Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Bad Boy of Rock N'Roll
Genres: Blues, Pop, R&B, Rock
Compilation of all of his powerhouse rocking, late '50s tracks for Specialty. All tunes are taken from the original single masters & feature the best R&B and rock'n'roll musicians from Hollywood & New Orleans backing Willi... more »
Compilation of all of his powerhouse rocking, late '50s tracks for Specialty. All tunes are taken from the original single masters & feature the best R&B and rock'n'roll musicians from Hollywood & New Orleans backing Williams. 24 tracks in all, including the hits 'Short Fat Fannie', 'High School Dance' and 'Bony Morone'. 1999 release.
Specialty-period Larry Williams
Laurence Upton | Wilts, UK | 03/10/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Like many others, I knew the name Larry Williams from scrutinising Beatles album sleeves. John Lennon was a big fan and the group used to feature Dizzy Miss Lizzy at the Star-Club in Germany during 1962. Lennon later recorded Slow Down, Bad Boy and Dizzy Miss Lizzy with the mop tops, on one occasion with Larry Williams in attendance at Abbey Road, and from these versions it was clear that Larry Williams was a "rocker" in the same mould as Little Richard or Lloyd Price.
The sleeve notes confirm that there were indeed many parallels, and that Larry Williams also played piano on these sessions (although there is a second pianist, so Williams' role is unclear). Many bands, including the Rolling Stones, used to do She Said "Yeah", which Larry Williams co-wrote (with Sonny Bono, long before Cher was around to say "yeah") and recorded during his spell at Specialty between 1957 and 1958. Lennon later recorded Bony Moronie, providing a valuable source of royalties to Williams in later years.
This rocking 24-track collection on Ace from 1999 gathers all the best material from this period from the original master tapes, including all the singles released in the UK on the London label, plus some that were issued by Art Rupe after Larry Williams had defected to the Chess label. There are also several first-rate tracks that were unreleased until decades later, some appearing for the first time.
The accompanying booklet is exasperating by hinting at details that are not followed through. Stuart Colman's sleeve notes indicate that he has access to details of the recording sessions but he either does not give the dates or makes allusions such as "the last Friday in the month" or "unleashed...the Wednesday after Valentine's Day"; unhelpful if you don't happen to have a 1957 or 1958 diary on your desktop. Musicians are listed for both the Hollywood and New Orleans sessions but without specifying which are for which.
Although the notes continue beyond the period covered on the CD, no mention is made of his death by a gunshot wound to the head, in his Cadillac parked in the garage of his Laurel Canyon home on 2 January 1980 amid allegations of prostitution, racketeering and drug dealing. A sorry end to a talented performer, who leaves this testament for our evaluation and enjoyment."