Various Artists

Goin' Back to Memphis

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Fans of the real-deal, raw rockabilly sound will love this 16-track collection of Memphis-based artists, with half of the tracks being original Sun recordings. Of the eight selections recorded at Sam Phillips' studio at 706 Union Avenue, only one failed to see a release on his Sun label, the countryish call and response number "Daisy Bread Boogie." "Michigan's Singing Cowboy," Earl Peterson, is listed as the artist on "Daisy Bread Boogie," but despite the vocal similarity, this is in actuality Memphis radio personality Gene Steele doing the lead vocal chores. Tommy Blake's "Lordy Hoody," featuring the mercurial guitar work of Carl Adams, is here, along with Onie Wheeler's country bopper "Jump Right Out of This Jukebox." Country crossover artist Ernie Chaffin and Memphis bandleader Slim Rhodes are both aboard with two cuts each. Chaffin's "I'm Lonesome" and "Lonesome For My Baby" both feature great steel guitar from Pee Wee Maddux, while Rhodes' "Do What I Do" and "Take and Give" are strong rockabilly efforts with Sandy Brooks doing the Elvis lead vocal chores. The final Sun selection, Hardrock Gunter's "Jukebox Help Me Find My Baby" was actually recorded at a radio station in Wheeling, West Virginia. Two tracks from Carl Perkins, "Big Taxes" and "It Started," were recorded in Nashville in the early '60s, but retain the small-group charm that marked his Sun sides. Perkins also appears in the supporting role of songwriter/guitarist on Randy Lee's Nashville recording of "Tell Me." Another Nashville effort comes from Sun producer Jack Clement with "The Edge of Town." Other Sun alumni contributing (but recording elsewhere in Memphis) are Billy Riley with the instrumental "Memphis Blues," Glenn Honeycutt with the bouncy shuffle "Right Gal, Right Place, Right Time" and Gene Simmons' bluesy title track. The high-dollar collector's item here is one side of Malcolm Yelvington's ultra-rare Meteor single (as "Mac and Jake with the Esquire Trio"), "A Gal Named Joe," recorded between his two Sun singles and a true rarity today. An interesting collection of rarities for the serious Memphis music fan.