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Rockin Bones: 1950s Punk & Rockabilly

4.5 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 27, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The power and the passion of vintage rockabilly, revealed in Rockin Bones for the pure punk and roots-country fusion it was, packing a considerable wallop with its steady dangerous backbeat of rhythm and blues. In all its electric guitar-twanging, pop culture-changing glory, it is music born and bred in the USA and universal in its hell-bent, hip swiveling spirit. Rockabilly's inherent 'garage' aesthetic and rebellious underground cred have influenced alternative music since the mid-'50s. . . and it sounds better than ever on Rhino's unprecedented new boxed set.

The rawest '50s rock retains an irresistible pop culture gravity: indeed, the farther one moves away from it in time, the more compelling--and often intoxicatingly alien--it can seem. Produced with fervent devotion by Rhino roots-rock veteran James Austin and featuring a detailed, track-by-track annotation by rockabilly guru Colin Escott, the 101 tracks on these four discs (fully a third of them making their American CD debut) reinforce that notion at every turn. The oft-dizzy, lust-crazed music here argues that the set's "punk" appellation is but marketing-driven redundancy, even as the range of its rockabilly riches gratifyingly defies the attempts of the set's contributing pundits and musicians (including James Burton, the legendary axeman on many of the tracks, as well as Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Rev. Horton Heat, and The Blasters' Dave Alvin) to define the genre.

The set shrewdly uses expected contributions from Elvis, Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly, Link Wray, Jerry Lee, the Burnette brothers, and Gene Vincent as but familiar anchor points for a journey that bounces from coast to coast (and the UK, courtesy of Johnny Kidd's great "Shakin' All Over"), fueled by a high-octane brew of folk, country, and R&B on its ever-manic, guitar-driven thrill ride. Underappreciated pioneers like Bob Luman and Wanda Jackson are showcased along the way, as are early efforts by eventual stars in other genres (including Buck "Corky Jones" Owens, George "Thumper" Jones, and Canadian Ronnie Hawkins, later to become the Band). But it's the loopy, reverb and echo-drenched side of one-hit (and no-hit) wonders like Freddie and the Hitchikers' theremin-crazed "Sinners," sex romps like the Caraways' "Ballin' Keen," and John & Jackie's downright heated "Little Girl"--not to mention a virtual parking lot full of Cadillac tributes from Vince Taylor, Sonny Fisher, Larry Dowd, and Joyce Green--that are the true treasures of the set's pop archaeology. --Jerry McCulley

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Rockin' Bones - Ronnie Dawson
  2. Let's Go Baby - Billy Eldridge
  3. Baby Let's Play House - Elvis Presley
  4. Little Girl - John & Jackie
  5. Cat Man - Gene Vincent
  6. Lobo Jones - Jackie Gotroe
  7. Juvenile Delinquent - Ronnie Allen
  8. Froggy Went A Courting - Danny Dell
  9. Rattlesnake Daddy - Joe D. Johnson
  10. Down On The Farm - Al Downing
  11. Rockin' In The Graveyard - Jackie Morningstar
  12. Dancing Doll - Art Adams
  13. Long Blond Hair, Red Rose Lips - Johnny Powers
  14. Action Packed - Johnny Dollar
  15. Boppin' High School Baby - Don Willis
  16. Believe What You Say - Ricky Nelson
  17. Sunglasses After Dark - Dwight Pullen
  18. Rumble - Link Wray
  19. Down The Line - Buddy Holly
  20. Pink Cadillac - Larry Dowd
  21. Black Cadillac - Joyce Green
  22. Who's Been Here - Commonwealth Jones
  23. I Need A Man - Barbara Pittman
  24. Please Give Me Something - Bill Allen
  25. Sinners - Freddie And The Hitch-Hikers

Disc: 2

  1. Rock Around With Ollie Vee - Buddy Holly
  2. Lou Lou - Darrell Rhodes
  3. Rock Crazy Baby - Art Adams
  4. Love Bug Crawl - Jimmy Edwards
  5. Fool I Am - Pat Ferguson
  6. Red Hot - Bob Luman
  7. Love Me - The Phantom
  8. She's My Witch - Kip Tyler
  9. Lordy Hoody - Tommy Blake
  10. Bloodshot - The String Kings
  11. Trouble - Jackie DeShannon
  12. Hot Shot - Ronnie Pearson
  13. Long Gone Daddy - Pat Cupp
  14. Curfew - Steve Carl
  15. Put Your Cat Clothes On - Carl Perkins
  16. Pink And Black - Sonny Fisher
  17. Domino - Roy Orbison
  18. Jungle Rock - Hank Mizell
  19. Ubangi Stomp - Warren Smith
  20. Chicken Walk - Hasil Adkins
  21. Chicken Rock - Fat Daddy Holmes
  22. Eeny-Meeny-Miney-Moe - Bob And Lucille
  23. Shirley Lee - Bobby Lee Trammell
  24. Woman Love - Gene Vincent
  25. One Night Of Sin - Elvis Presley

Disc: 3

  1. Blue Suede Shoes - Carl Perkins
  2. Duck Tail - Joe Clay
  3. Stack-A-Records - Tom Tall
  4. Daddy-O-Rock - Jeff Daniels
  5. Move - Boyd Bennett
  6. Brand New Cadillac - Vince Taylor
  7. Rumble Rock - Kip Tyler
  8. Hep Cat - Larry Terry
  9. Cast Iron Arm - Peanuts Wilson
  10. Switch Blade Sam - Jeff Daniels
  11. Ballin' Keen - Boby & Terry Caraway
  12. Sweet Rockin' Baby - Sonny West
  13. Get Rhythm - Johnny Cash
  14. Rock Billy Boogie - Johnny Burnette
  15. Crazy Baby - The Rockin' R's
  16. Susie-Q - Dale Hawkins
  17. Worried 'Bout You Baby - Maylon Humphries
  18. I Love My Baby - The Phaetons
  19. Come On Little Mama - Ray Harris
  20. Whistle Bait - Lorrie And Larry Collins
  21. Spin The Bottle - Benny Joy
  22. Bertha Lou - Dorsey Burnette
  23. Real Gone Daddy - Jim Flaherty's Caravan
  24. My Pink Cadillac - Hal Willis
  25. Draggin' - Curtis Gordon

Disc: 4

  1. Action Packed - Ronnie Dee
  2. Shakin' All Over - Johnny Kidd
  3. Who Do You Love - Ronnie Hawkins
  4. Summertime Blues - Eddie Cochran
  5. The Way I Walk - Jack Scott
  6. Wild Wild Women - Johnny Carol
  7. Oooh-Eeee - Ric Cartey
  8. Get Hot Or Go Home - John Kerby
  9. Swamp Gal - Tommy Bell
  10. Miss Pearl - Jimmy Wages
  11. Mercy - Lorrie And Larry Collins
  12. Rock Boppin' Baby - Edwin Bruce
  13. Rockin' Daddy - Eddie Bond
  14. Rock It - Thumper Jones (George Jones)
  15. Rhythm And Booze - Corky Jones (Buck Owens)
  16. Flyin' Saucers Rock 'N' Roll - Billy Lee Riley
  17. Shake Um Up Rock - Benny Cliff Trio
  18. Red Hot Rockin' Blues - Jesse James
  19. Bang Bang - Janis Martin
  20. One Hand Loose - Charlie Feathers
  21. Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On - Jerry Lee Lewis
  22. Fujiyama Mama - Wanda Jackson
  23. I Got A Rocket In My Pocket - Jimmy Lloyd
  24. Oh Love - Don Wade
  25. School Of Rock 'N Roll - Gene Summers
  26. Rock-N-Bones - Elroy Dietzel

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 27, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B000FOQ0JG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,840 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is the bible of Rockabilly. I listened to all four of the CD's in one day. At first I thought it'd dilute the power of the music, on the contrary right after I finished listening I listened to some songs over again. I then went in to my music collection and listened to some more Rockabilly. The rawness, the energy, the raunch,and Hillbilly primitivism just drips like red blood off a freshly slaughtered cow. If you are fan of Rockabilly by all means get this. There is a book with liner notes and a couple of reviews from people who respect or play Rockabilly ( Although I'm not a fan of most of these new guys ) There is some knowns on here Elvis of course, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Ricky Nelson etc. But there is also alot of unknowns theres songs on this box that I've been looking high and low for like the " I'm going to murder my boyfriend for hucklebucking some other chick and drive to his funereal in a Black Cadillac" song by Joyce Green called what else "Black Cadillac", then the other is the drunken ode "Bloodshot" by the String Kings, the nasty song where Dorsey tells a chick " I want to conjugate with you" Bertha Lou by Dorsey Burnette, or the horror billy song by Kip Tyler about his hot witch girlfriend " She's my Witch". The list goes on and on. The reason I gave it only four stars is because the listeners are going to get gyped when they listen to the version of the song "Love Me" by the Phantoms on this box. This version is more restrained and the piss is taken out of it. The original version he just goes insane on this song. Not that this one is bad it just doesn't have the same version as the first take the nasty lyrics are still there.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
This is a nice sampling of classics 50s rockabilly. Some issues, however:

1. Fans of early 50s rock who may already own the previous Rhino box- Loud, Fast, and Out of Control, will note that many of the songs duplicate.

2. With 25 songs per CD, another 8-9 songs could have easily fit on each, since the tunes are so short.

Maybe we'll see a further exploration into 50s/early 60s rock one day.

3. If one combines this box with two others: As Good as it Gets:Rockabilly, and a CD called Rockabilly Riot, one would own most of the classic rockabilly hits missing off this box.
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This is 1957-59 R&R that caused the do-gooders to jail Jerry Lee Lewis, put away Chuck Berry and get Elvis to sign up for a tour of duty. These are the songs that brought about Pat Boone and the like to cover/tone down R&B. These songs are about duck tail hair, switchblades, women with attitudes that had to be curtailed and moralized. This is rough, loud and out of control teenagers in the fifties.

What a great set by Rhino. I thought it was a little pricey but now I think it's an incredible addition to my 1000+ recordings of pre 1960 rock collection. Great book with incredible pictures and bio of the artists.

This set is it if you're looking for the real life soundtrack to "Asphalt Jungle" or James Dean movies!
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I've been listening to rockabilly music since the 50's and have been collecting 45's, LPs, and now CDs for almost 50 years. I thought I had heard it all, but I was wrong. Sure, some of the songs in this set are familiar, but many of them were totally unknown to me. On top of that, the sound quality is amazing, so even old favorites are exciting to hear. As if that wasn't enough, there is an excellent and informative booklet with great pictures. If you like this kind of music, you will not be disappointed.
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Here it is kids, the ROCKIN' BONES: 1950's PUNK & ROCKABILLY box set from Rhino, the perfect primer, audio handbook and introductory lesson into the dark and dangerous back alleys of primitive 1950's rock & roll. "Rockin' Bones" is that glorious monophonic soundtrack for an inner city gang war, a high school parking lot rumble or maybe even an occasional back road juke-joint knife fight. Contained in the clever JD (juvenile delinquent) paperback sleeve packaging are one hundred and one (101!) vintage fallout tracks from that primeval atomic fusion of raw rhythm n' blues and electrified country; the real mushroom cloud that birthed modern rock. Now, the term "punk" in the title might be more of a marketing gimmick, meant to garner some of today's modern youth's limited attention, but it does go far in relating the anger, intense personal energy and effort-overcoming-inexperience that was a hallmark of both the 70's punk rock movement and the 50's rockabilly music explosion. The earliest track, ELVIS PRESLEY's single "Baby, Let's Play House" (1955) is bracketed on the other end by RONNIE HAWKINS & THE HAWKS' Bo Diddley romp, "Who Do You Love" (1963), so we have a nice 8 year overview contained in this package.

This collection is very similar to Rhino's 1999 box set "Loud, Fast and Out Of Control," and in fact, 15 songs are repeated here. But where LF&OOC was primarily a rock & roll overview of the mid-to-late 1950's pop music scene, ROCKIN' BONES focuses a bit closer and more deeply on those unsung heroes and obscure innovators who never were able to crack the Billboard Top 40.
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