- Released: October 4, 2005
- Label: Bear Family
Performers include: Carl Perkins, Johnny Horton, Ronnie Self, Collins Kids.
Personnel: Onie Wheeler (vocals, guitar, harmonica); Bobby Lord , Sidney Erwin, Jimmy Murphy, Lefty Frizzell, Little Jimmy Dickens, Marty Robbins, Ronnie Self, Rose Maddox, Wayne Walker, Werly Fairburn, Billy "Crash" Craddock, Billy Brown (vocals, guitar); Kenneth C. Don Maddox (vocals, fiddle); Derrell Felts, Freddie Hart (vocals); Edward O. Cletro (guitar, banjo); Bill Erwin, David L. White , Calvin Jackson , G.D. Tommy Tomlinson, Jack Parrish, John Robinson , Patrick Sullivan, Jack Pruett, Grady Martin, Leon M. Silby, Harold Bradley, Sam Pruett, Joseph Edwards, Joe Maphis, Johnny Bond, Ray Edenton, Tommy Hill , Merle Travis (guitar); Aubrey Leon Richardson (electric guitar); Alfie Joe "Jody" McCauley, Roland S. Ernie Ball, James Trammel, Charles Eugene ONeal, Johnny Silbert, James Farmer, Noel Boggs, Buddy Emmons (steel guitar); Dale Potter, Joseph A. DeRose, J.R. Jelly Sanders, Donald Slayman, Margie Ann Warren (fiddle); Edwin Carver (accordion, piano); Basil Henry Freeman, Jr., Andrew L. Goodrich, Scott Clinton (saxophone); James Royce Hall , Dudley Brooks, James A. "Jimmy" Pruett, Floyd Cramer, Marvin H. Hughes, Billy Woods, Vi Petty, Betty Lorene Riley, Owen Bradley, Bill Simmons (piano); Douglas Kirkham, D.J. Fontana, Jack Tysinger, Jr., William F. Pecchi, Farris Coursey (drums).
Liner Note Author: Colin Escott.
Recording information: Atlanta, GA; Bradley Film & Recording Studio, Nashville, TN; Castle Studio, Nashville, TN; Commercial Recording Studio, Dallas, TX; Jim Beck Studio, Dallas, TX; Music City Recording, Nashville, TN; Norman Petty Studio, Clovis, NM; Owen Bradley Studio, Nashville, TN; Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA.
Illustrator: R.A. Andreas.
Photographer: R.A. Andreas.
In the 1950s, Columbia Records was widely regarded as the most prestigious record label in America, as well as one of the most conservative, and they were relatively late to enter the rock & roll game. However, thankfully the label's Nashville branch wasn't nearly as cautious about such things as the home office in New York, and their subsidiary labels OKeh and Date were more than willing to pick up the slack, and as a result this compilation offers a lot more frantic early rockin' than some folks might expect. Ronnie Self kicks off the set with his classic "Ain't I'm a Dog," and his three tracks are the highlights here, though the Collins Kids run a close second with four outstanding tunes, including "I'm in My Teens" and the lascivious "Whistle Bait." While Carl Perkins' Columbia sides have never received the same acclaim as his early records for Sun, "Pink Pedal Pushers" and "Where the Rio de Rosa Flows" shows he was still picking up a storm and making with the rhythm, while Billy Brown's "Did We Have a Party" is a reverb-drenched one-off wonder. And a number of Columbia's top country acts cut great rockers in the 1950s, and Lefty Frizzell's "You're Humbuggin' Me," Marty Robbins' "Pretty Mama," and Rose Maddox's "Wild Wild Young Men" are all top-shelf stuff, with the Maddox Brothers closing out the package with the hilarious parody/tribute "The Death of Rock and Roll" (as well as the gotta-hear-it-to-believe-it "Ugly and Slouchy"). Bear Family have included well-written and informative liner notes on all the artists, and the remastering is strong throughout; this is one of the better installments in this consistently fine series, and anyone who digs classic rockabilly and early rock & roll will finds lots to like here. ~ Mark Deming