OK – I guess you think I’ve really gone nuts – that isolation has done me in. Maybe.
But Cliff, before he became a sugary-sweet pop, mainstream Christian boy – was probably Britain’s greatest Rock ‘n’ Roller. His first album and first few singles were dynamite.
If he had died then we’d be in awe of how good he was (instead of thinking of him as wet).
Take a listen to this:
(unfortunately that first album is not on youtube – it’s been removed). this is Cliff as you might not have heard him.
A Rock ‘n’ Roller from the Sun alumni. Carl was the original writer and performer of Blue Suede Shoes and a great Rockabilly star. If it hadn’t been for a car crash he could have been as big as Elvis! A good guitarist too.
I thought I’d delve back to Sun Records in the 1950s and get an infectious dose of Rockabilly to liven up my spirits.
This is where Elvis started and this is who he was sharing the studio with – Billy Lee Riley!
Take it away Billy!! You hep-cat you! Let’s Rock!!
When I was ten I was introduced to Buddy Holly by an older friend. He sold me all his Buddy Holly singles. It hooked me on Rock ‘n’ Roll. From the age of ten, I was a Rocker.
My next major discovery was Little Richard. I was besotted. Then my mate Hat had this Eddie Cochran album – The Memorial Album. I was knocked out by Something Else, Summertime Blues and Come On Everybody. I just loved that guitar sound!!
I’m heading back to the fifties and a bit of leather-clad Rock ‘n’ Roll. Gene Vincent along with the Blue Caps was one of the originals. He was wild. His antics on tour were renowned but it was the same sad story of alcohol gaining the upper hand.
Whenever I think of Gene these days I always think of Ian Dury’s Sweet Gene Vincent – he really captured him in a piece of poetry.
I love that early Gene Vincent and will be playing it this afternoon – real loud!!
I felt like needing to be a bit jaunty today so I opted for something uplifting and bouncy. Don and Dewey hit the mark.
They were signed to the Specialty label who were trying to cultivate new Rock ‘n’ Roll stars in the mold of Little Richard.
They didn’t really have a hit but wrote and recorded a number of other songs recorded by big stars – such as Farmer John, I’m Leaving It All Up To You and Justine.
They were part Rock ‘n’ Roll and part R&B – a kind of precursor for Soul and acts like Sam and Dave.
I like their power, enthusiasm and the way their two voices duel. In real life they hated one another!
So today it’s Don and Dewey! They’ll blow your ears off!!
Bo Diddley used to busk on the corner in McComb. One day a car drew up, a guy leaned out and said ‘Jump in, man. I’m gonna make you a star.’
Bo Diddley was a genius – a macho, struttin’ bluesman who took that shuffle beat and made it his own. He was instrumental in Rock ‘n’ Roll and every R&B band from the UK British Boom played Bo Diddley songs – From the Stones and Yardbirds to the Animals and Prettythings.
Bo Diddley rules.
I met him in 1981 when he played in Hull. We went backstage to get albums signed and I had my picture taken with him. What a moment. He was a very friendly guy.
So when we did our Blues Trail in Mississippi and Lousianna I had to visit McComb and stand on that corner where Bo Diddley had played!
Quite a thrill.
This was a bit of a last minute choice. My back was hurting and I thought I needed something with a bit of zing to raise my mood!
Larry Williams should have been a megastar. He’s as good as any of the other Rockers with a string of great rockin’ songs – Slow Down, Dizzy Miss Lizzie, Bony Mononie, Bad Boy, She Said Yeah and Short Fat Fannie.
He came out of New Orleans and was always in the shadow of Little Richard. It didn’t help that Larry became a bit of a gun totin’ gangster. He was pimping and selling drugs – a career that ended up with him being shot in the head (reported as suicide but open to debate).
Today I’m going to play my Larry Williams real loud!!
The house pianist for Sun records should keep me feeling exuberant!
Jerry Lee Lewis – the dynamite on a piano. He was always vying with Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley as to who was the real king of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Who cares?? They all produced some tracks that were on fire!!
The man could sure rattle those ivories!! His piano was on fire – at least it truly was when he set fire to it that night when he didn’t get top billing! He doused it in petrol and set fire to it!! Wish I’d been there!
I only got to see him one – at a club over in Bradford. He was on a double bill with Chuck Berry. I took my youngest son. Chuck and Jerry were both on top form!!
I love Rock ‘n’ Roll!!!
Today I’m playing some Roaring Jerry Lee to set my blood coursing!!!!!