The Classic Recordings 1956-59

The Classic Recordings 1956-59

by Warren SmithWarren Smith


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Ask any rockabilly cat and they'll tell you that Warren Smith was one of the greats. He's somebody the hardcore love, not just because he produced the frenzied "Ubangi Stomp" and not just because he cut the definitive version of "Rock & Roll Ruby," but also because he was a passionate, powerful country singer, wrenching enough emotion out of the traditional "Black Jack David" to make it seem like his own. He also had great mid-tempo sides like "So Long, I'm Gone," written by Roy Orbison and Sam Phillips, and "Red Cadillac and Black Moustache." As great as these songs are -- and, decades later, they retain their vitality, thanks to both Smith's performance and the spare, vibrant sound of Sun Studios -- they were not big hits, with only "So Long, I'm Gone" scraping the bottom reaches of the Top 100; but they are among the finest rockabilly and country of the late '50s, as Bear Family's stellar The Classic Recordings: 1956-1959 proves. This single-disc, 31-track collection contains everything Warren Smith cut at the studio, including several alternate takes and unreleased material. Instead of cluttering the disc, these rarities show Smith's depth and range, as he sounds equally comfortable with hardcore country as he does with down and dirty rockabilly. The remarkable thing about the disc is that the songs and performances are all of consistently high quality. Unlike many of his rockabilly peers, either at Sun or elsewhere, Smith cut almost no dross, and his sides for Sun rank among the finest at the studio, holding its own against the work of Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis, which is high praise indeed. Needless to say, The Classic Recordings: 1956-1959 belongs in the library of any serious fan of '50s country, rockabilly, or rock & roll.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/27/1994
Label: Bear Family
UPC: 4000127155146
catalogNumber: 15514
Rank: 46586

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Warren Smith   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Charlie Rich   Piano,Vocals
Ace Cannon   Tenor Saxophone
Cliff Acred   Bass
Joe Baugh   Piano
Johnny Bernero   Drums
Buddy Holobaugh   Guitar
Roland Janes   Guitar
Stan Kesler   Bass,Steel Guitar
Billy Lee Riley   Guitar
Brad Suggs   Guitar
Marcus Van Story   Bass
J.M. Van Eaton   Drums
Hopson   Guitar
Jan Ledbetter   Bass
Sid Manker   Bass,Guitar
Asa Wilkerson   Vocals
Otis Jett   Drums
Jimmy Lott   Drums
Lee Holt   Vocals
Jimmy Wilson   Piano
Bill Abbott   Vocals
Will Hopson   Bass

Technical Credits

Slim Harpo   Composer
Don Gibson   Composer
Warren Smith   Composer
Jack Clement   Producer
Colin Escott   Liner Notes,Reissue Producer,Illustrations
Hopson   Composer,Illustrations
Hayden Thompson   Composer
Sam Phillips   Producer
Fred Carter   Composer
Hoffman Nienburg   Art Direction
Lilly May   Composer
Traditional   Composer

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