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Vernon Taylor

Daddy's Rockin' – 1999 (Run Wild)

Reviewed by Jon Johnson

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CDs by Vernon Taylor

Just as it became commonplace in the fifties and sixties to coax retired folk and blues singers out of retirement to enjoy productive second careers with audiences too young to have seen them the first time around, the same thing has regularly occurred in rockabilly circles for the past 15 years or so, Vernon Taylor being the latest case in point.

Taylor, who recorded for the Dot and Sun labels in the late fifties, hadn't seen the inside of a recording studio since 1960 and had retired from performing in 1967. But the layoff doesn't seem to have done him any real harm, his powerful tenor growling with the best of them on numbers like "Shame Shame Shame Shame," "All Night Long," and a cover of Johnny Cash's "Big River."

Though slightly anachronistic in sound, a riproaring 1958 Sun recording of Taylor's own "Your Lovin' Man" forces Taylor to compete with himself when he was young and full of beans, an approach that works surprisingly well, other than the glaring differences in recording technology in the intervening 39 years. A welcome - and unexpected - return from a rockabilly pioneer who's still at the top of his form.