Oscar McLollie & His Honey Jumpers

Hey Lollie Lollie!: The Modern Recordings 1953-55

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Eighteen of McLollie's 1953-55 uptempo sides are collected on this CD. Like many collections of early-to-mid-'50s R&B on the Modern label, there's some sameness to the material and arrangements that limits its appeal for non-specialists. Yet it's a little more enjoyable than many such single-artist collections, though, due to the nonchalant humor of much of the material and McLollie's vocals, and to the lingering big band-jump blues feel. At times some of these later sides got close to rock'n'roll, particularly "Roll Hot Rod Roll," which starts off with a "one for the money" chorus that resembles, just a little, the one that Carl Perkins would use to kick off "Blue Suede Shoes" a bit later. "All That Oil in Texas" is also a highlight for those who like their R&B-swing droll and witty ("all that oil in Texas, and not one drop is mine"). Completists might be a little miffed that this actually is not the complete output of McLollie for the Modern label. Because it was decided to focus the anthology on his uptempo work, it doesn't have his doo-wop recordings for the label. In addition, it uses previously unissued alternate takes of "Dig That Crazy Santa Claus" and "Hey Lolly Lolly," and an undubbed version of "Wiggle Toe," though the versions that appeared on Modern singles are available on other reissues. This CD also includes previously unissued instrumental versions of "Hot Banana" and "Mama Don't Like It," as well as a previously unissued alternate take of "Roll Hot Rod Roll."

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