Various Artists

Underground Rockabilly

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A stripped-down mixture of country, blues, Western swing, boogie-woogie, country, and R&B, rockabilly emerged in the early '50s by combining all of the above styles with a lyrical philosophy that echoed the sentiments of a teenager getting out of the house, into a car, and having fun on a Friday night, and while it was only around as a current, intact style for a couple of years, rockabilly set the stage for rock & roll, which grabbed rockabilly’s wild, have-fun attitude and turned it into a musical explosion that rewrote the rules for what a pop record could be. This 25-track set collects some pretty rare and vintage rockabilly sides, none of which ever came close to a Top 40 list, including David Ray's timeless “Lonesome Baby Blues,” Jim Wilson's rattling, piano-led “Have a Tear on Me,” and Tooter Boatman's (there’s a stage name!) get-out-of-school anthem “Life Begins at 4 O’clock,” among other obscure but wonderful examples of rockabilly at its best.

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