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Smiley Lewis Smiley Lewis - Rocks (CD)

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1-CD-Album Digipak (6-plated) with 24-page booklet, 36 tracks. Playing time approx. 86 mns. The... more

Smiley Lewis: Smiley Lewis - Rocks (CD)

1-CD-Album Digipak (6-plated) with 24-page booklet, 36 tracks. Playing time approx. 86 mns.

The most comprehensive single-disc collection available of Smiley Lewis rocking 1950s output for Imperial.

Features the brilliant Studio Band at Cosimo Matassa's New Orleans studio: saxists Lee Allen and Herbert Hardesty, drummer Earl Palmer, pianists Edward Frank and Huey Smith, and trumpeter/producer Dave Bartholomew among them. Contains both scorching versions of Shame, Shame, Shame, many equally fabulous rockers, like Bumpity Bump and Smiley Lewis' classic originals I Hear You Knocking and
One Night, covered by Gale Storm and Elvis Presley respectively. Boasting a booming vocal delivery, Smiley Lewis was one of the seminal performers on the 1950s New Orleans R&B scene. The charts didn't reflect just how spectacular Smiley Lewis' 1950s output for Imperial Records was. 

Under the savvy aegis of producer/songwriter Dave Bartholomew and featuring the Crescent City's top studio sidemen, Smiley Lewis made some of the most blistering rockers of his era. Yet only a handful of them were national hits; his classic original I Hear You Knocking was victimized by a puerile Gale Storm cover that killed his pop crossover potential, and Elvis Presley latched onto One Night, cleaned it up, and sold a lot more copies than Smiley Lewis ever did. Why She's Got Me Hook, Line And Sinker, Bumpity Bump, Rootin' And Tootin', and Shame, Shame, Shame weren't hits during rock 'n' roll's primordial age we'll never know.

Bear Family's jam-packed single-disc collection of Smiley Lewis greatest rockers showcases his huge, wall-shaking voice (reminiscent of Big Joe Turner's on the bluesier early stuff) on a non-stop barrage of rockers ranging from 1950 to 1958. Dave Bartholomew was Smiley Lewis best source for material, writing most of his most memorable releases, though Smiley Lewis penned a few of his own early on.
Even Little Richard would be envious of some of these houserockers, with tenor saxman Lee Allen wailing and drummer Earl Palmer stoking the romping rhythm like a locomotive. This is the most comprehensive single-disc Smiley Lewis collection on the market!

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Article properties: Smiley Lewis: Smiley Lewis - Rocks (CD)

  • Interpret: Smiley Lewis

  • Album titlle: Smiley Lewis - Rocks (CD)

  • Genre Rock'n'Roll

  • Label Bear Family Records

  • Year of publication 2010
  • Price code AR
  • Deluxe Edition
  • Artikelart CD

  • EAN: 4000127166760

  • weight in Kg 0.2
Lewis, Smiley - Smiley Lewis - Rocks (CD) CD 1
01 Shame, Shame, Shame Smiley Lewis
02 Big Mamou Smiley Lewis
03 Ain't Gonna Do It Smiley Lewis
04 Down The Road Smiley Lewis
05 The Bells Are Ringing Smiley Lewis
06 Can't Stop Loving You Smiley Lewis
07 Ooh La La Smiley Lewis
08 My Baby Was Right Smiley Lewis
09 Blue Monday Smiley Lewis
10 Dirty People Smiley Lewis
11 Jailbird Smiley Lewis
12 Where Were You Smiley Lewis
13 Real Gone Lover Smiley Lewis
14 Bumpity Bump Smiley Lewis
15 I Hear You Knocking Smiley Lewis
16 Sad Life Smiley Lewis
17 Come On Smiley Lewis
18 Bee's Boogie Smiley Lewis
19 Queen Of Hearts Smiley Lewis
20 Lillie Mae Smiley Lewis
21 One Night Smiley Lewis
22 Caldonia's Party Smiley Lewis
23 Nothing But The Blues Smiley Lewis
24 She's Got Me Hook, Line & Sinker Smiley Lewis
25 Rootin' And Tootin' Smiley Lewis
26 Please Listen To Me Smiley Lewis
27 Down Yonder We Go Ballin' Smiley Lewis
28 No Letter Today Smiley Lewis
29 Mama Don't Like Smiley Lewis
30 Play Girl Smiley Lewis
31 Go On Fool Smiley Lewis
32 Goin' To Jump And Shout Smiley Lewis
33 Bad Luck Blues Smiley Lewis
34 School Days Are Back Again Smiley Lewis
35 Lil Liza Jane Smiley Lewis
36 Shame, Shame, Shame! Smiley Lewis
Smiley Lewis For a guy sporting one of the jolliest stage names in all of New Orleans,... more
"Smiley Lewis"

Smiley Lewis

For a guy sporting one of the jolliest stage names in all of New Orleans, Smiley Lewis didn't have a whole lot to grin  about over the course of his prolific recording career, despite making some of the hottest rocking platters ever cut in the Crescent City under the savvy direction of Imperial Records A&R head Dave Bartholomew. As the vaunted Studio Band at Cosimo Matassa's recording facility melted the walls with their sizzling backing, Smiley roared with a full-throated gusto similar to that of blues shouter supreme Big Joe Turner, with whom he staged a few local onstage 'Battle of the Blues' promotions during the early '50s.

Despite his booming pipes, equally suited to belting jumping blues, blistering rockers, or sentimental ballads, Lewis somehow only managed to dent the R&B charts four times (at least Turner temporarily managed to cash in during rock and roll's primordial wave, even guesting in one of the era's first quickie rock flicks). Smiley's best hope of crossing over to the pop hit parade the way his labelmate Fats Domino did time and again was dashed when pop chanteuse Gale Storm blandly covered his R&B smash I Hear You Knocking in the fall of 1955 for Dot Records, a company that made a habit of such sanitized travesties. Poor Smiley's vastly superior original, anchored by Huey Smith's splendid in-the-cracks piano, never stood a chance.

"Smiley, he was a very nice guy, and a beautiful, big, big voice," said Bartholomew. "But Smiley, I don't know, it looked like he was bad luck. Because other people would pick up his tunes after he recorded 'em and made million-sellers out of 'em. Smiley just could only get maybe 2 or 300,000 out of each record. So as a result, he was pretty big in certain parts of the country. He was very big in the South, and around New York he would sell some, you know. But he wasn't a constant seller. I just couldn't-–I could never understand Smiley. A very good artist."

I Hear You Knocking wasn't the only time that a song Smiley had introduced on Imperial was borrowed by another artist who fared considerably better with it. Bartholomew was also Domino's Imperial producer and songwriting partner, and he recycled several songs he'd originally given Lewis with the Fat Man, the results usually proving far more lucrative for everyone concerned except Smiley. Elvis Presley was similarly aware of the value of the Lewis songbook. He took Smiley's lusty 1956 R&B hit One Night, where he longed for "one night of sin," and toned the lyrics down into a "one night with you" scenario that proved a '58 pop smash.

"Smiley was the hard-luck guy of the studio, you know? Even when he had recordings that got done, other people covered them and had better financial success with them," said Matassa. "It was kind of rough in that sense. It was a case that (the teenagers) didn't hear the other one." There was a silver lining: the publishing royalties accrued to Bartholomew either way. "The white guys were getting the airplay," noted Cosimo. "So, bad as it was, it was pretty good."

According to Social Security records, Overton Amos Lemons was born July 5, 1918 (his death certificate listed his birth year as 1920; 1913 was cited in Bear Family's four-CD Lewis boxed set 'Shame, Shame, Shame') in DeQuincy, Louisiana. Located 22 miles from Lake Charles, where Eddie Shuler's Goldband label issued a slew of seminal bayou blues and Cajun platters, DeQuincy sits near the Texas border, approximately 140 miles from Houston.

Overton spent at least part of his youth in a town called West Lake, another neighbor of Lake Charles. But sometime in his mid-teens, his second wife Dorothy Ester Lemons told interviewer Rick Coleman in the liner notes to 'Shame, Shame, Shame,' the lad hopped aboard a freight train passing through town with some of his pals. The others soon leaped off but Overton stayed on, riding the rails all the way to New Orleans and remaining there. A white family reportedly took the teenager in and raised him. During the '30s, he grew polished enough on guitar and vocals to link up with trumpeter Thomas Jefferson's band, whose members also included pianist Isidore 'Tuts' Washington, Jr.

Born January 24, 1907 in New Orleans, Washington started out playing with Dixieland bands in his early teens. He developed quite a local reputation for his piano skills long before laying eyes on Lemons. Jefferson's aggregation played classy local nightspots including the Gypsy Tea Room and the Court of Two Sisters. The versatile young Lemons styled himself as a troubadour, strolling from table to table to serenade the patrons. His voice was so powerful that a microphone was quite unnecessary, and he could croon sweet ballads by the Ink Spots or Bing Crosby as convincingly as earthier fare, depending on the situation and the venue.

Overton married for the first time in late 1938. It's been suggested that he picked up the nickname of Smiley because he was lacking front teeth in his pre-fame days, though it was also noted that the short young singer smiled a lot. The Lewis sobriquet may have stemmed from the white family that unofficially adopted him, but that remains unclear. He was a hard worker in those days, driving trucks or shoeing horses when he wasn't performing on local bandstands. Tuts Washington convinced clarinetist Kid Ernest, his bandleader in 1942, to hire Lewis as the group's vocalist. After a couple of years with that aggregation, Smiley and Tuts put together their own trio with drummer Herman Seals, born December 29, 1921.

By August of 1947, 'Smiling' Lewis, as he was then billed, was popular enough locally to headline Frank Painia's famous Dew Drop Inn on LaSalle Street, where all the visiting R&B stars came by to party after finishing their own shows, along with Bartholomew's orchestra. Notably, his repertoire was studded with Joe Turner hits of the time. Brothers David and Jules Braun of Linden, New Jersey-based DeLuxe Records had begun venturing down to the Crescent City at the beginning of '47 to record budding local talent. They were basically the first indie label men to hit town and tap into its incredible talent pool, and DeLuxe hit the jackpot with pianist Paul Gayten's torchy treatment of Since I Fell For You with Annie Laurie his vocalist and Roy Brown's original Good Rockin' Tonight.

Smiley Lewis Smiley Lewis - Rocks
Read more at: https://www.bear-family.com/lewis-smiley-smiley-lewis-rocks.html
Copyright © Bear Family Records

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Customer evaluation for "Smiley Lewis - Rocks (CD)"
8 May 2017

Rockt !!!

8 May 2017

You ain't nothin' but a Play Girl

All his rocking' sides in brilliant sound quality - pure fun to listen to! Great New Orleans Rhythm & Blues all the way.

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Tracklist
Lewis, Smiley - Smiley Lewis - Rocks (CD) CD 1
01 Shame, Shame, Shame
02 Big Mamou
03 Ain't Gonna Do It
04 Down The Road
05 The Bells Are Ringing
06 Can't Stop Loving You
07 Ooh La La
08 My Baby Was Right
09 Blue Monday
10 Dirty People
11 Jailbird
12 Where Were You
13 Real Gone Lover
14 Bumpity Bump
15 I Hear You Knocking
16 Sad Life
17 Come On
18 Bee's Boogie
19 Queen Of Hearts
20 Lillie Mae
21 One Night
22 Caldonia's Party
23 Nothing But The Blues
24 She's Got Me Hook, Line & Sinker
25 Rootin' And Tootin'
26 Please Listen To Me
27 Down Yonder We Go Ballin'
28 No Letter Today
29 Mama Don't Like
30 Play Girl
31 Go On Fool
32 Goin' To Jump And Shout
33 Bad Luck Blues
34 School Days Are Back Again
35 Lil Liza Jane
36 Shame, Shame, Shame!