The Roots of Rock 'N' Roll: 1946-1954

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
This smart, stimulating three-disc set is one of the better explorations of rock 'n' roll's origins, as it takes a broad view of the process and doesn't settle for the usual cast of characters populating similar historical anthologies. Although the collection is properly weighted in favor of rock 'n' roll's R&B forerunners, it doesn't neglect the rhythm-bound contributions made by country artists such as Hank Snow (represented here by his propulsive "I'm Movin' On"), Hank Williams ("Move It On Over"), Merle Travis ("Merle's Boogie Woogie"), Tennessee Ernie Ford (the rollicking "Shotgun Boogie"), and the Delmore Brothers ("Freight Train Boogie"). Disc 1 begins with ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
This smart, stimulating three-disc set is one of the better explorations of rock 'n' roll's origins, as it takes a broad view of the process and doesn't settle for the usual cast of characters populating similar historical anthologies. Although the collection is properly weighted in favor of rock 'n' roll's R&B forerunners, it doesn't neglect the rhythm-bound contributions made by country artists such as Hank Snow (represented here by his propulsive "I'm Movin' On"), Hank Williams ("Move It On Over"), Merle Travis ("Merle's Boogie Woogie"), Tennessee Ernie Ford (the rollicking "Shotgun Boogie"), and the Delmore Brothers ("Freight Train Boogie"). Disc 1 begins with Lionel Hampton's jump blues raver, "Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop," Disc 3 closes with Muddy Waters's hard blues grind, "(I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man," and in between the sequencing suggests how the former evolved into the latter as the years went on. Ivory Joe Hunter offers an R&B-pop fusion in his bluesy lament "I Almost Lost My Mind," and a few cuts later Johnny Ray & the Four Lads reverse Hunter's formula in the pop-R&B ballad classic, "Cry," while on Disc 3, Sonny Til and the Orioles offer a smoother, equally affecting pop-R&B vocal blend on "Crying in the Chapel." Disc 1 features T-Bone Walker working out on "Bobby Sox Blues," and Disc 3 finds B. B. King updating the T-Bone approach with the melodic, burnished blues of "You Upset Me Baby." On Disc 2, Billy Ward & the Dominoes deal some finger-poppin' R&B group harmony on "Sixty Minute Man," and on Disc 3 Hank Ballard & the Midnighters' pulsating "Work With Me Annie" shows off a more complex group harmony approach to a suggestive lyric. Mix in the appropriate giants judiciously, and this turns out to be an indispensable collection.
All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Of the numerous various-artist compilation CDs that have attempted to anthologize the recordings of the late '40s and early '50s most crucial to planting the seeds for rock & roll, this three-CD, 60-song set is probably the most definitive. Most prior collections along these lines have failed to present a truly comprehensive picture of rock & roll's roots, whether due to both licensing restrictions and/or track selection that fails to recognize the entirety of the wide spectrum of rock & roll's roots. While you'd need at least a ten-CD box set to approach inarguable definitiveness, The Roots of Rock 'n' Roll: 1946-1954 hits about as many of the key bases as possible within three CDs, including pivotal songs by Lionel Hampton, the Delmore Brothers, Louis Jordan, Hank Williams, Lloyd Price, Howlin' Wolf, the Drifters, Bill Haley, Big Joe Turner, Hank Ballard, and Muddy Waters, to start with just the most well-known artists included here. There are also famous songs by somewhat lesser-known artists that have been cited as proto-rock & roll, like Wynonie Harris' "Good Rockin' Tonight," Jimmy Preston & His Prestonians' "Rock the Joint," Stick McGhee's "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee," Jackie Brenston's "Rocket 88," Big Mama Thornton's original version of "Hound Dog," Junior Parker's "Mystery Train," Hank Ballard & the Midnighters' "Work With Me Annie," Wild Bill Moore's "We're Gonna Rock, We're Gonna Roll," Arthur Crudup's original version of "That's All Right," and the Chords' "Sh-Boom." Also, to its credit, while this compilation is R&B-heavy, it doesn't ignore the major contributions of key white performers like Bill Haley represented by his first major hit, "Crazy Man Crazy", Merle Travis, Tennessee Ernie Ford, and Hank Snow. Too, its focus goes beyond the standard R&B and electric blues -- cited by many historians as rock & roll's primary fountain of inspiration -- to include proto-doo wop vocal groups like the Ravens and the Clovers; pop Johnnie Ray's huge hit "Cry"; R&B-influenced '40s jazz Lionel Hampton, Louis Jordan; and even gospel-R&B Sister Rosetta Tharpe's "Up Above My Head, I Hear Music in the Air". There's also a smattering of tracks that might be unfamiliar even to rock experts, like Little Richard's pre-"Tutti Frutti" 1953 recording "Little Richard's Boogie"; Pee Wee Crayton's "Texas Hop"; the Larks' R&B hit version of Sonny Boy Williamson's "Eyesight to the Blind," the same song the Who adapted on Tommy; and Little Willie Littlefield's "K.C. Loving" the basis for Wilbert Harrison's 1959 chart-topper "Kansas City". Certainly scholars might have some very minor quibbles with the songs picked to represent a few giants; Fats Domino's seminal "The Fat Man" is passed over in favor of his lesser-known "Please Don't Leave Me," for instance, and Tiny Bradshaw's cut is "I'm Going to Have Myself a Ball" rather than his far more celebrated original version of "The Train Kept a-Rollin'." Too, a few of the most famous pre-1955 rock & roll-type songs are absent, like Elvis Presley's "That's All Right" and John Lee Hooker's "Boogie Chillen." It's also true that the liner notes could have been more detailed and offered background on the specific tracks and performers although original release date, label, and chart info is here. That's all small potatoes compared to the riches supplied by this well-chosen overview. It's essential musical history and, at least as importantly, a roaring good listen.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/13/2004
  • Label: Hip-O Records
  • UPC: 602498620069
  • Catalog Number: 000225202

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Hey! Ba-Ba-Ra-Bop - Lionel Hampton & His Orchestra (3:20)
  2. 2 R.M. Blues - Roy Milton & His Solid Senders (2:58)
  3. 3 Freight Train Boogie - The Delmore Brothers (2:44)
  4. 4 Choo Choo Ch'boogie - Louis Jordan (2:43)
  5. 5 That's All Right - Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup (2:54)
  6. 6 Move It on Over - Hank Williams (2:45)
  7. 7 Merle's Boogie Woogie - Merle Travis (3:02)
  8. 8 We're Gonna Rock, We're Gonna Roll - Wild Bill Moore (2:39)
  9. 9 Bobby Sox Blues - T-Bone Walker (2:40)
  10. 10 Good Rockin' Tonight - Wynonie Harris (2:45)
  11. 11 Cornbread - Hal Singer (2:59)
  12. 12 Ol' Man River - The Ravens (3:00)
  13. 13 Up Above My Head, I Hear Music in the Air - Sister Rosetta Tharpe (2:28)
  14. 14 Texas Hop - Pee Wee Crayton (3:05)
  15. 15 Drinkin' Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee - Sticks McGhee & His Buddies (3:14)
  16. 16 The Hucklebuck - Paul "Hucklebuck" Williams (3:09)
  17. 17 Saturday Night Fish Fry, Pts. 1 & 2 - Louis Jordan (5:32)
  18. 18 Boogie at Midnight - Roy Brown & His Might-Mighty Men (2:51)
  19. 19 Rock the Joint - Jimmy Preston (2:33)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Cupid's Boogie - Little Esther & Mel Walker (2:37)
  2. 2 Bald Head - Roy Byrd & His Blues Jumpers (2:30)
  3. 3 Please Send Me Someone to Love - Percy Mayfield (2:54)
  4. 4 I'm Movin' On - Hank Snow (2:49)
  5. 5 I Almost Lost My Mind - Ivory Joe Hunter (3:12)
  6. 6 Shotgun Boogie - Tennessee Ernie Ford (2:35)
  7. 7 Teardrops from My Eyes - Ruth Brown (2:59)
  8. 8 I'm Going to Have Myself a Ball - Tiny Bradshaw (2:43)
  9. 9 Rocket 88 - Jackie Brenston (2:48)
  10. 10 How Many More Years - Howlin' Wolf (2:42)
  11. 11 I Got Loaded - Peppermint Harris (2:28)
  12. 12 Sixty Minute Man - Billy Ward & the Dominoes (2:30)
  13. 13 Glory of Love - The Five Keys (3:08)
  14. 14 Pink Champagne - Joe Liggins (3:02)
  15. 15 Eyesight to the Blind - The Larks (2:53)
  16. 16 Night Train - Jimmy Forrest (2:59)
  17. 17 Cry - Johnnie Ray (3:03)
  18. 18 Booted - Rosco Gordon (3:04)
  19. 19 Lawdy Miss Clawdy - Lloyd Price (2:31)
  20. 20 One Mint Julep - The Clovers (2:28)
  21. 21 I Don't Know - Willie Mabon (3:08)
  22. 22 Hound Dog - Big Mama Thornton (2:49)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Money Honey - The Drifters (2:57)
  2. 2 Little Richard's Boogie - Johnny Otis & His Orchestra (2:51)
  3. 3 Let Me Go Home, Whiskey - Amos Milburn (2:49)
  4. 4 Mystery Train - Little Junior's Blue Flames (2:27)
  5. 5 Shake a Hand - Faye Adams (2:52)
  6. 6 Crying in the Chapel - The Orioles (3:04)
  7. 7 Please Don't Leave Me - Fats Domino (2:41)
  8. 8 Crazy Man Crazy - Bill Haley (2:39)
  9. 9 K.C. Lovin' - Little Willie Littlefield (2:40)
  10. 10 The Clock - Johnny Ace (2:59)
  11. 11 Baby Don't Do It - The "5" Royales (2:46)
  12. 12 Honey Hush - Big Joe Turner (2:43)
  13. 13 I Feel So Bad - Chuck Willis (2:55)
  14. 14 Things I Used to Do - Guitar Slim (3:02)
  15. 15 You Upset Me Baby - B.B. King (3:02)
  16. 16 Riot in Cell Block #9 - The Robins (2:59)
  17. 17 Sh-Boom - The Chords (2:27)
  18. 18 Work With Me Annie - Hank Ballard (2:45)
  19. 19 (I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man - Muddy Waters (2:50)
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Album Credits

Technical Credits
Tiny Bradshaw Composer
Roy Brown Composer
Harry "Fats" Crafton Composer
Pee Wee Crayton Composer
Willie Dixon Composer
Champion Jack Dupree Composer
Guitar Slim Composer
Ivory Joe Hunter Composer
Willie Mabon Composer
Percy Mayfield Composer
Roy Milton Composer
Johnny Otis Composer
Big Joe Turner Composer
Tennessee Ernie Ford Composer
Hank Snow Composer
Merle Travis Composer
Hank Ballard Composer
Godley & Creme Composer
Bill Haley Composer
Joe Liggins Composer
Chris Mars Composer
Lloyd Price Composer
Chuck Willis Composer
Jimmy Forrest Composer
Lionel Hampton Composer
Louis Jordan Composer
Lee Morgan Composer
Andy Gibson Composer
Hal Singer Composer
Jerry Leiber Composer
Denver Darling Composer
Jerome Kern Composer
Paul Westerberg Composer
Henry Bernard Composer
Jackie Brenston Composer
Roy Byrd Composer
Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup Composer
Fats Domino Composer
Milt Gabler Composer
Henry Glover Composer
Oscar Hammerstein II Composer
Curley Hamner Composer
B.B. King Composer
Riley King Composer
Sticks McGhee Composer
Andy McKaie Producer
William Moore Composer
Noa Composer
Junior Parker Composer
Teddy Reig Composer
Jim Scott Composer
Tommy Stinson Composer
Mike Stoller Composer
Jesse Stone Composer
Sister Rosetta Tharpe Arranger
Rudy Toombs Composer
Billy Ward Composer
Hank Williams Composer
J. Mayo Williams Composer
Sonny Boy Williamson [II] Composer
Herman Lubinsky Composer
Peter Grendysa Liner Notes
Artie Glenn Composer
Lowman Pauling Composer
Vartan Art Direction
James Edwards Composer
Carl Feaster Composer
Claude Feaster Composer
Vaughn Horton Composer
Ollie Hoskins Composer
Eddie Jones Composer
James Keyes Composer
Floyd McRae Composer
Joe Morris Composer
Richard Penniman Composer
Lewis Simpkins Composer
Clarence E. Snow Composer
Gavin Lurssen Mastering
Dootsie Williams Composer
Richard Henry Composer
Jules Taub Composer
Rose Marks Composer
Lou Willie Turner Composer
Roy Alfred Composer
Jules Bihari Composer
Ellis Walsh Composer
Pat Lawrence Executive Producer
Ryan Rogers Art Direction
Traditional Composer
Sally Nix Composer
Robin Schwartz Licensing
Michele Horie Artwork
Churchill Kohlman Composer
Al Carters Composer
S. Henri Composer
Chester Burnett Composer
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