Cliff goes down on one knee during the quieter moments of the
A dynamic shot of Cliff performing Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
Two excellent quality versions of the Jerry Lee Lewis rocking classic that were recently discovered in the collection of an English fan in 2003. Recorded more than two years apart, these two takes are markedly different in their arrangement. The former is slower and showcases some brilliant guitar work by Hank during the instrumental breaks and great production values, whilst the second take from 1963 gallops along at a frantic pace that tends to end up as a lampoon of the song.
Whole Lotta Shakin' goes to the very roots of Cliff's love of rock 'n' roll and was one of the earliest numbers he performed in 1958 – often using it to close a show. He sang this song when he first formed The Drifters in mid-1958 and he featured it in his repertoire during the four-week season at the Butlins Holiday Camp in Clacton, Essex, England during August 1958.
Cliff also performed it on ABC TV's 'Oh Boy!' between October and December 1958. Unfortunately these historic shows were never captured on film or recorded for posterity, although a publicity picture showing Cliff performing the song on the show does survive.
Cliff included Whole Lotta Shakin' to close his set for his first live album recorded before a screaming audience at Abbey Road on 9 and 10 February 1959, but he was suffering from laryngitis at the time. Nevertheless, Cliff still manages to give some blistering performances at these two sessions.
An alternative version was also cut for BBC Radio's 'Saturday Club' which was aired on 27 December 1958 along with Cliff's other early hits like Move It, High Class Baby and Schoolboy Crush.
Cliff sang Whole Lotta Shakin' to close the first show of his ATV television series simply entitled 'Cliff' which was transmitted on Thursday 16 February 1961. For this performance both The Shadows and the Jack Parnell Orchestra backed Cliff. All six shows in Cliff's 1961 series survive but remain unseen to this day.
MC: RL Mark 1 is streaked with blues styling from Cliff, and Hank, after rocking it up rather incongrously, enters into the spirit of things at around the 2 minute mark. The later take verges on the comic: it sounds at best frightfully twee, and the tick-tock accompaniment is a positive curiosity.
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