Joe Leonard, Jr. ran the Lin and Kliff labels out of Texas in the early '50s, being one of the first to see the commercial potential of Elvis and rockabilly music. He countered by signing up local talent, sometimes leasing the masters to MGM or Imperial when the sides started to show promise on his own imprints. This sparkling 26-song compilation spotlights the cream of Leonard's output on those two labels. From the boppin' country sounds of Buck Griffin ("Stutterin' Papa") to the hard-edged rockabilly of Andy Starr ("Round and Round," "She's a Going Jessie"), to the raucous performances of the Strikes (their three missing tracks that aren't on the Imperial version of this series, including an alternate take of "If You Can't Rock Me"), these are some of the music's shining ground-floor moments. Televangelist Kenneth Copeland makes with the shake on "Fanny Brown" and "Where the Rio de Rosa Flows" while more rock & roll-oriented sides from the Atmospheres, the Tu-Tones, David Ray, Don Terry, the Jokers, Steve Wright, J.B. Brinkley, and Don Curtis complete this top-notch package. If you can't spring for Bear Family's four-disc run of the Lin/Kliff story, here's a great chance to grab all the hot rockers on one disc.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Cub Koda