20 Great JLL Songs That You Might've Forgot About...



20 Great JLL Songs That You Might've Forgot About...

Postby peterchecksfield » Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:26 pm

(1) Pumpin' Piano Rock (curiously overlooked amongst his other 50s rockers, check out that piano solo!)

(2) I Could Never Be Ashamed Of You (forget 'You Win Again', this is his finest Hank Williams interpretation at Sun)

(3) I Know What It Means (a strange mixture of country, blues & old time pop, but one of his most heart-felt vocals)

(4) She Was My Baby (He Was My Friend) (this pop-rhythm 'n' blues song was actually released as an A-side though few seem to mention it these days)

(5) Skid Row (unreleased at the time & first released on an early 80s bootleg EP, this is superior to almost everything on 'Country Songs For City Folks')

(6) If I Had It All To Do Over (the B-side to 'Memphis Beat', just check out that soaring vocal as well as the beautiful string arrangement)

(7) It's A Hang Up Baby (soul, R&B, pop...whatever it is, this remains one my favourite recordings of all time by anyone, & I wish he'd recorded more material like this)

(8) All The Good Is Gone (another B-side, though this would almost certainly have been a giant country hit if released as an A-side, & I love the Ray Charles-influenced vocals!)

(9) Mom And Dad's Waltz (most of the material on the 'Country Music Hall of Fame Hits' LPs are of a very high standard & this Lefty Frizzell song is no exception)

(10) I Know That Jesus Will Be There (probably Jerry & Linda's finest ever duet, & check out the production, proof that they didn't need Jerry Kennedy!)

(11) Mother, The Queen Of My Heart (a beautiful version of the old Jimmie Rodgers song, though avoid the 1987 'At Hank Cochran's' version)

(12) Don't Be Cruel (many fans these days over-look 'The Killer Rocks On' in favour of 'The Session', but this was a far more consistent album & this song is one of my faves)

(13) No Traffic Out Of Abilene (criminally just buried away on the patchy 'Who's Gonna Play This Old Piano' album, this is a strong candidate for Jerry's finest ever recorded vocal performance!)

(14) Raining In My Heart (when discussing Jerry's blues recordings this Slim Harpo song is rarely mentioned but to me this 'Southern Roots' outtake is superior to almost everything on the released album)

(15) The Old Country Church (the 'Country Class' album was like a breath of fresh air after the previous few albums - gone was the ragged vocals, the over-production & the tedious ad-libs, & in was a very straightly-sung selection of songs. Jerry sounds genuinely emotional during the talking part when mentioning his mother)

(16) Wild & Wooly Ways (Jerry's attempted this 'live' several times over the years but it never quite works, shame as it's a far superior song to 'Before The Night Is Over' on the same album!)

(17) Let Me On (to my mind all three Elektra albums were very strong indeed, & this song could've worked great 'live')

(18) That Was The Way It Was Then (the MCA albums were far more patchy but this song is an obvious high-light, & superior to the unreleased Elektra version)

(19) Softly & Tenderly (another song attempted at Elektra, this very heart-felt version from 'Four Legends' was actually played at Webb Pierce's funeral)

(20) Wake Up Little Susie (Everly Brothers songs are usually un-coverable, but Jerry makes this one his own with some very nifty piano work!)

OK, who else wants to choose 20 songs???
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Postby Tim in St. Louis » Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:24 am

Wow! I have nowhere near the encyclopedic knowledge of JLL that you do, so I can only offer a couple of overlooked gems.

1) "The Hurtin' Part" - His voice is starting to slide ever so slightly from his Smash era prime, but he still delivers the goods on this George Jones-esque styled masterpiece.

2) "Bottles and Barstools" (Live Tomato release) - The boozy, rowdy vibe of the whole album works best on songs like this.
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Postby jllWAfan1982 » Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:15 am

Very nice article - I will have to make a point sometime to give some of these special attention.
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Re: 20 Great JLL Songs That You Might've Forgot About...

Postby Andrew McRae » Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:37 am

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Postby peterchecksfield » Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:10 am

Nice choices Tim , though I think I prefer the studio cut of 'Bottles & Barstools'.

Very good Andrew! A couple of points: I personally think that 'Long Gone Lonesome Blues' is one of the very few times that Jerry hasn't matched or surpassed a Hank Williams original (I used to think this was great until I heard Hank's version)....& 'You Belong To Me' was cut in 1969 of course, so most of my points don't really apply here!

I agree with 'Honey Hush', though my favourite version is probably the 1974 'Boogie Woogie Country Man' sessions outtake.
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Postby Andrew McRae » Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:25 am

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Postby peterchecksfield » Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:40 am

Andrew McRae wrote:Ah, but "You Belong To Me" was a very deliberate choice on my point from "Country Class", given that it's inclusion on that album, and the fact that it fitted in so seamlessly, reinforces the fact that the remainder of it, recorded in 76, was such a return to form after those disappointments over ragged vocals and overblown productions in 74-75. How many listeners would even have been aware that it was actually seven years 'out-of-sync'? :wink:


You're right; I certainly wasn't aware of this for many years afterwards.

I don't know why 'Country Class' is so over-looked these days, to my ears it's quite possibly the finest country-orientated album he ever made (the weakest track is undoubtedly the one rock 'n' roll song on the album). The fact that so many of the songs remained in Jerry's 'live' act for a number of years speaks volumes, with three of the songs still performed occasionally over the past 2-3 years.
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Postby Andrew McRae » Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:19 am

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Postby martin bates » Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:39 am

fab. choices everyone; just shows what a great catalugue Jerry has.You could pick forgotten gems from virtually any album; as a general point I agree that the Elektra albums were all very strong,it's a pity his association with them ended when it did -particularly given that the infamous caribou sessions had some very strong material as well, although admittedly a mixed bag as we hear them today.

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Postby Tumppi » Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:55 pm

1. Old Pal Of Yesterday
2. Hand Me Down My Walking Cane
3. Little Green Valley
4. Save The Last Dance For Me
5. My Pretty Quadroon
6. Lincoln Limousine
7. Play Me The Song I Can Cry To
8. Oh Lord What’s Left For Me To Do
9. Walk A Mile In My Shoes
10. The House Of Blue Lights (1986)
11. Corrine, Corrina (1977)
12. Daughters Of Dixie (I can’t understand why this wasn’t released, the greatest of Jerry’s MCA recordings!)
13. What’s So Good About Goodbye
14. After The Fool You’ve Made Of Me
15. I Can’t Trust Me In Your Arms Anymore
16. I Can’t Seem To Say Goodbye
17. Poison Love
18. Miss The Mississippi And You
19. What Makes The Irish Heart Start To Beat
20. Lost Highway

I also think that "Country Class" is way too much overlooked album. And as you can see of my list, I also like the "Young Blood" album, probably musically the best album Jerry Lee has made since 1979.

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Re: 20 Great JLL Songs That You Might've Forgot About...

Postby Dallas » Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:23 pm

(1) Pumpin' Piano Rock (curiously overlooked amongst his other 50s rockers, check out that piano solo!)

(2) I Could Never Be Ashamed Of You (forget 'You Win Again', this is his finest Hank Williams interpretation at Sun)

Pumpin' Piano Rock has a gem of a piano solo and I Could Never Be Ashamed has very inspired piano work.

I love the various takes of Crazy HEART because of the beatiful playing by Jerry.

Piano players seem to prefer the fast '58 version of good rockin' with two of Jerrys best ever rockin' solos. I am a piano player ( :

There is a take of Ooby Dooby that features a 'perfect' JLL solo - wonderful.

I also think Four Walls from Country Music Hall of Fame is outstanding.

Oh, I also love White Christmas from BBC radio circa 63; even in August!

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Postby Tim in St. Louis » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:11 am

Wow, so many good choices you've all mentioned here!

"Four Walls" with JLL making his piano sound like wine overflowing and walking up the stairs. Great!
"Honey Hush" - The Southern Roots outtake with Jerry sounding in a rowdy violent mood.
"Miss The Mississippi & You" - The only JLL song with this sound.
The BBC "White Christams" - pure genius!

All great choices! Keep Rockin!
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Postby Tony Papard » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:49 am

Tim in St. Louis wrote:Wow, so many good choices you've all mentioned here!

"Four Walls" with JLL making his piano sound like wine overflowing and walking up the stairs. Great!
"Honey Hush" - The Southern Roots outtake with Jerry sounding in a rowdy violent mood.
"Miss The Mississippi & You" - The only JLL song with this sound.
The BBC "White Christams" - pure genius!

All great choices! Keep Rockin!


Probably the majority of Jerry Lee tracks most fans have forgotten about, but more to the point, so has Jerry himself. He's recorded enough songs in his career never to have to repeat any in live performances, except perhaps his greatest hits which everyone expects to hear.
Long ago in Ferriday down in Louisiana, They all watched Jerry play and pump that old piana

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Postby rockin532000 » Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:58 am

I would fully go with the lists by Peter and Andrew. The only exception being "Honey Hush" which is a song, it really does not matter how Jerry plays it, I still think it is a weak song to start with.

On the other side, I was wondering if the superb "No traffic out of Abilene" song is really an original by Jerry or was it from someone else? If it is an original song by Jerry, like Peter wrote, it is not understandable why it was not released as a single.

Best Wishes
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Postby peterchecksfield » Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:23 am

rockin532000 wrote:
On the other side, I was wondering if the superb "No traffic out of Abilene" song is really an original by Jerry or was it from someone else? If it is an original song by Jerry, like Peter wrote, it is not understandable why it was not released as a single.



I didn't write that it's an original song by Jerry; I've no idea if anyone did it previously or even (without checking) who wrote it.
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