Badass songs from the beginnings of rock?
May 19, 2008 12:04 PM   Subscribe

I've always thought of early rock and country as being populated by men who might have done very bad things if they hadn't done music, and I want to hear some songs that prove it. Dale Hawins' Susie Q has that vibe. Charlie Feathers' That Certain Female seems like a song Mr. Blonde would bop to. I'd like to hear some other songs that feel just as... raw? Intimidating? I'm not quite sure. I think it's a "know it when I hear it" situation, and I'm hoping someone else has heard it and knows it.
posted by ictow to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Link Wray would probably be up your alley. And guys like Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry, though maybe those are too obvious.
posted by box at 12:10 PM on May 19, 2008

It's a book, but I suspect you might really enjoy Country Music Changed My Life.
posted by carbide at 12:14 PM on May 19, 2008

Best answer: You mention Dale Hawkins. I think Screamin' Jay Hawkins meets your definition.
posted by evilcolonel at 1:44 PM on May 19, 2008

Jackie Brenston singing Rocket 88, recorded with Ike Turner and his band (video maybe NSFW). It's just a song about a car but the music and the vocals definitely capture that "raw" quality you talk about (at least for me.) I remember hearing it around thirteen or so and getting a little weak in the knees.
posted by lysistrata at 1:48 PM on May 19, 2008

Another vote for Screamin' Jay Hawkins. Check out his "Little Demon." For a female candidate, how about Wanda Jackson: "Let's Have a Party"?
posted by kram175 at 4:17 PM on May 19, 2008

Well... there's always Hasil Adkins, who, while not famous, certainly was off the wall. One of his favorite lyrical themes was decapitation. That doesn't even begin to describe his weirdness.
posted by Kattullus at 5:24 AM on May 20, 2008

Best answer: For me, this stuff is well-defined by the "Songs the Cramps Taught Us" compilations (sorry no good link to share -- do a search). The Cramps were big record collectors of exactly the kind of music you describe, and they covered many of their favorites. These compilations gather the originals. Dale Hawkins is in there, as is Hasil Adkins, Link Wray, and lots and lots of others...
posted by alb at 6:03 AM on May 20, 2008

You should check out any of the various Sun Records compilations that are out there, particularly if they contain Pat Hare's "I'm Gonna Murder My Baby." recorded in 1954, eight years before Hare did, in fact, murder his baby.
posted by barjo at 1:11 PM on May 20, 2008

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