Monday, April 30, 2012


While Gotham was seen as a blues/R&B/doo wop label, the Philadelphia-based company also distributed hillbilly material, a great deal of it from the Louisiana-based Pacemaker label, run ostensibly by singer Webb Pierce. Although almost everything here was issued in 1951 on Gotham, a lot of it was certainly cut before that, crude hillbilly with a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants quality to it. Faron Young is the big name here, with four of the 14 tracks credited to him, including "I'm a Free Man Now" and "I Heard the Jukebox Playing," both fine early indicators of his signature style. Tracks from Tillman Franks (the title track and the jumping "Hot Rod-Shotgun Boogie No.2"), the mysterious Tex Grimsley (very Western-style takes on "Teardrops" and "Walking the Dog"), Claude King (the hilarious "Beer and Pinballs"), and a pair from a very young Teddy Wilburn complete this marvelous collection of tracks, most of them pulled from the original 78s. Although it's listed as "red hot rockabilly" on the cover, this is early raw Southern country to the bone. ~ Cub Koda, Allmusic

1. Hot Rod - Shotgun Boogie No. 2 - Tillman Franks 2. Walking the Dog - Tex Grimsley 3. Teardrops - Tex Grimsley 4. Beer and Pinballs - Claude King 5. 51 Beers - Claude King 6. You're Just Imagination - Faron Young 7. Have I Waited Too Long - Faron Young 8. Hi-Tone Poppa - Tillman Franks 9. I Heard the Jukebox Playing - Faron Young 10. A Million Mistakes - Claude King 11. Why Should I - Claude King 12. Court of Justice - Teddy Wilburn 13. How Would You Like to Call Me Sweetheart - Teddy Wilburn 14. I'm a Free Man Now - Faron Young
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