Various Artists

Them Rockabilly Cats!

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AllMusic Review by

Unlike many compilations of little-heard rockabilly sides, this has no particular theme connecting the tracks to each other, not even the same label or region. It's an above-average entry in the rockabilly comp field, though, because the quality of the records does seem to have been about as important a qualification as the collectability of the releases. There's just one real star among the 26 tracks in Carl Perkins, heard on his 1958 Columbia LP track "Where the Rio Del Rosa Flows." Billy Lee Riley's "Red Hot" and Ronnie Self's incredibly over the top "Bop-a-Lena" are acknowledged as rockabilly classics even by non-rockabilly specialists. But beyond that you're entering cult territory, with Sparkle Moore (one of the few excellent woman rockabilly vocalists), Sleepy La Beef, and Glen Glenn the only artists likely to excite some spark of recognition for those not steeped in this stuff. Although many of the tracks by the remaining singers are just OK, there are some notable finds here, like Jimmy & Johnny's "I Can't Find the Doorknob," which has an unusually effective use of harmonized duo rockabilly vocals; Jimmy Carroll's "Big Green Car," which would have fit in well with Sun's releases; and Sonny Fisher's "Rockin' Daddy," all-out raw rockabilly from a time (1955) when Elvis Presley had yet to make it a national fad.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:32
2 2:05
3 2:15
4 2:13
5 2:04
6 2:05
7
2:05
8 2:25
9 2:16
10
2:03
11 2:06
12
2:11
13 3:05
14 2:20
15 2:05
16 2:23
17 2:20
18 2:20
19 1:31
20 2:02
21 1:51
22
2:20
23 2:15
24 2:17
25 2:53
26 2:21
blue highlight denotes track pick