Five Starday Rockabilly Recordings That You Should Listen To

By Buster Fayte, Featured Author, Sad Man’s Tongue

Starday Records was mainly a country and western label when the rockabilly  craze hit in 1954. Seeing an opportunity to cash in on the new music craze,  Starday signed many rockabilly artists. These musicians created some of the  greatest classic rockabilly records of the era. If you thought all the  greatest rockabilly came out of Memphis’ Sun Records label, you were wrong! In  this article I’ll talk about five Starday rockabilly songs that you should  listen to.

  1. “Duck Tails”: This crazy tune by Rudy “Tutti” Grayzell has become one  of the seminal rockabilly tracks of all time. Its goofy lyrics and the nonsense  “motorboat” lip sounds that Grayzell made a trademark part of many of his songs  somehow work beautifully with the great guitar work and impassioned vocal  delivery. The song ends with Grayzell pleading with his girlfriend in a mumbling  voice to leave his hair alone. Classic.
  2. “Rockin’ Daddy”: Another great song with a few goofy lyrics sung by  Sony Fisher, Starday’s first rockabilly artist. This song has a wonderful  rockabilly sparseness to it and is one of the few rockabilly recordings in which  you can really clearly hear what the bass is playing. And it’s playing all over  the place!
  3. “All the Time”: At 6 feet, 6 inches tall, Sleepy LaBeef may have been  the tallest rockabilly cat of all time. He also recorded some of the most  compelling rockabilly tunes of all time! The thus-appropriately-named “All the  Time” is a rollicking rocker that chugs along wonderfully. It’s another case of  a rockabilly song being totally convincing rock and roll even though recorded  without drums. This record was distributed by Mercury Records (who’d signed a  distribution deal with Starday).
  4. “Ice Water”: This one, by Glenn Barber, is a little more hillbilly  than the others on this list, but still great early rockabilly from 1954. It  features nice piano work as well as a steel guitar solo. Maybe some would say  this is more hillbilly boogie than rockabilly, but who’s really to say? Those  lines did blur at times!
  5. “Jitterbop Baby”: This is simply one of the coolest rockabilly songs  ever recorded. Hal Harris’ smooth vocals set against a great backing combo with  cool guitar work that features back-to-back solos in different pickup switch  positions, easy but steady snare drum, and chugging slap bass. Background vocals  come into the picture during the chorus and it just makes it all  complete.

Starday records released some of the greatest rockabilly tunes of all time.  No rockabilly story would be complete without including Starday and these  fantastic records. These five recordings are just a small sampling of what the  Starday library has to offer.

Buster Fayte is an author and rockabilly musician. He Blogs at “Buster Fayte’s Rockabilly Romp” where he writes about the passion he shares with millions of musicians and fans for rockabilly and oldies music. Buster has written several books including the “Complete Home Music Recording Start Kit”. He writes original songs, sings, and plays both guitar and bass.

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About Sad Man's Tongue: Rockabilly Bar & Bistro - Prague

We are a Bar and Bistro where old school meets the new school, dedicated to preserving the roots of rock and roll and it's modern adaptations as well as preserving the cultural identity of our neighborhood through our food, the the principles of the slow food movement. A little bit of rockabilly and retro combine with the kustom kulture of today, in an atmosphere devoid of Pretension.
This entry was posted in 1950s, Culture, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Music, Music History, Rock n Roll, Rockabilly, Rockabilly Bands & Music, Starday Records, Sun Records and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Five Starday Rockabilly Recordings That You Should Listen To

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