King Hillbilly Bop & Boog


rovi.MR0000834111 8/9/02 Used

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    King Hillbilly Bop & Boog Ace

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Review Text King Records would eventually became much better known for R&B, soul, and rock & roll records than country-oriented ones. But from the mid-'40s to the mid-'50s, it was very active in the hillbilly market, recording numerous artists who were bridging older country and old-timey styles with Western swing, R&B, boogie, blues, pop, and whatnot to help pave the way for rockabilly. This collection of 26 such sides would thus be interesting for historical importance alone, and it's a good bonus that the music is very good as well, though sometimes it gets a little similar-sounding in its hillbilly boogie. Some of these names will be pretty familiar to country music fans, including the Delmore Brothers (whose 1947 recording, "Beale Street Boogie," not issued until the 1980s, is about as close to rock & roll as any white performer got before 1948), Grandpa Jones, Bill Carlisle, Cowboy Copas, Moon Mullican, and Hardrock Gunter. At least half, though, are likely to draw a blank unless you're a specialist collector, though some turn out to have connections to big names, like Luke Wills, brother of Bob Wills. King was not the only label putting out this kind of music, but it put out a lot of it. And it will come as a surprise to many listeners to hear how close this is to rockabilly: more country in its accents (particularly the use of fiddles and steel guitar on some numbers) and construction, for sure, but with similar beats, hard-driving energy, irreverent attitude, debts to R&B and blues, and fluid guitar work. Tommy Scott's 1951 single "Rockin' and Rollin'"'s very title even anticipates the rockabilly just down the line, as does its extended, twangy guitar solo. Ann Jones' train boogie "Hi-Ballin' Daddy" is high-quality evidence of the less-frequent contributions of women to the genre; Louie Innis' "I Ain't Got a Pot (To Peel Potatoes In)" is ribald humor; and Grandpa Jones' "It's Raining Here This Morning," issued back in 1944 (a different version from a 1946 second pressing is also included), proves just how far back this transitional form dates. The white country roots of rock & roll tend to get underestimated by some historians in favor of the black R&B ones, and this compilation is a good illustration of much of the country side of the equation, limited though it is to the holdings of one prolific label. Four of the songs, incidentally, were previously unissued, though in one case it's a previously undubbed version and in another a previously unissued unedited version. ~ Richie Unterberger

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. It's Raining Here This Morning - 3:52
  2. 2. Beale Street Boogie - 3:43
  3. 3. Rockin' Chair Money - 3:56
  4. 4. Papa's Getting Old - 3:04
  5. 5. What a Line! - 3:44
  6. 6. Four or Five Times - 3:41
  7. 7. She's a Backwoods Woman - 3:49
  8. 8. Three Strikes and You're Out - 3:42
  9. 9. Brother Drop Dead (Boogie) - 2:27
  10. 10. Rockin' and Rollin' - 3:39
  11. 11. You'll Make Our Shack a Mansion - 3:43
  12. 12. Tend to Your Business - 3:46
  13. 13. Stop and Go Boogie (Rag Man Boogie) - 3:43
  14. 14. Goodnight Cincinnati, Good Morning Tennessee - 3:37
  15. 15. Grandpa Stole My Baby - 3:34
  16. 16. Hi-Ballin' Daddy - 3:36
  17. 17. Money Bag Woman - 2:25
  18. 18. Day Done Broke Too Soon This Morning - 2:22
  19. 19. We Did - 3:34
  20. 20. I Ain't Got a Pot (To Peel Potatoes In) - 2:10
  21. 21. What a Waste (Of Good Corn Likker) - 3:49
  22. 22. Stumbling Block - 3:39
  23. 23. I Put My Britches on Just Like Everybody Else - 2:18
  24. 24. Sing Your Song Baby - 3:48
  25. 25. Ko Ko Mo (I Love You So) - 2:26
  26. 26. It's Raining Here This Morning - 2:27

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