Otto Bash – My Baby Heard Elvis

The RICHARD WEIZE ARCHIVES make available the recordings of Otto Bash, a Nashville based drummer and sometime vocalist. Bash was 29 years old, and it was the dawn of the rock ‘n’ roll era, when he briefly by chance stepped into the recording spotlight in 1955. This album offers a fascinating insight into the musically pivotal year, and the album offers a weird and wonderful mix of jazz, pop and rock, veering from cool to hot, square to hip, corny to cutting edge. If you can imagine a blend of Boyd Bennet, Tiny Bradshaw, and the jumping sound the combos of these artists made, then Otto Bash will be your cup of tea.

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VA – Hillbilly Goes Electric – Rarest Of Rare Country Boogie Vol. 2

The RICHARD WEIZE ARCHIVES continue their series of 10″ albums, and volume two of the country boogie recordings maintains the quality, and perhaps features better known songs. The cowboy singers also had to be heard and amplification of the instruments was replacing the acoustic cowboy sound. The combos had to play louder at Juke Joints to be heard over the often rowdy crowds. On this volume we introduce Texas Cat Music, which was to become the new direction of hillbilly boogie music. These hepped up cowboys were hitting the groove, and making the groundwork for the birth of rockabilly.

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VA – Hillbilly Goes Electric – Rarest Of Rare Country Boogie Vol. 1

The RICHARD WEIZE ARCHIVES make available the first in a series of 10″ albums which will explore post war esoteric country boogie recordings. Due to post war austerity maintaining a large band was too costly and the result was the beginning of small combos. The cowboy singers had to be heard and amplification of the instruments was replacing the acoustic cowboy sound, they had to play louder at Juke Joints to be heard over the often rowdy crowds. The music itself is a wonderful rhythmic fusion of hillbilly and western music blended with black blues and rhythm influences. The album is informatively annotated by Kevin Coffey offering fascinating insights into the artist’s music and the musicians who provided the compelling rhythms. The 100g, 10 inch vinyl album is housed in a high quality gatefold sleeve which opens out to display numerous vintage images with many rare photographs to add a face to the music.

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VA – Boogie Woogie Santa Claus – An R&B Christmas

Blues and R&B records about Christmas have been released since the earliest days of the record business. Nearly 100 years ago, Bessie Smith recorded At The Christmas Ball in 1925, and Blind Lemon Jefferson chimed in with Christmas Eve Blues in 1928. Pre-war bluesmen Bo Carter, Tampa Red, and Charlie Jordan came up with variations on the theme, and the often-ribald duo of Butterbeans & Susie checked in with Papa Ain’t No Santa Claus (Mama Ain’t No Christmas Tree) in 1930.

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Del Shannon – Greatest Hits & Finest Performances

Del Shannon is known as the Runaway hitmaker of 1961, with a string of hits to follow in the early ’60s. One story that may not be as well known is that he was the first American artist to record and release a Lennon/McCartney composition in From Me To You in the summer of 1963. Shannon’s version charted higher than The Beatles’ original on the U.S. charts that summer, a song that Shannon had produced himself! Del’s first attempt producing a session tasted sweet and he wanted to explore that opportunity more in depth. Del Shannon cut ties briefly with his managers in the latter half of ’63 and wrote, recorded, produced, and released his own records for a stint on his own label, albeit short-lived, BER-LEE RECORDS.

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VA – Rockin’ The King

When Elvis Presley exploded in 1956, the swivel-hipped rocker’s avalanche of hits provided ample fodder for BELL RECORDS. Arthur Shimkin’s budget-priced label subsisted on a steady diet of well-done covers that utilized top New York studios and some of the city’s leading session musicians, BELL’s roster of vocalists trying hard to capture the feel of Elvis’ groundbreaking rock and roll.

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VA – Perfect For Parties

It was the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll: revolutionary rhythms, electric guitars, off-beat saxophones and hammering pianos, plus piercing vocals and choruses which made everything that went before sound antiquated: awopbopaloobopalopbamboom, Be-bop-a-lula… However, this turbulent environment also produced a delicate flour which kept on blossoming in a most miraculous way: Petite Fleur by Chris Barber’s Jazz Band. Monty Sunshine’s melodic clarinet successfully stood up against the powerful sound of rock music. The METRONOME single with Sidney Bechet’s composition kept incessantly spinning on the turntables, against the rock ‘n’ roll trend of its day.

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Narvel Felts & Jerry Mercer – 1956 Radio Rockabillies

Reissued by popular demand is the ‘Radio Rockabillies’ material recorded by Jerry Mercer and his band, the Rhythm and Blues Boys, in 1956 for a local radio show in Malden, Missouri. Jerry’s band included a certain NARVEL FELTS who would go on to record at SUN and MERCURY before achieving stardom in the South in the 1960s and then international renown as a major country music entertainer in the 1970s.

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Ray Campi – Austin, Texas 1949 – 1950

The incredible musical saga of Ray Campi, spanning more than 65 years and still going strong, commenced with the previously unheard contents of this album, waxed long before the advent of the rockabilly genre that he’s world-renowned for helping to keep thriving. In 1949-50, when Ray and his pals laid down these eight splendid sides at his cousin’s house on an Audio Disc recorder, his hometown of Austin, Texas was dominated by straightahead country music. That’s what Campi, then only in his mid-teens, sang as well. Quite convincingly, too.

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George Jones – Why Baby Why

George Jones greatest successes lay ahead of him when he performed the tracks in this collection – his first number one was just around the corner – and his voice would mature to almost unimagined depth, but there remains something special about his early years, a yet unjaded passion and an unadulterated authenticity that would arguably disappear in the coming years. Even as his voice matured and his abilities deepened, something else was lost which many find in vintage recordings like these.

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The Cochran Brothers – Latch On with The Cochran Brothers

Hank Cochran and Eddie Cochran, not related, both rose to international prominence in music – Hank Cochran in Country Music and Eddie Cochran in Rock and Roll. Their success as solo artists did not come overnight, though. Before that, Hank and Eddie joined forces in 1954 when they were only teenagers, Hank 19 and Eddie 16, but as the Cochran Brothers they made their very first professional steps in music. And they did so with some success; the Cochran Brothers recorded professionally for EKKO and CASH RECORDS, toured extensively along the west coast and were featured regularly on regional TV with the popular artists of the day.

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VA-Just Sitting In The Balcony

Here’s a musical journey back to the 1950s with a dozen themes from Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. The songs from films like ‘Around The World In 80 Days’; ‘High Society’ (the song True Love); ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’ (Moon River); and ‘Love Me Tender’ are accompanied by vintage movie illustrations. An unexpected treasure is the theme from an obscure prison film called ‘Unchained’ that sank without a trace at the time, but went on to become one of the most recorded romantic songs of all time. Unchained Melody has been called the most memorable love song ever written.

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Bill Monroe – Castle Studio 1950/1951 5 CD Box Set

For devotees of Bill Monroe’s music, the CD box sets issued by BEAR FAMILY beginning in 1989 were the answer to a listener’s dream: having the bluegrass originator’s complete recordings tastefully collected in boxes, with informative books included. What we now have is something even more dreamlike: all the familiar Monroe recordings for DECCA in 1950-51, featuring lead singers Jimmy Martin, Carter Stanley, and Edd Mayfield, presented next to unbelievably all the outtakes (none previously issued) of all the tracks.

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Billy Mize – 1958 Demos for Johnny Cash

While not a household name, Bakersfield, California’s Billy Mize was nominated for 23 Academy of Country Music Awards between 1965 and 1973. He won several, including Most Promising Male Vocalist in 1966 and Television Personality of the Year in 1965, 1966, and 1967. In 1969 he was nominated for Television Personality once again, but lost out to another country singer who hosted his own show. The winner that time was Johnny Cash.

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Cab Calloway – Let The Bells Keep Ringing

Minnie The Moocher was effervescent bandleader Cab Calloway’s signature theme for more than half a century. He first waxed the ditty in 1931, and his sparkling reprise in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers was one of its indelible highlights. Arthur Shimkin’s BELL RECORDS was no doubt delighted to bring Cab aboard in 1954. The New York-based label specialized in soundalike versions of current hits at bargain list prices, but no way would Cab’s leonine roar ever be mistaken for that of anyone else.

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Frankie Miller – A Letter From Korea

An unexpected treasure for fans of Frankie Miller and ’50s country music – Contains seven lost songs never recorded before or since – Includes Frankie’s narrative about each of the songs he sings – Contains demo version of a song from Frankie’s first COLUMBIA session in 1953 – Includes Frankie’s previously unissued tribute song to Cajun fiddler Harry Choates – Contains unpublished army photos of Frankie – Historical liner notes by Hank Davis detail an often-overlooked period in Frankie’s career One of the most unusual country records of the year, if not the decade!

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Johnny Cymbal – Mr.Bass Man

There was a lot more to Johnny Cymbal than his 1963 smash Mr. Bass Man, though the song remains his chief claim to fame (under his own name, anyway). You’ll find no less than three versions of his calling card on Mr. Bass Man The Acetates the beloved hit with ex-Valentines bass singer Ronnie Bright providing the deep-voiced retorts as well as an alternate take and a fascinating solo demo version where Johnny magically sings both parts.

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Alexis Korner, Tony Sheridan, Steve Baker – The RIAS Session

Though nobody knew it at the time, this was literally a once in a lifetime encounter: the father of British blues Alexis Korner, whose groundbreaking group Blues Incorporated laid the foundations for the emergence of bands such as the Rolling Stones and many others, and Tony Sheridan, the man who played a major role in the early development of the Beatles during their formative period in Hamburg, including their recording debut.

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