Only a very fine line separates rockabilly from the hillbilly boogie and uptempo Western swing sounds that frequently dotted the country charts in the 1940s and early '50s before rock & roll made its presence known, and plenty of top country acts either took a crack at rock & roll when the style was still establishing itself or had been playing something like it before Elvis showed up and changed all the rules. This third volume in Rev-Ola's Country Goes Rock 'n' Roll series focuses on rockin' sides from famed country artists, ranging from pseudonymous rockabilly recordings by George Jones ("Rock It" as Thumper Jones) and Buck Owens ("Rhythm and Booze" as Corky Jones) and ill-considered rock-themed production numbers (Eddy Arnold sounds puzzled to be singing "Do You Love Me?" with future Gong Show panelist Jaye P. Morgan, and Tennessee Ernie Ford can't quite get the big band to swing on "Rock, Roll, Boogie," a shame given how great his early boogie sessions are) to past and future stars letting their hair down and making with the rhythm. Ernest Tubb's cover of Chuck Berry's "Thirty Days" grooves with a steady roll, Patsy Cline tears up "Stop, Look and Listen" with real brio, Brenda Lee's "Bigelow 6200" rivals Charlie Feathers for sheer rockabilly hiccup action, Bob Wills' "So Let's Rock" swings like a Saturday night party, Rose Maddox gets wild on "Hey Little Dreamboat," and Jerry Reed reveals he'd been an Alabama wildman long before cutting "Amos Moses" with the red-hot "When I Found You." Cramming 33 songs onto one disc, Rural Royalty documents some fine rock & roll sides from unexpected artists, and this is solid fun from start to finish.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming