"A Farewell Legacy"

CD REVIEW BY TONY WILKINSON, U.K.

PUBLISHED IN THE AMERICAN MUSIC MAGAZINE DECEMBER, 2000

Tony Wilkinson September 2000

EDDIE SULIK" A Farewell Legacy"Hard Rock Hattie LS 1000-003 Playing Time: 30.32

Puppy Love/Heartbeat/Lovesick Blues/Twist All Night/Bounty Hunter Dale/Where Can She Be/Anna Marie/Hard Rock Hattie/Lover/Only Foolin'/Anna Marie (alt.)/Who/Make You Mine

Eddie Sulik is not a name that one is instantly familiar with, which is a downright shame as on the basis of these recordings he possesses a voice with the crystal clear quality and plaintive emotion of Marty Robbins. Not only that, he also possess a passing resemblance to Teddy Randazzo.

In 1960 he was part of the Echoes, a duo that recorded for Columbia in Nashville using the likes of Grady Martin as backing musicians, and then embarked upon a solo career. The recordings on this CD are his self productions between then and his tragic death in 1965 in a car smash. By a sad twist of fate, this accident happened the night before Eddie was scheduled to meet with Archie Bleyer of Cadence Records and Chet Atkins to discuss a recording deal.

The set opens up with "Puppy Love" and "Heartbeat" which are two superior teen beat ballads and are originals, accordingly they should not be confused with the same titles from Paul Anka and Buddy Holly respectively.

"Lovesick Blues" is a honky tonk version of the song made famous by Hank Williams Snr. But, like many recordings of around this time, is slightly marred by an obtrusive femme chorus. That said, it is the only non original of the whole compilation with all others being quality Sulik compositions.

"Twist All Night", which is otherwise titled "We're Gonna Dance All Night", is a good rockin' number with some tasty guitar work as is "Lover" which also features a muted sax whilst the splendid "Where Can She Be" reverts to teen beat ballads and is slightly in the same mould as Barry Darvell's "How Will It End".

Both "Only Foolin' " and "Make You Mine" are good easy country rockers. "Anna Marie" is served up in two versions, one with girls chorus and one without, and is where latin meets country, indeed it is partly sung in Italian.

The Marty Robbins influence is well to the fore on the gun fighter type ballad "Bounty Hunter Dale", a marvelous catchy performance. This leaves "Who", a country tinged beat ballad and "Hard Rock Hattie" which is the highlight of the whole set which is gentle rocker somewhat similar to Ray Stanley's "Market Place".

This then is the musical legacy of Eddie Sulik and, whilst for sure it is not a ravin' rockin' set, that voice makes one realize that had he lived there was every prospect of Sulik becoming a major star. A sad loss to the music world but these recordings he left behind are most enjoyable. It was pleasing to also learn that there is a good possibility of the tracks he cut as The Echoes being reissued.

The packaging on this compilation is attractive with some excellent art work. The CD is available from Hard Rock Hattie Productions LLC, P O Box 147, Plymouth, Connecticut 06782. USA. There is also a web site at www.edwardsulik.com which is worth a visit.

Tony Wilkinson September 2000

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