|Rockabilly Daddy, Alvis Wayne
Rollin' Rock CD 109
Some twenty-plus years ago I picked up a 45 EP from a recordstand at one of the local hops. That's nothing out of the ordinary of course, but the same 45 is still in my jukebox today. The masterpiece I'm talking about is the first release of the British band The Jets, "Rockabilly Baby". One of the tracks on the EP was "Sleep Rock A Roll Rock A Baby" and I fell in love with that song there and then. I had never heard the original and I had never heard of Alvis Wayne at that time. A long while after that, I finally found a copy of Alvis Wayne's original version and that was the first I ever heard of the Texas rockabilly legend. Well, I don't think he was much of a legend in 1956 when he recorded the song, but his name sure became well known on the rockin' scene during the rockabilly revival of the seventies, when Ronny Weiser issued a couple of 45s on his Rollin' Rock label. I was only 15 at that time, so excuse me if I was a little late with discovering music by the likes of Alvis Wayne, Johnny Carrol and Groovey Joe Poovey.
Alvis Wayne Samford (born in Puduka, Texas on December 31, 1937) originally had four records out on the Kansas City, Missouri, based Westport label in the 50s. His "Don't Mean Maybe Baby" still stands out among other Texas rockabilly songs and I was very pleased to find that, after 26 years, Rockin' Ronny had finally recorded a complete album with this rockabilly originator. All songs on this release are newly recorded tracks straight from Ronny Weiser's Rollin' Rock studio in Las Vegas.
The title track "Rockabilly Daddy", written by Alvis, gives a pretty damn good first impression of the album. Straight Texas rockabilly, original 50s style with great authentic guitar licks by Billinghurst 'Billy' Disonante of Mack Stevens' Hardcore Texas Cats fame. All tracks on this album have that distinctive Texas beat, some fast paced, others somewhat slower like the country styled "Those Lonely Lonely Teardrops" with female additional vocals by rockabilly filly Jessica Rooth. Johnny Horton's "One Woman Man" perfectly displays Alvis' deep soulful voice, a voice that was cut out to sing songs like this or the wailing country blues song "Here I Am", written by Alvis' wife Fritzie Samford. "A Good Woman's Love" is a country ballad that reminds of earlier classics by Johnny Horton and Johnny Cash, while "Back To The 50s", is fast paced rockabilly again', a tribute to the founders of rockabilly music and the time that this kind of music came naturally, the fifties. "Fall Fallin" is a styleful tearjerker with beautiful high pitched aaah's and oooh's by the afore mentioned Jessica Rooth.
Let's have some more of that hardcore rockabilly, "You Can Have Her" is a great rocking Alvis & Jessica duet that will surely get your feet movin'. "Louisiana Dirty Rice" has some cajun influences, no surpise of course if you know that is was written by Jimmy C. Newman, and Roger Miller's "Billy bayou" (also of Jim Reeves fame) is played somewhat faster than the orginal, which makes it a solid rockabilly song. More rockabilly beat on Rayburn Anthony's "Gothenburg" and Faron Young's "Alone With You". Track 14 is another selfpenned blues song with some great blues guitar licks by guest musician Jorge Harada. The closing song "Texas Rockabilly Get Together" has that same rockabilly style as the opening song, back to the roots of rockabilly.
A little something for everyone on this collection of Texas rockabilly, country, blues and cajun music, sung by a man who's name can be uttered in one breath with the likes of Johnny Horton and Johnny Carrol. A great voice if I ever heard one! As Alvis Wayne states on the liner notes: "Texas rockin' cowboys are the best!" Indeed!!!
Alvis Wayne is backed by:
Always Rollin' The Rock, Rockin' Ronny Weiser
Reveiwed by The BlackCat, 2000