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Tom Redecker - Postfach 1627 - 27706 Osterholz-Scharmbeck
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Pressearbeit / Media Deutschland: Shack Media Promotion Agency Tom Redecker - Postfach 1627 - 27706 Osterholz-Scharmbeck Tel.: 04791-980642 -  Fax:... read more »
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Bear Family Records Press Archive

Pressearbeit / Media Deutschland:
Shack Media Promotion Agency
Tom Redecker - Postfach 1627 - 27706 Osterholz-Scharmbeck
Tel.: 04791-980642 - Fax: 04791-980643 info@shackmedia.de  www.shackmedia.de

Automatically scanned from the original press reviews by an OCR software, the text files in our Press Archive may contain errors and mutilations. We will eliminate these errors whenever time allows. We apologize for any inconvenience. 

Presse Archiv - Various Artists - The Bakersfield Sound 1940 - 1974 - Relix
Buck Owens and Merle Haggard are undoubtedly the twin towers of the singular sound invented in Bakersfield, Calif. But as this massive new box set from the Bear Family label so intricately details, there is a Gold Rush of incredible music to be discovered beyond the gates of the Second City of country music.

The Bakersfield Sound is a veritable college course on the evolution of the region, born out of the barrooms and barn dances of the Dust Bowl era with the concept of conspiring a small combo iteration of the Western-swing big-bands who used to roll through town to perform for the laborers. It was a sound that would quickly be dubbed "Honky Tonk," and served as an edgier, more electrified alternative to the Nashville twang of the East Coast. This 10-CD set goes back to the mid-1940s via rare recordings of acts who cut their teeth performing for migrant communities in Central California like Tex Butler and Ebb Pilling, not to mention a live radio performance from Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys, who made Bakersfield a regular stop on their traveling roadshow.
Press Archive - That'll Flat Git It! Vol. 33 - Bluestownmusic
These are the stories record collectors dream of! Many more previously uncomped artists are on board here for the first time, such as Lonnie Dee, Joe Franklin & The Hi-Liters, Daryl Petty, Bobby Strigo with The Blue Notes and many more. Sixty years after the original recording dates, Bear Family makes it possible for these artists to receive the attention they have always been entitled to.
As most of the original master tapes are lost forever, the majority of masters have been taken from the original rare and hard to find Renown single (45s) releases and have been carefully restored and re-mastered to meet the quality standards of Bear Family.
This is a truly worthy and long awaited project which will find favor among fans of rockabilly music, 1950s music aficionados, and folks into North Carolina culture and history, and just plain music fans in general.
This is one Bear Family release that you don’t want to miss!
Presse - Nate Gibson Nate Gibson & The Stars Of Starday - Country Music People
This was just fun from start to finish, with former stars of one of Nashville's so-called middle tier labels (Jesse McReynolds, Frankie Miller, Sleepy LaBeef, Bill Clifton etc ) getting another chance to shine thanks to Nate Gibson's painstaking efforts.
Presse Archiv - Various Artists - The Bakersfield Sound 1940 - 1974 - The New York Times
‘The Bakersfield Sound’

(Bear Family; 10 CDs plus hard-bound book, $179.68)

The city of Bakersfield, Calif. emerged in the 1950s to rival Nashville as the place defining country music. The Bakersfield sound clung tenaciously to country’s most twangy, sinewy elements — bluegrass, Western swing, honky-tonk, rockabilly — to accompany lean, down-to-earth, working-class storytelling. Buck Owens and Merle Haggard were the city’s superstars, but this copious 10-CD set, which includes an extensively researched hardcover book, digs far deeper. It starts with Library of Congress recordings of migrant Southwestern farmworkers in California — real “Okies” — and celebrates Bakersfield’s studio mainstays. It rediscovers rowdy rarities like Phil Brown’s “You’re a Luxury” and Rose Stassie’s “Out of My Mind.” Instead of well-worn hits, it selects lesser-known cuts from Owens and Haggard, including their barely distributed debut singles. While Nashville eventually won country radio, at least Bakersfield never got slick. JON PARELES
Presse Archiv - Yulesville! - 33 Rockin' Rollin' Christmas Blasters For The Cool Season - UK Rock & Roll Magazine
VARIOUS ARTISTS `YULESVILLE' (Bear Family)
Here 33 Festive tunes you probably won't have many of. It's that time of year again, Bear Family have been rummaging where others haven't when it comes to compiling festive compilations.
Unless you have an extensive collection of rarities it's unlikely many of these have featured in your previous playlists, in some cases that's a tragedy, Three Aces And A Joker's uber rare 'Sleigh Bell Rock' disproves any theory that Christmas songs have to be cheesy, this cracker rocks but only 600 people got a copy back in 1960.
Rarity is the feature of the album, it's impossible to list the merits of all the tracks in a short review, yes there are some jingle belled contrived numbers, well it's Christmas after all.
There's some ear-popping good stuff too the earliest from 1950, jazz but so near rock n roll, add some quirky, do-wop and rockabilly bopping and you have a tremendous compilation The booklet is packed with artist information too as you'd expect coming from this label, ideal if you're an anorak like me
Simon Nott
Presse Archiv - Link Wray Rocks - UK Rock & Roll Magazine
LINK WRAY `ROCKS' (Bear Family)
Aficionados of music of the 50's and 60's will almost certainly have some of guitarist Link Wray's tunes in their collection, that's going to include 'Rumble' which hit the top 20 in the USA and UK in 1958. Apparently, the disc was shunned by some radio stations because it was considered to be inciting violence amongst teen gangs, some achievement for an instrumental. It's here but you have to wait until the 34th and final track for the hit. What you glean listening getting that far is the rich musical legacy this hugely influential guitarist left. There's none of the earliest Western Swing because this collection includes just tracks from 1958 to 1966 over several labels. They feature some lesser known gems including 'Big City After Dark' backing his brother Ray plus two tracks where Link provides the vocals. This is a fascinating collection easily illustrates why artists diverse as Neil Young and the Cramps were huge fans.
Simon Nott
Presse Archiv - Billy Fury Wondrous Place - The Brits Are Rocking - UK Rock & Roll Magazine
BILLY FURY `WONDEROUS PLACE' (Bear Family)
Billy Fury is on one hand considered up there with the best of the best of the breed of British rockers. His 1960 album 'The Sound Of Fury' thought of by some with a respect usually reserved for recordings that came out of Sun. True, that 10" is the nearest thing to authentic rockabilly that a UK artist recorded back in the day. On the other hand the conversation then tends to be that Billy Fury turned his back on rock n roll to concentrate on ballads, hits and money. The facts, like them or not is that the sort of music Billy was laying down in 1960 was almost half a decade out of date back in the States, their own brand of fabricated teen idols were flooding the charts while the originators of rock n roll were either in the army, out of vogue, hitting the bottle or both. Worst still, dead, Eddie and Buddy had already started looking beyond rock n roll before their untimely deaths. As far as record company bosses were concerned there was nowhere else commercially to go with Billy but ballads, mostly penned by someone else, they were proved right too, his ballads were much bigger hits than his early rockers. This goes some way to show that despite being know for ballads at the height of his career, when Billy was off the leash he was still rocking, here's the proof.
Simon Nott
Presse Archiv - Autumn Leaves – 29 Gems for the Indian Summer - UK Rock & Roll Magazine
VARIOUS ARTISTS `AUTUMN LEAVES' (Bear Family)
Bear Family are taking a chance on their loyal listeners broadness of musical mind with this quirky series of seasonal compilatiOns. True there's a lot of something for everyone on here but when you consider the tracks date from 1930 —1962 there is broad musical spectrum encompassed. Whoever complied it did a magnificent job because listen to the album as a whole then it really does work. That's quite a feat when you consider Eddie Cochran's 'Cotton Picker' and Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs `Shuckin' The Corn' are compilation mates with Memphis Minnie & Kansas Joe wondering `What Happened To The Mill?' and Don Duke's cover of 'Wild Wind'. It's an ambient musical adventure which will introduce you to music you are never likely to hear otherwise and well worth the dip in unless you really are blinkered musically, in which case it won't be for you.
Simon Nott
Press Archive - Carl Perkins - Discovering Carl Perkins - Eastview, Tennesse 1952-1953 (LP, 10inch) - CARL PERKINS Discovering Eastview, Tenn-essee 1952-53 Bear Family **** Rare Recordings von Carl Perkins, der als einer der Gründungsväter des Rock 'n' Roll gilt. Noch 2 Jahre vor seinen Aufnahmen bei Sun Records spielte er zwischen 1952-53 in einem kleinen Studio in Tenn-essee vorliegende 9 Stucke ein, die nun von Bear Family im remaster-ten und bestmöglichen Sound als 10" Vinyl mit beiliegender Bonus-CD veröffentlicht werden. Ein Mei-lenstein der frühen Rock 'n' Roll-Geschichtet RAINER GUERICH
33 Rockin' Rollin' Christmas Blasters For The Cool Season Bear Family **** Mal eine etwas andere Weihnachts-scheibe kommt hier in Form der 33. gängigen "Yulesville!"-Kompilation, die rare Rock'n'Roll, Rhythm'n'Blu-es-Songs und Instrumentals rund um die Win-ter- und Weih-nachtszeit zwi-schen 1950 bis 1963 bereit hält. Auf dem Spielplan stehen zahlreiche Christmas Rockabilly Kracher, blue-sige Titel (u.a. Lightnin' Hopkins, Dee Dee Ford) und bekannte Namen der Rock'n'Roll-Szene wie The Drifters, Claude McPhatter, The Penguins und The Four Seasons. UTE BAHN
Presse Archiv - Various Artists - The Bakersfield Sound 1940 - 1974 - theseconddisc
Bakersfield, California is a long way from Nashville – a little under 2,020 miles west, actually. But the distance isn’t quite as great when one considers how much significant country music came out of the city in Kern County. Recent years have seen numerous reissues from legendary Bakersfield artists like Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, as well as a fine exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame. But now Bear Family Records has delivered the ultimate tribute to the city’s remarkable legacy of music. The Bakersfield Sound: Country Music Capital of the West 1940-1974 is a beautifully sprawling chronicle of how Music City West came to be, as told via 10 CDs, almost 300 songs, and a definitive, 224-page hardcover tome.

While the sound of Bakersfield came to signify a raw, grittier honky-tonk country style (as opposed to the lush strings and choirs of The Nashville Sound as pioneered in the 1960s by Chet Atkins and others), folk, western swing, and so-called “hillbilly music” all figured into the embryonic Bakersfield Sound Those individual sounds are all explored on the early discs of the box set before local discs cede to the major label releases from Capitol Records and others which drew on the city’s talented artists. Once Bakersfield was established, its artists touched on further genres like rock, pop, and even psychedelia.
Presse Archiv - Yulesville! - 33 Rockin' Rollin' Christmas Blasters For The Cool Season - oldtimereviews
Many Christmas compilations are released each year, with most of them boasting the same selection of recordings. The predictable nature of these albums makes them a monotonous endeavour, one that leaves the listener feeling a sense of deja vu every single year. However, there is a new alternative that could shake up your festive listening; especially if you enjoy rarely heard vintage tunes.
German label Bear Family Records have added to their series of seasonal albums by releasing a Christmas themed compilation; featuring 33 tracks released between 1950 and 1963. Nostalgia is a huge seller at Christmas, but will it carry over to a collection of rarely heard vintage recordings?
Presse Archiv - Various Artists Tell It To Me - The Johnson City Sessions - oltimereviews
Some of the included tracks here make it seem obvious why the Bristol Sessions are considered seminal and these are not so well known. The Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers are perhaps more individual in hindsight and their influence can be traced clearly and strong through the generations of future artists and musicians. However, here we find examples of the music of the people, which is as fine and representative of the people of the day living in those rural areas as was the work of the Carters and Rodgers.
There is quite a shortage of female voice here. That is possibly the only thing which sticks out as unusual. Otherwise, the 26 artist names also bring to mind charmingly a bygone world. There are names and song titles which bring vibrancy and life to a time long gone. Despite this evocation, this music feels as fresh today as ever.
Press Archive - Carl Perkins - Discovering Carl Perkins - Eastview, Tennesse 1952-1953 (LP, 10inch) - musikreviews
: Der sensationelle Fund von vier Song-Raritäten des Rock'n'Roll-Vaters CARL PERKINS, die noch vor seiner Erfolgszeit bei Sun Records in einem kleinen Studio in Tennessee entstanden und bis zum heutigen Zeitpunkt 70 Jahre lang verschollen waren. Bear Family Records veröffentlicht „Discovering CARL PERKINS – Eastview, Tennessee 1952-53“ nun in absolut angemessener und um mehrere Outtakes erweiterter, remasterter Form auf einer LP im weißen 10inch/25cm-Vinyl und ergänzt diese Ausgabe noch um eine CD mit den digitalisierten Aufnahmen und ein 16-seitiges Begleitheft in Single-Größe!
Presse Archiv - The Ventures Play Telstar - The Lonely Bull - oltimereviews
Bear Family Records have re-issued 1962 album The Ventures play Telstar – The Lonely Bull as part of their 11000 collectors series. This is a very special reproduction of the 10-inch Japanese pressing, including the hard-to-find rare cover featuring artwork of the group with a space-craft. The 11000 series from Bear Family Records is a selection of limited edition vinyl reissues of rare and sometimes pricey vinyl collectables. The album is available in many forms on several formats, Is this edition worth picking up?
The Music

British listeners may equate the sound and style with being like The Shadows. In so much as The Ventures do instrumental covers of popular songs, this is true. In the cases of some tracks, it feels somewhat like they are capitalising on a trend for background-sound for parties and dances in the early 1960s. Many tracks are of a very similar vein as the library music used in the TV action shows produced by ITC and ATV in the mid to late 60s.
Their interpretation of popular tunes are competent but a little pedestrian. Sometimes the elements can seem like they are more of an exercise in experimenting with different sounds. It all ends up achieving a similar effect to that of the original or best-known version, though, with every number very well executed and enjoyable. The whole album has presumably the desired effect: it is very tempting to get up and get moving. Disappointingly, the renditions still have a rather safe vibe about them.
Press - Fats Domino I’ve Been Around - The Complete Imperial and ABC Recordings - Now Dig This
FATS RE-BOXED Due for mid-October release from Bear Family Records of Germany is a new Fats Domino box-set, 'I've Been Around - The Complete Imperial & ABC Recordings'. Back in 1993, the company assembled all of Fats' known Imperial rec-ordings of the 1949 - 1962 period onto the 8xCD box-set, 'Out Of New Orleans'. That package has now been completely overhauled and expanded into a 12xCD collection also con-sisting of a DVD (Joe Lauro's acclaimed 'The Big Beat - Fats Domino And The Birth Of Rock n Roll'), together with a 240-page full colour book containing an updated Imperial discog-raphy. "We've found a lot of new material", says a Bear Family press release, "[including] some things that were thought to be lost and other things that nobody knew existed. We have alternative takes that have never before been issued. We've got new unedited and non-overdubbed versions of some familiar Fats songs and newly discovered overdubs of familiar songs.
Press Archive - The Best Of Little Richard !! (LP, 10inch, Ltd.) - Music Street Journal, USA
Little Richard
The Best Of Little Richard !! (vinyl EP)

Review by Gary Hill
I know the conventional wisdom is that Elvis Presley was "The King of Rock and Roll." Personally, I've never felt he deserved that title. For me the triumvirate of most important contributors to early Rock and Roll is Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and Little Richard. Of the three, I think Richard (I know his real last name is "Penniman," but I'm using Richard as his last name for the sake of this review - and the general alphabetization over the whole publication) was the most consistent (in terms of quality) and important of those three.

It could be argued that Richard has been the biggest influence on rock music for decades. Certainly a lot of his style became tied the genre. His little screams might well be the roots of metal screamers like Rob Halford. Lemmy Kilmister said that he thought Richard was the best rock singer of all time. His flamboyance and style really are rock and roll.

This cool EP captures a dozen Richard classics. It's a disc that manages to stand tall even today. That is just one of the charms of it. This is a 10" record on orange vinyl, and it's well worth having. The music is great, and the packaging really works for this release.
Presse Archiv - Various Artists - The Bakersfield Sound 1940 - 1974 - INK19
Bear Family Productions
It was a study in contrasts for a county music fan during the late ’60s. On the one hand you had “Music City USA” – Nashville, with hits such as “Make the World Go Away” by Eddy Arnold and “Danny Boy” by Ray Price, something called “The Nashville Sound” that morphed into “Countrypolitian”. Produced by Billy Sherrill and Chet Atkins, among others, it was country music – easy listening style. It was as far removed from the hills and farms that birthed the song collections of A.P. Carter and family as was possible. For those longing for the old songs and feel, one had to turn to the coast, where music still played in honkytonks, five sets a night.


That place was called Bakersfield, CA, and is the subject of this grand look assembled by Bear Family, The Bakersfield Sound – Country Music Capital of the West 1940-1974. On the West coast Merle Haggard and Buck Owens ruled the airwaves, record sales and beer joints, stringing up hit after hit, leading the area to be known as “Nashville West” for a time. While the area’s heyday was largely over by the mid-’70s, a quick look at today’s country stars – from Dwight Yoakam to the entire “outlaw country” movement owes a huge debt to folks like Merle Haggard, whose poetic songs captured the plight of the everyman as well as anyone, and Buck Owens, that made a career out of classic country/pop moments, propelled by his ace guitarist Don Rich.
Presse Archiv - William Clarke Heavy Hittin' West Coast Harp (LP, 180gram Vinyl) - Living Blues magazine (US)
Even a cursory survey of the obituaries and tributes that circulated after William Clarke's untimely passing in late 1996 reveals one consistent theme: Clarke was perceived by fans and critics alike as one of the very best harmonica players to ever master the instrument. The blues world is no stranger to hyperbole, for sure, but the praise for Clarke's artistry was (and still is) clearly merited. His dexterous style could oscillate between as-sertive and aggressive to sweet and subtle as the song required, and his rich, fat tone—es-pecially when blowing through amplification equipment—established a benchmark that few have matched. Clarke, a native of Southern California, released several indie label recordings during the late 1970s and 1980s, a time where he honed his craft, as Rod Piazza had before him, under the tutelage of George "Harmoni-ca" Smith. But it wasn't until his partnership with Alligator Records in the 1990s that Clarke started to garner national and international at-tention.
Presse Archiv - William Clarke Heavy Hittin' West Coast Harp (LP, 180gram Vinyl) - musicstreetjournal
William Clarke
Heavy Hittin' West Coast Harp (vinyl)

Review by Gary Hill
The new LP is a compilation of music from a killer blues artist who was not well-known outside certainly circles. It includes a host of studio recordings along with a live track. There are some definite rarities here. That's true in part because his music is out of print and was never widely released, but also because there is one track that's previously unreleased. There is a healthy mix of blues and jazz here. While the recordings here are not of modern quality expectations, they sound good and really do represent the era in which they were released. The records if a heavy vinyl album with a gatefold sleeve. Overall, this is a great product that's well worth having for blues harp fan
Press Archive - COUNTRY ALL-STARS String Dustin' (LP, 10inch, Ltd.) - musicstreetjournal
Country All-Stars

String Dustin' (vinyl EP)
Review by Gary Hill

Chet Atkins is a legend within and without country music. In 1952 he put together the Country All-Stars and recorded this set of instrumentals (one song has vocals). The music here is all intriguing. While it's billed as country, and there is country at the core of a lot of it, it really transcends that label, wandering into jazz and more. This is quite an intriguing set of music. This new edition is a 10-inch record on orange vinyl. It's also all class.
Presse - DYNAMITE MAGAZIN 11/12 - 14 Auflage 15.000 BCD16094
East Tennessee State University

This essay considers the Bristol, TN/VA (1927-1928) and Johnson City, TN (1928- 1929) Sessions recordings released by the Bear Family label, as well as recordings, made by linguist Joseph Hall in the 1930s, of musical performances by residents of the Smokies in eastern Tennessee and west- ern North Carolina. I also consider here a collection of performances, by contempor- ary artists, of songs that Hall recorded in the 1930s. This essay is informed by my experience as a musician who has listened to, played, and written about the string- based vernacular music often called “old time music.” Like others who style them- selves connoisseurs of this music, I have paid careful attention to the content and context of recordings like those I consider here. I am particularly interested in these recordings since they are part of my current local environment; I currently live near the sites of these recordings, my work as a per- former and teacher involves using these recordings, and I work with people who were involved in the production of these collections. I chose these four collections because I am curious about what sense of place they afford other aficionados of old time music. My experiences with these recordings lead me to consider the larger question of how contemporary audiences and producers of old time music consume, engage, and create a sense of place through their music-making (listening, performing, mediating, etc.). As a participant-observer in old-time music-making circles, I have observed that we seem very concerned with place.
Presse Archiv - Various Artists - The Bakersfield Sound 1940 - 1974 - MoJo
Various ***** The Bakersfield Sound BEAR FAMILY. 10-CO BOX
How California became Honky Tonk Heaven. In the '60s, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard sang country chart-toppers by the bucket-load, establishing Bakersfield, California, as a direct rival to Nashville. Their music was less showy, more contemporary than that from Music City and would influence country rock and the later Outlaw genre. This superb Bear Family presentation, with a considerable number of previously unreleased studio tracks, radio recordings and demos by artists ranging from Bob Wills to Arlo Guthrie, documents the musical history of the city — from field record-ings made by dust-bowl migrants in the 1940s, up to 1974, when Buck Owens notched his final Top 10 hit and Bakersfield guitar hero Don Rich was killed in a motor-cycle accident. Comes with a lavishly illustrated 230-page hardback book, by award-winning writer Scott B. Bomar with a foreword by Foo Fighter Chris Shiflett. Fred Dellar
Press Archive - Carl Perkins - Discovering Carl Perkins - Eastview, Tennesse 1952-1953 (LP, 10inch) - bittersoutherner
A decade ago, Shawn Pitts joined a team doing a “cultural-asset inventory” of McNairy County, Tennessee. Along the way, he discovered unheard recordings made by West Tennessee’s favorite son, the rockabilly great Carl Perkins, made years before he started cutting hits at Sun Records in Memphis. They reveal a young man melding hillbilly music and African American music while Elvis was still a schoolboy. In October, they were released to the world.
For two cats who never met, Carl Perkins and I have a surprisingly complicated history. I’m happy to report it ends well.
When I was growing up in west Tennessee, Carl Perkins, who wrote the rock-and-roll standard “Blue Suede Shoes” in 1955, was everywhere. The civic center in Carl’s Jackson, Tennessee, hometown bore his name. He was a fixture at benefit concerts and other events in our region. Carl was always the main attraction on the annual Circles of Hope Telethon, which raised (and still raises) much-needed funds for children’s charities. Because of the groundwork he laid, a vast network of child-abuse prevention centers across west Tennessee bear his name. People who knew him say all the things Carl Perkins accomplished in his remarkable life, he was proudest of his work on behalf of the region’s most vulnerable children. I would wager that’s more than just a warm, fuzzy story. Personal friends attest to his genuine benevolence and passion for serving kids in need.
Presse Archiv - Various Artists - The Bakersfield Sound 1940 - 1974 - ricentral.com
Where do you begin with a review of a box set documenting the Bakersfield Sound in country music? Here’s thinking the best place is the stats. From the great chroniclers of the music of yesteryear and particularly country music, that being Bear Family Records of Germany, the newly released collection The Bakersfield Sound 1940-1974 is a wonderfully exhaustive motherlode of sounds from that important locale in the history of country music. As for those stats, try this on for size: 300-plus tracks spread over 10 CDs plus a 224-page coffee table-ready hardcover book with an array of photos, many of which are rare, and track-by-track commentary and analysis by Grammy-nominated Bakersfield sound historian Scott B. Bomar.
Presse Archiv - Various Artists - The Bakersfield Sound 1940 - 1974 - arkansas online
The Bakersfield Sound is an identifiable strain of the genre that combines traditional country elements such as stinging steel guitars and snarling Telecasters with an attitude informed by the perspectives of outsiders, the Dust Bowl refugees that poured into California from Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma by the hundreds of thousands: hillbillies, Arkies, tin-can tourists, harvest gypsies, fruit tramps and Okies.
No version of "Hungry Eyes" appears on The Bakersfield Sound: Country Music Capital of the West, 1940-1974, a 10-CD 299-track seven-and-a-half-pound boxed set produced by Germany-based Bear Family Productions ($190.91 at bear-family.com), probably because it would have been too expensive to obtain the rights. But it does come with a handsome coffee table book researched and written by Los Angeles musicologist Scott Bomar, who might rightfully be designated the author of this collection.
Presse Archiv - Various Artists - The Bakersfield Sound 1940 - 1974 - goldmine mag
Nestled in California's agricultural Great Central Valley, the Bakersfield area attracted carloads of Great Depression and Dust Bowl era migrants. Of course, they brought their music – a mixture of trad folk, hillbilly, western swing, and more, which made the region a musical melting pot – all the more because a few local radio stations aired all kinds of music, and local TV stations featured nearby performers. With its Telecaster-driven honky-tonk style, Bakersfield eventually became known as Nashville West or the country music capital of the West.

At the start of this enormous box's accompanying book, Chris Shiflett of the Foo Fighters pulls out the old saying that while Nashville country came out of the churches, Bakersfield's came out of the barrooms. Marty Stuart notes, "If you had a little edge on you, if you had a little cowboy in you, if you were a bit of an innovator or a wildcat, you could stand a chance of making it more in California than in Nashville."

Though very different, Merle Haggard (an actual Bakersfield-area native whose family had left Oklahoma) and Texas-born Buck Owens were the Bakersfield sound's biggest successes. With nearly 300 tracks, the box also brings forth plenty of worthy local folks like Billy Mize, who was content with a regional career rather than aiming for national stardom. We hear the Maddox Brothers and Rose (wildcard forerunners of rock and roll), Red Simpson (of the trucker song genre), and 12-string telecaster hero Joe Maphis with wife Rose Lee.
Of all the small labels here, Tally (run by local entrepreneur Lew Talley) was the most significant. Songwriter Harlan Howard's first disc was on it. Jan Howard (his wife at the time) did her first demo tapes at Tally. Just as back in mid-50s Memphis, Sam Phillips at Sun Records found the sound he sought in teenaged Elvis Presley, Talley found his sound in young Merle Haggard. Last-minute copyright issues forced rare Tally tapes of Hag's to be dropped from this package after its book was printed.
Presse Archiv - Link Wray Rocks - NOW DIG THIS
Whilst the above selections merit their inclusion in the set and add variety, Link's legacy lies in his brutal instrumentals. As Bill Dahl writes in his terrific liner notes: "No guitarist ever said more with a handful of titanic power chords." 'Raw Hide', 'Batman Theme', 'I'm Branded', 'Jack The Ripper', 'Run, Chicken, Run', 'Ace Of Spades' and his immortal signature tune 'Rumble', inspired in part by The Diamonds' The Stroll', are all here. The titles have been well chosen and I rated seventeen of the remainder as high quality. The slow original 'Big City After Dark' and cover of Bill Doggett's hectic 'Hold It' were credited to Ray Vernon & The Raymen on initial release.

The Latin-flavoured 'El Toro' and 'Pancho Villa' are essentially the same tune and both versions are fine. 'Tijuana', as one would expect, is another with a Mexican flavour. 'Slinky' features jungle drums and 'Right Turn' is a raw bash. The snappy 'Hand Clapper' and `Studio Blues', misleadingly titled as it's a solid mover, have the band's pal Switchy on sax. 'Deuces Wild' is gutsy and 'Hang On' is pacy with a potent sting. 'Turnpike USA' is an infectious mover and 'Dance Contest' doesn't hang around either. The 'Apache'-like 'The Outlaw' is quite sparse
and the pacy 'Mr. Guitar' is aptly named. The sinister `The Shadow Knows' and Duane Eddy-ish 'Dixie Doodle' also make it into this category.
Press Archive - COUNTRY ALL-STARS String Dustin' (LP, 10inch, Ltd.) -now dig this
It's pop and jazz with covers from Irving Berlin to Benny Goodman, and it was no doubt because of this that RCA did little to promote the album on its release, which has therefore resulted in its rarity. No one will be surprised by Chet's ability to play in this swinging jazz style, but fans of the cornball duo Homer & Jethro might find it harder to comprehend. Interviewed in later life, Chet himself was critical of his own playing, but he sounds pretty good to me. I can't honestly sit here and say that I'm a big fan of the album and it won't get much in the way of repeat plays, but you can only admire the intricate musicianship on offer. The more broadminded amongst you and, no doubt, musicians, will find lots to enjoy here.

Laid back and almost like front-porch picking if the house was the Prague Opera House, the playing is delicate, crisp and at times inspiring. If this ten-track reissue is your bag, Bear Family brought out a CD in the early '90s with additional tracks, appropriately called 'Jazz From The Hills'. EMMA & THE RAGMEN Headin' Out Country / Mr. Jones / I'm Ready Rampage RR-19-20 The back catalogue of Rampage Records includes releases by Mons Wheeler and Keith Turner plus an album by Emma & The Ragmen back in 2017. This new release features two originals and a cover and all three tracks are hard-hitting numbers. The top side is a growling rocker with great stinging guitar, excellent vocals from Emma and a catchy chorus. 'Mr Jones' is a meaty instrumental with strong guitar and drums.

The storming cover of Fats' I'm Ready' has the addition of a sax, presumably Kenny Tomlinson, but the basic packaging has no session details. The vocals are solid and with two hot sax and guitar solos it's another winner. This is a cracking single that is easy to recommend.
Press Archive - Carl Perkins - Discovering Carl Perkins - Eastview, Tennesse 1952-1953 (LP, 10inch) - Now Dig This
The nine tracks are on 10" white vinyl but also a "free bonus CD", and are joined by a 16-page booklet with detailed, authoritative notes by Hank Davis, Shawn Pitts and Scott Parker. There are period photos, too, plus shots of the four acetate labels. The front cover features an image of Carl with W.S. Holland taken in 1953. This is a superb release of historical performance that will please both hardcore Perkins and rockabilly fans alike. The initial 2000 print run had sold out within days of it being released; it's currently being repressed as I write. Carl Perkins' status as the ultimate rockabilly performer is elevated even further - if that's remotely possible - with this release. His claims of having been performing rockabilly in its purest form way before it reached a wider audience are on display for all to hear.
Presse Archiv - Billy Fury Wondrous Place - The Brits Are Rocking - Now Dig This
He did, however, cut one of his own the following July, the superb, dark and moody 'Don't Jump'. Lesser-known items include a trio of originals, the soulful 'If I Lose You' from November '61, the r'n'b stroller 'Keep Away' and the somewhat average 'What Did I Do' from the January '63 session that yielded the 'Billy Fury & The Tor-nados' EP. 'Twist Kid' pre-dates the beat groups that were just about to pop their mopped heads over the horizon. The five tracks from the semi-live April 1963 session with The Tornados and 500 teenage girls show that Fury was still a rocker at heart despite the flow of ballads being released. From the same year we get a great version of LaVern Baker's 'Bumble Bee'. By the time of his most recent recording here, March 1964, Billy's backing band was The Gamblers and their heavier sound was evident on recordings like 'The Hippy Hippy Shake' and the one included here, a barnstorming take on 'Nothin' Shakin". I commend Bear Family on the brilliant job they've done here, from the sleeve-notes to the choice of recordings.
Presse Archiv - Various Artists Blues Kings Of Baton Rouge (2-CD) - Now Dig This
That Reed groove was really taken to heart down in Baton Rouge, and it made the world a better place. Most of the blues here are good, but the main interest is in that swamp feel, uptempo or slower. The booklet by Martin Hawkins is excellent, and purchase is recommended to those who enjoy black American authentic music, and can take some of the folkier sounds and acoustic blues.
Presse Archiv - The Ventures Play Telstar - The Lonely Bull - now dig this
No stran-gers to a concept album, this one was a set of cover versions of well-known, hit instrumentals from both their peers within the surf rock fraternity and the more standard pop field. The liner notes to the American release reassure the listeners that all the songs have been 'Venture-originated', adding that "they handclap, finger-pop and foot-stomp their way through what may be the most exciting album of their exciting careers"! While none of the covers replace the need for your originals by the likes of The Tornados, Sandy Nel-son, The Champs, The Shadows or Johnny & The Hurricanes, all the versions here are bang on the money and work really well. You'd expect nothing less but what's especially pleasing are the covers of Herb Alpert's 'The Lonely Bull' and Bob Moore's 'Mexico', both soaked in Latin rhythms and guitars. This sort of high-end 'Top Of The Pops' compilation appealed to the masses and it peaked at No.8 on the album charts in the States, becoming their highest placed long-player and also gaining gold record status.

This latest instalment of the ongoing Vinyl Club Exclusive series comes in a vivid red vinyl and the pressing is limited to the usual 500 copies - check out how they've adapted the label to incorporate Bear Family into the Liberty logo...very neat. Highly recommended.
Presse Archiv - Autumn Leaves – 29 Gems for the Indian Summer -Now Dig This
VARIOUS ARTISTS Autumn Leaves -29 Gems For The Golden Season Of Indian Summer Bear Family BCD 17503
Bear Family love their 'themed' compilations and here's another one, this time featuring 29 'weather' songs; in partic-ular from the latter part of the year that precedes winter. The booklet's intro-duction is almost a review in itself: "Welcome to the scenery of autumn. We'd like you to escape with us into the world of falling leaves, colourful woods, rain and thunderstorms, the warmth of the Indian sum-mer, and of course the melancholy of the fall sea-son!
Press Archive - The Best Of Little Richard !! (LP, 10inch, Ltd.) - now dig this
A faithful, detailed reworking of the rare 1953 RCA album (LPM 3167), this 10" reissue comes in Gretsch guitar orange vinyl on a limited 500 copy run. The Country All Stars were the brain child of Chet Atkins and were Jerry Byrd on steel guitar, Dale Potter on fiddle and Homer & Jethro on guitar and mandolin the music. As the title suggests, it's a compilation delving into the Specialty back catalogue. I love the track listing which doesn't just plum for the big hits like 'Tutti Frutti', 'Rip It Up' or 'The Girl Can't Help It', but instead includes a couple of slightly lesser-known items. The earliest things here are the sublime 'True Fine Mama' and 'Kansas City' from a November 1955 session at Radio Recorders in Hollywood. cut with Guitar Slim's band, and they feature more backing vocals than future recordings.

The rest come from sessions at either the J&M Studios in New Orleans with the likes of Alvin 'Red' Tyler, Lee Allen and Earl Palmer, or in Los Angeles at Master Recorders with Grady Gaines and Charles Conner. While Joe Public thinks of Little Richard's sound as the piano-driving rock n roll of 'Good Golly Miss Molly' or 'Lucille', we know, as this comp shows, there's more to him than that. For every manic rocker like 'She Knows How To Rock Me' or 'Ooh! My Soul' there's a beautiful ballad like 'Send Me Some Lovin" or an r'n'b pleader like 'Miss Ann'. It's preaching to the converted here, so all I need say is that the sound quality is fabulous, this series deserves your support and if gold vinyl is yer thang, this is an album you'll just have to own.

Presse Archiv - Various Artists - The Bakersfield Sound 1940 - 1974 - THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Presse Archiv - Various Artists - The Bakersfield Sound 1940 - 1974 - allmusic
Buck Owens turned Bakersfield, California into the epicenter of hip country music in the mid-1960s. All it took was a remarkable streak of number one singles that steamrolled right through Nashville with their electrified twang, forever changing the notion of what constituted country music and codifying the Bakersfield sound as hard-driving rhythms, trebly Telecasters and lean arrangements suited for honky tonks, beer joints and jukeboxes all across America. Half a century later, these remain sonic signifiers of Bakersfield, so the term no longer conveys a specific sounds, place and era—a situation the weighty Bear Family box The Bakersfield Sound: Country Music Capital Of The West 1940-1974 intends to rectify.
Presse Archiv - Various Artists - The Bakersfield Sound 1940 - 1974 - audiophilereview.com
These 10 CDs will keep your ears busy picking out old and new favorites, and the accompanying book is a great read by itself. Ken Burns got it right on film, but the Bear Family’s taped archives are just as important and entertaining for capturing this era of country music history, as a standalone piece or an accompaniment.
Presse Archiv - Various Artists - The Bakersfield Sound 1940 - 1974 - audiophilereview.com
These 10 CDs will keep your ears busy picking out old and new favorites, and the accompanying book is a great read by itself. Ken Burns got it right on film, but the Bear Family’s taped archives are just as important and entertaining for capturing this era of country music history, as a standalone piece or an accompaniment.
Presse Archiv - Various Artists - The Bakersfield Sound 1940 - 1974 - audiophilereview.com
These 10 CDs will keep your ears busy picking out old and new favorites, and the accompanying book is a great read by itself. Ken Burns got it right on film, but the Bear Family’s taped archives are just as important and entertaining for capturing this era of country music history, as a standalone piece or an accompaniment.
Presse Archiv - Various Artists - The Bakersfield Sound 1940 - 1974 - audiophilereview.com
Buck Owens' "Down On The Corner" was his first commercial recording from 1955 on the Pep Records label! Johnny Bond's "I Like That Kind" is a neat little rocker (and yes, there is plenty of borderline rock and rock-a-billy styling going on here amidst the country twang). 'Steady Lovin'" (probably by) Skeets McDonald is also a bit of rock 'n rollin' joy.

Guitarists will get a kick out of hearing the first single by Semie Mosley on Mos-Rite Records. Yes, that is the same Mos-Rite that went on to create acclaimed Mosrite Guitars brand that became popular with Surf guitar bands like The Ventures in the 1960s (and The Ramones in the 70s!). Here he breaks out "When The Saints Go Marching In."

And the set goes on like this. It is really interesting how in very short order you hear The Bakersfield Sound emerge across these recordings, sounding immediately more modern and more rocking than earlier Nashville based productions. Even on the modern productions found on the later discs in the set the Bakersfield flavors can be heard quite clearly.

Indeed, The Bakersfield Sound is not just about a style of music, its about an attitude and it comes across all of these tracks.

This collection is essential listening if you love Country Western music.
Press - Fats Domino I’ve Been Around - The Complete Imperial and ABC Recordings - offbeat.com
Bear Family Records is releasing a new box set, I’ve Been Around, which offers access to 312 tracks from the New Orleans singer-pianist Fats Domino. The set includes Domino’s work with Imperial Records (recordings from 1948-1962) and–collected for the first time in a Bear Family Records set–Domino’s ABC-Paramount Records sessions (recordings from 1963-1965). Also included are originally unreleased takes, undubbed masters and unreleased instrumental backing tracks, making this set a must-have for any collectors interested in Domino’s life and work.

Besides Domino’s iconic music, I’ve Been Around includes both a 60-minute and 90-minute cut of the PBS American Masters documentary Fats Domino and the Birth of Rock ’n’ Roll, which was released in 2016 and includes interviews with the late Dave Bartholomew and Crescent City studio owner Cosimo Matassa. The set also includes a 240-page full-color book, filled with updated notes by biographer Rick Coleman, commentary by producers Hank Davis and Scott Parker, a complete Domino sessionography and a collection of previously unpublished pictures.

During the 1950s, Domino was the first R&B artist to gain recognition by the younger generation, bridging the gap between African-American and white audiences. By leaving indelible marks on the history of music–such as “Ain’t it a Shame,” “I’m in Love Again,” “Blue Monday,” “Blueberry Hill” and “I’m Walkin’”–Domino was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. On Oct. 24, 2017, Domino died at his home in Harvey, LA at the age of 89.
Press - Fats Domino I’ve Been Around - The Complete Imperial and ABC Recordings - the Vinyl District
The collection also contains a DVD including both the 60-minute broadcast version and the 90-minute director’s cut of the 2016 PBS American Masters documentary Fats Domino and the Birth of Rock ’n’ Roll. The film — which includes interviews with the late Dave Bartholomew and Crescent City engineer and studio owner Cosimo Matassa — was directed by Joe Lauro and written by Lauro and Rick Coleman.

Befitting the wide, deep scope of the set and reflecting Bear Family’s longstanding commitment to quality presentation, I’ve Been Around includes a full-color, hardcover, large-format book of 240 pages. It contains updated and extended notes by biographer Coleman; track-by-track commentary by producers Hank Davis and Scott Parker (who have been involved in more than 50 Bear Family projects); a comprehensive Domino Imperial sessionography and the most complete ABC-Paramount discography available to date; and many previously unpublished images.

In its dimensions and clothbound elegance, the box replicates the packaging of two previously released, widely acclaimed Bear Family boxes devoted to a pair of Domino’s fellow inaugural Rock Hall inductees: Chuck Berry’s Rock and Roll Music Any Old Way You Choose It, which compiled the singer-songwriter-guitarist’s complete studio recordings, and Jerry Lee Lewis’ What the Hell Else Do You Need?, the most extensive collection ever produced of the singer-pianist’s Sun Records material.
Press Archive - The Best Of Little Richard !! (LP, 10inch, Ltd.) - oldtimereview.co.uk
There was a period around ten years ago when I began to assess recordings made in the first wave of Rock n Roll. Everything from Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Chuck Berry to Buddy Holly passed through my speakers. Upon reaching the work of (Little) Richard Penniman, it took things to another level. From the moment the vocals blast from the grooves of the record, few can match the energy and eccentric style of Little Richard.

The 11000 series from Bear Family Records is a selection of limited edition vinyl reissues of rare and sometimes pricey vinyl collectibles. This new addition to the collection is a Japanese album from 1962 called ‘The Best Of Little Richard’; originally released on the London/King label. Limited to just 500 copies pressed on colored vinyl, is this 10″ record worth picking up?


The label of the 10″ vinyl reissue of ‘The Best Of Little Richard’ from Bear Family Records. Photograph: Jane Grandle.
When I got my hands on this release, the attention to detail was impressive. Comparing images of the rare original with this new version brings up very few differences. The reproduction of the artwork is convincing, with all Japanese text left in for authenticity. The change of the label logo is possibly the most striking alteration, but the Bear Family design fits comfortably. A colored vinyl does not really appeal to me, but I can appreciate the advantages; It distinguishes it from the original release and looks attractive.

Presse Archiv - Various Artists Tell It To Me - The Johnson City Sessions - Revisted (CD) - cashboxmusicreviews
Tell It To Me: Revisiting The Johnson City Sessions 1928-1929

Various Artists

Bear Family/MVD 2019

Review by David Bowling



It's time to climb into the time machine and visit a long-gone musical era. During the late 1920's and early 1930's, various record labels would visit different areas of the country, conduct musical try-outs, and then record the best of those who auditioned.

The Victor, Okeh, and Columbia labels all visited the Appalachian area of the United States. The best known of these auditions was Victor's 1927 Bristol Sessions, which produced the first commercial recordings of Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family. Several years later Columbia recorded 100 songs by various artists. While these sessions may not have produced any great stars; they do form a vital link to the development of American music.

Several years ago a 4-CD box set was released that included the entire Johnson City Sessions. Now Tell It To Me: Revisiting The Johnson City Session 1928-1929 has been issued. It is a more manageable release, in that it includes 26 tracks by 26 different artists.

While the artists contained on this CD have mostly disappeared into musical history; the music they left behind forms the beginnings of American country, bluegrass, and rockabilly music, and helped sow the seeds of rock and roll.

Songs and artists such as "When The Roses Bloom For The Bootlegger" by McVay & Johnson, "Just Over The River" by Garland Brothers & Grindstead, "Green Valley Waltz" by McCartt Brothers & Patterson, "Just Pickin'" by Roy Harvey & Leonard Copeland, "Buttermilk Blues" by Ellis Williams, and "The Battleship Maine" by Richard Harold are raw, basic, and recorded during a very non-technological age. The songs include guitars, fiddles, mandolins, banjos, washboards, spoons, and just about anything else that could be used to create sounds.

The sound is nowhere near modern standards. Recorded in an empty store building; every once in a while you can hear a train whistle or sounds from a lumber company in the background.

Whether this music will appeal to you depends on your commitment to the roots of American music. If you are so inclined, Tell It To Me: Revisiting The Johnson City Sessions 1928-1929 will be a treasure trove that leads to a captivating historical journey.

Rating: ****
Press - Fats Domino I’ve Been Around - The Complete Imperial and ABC Recordings - the second disc
Get ready to find your thrill, as Bear Family Records has announced the ultimate tribute to singer, pianist, and rock-and-roll pioneer Fats Domino. The new 12CD/1DVD box set I’ve Been Around is due on November 8. It’s packed with 312 tracks including all of Domino’s recordings for Imperial Records, the label on which he made his name and recorded his biggest hits from 1948-1962, and ABC-Paramount Records, where he continued turning out stellar work between 1963-1965. This being a Bear Family box, it also features a treasure trove of originally unreleased alternate takes, undubbed and unedited masters, and backing tracks.

With his brash, joyful piano pounding, New Orleans native Antoine “Fats” Domino Jr. was one of the first “crossover” artists to bridge the divide between R&B and pop in the 1950s. It’s no surprise that he was one of the first ten inductees in the first class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as he was a major influence on such artists as Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Elton John, Bobby Darin, and Randy Newman. All 61 of his R&B chart hits (including nine No. 1s) are present on Bear Family’s box, including his 37 top 40 crossover hits. These songs are still as familiar today as they were six decades ago: “Ain’t It a Shame,” “Blue Monday,” “I’m Walkin’,” and of course, “Blueberry Hill.” The original master tape to the latter, a No. 1 R&B/No. 2 pop smash, is badly damaged, but is presented in superior sound here as derived from a clean, original 78 RPM disk.
Press Archive - COUNTRY ALL-STARS String Dustin' (LP, 10inch, Ltd.) - oltimereview
5th October 2019 Jane Grandle 0 Comments Bear Family Records, Chet Atkins, Country All-Stars, Homer & Jethro, Homer Haynes, Jerry Byrd, Jethro Burns
From the moment the first number kicks in, Chet Atkins’ involvement is immediately obvious. But as Marie progresses it is plain to see that String Dustin’ is going to be a team effort.

The Country All-Stars were something of a super-group before super-groups. Chet Atkins, Homer Haynes, Jethro Burns, Charles Grean, Jerry Byrd, Dale Potter and Ernie Newton are names which will no doubt be familiar to many. Chet Atkins and Homer & Jethro are both big names as artists in the country world, while Byrd, Potter, Newton and others can be heard on hundreds of recordings made in the era.

This album could easily be dismissed as a novelty: merely a bunch of well known Nashville names put together to sell a record. But it is much more than that. Every artist brings something unique and wonderful. The contribution from all is required here to make the album what it is. A fine collection of instrumental renditions of some well known and some original songs, played by a team of brilliant musicians.

Although Country in flavour, it is also a firm contemporary of the warmest jazz of the era, even veering slightly towards rockabilly and rock and roll in places. The skill and versatility of the musicians are incredibly impressive, yet it all sounds so effortless.

Originally released on RCA Victor in 1953, there were only 8 tracks. Following the previous re-issue of these songs as part of a more extensive CD release consisting of 21 tracks, this limited edition vinyl includes two bonus songs, which feel like a perfect match to the original selection.
Press - Fats Domino I’ve Been Around - The Complete Imperial and ABC Recordings - goldminemag
Domino (1928-2017) was the first major artist to explode off the R&B charts and into the teenage consciousness during the 1950s. He made his mark both as a session pianist behind Big Joe Turner, Lloyd Price, and Smiley Lewis (whose work backed by the keyboardist is heard on I’ve Been Around) and as a star in his own right, notching hit after hit with his sunny vocalizing and romping, rolling work on the 88s.
He changed American music in the process by crafting universally popular songs that bridged the then seemingly vast chasm between African-American and white audiences. New Orleans bandleader Dave Bartholomew called him the “cornerstone” of rock ’n’ roll.
As biographer Rick Coleman noted in Blue Monday: Fats Domino and the Lost Dawn of Rock ’n’ Roll, the musician “[stepped] beyond blues and jazz to the crossroads of a new, wider world that he would help create both musically and socially.” In 1986 he was one of the 10 inaugural inductees in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Press - Fats Domino I’ve Been Around - The Complete Imperial and ABC Recordings - metal rules
Bear Family Records, the international gold standard for excellence in music reissues, offers the most in-depth look yet available at the groundbreaking R&B and rock ’n’ roll hits of the pioneering New Orleans singer-pianistFats Domino in its new box set I’ve Been Around, to be released November 8, 2019.

The monumental collection contains 312 tracks comprising all the Crescent City titan’s work forImperial Records, for which he cut his first and greatest hits from 1948-1962, and ABC-Paramount Records, his recording home from 1963-65. A motherlode of originally unreleased alternate takes, undubbed and unedited masters, and newly discovered instrumental backing tracks, is included.

Domino (1928-2017) was the first major artist to explode off the R&B charts and into the teenage consciousness during the 1950s. He made his mark both as a session pianist behind Big Joe Turner, Lloyd Price, and Smiley Lewis (whose work backed by the keyboardist is heard on I’ve Been Around) and as a star in his own right, notching hit after hit with his sunny vocalizing and romping, rolling work on the 88s.

He changed American music in the process by crafting universally popular songs that bridged the then seemingly vast chasm between African-American and white audiences. New Orleans bandleader Dave Bartholomew called him the “cornerstone” of rock ’n’ roll.

As biographer Rick Coleman noted in Blue Monday: Fats Domino and the Lost Dawn of Rock ’n’ Roll, the musician “[stepped] beyond blues and jazz to the crossroads of a new, wider world that he would help create both musically and socially.” In 1986 he was one of the 10 inaugural inductees in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Press - Fats Domino I’ve Been Around - The Complete Imperial and ABC Recordings - shepherdexpress.com
A case could be made for 1948 as the birthdate of rock and roll. "Okie Boogie," recorded that year by The Maddox Brothers and Rose, was western swing stripped to bedrock with a furiously pounding rhythm yanking the usually tragic pedal steel along for a reckless ride. Then again, a track by Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, "Seven Come Eleven," recorded in 1945 and also included in The Bakersfield Sound, also hints at rockabilly with its fierce slapping rhythm.

The Bakersfield Sound is a magnificently authoritative 10-CD box set whose heavily illustrated hardbound book contains artist bios and track-by-track notations. Wills was included in the set for his seminal influence on the country music scene that coalesced in the environs of Bakersfield, Calif. The city was a mecca for Dust Bowl refugees with farm fields and oil wells offering work for any man willing to roll up his sleeves. Honky-tonks were their place of refuge when the workday ended.

Bakersfield is recalled as an alternative to Nashville, and during the 1960s, it challenged the Tennessee town as country music's capital. All of the folks whose recordings are collected here had aspirations of popularity, and some made it. To generalize the difference with Nashville, the Bakersfield boys (and several gals) were proud of their authentically rural roots and had no interest in hiding them behind slickly conceived pop arrangements.
Press Archive - Various Artists - The Bakersfield Sound 1940 - 1974 - themortonreport.com
There are also lots of fascinating obscurities, including many rarities from local labels. The program embraces Bill Woods & His Orange Blossom Playboys' 1949 single, "Have I Got a Chance with You," the first commercial release ever by a Bakersfield country group; a cover of the Kalin Twins' 1958 pop hit, "When," by Billy Mize and Cliff Crofford; songwriter Harland Howard's first recording; and bandleader Johnny Barnett's only single, which happens to also have the distinction of being the first commercially released song by Haggard. Also on the menu: Barbara Mandrell's first solo recording; no fewer than three tunes about Dear John letters; a song by country-rock guitarist Clarence White, who would go on to play with the Byrds; and much, much more.

As Bomar says in the liner notes, "We've tried to avoid too much of the obvious stuff you've heard a million times. You'll find some hits, but we've gravitated toward deep cuts, alternate takes, album tracks, live material, and even some rarities that have never been released until now."

The box set's accompanying LP-sized, 224-page hardcover book—which will probably take you at least as long to get through as the music—is nearly as rewarding as the recordings. It includes well-informed essays about the history of the Bakersfield sound, lots of rare photographs, biographies of all the artists, and notes on all the songs. Between the book and the music, there's more than enough here to give you a deep understanding of how this important genre emerged and evolved—and of the impact it has had on the wider world of country.
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