Run by Floyd Soileau, the small independent Jin label released a lot of the earliest Louisiana swamp pop in the late '50s and early '60s, occasionally releasing product in a similar vein by Texas musicians. This anthology brings together 30 tracks from 1958-1961, mostly from Jin singles (though a couple appeared on Soileau's Swallow label, and Red Smiley & the Veltones' "Once Again" was previously unreleased). Overall, it's a good overview of the first flourish of swamp pop, the regional music that mixed rock & roll, Fats Domino-style New Orleans R&B, blues, pop, doo wop, and Cajun sounds in varying proportions, usually in a good-time or sentimental tone. While there aren't many tracks here that are exceptionally memorable or classic, it's a pleasing sound that rang with more sincerity than much rock of the period. Occasionally, too, it was rawer and bluesier than the stereotypical swamp pop sound, as in Doug Ardoin & the Boogie Kings' raunchy rockabilly pounder "Southland" and the fairly penetrating blues-rock sides by Texans Mary McCoy and Rockin' Dave Allen (whose "Can't Stand to See You Go" sounds rather like Slim Harpo). Unfortunately, Soileau's most successful masters were sold to bigger labels, which means that the national hits "I'm a Fool to Care" (by Joe Barry) and "This Should Go on Forever" (by Rod Bernard) aren't included. The CD does, however, have a different version of "This Should Go on Forever" that Bernard redid for American Bandstand that omitted the word "sinner" and came out on a 1958 British single.
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