Hi Records is usually identified with such R&B artists as Al Green and Ann Peebles, but this 57-track double-CD reveals the early pop, country, rockabilly, and rock & roll roots of the label. Drawn mainly from the late '50s and '60s, Hi Records: The Early Years includes contributions by such recognizable names as Ace Cannon, Narvel Felts, Gene Simmons (whose 1964 hit "Haunted House" is here), and the Bill Black Combo. Other interesting items include seven tracks by the Johnny Cash-influenced Tommy Tucker, seven tracks by one-hit wonder Jerry Jaye (whose "My Girl Josephine" charted in 1967 and is included on this compilation), and a handful of recordings by Carl McVoy, one of Jerry Lee Lewis' many musical cousins. Much of this music is marginal but enjoyable, and the compilation is clearly aimed at collectors and specialists. Enthusiasts of country, rock, and rockabilly from this period might look for Hi Records: The Early Years in the R&B racks, where it will inevitably be misfiled.
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