Get Way Back: The 1950s Recordings

Get Way Back: The 1950s Recordings

by Joe Tex


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Get Way Back: The 1950s Recordings

Before he finally had his first big hit in the mid-'60s with "Hold What You've Got," Joe Tex had recorded for a good decade, the singles he issued during that time largely remaining known only to committed collectors. As obscure as the songs he recorded for Dial between 1961 and 1964 (all now available on the CD compilation First on the Dial) are, the material he did prior to 1961 is yet more seldom heard. Much of it's on Get Way Back: The 1950s Recordings, which collects 27 tracks he recorded between 1955 and 1960 for the King and Ace labels, none of which were hits. It says something for both Tex's talent and perseverance that he was able to issue so much material without making a commercial impact, but it also says something about the derivative nature of that material. While Joe was already an adept singer at this early stage, the songs are just average snapshots of the time (on the earliest sides) when rhythm & blues was on the cusp of changing into rock & roll, or early rock & roll with hints of soul music (on the later cuts). You could imagine fellow King artist James Brown singing some of these tunes in his earliest years, albeit with greater distinction (as Brown indeed did with Tex's 1959 single "Baby You're Right"). It's also undeniable that Tex simply had yet to establish his own identity, as some of the tracks are quite imitative of Little Richard, Sam Cooke, and the Coasters (even to the point of attempting an "answer" record to the Coasters' hit "Charlie Brown" on "Charlie Brown Got Expelled"). A lot of labels and artists, of course, were trying to imitate hit formulas in the early days of rock & roll. But in Tex's case this can't be solely attributed to pushes he might have gotten in that direction from King or Ace, as much of the material was penned by Joe himself (including the "Fever" soundalike "Pneumonia," though Tex claimed he actually wrote "Fever" itself). In all, this collection is primarily recommended to serious Tex fans who are interested in hearing his rarest and deepest roots as a recording artist, as on its own terms it's merely competent mid- to late-'50s R&B and rock & roll. Note that three of these tracks are 1955-1957 King recordings with 1965 female backing vocal overdubs, though those overdubs actually fit in pretty well.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/16/2008
Label: Ace Records Uk
UPC: 0029667034128
catalogNumber: 1197
Rank: 94951

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