Contains Columbia label recordings from the mid-1950's and a 12 page booklet.
Personnel: Marty Robbins, Ray Edonton (vocals, guitar); Jimmy Rollins, Joe Knight, Chet Atkins, Thomas Grady Martin, Louis T. Innis, Hillous Butrum, Walter Garland, Jack H. Pruett, Bobby Sykes (guitar); Joe M. Vincent, James E. Farmer (steel guitar); Johnny Gimble, Donald Slayman, Cecil L. Brower, Dale Pottter, Grover Lavender (fiddle); Floyd Cramer (piano, organ); Harold Carmack, James Roye Hall, Owen Bradley (piano); Grundy Harbert, Bob L. Moore, Floyd T. Chance (bass); Fred G. Cantu, Farris Coursey, Jimmy Gossett, Louis Dunn (drums).
Reissue producer: Richard Weize.
Recorded at Castle Studio on May 23 and December 7, 1954, Bradley Studios on August 9 and November 3, 1955, Music City Recording on March 13 and September 4, 1956, Bradley Film & Recording on May 13, 1958, Nashville, Tennessee; Jim Beck Studio, Dallas, Texas on September 19, 1953 and May 29, 1954. Includes liner notes by Colin Escott.
Personnel: Marty Robbins (vocals, guitar); Ray Edenton (vocals, guitar); Chet Atkins, Jimmy Rollins, Jack Pruett, Hillous Butrum, Grady Martin, Joe Knight , Hank Garland, Louis Innis, Bobby Sykes (guitar); Joe Vincent, James Farmer (steel guitar); Dale Potter, Donald Slayman, Johnny Gimble, Grover Lavender, Cecil Brower (fiddle); Floyd Cramer (piano, organ); Harold Carmack, Owen Bradley (piano); Jimmy Gossett, Fred Cantu, Louis Dunn, Farris Coursey (drums).
Audio Mixer: Mark Wilder.
Liner Note Author: Colin Escott.
Recording information: Bradley Film & Recording Studio, Nashville, TN (09/19/1953-05/13/1958); Bradley Studios, Nashville, TN (09/19/1953-05/13/1958); Castle Studio, Nashville, TN (09/19/1953-05/13/1958); Jim Beck Studio, Dallas, TX (09/19/1953-05/13/1958); Music City Recording, Nashville, TN (09/19/1953-05/13/1958).
Illustrator: R.A. Andreas.
Photographer: R.A. Andreas.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Hank Garland; Marty Robbins.
In Bear Family's atypically exhaustive fashion, the label has gone to the vaults to track down all of Marty Robbins' pre-rock & roll sides from 1953 ("It's a Long Ride") and 1954 ("Call Me Up"), as well as four bluesed-out cuts from that year that remained shelved until after his death in 1982, to the 1955-1957 rockabilly material. There are 19 cuts here, and they are sequenced according to rock & roll aesthetic rather than chronologically. And this makes sense, as "It's a Long Long Ride" is as much a honky tonk and Western swing tune as it is a rockabilly number. What makes it rock & roll at all is the shivering, reckless energy in the vocal -- something uncommon in a Robbins recording of any stripe. "Pain and Misery" from the long-lost session is a rollin' and strollin' blues with bent guitar strings and a solid rock & roll shuffle. But when Robbins recut "That's All Right Mama" a mere six months after Elvis in 1955, the wheels were off. And that's what spills from this compilation, the skipping, driving country rockabilly from 1955 and 1956 in tracks like "Pretty Mama," "Long Tall Sally," "I Can't Quit," "Knee Deep in the Blues," "Tennessee Toddy," and "Mister Teardrop," among others. Robbins' delivery could hold a tune on the rails, even when it threatened to roll off with his deeply emotive yet silvery croon that would sound insincere coming from anybody else. This is a stellar collection of 19 tracks with nary a weak one in the bunch. ~ Thom Jurek