The Explosive Little Richard!was produced by Larry Williams for Okeh Records. They had both recorded for Specialty Records in the Fifties and weren’t strangers. Taking soul on rather than the music of the previous decade propelled the Okeh singles “The Commandments of Love", “Poor Dog" and their parent album into the charts. Richard and Williams made an infectious, powerhouse album which took the up-front, gospel-derived approach of Stax,
Gene Vincent Bluejean Bop! (10inch LP)
Gene Vincent And His Blue Caps Bluejean Bop! BEAR FAMILY. LP Blue vinyl facsimile of a rare 1956 Aussie 10-inch mixes whooping rock'n'rollers (Who Slapped John) with creditable standards (Jezebel, Up A Lazy River). Two bonus cuts muddy the concept, but sound fab. 1H
By royal Command didn't want these song, was wrong, says Andrew Male. Dan Penn **** Nobody's Fool
GIVEN THEIR deep knowledge of country, rock'n'roll, and blues, and the high quality of their compilations, it's odd that Bear Family Records have only recently entered the vinyl reissue market. This late arrival is partly down to the personal aesthetic of the label's founder, Richard Weise, but with Weise now retired the label lead off its vinyl imprint with an eclectic mix of releases, including The Ronettes' pre-Spector Colpix LP, an augmented 2-LP version of Little Richard's 1967 OKeh comeback album, The Explosive Little Richard, and a set of rare Trinidadian funk and soul 7-inches.
Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup **** A Music Man Like Nobody Ever Saw
BEAR FAMILY. CD
A rocking big box of the Big Boy, 1942-62 Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup is probably best known for his jumping 1940s originals of two songs covered by Elvis, That's All Right and My Baby Left Me, but this excellent 5-CD box set comprehensively demon-strates that there was much more to him than that. A pro-lific songwriter whose material went on to be sung by numer-ous top-rank artists across various genres, a gutsy and distinctive vocalist and a pow-erful self-taught guitarist who was one of the first bluesmen to wield an electric, Crudup started his career at relatively sedate tempos, but really
“What The Hell Else Do You Need?”
“Pretty fly for a white guy,” I summarized Jerry Lee Lewis most of my life—but always at the tail end of my summation of those Rock And Roll Grandaddies. Elvis was Elvis, I would say, and that needed no further explanation. Roy Orbison had the voice. Bo Diddley had the humor. Hank Williams had the desperation. Chuck Berry had the storytelling. And Little Richard, Lord save us, Little Richard sounded like a locomotive getting ready to run us over. And Jerry Lee had something. Just not quite that much something.
This is 18 CDs later, I surrender. This is everything Jerry Lee cut before his original Sun contract ran out in 1963. Listening to the man and company build a song, take by take, examining options and wincing at bloopers, the man egan to take wavery shape over my file cabinet.
I have, in fairness, never listened to 18 CDs from any of the others above. But I surfaced hearing a man with most of Little Richard’s ferocity, a man who sang surer than Williams, wider and deeper than Diddley, much looser than Berry, with an uncanny knack for song to beat Orbison. Elvis? Elvis remains Elvis. But Elvis sung starchy by 1963. Jerry Lee had of course ruined his career; if you’re reading this I bet you know how. But the frightening fullness of humanity, everything a man can be, remains.