Essential Rockabilly – The Sun Story

What I Think of When I Think of This Artist

I found a bunch of these at Half Price Books, where I assume someone unloaded their entire collection of rockabilly. The One Day Music label out of England issued various Essential Rockabilly albums, all organized by original record label, such the Columbia Story, the Decca Story, the Capitol Story, etc. While I like rockabilly a lot, I ended up sticking with just the Sun Story version. I actually own a Rhino comp called The Sun Story, and it’s got a decent amount of overlap with this, which gives me a lot of faith that the folks at One Day did a really careful job of selecting these tracks.

What I Think of This Album

Fifty songs on two discs may be all the rockabilly you need, and as far as I am (mostly ignorantly) concerned, the rockabilly the Sun label released in the ‘50s was among the best.

This compilation collects well-known and significant tracks – “Mystery Train,” the unfortunately racist “Ubangi Stomp,” “Breathless” (later covered by X), “Red Hot,” “Honey Don’t,” “Get Rhythm,” “Drinkin’ Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee,” “Mona Lisa” – and also includes lesser-known but completely enjoyable songs. Thus, over the two discs you get Elvis, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and Johnny Cash, as well as Charlie Rich, Barbara Pittman, Charlie Feathers, Warren Smith, and Sonny Burgess. If you are at all interested in rock history or have a bizarre appreciation for rockabilly like I do, this is worth finding.

The liner notes are sparse but educational; I do like that they include the songwriting credits and year of release.

The Best Thing About This Album

The careful curation.

Release Date

2011

The Cover Art

I mean, not terrible at all.

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