Elvis Presley's Sun recordings were said to be too country for the R&B audience and too R&B for the country audience, but his love of traditional pop and gospel music at least gave him a lifeline into the mainstream. The music of Sonny Burgess, on the other hand, has no middle -- it sounds like a band of crazed hillbillies playing juke joint blues and R&B without a shred of concern for what anyone wants to buy or hear. Burgess chalked up the group's approach to naïveté -- "We'd have made a few changes if we'd had any sense," he told Colin Escott -- but, as fans of Hasil Adkins and the Legendary Stardust Cowboy know, naïveté can also produce that undefinable essence that professionalism often smoothes out of existence. Despite an uncategorizable and seemingly unmarketable style, "Red Headed Woman" reportedly sold 90,000 copies, and Burgess was able to make his living playing music until 1970. Even within the field of rockabilly Burgess was an iconoclast; purists usually subtract points for horn solos, but that hasn't kept his oddly Dixieland-flavored "We Wanna Boogie" from becoming one of the most highly esteemed singles of the original rockabilly era. The band tears through the song like a train while trying to keep up with Burgess, whose performance is about as perfect a distillation of that "Itchy, Twitchy Feeling" known as rock & roll as anything recorded in the '50s. Burgess himself sounds more like a bluegrass singer, but his dedication to rockabilly music through the lean years of the '60s shows that he is a rock & roller through and through. Classic Recordings 1956-1959 is a two-disc anthology of Burgess' Sun and Phillips International recordings that encompasses his five commercial singles and a wealth of alternate takes and unreleased tracks. Burgess tried a few ballads, but his forte was up-tempo rockers and rockabilly adaptations of oldies such as "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It." Many songs appear in two or three versions, and some of the unreleased cuts are fragmentary and rough. Disc two includes three unlisted tracks of studio chatter, a result of which is that the track list on the insert doesn't correspond with the actual track numbers on the disc. "My Baby Loves Me" is a previously unreleased bonus track by Joe E. Lewis and Jack Nance, two of Burgess' bandmembers who left to play for Conway Twitty. Classic Recordings 1956-1959 is the final word on Burgess' Sun era, but a single-disc collection featuring the commercial sides and the cream of the unreleased cuts will suffice for most listeners.