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Thursday, 15 July 2021

"Bad Boy Of Rock 'n' Roll" by LARRY WILLIAMS – US Specialty Recordings from 1957 to 1960 Including Previously Unreleased And His Singles Issued on London American in the UK – Musicians include John 'Plas' Johnson with Jesse James Jones on Tenor Saxophones, Jewell Grant on Baritone Sax, Willard McDaniel on Piano, Rene Hall and Irving Ashby on Guitars with Art Neville of The Neville Brothers (February 1999 UK Ace/Specialty CD Compilation of Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...




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"...You Make Me Dizzy Miss Lizzy...The Way You Rock 'n' Roll..."

You can only begin to imagine the mental liberation the hugely clued-in young Beatles must have felt in their Liverpudlian bones when they first heard the Rock 'n' Roll joy of Larry Williams. Those London American UK 45s – sailor-imported Specialty Records US originals jumping off a precious turntable in a mate’s house - yellow labels spinning around - pumping out the raucous naughty sound of  "Boney Maronie", "Bad Boy" and "Just Because". Wow!

I dare say (and likened to that other showboat of the Specialty label Little Richard) - Larry Williams must have come across as one of the original wild children of 50ts Rock 'n' Roll. Certainly this CD compilation from England's Ace Records captures that daring-do as song after song sings of the Heeby Jeebies, Peaches and Cream and Hootchy-Koo (before he even gets to making love underneath the apple tree). Lots to document, so let's have at the "Short Fat Fannies" and "Dizzy Miss Lizzies"...

UK released 1 February 1999 - "Bad Boy Of Rock 'n' Roll" by LARRY WILLIAMS on Ace/Specialty Records CDCHD 709 (Barcode 029667170925) is a 24-track CD compilation of 1957 to 1960 Remasters that plays out as follows (53:52 minutes): 

1. Short Fat Fannie 
2. High School Dance 
Tracks 1 and 2 are the A&B-sides of a May 1957 US 45-single on Specialty 608 - also his debut UK 45-single with the same tracks on London American HLN 8472 in August 1957  

3. Bony Maronie 
4. You Bug Me Baby 
Tracks 3 and 4 are the A&B-sides of an October 1957 US 45-single on Specialty 615 - also his second UK 45-single with the same tracks on London American HLU 8532 in January 1958  

5. Dizzy Miss Lizzy 
6. Slow Down 
Tracks 5 and 6 are the A&B-sides of a February 1958 US 45-single on Specialty 626 - also his third UK 45-single with the same tracks on London American HLU 8604 in April 1958

7. She Said "Yeah" 
8. Bad Boy 
(Tracks 7 and 8 are the A&B-sides of a January 1959 US 45-single on Specialty 658 - also his fourth UK 45-single with the same tracks on London American HLU 8844 in April 1959)

9. Let Me Tell You Baby 
10. Just Because 
(Tracks 10 and 9 are the A&B-sides of his US debut 45-single on Specialty 597 in February 1957 – note running order)

11. Hootchy-Koo 
12. The Dummy 
13. Peaches And Cream 
Tracks 11 & 12 are the A&B-sides of a June 1958 US 45-single on Specialty 634 
Track 13 is the A-side only of a September 1958 US 45-single on Specialty 647 
No UK issue 45s for Tracks 11, 12 and 13, however "Peaches and Cream", "Hootchy-Koo" and "The Dummy" did turn up on the 4-track "Larry Williams" EP in the UK on London REU 1213 issued May 1959. The missing track is "I Was A Fool" - B-side of the US 45 for "Peaches And Cream" but not on this CD

14. Little School Girl 
Track 14 is the B-side of "Ting-A-Ling", a February 1960 US 45-single on Specialty 682 - no UK issue

15. Hey Now, Hey Now - PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED 

16. Marie Marie - First Issued 1986 in the USA on the LP compilation "Unreleased Larry Williams", Specialty SP 2158

17. Took A Trip (Take 9) - PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED 

18. Jelly Belly Nellie - First Issued 1986 in the USA on the LP compilation "Unreleased Larry Williams", Specialty SP 2158

19. Oh Baby (Take 10) – PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED 
20. Heeby Jeebies (Take 3) – PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED 

21. Hocus Pocus – first issued on the 1990 US CD Compilation "Bad Boy", Specialty SPCD 7002 as part of "The Legends Of Specialty" Series

22. Steal A Little Kiss 
23. I Can't Stop Lovin' You 
Tracks 22 and 23 are the A&B-sides of his eight US 45-single on Specialty 665 in April 1959 – also his fifth UK 45-single with the same tracks on London HLU 8911 in January 1960

24. Give Me Love 
Track 24 is the B-side of "Teardrops", October 1959 US 45-single on Specialty 677
NOTES: 
Tracks 15, 17, 19 and 20 are PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED 
All Tracks in MONO and transferred from original analogue master tapes 

Larry Williams on Piano and all Lead Vocals, John 'Plas' Johnson with Jesse James Jones on Tenor Saxophones, Jewell Grant on Baritone Sax, Willard McDaniel on Piano, Rene Hall and Irving Ashby on Guitars, Ted Brinson and Ralph Hamilton on Bass with Earl Palmer and Edward J. Hall on Drums. Other notable players included Lee Allen and Norman Rich on Tenor Saxophones, Art Neville of the Neville Brothers on Piano with Roy Montrell on Guitar and Richard Payne on Bass. 

Releases by Larry Williams was about party-music and the short but highly informational liner notes provided by STUART COLMAN in the 8-page booklet gets this across with tearful admiration and gusto. There is even a repro of the so-rare UK 78" for "Bony Maroney" on London American Recordings HL-U 8532. Sat next to that are session-notes from the Cosimo Recording Studios in New Orleans where Art Rupe (leading light at Specialty Records) sent Larry to work with a young Art Neville of The Neville Brothers. Presentation-wise - for sure 1999's Ace CDCHD 709 could have done with more photos and memorabilia repros (if it was re-done in 2021, it would be) - but there's enough to be getting on it. 

And the DUNCAN COWELL remasters from original analogue tapes rowdies up proceedings very nicely indeed. These tunes are party time and although the original-recordings aren't admittedly Audiophile by any stretch of your Supertramp imagination, they will rock the proverbial joint in your nightclub/living room just the same. Rough 'n' ready around the cauliflower ears, just like John, Paul, George and Ringo liked them...

The hits are here "Short Fat Fannie" and "Bony Maroney" - but how cool is it to hear "Just Because" and know why John Lennon recorded it for his 'Rock 'n' Roll' album project of 1975. Then there are those forgotten B-sides like "You Bug Me Baby" and of course "Bad Boy" - a tune the Fabs covered and loved. As you listen too to "Slow Down" and even that unreleased cut "Took A Trip" - your hear his R&B influence reaching out over the decades and why those British 45s on the London American label are worth so much dosh. 

"You make me dizzy Miss Lizzy...the way you Rock 'n' Roll...you make me dizzy Miss Lizzy...when you do the stroll..." - Larry Williams sang all those decades ago. And both the Bad Boy and his jivin' troupe of hip-shakin' ladies are doing so still...

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