VA - The Other Side of Bakersfield, Vol. 1: 1950s & 60s Boppers and Rockers From "Nashville West" (2014)

VA - The Other Side of Bakersfield, Vol. 1: 1950s & 60s Boppers and Rockers From "Nashville West" (2014)
Artist: Various Artists
Title: The Other Side of Bakersfield, Vol. 1: 1950s & 60s Boppers and Rockers From "Nashville West"
Year Of Release: 2014
Label: Bear Family Records [BCD 16946 AR]
Genre: Rock & Roll, Rockabilly, Country
Quality: 320 kbps / FLAC (tracks+cue, log) / WAV (tracks)
Total : 68:57
Total Size: 158 mb / 237 mb / 696 mb

The "other side" in the title of Bear Family's two-volume 2014 set The Other Side of Bakersfield is effectively pre-history: it's the hopping, swig hillbilly boogie that laid the groundwork for the snapping, twangy train-track sound that popularized the Californian town in the '60s. Several of the sal names of Bakersfield country are indeed here on this 31-track set: there's Tommy Collins laying into the high-octane Western swing of "Untied," Buck Owens masquerading under the name Corky Jones and cutting the crackerjack rockabilly "Hot Dog," and, as the collection comes to a close, Merle Haggard surfaces sig "Skid Row," an early number that shows he was still indebted to Buck. Despite these titans, this emphatically is not a showcase for the electrified honky tonk that is popularly known as the Bakersfield sound. This chronicles the aftershocks of Ferlin Husky's hit "A Dear John Letter," a song a huckster called Hillbilly Barton traded to Lewis Talley for a car not long after Barton produced the original version with Fuzzy Owen and Bonnie Owens. Scott B. Bomar lays out the details of this complicated story in his liner notes, which also include a terrific track-by-track overview, but the broad strokes are apparent. Once the gold rush started, Bakersfield was filled with singers and Western swing bandleaders who were intent on playing any kind of country boogie or rockabilly that'd fill a dancehall floor. Consequently, the songs chronicled on this compilation swing to an R&B beat and somes have nagging nonsensical choruses (some of the p offenders are unloaded early, with Alvadean Coker's "We're Gonna Bop" and Bill Woods' "Go Crazy Man"). The earlier sides here demonstrate a stronger tie to jump blues and swing and that abandon can be heard in the records from the late '50s and early '60s, but these singles bear the hallmarks of the nascent Bakersfield sound: lots of echo, lots of lean guitars, and a creeping reliance on electricity. Novelties abound -- the most ridiculous being Ernie Kelley's "Seal Rock," coming complete with a sea lion bark on the chorus, but Bob Ross' "Stingy Daddy" illustrates how most of these one-offs balanced humor and a big beat -- but that's a big part of the appeal of The Other Side of Bakersfield: this was a group of singers who would do anything to entertain, who would do anything to have a hit. Only a handful struck pay dirt -- even Hillbilly Barton hit the jackpot only once, then he saw the gold rush go to others -- but this wildly entertaining disc shows how hustlers, rockabilly cats, Western swing crooners, and savvy guitar players wound up constructing what the sound of Bakersfield became.

1 -Billy Barton - Blues In The Blue Of The Night 2:30
2 -Tommy Collins - Untied 2:12
3 -Alvadean Coker - We're Gonna Bop 2:15
4 -Bill Woods - Go Crazy Man 1:57
5 -Tommy Duncan - Daddyo Loves Mommyo 2:00
6 -Cliff Crofford - There Ain't Nothin' Happenin' To Me 2:18
7 -Corky Jones - Hot Dog 2:17
8 -Al Coker - Don't Go Baby 2:05
9 -Bonnie Blue Bell - Let's Go 2:21
10 -Johnny Taylor - Mixed Up Rhythm & Blues 2:21
11 -Jimmy Thomason - Now Hear This 2:18
12 -Glen Ayres & Red Simpson - Sweet Love 2:07
13 -Billy Mize - Solid Sender 2:39
14 -Custer Bottoms - Stood Up Blues 2:06
15 -Dusty Payne - Long Gone 2:27
16 -Cousin Herb Henson - Up The Path And In My Door 2:18
17 -Fuzzy Owen - Arkie's Got Her Shoes On 2:14
18 -The Farmer Boys - Flash, Crash And Thunder 2:07
19 -Gene Martin - Make It Soon 2:02
20 -Buck Owens - Sweet Thing 2:12
21 -Bill Carter - I Used To Love You 1:49
22 -Ernie Kelley - Seal Rock 1:55
23 -Bob Ross And His Teens - Stingy Daddy 2:11
24 -Vancie Flowers - What A Man 1:34
25 -Joe Hall And The Corvettes - Bongo Beatin' Beatnick 2:17
26 -Wally Lewis - Lover Boy 2:30
27 -Bob Orrison - Sarah Lee 2:05
28 -Albert E. Brumley, Jr. - Someone's Gonna Get Hurt 2:16
29 -Al Hendrix - Monkey Bite 1:51
30 -Merle Haggard - Skid Row 1:43
31 -Ronnie Sessions - Scaredy-Cat 2:42
| _WAV

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