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Format: The discography includes original 45 and 78 rpm singles, plus additional tracks appearing on reissue compilation LPs and CDs.

National Origin: Listings have been restricted to U.S. and Canadian issues by U.S. and Canadian performers. Furthermore, Canadian releases have been included only if the material was not also released in the United States or if the Canadian issue preceded its U.S. counterpart.

Time Span: The core chronological scope is 1951 to 1964. The starting date is based on the release of Bill Haley's "Rocket 88", which I regard as the first true country rock & roll record. Some earlier recordings are included as examples of country artists covering current rhythm & blues songs (see below). The closing date was more difficult to determine. Arguably, the country rock & roll era ended in either autumn 1958 or autumn 1959. I found, however, that limiting the discography to the 1950's would have meant omitting hundreds of records of proven interest to the intended audience of the book. Ultimately, I chose not to impose a rigid cutoff date, although standards for inclusion are much stricter for post-1964 recordings.

Style: Put in the simplest terms, Rockin' Country Style attempts to list every rock & roll single aimed at the country & western market and every pop rock & roll single whose style was primarily derived from country-oriented rock & roll. (For a fuller explanation of the stylistic scope, see the section "Criteria for Inclusion" in this introduction.)

Special Categories: The following categories of recordings have been covered as comprehensively as possible, regardless of sound:

  1. country cover versions of contemporary rhythm & blues songs (with rhythm & blues defined as an exclusively postwar development)
  2. rock & roll recordings (including rockaballads) by country performers (with the determination based on the artist's recording history, band affiliation, radio background, or self-description)
  3. rock & roll recordings with a mainstream country flipside.

Musical Quality: To the greatest extent possible, I have tried to avoid allowing personal tastes to affect the content of the discography. Any collector attempting to use this list as a buying guide should be advised that inclusion in Rockin' Country Style is no guarantee of musical quality or collectibility. The experienced listener will have no trouble verifying that the book includes some truly awful records.

Regrettably, but unavoidably, a large number of records have been listed on some basis other than first-hand aural evaluation. Thanks to the kindness of numerous fellow collectors, the diligence of reissue producers, and my access to the Country Music Foundation collection, I was able to make informed decisions on about two-thirds of the discs included. For the remainder, I have had to rely upon Billboard reviews, collector literature, individual recommendations, auction list categorizations (with caution), and other factors.

Compilation & presentation © 2020, Terry E. Gordon This page revised on 03/16/2000

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