"The Rockin' Guitar Man," as the Sun label billed him, lived close to the
soul of Rock and Roll. His songs were perfect portraits of what the term
"Rockabilly" came to mean. More than just another country boy that became
a star, Carl was located at ground-zero of the biggest creative explosion
in the history of American music. His songs included: TURN AROUND, BLUE
SUEDE SHOES, BOPPIN' THE BLUES, ALL MAMA'S CHILDREN, GLAD ALL OVER,
MATCHBOX, DIXIEFRIED, YOUR TRUE LOVE, PUT ON YOUR CAT CLOTHES, PINK
PEDAL PUSHERS, and POINTED TOE SHOES.
The simplistic style of country music that he and the Tennessee Two,
Marshall Grant and Luther Perkins, recorded at Sun Records during its hey-
day, pointed the way to modern country's future when it finally recovered
from the blow dealt it by the new Rock and Roll music. The best of these
recordings were: HEY PORTER, I WALK THE LINE, HOME OF THE BLUES, BIG
RIVER, FOLSUM PRISON BLUES, TRAIN OF LOVE, BALLAD OF A TEENAGE
QUEEN, I GUESS THINGS HAPPEN THAT WAY, THE WAYS OF A WOMAN IN
LOVE, GET RHYTHM. And on Columbia, a few more: DON'T TAKE YOUR GUNS
TO TOWN, FRANKIE'S MAN JOHNNY, FIVE FEET HIGH AND RISING, RING OF
FIRE, UNDERSTAND YOUR MAN, ORANGE BLOSSOM SPECIAL, and A BOY NAMED
Jimmy Reed was a Chicago bluesman who, like Muddy Waters and Howlin'
Wolf, originally came from Mississippi, home of the country blues. He
wrote and recorded the original bridge between Rock and Roll and Rhythm
and Blues with such songs as BIG BOSS MAN, TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT ME
TO DO, TAKE OUT SOME INSURANCE, HUSH HUSH, and FOUND LOVE.
When one speaks of rhythm and blues, the first name that come to mind is
Bobby "Blue" Bland, who recorded the first rhythm and blues party record
ever, TURN ON YOUR LOVE LIGHT.
Buddy Knox and the Rhythm Orchids came out of Texas with their own
brand of Rockabilly. One of the most successful acts not tied to Sun
Records, his song PARTY DOLL was picked up by Roulette and was the first
of many hits for them, even while Knox was doing his hitch with Uncle
Sam. His list of hits includes: ROCK YOUR LITTLE BABY TO SLEEP, HULA
LOVE, SWINGIN' DADDY, SOMEBODY TOUCHED ME, THAT'S WHY I CRY, I THINK
I'M GONNA KILL MYSELF, and LOVEY DOVEY.
Buddy Holly and the Crickets were the orginal self-contained Rock and Roll
band. Like so many of the country boys of that time who automatically
headed for country music, he was sidetracked by the success other country
musicians were having in the new field of rock. Once he got going, Holly
became one of the big hitmakers of Rock. His career was cut short when he
died in a plane crash with two others who
were just beginning to make their names in Rock, Ritchie Valens and Big Bopper. Holly's songs include:
PEGGY SUE, THAT'LL BE THE DAY, IT'S SO EASY, and MAYBE BABY.
His music ranges from traditional blues to progressive and experimental;
however, his patent, on the "shave-and-a-haircut" style rhythm became
known as the "Bo Diddley Beat." Often used successfully by other artists,
"Bo's Beat" remains his trademark and the foundation to his thundering,
macho brand of Rock and Roll, including such songs as: BO DIDDLEY,
DIDDLEY DIDDLEY DADDY, MONA, WHO DO YOU LOVE, CRACKIN' UP, SAY MAN,
ROADRUNNER, YOU CAN'T JUDGE A BOOK BY THE COVER, and OOH BABY.
Chuck Berry is the original poet of Rock and Roll whose songs, guitar style
and stage performances have in some way
touched all of what has followed in the history of Rock. His songs are still
today the standard repertoire for playing Rock and Roll, and even a partial
list of them is enough to put any other artist to shame: MAYBELLINE, ROLL
OVER BEETHOVEN, SCHOOL DAY, ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC, SWEET LITTLE
SIXTEEN, JOHNNY B. GOODE, CARROL, SWEET LITTLE ROCK AND ROLLER,
ANTHONY BOY, ALMOST GROWN, LITTLE QUEENIE, BACK IN THE U.S.A., LET IT
ROCK, NADINE, NO PARTICULAR PLACE TO GO, YOU NEVER CAN TELL, and
Warren Smith was a local Memphis Country and Western Performer picked
up by Sam Phillips to pump out his "Sunsound" brand of Rock and Roll. His
brief success as a Rockabilly artist resulted in two standards of the style:
ROCK AND ROLL RUBY and UBANGI STOMP. He went to Liberty Records and
straight country when the hits stopped. Among his other records were:
MISS FROGGIE, SWEET SWEET GIRL, and I DON'T BELIEVE I'LL FALL IN LOVE
The Coasters first recorded as The Robins. Their goodtime Rhythm and
Blues style was a perfect showcase for songwriters Lieber and Stoller,
whose songs are among the best that Rock and Roll has to offer:
SEARCHIN', backed with YOUNGBLOOD, was a two-sided smash for The
Coasters that began a remarkable series of hits: IDOL WITH THE GOLDEN
HEAD, YAKETY YAK, CHARLIE BROWN, ALONG CAME JONES, POISON IVY, I'M A
HOG FOR YOU, RUN RED RUN, and LITTLE EGYPT.
Web page graphic design by Type Arts.