Personnel: Jimmie F. Rodgers (vocals, guitar); Donnie Lanier, George Barnes (guitar); Dave Alldred (drums).
Liner Note Authors: Hugo Peretti; Gary Blailock; Luigi Creatore.
Recording information: New York, NY (1957/1960).
Arranger: Hugo Peretti.
Although his biggest chart hits like "Honeycomb" and "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" were definitely built for pop success, Jimmie Rodgers was essentially a folk artist at heart, and if the early publicity hype called him "a cross between Elvis Presley and Burl Ives," taking Presley's name out and pasting in Buddy Holly's instead would bring things closer to Rodgers' sound and style. Rodgers recorded several albums for Roulette Records between 1958 and 1962, two of which, 1957's Jimmie Rodgers and 1960's Jimmie Rodgers Sings Folk Songs, are combined here on a single disc, and they fit well together, highlighted by an airy version of "Bo Diddley," a gently and darkly chiming "Lord Randal," a haunting take on John Jacob Niles' faux folk ballad "Black Is the Color," a jaunty "The Wreck of the 'John B'," and the hits "Honeycomb" and "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine," among others. No, there isn't a trace of Elvis Presley here, but the easy, natural warmth of Burl Ives is, with a little of Buddy Holly's bounce and joy. If Rodgers isn't exactly folk-rock, he clearly prefigured it. ~ Steve Leggett