Many fans of Jerry Reed may not realize that his recording career began in the mid-'50s when, as a teen, he signed to Capitol records. Here I Am collects his complete recordings for Capitol (30 songs), most of which were originals. "If the Good Lord's Willing and the Creek Don't Rise" was later covered by Johnny Cash during his tenure at Sun, and a few of the other tracks here occasionally surface on rockabilly compilations, but many of these recordings have been unavailable since they were originally waxed (and a few are previously unreleased). Reed's music at this stage was stylistically varied, from rockabilly to honky tonk to teen pop, and he had yet to develop the unique fingerpicking style that characterized his later recordings. Although the quality of the material is inconsistent, Here I Am chronicles the earliest phase of an important artist's career. Fans of Reed as well as those with a broad interest in rockabilly and '50s pop and country will likely enjoy this set.
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