Side 1 Baby Let’s Play House (Elvis Presley, Scotty and Bill) Mama’s Little Baby (Junior Thompson with The Meteors

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  • Various - Raunchy Sugar: The Pure Essence Of Memphis Rock & Roll 2LP (LP)


    Fantastic Voyage continues to bring the Sugar series to vinyl, with 32 standout tracks selected by Stuart Colman from the 75-track 3CD set Raunchy Sugar.

    Raunchy Sugar is the successor to the thoroughly-recommended Fantastic Voyage compilations, Heavy Sugar (FVDV051), Savvy Sugar (FVDV059), Sassy Sugar (FVDV098) and Classy Sugar (FVDV108). Whereas those releases were devoted to New Orleans, the West Coast, Nashville and New York respectively, Raunchy Sugar focuses on that crucible of rock ’n’ roll Memphis.

    The argument will forever rage, but Memphis, Tennessee, is as much the fountainhead of rock ’n’ roll as is Cleveland, Ohio. Whilst the north had Alan Freed as its turntable champion, the south was blessed with the madcap deejay, Dewey Phillips. Chances are, ole Dewey would have played most of the 32 titles that go to make up Raunchy Sugar on his Red Hot and Blue show that aired over WHBQ in Memphis.

    During the 1950s the city was alive with labels, record hops, musicians and the general chaos that goes hand in hand with the big beat. The geographical lie of the land helped a great deal, because the city was central to so many rural areas that harboured musical talent and style. Carl Perkins and Carl Mann gravitated to the area from Jackson, Tennessee, Billy Riley did the same from Arkansas, and Elvis Presley hit the trail from Mississippi in order to soak up some of that unique Shelby County action. Outside of Sam Phillips’ legendary Sun Records, the labels included such names as Hi, Cover, Fernwood, Meteor, Vaden and Satellite. The latter outlet, which would go on to become Stax, is represented here by Don Willis’ much-admired ‘Warrior Sam’. With a bunch of less well known, but retrospectively revered, artists rubbing shoulders with Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Rich and Sonny Burgess, you have some mighty fine Memphis rock ’n’ roll.

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