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Good Rockin' Tonight: 28 Original Rock 'N' Roll Hits

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Various Artists 5/25/2004

Review

European copyright law, which allows into the public domain recordings that are more than 50 years old, has fathered scores of poorly assembled and packaged collections of music that is still claimed by American companies. But there are instances in which the free-for-all has led to interesting albums that couldn't have been compiled or issued -- especially at an inexpensive price -- in the U.S. due to the many competing record labels involved. A case in point is Prism Leisure's 2004 album Good Rockin' Tonight: 28 Original Rock 'n' Roll Hits, which gathers together recordings made between 1947 and 1953 of what in those days was known as jump blues or rhythm & blues music. Titles like "Hound Dog," "Good Rockin' Tonight," "One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer," and "Big Ten Inch (Record of the Blues)" have become familiar to rock fans in the hands of Elvis Presley, George Thorogood, and Aerosmith, among others, but these recordings are the early ones performed by black artists like Big Mama Thornton, Wynonie Harris, Amos Milburn, and Bull Moose Jackson. (Particularly interesting is Dave Bartholomew's "My Ding-a-Ling," the unacknowledged precursor to Chuck Berry's 1972 number one hit of the same name.) There are better known names here, too, among them Bill Haley, Lloyd Price, Louis Jordan, Fats Domino, and John Lee Hooker, but many of these artists never went much beyond the chitlin circuit, despite their talents and the success of their recordings; ten of the 28 heard here hit number one or two in the R&B charts. Of course, some of the disadvantages of a public domain collection are found here. With the tracks mastered off records, the sound quality is occasionally uneven (there is a noticeable mixing problem in the middle of Haley's "Crazy Man Crazy," the leadoff track, for example), and the packaging is deceptive: Little Richard's picture and name are shown on the cover, but his music is not heard on the disc! ~ William Ruhlmann
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Crazy Man Crazy Bill Haley null:null
  3. 2 Hound Dog Various Artists null:null
  4. 3 Sixty Minute Man Billy Ward & the Dominoes null:null
  5. 4 Lawdy Miss Clawdy Various Artists null:null
  6. 5 Good Rockin' Tonight Wayne Harris null:null
  7. 6 Bambalam The Du Droppers null:null
  8. 7 Midnight Rockin' Various Artists null:null
  9. 8 Good Lovin' The Clovers null:null
  10. 9 One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer Amos Milburn null:null
  11. 10 KC Loving Little Willie Littlefield null:null
  12. 11 Nervous Man, Nervous Big Jay McNeely null:null
  13. 12 My Ding-a-Ling Dave Bartholomew null:null
  14. 13 I'm Gone Various Artists null:null
  15. 14 Big Ten Inch (Record of the Blues) Bull Moose Jackson & His Buffalo Bearcats null:null
  16. 15 Squeeze Me Milt Trenier null:null
  17. 16 Butcher Boy Mr. Sad Head null:null
  18. 17 Gator's Groove Willis "Gator" Jackson null:null
  19. 18 Blue Light Boogie Louis Jordan null:null
  20. 19 Rockin' With Fes Professor Longhair null:null
  21. 20 House of Blue Lights Merrill Moore null:null
  22. 21 Goin' Home Fats Domino null:null
  23. 22 Grandpa Stole My Baby Moon Mullican null:null
  24. 23 Have Mercy Baby The Dominoes null:null
  25. 24 Cash Box Boogie Lowell Fulson null:null
  26. 25 One Monkey Don't Stop No Show Sticks McGhee null:null
  27. 26 No Money Various Artists null:null
  28. 27 Rockin' Time Ed Gates & His Hollywood All Stars null:null
  29. 28 No More Doggin' John Lee Hooker null:null

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