Sin (2:35)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Blue Suede Shoes (2:17)
  2. 2 Duck Tail (2:28)
  3. 3 Stack-A-Records (2:44)
  4. 4 Daddy-O-Rock - Jeff Daniels (2:17)
  5. 5 Move (2:22)
  6. 6 Brand New Cadillac - Vince Taylor (2:35)
  7. 7 Rumble Rock (2:15)
  8. 8 Hep Cat (2:10)
  9. 9 Cast Iron Arm (2:24)
  10. 10 Switch Blade Sam - Jeff Daniels (2:10)
  11. 11 Ballin' Keen (1:53)
  12. 12 Sweet Rockin' Baby (2:19)
  13. 13 Get Rhythm (2:15)
  14. 14 Rock Billy Boogie (2:33)
  15. 15 Crazy Baby - The Rockin' R's (2:31)
  16. 16 Susie-Q (2:16)
  17. 17 Worried 'Bout You Baby (2:47)
  18. 18 I Love My Baby (2:51)
  19. 19 Come on Little Mama (2:17)
  20. 20 Whistle Bait (1:34)
  21. 21 Spin the Bottle (2:32)
  22. 22 Bertha Lou (2:34)
  23. 23 Real Gone Daddy (1:50)
  24. 24 My Pink Cadillac (2:06)
  25. 25 Draggin' (1:46)
Disc 4
  1. 1 Action Packed (2:14)
  2. 2 Shakin' All Over (2:23)
  3. 3 Who Do You Love (2:40)
  4. 4 Summertime Blues (1:59)
  5. 5 The Way I Walk - The Chantones (2:42)
  6. 6 Wild Wild Women (2:01)
  7. 7 Oooh-Eeee (2:17)
  8. 8 Get Hot or Go Home (1:46)
  9. 9 Swamp Gal (2:10)
  10. 10 Miss Pearl (3:03)
  11. 11 Mercy (2:02)
  12. 12 Rock Boppin' Baby (2:17)
  13. 13 Rockin' Daddy (2:00)
  14. 14 Rock It - George Jones (2:13)
  15. 15 Rhythm and Booze (2:10)
  16. 16 Flyin' Saucers Rock 'N' Roll (2:03)
  17. 17 Shake Um Up Rock (2:16)
  18. 18 Red Hot Rockin Blues (2:19)
  19. 19 Bang Bang (1:57)
  20. 20 One Hand Loose (2:21)
  21. 21 Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On (2:53)
  22. 22 Fujiyama Mama (2:13)
  23. 23 I Got a Rocket in My Pocket (3:18)
  24. 24 Oh Love (1:49)
  25. 25 School of Rock 'N Roll (2:04)
  26. 26 Rock-N-Bones (1:57)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Howie Stange Vocals
Technical Credits
George Jones Composer
Buck Owens Composer
Jerry Reed Composer
Hasil Adkins Composer
Dave Alvin Liner Notes
Eddie Cochran Composer
Charlie Feathers Composer
Buddy Holly Composer
Johnny Kidd Composer
Roy Orbison Composer
Gene Vincent Composer
Link Wray Composer
Dave Bartholomew Composer
James Burton Liner Notes
Johnny Carroll Composer
Larry Collins Composer
Sonny Curtis Composer
Sonny Fisher Composer
Arthur Neal Gunter Composer
Dale Hawkins Composer
Jerry Leiber Composer
Hank Mizell Composer
Bobby Lee Trammell Composer
Norman Petty Composer
Rudy Grayzell Composer
Dorsey Burnette Composer
Johnny Powers Composer
T. Texas Tyler Composer
Henry Jerome Composer
James Austin Producer, Liner Notes
Bill Bartlett Composer
Hugh Brown Art Direction
Johnny Burnette Composer
Jerry Capehart Composer
Don Carter Composer
Wayne Cogswell Composer
Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup Composer
Pat Cupp Composer
Sunny David Composer
Colin Escott Liner Notes
Billy Gibbons Liner Notes
Ray Harris Composer
The Reverend Horton Heat Liner Notes
Bill Inglot Remastering
Stan Lewis Composer
Ellas McDaniel Composer
Cheryl Pawelski Producer
Slim Jim Phantom Liner Notes
Mark Pickerel Liner Notes
Lee Rocker Liner Notes
Jim Scott Composer
Shelby Singleton Composer
Mike Stoller Composer
Marvin Taylor Composer
Charles Underwood Composer
Ronnie Dawson Composer
Bill Foshee Composer
Carl Adams Composer
Marvin Montgomery Composer
Dave Williams Composer
Deke Dickerson Liner Notes
Tommy Bell Composer
Lorrie Collins Composer
Al Downing Composer
William Robert Emerson Composer
Mike Ness Liner Notes
Tom Tall Composer
Kip Tyler Composer
Ron Wernsman Composer
Slim Willet Composer
Hal Willis Composer
Tommy Blake Composer
Steve Vance Art Direction, Illustrations, Cover Art
Dave Schultz Remastering
Curtis Gordon Composer
Jimmy Wages Composer
Ronnie Allen Composer
Pearl King Composer
John Marascalco Composer
Gene Maltais Composer
Vic McAlpin Composer
James McClung Composer
Luke McDaniel Composer
Jack Rhodes Composer
Ralph Simonton Composer
Anita Steinman Composer
Ginger Willis Composer
James Bullington Composer
Earl Burrows Composer
Lee Denson Composer
Traditional Composer
Fred Aldrich Composer
Larry Terry Composer
Vince Taylor Composer
David DemarĂ­a Composer
Jerry Huffman Composer
Art Adams Composer
Paul Kruesi Westbrook Composer
Bryan George Licensing
Ron Volz Composer
Joyce Green Composer
Bobby Caraway Composer
Don Willis Composer
Larry Dowd Composer
Pat Ferguson Composer
John Kerby Composer
Samson Pollen Illustrations
Howie Stange Composer
Terry Caraway Composer
Edwin Bruce Composer
Ray Burden Composer
Eleanor Broadwater Composer
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Rock on Rockabilly!

    For those of us who lived in that era, this is a welcome respite! Rebels, defiers, challengers...all, perhaps. Finding our place in the world and trying to become adults while still clinging to youth. This is the basis for rock 'n roll, the 'rock' in it all! When you listen to this, imagine those young people, breaking out, breaking the rules, changing the way the world experienced music...from the heart and soul. A couple of corrections for the record--in the dialogue regarding Bobby & Terry Caraway and the Rockats' "Ballin' Keen," it was not their only record from the golden era to hit the charts. Their song, "Sweet Lies," on the flip side of the 45 also charted on Billboard and Cash Box magazine! Also, it was not their father who worked show dates with Merle Haggard's father, it was the Caraway Brothers themselves. Their father was friends with Merle's father, Orville, as a result of driving his sons to show dates because they were too young to drive. Not only did the Caraway Brothers hang out with Roy Orbison, but Bobby Caraway, whose hot guitar licks can be heard on Ballin' Keen, taught Roy Orbison a few of those hot licks, which also can be heard on several of his hit songs. Just boys, playing the music they loved in their garage back in Wink. I know, because I am married to Bobby Caraway!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Nothing Wrong With These Rockin' Bones!

    Shaped in a pulp-fictionesque novel box, "Rockin' Bones" is everything you'd expect to find in a compilation about 1950's rockabilly. The folks at Rhino Records managed to jam 101 of those songs into this excellent collection. Although this collection does have the obvious selections such as Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" and Johnny Cash's "Get Rhythm", it features a lot of obscurities that demand to be heard. These include not one two different versions of "Action Packed" by Johnny Dollar and Ronnie Dee. Or a ninety-second tune of hiccup-lust called "Love Me" performed by someone known simply as The Phantom. Or early songs by George Jones when he was known as Thumper Jones. Or how about Buck Owens when he went by the name Corky Jones? Elvis is here, too. However, the folks at Rhino wisely chose stuff from his Sun Records days like "Baby Let's Play House" and the original, bawdier version of "One Night Of Sin". The set also comes with a terrific booklet featuring compelling information about every song. And just went you least expect it, the CDs also contain snippets of 1950's teenage movie trailers like "High School Hellcats", "Joyride" and "I Was A Teenage Werewolf". It's easy to forget just how exciting and dangerous-sounding these performers were at the time. This boxed set reminds us of that. It's a shame, though, that many of these performers like Joe Clay and Al Downing (a rare black rockabilly performer) never became household names. Some of them did, such as Roy Orbison, Wanda Jackson, Ronnie Hawkins and Gene Vincent. "Rockin' Bones" is the closest thing to a rockabilly "Nuggets" boxed set, which is saying a lot. For those who want more of this, they may want to also check out the equally great "Get Out Or Go Home!: Vintage RCA Rockabilly", featuring a lot of rarely heard or released songs which proved, among other things, than when it came to being another Elvis, many answered but few were called.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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