CD King Hillbilly Bop 'n' Boogie: King/Federal's Roots of Rockabilly 1944-1956 (CD 115035),
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King Hillbilly Bop 'n' Boogie: King/Federal's Roots of Rockabilly 1944-1956
1. It's Raining Here This Morning - Grandpa Jones
2. Beale Street Boogie - The Delmore Brothers
3. Rockin' Chair Money - Bill Carlisle
4. Papa's Getting Old - Fairley Holden
5. What a Line! - Jimmie Widener
6. Four or Five Times - Luke Wills Rhythm Busters
7. She's a Backwoods Woman - Mel Cox & The Flying Ranch Boys
8. Three Strikes and You're Out - Cowboy Copas
9. Brother Drop Dead (Boogie) - Redd Stewart
10. Rockin' and Rollin' - Slim Redman
11. You'll Make Our Shack a Mansion - Grandpa Jones
12. Tend to Your Business - Clyde Moody
13. Stop and Go Boogie (Rag Man Boogie) - Zeke Turner/Brewster Avenue Rhythm Boys (Inst.)
14. Goodnight Cincinnati, Good Morning Tennessee - Shorty Long
15. Grandpa Stole My Baby - Moon Mullican
16. Hi-Ballin' Daddy - Ann Jones
17. Money Bag Woman - Luke McDaniel
18. Day Done Broke Too Soon This Morning - Jack Cardwell
19. We Did - Herb & Kay
20. I Ain't Got a Pot (To Peel Potatoes In) - Louis Innis
21. What a Waste (Of Good Corn Likker) - Bill Long (previously unreleased)
22. Stumbling Block - Charlie Gore
23. I Put My Britches on Just Like Everybody Else - Hardrock Gunter
24. Sing Your Song Baby - Louis Innis (previously unreleased)
25. Ko Ko Mo (I Love You So) - Jack Cardwell
26. It's Raining Here This Morning - Grandpa Jones
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 854
Performers include: Granpa Jones, Merle Travis, Cowboy Copas, Moon Mullican, Luke McDaniel, Ramblin' Tommy Scott, Hardock Gunter, Delmore Bros., Redd Stewart, Ann Jones.
Liner Note Author: Dave Sax.
King Records would eventually became much better known for R&B, soul, and rock & roll records than country-oriented ones. But from the mid-'40s to the mid-'50s, it was very active in the hillbilly market, recording numerous artists who were bridging older country and old-timey styles with Western swing, R&B, boogie, blues, pop, and whatnot to help pave the way for rockabilly. This collection of 26 such sides would thus be interesting for historical importance alone, and it's a good bonus that the music is very good as well, though sometimes it gets a little similar-sounding in its hillbilly boogie. Some of these names will be pretty familiar to country music fans, including the Delmore Brothers (whose 1947 recording, "Beale Street Boogie," not issued until the 1980s, is about as close to rock & roll as any white performer got before 1948), Grandpa Jones, Bill Carlisle, Cowboy Copas, Moon Mullican, and Hardrock Gunter. At least half, though, are likely to draw a blank unless you're a specialist collector, though some turn out to have connections to big names, like Luke Wills, brother of Bob Wills. King was not the only label putting out this kind of music, but it put out a lot of it. And it will come as a surprise to many listeners to hear how close this is to rockabilly: more country in its accents (particularly the use of fiddles and steel guitar on some numbers) and construction, for sure, but with similar beats, hard-driving energy, irreverent attitude, debts to R&B and blues, and fluid guitar work. Tommy Scott's 1951 single "Rockin' and Rollin'"'s very title even anticipates the rockabilly just down the line, as does its extended, twangy guitar solo. Ann Jones' train boogie "Hi-Ballin' Daddy" is high-quality evidence of the less-frequent contributions of women to the genre; Louie Innis' "I Ain't Got a Pot (To Peel Potatoes In)" is ribald humor; and Grandpa Jones' "It's Raining Here This Morning," issued back in 1944 (a different version from a 1946 second pressing is also included), proves just how far back this transitional form dates. The white country roots of rock & roll tend to get underestimated by some historians in favor of the black R&B ones, and this compilation is a good illustration of much of the country side of the equation, limited though it is to the holdings of one prolific label. Four of the songs, incidentally, were previously unissued, though in one case it's a previously undubbed version and in another a previously unissued unedited version. ~ Richie Unterberger
Mojo (Publisher) (2/03, p.104) - "...These selections shed valuable light on the era between Jimmie Rodgers' blue yodels and Elvis's Sun rockabilly..."
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Ace (Label) 854
E1 Distribution (USA)
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