CD Red Hot & Blue [Dewey Phillips] (CD 1031711),
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Red Hot & Blue [Dewey Phillips]

  • 1. Live Broadcast 1954-1964
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 7016

  • Credits
    ProducerRichard Hite
    EngineerRick Caughron

    Although Alan Freed is more famous, Dewey Phillips arguably did more to invent the prototype of the rock & roll DJ. His Memphis show, Red Hot and Blue, possibly the first major radio show by a white disc jockey to play R&B, integrated the airwaves in 1952. And if that's not enough, he deserves legendary status for being the very first disc jockey to ever play an Elvis Presley record. Of course, that epochal moment isn't here on this hourlong collection of airchecks from 1952 to 1964, but this disc does do an excellent job of presenting Phillips' singular style. Phillips liked to gab, and throughout this disc he often riffs over the records as they play, his quirky non sequiturs sounding like he's overindulged on the fine products of his primary sponsor, Champagne Velvet beer. At least, that's how he sounds at the beginning. By the end, Phillips sounds tired and disenchanted with the music he's playing -- it's not an accident that these tapes end with the year the British Invasion came calling on these shores. With pure R&B in decline and his hipster broadcasting style out of favor, Phillips is a man out of time by the end of this disc. Annoyingly, this collection of tape fragments is programmed as one hourlong cut, which makes it difficult to examine how completely Phillips' style had changed over the years. ~ Stewart Mason

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