Anyone with the slightest appreciation for Louis Prima's incredible Vegas shows of the '50s and '60s will instantly recognize Butera's name … and his hard-driving, don't-tell-'em-it's rock 'n' roll sound. Butera, with his band The Witnesses, backed Prima for the better part of 20 years, but had an equally interesting career before the Vegas run. Here Bear Family collects the whole of the four sessions Butera cut for RCA in 1953/54 19 tracks including gems like Chicken Scratch and Easy Rockin', 6 previously unreleased sides and two unheard alternate versions, all featuring his sweet-and-greasy, strip-joint-in-New Orleans sax.
Eddie Noack had a rough '50s, working hard and never scoring a hit, but that's nothing compared to his '60s. After he was dropped by Mercury, the singer wound up drifting to Allstar, a fly-by-night Nashville indie that specialized in "song poems" – suckers would send in lyrics and pro musicians would set them to music, for a fee – and found space for Noack, a songwriter who had success, but a singer who had none. At Allstar, he was usually able to record his own songs, but Noack wound up chasing trends instead of setting them. Specifically, he wound up cutting several singles in the style of Buck Owens & the Buckaroos, sides that may not have charted but illustrated Noack was a pro, capable of following shifting fashions and delivering upon them ably, even appealingly.