King Rock N Roll CD (2003)

Artist: Various Artists

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Product Overview


Label Ace
SKU 60616254
UPC 029667197526
UPC 14 00029667197526
Format CD
Release Date 10/14/2003
Author Various Artists
Technical Info
CatalogID 975
Lable Name Ace (Label)
Released 11/25/2003
Original Release 2003
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Mono/Stereo Mono
Studio/Live Studio
UPC 00029667197526
Album Notes and Credits
Includes previously unreleased tracks.
Performers include: Wes Voight, Ronnie Speeks & His Elrods, Delbert Barker, Fuller Todd.
Although King was one of the most important independent record labels of the 1940s-1960s, they were far more adept at R&B, blues, soul, and (prior to rock 'n' roll) country, than they were at straightforward rock 'n' roll. Like so many indies steeped in the roots of R&B and hillbilly, though, they tried their hand at rockabilly and all-out rock 'n' roll, at times connecting with the early or fading careers of big names. This compilation has a couple dozen sides from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s (though most are the mid-'50s to the early '60s), none of them are particularly exceptional, though most of the performers are trying pretty hard. The main shortfall lies in the generic nature of much of the material; some of these sound like over-the-hill country swing vets doing rockabilly, or quasi-rockabilly, under duress, and some of the others are so formulaic that they verge on unwitting self-parody. Some of the better cuts are those that don't take themselves too seriously, perhaps because some of these are by country singers who probably didn't take rock'n'roll itself too seriously. In that category would fall Chick & His Hot Rods' "Just Doing Rock 'n' Roll," which is actually bluegrass duo Don Reno and Red Smiley under a pseudonym, and Bob Temple's "Vim Vam Vamoose," one of early rockabilly's infinitely silly play on words. Most of these guys were commercial nobodies, but you'll probably recognize a few of these names, most notably Trini Lopez (with his mild 1959 rockabilly single "Rock On"); Bruce Channel (with his crudely recorded, pre-"Hey! Baby" 1960 single "Boy! This Stuff Kills Me"); hillbilly great Moon Mullican, who tried to adapt to the changing times on the 1956 release "Rock 'n' Roll Mr. Bullfrog"; colorful shouter H-Bomb Ferguson, represented by 1961's "Midnight Ramblin' Tonight"; and Hardrock Gunter, the hillbilly who got skirted rock'n'roll before the music's commercial explosion (as heard on the 1955 single here, "I'll Give 'Em Rhythm"). Also worthy of passing note is Ronnie Molleen's "Rockyn Up," which is like Little Richard with a slight rockabilly edge, its keyboards handled by a teenaged Roy Estrada, later to join the Mothers of Invention, Captain Beefheart's Magic Band, and Little Feat; Earl Slone's "Bull Frog Boogie," a 1953 recording that is actually more like quality hillbilly boogie than bona fide rock 'n' roll; and Bobby Cash's blatant 1964 Elvis Presley imitation "Run Fool Run." ~ Richie Unterberger
Professional Reviews
Mojo (Publisher) (2/04, p.110) - 3 stars out of 5 - "An enjoyable collection of good-natured songs....The guitar picking on most tracks is a joy."
Disc 1
1 What Is Your Technique?
2 Midnight Blues / I'm Movin' In
3 Rock On
4 Cuddle Up
5 Chicken Out
6 Rock'N'Roll Mr Bullfrog
7 Goose Bumps
8 Oh Baby, Dance With Me
9 You Baby
10 Vim Vam Vamoose
11 Midnight Ramblin' Tonight
12 Rockyn' Up
13 Guitar Pickin' Fool
14 Boy! This Stuff Kills Me
15 Shake 'Em Up Baby
16 I Want A Lover
17 You Are My Happiness
18 I'm The Jivin' Mr. Lee
19 Rockin' Chair Mama
20 I'll Give 'Em Rhythm
21 Bull Frog Boogie
22 Run Fool Run
23 Just Doing Rock 'N' Roll

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