Home > 1950s, All - Songs, All - Songs, Tracks & Music, Era, Genre, Rock'n'Roll > Rufus Thomas – Bear Cat (1953)

Rufus Thomas – Bear Cat (1953)

One of music’s first “answer records” …. a song recorded in response to an earlier hit.

Here, Rufus Thomas serves up a stunning response to Big Mama Thornton’s immortal 1952 original reading of “Hound Dog” (previously posted here). “Bear Cat” was Sun Records’ first hit record but was almost a disaster for Sam Phillips’ label as a copyright-infringement suit ensued and nearly bankrupted the operation.

There are so many rock’n’roll records from the 1950s that it is sometimes difficult to sort out the wheat from the chaff. My rule of thumb is simple – judge the record on how raw the guitar is; the rougher the better.

On that basis, this record is as good as it gets; rock’n’roll meets swamp blues … for a more recent example, check Tom Waits’ stunning “Jockey Full of Bourbon” previously posted here.

Just the track!

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