Bobby Lord slipped through the cracks. He was a regular on Nashville TV and he parlayed that into a recording career for Columbia, cutting a series of singles between 1956 and 1960, few of which made a real impact: “No More! No More! No More!” wound up acclaimed among rockabilly aficionados who were the only ones who paid any great attention to these sides. These singles remained preserved on vinyl until Bear Family put out Everybody’s Rockin’ But Me as part of their Gonna Shake This Shack Tonight series in 2011. There is some truth to the title: the 24 singles collected here aren’t all rocking by any means, and not just because Lord’s earliest sides found him walking the line between honky tonk and country boogie. Once his wilder rockabilly -- “No More! No More! No More!,” “Hawk-Eye,” “Everybody’s Rockin’ But Me’” -- failed to launch, Lord dabbled in all the sounds of the times, going for teeny-bopper ballads, bobby-sox 2-steps, and historical fables straight out of Johnny Horton's playbook. Lord handled these turns capably, even impressively, throwing himself into the sounds even when they didn’t deserve much energy, which they certainly didn’t when he had to sing dance-hop fluff like “Party Pooper.” Such sickly sweet pop tunes weigh down Bear Family's comp to an extent -- particularly when they’re included in favor of actual charting country singles like “Without Your Love” -- but taken from another angle, Everybody’s Rockin’ But Me is a pretty fun snapshot of what it meant to be a singer on the make in the back end of the '50s: you needed to try everything to get anywhere, and Lord certainly did. He was good enough to make the twists in fashion credible and fortunate to cut a handful of terrific little cult items that are strong enough to make this whole disc worth investigating.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine