Various Artists

Baby Doll [Buffalo Bop]

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The cover art may be out of the movie of the title, but the sound is pure Wanda Jackson, and anyone who's kind of fond of Wanda is going to love "OK Doll, It's a Deal" by Joannie King -- she's a little throatier than the legendary Jackson, but she rocks. There are some familiar names here, too -- Patsy Cline ("Love Me Love Me Honey Do"), most obviously, and Dodie Stevens ("Pink Shoe Laces"), but the rest is rarer than hen's teeth. Fonda Wallace ought to have been a legend for the raucous "Lou Lou Knows," and Barbara Tennant's "Rock Baby Rock" is one of those bracing rock & roll anthems that just moves, honking saxes, sub-Jordanaires, chorus and all (dig her scream of ecstasy before the sax break). Joyce Poynter ("Chilli Dippin' Baby") is a hybrid country rocker, but Orella Myers has a lot more of a country twang in "Give a Little, Take a Little," and the song wouldn't have been out of place on a Grand Ole Opry program, but someone sure knew how to strum a hot guitar and coax some loud notes from an amplified axe. A few ballads ("I'll Never Love Again" by Betty Nickel, etc.) break up the mood, and not everything is up to the standard of the best rockers -- Penny Candy's "The Rockin' Lady") is predictably programmatic, although Virginia Lowe's "I'm in Love with Elvis" gets by on her soaring vocals; Myers' "Ask Lucille" is strictly backwoods; Dottie Mae's "Sugar Doll" isn't too much harder. But this is still a solid collection, if a bit more countrified (without a rockabilly beat to compensate) than most rock & roll fans necessarily want. On the other hand, "Go Get the Shotgun, Grand'Pa" by Ann Castle is a rural subject rendered in a solid rock & roll form, with a rhythm section that sounds like it was pulled from the nearest strip-joint band on a good night and a fiercely sexual performance from Castle. The real finds here are "Gonna Be Loved" by Linda & the Epics, which sounds like a sure bet for the A-Bones to cover if they ever hear it, with superb guitar and sax work, and "Money Honey" by Janece Morgan, who sounds like Gene Vincent reincarnated as a girl, with a band that deserved better than anonymity backing her up.

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