Release Date: 06/22/07
The Bullet Recording and Transcription Company was launched in late 1945 by former Grand Old Opry booking agent Jim Bulliet, along with businessman C.V. Hitchcock and musician/songwriter Wally Fowler. This is the first comprehensive overview of the Bullet label. The first disc concentrates on Rhythm and Blues (both urban and down home), the second on Country & Western and Hillbilly Boogie, and the third on the jazzier Jump and Jive recordings (with a touch of gospel thrown in for good measure). There are some fascinating moments contained in this collection. It's wonderful to hear B.B. King, Ray Price and Smoky Hogg in such formative stages in their careers. There is only a hint of the greatness to come. But Chet Atkins and Bobby Troup spring forth fully formed at the very beginning of their careers. The Wynonie Harris tracks are believed to be his only recorded performances on drums, and it's thrilling to hear Ray Batts and Hardrock Gunter giving birth to rockabilly. Even back then, Nashville wasn't called Guitar Town for nothing. These guys were really smokin' (Check out Hank Garland on Autry Inman's 'Double Cross'.). There was a ragtime revival underway at the time and John Gordy's tracks included here feature the recording debut (playing spoons no less!) of future Pop/R&B star Bobby Hebb (composer of 'Sunny'). Both the black and white crooners sing in virtually the same style (It's hard to believe that the Rudy Greene on disc one is the same guy on disc 3.) and there's very little difference in the black and white versions of 'Rag Mop'. All of these musicians, black or white, hillbilly or jazz, sound more alike than different, and everybody wanted to boogie. The last two tracks on the collection showcase a black gospel group (The Fairfield Four) singing in a very conservative, traditional style, and a white group (The Speer Family) singing in a black, rough rural style. There was a lot of very interesting, and very natural, musical cross pollination going on in the middle of the last century, and soon it would explode into something called Rock N' Roll and American music would never be the same again. So in the final analysis there seems to be a thread that runs through all of the Bullet recordings. The performances are all Americana at its finest. Unselfconscious, honest and full of fire. This compilation is a complete cross section of the type of music you would have heard as you spun the dial on your radio in 1950. As their logo said 'Bullet-Always A Smash Hit'. Well sometimes anyway, but nearly always an interesting recording.
|Label: Blue Label|
|Run Time: 40 mins|
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