King Rock'n'Roll Various Artists (King)

£11.50

Availablity:
World
Genre:
Rock'n'Roll
Label:
Ace Records
Format:
CD
Catalogue Id:
CDCHD 975

When I was growing up in Epping on the outskirts of London during the 1950s, Uncle Syd" Nathan was a familiar unseen presence in the life of our family. The distant cousin of a distant cousin of an obscure American relative on my mother's side, Uncle Syd was the family's only link to the entertainment world, an extremely tenuous connection that my mother grandly made the most of during those grey and glitz free years. "

Mum was thrilled when one of Uncle Syd's discoveries, a girl named Bonnie Lou, made a sizeable splash with Tennessee Wig Walk, a jaunty little novelty number that completed for UK chart honours with big-timers like Frankie Laine and Guy Mitchell, two singers my mother adored. And later, when my father would gripe about Elvis Presley and that awful racket he makes", he was told not to complain as Uncle Sydney had done very well out of "that kind of music".

And so it went. There were never any specifics. Mother wouldn't suddenly say, "I see Hank Ballard's got a new one out, then", as she ladled out the soup. Just generalisations. Like when Chubby Checker hit big with The Twist, she'd go around telling people "Uncle Sydney gave that boy his start", an oblique reference to the fact that King had put out the original version of The Twist by Hank Ballard which Chubby had merely cloned to his complete advantage for another record company.

Only a tiny fraction of King Records were released in the UK during the 1950s and 60s and in common with most collectors of that generation, I was only to discover much later, the depth and scale of King's back catalogue.

It wasn't until those attention-to-detail specialists Ace Records took an interest in the 1990s that fresh light was thrown on King's vast repertoire - in fact, an entire programme of rock, R&B and soul will be coming your way on Ace in the next year or two.

King Rock'n'Roll is the long-awaited sequel to King Rockabilly and brings together 24 rare records that show King going for broke in the market for commercial rock'n'roll with a range of styles that comprises Bill Haley-ish 'jivers', country-boogies, rockabilly and straightforward Elvis-influenced rockers.

Two artists featured on King Rockabilly make a return. Delbert Barker's previously unissued Goose Bumps stems from the same session as No Good Robin Hood and Jug Band Jump (heard on "King Rockabilly") while Fuller Todd impresses with You Baby and Cuddle Up, two unissued sides drawn from the same session as Top Ten Rock, which also appeared on "King Rockabilly". Among the fine one-offs is What Is Your Technique by Ronnie Speeks and the Elrods, a mythical Elvis imitator who was popular in the backwaters of the Mid-West 40 years ago.

Wes Voight, who later changed his name to Chip Taylor and penned the rock anthem Wild Thing, started out as a teenage rock'n'roller on King's DeLuxe subsidiary back in 1958. He is thrice represented here in convincing form. Jivers will warm to Bob Temple's Vim Vam Vamoose and Kenny Martin's I'm The Jivin' Mr Lee, not to mention Wayne Carroll's Chicken Out.

Wait till you hear Trini Lopez' Rock On cut for King in 1959 when he was a club entertainer playing to drunks who didn't know, or care, who he was. There's a confidence about it that shows that Lopez had it down long before fame beckoned. Wacky Booker Lee Jr, one of the star turns on "King Rockabilly", makes a return with You Are My Happiness, the other side of his sole Federal 45.

Rob Finnis has put it all together with his usual thoroughness and penned the accompanying notes. It's all terrific fun and if you enjoyed "King Rockabilly", then this CD makes an essential companion volume.

by Brewster Nathan

Track listing

Side 1

  • 01
    What Is Your Technique? - Ronnie Speeks & his Elrods

  • 02
    Midnight Blues - Wes Voight & the Town Three

  • 03
    Rock On - Trini Lopez

  • 04
    Cuddle Up - Fuller Todd

  • 05
    Chicken Out - Wayne Carroll

  • 06
    Rock 'N' Roll Mr Bullfrog - Moon Mullican

  • 07
    Goose Bumps - Delbert Barker

  • 08
    Oh Baby, Dance With Me - Gene Stewart

  • 09
    You Baby - Fuller Todd

  • 10
    Vim Vam Vamoose - Bob Temple with the Dave Martin Orchestra

  • 11
    Midnight Ramblin' Tonight - H-Bomb Ferguson

  • 12
    Rockyn' Up - Ronnie Molleen

  • 13
    Guitar Pickin' Fool - Teddy Humphries

  • 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
    I'm Movin' In - Wes Voight

  • 18
    You Are My Happiness - Booker Lee Jr

  • 19
    I'm The Jivin' Mr Lee - Kenny Martin

  • 20
    Rockin' Chair Mama - Wayne Carroll

  • 21
    I'll Give 'Em Rhythm - Hardrock Gunter

  • 22
    Bull Frog Boogie - Earl Slone

  • 23
    Run Fool Run - Bobby Cash

  • 24
    Just Doing Rock 'N' Roll - Chick & His Hot Rods

Delivery & Returns

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In the event that any products supplied to you by us are damaged or defective, we agree to replace or repair the damaged or defective products or refund the amount you paid for such goods (including postage & packaging) providing you notify us (either via post at or e-mail: orders@acerecords.com ) and return the goods within 28 days of purchase. Physical goods should be sent back to us in the same condition you received them to: “Returns” Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. Music downloads should be returned to us via the e-mail address above including a copy of your notification.

You have the right to cancel your order within seven days of purchase, or seven days of receipt of the goods (whichever is the longer). If you choose to cancel your order, full payment will be returned to you. Returned items should be sent to: “Returns” c/o Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. Music downloads should be returned to us via the email address: orders@acerecords.com including a copy of your notice of cancellation and order number.

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