If rock 'n' roll is the child of country, that child quickly fathered a lot ofcountry. Few of Presley's contemporaries, inside and outside the countrymainstream, could ignore the force and commercial potential of his music.
But it's remarkable thatMarty Robbins, who would be named "Mr. Teardrop" for his smooth cowboy tone,sounds so at home as a rockabilly here. Early rock 'n' roll was country rock, and the genre mix was thrilling. Robbins' hybrid owed partly to the aces backing him, Sugarfoot Garland, Grady Martin,and Floyd Cramer for starters, as well as to well-chosen originals ("Mean MamaBlues" should be a standard) and covers (from "Maybellene" to "Long GoneLonesome Blues").
Built around a rare EP recorded in 1956, the collection addsRobbins' first country rock hit, "That's All Right,"- waxed four months afterElvis' revolutionary version - and stray tracks leading up to 1963's "Grown Up Tears." It all makes for an exciting revision of both Robbins' career and rock 'n' roll origins themselves.