The continued existence of this site depends entirely on contributions from its readers. If you're able to, please consider donating or subscribing to CF. Thanks!



Peculiarities and odds bodkins

Burned a CD today for a girl I know to listen to in the car, consisting of some fairly obscure 50s RAB and R&B tracks. After playing it for my too-rapidly-maturing daughter (she’s in a training bra now? RUFKM?!? How the hell did THAT happen?) on the way back from picking her up earlier today, it hit me what a solid-gold mix this collection is. It’s been a while since I gave any of these tunes a listen; fact is, I had just about forgotten I even had ’em in the first place. It’s a mistake I don’t think I’m likely to be making again.

My rediscovery of these neglected favorites inspired me to check YouToob for ’em so as to share ’em here, although I didn’t have high hopes of finding them, there or anyplace else online. I mean, why would they be available on the Innarnuts, really? Rockabilly was never hugely popular its first time around, although admittedly it’s stood the test of time quite well. In fact, it’s almost certainly way more popular than it ever was back then. Despite that, though, the songs I was looking to unearth would amount to obscurity squared, so far underground that they were buried at a level far below the one where their underground genre was planted.

Imagine my surprise and delight, then, when I scored on the very first try, with The Moonlighters’ sizzling “Rock-A-Bayou Baby.”

This rockin’ and ravin’ Texas outfit is not to be confused with the far-more-famous Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, natch, who churned out hit after hit in the same pop-music era. Just thought I’d mention that, apropos of not much.

“Rock-A-Bayou Baby” is a graduate-level edjumacation in what it is that makes rockabilly truly “nature’s perfect music,” as my old friend and columnist for the P-burgh Tribune Mike Seate quipped in a BP’s review that still makes me blush a little bit. Mike had the right of it, too.

If it was possible to boil the whole RAB style down to a single word (it isn’t), that word would have to be frenzy. The thumping, humping slap bass; the slashing, clawing, primitive guitar attack; the feral howls, snarls, and yelps from the singer—these are all no more than typical of well-executed rockabilly, both then and now. The best rockabilly is like that: raucous, ferocious, untamed and untamable. Whatever rockabilly might lack in music-school technique and finesse it more than makes up for with triple-decker dollops of passion and intensity. The appeal is no doubt lost on most—I’ve always considered it a miracle that many if not most of the early RAB tracks were even recorded at all, much less pressed and released—but for the cats ‘n’ kittens who dig this stuff, there really isn’t anything else that comes close.

Another good example of what I’m talking ’bout:

“Love Me” is a lot better-known both in and out of rockabilly circles than “RockA-Bayou Baby” is, probably due to the Cramps covering it for one of their early singles, a version also included on the 1983 Off The Bone compilation. The blurb from the guy who posted the Phantom original on the ‘Toob says it well: Chaotic wonder by Jerry Lott a.k.a The Phantom, fun, furious, essential!!! Pretty much. “Chaotic wonder” nails it down clean and tight, if you ask me.

Okay, let’s try and dig up one more of these crazy diamonds on YT, shall we?


Okay, no way. I really can’t believe this.

This one is the aural analog to the famous “chicken” scene from Rebel Without A Cause, or maybe the “Paradise Road” drag-race scene from American Graffiti. Especially the end, when Harrison Ford dumps that Bowtie POS hard.

Anyhoo, there you have it: some hellraisin’, off the chain buck-wildness, from the most off the chain, buck-wildest musical genre there ever has been. Though it will surely sound odd to ears accustomed to modern popular music, it’s bound to grab at least some of you folks, or so I hope. And with that, I think I need to create a few sub-categories under our “Twangin’ and Bangin'” catch-all, maybe. T and B is getting kinda crowded, with a diversity of musical styles all tossed in together. A bit more specificity in there might come in handy someday, I think.


1 thought on “Peculiarities and odds bodkins

  1. I actually have that Phantom song on a Rockabilly CD compilation I had bought a long time ago.

    The best of the three, but they’re all great.

    Each one has a slightly different style. The yodeling on the last, the raw attack on Love Me, and the sort of Texas shuffle and Jordanaires background vocals on The Bayou song.

Comments are closed.

CF Archives


Comments policy

NOTE: In order to comment, you must be registered and approved as a CF user. Since so many user-registrations are attempted by spam-bots for their own nefarious purposes, YOUR REGISTRATION MAY BE ERRONEOUSLY DENIED.

If you are in fact a legit hooman bean desirous of registering yourself a CF user name so as to be able to comment only to find yourself caught up as collateral damage in one of my irregularly (un)scheduled sweeps for hinky registration attempts, please shoot me a kite at the email addy over in the right sidebar and let me know so’s I can get ya fixed up manually.

ALSO NOTE: You MUST use a valid, legit email address in order to successfully register, the new anti-spam software I installed last night requires it. My thanks to Barry for all his help sorting this mess out last night.

Comments appear entirely at the whim of the guy who pays the bills for this site and may be deleted, ridiculed, maliciously edited for purposes of mockery, or otherwise pissed over as he in his capricious fancy sees fit. The CF comments section is pretty free-form and rough and tumble; tolerance level for rowdiness and misbehavior is fairly high here, but is NOT without limit.

Management is under no obligation whatever to allow the comments section to be taken over and ruined by trolls, Leftists, and/or other oxygen thieves, and will take any measures deemed necessary to prevent such. Conduct yourself with the merest modicum of decorum, courtesy, and respect and you'll be fine. Pick pointless squabbles with other commenters, fling provocative personal insults, issue threats, or annoy the host (me) won't.

Should you find yourself sanctioned after running afoul of the CF comments policy as stated and feel you have been wronged, please download and complete the Butthurt Report form below in quadruplicate; retain one copy for your personal records and send the others to the email address posted in the right sidebar.

Please refrain from whining, sniveling, and/or bursting into tears and waving your chubby fists around in frustrated rage, lest you suffer an aneurysm or stroke unnecessarily. Your completed form will be reviewed and your complaint addressed whenever management feels like getting around to it. Thank you.

"Mike Hendrix is, without a doubt, the greatest one-legged blogger in the world." ‐Henry Chinaski

Subscribe to CF!

Support options

Shameless begging

If you enjoy the site, please consider donating:

Become a CF member!


Email addy: mike-at-this-url dot etc
All e-mails assumed to be legitimate fodder for publication, scorn, ridicule, or other public mockery unless specified as private by the sender

Allied territory

Alternatives to shitlib social media: A few people worth following on Gab:

Fuck you

Kill one for mommy today! Click to embiggen

Notable Quotes

"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."
Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

Claire's Cabal—The Freedom Forums


"There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters."
Daniel Webster

“When I was young I was depressed all the time. But suicide no longer seemed a possibility in my life. At my age there was very little left to kill.”
Charles Bukowski

“A slave is one who waits for someone to come and free him.”
Ezra Pound

“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”
Frank Zappa

“The right of a nation to kill a tyrant in case of necessity can no more be doubted than to hang a robber, or kill a flea.”
John Adams

"A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves."
Bertrand de Jouvenel

"It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged."
GK Chesterton

"I predict that the Bush administration will be seen by freedom-wishing Americans a generation or two hence as the hinge on the cell door locking up our freedom. When my children are my age, they will not be free in any recognizably traditional American meaning of the word. I’d tell them to emigrate, but there’s nowhere left to go. I am left with nauseating near-conviction that I am a member of the last generation in the history of the world that is minimally truly free."
Donald Surber

"The only way to live free is to live unobserved."
Etienne de la Boiete

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid."
Dwight D. Eisenhower

"To put it simply, the Left is the stupid and the insane, led by the evil. You can’t persuade the stupid or the insane and you had damn well better fight the evil."

"There is no better way to stamp your power on people than through the dead hand of bureaucracy. You cannot reason with paperwork."
David Black, from Turn Left For Gibraltar

"If the laws of God and men, are therefore of no effect, when the magistracy is left at liberty to break them; and if the lusts of those who are too strong for the tribunals of justice, cannot be otherwise restrained than by sedition, tumults and war, those seditions, tumults and wars, are justified by the laws of God and man."
John Adams

"The limits of tyranny are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
Frederick Douglass

"Give me the media and I will make of any nation a herd of swine."
Joseph Goebbels

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.”
Ronald Reagan

"Ain't no misunderstanding this war. They want to rule us and aim to do it. We aim not to allow it. All there is to it."
NC Reed, from Parno's Peril

"I just want a government that fits in the box it originally came in."
Bill Whittle

Best of the best

Finest hosting service

Image swiped from The Last Refuge

2016 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

RSS feed

RSS - entries - Entries
RSS - entries - Comments

Boycott the New York Times -- Read the Real News at Larwyn's Linx

Copyright © 2024