Ready for the most remarkable flood of high-profile stereo debuts this year (or any year)? Hit Parade Records presents perhaps their finest CD collection yet, and it’s overflowing with sonic surprises you never expected to hear in stereo. From the most iconic drum beat in pop music (the fabulous “Be My Baby” intro) to the instantly recognizable opening chords of “Louie Louie” and “You Really Got Me” (both here in stereo for the first time), this album contains more important pop music history than any CD you’ll likely ever own.
Johnny Cash was one of the most imposing and influential figures in post-World War II country music. With his deep, resonant baritone and spare percussive guitar, he had a basic, distinctive sound. Cash's career coincided with the birth of rock & roll, and his rebellious attitude and simple, direct musical attack shared a lot of similarities with rock. However, there was a deep sense of history – as he would later illustrate with his series of historical albums – that kept him forever tied with country. And he was one of country music's biggest stars of the '50s and '60s, scoring well over 100 hit singles. Now, There Was a Song! is the ninth album by Johnny Cash, featuring songs by Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams, and George Jones. It was released in 1960 on the Columbia label.
Cutting away all of Marty Robbins' rock & roll, Hawaiian and cowboy recordings, Bear Family's four-disc box set, Country 1960-1966, contains nothing but his straight country and country-pop recordings of the early '60s. During that era, Robbins was one of the most popular performers in country music, scoring an impressive series of Top 10 hits and pop crossovers like Don't Worry and Devil Woman, which are all included on this set.
John Lee Hooker developed a “talking blues” style that became his trademark. Though similar to the early Delta tradition, his metrically free approach and unique sound would make him a staple of Detroit blues. Often called the “King of the Boogie,” Hooker's driving, rhythmic approach to guitar playing has become an integral part of the blues. This quintessential release includes two albums from the beginning of his career: Sings the Blues (Crown 1961) and Sings Blues (King 1960). Although the two records share nearly identical titles, each contains a different and excellent track list. The former LP features great electric numbers such as “Hug and Squeeze (You),” “Good Rockin' Mama,” and “The Syndicate,” while the latter contains Hooker's solo recordings originally issued on the Modern label. Both albums have been remastered and packaged together in this very special collector's edition, which also includes 5 bonus tracks from the same period.