Smiley Lewis Rocks

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
There have been a number of Smiley Lewis compilations over the years, including some fine ones: the signature EMI release of The Best of Smiley Lewis, the Proper Introduction to Smiley Lewis, the two-volume Smiley Lewis Story, and Bear Family's definitive four-disc box set Shame, Shame, Shame, that collected every side he ever cut. That said, other than their original box set, none of them comes close to Bear Family's single-disc Smiley Lewis Rocks comp. Rather than merely present 36 chronologically recorded sides for Colony and Imperial from 1950-1958, it contextualizes them. Though Lewis began recording in 1947, his biggest years were the '50s, those in which he recorded ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
There have been a number of Smiley Lewis compilations over the years, including some fine ones: the signature EMI release of The Best of Smiley Lewis, the Proper Introduction to Smiley Lewis, the two-volume Smiley Lewis Story, and Bear Family's definitive four-disc box set Shame, Shame, Shame, that collected every side he ever cut. That said, other than their original box set, none of them comes close to Bear Family's single-disc Smiley Lewis Rocks comp. Rather than merely present 36 chronologically recorded sides for Colony and Imperial from 1950-1958, it contextualizes them. Though Lewis began recording in 1947, his biggest years were the '50s, those in which he recorded his regionally popular "I Hear You Knocking" and "One Night" (whose later sanitized and vastly inferior versions were recorded by Gale Storm and Elvis Presley, respectively, with greater success -- yes, you read right, Presley's version of "One Night" utterly pales in comparison with the Lewis' original. Of the rest, "Shame, Shame, Shame" and "Bumpity Bump" are here, as well as versions of "Blue Monday," "Rootin' and Tootin," "Lillie Mae," and many other New Orleans standards. Yet, it's not simply track selection that makes this set so righteous: it's the sound of Cosimo Matassa's New Orleans studio at work with the musicians that played on these sides that made them so unique: drummer Earl Palmer, saxophonists Lee Allen and Herbert Hardesty, and trumpeter and bandleader Dave Bartholomew -- who wrote or co-wrote the majority of these tunes. The players' spontaneity to capture on tape whatever was happening is apparent on this set. At the heart of it there's Lewis' voice, an enormous and expressive instrument capable of transferring so much to the listener: from raucous joy and wildness to tenderness and heartbreak, seemingly without effort. His guitar playing exemplifies the Crescent City sound, full of rhythmic invention and tough, R&B groove. The liner notes by Bill Dahl are peerless for their historical authority. The digitally remastered sound is better than any previous collection on the market; it's full, warm, and immediate. For anyone interested in rock & roll's real roots, New Orleans music, or jump blues and classic R&B, Smiley Lewis Rocks is indispensable.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/23/2010
  • Label: Bear Family
  • UPC: 790051667627
  • Catalog Number: 16676

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Shame, Shame, Shame (1:56)
  2. 2 Big Mamou (2:21)
  3. 3 Ain't Gonna Do It (2:27)
  4. 4 Down the Road (2:14)
  5. 5 The Bells Are Ringing (2:25)
  6. 6 Can't Stop Loving You (2:12)
  7. 7 Ooh La La (2:43)
  8. 8 My Baby Was Right (2:41)
  9. 9 Blue Monday (2:42)
  10. 10 Dirty People (2:19)
  11. 11 Jailbird (2:10)
  12. 12 Where Were You (2:27)
  13. 13 Real Gone Lover (2:33)
  14. 14 Bumpity Bump (2:29)
  15. 15 I Hear You Knocking (2:31)
  16. 16 Sad Life (2:25)
  17. 17 Come On (2:23)
  18. 18 Bee's Boogie (2:45)
  19. 19 Queen of Hearts (2:34)
  20. 20 Lillie Mae (2:14)
  21. 21 One Night (2:26)
  22. 22 Caldonia's Party (2:11)
  23. 23 Nothing But the Blues (2:15)
  24. 24 She's Got Me Hook, Line & Sinker (2:26)
  25. 25 Rootin' and Tootin' (2:13)
  26. 26 Please Listen to Me (2:18)
  27. 27 Down Yonder We Go Ballin' (2:58)
  28. 28 No Letter Today (1:54)
  29. 29 Mama Don't Like (2:42)
  30. 30 Play Girl (2:05)
  31. 31 Go on Fool (2:06)
  32. 32 Goin' to Jump and Shout (1:57)
  33. 33 Bad Luck Blues (2:13)
  34. 34 School Days Are Back Again (2:53)
  35. 35 Lil Liza Jane (2:12)
  36. 36 Shame, Shame, Shame! (1:58)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Smiley Lewis Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Lee Allen Tenor Saxophone
Dave Bartholomew Trumpet, Vocals
Justin Adams Guitar
Joseph Butler Choir, Chorus
Fats Domino Piano
Frank Fields Bass
Edward Frank Piano
Herb Hardesty Tenor Saxophone
Ernest McLean Guitar
Bobby Mitchell Choir, Chorus
Earl Palmer Drums
Joe Robichaux Piano
Huey "Piano" Smith Piano
Isidore "Tuts" Washington Piano
Charles "Hungry" Williams Percussion, Drums
Clarence Hall Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Frank Bocage Choir, Chorus
Lloyd Bellaire Choir, Chorus
The Toppers Choir, Chorus
Gerri Hall Vocals
Waldren 'Frog' Joseph Trombone
Meyer Kennedy Alto Saxophone
Herman "Baby Seals" Seals Drums
Salvador Doucette Piano
Joe Harris Alto Saxophone
Technical Credits
Frankie Brown Composer
Dave Bartholomew Composer, Producer
Smiley Lewis Composer
Kenyon Hopkins Composer
Link Davis Composer
Ruby Fisher Composer
Jeff Hannusch Illustrations, Source Material
Ken Hopkins Composer
Joe Robichaux Composer
Bill Dahl Liner Notes
Galen Gart Source Material
Joel Whitburn Source Material
Rick Coleman Illustrations, Source Material
Bill Millar Reissue Producer
Dave Booth Illustrations
R.A. Andreas Illustrations
Jurgen Crasser Mastering
Pearl King Composer
Ruth Durand Composer
Victor Pearlin Illustrations
Sven T. Uhrmann Illustrations
Erich H├╝lsenbeck Photo Restoration
Michel Ruppli Source Material
Andreas Merck Photo Scanning
Tony Scherman Source Material
John Broven Source Material
Dorothy Ester Composer
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