“Raunchy” is an instrumental by American rock’n’roll artist Bill Justis (1926-1982), co-written with Sidney Manker (1932-1974) and produced by Sam Phillips. The tune, from the album Cloud 9, was released as a single on the record label Phillips International Records, a sub-label of Sun Records, on September 23, 1957.
“Raunchy” (teenage slang for dirty or messy) is one of the first rock songs to use the “twangy” lead guitar effect, which was later developed by others and became common for several years following its first appearance. Soon after the hit, guitarist Duane Eddy and producer Lee Hazlewood took it upon themselves to develop that style to an ultimate degree. They greatly enhanced the reverberation in their recordings, creating a far-from-light lead guitar sound. Eddy started with the big hit “Rebel Rouser” in 1958; he later made a recording of “Raunchy” for the RCA Records album Twangin’ the Golden Hits in 1965.
Het merkwaardige is/was dat Bill Justis een saxofonist is, die o.a. meewerkte bij de andere Sun-producties, met name o.a. die van Johnny Cash en Jerry Lee Lewis. Die fameuze twangy gitaar werd dan ook gespeeld door co-auteur Sid Manker. Rather than play in the middle string range, as most rock and country guitarist would, Manker used the bass strings, further exaggerated by the studio echo. Neither Justis or Manker, who remained a session man at Sun, capitalized on the uniquely original guitar sound they had created. That would fall to an enterprising deejay, Lee Hazlewood in Phoenix Arizona, and his 19 year old protege, Duane Eddy.
In 1958, a then fourteen-year-old George Harrison performed it for John Lennon and Paul McCartney on the top deck of a bus in Liverpool, and was so note-perfect that Lennon decided, despite earlier reservations about Harrison’s age, to let him into his band the Quarrymen, which later became the Beatles (*). Years later, while working on the Beatles Anthology project in 1994, the three surviving Beatles (Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr) played the tune during a jam session, it having been the song that landed George a spot in the early version of the group. (Wikipedia)
(*) Vandaar dat er op bijgevoegd YouTube-filmpje een foto van George Harrison staat. Maar het betreft wel degelijk een uitvoering door Bill Justis, van de versie door George Harrison bestaat bij mijn weten geen filmpje. Hieronder wel een zeldzaam fotootje van Sid Manker.