Rockabilly legend Sleepy LaBeef who began his career in the mid-’50s and whose concerts continued to be a draw for the rockabilly community well into this year, died on December 26, 2019 at age 84. No cause of death has been given.
Although LaBeef never had great chart success, his legend loomed almost as large as he did - the singer was around six-and-a-a-half feet tall - at festivals where he was often the lone remaining original 1950s rocker. He earned his own chapter in one of the essential books about rock’s pioneers, Peter Guralnick’s “Lost Highway: Journeys and Arrivals of American Musicians.”
A year or more abo they started compiling (mostly) seasonally-themed albums. I think the first I remember getting was the summer-related”Banana Splits” volume (which spawned a “Volume 2” this past summer. For Easter they did “Bunny Hop” and Halloween brought “The Shadow Knows”. Just in time for Halloween and Thanksgiving comes this album (as well as “Yulesville”, which I’ll review separately.
Using the 80-minute-plus time that a CD will hold, “Autumn Leaves” contains 29 “Golden Season” recordings from the 40s, 50s and 60s whose titles or lyrics reflect the season when we prepare for winter. Most are from obscure 45 rpm records on small labels as well as a few songs you probably remember – if you are over 60 years old. But I doubt you have any of these in your music library (or could find them if you do) and there are some that I was thrilled I found.