Laura Lee Perkins Juke Box Pearls: Don't Wait Up! [Digipak] CD

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Laura Lee Perkins Juke Box Pearls: Don't Wait Up! [Digipak] CD. Illustrators: Alice Faye Kitts; James Kitts.
Photographers: Alice Faye Kitts; James Kitts.
She was hyped as "the female Jerry Lee Lewis" and damned if Laura Lee Perkins didn't sound a little bit like that on her six sides for Imperial in 1957 and 1958. Only two singles were released at the time -- "I Just Don't Like This Kind of Livin'"/"Kiss Me Baby" and "Don't Wait Up"/"Oh La Baby" -- but they rocked hard and that distaff Killer hook was strong enough to build a cult that culminates in this 2012 release from Bear Family, which contains her Imperial singles, some rough demos from 1957, and live recordings from 1963 that find her giving up rock & roll for lounge singing. Those live lounge recordings are good enough, illustrating she was an accomplished entertainer, the demos are ragged and fun (particularly "Hound Dog" and "My Babe"), but it's those breakneck six sides for Imperial that are the reason to pick up this disc. Perkins barrels into these songs, pounding the piano, growling the lyrics, rocking with a joyful abandon, and sounding for all the world like a hybrid of Jerry Lee and Carl Perkins. Anybody who loves old-time rock & roll will find these sides impossible to resist. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine


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