CD1 Bring It Home To Me (Ella Johnson) Teardrops From My Eyes (Ella Mae Morse) Pig Latin Blues (LaVern Baker)
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Various - Voodoo Voodoo – Feisty Fifties Females 3CD Boxset (CD)€18,00
Compiled by R&B and rock & roll authority Dave Penny, the 90-track 3CD set Voodoo Voodoo pays tribute to the distaff side of 1950s R&B music that would inform the rock ’n’ roll explosion of the latter half of the decade, from the last shout of the 1940s big band “thrushes” such as Ella Johnson and Dinah Washington, through the fearsome vocal power of the likes of R&B trailblazers such as Big Maybelle, Ruth Brown, LaVern Baker and Big Mama Thornton, to the early experiments of the mainstream pop singers such as Ella Mae Morse, Kay Starr, Peggy Lee, Lillian Briggs and Jaye P. Morgan.
That ages old question, who cut the first rock ’n’ roll record?, will never be answered as the style evolved over several years, and in any case everyone has their own idea of what constitutes rock ’n’ roll. By contrast the question, who was the first white performer to successfully utilise the black R&B style and mould it into a sound that could convincingly be labelled “rock ‘n’ roll”?, sounds more straightforward: surely it was Elvis Presley or Bill Haley? But was it? There is a compelling argument that the women beat the men to the punch when it came to assimilating black music for white consumption in the 1950s and while it might not have been the TKO that history tells us was delivered by Presley or Haley, it was still a mighty blow that deserves to be better documented. Indeed, rather than the black vocal harmony groups that originated “Fool, Fool, Fool” and “Money Honey”, it is now suggested that Elvis was influenced to record these songs in his early years from the cover versions by Kay Starr and Ella Mae Morse…
So prepare yourself for a whole lot of rhythm and rock from 65 feisty females on Voodoo Voodoo, a compilation that is happy to embrace singers from across a range of styles – R&B, big band and pop – just so long as they deliver the goods vocal-wise. Ice water at the ready! It’s a hot one, we’re tellin’ ya!