John Ellis | Princeton, NJ United States | 02/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No "leavening sense of swing"? The only thing "preening" around these parts is Frank John Hadley's prose. But don't you keep your head where his is at. Instead take a listen to this crucial moment when the blues morph into somethin' rockin' in the hands of a guy just sittin' around strummin' his guitar with its amp cranked way past what its manufacturer intended while his buddy slaps his drums with a shufflin' beat that defies your toes to start tappin' and done caused one skinny white boy to start his pelvis to twitchin' so that none of us were ever the same again.
Listen, first, to "Shout, Sister, Shout." (Or maybe that should have been "Swing, Sister, Swing.") And think about how accelerated cultural evolution was becoming with the "information technology" of records and juke boxes. Why, in these very same years, Count Basie's sides were extending jazz's New Orleans/Chicago/New York journey to Kansas City where it got back a dose of the heartland and started boppin'. And while part of that was becoming the Bird/Dizzy/Miles/Trane lineage, other parts were becoming Louis Jordan ("Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens")...and Johnny Otis ("Willie and the Hand Jive")...and Winonie Harris ("Lovin' Machine")...why, even Nat Cole ("Route 66"). All of these stalwarts were consummate performers.
Not so Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup. Just a guy playin' for himself. But so kinetic. So much channeling through nervy rhythm of what cannot be said through words that don't exist. You can just imagine how intoxicating this music must have been to teens, whether through jukeboxes or heard in the dark late at night over some 50,000 watt AM station booming out from big cities to small towns (Elvis) or indeed broadcast (in the Elvis rendition) from some ship off the eastern coast of England (John, Paul, George and Ringo).
So, check it out. Never mind the sniffing half-praise of Mr. Hadley. Your hips will be glad you did. "
More Than All Right
Brian D. Hackert | Peterborough, NH | 10/14/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Worth buying if it was just "So Glad You're Mine" 22 times. As it is, the other 21 cuts are the icing on this cake, including the remarkable "I'm Gonna Dig Myself A Hole," the original version of the famous "That's All Right, Mama," and the first popular recording of the standard "Mean Old Frisco." Although occasionally briefly profound, as in "Cool Disposition," Crudup's music is mainly rockin' fun with a beat that will make you bounce and bop, as it did for the people who made these records juke box hits in their day. The tone of his groundbreaking electric guitar achieves what for many is the ideal blues sound, especially effective when accompanied by just drums. Although not considered essential in blues history terms, Arthur Crudup could easily become any blues fan's favorite singer."
One and one is two. Two and two is four.
Johnny Heering | Bethel, CT United States | 03/29/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup is probably best known today as the writer and original singer of Elvis Presley's first record, "That's All Right". But during his heyday, Crudup was a fairly popular blues singer in his own right. He rarely performed live, because he suffered from stage fright, but he did make a lot of records that sold pretty well. He played the country blues in a hard-driving style that was quite appealing. Most of his best known songs are included here. I would recommend this CD to all fans of old time blues."
A strong candidate for best anti-war song
David L. Minton | 08/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Indeed, forget Hadley's sniveling condescension. Ripped off mightily by life and the music industry suits who stole almost every blues artist's work, dignity and money, Arthur Crudup came to my attention 45 years ago on John Hammond's first Vanguard Album. Jeep reminded me of its full lyrics a few weeks ago, and I went to seek Big Boy's original.
Those who understand and "get" the blues would do well to listen, and learn. We are the inheritors of an irreplaceable piece of cultural heritage. Support the new generation of young blues artist who are working today to keep this music alive.
If there is a better anti-war song than Give me a 32-20, let me know. It still raises the hairs on the back of my neck.
Give Me a 32-20 Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup
I've got my questionaire-ee, and they needs me in the war I've got my questionaire-ee, and they needs me in the war Now if I be a murderer Don't have to break the county law
All I want is a 32-20 made on a 45 frame I want a 32-20 made on a 45 frame Yes and a red white and blue flag Wave that in my right hand
Then you can tell my baby Oh, lord I say wait for me Then you can tell my baby Oh, lord I say wait for me Tell her I meet her one morning Down by that old red sea
Now if I go down with a red white and blue flag in my hand Now if I go down with a red white and blue flag in my hand Then you can bet your life Ol' Cru sent up many a man
Hmmmm... Hero is all I crave Hmmmm... Hero is all I crave Now when I'm dead and gone Cry Hero on my grave"