Release Date: Feb 24, 2004 Issued to coincide with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's historic exhibit of the same name, this two-CD set is a treasure-trove of hits, misses, rarities, and smoking grooves. Certainly Nash Vegas is the capital of country music, but in its day it also boasted a wealth of stomping rhythm and blues music that flourished in the city for the better part of three decades, until the bulldozers of "urban renewal" destroyed much of its cultural base and forced it from its terrain. With 35 tracks, plus a pair of bonus tracks that are commercials, this set is an affordable, indispensable introduction to a nearly forgotten part of American musical history. The labels represented here are a cross-section of the great regional independents that were so numerous n the '40s, '50s and '60s. Imprints such as Do-Ra-Mi, who recorded Audrey Bryant, Excello, Champion, Sun, Hickory, Bullet, Dial, A-Bet, Elf, and Sound Stage recorded both luminaries and nobodies. Here are early sides by Hank Crawford when he was in a jump band, the wild and wooly Esquerita, Joe Tex, Arthur Alexander, Roscoe Shelton, Joe Simon, Etta James, Johnny Adams, and Christine Kittrell. And there are cuts by cats like Johnny Jones, Nashville's premier blues guitar slinger, Audrey Bryant, the city's Sarah Vaughan, and others who scored big on Nashville radio and jukeboxes, such as Peggy Scott and Jo Jo Benson, Clifford Curry, and Robert Knight. While some of these names might not mean much to causal listeners of old rhythm and blues and soul, connoisseurs will be delighted to find these sides, many of them on CD for the first time. However, the appeal of this collection should not be limited to aficionados, as virtually every track is crackling with energy, verve, and raw immediate soul. Sound is better than decent, the selection is impeccable, and the track notes by Michael Gray are top-notch.
101.Cecil Gant - Nashville Jumps 102.Rudy Green & His Orchestra - Buzzard Pie 103.Kid King's Combo - Skip's Boogie 104.Christine Kittrell - L&N Special 105.Christine Kittrell - Sittin' Here Drinking 106.The Prisonaires - Just Walkin' in the Rain 107.The Varieteers - If You and I Could be Sweethearts 108.Arthur Gunter - Baby Let's Play House 109.Little Hank [Crawford] & the Rhythm Kings - Christene 110.Louis Brooks & His Hi-Toppers with Earl Gaines - It's Love Baby (24 Hours a Day) 111.The Marigolds - Rollin' Stone 112.Gene Allison - You Can Make It If You Try 113.Esquerita - Rockin' the Joint 114.Audry Bryant - Let's Trade a Little 115.Roscoe Shelton - Say You Really Care 116.Larry Birdsong - Somebody, Somewhere 117.Jimmy Beck & His Orchestra - Pipe Dreams 118.Little Richard - WLAC commercial 119.Earl Gaines - White Rose (theme)
201.John Richbourg - WLAC Air Check - Shy Guy Douglas - Monkey Doin' Woman 202.Etta James - What'd I Say (Live) 203.Johnny Jones & the Imperial 7 - Really (Part 1) 204.Frank Howard & the Commanders - Just Like Him 205.Arthur Alexander - Anna (Go to Him) 206.Joe Henderson - Snap Your Fingers 207.Ruth Brown - Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean (Nashville Version) 208.Sam Baker - Something Tells Me 209.Bobby Hebb - Sunny 210.Joe Tex - I Want To (Do Everything for You) 211.The Hytones - Bigger and Better 212.The Avons - Since I Met You Baby 213.Joe Simon - The Chokin' Kind 214.Clifford Curry - She Shot a Hole in My Soul 215.The Valentines - Gotta Get Yourself Together 216.Peggy Scott & Jo Jo Benson - Soul Shake 217.Johnny Adams - Reconsider Me 218.Robert Knight - Everlasting Love