THE BALFA FAMILY Valcour 019 A Retrospective Festival Acadiens Et Creoles 1977-2010 ● CD $13.98
20 tracks, 79 mins, recommended
A collection of live recordings made at the Festivales Acadiens et Creoles in Lafayette, Louisiana between 1977 and 2010 featuring the legendary group The Balfa Brothers and the groups formed by various family members. Unfortunately there is not a lot of information given in this set as to who is playing. The two earliest sides from 1977 features the brothers in fine form with a superb accordion player (possibly Nathan Abshire?). There are nine sides recorded between 1981 and 1991 featuring singer/fiddler Dewey Balfa accompanied by a group of superb unidentified musicians. The remaining nine tracks cover the period 1996 through 2005 and appear to all feature the excellent band Balfa Toujours formed by Dewy's daughter Christine and, apart from the addition of drums, are true to the spirit of the Balfa Brothers though their stylings are a lot more polished. Some fine music though, unfortunately, the earliest (and best) tracks are not particularly well recorded. (FS)

ALBERT COLLINS Blue City 1310 The Cool Sound Of Albert Collins ● CD $17.98
23 tracks, 59 mins, essential
Back in stock. This is an outstanding collection of the coolest of the cool (that's Ice Cold!) early recordings from the "Master Of The Telecaster" Albert Collins. Being one of my all time favorite electric blues players, his recordings from the 1950s and 1960s have always been an exceptional thrill for me. This CD starts off with all of the tracks from Collins' highly regarded and sought after debut full length album from 1965 on TCF Hall, provides the flip side of Snow Cone single from that album (Snow Cone - pt. 2) and then rounds up most of his obscure and excellent singles work from the late '50 to the mid '60s. Tracks from Kangaroo, 20th Fox, and Great Scott labels are all represented. As well as some, but not all from his Hallway records singles. Bare bones production value as usual from Blue City records, but superb sound quality throughout. (JM)
ALBERT COLLINS: Albert's Alley/ Backstroke/ Collin's Shuffle/ Cookin' Catfish/ Cool Aide/ Defrost/ Don't Lose Your Cool/ Dyin' Flu/ Freeze/ Frost Bite/ Frosty/ Homesick/ Hot 'N' Cold/ I Don't Know/ Icy Blue/ Shiver And Shake/ Sippin' Soda/ Snow Cone - Pt. 1/ Snow Cone - Pt. 2/ Soul Road/ Takin' My Time/ Thaw Out/ Tremble

HANK DAVIS Bear Family BCD 17319 One Way Track ● CD $21.98 $16.98
38 tracks, 88 mins, very good
A collection of 38 tracks recorded between 1958 and 2008 by Canadian vocalist Hank Davis whose name is probably familiar to people who buy Bear Family releases as he has compiled and annotated many fine releases on that label. He is also a prolific performer, recording over 300 songs in the period covered here. The material is a mix of rockabilly, rock 'n' roll, country, blues and gospel! Hank is a fine singer and his performances are enjoyable, if not particularly compelling - he also wrote several of the songs here. (FS)

THE FAIRFIELD FOUR Acrobat 3088 The Best Of The Fairfield Four ● CD $16.98
Two CDs, 47 tracks, essential
About a decade ago Acrobat put out a 30 track collection of the great gospel group The Fairfield Four. That has been long out of print but has now been revived as two CD set featuring a cross section of their recordings from their first session in 1946 up to 1953 when their lead vocalist Sam McCrary left the group. The group had its origins in the 1920s and a version of The Fairfield Four is still active. Their earliest sides were strongly rooted in the jubilee style of the 30s and shows them experimenting with the form to produce gospel that is both traditional yet modern. Most of the material is familiar gospel standards - Where Shall I Go/ Better Leave That Liar Alone/ Don't Let Nobody Turn You Around/ Amazing Grace/ I'm Going To Live The Life I Sing About/ John The Revelator/ Dear Lord Look Down Upon Me/ Dig A Little Deeper In God's Love, and other which benefit from the fine lead vocals of Sam McCrary and John Battle and superb, and at times, complex harmonies of the rest of the group. By the time they signed with Dot in 1950 their personnel had changed though still featuring the gorgeous lead vocals of Sam McCrary and they were now employing some of the harder gospel stylings of groups like The Five Blind Boys. Unlike most other groups that started employed instrumentation the Fairfield Four recordings were all acapella. Like the best groups this quartet knows when to be discreet and when to pull out the stops and the way the lead singer ornaments the notes and the interplay of the voices will raise the hair on the back of your neck. Among their later gems are songs like Don't Drive Your Children Away/ No Room At The Inn/ Don't Drive Here Away/ Angels Watching/ I'll Be Satisfied/ Stand By Me and others. Absolutely stellar gospel singing with excellent sound and 12 page booklet with informative notes by Opal Louis Nations and Doug Seroff. (FS)

THE HARMONIZING FOUR Acrobat 3005 1943-1954 ● CD $18.98 $12.98
Acrobat brings another great two CD set devoted to the recordings of one of the great gospel quartets of the post war era - this time The Harmonizing Four of Richmond, Virginia. The group was originally founded in 1927 but didn't make their first recordings until 1943 and this set covers almost all their recordings from that first session until 1954. Their earliest sides are all acapella but by 1947 second tenor Lonnie Smith (father of Lonnie Listin Smith) picked up the guitar and provides discreet but beautifully effective and imaginative guitar licks. 54 tracks in all - many making their first appearance on CD. Compiled and annotated by Opal Louis Nations.

THE JODIMARS Acrobat 4053 Well Now Dig This ● CD $13.98 $7.98
17 tracks, 38 mins, recommended A collection of 17 sides recorded between 1955 and 1957 by this group of six musicians including 3 former members of Bill Haley's Comets' Joey D'Ambrosia, Dick Richards and Marshall Lyttle who quit The Comets when Haley refused to give them a pay raise after the success of Rock Around The Clock. Featuring the lead vocals of Richards they turned out a number of upbeat rock 'n roll songs very much in the Haley vein though with the exception of the minor hit Well Now Dig This, they were not to emulate his success. Although the singing and songs are unexceptional, the instrumental work is very good indeed, particularly from sax player Ambrosia and guitarist Charles "Chuck" Hoss. This CD includes their six issued Capitol singles plus two previously unissued demos that landed them their Capitol contract and three fine previously unissued songs from the Capitol sessions. Sound quality is superb and the 12 page booklet has extensive notes by Stuart Coleman. (FS)

OAKIE JONES/ NEAL JONES B.A.C.M. 405 The Jones Boys ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, recommended
Two fine but obscure honky tonk singers, not related to each other, who recorded for Columbia in the 1950s. Although listed as "Oakie" on Columbia records Otho Eugene Jones was actually nicknamed "Okie" after the state of his birth Oklahoma. He was a pleasing singer with a good honky tonk style and an interesting quaver in his voice. His performances recorded between 1950 and '52 are not exceptional but with solid accompaniments from top session musicians like Grady Martin and Jerry Byrd he turns out some enjoyable performances like Hillbilly Bessie/ My Heart Went Blind/ One At A Time/ Warm Warm Kisses and others. Neal Jones was from Tennessee and made 12 sides for Columbia in 1954 and '55 and two for D in 1960 - all included here. His Columbia recordings were cut at Jim Beck's studio in Texas with accompaniments by Sonny James on guitar, Paul Buskirk on mandolin, BUddy Brady on fiddle and others. His repertoire was dominated by novelty songs like Who--o-ee! My Life Has Just Begun/ Down Boy/ Hot Jing Jolly I've Got My Girl) and others along with a few heartfelt ballads, which are really excellent, like Before My Time and Two Wrongs. Sound quality is fine and there are informative notes by Martin Hawkins. (FS)

FREDDIE KING Real Gone 0114 The Complete King & Federal Singles ● CD $27.98
Two CDs, 54 tracks, 150 mins, essential
Along with the other Kings, B.B. and Albert, Freddy was one of the most influential guitarists in modern blues and was a master of the blues guitar instrumental. Though he was later to develop a high energy rock flavored style these earlier sides feature a more lyrical, melodic approach showing his debt to down home Chicago guitarists like Jimmy Rogers and Eddie Taylor. He was also a brilliant singer with a powerful and expressive style. His Federal and King sessions recorded between 1960 and 1966 were usually produced and arranged by the brilliant Sonny Thompson who also provided stellar piano work and co-wrote many of the songs and tunes. Other sidemen on these sessions included guitarist Fred Jordan, sax men Gene Redd and Clifford Scott and others. There have been a number of reissues of Freddy's Federal/ KIng recordings over the years but this is a particularly nice selection featuring both sides of all 27 singles issued on Federal and King between 1960 and 1967 including all his R&B and pop hits like You've Got To Love Her With Feeling/ Hideaway (one of the most covered blues instrumentals of all time)/ Lonesome Whistle Blues/ San-Ho-Zay/ See See Baby/ I'm Tore Down and Christmas Tears. Although there were no hits after 1961 Freddy continued to turn out superb instrumental like Heads Up/ The Stumble/ Texas Oil/ Driving Sideways and High Rise and powerful, soulful songs like Taking Care Of Business/ (Let Your Love) Watch Over Me (a great duet with Lulu Reed)/ Look Ma, I'm Cryin'/ (The Welfare) Turns Its Back On You and, one of my all time favorites She Put The Whammy On Me. A few tracks show King trying to steer Freddy in a more pop direction but these are very much in the minority. Sound quality is superb - it looks like they used the same remasters used for the Bear Family box of all of Freddy's studio recordings (BCD 16979 Taking Care Of Business - 7 CDs - $189.98) and the set comes with informative notes by the excellent Bill Dahl. Note that the name Freddy was used on all his original Federal and King releases and reverted to his given name Freddie on his later recordings. (FS)
FREDDIE KING: (I'd Love to) Make Love to You/ (Let Your Love) Watch over Me/ (The Welfare) Turns Its Back on You/ Christmas Tears/ Come On/ Do the President Twist/ Double Eyed Whammy/ Driving Sideways/ Full Time Love/ Girl from Kookamunga/ Have You Ever Loved a Woman/ Heads Up/ Hideaway/ High Rise/ I Hear Jingle Bells/ I Love You More Everyday/ I Love the Woman/ I'm Tore Down/ I'm on My Way to Atlanta/ If You Believe (in What You Do)/ If You Have It/ In the Open/ It's Easy, Child/ It's Too Bad Things Are Going So Tough/ Just Pickin'/ King-A-Ling/ Lonesome Whistle Blues/ Look, Ma, I'm Cryin'/ Manhole/ Meet Me at the Station/ Monkey Donkey/ Now I've Got a Woman/ One Hundred Years/ Onion Rings/ San-Ho-Zay!/ See See Baby/ Sen-Sa-Shun/ She Put the Whammy on Me/ She's The One/ Side Tracked/ Sittin' on the Boat Dock/ Some Other Day, Some Other Time/ Someday, After Awhile (You'll Be Sorry)/ Surf Monkey/ Takin' Care of Business/ Texas Oil/ The Bossa Nova Watusi Twist/ The Stumble/ Use What You ve Got/ What About Love/ You Can t Hide/ You're Barkin' Up the Wrong Tree/ You've Got Me Licked/ You've Got to Love Her with a Feeling

THE MIXTURES Minky 2 Stompin' At The Rainbow ● CD $16.98
25 tracks, 65 mins, highly recommended
This CD is full of what you would call good-time party music. The Mixtures were exactly the kind of band that you would want at your house / frat party circa about 1962. Although the groundbreaking racial make-up of the band (a mixture (get it?) of White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian) would make it difficult for them to play a frat house in, say, Birmingham Alabama of the time. Thankfully groovy Southern California of the early 1960s was a lot more accommodating. The Rainbow Gardens in Pomona, especially, became a home for the group, and the fantastic Rainbow Stomp Parts 1 & 2 showcased their love of the place. Sure, a lot of the band's repartee was rowdy covers of Rock &Roll and Rhythm & Blues of the day (I especially dug their instrumental version of Ike & Tina's It's Gonna Work Out Fine), but they did it with style and unbridled enthusiasm. Plus, they mixed in a lot of fun originals that filled the dance floors. All of the tracks featured here were recorded between 1962 - 1964, and released on the small indie label Linda Records. All in all, a great slab of California Rock & Roll history, showing that before Santana, Sly & The Family Stone, and The Equals, there was a great group of guys "mixing" it up in So-Cal and having a real good time about it. (JM)

OTIS SPANN Essential 133352 From The Archives ● CD $13.98
11 tracks, 33 mins, highly recommended
In spite of the schlocky production (no notes or discographical info) and the frequent ticks that indicate that it was probably dubbed from an LP these recordings are, quite possibly, the finest recordings ever made by the greatest post war blues piano player. Originally recorded for the Danish Storyville label in Copenhagen in 1963 this mostly solo set features Otis in tremendous form sounding really inspired with his powerful smoky vocals accompanied by some truly breathtaking piano work. And whether he's singing about his health (T.B. Blues/ Goin' Down Slow), or the ubiquitous blues pastry (Jelly Roll Baker), the results are beautiful and haunting. Guitarist Lonnie Johnson adds some lovely guitar work to Trouble In Mind. This has been out on CD several times before but this is the only current release of these indispensible recordings and if you don't already have them you should get this while it's around. (FS)

BIG MAMA THORNTON Le Chant Du Monde 2742238 The Complete, 1950-1961 ● CD $23.98
2 CDs, 35 tracks, 94 mins, essential
Big Mama Thornton was a mighty woman. This collection of her classic work is mighty thorough and thoroughly excellent, collecting all of Thornton's singles from 1950 - 1961 released on the Duke/ Peacock/ Bay Tone/ E & W/ and Irma record labels as well as rare LP tracks from the Ace and Backbeat labels. Of course her great and highly influential version of Hound Dog is here in all its glory, but Big Mama was much more than that classic track; you get a whole mess of full throated wonders like: Let Your Tears Fall Baby/ Nightmare/ They Call Me Big Mama (which the extra-diverse music fans out there will recognize as the main influence on Notorious B.I.G.'s "Big Poppa" from 40 plus years later,)/ The Fish/ Rockabye Baby etc. as well as my two favorites I Smell A Rat and Tarzan and the Dignified Monkey. With this CD, you also get fantastic sound, probably the best I have ever heard on her early recordings, detailed liner notes, as well as full discographal information. So if you don't have a collection of Big Mama's classic early recordings, than this is certainly a must have. (JM)
BIG MAMA THORNTON: All Right Baby/ Bad Luck Got My Man/ Big Mama's Blues/ Big Mama's Coming Home/ Cotton Picking Blues/ Don't Talk Back/ Everytime I Think Of You/ Hard Times/ Hound Dog/ How Come/ I Ain't No Fool Either/ I Smell A Rat/ I'm All Fed Up/ I've Searched The World Over/ Just Can't Help Myself/ Just Like A Dog (Barking The Wrong Tree)/ Laugh, Laugh, Laugh/ Let Yours Tears Fall Baby/ Mischievous Boogie/ My Man Called Me/ Nightmare/ No Jody For Me/ Partnership Blues/ Rockabye Baby/ Stop Hoppin' On me/ Story Of My Blues/ Tarzan And The Dignified Monkey/ The Big Change/ The Fish/ They Call Me Big Mama/ Walking Blues/ Willie Mae's Blues/ Yes, Baby/ You Did Me Wrong/ You Don't Move Me No More

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1363 Rhythm 'n' Bluesin' By The Bayou ● CD $18.98
28 tracks, very highly recommended
Complementing Ace's great series "Boppin' By The Bayou" comes the first in a series devoted to blues and R&B recorded for local Louisiana labels in the 1950s including many previously unissued tracks including sides drawn from the vaults of the legendary Crowley, Louisiana producer Jay Miller. The emphasis is on uptempo items and a number of the artists are total biographical blanks but are very worthwhile. Artists include Rockin' Sidney & His All Stars, Elizabeth (a fine but total mystery - only her first name is name), Billy Tate (superb New Orleans artists with the unissued Right From Wrong), Vince Monroe (two fine unissued sides from the Jay Miller vaults by excellent down home singer and harmonica player), Blue Charlie (three unissued sides recorded for Goldband and Jay Miller by fine singer/ guitarist), Clarence Garlow (three unissued sides by this superb singer and guitarist), Talton Miller (a fine variation on an old favorite as Mean Old Kokomo with tough guitar), Big Chenier (Zydeco flavored item with accordion from Clifton Chenier's uncle) and others. Superb sound and information on all the artists - where known. (FS)
ELIZABETH ?: Ain't Got Nobody/ Crazy About Love/ FLO ?: Go Cat Go/ JIMMY ANDERSON: Don't Do That To Me/ BIG CHENIER: I Wanna Know/ BLUE CHARLIE: Watch That Crow/ Whole Lot Of Drinking On The Block/ BLUE CHARLIE: Honey Bee/ THADDEUS DECLOUET: Bull Frog Bop/ CLARENCE GARLOW: Carry On/ No No Baby/ Sound The Bell/ CHUCK MARTIN: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah/ SONNY MARTIN: Why Does Everything Happen To Me/ TALTON MILLER: Mean Ole Kokomo/ VINCE MONROE: Hard Working Girlfriend/ Hey Mattie/ JERRY MORRIS: Clema/ Cool Down Baby/ ROCKIN' SIDNEY: Rocky/ CHARLES SHEFFIELD: Give It Up/ MAD DOG SHEFFIELD: Cool Cat/ Pretty Little Dolly/ SIDNEY SIMIEN: Make Me Understand/ She's My Morning Coffee/ BILLY TATE: Right From Wrong/ C. J. THIERRY: Crazy About You Baby/ TABBY THOMAS: I Don't Care

VARIOUS ARTISTS Acrobat ARCD 125 Macy's Texas Hillbilly ● CD $10.98 $7.98
Fine collection of 25 sides recorded between 1949 and 1951 for the Houston based Macy's label. It includes the four earliest sides by Jim Reeves from 1950 along with a couple of great Western Swing flavored sides by the great Cajun singer and fiddler Harry Choates. Most of the rest of the artists are obscure but generally excellent including Woody Carter & His Hoedown Boys, Tommy Dover & His Texas Rhythm Boys, The Raley Brothers & Woody carter (a great old timey instrumental with fiddle and mandolin), The Bar X Cowboys, Ramblin' Tommy Scott, Art Gunn & His Arizona Playboys (actually from Florida - they do a fine country boogie), Bob Greene & His Filling Station Swing band, The Vance Brothers and others. Good sound and 12 page booklet with notes by Dave Penney.
THE BAR X COWBOYS: Fair Weather Friend/ THE RALEY BROTHERS & WOODY CARTER: Hoedown Breakdown/ LAVERL CARRICO & THE ANGELINA PALS: Too Many Women Too Much Beer/ WOODY CARTER & HIS HOEDOWN BOYS: Sittin' On The Doorstep/ Who's Gonna Chop My Baby's Firewood/ HARRY CHOATES & HIS FIDDLE: Catn' Around/ Korea Here We Come/ TOMMY DOVER & HIS TEXAS RHYTHM BOYS: Blue Over You/ I Love You Because/ BOB GREENE & HIS FILLING STATION SWING BAND: Somebody Stole My Rag Mop/ ART GUNN & HIS ARIZONA PLAYBOYS: Boogie Woogie Blues/ Cornbread Boogie/ SONNY HALL & HIS MOONSHINERS: Just A Little Bit More/ CLAUDE HAM & HIS RADIO PLAYBOYS: That's All I'm Through/ MORRIS MILLS & THE RITHUMAKERS: I'd Like To Slip Around/ CURLY RASH & HIS SOUTH TEXAS PLAYBOYS: Humble Road Blues/ JIM REEVES: Chicken Hearted/ I've Never Been So Blue/ My Heart's Like A Welcome Mat/ Tear Drops of Regret/ COUSIN BOB RODGERS: Lonesome Freight Train Blues/ RAMBLIN' TOMMY SCOTT: Tennessee/ When A Man Gets The Blues/ THE VANCE BROTHERS: Draftboard Blues/ BARNEY VARDERMAN & HIS DRIFTING TEXANS: I'm Finding A New Heart

VARIOUS ARTISTS Acrobat 4186 R&B Jukebox Hits - 1942 ● CD $13.98 $8.98
20 tracks, recommended
A most welcome release featuring some of the biggest hits that were featured on the very first charts based on sales to black audiences. Initiated in October, 1942 "The Harlem Hit Parade" presented the top ten selling and played records from shops and jukeboxes in the Harlem borough of New York. Not surprisingly the New York audience reflected an interest in more sophisticated stylings with little room for the more down home styles that would have been popular elsewhere and includes white pop along with black big bands and small groups. It wasn't until several years later that a wider sampling of locations was represented. Nevertheless this represented a breakthrough and is of more than passing interest. Among this sampling from 1942 are recordings by Andy Kirk & His Clouds Of Joy, Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five, Earl Hines & His Orc., Paul Whiteman & His Orch., Barney Bigard & His Orch., Duke Ellington & His Famous Orch., Tampa Red, The King Cole Trio, The Southern Sons, Erskine Hawkins & His Orch. and more. Excellent sound and booklet features informative notes by Bob Fisher. (FS)
BARNEY BIGARD'S ORCHESTRA: "C" Blues/ BEA BOOZE: See See Rider Blues/ THE KING COLE TRIO: That Ain't Right/ TOMMY DORSEY ORCH. WITH FRANK SINATRA: There Are Such Things/ DUKE ELLINGTON & HIS FAMOUS ORCH.: Hayfoot Strawfoot/ LIL GREEB: Let's Be Friends/ ERSKINE HAWKINS & HIS ORCH.: Bicycle Bounce/ EARL HINES & HIS ORCH.: Stormy Monday Blues/ THE INK SPOTS: Don't Get Around Much Anymore/ LOUIS JORDAN & HIS TYMPANY FIVE: I'm Gonna Leave You On The Outskirts Of Town/ What's The Use Of Getting Sober/ ANDY KIRK & HIS CLOUDS OF JOY: Take It And Git/ JIMMY LUNCEFORD & HIS ORCH.: It Had to Be You/ LUCKY MILLENDER: When The Lights Go On Again (All Over The World)/ FREDDIE SLACK & HIS ORCH.: Cow Cow Boogie/ Mr. Five By Five/ THE SOUTHERN SONS: Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition/ TAMPA RED: Let Me Play With Your Poodle/ FATS WALLER: The Jitterbug Waltz/ PAUL WHITEMAN & HIS ORCH.: Trav'lin' Light

VARIOUS ARTISTS Aladdin 200 Aladdin Magic: The Early Years, Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Superb collection featuring some of the less common titles issued on Leo & Eddie Messner's famed Aladdin. 24 tracks from the early days of the label (1945-1947) - the earliest tracks were issued on the Philo label but were transferred to Aladdin when they were threatanede with a lawsuit by the Philco radio company. . A mix of jump blues, R&B, vocal group sounds, bop and more. Artists include Helen Humes, Cousin Joe (the great topical Post-War Future Blues), Howard McGhee & His Band, The Rockets (great acapella renditions in the style of The Golden Gate Quartet of Little Brown Jug and Loch Lomond), Jack LaRue & His Quartet (four varied sides including the fine piano boogie instrumental Ringside Boogie), Juanita Brown (the risque Key To My Door with great accompaniment from Maxwell Davis Orch.), Jimmy Mundy & His Orch. (Bumble Boogie is a boogie piano rendition of "Flight Of The Bumblebee"), Al Hibbler, Maxwell Davis & His All Stars and others. Excellent sound but no notes. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS AP Music 970 Jukebox Favorites - The Best Of Early R&B ● CD $18.98 $14.98
4 CD, 80 tracks, highly recommended
No frills (no liner notes, tracks not in any particular order) collection of classic 50's R&B tunes by everyone from Ray Charles and Jackie Wilson to Ruth Brown and LaVern Baker. There's nothing here that can't be had elsewhere, but there is no denying the quality of the music and the sound is great. One of a series of four collections of "Jukebox Favorites" (the others cover Rock & Roll, Doo-Wop, and the Blues), this is a set for people who don't otherwise own the songs already and want them in a convenient package. (GMC)
JOHNNY ACE: Pledging My Love/ The Clock/ LAVERN BAKER: Jim Dandy/ Shake A Hand/ Soul On Fire/ HANK BALLARD & THE MIDNIGHTERS: Annie Had A Baby/ Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go/ JESSE BELVIN: Goodnight My Love/ BROOK BENTON: Kiddio/ THE BOBBETTES: Mr Lee/ HADDA BROOKS: Jump Back Honey/ BUSTER BROWN: Fanny Mae/ JAMES BROWN: Please Please Please/ ROY BROWN: Rock A Bye Baby/ RUTH BROWN: Lucky Lips/ Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean/ JERRY BUTLER: He Will Break Your Heart/ For Your Precious Love/ RAY CHARLES: A Fool For You/ I Got A Woman/ What'd I Say (parts 1 & 2)/ DEE CLARK: Nobody But You/ Raindrops/ THE CLOVERS: Devil Or Angel/ THE COASTERS: Poison Ivy/ SAM COOKE: I'll Come Running Back To You/ You Send Me/ LARRY DARNELL: For You My Love/ BILL DOGGETT: Honky Tonk Pt 1/ FATS DOMINO: All By Myself/ I Want To Walk You Home/ THE DRIFTERS: Adorable/ This Magic Moment/ TOMMY EDWARDS: It's All In The Game/ THE FIVE ROYALES: Baby Don't Do It/ WADE FLEMMONS: What's Happening/ JIMMY FORREST: Night Train/ ROSCOE GORDON: Just A Little Bit/ WILBERT HARRISON: Kansas City/ CLARENCE "FROGMAN" HENRY: But I Do/ JESSE HILL: Ooh Poo Pah Doo (Part One)/ IVORY JOE HUNTER: Since I Met You Baby/ THE IMPRESSIONS: Gypsy Woman/ ETTA JAMES: Tough Lover/ Spoonful/ LITTLE WILLIE JOHN: Let Them Talk/ Sleep/ JO JONES: You Talk Too Much/ ERNIE K-DOE: A Certain Girl/ Mother-in-Law/ BEN E. KING: Spanish Harlem/ Stand By Me/ GLADYS KNIGHT: Every Beat Of My Heart/ JOE LIGGINS & HIS HONEYDRIPPERS: Pink Champagne/ WILLIE MABON: I'm Mad/ PERCY MAYFIELD: Are You Out There/ CLYDE MCPHATTER: Lovey Dovey/ Since You've Been Gone/ Honey Love/ MICKEY & SYLVIA: Love Is Strange/ AMOS MILBURN: Bewildered/ AARON NEVILLE: Over You/ JOHNNY OTIS: Mumblin' Mosie/ LLOYD PRICE: Lawdy Miss Clawdy/ Question/ Stagger Lee/ TOMMY RIDGELY & HIS BAND: Jam Up/ HAL SINGER: Cornbread/ BIG JOE TURNER: Corrine Corinna/ Flip Flop & Fly/ Honey Hush/ SAMMY TURNER: Always/ BILLY WARD & THE DOMINOES: Have Mercy Baby/ Sixty Minute Man/ BABY WASHINGTON: Work Out/ DINAH WASHINGTON & BROOK BENTON: A Rockin' Good Way (To Mess Around And Fall In Love)/ LARRY WILLIAMS: You Bug Me/ CHUCK WILLIS: C.C. Rider/ JACKIE WILSON: Doggin' Around/ Lonely Teardrops

VARIOUS ARTISTS B.A.C.M. 404 Colorado Country, 1948-1953 ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, 74 mins, recommended
A fine and varied collection of recordings of artists who worked in Colorado in the late 40s and early 50s - predominantly in the Denver area. All the artists here are pretty obscure and Al Turner's informative notes tell us what little is known about them pointing out that many were not Colorado natives but were traveling artists. The material is varied embracing and western swing and there are some fine performances from such unfamiliar names as Smiley Macom & His Western Playboys, Rocky Rauch & His Western Serenaders, Ted West (his Jess Hunter Song is a tribute to the owner of a local car dealership), The Colorado Buckaroos, Red Allen (not the bluegrass singer), Speedy Haworth (fine guitarist who does the instrumental Sissy and appears as sideman on several other tracks), Shorty Thompson & His Saddle Rockin' Rhythm and others. Sound is generally excellent. (FS)
RED ALLEN: Cut The Knot, Turn Me Loose, Set Me Free/ Double Worried Mind-1/ Double Worried Mind-2/ Mule Skinners Blues/ Talking Blues/ Thereís A New Moon Over My Shoulder/ Truck Drivers Blues/ Youíre A Long Way From Being Happy/ COLORADO BUCKAROOS: Blue Eyed Sweetheart/ THE COLORADO BUCKAROOS: Cowboys Left Over There/ Heart Of Stone/ WILL GRAVES & THE RHYTHM RANGERS: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You/ Iron Horse/ When The World Has Turned You Down/ You Two-Timed Me One Time Too Often/ SPEED HAWORTH & SHORTY THOMPSON: Sissy (Instr)/ SMILEY MACOM & HIS WESTERN PLAYBOYS: Broken Hearted/ SMILEY MACOM & THE SENTIMENTAL TRAVELERS: Thereís A Big Rock In The Road/ To My Sorrow/ When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again/ ROCKY RAUCH & HIS WESTERN SERENADERS: Colorado Boogie/ Talk-Talk-Talk/ DAVE SPEILMAN & RHYTHM RANGERS: Itís Paw Who Pays/ SHORTY THOMPSON & HIS SADDLE ROCKINí RHYTHM: Baby Iíve Got The Goods On You/ Loaded Pistols Loaded Dice/ The Little Girl That Never Went Back On Me/ TED WEST & BUDDY WATKINSí BUDDIES OF THE WES: Jess Hunter Song/ Mary Ann

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 17310 Sun Blues Box, 1950-1958 ● CD $239.98
10 CDS plus 184 page hardcover book, 307 tracks, almost 14 hours, essential
Now available - our first shipment sold out immediately but more are on their way. Finally, the last word on the Sun blues, R&B and gospel recordings including recordings made at Sam Phillips 'studios before he launched the Sun label. Nearly 30 years after the original Sun Blues Box was released on LP, it's back on CD with so much more than was on the original set (more than 100 additional tracks!). Recently discovered music from well-known artists . and incredible artifacts like Sam Phillips narrating a radio commercial for a West African herbalist who would soon be jailed for selling bogus patent medicine. Recordings produced by Phillips but issued on Chess, RPM, Trumpet and other labels were unavailable in 1983, but are now included.
Amazingly enough only about 100 of these were originally issued on 78s by Sun or labels Sam Phillips leased to and bearing that in mind the high standard of most of the material is really surprising. Sure there are a few tracks that are seriously out of tune (Woodrow Adams) or needed more rehearsal but most of it was worthwhile and a lot of it is sensational. The music includes old style country blues from D.A. Hunt, Sleepy John Estes and the intriguing William Stewart - his solo sides are really archaic country blues - he was originally though to be the William Stewart of the Sun vocal group The Prisonaires but recent research has proven otherwise. There are small down home combos featuring Howling Wolf, Walter Horton, Willie Nix, Dr. Ross and James Cotton and more urban flavored bands featuring Jackie Brenston, Billy "The Kid" Emerson, Raymond Hill, Little Milton and the eccentric Rosco Gordon. Among the others artists here are James Banister, Big Memphis Ma Rainey, Walter Bradford, Jimmy DeBerry, Boyd Gilmore, Earl Hooke, Lost John Hunter, L.B. Lawson, Johnny London (a sax player who has the distinction of being on the first issued Sun 78), the great one man band Joe Hill Louis, Johnny O'Neal, Pinetop Perkins, Houston Stokes, Ike Turner and many others. Gospel and vocal groups are represented by The Brewsteraires, The Southern Jubilee Singers and The Jones Brothers and vocal group sounds from the Prisonaires. There are 14 sides never issued before anywhere including primitive John Lee Hooker styled singer J.C. Cole and unissued sides by The Jones Brothers, Billy "Red" Love and others including several unknown artists. This set includes a priceless audio fragment by Walter Bradford that might be Sun #176 - the only Sun record that has never been heard. The music made in Memphis at that time frequently had a loose raucous quality which is beautifully captured here and such great guitarists as Pat Hare, Wille Johnson, Matt Murphy and the unfamiliar Erskine McLellan with their distinctive distorted stinging guitar sound, are featured all over the place.
Note that several Sun blues artists have already had Bear Family CDs devoted to their Sun recordings (Howlin' Wolf, Joe Hill Louis, The Prisonaires, Rufus Thomas and Billy "Red" Love) so not all their Sun recordings are included here.
The 184 page LP sized hardcover book is a masterpiece in its own right. Coming in at almost four pounds it includes extensive notes from Hank Davis, Colin Escott and Martin Hawkins and draws on extensive and previously unpublished research by Steve LaVere, David Evans and Jim O'Neal. There are hundreds of photos - many previously unpublished plus all kind of ephemera including letters written by Sam Phillips to artists, disc jockeys, distributors and much much, much more. There are also complete session details for all the recordings here. It would take several pages of review to do justice to this magnificent undertaking but, suffice to say, that this is almost certainly the greatest blues box set ever issued.
The whole package weighs 7.5 pounds so counts as 30 regular CDs fo shipping purposes. (FS)
WOODROW ADAMS: If You Don't Want Me/ Last Time/ Pretty Baby Blues/ She's Done Come And Gone/ Train Is Comin'/ Train Time/ JAMES BANISTER: Ain't Gonna Tell You No Lie/ KENNETH BANKS: Blue Man/ High/ DENNIS BINDER: Love You, Love You Baby/ HOUSTON BOINES: Carry My Business On/ Standing In The Courthouse Crying/ CHARLIE BOOKER: Baby I'm Coming Home/ Baby I'm Coming Home -2/ Walked All Night/ Walked All Night -2/ WALTER BRADFORD: Love For My Baby/ Lucy Done Moved/ Reward For My Baby/ Too Blue To Cry/ Untitled Blues (Incomplete)/ JACKIE BRENSTON & HIS DELTA CATS: Independent Woman/ My Real Gone Rocket/ Rocket 88/ Tuckered Out/ THE BREWSTERAIRES: (The Lord Gave Me) Wings For My Soul/ Where Shall I Be (When That First Trumpet Soul/ CHARLIE BURSE: Shorty The Barber/ WILLIE CARR: Outside Friend/ BIG LUCKY CARTER: Gonna Break That Lock/ J.C. COLE: Ida Mae/ Move Me No More/ No Right Blues (Deep Blue Sea Blues)/ South Side Blues/ JAMES COTTON: Cotton Crop Blues/ Hold Me In Your Arms/ My Baby/ Straighten Up Baby/ JIMMY DEBERRY: Before Long/ Party Line Blues/ Take A Little Chance/ Time Has Made A Change/ Easy/ JOSEPH DOBBIN & THE FOUR CRUISERS: On Account Of You/ SHY GUY DOUGLAS: Detroit Arrow Blues/ Hip Shakin' Mama (Shy Guy's Back In Town)/ Work With Her Boy/ HONEYBOY EDWARDS: Sweet Home Chicago/ Sweet Home Chicago -2/ BILLY "THE KID" EMERSON: Little Fine Healthy Thing/ Move Baby Move/ Red Hot/ Satisfied/ Shim Sham Shimmy/ Something For Nothing/ When It Rains It Pours/ SLEEPY JOHN ESTES: Policy Man/ Rats In My Kitchen/ Registration Day Blues/ Runnin' Around/ Runnin' Around -2/ EVANGELIST GOSPEL SINGERS OF ALABAMA: Leaning On The Lord/ Lord Stop The War/ Never Grow Old/ Walk In The Light/ THE FIVE TINOS: Don't Do That/ Gonna Have To Let You Be/ Sitting By My Window/ THE FOUR CRUISERS: Beale St. Shuffle/ BOYD GILMORE: Believe I'll Settle Down/ Believe I'll Settle Down -2/ ROSCO GORDON: Booted/ Decorate The Counter/ I Found A New Love/ I'm Gonna Shake It/ Let's Get High/ New Orleans/ Shoobie Oobie/ T Model Boogie/ That's What You Do To Me/ Wade Through Muddy Water/ GUITAR RED: Baby Please Don't Go/ Go Ahead On/ PAT HARE: Bonus Pay/ Cheating And Lying Blues (aka I'm Gonna Murder My Baby)/ Cheating And Lying Blues (aka I'm Gonna Murder My Baby) -2/ RAYMOND HILL: Bourbon Street Jump/ I'm Back Pretty Baby/ Long Gone/ My Baby Left Me/ Somebody's Been Carryin' Your Rollin' On/ The Snuggle/ HENRY HILL & DOCTOR ROSS: That Ain't Right/ That Ain't Right -2/ EARL HOOKER: Blue Guitar/ Move On Down The Line/ Steel Guitar Rag/ The Drive/ The Hucklebuck/ WALTER HORTON: In The Mood/ Little Walter's Boogie/ Little Walter's Boogie -2/ Little Walter's Instrumental/ Off The Wall/ We All Gotta Go Sometime/ West Winds Are Blowing/ HOWLIN' WOLF: Bluebird Blues/ Come Back Home/ Decoration Day Blues/ Everybody's In The Mood/ Getting Old And Grey/ How Many More Years/ Moanin' At Midnight/ Mr. Highway Man/ My Baby Walked Off/ My Troubles And Me/ Well That's Alright/ HUNKY DORY: A Lady Called Mother/ Baby Don't Leave Me/ I Want My Baby Back/ I Wonder Why/ This Misery/ Workin' On A Building/ D.A. HUNT: Greyhound Blues/ Lonesome Old Jail/ LOST JOHN HUNTER: Boogie For Me Baby/ Cool Down Mamma/ Play The Game Baby/ Schoolboy/ Y-M And V Blues Lost John/ JACKIE BOY & LITTLE WALTER: Selling My Whiskey (Incomplete)/ HANDY JACKSON: (Have You Ever Had) Trouble -2 J/ Got My Application Baby/ Trouble (Will Bring You Down)/ THE JERUSALEM SOUTHERN JUBILEES: Blessed Be The Name/ Forgive Me Lord/ He Never Left Me Alone/ There's A Man In/ SHERMAN JOHNSON & HIS CLOUDS OF JOYS: Hot Fish/ Pretty Baby Blues/ THE JONES BROTHERS: Amazing Grace/ Every Night/ Every Night/ Gospel Train/ Look To Jesus/ TINY KENNEDY: Blues Disease/ Don't Lay This Job On Me/ Early In The Morning, Baby/ Strange Kind Of Feeling/ B.B. KING: B. B. Blues/ She's Dynamite/ ED KIRBY: Blue Nights/ Mean Old Gin/ L.B. LAWSON & JAMES SCOTT: Can't Love Me And My Money Too/ Flypaper Boogie/ Got My Call Card/ Scott's Boogie/ SAMMY LEWIS & WILLIE JOHNSON: Gonna Leave You Baby/ I Feel So Worried -1/ I Feel So Worried -2/ I Feel So Worried -3/ So Long Baby Goodbye/ So Long Baby Goodbye -2/ LITTLE JUNIOR'S BLUE FLAMES: Feelin' Bad/ Feelin' Good/ Fussin' And Fightin' Blues/ Love My Baby/ Mystery Train/ Sittin' At The Bar/ Sittin' At The Window/ Sittin' Drinkin' And Thinkin'/ LITTLE MILTON: (Lookin' For My Baby) Rode That Train/ Alone And Blue/ Beggin' My Baby/ Homesick For My Baby/ I Love My Baby/ If You Love Me/ Lookin' For My Baby/ Re-Beep (Previously issued as Re-Beat)/ She's My Queen/ Somebody Told Me/ LITTLE WALKER: Off The Wall -2/ JOHNNY LONDON: Drivin' Slow/ Flat Tire/ JOE HILL LOUIS: Boogie In The Park/ Dorothy Mae/ Gotta Let You Go/ Hydramatic Woman/ I'm A Poor Boy/ Keep Your Arms Around Me/ She May Be Yours (But She Comes To See Me Some Time) -2/ She May Be Yours (But She Comes To See Me Sometime)/ She May Be Yours (Sweetest Gal In Town)/ Shine Boy/ Tiger Man/ We All Gotta Go Sometime/ When I Am Gone (She Treats Me Mean And Evil)/ BILLY LOVE: Drop Top/ Early In The Morning/ Gee I Wish/ Gee I Wish -2/ Hart's Bread Boogie/ Hey Now/ It Ain't No More/ Juiced/ The News Is All Around Town/ The News Is All Around Town -2/ Way After Midnight/ Way After Midnight -2/ You're Gonna Cry/ COY HOT SHOT LOVE: Harmonica Jam/ Harpin' On It/ Wolf Call Boogie/ HOT SHOT LOVE: Wolf Call Boogie -2/ LITTLE MILTON: Rode That Train-Lookin' For My Baby -3/ WILLIE NIX: Baker Shop Boogie/ Midnight Showers Of Rain/ Prison Bound Blues/ Ridin' In The Moonlight/ Seems Like A Million Years/ Take A Little Walk With Me/ JOHNNY O'NEAL: Dead Letter Blues/ Dead Letter Blues -2/ Johnny's Dream/ Johnny's Dream -2/ Ugly Woman (Peg Leg Baby)/ Ugly Woman -2/ ELVEN PARR & HIS IN THE GROOVE: Baby Child/ I'm A Good Man/ In The Groove Rumba/ Skin And Bones Woman/ ELVEN PARR'S IN THE GROOVE BOYS: Skin And Bones Woman -2/ PINETOP PERKINS: Pinetop's Boogie Woogie/ SAM PHILLIPS: Tree Of Life (Advertising Spot)/ THE PRISONAIRES: A Prisoner's Prayer/ Baby Please/ Don't Say Tomorrow/ Just Walkin' In The Rain/ Just Walking In The Rain/ My God Is Real/ Softly And Tenderly/ There Is Love In You/ BIG MEMPHIS MA RAINEY: Baby, No No!/ Call Me Anything (But Call Me)/ TOT RANDOLPH: Blues Train/ DOCTOR ROSS: Cat Squirrel/ Chicago Breakdown/ Come Back Baby/ Country Clown/ Deep Down In The Ground/ Doctor Ross Boogie/ Down South Blues/ Left Job Boogie/ Little Soldier Boy/ Shake 'Em On Down/ Texas Hop/ BROTHER RUSSELL: I'm Sealed/ LOU SARGENT: Ridin' The Boogie/ WALTER "TANG" SMITH: Every Monday Morning Blues/ Hi-Tone Mama/ EDDIE SNOW: Ain't That Right/ Bring Your Love Back Home/ Don't Dog Me Around/ Got To Put You Down/ Mean Mean Woman/ Sorry Little Baby/ Stay With Me Baby/ Who's Been Drinking My Wine/ THE SPIRITUAL STARS: Good Religion/ I'll Search Heaven/ WILLIAM STEWART: County Farm Blues/ Forty-Four Blues/ Rattlesnakin' Mama/ They Call Me/ HOUSTON STOKES: Baby's Gone And Left Me/ Blue And Lonesome/ We're All Gonna Do Some Wrong/ You'll Be Sorry Someday/ RUFUS THOMAS: Decorate The Counter/ Married Woman/ L.J. THOMAS & HIS LOUISIANA PLAYBOYS: Baby Take A Chance With Me/ Sam's Drag/ RUFUS THOMAS JR.: Bear Cat (The Answer To Hound Dog)/ Save That Money/ Tiger Man (King of the Jungle)/ Walkin' In The Rain/ BONNIE TURNER: Love Is A Gamble/ Old Brother Jack/ IKE TURNER & HIS KINGS OF RHYTHM: Heartbroken And Worried/ I'm Lonesome Baby/ IKE TURNER & TOMMY HODGE: (I Know) You Don't Love Me/ Down & Out (aka How Long Will It Last)/ Matchbox [aka I'm Gonna Forget About You]/ You Ain't The One/ UNKNOWN ARTIST: Got Me A Horse And Wagon/ Juicehead/ V O Baby/ UNKNOWN GOSPEL GROUP: I Am Bound For Canaan Land/ John The Revelator/ UNKNOWN VOCAL GROUP: Oh Baby/ MOSE VINSON: 44 Blues/ Come See Me (aka My Love Has Gone)/ Mistreatin' Boogie/ Reap What You Sow/ Worry You Off My Mind/ ALBERT WILLIAMS: Hoo Doo Man/ Rumble Chillen

VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus 5000 Rockin' Hillbilly, Vol. 1 ● CD $19.98
32 tracks, 74 mins, highly recommended
This series has been out a while but we've only just tracked down a supplier. This is a different Cactus label to the one we've listed in the past but what they have in common is that both feature hot uptempo hillbilly, sound quality is excellent and there are no notes. When this CD first came out many of the tracks were new to CD - now about 50% are available on other compilations (including the other Cactus label!) but there's still a lot of great music here. Among the artists here are Billy Strange (his fabulous Diesel Smoke Dangerous Curves), Joe Lewis, Billy Wallace (a really superb artist with the great You Can't Ride On My Train), Bud Hobbs, Jimmie Skinner, Bobby Bobo (the delightful talking blues Stamps), Tibby Edwards ( a fine rendition of the R&B songs Flip, Flop & Fly), Jimmie Patton, Bobby Rutledge, Cal Maddox (of the famous Maddox Brothers), Louis Innis, and others. A consistently fine collection. (FS)
TANI ALLEN: I'm Back In The Army/ WILEY BARKDULL: Cause You're Always On My Mind/ BILLY BARTON: Do You Love Me/ I'm Turning Over A Brand New Leaf/ BOBBY BOBO: Stamps/ ED CAMP: I'm Gonna Put The Wammy On You/ RILEY CRABTREE: Tattle, Tattle Tale/ GENE DAVIS: Satan's Daughter/ TIBBY EDWARDS: Flip, Flop & Fly/ Shift Gears/ TERRY FELL: Get Aboard My Wagon/ GEORGE & EARL: Don't, Don't, Don't/ HANK THE DRIFTER: Don't You Lock Your Daddy Out/ BUD HOBBS: Mean, Mean, Mean/ VAN HOWARD: I'm Not A Kid Anymore/ COWBOY HUFF: No Two Timin' Me/ LOUIS INNIS: Whammy Bammy Buzzard Goozer/ THE JACOBY BROTHERS: Cannonball/ JOE LEWIS: I Wonder If I Can Lose The Blues/ CAL MADDOX: Hey Bill/ TINY MURPHY: 42 Barrels/ BOB NELSON: Greetings/ JIMMIE PATTON: Hut-Horp (Rookie's Marching Song)/ JACK RHODES: Gypsy Heart/ BOBBY RUTLEDGE: Southern Fried Chicken/ Waitin' In Line/ CLIFF SHEPARD: Railroad Crossing/ JIMMIE SKINNER: Just Ramblin' On/ TOMMY SPURLIN: There Might've Been A Love Song/ BILLY STRANGE: Diesel Smoke (Dangerous Curves)/ BILLY WALLACE: South Wind/ You Can't Ride On My Train

VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus 5001 Rockin' Hillbilly, Vol. 2 ● CD $19.98
32 tracks, highly recommended
Another fine collection of uptempo hillbilly from the 50s - some titles familiar from other collections along with many real obscurities - quite a few making their first appearance on CD but all of it top notch honky tonk. Among the artists featured here are Jimmy Thomason, Slim Whitman, Billy Briggs (his politically incorrect Sissy Song), Gene Davis, Ray Anderson (the great topical ditty Living Too Fast), Jimmie Osborne, Jack Ford, The Tennessee Drifters (the Delmore Brothers flavored Boogie Woogie Baby), Weldon Rogers (more political incorrectness with Women Drivers), James O'Gwynn and many more. (FS)
RAY ANDERSON: Living Too Fast Admiral/ JIMMY BALLARD: The Creek's Gone Muddy/ BILLY BARTON: Pardon Me, Old Buddy/ BILLY BRIGGS: Sissy Song/ SONNY BURNS: Another Woman Looking For A Man/ FRED CRAWFORD: I Just Need Some Lovin'/ GENE DAVIS: Ride/ JACK FORD: That's All You Gotta Do/ BOBBY GROVE: I Saw Her First/ Whistle Of The Gravy Train/ JACK HAMMONS: Mr Cupid/ MERLE KILGORE: Seeing Double, Feeling Single/ RUSTY MCDONALD: Name, Address & Phone Number/ LOU MILLETT: My In Laws Made An Outlaw Out Of Me/ JAMES O'GWYNN: Ready For Freddy/ JIMMIE OSBORNE: You Can't Sometimes.../ JOHNNY RAGSDALE: Engineer's Song/ WELDON ROGERS: Women Drivers/ TOMMY SCOTT: Tennessee/ JIMMY SMITH: First Choice/ THE TENNESSEE DRIFTERS: Boogie Woogie Baby/ JIMMY THOMPSON: Big Deal/ PECK TOUCHTON: You've Changed Your Tune/ LES TUCKER: Wrong Kinda Lovin'/ THE TURNER BROTHERS: Boog, Boog Boogie/ BILL TUTT: Talking Blues #2/ JOHNNY TYLER: Devil's Hotrod/ TED WEST: Parkin' Worries/ SLIM WILLET: Come Sundown/ BILL WIMBERLEY: Springfield Guitar Social/ MAC WISEMAN: Wildfire/ EARL WRIGHT: Married Man Blues

VARIOUS ARTISTS Cadillac 2501 Leaping On Lenox, Volume 1 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, 65 mins, highly recommended
The folks who brought us "Jiving On Central Avenue " (Blaze 101, 102, 103 - $16.98 each) that explored the jump blues scene in Los Angeles in the 1940s and early 50s now moves 3000 miles across country to New York look at what was happening on Harlem's main drag Lenox Avenue and unearth another bounty of fine and mostly previously unreissued jump blues & R&B. This set opens up with Bill Matthews hard driving Rock & Roll from 1949 - five years before Alan Freed "invented" the term! It continues with fine Roy Brown style blues shouter Al Jackson and continues on with artists like Laurel Watson and her risquť Let's Do The Thing and there is more naughtiness from Laverne Ray & The Three Riffs with the quasi calypso Hot Sweet Potatoes, Baby Rosetta with Candy Store Blues and, of course It's Too Big, Poppa by Rena Collins with the Claude Hopkins Quartet. The superb Big John Greer is here with the fine Wineola from his first session in 1948 and Billy Valentine gives us the exciting Gambling Man with tough guitar from Mickey Baker. Other artists include Bobby Marshall, Melrose Colbert, The Four Jacks (one of the slow items here with the mellow ballad I Cry My Heart Out), Viola Watkins, Floyd Williams Band and others. Sound is excellent and the four page booklet includes the first part of notes about the artists. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Classics 725 The Holly Sound ● CD $19.98
30 tracks, recommended
A collection of songs from the 50s and early 60s featuring covers or Buddy Holly songs, songs performed in the Holly style or artists with a Holly connection. Highlight is undoubtedly Jackie Walker's cover of Peggy Sue - the vocal is not much but the arrangement with manic guitar (Joe Maphis?) makes this a killer. Most of the other covers are fairly tame and Jeff Allen's cover of That'll Be The Day is positively painful. On the Holly influenced sides the highlights are the exciting Miss New Love by Canadian group Gene & The Strangers - a really catchy song with fine vocals and tough guitar; Bob & The Bandit's I'm Gonna Stop Cryin' is a really infectious ditty with nice Hollyish guitar and C.A. Bruce's Pin Cushion is a pretty dumb song but the stripped down arrangement with just guitar and percussion is quite appealing. On the Holly connection front we have Sonny West's original recording of Rave On which Buddy improved on for his version, Lou Giordano does the Phil Everly songs Don't Cha Know which was produced by Phil and Buddy with the two of them doing falsetto backup vocals and there is also the original version of When Sin Stops by The Nighthawks which Buddy liked so much that it became Waylon Jennings' first record with Buddy producing. Excellent sound and a 32 page booklet with full of info about the artists and lots of rare photos. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Classics 733 Just Like Elvis! ● CD $19.98
30 tracks, highly recommended
An excellent and entertaining collection of rockers from the 50s and early 60s that clearly show the influence. There are some out and out Elvis imitators (Ben Hewitt, The Rock-A-Tunes, Ritchie Arthur, Rick Harrington, etc.), a lot of who have picked up some of Elvis's mannerisms (John Snell, Jimmy Dart, Bobby Comstock, Geo. Lester, Nat Couty, The Casuals and more) and a number of covers of Elvis's songs (Eli Whitney with Wear My Ring Around Your Neck and I Got Stung, Vernon Taylor's great version of Mystery Train recorded for Sun, Al Runyan with My Baby Left Me, etc.) Most of the artists are Americans but there are also cuts from New Zealand singer Johnny Devlin with Koala Bear and Mexican singer William Gonzales doing a Spanish rendition of Don't Be Cruel (No Seas Cruel) very closely modelled on the Elvis version. There's lots of fine music on this set - much of it making its first appearance on CD. Sound quality is excellent and CD comes with 36 page booklet with extensive notes on all the artists (where information is known) plus rare photos and label shots. (FS)
RONNIE ANGEL: That's Alright/ RICHIE ARTHUR: Walking Down a Lonesome Road/ BILLY BARRIX: Cool of Baby/ HAVERT BENNETT: Jack You're Dead/ BROOK BENTON: I Wanna Do Everything For You/ THE CASUALS: I Love My Darling/ BRUCE CHANNEL: Now Or Never/ CHRIS CHRISTIAN & THE CHORDAIRES: Lover Boy/ BOBBY COMSTOCK: Jealous Fool/ NAT COUTY: Won't You Come Along With Me/ JIMMY DART: Please Don't Doubt My Love/ LONNIE DAVIS: A Big Hunk of Love/ JOHNNY DEVLIN & THE DEVILS: Koala Bear/ RUSTY EVANS: Talking From Your Heart/ GENE GAITHER: Chickadee/ WILLIAM GONZALES: No Seas Cruel/ RICK HARRINGTON: While You're Young/ BEN HEWITT: For Quite a While/ GEO LESTER: Cold Dark Night/ BILL RICE: I'll Run and Hide/ THE ROCK-A-TUNES: Tomorrow/ AL RUNYON: My Baby Left Me/ RONNY SMITH: Long Time No Love/ JOHN SNELL: Tonight is the Night/ THE STOMPERS: Blue Moon of Kentucky/ VERNON TAYLOR: Mystery Train/ DALE THOMAS: Don't Wait/ GEORGE WALSH: Don't Let Me Down/ ELI WHITNEY: I Got Stung/ Wear My Ring Around Your Neck

VARIOUS ARTISTS Dogfish 001 Listen Here Comes The Goodie Train ● CD $17.98
22 tracks, 55 mins, highly recommended
This exceedingly hip collection is full rare and wild early to mid 1960's American (and occasionally Canadian) Rock & Roll and Rhythm & Blues, with many pleasant surprises in store. For instance good old Folksy Hoyt Axton with the steamy Garage Rock (yes I said Garage Rock) gem Double Double Dare from 1964 on the Vee-Jay label--never knew he had it in him. Even more startling is David Clayton-Thomas of Blood, Sweat & Tears fame laying down some serious A' Go-Go in a 1965 version of Say Boss Man, dig the hot fuzz guitar, again, who knew? Some more likely dance floor shakers are here as well with great tracks like Dale Hawkins & His Escapades with Hey Hey, Gary U.S. Bonds - I Wanta Holler, The Pace-Setters - Ooh Poo Pah Doo, Scat Man Crothers - Golly Zonk (Its Scat Man), Roy Head - When I Marry Sunshine, Grady Martin - Twist and Turn, and many more thrilling slabs of ultra-rare wax, many of which are making their first appearance on CD. Great sound, many reproductions of rare 45 labels, but no notes, which is a shame because there are clearly some interesting stories attached to these curiosities. (JM)
HOYT AXTON: Double Double Dare/ GARY U.S. BONDS: I Wanta Holler/ JIMMY BOYD: Lazy Me/ DAVID CLAYTON-THOMAS: Say Boss Man/ SCAT MAN CROTHERS: Golly Zonk (Itís Scat Man)/ DON & JERRY WITH THE FUGITIVES: In The Cover Of Night/ DALE HAWKINS & HIS ESCAPADES: Hey Hey/ ROY HEAD: When I Marry Sunshine/ THE HO-DADS: Honky/ CHESTER HOOKS & THE VIBRANTS: Long Route Home/ GEORGE JACKSON: Tossiní And Turniní/ THE KNOCKOUTS: You Can Take My Girl/ BILLY LAMONT: Shake And Jerk/ GRADY MARTIN: Twist And Turn/ THE PACE-SETTERS: Ooh Poo Pah Doo/ CLEO PAGE: The Goodie Train (Parts 1 & 2)/ THE POP-UPS: Lurking/ THE RED RYDERS: Papa San/ SKIP ROBINSON: I Just Canít Wait/ RONNIE & THE POMONA CASUALS: I Wanna Do The Jerk/ PANCHO VILLA & THE BANDITS: Ainít That Bad/ THE RED WEST COMBO: My Babe

VARIOUS ARTISTS El Toro 113 Ai! Si! Si! Mambo & Latin Flavored Rhythm & Blues ● CD $8.98
28 tracks, 68 mins, highly recommended
Available again. Baby, dig that crazy Mambo beat! Starting in the late 1940's a whole lot of people went crazy for that Mambo beat, it's influence on Rhythm & Blues and subsequently Rock & Roll is more than evident. This fabulous collection gathers up a bunch of great R&B from the 1950's steeped in that Mambo. There's well known tracks here like Honey Love by The Drifters, by The Drifters, Mambo Baby by Ruth Brown, and We Like Mambo by Huey Piano Smith. Then there is a whole lotta great lesser known and rare tracks like Mambo Shevitz by The Crows on Tico records, Caldonia's Mambo by The Street Singers on Tuxedo, Lover's Mambo by The Ontarios on Big Town, Niki Niki Mambo by The Nu-Tones on Hollywood Star, and many more. You even get some Andre Williams & The Don Juans with the rowdy Going Down To Tia Juana from 1955 on the Fortune label. This is all killer and no filler, with great, in depth liner notes to top it all off. (JM)
LEE ANDREWS & THE HEARTS: Show Me The Merengue/ RUTH BROWN & GROUP: Mambo Baby/ THE CALVAES: Lonely Lonely Village/ Mambo Fiesta/ THE CHAMPIONS: Mexico Bound/ THE CHARMERS: The Mambo/ THE COLTS: Lips Red As Wine/ THE CROWS: Mambo Shevitz/ THE DOOTONES: Ay, Si, Si/ THE DRIFTERS: Honey Love/ THE ECHOES: Aye Senorita/ THE ENCHANTERS: Mambo Santa Mambo/ THE HARPTONES: Mambo Boogie (alt take)/ IVORY JOE HUNTER & THE IVORYTONES: I Got To Learn To Do The Mambo/ THE MOONGLOWS: Barcelona Rock (unreleased)/ THE MOROCCOS: Morocco Chant (unreleased)/ THE NEW YORKER'S 5: Cha Cha Baby/ THE NU-TONES: Niki Niki Mambo/ THE ONTARIOS: Lover's Mambo/ THE PENGUINS: Hey Senorita/ THE PLATTER: Shake It Up Mambo/ CANDY RIVERS & THE FALCONS: Mambo Baby Tonight/ THE ROBINS: Loop De Loop Mambo/ HUEY "PIANO" SMITH: We Like Mambo/ THE SQUIRES: Do Be Oo Be Wop Wop/ THE STREET SINGERS: Caldonia's Mambo/ NOLAN STRONG & THE DIABLOS: The Mambo Of Love/ ANDRE WILLIAMS & THE DON JUANS: Going Down To Tia Juana

VARIOUS ARTISTS El Toro 10.001 Over-The-Top Doo Wops, Vol. 1 - Let The Old Folks Talk ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, highly recommended
Excellent collection of black doowop from the mid-late 50s featuring all mid and uptempo titles - no ballads. Though most have been reissued before they are all uncommon and it's nice to have them all in this context. Among the artists featured are The Sharptones, Empires (not the group that recorded for Harlem), Sonny Martin (the great bluesy How To Win You Love), Billy Kent & The Andantes, The Ecuadors (the terrific Say You'll Be Mine with hot guitar from Chuck Berry), The Upbeats, Peppers (the storming Hold On with hot sax solo), Bobby & BUddy, The Lapels, Fabulous Flames, The Starfires and others. Sound is superb and the 20 page booklet has extensive notes on the artists and songs by doo-wop expert Galen Gart. (FS)
BOBBY & BUDDY: What's The Word Thunderbird/ THE DEEP RIVER BOYS: You're Not Too Ol' (To Rock & Roll)/ THE DELACARDOS: Mr. Dillon/ THE DYNAMICS: Moonlight/ THE ECUADORS: Say You'll Be Mine/ THE EMPIRES: Zippety Zip/ THE FABULOUS FLAMES: Josephine/ THE FIVE BLACKS: Come On/ THE FOUR KINGS: Do-Li-Op/ THE FOUR SCORES: Rock-A-Little Lucy/ THE GAY POPPERS: You Better Believe/ THE HORNETS: Strollin'/ THE JIVERS: Ray Pearl/ BILLY KENT & THE ANDANTES: Your Love/ BUZZY KING: School Boy Blues/ THE LAPELS: Big Bad Mollie/ SONNY MART: How To Win Your Love/ THE PEPPERS: Hold On/ BOBBY SANDERS: I'm On My Way/ THE SCAMPS: Waterproof/ THE SHARPTONES: Sock Hop/ THE STARFIRES: So Much/ THE UPBEATS: Goodness Gracious Baby/ THE VIBES: Let The Old Folks Talk/ THE VIBRAHARPS: Cozy With Rosie

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 386 Hall Of Fame, Volume 2 ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, highly recommendedThe mining of Rick Hall's FAME studio vaults continues with the second installment in Kent's "Hall of Fame" series. This time we get 24 new-to-CD cuts, with 20 previously unissued, of 60's/early 70's Southern soul. There are some repeat performers from volume one (Kent 372) - June Conquest, George Jackson, Clarence Carter, Otis Clay - and some new names-Ben & Spence, James Barnett, Prince Phillip, Billy Young-but there are also a couple of tracks simply credited to "unknown female (male)". And it those numbers that are the most interesting: Don't Count Me Out/ Got to Get Over, and My Dreams Don't Ever Come True. Elsewhere, George Soule's Midnight Affair, Otis Clay's That Kind of Lovin', O.B. McClinton's You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure, and Joe Simon's Get in a Hurry all hit the aural pleasure zone in equal doses. Although this second act doesn't quite sit alongside the first, this collection still offers some juicy treats that are not to be missed. (GMC)
BIG BEN ATKINS: I Can't Stop (No No No)/ JAMES BARNETT: It Tears Me Up/ BEN AND SPENCE: Long Ago/ No One Left To Come Home To/ LINDA CARR: Are You Teasing Me/ CLARENCE CARTER: Take It All Off/ They're Gonna Find Us (At The Dark End Of The Street)/ OTIS CLAY: That Kind Of Lovin'/ JUNE CONQUEST: Don't Let It Be Said/ MARJORIE INGRAM: I'm Gonna Start Checking Up On My Man/ JACKIE: Unfortunately/ GEORGE JACKSON: I Smell A Rat/ Take Me Back/ RALPH "SOUL" JACKSON: Don't Tear Yourself Down/ O.B. MCCLINTON: You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure/ PRINCE PHILLIP: Fool For A Woman/ How Much More Can A Poor Man Stand/ JOE SIMON: Get In A Hurry/ GEORGE SOULE: Midnight Affair/ UNKNOWN FEMALE: Another Good Woman Gone Bad/ My Dreams Don't Ever Come True/ UNKNOWN MALE: Got To Get Over/ Don't Count Me Out/ BILLY YOUNG: Have Pity On Me

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 389 Pied Piper Presents A New Concept In Detroit Soul ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, recommended
It seems apparent that Northern Soul music collectors take their chosen genre very seriously-to the point of knowing which production companies, never mind record labels, are likely to have produced a worthy record. Pied Piper, a Detroit production company, is the subject of the latest R&B compilation from Kent. Pied Piper was formed in 1965 by Sheldon "Shelley" Haims, while he was the Vice President/General Manager of the local Golden World, Ric-Tic, and Wingate labels, all owned by Ed Wingate. As noted on similar compilations, Golden World and Ric-Tic recordings loom large in the Northern Soul world, partly for their dance party atmosphere and partly for their obscurity. But the focus here is on Haims' work with labels like Giant, Ruby, Kapp, and Karate, and artists like Lorraine Chandler, September Jones, The Cavaliers, Willie Kendrick, Freddy Butler, and The Hesitations. These recordings date from the mid-60s and are typical of the uptempo R&B of the time. The standout artists are Chandler (the opening track I Can't Hold On is just the tip of her iceberg) and Jones (she simply smolders on I'm Coming Home). This is a good collection for those interested in obscure Detroit R&B, and the liner notes are killer. (GMC)
ROSE BATISTE: This Heart Is Lonely/ FREDDY BUTLER: I Fell In Love (Can't Help It)/ That's When I Need You/ THE CAVALIERS: We Go Together/ LORRAINE CHANDLER: I Can't Hold On (Original Version)/ I Hear Music/ Mend The Torn Pieces Of My Heart (Original Version)/ Tell Me Your Mine/ MIKKI FARROW: Could It Be/ THE HESITATIONS: I'm Not Built That Way/ She Won't Come Back/ TONY HESTER: Just Can't Leave You/ SEPTEMBER JONES: Chink A Chank Baby/ Give Me All Of Your Love/ I'm Coming Home/ Stuttering Sam/ WILLIE KENDRICK: Time Changes Things/ MIKE & RAY: If Only You Knew/ THE PIED PIPER PLAYERS: He'll Be Leaving You/ That's What Love Is/ THE SANDPIPERS: Lonely Too Long/ SAM E. SOLO: Tears Keep Falling/ NANCY WILCOX: Gamblers Blues/ In The End

VARIOUS ARTISTS Malt Shop 1004 Doo Wop Buffet Vol. 4 ● CD $17.98
25 tracks, 58 mins, recommended
The first three volumes in this fine series came out about 18 months ago and now we have three more featuring seldom-heard vocal group recordings - many making their first appearance on CD. Mostly white groups from the early/ mid 60s but mostly straight ahead doo-wop with very little of the schmaltzy pop trappings that were common in this period. Artists include The Parktowns, Tony Dell & Group, The Escos, Citations, J.R. & The Attractions, The Turks, Catalinas (the fine acapella Give Me Your Love), Creations, Preludes 5, Nicki North and The Citations and others. Excellent sound but no notes. (FS)
CARL BONEFEDI & GROUP: Two Months Out of School/ WANDA BURT & THE CRESCENDOS: Teenage Prayer/ THE CATALINAS: Give Me Your Love (acapella)/ THE CITATIONS: The Girl Next Door/ THE CREATIONS: This Is Our Night/ TONY DELL & GROUP: Magic Wand/ THE EMOTIONS: It's Love/ THE ESCOS: Golden Rules of Love/ THE FIVE LORDS: Oo-La-La/ THE FOUR FIFTHS: Come On Girl (Be Mine)/ THE FOUR INTRUDERS: Sweet Girl/ THE FOUR J'S: Kissin' at the Drive-In/ SKIP JACKSON & THE SHANTONS: Triangle Love/ JR & THE ATTRACTIONS: I'm Yours/ THE MAJESTICS: Angel of Love/ THE MONARCHS: Till I Heard It From You/ NICKI NORTH & CITATIONS: Mystery of Love/ THE PARKTOWNS: Stop Look and Listen/ THE PRELUDES 5: Don't You Know/ THE REDWOODS: Where You Used To Be/ SAMMY ROZZI & TONES: Christine/ THE SUPER HEROS: Gwendolyn (stereo)/ TERRY & THE CROWNS: Shelly My Love/ THE TOWNSMEN: I'm In the Mood For Love/ THE TURKS: I'm A Fool

VARIOUS ARTISTS Malt Shop 1005 Doo Wop Buffet Vol. 5 ● CD $17.98
Another fine collection of rare and mostly unreissued on CD doo-wop, primarily by white groups from the early/ mid 60s. Includes sides by The Sinceres, George Goodman & The Headliners, The Vala-Quons, O'Jays, Parakeets, V-8s, Velvet Keys, Jimmy Singleton & The Royal Satins, The Eastmen and more.
THE CLASSMATES: High School/ Until Then/ THE CORVAIRS: I Don't Want To Be Without You/ THE DEL-AIRS: While Walking/ THE DELICATES: Flip Flip/ THE DIAMONDS: You'd Be Mine/ THE EASTMEN: Bye Bye My Baby/ THE EPICS: The Magic Kiss/ THE ESCOS: Diamonds and Pearls/ THE FOUR NATURALS: Long Long Ago/ GEORGE GOODMAN & HEADLINERS: Let Me Love You/ NIPPY HAWKINS & NIPTONES: Angie/ THE INTENTIONS: I'm In Love With A Go-Go Girl/ THE NOBELLS: Searching For My Love/ THE O'JAYS: I'll Never Stop Loving You/ THE PARAKEETS: Come Back/ THE ROBINS: Magic of a Dream/ THE SINCERES: Forbidden Love/ JIMMY SINGLETON & THE ROYAL SATINS: Sally/ THE SPYDELS: No More Teasing/ THE TEENAGE MOONLIGHTERS: I Want To Cry/ THE TERRY & CROWNS: Teenage Romance/ THE V-8'S: Please Come Back/ THE VALA-QUONS: Madelaine/ THE VELVET KEYS: The Truth About Youth

VARIOUS ARTISTS Malt Shop 1006 Doo Wop Buffet Vol. 6 ● CD $17.98
25 tracks, highly recommended
The third in the latest batch of "Doo Wop Buffet" is the best - being exclusively devoted to girl groups and male groups with a female lead singer. It opens with the intense My Love by The Co-Hearts and other highlights includes sides by The Del-Vettes (Repeat After Me is a dumb song but is a beautiful performance), The Sharmettes, The Supremes (a different Supremes and a superb one), The Scharmeers (their gorgeous I've Waited Too Long is probably my favorite here) and the storming rocker Before You Change Your Mind by THe Confessions. But just about every track is worthwhile with only a couple of duds. Excellent sound (FS)
THE ANGELS: Irresistable/ WANDA BURT & THE CRESCENDOS: Your True Love Is Standing By/ THE CARMELETTES: Something Tells Me I'm In Love/ THE CASUAL CRESHENDOS: I Wish That You Were Here/ THE CEZANNES FEAT CERESSA: Pardon Me/ THE CLASSINETTES: To the Church/ THE CO-HEARTS: My Love/ THE CONFESSIONS: Before You Change Your Mind/ THE CRESCENDOS: I Don't Mind/ THE DEL-VETTES: Repeat After Me/ THE DELICATES: Too Young To Date/ THE DELTAIRS: You Won't Be Satisfied/ THE FOUR COQUETTES: Sparkle and Shine/ THE HEARTS: Until the Real Thing Comes Along/ THE JUVENILES: I've Lied/ MARGARET & THE CHARMETTES: Donnie/ THE MASTERETTES: Never Never/ THE MUDLARKS: The Love Game/ THE SCHARMEERS: I've Waited Too Long/ THE SHARMETTES: My Dream/ THE SUPREMES: Nobody Can Love You/ THE TRANELLS: Come On and Tell Me/ THE TWILIGHTS: It's Been So Long/ THE VERSALETTES: True Love Is A Treasure/ THE VOWS: Have You Heard

VARIOUS ARTISTS Retrieval 79072 Hot Jazz, 1926-1932 : Unissued On 78s ● CD $15.98
24 tracks, very highly recommended
The second collection of recordings not originally issued on 78s from Retrieval is even better than the first featuring originally unissued titles by some of the great names in jazz. Some of these have been reissued on LP but most are new to CD. It opens with five alternate takes from the great Thomas Morris and we also have some great alternate takes of performances by Jelly Roll Morton & His Red Hot Peppers, Benny Moten's Kansas City Orchestra and Earl Hines & His Orchestra. There are also a whole bunch of performances which were not issued in any form including one from the eccentric clarinetist Wilton Crawley, the superb and little known Joe Steele & His Orchestra, Fess Williams & His Royal Flush Orch, Duke Ellington, The Washboard Rhythm Kings, Baron Lee & The Blue Rhythm Band and Leon Rene's Orchestra. The latter, from 1932, is particularly interesting - a superb, professional group of musicians - all unknown and none of their recordings were ever issued until now. Sound quality is stellar and there are brief notes and full discographical info. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Riverside 9910 Riverside Folklore Series 2 - Singing American Roots ● CD $16.98 $7.98
23 tracks, 64 min., recommended
This is volume two in the Riverside folklore series, and it serves to demonstrate the breadth that the term folk music had in the late 50's and early to mid-60's. The disc's subtitle is "blues, wails, ballads, and songs by the great traditional performers," and the impressive and diverse list of such performers here includes John Lee Hooker with Black Snake and Baby Please Don't Go, Sonny Terry with Red River and John Henry, Jean Ritchie with Baby-O and The Cuckoo, Peggy Seeger with As I Walked Out One Fair May Morn and The Chickens They Are Crowing, and the Reverend Gary Davis with Samson and Delilah and Twelve Gates to the City. There are also performances by Obray Ramsey, George Pegram, Bascom Lamar Lunsford and Harry and Jeanie West. A solid collection with fine notes by blues scholar Samuel Charters. (DH)

VARIOUS ARTISTS The Rabbit Factory 1 The Birmingham Sound - The Soul Of Neal Hemphill Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
23 tracks, 67 min., essential
Neal Hemphill was the genius behind the Sound Of Birmingham studio and the various record labels created to issue its soulful magic. The biggest studio regular may have been Frederick Knight, who recorded the studio's only Top 40 effort in I've Been Lonely For So Long, though it was released on the Stax label. Knight also wrote and produced for SOB and his hands are all over some of the wonders here. If ever there was a collection of under-rated, obscure, and all-but-igonored soul music from the golden era of the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, this is it. The music is uniformly fine. Soul fans will no doubt recognize some of the artists here, such as the mighty Sam Dees and Roscoe Robinson, but it is the rare listener who will know Little Lois Barber and the powerhouse Specify, or David Sea or the Blue Notes (not the Philly group) or Cold Grits or Pat Peterman and on and on. And the best part is there's a Vol. 2. A delight. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS USA 1001 USA Records - The Early Years ● CD $17.98
Collection of 31 tracks recorded for the Chicago based USA label - mostly devoted to vocal groups recorded in the early 1960s. Material is a mix of doo-wop and more pop oriented material. Includes sides by The Scott Brothers, The Belgianettes, Del Tones, Daughters Of Eve, Parliaments (3 tracks, one previously unissued), Jimmy Peterson, Perkl Lee, etc. The track Homework by Al Perkins and Betty Bibbs is a more blues oriented title and was also recorded by Otis Rush for Duke.
THE 4 UNIQUES: Endlessly/ Maybe Next Summer/ THE BELGIANETTES: You're Far From Home/ CHICK & THE NOBLES: Island For Two/ THE DAUGHTERS OF EVE: Symphony Of My Soul/ THE DEL TONES: And the Angels Sang/ Please Talk to Me/ THE ECHOES: Sleep Beauty Sleep/ VON GAYELS: Loneliness/ PERK LEE: Peanut Butter Sandwich/ MISS TONI MAGESTRO: My Boyfriend Charlie/ THE NOBLES: Marlene/ PHIL ORSI & LITTLE KINGS: Stay Phil/ PHIL ORSI & THE LITTLE KINGS: Sorry I Ran All the Way Home/ THE PARLIAMENTS: Good Luck Charm/ My Only Love/ To Be Alone/ AL PERKINS: So Long/ Homework/ JIMMY PETERSEN: Half the Time/ Kathy My Darling/ THE SCOTT BROTHERS: Let's Dance/ Rain/ THE TEMPOS: Why Don't You Write Me/ MONA THOMAS & REFLECTIONS: Just In Between/ There He Goes/ THE VANDELS: A Small Silver Ring/ THE VON GAYELS: Twirl/ CORY WADE & GROUP: Not For a Penny/ LOU WASHINGTON & GROUP: Any Old Time/ When We Meet Again

MAURICE WILLIAMS & THE ZODIACS Acrobat ACMCD 4250 Stay ● CD $13.98 $9.98
24 tracks, 52 mins, very highly recommended
Quintessential early 60s doo- wop, on the cusp of soul, by this Lancaster, South Carolina quartet. This set features all the group's recordings made for Al Silver's Herald label between 1960 and 1962 (Maurice Williams - lead, Henry Gaston - tenor, Wiley Bennet - tenor, Chas Thomas - baritone, Albert Hill - bass, and Little Willie Morrow - drums) and recorded some of their best sides, many of which became regular "Beach" dance classics in the Carolinas. Prime cuts include I Remember/ Do I/ Come Along/ Someday/ Little Mamma/ Come And Get It/ It's Alright, a great cover of Ray Charles' I Got A Woman and and the hypnotic anthemic bestseller Stay. It also includes the originally unissued Dearest Baby. There are two bonus cuts from 1957 by an earlier Maurice Williams group the Gladiolas including their original recording of Little Darling that became a big hit in an emasculated version by The Diamond and the almost as good flip side Sweetheart Please Dont Go. Excellent sound and 12 page booklet with informative notes by Austin Powell. (FS)


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