Boppin’ By The Bayou-Flip, Flop and Fly.

Label: Ace Records.

Nowadays, the compilation market is without doubt, one of the most competitive in the music industry. Every week hundreds of compilations are released by labels in America, Europe and Britain. Some are released by major labels, while others are lovingly curated and released by smaller independent labels. However, what many of these compilations concentrate on one type of music. 

This can be anything from progressive rock and psychedelia, to funk or fusion, throughout to blues, country, R&B, reggae and soul. Some record companies have taken to focusing on one of America’s great musical cities or states. Among the favourite cities for compilers have been Chicago, Detroit, LA, Memphis, New York and Philly. Often though, some of America’s most musical cities and states were being overlooked, and for too long, this included Louisiana and later, Texas. One man decided to rectify this, Ian Saddler.

He’s a renowned expert in Louisiana and Texas’ rich musical heritage, which made Ian Saddler the perfect person to compile Boppin’ By The Bayou for Ace Records. It was released in 2012, and was so successful that another instalment in the series was commissioned.

Boppin By The Bayou More Dynamite followed in 2013, and enjoyed the same commercial success as its predecessor. Since then, By The Bayou has become one of Ace Records’ longest running and most successful compilation series. The latest instalment in the series, Boppin’ By The Bayou-Flip, Flop and Fly is the twentieth in Ace Records’ series.

For the twentieth instalment in the much-loved  By The Bayou compilation series, Ian Saddler takes the listener to the Gulf Coast area, which covers from New Orleans, Louisiana in the East to Port Arthur, Texas in the West for Boppin’ By The Bayou-Flip, Flop and Fly. 

This was where the groups of young white rockers recorded the music on Boppin’ By The Bayou-Flip, Flop and Fly, It’s the seventh compilation of music from this area. The Gulf Coast is an area dominated by countless swamps and bayous, and where crawfish and rice were farmed, alligators used to be hunted and the locals fished to put food on their table. However, Texas was also were oil was found, and companies began drilling for this black gold.

It was hard physical labour, and at the end of each week, men left the oilfields and headed into town to relax. They wanted to relax and party, usually drink and carousing into the early hours against the soundtrack provided by the many bands that were formed along the Gulf Coast. 

These bands played in clubs where sometimes the owner would try to shortchange them, and where the oilmen were usually boisterous and raucous after being paid. They were ready to let off steam and often trouble erupted. Sometimes arguments were settled the old-fashioned way, outside in the car park away from prying eyes.

Despite being rough, tough men, many were extremely protective of their wives and partners. So much so, if anyone looked at them the wrong way, never mind said something to them, the oilmen were soon reaching for a weapon. Many wouldn’t hesitate to use it, and often blood was spilt. Very occasionally, when things got out of hand, a body ended up in the swamp. That never happened very often though. 

Mostly, though, the oilmen and their partners, were content to carouse and listen to bands playing South Louisiana rock ’n’ roll into the early hours of the morning.

The South Louisiana rock ’n’ roll ranged from rockabilly, right through to what later, became known as  swamp pop. Another reminder of this music can be heard on Boppin’ By The Bayou-Flip, Flop and Fly.

It features twenty-eight tracks, including contributions from Willie Goodson,  Johnny Jano, Doug Kershaw, The Tune Tones,  Al Ferrier, Warren Storm, Andy Charles, Jay Richards, Ken Cameron, Larry Hart, Bob Henderson, Charles Page and Gene Terry. Some of these tracks were released during the fifties, others were only released at a later date and many make their debut on Boppin’ By The Bayou-Flip, Flop and Fly.

Opening Boppin’ By The Bayou-Flip, Flop and Fly is Willie Goodson’s single Put A Nickel In The Jukebox, which was released on the Hammond label in 1959. It bursts into life and is a melodic slice of South Louisiana rock ’n’ roll that us guaranteed to get any party started

Amos Como and His Tune Toppers recorded Hole In The Wall at Eddie Shuler’s Goldband studio. It was the released as a single on the Starday label in August 1956. This is rockabilly hidden gem from drummer Amos Como and His Tune Toppers that will have many people Boppin’ By The Bayou.

Rockabilly singer Johnny Jano features twice on Boppin’ By The Bayou-Flip, Flop and Fly. Both tracks were recorded with JD Miller. This includes the unreleased slow version of Mabel’s Gone, and Take 2 of She’s My Baby which made its debut on a Flyright Records’ compilation in 2017. She’s My Baby makes a welcome return on Boppin’ By The Bayou-Flip, Flop and Fly. 

The Tune Tones are one of many groups who have covered Tutti Frutti since it was first recorded in 1955. They recorded this raw and explosive version at JD Miller’s studio where they also cut Got Something For You Baby. It’s got the same raw and untamed sound, but sadly, neither track was released until now. 

When TK Hulin and The Lonely Knights released Many Nites on the LK label in 1959,tucked away on the B-Side was Little Bitty Boy. It was penned by Robert Thibodeaux and swamp pop star Bobby Webb and featured fifteen year old TK Hulin. Sadly, they only recorded two singles, and Little Bitty Boy is regarded as TK Hulin and The Lonely Knights’ finest hour.

Warren Storm is a legend of swamp pop and a familiar face on the By The Bayou compilations. This time around, he contributes an alternate take of No No which he released as a single on Top Rank International in November 1960.

In 1959, Jay Richards released Gosh Dog  as a single on the Hollywood label. This was one of four tracks Hollywood released from studio owner and producer Eddie Shuler. He had spotted Jay Richards’ potential and recorded Gosh Dog and Little Shyrel which was also released a single on Hollywood in 1959. While both tracks are excellent examples of South Louisiana rock ’n’ roll, neither single was a commercial success and Jay Richards’ career at Hollywood was over after just two singles.

Rocket Morgan’s fifth single for the Zynn label was Irene which was released in 1960. It’s a heartfelt rockabilly ballad from Rocket Morgan, who only released one more single, before following in his father’s footsteps and becoming a preacher.

Jail Break was released as single by Dean and Gene on the D label in March 1960. Little is known about the duo who only released one single, Jail Break a country-tinged slice of South Louisiana rock ’n’ roll. 

In 1966, Bob Henderson released A Million Tears as a single on the Montel Michelle label. It was one of his own compositions which was produced by Joe Avants Jr. So was the B-Side  So Long, which could only have been recorded in Louisiana By The Bayou. 

Lenny Capello and The Dots’ debut single Cotton Candy was released as the Ric label in December 1958. By then, Lenny Capello was just sixteen, but had been playing guitar since he was ten. Six years he recorded Cotton Candy which is one of just two singles he released with The Dots. Their finest song was Cotton Candy rock ’n’ roll South Louisiana style.

Anyone who turned over to the B-Side of Boo’s 1970 single Gratefully, which was released  on the Jin label, were rewarded with his cover of Fats Domino’s Where Did You Stay. It epitomises everything that is good about South Louisiana rock ’n’ roll in the early seventies.

Closing Boppin’ By The Bayou-Flip, Flop and Fly is Gene Terry’s demo of Flip, Flop and Fly. It’s rollicking run through of Flip, Flop and Fly that falls into the category of hidden gem, and closes the album on a high.

Boppin’ By The Bayou-Flip, Flop and Fly which was recently released by Ace Records is a welcome addition to this successful series. It finds Ian Saddler digging deep, not just in Louisiana, but in South-East Texas. He’s found some hidden gems, which sit side-by-side with songs from old friends, familiar faces and new names. This includes singles, B-Sides and unreleased tracks. They’re part of compilation that’s all killer and no filler. That takes some doing, as there’s twenty-eight tracks on Boppin’ By The Bayou-Flip, Flop and Fly.

It’s a compilation that is the equivalent to time travel, as compiler Ian Sadder takes the listener back to another era on Boppin’ By The Bayou-Flip, Flop and Fly. Suddenly, it’s anywhere between 1953 and 1970, late at a night in a juke joint where carousing and dancing is the order of the day as the band play South Louisiana rock ’n’ roll just like that on Boppin’ By The Bayou-Flip, Flop and Fly.

Boppin’ By The Bayou-Flip, Flop and Fly.

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