15 Songs, 40 Minutes


About Benny Joy

Benny Joy was not a talent on the order of top rockabilly stars, but he had more going for him than a lot of the obscure singers in the style that have been rediscovered and championed by collectors. The Tampa guitarist and vocalist cut a few rare singles in the late '50s that didn't get anywhere, although he was represented for a time by Platters manager Buck Ram and did some recording in Nashville with session musicians like saxophonist Boots Randolph, guitarist Hank Garland, and drummer Buddy Harman. Although rockabilly was calming down by the late '50s, Joy seemed in no mood to settle down himself, and on numerous sides he sounds like he's about to shout-sing himself hoarse. Joy wrote most of his material, and although he was derivative of such bigger cats as Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, and others, on his better tracks he projected a straight-to-the-heart-of-the-matter exuberance along the lines of (although, again, not as good as) Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent. Joy was also one of the relatively few minor rock artists to tour Europe in the late '50s -- he did so twice, in fact. After parting with Ram, Joy recorded for Decca without success and in the 1960s became a country songwriter, supplying some material for Stonewall Jackson. Like many obscure rockabilly acts, Joy enjoyed renewed appreciation in England after British collectors discovered his work, particularly for his 1958 single "Crash the Party." ~ Richie Unterberger



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