Five Records to Make You Forget Ray Charles Was Ever Alive in the First Place

ESQUERITA, Esquerita!(1959, Capitol): Before Richard was ever Little, the vivacious Voola (as Esquerita was even more incoherently nicknamed) was hitting the ivories harder than he hit particularly mouthy broads. Plus, he was so terrifying in person he made the white ladies faint.

LITTLE RICHARD, Here's Little Richard (1957, Specialty): Richard Penniman had soapy hands when Eskew Reeder showed him how to grease his hair into the stratosphere. By the time the world knew Penniman as Little Richard, he was slippin' and slidin' the backbeat on "Tutti Frutti" (lead track on this LP) while Esquerita planned his revenge on the Arcocon.

JERRY LEE LEWIS, Rockin' with Jerry Lee Lewis(1987, Killer): A rompin', stompin', piano-playing son of a bitch. Drag your moonshine-drunk ass over to the juke and warm up to these cousin-friendly tunes. You 13-year-olds, you cover your ears.

JIMMY SMITH, The Monster(1965, Verve): Chicken grease never sounded so sweet—melt the pants off your date with swinging stabs at The Munsters theme and "Goldfinger" on a Hammond B-3. Dimly lit room and penicillin not included.

BOOKER T. & THE MGS, Back to Back (1967, Stax): That throbbing isn't just coming from your sassy pants, mister: Booker T. is sex. Grind and hip-hug your way to meltdown with the long, deep, wide groove of this live 1967 revue in Paris. Add two parts Wild Turkey and serve.

 
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