8-CD box (LP-size) with 168-page hardcover book, 285 tracks. Total playing time approx. 686 mns.
- The dawn of rock 'n' roll, like you've never heard it before - live from Texas 1950-1958!
- Hear stars like Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Gene Vincent, Wanda Jackson and many more performing live at the dawn of their careers, sometimes singing songs they never recorded!
- State-of-the-art live recording for the day. Incredible atmosphere. Fabulous performances!
- Unseen photos and newly researched biographies fill out this incredible time capsule!
We all know that the Grand Ole Opry wanted nothing to do with rock 'n' roll, while the Louisiana Hayride gave national exposure to Elvis Presley, Johnny Horton
, and others. Well, the Hayride wasn't alone. The Big 'D' Jamboree
in Dallas started with Texas country music but embraced the new music, giving an all-important break to Carl Perkins, Gene Vincent, and many, many more. In a nearly two-decade run that began in the aftermath of World War II, the Saturday night extravaganza packed the Sportatorium, a metal wrestling arena in a seedy neighborhood south of downtown.
Broadcast locally on KRLD and nationally on CBS radio, the Jamboree was an exuberant cross-section of the most vibrant country and rock 'n' roll music of the time, showcasing everyone from talented but largely forgotten singers such as Riley Crabtree, Orville Couch
and Helen Hall
to national figures, including Johnny Cash, Sonny James, Hank Locklin, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Wanda Jackson
and Gene Vincent
. Rockabilly stalwart Ronnie Dawson
got his start on the Jamboree, years before overseas fans revived his career. Charline Arthur
, "a Janis Joplin
before her time," leaped from amplifiers and belted out soulful, hard-core country from the arena's wrestling-ring stage before vanishing into a tragic obscurity.
This incredible collection had its inception in the mid-1990s when Dallas's David Dennard, inspired by Dawson's re-emergence, set out in search of recordings from the historic show. Everyone he spoke to said no such recordings were made, but Dennard found discs made for broadcast to American service personnel. He issued some on his Dragon Street label, but a more comprehensive collection was needed, and this is it: eight CDs, almost 300 tracks, most live from the show, along with bonus studio recordings. Writers Kevin Coffey, Stanley Oberst, Jay Brakefield and Alan Govenar, in collaboration with Dennard, produced the accompanying 168-page book rich with information on the times, the artists and the songs.