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Etta James

Good Rockin' Mama - Her 1950s Rock'n'Roll Dance Party

    Etta spent most of her career with Chess; we have several exceptional CDs of her recordings for that company in the Kent catalogue. Prior to Chess, she spent four years with Modern, where she cut almost three dozen superb R&B sides; we also have all of those out on a great 2 CD set, but we felt that Etta was deserving of a good old-fashioned vinyl album as part of our new HIQLP series.

    “Good Rockin’ Mama” compiles all of Etta’s best up-tempo Modern tracks into a set that will prod any dancin’ party into life, from her first single ‘The Wallflower’ (aka ‘Roll With Me Henry’) through to her final recording for the company, ‘“Baby, Baby” Every Night’. All 14 tracks are classic examples of the young Etta.

    For anyone who needs further enlightenment, Etta sounds like the female Little Richard on ‘Tough Lover’ and ‘Dance With Me Henry’ (a ‘Wallflower’ remake) – both recorded in New Orleans with many of the musicians who frequently backed Richard. There’s her original take on ‘W-O-M-A-N’, which she returned to on a couple of occasions later in her career, and for lovers of TV ads everywhere, ‘Hickory Dickory Dock’ and ‘Good Rockin’ Daddy’.

    It’s a safe bet that anyone who plays this hot biscuit will just flip it over and play it again from start to finish when it’s through. Not just good rockin’, but great.

    TRACK LISTING

    Side 1
    01 Tough Lover (Take 1)
    02 Good Rockin' Daddy
    03 W-O-M-A-N
    04 Shortnin' Bread Rock
    05 The Pick-Up
    06 Good Lookin'
    07 The Wallflower

    Side 2
    01 Dance With Me, Henry
    02 "Baby, Baby" Every Night
    03 Hickory Dickory Dock
    04 Strange Things Happening
    05 Hey! Henry (Take 6)
    06 Come What May
    07 That's All

    Various Artists

    Choctaw Ridge - New Fables Of The American South 1968-1973

      “Choctaw Ridge” explores a new country sound, one that emerged at the end of the 60s in the wake of Bobbie Gentry’s ‘Ode To Billie Joe’, a shock number one hit in 1967. When singers like Gentry, Jimmy Webb, Michael Nesmith and Lee Hazlewood moved from the south to Los Angeles to make it in the music business, they were not part of the Nashville in-crowd and they forged a new direction.

      'Ode To Billie Joe’ was the tip of the iceberg, and its success helped a bunch of singers and storytellers to emerge over the next three or four years. Some of the tracks on this collection bear that song’s stamp more clearly than others: Sammi Smith’s moody ‘Saunders’ Ferry Lane’ had a similar mystery lyric, and Henson Cargill’s ‘Four Shades Of Love’ is a portmanteau, with one (or possibly two) of the theoretically romantic situations ending in death.

      Suddenly, character sketches of southerners became a lot more rounded – women didn’t have to stay home, or take abuse at the office, and darkness wasn’t only found at the bottom of a bottle. Storytelling is the link between all of the songs on this collection. We have cautionary tales about what could happen to someone who heads for the bright lights and doesn’t make it, ending up in the grasping hands of ‘Mr Walker’ (Billie Joe Spears), or on the ‘Back Side Of Dallas’ (Jeannie C Reilly), or on a mortuary slab in the case of the songwriter with the ‘Fabulous Body And Smile’ (Robert Charles Griggs). And there are stories about wanting to go home – Nat Stuckey’s ‘What Am I Doing In LA?’ and Charlie Rich’s ‘Feel Like Going Home’ – and others from Ed Bruce and Lee Hazlewood, who know that their home isn’t home anymore.

      The tracklist and fulsome sleeve notes have been put together by Bob Stanley (Saint Etienne) and Martin Green (Smashing, The Sound Gallery), who have been collecting these records for decades.

      The voices are resonant and relatable, and the productions take in the best of what pop had to offer in the late 60s and early 70s. Before the factionalism between smooth pop-conscious Nashville and the hedonistic ‘outlaws’ made it look inward again, this was a golden era for an atmospheric, inclusive and progressive country music. It began on the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day.

      Bob Stanley

      TRACK LISTING

      01 The House Song - Lee Hazlewood
      02 If Only She Had Stayed - Chris Gantry
      03 Endless Miles Of Highway - Jerry Reed
      04 The Back Side Of Dallas - Jeannie C Riley
      05 Way Before The Time Of Towns - Hoyt Axton
      06 Strawberry Farms - Tom T Hall
      07 Down From Dover - Dolly Parton
      08 July 12, 1939 - Charlie Rich
      09 What Am I Doing In LA? - Nat Stuckey
      10 Mr Stanton Don't Believe It - Rob Galbraith
      11 Saunders' Ferry Lane - Sammi Smith
      12 Four Shades Of Love - Henson Cargill
      13 Drivin' Nails In The Wall - Waylon Jennings & The Kimberlys
      14 Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town - Kenny Rogers & The First Edition
      15 Why Can't I Come Home - Ed Bruce
      16 Mr Walker, It's All Over - Billie Jo Spears
      17 Harlan County - Jim Ford
      18 Widow Wimberly - Tony Joe White
      19 Belinda (Alt Take) - Bobbie Gentry
      20 Joanne - Michael Nesmith & The First National Band
      21 Mr Jackson's Got Nothing To Do - John Hartford
      22 Alone - Lee Hazlewood & Suzi Jane Hokom
      23 Fabulous Body And Smile - Sir Robert Charles Griggs
      24 I Feel Like Going Home - Charlie Rich

      Various Artists

      Ace Records 40

        A celebration of our 40years in business: 1975-2015 represented by seven vinyl singles in a luxury box/book.

        40 years on and, as the song says, we got to get right back where we started from. That was and still is the 7-inch vinyl 45rpm single. This traditional “album” contains seven 45s that could never fully represent the Ace story so far, but they touch on numerous aspects of what we have been doing all this time. There are unissued versions, highlights from our career, lost gems and an error corrected, but all truly terrific music. A small jukebox worth of recordings spanning the 20 years from which the bulk of Ace releases have been drawn. It is hard to believe only 20 years separate Etta James’ release for Modern from Joe Strummer’s first recording made for our Chiswick label, which in turn is now nearly 40 years old.

        After our dalliance with pop and rock, which lasted until the early 80s and wasn’t without its highpoints, we shifted our attention to recording London’s garage and psychobilly bands in the wake of licensing the Cramps’ catalogue. But the blues, its more active little brother rhythm & blues, even more active grandchild soul and wayward second cousin who got the funk have always been a major strand in what we do. We heard some of that rock’n’roll music, liked it and put a lot of it out, alongside its sweeter pop counterpart and teenage rebel nephew 60s psych and garage that contributed to the backbone of the past 40 years of releases.

        During that time, we have danced to many different tunes in many different styles. We jived, we twisted, then we shimmied (and shaked), glided elegantly across the northern soul dancefloor, pogoed and all the time shook a tail feather. These days it is more likely to be a soft shoe shuffle but the enthusiasm hasn’t dimmed. The dedicated team of Ace staff, engineers and consultants are still turning out a regular flow of great-sounding, handsomely packaged, articulately annotated CDs, with the odd LP and 45 thrown in for good measure. You can even download a lot of it, but unfortunately without the pretty pictures and sweet words as yet.

        They say the future is online and they may be right, but nothing can match that warm fuzzy feeling the whiff of wax brings.

        TRACK LISTING

        Disc One
        1A. Confessin The Blues (Alt) BB King
        1B.Tough Lover (Alt) Etta James

        Disc Two
        2A. One Cup Of Coffee And A Cigarette - Glen Glenn
        2B. Youre Under Arrest - The Shirelles

        Disc Three
        3A. Not My Girl - The Platters
        3B. No Other Guy - Lou Johnson

        Disc Four
        4A. Try A Little Tenderness (Alt) - Otis Redding
        4B. You Gotta Have Soul - James Carr

        Disc Five
        5A. Psychedelic Sally - Eddie Jefferson
        5B. Keep On Brother Keep On - Johnny King And Fatback Band

        Disc Six
        6A. I Got Mine - The Charlatans
        6B. Get The Picture (Alt) - The Scot Richard Case

        Disc Seven
        7A. Dont Cry For Me - The Zombies
        7B. Keys To Your Heart - The 101ers


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