SYNOPSIS: Out of the murky depths of America’s musical past, Mammon rears his stylishly DA’d head—singing (sorta) rock and roll for the kiddies of yesteryear. The name of this here tune is: “Cash in, baby!’ So grab your Gramp’s blue suede shoes and head on down to the imaginary hop to dance the night away to… him?!?!?!
Whereupon Uncle Tom tells us all about it, and adds: “All praise to Billy Vera, one of the best chroniclers of obscure 50s pop and R&B, who triggered my obsession with this obscure genre with his ground-breaking compilation ROCKIN’ IS NOT OUR BUSINESS featuring often hilarious R&B covers from RCA and its subsidiary labels, 1950–58. Although out of print, it is still fairly easily obtainable online.” Uncle LD hastens to remind listeners his annual 29th birthday is just around the corner . . .
NB: Most of these selections have never been issued on CD, with these exceptions: “Juke Box Baby” can be found on the recent Bear Family release of the same name, by Perry “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” Como (BCD 16783); “Hearts of Stone” by the Fontane Sisters and “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” by Gale Storm can be heard on the highly recommended Ace compilation DOT’S COVER TO COVER (CDCHD 609), along with tracks by Pat Boone, Snooky Lanson and Tab Hunter; “Little Pigeon” was taken from the Taragon release SAL MINEO: THE COMPLETE EPIC RECORDINGS. In our quest to bring you only the rare and exquisite on Uncle LD’s High Bias, the rest of these tracks were transferred from those flat seven-inch disc thingies by Uncle Tom himself, who did a bang-up job. Naturally, though, some surface noise is be expected, so fret not.
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INTRO: “Gee” by the Crows; excerpt (1953)
“Gee” by June Hutton (Capitol, 1954)
“Hearts of Stone” by the Fontane Sisters (Dot, 1954)
“Love Me” by the Woodside Sisters (Label X, 1954)
“Teenage Meeting” by Don Cornell (Coral, 1955)
“Juke Box Baby” by Perry Como (RCA, 1956)
“Rock ‘N’ Roll Wedding” by Sunny Gale (RCA, 1956)
“Earth Angel” by Snooky Lanson (RCA Camden, 1955)
“Why Do Fools Fall In Love” by Gale Storm (Dot, 1956)
“Tennessee Rock and Roll” by Sons of the Pioneers (RCA, 1956)
“Heartbreak Hotel” by Bob Eberly (Waldorf, 1956)
“I’ll Never Be Free” by Tab Hunter (WB, 1959)
“Indian Giver” by Tony Perkins (RCA, 1958)
“Little Pigeon” by Sal Mineo (Epic, 1958)
“Judy, Judy” by Gary Crosby (Verve, 1958)
“Lady Madonna” by Jackie and Roy (Capitol, 1968)
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 31, 2006