Rhythm & Blues, Soul & Doo-Wop - New Releases: July 2010 -> March 2011 - Various Artists


New Releases: July 2010 -> March 2011
Rhythm & Blues, Soul & Doo-Wop
Various Artists


VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace ABOXCD 11 The Music City Story ● CD $41.98
Three CDs, 78 tracks, 203 mins, highly recommended
Terrific collection of blues, R&B, doo-wop and soul recorded for the legendary Music City label run out of Berkeley, California by entrepreneur Ray Dobard between 1953 and 1975. This label has been cherished for decades by a small hardcore of R&B, vocal group and, latterly, soul fanatics. Based on the available evidence - 50-odd 45 and 78rpm releases - and a lot of hearsay and rumour, many have spent hours fantasising about the purported riches in the possession of its famously protective, zealous owner. Ace have finally acquired the rights to the catalog and are about to unleash a treasure trove of issued and previously unissued material. Dobard had only a couple of minor hits - the 4 Deuces' doo-wop classic W-P-L-J and guitarist Johnny Heartsman's raucous Johnny's House Party - but he kept the tape machine running pretty much constantly for much of his quarter-century in the business and more than half the tracks on this fabulous collection are previously unissued. Amongst the set's 78 tracks are names familiar to doo wop and blues collectors - the Crescendos, Gaylarks, Rovers, 5 Lyrics, Alvin Smith etc - while behind several others lurk famous names (James Brown, Lou Rawls) or others soon to be famous (Sugar Pie DeSanto, members of Sly & the Family Stone). From the raucous jump blues of Del Graham's Your Money Ain't Long Enough to the hip street soul of Darondo, the breadth of genres represented is extensive, but the overall emphasis in "The Music City Story" is upon the black vocal group, be it 50s, 60s or 70s vintage. Among the many artists featured here are Sidney Grande, Mr. Undertaker, Gloria Jean, The Golden West Singers, Jimmy Nelson, Lord Luther, The Marcels, Pee Wee Kingsley, Five Crystels, Jimmy Raney, Little Willie Littlefield (a previously unknown recording by this West Coast blues legend), Vermettya Royster with James Brown's Band, Jackie Day, The Fantastics and many more including an unknown duo covering Etta James' hit The Wallflower. In addition there are several fascinating radio spots. Compiled by West Coast music expert Alec Palao who provides 42 pages of notes on the label and the artists with many photos - some in full color and a full listing of all titles that were issued on Music City and it's affiliated labels. And this set is just the beginning, future Ace releases from the Music City label will be devoted to specific artists and genres and I, for one, can't wait! (FS)
THE 3 HONEYDROPS: Rockin Satellite/ THE 4 DEUCES: W-P-L-J/ THE BALLADS: Loving You Isnt Enough/ AL BENNETT WITH THE COUNTRY TRAVELLERS: Bury Me In The South/ JOE BLACKWELL & THE INDIVIDUALS: Beverly My Darling/ BOB & JESSIE: Church On The Hill/ WANDA BURT: Feeling Fine, Feeling Good/ Scheming/ THE CRESCENDOS: My Hearts Desire/ DARONDO: Didnt I/ JACKIE DAY: Dont Fence Me In/ THE DERBYS: Lonely One/ THE DREAMERS: Crossing The River/ LEE DURRELL & THE TAMARAS: You Gave Me Love/ JASPER EVANS: Wrong Doing Woman/ THE FANTASTICS: Im Waiting/ THE FIDELS: Love Me Tender/ THE FIVE CAMPBELLS: Morrine/ THE FIVE CRYSTALS: Heavens Own Choir/ THE FIVE LYRICS: Im A Workin Man/ THE FIVE SWANS: Lil Tipa-Tina/ THE FOUR RIVERS: Nature Boy/ THE FRANCISCANS: Ocean Of Love/ THE GAYLARKS: Tell Me, Darling/ THE GAYTEENS: Ding Dong/ JOHNNY GEORGE: Music City Hop/ GOLDEN BOY WITH CHICK MORRIS & HIS BAND: Keep Me Satisfied, Baby/ THE GOLDEN WEST SINGERS: This Wicked Race/ DEL GRAHAM WITH QUE MARTYNS ORCHESTRA: Your Money Aint Long Enough/ SIDNEY GRANDE: Guitar Blues/ AL JOSEPH HARRIS WITH CHICK MORRIS & HIS BAND: A Prayer/ JOHNNY HEARTSMAN: Johnnys Stomp (Early Version)/ Johnnys House Party (Pts 1 & 2)/ THE HEAVENLY TONES: Hes All Right/ THE HOLIDAYS: Station L-O-V-E/ THE ITALICS: I Feel So Blue/ THE KLIXS: Elaine/ GENE LEE & THE BLUES ROCKERS: Gonna Blow Out The Lamp/ LITTLE LYNN: I Walk In Circles/ LITTLE WILLIE LITTLEFIELD: Love You All Night Long/ LORD LUTHER: Just One More Chance/ KARY LYNN: Dynamite/ THE MARCELS: Indian Jane/ JOHNNIE MARIE THORNE: I Cant Take Any More/ ROBBIE MELDANO: I Need You Baby/ THE MIDNIGHTS: Annie Pulled A Hum-Bug/ WILLIE MOORE: The Slopp/ THE MUSIC CITY ALL STARS: Do The Philly/ THE MUSIC CITY SOUL BROTHERS: Something In My Eye/ THE MUSIC CITY SWINGERS: Passing Thru Music City/ JIMMY NELSON: The Wheel/ THE NIGHTCAPS: Mirage/ THE PAGANS: Lovers Plea/ PEE WEE & SUGAR PIE: Flippin & A-Floppin/ THE PERFORMERS: Farewell Goodbye My Love/ GLORIA JEAN PITTS: I Dont Stand No Quittin/ THE POWELL BROTHERS: You Are My Lover Girl/ LEON PRYOR: From The Bottom Of My Heart/ JIMMY RANEY: Blues All Around My Bed/ LOU RAWLS: Too Late To Cry/ THE ROVERS: Ichi Bon Tami-Dachi/ VERMETTYA ROYSTER WITH JAMES BROWNS BAND: All Around The World/ THE SATELLITE BAND: Party At Verns/ ALVIN SMITH: On My Way/ THE SOUL BROTHERS: Shes Coming Back/ THE SOUL SENSATIONS: A Man That Is Not Free/ THE SWINGIN BROTHERS: What To Do/ THE TEAR DROP TEARS: When We Get Married (Part 2)/ THE THREE DONS & DONNA: Jerry/ THE TWILIGHTERS: Late Last Night/ THE TWO THINGS IN ONE: Stop Telling Me/ MR. UNDERTAKER: Here Lies My Love/ UNKNOWN MALE & FEMALE DUET: The Wallflower/ WALLY & THERESA: Are You My Boyfriend/ DVONYA WHITE: The Kasavubu Waltz

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1278 How Many Roads - Black America Sings Bob Dylan ● CD $18.98
20 tracks, 79 mins, highly recommended
There have certainly been many compilations to cover the covers of Bob Dylan's great compositions, this one takes a less traveled road and that has made all the difference. This focuses on African American interpretations, featuring some of the greatest Soul and Rhythm & Blues artists of the last 60 years. From the sublime beauty of cuts like Marion Williams' I Pity The Poor Immigrant, The Persuasions' The Man In Me, and The Staple Singers' Masters Of War, to the ridiculously Funky in tracks like Major Harris' Like A Rolling Stone, Solomon Burke's Maggie's Farm, and Con-Funk-Shun's Mr. Tambourine Man. Then there's also Gary U.S. Bonds' fiery version of From a Buick 6, The Neville Brothers ethereal take on With God On Our Side, and Booker T. Jones' heartbreaking rendition of Knockin' On Heaven's Door. These and many, many more great shakes will be found, accompanied by fantastic production, notes etc. Superlatives aside, this is exactly as good as it should be, fans of Bob Dylan, and fans of good music in general should absolutely pick this one up. If you don't like good music, then I guess we can't help you. (JM)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1281 The Ace (US) Records Story, Volume 2 ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 57 mins, highly recommended
Earlier this year, Ace Records UK began re-issuing their 5 LP series from 1979-83 in CD form and here comes the second installment. Like the first (Ace 1261, $17.98), this set contains the original 12 tracks supplemented by songs of similar vintage and quality. Spanning the years 1956 to 1964 (plus two culled from U.S. Ace's aborted re-launch/comeback in 1971), a wealth of New Orleans and Southern rock 'n' roll, R&B and rockin' blues is represented with more choice cuts from artists that had been on volume one (Frankie Ford, Bobby Marchan, Jimmy Clanton, Huey "Piano" Smith) and some who'd missed out the first time (Junior Gordon, the Blue Dots, Lightnin' Hopkins, Eddie Bo, Charles Brown & Amos Milburn-together!-and Gene & Al's Spacemen). With the exception of Little Shelton's weak re-tread of Sea Cruise (using the same backing track as Ford's version), nothing here is a waste; just don't expect a "hit" collection, because the only chart record here is Clanton's Go Jimmy, Go (written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman). Regardless of the lack of well known tracks, there is great stuff among the "bonus" cuts: insane instrumental Teen Age Rock by Little (James) Booker; Huey & the Clown's hilarious Would You Believe it (I Have a Cold); the uptown blues of Frankie Lee Sims' My Talk Didn't Do Any Good; Earl King's rollicking Little Girl; The Supremes' (not the Motown group) Honey Honey (recorded in 1957, released in 1971); and Clanton's first Ace single, the bluesy I Trusted You, from 1957. Bottom line, buy this CD now; come on, you know you need this. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1284 Sweet Inspiration - The Songs Of Dan Penn & Spooner Old ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 67 mins, highly recommended
To fans of Southern Soul, the names of songwriters Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham are revered as premiere soul men. As producers/songwriters, only Isaac Hayes and David Porter are arguably more important in the history of Southern Soul music, and it's fitting that these two men should get their own volume in Ace's Songwriter series of CDs. So many classic songs- I'm Your Puppet/ Sweet Inspiration/ Take Me (Just As I Am)/ I Met Her In Church/ Cry Like a Baby, and more-and they're here, but not necessarily in the versions you're most familiar with. But that's ok, where else can you hear Dionne Warwick wrap her inimitable voice around I'm Your Puppet or Arthur Alexander rip through Cry Like a Baby? Artists ranging from Percy Sledge to Charlie Rich, from Tony Joe White to the Box Tops are represented here, all benefiting from the singular brilliance of these two men. Dan and Spooner always wrote from the heart, and often the artists conveyed that spirit in their performances: just check out Charlie Rich's heartbreaking version of A Woman Left Lonely or Solomon Burke's take of Take Me - so full of truth and pain-as evidence. For Southern Soul songwriting at its best during the years 1965 to 1971, look no further than Penn and Oldham, and this compilation certainly gives them their due. (GMC)
ARTHUR ALEXANDER: Cry Like A Baby/ TONY BORDERS: I Met Her In Church/ THE BOX TOPS: Everything I Am/ SOLOMON BURKE: Take Me (Just As I Am)/ JAMES CARR: Let It Happen (Alternate Take)/ ARTHUR CONLEY: In The Same Old Way/ ART FREEMAN: Slippin' Around/ ETTA JAMES: I Worship The Ground You Walk On/ PATTI LABELLE & THE BLUEBELLES: Dreamer/ BARBARA LYNN: He Ain't Gonna Do Right/ RONNIE MILSAP: Denver/ JEANNE NEWMAN: It Tears Me Up/ THE OVATIONS: I'm Living Good (Version 2)/ SANDY POSEY: Are You Never Coming Home/ CHARLIE RICH: A Woman Left Lonely/ TOMMY ROE: Wish You Didn't Have To Go/ JOE SIMON: Let's Do It Over/ PERCY SLEDGE: Out Of Left Field/ THE SWEET INSPIRATIONS: Sweet Inspiration/ TED TAYLOR: Feed The Flame/ IRMA THOMAS: Good Things Don't Come Easy/ THE WALLACE BROTHERS: I Need Someone/ DIONNE WARWICK: I'm Your Puppet/ TONY JOE WHITE: Watching The Trains Go By

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1297 The Ace (USA) Story, Volume 3 ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 55 mins, essential
Don't look now, but here comes the third CD chronicling the saga of Jackson, Mississippi label Ace Records. As has been noted from past reviews, these CDs are reissues (with generous bonus tracks) of the original Ace Story vinyl LPs from the 80's, which sought to document the activities of the label over the period 1954 to 1964. If you have the first two CDs (or the original vinyl), then buying this installment is a no-brainer. However, if non-believers need convincing, then so be it. Can anyone possibly resist the harmonica stylings of Sonny Boy Williamson on Boppin' With Sonny, Alvin "Red" Tyler's sax on Snake Eyes, Albert Scott on I'm So Glad You're Mine, Bobby Marchan on Don't Take Your Love From Me, or Jerry McCain's She's Tough? And that's only tracks from the original LP; the bonus tracks are pretty hot too, especially Marchan's Loberta, Earl King's Darling Honey Angel Child, The Emeralds' Kneel at Your Throne, and Frankie Lee Sims' What Will Lucy Do. Are you non-believers convinced yet? Look, all R&B fans need this compilation (along with the first two) period. (GMC)
THE BLUE DOTS: Saturday Night Fish Fry/ THE EMERALDS: I Kneel At Your Throne/ FRANKIE FORD: Cheatin' Woman/ JUNIOR GORDON: My Love For You/ EARL KING: Darling Honey Angel Child/ HARRY LEE: You Don't Know/ BOBBY MARCHAN: Don't Take Your Love From Me/ Loberta/ JERRY MCCAIN: She's Tough/ Steady/ MERCY BABY: Marked Deck/ Rock 'N' Roll Baby/ MAC REBENNACK: Foolish Little Girl/ Sahara/ ALBERT SCOTT: I'm So Glad You're Mine/ FRANKIE LEE SIMS: What Will Lucy Do?/ HUEY "PIANO" SMITH: Everybody's Whalin'/ For Cryin' Out Loud/ Little Liza Jane/ Somebody Told It/ THE SUPREMES: Don't Leave Me Here To Cry/ JOE TEX: Cut It Out/ ALVIN "RED" TYLER: Snake Eyes/ SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON: Boppin' With Sonny

VARIOUS ARTISTS Acrobat 3066 Melodisc Records Of Hollywood ● CD $18.98
Two CDs, 46 tracks, recommended
Entertaining collection of R&B, jump blues and jazz recordings made for the Los Angeles based Melodisc in 1945 and '46. It includes all 11 sides cut for the label by Marion Abernathy - a mix of blues and more pop oriented numbers with accompaniments by George Dukes & Duchess (with Lucky Thompson on tenor) and The Buddy Banks Sextette. The fine vocalist, clarinetist and tenor saxist King Perry is featured on 10 tracks - a varied selection including blues vocals and jazz and R&B instrumentals. There are three tracks by the legendary Slim Gaillard including his classic Dunkin' Bagels. The always fine Jack McVea and his band are presented by four fine cuts. Other artists include Howard McGhee Orch., George's Dukes & Duchess, George Crawford & The Four Blazes, The Flennoy Trio, The Counts & Countess, Karl George Octet (a fine jazz group led by trumpeter George with Bill Doggett on piano and Freddy Green) and Joe Thomas & His Orch. The tracks are presented in approximate chronological order and some of the earlier sides are from very worn 78s and make for tough listening and, to be honest, the music on those tracks is not compelling enough to make it worth sitting through the noise. Includes 16 page illustrated booklet with detailed notes by Opal Louis Nations. (FS)
MARION ABERNATHY & GEORGES DUKES & DUCHESS: Lonely Blues/ MARION ABERNATHY & THE BUDDY BANKS SEXTET: Goin' For The Okey Doke/ MARION ABERNATHY & THE BUDDY BANKS ORCH.: Ink Splink/ MARION ABERNATHY & THE BUDDY BANKS SEXTET: Roses Of Picardy/ MARION ABERNATHY W/ GEORGES DUKES & DUCHESS: Abernathy's Boogie/ Slowin' Down The Blues/ MARION ABERNATHY WITH GEORGES DUKES & DUCHESS: Abernathy's Voo-t Voo It/ THE COUNTS & COUNTESS: Ride, Red, Ride/ Rip Up The Joint/ GEORGE CRAWFORD & THE FOUR BLAZES: I Never Had A Dream To My Name/ Let's Boogie/ That's All She Wrote, cause The Pencil Broke/ The Big Leg Mama's Fine/ GEORGE'S DUKES & DUCHESS W/ LUCKY THOMPSON: The Hour Of Parting/ THE FLENNOY TRIO: Hey Lawdy Mama/ My Honey Chile/ SLIM GAILLARD QUARTET: Boogin' At Berg's/ Laguna/ Don't Blame Me/ Dunkin Bagels/ KARL GEORGE OCTET: Baby It's Up To You/ Grand Slam/ How Am I To Know/ Peek-a-boo/ GEORGES DUKES & DUCHESS W/ LUCKY THOMPS: Cherokee/ DAN GRISSOM & THE FLENNOY TRIO: Cherry/ Poor Butterfly/ HOWARD MCGHEE ORCH.: Night Mist/ JACK MCVEA ALL STARS: Fightin' Mama Blues/ New Deal/ Scrub Sweep And Mop/ Silver Symphony/ KING PERRY & THE PIED PIPERS: Baby Baby Blues/ Laughing At Life/ Mellow Reeni Riff/ Puttin' You Down Blues/ Till The Very End Of My Days/ Voot Rock/ KING PERRY QUINTET: A Chicken Ain't Nothin' But A Bird/ King Perry Blues/ Song Of The Islands/ The Man I Love/ JOE THOMAS & HIS ORCH.: Don't Blame Me/ For Boobs Only/ Sequence/ You're Buggin' Me

VARIOUS ARTISTS Antiques 2653 Wrinkle City Relics, Vol. 4 ● CD $17.98
27 more doo-wop obscurities from the 50s and early 60s - about half making their first appearance on CD. Includes Tommy Carter, The Pretenders, Ophelia MacCall, Prince Surrender, The Silverlettes (the excellent I Miss You with some great guitar work), Bobby Page & The Riff Raffs, Gene Davis, Sonya & The Capris, The Rockatones, Yvonne Vernee and others. Sound quality isn't too good but with tracks this rare I guess it will have to do.
JOHNNY ALLEN: Crying Over You/ THE ASTRONAUTS: Chili Charlie/ BILLY BROWN & BALLADS: Why Baby Why/ TOMMY CARTER: Please Find My Love/ THE CHARADES: For You/ GENE DAVIS: Lost Love/ DOC & THE DUMPLINGS: Something About You Darling/ BOBBY DUNN: Laughing/ THE HI LARKS: Take A Hike/ KENNY & THE SWINGING VIBRATIONS: Sitting and Thinking Alone/ THE LEAPING FLAMES: Social Dance/ JESSE LEE & RHYTHMAIRES: Won't Have To Cry Anymore/ JOHNNY LEE & THE ROADRUNNERS: My Little Angel/ THE LITTLE COOLBREEZES: Won't You Come In/ OPHELIA MACCALL: One Heart One Love/ BOBBY PAGE & RIFF RAFFS: Sweet Surrender/ THE PRETENDERS: Don't Tell A Lie/ PRINCE SURRENDER: To Have and To Hold/ THE RIPTIDES: Foolish Lies/ THE ROCKATONES: Cruise To the Moon/ THE SILVERLETTES: I Miss You/ SONYA & THE CAPRIS: Extra Extra/ Private Party/ THE TABS: Oops/ YVONNE VERNEE: Your Touch/ RUBEN WARREN & THE OUTSTANDERS: July/ THE WINDS OF NOTRE DAME: Radiation Baby

VARIOUS ARTISTS Cat Records 101 The Complete "Cat" Records Story, Vol. 1 ● CD $17.98
20 tracks, highly recommended
The first of two volumes featuring all the recordings made in the mid-50s for Atlantic's Cat Records subsidiary including sides not originally issued. A great collection of R&B, blues and doo-wop. It opens with two jumping sides by Mike Gordon and The El Tempos including a great rendition of the Lil Green classic Why Don't You Do Right, this is followed by two rocking sides by Sylvia Vanderpool with Mickey Baker on guitar recorded shortly before they teamed up as Mickey Sylvia. There are also sides by the fine blues singer and guitarist Jimmie Lewis, superb doo-wop group The Chords (five tracks including their classic original recording of Sh Boom), Prince Partridge, blues singer and piano player Floyd Dixon, Millie Bosman and another fine bluesy doo-wop The Playboys (actually The Cues). Consistently fine music with excellent sound but no notes. (FS)
MILLIE BOSMAN: Really Satisfied/ Your Good Doin'/ THE CHORDS: Bless You/ Cross Over the Bridge/ Little Maiden/ Sh Boom/ Zippity Zum/ FLOYD DIXON: Moonshine/ Roll Baby, Roll/ MIKE GORDON & THE EL TEMPOS: Why Don't You Do It Right/ You Got To Give/ JIMMY LEWIS: Last Night/ Love Broke My Heart Again/ THE PLAYBOYS: My Buddie Stole My Chippie/ Rock, Moan and Cry/ Tell Me/ PRINCE PATRIDGE: Co Operation Part 1/ Co Operation Part 2/ SYLVIA VANDERPOOL: Fine Love/ Speedy Life

VARIOUS ARTISTS Cat Records 102 The Complete "Cat" Records Story, Vol. 2 ● CD $17.98
21 tracks, highly recommended The Chords are featured on Volume 2 with six fine sides - first under the name The Chordcats (they were forced to change their name to avoid conflict with another group of the same name) and The Sh-Booms (they didn't like the name The Chordcats!). Regardless of the name changes and fine music they were unable to repeat the success of Sh-Boom. The Playboys aka The Cues are also back with three fine songs including two takes of the song Good Golly, Miss Molly (not the Little Richard song). There is more doo-wop from The Sheiks and we have blues from Rose Marie McCoy and Floyd Dixon (including his classic Hey Bartender) and rockin' R&B from Margie Day. There are two tracks from the white pop group The Collegians and two from the bland black duo Scott & Oaks - these four cuts seem out of place on this set but they've gotta be here for completeness. (FS)
THE CHORDCATS: A Girl To Love/ Heartbeat/ Hold Me Baby/ Love Oh Love/ THE COLLEGIANS: Rickety Tickety Melody/ The Sackbut, the Psaltery and the Dulcimer/ MARGIE DAY: Ho Ho/ Pitty Pat Band/ FLOYD DIXON: Hey Bartender/ Is It True/ ROSE MARIE MCCOY: Dippin' In My Business/ Down Here/ THE PLAYBOYS: Good Golly Miss Molly/ Good Golly Miss Molly (take 4)/ Honeybun/ SCOTT & OAKS: It Was You/ Tick Tock/ THE SH BOOMS: Could It Be/ Pretty Wild/ THE SHEIKS: The Kissing Song/ Walk That Walk

VARIOUS ARTISTS Charly SNADCD 661 Sehorn's Soul Farm - 50 New Orleans Soul Classics ● CD $16.98
Two CDs, 50 tracks, highly recommended
Superb set of New Orleans R&B recorded for Marshall Sehorn and Allen Toussaint's Sansu, Deesu and Tou-Sea labels between 1965 and 1968 including a number of tracks not originally issued. This is an expanded version of two LPs issued on Charly in the 1980s expnading the original 32 tracks to 50. The material ranges from the loping second line R&B of Warren Lee's Star Revue to the deep soul of John Williams' Blues Tears And Sorrow. The presence of the genius of Allen Toussaint is everywhere - he produced and arranged all the tracks, wrote more than half of them and plays piano on many of them. This results in a certain similarity in sound of the performances but fortunately Toussaint is so talented and versatile that this is only a minor drawback. The set includes familiar names like Lee Dorsey, The Meters, Betty Harris and Earl King along with lesser known but outstanding artists like Eldridge Holmes, Curly Moore, Willie Harper, Diamond Joe and others. Includes 12 page booklet with notes on all the performers. (FS
ZILLA MAYES: I Love You Still/ DIAMOND JOE: Don't Set Me Back/ Gossip Gossip/ How To Pick A Winner/ Look Way Back/ LEE DORSEY: Get Out My Life, Woman/ Ride Your Pony/ SONNY FISHER: Oh Love This Is Sonny/ WILLIE HARPER: Here Come The Hurt Again/ I Don't Need You Anymore/ That's What You Need/ Why You Wanna Do It/ BETTY HARRIS: I'm Evil Tonight/ Mean Man/ JOE HAYWOOD: Let's Make It/ Sadie Mae/ ELDRIDGE HOLMES: A Love Problem/ An Open Letter (To My Love)/ Cheatin' Woman/ Love Affair/ Lovely Woman/ IRONING BOARD SAM: Man Of The Street/ ERNIE K. DOE: Hotcha Mama/ I Can't Believe She Gave It All To Me/ Let Me Love You/ You Got To Love Me/ ERNIE K.DOE: You Lie So Much/ EARL KING: A Mothers Love/ All My Love (All My Love/ This Is What I Call Livin'/ WARREN LEE: A Lady/ Climb The Ladder/ Just Like A Woman/ Star Revue/ Underdog Backstreet/ ZILLA MAYES: All I Want Is You/ THE METERS: Chicken Strut/ Cissy Strut/ CURLEY MOORE: Don't Pity Me/ CURLY MOORE: Get Low Down/ Goodbye/ AARON NEVILLE: Hercules/ Struttin' On Sunday/ BENNY SPELLMAN: Sinner Girl/ WILLIE WEST: Baby, Baby I Love You/ Did You Have Fun/ Fair Child/ Keep You Mine/ DANNY WHITE: Natural Soul Brother/ JOHN WILLIAMS: Blues Tears And Sorrow

VARIOUS ARTISTS Documents 233206 Shake, Rattle & Roll - Original HIts And Rarities Of 50 ● CD $24.98
10 CDs, 200 tracks, highly recommended
Another of those inexpensive packages from the German Documents label - this time a great collection of rhythm & blues recorded between 1951 and 1960. About 2/3 of the tracks were top ten R&B hits and the rest are not so much rarities but mostly familiar tracks that didn't make the charts. Among the many artists featured are Jackie Brenston, Big Joe Turner, Ruth Brown, Johnny Otis, The PLatters, Fats Domino, The Olympics, Don & Dewey, James Brown, LaVern Baker, Faye Adams, Bobby Freeman, Ivory Joe Hunter, Hank Ballard & The Midnighters, The Coasters, Big Maybelle, Sam Cooke, Lloyd Price, The Du-Droppers, Chuck Willis, Ray Chares, Buster Brown, Nappy Brown and man, many more. As with other issues sound quality is fine but there are no notes. Serious collectors will have everything here but it's a great way to start an R&B collection at a low price. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fantastic Voyage FVTD 051 Heavy Sugar - The Pure Essence Of New Orleans R&B ● CD $21.98
3 CDs, 75 tracks, highly recommended
It is a mighty tall order to say that a collection captures "The Pure Essence Of New Orleans R&B," especially without just regurgitating a bunch of obvious tracks that have been compiled a million times before, but this collection might just have pulled it off. Most of the right names are here as they should be, rarely with their big hit, but most with great tracks from their classic days that aren't as well known. For example Fats Domino with Don't Deceive Me/ Telling Lies, and Would You, Little Richard with Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey, and Oh Why? Etta James with Tough Lover, and Dance With Me Henry, and Lloyd Price with I'm Glad, Glad, and Sam Cooke with That's All I Need To Know. The best part of this collection though, is all of the many tracks by the pillars of the New Orleans music community like Shirley & Lee That's What I'll Do, Art Neville Cha Dooky Doo, and Zing Zing, Smiley Lewis with several great tracks, Huey Piano Smith with a handful as well, not to mention John Fred with and without his Playboys, and great cuts like Shirley" and Good Lovin', Bobby Charles, Professor Longhair, Little Booker (a young James Booker,) Eddie Bo, Ernie K-Doe, Earl King, and many, many more New Orleans greats. After listening to all three CDs here a couple of times now, I can honestly say that there isn't a bum track on this collection. Absolutely fantastic stuff, all tracks but one were recorded in New Orleans between 1955-1959, with the one exception being recorded as recent as 1962. This is certainly an essential release for New Orleans lovers and fans of classic Rhythm & Blues. (JM)
LEE ALLEN & HIS BAND: Creole Alley/ Tic Toc/ JOHNNY ANGEL: Teenage Wedding/ JIMMY BEASLEY: Don't Break This Heart Of Mine/ I'm So Blue/ RICHARD BERRY: Mad About You Baby/ EDDIE BO: I Love To Rock n Roll/ CHARLES BROWN: I'll Always Be In Love With You/ Please Believe Me/ ROY BROWN: Diddy-Y-Diddy-O/ Saturday Night/ JERRY BYRNE: Carry On/ BOBBY CHARLES: I'll Turn Square For You/ JIMMY CLANTON: Ship On A Stormy Sea/ ROLAND COOK: I've Got A Girl/ SAM COOKE: That's All I Need To Know/ THE CRYSTALS: Love You So/ LEE DIAMOND: Hatti Malatti/ FATS DOMINO: Don't Deceive Me/ Telling Lies/ Would You/ BIG AL DOWNING: When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again/ FRANKIE FORD: Cheatin' Woman/ It Must Be Jelly/ JOHN FRED: Good Lovin'/ Shirley/ PAUL GAYTEN: Mother Roux (Yo Yo Walk)/ Nervous Boogie/ GENE & AL'S SPACEMEN: Mercy/ THE GONDOLIERS: Knocked Out/ You Call Everybody Darling/ JUNIOR GORDON: Blow Wind Blow/ ALBERTA HALL: Oh, How I Need Your Lovin'/ CLARENCE HENRY: Baby, Baby Please/ HUEY & JERRY: I Think You're Jiving Me/ ETTA JAMES: Dance With Me Henry/ Tough Lover/ JOE JONES: A-Tisket A-Tasket/ ERNIE KADOR: Eternity/ EARL KING: Well-O, Well-O, Well-O Baby/ HARRY LEE: Every Time I See You/ SMILEY LEWIS: School Days Are Back Again/ Someday (You'll Want Me)/ Sweeter Words (Have Never Been Told)/ LITTLE BOOKER: Doin' The Hambone/ LITTLE RICHARD: Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey/ Kansas City/ Oh Why?/ PROFESSOR LONGHAIR: Look What You're Doing To Me/ BOBBY MANDOLPH: Malinda/ BOBBY MARCHAN: Chickee Wah Wah/ MICKEY & SYLVIA: There'll Be No Backin' Out/ AMOS MILBURN: We Teenagers Know What We Want/ LI'L MILLET & HIS CREOLES: Rich Woman/ BOBBY MITCHELL: Try Rock And Roll/ MYLES & DUPONT: Loud Mouth Annie/ ART NEVILLE: Cha Dooky Doo/ Zing Zing/ LLOYD PRICE: I'm Glad, Glad/ LESTER ROBERTSON: My Girl Across Town/ Take It Home To Grandma/ THE ROYAL KINGS: Teachin' And Preachin'/ RUTH & AL: Real Gone Party/ SHIRLEY & LEE: That's What I'll Do/ HUEY SMITH: We Like Birdland/ Would You Believe It, I Have A Cold/ HUEY "PIANO" SMITH WITH HIS CLOWNS: Don't You Know Yockomo/ THE SPIDERS: Someday, Bye And Bye/ THE SUPREMES: Honey, Honey/ ALLEN TOUSSAINT: Whirlaway/ THE TROPICALS: Sweet Sixteen/ JOE TURNER: Honey Hush/ RAY WASHINGTON: I Know/ CHARLES WILLIAMS: So Glad She's Mine/ OSCAR WILLS (AKA TV SLIM): Flatfoot Sam

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fantastic Voyage 063 Mambo In The Mainstream ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 64 mins, highly recommended
The mambo developed in Cuba in the 1940s grafting a distinctive syncopated rhythm pattern on to the traditional danzon. Perez Prado popularized the style in the mid 40s in Latin America and it eventually arrived in New York in the late 40s and by the mid 50s had become a national rage. This compilation presents a broad spectrum of musicians singing about the mambo and using the style as a basis for songs crossing a wide range of genres including R&B (Ivory Joe Hunter, Earl Bostic, The Dootones, Ruth Brown, Johnny Otis, etc), rock 'n' roll (Bill Haley & The Comets, Bobby Freeman, Johnny Burnette & The Rock 'n' Roll Trio, etc.), pop (Rosemary Clooney, Perry Como, Earl Grant, etc.) and jazz (Cal Tjader) and the set ends with a track from the mambo king himself Perez Prado. A couple of years ago El Toro put a mambo themed collection ("Ay Si! Si!" - El Toro 113 - $18.98) but that collection was exclusively R&B oriented. This one is more expansive though it does have a couple of duplications with the El Toro but not enough to worry about. Sound is excellent and 16 page booklet has extensive notes. (FS)
LAVERN BAKER: Mine All Mine/ EARL BOSTIC: Mambostic/ RUTH BROWN: Mambo Baby/ JOHNNY BURNETTE & THE ROCK 'N' ROLL TRIO: Lonesome Tears In My Eyes/ ROSEMARY CLOONEY: Mambo Italiano/ PERRY COMO: Papa Loves Mambo/ THE DOOTONES: Ay Si Si Mambo/ THE DRIFTERS FEATURING CLYDE MCPHATTER: Honey Love/ BOBBY FREEMAN: Do You Want To Dance/ EARL GRANT: House Of Bamboo/ BILL HALEY: Mambo Rock/ WYNONIE HARRIS: All She Wants To Do Is Mambo/ JOHNNY HORTON: Lover's Rock/ IVORY JOE HUNTER: I Got To Learn To Do The Mambo/ JANIS MARTIN: Love Me, Love/ MICKEY & SYLVIA: Se De Boom Run Dun/ VAUGHN MONROE: They Were Doin' The Mambo/ JOHNNY OTIS ORCHESTRA: Mambo Boogie/ THE PLATTERS: Shake It Up Mambo/ PEREZ PRADO: Mambo Jambo (aka Que Rico El Mambo)/ LOUIS PRIMA: Fever/ THE ROBINS: Loop De Loop Mambo/ Out Of The Picture/ CAL TJADER: Mamblues/ OTIS WILLIAMS & THE CHARMS: Mambo Sh-Mambo

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fantastic Voyage 81 Soul Breakout '60 ● CD $19.98
Another entry in Fantastic Voyage's series of mid-century R&B collections, this two CD set with 60 tracks gives us the highlights of the year 1960. The year was a transitional one, as the likes of Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke, and Ray Charles exerted their influence over the male singers of the time; Motown took baby steps with Barrett Strong, Marv Johnson, Mary Wells, and the Miracles; James Brown started becoming a dominant force to be reckoned with; the Shirelles led the girl group charge and showed everyone how to do it; and Brook Benton and Jerry Butler had their first go-arounds as R&B heartthrobs. All of these people are represented on this peerless collection of U.S. chart hits, along with Etta James, the Drifters, Ike & Tina Turner, Maxine Brown, Ben E. King, The Falcons, and many more.
BROOK BENTON: Kiddio/ The Same One/ The Ties That Bind/ BOBBY BLAND: Cry Cry Cry/ Lead Me On/ THE BOBBETTES: Dance With Me Georgie/ JAMES BROWN: The Bells/ MAXINE BROWN: All In My Mind/ JAMES BROWN & THE FAMOUS FLAMES: I'll Go Crazy/ Think/ This Old Heart/ You've Got The Power/ JERRY BUTLER: A Lonely Soldier/ He Will Break Your Heart/ RAY CHARLES: Sticks And Stones/ Tell The Truth/ SAM COOKE: Chain Gang/ No One (Can Ever Take Your Place)/ Sad Mood/ Teenage Sonata/ Wonderful World/ SUGAR PIE DESANTO: I Want To Know/ THE DRIFTERS: I Count The Tears/ Lonely Winds/ Save The Last Dance For Me/ This Magic Moment/ THE FALCONS: The Teacher/ THE FLAMINGOS: Nobody Loves Me Like You/ ARETHA FRANKLIN: Today I Sing The Blues/ BOBBY FREEMAN: (I Do The) Shimmy Shimmy/ TY HUNTER & THE VOICE MASTERS: Everything About You/ ETTA JAMES: All I Could Do Was Cry/ MARV JOHNSON: (You've Got To) Move Two Mountains/ Ain't Gonna Be That Way/ All The Love I've Got/ I Love The Way You Love/ BEN E. KING: First Taste Of Love/ Spanish Harlem/ BOBBY MARCHAN: There's Something On Your Mind (Part 2)/ CLYDE MCPHATTER: Ta Ta/ LENNY MILES: Don't Believe Him, Donna/ THE MIRACLES (FEATURING BILL "SMOKEY" ROBINS: Shop Around/ THE SHIRELLES: Tonight's The Night/ Will You Love Me Tomorrow/ SHIRLEY & LEE: I've Been Loved Before/ BARRETT STRONG: Money (That's What I Want)/ TED TAYLOR: Look Out/ IRMA THOMAS: (You Can Have My Husband But) Don't Mess With My Man/ ED TOWNSEND WITH THE TOWNSMEN: Stay With Me (A Little While Longer)/ IKE & TINA TURNER: A Fool In Love/ I Idolize You/ BABY WASHINGTON: Work Out/ DINAH WASHINGTON & BROOK BENTON: A Rockin' Good Way (To Mess Around And Fall In Love)/ Baby (You've Got What It Takes)/ MARY WELLS: Bye Bye Baby/ THE WHEELS: Clap Your Hands (Part 1)/ JACKIE WILSON: A Woman, A Lover, A Friend/ Am I The Man/ Doggin' Around/ Talk That Talk

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fantastic Voyage 083 R&B Spotlight '60 ● CD $19.98
The companion to Soul Breakout '60 (Fantastic Voyage 81 - $19.98), this collection shows a different side to post-Rock 'n' Roll R&B, covering everything from dance-craze mania (Chubby Checker's The Hucklebuck and The Twist; (Do the) Mashed Potatoes by Nat Kendrick & the Swans; The Madison from Al Brown's Tunetoppers) and novelty jive (The Hollywood Argyles - Alley-Oop; The Coasters - Run Red Run) to New Orleans groove (Fats Domino, Jessie Hill, Aaron Neville) and still-holding-on-by-the-skin-of-its-teeth Doo-Wop (The Spaniels, The Five Satins, Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs, The Platters, Little Anthony & the Imperials). Plus there's party music from Hank Ballard & the Midnighters, Chuck Berry, and Bo Diddley, girl power from Lavern Baker and Ruth Brown, and blues from Jimmy Reed, Elmore James, and Rosco Gordon. Truly a "something for everyone" collection, and each one a hit.
LAVERN BAKER: Bumble Bee/ Shadows Of Love/ Shake A Hand/ Wheel Of Fortune/ HANK BALLARD & THE MIDNIGHTERS: Finger Poppin' Time/ Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go/ The Coffee Grind/ CHUCK BERRY: Jaguar And Thunderbird/ Let It Rock/ Too Pooped To Pop Casey/ THE BLUE NOTES: My Hero/ GARY (U.S.) BONDS: New Orleans/ JAMES BOOKER: Gonzo/ BUSTER BROWN: Fannie Mae/ RUTH BROWN: Don't Deceive Me/ AL BROWN'S TUNETOPPERS FEAT. COOKIE BROWN: The Madison/ CHUBBY CHECKER: The Hucklebuck/ The Twist/ DEE CLARK: How About That/ You're Looking Good/ THE COASTERS: Besame Mucho (Part 1)/ Run Red Run/ Shoppin' For Clothes/ Wake Me, Shake Me/ What About Us/ BO DIDDLEY: Crawdad/ Road Runner/ FATS DOMINO: My Girl Josephine/ Walking To New Orleans/ ETTA & HARVEY: If I Can't Have You/ Spoonful/ THE FIVE SATINS: I'll Be Seeing You/ WADE FLEMONS: Easy Lovin'/ What's Happening/ ROSCO GORDON: Just A Little Bit/ BOBBY HENDRICKS: Psycho/ JESSIE HILL: Ooh Poo Pah Doo (Part 1)/ THE HOLLYWOOD ARGYLES: Alley-Oop/ JOHN LEE HOOKER: No Shoes/ ELMORE JAMES & HIS BROOMDUSTERS: The Sky Is Crying/ LITTLE WILLIE JOHN: Heartbreak (It's Hurtin' Me)/ Let Them Talk/ Sleep/ JIMMY JONES: Good Timin'/ Handy Man/ JOE JONES: You Talk Too Much/ NAT KENDRICK & THE SWANS: (Do The) Mashed Potatoes (Part 1)/ LITTLE ANTHONY & THE IMPERIALS: My Empty Room/ Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko-Ko-Bop/ MICKEY & SYLVIA: What Would I Do/ AARON NEVILLE: Over You/ THE OLYMPICS: Big Boy Pete/ JOHNNY OTIS SHOW: Mumblin' Mosie/ THE PLATTERS: Harbor Lights/ LLOYD PRICE: Question/ JIMMY REED: Baby What You Want Me To Do/ THE SPANIELS: I Know/ JOE TURNER: Honey Hush/ My Little Honey Dripper/ MAURICE WILLIAMS & THE ZODIACS: Stay

VARIOUS ARTISTS Floridita 4 Granpa's Gully Rock ● CD $21.98
25 tracks, 59 mins, highly recommended Subtitled "25 Dynamite R&B Gems" that's just what it is - a particularly nice collection of rocking R&B from the 50s and early 60s. The title comes from the obscure mid 50s Fortune dance tune by Floyd Smith with The Montclairs. Other artists include The Zodiacs (their rare "T" Town from the Cole label), Larry Dale, The Supremes (the fine New Orleans group with Huey Smith on piano), The Off Beats (their great Have Love Will Travel with Arthur Lee Maye on lead sounds a lot like Louie Louie - not too surprsing as it was written by Richard Berry!), Eddie Bo, El Pauling with Royal Abbitt & The Royaltones, Pearl Woods (the hot Sippin' Sorrow), Chico Leveritt, Joe Tex (the early Little Richard flavored Ain't I A Mess), Mickey Denton, The Metallics, Roger Ballin, Tal Miller and others. Fine sounds, no notes by booklet has a bunch of tasy label shots. (FS)
ROGER BALLIN: Look'a Who/ LARRY BIRDSONG: I'm Pleading Just For You/ EDDIE BO: Every Dog Got His Day/ LARRY DALE: Big Muddy/ MICKEY DENTON: Dance With Me Mary/ THE EBONETTES: Wild Man Walk/ THE JAGUARS: Fine Fine Fine/ ARLANDO KING & EARTHQUAKES: Baby Only You/ CHICO LEVERETT: Work Work/ BOBBY MARCHAN & CLOWNS: You Can't Stop Her/ THE METALLICS: Get Lost/ TAL MILLER: B-A-B-Y/ THE OFF BEATS: Have Love Will Travel/ LILLIAN OFFITT: My Man Is A Lover/ EL PAULING, ROYAL ABBITT & THE ROYALTONES: Please, Please, Be Mine/ LULU REED: Say Hey Pretty Baby/ FLOYD SMITH & MONTCLAIRS: Granpa's Gully Rock/ THE SUPREMES: Don't Leave Me Here To Cry/ JOE TEX: Ain't I A Mess/ TINY TOPSY: You Shocked Me/ THE UTOPIANS: Dutch Treat/ THE VALENTINES: That's It Man/ JEANETTE (BABY) WASHINGTON: Move On/ PEARL WOODS: Sippin' Sorrow/ THE ZODIACS: T-Town

VARIOUS ARTISTS Harmless BACKB 006 Backbeats - That Driving Beat - 60s & 70s Northern Soul ● CD $11.98
30 tracks, 78 mins, highly recommended
Here's one of those tasty collections of sweet Soul music where there is a fine blend of famous artists with obscure gems, and obscure artists with notoriously rare tracks. You get Jackie Wilson The Who Who Song, The Delfonics You'll Get Enough, Gene Chandler Mr Big Stuff, Willie Mitchell The Champion, and Young Holt Unlimited California Montage as examples of the tracks from more well known artists, with special mention to LaVerne Baker's Wrapped, Tied and Tangled from 1967! For the more obscure, how 'bout (George Clinton's) The Parliaments Don't Be Sore At Me, Epitome Of Sound's You Don't Love Me, Bunny Sigler's Girl Don't Make Me Wait, and Johnny Jones & The King Casuals with their funky deconstruction of Purple Haze, with a horn section and crisp guitar. Like I said, lots of tasty stuff pulled from records that most of us would go broke trying to buy. Featuring excellent sound, notes, etc. this is a top-notch buy for sure. (JM)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Harmless BACB 12 Backbeats - Love & Jealousy - Deeper Side Of Southern S ● CD $11.98
24 tracks, 78 mins, highly recommended
The Backbeats series of CDs is dedicated to bringing unsung 60's and 70's Soul & R&B artists to as wide an audience of listeners as possible (other CDs in the series compile Philadelphia Disco, 70s breakbeats and future samples, 70s and 80s seductive soul, and smooth 70s soul from Chicago, among other things). Ergo, these CDs function best as samplers for the curious or adventurous. As the title suggests, the unifying theme of the songs is "love and jealousy", and few know more about love and jealousy than southern soul stylists like Otis Clay, George Jackson, Syl Johnson, Al Green, and O.V. Wright. All are represented with singles or album tracks, but as always, it's the obscurities that intrigue: Quiet Elegance, Jean Plum, Bobby McClure, Oscar Perry, Willie Walker, and James Fry all contribute tracks that make me want to hear more of their respective catalogs. The impressive quality of these recordings should come as no surprise when one realizes that most of the tracks are licensed from Hi Records, owned by one of the greatest Soul visionaries of all time Willie Mitchell. If you liked "Backbeats: That Driving Beat: 60s & 70s Northern Soul Stompers" (Harmless 06, 11.98) and want an inexpensive way to sample real old school R&B, then this collection is for you. And be sure not to miss O.V. Wright's killer version of Latimore's Let's Straighten it Out; it's worth the price of admission all by its self. (GMC)
FONTELLA BASS: I'm Leaving The Choice To You/ DON BRYANT: I'll Go Crazy/ OTIS CLAY: I Die A Little Each Day/ It Was Jealousy/ QUIET ELEGANCE: Do You Love Me/ JAMES FRY: Tumbling Down/ AL GREEN: One Woman/ GEORGE JACKSON: I'm Gonna Wait/ SYL JOHNSON: Anyway The Wind Blows/ Could I Be Falling In Love/ RONNIE LOVEJOY: Until You Get Enough Of Me/ BARBARA LYNN: This Is The Thanks I Get/ THE MASQUERADES: Wake Up Fool/ BOBBY MCCLURE: To Get What You Got/ BOBBY PATTERSON: Take Time To Know The Truth/ THE PATTERSON TWINS: Back In Love Again/ ANN PEEBLES: Give Me Some Credit/ OSCAR PERRY: I'll Take Care Of You/ JEAN PLUM: Back To You/ You Ask Me/ BOBBY POWELL: When You Move You Lose/ QUIET ELEGANCE: Will You Be My Man In The Morning/ WILLIE WALKER: I Love Her/ O.V. WRIGHT: Let's Straighten It Out

VARIOUS ARTISTS Hull 711 The Best Doo-Wops From Hull Records ● CD $17.98
32 tracks, highly recommended
Terrific collection of New York doo-wop recorded for the Hull and subsidiary Mascot label in the 50s and early 60s. The label produced four all time doo-wop classics - a couple that were picked up by bigger labels before they even appeared on the parent labels. These include The Heartbeats featuring the sublime lead vocals of James "Shep" Sheppard with the 1956 hit A Thousand Miles Away and the great sequel Daddy's Home featuring a new Sheppard group Shep & The Limelites, the rocking Book Of Love from the Monotones and the lovely Little Star by The Elegants. These are all on this disc along with other songs by these artists along with tracks by lesser known but superb groups like The Desires (featuring the falsetto lead of Robert "Bootsie" White), The Avons, Jackie & The Starlites, The Legends, Carouselles, Sparks (the great rocker Run Run Run) and others. Consistently fine music with decent sound but no notes. (FS)
THE AVONS: Baby/ You Are So Close To Me/ THE BELTONES: I Talk To My Echo/ Oof Oof/ THE CAROUSELLES: Way Over There/ THE DESIRES: Hey Lena/ Let It Please Be You/ Rendezvous With You/ Set Me Free/ THE ELEGANTS: Getting Dizzy/ Little Boy Blue/ Little Star/ THE ELEGENTS: Get Well Soon/ THE HEARTBEATS: A Thousand Miles Away/ Crazy For You/ Darling How Long/ Your Way/ WILLIE HOWARD & THE CHORDELLS: Louise/ JACKIE & THE STARLITES: For All We Know/ I Cried My Heart Out/ THE LEGENDS: Legend of Love/ Now I'm Telling You/ THE MONOTONES: Book of Love/ Legend of Sleep Hollow/ You Never Loved Me/ THE PASTELS: Been So Long/ So Far Away/ SHEP & THE LIMELITES: Daddy's Home/ Our Anniversary/ What Did Daddy Do?/ THE SPARKS: Run Run Run/ THE SUPREMES: Just Yell

VARIOUS ARTISTS Jasmine 685 The Human Orchestra ● CD $18.98
Two CDs, 50 tracks, 137 mins, essential
Fantastic collection of black vocal group singing from the pre-doowop era. "The Human Orchestra" refers to a groundbreaking 1985 LP on the Swedish Clanka Lanka Orchestra which was probably the first extended reissue of these styles with particular emphasis on performances where the vocal group members would often emulate the sound of brass instruments with amazing and uncanny results. The first 16 tracks on this collection reissues the tracks that were on that album and the rest of disc 1 features nine more performances in the same style. The second disc features 25 more tracks of early vocal group singing but not necesarilly emphasizing the "human orchestra' aspect. The recordings made between 1932 and '47 feature spectacular harmonies with sparse backing (often just guitar and sometimes with additional string instruments). There are a number of compilations of pre rock 'n' roll vocal group harmonis but this is the best. It opens with the amazing Mr. Ghost Goes To Town by The Five Jones Boys who impersonate a whole orchestra with their voices and ends with the superb Ooh Look A There Ain't She Pretty by The Charioteers which becamse very popular in England in 2007 when it was used on TV commercial. Other artists include The Golden Gate Quartet, Norfolk Jazz Quartet, The Five Breezes (a superb group featuring a young Willie Dixon and the great guitar of Leonard Caston), The Three Keys, Ink Spots, Cabineers, Four Blues, Quintones, Cats And The Fiddle, Three Sharps And A Flat, Four Vagabonds and many more. A mix of blues, novelty jive, jazz and pop songs. Excellent sound and three pages of brief, but informative, notes though I would have been happier with a big thick booklet since the music deserves it, but I shouldn't be greedy. (FS)
THE CABINEERS: Let the Party Go On/ Sweet Louise/ THE CATS AND THE FIDDLE: I Miss You So/ I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water/ Nuts to You/ That's On Jack That's On/ THE CHARIOTEERS: Ooh Look a There Ain't She Pretty/ THE FIVE BREEZES: Just a Jitterbug/ Minute and Hour Blues/ My Buddy Blues/ Return, Gal of Mine/ THE FIVE JINKS: Dirt Dishing Daisy/ Za Zu Swing/ THE FIVE JONES BOYS: Mr. Ghost Goes to Town/ THE FOUR BLACKBIRDDS: Dixie Rhythm/ THE FOUR BLUES: Jitterbug Sadie/ THE FOUR CLEFS: I Like Pie, I Like Cake/ The Jive is Jumpin'/ THE FOUR SOUTHERN SINGERS: hambone Am Sweet/ THE FOUR VAGABONDS: Comin in on a Wing and a Prayer/ Hit That Five jack/ Murder He Says/ Rosie the Riveter/ THE GOLDEN GATE QUARTET: My Walking Stick/ THE INK SPOTS: Swingin' on the Strings/ THE JONES BOYS SING BAND: Pickin' a Rib/ it's Sleepy Time in Hawaii/ THE LEWIS BRONZEVILLE FIVE: Oh! Mabel Oh!/ THE MILLS BROTHERS: Jungle Fever/ THE MISSISSIPPI MUD MASHERS: Moonglow/ THE NORFOLK JAZZ QUARTET: Suntan Baby Brown/ THE QUINTONES: Fool That I Am/ My Sugar Walks Down the Street/ ROLLIN' SMITH'S RASCALS: Kickin' the Gong Around/ THE THE CARIOTEERS: Way Down Yonder in New Orleans/ THE THREE BARONS: Milk Shake Stand/ THE THREE KEYS: Basin Street Blues/ Fit as a Fiddle/ Heebie Jeebies/ Somebody Loses, Somebody Wins/ Somebody Stole Gabriels Horn/ That Doggone Dog of Mine/ Wah Dee Dah/ THE THREE PEPPERS: Love Grows on the White Oak Tree/ Swing Out Uncle Wilson/ Swingin' at the Cotton Club/ THREE SHARPS & A FLAT: That's the Rhythm/ THREE SHARPS & FLATS: I'm Getting Sentimental Over You/ THREE SHARPS AND A FLAT: I'm Through/ THE THREE SHARPS AND A FLAT: Swinging at the Candy Store

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 347 Manhattan Soul - Scepter, Wand & Musicor ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 61 mins, highly recommended
Here we have another of Kent Record's stellar label compilations; this time spotlighting New York labels Scepter/Wand and Musicor. According to the liner notes, these labels were lumped together on this CD because they shared many similarities, not least of which were the talents of songwriter/producer Luther Dixon. With tracks spanning the years 1962 to 1973, the CD pays apt tribute to the labels and exposes the Kent folks' penchant for including obscure artists and/or songs on their compilations. And this is not a bad thing because we get to hear some groovy stuff that would otherwise rot in the vaults-Dan & the Clean Cuts' Walking With Pride, J.B. Troy's Live On, or Betty Moorer's Speed Up for example. Oh there's the usual sprinkling of "name" artists caught on the way up (or down) in their careers too: Maxine Brown, The Platters, Johnny Maestro & the Crests, The Shirelles, and The Toys to name a few. And the Knight, Maestro, and Shirelles (really a demo recording) tracks are particularly noteworthy and not to be missed. The set finishes off with the exquisite So Help Me Woman by George Tindley and reinforces the fact that the guys and gals at Kent have done it again. (GMC)
ANN BAILEY: Sweeping Your Dirt Under My Rug/ MAXINE BROWN: I Want A Guarantee/ THE BUCKEYE POLITICIANS: Girl I Could Love You More/ DAN & THE CLEAN CUTS: Walking With Pride/ THE FABULOUS DENOS: Diamond Ring/ JERRY FISCHER & THE NIGHTBEATS: I've Got To Find Someone To Love Me/ DOUGLAS 'JOCKO' HENDERSON: Blast Off To Love/ HELEN HENRY: A Little Bit Of Heartbreak/ MARIE KNIGHT: That's No Way To Treat A Girl/ DIANE LEWIS: Without Your Love/ JOHNNY MAESTRO & THE CRESTS: Afraid Of Love/ JACKIE MOORE: Same Change, The/ BETTY MOORER: Speed Up/ WINFIELD PARKER: Will There Ever Be Another Love For Me/ PATTI JO: Ain't No Love Lost/ THE PLATTERS: I Love You 1000 Times/ PORGY & THE MONARCHS: It's A Dream I've Always Had (a.k.a. Hey Girl)/ THE SHIRELLES: One Time Too Many/ THE TABS: Take My Love Along With You/ LEE THOMAS: Millionaire/ GEORGE TINDLEY: So Help Me Woman/ ED TOWNSEND: Stick By Me/ THE TOYS: You Got It Baby/ J.B. TROY: Live On

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 349 Northern Soul's Guilty Secrets ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 64 mins, highly recommended
Like any so-called music scene, Northern Soul has been subject to the question of what does and doesn't constitute Northern Soul. Different people have different notions of what is a true Northern Soul song; some say that only up-tempo R&B make by black people count, while others maintain that anything that you can dance to-black or white, pop or R&B-is fair game. While the controversy rages on, this CD spotlights some of those "grey area" records and, on the basis of the line up, it's easy to see what people of a certain mind set were complaining about; for on this disc is a smorgasbord of styles and artists: everything from proto-disco (Barnaby Bye's Can't Live This Way), garage rock (the Seeds Pushin' Too Hard!), and mid-60's pop (The Newbeats' Run Baby Run) to soulful white boys (Len Barry, John Fred) is touched upon. Although there are a few songs that might make you go "what the hell" (Bobby Goldsboro!), nothing sucks and all the songs here were actually played by Northern Soul DJs and were "hits" with the crowds to varying degrees. And the songs (for the most part) fit the "obscurity" criteria needed to be a Northern Soul record, but whether or not one takes to Rodger Collins' You Sexy Sugar Plum or Garland Green's Bumpin' and Stompin' is purely a matter of taste. Regardless, one can definitely say that the mid to late 60's and early 70's tracks on this CD give a whole new perspective on the British Northern Soul scene. And don't miss the one transcendent moment: Kiki Dee's absolutely gorgeous On a Magic Carpet Ride. Yes, it's that good. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Legends 037 100 Hits - Northern Soul ● CD $19.98
5 CDs, 4 hours 13 min., very highly recommended
At first glance it isn't much to look at (but then who is?), this box set looks to be just another collection of the same old 60's soul songs, albeit in greater amounts than usual. And some of the first CD is on the tamer side of the genre, on the Motown-soundalike-obligatory-ubiquitous-tambourine side, though nothing really to complain bitterly about. But CD #2 not only removes any question as to the quality of the material, it redeems the project absolutely, as do the other CDs. The set covers many labels (e.g., Dakar, OKeh, Brunswick, Hot Wax, to name but a few), but the song info suggests that SONY is the unifying commercial interest. Luckily, their musical holdings are substantial. And while the collection houses some hits (The Spiral Staircase's More Today Than Yesterday, for one), it's the misses that hit here. The lesser known Otis Leavill's Love Uprising, with its incredible bass lines and unusually intersting lyrics ("Truth is a lie/'cause you always have to have an alibi" and "Faith is beginning to mean you don't believe"), would be enough of a reason to pick this set up even if it didn't come with 99 other tracks, which it does. Other non-superstars worth hearing include Porgy & The Monarchs (That Girl), The Glories (I Worship You Baby), Tobi Legend (Time Will Pass You By), The Spellbinders, Marvin Smith, Morris Chestnut (Too Darn Soulful), The Charmaines, The Insiders, Susan Barrett, and on and on. Better knowns include Billy Butler, Walter Jackson, James Carr, The Artistics, Erma Franklin, The Vibrations, Fred Hughes, The Exciters, Tyrone Davis, Gloria Edwards, Lou Courtney, and many others. And because "Northern Soul" is British for soulful songs with a dance beat, the collection includes soulful white singers such as Reparata & The Delrons, and, somewhat amazingly, Paul Anka. That's right, Paul Anka is represented by one track (I Can't Help Loving You, and it ain't half bad. (I can't believe it either.) For the strangest obscurity worth waking up for award, consider Don Ray's Born A Loser, which features relentlessly upbeat music behind a singer who asks "Why was I born a loser" and who goes on to regret ever being born at all. Breathtakingly odd. On Willie Kendrick's You Can't Bypass Love he talks about his poor heart, punning on the phrase "heart bypass" in a soul stomper! And while the general lack of ballads can be wearing on the listeners delicate sensibilities, the set has so many hidden gems as to be required listening for soul connoisseurs. As a bonus, even though all 100 songs would fit nicely on just 4 CDs, they are in fact on 5, allowing owners the opportunity to possess a cleverly-designed jewel case that holds all 5 discs without any awkward nesting (doubling up). The booklet only includes the track listing with writing credits and minimal publishing info, including dates, but it sure beats getting nothing. All this and at such a reasonable price. Life is just too damn good. (JC)
BARBARA ACKLIN: Am I The Same Girl/ Love Makes A Woman/ NANCY AMES: I Don't Want To Talk About It/ PAUL ANKA: I Cant Help Loving You/ BEVERLY ANN: He's Coming Home/ Youve Got Your Mind On Other Things/ THE ARTISTICS: Nothing But Heartaches (Keep Haunting Me)/ THE BANDWAGON: Breakin Down The Walls Of Heartache/ SUSAN BARRETT: What's It Gonna Be/ BOB BRADY & THE CON CHORDS: Everybodys Goin' To The Love-In/ BILL BUSH: I'm Waiting/ BILLY BUTLER: Burning Touch Of Love/ Right Track/ JAMES CARR: Thats What I Want To Know/ KENNY CARTER: What's That On Your Finger?/ THE CAVALIERS: Hold On To My Baby/ CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARD: (You've Got Me) Dangling On A String/ Give Me Just A Little More Time/ GENE CHANDLER: Mr. Big Shot/ THE CHARMAINES: Eternally/ MORRIS CHESTNUT: Too Darn Soulful/ THE COOPERETTES: Shing-A-Ling/ DEAN COURTNEY: Ill Always Need You/ LOU COURTNEY: Trying To Find My Woman/ TYRONE DAVIS: One Way Ticket/ Turn Back The Hands Of Time/ PHILLY DEVOTIONS: I Just Cant Say Goodbye/ GLORIA EDWARDS: Lonely Girl/ My Love Keeps Getting Stronger/ SHIRLEY ELLIS: Soul Time/ THE EXCITERS: Blowing Up My Mind/ ERMA FRANKLIN: Gotta Find Me A Lover/ Whispers (Getting Louder)/ THE GLORIES: I Worship You Baby/ GERRI GRANGER: I Go To Pieces (Everytime...)/ DOBIE GRAY: Out On The Floor/ LAURA GREENE: Moonlight, Music And You/ AL GREENE & THE SOUL MATES: Don't Leave Me/ ROY HAMILTON: Crackin Up Over You/ FRED HUGHES: Baby Boy/ WILLIE HUTCH: Lucky To Be Loved By You/ THE INSIDERS: I'm Just A Man/ THE IVORIES: Please Stay/ WALTER JACKSON: Let Me Come Back/ JOHNNY JOHNSON AND THE BANDWAGON: (Blame It) On The Pony Express/ JOHNNY JONES AND THE KING CASUALS: Purple Haze/ THE JUST BROTHERS: Sliced Tomatoes/ WILLIE KENDRICK: Change Your Ways/ You Can't Bypass Love/ ROBERT KNIGHT: Branded/ Love On A Mountain Top/ MAJOR LANCE: Aint No Soul (Left In These Old Shoes)/ You Dont Want Me No More/ OTIS LEAVILL: Love Uprising/ TOBI LEGEND: Time Will Pass You By/ KETTY LESTER: Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid/ LITTLE RICHARD: A Little Bit Of Something (Beats A Whole Lot Of Nothing)/ I Dont Want To Discuss It/ SUE LYNNE: Dont Pity Me/ THE M.V.P.S: Turnin My Heartbeat Up/ PEGGY MARCH: If You Loved Me/ SHANE MARTIN: I Need You/ THE MASQUERADES: Do You Love Me Baby/ GIA MATEO: If You Can't Say Anything Nice/ THE METROS: I'll Never Forget You/ Since I Found My Baby/ STANLEY MITCHELL: Get It Baby/ WILLIE MITCHELL: That Driving Beat/ THE MONTCLAIRS: Just Can't Get Away/ JACK MONTGOMERY: Dearly Beloved/ JOHNNY MOORE: Walk Like A Man/ FREDA PAYNE: Band Of Gold/ THE PERSUADERS: I'm So Glad I Got You/ PORGY & THE MONARCHS: That Girl/ JAMES & BOBBY PURIFY: Let Love Come Between Us/ Shake A Tail Feather/ JIMMY RADCLIFFE: Long After Tonight Is Over/ DON RAY: Born A Loser/ REPARATA & THE DELRONS: Panic/ CHARLIE RICH: Love Is After Me/ ROSCOE ROBINSON: That's Enough/ BILLY JOE ROYAL: Hearts Desire/ SHARON SCOTT: I'd Like To Know/ It's Better/ THE SEVEN SOULS: I Still Love You/ SANDI SHELDON: You're Gonna Make Me Love You/ SHIRLEY & THE SHIRELLES: Look What You've Done To My Heart/ MARVIN SMITH: Have More Time/ THE SPELLBINDERS: Help Me (Get Myself Back Together Again)/ THE SPIRAL STARECASE: More Today Than Yesterday/ JUDY STREET: What/ BILLY THOMPSON: Black-Eyed Girl/ ROSE VALENTINE: I've Gotta Know Right Now/ THE VAN DYKES: Save My Love For A Rainy Day/ THE VIBRATIONS: Cause You're Mine/ Gonna Get Along Without You Now/ HERB WARD: Honest To Goodness/ AL WILSON: The Snake/ JACKIE WILSON: I Get The Sweetest Feeling/ The Who Who Song

VARIOUS ARTISTS Motown (UK) 544 619-2 A Cellarful Of Motown! - The Rarest Detroit Grooves ● CD $19.98
2CD, 40 tracks, recommended
This is not a new CD but we've never listed it before (although we have listed volume 2-Motown UK 982 929-7) and was deleted and is now available again at a lower price. These are previously unreleased songs from the vaults of Motown Records (except for one Jr. Walker & the All Stars track). Spanning from 1962 to 1969 (with most of the songs dating from 1965-66), this set has well known names like Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, and Martha & the Vandellas rubbing shoulders with more cultish artists -Jimmy Ruffin, Brenda Holloway, Marv Johnson - and virtual unknowns like J.J. Barnes and Sammy Ward. There are instrumentals from the Funk Brothers, attempts at being hip from MOR singer Barbara McNair, and other bits of fluff, but there's also some solid stuff-from the Contours, Brenda Holloway, Tammi Terrell, Chris Clark, The Temptations, Fantastic Four, and Kim Weston-as well as some disappointing stuff from Gladys Knight & the Pips and Gaye. Still, for Motown scholars and R&B fans this is a worthy collection of odds and sods. (GMC)
J.J. BARNES: (Tell Me) Ain't It The Truth/ CHRIS CLARK: Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) [Previously Unreleased Alternative Mix]/ THE CONTOURS: Baby Hit And Run [Alternative Mix]/ Danger, Heartbreak Dead Ahead/ I Like Everything About You/ CAROLYN CRAWFORD: Until You Came Along/ THE FANTASTIC FOUR: If This World Were Mine [Previously Unreleased Single Reference Mix]/ THE FUNK BROTHERS: Tell Me It's Just A Rumor Baby [Instrumental]/ MARVIN GAYE: I Wish I Liked You (As Much As I Love You)/ BRENDA HOLLOWAY: All Your Love/ How Can I/ My World Is Crumbling/ Trapped In A Love Affair/ Who You Gonna Run To/ PATRICE HOLLOWAY: The Touch Of Venus/ THE ISLEY BROTHERS: A Weakspot In My Heart/ CHUCK JACKSON & YVONNE FAIR: It Must Be Love Baby/ MARV JOHNSON: Save My Love For A Rainy Day/ GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS: Here Are The Pieces Of My Broken Heart [Previously Unreleased Single Refere/ If You Ever Get Your Hands On Love/ THE LEWIS SISTERS: Don't Make Me Live Without Your Love/ MARTHA & THE VANDELLAS: (It's Easy To Fall In Love) With A Guy Like You/ THE MARVELETTES: Poor Little Rich Girl/ BARBARA MCNAIR: Baby A Go-Go/ THE MONITORS: Don't Put It Off Till Tomorrow What You Can Do Today [Previously Unreleased/ THE ORIGINALS: Why When Love Is Gone [Previously Unreleased Single Reference Mix]/ JIMMY RUFFIN: I Know How To Love Her/ Lucky Lucky Me/ On The Avenue (In The Neighborhood)/ SYREETA: You Made Me Feel Like (Everything Is Alright)/ THE TEMPTATIONS: There's A Definite Change In You/ TAMMI TERRELL: All I Do Is Think About You/ EARL VAN DYKE (AKA THE FUNK BROTHERS): He Was Really Sayin' Somethin'/ THE VELVELETTES: Ain't No Place Like Motown/ Long Gone Lover/ JR. WALKER & THE ALL STARS: Riding High On Love/ SAMMY WARD: Before It's Over/ KIM WESTON: Don't Let Me Down/ FRANK WILSON: My Sugar Baby/ STEVIE WONDER: Are You Sure Love Is The Name Of This Game

VARIOUS ARTISTS Mr. Oldie 5001 Mellow Rhythmic Doo-Wop ● CD $17.98
A 25 track collection of mid-tempo vocal group sounds - about two-thirds of these would be considered soul rather than doo-wop. Includes Bob & Fred, The Serenades, Pheasants, Sarah Cooke, The Spydels, Little Jackie Shayne, etc. Includes previously unissued titles from The Residents and Nolan Strong & The Diablos.
BOB & FRED: I'll Be On My Way/ THE CAESARS: Desperate For Your Affection/ YVONNE CARROLL: Mister Love Man/ THE CASHMERES: Singing Waters/ CATHY AND COOKIE: Hi Diddle De Diddle/ THE CHARIOTS: Songs of a Broken Heart/ SARAH COOKE: Please Don't Go/ RONNY DOUGLAS: You'll Come Back/ THE EL TEMPOS: My Dream/ THE FABULOUS CONTINENTALS: My Darling/ THE HI-TONES FEAT. LEONARD WAYNE: That's All I Want to Do/ FRANKIE KARL & THE CHEVRONS: The Boy Next Door/ THE LIME LIGHTS: You Don't Love Me Anymore/ THE MAJORS: Lost in a City/ THE MARCELS: Tell Them About It/ THE MARVELLOS: I Need a Girl/ THE PHEASANTS: Out of the Mist/ THE RESIDENTS: One Woman's Man (prev. unrel.)/ THE SALAS BROTHERS & THE JAGUARS: One Like Mine/ THE SERENADES: Sinner in Love/ LITTLE JACKIE SHANE: Any Other Way/ THE SPYDELS: Peace of Mind/ TOM STORM & THE PEPS: That's The Way Love Is/ NOLAN STRONG & THE DIABLOS: Harriette, It's You (prev. unrel.)/ THE VONDELLS: Hey Girl, You've Changed

VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 50-008 RCA Rhythm & Blues, Vol. 3 ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, 59 mins, highly recommended
More fine black music recorded for RCA in the late 40s including jump blues, R&B, vocal group sounds and, this time, a couple of gospel tunes featuring the obscure but excellent Starlight Spiritual Singers and one of the earliest recordings of the Original Gospel Harmonettes. Artists featured include Erskine Hawkins Orch. (the jumpin' instrumental Cornbread), The Robins, Terry Timmons (superb underrated female vocalist), Jimmy Lewis (the hot Cherry Wine with hot guitar - Mickey Baker?), Billy Bunn & His Buddies, Johnny Moore's Three Blazers (two tracks - one with a vocal by Lee Barnes who does an uncanny impression of Nat King Cole), Bob Williams (his 1951 recording of On A Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor which, I think, predates the country recordings of this song), The Four Clefs (a small group with the fine mid-tempo intrumental Dig These Blues featuring a steel guitar solo) and others. EXcellent sound - no notes. (FS)
OTIS BLACKWELL: Please Help Me Find My Way Home/ BILLY BUNN & HIS BUDDIES: I'm Afraid/ THE DEEP RIVER BOYS WITH HOWARD BIGGS ORCH.: Oo-Shoo-Be-Do-Be/ THE FOUR CLEFS: Dig These Blues/ GENE GILBEAUX & HIS ORCH. (VCL. BIXIE CRAWFOR: I've Got What It Takes/ BIG JOHN GREER: Cheatin'/ ERSKINE HAWKINS & HIS ORCH.: Cornbread/ THE HEARTBREAKERS: It's O.K. With Me/ There Is Time/ JIMMY LEWIS: Cherry Wine/ BLOW TOP LYNN & HIS HOUSE ROCKERS (VCL. MELVIN SM: Come Back My Darlin'/ Homesick Blues/ JOHNNY MOORE'S THREE BLAZERS (VCL. LEE BARNES): A New Shade Of Blues/ This Is One Time, Baby (You Ain't Gonna Two-Time Me)/ THE ORIGINAL GOSPEL HARMONETTES: No, No, Nothing Can Change Me/ THE ROBINS: Let's Go To The Dance/ Oh Why/ THE STARLIGHT SPIRITUAL SINGERS: Step By Step/ TERRY TIMMONS: Got Nobody To Love/ The Same Old Thrill/ BOB WILLIAMS: On A Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor/ MICKI WILLIAMS WITH HOWARD BIGGS ORCH.: My Kind Of Love

VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 50-009 RCA Rhythm & Blues, Vol. 4 ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, highly recommended
Another splendid collection opening with the fine instrumental Cruisin' by Benny Carter & His Orch. and including tracks by The Robins (their fine Ten Days In Jail has a feel like some of their later recordings as The Coasters), The Five Trumpets (excellent gospel quartet with a version of the standard Don't Let Nobody Turn You Around), Terry Timmons (the great He's The Best In The Business), Johnny Moore's Three Blazers, Erskine Hawkins & His Orch. (a fine big band cover of Pee Wee Crayton's Texas Hop), Rene Hall Orch. (with obscure but fine blues shouter Courtland Carter on the humorous Seen Better Days), Erskine Hawkins & His ORch. (a vocal version of Tuxedo Junction with The Deep River Boys) and more. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 50-011 RCA Rhythm & Blues, Vol. 6 ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, recommended Another fine and varied selection - tracks from Johnny Moore's Three Blazers Two tracks including the hot opening instrumental Shuffle Shack), The Robins, Terry Timmons, Melvin Smith, Big John Greer (the very dumb Woman Is A Five-Letter Word), Joe Robinson with Benny Carter Orch. (with some nice steel guitar work), Bertice Reading, Erskine Hawkins & His Orch., Dossie Terry, Gene Parrish and others. Some pretty bland track but most are excellent. (FS)
FRIENDLY BROTHERS QUARTET: Hide Me In Thy Bosom/ THE DELTA RHYTHM BOYS: Dancin' With Someone (Longin' For You)/ Long Gone Baby/ BIG JOHN GREER: Woman Is a Five-Letter Word/ RENE HALL ORCHESTRA: Don't Take Me For A Fool/ ERSKINE HAWKINS: Fishtail/ ILLINOIS JACQUET & HIS ORCHESTRA: Slow Down Baby/ BILL LANDFORD QUARTET: You Ain't Got Faith/ BUDDY LUCAS & HIS ORCHESTRA: Let's Get the Party/ JOHNNY MOORE'S THREE BLAZERS: Cut Off the Fat/ Shuffle Shuck/ THE ORIGINAL GOSPEL HARMONETTES: Move Up A Little Higher/ GENE PARRISH: Scraps For a Beggar/ BERTICE READING: Tears of Joy/ THE ROBINS: Don't Stop Now/ My Baby Done Told Me/ JOE ROBINSON: Suspicious of My Woman/ MELVIN SMITH: I Don't Have To Hunt No More/ Letter To My Baby/ DOSSIE TERRY: My Love Is Gone/ TERRY TIMMONS: Evil Eyed Woman/ I Could Make You Care

VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 65003 Coral Rhythm 'n' Blues, Vol. 3 ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, 58 mins, recommended
Another fine collection of jump blues, R&B, vocal group sounds and gospel recorded for Coral in the late 40s and early 50s. It opens with the jumping instrumental Budd's Boogie by Joe Black & His Boogie Woogie Boys, The Beavers, Calvert Johnson (fine and obscure blues shouter), Miss Cornshucks (superb and influential vocalist), Bob Call & His Orch., Al Sears & The Sparrows (their Brown Boy from 1950, featured here, was copied almost note for note but with more vocal gimmicks by the Jive Bombers for the big 1957 hit Bad Boy), Bonnie Davis & The Picadilly Pipers, The James Quintet, Ace Harris, Danny "Run Joe" Taylor (his Come On Home Baby features unusual organ and accordion in the backup!), The Guiding Light Gospel Singers (fine female group), Eddie Chamblee & his Orch. (excellent Chicago basedtenor saxist) and others. Usual excellent sound and lack of notes. (FS)
THE 4 DEEP TONES: When The Saints Go Marching In/ MAX BAILEY: Lonesome Man Blues/ THE BEAVERS: I Gotta Do It/ JOE BLACK & HIS BOOGIE WOOGIE BOYS: Budd's Boogie/ Strutter's Ball Boogie/ BOB CALL & HIS ORCH.: Call's Jump/ GOREE CARTER: I'm Your Boogie Man/ EDDIE CHAMBLEE & HIS ORCH.: Wooden Soldiers Swing/ MISS CORNSHUCKS WITH BENNY CARTER ORCH.: Papa Tree Top Blues/ JULIAN DASH & HIS QUINTET: Creamin'/ BONNIE DAVIS & THE PICCADILLY PIPERS: One Little Raindrop/ THE FOUR KNIGHTS: Wrapped Up In A Dream/ GUIDING LIGHT GOSPEL SINGERS: Just A Closer Walk With Thee The/ THE GUIDING LIGHT GOSPEL SINGERS: Steal Away/ ACE HARRIS: Don't Cry, Little Girl!/ ERSKINE HAWKINS & HIS ORCH. (VCL. ACE HARRIS): So Long Goodbye Blues/ THE JAMES QUINTET: Remember When/ CALVERT JONES: Two Timin' Woman/ AL SEARS & THE SPARROWS: Brown Boy/ DANNY "RUN JOE" TAYLOR: Come On Home Baby/ I've Been Doin' It Too/ THE X-RAYS: I've Got A Pocketful Of Dreams

VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 65004 Coral Rhythm 'n' Blues, Vol. 4 ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, 60 mins, highly recommended
The fourth volume in the series seems to have the most interesting selection of material starting off with the hard driving instrumental Buttermilk & Beans by Hal "Cornbread" Singer continues with fine Texas bluesman Goree Carter with I've Got News For You with excellent vocals and tough guitar and into Timmy Rogers and the humorous Alligator Meat ("you take a big slab of gator/ and put it on a big piece of bread") and also includes sides by The Paramount Singers (superb West Coast gospel quartet), The 4 Deep Tones, Eddie Chamblee & His Orch., Little Miss Cornshucks (two songs including a soulful rendition of the pop standard Try A Little Tenderness), The Five Trumpets (fine Atlanta quartet with a great version of Jesus Hits Like The Atom Bomb), The Drifters (not the Clyde McPhatter group but an earlier group with the jively, bluesy Wine Head Woman), Jesse Allen (superb New Orleans singer and guitarist) and others. Quite a few tracks are new to CD. (FS)
THE 4 DEEP TONES: Just In Case You Change Your Mind/ JESSE ALLEN: My Suffering/ JOE BLACK & HIS BOOGIE WOOGIE BOYS: J.B. Boogie/ Sleepy Time Creep/ GOREE CARTER: I've Got News For You/ EVA CARTER WITH DANNY MANNERS ORCH.: I'm Lookin' For Love/ EDDIE CHAMBLEE & HIS ORCH.: 6 String Boogie/ Southern Comfort/ LIL MISS CORNSHUCKS: Try A Little Tenderness/ MISS CORNSHUCKS WITH BENNY CARTER ORCH.: Rock Me To Sleep/ JULIAN DASH & HIS QUINTET: Goin' Along/ THE DRIFTERS: Wine Head Woman/ THE FIVE TRUMPETS: Jesus Hits Like The Atom Bomb/ MYRTLE JACKSON WITH THE JACKSONETTES: In My Heart/ CONNIE JORDAN: I'm Gonna Rock (Till My Rocker Breaks Down)/ THE PARAMOUNT SINGERS: Standing In The Safety Zone/ TIMMY ROGERS WITH LINTON GARNER ORCH.: Alligator Meat/ January And February/ MABEL SCOTT: Catch 'Em Young, Treat 'Em Rough, Tell 'Em Nothin'/ JIMMY SCOTT WITH LUCKY THOMPSON ORCH.: You Never Miss The Water ('Til The Well Runs Dry)/ HAL "CORNBREAD" SINGER: Buttermilk And Beans/ HAL SINGER & HIS ORCH. (VCL. JOAN SHAW): I Love The Way You Love Me

VARIOUS ARTISTS Outta Sight 010 Groovesville USA - 24 Ultimate Detroit Soul Classics ● CD $22.98
24 tracks, 63 min., highly recommended
Billed as "the soundtrack to Keith Rylatt's book on Detoit soul, this compilation follows the career of the multi-talented produced Don Davis. It's an essential pick up for soul fans if only for the 7 unissued tracks, including Girl Crazy by Sharon Soul, I'm The One Who Loves You by Melvin Davis, and Love On A Lease Plan by Johnnie Taylor. Also of note are the several cuts from the always interesting Revilot label. Many of the artists will be familiar to fans of the Ric Tic and Lupine labels who, after Motown took over the world were left to fend for themselves in a world they never made. Performers include Darrell Banks, Rose Batiste, Steve Mancha, The O'Jays, The Parliaments, The Holidays, J.J.Barnes, Tokays, Debonaires, and plenty more. Not the best mid-1960s and 1970s Detroit overview, but too much good, previously impossible-to-find stuff to pass. (JC)
DARRELL BANKS: Somebody (Somewhere) Needs You/ J.J. BARNES: Baby Please Come Back Home/ ROSE BATTISTE: I Miss My Baby/ JACKEY BEAVERS: A Love That Never Grows Cold/ MELVIN DAVIS: I'm The One Who Loves You/ THE DEBONAIRES: Headache In My Heart/ WILLIE HATCHER: Good Things Come To Those Who Wait/ ANDREA HENRY: I Need You Like A Baby/ TONY HESTER: Just Can't Leave You/ THE HOLIDAYS: Never Alone/ JOEY KINGFISH: Did My Baby Call/ HERMAN LEWIS: Who's Kissing You Tonite/ PAT LEWIS: Genie/ STEVE MANCHA: Friday Night/ THE OJAYS: I'll Never Forget You/ THE PARLIAMENTS: Don't Be Sore At Me/ THE PROFESSIONALS: That's Why I Love You/ BUDDY SMITH: When You Lose The One You Love/ SHARON SOUL: Girl Crazy/ EDWIN STARR: Has It Happened To You Yet/ JOHNNIE TAYLOR: Love On A Lease Plan/ THE TOKAYS: Baby, Baby, Baby (You're My Hearts Desire)/ ROBERT WARD: Deeper In Love/ SAM WARD: Sister Lee

VARIOUS ARTISTS Outta Sight 017 Detroit's Golden Soul - The Ron Murphy Masters ● CD $22.98
26 tracks, 68 mins, highly recommended
The second new release from the British Outta Sight label, shifts the focus to Detroit's rich R&B scene and documents an interesting musical saga that doesn't have anything to do with Motown (almost!): Ron Murphy was the city's best cutter of recording masters and, for a time, owned his own label Ron's Records. Every song here has Murphy's finger prints on it one way or another, from the mid-60s right on through the 70's, and gives us a taste of non-Motown Detroit R&B. Artist names like Johnny Rogers, Doni Burdick, The Dynamics, Metros, Frankie Garcia, Nelson Saunders, and Forest Hairston (!) and labels like DoDe, Viney, and Gold Soul might not mean spit to the casual fan, but to collectors the fact that this music is on CD is a Godsend. For the rest of us, there's some really great material to savor and enjoy and who could ask for more than that? (GMC)
THE BROOKS BROS: Lookin' For A Woman/ DONI BURDICK: Candle (In The Window)/ If You Walk Out Of My Life/ Whatcha Gonna Do/ THE DYNAMICS: Whenever I'm Without You/ Yes I Love You Baby/ FRANKIE GARCIA: I've Got That Feelin'/ FOREST HAIRSTON: We Go To Pieces/ GEORGE LEMONS: Fascinating Girl/ DIANE LEWIS: Keep A Hold On Me/ THE METROS: Don't Let Her Give You Some Of Her Love/ We Still Have Time/ What's Wrong With Your Love/ REGGIE MILNER: Music In My Soul/ She's Alright/ L.J. REYNOLDS & THE RELATIONS: Stop, Look Over Your Past/ JOHNNY ROGERS: Make A Change/ THE ROYAL PLAYBOYS: Arabia/ THE SATIN DOLLS: Lovin' Touch/ NELSON SAUNDERS: It's Real/ THE SWINGERS: Opposites Attract/ SAMMY TURNER: Give My Heart A Break/ LAFAYETTE VAUGHAN: First Degree Love/ WILLIE WHITE: Nobody Likes Me/ LLOYD WILLIAMS & THE HIGHLIGHTS: It Won't Matter At All/ PATTI YOUNG: Head And Shoulders

VARIOUS ARTISTS Outta Sight 20 Rare Soul Heaven - SSS International Meets GSF Records ● CD $22.98
20 tracks, 59 min., essential
Irresistible collection of mostly obscure soul and funk sides from SSS International and GSF labels. Worth it just for the two Clarence Murray (brother of Mickey Murray) sides Don't Talk Like That & Baby You Got It which are such stuff as Northern soul dreams are made on. Other gems include a pair of Van McCoy sides (even if Help Is On The Way sounds more than a little like Sam And Dave's Hold On), Johnny Soul's Otis Redding-tinged Baby You Got It, Connie Laverne's extremely rare Can't Live Without You (a $1000 45!), Winfield Parker's superb Trust Me, and Oscar Irving's If It Ain't One Thing, It's Another (released originally on the tiny Boblo Records label out of Georgia), which sports uptempo sound behind a lyric of woe. Good stuff. The oft-sampled Skull Snaps are represented by two tracks, both of which appear on their album. The classic I'm Your Pimp features a driving, militant sound with such touching lines as "I wear my hat to the side and walk with a limp/I'm your pimp" poking through. For true obscurity, have a listen to The Classic Example's Hey There Little Girl; all but unknown, and yet they actually released an LP in 1972. And for more monster rare 45 rpms, there's Sam Dees' Lonely For You Baby, copies of which may literally be worth their weight in gold. Ditto for The Anderson Brothers' disco-flavored I Can See Him Loving You. Mostly uptempo sides recorded between 1968-76, informative booklet notes, reasonably good sound, rarities galore--it's the real thing. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Pepto Roma 510 Dazzling Group Sounds, Vol. 10 - The End ● CD $17.98
29 tracks, highly recommended
The 10th and final volume of this excellent series of rare doo-wop. Like previous volumes there's quite a few titles that are appearing on CD for the first time and the musical standard is very high including sides by The Markels, The Embraceable (their (There's A) Wall Between Us is exceptional), Henry Alston & Group (actually Henry Austin & The Hurricanes with the great rocking I Dare You Baby), Billy Carr & The High Type Five, The Dynamos, The King Crooners (the gorgeous Lonely Nights), The Cordials, Del-Royals, Twilighters, Tears and others. Sound quality is generally excellent. Another winner. (FS)
KEITH ALEXANDER & THE DUKES: Poor Orphan Boy/ HENRY ALSTON & GROUP: I Dare You Baby/ THE BUCCANEERS: Dear Ruth (stereo)/ BILLY BUNN & HIS BUDDIES: Until the Real Thing Comes Along/ BUFORD BUSBEE & THE EPOTOMES: That's All I Ask/ BILLY CARR & THE HIGH TYPE FIVE: Champagne/ THE CONSTELLATIONS: My Dear/ THE CORDIALS: Eternal Love/ A DEBBIE & GROUP: Baby Darling/ THE DEL CHORDS: Help Me/ THE DEL ROYALS: Close To You/ THE DRAMATIC INKSPOTS: Memories of You/ THE DYNAMOS: No One But You/ THE EMBRACEABLES: (There's A) Wall Between Us/ THE ENSENADAS: On and On/ THE EQUADORS: You're My Desire/ THE INKSPOTS FEATURING JIMMY HOLMES: Darling Don't Cry/ THE KING CROONERS: Lonely Nights/ EUNICE LEVY & THE FOUR FEATHERS: I'll Never Forget You/ THE MAR VELS: My Guardian Angel/ THE MARKELS: Darling I Really Love You/ THE PHANTONES: Waiting For Your Love/ THE SHADOWS: Better Than Gold/ THE SPYDELS: We're In Love/ KAYE STARR & GROUP: I Waited A Little Too Long/ THE TEARS: She's Mine/ THE TWILIGHTERS: Believe It Or Not/ MORRIS WADE & GROUP: It Was A Night Like This/ WILL WENDELL & GROUP: Lover

VARIOUS ARTISTS Pontiac 502 Rare R'n'B Honkers, Volume 2 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Complementing Pontiac 501 this is another fine collection of hot R&B instrumentals featuring honking and screeching sax work. The fisrt volume mostly featured artists from the late 40s - this one features sides from the early/ mid 50s - just about all making their first appearance on CD. Includes David Brooks, Pinky Williams & His Orch., Candy Johnson & His Peppermint Sticks, Pete Peterson & His Orch., Earl Brown, Eddie (Doodle Pickle) Winters & The Rhythm Rockers, Ben Burton & His Orch. (with an inaudible Ike Turner on piano), Sammy Franklin Orch. and others. No notes but sound is excellent and booklet has label shots of some of the rare records used for this collection. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Sub Rosa 307 Wasa Wasa - Fabulous Rhythm 'n' Blues Shakers ● CD $16.98
26 tracks, 61 mins, recommended
Dr. Boogie is back with another of his eclectic collections, this one focusing on danceable R&B from the years 1952 to 1968 though the majority are from the 60s. This compilation is the usual mix of obscure tracks by obscure artists and no-so-obscure artists, including Rocky Roberts & the Airdales, Eddy G. Giles, The Olympics, Johnny Jones & the King Casuals, Leon Haywood, Dee Clark, Jimmy Soul, Harold Battiste, and Chris Kenner - many appearing on CD for the first time. There are some really smokin' tracks here, like Battiste's Funky Soul, and the collection as a whole will go down well at the right kind of party, but I can't help feeling that Dr. Boogie is perhaps treading water here. Still, Dr. Boogie's misses are better than most people's hits, so I'll just shut up and enjoy and I suggest you do the same. (GMC)
HAROLD BATTISTE: Funky Soul/ BIG BROWN & THE GAMBLERS: My Testament/ FRANK BRUNSON: How You Are Gonna Live/ DEE CLARK: Crossfire Time/ FRANK DUBOISE: Chicken Scratch/ SHELTON DUNAWAY: Betty & Dupree/ THOMAS EAST: I Get A Groove/ EDDY G. GILES: Go Go Train/ GOOD TIME CHARLIE: Whoop It On Me/ LEON HAYWOOD: Mellow Moonlight/ JOHNNY JONES & THE KING CASUALS: It's Gonna Be Good/ JUNIOR & THE CLASSICS: The Dog/ CHRIS KENNER: Wind The Clock/ BIG BOB KORNEGAY: Bullfrog Hop/ FLOYD MORRIS: A Mellow Mood/ THE OLYMPICS: I'll Do A Little Bit More/ THE PAC KEYS: Diggin/ MARVIN PHILLIPS & HIS MEN FROM MARS: Wine Woogie/ ROCKY ROBERTS & THE AIRDALES: T.Bird/ LEE ROGERS: I Want You To Have Everything/ ELLIOT SHAVERS: Ugly In Laws/ SMOKEY JOE: Start All Over Again/ JIMMY SOUL: Everybody's Gonna Ape/ BO TOLIVER & HIS TIMERS: Farm Dell Rock/ GEORGE TORRENCE & THE NATURALS: Lickin Stick/ WILLIE WEST: You Told Me

VARIOUS ARTISTS Sue 700 The Best Doo-Wops Of Sue Records ● CD $17.98
Another fine older release listed here for the first time. This features 29 tracks of New York doo-wop and proto-soul recorded for the Sue label from the mid 50s to mid 60s. The most well known track here is Bobby Hendricks' 1958 rocking hit Itchy Twitchy Feeling and there are more fine sides by Hendricks including the delightful call to action Cast Your Vote ("if You Want To Rock 'n' Roll/ Cast Your Vote") along with cuts from The Matadors, Aristocats, Four Jokers, Superiors, Mmaie Bradley, Johnny Mae Matthews, The Honey Do's and others.
THE ARISTOCATS: So In Love With You/ MAMIE BRADLEY: I Feel Like a Million/ The Patty Cake/ THE CHANDELIERS: Give Me Your Love/ She's a Heartbreaker/ THE FOUR JOKERS: The Runaround/ Written In the Stars/ BOBBY HENDRICKS: Cast Your Vote/ Dreamy Eyes/ It's Misery/ Little John Green/ Molly Be Good/ Sincerely, Your Lover/ A Thousand Dreams/ Itchy Twitchy Feeling/ THE HONEY DOS: Honey Dew/ Someone/ THE MATADORS: Be Good To Me/ Have Mercy Baby/ Pennies From Heaven/ Vengeance (Will Be Mine)/ JOHNNY MAE MATTHEWS: The Headshrinker/ JOHNNY MOORE: You're My Queen/ THE SENIORS: May I Have This Dance/ THE SENORS: Searching For Olive Oil/ THE SUPERIORS: Heavenly Angel/ I'd Rather Die/ IKE TURNER'S KINGS OF RHYTHM: My Love/ That's All I Need

VARIOUS ARTISTS Superbird 025 Hoss Allen's The!!!! Beat - 1966 Rhythm & Blue Revue ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 57 mins, highly recommended
A few years back the Bear Family company did a wonderful job of putting out all of "The!!!! Beat" shows out in a series of DVDs (Three volumes - $29.98 each). All of those DVDs are certainly must-see viewing, but if you are looking for something a bit more affordable, or have those and want a CD of the music as well, than this will be perfect for you. The awkwardly named "The!!!! Beat" show was one of those rare shows barely known outside of the Southern U.S. in its time, and legendary ever since. This was a program that showcased live performances from a slew of fantastic Blues, Rhythm & Blues and Soul artists. Airing on Southern T.V. stations in the mid '60s, Hoss Allen's "The!!!! Beat" was nothing short of revolutionary. Allen was a disk jockey, promoter, record label owner, manager and so on, who had an idea for doing an all music show in the style of the Porter Wagoner and other popular shows of the time, but with artists out of the Rhythm & Blues world. Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown would end up leading the studio band (The Beat Boys) on their own numbers as well as backing up other artists. Although some artists would lip-synch, most would perform live, with fabulous results. This collection gathers up some of the best live performances from the show's run. There are a handful of great instrumental performances from The Beat Boys, along with killer tracks by The Mighty Hannibal, Lattimore Brown, Clarence "Frogman" Henry, Earl Gaines, and many more. I'm hoping that this is the first of many volumes to come; there are still plenty more great tracks that they didn't get to yet from "The!!!! Beat's" vault. (JM)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Trikont 333 Dirty Laundry - The Soul Of Black Country ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 73 mins, essential
Back in stock at a lower price. Fabulous collection featuring African-Artists artists performing country songs. In the 60s and 70s there was a lot of musical interchange between soul singing and country music and most of the songs here feature soul singers performing country hits in soul style and including some classic performances like Ella Washington's version of Harlan Howard's He Called Me Baby which was originally a hit for Patsy Cline in 1964, Bobby Powell does a stunning version of Hank's Your Cheating Heart, Candi Staton's magnificent version of Stand By Your Man, Betty LaVette's driving rendition of Mickey Newbury's country rock song Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) plus performances by Earl Gaines, Etta James, Johnny Adams, Freddie North, Bobby Jonz, The POinter Sisters, James & Bobby Purify (an unexpected version of Sixteen Tons), James Brown (also getting down with Your Cheatin' Heart) and others. There's also the great She's My Rock by African-American country singer Stoney Edwards, the brilliant and topical title song written and performed by Curtis Mayfield and veteran R&B singer Andre Williams does an original country song Jet Black Daddy, Lilly White Mama with White Stripes guitarist Jack White on guitar. Includes 28 page illustrated booklet with extensive notes in German and English including notes on all the singers and songs. (FS)
JOHNNY ADAMS: In A Moment Of Weakness/ ARTHUR ALEXANDER: Love's Where Life Begins/ CLARENCE "GATEMOUTH" BROWN: Mama Mambo/ JAMES BROWN: Your Cheating Heart/ SOLOMON BURKE: I Can't Stop Loving You/ STONEY EDWARDS: She's My Rock/ EARL GAINES: You Are My Sunshine/ WILLIE HOBBS: Till I Get It Right/ ETTA JAMES: Almost Persuaded/ BOBBY JONZ: Snap Your Fingers/ BETTY LAVETTE: What Condition My Condition Is In/ CURTIS MAYFIELD: Dirty Laundry/ FREDDIE NORTH: Don't Take Her She's All I Got/ THE POINTER SISTERS: Fairy Tale/ BOBBY POWELL: Your Cheating Heart/ JAMES & BOBBY PURIFY: Sixteen Tons/ ROSCOE SHELTON: There's A Heartbreak Somewhere/ JOE SIMON: Chokin' Kid/ CANDI STANTON: Stand By Your Man/ BETTYE SWANN: Just Because You Can't Be Mine/ ELLA WASHINGTON: He Called Me Baby/ OTIS WILLIAMS: Shutters & Boards/ ANDRE WILLIAMS & 2 STAR TABERNACLE: Jet Black Daddy Lilly White Mama/ BOBBY WOMACK: Bouquet Of Roses

VARIOUS ARTISTS Trikont 367 More Dirty Laundry - The Soul Of Black Country ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Another fine collection of soul singers covering country songs, performing in a country or just straight out black country singers. It opens with the great Hell Yes I Cheated by Johnny Adams - a cover of an obscure 1977 minor hit by James Pastell and includes other great soul flavored country covers like Lou Johnson's version of George Jones' She Thinks I Still Care, Ruth Brown with a terrific version of Tennessee Waltz, Solomon Burkes version of Jim Reeves' He'll Have To Go, James Brown does a funk flavored rendition of the 1961 Roy Drusky Three Hearts In A Tangle, Junior Parker completely transforms Ernest Tubb's Walkin' The Floor Over You and Andre Williams does Johnny Paycheck's outrageous Pardon Me (I've Got Someone To Kill) from his 1999 country album. There are a couple of cuts by O.B. McClinton who started off writing songs for Otis Redding and James Carr before devoting the rest of of his career to country music and there are tracks by African-American country artists O.C. Smith and Stoney Edwards. Artists like Joe Tex, Arthur Alexander, Ike & Tina Turner, Clarence Frogman Henry and others are R&B/ soul singers doing country style songs and there is a forgettable version Smoke Smoke Smoke by Sammy Davis Jr. Includes 32 page illustrated booklet with notes in German and English which discusses all the artists and the songs. (FS)
JOHNNY ADAMS: Hell, Yes I Cheated/ ARTHUR ALEXANDER: Everyday I Have To Cry/ CLARENCE "GATEMOUTH" BROWN: Amos Moses/ JAMES BROWN: Three Hearts In A Tangle/ RUTH BROWN: Tennessee Waltz/ SOLOMAN BURKE: He'll Have To Go/ SAMMY DAVIS JR.: Smoke Smoke Smoke/ STONEY EDWARDS: Honky Tonk Heaven/ CLARENCE "FROGMAN" HENRY: Told My Pillow/ LOU JOHNSON: She Thinks I Still Care/ MARGIE JOSEPH: Touch Your Woman/ O.B. MCCLINTON: If Loving You Is Wrong/ Talk To My Childrens Mama/ CLYDE MCPHATTER: I'm Movin' On/ ERIC MERCURY: A Gift For You/ LITTLE JUNIOR PARKER: Walking The Floor/ JOE SIMON: Someone To Give My Love To/ O.C. SMITH: The Son Of Hicory Holler Tramp/ JOE TEX: King Of The Road/ Trying To Win Your Love/ IKE & TINA TURNER: Don't Believe Nothing/ VICKI VANN: You Must Think My Heart Has Swinging Doors/ ANDRE WILLIAMS: Pardon Me (I've Got Someone To Kill)/ BOBBY WOMACK: Point Of No Return

VARIOUS ARTISTS Turtle 101 Covering The (Johnny) Maestro, Vol. 1 ● CD $17.98
27 tracks, 69 mins, recommended
Johnny Maestro was the lead singer of the Crests, one of the most beloved (and one of the few inter-racial) Doo Wop groups of the 50's. In the wake of his passing in 2010, it's fitting that this lovingly compiled tribute to his legacy as a Doo Wop titan has come to light, featuring covers of the groups' songs. Among the contemporary and vintage recordings are jingles and tracks Maestro cut solo and with his later group, The Brooklyn Bridge. Highlights: Laurie London's German version of Step By Step, the Righteous Brothers' The Angels Listened In, The Vel-Tones' My Juanita, The Nuggets' Wish She Was Mine, an almost instrumental version of Step By Step from Don Costa and His Orchestra, and 16 Candles by Legacy. As always with these type of collections, the sound quality is all over the place, but nothing is unlistenable and this CD is loads of fun for Doo Wop fans. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Turtle 102 Covering The (Johnny) Maestro, Vol. 2 ● CD $17.98
26 tracks, 70 mins, recommended
Picking up where Vol. 1 left off, this second collection of groups and solo artists covering songs originally recorded by the Crests has another helping of vintage (and-not-so vintage) doowop. The keepers here are: Erick and the Vikings' Step By Step, Lee Linden and The Holidays' Trouble in Paradise, The Orlons' I'll Be True, Sweetest One from The Shells, a Spanish version of Step By Step by Los Zeppy, Percy Sledge tackling The Angels Listened In, and The Ardells' Seven Lonely Nights. The only thing left to say is that, if you want or have Vol. 1, then you need Vol. 2 as well. (GMC)


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