CD King Rock 'N' Roll (CD 115052),
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King Rock 'N' Roll
1. What Is Your Technique? - Ronnie Speeks & His Elrods
2. Midnight Blues / I'm Movin' In - Wes Voight
3. Rock On - Trini Lopez
4. Cuddle Up - Fuller Todd
5. Chicken Out - Wayne Carroll
6. Rock'n'Roll Mr Bullfrog - Moon Mullican
7. Goose Bumps - Delbert Barker
8. Oh Baby, Dance With Me - Gene Stewart
9. You Baby - Fuller Todd
10. VIM Vam Vamoose - Bob Temple/The Dave Martin Orchestra
11. Midnight Ramblin' Tonight - H-Bomb Ferguson
12. Rockyn' Up - Ronnie Molleen
13. Guitar Pickin' Fool - Teddy Humpheries
14. Boy! This Stuff Kills Me - Bruce Channel
15. Shake 'Em up Baby - Rusty York
16. I Want a Lover - Wes Voight & The Town Three
17. You Are My Happiness - Booker Jr. Lee
18. I'm the Jivin' Mr. Lee - Kenny Martin
19. Rockin' Chair Mama - Wayne Carroll
20. I'll Give 'Em Rhythm - Hardrock Gunter
21. Bull Frog Boogie - Earl Slone
22. Run Fool Run - Bobby Cash
23. Just Doing Rock 'N' Roll - Chick & His Hot Rods
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 975
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
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."
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Ace (Label) 975
E1 Distribution (USA)
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