California may be the largest state in the Union, but it's only one state nuzzling one ocean, with only so many people living near the coastline, and a small minority of them have attempted to navigate waves on a board, much less possess the fetching physique to do so in public. Obviously, then, surf music isn't for surfers. If it were, Rhino would put out a greatest-hits EP instead of a four-disc box set. Cowabunga! is all the permanent-wave stuff most people will ever need.
The argument will forever rage, but Memphis, Tennessee, is as much the fountainhead of rock ’n’ roll as is Cleveland, Ohio. Whilst the north had Alan Freed as its turntable champion, the south was blessed with the madcap deejay, Dewey Phillips. Chances are, ole Dewey would have played most of the 75 titles that go to make up Raunchy Sugar on his Red Hot and Blue show that aired over WHBQ in Memphis.During the 1950s the city was alive with labels, record hops, musicians and the general chaos that goes hand in hand with the big beat. The geographical lie of the land helped a great deal, because the city was central to so many rural areas that harboured musical talent and style. Carl Perkins and Carl Mann gravitated to the area from Jackson, Tennessee, Billy Riley and Conway Twitty did the same from Arkansas, and Elvis Presley hit the trail from Mississippi in order to soak up some of that unique Shelby County action. Outside of Sam Phillips’ legendary Sun Records, the labels included such names as Hi, Cover, Fernwood, Meteor, Vaden Moon and Satellite.
The other major orchestral release here features the Richard Strauss recordings conducted for Sony Classical by Zubin Mehta.