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Ray Sharpe, Rockabilly Attitude

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Editors’ Notes

A gifted Texas guitar player whose sharp-edged blend of R&B, rockabilly, and soul helped define the late-‘60s Fort Worth scene, Ray Sharpe never received the recognition that was his due, and he’s now remembered mostly for a single song. That song is “Linda Lu”: a stomping bit of Tex-Mex R&B with a hip-smacking country backbeat. It’s still performed in barrooms and dancehalls throughout the Southwest and has been covered by the likes of Doug Sahm, Bobby Fuller, and even The Rolling Stones. Rockabilly Attitude is a concise sampler of Sharpe’s late-‘50s and early-‘60s output, and it should be a real eye-opener for listeners who only know him for his one epochal hit. The title, however, is a bit misleading. While Sharpe tries on a wide array of styles—from the countrified rumba of “Justine” to the roadhouse boogie of “That’s The Way I Feel”—nothing here can be pinned down as straight rockabilly. Sharpe’s talent is far too mercurial for that.

Biography

Born: February 8, 1938 in Fort Worth, TX

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '50s

Fie on these large-scale music industry conferences: many essential research assistants get lost at them. At least the heretofore faithful Igor had the sense of mind to leave the following dispatch on an office answering machine prior to blowing off like a geyser: "Heard what sounds like the new Jimi Hendrix here at 'South By,'" his rant started, revealing his natural ability to quickly pick up on the native jargon. "He has a cute face, has a great personality, but one song that could be a hit seems...
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