This 30-track compilation draws the majority of its contents from 1950s-era West Coast and Southern labels both great and small, including selections from Specialty, Modern, Era, Excello, Goldband, and Johnny Otis' Dig label. While labeled a "rock'n'roll party," the majority of contents compiled here are straight-up rockin' R&B: "Old Folks' Boogie," by Al Simmons with Slim Green and the Cats From Fresno, takes John Lee Hooker's "Boogie Chillen" and Junior Parker's "Feelin' Good" and reduces them down to a single riff that's even more elemental than those two bare-bones boogies, if such an artistic notion is possible. Several artists right on the edge between rhythm and blues and rock & roll are featured here, including Little Richard, Larry Williams, Young Jessie, and Richard Berry, and blues artists with some rockin' in their blood get their due here as well with Slim Harpo, Johnny "Guitar" Watson ("Those Lonely Lonely Nights," with its famous one-note solo), and Hop Wilson all making appearances. Honking West Coast sax men Joe Houston and Chuck Higgins contribute a track apiece, while the doo wop side of the equation primarily comes from selections released by the East Coast-based Old Town Records, with the Harptones, Jive 5, and the Cleftones all contributing to the mix. This collection shows considerable depth and breadth, and brings together tracks that seldom make it onto packages like this. Well done.
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