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Kevin C. from FAIRFAX, VA
Reviewed on 8/7/2006...
Always liked this one
Probably The First CD I Ever Owned
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This 12-selection CD version of an earlier vinyl LP from RCA was, if I recall correctly, the first one I purchased after acquiring my initial CD player. And while it contains seven selections that have long since been included in numerous compilations, there are five here, if you can believe it, that are still not all that easy to locate in their original form.
Anyone who is familiar with the music of that era will know that the smash hit version of Sh-Boom [reputed by some to be the first R&R song] belonged to The Crew Cuts and the Mercury label, but The Chords, a black group from the Bronx, did it first on the small independent Cat label. And in the summer of 1954 it scored on both the R&B [# 2] and Billboard Pop [# 5] charts, no mean feat for a black group back then.
Any self-respecting Elvis fan will also remember his 1954 rendition of Good Rockin' Tonight for the Sun label, but here you get one of the versions that probably helped influence him as a youngster in 1948. This Wynonie Harris version reached # 1 R&B that summer for the King label, while the Roy Brown recording for DeLuxe made it to # 11 R&B.
And you just know that Elvis probably bought, and played to death, the 1953 Peacock recording of Hound Dog by the inimitable Willi Mae "Big Mama" Thornton which reached # 1 R&B - and stayed there for seven weeks.
The Waters selection was only his biggest hit, reaching # 3 R&B in early 1954, and at track 5 you get to hear Shake, Rattle And Roll the way it was meant to be sung before Bill Haley toned it down a bit for the mass white audience. Turner's original also went to # 1 R&B in 1954 and stayed there for three weeks.
The sound quality is crisp and clear, and it even has liner notes, brief though they are, written in April 1985 by Gregg Geller. If nothing else, this is an historic release in many respects, and one you will want to own. If you can find one.