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Long Time Ago: Rare and Unissued Recordings Vol. 3

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The third and final volume of Norton’s series of rare Charlie Feathers material is probably the best, if only because it contains the least heard and most unusual of the rockabilly singer’s performances. The set opens with “Jungle Fever,” an obscure 1958 b-side released on the tiny Memphis label Kay. With its muggy atmosphere and hopscotching rhythm, the song is a perfect example of the traits that set Feathers apart from the rest of the rockabilly generation. A slower, hiccupping version of “Jungle Fever” reappears later in the set. Taken together, these two versions demonstrate the range of Feathers’ talent. Without the later popularity of bands like The Cramps, these recordings might never have been rediscovered, revealing that even the woolliest, weirdest ideas The Cramps ever conjured had already been established by Feathers. If only he had recorded a whole LP of the sort of sticky, sleazy country-funk that is “Knoxville Girl,” he might be rightly revered as America’s great experimental swamp rocker.


Born: 12 June 1932 in Holly Springs, MS

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Charlie Feathers was many things to many fans of rock and country music. To some, he was a superb country stylist who could take almost any piece of material and stamp it with the full force of his personality. To others, he was one of rockabilly's great pioneers, there at the dawn of Sun Records. And Feathers' stubborn insistence on combining elements of country, raw blues, and bluegrass to make his own version of the rockabilly experience showed him to be one of the genre's most original and enduring...
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Long Time Ago: Rare and Unissued Recordings Vol. 3, Charlie Feathers
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