Archive for the ‘Carl Perkins’ Category
The latest wave of Playlist releases is almost here from Legacy Recordings, and the series dedicated to collecting “the hits plus the fan favorites” doesn’t look to disappoint. On January 29, Playlist volumes will be released for an eclectic cadre of artists in a variety of genres: vintage metal (Accept), traditional pop (Andy Williams), blue-eyed soul (The Box Tops), classic rock (Mountain, The Doobie Brothers, Harry Nilsson), country (Sara Evans, The Highwaymen), hip-hop (G. Love and Special Sauce, Nas), rock-and-roll (Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis) and even New Age (Yanni). There are bona fide rarities on the volumes from Andy Williams, The Box Tops, G. Love and Special Sauce, and more. All Playlist titles are now packaged in traditional jewel cases, and each title’s booklet contains a historical essay plus complete discographical annotation.
The late cult hero Alex Chilton got his start as the deep, soulful voice of The Box Tops, lending his pipes to the band’s classic renditions of Wayne Carson Thompson’s “The Letter,” “Soul Deep” and “Neon Rainbow,” Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham’s “Cry Like a Baby,” and so many other stone-cold Memphis classics. Playlist: The Very Best of the Box Tops offers fourteen selections, all drawn from the group’s singles discography. Most excitingly, all of these titles (including each song named above) are heard in their original mono single mixes. Of the lesser-known songs, Playlist includes Chilton’s first composition released on a single, “I See Only Sunshine,” and Chilton favorite “Turn on a Dream,” penned by Mark James of “Suspicious Minds” and “Hooked on a Feeling” fame. Southern soul-pop doesn’t get any better than this.
When Howard Andrew Williams, better known as Andy Williams, died on September 25, 2012, American popular music lost one of its titans. Like his Columbia Records contemporary Johnny Mathis, Williams blazed a musical path that allowed him to record everything from early rock and roll to lush renditions of standards, film themes, Broadway hits and MOR pop. Ten of the fourteen tracks on Playlist: The Very Best of Andy Williams date to Andy’s 1960s heyday, with the remaining four songs from his still-vibrant 1970s period. In the former category, you’ll hear Academy Award-winning classic “Moon River” (of course) but also three other movie tunes written by Williams’ friend Henry Mancini: “In the Arms of Love,” “Dear Heart” and “Days of Wine and Roses.” Williams’ pop hits “Can’t Get Used to Losing You” and “Music to Watch Girls By” are also included, while two more famous cinema songs are represented from the seventies: “Speak Softly Love” from The Godfather and “Where Do I Begin” from Love Story. Most exciting for collectors, though, will be a rare 1964 promotional single. Written by the Li’l Abner team of Johnny Mercer and Gene DePaul, “Exercise Your Prerogative” encourages young listeners to “get the vote through on the big Election Day…let liberty and freedom live, go and exercise your prerogative!” It’s all set to a swinging big-band chart by Dave Grusin.
After the jump: more specs on rarities, plus full track listings and pre-order links for every title! Read the rest of this entry »
Rip It Up! “The London American Label: 1956″ Spotlights Rock and Roll from Little Richard, Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry, More
Did any label impact the taste of record-buyers in the United Kingdom in the early rock-and-roll era than that of London? Ace Records has been chronicling the activities of the London American label on a series of definitive releases culling the best of the label’s 45s from one given year. Previous volumes have covered every year between 1957 and 1963, and for the most recent addition to the series, Ace has turned the clock back to 1956. In that year, London’s output included American singles first issued on Dot, Atlantic, Liberty, Imperial, Cadence, Sun, ABC-Paramount, Chess and Specialty, meaning that one label alone introduced the U.K. to classics from Little Richard, The Drifters, Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry and Andy Williams. All of those artists and many more are represented on The London American Label: Year by Year 1956.
Compilers Peter Gibbon and Tony Rounce have taken pains throughout this ongoing series to showcase every facet of the London American label. For those readers not yet up-to-date on its story, The London label first appeared in America in 1934 representing British Decca’s operations in America. Back in Britain, the London logo made its debut in 1949 releasing material from its American counterpart, but also from early U.S. independent labels. It was in 1954 that a new prefix (HL) and numbering system (8001) was introduced, and it’s this series that is the focus of the Ace compilations. Some American hit records appeared on EMI’s Columbia, Parlophone and HMV labels, but the cream of the crop was usually on London.
In 1956, London American issued 139 singles, which the fine liner notes inform us was 33 more than in 1955 but far short of the 242 in 1958. Of those 139 releases, 23 made the U.K. Top 40 and 10 made the Top 10, not a bad percentage at all! Rock and roll and R&B were starting to take hold in 1956, and this volume opens with Little Richard’s searing admonishment to “Rip It Up.” Then there’s Chuck Berry’s atypically haunting “Down Bound Train,” Carl Perkins’ Beatle-influencing “Honey Don’t,” and Bobby Charles’ original version of his rockin’ New Orleans sing-along, “See You Later, Alligator,” more famously recorded by Bill Haley and the Comets. The “white R&B” of Pat Boone, later to prove controversial, was still going strong in 1956. The compilers here have chosen a comparative rarity: Boone’s recording of the Five Keys’ “Gee, Whittakers.” Boone actually scored London its very first chart-topper of the rock-and-roll age with his 45 of The Flamingos’ “I’ll Be Home,” also the best-selling record in the U.K. in all of 1956. Both The Drifters and original lead singer Clyde McPhatter received their first U.K. releases in 1956 on London; the group is included here via “Soldier of Fortune” and McPhatter with “Seven Days,” both originally on Atlantic in the United States. Blues great “Big” Joe Turner appears here with another Atlantic platter, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller’s “The Chicken and the Hawk,” a song also covered by artists as unlikely as Steve Lawrence!
There’s plenty more after the jump, including a full track-listing and order link! Read the rest of this entry »
The success of rock and roll has many fathers, but for many, it has one birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, the home of Sun Records. Sam Phillips’ label was crucial in bringing blues and rock music to a mainstream audience, providing early breaks for artists like B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins.
Last month, Curb Records released a special double-disc set chronicling the label’s heyday in the ’50s and early ’60s, in honor of the label’s anniversary back in March. Sun Records 60th Anniversary features early recordings from future blues legends King and Wolf (recorded at Sun Studios and released on the RPM and Chess labels), early sides by future superstar Presley (including “That’s All Right” and Elvis’ first two private demo recordings for the label), a track from the famous “Million Dollar Quartet” session (when Presley, Lewis, Cash and Perkins all enjoyed an impromptu collaboration in 1956), two tracks by Harold Jenkins – who would later enjoy success under the name Conway Twitty – and much more.
You can check it all out after the jump. (Thanks to Eric Luecking of Record Racks for the tip.)