Sunday, September 27, 2020

Hellooobaby! The Best of The Big Bopper 1954-1959


Jiles Perry "J. P." Richardson Jr. (October 24, 1930 – February 3, 1959), known as The Big Bopper, was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and disc jockey. His best known compositions include "Chantilly Lace" and "White Lightning", the latter of which became George Jones' first number-one hit in 1959. Richardson was killed in a plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa in 1959, along with fellow musicians Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, and the pilot Roger Peterson.

Richardson, who played guitar, began his musical career as a songwriter. George Jones later recorded Richardson's "White Lightning", which became Jones' first No. 1 country hit in 1959. Richardson also wrote "Running Bear" for Johnny Preston, his friend from Port Arthur, Texas. The inspiration for the song came from Richardson's childhood memory of the Sabine River, where he heard stories about Indian tribes. Richardson sang background on "Running Bear", but the recording was not released until August 1959, six months after his death. The song became a No. 1 hit for three weeks in January 1960.

The man who launched Richardson as a recording artist was Harold "Pappy" Daily from Houston. Daily was promotion director for Mercury and Starday Records and signed Richardson to Mercury. Richardson's first single, "Beggar to a King", had a country flavor, but failed to gain any chart action. He soon cut "Chantilly Lace" as "The Big Bopper" for Pappy Daily's D label. Mercury bought the recording and released it at the end of June, 1958. It slowly began picking up airplay through July and August, and reached No. 6 on the pop charts spending 22 weeks in the national Top 40. In "Chantilly Lace", Richardson pretends to have a flirting phone conversation with his girlfriend; the record was comical in nature, with The Big Bopper presenting an exaggerated, but good-natured caricature of a ladies' man.

In November 1958 he scored a second hit, a raucous novelty tune entitled "The Big Bopper's Wedding", in which Richardson pretends to be getting cold feet at the altar. Both "Chantilly Lace" and "Big Bopper's Wedding" were receiving top 40 radio airplay through January 1959. 

                                    The Best of the Big Bopper 


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Carl Perkins...Restless: The Columbia Recordings (1958-1968)


Most of the tracks here were made after Carl Perkins jumped from Sun Records to Columbia in 1958 and stayed there five years with a major label that promoted his friend and former Sun colleague Johnny Cash to superstardom but had little idea what to do with Perkins. Nonetheless, there's a lot of great rock here -- even the shoe songs (obvious attempts like "Pink Pedal Pushers" and "Pointy Toed Shoes" to capitalize on Perkins' great hit at Sun) are exciting, driving rock. 

The album contains two tracks from his "Whole Lotta Shakin'" album of rock covers, including Jimmy Lloyd's "Where the Rio de Rosa Flows" -- transformed from a nice little mid-tempo country honky-tonker into driving, scorching rock that stands alongside "Blue Suede Shoes," "All Mama's Children," "Dixie Fried" and "Matchbox" atop Perkins' discography. 

The disc also has three tracks from Perkins' second period as a Columbia artist (1968-1973), including the surprise country hit "Restless" and a remake of "All Mama's Children" with the 1960's band NRBQ. But it's the tracks from Perkins' first Columbia stint -- including sly, infectious country-rock pieces like "Honey, 'Cause I Love You", "L-O-V-E-V-I-L-L-E" and "Sister Twister" -- that make this disc a must-have for fans of pre-Beatles white rock. 

                                   Restless:The Columbia Recordings

                                          Pink Pedal Pushers