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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.
|Dave Alvin||Liner Notes|
|James Burton||Liner Notes|
|Arthur Neal Gunter||Composer|
|Bobby Lee Trammell||Composer|
|T. Texas Tyler||Composer|
|James Austin||Producer, Liner Notes|
|Hugh Brown||Art Direction|
|Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup||Composer|
|Colin Escott||Liner Notes|
|Billy Gibbons||Liner Notes|
|The Reverend Horton Heat||Liner Notes|
|Slim Jim Phantom||Liner Notes|
|Mark Pickerel||Liner Notes|
|Lee Rocker||Liner Notes|
|Deke Dickerson||Liner Notes|
|William Robert Emerson||Composer|
|Mike Ness||Liner Notes|
|Steve Vance||Art Direction, Illustrations, Cover Art|
|Paul Kruesi Westbrook||Composer|
Posted October 1, 2010
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!
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Posted October 1, 2010
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 25, 2010
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