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Whistle Bait: 25 Rockabilly Rave-Ups
     

Whistle Bait: 25 Rockabilly Rave-Ups

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There's no particular theme or concept at work on Whistle Bait, but that doesn't keep this 25-track various-artists compilation from rockin' like all get-out. The collection, which takes it title from young Larry Collins's fiesty title tune, ranges far and wide for its selections, with the common denominator being the familiar slap-happy beat and colorful,

Overview

There's no particular theme or concept at work on Whistle Bait, but that doesn't keep this 25-track various-artists compilation from rockin' like all get-out. The collection, which takes it title from young Larry Collins's fiesty title tune, ranges far and wide for its selections, with the common denominator being the familiar slap-happy beat and colorful, slyly humorous lyrics. Rockabilly is famous for spawning some of rock 'n' roll's most uninhibited performers, and Whistle Bait doesn't disappoint in this regard. For instance, fabled wildman Ronnie Self is here, delivering his manic anthem "Bop-a-Lena," while Wayne Walker checks in with the loopy "Bo Bo Ska Diddle Daddle." And seminal guitar hero Link Wray is represented by his pummeling instrumental "Raw-Hide." Since no rockabilly set would be complete without the sly songcraft of stylistic innovator Carl Perkins, Whistle Bait features two of his most dynamic post-Sun cuts, "Jive After Five" and "Pink Pedal Pushers." The album also spotlights several country-music legends trying their hands at rockabilly. For instance, the Maddox Brothers (sans Rose) extol their ideal woman in "Ugly and Slouchy," while sister Rose Maddox casts her vote for "Wild Wild Young Men." Lefty Frizzell and Little Jimmy Dickens also demonstrate a hard-swingin' side that's showcased on "You're Humbuggin' Me" and "I Got a Hole in My Pocket," respectively. Meanwhile, Johnny Horton shuffles all over his "Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor," while tracks by future country superstars Johnny Cash ("All Over Again") and Marty Robbins ("Mean Mama Blues") demonstrate their rockin' roots.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Culled from the CBS vaults, Whistle Bait is a very good anthology of 25 rockabilly numbers -- or, if not quite rockabilly, tracks by country artists veering close to rockabilly -- that for the most part will be unfamiliar to all but the most dedicated rockabilly collectors. Sure, there are some stars and cult faves here, like the Collins Kids, Link Wray, the post-Sun Carl Perkins, the post-Sun Johnny Cash, and Ronnie Self, whose "Bop-A-Lena" (included here) was one of the most certifiably insane rockers ever put out by a major label. You also get a generous helping of country artists trying to board the rockabilly wagon, and actually, they usually acquit themselves quite well. Don't believe it? Listen to Lefty Frizzell's "You're Humbuggin' Me," Rose Maddox's "Wild Wild Young Men," and Little Jimmy Dickens' "I Got a Hole in My Pocket" for evidence. Then there are the cats you've never heard of that managed to put out something quite hep, like Jaycee Hill on his 1956 single "Romp Stompin' Boogie." Johnny Horton draws from the best of both honky tonk and rock & roll on his two numbers, which are a far cry from the corny Americana that would land him big pop hits at the end of the '50s. Although there's undeniable aesthetic purity in collecting anthologies of crude rockabilly by no-hopers on some tiny label operating out of a small Texas oil town, the truth is that this big company vault-clearing exercise is way better than the average such rockabilly collection. It may not be too popular to say so, but one of the reasons is that major label production values usually delivered far better-sounding, tighter performances and secured better material. Put this on your shopping list if you want quality rare rockabilly.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/01/2008
Label:
Sbme Special Mkts.
UPC:
0886972398426
catalogNumber:
723984

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Johnny Cash   Track Performer
Billy "Crash" Craddock   Track Performer
Little Jimmy Dickens   Track Performer
Lefty Frizzell   Track Performer
Johnny Horton   Track Performer
Joe Maphis   Track Performer
Marty Robbins   Track Performer
Collins Kids   Track Performer
Carl Perkins   Track Performer
Link Wray   Track Performer
Larry Collins   Track Performer
Freddie Hart   Track Performer
Jimmy Murphy   Track Performer
Ronnie Self   Track Performer
Rose Maddox   Track Performer
Wayne Walker   Track Performer
Sid King   Track Performer
Werly Fairburn   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Carl Perkins   Composer
J.D. Miller   Composer
Scotty Harrell   Composer
Eddie Hazelwood   Composer

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Whistle Bait: 25 Rockabilly Rave-Ups 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
poughkeepsiejohn More than 1 year ago
If anyone needs further proof that 1950's rockabilly had a dangerous, delirious edge to it, just listen to "Whistle Bait" and you'll know. This collection of rockabilly from Columbia Records features a lot of songs most of us don't know. Yet, they are instantly memorable from the moment you hear them. There are a few recognizable future stars here, such as Johnny Cash ("All Over Again") and Carl Perkins ("Pink Pedal Pushers") as well as a few most of us should know, like country singer Rose Maddox (she does a wonderful take on Ruth Brown's "Wild Wild Young Men") and her Maddox Brothers come up with a hilarious tune, "Ugly And Slouchy". Growing up in the 1970's, listening to this music made me realize that fun spontaneity and rambunctious energy was missing from a lot of music from that period. When you listen to "Whistle Bait", you realize that rockabilly was indeed country music and straight blues put together and we were all the more better for it when it channelled into punk rock and New Wave. By the way, this collection is in mono, thus making "Whistle Bait" a lot louder that it should be---not that there's anything wrong with that! While you're at it, you may want to check out its brilliant follow-up, "Ain't I'm A Dog!", featuring choice cuts from The Collins Kids, Johnny Horton and Link Wray as well as many others. Both of these records are hard to find in a store, so you may want to get them on-line, if you can find them.