Thursday, March 22, 2007

Janis Martin and Rachael Stokes

Now here's where I get to thank the internet.

I was going to post a couple of Janis Martin tracks (because she's great, of course) and her story is one of those 'what might have been' tales. With the backing of RCA Victor in 1956 and some great songs, the sassy 17 year old cut some kickin rock'n'roll tracks without making the chart dent she deserved. Touted as the Female Elvis might have backfired, but the airplay didn't. 750,000 sold on her first single. Both sides of which are included here. Drugstore was written by Janis herself, and RCA were keen on her rockin' image and put the rockabilly first in her music. Until the sales didn't follow on, and they tried other material. But her last RCA session was as rockin as her first.
So what happened. How come she isn't as famous as Brenda Lee or Wanda Jackson? Was it her manager?

No. Gigs in Europe allowed her to see her husband and she became pregnant and dropped out of the music scene til they were old enough to have a working mum. She's up and singin' all over nowadays and goes down a storm at rockin' clubs everywhere.
Have a listen:
Drugstore Rock'n'Roll
Will You, Willyum

So I was wondering if there was any footage of her on the old 'net and searched YouTube. Nothing early. But wait what's this. A young gal singing Janis songs in her bathroom. Sweet. And what a great voice. And she needs a band. Vegas area, are you listening? SHE NEEDS A BAND. VEGAS AREA.

Rachel Stokes is what I was searching for. That young rocker just ready to sing her heart out, and tear up the floor with the ... hmm .. let's try a different metaphor. Damn. Just go listen. Surprisingly my fave is "My Confession" - a ballad. I'm not big on fifties ballads usually, prefering to swing, or switch it up by the speakers, but hey! in her bathroom, and no production, and no flash, this is how the song was written (or should have been). It's straight up down to earth tell it like it is sophisticated and naive all rolled up and heart melting. Yes!

Don't take my word for it. Rachael is a Star!
Rachael Stokes You Tube Profile

There are some downloadable tracks over at her Myspace Site


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