Go to:  RCS Main RCS logo Advanced Search

Criteria for Inclusion

In judging whether a recording is appropriate for inclusion in Rockin' Country Style, I try to answer two questions: First, is it rock & roll? Second, is it country (or primarily derived from country)? It is often painfully difficult to make one or both of these decisions.

The following is a list of the characteristics I have looked for in evaluating tracks. They range from strongly negative to neutral to strongly positive. Some characteristics (such as the presence of a mainstream country flipside) are only significant in the context of a recording I have already judged to be rock & roll. Other characteristics (such as piano triplets) are only significant in the context of a recording already judged to be country.

I developed this table only after having evaluated several thousand tracks. It is not a set of rules which I have tried to use in objectively scoring performances; rather, it is simply an attempt to spell out the criteria I found myself applying on an informal basis.

  Negative   Positive
Characteristic Strong Moderate Neutral Moderate Strong
Sounds like Elvis on Sun         X
Sounds like Carl Perkins         X
Sounds like Jerry Lee Lewis         X
Sounds like Elvis on RCA, 1956-58         X
Sounds like Charley Ryan's "Hot Rod Lincoln"         X
Sounds like Elvis on RCA, 1959+       X  
Sounds like Johnny Cash on Sun       X  
Sounds like Duane Eddy       X  
Sounds like the Everly Brothers       X  
Sounds like Conway Twitty       X  
Sounds like Arkie Shilbley's "Hot Rod Race"       X  
Sounds like Bill Haley     X    
Sounds like Buddy Holly     X    
Sounds like Carl Mann     X    
Sounds like Chuck Berry   X      
Sounds like Little Richard   X      
Artist Characteristics
Country         X
Already has pertinent material included       X  
Southern (non-Gulf Coast)       X  
Gulf Coast     X    
Non-Southern     X    
Cajun   X      
Hispanic   X      
Black   X      
Recording Characteristics
Country label or series         X
Nashville recording         X
Mainstream country flipside         X
Southern label       X  
Custom record       X  
Mainstream pop flipside   X      
Post-1959 recording   X      
Post-1964 recording X        
Material Characteristics
Cover of R&B material         X
Country composer or publisher       X  
Rocker       X  
Ballad   X      
Instrumental   X      
Traditional country material   X      
Boogie woogie rhythm   X      
Calypso or other exotic rhythm   X      
Twist rhythm   X      
Waltz rhythm X        
Vocal Characteristics
Twang in vocal         X
Presley-derived vocal         X
Exhortations by vocalist       X  
Brother duet       X  
Male vocal group     X    
Female or mixed vocal group X        
Instrumental Characteristics
Lack of an instrumental break   X      
Prominent electric guitar       X  
Acoustic rhythm guitar       X  
Steel guitar         X
Acoustic bass       X  
Electric bass   X      
Single saxophone     X    
Horn other than saxophone   X      
Two or more saxophones
or other horns
Jerry Lee Lewis-style piano         X
Piano triplets       X  
Boogie woogie piano   X      
Other piano     X    
Fiddle         X
Accordian   X      
Organ X        
Bongos X        

Compilation & presentation © 2023, Terry E. Gordon This page revised on 03/16/2000

Go to:   RCS Main Advanced Search