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Related: rock - American music - Suicide (band) - The Cramps


Rockabilly is the earliest form of rock and roll as a distinct style of music. It is a fusion of blues, hillbilly boogie, bluegrass music and country music, and its origins lie in the American South. As Peter Guralnick writes, "Its rhythm was nervously uptempo, accented on the offbeat, and propelled by a distinctively slapping bass....The sound was further bolstered by generous use of echo, a homemade technique refined independently by Sam Phillips and Leonard Chess in Chicago with sewer pipes and bathroom acoustics." While recording artists such as Bill Haley were playing music that fused rhythm and blues, western swing and country music in the early 1950s, and Tennessee Ernie Ford performed in a somewhat similar style on songs such as "Smokey Mountain Boogie," they were not playing rockabilly. As Nick Tosches writes, "By the early 1950s, it was not uncommon to encounter simultaneous country and rhythm-and-blues recordings of the same song." And he points out that the Delmore Brothers and Hank Williams were performing, in the late 1940s, music that could be called rock and roll. But rockabilly was a stripped-down version of its various sources, and thus a specific stylistic moment in the evolution of music that before had existed in many forms. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockabilly [Apr 2005]

Can't Hardly Stand It (1956) - Charlie Feathers

Listen to an excerpt of Charlie Feathers's Can't Hardly Stand It (1956) here, via here.

From a 1985 Cramps-inspired American compilation called Monster A Go-Go JM 13 that was issued in the UK as Born Bad (1985). It was subtitled Songs We Taught The Cramps: 16 Cramps Classics By The Original Artists and that's what they were: all the old rockabilly, surf rock etc that makes up The Cramps oeuvre. The Born Bad album turned into a series.

Via Boing Boing

The stand-out track on the Kill Bill 2 soundtrack is Charlie Feathers's "Can't Hardly Stand It, a song best known today as a standard of the Cramps, the greatest sludge-a-billy act of all time. It's expecially keen to hear this old, unironic rockabilly version performed, and realize that this was indeed "bad music for bad people."

Enter the Born Bad CD series, from Australia. These (screamingly expensive, hard-to-find) discs consist of nothing but originals of songs that Cramps later covered, including classics like "The Crusher," "Goo-Goo Muck" and "Her Love Rubbed Off." I've put together a little Amazon list with the SKUs of the five discs in Amazon's catalogue. --Cory Doctorow via http://www.boingboing.net/2004/05/05/songs_the_cramps_cov.html [Jul 2006]

Example of lurid sleeve art

Image sourced here.

1980s Feathers recordings:

New Jungle Fever (1987) - Charlie Feathers

He released his New Jungle Fever album in 1987 and Honkey Tonk Man in 1988, featuring the lead guitar work of his son, Bubba Feathers. These later albums of original songs penned by Feathers were released on the French label New Rose Records, whose other 1980s releases included albums by cult music heroes like Johnny Thunders, Alex Chilton, Roky Erickson, The Cramps, The Gun Club, and others. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Feathers [Jul 2006]

New Rose Records was later acquired by Fnac records but closed in 1994. The previous owner and founder of New Rose founded Last Call records and has rereleased New Jungle Fever and Honkey Tonk Man on CD.

New Jungle Fever and Honkey Tonk Man [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

See also: The Cramps - trash - music

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