Ray Sharpe

Linda Lu

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AllMusic Review by

Ray Sharpe's biggest and only hit, "Linda Lu," only made it to number46 on the Billboard charts and his music doesn't fit into any convenient categories. He is that anomaly of anomalies, an African-American who made records that sounded like a hillbilly doing rock & roll and pop tunes. Sharpe could pick some pretty bluesy guitar and had a way of vocalizing and stuttering and stretching out syllables with a twang that would have given even Jim Nabors a moment of pause. But producer Lee Hazlewood sure knew how to get the best out of him and rather than a compilation with one hit and a bunch of leftovers, we have a collection of diverse but cool material that deserves a much wider hearing. The sound on this disc is really clean and powerful, some of it in early true stereo, but it's the music that'll win hands down every time and that's the bottom line here. Maybe Ray Sharpe isn't in the Hall of Fame, but if you like Texas music with a distinct twist to it, this collection comes highly recommended.

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