Wanda Jackson – Right Or Wrrong (1961)

FrontCover1Wanda Lavonne Jackson (born October 20, 1937) is a retired American singer, songwriter, pianist and guitarist who had success in the mid-1950s and 1960s as one of the first popular female rockabilly singers, and a pioneering rock-and-roll artist. She is known to many as the “Queen of Rockabilly” or the “First Lady of Rockabilly”.

Jackson mixed country music with fast-moving rockabilly, often recording them on opposite sides of a record. As rockabilly declined in popularity in the 1960s, she moved to a successful career in mainstream country music with a string of hits between 1961 and 1973, including “Right or Wrong”, “Tears Will Be the Chaser for Your Wine”, “A Woman Lives for Love” and “Fancy Satin Pillows”.

She had a resurgence in popularity in the 1980s among rockabilly revivalists in Europe and younger Americana fans. In 2009, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the category Early Influence.

On March 27, 2019, Jackson announced her official retirement from performing.

Jackson was born to Tom Robert Jackson (March 24, 1915 – October 1985) and Nellie Vera Jackson (December 19, 1913 – January 14, 2011) in Maud, Oklahoma, in 1937. She has lived much of her life in Oklahoma City. Her father, a musician, moved the family to Bakersfield, California, during the 1940s in hopes of a better life. Two years later, he bought Jackson a guitar and encouraged her to play. He also took her to see performances by Spade Cooley, Tex Williams and Bob Wills, which left a lasting impression. In 1948, when she was 11, the family moved back to Oklahoma. In 1956, she won a talent contest which led to her own radio program, soon extended by 30 minutes.

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Wanda Jackson in the mid 50′ s

Jackson began her professional career while still attending Capitol Hill High School in Oklahoma City after being discovered by Hank Thompson in 1954, who heard her singing on a local radio station, KLPR-AM, and invited her to perform with his band, the Brazos Valley Boys. She recorded a few songs on their label, Capitol Records, including “You Can’t Have My Love”, a duet with Thompson’s bandleader, Billy Gray. The song was released as a single in 1954 and reached number 8 on the country chart. Jackson asked Capitol to sign her but was turned down by producer Ken Nelson, who told her, “Girls don’t sell records.” She signed with Decca Records instead.

After graduating from high school, Jackson began to tour with her father as manager and chaperon. She often shared the bill with Elvis Presley, who encouraged her to sing rockabilly. She briefly dated Presley while touring. She was a cast member of ABC-TV’s Ozark Jubilee in Springfield, Missouri, from 1955 to 1960. In 1956 she signed with Capitol, recording a number of singles mixing country with rock and roll. “I Gotta Know”, released in 1956, peaked at number 15.

Jackson’s stage outfits in these years were often designed by her mother. Unlike the traditional clothing worn by female country music singers of the time, she wore fringed dresses, high heels and long earrings. She has claimed she was the first woman to put “glamour into country music.”

She continued to record more rockabilly singles through the decade with the producer Ken Nelson. Jackson insisted that Nelson make her records sound like those of label mates Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps. Nelson brought in many experienced and popular session players, including the rock-and-roll pianist Merill Moore and the then-unknown Buck Owens. With a unique vocal style and upbeat material, Jackson created some of the most influential rock and roll of the time.

WandaJackson01In the late 1950s, Jackson recorded and released a number of rockabilly songs, including “Hot Dog! That Made Him Mad”, “Mean, Mean Man”, “Fujiyama Mama” (which hit number 1 in Japan) and “Honey Bop”. The songs were only regional hits. She toured Japan in February and March 1959.

In 1960, Jackson had a Top 40 pop hit with “Let’s Have a Party”, a song Presley had recorded three years earlier.[10] She was headlining concerts with her own band, which she dubbed the Party Timers. Prominently featured were the pianist Big Al Downing and the guitarist Roy Clark, who was virtually unknown at the time.[14] Her country music career also began to take off with the self-penned “Right or Wrong”, a number 9 hit, and “In the Middle of a Heartache”, which peaked at number 6. Both records also had Top 40 success.

The unexpected success of her records led Capitol to release a number of albums composed of her 1950s material, including Rockin’ with Wanda (1960) and There’s a Party Goin’ On, which included “Tongue Tied” and “Hard-Headed Woman”. Her 1961 and 1962 albums, Right or Wrong and Wonderful Wanda, featured her two top-ten country hits from 1961. In 1963, Jackson recorded another album, Two Sides of Wanda, which included both rock and roll and country music, including a cover of Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On”. The album earned Jackson her first Grammy nomination, for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.

By 1965, Jackson was focusing more exclusively on traditional country music as rockabilly declined in popularity, and had a string of Top 40 hits during the next ten years. In 1966, she released two singles that peaked in the country top 20, “Tears Will Be the Chaser for Your Wine” and “The Box It Came In”.

In early 1965, Jackson was invited by the German distribution partner of Capitol Records, Electrola, to record in German. Jackson’s German-language debut single, “Santo Domingo” (backed with “Morgen, ja morgen”), recorded at Electrola’s studios in Cologne, peaked at number 5 on the official German charts and at number 1 on the charts of Germany’s most influential teen magazine, Bravo. In the first months following the chart success of Santo Domingo, Jackson also re-recorded some of her German songs in Dutch and Japanese. The success of Santo Domingo prompted the recording of eight further German-language singles until 1968, which were also released on an album, Made in Germany. Her last German single was recorded in 1970.

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In 1967, she recorded two albums, and released a string of singles during the next few years that often asserted a fiery and violent persona, including 1969’s “My Big Iron Skillet”, a top 20 hit, which threatened death or assault for cheating on a spouse. In 1970 and 1971, she had her final top 20 country hits with “A Woman Lives for Love” (her second Grammy nomination) and “Fancy Satin Pillows”. Jackson was a premier attraction in Las Vegas. She followed Kitty Wells’s lead as only the second country female vocalist to have her own syndicated television show, Music Village, from 1967 to 1968.

In the early 1970s, at her children’s request, Jackson and her husband began to regularly attend church and became Christians. She began recording gospel songs and albums, including Praise the Lord for Capitol in 1972. After Capitol dropped her, she recorded a number of albums for small religious labels and set up evangelical church tours across the country with her husband. Jackson wanted to record a mix of country and gospel music for her albums; however, religious labels were not interested.

WandaJackson1970In the early 1980s, Jackson was invited to Europe to play and record rockabilly material when revivalists sought her out. She regularly toured Scandinavia, England, and Germany during the decade. Now embracing her rock-and-roll history, Jackson released the album Rockabilly Fever in 1984 (later issued by Rounder Records as Rock N’ Roll Your Blues Away in 1986), her first secular album in a decade and her first recording of rock music in over twenty years.

Cyndi Lauper acknowledged Jackson’s classic rockabilly records were a major influence and inspiration for her during this period, and Jackson’s fans also included a new generation of country music female vocalists, among them Rosanne Cash, Pam Tillis, Jann Browne and Rosie Flores. Jackson recorded a duet with Browne on a 1987 album by Browne, and in 1995 she sang two duets with Flores on her 1995 album, Rockabilly Filly, and then embarked on a United States tour with her, her first American tour since the 1970s.

She played at the Rockabilly Festival in Jackson, Tennessee, in 2001 with The Cadillac Angels. Jackson, then in her early 60s, continued touring. She again played Jackson’s International Rockabilly Hall of Fame show in August 2013, a show which also featured new inductee Terry Manning.

Jackson released her first studio album since 1987, Heart Trouble  on CMH Records. The sixteen-track album included guest appearances by Elvis Costello, the Cramps and Rosie Flores. The singer Amy LaVere portrayed a young Jackson in the Johnny Cash biopic, Walk the Line (2005).

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Jackson was interviewed about the origins of rockabilly in the award-winning Canadian documentary Rockabilly 514 (2008), directed by Patricia Chica and Mike Wafer.

She returned to England on October 28, 2008, for an appearance at the London Rock ‘n’ Roll Festival with Jerry Lee Lewis and Linda Gail Lewis at the London Forum.

In 2009, she teamed up with Jack White to record The Party Ain’t Over. The album, released in 2011, marked Jackson’s first charting on the Billboard Hot 200 LP chart, peaking at number 58. The album also broke Mae West’s long-standing record for being the oldest female vocalist to make the chart with her 1966 album Way Out West. Jackson was 73, being a year older than West, at the time. To promote The Party Ain’t Over, she performed with White on both the Late Show with David Letterman and Conan.

Wanda’s song “Funnel of Love” appeared in Guy Ritchie’s film RocknRolla in 2008 and was included on the film’s soundtrack. An episode of the HBO program Entourage in 2010 featured the same song as the music to the ending credits.

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Jackson appeared on the BBC’s Hootenanny at the end of 2010, performing her version of “Let’s Have a Party” and a cover of the Amy Winehouse song “You Know I’m No Good” with Jools Holland and his orchestra. The following year, after Winehouse’s death, she took part in an Amy Winehouse tribute performance with Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings at the VH1 Divas Live 2011.

Jackson released her thirty-first studio album Unfinished Business in 2012 for Sugar Hill Records. The album goes back to her rockabilly and country roots and was produced by Americana singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle. The album became Jackson’s first in 39 years to make the Billboard Hot Country LP chart.

Following the announcement of her retirement, Jackson revealed in an interview with Rolling Stone that a previously undisclosed stroke that occurred in August 2018 was partially to blame for the decision. She did, however, reiterate that she is in the process of recording a new album produced by Joan Jett which she hopes to complete in 2019.

WandaJackson05In 1955, Jackson briefly dated Elvis Presley while on tour with him. She married former IBM programmer Wendell Goodman in 1961, who served as her manager. He died on May 21, 2017. The couple had two children. As of the 2000s she lives in Oklahoma City.

At the 7th Annual Grammy Awards in 1964, Jackson was nominated in the category of Best Country & Western Vocal Performance – Female for her album Two Sides of Wanda. At the 13th Annual Grammy Awards in 1970, she was nominated in the Best Country Vocal Performance, Female category for the song “A Woman Lives for Love”.

Jackson is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, The International Rockabilly Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma Music and Oklahoma Country Music halls of fame, as well as the International Gospel and the German Music halls of fame.

Jackson ranked number 35 on CMT’s 2002 special, “The 40 Greatest Women of Country Music”.

She is a recipient of a 2005 National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts, which is the United States’ highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.

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She was nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005 but was not elected. In September 2008, she was nominated for a second time; and was inducted on April 4, 2009 as an Early Influence. She was the first addition to the category in nine years.

In 2006 Alfred Publishing acknowledged her influence on young musicians by publishing The Best of Wanda Jackson: Let’s Have a Party, a songbook with music and lyrics to thirteen songs associated with Jackson. It was the first songbook ever published on Jackson.

In 2009, Oklahoma City named an alley for her in the Bricktown entertainment district. “Wanda Jackson Way” was officially christened with a live performance by Jackson in her “Way” on September 30, 2009. Besides this street in Oklahoma City, the city of Maud, Oklahoma, where she was born, has named one of its streets, Wanda Jackson Boulevard.

On September 9, 2010, she was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance at the Americana Music Honors & Awards by Jack White on behalf of the Americana Music Association.

In 2013, she was inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Music Association (IRRMA) Hall of Fame in the category “Women Who Rock”.

In 2016, Jackson received the “Founder of the Sound” award at the Ameripolitan Music Awards. (by wikipedia)

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Okay … this is one of her countless albums from her early days … the two sides of Wanda Jackson: the sentimental side and her rockin´ side …

Close your eyes and drift away … enjoy this sentimental journey.

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Personnel:
Wanda Jackson (vocals)
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a bunch of unknown studio musicians
Tracklist:

Sentimental Side:
01. Right Or Wrong (W.Jackson) 2.39
02. Why I’m Walkin’ (Endsley/S.Jackson) 2.33
03. So Soon (Tillis/Walker) 2.23
04. The Last Letter (Griffin) 3.01
05. I May Never Get To Heaven (Anderson/Killen) 2.36
06. The Window Up Above (Jones) 2.40

Rockin’ Side:
07. Sticks And Stones (Turner) 2.11
08. Stupid Cupid (Sedaka7Greenfield) 2.16
09. Slippin’ And A Slidin’ (Collins/Bocage/Smith/Penniman) 2.11
10. Brown Eyed Handsome Man (Berry) 2.16
11. Who Shot Sam (Edwards/Jones/Jackson) 2.23
12. My Baby Left Me (Crudup) 2.11

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The Playtones – Rock’N’Roll Christmas Party (2010)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Playtones is a Swedish 1950s rock n roll band formed in 2008 in Kallinge. Their music is influenced by rockabilly. It was called Boppin’ Steve & The Playtones before 2008. The Playtones won the dansband competition Dansbandskampen in 2009.[1] 2011 the band appeared in Melodifestivalen, the Swedish preselection for the Eurovision Song Contest. (by wikipedia)

Originally known as Boppin’ Steve & The Playtones, under which name they released their first two albums, The Playtones have gone on to become one of Sweden’s most popular bands.
They have even taken their 1950s style Rock ‘n’ Roll sound to Number One in the national album charts.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Christmas Party is exactly what the title suggests – a rockin’ collections of Christmas Rock ‘n’ Roll songs which mixes rockin’ oldies with brand new Christmas rockers. (raucousrecords.com)

Don´t wait … join this funny Christmas party !

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Personnel:
Jonas Holmberg (guitar)
Stefan Jonasson – vocals, piano
Mattias Schertell (bass)
Johan Svensson (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Here Comes Santa Claus Again 2.14
02. Fira Jul På Fyra Hjul 2.44
03. Christmas Time Has Found Me 3.18
04. Trucking Trees For Christmas 2.01
05. Tomten Är Aldrig Sen 2.43
06. Run Run Rudolph 2.40
07. Ingen Jul Utan Dig 3.39
08. Santa’s On The Go 2.31
09. All I Want For Christmas Dear Is You 2.29
10. Christmas Bug 2.35
11. Julnatt 3.00
12. Julmedley 4.39
13 Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy 3.02

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The Head Cat – Walk The Walk, Talk The Talk (2011)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Head Cat is an American rockabilly supergroup formed by vocalist Lemmy (of Motörhead), drummer Slim Jim Phantom (of The Stray Cats) and guitarist Danny B. Harvey (of Lonesome Spurs and The Rockats). As of 2017, former Morbid Angel member David Vincent took Lemmy’s place as vocalist and bassist.

Head Cat was formed after recording the Elvis Presley tribute album Swing Cats, A Special Tribute to Elvis in July 1999 to which the future band-mates all contributed. After recordings were finished they stayed at the studio and Lemmy picked up an acoustic guitar and started playing some of his old favorite songs by Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran.[3] The rest of the guys knew them all and joined in.[4] The name of the band was created by combining the names Motörhead, The Stray Cats and 13 Cats, which resulted in The Head Cat, similar to what Lemmy did in 1980 with Headgirl, a collaboration between Motörhead and Girlschool.

In 2006, the band released their first studio album on Jun 27, Fool’s Paradise, which was a re-release of an earlier album titled Lemmy, Slim Jim & Danny B recorded in September 1999 but Fool’s Paradise doesn’t include 3 songs from first release and track list is in different order, sleeve is different as well and they used name The Head Cat for first time. It included cover songs from artists such as Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, Jimmy Reed, T-Bone Walker, Lloyd Price, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash.

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On the recordings Lemmy played acoustic guitar in live performance too like on “Rockin’ At Cat Club” only live album they had, on live performances Lemmy uses his signature Rickenbacker bass in later years saying “I’m just not that good on guitar”. Live album “Rockin At Cat Club” have almost all different songs from other two studio albums. Before that re-release, a DVD of a live performance was released on 25 April 2006, album was recorded in on Tuesday Jan 13 2004 and was released in 2006 on limited Vinyl 322 copies too. Filmed at the Phantom’s Cat Club on Los Angeles Sunset Strip and which included 13 live songs and interviews with the band.

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The band’s second studio album (or third altogether), Walk the Walk…Talk the Talk, was recorded by the Niji Entertainment Group in June 2010, released in 2011. This was the first new material by the band in eleven years, following up from the Lemmy, Slim Jim & Danny B album in 1999. It has two original songs “American Beat” and “Eagles Fly On Friday”. First album was all acoustic, Lemmy was on rhythm guitar, harmonica and vocals. Second album, live album, was half acoustic, Lemmy was on acoustic guitar but Danny B was on electric guitar. Third album (second studio) was all electric, Lemmy played bass like in Motorhead. In 2016 Cleopatra Records re-released live album “Rockin At Cat Club” on vinyl with different sleeve from original release and for first time on CD three panel digipak. (by wikipedia)

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While Lemmy Kilmister was best known as an innovator in heavy metal with his over the top band Motörhead, he was around to witness the early days of rock & roll. The Head Cat was a side project that allowed Lemmy to indulge his passion for rockabilly and first-era rock. The Head Cat featured Lemmy on bass, guitars, and vocals; Slim Jim Phantom of the Stray Cats on drums and vocals; and Danny B. Harvey of the Rockats and the Lonesome Spurs on guitar, bass, and keys. The trio came together when Lemmy was invited to contribute guitar and vocals for the 2000 album A Special Tribute to Elvis by Phantom and Harvey’s group the Swing Cats. After cutting a version of “Good Rockin’ Tonight,” Lemmy picked up a guitar and began jamming on some classic Eddie Cochran tunes. Phantom and Harvey quickly joined in, and the three felt the chemistry was right and they should cut an album of their own.

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In 2000, the trio recorded Lemmy, Slim Jim & Danny B, which was released by the German label Steamhammer; it was reissued in a different sequence and with new artwork in 2006 by Cleopatra Records under the title Fool’s Paradise. The band played occasional live dates when their schedules permitted, and a 2004 show in Los Angeles was released in a special DVD/LP package, 2006’s Rockin’ the Cat Club: Live from the Sunset Strip. In 2011, the Head Cat brought out a second studio album, Walk the Walk…Talk the Talk. While the debut album consisted entirely of vintage rock & roll covers, Walk the Walk featured a pair of original numbers along with ten rockabilly, blues, and country chestnuts.

The Head Cat continued to play occasional club and festival dates until early 2015, when HeadCat05.jpgLemmy’s failing health began to interfere with his performance schedule. The Head Cat were scheduled to perform as part of a Lemmy birthday show on December 13, 2015, but Kilmister was too ill to participate. He died on December 28, ending the trio’s memorable run. (by Mark Deming)

It’s been a while since listeners last heard from the HeadCat, Lemmy Kilmister’s rock & roll side project. And now, five years after the release of their debut, Fool’s Paradise, comes their sophomore effort, Walk the Walk…Talk the Talk. Joining the Lem-man once more are Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom and Rockats guitarist Danny B. Harvey, and again, the trio has cooked up a rockin’ good time, heavy on readings of classic rock & rollers from yesteryear, cases in point being several tracks that were later covered/made famous by rock royalty — the Chuck Berry obscurity “Let It Rock” (later covered by the Rolling Stones), Johnny Kidd & the Pirates’ “Shakin’ All Over” (later covered by the Who), and an album-closing rendition of Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads” (later covered by Cream). And Lemmy’s trademark throaty growl works better than you’d think in the context of old-time rock & roll, as he takes it down a few notches on such ditties as “I Ain’t Never” and “The Eagle Flies on Friday.” As with the HeadCat’s debut album, Walk the Walk…Talk the Talk is a much welcomed arrival in a period that will undoubtedly go down as “the Auto-Tune era,” when the original thrill of raw and real rock & roll has been all but replaced by computer-perfected blahness. (by Greg Prato)

And their version of the Robert Johnson classic “Crossroads” was of course inspired by the legendary Cream !!!

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Personnel:
Danny B. Harvey (guitar, piano)
Lemmy Kilmister (bass, vocals)
Slim Jim Phantom (drums)
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TJ McDonnell (percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. American Beat (Harvey/Kilmister/Phantom) 1.44
02. Say Mama (Earl/Meeks) 2.02
03. I Ain’t Never (Tillis/Pierce) 1.53
04. Bad Boy (Williams) 1.58
05. Shakin’ All Over (Heath) 2.34
06. Let It Rock (Berry) 2.07
07. Something Else (Cochran/Sheeley) 2.04
08. The Eagle Flies On Friday (Harvey/Kilmister/Phantom) 3.22
09. Trying To Get To You (Singleton/McCoy) 2.23
10. You Can’t Do That (Lennon/McCartney) 2.29
11. It’ll Be Me (Clement) 1.58
12. Crossroads (Johnson) 3.04

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“Lemmy” Kilmister (24 December 1945 – 28 December 2015)

Buddy Holly – Same (1958)

BuddyHollyFrontCover1Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959), known professionally as Buddy Holly, was an American musician and singer-songwriter who was a central and pioneering figure of mid-1950s rock and roll. He was born in Lubbock, Texas, to a musical family during the Great Depression, and learned to play guitar and sing alongside his siblings. His style was influenced by gospel music, country music, and rhythm and blues acts, and he performed in Lubbock with his friends from high school.

He made his first appearance on local television in 1952, and the following year he formed the group “Buddy and Bob” with his friend Bob Montgomery. In 1955, after opening for Elvis Presley, he decided to pursue a career in music. He opened for Presley three times that year; his band’s style shifted from country and western to entirely rock and roll. In October that year, when he opened for Bill Haley & His Comets, he was spotted by Nashville scout Eddie Crandall, who helped him get a contract with Decca Records.

Holly’s recording sessions at Decca were produced by Owen Bradley, who had become famous for producing orchestrated country hits for stars like Patsy Cline. Unhappy with Bradley’s musical style and control in the studio, Holly went to producer Norman Petty in Clovis, New Mexico, and recorded a demo of “That’ll Be the Day”, among other songs. Petty became the band’s manager and sent the demo to Brunswick Records, which released it as a single credited to “The Crickets”, which became the name of Holly’s band. In September 1957, as the band toured, “That’ll Be the Day” topped the US and UK singles charts. Its success was followed in October by another major hit, “Peggy Sue”.

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The album Chirping Crickets, released in November 1957, reached number five on the UK Albums Chart. Holly made his second appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in January 1958 and soon after, toured Australia and then the UK. In early 1959, he assembled a new band, consisting of future country music star Waylon Jennings (bass), famed session musician Tommy Allsup (guitar), and Carl Bunch (drums), and embarked on a tour of the midwestern U.S. After a show in Clear Lake, Iowa, he chartered an airplane to travel to his next show, in Moorhead, Minnesota. Soon after takeoff, the plane crashed, killing Holly, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper, and pilot Roger Peterson in a tragedy later referred to by Don McLean as “The Day the Music Died”.

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During his short career, Holly wrote and recorded songs. He is often regarded as the artist who defined the traditional rock-and-roll lineup of two guitars, bass, and drums. He was a major influence on later popular music artists, including Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and Elton John. He was among the first artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1986. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 13 in its list of “100 Greatest Artists”. (by wikipedia)

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When Buddy Holly & the Crickets broke through nationally in 1957, they were marketed by Decca Records as two different acts whose records were released on two different Decca subsidiaries — Brunswick for Crickets records, Coral for Holly records. But there was no real musical distinction between the two, except perhaps that the “Crickets” sides had more prominent backup vocals. Nevertheless, coming three months after The “Chirping” Crickets, this was the debut album credited to Buddy Holly. It featured Holly’s Top Ten single “Peggy Sue” plus several songs that have turned out to be standards: “I’m Gonna Love You Too,” “Listen to Me,” “Everyday,” “Words of Love,” and “Rave On.” The rest of the 12 tracks weren’t as distinctive, though Holly’s takes on such rock & roll hits as “Ready Teddy” and “You’re So Square (Baby I Don’t Care)” provide an interesting contrast with the more familiar versions by Elvis Presley. This was the final new album featuring Holly to be released during his lifetime. Every subsequent album was an archival or posthumous collection. (by William Ruhlmann)

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The companion album to “The Chirping Crickets”, Buddy Holly’s lone solo album released while he was still alive (barring his pre-fame Decca singles compilation “That’ll Be the Day”) finds him stretching the boundaries of early rock with unusual-for-the-time instrumentation such as acoustic guitars and organs, and the piano is a little more prominent. This album shows its age a little more with its support tracks in comparison to his Crickets album, and is thus the slightly weaker entry in his catalog, but this album is still as influential and timeless.

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Following the template established in the first album, Holly runs through twelve songs, most of them self-written with Crickets band members and manager Norman Petty. There are a few cover tunes sprinkled in, mainly songs Elvis had already done. The big single “Peggy Sue” is here, along with other standards such as “I’m Gonna Love You Too” (turn up the volume at the end, you’ll hear a real cricket singing along!), “Everyday”, “Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues”, “Words of Love” and “Rave On”. The songs are just as catchy and play to Holly’s strengths both as a vocalist and a guitarist.

Like the Chirping Crickets, this album is piece of music history, and just as important. With these two albums, Holly has already left an impressive mark on popular music, and they must be included in any representative collection of early rock’n’roll. (Russell Newton)

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Personnel:
Jerry Allison (drums)
Buddy Holly (vocals, guitar)
Joe B. Mauldin (bass)
Niki Sullivan (guitar)
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Donald Arnone (guitar on 11.)
Al Caiola (guitar on 11.)
C. W. Kendall Jr. (piano on 03.,  10. + 12.)
Norman Petty (organ on 03, piano on 11.)
Vi Petty (piano on 03., 05., 06. + 08., celesta on 07.)
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background vocals on 11.:
William Marihe – Robert Bollinger – Robert Harter – Merrill Ostrus – Abby Hoffer

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Tracklist:
01. I’m Gonna Love You Too (Maudlin/Petty/Sullivan) 2.08
02. Peggy Sue (Allison/Petty/Holly) 2.27
03. Look At Me (Allison/Petty/Holly) 2.07
04. Listen To Me (Hardin/Petty) 2.16
05. Buddy Holly Valley Of Tears Antoine Domino, Dave Bartholomew Rate
06. Read Teddy (Blackwell/Calco) 1.30
07. Everyday (Hardin/Petty) 2.04
08. Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues (Roberts/Katz)Clayton) 2.46
09. Words Of Love (Holly) 1.50
10. You’re So Square (Baby I Don’t Care) (Stoller/Leiber) 1.48
11. Rave One (West/Tilghman/Petty) 1.53
12. Little Baby (Holly/Petty/Kendall Jr.) 1.55

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Buddy Holly (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959)

Jerry Lee Lewis – Memphis Beat (1966)

FrontCover1.JPGMemphis Beat is an album by Jerry Lee Lewis released on the Smash label in 1966.

More than half the songs on Memphis Beat were recorded on January 5 and 6, 1966 at Phillips Studio in Memphis. The remaining selections were taken from a rare New York City session eight months earlier and Lewis’s earliest sessions at Smash in 1963. The album includes a rare Lewis original called “Lincoln Limousine,” a garbled tribute to John F. Kennedy. In his book Jerry Lee Lewis: Lost and Found, Joe Bonomo calls the track “simply weird, so ambiguous and amateurishly written that it’s impossible to determine exactly what motivated him to write it.” The album also includes “Too Young,” a piano lounge number that Bonomo deems “a real laugher” and “hysterically uncomfortable.” Lewis fares better on “Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee” and the George Jones classic “She Thinks I Still Care,” but the collection contained no new hits.

After Memphis Beat was released in May 1966, it stalled at 145 on the Billboard albums chart despite solid promotion from Smash and decent reviews.[citation needed] Lewis’s commercial slump would continue until 1968, when he finally broke on the country charts with “Another Place, Another Time.” In 2014 Lewis biographer Rick Bragg wrote, “Throughout the mid-1960s he cut one album after another of other people’s music…But none of it was new, not really.” Bruce Eder of AllMusic praises the album: “After veering hard into country (and country-pop) territory with Country Songs for City Folks, Jerry Lee Lewis came roaring back with Memphis Beat in 1966, featuring his hardest rocking sounds in years, and a band who were as good as any with whom he’d ever recorded.” (by wikipedia)

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Jerry Lee Lewis with fans at the Club Marimba, M’boro, October 1966

Considering that nearly half of the songs on this album are outtakes from previous albums it blends together remarkably well! The song Memphis Beat itself though OK is a slightly contrived combination of Breathless & Chuck Berry’s Memphis. Far better are Just Because, Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee (though both earlier & later versions are probably superior), Big Boss Man & George Jones’ She Thinks I Still Care. Again there’s a couple of unnecessary covers that add little to the originals, particularly Hallelujah, I Love Her So & Too Young (great piano solo though!), & there’s the notorious Lincoln Limousine, his “tribute” to John F. Kennedy that sounds more like a car commercial! 3 out of 5

Outtakes: What A Heck Of A Mess / Rockin’ Jerry Lee

What A Heck Of A Mess was issued as the B-side of Sticks & Stones, while Rockin’ Jerry Lee (one of the stronger rock ‘n’ roll performances from this era) was first issued on a 70s bootleg & then officially in the late 80s.

Non-Album Session: Memphis Beat / Twenty Four Hours A Day / Swinging Doors / If I Had It All To Do Over

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Presumably dissatisfied with the album version, Memphis Beat was re-cut here for a single, backed with If I Had It All To Do Over. Swinging Doors was released on the 1971 Would You Take Another Chance On Me album, & Twenty Four Hours A Day remained unissued until a bootleg EP in the early 80s (& then an official release a few years later). Additionally, an alternate take of Memphis Beat was issued on the 1969 I’m On Fire compilation, & remixes (minus strings) of the other 3 songs were released via Bear Family in the 80s. (by Peter Checksfield)

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Personnel:
Jerry Lee Lewis (piano, vocals)
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Tracklist:
01. Memphis Beat (Haddington/Lipscomb/Reynolds) 2.49
02. Mathilda (Khoury/Thierry) 2.14
03. Drinkin’ Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee (McGhee/Williams) 2.14
04. Hallelujah I Love Her So (Charles) 2.28
05. She Thinks I Still Care (Lipscombe) 2.49
06. Just Because (Robin/B. Shelton/J. Shelton) 1.58
07. Sticks And Stones (Turner) 2.04
08. Whenever You’re Ready (Harrelson) 1.48
09. Lincoln Limousine (Lewis) 2.37
10. Big Boss Man (Dixon/Smith) 2.52
11. Too Young (Dee/Lippman) 2.58
12. The Urge (Fritts) 2.41

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On February 28, 2019, Lewis suffered a minor stroke in Memphis.He is expected to fully recover and had to cancel a few upcoming appearances

Ronnie Hawkins – A Legend In His Spare Time (1981)

FrontCover1.JPGRonnie Hawkins was born on Jan 10,1935 in Huntsville Arkansas,making him 81 this year.He went to the University of Arkansas,,unlike most C & W legends, who didn’t attend university.He started his career in 1956 and continues today,He released his first album in 1959 at the age of 24.He left Arkansas and came to Toronto,and has remained here ever since,and was a key artist in the 60 ‘s. .Hawkins is the first artist to come to mind when one thinks of Rockabilly music in Canada. He has been known as Dynamo, Rompin’ Ronnie and The Hawk.He is particularly well known for wearing a black T-Shirt with a white hawk,which is also popular with his many fans.His favorite music is R & R,Rockabilly,Rythm and Blues, Country and Bluegrass.
Although this album does not include his best known songs,it still has some real good ones.
Always a great performer,he had to cut back his hectic schedule when he contacted pancreatic cancer.with little expectations for beating it.However he beat the odds and survived. (by Jerry Guild)

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This is a real worthwile album, including 2 songs of Chuck Berry and John Fogerty (both were one the greatest Rock N Roll songwiter of all time !)

And he had a great band in the studio (listen to the solo in “Travelling Band” or the  opening of “Louisiana Backroad”, written by Lonnie Mack).

Unfortunaley we hear not enough solos … what a shame ! Buit we hear one of the great shouters of Rock n Roll and C & W !

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Personnel:
Ronnie Hawkins (vocals)
Dave Lewis (drums)
John Lewis (guitar, slide-guitar)
Lonnie Mack (guitar)
Fred Mollin (guitar, percussion, synthesizer, background vocals)
Richard Page (background vocals)
Gerry Penfound (saxophone)
Tom Szczesniak (bass)
Stan Szelest (keyboards, synthesizer)
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Terry Bush (guitar on 09.)
Ken King (bass on 09.)

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Tracklist:
01. Only The Lucky (Egan) 2.49
02. Back On The Road Again (Mack/Labunski) 2.47
03. (Stuck In) Lodi (Fogerty) 2.53
04. Brown Eyed Handsome Man (Berry) 2.29
05. 300 Pounds Of Heavenly Joy (Dixon) 3.32
06. Travelling Band (Fogerty) 2.07
07. Eighteen Wheels (Stewart) 2.35
08. Louisiana Backroad (Mack/De Barnes) 4.00
09. Down The Line (Orbison) 3.12
10. Havana Moon (Berry) 3.35

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Ronnie Hawkins receives Order of Canada in 2014

Jean Couroyer & His Dance Orchestra – International Hit Parade (1962)

FrontCover1“A popular melody is as international a language as you will find anywhere in this world of ours. You don´t have to know the text to hum or whistle a happy tune – no matter what country of origin.

It is therefore little wonder that dance band leader Jean Couroyer roams musically across many borders in gathering material for his recording and makes sure of the widest possible acceptance by selecting the most popular dance rhythms.” (J.H. Watson from the liner notes to International Hit Parade)

This is another Swiss Varieton LP that I bought together with the Aprés-Ski in Kitzbühel album. Varieton was a sub-label of the main Swiss label Ex-Libris, used for budget releases like this one. The production is not so bad though, using thick cardboard and slick printing. It looks almost like an american album. The illustration on the sleeve however looks like it was drawn in five minutes by somebody who was not into the job at all. And it probably was. Regrettably I have had similar experiences in the past. The customer doesn´t really care or know the difference and I don´t really care or have the Jean Couroyer01Atime either. So I rush a job. But receiving some product weeks later that reeks of all the reluctance it was crafted with feels bad. It´s embarassing to do poor work. Luckily those jobs are the exception, but at least for some reason they are always the best paying.

The raw and bold brush work and the combination of the innocent big girl dancing with the bald little man stands out though. He´s hanging in mid-air and she´s missing an arm but there´s a primitive charm to it. Most certainly the rest of the album´s design was done by other people than the guy who did the sketch. The Ad Lib font used for the title of the album was designed in 1961 by Freeman Craw for the American Type Founders (ATF), so it was pretty hip at the time. When I see the font I think of Crypt Records, because they have used it excessively on their album covers and for their catalogues since the 1980´s.

Sure, all this analysis is redundant considering that apart from three twist songs the album is pretty forgettable, at least to my ears. But I buy some records for other reasons than the music and I do enjoy this restrained orchestra rock´n´roll that was made for old people. Maybe because I am old. Not a lot of information on the Internet about Jean Couroyer, but I guess he is from Switzerland. (by mischalke04.wordpress.com)

Yes, Jean Couroyer was a guitar player based in the french part of Switzerland. amd he active till the early Seventies as an Easy Listening conductor for many projects.

Here we can hear his versions of popular Twist and High Scholl Rock n Roll from the Fifites … a nice addition for every Easy Listening collection.

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Personnel:
Jean Couroyer & His Dance Orchestra

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Tracklist:
01. Let’s Twist Again (Mann/Appell) 1.42
02. La Bamba (Traditional) 2.29
03. Il Fault Savoir (Aznavour) 2.34
04. The Boogie-Twist (Davido) 2.03
05. You Don’t Know (Schroeder/Hawker) 2.48
06. Sucu-Sucu (Rojas) 2.06
07. Peppermint Twist (Dee) 2.30
08. The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Weiss/Peretti/Creatore) 2.41
09. La Pachanga (Davidson) 2.06
10. Midnight Twist (Davido) 2.33
11. Vamos A Ver (Davido) 2.11
12. La Novia (Prietto/Mogol) 2.28
13. The Twist (Ballard) 2.42
14. Coco Cha-Cha (Davido) 2.37

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