“ The Rockin’ Rebel vol. 2 ” on Golden Archives
GA-300 was released in 1979 and hails from the US.
The front cover features a black and white classic pose of Elvis on stage
in the 1950s. The back cover also
features a black and white of Elvis, this time on stage at the Louisiana Hayride.
The gatefold cover opens up to feature various black and white photos from various Hayride shows and a nice set of liner notes giving information on the tracks included on this LP. As a bonus, a 16 page 8˝ x 11 inch booklet titled “ Live in ‘55 ” featuring glossy black and white 50’s photos of Elvis performing on stage is included. This booklet is FANTASTIC and is an excellent “ bonus ” that certainly adds to the theme of this LP!!
The LP label features the treasure trunk overflowing
with “ archived discs ” with a red background on the top half, and light
blue background with the track listing in black text on the bottom half.
The sound quality is very good throughout, the pressing has minimal
surface noise and the sources for these performances ( though remote recording
technology at the time was still in its infancy ) are of very listenable quality.
Side 1. All tracks are listed as being from Eagle’s Hall in Houston, TX (March 19, 1955)
These Eagle’s Hall
and Hayride tracks have appeared on numerous LPs ( and subsequently CDs ) over
the years. Here is the track
listing compared to the “ official ” 1997 CD release of these tracks:
CD “Raw Elvis”
1. Introduction /
Good Rockin’ Tonight
1. Introduction / Baby, Let’s Play House
2. Baby, Let’s
2. Blue Moon of Kentucky
3. Blue Moon of
3. I Got A Woman
4. I Got A Woman 4. Good Rockin’ Tonight
5. That’s All
5. That’s All Right
The Emcee gives an
introduction and the set opens with “ Good Rockin’ Tonight ”, after which
Elvis begins to introduce Bill and Scotty but the source tape is interrupted.
“ Baby, Let’s Play House ”, “ Blue Moon of Kentucky ”, “ I’ve
Got A Woman ” and “ That’s All Right Mama ” round out this set.
All of these tracks were released on an LP titled “ The First Years ”
( commercially in England and import in the USA ) and also on an LP titled “
The Fist Year – Recorded Live ” on Black Belt Records; with the same track
order as this LP.
A CD titled “ The
Legend Begins ” Magnum CDMF-086 from 1992 has these tracks in the exact same
running order as this LP, though the “ band intro ” dialogue has been edited
out after “ Good Rockin’ Tonight ”. On
1997’s “ Raw Elvis ” Outwest Records 9210-2 ( licensed by BMG Special
Products ), the band intro dialogue has been place before “ Good Rockin’
Tonoght ” but has been edited as it does not get to the point where Elvis
begins to introduce bassist Bill Black. Also, “ Good Rockin’ Tonight ” is
clearly not in the correct running order as Elvis is clearly strumming the intro
chord for “ Good Rockin’ Tonight ” after he is introduced by the Emcee.
There seems to be some confusion about which mic Elvis is supposed to
sing into; the Emcee can be heard pointing out “ that’s the PA mic, that’s
that broadcast mic ” ( for the radio broadcast ).
The CD cuts to “ Baby Let’s Play House ” which is in a different
key. The 1990 CD/LP release “ Vintage
55 Elvis ” on Oak 1003 may be the predecessor of this incorrect track order as
the track order is the same as “ Raw Elvis ”, down to the moving and editing
of the “ band intro ” before the misplaced “ Good Rockin’ Tonight ”.
All tracks from various Louisiana Hayride shows
“ Lucky Strike
Guest time ”: The words of Frank Page first introduced a radio audience to the
future King of Rock N Roll on Oct 16, 1954. Frank
chats with Elvis before he launches into side 1 of that first Sun record “
That’s All Right ”. Frank inquisitively asks Elvis where he and the boys came up
with that sound and Elvis simply states that they “ stumbled upon it ”.
They flip that record over and play the trio’s version of “ Blue Moon
of Kentucky ”, completing their first Louisiana Hayride Performance. (It
was announced that they were to perform again later in the evening – not heard
on this LP, a recording of that second set hasn’t surfaced ).
This LP notes “
Tweedle Dee ” as being from December 1954; however this performance is most
often dated as April 30, 1955. The “ Louisiana Hayride Archives ” vol 1. BGR 0246-2 CD
from 1996 ( two covers exist for this CD ) lists two different performances of
this song from different dates, but direct comparison proves them to be the same
performance. In 2000, MME 72628-2 “
Good Rockin’ Tonight – the Evolution of Elvis Presley / The Complete
Louisiana Hayride Archives ” was released. This
two CD set is a dream-come-true as it contains narration and stories by Frank
Page himself, who Emceed many of those Saturday night Hayride broadcasts;
including Elvis, Scotty and Bill’s first. This
two CD set presents two different versions of “ Tweedle Dee ”; the first
dated as 1/22/55 ( clearly from an acetate source ) has more prominent piano and
Elvis clearly sings different lyrics during these two performances.
The second version dated as 4/30/55 matches the version on this LP, the
version on the Hayride Archives vol. 1 CD ( one of which is dated 4/30/55 ); and
the Legend Begins CD ( which lists this date as one of two choices ).
So even if the date isn’t known for sure, we do have several sources
which concur on this date.
The remaining six months of Elvis’ Hayride contract was bought out for $10,000 by Col Parker as Elvis’s career skyrocketed and it became more difficult for Elvis to get to Louisiana every Saturday night to perform. The last two tracks on this LP side; “ I Was the One ” and “ Love Me Tender ” both come from Elvis’ final contractual Hayride performance on Dec 16, 1956 from the Hirsh Memorial Coliseum in Shreveport, LA complete with the Jordanaires singing back up. These last two tracks were first released on this LP. ( “ Hound Dog ” was also performed at this show, and Emcee Horace Logan first coined the now infamous phrase “ Elvis has left the building ” after Elvis’ 35 minute set to assure the audience that Elvis would not return to the stage ). The Hayride, which began in April 1948, would fade in the 60’s as TV became the medium of choice, but the legacy of entertainers it brought to audiences all over the South will endure.
While the front cover of this LP isn’t quite as memorable as the fold-open color photo on the first volume, the material included on this second volume is certainly a nice addition to any Elvis fans’ LP collection. While this material may have appeared elsewhere, this LPs collection of such stellar 50’s material makes it a definite “must have” as it just reaffirms Elvis’ status as the titles suggests “ The Rockin’ Rebel ” vol. 2.
Ernie Boyes Jr.