Outlaw songs are at least as old as popular music itself. The image of a gallant loner battling a rigid and unyielding legal establishment has proved irresistible for generations of songwriters. In 1959, Texan Sonny Curtis wrote one of the best, "I Fought The Law." Intended as a vehicle for himself and the post-Buddy Holly Crickets, their single went precisely nowhere.That is, until it was covered -- the first hit cover was by The Bobby Fuller Four in 1965, then another major version came out 14 years later, from The Clash who revived the "oldie" into what is now a "punk anthem." From there, the covers start piling up.... [more inside]
Volbeat are a "rockabilly metal band" from Copenhagen. Formed in 2001, they list among their influences Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash, along with many metal and punk bands. Some particularly rocking cuts inside, to help you get through Monday afternoon. [more inside]
The Cramps ripped it up, madly channeling the sordid specters of rock 'n roll's past while staying true to its psychedelic future, even when voxman Lux Interior was a lean 59 years old. The first show from their last-ever tour does nothing but prove it. [more inside]
The Los Angeles band named X. The one that performed "Los Angeles" , "Your Phone's Off The Hook But You're Not", "Johnny Hit and Run Paulene", "We're Desperate", "White Girl", and "Breathless". The one with John Doe, Exene Cervenka, Billy Zoom, and D.J. Bonebrake in it. [more inside]
New Year's Eve is fast approaching, and for lots of folks that means... drinking. Plenty of drinking. And since there's no shortage of singers and songwriters who've had a little something to say about that particular topic, maybe some of the following tunes can serve as an appropriate soundtrack to your own joyous (or not?) imbibing of spirits. For example, there's... Jimmy Liggins with his succinct rendition of Drunk, and there's... [more inside]
Live From The House Of Blue Leaves, It's The 5. 6. 7. 8.'s! This all-girl Japanese punk/surf rock trio is best known in the west for performing "Woo Hoo" in Kill Bill Volume One, but two other performances were filmed during shooting, "I Walk Like Jayne Mansfield " and "I'm Blue" (Music starts at 3:01) Bonus Material: (I'm Sorry Momma) I'm A Wild One. Teenage Celopatra Hanky Panky Bomb The Twist Roadrunner Interviewed on Chic-A-Go-Go
Fifty years ago, those decrying rock 'n' roll as devil music that would crumble the morals of America needed to look no further than Wanda Jackson for evidence. Her raspy, brassy voice, suggestive lyrics, and sexual energy were almost unbelievable for the Eisenhower years. Coaxed into singing rockabilly by her then-boyfriend, Elvis, she had a string of rock hits, before marrying and IBM programmer and switching to more traditional, conservative country music.
Baby please don't go, baby please don't go, baby please don't go down to New Orleans, I love you so, baby please don't go.
Whole Lotta Shakin' - a PRI documentary series on the history of rockabilly, hosted by Rosie Flores.
So You Think You Hate Country Music? Then listen to this. The roots of American country music may surprise you. In this series of NPR programs, trace the gradual development of real country music through the first half of the 20th century. Learn how a woman's instrument of the late 1800s, the parlor guitar, became the the central symbol of country and rock; see how African-American musical forms like gospel and blues meshed with the development of country and early rock and influenced the traditional forms in turn; listen to German-Mexican hybrids of accordian style; find out why women had so many honky-tonk torch songs to sing in the late 40s. The series contains hours of content (narrative, interviews, music tracks), and a multitude of excellent links for deeper digging.