Moon Mullican died while still in his fifties, and his last recordings from 1966 show him still possessed by the same swing and boogie bug that infected his earliest sides, from the mid-'30s. A fine link between the original honky tonk style of the '30s and rock & roll of the '50s, Mullican recorded or released three LPs of material during his last year (he died January 1, 1967) and two of the three are found on this two-fer from T-Bird. Loose-limbed and swinging, Mullican sounds great on a range of material that includes a few re-recordings of earlier hits ("Columbus Stockade Blues," "I'll Sail My Ship Alone," "You Don't Have to Be a Baby to Cry"), as well a novelty or two, but with no staleness evident. The sound is not stellar -- it's a straight transfer from the original LP and sounds like it, with occasional surface noise audible and a compressed sound -- but considering that these sessions have never seen the light of day in the digital era, that's a small consideration. Overall, these two sets are chock-full of that same Texas-Louisiana swing that proved a big influence on Jerry Lee Lewis (who has often acknowledged his debt to Mullican).
Sings I'll Sail My Ship Alone/Sings Mister Honky Tonk Man Review
by John Bush