Link Davis: Laissez Les Bon‐Ta‐Ru‐La (Let The Good Times Roll)
1‐LP (10‐inch vinyl) with 8‐page booklet, 12 tracks (LP) / 26 tracks (CD).
Total playing time approx. 28 min. (LP) / 65 min. (CD). LP plays at 45RPM Bear Family Records® presents the first high‐quality vinyl LP (25 cm)
with recordings of the blues shouting rocker, fiddle and sax player Link Davis from Northeast Texas.
His 1953 rendition of the Cajun anthem Big Mamou helped open the door to this often‐closed and clannish culture.
Davis is considered as much a Acadian as those whose ancestors made the exiled journey from Nova Scotia in the eighteenth century.
Link laid down his unique sound — an amalgamation of Cajun, blues and rockabilly that culminated in 1958 with the rocker Bon‐Ta‐Ru La (Let The Good Times Roll).
A Gulf Coast musical gumbo featuring rockers (Permit Blues, Airliner, Come Dance With Me), bayou blues (Rice & Gravy), swamp ballads (Visions, Memories Of You) and sax instrumentals (Beatle Bug).
The sound of the Cajuns was buoyed by brilliant guitarists Junior Beck and Joey Long.
This collection features liner notes penned by music historian Michael Hurtt in the accompanying illustrated booklet.
Link Davis may not have been born a Cajun, but no one presented as romantic a snapshot of dyed‐in‐the‐wool South Louisiana life as this blues shouting rocker from Northeast Texas. In fact, he so embraced the culture in lifestyle and song that in the final analysis, Davis is considered as much a card‐carrying Acadian as those whose ancestors made the exiled journey from Nova Scotia in the eighteenth century. But while his popular 1953 rendition of the Cajun anthem Big Mamou on OKeh Records helped open the door to this often‐closed and clannish culture, his 1949 take on Roy Brown’s Good Rockin’ Tonight (retitled Have You Heard The News), issued on the tiny Gold Star imprint, painted a far more accurate portrait of his musical personality, which began brewing on shellac in the late thirties. Link’s chosen instruments, fiddle and tenor sax, perfectly embodied his multi‐faceted musical vision. They might have seemed completely at odds with one another anywhere else in the United States, but in the Golden Triangle of South Louisiana and East Texas they dovetailed like shrimp and okra, saluting the entire genre‐melding arc of Gulf Coast music. And while most musicians would have been satisfied to stand on the circumstance of their one hit, the ever‐restless, always‐creative Davis gravitated straight to rock ’n’ roll once his major label contract expired. Label‐hopping from Nucraft to Sarg to Starday, Link laid down the unique sound he’d been developing for well over a decade in the clubs of the Golden Triangle — an amalgamation of Cajun, blues and rockabilly that culminated in 1958 with the driving, jiving rocker Bon‐Ta‐Ru La (Let The Good Times Roll), recorded for Houston’s Allstar Records.
A noted session man, his honking sax buzzed to the top of the charts on both the Big Bopper’s Chantilly Lace and Johnny Preston’s Running Bear, while his newly‐formed four‐piece band the Cajuns continued to record for Allstar, as well as other local labels such as Al’s, D, Kool and Link’s own Tanker and Western concerns. It was on these post‐Starday sides that Davis found the freedom to pursue the freewheeling approach that he employed in the nightclubs, and the lean, mean sound of the Cajuns was buoyed by brilliant guitarists Junior Beck and Joey Long, as well as San Antonio Fender bassist Little Sammy Jay and even Link’s teenage son, Link Davis Jr. The result was a Gulf Coast musical gumbo of the highest order, featuring first class rockers (Permit Blues, Airliner, Come Dance With Me), bayou blues (Rice & Gravy), swamp ballads (Visions, Memories Of You) and storming sax instrumentals (Beatle Bug), all delivered in the distinctly larger‐than‐life Davis style.
The fact that Link was forty years old when rock ’n’ roll hit the national scene — and yet he took to it like a duck to water, should have been no surprise to his many fans, or anyone even vaguely aware of him; he’d been playing it long before it had a neatly‐sellable name. This collection, featuring liner notes penned by longtime Link Davis devotee and Gulf Coast music historian Michael Hurtt, zeroes in on the decade that made him the irrepressible musical force‐of‐nature that we know and love today.
10‐inch LP, Side A)
01 Come Dance With Me
02 Permit Blues
03 Grasshopper Rock
04 Johnny Be Good
05 Don’t Big Shot Me
06 Bon‐Ta‐Ru‐La (Let The Good Times Roll)
10‐inch LP, Side B)
07 Sixteen Chicks
09 Rice And Gravy
10 Trucker From Tennessee
11 You Show Up Missing
Compact Disc (CD):
01 Come Dance With Me ‐ Link Davis
02 Permit Blues ‐ Link Davis
03 Grasshopper Rock ‐ Link Davis
04 Johnny Be Good ‐ Link Davis
05 Don’t Big Shot Me Link Davis
06 Bon‐Ta‐Ru‐La (Let The Good Times Roll) ‐ Link Davis
07 Sixteen Chicks ‐ Link Davis
08 Airliner ‐ Link Davis
09 Rice And Gravy ‐ Link Davis
10 Trucker From Tennessee ‐ Link Davis
11 You Show Up Missing ‐ Link Davis
12 Grasshopper ‐ Link Davis
13 Have You Heard The News (Good Rockin’ Tonight) ‐ Link Davis
14 Allons A Lafayette ‐ Link Davis
15 Rice And Gravy Blues ‐ Link Davis
16 Beatle Bug ‐ Link Davis
17 Visions ‐ Link Davis
18 Joe Turner ‐ Link Davis
19 Ballad Of Jole Blon ‐ Link Davis
20 Rice And Gravy Boogie ‐ Link Davis
21 Memories With You ‐ Link Davis
22 Jogging ‐ Link Davis
23 San Antonio Blues (vocals: Link Davis) ‐ Cliff Bruner & His Texas
24 Texas Swing ‐ Link Davis
25 Slippin’ And Slidin’ Sometimes ‐ Link Davis
26 Big Mamou ‐ Link Davis
GENRE: Vintage Rock’n’roll/Cajun