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Demented Rockabilly

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:40 am
by Adam Blake
John's tribute to Joe Clay started me thinking how much I like this. That mad combination of youthful enthusiasm, amphetamines, alcohol, deranged lust and that inimitable American can-do spirit - all brought to bear on a brand new music. It's exhilarating stuff, folks.

I think my all time favourite is this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQMtin7p-X0

And this one is rightfully legendary:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zgsIdMa8qA

(Apparently Pat Boone was responsible for the existence of that record, which redeems him completely in my view.)

And the closest The King got to the genre that owed so much to him:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92iwC-xI3mE

John Lennon famously stole the viciously misogynistic lyrics but I must admit I prefer the lines:
"You may go to college, you may go to school
You may have a pink cadillac but don't you be nobody's fool".

Sage advice.

Any more for any more?

Re: Demented Rockabilly

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:24 pm
by Ted
Warren Smith's Cadillac was so large that it had hinges in the middle...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jq2kqNTHejM

Re: Demented Rockabilly

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:34 pm
by Adam Blake
New one on me. Cheers, Ted.

Re: Demented Rockabilly

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:31 pm
by NormanD
"She's My Witch" - Kip Tyler
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAxT8USP ... re=related

You probably know this one, "The Fickle Chicken"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYFLSux9 ... ure=fvwrel

Re: Demented Rockabilly

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:40 pm
by Hugh Weldon
Stan Getz, improbably, on lead guitar. A different one evidently. 1 min 36 secs of mild dementia.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AROxYmDA ... re=related

Re: Demented Rockabilly

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:50 pm
by Adam Blake
Oh yes, that's the stuff! Where has that Kip Tyler record BEEN all my life? It's so mean! And that one you posted, Hugh. Radical chord changes.

I've always been very fond of this one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuYWvounKck

And this one has the great lines: "don't make me nervous, I'm holding a baseball bat" which, I think, originate from "Shake, Rattle and Roll"; but somehow, here, the threat seems infinitely closer at hand.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Il7i8KkKVM

Re: Demented Rockabilly

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:08 pm
by john poole
Here's another with Hal Harris, the lead guitar on 'Duck Tail' by Joe Clay, this time also the artist/singer - 'Jitterbop Baby' (recorded 1958; unreleased for 20 years)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSbbWFZX ... re=related


http://www.rockabilly.nl/artists/halharris.htm
http://www.rockabilly.nl/references/mes ... harris.htm

Re: Demented Rockabilly

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:03 pm
by Adam Blake
Thanks, John. We could be here for awhile!

Rockabilly is very much a guitar player's music, but here's that old Ferriday, Louisiana monster when he was young with a (dis)honourable exception.

("lemme tell ya sump'n baby I'm a gonna give you some good news...")

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNzEM-XwuiE

So, is it fair to say that Rockabilly is exclusively from the South?

Re: Demented Rockabilly

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:40 pm
by judith
Adam Blake wrote:
So, is it fair to say that Rockabilly is exclusively from the South?


...and Texas. West Texas is proud of their rock and roll heritage. (Note: In my experience, Texans are likely to be 'Texans' - confederacy, geography, and politics notwithstanding.)
http://raicesdelsonido.blogspot.com/200 ... otten.html

Was Bill Haley rockabilly? He wasn't from the south. By the way, I just now discovered his mother was English.

Re: Demented Rockabilly

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:58 pm
by Adam Blake
judith wrote:Was Bill Haley rockabilly?


This is the kind of question that needs addressing. Was he? It's hard to say. Instinct says no, but logic asks why not? Too much Louis Jordan? Too much reliance on brass riffs? Tough call.

Re: Demented Rockabilly

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:46 pm
by Hugh Weldon
'Honey Hush' (covered I recall by Costello) leads me inevitably to 'Honey Don't' (covered of course by Ringo). Carl Perkins of course.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlfcwcp9bBA

Some great TV clips of him on youtube. 'Matchbox'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Du4yLdNMuQ

Re: Demented Rockabilly

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:01 am
by NormanD
No, IM(not so H)O, Bill Haley was not rockabilly. His was a western swing country band that hit it hard once in a while. The sax player, bassist, and guitarist had years of playing experience, developing their jazz licks and solo runs. He was not the force of rebellion but, for a while, the leading face of an alternate music phase that the industry assumed would die out once calypso, rumba, or the hula-hoop surpassed rock 'n' roll. Sure, he inspired some jiving in UK cinema aisles and caused apoplexy to local watch committees, but he was never a teenage rebel. He was podgy, staid, and seemed to be going for the acceptance of the mums and dads.

Re: Demented Rockabilly

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:02 am
by Adam Blake
Haley was not demented. He didn't sound like he was hot-wired on bathtub moonshine and slimming pills. He sounded professional and in control of his emotions. For these reasons, I would say he is not rockabilly.

But maybe these gradations are the inventions of UK (and French and Dutch) obsessives. In the land where it came from, is there much of a difference between rock'n'roll and rockabilly? Is what WE call rockabilly what Americans call rock'n'roll when it's played by a bunch of insane speedfreaks from Arkansas?

Re: Demented Rockabilly

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:42 am
by Rob Hall
Adam Blake wrote:Haley was not demented. He didn't sound like he was hot-wired on bathtub moonshine and slimming pills.

I was going to reply something along the lines of what Norman has said, but I realised that I didn't really know that much about the guy, so I looked him up in Wikipedia. It turns out that he struggled with alcoholism for most of his life and, towards the end, developed mental health issues that might or might not have been related to his alcoholism. Not that any of this, imo, makes him rockabilly. On the other hand, your point regarding our view of these things compared to that of our American cousins is a good one; but we can only see with our own eyes, grasshopper.

Re: Demented Rockabilly

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:42 am
by john poole
Adam Blake wrote:So, is it fair to say that Rockabilly is exclusively from the South?
Pretty much south of the Mason-Dixon Line I would think, although it did exist (to some extent at least) out West in Arizona & California, and some records came from up North in Chicago - probably by musicians who had migrated from the South (as many of Chicago's bluesmen). Here's 'Jello Sal' by Benny Ingram (1958) on the Bandera label (which I believe was the first to record Jerry Butler &Curtis Mayfield with the Impressions)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPvH10-PAKM
http://acerecords.co.uk/bandera-rockabi ... ntry-roots

We can't have a collection of "demented rockabilly" without including Sun Records' wild man Sonny Burgess - I've posted 'We Wanna Boogie' (1956) before, so here's an alternate take, with the Pacers, possibly the only rockabilly band to include a trumpet player
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2W77fFJW4jQ

I first heard Sonny Burgess on the 1973 Philips LP "Sun Rockabillys" - which may have been the first various artists rockabilly compilation - certainly the first one I bought - thankfully issued in mono rather than horible electronic stereo as most reissues were at the time. Carl Perkins' 'Put Your Cat Clothes On' was the title track - recorded at the same 1956 session as 'Matchbox' with Jerry Lee Lewis on piano, it remained unreleased until the 70s, when Carl said that he couldn't remember the song or having recorded it
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1mQcvQviSw
this is possibly an alt. take too

Possibly Chuck Berry was closer to rockabilly than Bill Haley??