Saturday, 7 March 2009

Pat Cupp - Long Gone Daddy: The Complete 50's Recordings

Pat Cupp - Long Gone Daddy: The Complete 50's Recordings
El Toro Records - ETCD1019

1 That Girl Of Mine (Demo)2 I Guess It's Meant That Way (Demo)3 Baby Come Back (Demo)4 Do Me No Wrong (RPM)5 Baby Come Back (RPM)6 Long Gonne Daddy (RPM)7 To Be The One (RPM)8 Long Gonne Daddy (Crown)9 Do Me No Wrong (Crown)10 Baby Come Back (Crown)11 That Girl Of Mine (Crown)12 I Guess It's Meant That Way (Crown)13 Baby Come Back (Rollin' Rock)14 Do Me No Wrong (Rollin' Rock)15 Long Gonne Daddy (Rollin' Rock)16 That Girl Of Mine (Rollin' Rock)17 I Guess It's Meant That Way (Rollin' Rock)18 I Won't Remember To Cry (Rollin' Rock)

Pat Cupp was a short-term recording artist who cut a bunch of great records in 1956 never to be heard of again for nearly half a century. Repro singles on Rollin' Rock and the odd track on compilation CD’s have had to suffice, but that’s all changed now as El Toro have grouped all his stuff onto one, breathtaking CD. It’s amazing that this guy didn’t become a star and have a long career in the business. Sods law dictated that once he was discovered, his hearing packed in and he had to retire all together.

Growing up in Arkansas he was able to see and join on stage such rockers as Elvis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins, not a bad way to start your career. In early ’56 a trio of demos were cut at the Onyx Studio in Memphis. All three are here and they all show great promise with That Girl Of Mine being a great slab of rockabilly. In April he played the Louisiana Hayride and came to the attention of Joe Bahari of Modern Records who signed Pat to record on the RPM subsidiary. On 13th May, 1956 he was taken to KWKH in Shreveport Louisiana where he laid down a handful of rockabilly gems during a mammoth, fruitful session. Although they made no impact at the time, Long Gone Daddy, Do Me No Wrong, Baby Come Back and I Guess It's Meant That Way have now gained legendary status. Pure unadulterated rockabilly it’s a match for the Sun rockers that resurfaced during the 70’s rockabilly revival. His vocals are excellent, youthful and fresh without ever sounding stretched and the band are red hot, especially Johnny Gatlin who plays a pepper-hot guitar.

The next session was held at Cosimo Matassa’s studio in New Orleans where the sound was changed from rural rockabilly to New Orleans style rock ‘n’ roll. The results were equally impressive. I’ve listened to the rockabilly and New Orleans versions of Long Gone Daddy one after the other and the difference is amazing – but it’s impossible to say which version is the best. You need to listen to them and see what you think – it’s like choosing between your kids. Sadly that was it for Pat Cupp, who joined the US Air Force and retired from the business, unaware that forty odd years later he would be called to Europe where he quickly became a hero. Snap this up, it’s a brilliant release, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll as good as it gets.