Vintage Rock 'n' Roll & Rockabilly - Bulletin May/ June 2010 - Jackie DeShannon  -> Clif Richard + Books + DVD
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BULLETIN - May/ June 2010
Vintage Rock 'n' Roll & Rockabilly
Jackie DeShannon  ->
Clif Richard + Books + DVD

 

 
 

NEW BOOKS

 

TEXAS TORNADO The Times & Music Of Doug Sahm by Jan Reid with Shawn Sahm ● BOOK $24.95
Hardbound, 201 pages, counts as five CDs for shipping
Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Doug Sahm was the first American musician to capitalize on the 60's British Invasion with his band the Sir Douglas Quintet, whose hits included "She's About a Mover", "The Rains Came", and "Mendocino". Texas Tornado is the first biography of this fascinating artist. Jan Reid traces the whole arc of Sahm's career, as well as the manic energy that drove his sometimes turbulent personal life and loves. The book follows Sahm from his youth in San Antonio as a prodigy steel guitarist through his breakout success with the Sir Douglas Quintet and his move to California, where, with an inventive take on blues, rock, country, and jazz, he became a star in San Francisco and invented the "cosmic cowboy" vogue. Reid also chronicles Sahm's later return to Texas and to chart success with the Grammy Award-winning Texas Tornados, a rowdy "conjunto rock and roll band" that he modeled on the Beatles and which included Augie Meyers and Tejano icons Freddy Fender and Flaco Jimenez. With its easy-going style, Texas Tornado vividly captures the energy and intensity of this musician whose life burned out too soon, but whose music continues to rock.

 
LOUISIANA ROCKS! The True Genesis Of Rock & Roll by Tom Aswell ● BOOK $29.95
Hardbound, 500 pages, counts as eight CDs for shipping
Louisiana journalist Tom Aswell makes a compelling case for the state's importance in the history of Rock & Roll-through documenting the artists, producers, executives, and musicians that lived and/or worked there. Lovingly written and exhaustively researched (just check out the Appendix of artists, complete with song titles and chart placements), covers every aspect of Louisiana music, from innovative producer Cosimo Matassa to the Blues, R&B, Rockabilly, and Cajun and Zydeco artists that made music that continues to inspire and influence to this day. Includes profiles of hundreds of performers, session musicians and songwriters.

 
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT VOL. TWO by Anthony P. Musso ● BOOK $29.95
Paper, 336 pages, counts as five CDs for shipping
"Setting the Record Straight, Volume Two" continues author Anthony Musso's quest to dispel countless rumors, myths and inaccurate information that surrounds the music and careers of another 50 top recording artists from the 1950s and 1960s. By way of first hand interviews with solo artists and/or founding and original members of leading vocal groups of the era, readers will learn the real stories about each artist's musical influences, entry into the music industry, and experiences while touring and performing during the infancy of the rock and roll era. Learn how legendary vocalist Jerry Butler was first dubbed "The Iceman", why Ben E. King described his first year as lead singer of the Drifters as a grueling and somewhat harrowing experience, and how Gladys Horton and four childhood friends from Inkster, Michigan (known as The Marvelettes) scored the very first number one hit recording for Motown Records. Other artists who get to tell their stories include Maurice Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Shirley Alston Reeves of the Shirelles, Percy Sledge, Otis Williams of the Charms, Anthony Gourdine of Little Anthony and the Imperials, Frankie Ford, Gene Chandler, Clarence "Frogman" Henry, and many more. These are the indisputable and accurate accounts as told by the artists themselves, with the intent of finally setting the record straight. Note: Volume 1 published in 2007 is also available for the same price.

   

NEW DVD

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Shout Factory 11742 The T.A.M.I. Show ● DVD $18.98
48 songs, 112 mins, essential
Before I get into the nuts and bolts of this review, it is important to say that the James Brown performance footage included in this DVD is widely regarded as the greatest James Brown performance captured on film! Keith Richards has famously said that the biggest mistake the Rolling Stones ever made in their career was to headline over this James Brown performance. O.K., so if you are still bothering to read this review after that and somehow need any more convincing, let me tell you a little about one of the top ten best music films of all time. The T.A.M.I. (i.e., Teen Age Music International) film is yet another cultural milestone provided by American International Pictures (A.I.P.). Somewhere between Beach Party and Edgar Allen Poe films, A.I.P. managed to put on and film this two-day concert event at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium -- October 28th and 29th, 1964 -- that featured some of the greatest Rock 'N' Roll and Rhythm & Blues artists of the time, with no less a musical director than the great Jack Nitzsche. You get the great James Brown set and the fantastic Rolling Stones set (much better Than Keith gives it credit for) along with great performances by the likes of The Supremes, The Beach Boys (kicking much more ass that you'd expect), Chuck Berry, Marvin Gaye, Leslie Gore, Gerry and The Pacemakers, a killer set by the Miracles, show hosts Jan & Dean, and many more. Garage Rock fanatics will especially freak on the rare performance by The Barbarians captured here, but there is something for every R&R/R&B fan of the era to enjoy. This legendary film has never been officially released on VHS or DVD, so you can finally retire your murky bootlegs and pick this up. DVd includes commentary by director Steve Binder, tarilers and radio spots and a commemorative booklet. (JM)

 

NEW COMPACT DISCS

 
JACKIE DESHANNON Ace CDCHD 1243 You Won't Forget Me-The Complete Liberty Singles, Vol.1 ● CD $18.98
26 songs, 62 mins, highly recommended
For any consumer that picked up previous compilation "Break-a-Way: The Songs of Jackie DeShannon 1961-1967" (Ace 1208 - $18.98), here is the natural follow-up: a collection of Jackie's own recordings cut for Hollywood's Liberty Records. Prior to signing to Liberty, Jackie managed to cut 16 songs for nine different labels (many of which are now collector's items, and may yet see the light of day) but contained here are sides made with notable producers like Snuff Garrett, Clyde Otis, and Jack Nitzsche. Covering the years 1960 to 1965, this first of three collections devoted to Jackie's Liberty/Imperial Records recordings contains all the singles released (and supposed to be released, but canceled) during that period, A- and B-sides. Highlights include her original versions of Needles and Pins (hit covered by The Searchers), I'm Gonna Be Strong (which Gene Pitney made a hit), and When You Walk in the Room. Although Jackie did record songs written by others (notably Goffin/King, Mann/Weil, Ray Charles, and Bobby Helms), she was the rare artist of the time that also recorded her own material. Many of these early tracks are cut in the big ballad style favored in the early 60's (indeed, her vocals are very much in the vein of a Brenda Lee), but her penchant for R&B and Country shine through on Ain't That Love/ Baby (When Ya Kiss Me)/ Guess Who/ You Won't Forget Me, and Little Yellow Roses. Jackie DeShannon was a major talent and kudos to Ace for making sure she gets her due. (GMC)

 
JIMMY DONLEY Bear Family BCD 16534 The Shape You Left Me In ● CD $21.98
25 tracks, 65 mins, highly recommended
Mississippi born Swamp Pop performer Jimmy Donley's life was the stuff of tragedy. A brilliant singer and songwriter he was dead by his own hand in 1963 at the age of 34. His life was filled with drugs, alcohol and wife abuse (he was married six times in 14 years - most of his wives left him in fear of their life!) and one can only assume that the personal demons that tortured him contributed to the power of his music. He was a fine swamp pop vocalist with an expressive bluesy style and wrote hundreds of songs - very few with his name credited as he would sell the rights to his producers, managers or anyone else for the money to buy groceries or pay rent. Donley pitched his songs to Fats Domino who recorded several of them including the gorgeous What A Price and remained a lifelong friend. This collection features all the recordings Jimmy made for Decca between 1957 and 1960 including unissued songs, alternate takes, previously unissued songs and eight minutes of a "studio workshop" featuring Jimmy working on the song I'm Alone. Highlight of the collection is the hard driving title song which has a composer credit of Marion Carpenter but was almost certainly written by Jimmy as was the soulful ballad flip What Must I Do. Recording for a major label meant that Jimmy got the slick Nashville treatment with vocal choruses and all but that doesn't obscure what a significant talent this man was. It's a shame that they didn't include some of Jimmy's recordings for other labels but maybe that is in the works - I hope so. You wouldn't want this man to marry (or even know) your daughter but you'd probably travel many a mile to hear him sing. (FS)

 
JACK EARLS & THE JIMBOS Bear Family BCD 16935 Slow Down - The Sun Years Plus ● CD $37.98
Just arrived. Jack Earls was one of many great rockers to record for the Sun label and although he recorded quite a lot of material for Sun only one single was released but that one's an all time classic - Slow Down. Earls had one of those classic hillbilly flavored voices that were an integral part of the Sun sound. The band was the standard two guitars, drums and a slap-back bass and they had that "just loose enough" sound that makes even the few mid-tempo songs rock. This collection presents two CDs of Jack Earls. 41 tracks in all including every Sun session with the Jimbos (with several previously unissued tracks); and all of Jack's recordings made in Detroit, from the first commercial release of Take Me To That Place on Ry-Ho in 1973, to his 1999 I Started Rockin' A Long Time Ago. In an extended interview with Jack on disc two, he recaps his musical career and tells vivid stories about rockin' in Memphis. It comes with a 48 page illustrated booklet.

 
CONNIE FRANCIS Ace CDCHD 1245 Connie Rocks ● CD $18.98
Although not always thought of as a rocker Connie Francis had several big hits with rock 'n' roll songs. Rather than featuring the obvious hits this 28 track collection features some of her more rocking "B" sides and LP tracks including some titles that were not unearthed until the 1980s. The tracks here were recorded between 1957 and 1966 and includes Fallin'/ Lock Up Youe Heart/ Heartbreak Hotel/ Valentino/ Hollywood/ Kiss 'n' twist/ Gonna Git That Man/ Look At Him/ Whatever Happened To Rosemarie/ Looking For Love and more. State of the art sound and extensive booklet notes by Mick Patrick and David Bell.

 
RUDY GRAYZELL Bear Family BCD 16837 Let's Get Wild ● CD $21.98
Best known for his original 1956 recording of Ducktail, Texas singer Rudy Grayzell started his recording career in 1953 as a country singer and had a local hit with his first release Looking At The Moon And Wishing On A Star. One year later he recorded the first cover version of Hearts Of Stone. After that, he joined the legendary Starday label to record Duck Tail/ Let's Get Wild, and several other rockabilly classics. And then he was on the legendary Sun label for one single. This is the first comprehensive anthology of one of the original legendary rockabilly starshis set and includes his complete recordings for Abbott, Capitol Starday, Sun, and Award between 1953 and '59. Includes the previously unissued complete version of Let's Get Wild, plus four other unreleased recordings and comes with a 52 page booklet with extensive interviews with Rudy whose life was as wild as his recordings!
RUDY GRAYZELL: .I Think Of You/ Be Mine Forever/ Bonita Chiquita/ Ca-razy!/ Day By Day/ Duck Tail/ F.B.I. Story/ Hearts Made Of Stone/ I Love You So/ I Won't Be The Fool/ I'm Gone Again/ It Ain't My Baby (And I Ain't Gonna Rock It)/ Jig-Ga-Lee-Ga/ Jig-Ga-Lee-Ga (alt.)/ Judy (2)/ Judy (3)/ Judy (master)/ Let's Get Wild (complete version)/ Looking At The Moon And Wishing On A Star/ My Spirit Is Willing/ Ocean Paradise/ Please Big Mama/ Remember When/ Should I Ever Love Again/ The Heart That Once Was Mine/ The Moon Is Up (The Stars Are Out)/ There's Gonna Be A Ball/ Yes Daddy Yes/ You Better Believe It/ You Hurt Me So/ You'll Be Mine/ You're Gone

 
BILL JUSTIS Teen 105 Raunchy ● CD $17.98
Saxist/ pianist Bill Justis recorded for Sam Phillips' Phillips International for six years under his own name and as a a session musician scoring a massive hit in 1961 with the iconic Raunchy before moving to Nashville in '61 to become one of its top arrangers. This set features most of his issued recordings for Phillips along with 1963 sessions for Smash where he recut Raunchy and did fine covers of some of the top instrumentals of the day. His Phillips sessions found him in the company of top Phillips studio musicians like Sidney Manker (who provided the distinctive guitar riff on Raunchy), Roland Janes, Billy Lee Riley, J.M. Van Eaton and others. Some of the Smash sides feature feature a fine guitarist (who?). Though some of the material falls into the realm of "elevator music" there's also some fine rock 'n' roll instrumentals. 34 tracks in all including Raunchy/ Cloud Nine/ Paradiddle/ Acapulco 1922/ Flea Circus/ Wheels/ Raunchy '63/ Scroungie/ Rollin'/ String Of Pearls Cha ChaWild Rice/ Guitar Boogie Shuffle< etc.

 
JERRY LEE LEWIS Spectrum 554 193-2 The Killer Collection ● CD $11.98
A collection of 20 rock 'n' roll sides from Jerry Lee's tenure at Smash and Mercury - it includes new recordings of some of his Sun classics (Breathless/ High School Confidential), a whole bunch of covers of rock 'n' roll standards (Chantilly Lace/ Blue Suede Shoes/ I'm Walkin'/ Blueberry Hill, etc) as well as a few more recent compositions (Bad Moon Rising/ Games People Play and Me And Bobby McGhee). Jerry Lee's performances are graet but the strings and girl choruses on many cuts can get annoying.

 
THE PARIS SISTERS Marginal MAR 087 Their Greatest Hits & More ● CD $19.98
27 tracks, highly recommended
Back in stock in limited quantities. 27 tracks from this fine San Francisco girl group who were active in late 50s and early 60s other best known for their giant hit I Love How You Love Me, included here, featuring the distinctive etherial lead vocals of Priscilla Paris. Includes songs written by Paris and some from Brill Building songwriters like Gerry Goffin, Carole King, Doc Pomus and Phil Spector. Spector produced their big hit as well as several others here. Also has some fine covers of hits like Dream Lover/ Sincerely/ It's My Party and others plus a remake of Love and a couple of Priscilla Paris solo cuts. (FS)

 
ELVIS PRESLEY Memphis Recording Service 30065859 Off Duty With Private Presley ● CD $31.98
92 page book + 35 track CD, highly recommended
Another amazing and creative Elvis package from the folks at Memphis Recording Service issued to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Elvis's discharge from the army in 1960. The booklet has hundreds of color and black and white pictures from his time in the army, many previously unpublished, and provides enough background detail to set the stage for the recordings. The recordings include: 1) Four previously released Studio B cuts from June 58 - I presume these are for musical context as they were the only commercial sides recorded after he was called up. 2) What appears to be the entire set of home recordings made one evening in May of 58 when Elvis and Anita Wood visited DJ Eddie Fadal and his wife while Elvis was doing basic training in Texas. These cuts include 3 songs done by Elvis with piano and with others sometimes singing along, 3 cuts of Elvis accompanying Anita Wood on piano and 9 cuts of Elvis singing doo-wop lines along with other recordings including 5 attempts to work out a falsetto harmony for the ending of the Tune Weavers' Happy Happy Birthday Baby (It was Anita's birthday party). 3) The last 11 cuts appear to contain the remaining (and previously unreleased) material from home recordings made in 1959 at Elvis' residence in Bad Nauheim, Germany. Other cuts from these tapes have previously appeared on RCA's "Golden Celebration" and "Platinum boxes" and "The Home Recordings" CD and on Follow That Dream's "In a Private Moment." They consist of Elvis singing and playing piano amidst interjections by others. Sound quality is standard for the studio material and generally listenable for the home recordings. The piano gets muddy with full chording but the sound quality iscomparable to other issues of Elvis home recordings. The listening has more for the curious than for those seeking finished performances. Elvis is relaxed and fooling around through most of it and some cuts are fragments (due to his dropping them and moving on, not to editing). The big news is for collectors! Apart from one cut on "The Home Recordings," the Eddie Fadal material has only been out on bootleg vinyl as far as I know and that was 30 years ago. I've read about these recordings but have never found them before. The Bad Nauheim material is almost entirely new to issue on CD or vinyl and appears to complete the issue of that evenings taping (at least as far as I can tell from the listing in Joe Tunzi's "Elvis Sessions III"). For collectors and completists, this makes the release essential but any fan of Elvis will find much of interest including the beautifully reproduced photos, the opportunity to hear Elvis in a totally informal setting and some intriguing snippets of dialogue with Elvis showing an interest in recording Hank Williams songs and expressing concern that "they" want him to do more pop oriented material. (GC/ FS)

 
DON RICH Jin 9091 You're Mistaken ● CD $15.98
16 tracks, 62 min., highly recommended
One cool thing about this Louisiana Swamp Pop practitioner is that he selects his material from all over hell and gone and makes it all sound of a piece. The opening three tracks (the title track, Mr. Rainmaker, and I Buy Her Roses), pleasant, country-inflected ballads, would seem to promise a kind of consistency, but Rich takes on cover songs that are atypical for the genre, including Van Morrison's Into The Mystic, Sam Cooke's Change Is Gonna Come, and the Hayes/Porter-penned Sam & Dave fave Hold On I'm Comin'. As a singer, the man has no fear. Nor should he. This music is about good times and better times than that. Standouts include It Hurt So Bad, Too Weak To Fight, Child I Love You So, and the '50 sojourn GoodHearted Man. I was hoping I Think I Love You was the old Partridge Family schlock hit, which I would have paid extra to hear, but no such luck. A strong album that defies you not to have a good time. (JC)

 
CLIFF RICHARD Smith & Co. 1193 Just About As Good As It Gets, Original Recordings ● CD $15.98
Two CDS, 71 tracks, recommended
Though best known as a pop singer Cliff Richard started his career in the mid 50s as one of Britain's pioneer rockers and this two CD set brings together a whopping 71 of his early sides cut in 1958 and 1959 - most of them rockers. He is backed by his group The Drifters (later renamed The Shadows) featuring the fine lead guitar of Hank Marvin (though his earliest sides featured lead guitar by session guitarist Ernie Shear). Cliff's first guitarist was Ian Samwell who left the band shortly after Cliff started recording but continued as a songwriter and wrote several of Cliff's early hits. It includes his cover of obscure American rocker Curtis Hoebeck's Apron Strings which was one of his early hits along with (You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care/ Never Mind/ High Class Baby/ That'll Be The Day/ Donna/ Twenty Flight Rock (one of the best cuts here with great guitar from Marvin)/ Dynamite/ Travellin' Light/ Livin' Lovin' Doll, etc. In addition to LP and 45 rpm sides this set includes tracks by him from the movies "Serious Charge" and "Expresso Bongo" as well as a bunch of live tracks - the latter get a bit wearing due to the incessant screaming from the fans. These are confined to disc two along with some of Cliff's early attempt at pop balladry with orchestral accompaniments so chances are that you'll be spending most of your time with disc one! Good sound and informative notes by Dave Travis. (FS)

 
 

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