Jimmy Patton: Okies in the Pokey (1959)

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Jimmy Patton: Okies in the Pokey (1959)

Jimmy Patton (1931-89) was never really a rockabilly singer although this, his biggest hit, was certainly a rave-up in that style. But Patton's heart had always been in hillbilly country, right up until Elvis came along.

Like so many others he grabbed a backbeat and made the shift sideways into rock'n'roll, and specifically the rockabilly end of it.

For Okies in the Pokey he had help from guitarist Donnie Owens who had played on Duane Eddy records (hence the twang and terrific solo). It's an exciting and frantic 2.31, but it would be Patton's last stab at rock'n'roll.

He went back to country and was moderately successful for many years.

He was killed by a drunk driver in Portland but left behind a few great rock'n'roll songs, this -- which exists in two versions, this one without the spoken intro of an earlier version -- being one of his finest moments.

This appears on the album The Rarest Rockabilly Album in the World Ever! which pulls together 50 rare tracks, including Patton's other small hit, the astonishing Yah! I'm Movin' from the previous year.

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

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