Essentially country music welded to jump blues, rockabilly was rock & roll’s first clear shot at the world in the late '50s, and for every huge star like Elvis Presley who passed through the genre and took it onto the charts, there were hundreds -- if not thousands -- of singles by likeminded artists released in the rockabilly era that vanished without much impact or became, at best, only regional successes. This two-disc, 50-track set collects some of these rare releases, and includes sides by footnote musicians like Al Epp, Jimmy Patton, Jimmie John, Jimmy Lloyd, Benny Joy, Benny Ingram, and many others with similar fame pedigrees. There’s a whole lot of singing about rocking and bopping and hopping -- rockabilly was always about moving one’s feet (if not everything else, too) -- but there are a few tracks that stretch things just a bit, like Max Alexander and Hank Harral's “Little Rome” from 1957, which tosses in some honking and jiving saxophone, and Jimmie John's “Solid Rock,” which contains a furious banjo breakdown. There are no household names here, and at 50 tracks this is probably way too much for the casual fan to bear, but true fans of the rockabilly genre will find this set a godsend of rare treasures.
AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2