Various Artists

What Did They Do Before Rock'n'Roll?

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A companion volume to Rockin' Is Not Our Business!, Westside's look at RCA's whiter-than-white pop attempts at coming to grips with the rise of rhythm & blues, this 20-tracker is heavy on the pop crooners and especially tunes that would later find their way into the recorded repertoire of one Elvis Presley, like Tony Martin's "I Don't Care If the Sun Don't Shine," and Don Cornell's "Are You Lonesome Tonight," and Jimmie Rodgers Snow's "Love Me." Vaughn Monroe turns in the most surreal attempts here on "They Were Doing the Mambo" and an even nuttier "Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots" that must be heard to be believed. An oddball collection for sure, here's some early-'50s pop sides that meets rock & roll at the crossroads. Full of pop legends like Eartha Kitt, Billy Eckstine, Perry Como and Gogi Grant, it's also a good place to start investigating the best of the highly underrated Ziggy Talent.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:57
2 2:40
3 2:47
4 2:43
5 3:03
6 2:16
7 2:59
8 3:16
9 2:24
10 2:41
11 2:34
12 2:16
13 2:55
14
2:53
15 2:02
16 2:47
17
2:05
18 2:47
19 2:30
20
2:26
blue highlight denotes track pick