King Rock'n'Roll Various Artists (King)


Ace Records
Catalogue Id:

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 Preview What Is Your Technique? - Ronnie Speeks & his Elrods

  • 02 Preview Midnight Blues - Wes Voight & the Town Three

  • 03 Preview Rock On - Trini Lopez

  • 04 Preview Cuddle Up - Fuller Todd

  • 05 Preview Chicken Out - Wayne Carroll

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

  • 07 Preview Goose Bumps - Delbert Barker

  • 08 Preview Oh Baby, Dance With Me - Gene Stewart

  • 09 Preview You Baby - Fuller Todd

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

  • 11 Preview Midnight Ramblin' Tonight - H-Bomb Ferguson

  • 12 Preview Rockyn' Up - Ronnie Molleen

  • 13 Preview Guitar Pickin' Fool - Teddy Humphries

  • 14 Preview Boy! This Stuff Kills Me - Bruce Channel

  • 15 Preview Shake 'Em Up Baby - Rusty York

  • 16 Preview I Want A Lover - Wes Voight & the Town Three

  • 17 Preview I'm Movin' In - Wes Voight

  • 18 Preview You Are My Happiness - Booker Lee Jr

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

  • 20 Preview Rockin' Chair Mama - Wayne Carroll

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

  • 22 Preview Bull Frog Boogie - Earl Slone

  • 23 Preview Run Fool Run - Bobby Cash

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

Delivery & Returns


We offer free P&P to UK addresses. For all other territories packaging is free and postage is charged on a weight basis.

We use Royal Mail First Class for UK deliveries and standard Air Mail for all other territories, very large orders will usually be sent via parcelforce. You may cancel your order at any time prior to your order being dispatched by emailing us at ensuring that you quote your name, address and order reference number or by telephoning +44 (0) 208 453 1311 between 9am and 5pm GMT/BST, Monday to Friday. Please note: As music downloads are dispatched immediately after purchase, there is no possibility of cancelling these orders.

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: ) 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” Ace Records, Such Close, Letchworth Garden City SG6 1JF, United Kingdom. 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 Ace Records, Such Close, Letchworth Garden City SG6 1JF, United Kingdom. Music downloads should be returned to us via the email address: including a copy of your notice of cancellation and order number.

Customer reviews


Related products

Customers who bought this item also bought