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posted by: Alley Gator
11/21/13 2:33 pm
ROCKABILLY MIX
(20)
70 tracks - 1950s rockabilly favorites to put on shuttle or mix up for 2 CDs - as improved by Cat suggestions
Artist Name - Song Title
=========== ==========
Elvis Presley - Good Rockin' Tonight
Elvis Presley - Mystery Train
Elvis Presley - Heartbreak Hotel
Elvis Presley - Don't Be Cruel
Elvis Presley - Hound Dog
Elvis Presley - Trying To Get To You
Elvis Presley - My Baby Left Me
Elvis Presley - That's All Right
Elvis Presley - Baby Let's Play House
Buddy Holly - Rock Around With Ollie Vee
Buddy Holly/Crickets - That'll Be The Day
Buddy Holly - Midnight Shift
Buddy Holly/Crickets - Not Fade Away
Buddy Holly/Crickets - Oh Boy!
Buddy Holly - I'm Gonna Love You Too
Buddy Holly - Rave On
Buddy Holly - Peggy Sue
Carl Perkins - Matchbox
Carl Perkins - Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby
Carl Perkins - Honey Don't
Carl Perkins - Put Your Cat Clothes On
Carl Perkins - Boppin' The Blues
Carl Perkins - Blue Suede Shoes
Carl Perkins - Dixie Fried
Jerry Lee Lewis - It'll Be Me
Jerry Lee Lewis - Down The Line
Jerry Lee Lewis - Lewis Boogie
Jerry Lee Lewis - Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On
Jerry Lee Lewis - End Of The Road
Jerry Lee Lewis - Great Balls Of Fire
The Everly Brothers - Bird Dog
The Everly Brothers - Bye Bye Love
The Everly Brothers - Wake Up, Little Susie
The Everly Brothers - Hey, Doll Baby
The Everly Brothers - Claudette
Eddie Cochran - Twenty Flight Rock
Eddie Cochran - Summertime Blues
Eddie Cochran - C'mon Everybody
Eddie Cochran - Somethin' Else
Gene Vincent And His Blue Caps - Be Bop-A-Lula
Gene Vincent And His Blue Caps - Race With The Devil
Gene Vincent And His Blue Caps - Lotta Lovin'
The Johnny Burnette Trio - Rock Billy Boogie
The Johnny Burnette Trio - Lonesome Train (On A Lonesome Track)
The Johnny Burnette Trio - The Train Kept A-Rollin'
Bill Haley And His Comets - Rock Around The Clock
Bill Haley and The Saddlemen - Rock The Joint
Bill Haley with Haley's Comets - Crazy Man, Crazy
Johnny Cash - I Walk The Line
Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two - Folsom Prison Blues
Jack Scott - Leroy
Jack Scott - The Way I Walk
Ricky Nelson - Believe What You Say
Ricky Nelson - Waitin' In School
Roy Orbison & The Teen Kings - Go! Go! Go!
Roy Orbison & The Teen Kings - Ooby Dooby
Wanda Jackson - Let's Have A Party
Wanda Jackson - Fujiyama Mama

Ritchie Valens - Come On, Let's Go
Charlie Feathers with Jody & Jerry - One Hand Loose
Sonny Burgess - Red Headed Woman
Billy Lee Riley & His Little Green Men - Red Hot
Buddy Knox - Party Doll
Dale Hawkins - Susie-Q
Eddie Bond & The Stompers - Rockin' Daddy
Gene Summers & His Rebels - School Of Rock 'n' Roll
Johnny Kidd & The Pirates - Shakin' All Over
Ronnie Hawkins - Mary Lou
Roy Hall - Three Alley Cats
Vince Taylor & His Playboys - Brand New Cadillac
Alley Gator says:
10/14/13 7:23 pm
I started with about 120 tracks and whittled the list down to these 70. Latest song is 1959 because there were so many good ones from the 1950s.

No attempt to avoid familiar or popular songs, but for the usual suspects I aimed for the rockabilly vibe over a more pop vibe.

Please weigh in to help me make the next draft better!

Murgatroyd says:
10/18/13 12:02 pm
When it comes to playlists, I'm always into narrowing down to only one or two tracks by each artist - so that's a thought. In terms of additions, you might want to go slightly off the beaten path with at least a song each from Charlie Feathers and Sonny Burgess.

From Feathers, you could use Everybody's Been Loving My Baby or One Hand Loose.

From Burgess, check out Red Headed Woman or We Wanna Boogie.

Alley Gator says:
10/20/13 5:43 pm
Murgatroyd said: In terms of additions, you might want to go slightly off the beaten path with at least a song each from Charlie Feathers and Sonny Burgess. From Feathers, you could use Everybody's Been Loving My Baby or One Hand Loose. From Burgess, check out Red Headed Woman or We Wanna Boogie.
Thanks, Murgatroyd. Great suggestions! I've got One Hand Loose and Red Headed Woman on my short list to consider for next draft. Any more suggested additions?
jere1911 says:
10/20/13 7:46 pm
Murgatroyd said: In terms of additions, you might want to go slightly off the beaten path with at least a song each from Charlie Feathers and Sonny Burgess. From Feathers, you could use Everybody's Been Loving My Baby or One Hand Loose. From Burgess, check out Red Headed Woman or We Wanna Boogie.
Alley Gator said: Thanks, Murgatroyd. Great suggestions! I've got One Hand Loose and Red Headed Woman on my short list to consider for next draft. Any more suggested additions?
Fantastic list. Great collection, But I like those suggestions too. Something to be said for sacrificing a just a few tracks by the most well-known artists for a few by more obscure ones (but only if the quality still makes the cut, of course). One suggestion re the Elvis tracks: trade All Shook Up for a less popular track with a bit more "'...billy" feel--e.g. "Heartbreaker" or "Tryin' to Get to You."
Alley Gator says:
10/22/13 8:34 pm
Thanks, jere1911. Trading "All Shook Up" for "Tryin' to Get to You" is a great idea. Any thoughts on which two other tracks to jettison in favor of Charlie Feathers and Sonny Burgess?
Murgatroyd says:
10/24/13 2:59 pm
Frankly, Party Doll and Chantilly Lace don't fit the rockabilly bill for me - so those could go.
jere1911 says:
10/28/13 6:28 pm
Murgatroyd said: Frankly, Party Doll and Chantilly Lace don't fit the rockabilly bill for me - so those could go.
Now that you mention it, I agree regarding Chantilly Lace. Doesn't have enough either "rock" or "billy"--probably because it really is first and foremost a novelty song (to me anyway). Not sure I agree about Party Doll. For one thing, it has the beat, and beyond that some country flavor. I'd hang on to that one.
Murgatroyd says:
10/29/13 10:33 am
Murgatroyd said: Frankly, Party Doll and Chantilly Lace don't fit the rockabilly bill for me - so those could go.
jere1911 said: Now that you mention it, I agree regarding Chantilly Lace. Doesn't have enough either "rock" or "billy"--probably because it really is first and foremost a novelty song (to me anyway). Not sure I agree about Party Doll. For one thing, it has the beat, and beyond that some country flavor. I'd hang on to that one.
Agreed - Party Doll is more hopped up than I remembered.
cornercat says:
11/01/13 1:21 am
Well, you've got all my favorites on the list I think. Love the highly influential J. Burnett stuff. The Dale Hawkins cut. So I guess I'm grasping at straws to make suggestions. Johnny Horton's Honky Tonk Man is a good record, but I don't know if it needs to be on the list. I'm not crazy about Holly's Words of Love in the context of everything else. Not sure that I think of La Bamba as a rockabilly record either. Mainly, though, great list!
Alley Gator says:
11/01/13 7:00 pm
cornercat said: I'm not crazy about Holly's Words of Love in the context of everything else. Not sure that I think of La Bamba as a rockabilly record either.
Thanks, cornercat. For a second draft, we're down to which one track to leave out, and I think you've picked two good candidates on grounds of "fit." Any other Cat want to weigh in on Should I Stay or Should I Go?
cornercat says:
11/02/13 2:30 am
Alley Gator said: I aimed for the rockabilly vibe over a more pop vibe.
Do you have a working definition of "rockabilly" that you used in guiding your selections, or is it more of an "I know it when I hear it," kind of thing?
Alley Gator says:
11/02/13 5:46 pm
Alley Gator said: I aimed for the rockabilly vibe over a more pop vibe.
cornercat said: Do you have a working definition of "rockabilly" that you used in guiding your selections, or is it more of an "I know it when I hear it," kind of thing?
More of "I know it when I hear it."

This playlist originated as a gift for a music buddy who was reveling in early Elvis and other Sun recordings. I asked him a series of questions to help scope it; these selections are my best shot at fulfilling his vision of a "best of rockabilly."

Where I sweat what to include is between edgier innovators and more polished performances. Excluding songs after 1959 made it much easier to keep a coherent focus.
barbara ann 1945 says:
11/03/13 12:51 am
Great list, great topic! Lots of songs I wouldn't have thought of as Rockabilly, but it's a kind of "now that you mention it" sort of thing. Lots of good inclusions: "Believe What You Say" impresses me every time I listen to my Deep 57-58 CD set...just how good Ricky Nelson's stuff was. Some of the songs are on my "Songs That Stir Me' list, eg "Summertime Blues", "Rave On", "Baby Let's Play House" and, of course (for me) "Be Bop-a-Lula".But, hey..."Party Doll!" Gotta be included. One of the coolest, sexiest and very rockabilly-est songs ever...what a one-hit wonder for Buddy Knox, eh? Did I miss it or was Guy Mitchell's "Singin' the Blues"not on the list? It's so very Rockabilly!"Chantilly Lace" and "La Bamba" don't fit the bill(no pun intended) for me...the former a novelty song and the latter pure pop. Good to be back on the scene here!!
jere1911 says:
11/03/13 10:29 am
I have to agree with those saying "La Bamba" should be dropped from the list. I agree that it doesn't have the right "feel" amid the others. I even tried imagining it with English words, just to test whether the Spanish language was a factor. But it's not. Maybe its the lilting 6/8 rhythm? Are all the other songs on the list in 2/2 or 4/4? Not quite Rock, not enough "Billy."
Alley Gator says:
11/03/13 1:05 pm
A good time to summarize the suggestions so far: REMOVE All Shook Up, Chantilly Lace, and La Bamba, and ADD Trying To Get To You (Elvis), One Hand Loose (Charlie Feathers), and Red Headed Woman (Sonny Burgess).

Really significant improvements. I'll give it a few days to percolate and then make the changes. Alley Cats Rule!!
cornercat says:
11/05/13 1:25 am
Alley Gator said: Really significant improvements. I'll give it a few days to percolate and then make the changes. Alley Cats Rule!!
"Big River" as an addition or replacement for "Get Rhythm." Just my personal taste.
Alley Gator says:
11/05/13 2:36 am
Alley Gator said: Really significant improvements. I'll give it a few days to percolate and then make the changes. Alley Cats Rule!!
cornercat said: "Big River" as an addition or replacement for "Get Rhythm." Just my personal taste.
Thanks for the suggestion. It prompted me to listen to both those songs again - and reminded me of our earlier exchange on "know it when I hear it." As a result I plan to substitute Carl Perkins' "Dixie Fried" for "Get Rhythm." I truly love Johnny Cash, but his relation to rockabilly is marginal. "Get Rhythm" was a stretch in the first place, and "Big River" is a fine song that's even less rockabilly. But "Dixie Fried" should have made the first cut. Thanks again for poking the gator.
Alley Gator says:
11/07/13 4:36 pm
I want to thank y'all Cats for making the second draft much better than the first. Still open to comments and suggestions, of course.
Alley Gator says:
11/21/13 3:23 pm
Made one final tweak - harkening back to cornercat's comment that "Words of Love" didn't really fit the context - substituting Holly's "Midnight Shift." I'm changing the name to signify closure. Loved the discussion!
jere1911 says:
01/17/14 5:17 pm
I've now had occasion to listen to the many tracks on this list, confirming what a great list it is. There is much to say about it, but here are just a few comments that bubble up to the top of my mind:

1. Elvis deserved to be the King. There are some very good singers on this list, and some who are just decently good. To my ears, Elvis soars above the rest. Especially when his early singing is combined with the quality of his early material, which is also exceptional.

2. Buddy and Jerry Lee come in next, tied for second. Also exceptional performers who easily deserve their immortality, Again, very good material helps and they both have a fine share of that.

3. Carl Perkins was not a singer in the league of the above three, but his material is the soul of rockabilly. Almost all of the songs in the overall mix are basically fast blues, but his songs and singing have a laid back country charm, and just the right catchy lyric line over just the right tweak of a standard melody. "All my friends are boppin' the blues, it must be goin' round." Don't start singing that; it's hard to stop. I've tried it. Same with "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby"--obviously the Beatles couldn't stop.

4. Johnny Burnette and Eddie Cochran could be tapped as the "futurists" on the list. If rockabilly was the punk of its day, these guys could have been punk in 1976. Hard driving, bad to the bone style, that anticipates, well, "rock." Maybe they travelled back in time.