VARIOUS ARTISTS Stax (Holland) 2077 Stax - Respect Yourself/ Stax Volt Revue Live In Norway ● DVD $19.98 $10.98
2 DVD set, 3 hours 8 minutes, essential
There can be little doubt that Stax/Volt was one of the greatest labels in the history of rock and soul music. The talent nurtured by the behind the scenes staff was second to none: Otis Redding, Carla Thomas, Sam & Dave, Booker T. & the MGs, and Eddie Floyd to name but a few. This double feature DVD contains two films that had been previously released individually in 2007, now combined into a reasonably priced package. "Respect Yourself" tells the bittersweet story of the label's rise and fall; a place where Black and White worked together with love, harmony, and an innocence that was lost irreparably when Martin Luther King was killed (at the same motel where the label's office staff, session musicians, and artists often partied in the off-hours, ironically). The tales of ego, greed, jealousy, and organized crime punctuated the label's fall are not unique to them, but special chemistry that the house band (Booker T. and the MGs, plus the Mar-Keys horn section) had with the singers was a rare occurrence and to have that wasted is a shame. And it's that chemistry that is demonstrated in spades in the Live in Norway film; from the opening clutch of instrumentals from BT & the MGs (later joined by the Mar-Keys) to the electrifying performances from Sam & Dave (particularly on When Something is Wrong With My Baby and Hold On I'm Coming) and Otis Redding (who brings the house down with Try a Little Tenderness), the interplay between artist and band is amazing with its spontaneous precision. Both these films are mandatory viewing for lovers of Memphis Soul, which makes this DVD an essential purchas. (GMC)



JOSPEHINE BAKER Fuel 61836 J'Ai Deux Amours ● CD $12.98 $7.98
18 tracks. 49 min., highly recommended
The Missouri-born Freda McDonald became famous after adopting the name Josephine Baker and moving to France. She began recording in 1926 and this release offers a nice sample of cabaret material, including J'ai Deux Amours/ Mon Paris/ La Conga Blicoti, and Dis-Moi Josephine, among others. A nice, reasonably-priced introduction to Baker's work, although the notes are short on song and session information. (JC)

THE BELLS OF JOY Acrobat 4207 The Collection ● CD $13.98 $9.98
20 tracks, 56 mins, highly recommended
Gorgeous collection of quartet gospel singing recorded for Peacock between 1952 and 1954 by this outstanding quartet from Austin, Texas led by A.C. Littlefield who still leads a group with the same name today. Originally known as the Starlight Singers they changed to The Bells Of Joy in 1950. They were in the vanguard of a more modern quartet style with a more intense vocal style, effective use of call of response and use of guitar and drums to accentuate the rhythm. At their first session they cut the uptempo Let's Talk About Jesus which was a massive gospel hit. Since most of the members of the group were unwilling to tour following their hit Littlefield joined forces with The Southern Tones who became the new Bells Of Joy. Whatever the line up their singing was superb - Littlefield did many of the leads with others featuring Clem Reed or Vernon Maynor on the early sides and Sam Cooke influenced Robert Dawkins on the later sides. This collection features all their issued side from this period as well as eight originally unissued sides that first appeared on a long out of print Japanese LP and are every bit as good as the issued sides and in fact the unissued No More Sorrow with searing lead by Clem Reed is probably my favorite track here. Excellent sound and informed notes by Opal Louis Nations round out an exceptional release. (FS)

SOLOMON BURKE Jasmine 3019 Soul Arrives, 1955-1961 ● CD $14.98
31 tracks, 77 mins, highly recommended
How cool was Solomon Burke? Man, he was one of the coolest. It seems sometimes that since Solomon Burke had such a long, prolific, and varied career, his great early Rhythm & Blues (or should we say proto-Soul) recording don't get as much attention as they deserve. Gathering up classic tracks recorded for the Apollo, Grand Prix, Singular, and Atlantic record labels, this fab collection showcases the evolution of a great artist. I had never really thought of Solomon Burke as a child prodigy, but he was only 15 years old on the earliest recordings here, although he certainly sounded like he was about 35 right from the start. If you pick this up, you will get such gems as Why Do Me That Way/ Walking In A Dream/ You Can Run (But You Can't Hide,)/ For You and You Alone/ Don't Cry, etc., and such variety as Christmas Presents/ Honk Honk Honk Parts 1 &2, and Be Bop Grandma! All in all, this is a great collection that should thrill and delight fans of Rhythm & Blues and early Soul. (JM)
SOLOMON BURKE: A Picture Of You/ Always Together - Little Vincent/ Be Bop Grandma/ Christmas Presents/ Don't Cry/ Doodle De Doo/ For You And You Alone/ Friendship Ring/ Honk Honk Honk Pt 1- Little Vincent & His Band/ Honk Honk Honk Pt 2 - Little Vincent & His Band/ How Many Times/ I Need You Tonight/ I'm All Alone/ I'm In Love/ I'm Not Afraid/ It's All Right/ Just Out Of Reach/ Keep The Magic Working/ Leave My Kitten Alone/ Mama, Mama Dear/ My Heart Is A Chapel/ No Man Walks Alone/ They Always Say/ This Is It/ This Little Ring/ To Thee/ Walking In A Dream/ Why Do Me That Way?/ You Are My One Love/ You Can Run/ You Can't Hide/ You Don't Send Me Anymore - Little Vincent

SPADE COOLEY & HIS WESTERN DANCE BAN B.A.C.M. 411 D Vol. 1 - Live 1944-46 ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, highly recommended
First in a series of live recordings drawn from radio transcriptions by Western Swing giant Spade Cooley. Though his commercial recordings of the time were moving in a pop direction and would eventually feature him with large orchestras these live performances capture him and his band in top form with hot instrumental work. Personnel varied from show to show but included steel guitarists Joaquin Murphey & Tommy Sargent, guitarists Johnny Weiss, Jimmy Widener and others, fiddlers including Tiny Hunt, Rex Call and Spade himself, accordionist George Bamby and others. Vocalist include Tex Williams, Smokey Rogers and others including female group The Sunshine Trio featuring Colleen Summers who would later become known as Mary Ford. Sound quality is satisfactory though it suffers from BACM's tendency to overdo the digital noise reduction. Western swing expert Kevin Coffey provides illuminating notes. (FS)
SPADE COOLEY: Blue Skies/ Blues In My Mind/ Born To Lose/ Copenhagen (instro)/ Hari Kari/ I Wish I Knew/ Ida Red (instro)/ Lies (instro)/ Limehouse Blues/ Listen To The Mockingbird (instro)/ My Adobe Hacienda/ My Confession/ Oklahoma Hills/ Please Don't Leave Me/ Red Wing (instro)/ Riverside Drive (instro)/ San Fernando Valley/ Shame On You/ Swingin' The Devil's Dream (instro)/ Take Me Back To Tulsa/ The Campbells Are Comin' (instro)/ Turn My Picture Upside Down/ Yodelin' Polka (instro)/ You Don't Love Me (But I'll Always Care)/ You're Only In My Arms

JACKIE DESHANNON Ace CDCHD 1350 Keep Me In Mind - Complete Liberty & Imperial Singles 3 ● CD $18.98 $14.98
27 tracks, highly recommended
The third and final collection of DeShannon's A and B-sides cut during her ten year stay a Liberty Records; this batch covers the years 1967 to 1970. The hit during this period was 1969's Put a Little Love in Your Heart, but the gems don't stop there; the quirky Changin' My Mind and Me About You, I Keep Wanting You, and a lovely cover of John Sebastian's Didn't Want to Have to Do It are just the beginning. And Jackie's own songwriting doesn't get lost in the shuffle: Effervescent Blue/ Keep Me in Mind/ Mediterranean Sky, and Nicole are classy affairs. Jackie DeShannon fans will not be disappointed with this last installment in her Liberty Records saga. (GMC)

THE EVERLY BROTHERS Bear Family BCD 17325 The Ballads Of The Everly Brothers ● CD $24.98
30 tracks, 73 mins, essential
I have a theory that The Everly Brothers have more good songs than any other Rock & Roll act icon in history. When you look at the length and breath of their career, the Everlys probably have recorded about 40 great songs and about another 40-50 really good songs. When you break it down, Elvis had maybe 30 great songs and 15-20 really good ones, and then the quality takes a nasty plunge; Little Richard, as great as he is, was so sporadic that his totals are probably about the same. Bo Diddley and Fats Domino both probably had/ have better batting averages than the big E and Little R, due to more prolific careers and the number of great tracks on lesser known records. Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly might have an even higher number. The Everly Brothers beat them all, though, they had many great hits starting in the 1950s, but all through to the late 1960's they had great tracks on albums hardly anybody listened to and good tracks on albums all the way up to the 1980s that even less people listened to. On top of that, they had just as many great ballads as they did rockers, which brings us to this fantastic collection, 30 tracks of nothing but really good to great ballads by the boys. Here's the hits that are here that most of you probably know: All I Have To Do Is Dream/ Devoted To You/ Let It Be Me/ So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad,)/ Love Hurts/ Crying in The Rain, etc., each one of those a mother of a song that can bring a tear to your eye and make you feel all gooey inside. Then on top of that you have beautiful lesser known tracks like: Sleepless Night/ Always It's You/ Why Now/ Ebony Eyes, and many more. Even when the record label was making them record such potentially cheesy stuff Cole Porter's True Love, and show tunes like Theme From Carnival, the Brothers Everly were able to make them cool, with sparse, atmospheric recordings and their ethereal harmonies. The Everly Brothers still sound as fresh to me now as they did when I first starting digging them back when I was a little kid. High praise to Bear Family for their consistently fabulous job putting this together, great sound, notes, etc. (JM)
THE EVERLY BROTHERS: A Change Of Heart/ All I Have To Do Is Dream/ Always It's You/ Autumn Leaves/ Crying In The Rain/ Devoted To You/ Don't Ask Me To Be Friends/ Don't Blame Me/ Ebony Eyes/ Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo (#2)/ Let It Be Me/ Like Strangers/ Little Old Lady/ Lonely Island/ Love Hurts (#1)/ Love Of My Life/ Maybe Tomorrow/ No One Can Make My Sunshine Smile #1 (Take 17)/ Now Is The Hour (Maori Farewell Song)/ Oh, So Many Years/ Oh, What A Feeling/ Sleepless Nights/ So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)/ Take A Message To Mary/ That's Just Too Much/ The Party's Over/ Theme From 'Carnival' (Love Makes The World Go 'Round)/ True Love/ Whe n I Grow Too Old To Dream/ Why Not

THE FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS Severn 058 On The Verge ● CD $15.98
10 tracks, 46 min., highly recommended
Kim Wilson and company have traded in the high octane house rocking' bar bad sound for a more soulful and blues-laden approach, and the results are pretty damn satisfying. Sure, they occasionally go a little too soft and fuzzy, as on Hold Me, but they generally make up for it with better lyrics and more thoughtful subject matter, as on the Wilson-penned Do You Know Who I Am and the outstanding Got To Bring It With You. which includes the musical thought, "If you want love/You got to bring it with you." So while it may not be tuff enuff, it's a step forward and worthy of repeated listening. (JC)

ARETHA FRANKLIN Jasmine 261 The Princess Of Soul - Before The Coronation, 1956-1962 ● CD $18.98
2 CD, 47 tracks, highly recommended
Before Aretha Franklin was The Queen of Soul-that is before the team of Jerry Wexler and Tom Dowd helped her find the recipe for success with Atlantic Records-she was "discovered" by John Hammond and recorded for Columbia Records. The long held belief was that nearly everything she cut for Columbia was worthless because they didn't know what to do with her many talents. In recent years that myth has come in for re-examination with the release of various collections of that era, and Jasmine Records has weighed in with their own version. "The Princess of Soul" collects together over two discs Aretha's first three Columbia LPs--Aretha! (1961), The Electrifying Aretha Franklin (1962), and The Tender, The Moving, The Swinging (1962)-as well as a collection of gospel tracks cut live in her father's church that was originally released by Checker in 1956. These gospel recordings are impressive in that they demonstrate the fact that Aretha's powerful vocals were present at an early age, and are certainly a highlight of the set. As for the Columbia tracks, it is more than a little disconcerting to hear Aretha performing standards in the manner of a Sarah Vaughan or Dinah Washington, but her gifts shine through regardless, and she delivers a killer Today I Sing the Blues and Won't Be Long backed by the Ray Bryant Combo on the first album. While the first album has a bluesy undercurrent that's appealing, the second seems to take more of scattershot approach that finds Aretha tackling Jazz Pop (Operation Heartbreak), Big Band balladry (I Told You So), and R&B (Rough Lover) to not unlikable effect. As for album number three, it's basically wall to wall ballads that are hit and miss. In sum, this CD presents Aretha's Columbia period as it was meant to be heard: in the context of the original LPs. And it's in this context that these sides need to be judged, because, like it or not, these recordings are as much a part of Aretha Franklin's legacy as anything she did for Atlantic or Arista and should be given a fair hearing. (GMC)

JOYCE HEATH Dragon 1001 The Complete Story ● CD $17.98
22 tracks, 55 min., good
Joyce Heath was essentially a pop singer, closer in style to Doris Day than any rock and roller or doo wop crooner. The earliest tracks here are washed in strings to an unpleasant degree. Interestingly, one of the better songs is the country-flavored Too Many Walls. One of the worst is I Only Dreamed It, which features a spoken word bridge by an unidentified male vocalist which is as sappy as anything ever committed to vinyl. Her big hit, Honor Roll Of Love, the B-side to the oddly flaccid The Bunny Tale is nothing to write home about. Another single, (The Legend Of) The Great Philadelphia Lawyer, also fails to catch fire, despite backing from Timberlanes, Dion's first group. In fact two of the better cuts belong to The Tremonts (Legend Of Love, Believe My Heart), who were later rechristened The Privateers when backing Heath. Fans of Joyce Heath will not be disappointed with this release, but the rarity of the tracks doesn't always make up for the too-often mediocre music. And don't expect much in the way of notes. (JC)

JAN HOWARD B.A.C.M. 409 Belle Of The Ball ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, recommended
Fine collection of sides from this powerful and expressive singer. Howard had a slew of hits from the mid 60s through mid 70s but this set features her early sides recorded for Challenge and Capitol between 1958 and '62. Jan (Lula Grace Johnson) was discovered by Wynn Stewart who introduced her to his friend, the great songwriter Harlan Howard and they married within a week. Originally acting as a demo singer for Harlan's songs she eventually was signed by Challenge and recorded half a dozen singles for them, some of them backed by Wynn Stewart's band, and subsequently moved to Capitol. Most of the recordings were of her husband's songs including versions of such classic songs as He Called Me Baby/ Pick Me Up On Your Way Down and Heartaches By The Number as well as fine lesser known songs like My Baby's In Berlin/ Bring It On Back To Me/ Belle Of The Ball and The One You Slip Around With (her first chart hit). A fine and enjoyable selection. (FS)
JAN HOWARD: A World I Can't Live In/ All Alone Again/ Belle Of The Ball/ Bring It On Back To Me/ Don't Worry/ Everybody Loves A Lover/ Funny How Time Slips Away/ He Called Me Baby/ Heartaches By The Number/ I Wish I Could Fall In Love Again/ I've Got My Pride/ If Your Conscience Can't Stop You How Can I/ Let Me Know/ Looking Back/ Many Dreams Ago/ My Baby's In Berlin/ My Destiny/ Padre/ Pick Me Up On Your Way Down/ The One You Slip Around With/ The Real Me/ They Listened While You Said Goodbye/ This Sad Old House/ Tomorrow You Won't Even Know My Name/ Whatcha Gonna Do For An Encore/ You'd Better Go

LITTLE WILLIE JOHN Jasmine 3026/7 Sleep - The Singles As & Bs, 1955-1961 ● CD $18.98
2 CDs, 60 tracks, 151 mins, highly recommended
Here's a fantastic collection of the great Little Willie John's classic recordings for the King record label. You get both the A & B sides of some of the coolest Rhythm & Blues singles ever made. Hits like All Around the World/ Fever/ Talk to Me, Talk to Me/ Leave My Kitten Alone/ Heartbreak (It's Hurtin' Me)/ Sleep, etc. Cooler than cool B side cuts are My Nerves/ You Got To Get Up Early In The Morning/ I'm Shakin'/ Flamingo, and many more. Truly one of the greatest and most influential singers of his time, no less than James Brown, did a tribute album to Little Willie John after John's tragic death at the age of only 30. (JM)
LITTLE WILLIE JOHN: (I've Got) Spring Fever/ A Cottage For Sale/ A Little Bit Of Loving/ All Around The World/ All My Love Belongs To You/ Are You Ever Coming Back/ Autumn Leaves/ Dinner Date/ Do Something For Me/ Do You Love Me/ Don't Be Ashamed To Call My Name/ Don't Leave Me Dear/ Drive Me Home/ Fever/ Flamingo/ Heartbreak (It's Hurtin' Me)/ Home At Last/ I'll Carry Your Love Wherever I Go/ I'll Never Go Back On My Word/ I'm Shakin'/ I'm Sorry/ I'm Stickin' With You Baby/ I've Been Around/ I've Got To Go Cry/ If I Thought You Needed Me/ Leave My Kitten Alone/ Let Nobody Love You/ Let Them Talk/ Let's Rock While The Rockin's Good/ Letter From My Darling/ Look What You've Done To Me/ Love, Life And Money/ Loving Care/ Made For Me/ My Love Is/ My Nerves/ Need Your Love So Bad/ No More In Life/ No Regrets/ Now You Know/ Person To Person/ Right There/ Sleep/ Spasms/ Suffering With The Blues/ Take My Love (I Want To Give It All To You)/ Talk To Me, Talk To Me/ Tell It Like It Is/ The Very Thought Of You/ There Is Someone In This World For Me/ There's A Difference/ Uh Uh Baby/ Until You Do/ Walk Slow/ Why Don't You Haul Off And Love Me/ Will The Sun Shine Tomorrow/ You Got To Get Up Early In The Morning/ You Hurt Me/ You're A Sweetheart/ Young Girl

BOHUMIR KRYL Archeophone 5022 World-Famous Wizard Of The Cornet, 1901-1918 ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, highly recommended
Another amazing production from Archeophone of music from the beginning of the 20th century - this time devoted to the cornet playing of Bohemian born Bohumir Kryl. Although, by current standards, his playing would be considered "gimmicky" he was an awesomely gifted player - he was master of double and triple tonguing techniques and his abilities allowed him to start and stop air passing through his lips very rapidly, permitting many notes to be played in a short period of times. He was also master of a a technique that few today can duplicate; producing sub-pedal tones - in other words producing notes on the instrument lower than the instrument should be capable of producing. He couldn't explain how he did it and even today it is not clear how he did it. He used these extreme techniques on a number of tunes here like Down Deep in the Cellar/ Kryl's Favorite and Carnival of Venice. However it's not all fireworks with Kryl. On tunes like Sing Smile Slumber/ Lost Chord/ The Ring and Blue Bell his playing is haunting and sensitive. The material featured is a mix of light classical, original tunes by Kryl and other recent compositions. Most of the tracks feature Kryl accompanied by piano but there are also few with an orchestra as well as several delightful duets with trombone players. As always with Archeophone, the sound quality on these 100 year old recordings is astounding and the 32 page, copiously illustrated booklet, give a detailed account of Kryl's fascinating life story (among other things he was a circus tumbler, trapeze flyer and sculpter!), discussions of his technique and notes on every track. (FS)

JIMMY MCCRACKLIN JSP JSPCD 7789 Blues Blasters Boogie: Selected Classic Sides, 1945-55 ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 96 tracks, essential
Jimmy McCracklin, who passed away at the end of 2012 was a brilliantly talented and, to some extent, underrated performer. Jimmy was a superb singer with a warm, soulful engaging style, an excellent piano player, a decent harmonica player, an exceptional songwriter and bandleader. He was one of those artists who had the knack of remaining contemporary while rarely straying very far from the blues and was an active performer from the 1940s to the early years of the 21st century. This superb collection presents most of his recordings made for a variety of labels between 1945 and 1955. The recordings here from the beginning of his career find him strongly under the influence of his inspiration and tutor the great Walter Davis. The first half a dozen cuts from 1945 find him in the company of piano player J.D. Nicholson whose own playing was strongly influenced by Davis and the result are some truly sublime performances. Soon Jimmy would take over his own piano accompaniments. A 1946 session finds him accompanied by the band of Shifty Henry on some more urban numbers including the great up tempo two parter Rock And Rye. In 1947 Jimmy relocated from Los Angeles to the Bay Area where he teamed up with superb guitarist Robert Kelton who appears on most of the sides from 1947 & '48 along with an unknown bassist and drummer LIttle Red. For his 1950 session he is joined by a second guitar (possibly Lafayette Thomas) and a tenor saxist (probably Maxwell Davis). On a number of tracks Kelton & Thomas both play and the interplay between the two makes for ecstatic listening. For his 1951 sessions he is joined by a completely different group with alto and tenor sax players and probably Pee Wee Kingsley on guitar. Jimmy's singing and piano playing are superb throughout and there are some fine songs - mostly originals along with a great version of Memphis Slim's Beer Drinking Woman and two quite different variations on St. Louis Jimmy's Going Down Slow - one called When I'm Gone (1948) and the other Bad Health Blues (1950). In 1952 guitarist Lafayette Thomas and tenor saxist Wild Willie Moore joined his band and were featured on many of his subsequent recordings through the 1950s. Thomas was a devastating guitar player whose imaginative technique was to influence many West Coast guitar players. These recordings are consistently superb - the slow blues (Share And Share Alike/ The End/ Hear My Story, etc) continue to harken back to the mournful stylings of Walter Davis and the up tempo number s (She Felt Too Good/ I Don't Want No Woman/ BLues Blasters Boogie, etc) rock like crazy. The set ends in 1955 and I would have liked it to continue a few more years but JSP decided to fill half of the last disc with an excellent mid 70s session that JSP originally put out on LP years ago. Jimmy is joined by his old associate Wild Willie Moore on tenor and a fine band on a selection of new and old songs and shows how deftly JImmy could update his sound while sounding pretty much the way he always did. Sound quality is superb and there are informative notes by Neil Slaven and full discographical details. (FS)
JIMMY MCCRACKLIN: Achin' Heart/ Arkansas/ Baby Don't You Want To Go/ Bad Condition Blues/ Bad Health Blues/ Bad Luck And Trouble/ Beer Drinkin' Woman/ Beer Drinkin' Woman: Alt Tk/ Big Foot Mama/ Blues And Trouble/ Blues Blasters Boogie/ Blues Blasters Shuffle/ Blues For The People/ Copyright On Your Love/ Couldn't Be A Dream/ Cry On/ Darlin' Share Your Love/ Deceivin' Blues/ Deceivin' Blues: Tk 1/ Everytime/ Give My Heart A Break/ Gonna Find Another Woman/ Gonna Tell Your Mother/ Gotta Cut Out/ Hear My Story/ Hello Baby/ Highway 101/ House Rockin' Blues/ I Am Tired/ I Can't Understand Love/ I Don't Want No Woman/ I Got To Know/ I Think My Time Is Here/ I Told Ya Mama/ I'll Get A Break Someday/ I'm Gonna Have My Fun/ Jimmy's Blues/ Josephine (Just Won't Let Her Go)/ Just Couldn't Take My Rest/ Just Won't Let Her Go/ Just Won't Let Her Go: Alt Tk/ Listen Woman/ Looking For A Woman/ Love When It Rains/ Low Down Mood/ Make Love To Me/ Mean Mistreated Lover/ Miss Mattie Left Me/ Miss Minnie Lee Blues/ Movin' On Down The Line/ My Days Are Limited/ My Life Depends On You/ Night And Day/ Ola May/ Playin' On Me/ Please Forgive Me Baby/ Pleasin' Papa/ Ragged As A Mop (Hamburger Joint)/ Railroad Blues/ Reconsider Baby/ Rock And Rye/ Rock And Rye: Pt 1/ Rock And Rye: Pt 2/ Rockin' All Day/ Rockin' Man/ Share And Share Alike/ She Felt Too Good/ She's A Wino/ She's Gone/ She's My Baby/ Something About You/ South Side Mood/ Special For You/ Street Loafin' Woman/ Sue And Pat/ That Ain't Right/ That's Life/ The Cheater/ The End/ The Panic's On/ True Love Blues/ Up And Down Blues/ Up And Down Blues: Alt Tk/ We Could Make A Go I Know/ What's Your Phone Number/ When I'm Gone/ When You Was A Little Girl/ Where I Got My Start/ You Deceived Me/ You Deceived Me/ You Don't Love Me/ You Had Your Chance/ You Look So Fine: Tk 1/ You Look So Fine: Tk 2/ You're The One/ Your Heart Ain't Right/ JERRY THOMAS (LAFAYETTE THOMAS): Don't Have To Worry/ Lost Mind

OTIS REDDING Stax 34164 The Deepest Soul Of Otis Redding ● CD $11.98
12 tracks, very highly recommended
This cleverly packaged collection (designed to look like a long lost album from the 60's) pays tribute to Redding's peerless abilities as a balladeer. Sure it contains the obvious classics that every other Otis compilation has-These Arms of Mine/ I've Been Loving You Too Long and Free Me - but it also has some lesser known material that fits the overall theme of the album: the pain and loss of being in love. There is no denying that cuts like I Love You More Than Words Can Say/ Open the Door/ A Waste of Time, and Everybody Makes a Mistake get straight to the heart of the matter in a way only Otis was capable of, and taken as a whole, this album is the perfect accompaniment to a night of wine and contemplation. (GMC)

DEL SHANNON Ace CDTOP2 1360 The Complete UK Singles (And More), 1961-1966 ● CD $29.98
2 CD, 42 tracks, 98 mins, highly recommended
Checking out this collection, I was surprised to hear that Del Shannon actually had so many good songs. I also didn't realize that he was a bigger deal in the U.K. than over here, and spent a lot more time on the charts over there. Ace records obviously knew better about Del Shannon and, thus, released this great CD set. This collection covers all of Shannon's A & B sides from al his U.K. singles from 1961-66, and is so inclusive it even includes the original misprint B side to "Runaway," which was by a completely different artist! Del Shannon fans will certainly love this, but Rock & Rollers and fans of '60s pop in general will probably find a lot to love about this as well, including a few surprises (dig that crazy sounding Kazoo man!). Extensive, single-by-single liner notes and fantastic sound throughout will certainly delight audiophiles everywhere. (JM)

TARHEEL SLIM Firefly 1437 The Ultimate R&B Collection ● CD $19.98
29 tracks, 80 mins, highly recommended
Superb collection of blues, R&B and doo-wop by North Carolina singer/ guitarist Tarheel Slim (Allen Bunn). It features almost all of his recordings made between 1951 and 1962 for several labels - most notably Bobby Robinson's Red Robin, Fury & Fire labels. Apart from an unissued session for Gotham in 1949 his earliest commercial recordings were as a member of the vocal group The Larks and this set includes Eyesight TO The Blind and My Little Sidecar. He then went out on his own recording as Allen Bunn or Allen Baum and recorded such fine sides as The Guy With The 45 (with Sonny Terry on harp), the first recording of the minor key ballad Two Time Loser and the Blind Boy Fuller influenced Too Much Competition. In 1957 Bunn met his future wife Lee Sanford and they started recording together as The Lovers or, sometimes Tarheel Slim and Little Ann with a mix of hard driving R&B and minor key blues ballads and notched up several R&B hits including the superb It's Too Late. In 1958 he did a solo recording as Tarheel Slim resulting in the double sided rockin' blues masterpiece Number Nine Train/ Wildcat Tamer with Slim joined by Wild Jimmy Spruill to turn out a great churning guitar accompaniment. The compilers of this set had the good sense to leave out the truly awful versions of a couple of country songs the duo recorded. Sound quality is excellent and there are detailed notes. (FS)
TARHEEL SLIM: Anything For You/ Can't Stay Away From You/ Can't Stay Away Part 1/ Can't Stay Away Part 2/ Don't Ever Leave Me/ Eyesight To The Blind/ Forever I'll Be Yours/ Got To Keep On Lovin' You/ Got You Covered/ Gotta Whole Lot Of Lovin' To Do/ Guy With The '45/ I'm Gonna Throw You Out/ It's Too Late/ Let's Have A Ball/ Little Side Car/ Lock Me In Your Heart/ Much Too Late/ My Fight/ My Kind Of Woman/ Number 9 Train/ Security/ She'll Be Sorry/ Tell Me/ Too Much Competition/ Two Time Loser 1/ Two Time Loser 2/ Wildcat Tamer/ Wine/ You Make Me Feel So Good

LEON THOMAS BGP CDBGP 257 The Creator, 1969-1973: The Best Of The Flying Dutchman ● CD $18.98
15 tracks, highly recommended
Leon Thomas was a Jazz vocalist who made his mark collaborating with guys like Pharoah Sanders, Oliver Nelson, and Carlos Santana. Best known for the recording The Creator Has a Master Plan, cut in 1969 with Sanders, in the Jazz world, and for recording and touring with Santana during the latter's Jazz period, Thomas' solo career is somewhat overlooked-very few of his solo LPs are in print. Which makes this compilation of his time with Flying Dutchman Records very useful indeed, as it demonstrates-on tracks like China Doll/ One/ Welcome to New York (w/Johnny Hodges and Nelson), Love Each Other/ It's My Life I'm Fighting For/ Umbo Weti - how Thomas played his part in redefining the vocalists' role in Jazz by adding African-inspired yodeling and spiritual lyrics to a blues bedrock. He also knew how to get funky, as on Come Along and Let's Go Down to Lucy's, in a Tower of Power-esque manner. The liner notes are very thorough in telling Thomas' story; all told, this is a solid introduction to a man who shouldn't be forgotten and whose career requires further scrutiny. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1359 Cliff Heard Them Here First ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Over here in the U.S. the name Cliff Richard doesn't mean a whole lot-unless you recall his solo Top 10 hit from 1976, Devil Woman - but in the U.K. he's an institution on the level of the Queen. He looms as large in the British rock 'n' roll landscape as Elvis does in ours, and like Elvis, he had good taste in choosing songs to cover early in his career. This collection spotlights the original versions of 24 songs Richard recorded on his journey to superstardom. As with most compilations of this type, the songs are a mish mash, but the choices do show a diverse ear; the range goes from country (Conway Twitty's I'll Try, The Gosdin Brothers' Hangin' On), and rock 'n' roll (Gene Vincent's The Night is So Lonely, Bill Haley & His Comets' Razzle Dazzle), to Rockabilly (Carl Perkins' Pointed Toe Shoes), Pop (Peggy Lee's I'm Looking Out the Window, Jay & the Americans' Look in My Eyes Maria), and R&B (Ruth Brown's Somebody Touched Me, Johnny Otis' Tough Enough). An interesting wrinkle in Ace's "You Heard it Here First!" Series of CDs, this collection is not without its' listening pleasures, particularly It's All Over by the Everly Brothers and Jerry Lee Lewis' It'll Be Me. Songs for the collectors: Stevie Wonder's La La La La La, Neil Diamond's I'll Come Running , Dick & Dee Dee's When Blue Turns to Grey (written by Jagger/Richards, and produced by Andrew Loog Oldham), and Richard Barrett's The Snake and the Bookworm (written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman). All told, this is a nifty compilation for music lovers of all stripes. (GMC)
RICHARD BARRETT: The Snake And The Bookworm/ BILLY THE KID: Apron Strings/ RUTH BROWN: Somebody Touched Me/ NEIL DIAMOND: I'll Come Running/ DICK & DEE DEE: When Blue Turns To Grey/ THE EVERLY BROTHERS: It's All Over/ THE GOSDIN BROTHERS: Hangin' On/ BILL HALEY & HIS COMETS: Razzle Dazzle/ BOBBY HELMS: Schoolboy Crush/ BRIAN HYLAND: I'm Afraid To Go Home/ SONNY JAMES: The Minute You're Gone/ JAY & THE AMERICANS: Look In My Eyes Maria/ CURTIS LEE: D In Love/ PEGGY LEE: I'm Looking Out The Window/ JERRY LEE LEWIS: It'll Be Me/ JOHNNY OTIS AND ORCHESTRA (VOCAL BY THE JAYOS): Tough Enough/ CARL PERKINS: Pointed Toe Shoes/ ELVIS PRESLEY: Angel/ JACK SCOTT & THE CHANTONES: Save My Soul/ CONWAY TWITTY: I'll Try/ BOBBY VEE: A Forever Kind Of Love/ GENE VINCENT: The Night Is So Lonely/ PETE VOTRIAN: We Have It Made/ LITTLE STEVIE WONDER: La La La La La

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1361 Born To Be Together - Songs Of Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, 69 mins, recommended
Honestly, I was more excited about this collection before I listened to it than after. Mann & Weil were certainly great song writers, who covered a lot of ground, but a lot of pretty lame records were done with their songs. First the good stuff: When their songs are done well, by good artists, not much in the 1960's Pop charts could touch them. This collects some of those heavy hitters like The Ronettes - Born To Be Together, The Drifters - Saturday Night At The Movies, The Monkees - Love Is Only Sleeping, The Animals - We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, etc. Then there are also some cool takes of songs you all know, but not by the artist you know like Slade - Shape Of Things To Come, and Clyde McPhatter - On Broadway. Then the two stumbling blocks I have with this collection: The Righteous Brothers - You've Lost That Loving Feeling, certainly a great song, but as the most played song in music history, does it really need to be here? More disappointingly, though: B.J. Thomas, Tony Orlando, Mama Cass Elliot, and other lame Pop acts that are here doing lame takes on otherwise good songs. So, there you have it, A mixed bag:when it's good, its great; when it's bad, it's lousy. Ace, of course, did a great job of putting it together otherwise, with some truly deep notes, etc. and if you are collecting these songwriters CDs, then you should add it to your set. (JM)
THE ANIMALS: We've Gotta Get Out Of This Place/ LEN BARRY: You Baby/ JOHNNY CRAWFORD: Proud/ THE CRYSTALS: Uptown/ DORIS DAY: Love Him/ THE DRIFTERS: Saturday Night At The Movies/ MAMA CASS ELLIOT: New World Coming/ THE EVERLY BROTHERS: The Girl Who Sang The Blues/ MARIANNE FAITHFULL: Something Better/ THE HAPPENINGS: Make Your Own Kind Of Music/ BOBBY HEBB: Good, Good Lovin'/ CLYDE MCPHATTER: On Broadway/ CARMEN MCRAE: Just A Little Lovin'/ BILL MEDLEY: This Is A Love Song/ THE MONKEES: Love Is Only Sleeping/ TONY ORLANDO: Bless You/ GENE PITNEY: Looking Through The Eyes Of Love/ LOU RAWLS: I'm Satisfied/ THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS: You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'/ THE RONETTES: Born To Be Together/ RUBY & THE ROMANTICS: We'll Love Again/ SLADE: Shape Of Things To Come/ DUSTY SPRINGFIELD: I Wanna Make You Happy/ B.J. THOMAS: Rock And Roll Lullaby/ SCOTT WALKER: Angelica

VARIOUS ARTISTS B.A.C.M. 410 Custom Made Hillbilly, Vol. 4 ● CD $14.98
29 tracks, 69 mins, highly recommended
Another excellent collection of country issued as custom pressings - mostly by Starday. The set starts off in fine form with the excellent Hoyt Scoggins trying his hand at rock 'n' roll with Tennessee Rock backed with the excellent honky-tonker Why Did We Fall In Love. Other highlights include two superb sides Charlie "Cowboy" Huff - one with a Western Swing flavor and the other a fine cowboy ballad, Lucky Hill with the soulful blues It's Coming Home To You, a rare and great early Willie Nelson side from 1957 No Place Forr Me and some fine duet harmonies on My Heart Needs A Vacation by Zeke Wilson & The Prairie Playboys. Other artists include Jack Frost & His Band, Don Collins, Bob Cole, Trice Garner, BUddy Shaw and others. Excellent sound and useful notes from Al Turner. (FS)
RAMBLIN' RED BAILEY: The Hardest Fall/ DOROTHY BLAKELY: Piano Bells (instro)/ BILL BOLAN & COUNTRY MELODY BOYS: Country Music/ JEANIE CHRISTIE & DURRANCE'S BLUE SKY RAMBLERS: Flying High/ Sunshine/ AL CLAUSER & HIS OKLAHOMA OUTLAWS: Who's Foolin' Who/ BOB COLE: Face To Face/ DON COLLINS: Too Late To Be Sorry/ JACK FROST & HIS BAND: There Is No Tomorrow/ TRICE GARNER: Lover's Hill/ Tombigbee/ LUCKY HILL: It's Coming Home To You/ COWBOY HUFF: Patonia (Pride Of The Plains)/ What's Gonna Happen To Me/ BILL JOHNSON & THE DABBLERS: Lonesome Daddy Blues/ JOYCE LOVE & CURLY SANDER'S SANTONES: Why Do You Leave Me/ WILLIE NELSON: No Place For Me/ HARRY PEPPEL & SHENANDOAH VALLEY RANGERS: Thermostate Baby/ LEWIS PRUITT & THE TRUE LADS: I'm In A Daze/ Pretty Baby/ LITTLE JODY RAINWATER & JAMBOREE GANG: The Man That Wrote Home Sweet Home/ GENE RAY: Rock & Roll Fever/ HOYT SCOGGINS & SATURDAY NITE JAMBOREE BOYS: Tennessee Rock/ Why Do We Fall In Love/ BUDDY SHAW: Second Place/ JOHNNY SKILES & HARMONY RANCH BOYS: The Twinkle In Your Eyes/ LEE VOORHIES & HIS OZARK COUNTRY BOYS: Hand In Hand/ FUZZY WHITENER WITH JERRY DYKES' BAND: Why Do I Love You/ ZEKE WILSON & THE PRAIRIE PLAYBOYS: My Heart Needs A Vacation

VARIOUS ARTISTS BGP CDBGP 258 The World Needs Changing - Street Funk & Jazz Grooves ● CD $18.98
20 tracks, 62 min., highly recommended
The street funk greatly out numbers the jazz grooves on this fine release, which collects sides from such labels as Flying Dutchman, Jacklyn, Spring, Call Me, RCA, Rick Hall, Mar-Kee, Triple "8" Records, among others. Many of the tracks are funk instrumentals, including The Willard Posey Reunion's Sissy Strut-N-American Woman, Huck & The Soul Patrol's Rudypoot, and Lonnie Liston Smith's Expansions (7" edit). Sprinkled between the instrumental workouts are some jazz-inflected (with plenty of flute) numbers and a few tough-talking soul sisters such as Esther Marrow's excellent Walk Tall and Tina Bryant's Mr Perfect. The only Gil Scott-Heron track, an alternate take of Free Will doesn't do the man justice and is one of the few weak moments on an otherwise rewarding album, which comes complete with the usual informative Ace booklet notes. (JC)
HAROLD ALEXANDER: Mama Soul/ ELAINE ARMSTRONG: That's The Way It Goes/ TINA BRYANT: Mr Perfect/ CAESAR 830: See-Saw Affair/ DARROW FLETCHER: Now Is The Time For Love/ JOHNNY GRIFFITH ACC. BY BILLY SHA-RAE'S BAND: Do It (Inst)/ LITTLE EVA HARRIS: Medley: Get Ready-Uptight/ RICHARD "GROOVE" HOLMES & BRENDA JONES: This Is The Me Me (Not The You You)/ HUCK & THE SOUL PATROL: Rudypoot/ GEORGE JACKSON: Love Hijacker (Inst)/ HANK JACOBS & DON MALONE: The World Needs Changing/ LONNIE LISTON SMITH: Expansions (7'' Edit)/ ESTHER MARROW: Walk Tall/ THE ORIGINAL SOUL PATROL: Soul Patrol/ WILLARD POSEY REUNION: American Woman-Sissy Strut/ JOE SAVAGE & THE SOUL PEOPLE: All Power To The People Pt 1/ GIL SCOTT-HERON: Free Will (Alt Take 1)/ MELVIN SPARKS: Love Tones/ BOB THIELE'S EMERGENCY: Head Start/ LEON THOMAS: Just In Time To See The Sun

VARIOUS ARTISTS Black Cats 123 It's A Deep Soul Thing, Vol. 5 ● CD $16.98
20 tracks, highly recommended
After a lot of searching we've finally been able to find some more volumes in this great series. The first four volumes we reviewed a few years ago and are still available as special orders and will take four to six weeks to get. This is a superb collection of deep soul - about 75% new to CD. It opens with the the gorgeous I'm Available by Billy Young and continues with the ferocious Half A Man by Shirley Wahls and has more great sides from bluesy Florida singer Don Hollinger, Trudy Lynn, George Perkins, Sam Hawkins, Albert Scott and others. Excellent sound and brief notes on all the performances. (FS)
SIM AIRES: Sometimes I Have To Cry/ CALVIN ARNOLD: You'll Do It/ THE EXCEPTIONAL THREE: What About Me/ JUDY GREEN: I Still Love You So/ FREDA HARRIS: I Miss Your Love/ SAM HAWKINS: Run To Me/ DON HOLLINGER: Until I Find You/ ETTA JAMES: One Day One Step/ LIVING PROOF: Movie Queen/ RONNIE LOVE: Pledging My Love/ PAT LUNDY: Does She Ever Remind You Of Me/ TRUDY LYNN: What A Waste/ GEORGE PERKINS: Baby You Saved Me/ JOHN ROBERTS: Something Reminds Me/ ALBERT SCOTT: Hey Hey Baby Come Home/ BOBBY STEVENS: To Keep From Loving You/ THE SWORDSMEN: It Seems I'm Never Tired Of Lovin' You/ SHIRLEY WAHLS: Half A Man/ LEE SHOT WILLIAMS: I Found A Love/ BILLY YOUNG: I'm Available

VARIOUS ARTISTS Blues Documents BDCD 6028 Memphis Harp & Jug Blowers 1927-39 ● CD $15.98 $10.98
25 tracks, 73 mins,- recommended
As Mike Rowe so cogently points out in his liner notes, Memphis was a haven for great harmonica players and several of them are represented on this outstanding collection. There are 12 tracks featuring the brilliant Jed Davenport - a dazzling harmonica player who is featured in a variety of settings including a couple of tracks with singer/ guitarist Joe Williams (not Big Joe - probably the ubiquitous Joe McCoy). 6 tracks features Jed's own jug band The Beale Street Jug Band which in addition to Davenports great harmonica work and the tight ensemble playing features some nice fiddle work by an unknown fiddler. There are 7 vocals by large voiced Minnie Wallace accompanied by her Night Hawks with Will Shade taking the harmonica honors plus (probably) Eddie Miller on piano and Son Joe or Robert Wilkins on piano. Finally there are 8 tracks by the intense Little Buddy Doyle accompanied by a harmonica player who is thought to be Walter Horton. Whoever it is is a brillantly expressive performer whose playing weaves in and around Doyle's aching voice that brings to mind some of Little Walter's early accompaniments to Muddy waters. Some of the tracks on this set are from pretty noisy 78s but there is so much great music here that I would be hard pressed not to recommend this very highly indeed. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS El Segundo 1010 East Coast Guitar Killers, Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
25 tracks, very highly recommended
From the fine folks behind the great "West Coast Guitar Killers" series (El Segundo 1001, 1002, 1004B - $16.98 each) comes the first in what promises to be an equally great series featuring guitarists from the other sides of the country. This disc is devoted primarily to the work of two guitarist - Jimmy Spruill and Bobby Parker. Spruill's guitar stylings with his stratospheric treble work are familiar to blues guitar fans and this collection features some of his lesser known work including his playing on the big hit Happy Organ by Dave "Baby" Cortez as well as great accompaniments to Tarheel Slim & Little Ann, Noble "Thin Man" Watts, Wilbert Harrison (he goes so far up the neck on Drafted that only dogs might be able to hear some of the notes!), Bobby Long (the great and little known Jersey City) and others. Bobby Parker is best known for his 1961 hit Watch Your Step which with it's distinctive bass guitar riff was picked by many 60s rock groups and inspired the Beatles hit I Feel Fine. Parker was a fine singer and a spectacular guitar player. His earliest sides here are from 1956 as a sideman and vocalist with The Paul Williams Orchestra including the superb Once Upon A Time with memorable guitar work and a rare post war song about the sinking of the Titanic. In 1957 he recorded the original version of You Got What It Takes which was a hit three years later for Marv Johnson. Other superb performances by Parker include the tough blues Blues Get Off My Shoulder and Steal Your Heart AWay and the powerful soul song It's Too Late Darling. Throughout, Parker's guitar playing is soulful and imaginative. By the mid 60s he had stopped recording and returned to playing clubs around Washington, DC where he was rediscovered in the 1990s and cut a couple of albums for Black Top. But wait, there's more, two tracks by the Cootie Williams Orch. from 1957 with superb guitar work from Larry Dale and the set is rounded out by the amazing Ever Lovin' Baby by the mysterious Little Luther with some amazing sounding guitar which is probably playing through a Leslie speaker. A fabulous collection with excellent soun - no notes but full discographical details. I'm ready for Volume 2! (FS)
B BROWN & HIS ROCKIN MCVOUTS (WILD JIMMY S: Rockin With B/ DAVE BABY CORTEZ (WILD JIMMY SPRUILL GTR): Happy Organ/ GUITAR CRUSHER (JIMMY SPRUILL ORCH): Since My Baby Hit The Numbers/ WILBERT HARRISON (WILD JIMMY SPRUILL GTR): Drafted/ LITTLE LUTHER: Ever Lovin Baby/ BOBBY LONG (WILD JIMMY SPRUILL GTR): Jersey City/ BOBBY PARKER: Blues Get Off My Shoulder/ Don’t Drive Me Away/ Get Right/ Gimme A Little Lovin/ It’s Too Late Darling/ Steal Your Heart Away/ Watch Your Step/ You Got What It Takes/ TARHEEL SLIM & LITTLE ANN (WILD JIMMY SP: Security/ NOBLE “THIN MAN™ WATTS (JIMMY SPRUILL GTR): Hot Tamales/ Mashed Potatoes/ Original Boogie Woogie/ The Frog Hop/ COOTIE WILLIAMS ORCH (LARRY DALE GTR): Boomerang/ COOTIE WILLIAMS ORCH (LARRY DALE/ KENNY BURRELL: Rinky Dink/ PAUL WILLIAMS ORCH. (BOBBY PARKER GTR): Up Up Up/ PAUL WILLIAMS ORCH. W/ BOBBY PARKER GTR/VCL: Once Upon A Time, Long Ago, Last Night/ Suggie Duggie Boogie Baby/ Titanic

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fuel 61951 The Red Robin R&B Story ● CD $16.98
Two CDs, 36 tracks, highly recommended
Complementing previous reissues devoted to the fire/ Fury and Enjoy labels this is another fine set of sides produced by pioneering African-American entrepreneur Bobby Robinson in New York. This is devoted to the Red Robin label (originally just called Robin) founded by Bobby and his brother Danny in 1951 which issued around 40 singles between 1951 and 1956. This is a superb collection of blues, R&B and vocal group sides. Veteran blues artists Champion Jack Dupree, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee are here in top form with a contemporary down home blues sound. Up and comer Allen Bunn is here with two outstanding sides - a few years later he would be recording for Bobby's Fire label as Tarheel Slim. There are two excellent sides from the obscure Sandra Grimes - one a quasi gospel number and the other a tough blues with solid guitar from Mickey Baker. There are a bunch of hot R&B instrumentals featuring bands led by saxophonists Morris Lane, Charlie Singleton and Red Prysock as well as cuts by a band led by famed four string guitarist Tiny Grimes. On the vocal group side we have the earliest recordings of the great group the Du-Droppers as well as fine sides by The Topps and The Serenaders - most of them up tempo rockers. Sound quality is excellent and booklet has notes by the ever reliable Bill Dahl. (FS)
SADIE BIRCH: Man I Crave, The/ ALLEN BUNN: My Kind of Woman/ Too Much Competition/ THE DU DROPPERS: Can't Do Sixty No More/ Chain Me Baby (Blues of Desire)/ Come on and Love Me Baby/ Go Back/ CHAMPION JACK DUPREE: Drunk Again/ Highway Blues/ Number Nine Blues/ Shake Baby Shake/ Shim Sham Shimmy/ Stumbling Block Blues/ SANDRA GRIMES: Be Good to Yourself/ You Didn't Give Me a Chance/ TINY GRIMES: Juicy Fruit/ Second Floor Rear/ MORRIS LANE: Bobby's Boogie/ Ghost Town/ BROWNIE MCGHEE: Daisy/ Don't Dog Your Woman/ RED PRYSOCK: Crying My Heart Out/ Hard Rock/ Jackpot/ Jump for George/ The Hammer/ Wiggles/ THE SERENADERS: I Want to Love You Baby/ CHARLIE SINGLETON: Earthquake/ Never Trust a Woman/ SONNY TERRY: Doggin; My Heart Around/ Harmonica Hop/ THE TOPPS: I've Got a Feeling/ Tippin'/ What Do You Do/ Won't You Come Home Baby

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 390 South Texas Rhythm 'n' Soul Review ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
The Kent Records gang are raiding yet another treasure store of rare R&B; this time the vaults in question are those belonging to Music Enterprises Inc.-the owners of a majority of recordings produced by the great producer/huckster Huey P. Meaux. Meaux was one of the legendary record men, a guy with an eye and an ear for an artist and a song-and uncanny knack for marrying one with the other. This collection is as much a tribute to Meaux's talents as to the South Texas R&B/Soul scene. These mostly new to CD tracks were originally issued on Meaux's various labels (Tear Drop, Jet Stream 740, Pacemaker, Eric, Boogaloo) between the years 1962 and 1971, and include the likes of Johnny Copeland, Jean Knight, Johnny Adams, Maxine Davis, and Barbara Lynn. Don't come here looking for anything fancy: this is pure, gutbucket Rhythm 'n' Soul full of passion and grit. Among the treats: Copeland powering through an alternate version of Sufferin' City; Lynn shining on the stark demo of You'll Lose a Good Thing; some steamy guitar work on Tee Bee Fisher's Five Long Years; and Adams milking A Place Called Home for all its' emotional worth. Anyone interested in honest Texas R&B needs to start right here. (GMC)
JOHNNY ADAMS: A Place Called Home/ Let Them Talk/ ROCKIN' DAVE ALLEN: Irene/ CHARLES BERRY: Time/ JOHNNY COPELAND: Slow Walk You Down/ Sufferin' City (Version 2)/ MAXINE DAVIS: I Found A Love/ TEE BEE FISHER: Five Long Years/ THE INSIGHT (JOHNNY WINTER): Out Of Sight/ JEAN KNIGHT: Doggin' Around/ BARBARA LYNN: You'll Lose A Good Thing (Demo)/ JOE MASTERS (MEDWICK): This Is Where The End Must Begin/ JOE MELVIN (MEDWICK): Friends In Show Business/ JACKIE PAINE: Go Go Train/ Go Go Train (Wmca Version)/ BIG WALTER PRICE: Git To Gittin'/ WARREN STORM: Tennessee Waltz/ SUNNY AND THE SUNLINERS: Trick Bag/ DAVID KING THOMAS: If You're Looking For A Fool/ TV AND THE TRIBESMEN (JOE MEDWICK): Fat Man/ ALTON VALIER: Neighbour Neighbour (Demo)/ MARGO WHITE: If You Were Only Here/ Pick Me Up On Your Way Down/ JAMES "BIG SAMBO" YOUNG: Long Gone

VARIOUS ARTISTS King 4401 Blues & Gospel Kings, Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, 68 mins, recommended Collection of rare and often unreissued jump blues, black pop and gospel tracks recorded for the King label between 1945 and 1950. The tracks includes recording licensed from Detroit entrepreneur Joe Von Battle by bandleader King Porter and by superb singer/ piano player Detroit Count (who plays piano on the Porter sides). From Detroit's Staff label comes night club style vocalist Bobbe Caston. There's some blues shouting from Robie Kirk, ex Count Basie vocalist Walter Brown, Joe Thomas (three tracks including the great Lavender Cadillac and the drab instrumental Star Mist). Cliff Butler has the tough blues Gold Diggin' Baby and the pop ballad When You Love. On the gospel side we have THe Jubileers with some fine acapella gospel and some dull pop flavored items, Paul Breckenridge & The Four Heavenly Knights, The Swan Silvertones and Spirit Of Memphis - the latter are magnificent but have been out before. In general this collection is a mixed bag with some really good sides along with a fair amount of rather tepid material. Sound is generally excellent and booklet has discographical data but no notes. (FS)
PAUL BRECKENRIDGE & THE FOUR HEAVENLY KNIGHTS: Lonesome Road/ Rock-A-Ma-Soul/ WALTER BROWN & SKIP HALL'S ORCH.: (I Love My Baby) I'm A Liar If I Say I Don't/ CLIFF BUTLER: Crying Blues/ Gold Diggin' Baby/ When You Love (You Should Love From The Heart)/ BOBBE CASTON: Call Me Darling/ DETROIT COUNT: Hastings Street Woogie Man/ SLIM GAILLARD & HIS BOOGIEREENERS: Voot Boogie/ HENRY GLOVER & HIS KINGS OF SWING: Baby, You've Been Wrong/ GEORGE HUDSON & HIS MODERN MUSIC: Applejack Boogie/ THE JUBALAIRES: God Almighty's Gonna Cut You Down/ Icky Yacki/ You're Gonna' Make A Wonderful Sweetheart/ ROBIE KIRK & HIS ORCH.: Where Is Your Husband At?/ KING PORTER & HIS ORCH.: King Porter Special/ KING PORTER & ORCH.: Bar Fly/ TUBBY "TAB" SMITH & HIS ORCH.: Morning Blues/ SPIRIT OF MEMPHIS QUARTET: Blessed Are The Dead/ SWAN'S SILVERTONE SINGERS: I Done Made It Up In My Mind/ JOE THOMAS - HIS SAX AND ORCH.: Backstage At The Apollo/ JOE THOMAS - HIS SAX AND ORCH: Lavender Coffin/ Star Mist/ HAROLD TINSLEY: She's Gone

VARIOUS ARTISTS Le Chant Du Monde 5742051 The Story Of Vocal Jazz ● CD $99.98
25 CDs, 617 tracks, approx 32 hours, highly recommended
Another of those amazing European box sets that gives you a lot of great music for not a great deal of money. This one is devoted to tracing the story of vocal jazz starting in 1911 with Sophie Tucker's Some Of These Days and ending in 1959 with Last Night When We Were Young . The earlier years are strongly dominated by blues singers like Bessie Smith, Ida Cox, Ma Rainey, Bertha "Chippie" Hill, Ethel Waters and others but also including vocalists like Marion Harris, Fred & Adele Astaire, Louis Armstrong, Sonny Greer and others. Blues and gospel singers are strongly featured throughout this set. From the 1930s we get Bing Crosby, The Boswell Sisters, Cab Calloway, Mildred Bailey, Louis Bacon, Jack Teagarden, Billie Holiday, Fats Waller, Ella Fitzgerald, Maxine Sullivan, The Mills Brothers, Georgia White, Big Joe Turner, Helen Forrest, Hazel Court and many more. Many of these artists were also active in the 1940s and are featured here along with new names like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Lena Horne, Anita O'Day, Peggy Lee, Judy Garland, Dinah Washington, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Billy Eckstine, Lee Wiley, Louis Jordan, Julia Lee, Buddy Rich, Leo Watson and many others. In the 1950s we get recordings by Yvonne Lanauze, Shelly Manne, Eddie Jefferson, Betty Roche, Chet Baker, King Pleasure, Joe Williams, The Four Freshman and many more as well as many returning from previous decades. Sound quality is excellent and set comes packaged in a handsome 5 1/2x 5 1/2 x 5" box. Each CD comes in its own cardboard with a reproduction of a 78 rpm label with it and the set includes a 256 page CD sized book with extensive notes and full discographical details. A full track list can be found here. A very impressive set. Counts as 15 CDs for shipping. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS One Day DAY2CD 183 I'm Ready - The Modern Story ● CD $11.98
2 CD, 50 tracks, highly recommended
Hot on the heels of "Rip It Up: The Specialty Story" (One Day 178 - $11.98), comes this trip through the vaults of Modern Records, which was-like Specialty-a Los Angeles-based independent that specialized in "race records" (that's R&B, Blues, and Gospel to you and me). The cuts contained herein were released mid to late 50s and showcase label owners the Bihari brothers' eclectic tastes in the artists they recorded. Some of the label's biggest stars are represented-John Lee Hooker, Etta James, Jesse Belvin, Elmore James, Jimmy Witherspoon, Hadda Brooks-as well as slightly lesser lights like the Cadets (the great Stranded in the Jungle), The Cliques, The Hawks, and Marvin & Johnny. Like the other label compilations issued by One Day, I'm Ready - The Modern Story is a fine introduction to an important player in mid-20th century music at a very modest price. (FS)
JIMMY BEASLEY: Don't Feel Sorry For Me/ Jambalaya/ Little Coquette/ My Happiness/ JESSE BELVIN: Goodnight My Love/ Just to Say Hello/ Summertime/ You Send Me/ DENNIS BINDER: I Miss You So/ HADDA BROOKS: Old Man River/ THE CADETS: Church Bells May Ring/ Don't Be Angry/ I Want You/ Stranded in the Jungle/ THE CLIQUES: I Wanna Know Why/ I'm In Love With A Girl/ My Desire/ The Girl In My Dreams/ THE COBRAS: Cindy/ I Will Return/ DOLLY COOPER: Every Day And Every Night/ Teenage Prayer/ THE DOTTS: A Ting A Ling/ SHIRLEY GUNTER: Just Got Rid of a Heartache/ Headin' Home/ THE HAWKS: Ever Since You've Been Gone/ It's All Over/ JOHN LEE HOOKER: I'm Ready/ Lookin' for a Woman/ ELMORE JAMES: Long Tall Woman/ Wild About You/ ETTA JAMES: Good Lookin'/ Number One(My One And Only)/ The Wallflower (Dance With Me Henry)/ W-O-M-A-N/ LONG TALL MARVIN: Have Mercy Miss Percy/ MARVIN & JOHNNY: Butter Ball/ Ko Ko Mo (I Love You So)/ ARTHUR LEE MAYE & THE CROWNS: Set My Heart Free/ JIMMY MCCRACKLIN: I told Ya Mama/ OSCAR MCLOLLIE: Eternal Love/ Roll, Hot Rod, Roll/ THE ROCKETEERS: Hey Rube/ THE ROCKETS: Be Lovey Dovey/ THE SOUNDS: Cold Chills/ CURLEY WILLIAMS: Be Mine/ This Heart Of Mine/ JIMMY WITHERSPOON: Oh Mother, Dear Mother/ YOUNG JESSIE: Hit Git And Split/ Mary Lou

VARIOUS ARTISTS Peaksoft 18 Mercy Mercy Percy - Black Rock Pioneers In Britain ● CD $21.98
23 tracks, 52 min., recommended
The subtitle, "Black rock pioneers in Britain" needs a bit of explaining. These artists were generally immigrants or U.S. transplants who picked up the rock and roll gauntlet more as a way to make some cash than as a musical passion. That's why the Deep River Boys are represented by their cover of Rock Around The Clock and Rock-A-Beatin' Boogie. And the word "pioneers" would seem to refer to the influence the performers had in England rather than any musically creative trend setting. And many of the cuts are apparently from the early 1960s rather than the middle 1950s, sounding like performers who are imitating the new and unfamiliar style that was in demand. And yet, the cuts here are oddly charming and, for all the calculation inherent in their production, posses a certain naive enthusiasm. Artists include Derry Wilkie, Neville Taylor, Cuddly Dudley, Davy Jones (no, not that Davy Jones), Emil Form & The Checkmates, Ray Ellington, and Neville Taylor. Seldom heard British rock and roll worth a spin. (JC)
CUDDLY DUDLEY: Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey/ Let's Rock While The Rockin's Good/ Sitting On A Train/ erry Boat Ride/ One That I Like/ THE DEEP RIVER BOYS: Rock Around The Clock/ Rock-A-Beatin' Boogie/ RAY ELLINGTON: Chip Off The Old Block/ Giddy-Up-A Ding Dong/ That Rock 'n' Rollin' Man/ EMILE FORD & THE CHECKMATES: Move Along/ You'll Never Know What You're Missin' Till You Try/ DAVY JONES: Don't Come Crying To Me/ Jezebel/ NEVILLE TAYLOR: House Of Bamboo/ I've Had It/ Rockeroo/ Crazy Little Daisy/ Good Good/ Mercy, Mercy, Percy/ Tears On My Pillow/ DERRY WILKIE (WITH THE SENIORS): Bony Moronie/ Yes Indeed

VARIOUS ARTISTS Stax 30811 Stax: The Soul Of Hip-Hop ● CD $12.98 $6.98
What - has Roots & Rhythm finally decided to embrace contemporary African-American music?! Not really. This 14 track collection collection of classic soul features tracks recorded for the iconic Stax label between 1971 and 1975 that have been sampled in various hip-hop hits from the 80s and 90s. Artists here include The Emotions, The Barkays, Isaac Hayes, David Porter, The Charmels, Rufus Thomas, etc. Artists that have used samples from these songs include Public Enemy, Ghostface Killah, Big Daddy Kane, Public Enemy, Notorious B.I.G., The Geto Boys and more. The connections are discussed in detail in the liner notes.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Sunrise 007 The Story Of Blue Beat - The Best In Ska, 1962 - Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
2 CDs, 56 tracks, 153mins, very highly recommended
The Sunrise record label is doing an absolutely fantastic job on this series. Going year by year, from the earliest days of Ska, they deliver this extensive, deep, and thoroughly enjoyable history of Jamaica's greatest musical export. If anything, this collection suffers slightly by its complete nature, with a couple of the tracks being so rare that the only sources were scratchy old 45's. Hardly a complaint, though, and fans of that Blue Beat will thrill at all of the goodies collected on these. Rare early tracks by the likes of The Blues Busters, Derrick Morgan, Jimmy Cliff, Owen Grey, Ruddy & Sketto, Eric Morris, and many more. Fantastic production job, deep notes, the best sound available throughout, and many rare label reproductions and other ephemera. (JM)
BOBBY AITKEN: Isabella/ Never Never (South Virginia)/ LAUREL AITKEN: Back to New Orleans/ Brother David/ Mabel/ You Got Me Rockin'/ CLIVE BAILEY: Evening Train/ Take Me Home/ THEO BECKFORD: Walking Down King Street/ THE BLUES BUSTERS: There's Always Sunshine/ You Had It Wrong/ BUSTER'S GROUP: Hully Gully/ JIMMY CLIFF: I'm Sorry/ ERROL DIXON & HIS BACK BEATS: Bad, Bad Woman/ Early This Morning/ THE ECHOES: Are You Mine/ I'll Love You Forever/ RUPERT EDWARDS: Guilty Convict/ Just Because/ HORTENSE ELLIS: Now and Forever More/ LLOYD FLOWERS: I'm Going Home/ Lover's Town/ GIRL SATCHMO: My New Honey/ Twist Around Town/ RUDY GRANT & SKETTO RICH: Abc Boogie/ Nothing but Time/ Please Enid/ OWEN GRAY: Millie Girl/ Nobody Else/ On the Beach/ Rocking in My Feet/ Young Lover/ HORTENSE & STRANGER: True Love/ JIMMY JAMES: Bewildered and Blue/ I Don't Want to Cry/ BOBBY KINGDOM: Brand New Automobile/ Spanish Town Twist/ DERRICK MORGAN: Be Still/ Come Back My Darling/ Come on Over/ Day in Day Out/ Don't You Know Little Girl/ Headache/ Sunday Morning/ Meekly Wait/ ERIC MORRIS: I've Tried Everybody/ Money Can't Buy Life/ My Forty Five/ Sinners Repent and Pray/ RED PRICE: Roarin'/ RUDY & SKETTO: Summer Is Just Around the Corner/ SHENLEY & ANNETTE: First Time I Met You/ Million Dollar Baby/ SIR DEE'S GROUP: The Clock/ WINSTON & ROY: Babylon Gone/ So Long (Going Home)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Sunrise 008 The Story Of Blue Beat - The Best In Ska, 1962 - Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
2 CDs, 56 tracks, 147 mins, very highly recommended
1962 was such a great year for Ska that you need two double CDs to gather up all the good tracks. Highlights from this installment include tracks by Prince Buster, Derrick Morgan, The Charmers, Beresford Ricketts, Lloyd Clarke, Roland Alphonso, Laurel Aitken, Owen Grey (he, as well as Derrick Morgan, has a ton of good tracks throughout both CDs,) Rico & The Blue Beats, and many more swells. (JM)
LAUREL AITKEN: I'll Love You More Everyday/ Lucille/ ROLAND ALPHONSO & THE ALLEY CATS: Four Corners Of The World/ BELL'S GROUP: Kingston 13/ THE BLUES BUSTERS: I've Done You Wrong/ Tell Me Why/ KENT BROWN & JEANNIE: Hello Love/ Daddy/ THE CHARMERS: Now You Want To Cry/ Crying Over You/ LLOYD CLARKE: Fools Day/ You're A Cheat/ Good Morning/ Now I Know The Reason/ DERRICK & PATSY & DRUMBAGO ALL STARS: Love Not To Brag/ DRUMBAGO’S ALL STARS: Duck Soup/ DON DRUMMOND'S GROUP: Twelve Minutes To Go/ HORTENSE ELLIS: Midnight Train/ BASIL GABBIDON: Iverene/ Lover Man/ Boy Meets Girl/ RUDY GRANT & SKETTO RICH: Hush Baby?/ Little Schoolgirl/ OWEN GRAY: Best Twist/ Come On Baby/ Grandma, Grandpa/ My Own Desire/ No Good Woman/ Do You Know/ Sit And Cry/ Do You Want To Jump/ Keep It In Mind/ Lonely Days/ HIGGS & WILSON: How Can I Be Sure/ Mighty Man/ DERRICK MORGAN: In My Heart/ DERICK MORGAN & PATSY TODD: Are You Going To Marry Me/ Troubles/ ERIC MORRIS: G.I. Lady (A Love I Must Find)/ Oh What A Smile Can Do/ Pack Up Your Troubles/ Going To The River/ ROY PANTON: My Forty Four/ In Your Arms Dear/ My Happy Home/ PRINCE BUSTER & ALL STARS: These Are The Times/ They Got To Come/ PRINCE BUSTER & HIS TORCH LIGHTERS: My Sound That Goes Around/ They Got To Go/ PRINCE BUSTER & THE BLUE BEATS: Independence Song/ RANDY’S GROUP: Sam The Fisherman/ BERESFORD RICKETTS & THE BLUE BEATS: I've Been Walking/ You Better Be Gone/ RICO & THE BLUE BEATS: August 1962/ THE SHINERS: Romantic Shuffle/ OWEN & LEON SILVERAS: Oh Murder

VARIOUS ARTISTS The Rabbit Factory 4 The Birmingham Sound - The Soul Of Neal Hemphill Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, 70 min., essential
The second volume of collected sides from Neal Hemphill's Sound Of Birmingham studio (and various record labels) does not disappoint. This time out the collection of under-rated, 1960s and 1970s soul moves back and forth between great cuts and very good ones. Among the finest tracks are Frederick Knight's It Slipped Right By You, Wes Lewis' I'm Telling You, Bobby Dobyne & The Barefacts' Soulful Sound Of Music, Sam Frazier's Take Me Back, and Ralph "Soul" Jackson's Set Me Free (alternate version). Other artists include Cortez Greer, Chuck Mitchell, Davis Sea, Hope Parker, Lee Wilson, Fletcher Flowers, and more. The second song on the album, Get Up And Get At It, is a joyous slice of uptempo soul, and no one knows who the group was. Here's wishing for vol. 3. (JC)
BOBBY DOBYNE & THE BAREFACTS: Soulful Sound of Music/ Strickly Soul/ FLETCHER FLOWERS: When You Wake Up/ FRANKIE: Let's Go to the End Together/ SAM FRAZIER: Set Me Free/ Take Me Back/ CORTEZ GREER: Da Da Dee Dee Da/ Testify/ RALPH "SOUL" JACKSON: Let Your Sweet Love Surround Me/ Matchbox/ Set Me Free (alternate version)/ FREDERICK KNIGHT: How When or Where/ I've Been Lonely For So Long (demo version)/ It Slipped Right By You/ Take My Hand/ WES LEWIS: Best of My Years/ I'm a Telling You/ CHUCK MITCHELL: Let Me Be Myself/ Stop By/ HOPE PARKER: Everybody's Doin' the Worm/ S.O.B.: Instrumental/ DAVID SEA: Work Hard/ UNKNOWN: Get Up and Get At It/ LEE WILSON: Knock In For a Second Chance

VARIOUS ARTISTS Titanic 5502 Deep Soul Dynamite, Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Another terrific collection of mostly unreissued deep soul. It opens with the stunningly beautiful It Hurt by Clarence Nelson which is alone worth the price of admission. But there are another 23 superb sides to sweeten the pot and among the highlights are Billy Young's stunning cover of Little Willie John's Let Them Talk produced by none other than Otis Redding. On W-O-M-A-N Delores Hall sounds like a cross between Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner and the harmonies on Please Don't Hurt Me by The Harrison Brothers are a joy to listen to. There isn't a track here that's less than fine and other artist include Joe Perkins, Grover Mitchell, Judy Clay, Charles Perry, George Freeman (the magnificent All Right Now), The Keynoters, Joe Perkins (with some great bluesy guitar), The Crume Brothers and others. Excellent sound and the notes continue the artist profiles from Volume 1. (FS)
JUDY CLAY: I Thought I'd Gotten Over You/ THE CRUME BROTHERS: What Am I Going To Do/ BIG AL DOWNING: All I Want Is You/ CHARLES DRAIN: She's Gone/ JAMES DUDLEY & THE DEE JAY'S: Have Faith/ ROBERT EARL: Say You'll Be Mine/ TONY FOXX: Because/ GEORGE FREEMAN: All Right Now/ DELORES HALL: W-O-M-A-N/ BIG JOHN HAMILTON: How Much Can A Man Take/ THE HARRISON BROTHERS: Please Don't Hurt Me/ JOE HAYWOOD: Hand In Hand/ THE KEYNOTERS: I Wanna Know Who/ BOBBY LONG: Just For A Day/ GROVER MITCHELL: Sweeter As The Days Go By/ CLARENCE NELSON: I Hurt/ JOE PERKINS: Wrapped Up In Your Love/ Until You Were Gone/ CHARLES PERRY: How Can I (Keep From Crying)/ JOHNNY ROBINSON: Poor Man/ WYATT (BIG BOY) SHEPHERD: You Don't Want Me No More/ SOUL LEE: I Need You/ LITTLE BRENDA STARR: No One But You/ BILLY YOUNG: Let Them Talk

VARIOUS ARTISTS Titanic 5503 Lost Soul Dynamite, Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
24 track collection of soul rarities from the 60s - most of them making their first appearance on CD. Includes sides by Gerge Freeman, Alfreda Brockington, Billy Mack, Tommy Collins, "Lil" Willie & The Rockin' Imperials, Tyrone Harris, Billy Frazier, Tony Owens and more. Excellent sound and booklet has brief notes on every track.
'LIL' WILLIE & THE ROCKIN' IMPERIALS: I'm The One/ C. ALEXANDER & THE NATURAL 3: Pay Them No Mind/ LEVERT ALLISON: Can You Handle It/ ALFREDA BROCKINGTON: Crushing Me/ MATT BROWN: A Man Without A Woman/ JIMMY CHURCH: You've Got Me (In The Palm Of Your Hands)/ TOMMY COLLINS: Oh What I'd Give/ BILLY FRAZIER: Temptation (It's So Hard To Fight)/ GEORGE FREEMAN: Stop Now (There's Still Time)/ You Guessed It/ EARL GAINS: It's Worth Anything/ ART GRAYSON: Be Ever Mine/ THELMA HARPER: My Man/ TYRONE HARRIS: Ain't That Fun/ RAMONA JONES: Young Girl Blues/ KING DAVIS HOUSE ROCKERS: We All Make Mistakes Sometimes/ TOMMY KNIGHT: There's No Pain/ BILLY MACK: I Am A Son Of A Lover/ PAUL MARTIN: I've Got A New Love/ TONY OWENS: Confessin' On A Feeling/ JEAN SHY: I'll Belong To You/ BOBBY VALENTINO: How Deep Is The Ocean/ PAUL VANN: Hello My Lover (Wherever You Are)/ JUDY WHITE: Save Me

VARIOUS ARTISTS Titanic 5504 Lost Soul Dynamite, Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
24 more soul rarities mostly new to CD - including many of the same artists as Volume 1. Includes "Lil" Willie & The Rockin' Imperials, Tony Owens, Bennie Conn, Alfreda Brockington, George Freeman, Pete Cooke, J.P. Robinson, Matt & Robert and more.
'LIL' WILLIE & THE ROCKIN' IMPERIALS: Crazy Stomp/ C. ALEXANDER & THE NATURAL 3: Somebody Special/ LEVERT ALLISON: Hear That River/ KIP ANDERSON: You'll Lose A Good Thing/ ALFREDA BROCKINGTON: You Made Me A Woman/ JAY DEE BRYANT: Come Summer/ BENNIE CONN: Have You Had A Love/ PETE COOKE: Little Darlin'/ WYLIE DIXON: Gotta Hold On/ BILLY FRAZIER: Try Me/ GEORGE FREEMAN: I'll Be Long Gone (Make My Life Shine)/ THELMA HARPER: Without Love/ MARGIE HENDRIX: I Found My Love/ RAMONA JONES: Sweet Devil/ NEAL KIMBLE: I Consider Myself Lucky/ I've Made A Reservation (In My Life For You)/ JOHN LADREW: What's The Matter With Me/ MATT & ROBERT: These Arms Of Mine/ TONY OWENS: Got'a Get My Baby Back Home/ EARL PARADISE: You're All I Need/ LEA ROBERTS: Prove It/ J.P. ROBINSON: Only Be True To Me/ ACE SAINT CLAIRE: Let There Be Just You/ OSCAR WEATHERS: Your Fool Still Loves You

THE WALLACE BROTHERS Excello 3014 Lover's Prayer ● CD $14.98 $10.98
22 tracks, 47 min., recommended
Last few copies. Their LP on the Sims label is one of the rarest and most valuable albums of the soul era. But if you like your soul music a bit on the raw and spontaneous side, this cousin-rather-than-brother aggregation may be right for you. They were among the very first to take advantage of the magic touch of the Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. And they even scored a reasonably good-sized hit in 1964 with the title track here. This disc reissues their entire output - their Sims singles plus 3 singles recorded for the British Sue label. It includes Love Me Like I Love You, Faith, I'll Let Nothing Separate Me, Precious Words, One Way Affair, She Loves Me Not, Stepping Stone, These Arms of Mine, and Line Between Love and Hate. It's rough-edged, gospel-influence music, offered with high production standards. (DH)


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