Various Artists

Mean Mean Daddy

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This collection is almost all golden, and what's not gold is purified silver. There are at least a half dozen lost classics here that should be in anyone's collection, beginning with Paul Carnes' "I'm a Mean Mean Daddy," a sleazy, lubricious account of one man's adventures with the opposite sex. Bobby Edwards' "I'm a Long Gone Daddy," originally on Ozark Records, almost qualifies as a yodel number. Lee Dorn's "Rockin' Daddy," issued by Ranger Records, by contrast, has an almost early-'60s feel, close in spirit to Bobby Fuller, leading one to wonder if Dorn was a Texas-based rocker and why he didn't keep going into the 1960s. Jack King's Four-Star single "I Just Learned to Rock" sounds exactly like that, and is one of the weaker links in this collection. The disc does sag slightly in the middle with "I Gotta Go" by Johnny Dove, which sounds like second-rate Johnny Horton, and Bobo Baxter's "Flea Circus," a silly number that at least has the virtue of some strong guitar and drum work. But then it picks up again with "Jump from 6 to 6," a supremely raunchy rocker by Al Barkle -- this sounds almost like a live recording, with a dance hall ambience and reverb that's nearly palpable. The only bummer here, Vic Thomas' "You're Gonna Change," is a country number without a lot to recommend it, and it's surrounded by cool rockers like Curley Griffin's "Got Rockin' on My Mind," and Bob Dingus' pure R&B "Somebody's Lovin' My Baby," which could almost pass muster as a lost Joe Turner number, plus Dallas Wilson's western swing flavored "Hi-Steppin' Daddy." Fully seven-eighths of what's here is worth the price of this CD, and it won't be found anywhere else. Just think, in some alternate universe, Elvis Presley is a truck dispatcher nearing retirement in the 1990s and one of these guys -- probably Al Barkle -- is king of rock & roll.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
2 2:15
3 1:52
4 2:00
5 1:44
6 1:53
8 2:20
9 1:59
11 2:24
12 2:12
13 1:46
14 2:34
15 3:28
17 1:43
19 1:53
20 1:54
21 2:12
22 1:39
23 2:34
25 2:51
27 2:43
28 2:40
30 2:10
blue highlight denotes track pick