"Lucky 'Leven" features 11 road tested covers from Jimmy Gilmer recorded by Norman Petty with the Fireballs in emulation of Buddy Holly & the Crickets. "Folk Beat" is made up of songs recorded by Clovis alumni Caroline Hester, including a couple from her ex harmonica player B Dylan.
Following the success of Buddy Holly &The Crickets, Norman Petty chose Jimmy Gilmer & the Fireballs as his next grand project. Petty marketed the group under several different names (either The Fireballs, Jimmy Gilmer or Jimmy Gilmer & the Fireballs), convinced that this would give the group a better chance of success. And while the group had started out by playing rock'n'roll instrumentals, during the later years they included Gilmer's vocals and recorded folk-influenced LPs. Most of Jimmy Gilmer & the Fireball's instrumental albums have already been released on the Ace label. Lucky 'Leven /Folkbeat is the second in a three-part series which couples the group's original vocal albums (the first instalment contains the original LPs Buddy's Buddy and Sugar Shack), and was marketed under Jimmy Gilmer, though the Fireballs also appear here. This second helping moves even further away from the rock'n'roll repertoire the group were known for, and is further proof of their talented and versatile musicianship. Lucky 'Leven was the follow-up album to "Buddy's Buddy". Most of the material here was the songs the group played on tour. Collectors will immediately recognise 2 of the tracks: Boom Boom was written by John Lee Hooker and later performed by the Animals-.-and Lucille was originally recorded by Little Richard and later covered by the Everly Brothers. Gilmer gives both these numbers his personal touch. The rest of the tracks on this album were written by songwriters tied to Petty's Dundee Music publishing company. The second album, Folkbeat was directly linked to folk singer Carolyn Hester. Hester was a significant influence on Gilmer's music. Most of the songs on this album were originally recorded by Hester. Carolyn Hester had began her career at Petty's NorVaJak Studios and her albums were released by the Decca subsidaries Coral and Dot records. She and Gilmer used to visit all the folk clubs together and on one special outing both wound up in a recording studio with Bob Dylan. This was before Dylan had legendary status. Folkbeat offers three Dylan compositions-.-She Belongs To Me, Blowin' In The Wind and Let Me Follow You Down, along with a wide mix of folk material written by various composers. After the release of Folkbeat, Gilmer frequently moonlighted by himself at folk clubs in West Texas. This 2-on-l shows a major turning point in Gilmer's style.