The Big “D” Jamboree Live, Volumes 1 & 2
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From the late forties into the early sixties, the Big “D” Jamboree was Dallas’ answer to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport. Broadcasting live from the Sportatorium on KRLD, the Jamboree was a favored stop for touring stars as well as a launching pad for locals on the rise. Most of the recordings on these CDs come from broadcasts in the late fifties. The highlights of the first disc, “Hillbillies,” are two songs by the criminally neglected northeast Texas tigress Charline Arthur, whose throbbing vocals and walking bass lines practically meld honky-tonk into rockabilly. Another regional flash, Taylor’s Jimmie Heap and the Melody Masters, offers a small gem in “Carbon Copy.” The “Rockabillies” disc opens with Carl Perkins providing the essence of the sound in all its ragged glory for five songs. Among local heroes, only Ronnie Dee (known today as Ronnie Dawson), his impossibly high voice sounding like it’s filtered through helium on two Chuck Berry rockers, competes with masters like Perkins and Gene Vincent. The sound on these air checks is crude, but they transport you to a time and place like nothing else. by John Morthland