Shake, Rattle & Roll: Rock 'n' Roll in the 1950s
Liner Notes   Cat. No. 80249     Release Date: 1977-01-01
This title, which was released as part of the original Recorded Anthology of American Music LP collection, was never reissued on compact disc. The album's liner notes are accessible via the link above, which include a biographical sketch and detailed information regarding each track (example below).

At My Front Door
(John C. Mooreand & Ewart G. Abner, Jr.)

Dee Clark, vocal; other personnel unknown. Recorded 1960 in Chicago.Originally issued on Abner LP-2002.

Clyde McPhatter's success paved the way for several high-voiced male singers, including Bobby Day (“Rockin' Robin”), Marv Johnson (“You've Got What It Takes”), and Jimmy Jones (“Handy Man”). The most original was Delectus Clark (born 1938), whose family moved from Blytheville, Arkansas, to Chicago when he was a child. At the ageo f fourteen, he was singing with the Hambone Kids on an R&B hit,“Hambone,” by veteran Chicago drummer Red Saunders. Clark signed with a subsidiary of Vee Jay in 1955, at which time he fluctuated between sounding like McPhatter and Little Richard. When Richard switched to gospel, Clark took over his band and had a minor success in the Little Richard mode with“Kangaroo Hop.” In 1958 he recorded the first of several originals, “Nobody but You,” and revealed a singing and song writing style of his own. He followed it with two Otis Blackwell songs, “Just Keep It Up” and the rollicking “Hey, Little Girl.”

Dee Clark's records were handsomely but excessively produced by Calvin Carter of VeeJay. They reflect the Chicago sound in their swing rhythms and jazz-styled orchestrations. Few singers of the period were as versatile as Clark; his second album, for example, included pop hits, blues, jazz standards, a duet with soul singer Jerry Butler (born 1939), a rock-'n'-roll parody, and a few original compositions.Many of his records suffered from overripe arrangements, white-sounding choirs, and corny instrumental touches but usually had superior honking tenor-sax solos, good rhythm sections, and full band riffs. Clark's own songs include “Just like a Fool,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Your Friends Gloria,” “When I Call on You,” and “Raindrop’s At My Front Door” is a twelve-bar blues arranged for full orchestra, with a rhythm that combines jazz and rock. There is a fulsome vocal choir and simplistic touch at the end of the riffing out-chorus but Clark's phrasing, his use of melisma and falsetto, and the call-and-response episode between him and the choir are effective.

Various Artists

Shake, Rattle & Roll: Rock 'n' Roll in the 1950s

Track Listing

Album/track(s) not yet available for download, but you may listen to clip(s) below.
Shake, Rattle and Roll
The Clock
D. Mattis
Have Mercy, Baby
Billy Ward
Shake a Hand
J. Morris
See You Later, Alligator
Robert Guidry
Berry, Fratto, Freed
Mailman Blues
Lloyd Price
I Can't Go On
Domino, Bartholomew
Every Hour
Richard Penniman
Get a Job
The Silhouettes
That'll Be the Day
Allison, Petty, Holly
Good Golly Miss Molly
Blackwell, Marascalco
Reet Petite
Carlo, Gordy
I Met Him on a Sunday
The Shirelles
At My Front Door
Moore, Abner
I'm Movin' On
Hank Snow
What About Us?
Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller
New Orleans
Guida, Royster

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