“The Fabulous Wailers” by The Wailers - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1959Album Chart of the Decade: 1950s

TJR says

Arriving at the very tail end of ’59 was “The Fabulous Wailers”, quite possibly the first artists’ album to grunge things up a bit. They were all their own songs too – respect is due. The five-piece, from Tacoma, Washington, were still high school buddies when they recorded this, making their achievement all the more remarkable. They were: John Greek (rhythm guitar, trumpet); Richard Dangel (lead guitar); Kent Morrill (piano, vocals); Mark Marush (tenor sax) and Mike Burk (drums). Following a tip-off, Golden Crest’s Clark Galehouse visited Seattle early in 1959 to watch the band play live, and a couple of local recording sessions followed. From these sessions, “Tall Cool One” and “Mau Mau” both cracked the Billboard 100. The group even appeared on Dick Clark’s nationally networked “American Bandstand”. With Golden Crest being New York based, the onus was on the band to make the coast to coast trip to record, which they duly did in the summer of 1959. It was the three day sessions provided the bulk of the LP which was finally released in December. Johnny Greek was the only band member who was prepared to relocate to New York to further the band’s prospects, but without the support of his buddies it was a non-starter and Golden Crest’s interest cooled. Still, they made their opening statement – it was mission accomplished on that score. Best on the album is “Dirty Robber” – the only track with vocals! The lyrics were written and sung, nay drawled, by Kent Morrill, and sonically the performance stands as the sound of the early Wailers, digging on Little Richard with a whole lot of attitude rock. “Well they take-a-yo money, and then they take-a-yo car, Little girl she even took my guitar!!! well now she’s a dirty robber, they’re all dirty robbers” Roses in the moonlight and sweet shooby-doo-wops were not for these bad boys…

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:35] 6.4.png The Wailers - Tall Cool One (Richard Dangel, John Greek, Kent Morrill) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A2 [02:45] 5.6.png The Wailers - Driftwood (Richard Dangel, John Greek) Pop Ballad
A3 [02:15] 8.5.png The Wailers - Dirty Robber (Richard Dangel, John Greek, Kent Morrill) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
A4 [02:00] 5.7.png The Wailers - Shanghied (Richard Dangel, John Greek) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
A5 [02:17] 6.5.png The Wailers - Gunnin’ For Peter (Richard Dangel, John Greek, Mike Burk) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A6 [01:51] 5.8.png The Wailers - Long Gone (Richard Dangel, John Greek, Mike Burk) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
B1 [02:37] 7.4.png The Wailers - Beat Guitar (Richard Dangel, John Greek) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
B2 [02:41] 7.9.png The Wailers - High Wall (Richard Dangel, John Greek) Film Score / Incidental
B3 [01:45] 7.1.png The Wailers - Wailin’ (Richard Dangel, John Greek) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
B4 [02:46] 4.9.png The Wailers - Road Runner (Richard Dangel, John Greek) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
B5 [02:40] 5.5.png The Wailers - Tough Bounce (Richard Dangel, John Greek) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
B6 [02:45] 5.3.png The Wailers - Swing Shift (Richard Dangel, John Greek) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly

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