Entertainment Weekly - 8/11/00, p.83
"...These songs leap from the speakers like half-crazed, priapic cartoons..." - Rating: B+
Producers include: Don Law, Grady Martin, Norman Petty, Frank Jones, Joe Maphis.
Compilation producers: Eddie Gorodetsky, Bruce Dickenson.
Recorded between 1955 & 1959. Includes liner notes by Eddie Gorodetsky.
Digitally remastered by Mark Wilder (Sony Music Studios, New York, New York).
In the 1950s there was a wild fusion music that shocked and scandalized the world, and laid the groundwork for rock & roll: it was called rockabilly. A mutant variant of country music (then often referred to as "hillbilly"), raw and laced with the electricity of the blues and the romp of boogie woogie, it was the sound that gave birth to Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins's careers and gave the Beatles powerful inspiration. WHISTLE BAIT collects 25 early-to-mid-'50s prime rockabilly gems from the vaults of Okeh and Columbia.
Highlights include: the wild, scary guitar work of Little Jimmy Dickens' "I Got a Hole in My Pocket"; the hopped-up, stripped-down honky-tonk of Johnny Horton's "I'm Coming Home"; and the scorching, almost berserk "Bop-A-Lena" by Ronnie Self, which makes the Cramps sound like Garth Brooks. There are also a few tunes by country performers Freddie Hart, Lefty Frizzell and Marty Robbins trying their hand at rockabilly, and they don't do badly at all. This set is highly recommended to rockabilly collectors, music fans who want to investigate the roots of rock & roll and non-Nashville country, and rockers who think there was nothing going on before 1965.