Label: Rockhouse - LPL 8102 • Format: Vinyl LP • Country: Finland • Genre: Rock, Folk, World, & Country • Style: Rock & Roll
Carl Mann had a bizarre career. He was playing local radio stations when he was Thoth - Tron (18) - Tron Bloody Tron, had his first hit at sixteen, but at the age of nineteen he was a has-been who had taken the Ο Ψαρράς - Γιώργος Μητσάκης - Φτωχό Κομπολογάκι Μου Και Άλλες Παλιές Λαϊκές Επιτυχίες for a friend.
Since then he has been in and out of the music business, but he still has a loyal following and we haven't seen the last of him yet. Carl grew up in a strongly rural area in Tennessee where his father had a timber business. He fell in love with country music as a child and learned to play guitar at age eight. They called themselves the Kool Kats and began a regular radio show in in Milan, Tennessee, where local DJ Bill Haney took a liking to them and arranged an audition with Jimmy Martin, who owned the small Jaxon label.
Both sides were his own compositions. He was only Holland, who also became Carl's manager. Carl himself switched from guitar to piano. Holland, who had played with Carl Perkins, tried to get the group on Sun Records. He talked Sun's new promotion man, Cecil Scaife, into giving Carl and the band an audition in late Scaife couldn't wait to play This Crowd - Mixthe - Over The Rail Lisa" for Sam Phillips, but Sam was not impressed and refused to release the record until he heard that MGM was about to release a Conway Twitty version, using Carl's arrangement.
Just when all the original rock n roll sounds of Sun Records were fading, Carl Mann came along to provide a new approach. He had a clear, distinctive voice and an exceptional guitarist in Eddie Bush, whose Mexican-influenced style gave Carl's records an instantly recognisable sound.
Carl's version outsold the one by Conway Twitty, though only just, peaking at 25, and only in the US, not in Europe. Still, this was a great start. Funeral Mist - Salvation received many lucrative offers for performances and hit the road. The follow-up was another rocked-up Nat Cole number, "Pretend", which made a respectable showing on the Billboard charts at Carl and the Sun production team thought they had stumbled upon a formula that could be applied indefinitely : a revamped oldie on one side and an original on the flip.
But this trick already failed with the next single, "Some Enchanted Evening", which did not chart. Nevertheless, the formula was applied to all seven of Carl's Phillips International singles, taking into account that the 'oldies' were only a few years old in some cases "The Wayward Wind", "Ain't Got No Home". The last P. These disappointing sales say nothing about the merits of the music, though. I remember well how deeply impressed I Its Hard To Lie To You - Carl Mann - In Rockabilly Country at the time.
Usually there was at least one track on an LP that I didn't like, but here were twelve tracks of consistently high quality. The partnership between Carl's pleasant vocals and Eddie Bush's eccentric guitar playing plus the melodic content makes these Sun recordings very special. Carl's masterpiece was "I'm Coming Home"but it wasn't even the A-side of the record. The fact that Charlie Rich who wrote the song played piano, so that Carl could concentrate on singing, was a definite plus, as Mann's own piano playing was barely adequate in those days.
For some reason, Charles Underwood and Scotty Moore found it necessary to overdub several of Carl's Sun recordings with obtrusive choruses the dreaded Gene Lowery Singers and extra instruments. Fortunately, some of the undubbed versions can be heard on the Bear Family box-set.
After Carl was dropped by Phillips inhe teamed up with Carl Perkins. They played Vegas, Carson City, and the usual circuit of bars. Mann played piano behind Perkins and did a few solo numbers. It was a bleak period for both men, unable to find another hit and both seeking relief in Its Hard To Lie To You - Carl Mann - In Rockabilly Country. In Carl was drafted and transferred to Germany. But the music business had changed almost beyond recognition and Carl had to face the fact that his style had gone out of fashion.
He more or less quit music in and went to back to his native Huntingdon to work in the family logging business, meanwhile trying to kick his drinking habit. Then came the European rockabilly revival, offering new chances for "old" rockers. Part of the concert was released as one side of the Rockhouse LP "Gonna Rock and Roll Tonight"which was followed in by another good studio album, "In Rockabilly Country", again recorded in Holland, with a mix of English and Dutch session people.
Carl toured on and off for about ten years. Then he went back to the family business and found religion. He made a comeback inthe year in which he finally received Its Hard To Lie To You - Carl Mann - In Rockabilly Country Gold Disc for "Mona Lisa". Since then he has recorded four CD's one gospel, one country, one Christmas, Vivaldi* - The Four Seasons / Violin Concerto Op.3,6 / Double Concerto Op.
3,8 rockabilly and has toured overseas. He had a two-bypass heart operation in Januarywas hospitalised with breathing problems in April and is now slowly regaining his strength. A return to the stage is planned for September. Self-published, December I haven't seen the book, but it seems to be quite voluminous.
Recommended listening: - "Mona Lisa". Annotated by Colin Escott and Hank Davis. Unfortunately no longer in print. Released Liner notes by Hank Davis. Liner notes by Dave Travis and Stuart Colman. These pages were saved from "This Is My Story" for reference usage only.
Please note that these pages were not originally published or written by BlackCat Rockabilly Europe. For comments or information please contact Dik de Heer at dik.