Saturday 12 December 2009

Taking a break

I'm knocking it on the head. I'm just too tired from work and can't think straight. It means I'm making stupid mistakes. Saying Mac Curtis was on Decca not King might not seem like a big issue to none believers but for me it shows that I can't rush stuff out just to get something onto the site on a regular basis. I love his King stuff, I've got the old Rockabilly Kings lp and the CD version.

I might be back in the New Year, depends how I feel with work. Thanks for reading over the past year or so. Shaky.

Wednesday 9 December 2009

Rollin' The Rock - Texas Rockabilly Vol. 2 - El Toro

Rollin' The Rock - Texas Rockabilly Vol. 2
Various Artists
El Toro Records ETCD 1024

1 Ray Campi & The Snappers - Give That Love To Me
2 Mac Curtis - Goosebumps
3 Alvis Wayne with Tony Wayne & his Rhythm Wranglers - Sleep Rock-A-Roll Rock-A-Baby
4 Sid King & The Five Strings - When My Baby Left Me
5 Johnny Carroll & his Hot Rocks - Tryin' To Get To You
6 Ray Campi with John & Henry - Play It Cool
7 Sid King & The Five Strings - Let 'Er Roll
8 Mac Curtis - Just So You Call Me
9 Ray Campi with John & Henry - Catapillar
10 Johnny Carroll & his Hot Rocks - Corrine, Corrina
11 Mac Curtis - You Ain't Treatin' Me Right
12 Mac Curtis - If I Had Me A Woman
13 Sid King & The Five Strings - Gonna Shake This Shack Tonight
14 Johnny Carroll & his Hot Rocks - Hot Rock
15 Alvis Wayne - Don't Mean Maybe, Baby
16 Sid King & The Five Strings - Booger Red
17 Mac Curtis - Half Hearted Love
18 Alvis Wayne - Lay Your Head On My Shoulder
19 Ray Campi & The Snappers - It Ain't Me
20 Sid King & The Five Strings - Good Rockin' Baby
21 Alvis Wayne - I Gottum
22 Ray Campi & The Snappers - The Crossing
23 Mac Curtis - Grandaddy's Rockin'
24 Alvis Wayne with Tony Wayne & his Rhythm Wranglers - Swing Bop Boogie
25 Sid King & The Five Strings - It's True, I'm Blue
26 Ray Campi & The Snappers - I Didn't Mean To Be Mean
27 Mac Curtis - That Ain't Nothin' But Right
28 Johnny Carroll & his Hot Rocks - Rock 'n' Roll Ruby
29 Sid King & The Five Strings - I've Got The Blues
30 Ray Campi & The Snappers - You Can't Catch Me
31 Alvis Wayne - I'd Rather Be With You
32 Johnny Carroll & his Hot Rocks - Crazy, Crazy Lovin' (from "Rock, Baby, Rock It!")
33 Johnny Carroll & his Hot Rocks - Wild, Wild Women (from "Rock, Baby, Rock It!")

Three years ago El Toro issued Real Cool Cats (ETCD 1010), a 35 track CD of prime Texas rockabilly. This is a follow-up of sorts in that all the artists come from the great state of Texas. What's makes this release such a novel idea is that the five featured artists all went on to record for Ronny Weiser's Rollin' Rock label in the 70's.

There's probably nothing here that most of you haven't got, but the idea and the presentation make it a damn near essential purchase.

The odd man out here is Ray Campi who although he'll forever be associated with Texas was actually born in New York. I'll be honest with you here and admit that I'm not a massive fan of his early stuff. He's also the odd man out in that I prefer his Rollin' Rock stuff to his 50's stuff on labels like TNT and Dot. His tracks here are okay but give me Rockin' At The Ritz anyday.

The other four are a different kettle of fish and the numbers on show here are brilliant. Mac Curtis on Decca was as good as our music gets with Goosebumps being one of my desert island discs. Johnny Carroll was one of those regular visitors that I never got around to seeing, something I deeply regret. We get his Decca recordings here, but if you haven't heard them, get the Bear Family CD to hear The Swing and Sugar from his Warner Brothers stint.

I was later in the day getting into Alvis Wayne, but have made up for lost time in the past few years. His Westport recordings are nothing short of wonderful and when me and Phil met him a few years ago he seemed to be a great bloke. Unfortunately he's suffered a lot of ill health in the last couple of years - I hope this release gives him some much needed good cheer.

Sid King and the Five Strings are another band that when you listen, you can't believe that they never made it bigger. How Columbia couldn't get a hit record out of numbers like Let 'er Roll and When My Baby Left Me beggers belief. I've Got The Blues is a peach.

This is a cracking release, the latest in a long line from El Toro.

Tuesday 8 December 2009

youTube - Blue Cats - Wild Night

This was one of the great rockabilly singles of the 80's. I don't remember hearing it on the radio but it was a highlight of the Best of British Rockabilly vinyl lp which I think was on Raucous. I've got it in the cupboard here but my misses is sat in the way watching The Mist. The clip here was posted by the Blue Cats' very own Clint Bradley who says in the blurb that it was "Single Of The Week in Sounds 1981. Recorded in Paris 1981." Primetime rockabilly revival. Play it loud and marvel at the sound. Why can't rockin' bands get on the tele nowadays?

Sunday 6 December 2009

Jerry Lee Lewis in the Los Angeles Times

The following article appeared in todays Los Angeles Times. Good to see the Killer still making the news.

Jerry Lee Lewis: Whole lot of playin' going on
Rock's original wild man may have mellowed a bit, but he's still busy pounding the keys. And even playing a little guitar. His latest project is a country album.

Reporting from Las Vegas - Jerry Lee Lewis sinks into a regal looking leather chair backstage at the House of Blues. The 74-year-old rock 'n' roll pioneer has just completed an impressive hourlong set at a private party for an associate of country star Tim McGraw. He's sharply dressed in a white vest embossed with floral curlicues, over a simple black shirt tucked into black denim jeans.

But the most striking thing about his physical presence might be his skin: Few of even the hardest-living rock or country musicians have been through as much as the man also known as the Killer. Yet his face is youthful, smooth -- not the battle-scarred war zone of wrinkles likeKeith Richards and Merle Haggard wear.

And there are those fingers: elegant, long and graceful, and still fully capable of tickling, tapping or pounding the ivory keys of the instrument with which he is synonymous.

"You can't beat a piana," he drawls.

Indeed, he displays such respect for the instrument that it's hard to believe he ever actually torched one -- though legend, of course, holds that he did precisely that, a good decade before Jimi Hendrix tried the same trick with a guitar. It was that act that helped earn the Louisiana native another nickname, the "Ferriday Fireball."

"I like to play guitar too," he says in an almost confessional tone. "I play my guitar just about as good as anybody plays guitar. Yeah! I can play some heavy blues, and some good rock 'n' roll on guitar . . . But I don't want to do that, because then I'm gonna be obligated to do it. I know [fans] expect to hear a piana . . . They're not going to allow the other Jerry Lee."

Sun discovery

It's difficult to imagine anyone -- fans included -- being able to box in Jerry Lee. His signature hits "Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On" and "Great Balls of Fire" were explosive songs full of unbridled lust that left adults of the sedate 1950s convinced that the devil himself had arrived in the world to claim their teenage children.

While Jerry Lee might have mellowed with age, he is, as acknowledged by the title of his 2006 album, "Last Man Standing -- the Duets," the only surviving icon of a singular generation. Among the artists Sam Phillips discovered and first recorded at Sun Records in the 1950s -- including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins -- Lewis, the biggest hellion of them all and the one Phillips once described as "on balance, probably the most talented human being I ever had the opportunity to work with," has outlived every one.

"Last Man Standing" is chock full of superstar duets with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, B.B. King, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and a slew of others, which helped it sell nearly 200,000 copies.

Many of those guests are back, with new names added to the list, for another set that Steve Bing and his Santa Monica-based Shangri-La Music label plan to issue early next year (a five-song sampler EP was made available online last month).

A third album is set to follow about nine months later.

But it's not strictly about big names paying their respects. Among the raw tracks Bing is working up with the album's co-producer, veteran drummer-to-the-rock-gods Jim Keltner, is one featuring "the other Jerry Lee," with Lewis accompanying himself on guitar on a freewheeling, country blues rendition of Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues."

Naturally, he remakes the lyrics to fit his own outsized personality: "I shot a boy in Memphis / Didn't want to watch him die," adding a sardonic little "heh-heh" after his revamp.

And there's Lewis at the piano, singing the gospel song "Peace in the Valley": "The bear will be gentle and the wolf will be tame / The lion shall lie down with the lamb . . . [and] I'll be changed from this creature that I am."

Lewis is more lamb than lion these days, although he flashed a bit of the old bite at the recent 25th anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden. After a laudatory introduction by Tom Hanks, Lewis kicked over his piano stool to start the second night's show, delighting the crowd.

The country side

One surprise amid the 43 songs he's put down with Bing and Keltner is his take on Kris Kristofferson’s "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," which Cash turned into a No. 1 country hit in 1970. "I never heard John's record," Lewis says, and it's easy to believe him after listening to the 100% Jerry Lee version that streamed from the monitors recently at a Hollywood recording studio.

A lot of the songs he's recorded for Shangri-La have been on his set list for decades. Others, like the Rolling Stones' "Sweet Virginia," he would learn after a few listens in the car on the way to sessions.

"He's the quickest study I ever worked with," said producer Jerry Kennedy, who oversaw hundreds of Lewis' country recordings in the 1960s and '70s after his rock 'n' roll fame flamed out.

"He'd get to town an hour and a half or two hours before we would start recording, he'd listen to the new song five, six, seven or eight times, and then he knew it," Kennedy said by phone from his Nashville home. "I think he uses a song likes a script: He crawls inside it and does his thing like an actor . . . He never did anything the same way twice -- that's what was wild."

During playback of Lewis' rendition of "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," Kristofferson was in the control room. He shook his head while wearing an expression of amazement and pride.

"God almighty," he said. "If I ever thought back in the day I'd be hearing this . . . I'd think somebody brought me back from heaven to hear that."

The "Last Man Standing" project was intent on reviving Lewis the rocker; this time around, the focus is on the country facet of his music. That's where he resurrected his career in the late 1960s, after he had become a pariah for marrying his 13-year-old cousin Myra. Virtually overnight, he went from commanding $10,000 a night to out-of-the-way gigs that paid $25.

The wild ups and downs of his life from that point on have been well-documented: six wives, four of whom he divorced, the other two died; two sons lost in separate accidents; his own addiction to drugs and alcohol, which led to bleeding ulcers that nearly killed him in 1985. And of course, the renaissance he's experienced in the last few years.

"When I moved in back in 1999-2000, he was not the same person," said his daughter, Phoebe, from his marriage to Myra, who also has served as his manager for nearly the past decade. "He was depressed, he was in a bad marriage. It took us some time, but with his commitment and my commitment, and putting together a good team of people, we turned it around. It's like he started over again."

Added producer Kennedy, who last worked with Lewis 35 years ago: "He deserves any good things that can happen. What a great talent."

Busy touring

Lewis wasn't on hand to take in any of the kudos directly. While many of those working on the new album were hunkered down in Hollywood, Lewis was in Linz, Austria, in the middle of a month-long European tour.

At this stage of Lewis' career, touring isn't about milking a fabled name for nostalgia value on the oldies circuit, but facilitating his ability to continue performing while he's both able and inspired to play.

When he's not, Phoebe's happy to head home to Nesbit, Miss., where Jerry Lee relaxes in front of a TV watching "Gunsmoke" reruns or old Gene Autry westerns. ("Anybody who doesn't like Gene Autry," he says with a sneer, "is a weirdo.") Sometimes, he entertains himself and his daughter with songs he loves, including pop standards "Autumn Leaves" and "Stardust."

There'd been talk of him traveling to Los Angeles the night after the Vegas party for another show, but he and Phoebe decided to scrap it so they could get home a day early and rest up for the European tour.

"That one was gonna pay $40,000," he says with a nod that seems to carry with it the memory of those $25 nights of yore -- and even a glint of pride that it's one he can now afford to pass up. "That's a lot of money, Killer."

Elvis songwriter Aaron Schroeder dies

Aaron Schroeder, who wrote no fewer than 17 songs for Elvis Presley died earlier this week in Englewood, New Jersey aged 83, following a long battle against a rare Alzheimer's-like form of dementia. He was a composer, lyricist and/or producer for more close to 2,000 songs.

Born in Brooklyn, New York his first success came in the late 1940s when Rosemary Clooney scored with "At a Sidewalk Penny Arcade". Others to record his songs included Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Perry Como, Pat Boone, Sammy Davis, Jr., Nat King Cole, Roy Orbison, Dionne Warwick, Art Garfunkel, Arlo Guthrie and The Beatles.

As a producer, he helped launch the careers of Randy Newman, Jimi Hendrix, Al Cooper, Barry White and Gene Pitney. He also worked for Hanna-Barbera, where he provided the music for The Banana Splits and also had the honour of writing the children’s classic, "Scooby Doo Where Are You?"

But it’s as a songsmith for Elvis that he made his biggest impact. He provided the King with five numbers 1’s, including the massive worldwide hit, "It's Now or Never". Their work together each side of Elvis’s stint in the army are just mind blowing.

Despite co-writing Rubber Ball for Bobby Vee he will still be remembered as a great songwriter.

Have a look at this least and drool. Don’t just read it quick, look at the title, think about the song and how great it is and then the full impact of the magnitude of his songwriting should hit home. This is what legendary really means.

For Elvis:
Stuck on You
Good Luck Charm
A Big Hunk O'Love
I Got Stung
Don’t Leave Me Now
Anyway You Want Me
First In Line
Got A Lot Of Livin’ To Do
I Was The One
In Your Arms
Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me
Shoppin’ Around
Young And Beautiful
Young Dreams

For some other rockers
Apron Strings (Cliff)
Because They’re Young (Duane Eddy)
Grizzly Bear (Jack Scott)
Halfway to Heaven (Conway Twitty)
Make Me Know You’re Mine (Conway Twitty)
My Boy Elvis (Janis Martin)
Today’s Teardrops (Roy Orbison)
Wild Cat (Gene Vincent),

Saturday 5 December 2009

Crazy Cavan 40th Anniverary Box Set

To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the legendary Welsh teddy band, Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers, they will be releasing small career prospective box set. Sadly the set will only include 40 songs, but on the plus side it will contain 15 previously unreleased tracks. The package will also include a 30 page booklet co-written with the band by John Kennedy.

Their 40th Anniversary Tour kicks off at Rockers Reunion in Reading in January, and will continue across Europe for most of the year. Further details of the tour and the box set will be issued by the band in the next month.

Thursday 3 December 2009

Jackson Taylor & The Sinners - Aces 'n' Eights

I’d never heard of Texan singer-songwriter Jackson Taylor before, despite his previous half dozen or so releases. On first hearing I’ve gotta say I like him, I like him a lot. He reminds me a lot of the great Monte Warden and the Wagoneers who I’ve raved about before. When a songwriter of Billy Joe Shaver’s talent and status describes you as follows, “Jackson’s songs are so real and honest, you know straight off he's been there and done that. He writes and sings like he lives, great songs that I believe will live forever", you know the guy must have talent.

The opener is a great honky tonk duet with Dale Watson, telling us how they’re “I’m back on the bottle, back to the bad old days”. There’s a Waylon feel to the Mike Ness penned Ball And Chain, this time duetted with Jason Boland. Country Song is a four-letter rant at some of country music’s “spiky-haired half assed popstar wannabes”. The disgruntled, aggressive lyrics are what give the album it’s Parental Guidance warning on the cover.

Both Goin' Back To California and Barefeet On The Dash show a fair bit of flair and originality and I really liked the title track, a Texas ballad that has more than a hint of Joe Ely about it. Easy Lovin' Stranger is another fine item, and I quite enjoyed Ness’s other number Highway 101, which is the rockiest number on show. Sex, Love & Texas is an up-tempo tribute to a girl we all dream about.

The album closes with Cocaine, a juicy honky tonk barroom baller and a second version of Back On The Bottle, with Swedish country band, the Taylors replacing the Sinners. A really impressive album that will get me searching out the earlier releases.

Wednesday 2 December 2009

Alan Jackson - Songs of Love and Heartache

Alan Jackson - Songs of Love and Heartache
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store®

Tracklisting: Here In The Real World - She's Got The Rhythm (And I Got The Blues) - Tropical Depression - Livin' On Love You Can't Give Up On Love - Gone Crazy - When Somebody Loves You - Remember When - Rainy Day In June - A Woman's Love - That's What I'd Be Like Without You (Previously Unreleased) - Nothing Sure Looked Good On You (Previously Unreleased)

Not only do you leave your local Cracker Barrel store with a full stomach, you can also come away with a twelve song CD of Alan Jackson ballads. The folks at my favourite chain restaurants in the world, have added the great honky tonker to their growing list of featured artists. For the hardened fans like myself the bonus of this CD is the inclusion of a couple of unreleased gems.

I fell in love with AJ after hearing the brilliant title track of his debut album, Here In The Real World. As with most Nashville stuff at the time, the wonderful fiddle of Rob Hajacos gave the best songs a great, haunting feeling. One of the things I love about Alan Jackson is that his ballads are't usually about being suicidal because his wife has left him. There's usually a feeling of hope and mostly they're about family values and the simple country life. Basically, you can listen to him without feeling the need to check the ceiling beams, wondering if they're strong enough to hold a rope.

The other nine issued tracks come from all stages of his career and there's not a duffer in sight. There's a few omissions that I'd have included, like Dallas, Tonight I Climbed The Walls and Everything I Love, but when you're just looking for a dozen tracks in a career like his you're bound to miss a few out.

Anyway, what about the two unissued numbers. The best is his cover of Gene Watson's great Nothing Sure Looked Good On You. On AJ's superb 1999 cover album, Under The Influence, he said in the sleevnotes that "I think Gene Watson was one of the greatest country singers ever, still is". Well his performance here shows that Jackson himself belongs in that same category - class. That's What I'd Be Like Without You is pure Alan Jackson, strong country lyrics and a great honky tonk voice.

Whether you've got all his other albums is irrelevant, you need this for the Gene Watson cover. The CD is available only at Cracker Barrel and

Tuesday 1 December 2009


Foot Tapping Records FT088


The new Porky’s Hot Rockin’ line-up sees Porky backed by legendary Restless brothers Mark and Paul Harman and his own brother John. Porky Coates has been one of my favourite acts of the last two years and Mark Harman has been a hero of mine for twenty odd years, so this much be a sure-fire hit record. Well, no actually, it isn’t the no-brainer you’d expect. In fact I’d have to say I found it a bit disappointing. I think the problem is that the rockers are too familiar and quite often his voice sounds a bit flat.

For me, the stand-out track is the pepped-up version of Elvis’ Don’t Ask Me Why. As with his brilliant cover of the King’s Angel, he’s taken an okay ballad, notched it up as gear and in the process made the song his own. He’s tried the same on the Jailhouse Rock ballad, Young And Beautiful, but it seems more forced and doesn’t worth half as well.

I’m not sure we need another version of Eddie’s Summertime Blues, but it’s a bit different in that Harman plays some jumpsuit era James Burton. They give Status Quo’s Caroline a good kick in the ass with Mark Harman playing some wicked guitar.

On the originals front we get Harman’s rocker Jukebox Jessie where Porky’s sounds like he eats Wurlitzers for breakfast. Porky’s own Lonesome Love Song is okay but I liked the western styled I Ain’t Waiting despite the lapses into Bananaramaville.

We visit a couple of Memphis’ best in Carl Perkins (Sweethearts or Strangers) and Johnny Burnette (Train Kept A Rollin’) as well as another nod to Eddie Cochran with My Way which again sees Harman in fine form. Sleepy’s All The Time is pretty poor and CCR’s Proud Mary is worse. On a positive note, I thought the album title was funny.

Monday 30 November 2009

Don Gibson

Can white men sing da blooze, can Nashville sing da blooze?
I like artist you can`t pigeonhole, Jerry Lee rocks but he honky tonks with panache too, Charlie Rich went from jazzy infelcted rockin blues to countrypolitan and then there's his Nashville equivalent Don Gibson, an awesome song writer who penned classic after classic and with Chet and the A team cut some of the finest of the fine in RCA studio B off Broadway in music city. Here's a few clips of the great man in action with some of his best songs, there's some cool later clips on the tube of you with a duet with ole Chet, a Porter Wagoner show with Don doing the Jimmie Skinner classic Doin My Time (so beloved by Mr Cash).

I first heard Don doing Sea Of Heartbreak (no live clips one here , sob!) on Radio Lux and I thought it was a new Elvis 45, it`s the one countryish song I wish El had covered in that golden 60 -62 period where he did everything from Neopolitan opera thru Chuck Wills and Lowell Fulsom. Later I got some Don on the old Country Guitar VA series of eps that RCA put out in the UK and eventually a Best Of Don Gibson lp which had 12 stone cut gems on it, and in those days there would be weeks if not months between pocket money purchases and it got played to death in Casa Flip, even my dad who didn't dig the beat grew fond of the Donster by persistent osmosis from my lil ole red n cream Dansette and I was even allowed to play it on the family Radiogram in the living room, moving mam n dad`s Frankie Laine and Doris day back to the dark n dusty cupboard underneath.

Watch out for the equally great (and equally tragis) Hank Garland in his prime.


Don Gibson (and Gene Sloan)- Lonesome Number One

Don Gibson (and Hank Garland)- Its Been A Blue Blue Day

Don Gibson - Oh Lonesome Me

Sunday 29 November 2009

Shaking All Over Web Group - 10th Anniversary

Both Shaun and I have been members of the Shaking All Over music forum for nearly a decade, and we have made many "virtual" and real friends there from all over the world (and England ;-)). The entertaining and informative SAO forum is celebrating its 10th birthday today November 28th, 2009, and as a tribute to its founder/guru and all round good egg , Steve Walker, we are proud to include in Rockabillyville this tribute to Steve and the SAO group written by two of its most prolific contributors, Dik de Heer and Colin Kilgour.

Good on yer Steffan and here's to the next golden decade

Flip and Shaun

By Dik de Heer and Colin Kilgour

During the early days of the Internet, mailing lists were an important medium for the international communication of rock ‘n’ roll fans around the world who, for the most part, were not previously aware of each other’s existence. Prior to that, in the early nineties, Compuserve forums were a first step in the genesis of cyberspace rockin' communities, but when the Internet started to spread globally, people migrated to free Internet mailing lists.

Nowadays there are many other forums for the exchange of information (MySpace groups, blogs, podcasts and countless websites, especially Terry Gordon’s stunning achievement “Rockin’ Country Style” Nevertheless, mailing lists (aka newsgroups or Internet forums) are still alive and well in 2009. But let’s go back to the beginning.

In the mid-nineties, the Internet was a tiny place compared to what it is now. Probably the first mailing list devoted to R&R was the Rockabilly mailing list, started in May 1995 by French student Bertrand Kohler, who used the server of his university (in Strasbourg) for this purpose. Though it was called the Rockabilly list, it was also devoted to other forms of roots music, like rock ‘n’ roll, R&B and hillbilly. By early 1996 there were about 100 list members and a year later over 200. The majority of these were located in the USA (especially California, Texas and the East Coast), but there were many active members from Australia, Canada and many European countries (the further up North, the better the English). Some were musicians (Deke Dickerson) or relatives of musicians (Bobby Brom, Marti’s husband), label owners (Rockin’ Ronny Weiser, Roy Williams), authors of books on rockabilly (Craig Morrison, Richard Jandrow) or others in the music business, but most members were simply music fans, often with huge collections.

Apart from being a mine of information (discographies, concert news, band itineraries, TV show alerts, new releases, reviews, etc.), it was also a source of much entertainment, as there were some really funny people contributing. For almost everyone, it was their first experience with intercultural communication and nobody minded that the focus was not always on music, though there were a number of subjects that were considered “off-topic” or plainly taboo. For that purpose, a mailing list has a moderator (then usually called listpop or listmom) to keep the unruly brats in line. At some point in 1996, Kohler could no longer use the server of the University of Strasbourg and his technical duties were taken over by Jose Espinosa (of the Sugar King Boys and Corwood Draggers), who used the server of the Loomisgroup, until November 1998, when the list (by then lists) was moved to, which merged with eGroups and then (2000) YahooGroups.

The 1996 rockabilly list was something special. There was a real sense of community. Many people cared deeply about the list and many friendships originated there. Apart from sending messages to the entire list group, there was also the possibility of sending private messages. The idea for the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame was developed on this list and brought to fruition by Bob Timmers. This Hall also has its own mailing list.

Unfortunately, the harmony couldn’t last. By May 1997, the group split in two. Those who were primarily interested in serious information about records had to wade through too many useless messages to find what they were looking for. A separate RockinRecords was started by Finnish member Tapio Väisänen. This list, which is still in existence on YahooGroups, (homepage concentrates on information about records.


Steve Walker from the UK decided to establish the Shakin’ All Over forum and mould it exactly how he wanted. A list where the music would be the glue holding it together but which never took itself too seriously and had a bit of a British slant. Compuserve (which back then was impersonal and expensive) had many forums and within the Oldies one, there was the 'Fifties Diner’ and here Steve met other music enthusiasts.

Assisting Steve, Rob Humphreys a fellow Brit in the Diner, looked beyond Compuserve to web/email based lists. This led eventually to the Shaking All Over Group's current home at Yahoo groups and a wide spread of contributors, which previously had been limited to Compuserve’s captive zone.

The inaugural messages at Shakin’ All Over appeared in the last week of November, 1999. The core years under review are 1956 to 62 and posts now average some 300 per month. 1950s rock and roll music and all its associated aspects - films, cars, books, personalities of the time, are discussed from a UK viewpoint although many overseas members have now broadened the subject matter.

Numerous List members have formed ‘in person’ friendships and meet ups have taken place in the UK, elsewhere in Europe, Canada, the USA and Australia ……….. hail, hail rock and roll

SAO’s Home Page enquires ………… “Were you at Buddy Holly's last UK date at the Gaumont, Hammersmith? Do you go to Chippenham every year to remember Eddie Cochran? Did you leave your bike outside the Ace Café in the 50s while Elvis played on the jukebox? Was there a better British rocker than Billy Fury? Was "Brand New Cadillac" the best British r&r record of the era? Remember Colonel Bloodnok, Journey into Space, Gus Goodwin on Radio Luxembourg?”.

There was no YouTube when SAO started but this brilliant resource is often mentioned in postings now, plus you can vote in one of the polls on a myriad of subjects or name your selections for a 'Desert Island EP. And in the Files area there are photos and lots of other goodies

The Shakin’ All Over List Owner is Stephen McDuff Walker (born 26 August, 1946) an extremely congenial host, held in very high regard by members of the Group.

Among the multitude of great early sounds, those Everly harmonies held him especially transfixed and nurtured a lifetime affection for duo and group harmony singing, across many forms.

He worked in Insurance in High Holborn, London from 1963 but soon surrendered his policy to join the Merchant Navy, Tommy Steele style as a deck-hand, steward, bottle washer etc. and sailed around the world for a couple of years before getting up and away as an airline steward with B.E.A. (later to become British Airways). Since 1977, Steve has run his own business importing furniture from Denmark for office use.

Married to Jan for over forty years, they have three children and Steve is a doting grandfather to two girls. He is the proud owner of a Seeburg Phonojet jukebox. With retirement looming (he wishes), he looks forward to devoting more time to his garden and completing the digitalising of his music collection. Seeing his beloved Wolves clinch the Prem. Footie title would be the icing on his cake (keep mixing Steve).

The man in that Old Gold shirt would be the first to admit that he couldn’t as effectively oversee SAO without the support and frequent contributions from a bunch of like-minded enthusiasts. Joining him at the outset to get the venture off the ground were his old work buddy from the early sixties Colin Kilgour, Kevin Carey and Rob Humphreys who was and is, the resident Shakin’ computer whizz.

Among SAO’s most popular features are ‘In The Can’ detailing a particular month’s classic recording sessions and This Is My Story, with a summary of the life and recording careers of a cross-section of artistes, both collated by Dik de Heer. There is the occasional gig review, regular birthday/anniversary posts with great links - and memories are jogged and threads kick started, by reminders of historic chart listings.

Contributions to This Is My Story go into a library of very readable and useful articles held at Marijn Raaijmakers’ superb BlackCat Rockabilly Europe website.

So - it’s all about 'Shivers down the Backbone....'. Be you male, female, young or old, please join in at Shakin’ All Over, in their second decade of appreciating and discussing the rockin-est era of great recorded music. Your input will be encouraged.

Send an email here and one of our members will send you a link to direct you to the SAO pages.

Or drop a line to 5 Buckingham Close, Northampton, NN4 0RR
With thanks to Kevin Carey, Rob Humphreys and Tapio Väisiänen)

ps Johnny Kidd & the Pirates
whilst most American (and Candian) rock fans would associate the song with the Guess Who from 1965, fifties rockers know of course it`s one of the Uk`s few genuine proper rock n roll`s classics (like say Move It, Bad Boy, Don't Knock Upon My Door and Brand new Cadillac) written by Freddie Heath aka Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, what a great name for a band -roll over Johnny Depp, released on the HMV label and a British number one in the summer of 1960,his earlier Please Don't Touch is almost as good (and covered later by BIlly Hancock in the US). Sadly Johnny was killed in a UK car crash in 1966 but the heavier sound of the Pirates especially Mick Green paved the way for later UK power bands cv live versions by the Who and Led Zeppelin, sadly I`ve never seen any footage of Johnny around now, but can recall a few of his exciting tv performances when I too was a "Kid"

Here's a couple of versions of the great Johnny Kidd & the Pirates classic SAO anthem, followed by the original, still the greatest.

Donna Loren - Shindig

Vince Taylor & Playboys

Johnny Kidd - original version

Saturday 28 November 2009

Popular Tunes Memphis - Better News

Obviously the power of the rockabillyville blog has shamed the Memphian authorities into possibly preventing another slice of music history vanishing like Stax etc

The penis mightier than the sword er hang on that should read....


MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Memphis Convention and Visitor's Bureau is trying to preserve the memory of a record store, put on the map by the king of rock and roll, by giving Pop Tunes an official place in history.

Inside the building at 308 Poplar, records can still be seen but none of them are for sale.

Outside is an iconic neon sign and store front that's been at the corner of Danny Thomas and Poplar for years.

Kevin Kane says, "This is where Elvis bought records and this was Memphis' premier record shop for decades."

But the record store that's become a historic symbol of music sold in Memphis, simply known as Pop Tunes, is gone.

Cora Pitt says, "It's disappointing because it's another local business going out of business."

Kevin Kane with the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau says it's a sign of the times. "It was a business decision, of course we hate it for the community, hate it for the historic standpoint, but not totally surprised."

With Generation X downloading music at an exponential pace rather than buying CD's or even vinyl records, Pop Tunes, though once a music selling giant that sold records to a young Elvis Presley, has become obsolete in a changing technology-based world.

Word of the closures came weeks ago after the stores parent company, Music City Record Distributors, closed both Memphis locations.

Some Memphians say they just heard about the closures, and that it's just one more piece of historic Memphis that's in the process of being lost.

Kane says even though the records aren't being sold here anymore, he and the Rock and Soul Museum are working right now to make sure the name and the neon live on.

Kane says, "We think that would be a fitting place from a historical standpoint and obviously it will preserve its memory for future generations."

But as Memphians ponder the thought of a city without Pop Tunes; the future of Memphis, they say, is one that's losing parts of what made it Memphis in the first place. "It's a sign to see how far we still need to go… we have to preserve our city's history."

Mickey Gilley Paralysed

Country singer MICKEY GILLEY has been left paralysed from the neck down after suffering a near-fatal fall. The 73 year old cousin of Jerry Lee was helping a friend move house in Branson, Missouri in July (09) when he tripped backwards over a door frame and fell awkwardly on his back.
The accident caused permanent damage to his vertebrae and he has been confined to life in a wheelchair - but Gilley knows he is lucky to be alive after doctors feared he would never survive his injuries.
He told the National Enquirer, "I hit the back of my neck and was unconscious for two days. When I awoke, I was in a complete panic because I couldn't move anything. I thought, 'Am I going to be like this for the rest of my life?'
"But I felt very fortunate to be alive. I was on the brink of death."
Gilley is slowly building up the strength in his arms and he's refusing to give up hope of making a return to music.
He adds, "My hands haven't completely come back, and I'm hoping that they will so I can play piano again.
"My goal (is) to get back on the road and performing again. I miss that more than anything else."

Thursday 26 November 2009

Battle of the Song No.5 - Flip Flop & Fly

I love this song, even helped give me my nickname, first heard it on JLL`s mid 60s Smash lp Return Of Rock and he did a cool live version on his later live in Vegas album, then I got the BIG Joe Turner original on Atlantic, brilliant stuff like most of his uptempo Atlantic gems, backbeat heaven with intermitent honkin,she`s so small she can mambo in a telephone booth, here too we have a live in Germany version by the great man from the mid 60s, more of a jazzy swining version, Otis Rush is on there and he`s introduced by piano legend Roosevelt Sykes.

In the 70s I saw grainy betamax tapes of Elvis on the Dorsey Bro tv shows which knocked all his 60s movies into Col parker`s big headed stetson in one fell swoop, he did Big Joe`s Shake Rattle N Roll (which he cut for RCA Victor of course ) but showing he`s collest of da kool he slips in a chorus of Flip towards the end, later RCA issued this live cut on the Golden Celebration lp box ( better quality than the dodgy ole boots from Taiwan).

The 70s rockabilly revival reissues brought Johnny Bell's frantic 59 version on Brunswick, mmmm, large Joseph n rockabilly go hand in glove, awesome.

Then from that JLL tv pilot series mentioned in earlier posts we get primo Killerfest of raw roadhouse boogie,mmmmm.

Which is best, pays yer money takes yer choice,think my nod goes to the original 45/78,but it`s agreat song as testified by these cool covers.


Big Joe Turner Atlantic 78

Big Joe Turner -Flip Flop & Fly (live 66)

Killer - Flip Flop & Fly

Johnny Bell - Flip Flop & Fly ( Brunswick)

The King - Shake Rattle N Roll/Flip Flop & Fly

Mystery Gang - youTube blasters

Back in the summer I raved about the Hungarian rockabilly trio, Mystery gang, and their neat little video that was shot in black and white and gave the feeling of being filmed circa 1955. Well this time out, the video is definately 21st Century. This one's more MTV than Ed Sullivan Show and both the footage and songs are high octane modern day rockabilly, that rock like crazy.

Can you detect a bit of Pat Boone in Gang Up? No, nor me.

Tuesday 24 November 2009

youTube Clip - John Lee Hooker

Here's a competition. I'll send a new pair of ears to the first person to watch this and not stamp his feet to the beat. It's a wonderful clip of primetime John Lee Hooker, from the American Folk Blues Festival in 1965. You get the feeling if the painted town behind him fell down you'd see Gene Wilder and the Blazing Saddles crew.

youTube Clip - Dell Vikings

The guy who compiled this must have had too much time on his hands. I'll bet time wasn't thing only thing he had on them by the end. Anyway, it's a really neat visual to a great rockin' doo-wopper from the legendary Dell Vikings.

Monday 23 November 2009

Flip's Killer Klip # 4

JLL, Johnny Cash & Carl Perkins live Stuttgart Germany - 1981

Back in 70s and 80s good ole boy promoter Mervyn Conn used to bring to Uk and Europe some stunning country festivals, the London Wembley ones were usually filmed by the BBC for later highlights transmissions, the first one I attended in 81 has matchbox, Wanda jackson, carl perkins and jerry lee on a rockabilly night, the highlight being when Carl came out to play a couple of songs with JLL at the end of the show,I even bought my first Betamax video so I could ecord the BBC show later that year, then in Paris they did it again (a real wild ending which is also on video) and then in Holland and Germany JLL and Carl joined Cash to jam on gospel and rock n roll numbers at the end of his set. Rodany Crowell later mixed the german show for release as the Survivors album on Columbia, a few years later the Class Of 55 album was cut in Memphis by Chips Moman with the Big O joining in.

I`ve never seen any footage of the 81 Stuttgart show until fairly recently and here`s a chunk of JLL with Cash and his band doing Will The Circle Be Unbroken, joined by Carl as well,enjoy this historical recreation of three quarters of the Million Dollar Quartet.


Shakin' Stevens - The Epic Masters Box Set

Releleased: 13. November 2009
Format: Box-Set 10 CD's
Label: Sony Music

The Most Definitive CD Release From Shaky To Date..

All Tracks remastered 2009 !

"The Epic masters has finally arrived and without a shadow of a doubt it is truely stunning. Housed in a superb box, complete with mini album replicas and inner lining notes, a 20 page booklet and fully remastered, we get the nine main epic album releases with a bonus cd of 12" remixes. Cd 1 through to 10 is take one! It's cd debut, followed by this ole house, shaky ( 1st time on cd in the uk), give me your heart tonight (again 1st time on cd in the uk), the bop won't stop, lipstick powder & paint (1st time on cd), let's boogie, a whole lotta shaky, there are two kinds of music...rock 'n roll and a cd of 12" versions.

Many rare tracks and b-sides etc are included on the matching releases which just adds to the importance of this release. These tracks have been overlooked by Shaky himself and many of them have new tweaks and arrangements. This means something new and fresh to listen to for the fans.

The booklet contains great info and pictures of the discography that will take you down memory lane in the old days of vinyl.

The price of this box is a snip for the 147 tracks and love that has been poured into making this the ultimate Shaky experience.

If you think you've heard all these albums before then think again. This is a truely unique experience as you discover the retro sound all over again as never heard before"

At long last Epic give the Uk`s top charting artist of the 1980`s (4 number one singles) the box set he deserves and Shaky had a hand in compiling it too.

Personally a few more alts/unissued would be better than the 12" mix album, which is missing the great Viz sleeved I Might 12" (the only one I ever bought!!), great to get Apron Strings my fav flip at last
Mewwy Cwissmuss Evwyone



Disc 1: Take One!

2.Hot Dog (Album Version)
3.Is A Bluebird Blue?
4.That’s All Right
5.Without A Love
6.Shame Shame Shame
7.Shotgun Boogie
8.I Got Burned
9.I Guess I Was A Fool
10.Ah, Poor Little Baby
11.Little Pigeon
12.Do What You Did
13.Apron Strings (Bonus Track)
14.Treat Her Right (Bonus Track)
15.No Other Baby (Bonus Track)
16.Endless Sleep (Bonus Track)
17.Fire (Bonus Track)
18.Spooky (Bonus Track)

Disc 2: This Ole House

1.Hey Mae
2.Baby If We Touch
3.Marie Marie
4.Lonely Blue Boy
5.Make It Right Tonight
7.Slippin’ And Slidin’
8.Shooting Gallery
9.Revenue Man
10.Make Me Know You’re Mine
11.This Ole House
13.Two Hearts Two Kisses (Bonus Track)

Disc 3: Shaky

1.Mona Lisa
2.You Drive Me Crazy
3.I’m Knockin’
4.It’s Raining
5.Don’t She Look Good
6.Green Door
7.Don’t Bug Me Baby
8.Don’t Tell Me Your Troubles
9.I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter
10.This Time
11.Baby You’re A Child
12.Don’t Turn Your Back
13.Let Me Show You How
14.I’m Lookin’
15.You And I Were Meant To Be (Bonus Track)

Disc 4: Give Me Your Heart Tonight

2.Give Me Your Heart Tonight
4.Oh Julie
5.I’ll Be Satisfied
7.Boppity Bop
8.Don’t Tell Me We’re Through
10.You Never Talked About Me
11.Too Too Much
12. (Yeah) You’re Evil
13.Que Sera, Sera
14.I‘m For You (Bonus Track)
15.Thinkin’ Of You (Bonus Track)
16.Don’t Be Late (Miss Kate) (Bonus Track)
17.Lawdy Miss Clawdy (Live) (Bonus Track)

Disc 5: The Bop Won’t Stop

1.The Bop Won’t Stop
2.Why Do You Treat Me This Way?
3.Diddle I
4.Don’t Be Two Faced
5.Livin’ Lovin’ Wreck
6.A Rockin’ Good Way (To Mess Around And Fall In Love) (Duet With Bonnie Tyler)
7.Brand New Man
8.Cry Just A Little Bit
9.As Long As
10.A Love Worth Waiting For
11.Love Me Tonight
12.It’s Late
13. It’s Good For You (Baby) (Bonus Track)
14.Your Ma Said You Cried In Your Sleep Last Night (Bonus Track)
15.A Letter To You (Bonus Track)
16.Come Back And Love Me (Bonus Track)

Disc 6: Lipstick Powder And Paint

1.Lipstick Powder And Paint
2.Bad Reputation
3.Don’t Lie To Me
4.I’m Leaving You
5.The Shape I’m In
6.Don’t Knock Upon My Door
7.Turning Away
8.Love You Out Loud
9.As Long As I Have You
10.With My Heart
11.Ain’t It A Shame (You Win Again)
12.So Long Baby Goodbye
13.Teardrops (Bonus Track)
14.You Shake Me Up (Bonus Track)
15.Breaking Up My Heart (Bonus Track)
16.I’ll Give You My Heart (Bonus Track)

Disc 7: Let’s Boogie

1.Come See About Me
2.Forever You
3.A Little Boogie Woogie (In The Back Of My Mind)
4.Because I Love You
5.What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For?
6.The Hits Keep Coming - Live Medley ’86: Cry Just A Little Bit / You Drive Me Crazy
/ A Rockin’ Good Way (To Mess Around And Fall In Love) / Give Me Your Heart
Tonight / A Love Worth Waiting For / Green Door / I’ll Be Satisfied / A Letter To You /
Shirley / Oh Julie / It’s Late / Marie, Marie / It’s Raining / Hot Dog / Teardrops / This
Ole House
7.Tell Me One More Time (Bonus Track)
8.If You’re Gonna Cry (Bonus Track)

Disc 8: A Whole Lotta Shaky

1.What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For?
2.How Many Tears Can You Hide
4.Sea Of Love
5.True Love
6.Just One Look
7.Oh Julie
8.Do You Really Love Me Too
9.I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter
10.Hello Josephine
11.Woman (What Have You Done To Me)
13.Tired Of Toein’ The Line
14.Mona Lisa
15. Feel The Need In Me (Bonus Track)
16. If I Can’t Have You (Bonus Track)
17. If I Really Knew (Bonus Track)
18. Come On Little Girl (Bonus Track)
19. Jezebel (7” Re-Mix) (Bonus Track)

Disc 9: There Are Two Kinds Of Music – Rock N Roll

1.Love Attack
2.I Might
3.Yes I Do
4.You Shake Me Up
5.Tell Me
6.Tear It Up
7.My Cutie Cutie
8.The Night Time Is The Right Time
9.Pink Champagne
10.If I Lose You
11.Queen Of The Hop
12.Rockin’ The Night Away
13.Love Attack (Single Version) (Bonus Track)
14.Love Won’t Stop (Bonus Track)
15.Radio (Bonus Track)
16.Radio (Acoustic Version) (Bonus Track)
17.Oh Baby Don’t (Out-Take) (Bonus Track)

Disc 10: 12” CD

1.Cry Just A Little Bit (Luongo’s Mix)
2.Breaking Up My Heart
3.A Little Boogie Woogie (In The Back Of My Mind) (Boogie Mix)
4.Come See About Me (Extended Re-Mix)
5.Feel The Need In Me (Dance Mix)
6.How Many Tears Can You Hide (Dance Mix)
7.Jezebel (Monster Re-Mix)
8.Love Attack (Extended Version)


Saturday 21 November 2009

Klassic Killer Klips #2 and #3

The Killer in glorious home movie colour live footage from July 18th 1971 at an open air gig in Attica, Indiana, filmed by French super fan Pierre Pennone.

This absolutely blew me away, could be 58 and the High School Confidential truck scene all over again, no jump suit, bodyguards, etc. JLL just strolls out from a hut to the samll stage and the audience are sitting on chairs like a revival meeting - the first assembly of basicroadhousestomp.

It hasn't got the original sound, it has dubbed on JLL live in Vegas from the BF vinyl box set,so what it`s still fercyn brilliant.

Kenny Lovelace is there of course and the late Bill Strom on keyboards. Less than a year later I saw them all for the first time in May 72 at the Empire Liverpool, a show I`ll remember until my dying day, and shortly after in August at the famed London Rock n Roll show at Wembley Stadium London with Billy Fury, Bo, L Richard, Bill Haley and Chuck, all for £2.50!

JLL has been ripping up joints over continental Europe recently, here he is rockin his life away forever and ever amen in Stavenger Norway,bet Mack Vickery is smiling up therein the honky tonk in the sky, absolutely stunning quality on this clip.

Flip Lee D

Tuesday 17 November 2009

Rockin' Song of the Week No.87 - Paul Carnes

Paul Carnes - I'm A Mean Mean Daddy
PRC LO8W-4417/8 (1960)

PRC was a Hollywood label. Terry Gordon says on his site that "Both sides are published by Starday Music, indicating it was probably a Package Deal record, but it is not part of the numerical series. It is also unusual for a PD record in that it was pressed by RCA."

Nothing seems to be known about Paul Carnes, but that shouldn't be the case. If Mean Mean Daddy is anything to go by, this guy should have been recorded regularly. It's a pure rockabilly gem and it's sound belies the 1960 date. It sounds like something from '56 with a big infusion of hillbilly in the mix. The lyrics are definately from a '50s man, a time when it really was a man's world. "Well I left my girl in a little ol shack, she better frind another coz I ain't going back, coz I'm a mean mean daddy". Yeah, Mr Carnes was a mean mean daddy, but he sure did have a lotta fun. So do I, every time I hear this record - a rockabilly classic.

best place to find it is the Buffalo Bop CD (Bb-CD 55026), Mean Mean Daddy, probably the best compilation the label bought out. There's at least a dozen tip top rockers on it.

Sunday 15 November 2009

Rockin' Song of the Week No.86 - Porky's Good Luck Charms - In Your Dreams

Porky Coates is one hell of a unique singer, one of the finest in the UK. It's his ballads and country edged stuff that gets to me, more so than his rockers. And it's from the country side of town that we get In Your Dreams. Written by Porky, the song is on the Foot Tapping five track EP of a couple of years ago. The Good Luck Charms were Jeff Bayly, Scotty Roberts and "T" Tsuyoshi Okuma. The twangy guitar and Porky's vocals make this is a classic western bopper. The guitar is so grumbling I had to take an aspirin. Check out Hey Mr Wildman while you're there, it's one of those hard rockin' harmonica blues rockers that sound soooo great loud.

Saturday 14 November 2009

Rockin' Song of the Week No.85 - Marty Brown

Rockin' Song of the Week No.85 - Marty Brown - I'd Rather Fish Than Fight

Marty Brown was one of the nearly-men of the early CMT years. I thought he was great, and that in itself sort of doomed him and ensured he'd never make it big time. He's hardcore country, the type that would have Shania running for the barn (there's a thought hey!). He was born in Maceo, Kentucky where he was raised and worked the tobacco fields. As you do when you come from that neck of the woods and sing country music, Brown made his way to Nashville, where he should have found fortune and fame. To be fair, he did to a certain degree - let's face it, I'm 4,000 miles away and I'm a fan.

He recorded four albums for MCA, with his first two, High And Dry and Wild Kentucky Skies being great. They are hard-edged honky tonk records with the rockers being particularly strong. Brown signed for the highly tasteful Hightone label and his Here's To the Honky Tonks for them was again an artistic success even if the charts didn't reflect so. Over the years he toured with such heavyweights as Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson and Hank Williams, Jr. I understand he still performs but he should be so much more.

I'd Rather Fish Than Fight is from 1993, and was pushed with a video that had heavy rotation on CMT at the time. Produced by Richard Bennett and Tony Brown, the backing crew included no less than Larrie London, Buddy Emmons, Marty Stuart and Stuart Duncan. No wonder if rocks like crazy, these guys have been around the block a bit. If you haven't heard this song, believe me - you should. This is a brilliant uptempo hillbilly bopper that is better than Wayne Hancock at his best - and that is some compliment. The most overlooked song in country music during the 90's.

Recommended downloads: Too many, but try Honky Tonk Special which was BR549 before they were even formed. It sounds like them at a Hank Williams Convention. Your Sugar Daddy's Long Gone is another great slice of honky tonk. From the slower end of the market, try In My Wildest Dreams, and have a look-see at the youTube clip below.

Wednesday 11 November 2009

Rockabilly 514



Best Documentary
Best Editing
Best Soundtrack
Best Sound

For more info about this film please contact me:

"Rockabilly 514" is a feature social rockumentary by Patricia Chica and Mike Wafer. "Rockabilly 514" is about the rockabilly sub-culture within Montreal and its people who share a lifestyle influenced by the 1950s.

"Rockabilly 514" tracks an array of colorful characters: musicians, dancers, pin-up models, event promoters, burlesque troop, DJ's, car customizers, tattoo artists, and vintage clothing vendors. All these people share their love for everything rockabilly throughout various events and gatherings, notably the Red Hot & Blue Rockabilly Festival (the only rockabilly weekender in Canada) that illuminates a whole community; as well as the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Festival, which is overflowing with thousands of like-minded enthusiasts from around the world.

Official website:

Tuesday 10 November 2009

Flip`s Instro gems #5 - Bill Black`s Combo – Do It - Rat Now

Flip`s Instro gems #5 - Bill Black`s Combo – Do It - Rat Now

Bet ole Sarge Presley was tickled pink n black (not) when he saw Smokie,Pt 2 and White Silver Sands by his old compadre Bill Black climbing both the pop and r n b charts in 1960, the auld slapper had been reduced to session work and working in an appliance store before his Hi records started selling like hot cakes, very popular in all the jukebox markets, appearances on Dick Clark, a teen movie slot (Teenage Millionaire) and another Ed Sullivan show all quickly followed. Before the formula became lick by numbers the Combo cut some shit hot boppers like Movin` and a slinky Don`t Be Cruel, later Little Queenie became a northern soul dance floor fav in the Uk (off the great BBC plays Chuck lp) and the touring version of the Combo even opened for the Beatles on their first major US tour. Perhaps that`s why that Bill`s original slap bass now resides in casa McCartney (a birthday gift from his late wife Linda apparently,sadly not a penny went to the Black`s as the bass and many other momentos vanished from the studio after Bill`s early death from a brain tumour in 65)

Anyhow this little quirky cracker is one of my favs mainly because I bought the sheet music for it back in my piano lesson days and later I found out that the author of Do It - Rat Now and keyboard man is non other than Jerry Lee`s cousin Carl McVoy. Now according to JLL`s oldest sis Frankie Jean older cousin Carl was the most talented of all the cousins. Carl recorded briefly for Sun, HI and a few small labels but his greatest success came with this track and his time with the combo of Black. He still worked in construction and Bobby Emmons would cover for him when he couldn`t get time off work

Despite several big pop hits, top selling albums and tours, Bill did not live long enough to enjoy the fruits of his Hi success (Joe Coughi had even given him a good royalty deal and a publishing deal, Lyn Lou named after his daughter Nancy`s nickname of Linda Lou, he also had a small label named Louis after his son and the great song Lover Please penned by young Billy Swan appeared on it by Denis Turner,later covered by Clyde Macphatter no less)

On one of my Memphis trips I visited Bill`s grave to pay my respects, it was during Elvis week and by evidence not many other El fans had bothered to go and see it, perhaps if Elvis and Gladys graves had stayed in their original spots then some fans would`ve searched Bill`s out. I love Elvis to bits but I always reckoned both Bill, Scotty and to a lesser extent DJ deserved more financial reward for their important part of the greatest story ever told

This band should be in the hall of fame

Sunday 8 November 2009

Rockin' Song of the Week No.84 - Wes Pudsey & The Sonic Aces

Wes Pudsey & The Sonic Aces - My Baby Looks Like Betty Page

There’s a few got Aussie bands on the scene nowadays, one of the best being Wes Pudsey & The Sonic Aces. They’ve been at it for over ten years and have been around the world in their quest to spread the word. Along the way they’ve worked with Restless, the Space Cadets, Southern Culture on the Skids, The Go Getters, Slim Jim Phantom and Wanda Jackson.

For me their best song and the one that really made their mark is My Baby Looks Like Betty Page. It seems unbelievable to think that it was as long ago as 1999 that we first heard it. It’s modern day rockabilly at its best. Thunderous beat and high-octane guitar. Best of all, they made a proper, MTV quality promotional video. Enjoy it below.

Saturday 7 November 2009

Rockin' Song of the Week No.83 - Link Wray - Please Please Me

Picture this. It’s February 23rd 1964 and Link Wray lies on the hard bed of some two-bit Washington motel. He gets up to mash his finished smoke into the bedside ashtray and switches on the black and white Admiral television set. With a bit of time to kill before heading to his show tonight he flicks through the channels, waiting for something to catch his eye. All the usual shit, so he plumps for the Ed Sullivan Show.

On come these four floppy haired guys from England that he’d been hearing so much about. What was all the fuss about. After watching them do Please Please Me, Link still wasn’t sure. Flicking your heard from side to side with big poofy fringes going in your eyes – that’s not what Link called rock ‘n’ roll. He wondered how anyone could buy their stuff while he hadn’t seen the charts for five years?

Disillusioned, he went into the cold, rainy night and jumped in a cab. He had to tell the driver to take him to the Howard Theatre. Problem was, he was playing the little club across the street – even on his own turf he wasn’t making it like he should.

The club was full of his usual fans and a few younger kids who had started to wear their hair long and droopy in the front, kinda like them Beatles boys he’d just watched. Link wooed the crowd with Rumble and Raw-Hide and his people loved it. A couple of the hairy ones didn’t seem that interested though - they talked among themselves and tried to act cool to the old-school dude on stage.

Fuck it. This is my turf and I can outplay these young pups every day of the week. Link turned to the band and said, “follow me”. He launched into a monstrous version of Please Please Me that little Georgie Harrison couldn’t dream of playing. There were power chords instead of head flicks and drum beats that Ringo couldn’t have driven if he’d have had Pete Best helping him. The crowd went mad and so the story goes, those kids in the crowd slinked to the toilets, wetted their combs and came back out with a quiff where the mop-top had so recently flopped.

I’m sure none of that is true, but it’s the way I see it in my mind.

Thursday 5 November 2009

Buddy Holly CD Box Set -That`ll Be The Day

At long last the definitive Buddy Holly cd box set

Back in 63 when Buddy`s dubbed Brown Eyed Handsome Man 45 reached the upper UK hit parade it sounded fresh to my junior school ears on my brand new Fidelity transistor radio, the rocker sounded contemporary in the age of the beat of the Mersey, I didn’t realise Buddy was dead until I came across my uncle Brian`s Buddy Holly Story Coral lp around 64 (turned out he`d seen Buddy and the lads on their only ever gig in Wales in March 58),by then the Beatlz,Stonez ,Searcherz and a zillion other wanabees had covered Lubbock`s finest, I bought up everything I could find on Brunswick, Coral, Ace Of Hearts and MCA, in the mid 70s we had John Goldrosen’s epic book, the awesome UK compiled 6lp box set ( and a lesser German one), old Don Maclean Gary Busey and Paul McCartney did their bit to keep the music alive.

Eventually I saw various touring versions of the Crickets and met Jerry,Joe B, Sonny and many of the rest of the “More crickets than a dog’s got fleas”, the movies, the musicals the local beers in Wales named after Holly tunes etc etc. By now I was buying all the bootlegs and all the books and fanzines I could find. The lack of a legal Buddy Holly and the Crickets complete cd box set has been the greatest shortfall/outrage in rock n roll, anniversaries, legal disputes,broken promises,endless best ofs, day the music died docs etc etc but one of the cornerstones of rock n roll history has been sadly wanting. Even the Big Bopper could exhumed and reburied recently. The historic 70th Buddy birthday and 50th crash anniversary came and went with a few more almost but not quite releases, I think a major marketing opportunity was missed by failing to get it out by Feb 3rd 2009.

But at long last I`m delighted to say in belated response to the bootlegs the 50 year Uk copyright releases by uncle Thomas Cobbley and all his merrie men the gargantuan Universal company has got its act together with Maria Elena Holley etc all on board. The good news is further enhanced by the project being handled by Universal`s high standard reissue wing Hip O Select, I have their brilliant Muddy Waters,Chuck Berry,Bo Diddley, Little Walter, Burnette RnR Trio and Jerry Lee Lewis projects already and they are a US benchmark for packaging and in particular for sound quality. Mind you , you`ll still need a copy of Jack Huddle`s epic Starlight Starbright and a few other gem to get Buddy`s session work.

By the end of this month there will be a release limited to a mere 7000 copies world wide, of 6 cds with 203 tracks, so that`s Santa sorted out then, US readers can get it direct from Hip O`s web site and elsewhere in the world from usual mega outlets of the rainforest type and in Europe from the long established mail order (UK postal strike permitting!!) like rab specialist Bimbam records – tell em Philip sentcha.



(The great and highly influential Buddy Holly had a relatively brief three year professional recording career. However, because of his enormous talent, enthusiasm for music, and the fortunate emergence of recording tape while he was quite young, we have been left with a vast recorded legacy of 203 tracks that fill out the six CDs of this new limited edition Hip-O Select box set, "Not Fade Away/The Complete Studio Recordings And More."

The 203 tracks range from his earliest recordings when 12 to 15 years old to demos with Bob Montgomery; from his earliest recordings with The Crickets and a set of garage recordings to his first studio recordings for Decca in Nashville; from the Coral and Brunswick recordings and hits that made him famous to his heralded apartment tapes. There are 6 previously unreleased tracks, including most of an August 1955 session, plus another 11 recordings previously unreleased in the U.S. Furthermore, all of the original, locatable undubbed original recordings are here as well as all 57 of the overdubbed versions recorded both in New York City and Clovis months and even years after the "day the music died." Many of these recordings are also hard-to-find or are making their CD debut, having only appeared on the 1979 LP/cassette box set.

The music on "Not Fade Away" is packaged in a yearbook size 80 page book, featuring numerous rare photos and session-by-session recording information. There are also two sets of liner notes: "Legacy" by Billy Altman, which puts Buddy’s career in perspective, and "The Music" by Bill Dahl, a lengthy tome that traces the music session by session. Consultant for this project is noted Holly historian Bill Griggs, with special thanks to Maria Elena Holly. "Not Fade Away" was produced by Universal’s Andy McKaie.

Track listing:

Disc 1: 1. My Two-Timin' Woman, 2. I'll Just Pretend, 3. Take These Shackles From My Heart, 4. Footprints In the Snow, 5. Flower Of My Heart, 6. Door To My Heart, 7. Soft Place In My Heart, 8. Gotta Get You Near Me Blues, 9. I Gambled My Heart, 10. You And I Are Through, 11. Down The Line, 12. Baby, Let's Play House, 13. Down The Line, 14. You And I Are Through, 15. Baby, It's Love, 16. Memories, 17. Queen Of The Ballroom, 18. Memories, 19. Moonlight Baby a/k/a Baby, Won't You Come Out Tonight, 20. I Guess I Was Just A Fool, 21. Don't Come Back Knockin', 22. Love Me, 23. Midnight Shift, 24. Midnight Shift (false start/alternate), 25. Don't Come Back Knockin' (alternate), 26. Don't Come Back Knockin', 27. Blue Days, Black Nights, 28. Love Me, 29. Baby Won't You Come Out Tonight, 30. I Guess I Was Just A Fool, 31. It's Not My Fault, 32. I'm Gonna Set My Foot Down, 33. Changin' All Those Changes, 34. Rock-A-Bye Rock, 35. Because I Love You

Disc 2: 1. Rock Around With Ollie Vee, 2. I'm Changin' All Those Changes, 3. That'll Be The Day, 4. Girl On My Mind, 5. Ting-A-Ling, 6. Rock Around With Ollie Vee, 7. Modern Don Juan, 8. You Are My One Desire (false start), 9. You Are My One Desire, 10. Gone (incomplete), 11. Gone, 12. Gone (alternate take), 13. Have You Ever Been Lonely (incomplete alternate), 14. Have You Ever Been Lonely (alternate), 15. Have You Ever Been Lonely, 16. Brown-Eyed Handsome Man, 17. Good Rockin' Tonight, 18. Rip It Up, 19. Blue Monday, 20. Honky Tonk, 21. Blue Suede Shoes, 22. Shake Rattle And Roll (partial), 23. Bo Diddley, 24. Ain't Got No Home, 25. Holly Hop, 26. Brown-Eyed Handsome Man, 27. Bo Diddley, 28. I'm Looking For Someone To Love, 29. That'll Be The Day, 30. Last Night (undubbed), 31. Maybe Baby (first version), 32. Words Of Love, 33. Mailman Bring Me No More Blues, 34. Not Fade Away (alternate overdub), 35. Not Fade Away, 36. Everyday

Disc 3: 1. Ready Teddy, 2. Valley Of Tears, 3. That'll Be The Day (greetings to Bob Thiele), 4. That'll Be The Day (greetings to Murray Deutsch), 5. That'll Be The Day (greetings to Bill Randle), 6. Peggy Sue (alternate take), 7. Peggy Sue, 8. Listen To Me, 9. Oh Boy (undubbed), 10. I'm Gonna Love You Too, 11. Send Me Some Lovin' (undubbed), 12. It's Too Late (undubbed), 13. Oh Boy, 14. An Empty Cup (And A Broken Date), 15. Rock Me My Baby, 15. Rock Me My Baby, 16. You've Got Love, 17. Maybe Baby, 18. Send Me Some Lovin', 19. It's Too Late, 20. Tell Me How, 21. Little Baby, 22. (You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care, 23. Look At Me, 24. Mona (rehearsal), 25. Mona (version 1), 26. Mona (version 2), 27. Mona (version 3), 28. Rave On, 29. That's My Desire (two false starts plus undubbed master), 30. Well...All Right Well...All Right, 31. Fool's Paradise (alternate take 1), 32. Fool's Paradise (alternate take 2), 33. Fool's Paradise (undubbed master)

Disc 4: 1. Think It Over (false start & rehearsal take), 2. Think It Over (undubbed alternate), 3. Think It Over (undubbed master), 4. Take Your Time (false start & alternate take), 5. Take Your Time, 6. Fool's Paradise, 7. Think It Over, 8. Lonesome Tears, 9. It's So Easy, 10. Heartbeat, 11. Love's Made A Fool Of You (undubbed), 12. Early In The Morning, 13. Now We're One (fragment), 14. Now We're One, 15. Come Back Baby, 16. Reminiscing (undubbed), 17. True Love Ways (mono mix), 18. True Love Ways (stereo mix), 19. It Doesn't Matter Anymore (mono), 20. It Doesn't Matter Anymore (stereo), 21. Raining In My Heart (mono), 22. Raining In My Heart (stereo), 23. Moondreams (mono), 24. Moondreams (stereo), 25. You're The One, 26. That's What They Say (w/fragment), 27. What To Do, 28. Peggy Sue Got Married, 29. That Makes It Tough, 30. Crying, Waiting, Hoping, 31. Learning The Game, 32. Wait Till The Sun Shines Nellie

Disc 5: 1. Slippin' And Slidin' (slow version #1), 2. Slippin' And Slidin' (slow version #2), 3. Slippin' And Slidin' (fast version), 4. Drown In My Own Tears (fragment)/Buddy & Maria Elena talking in apartment, 5. Dearest (alternate take), 6. Dearest, 7. Untitled Instrumental (a/k/a Buddy's Guitar/listed as "Tremolo Instrumental"), 8. Love Is Strange, 9. Smokey Joe's Café, 10. Peggy Sue Got Married, 11. Crying, Waiting, Hoping, 12. That's What They Say (version 2), 13. What To Do, 14. Learning The Game, 15. That Makes It Tough, 16. Baby Won't You Come Out Tonight, 17. Because I Love You, 18. Changin' All Those Changes, 19. I'm Gonna Set My Foot Down, 20. It's Not My Fault, 21. Rock-A-Bye Rock, 22. Brown-Eyed Handsome Man, 23. Bo Diddley, 24. What To Do, 25. Peggy Sue Got Married, 26. Crying, Waiting, Hoping, 27. That Makes It Tough, 28. That's What They Say, 29. Learning The Game, 30. Reminiscing, 31. Wait Till The Sun Shines Nellie, 32. Dearest (version 2), 33. Slippin' And Slidin' (slow version 2)

Disc 6: 1. Baby Let's Play House (I Wanna Play House With You), 2. Down The Line, 3. Wait Til' The Sun Shines Nellie (overdub version 2), 4. Reminiscing, 5. Flower Of My Heart, 6. Door To My Heart, 7. Soft Place In My Heart, 8. I Gambled My Heart, 9. Gotta Get You Near Me Blues, 10. Gone (version 3), 11. Rip It Up, 12. Honky Tonk, 13. Blue Suede Shoes, 14. Shake Rattle And Roll, 15. You And I Are Through, 16. Baby It's Love, 17. Memories, 18. Queen Of The Ballroom, 19. Love's Made A Fool Of You, 20. Wishing (mono), 21. Wishing (stereo), 22. Maybe Baby, 23. That's My Desire, 24. Have You Ever Been Lonely (version 1), 25. Good Rockin' Tonight, 26. Blue Monday, 27. Ain't Got No Home, 28. Holly Hop, 29. Slippin' And Slidin', 30. You're The One, 31. Love Is Strange, 32. (Ummm, Oh Yeah) Dearest, 33. Smokey Joe's Café)


The Crickets and Keith Richards from the Texans induction into the musicians hall of fame in 2008

Wednesday 4 November 2009

Flip's Instro Gems #3 - Floyd Cramer

Instro Gem # 3 Floyd Cramer -Flip Flop & Bop

As a kid all I knew about Floyd was his million selling cool country pop instro hits like On The Rebound and Last Date, featuring his famed slip note style and that he played with God.

One of my earliest and still fav El albums was Something For Everybody, a ballad side and a rocking side, guess which one I played the pants off! I spent a year having piano lessons on an old upright playing scales and all these boring things like Golden Slumbers but when ever the old dear slipped out to answer the phone I pummelled away on the Floyd descending chords from the brilliant I`m Comin` Home, couldn't believe it wasn`t a 45.

Later ,when I started collecting in old junk shops (no oldies stores then), I came across an old battered black RCA victor 45 from 1958, one side was Sophisicated Swing (arggghhh) but the other was the epic Flip Flop & Bop where ole uncle Floyd finally tears loose ripping through this roadhouse stomping 12 bar boogie woogie gem with some style, (reminds me of that great piano scene at the end of the marvellous Diner movie) I suspect it`s the A team and his ole Elvis sidekicks like Chet "Boogie" Atkins and Boots Randolph wailing away for the 130 odd seconds of musical bliss, alas though I vainly searched through many of his countryploitan standards recordings which sold by the bucketload I never found anything that moved me as much as this piece of musical mayhem

There is a 70s live album where the Floydster almost kicks back the stool in Killah style whilst ripping through our lil` gem (probably bored shitless by playing those three chord country classics his audience wanted) and the country crowd clap along in classic Steve The Jerk Martin whitefolks style, is just off the actual beat (also on the tube of you)

This bopper sits nicley with those great June 58 rockers he cut with soon to be Germany Pvt Presley I Need Your Love Tonight, A Big Hunk Of Love,Ain`t That Lovin You Baby and I Got Stung and the couple of post army live shows El did with the A team in Memphis and Honolulu. Always wished that he would`ve played on the EP Vegas comeback in 69.

Shame the Flip (which incidentally gave me my moniker) 45 never sold in the truckfuls that Date and Rebound did otherwise we could be talking Floyd C piano rocker and not the famed Nashville sideman and hall of famer. He left us far too young (ciggies apparently) but remember him this way , also check out the El clip as well

Floyd Cramer - Flip Flop & Bop

Elvis and Floyd -I`m Comin Home

Tuesday 3 November 2009

Rockin' Song of the Week No.83 - Alvin 'Red' Tyler

Alvin 'Red' Tyler - Snake Eyes
Ace 556 (1959)

Alvin ‘Red’ Tyler was a major player on the New Orleans studio scene and was a regular collaborator of producer Allen Toussaint. Snake Eyes was one such event and was written by the duo. The fact that the song is a brilliant slice of New Orleans rock ‘n’ roll shouldn’t surprise anyone as the band included Tyler and Toussaint on sax and piano respectively, and other stalwarts, Frank Fields on bass and Justin Adams on guitar. The song was issued on the local Ace label in 1959 and was also included on Red’s rare long player, Rockin’ And Rollin’ a year later.

On the sleevenotes to the Bear Family CD The Complete 'Tousan' Sessions, Toussaint paid tribute to the sax man, “He was really good at puttin' things together in the studio. He knew how the studio and recordings functioned so much better than I did at the time.”

His career had started in earnest in 1949 when drummer Earl Palmer recommended him to Dave Bartholomew. It was a time when Bartholomew was becoming the main man in town and before you could say Southern Comfort he was recording guys like Tommy Ridgley, Jewel King and the emerging talent Fats Domino. Over the coming years he worked with the likes of Shirley and Lee, Lloyd Price, Little Richard, Professor Longhair, Clarence 'Frogman' Henry, Frankie Ford, Jimmy Clanton and James Booker.

I’m not sure whether Ace owner Johnny Vincent recorded him as a thank you for his loyalty or because fellow honker Lee Allen had shown that there was a place on the charts for New Orleans sax men. Whatever the reason, I’m just glad it happened because Snake Eyes is a blast. Tyler’s sax is obviously well to the fore but Toussaint’s piano isn’t too shabby either.