Since our Second Time Around selections seem to be very popular this list includes some great releases which have been out for a while but you may have missed them the first time we listed them in addition to new releases. To avoid you getting possible duplicates we have added an asterisk (*) after these particular titles.
CLIFTON CHENIER Arhoolie 347 Bogalusa Boogie* ● CD $13.98
13 tracks, essential
Clifton Chenier made many great recordings but these sides recorded at the Studio In The Country at Bogalusa, Louisiana in 1975 are possibly his very finest. Clifton is in great form - singing and playing accordion with consummate skill and even playing harmonica on one track. The band (Cleveland Chenier/ rubboard, John Hart/ tenor sax, Paul Senegal/ guitar, Joe Brouchet/ bass and Robert St. Julian/ drums) provide a solid, unfaltering rhythm. The songs are mostly blues and R&B along with some zydeco, a waltz and a two-step. 11 of the tracks here were previously on Arhoolie 1076, one on Arhoolie 1078 and one track I May Be Wrong is previously unissued. An essential release. (FS)
CLIFTON CHENIER: Allons A Grand Coteau (Let`S Go To Grand Coteau)/ Bogalusa Boogie/ Come Go Along With Me/ I May Be Wrong (*)/ Je Me Reveiller Ce Matin (I Woke Up This Morning)/ Je Suis En Recolteur (I`M A Farmer)/ M'appel Fou (They Call Me Crazy)/ Ma Mama Ma Dit (My Mama Told Me)/ One Step At A Time/ Quelque Chose Sur Mon Idee (There`S Something On CLIFTON/ Ride 'Em Cowboy/ Take Off Your Dress/ Ti Na Na

THE NAT KING COLE TRIO JSP JSPCD 963 Rare Radio Transcriptions* ● CD $28.98
4 CDs, 106 tracks, 4 hours 35 min., very highly recommended
Long before Nat King Cole was crooning Unforgettable and Mona Lisa, he was making a name for himself performing in a small jazz combo. It didn't hurt that he was one of the finest (if underrated) jazz pianists around. This JSP box features 106 rare radio transcriptions from among the more than 500 recorded by the trio for Standard, Keystone, Davis & Schwegler, MacGregor, and Capitol between 1938-45. These transcriptions gave the Trio a national audience at a time when most record companies were releasing very few titles, owing to wartime shortages. Disc A (1938-39) finds Cole, Oscar Moore, And Wesley Prince sounding more like Cats And The Fiddle or The Ink Spots than like latter-day Nat King Cole. The Trio swings in unison, intentionally avoiding putting the spotlight on Cole. They run through novelty songs and jump tunes, many written by Cole. The second (1939-43) CD follows suit, offering an even greater number of Cole originals. But by the third CD, the Trio covers hit songs such as How High The Moon and It's Only A Paper Moon, and only 4 Cole-penned tunes, including D-Day. By 1945 the recordings feature more Cole piano solos and, by Disc D, ballads showing off Cole's smooth vocals. The swinging and jiving are not all gone, but the change has come. The Trio was so practiced and tight, they could record transcription sessions quickly. Recording without the benefit of editing or multiple takes apparently made little difference for the Trio, as these performances are all but flawless, engaging, impressive. No wonder Ray Charles spent the early days of his career imitating Nat Cole's Trio sound. Incredible stuff worth discovering or rediscovering. (JC)
NAT KING COLE TRIO: 'Tain't What You Do (It's The Way That'cha Do It)/ (Back Home Again In) Indiana/ After I Say I'm Sorry/ After You've Gone/ Aint Misbehavin'/ Baby (We Could Have A Lot Of Fun)/ Baby Won't You Please Come Home/ Barcarolle/ Besame Mucho/ Black Spider Stomp/ Blue Skies/ Body And Soul/ Boogie A La King/ Bring Another Drink/ Caravan/ Close To You/ Crazy Rhythm/ D-Day/ Dancing In The Street/ Dark Rapture/ Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me/ Don't Blame Me/ Don't Blame Me/ Don't Take Your Love From Me-Anita Boyer & Her Tomboyers/ F.D.R. Jones/ Fudge Wudge/ Gone With The Draft/ Harem Sandman/ Honey/ Honey Hush/ How High The Moon/ I Can't Give You Anything But Love/ I Got Rhythm/ I Like To Riff/ I May Be Wrong (But I Think You're Wonderful)/ I Realize Now/ I Thought You Ought To Know/ I Wanna Turn Out My Light/ I'm In The Mood For Love/ If Yesterday Could Only Be Tomorrow/ Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby?/ It Only Happens Once/ It's Only A Paper Moon/ Jam Man/ Jingle Bells/ Just Another Blues/ Keep Knockin' On Wood/ King Cole Blues/ Laura - King Cole Trio/ Lester Leaps In/ Liebestraum/ Little Joe From Chicago/ Mexico Joe/ Miss Thing/ Music'll Chase Your Blues Away/ Mutiny In The Nursery/ My Heart Tells Me/ No Love, No Nothin'/ On The Sunny Side Of The Street/ Penthouse Serenade/ Please Consider Me/ Pogo Stick Bounce/ Rhythm Sam/ Rhythm Serenade/ Rib Town Shuffle/ Riffin' In F Minor/ Rosetta/ Rosetta/ Russian Lullaby/ Scategoria/ Shoo Shoo Baby/ Shoo Shoo Baby/ Smokey Joe/ Snug As A Bug In A Rug/ Some Like It Hot/ Someone's In The Kitchen With Dinah/ Speak Low/ Swannee River/ Sweet Georgia Brown/ Sweet Lorraine/ Sweet Lorraine/ Swingin' The Blues/ That'll Just About Knock Me Out/ The Blue Danube/ The Land Of Make Believe/ The Limp/ The Man I Love/ The Old Music Master/ The Sheik Of Araby/ Them There Eyes/ There's No Anesthetic For Love/ These Foolish Things/ This Side Up/ This Will Make You Laugh/ Three Blind Mice/ Too Marvelous For Words/ Trompin'/ Vine Street Jump/ Wild Goose Chase/ Windy City Boogie Woogie/ Wouldn't You Like To Know/ You Call It Madness (But I Call It Love)/ You Must Be Blind/ You Send Me/ You're My Life/ You're So Different

JIMMY DONLEY Bear Family BCD 16534 The Shape You Left Me In* ● CD $21.98
25 tracks, 65 mins, highly recommended
Mississippi born Swamp Pop performer Jimmy Donley's life was the stuff of tragedy. A brilliant singer and songwriter he was dead by his own hand in 1963 at the age of 34. His life was filled with drugs, alcohol and wife abuse (he was married six times in 14 years - most of his wives left him in fear of their life!) and one can only assume that the personal demons that tortured him contributed to the power of his music. He was a fine swamp pop vocalist with an expressive bluesy style and wrote hundreds of songs - very few with his name credited as he would sell the rights to his producers, managers or anyone else for the money to buy groceries or pay rent. Donley pitched his songs to Fats Domino who recorded several of them including the gorgeous What A Price and remained a lifelong friend. This collection features all the recordings Jimmy made for Decca between 1957 and 1960 including unissued songs, alternate takes, previously unissued songs and eight minutes of a "studio workshop" featuring Jimmy working on the song I'm Alone. Highlight of the collection is the hard driving title song which has a composer credit of Marion Carpenter but was almost certainly written by Jimmy as was the soulful ballad flip What Must I Do. Recording for a major label meant that Jimmy got the slick Nashville treatment with vocal choruses and all but that doesn't obscure what a significant talent this man was. It's a shame that they didn't include some of Jimmy's recordings for other labels but maybe that is in the works - I hope so. You wouldn't want this man to marry (or even know) your daughter but you'd probably travel many a mile to hear him sing. (FS)

JIMMIE DRIFTWOOD Omni 174 Newly Discovered Early American Folk Songs/ Wildernes R ● CD $18.98
31 tracks, strongly recommended
Jimmie Driftwood was an interesting anomaly on the American country music scene of the late 1950s and early 60s. A teacher and folklorist Jimmie wrote songs, sometimes based around traditional songs as well songs that were original creations - all told he is claimed to have written over 6,000 songs. He accompanied himself on a unique guitar home built by his grandfather as well as on mouthbow (a variation of Jews harp) and occasionally autoharp. His first album featured here included the song Battle Of New Orleans which was popular but couldn't be played on many radio stations as it included the words "hell" and "damn." Johnny Horton recorded an expurgated version that topped the country and pop charts and even went to #3 in the R&B charts! As a result Driftwood became in demand as a songwriter and another song here Tennesee Stud was recorded by Eddie Arnold with great success. This collection features his first two LPs along with a selection of songs from singles. Jimmie's music is charming - there's not a whole lot of variety in his approach but many of his songs are interesting. Other titles include Unfortunae Man/ I'm Too Young To Marry/ Rattlesnake Song/ First Covered Wagon/ Peter Francisco/ Arkansas Traveler/ Mooshatanio, etc. (FS)

BOBBY FREEMAN Jasmine 732 Do You Want To Dance - The Best Of 1956-1961 ● CD $18.98
Two CDs, 38 tracks, strongly recommended
Bobby was born and raised in San Francisco. In 1956 at age 14 he started singing with The Romancers, who recorded four fine sides for the Dootoo label including the locally popular House Cat and in 1958 one single for Baytone. These six sides are included on the second disc here. After briefly singing lead with the (west coast) Vocaleers, Bobby decided to go solo and recorded some demos of original songs and was signed by Josie after they heard the demos. Josie dubbed guitar, bass & drums onto the demos and issued them as his first single and Do You Wanna Dance sped up the R&B charts during the spring of 1958, peaking at #2. His second success was another dance oriented number Betty Lou Got A New Pair Of Shoes followed by the soul flavored ballad Need Your Love. Bobby's first LP issued to cash in on the success of Dance featured included the hit and a few other fine R&B numbers but was dominated by pop ballads including several standards - he does a decent job on them but seem a bit out of place. In 1960 Bobby briefly defected to King - his entire King output can be found on Ace 1232 - this set includes one of his singles includes his hit (I Do The) Shimmy, Shimmy). He returned to Josie and had his last hit for that label with another dance tunes The Mess Around which was followed by an LP which featured a group of singles. This set includes his two Josie LPs and single cuts not on the LPs. He was a fine R&B singer and, except for the expendable versions of standards, this is an excellent collection. (FS)

WILBERT HARRISON Jasmine 733 Gonna Tell You A Story - Complete Singles, 1953-1962 ● CD $18.98
Two CDs, 40 tracks, highly recommended
Wilbert Harrison was one of a kind with his distinctive vocal style and approach to songs which seemed to change from session to session. He recorded quite prolifically and this two CD set features both sides of all his singles recorded between 1953 and 1962 for a number of different labels. It includes his big hit Kansas City recorded for Bobby Robinson's Fury label in 1959 featuring hot guitar from Jimmy Spruill. Six years earlier he had recorded Gonna Tell You A Story for Henry Stone's Rockin' label which was essentially Kansas City with different lyrics. It also includes his catchy Let's Stick Together from 1962 which he reworked seven years later as Let's Work Together which was a minor hit for Wilbert but achieved worldwide fame when it was covered by Canned Heat. There are a dozen tracks recorded for Savoy ranging from tough blues to trite ballads, several enlivened by hot guitar from Mickey Baker. Wilbert tried a bit of everything and there are a couple of calypso styled numbers as well as an off the wall version of Cool Water. Lots of fun. (FS)
WILBERT HARRISON: 1960/ After Graduation/ Baby Don't You Know/ C. C. Rider/ Calypso Dance/ Calypso Man/ Cheatin' Baby/ Confessin' My Dreams/ Cool Water/ Da Dee Ya Da (I'll Do Anything For You)/ Da Dee Ya Da (I'll Do Anything For You)/ Darling Listen To This Song/ Don't Drop It/ Don't Wreck My Life/ Drafted/ Florida Special/ Gin And Coconut Milk/ Gonna Tell You A Story (Aka This Woman Of Mine)/ Goodbye Kansas City/ Happy In Love/ I Know My Baby Loves Me/ I'm Broke/ Kansas City/ Kansas City Twist/ Let's Stick Together/ Letter Edged In Black/ Listen My Darling/ Little School Girl/ My Heart Is Yours/ My Love For You Lingers On/ My Love Is True/ Nobody Knows My Troubles/ Off To School Again/ Off To Work Again/ Since I Fell For You/ The Horse/ The Way I Feel/ The Ways Of A Woman/ Why Did You Leave?/ Women And Whiskey

JIMMY "DUCK" HOLMES Wolf 120.936 All Night Long ● CD $16.98
13 tracks, strongly recommended
The latest from this Bentonia, Mississippi country bluesman is a solo acoustic affair and find "Duck" in fine form. There are a couple of nods to fellow Bentonian Skip James with fine versions of Hard Time Killin' Floor and Devil Got My Woman as well as other covers like Train Train/ Red Rooster/ Rock Me and others as well as some originals based around traditional themes - I'm Going To Leave You/ / All Night Long/ Six Little Puppies, etc. Solid singing and playing throughout. (FS)

BRIAN HYLAND Jasmine 775 Sealed With A Kiss And All The Great Hits, 1971-1974 ● CD $18.98
2 CDs, 40 tracks, 95 mins, strongly recommended
There's a certain unbridled joy I get listening to some of Brian Hyland's early records, that pure pop for the people party platters that were best when they were no longer than about 2 minutes and 20 seconds. You get novelty gold in the giant hit Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, as well as smaller hits Four Little Heels (The Clickety Clack Song), and Lop-Sided, Over-Loaded (And It Wiggled When We Rode It). Then a little later on our boy Brian goes and gets an Everly Brothers feel to what he's doing and hits us with singles like Ginny Come Lately/ Warmed Over Kisses (Left Over Love), and the massive hit Sealed with a Kiss. This fine collection features all of those tracks and more from the period of 1960-62. Including his albums "The Bashful Blonde," and "Let Me Belong To You," in their entirety, as well as four tracks from the "Sealed With A Kiss" LP and another 13 singles (As and Bs) tracks. Don't scoff at Brian Hyland, he was a lot better artist than he gets credit for being, and personally after listening to this collection I have a much higher opinion of him myself. (JM)

ROY LEE JOHNSON Bear Family BCD 16321 When A Guitar Plays The Blues* ● CD $24.98
30 tracks, highly recommended
26 tracks recorded between 1961 and 1968 by singer/ songwriter/ guitarist Roy Lee Johnson along with four unissued sides by singer/ guitarist Curtis Smith accompanied by Johnson. In spite the title song most of the tracks here are not blues but rather a mix of R&B, soul and funk. Johnson is best known for having written and first recorded the song Mister Moonlight (include here) while he was a member of Piano Red's band and which was covered by The Beatles on the b-side of their first single. Johnson started his musical career working with Robert Ward & The Ohio Untouchables in Detroit where they both played their guitars through Magnetophone amps with their distinctive underwater tremolo sound and he uses this style to great effect on a number of the tracks here. Most of the tracks here are from his stint with Columbia from 1961 to 1965 along with a couple of sides recorded for Josie in 1965 and six for Phillips in 1967 and '68. His earlier sides find him attempting a range of styles which are not always effective but by the mid 60s he settled into a solid groove of deep soul ballads and rocking funk numbers with a superb band. The last of his recordings here from 1967 and '68 were recorded in Rick Hall's Fame studios with that great Fame sound. Curtis Smith worked with Roy in Piano Red's band and his tracks are enjoyable if not especially compelling. Though not always consistent there's enough really good material here to make it worth your while. (FS)

BRENDA LEE Ace CDCHD 1222 Queen Of Rock 'n' Roll* ● CD $18.98
28 tracks, highly recommended
Though best known for a string of rock ballad hits in the 60s starting with I'm Sorry in 1960, Brenda Lee was one of the finest female rock 'n' roll singers with an incredibly expressive voice and a great rasp that made her rock 'n' roll offering extremely exciting. Brenda made her first recordings in 1956 when she was 11 years old and although her earliest sides sound a bit immature she rapidly acquired a maturity that belied her age. Although her producers favored a pop approach with strings and vocal choruses Brenda's great voice is front and center on these recordings. Most of the tracks here were recorded between 1956 and 1961 and includes her early hits One Step At A Time/ Dynamite/ Rock Around The Christmas Tree/ Dum Dum and Sweet Nothin's along with other great sides like Rock The Bop/ Here Comes That Feelin'/ Ring-A-My Phone and two of my personal favorites Love You Till I Die and Let's Jump The Broomstick. And showing her versatility she does fine versions of R&B songs like Kansas City/ Talkin' 'Bout You and What'd I Say. As usual with Ace this is a quality production with superb sound and a 16 page illustrated booklet with extensive notes. (FS)

LA MUSGANA Mad River 1011 20* ● CD $18.98
16 tracks, highly recommended
U.S. issue of album celebrating the 20th anniversary of this superb and energetic Castillian Spanish quintet featuring recordings drawn from their various albums made in this period along with two bonus live tracks from 2007. Although the personnel has changed over the years the feel of their music has reamined constant - a delicious mixture of very old and very new tonalities that is reminiscent of Malicorne's acoustic-to-electric transition period, while the melodies and vocal styles are very Spanish indeed. The music is mostly instrumental with occasional Flamenco style vocal. The band arrangements are built on guitar, electric bass, hurdy-gurdy, drums, clarinet, fiddle, bagpipes, and more. The slap funk bass style may jar some ears, but it matches the playfulness of the whole band, updating medieval dance forms and more modern flamenco cousins into a joyful, Carnaval atmosphere. (DC/ FS)

NARMOUR & SMITH Document DOCD 8065 Complete Recordings, Vol 1: 1928-1930 ● CD $15.98
24 tracks, essential
After a very long absence Document Records returns to its 8000 series of vintage old time country music with some truly wonderful instrumental music. William T. Narmour was a magnificent fiddler from Carroll County, Mississippi with a distinctive sweet, yet bluesy style and is ably complemented by the sturdy guitar playing of Shellie W. Smith. Most of the tues are originals by Narmour including Carroll County Blues which became a hit and was one of the best selling records in 1929 and has been covered by numerous other performers. Other tunes include Captain George Has Your Money Come?/ Whos Been Giving You Corn/ Charleston No. 1/ Midnight Waltz/ Avalon Blues/ Mississippi Waves Waltz and others. A few cuts are from rough sounding 78s but the sound is mostly excellent and set has informative notes by Harry Bolick and full discographical info. (FS)

NARMOUR & SMITH Document DOCD 8066 Complete Recordings, Vol. 2: 1930-1934 ● CD $15.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
More great instrumental music from Narmour & Smith. The first 8 cuts are from sessions held by OKeh in 1930. Like most artists they were unable to record when the recession really took hold in 1930 but returned with a mammoth session for Bluebird in 1934 when they recorded 16 tunes (!) - many of them remakes of some of their most popular OKeh recordings including three different reworkins of The Charleston and three of Carroll County Blues. As a result this volume is not quite as indispensible as the first but is still full of great music. (FS)

DOYE O'DELL B.A.C.M. 445 Vol. 2 - Shut Up And Drink Your Beer ● CD $14.98
27 tracks, recommended
Complementing B.A.C.M. 172 this is the second collection of recordings by this popular West Coast performer. O'Dell was an engaging vocalist with lively peppy style with a western flavor and is given excellent accompaniment by an unknown group of musicians with fine electric guitar, steel, fiddle and occasionally accordion. The first 24 tracks are drawn from recordings he made for Exclusive and Mercury in the mid/ late and the final three tracks were recorded for Sage & Sand in the mid 50s and show little change in his style though arrangements are updated. (FS)
DOYE O'DELL: A Million Memories/ Dear Okie/ Don't Call Me Daddy/ Everybody Likes A Little Lovin'/ Give Me Texas/ I Signed On The Dotted Line/ If The Devil Wants To Talk/ If You Want Some Lovin'/ In The Little Shirt That Mother Made For Me/ Lookin' Poor, But Feelin' Rich/ Mosey On/ Okies In California/ Old Boy/ Please My Little Darlin'/ Red Headed Polka (Instr.)/ Ring Around The Moon/ Sally Sue From Salisaw/ Shalley Belle/ She Left Me When My Dream Boat Started Leakin'/ She Left Me When My Dream Boat Started Leaking/ Shut Up And Drink Your Beer/ Sitting Alone At The Table/ Somebody's Stealin' My Baby's Sugar/ Tennessee/ Up The River/ Wearing My Heart On My Sleeve/ Who Do You Spend Your Dreams With/ Without Your Wedding Ring

ESTHER PHILLIPS Raven 374 Baby I'm For Real! - 4 Classic Albums, 1971-74 ● CD $24.98
2 CDs, 35 tracks, 156 mins, highly recommended
Nice to see the great Esther Phillips get some well deserved attention. This collection gathers up her best work of the 1970s and puts it all in one place for you to enjoy. So, this features not only her groundbreaking "From a Whisper to a Scream" album, but the next three albums for the CTI/Kudu record label in their entirety as well, plus bonus tracks. Phillips is probably best known to the Roots and Rhythm faithful for her great Rhythm & Blues recordings done as Little Esther in the 1950s, but by the early 1970s she had matured into a whole different kind of singer. She was a gifted Soul singer with a troubled private life that seemed to spill over into her recordings. Perhaps more than anything, Esther Phillips was a great interpreter of songs, and when the songwriters are the likes of Gil Scott-Heron, Bill Withers, and Allen Toussaint, among others, the results are pretty fantastic. Occasionally the production job on some of these tracks gets a little overbearing with lush strings and the like, but Phillip's powerful voice and indelible style prevails no matter what else is going on in the track. Highlights include versions of Scott-Heron's Home Is Where The Hatred Is, and Withers' Use Me and Let Me In Your Life, as well as great takes on Do Right Woman, Do Right Man/ 'Til My Back Ain't Got No Bone, and many more. Esther Phillips was a great talent that we lost way to early; hopefully this will help some old fans rediscover her as well as turn some new folks on to her work as well. (JM)

THE PORT ARTHUR JUBILEERS B.A.C.M. 447 And Associates - Recorded, 1936-1941 ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, 70 mins, strongly recommended
An enjoyable collection of mostly western swing from four groups who all have some members in common. There are eight tracks from 1936 by Port Arthur, Texas based group The Louisina Strollers - a fine string band with a mix of music including some jazzy titles that hint at Western Swing. From 1940 we have six solid, if somewhat tame, western swing tracks by the Port Arthur Jubileers and the following year there are six tracks from Jimmy Hart & His Merrymakers which is the Port Arthur Jubileers with a couple of changes in personnell including the addition of the great electric mandolinist Tiny Moore who would later become a member of Bob Wills's Texas Playboys. Finally from October 1940 we have four tracks by The Jubilees which is essentially the same group. Good sound and detailed notes by Kevin Coffey which are printed so tiny that you would probably need a magnifying glass to read unless you have exceptional vision! (FS)
JIMMY HART & HIS MERRYMAKERS: After Thinking It Over/ Cheatin' on Me/ It's Kinda Late To Be Sorry/ Let's Start All Over Again/ Little Hula Girl/ Teeny Weeny/ THE JUBILEERS: Boogie Woogie Johnson/ San Antonio Moonlight/ Start A Little Rainbow In My Heart/ The Right String But the Wrong Yo-Yo/ THE LOUISIANA STROLLERS: Dancing With My Shadow/ I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover/ Kansas City Kitty/ Married Woman's Blues/ Marsovia Waltz/ Sleepy Rio Grande/ Strollers Waltz/ The Unexplained Blues/ PORT ARTHUR JUBILEERS: Jeep's Blues/ Jones Stomp/ Pussywillow/ Roses In The Sunset/ Texas Star/ When You're Thinking Of The One That You Forgot

JUNE TABOR Topic TSCD 298 Airs And Graces* ● CD $14.98
10 tracks, essential
June Tabor is now one of the veterans of the English folk scene but this is her debut album from 1976 which immediately established her as one of the finest interpreters of traditional and contemporary songs on the British folk scene. She had been singing in folk clubs for 10 years and so had perfected her style and repertoire. This album reflects more of a purist approach to largely traditional material than her later albums do - several songs are sung acapella and truly reveal the depth of June's vocal talents. One of her acapella songs was the great anti-war song The Band Played Waltzing Matilda written by Scots Australian singer/ songwriter Eric Bogle and hers is possibly the best version of this song and the one that first drew attention to the talents of Bogle. Some tracks features the superb guitar or fiddle of Nic Jones (While Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping/ Bonny May/ The Merchants Son) and on the chilling Scottish murder ballad Young Waters Jon Gillespie adds some wonderfully evocative keyboard work. A real classic! (FS)

TOOTS & THE MAYTALS Trojan 459 54-46 Was My Number - Anthology,
● CD $24.98
2CD set, 48 tracks, 153 mins, essential
Fantastic collection featuring some of the greatest early recordings of one of the architects of reggae - Frederick "Toots" Hibbert and his great vocal companions Nathanial "Jerry" MCCarthy and Henry "Raleigh" Gordon aka The Maytals. The group drew strongly on American R&B and deep soul and produced beautifully melodic and memorable music. In spite of the album title most of the recordings here are from the period 1965 and 1974 when the group was in its prime and includes some of their most popular songs including 54-46, Struggle (based on his 12 month prison sentance on a marijuana posession charge that was never proved), a gorgeous version of the American civil rights anthem We Shall Overcome, the song that gave the newly devoping music its name Do The Reggay, Pressure Drop featured in the classic reggae film "The Harder They Come", Monkey Man (his first international hit), 54-46 Was My Number/ Redemption Song/ Funky Kingston, a cover of the R&B classic Louie Louie, an exquisite version of (Take Me Home) Country Roads put in a Jamaican setting and others. A number of tracks here were only previously available as singles in Jamaica and are making their first appearance on CD. Sound quality is superb and fold out booklet as notes, a selective singles discography, photos and label shots. Glorious stuff - if you're not already a reggae fan this will convert you. (FS)

MERLE TRAVIS Bear Family BCD 15636 Folksongs Of The Hills* ● CD $21.98
24 tracks, 79 min. essential
Both of Travis's acoustic albums are reissued on one CD with the beautiful color artwork from the 1947 Capitol 78 rpm album Folk Songs of the Hills reproduced on the cover. This reissues on one CD all of Merle's mining songs, many based on his boyhood of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. From that first album came Dark As A Dungeon That's All and of course, his original recording of Sixteen Tons. mixed with other traditional songs like Nine Pound Hammer and John Henry. Though the album meant little to country fans at the time and sold modestly to urban folkies. Travis returned to mining songs in 1963 with his less well-known LP Songs of the Coal Mines, again sung with just acoustic guitar, these songs dealing in greater detail with the miner's life in tunes like Miner's Strawberries, (a term for beans), Black Gold, Pay Day Come too Soon and Bloody Brethitt County. The original liner notes, inexplicably omitted here, were written by Merle's brother John. Vintage shots of Muhlenberg County coal country provide atmosphere. Labor song authority Archie Green's notes are enthusiastic, but deal more with labor issues than music. (RK)

IKE TURNER & HIS KINGS OF RHYTHM Ace CDCHD 553 Rhythm Rockin' Blues* ● CD $18.98
20 tracks, 60 mins, highly recommended
Just what it says - lots of rhythm, lots of rockin' and lots of blues featuring the hot Kings Of Rhythm fronted by singer, guitarist, piano player, arranger and talent scout Izear Luster (aka Ike) Turner. Opening with the millionth reissue of Jackie Brenston's Rocket 88 from 1951 no doubt to lure in the less knowledgeable the rest is devoted to recordings made in 1954 including a number that were not originally issued as singles. The band included Raymond Hill, Eugene Fox and Bobby Fields/ saxes, the first Mrs Turner Bonnie on piano, Jesse Knight Jr. on electric bass and Robert Prindell/ drums. There are three vocals by Ike (under the pseudonym "Lover Boy") and a couple of instrumentals including the fascinating 8 1/2 minute All The Blues, All The Time where Ike plays a medley of blues favorites of the time emulating the styles of Matt Murphy, B.B. King, Elmore James and others. The rest of the album features vocals by Billy Gale (Gayles), J.W. Walker (later known as Big Moose Walker with very hot guitar by Ike), Dennis Binder, Johnny Wright (his intense The World Is Yours is a variation on Guitar Slim's The Things I Used To Do and features more great string bending guitar from Ike), Little Johnny Burton and Lonnie "The Cat". Great sound and excellent notes by Ray Topping. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 334 Dig These Blues - The Legendary Dig Masters* ● CD $18.98
22 tracks, highly recommended
Johnny Otis' legendary but short lived Dig Label began as Ultra Records in 1955. The first Ultra release was the rollicking If You Ever Get Lonesome by Roy "Happy" Easter with Preston Love & His Orchestra (actually Otis' group). This release is included here, as is Moose John's Talkin' 'Bout Me/ Wrong Doin' Woman, originally Ultra 102. The Cats From Fresno, one of the Dig label's best, are represented by 4 excellent cuts (Dig 138 & 142), the best being the driving You Ain't Too Old featuring Al Simmons' vocals. Other hard, jagged blues are pumped out by obscure but talented artists like Larry Waters, Sailor Boy, T W Sams, Hozay, Little Billy Robbins, and others. Sugarcane Harris (half of Don & Dewey) sings Elim Stole My Baby/ They Say You Never Can Miss, originally released in 1960 on Otis' Eldo label. Sound quality is very good since the original masters were used as the source on most of these. 22 songs in all, good liner notes, rare music. Why wait? (JC)
ROY "HAPPY" EASTER WITH PRESTON LOVE & HIS ORCHESTRA: If You Ever Get Lonesome/ SLIM GREEN & THE CATS FROM FRESNO: My Woman Done Quit Me/ HOZAY: Going Back To The Plow/ I've Got An Expensive Woman/ SIDNEY MAIDEN, SLIM GREEN & THE CATS FROM FRESN: Hand Me Down Baby/ ABE MOORE AND ORCHESTRA: Moore Boogie/ S And J/ MOOSE JOHN: Talkin' 'bout Me/ Wrong Doin' Woman/ JIMMY NOLAN: Come On Home/ LITTLE BILLY ROBBINS: Singing The Blues/ BILLY ROBBINS WITH JOHNNY OTIS ORCHESTRA: Bring Her Back To Me/ SAILOR BOY: Country Home/ What Have I Done Wrong (Part 1)/ What Have I Done Wrong (Part 2)/ T W SAMS: Springtime Blues/ AL SIMMONS WITH SLIM GREEN & THE CATS FROM: Old Folks' Boogie/ You Ain't Too Old/ SUGARCANE AND HIS VIOLIN: Elim Stole My Baby (Boo Hoo)/ They Say You Never Can Miss/ LARRY WATERS: Don't Tell Me That You Love Me/ Full Grown Woman

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 537 Get On Board Little Children - The Modern Gospel Recordings* ● CD $18.98
28 tracks, 78 mins, highly recommended
Wonderful collection of gospel music drawn from the Modern/ RPM group of labels. Although some of this has been reissued before on two P-Vine the sound, presentation and selection are superior here. Although Modern did not have an extensive catalog of gospel what it did have included some exceptional recordings as this collection, which includes a number of unissued sides, clearly shows. The material is varied and includes the magnificant Atlanta quartet Echoes Of Zion with six tracks (3 previously unissued) including the moving A Charge To Keep I Have. Singer/ piano player Madame Ira Mae Littlejohn is a wonderfully intesne singer with two powerful songs, Rev. G.W. Killens leads the Mount Calvary Congregation in Oakland, California in a beautiful lined out version of Father, I Stretch My Arms To Thee while Rev. C.C. Chapman in Los Angeles leads the Faith Temple Choir on the two part snctified On My Way with rocking organ, drums, tambourine and enthusiastic hand clapping. The set also includes Prof James Earle Hine & His Goodwill Singers, The Four Star Quartet, Rev. Louis Narcisse and others. Great sound, informative notes by Chris Smith and such discographical information as is known. (FS)
REV C C CHAPMAN & THE FAITH TEMPLE CHOIR: On My Way/ THE ECHOES OF ZION: A Charge To Keep I Have/ Climbing Jacob's Ladder/ I Took My Master's Hand/ I'll Rest After Awhile/ King Jesus Is Listening/ Those Chiming Bells/ THE FOUR STAR QUARTET: In My Savior's Care/ Steal Away To Jesus/ THE HARMONIZERS: I John Saw/ Satisfied/ JAMES EARLE HINES AND HIS GOODWILL SINGERS: Daniel/ Get On Board/ God Rode In The Windstorm/ Heavenly Highway/ LILLIAN HOLMES AND MADAM WESLEY MAE WALKER: Jesus Said If You Go/ G W KILLENS AND THE MT CALVARY CONGREGATION: Father, I Stretch My Arms To Thee/ MADAM IRA MAE LITTLEJOHN: Go Devil Go/ I Wanna See Jesus/ REV LOUIS NARCISSE: Why Should I Worry/ THE SMITH JUBILEE SINGERS: Dig A Little Deeper/ Just A Little Talk With Jesus/ Lord Remember Me/ THE SWANEE RIVER QUARTET: Brother Noah/ On The Battlefield For The Lord/ Take Your Burdens To The Lord/ The Sun Will Never Go Down

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 801 The Spark Records Story* ● CD $18.98
30 tracks, highly recommended
Great collection of rockin' blues and R&B sides recorded in Los Angeles in 1954 and 1955 for Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller's Spark label. Although only in their early 20s they had had a string of their songs recorded by some of the top R&B artists of the day including the million selling Hound Dog by Big Mama Thornton. They formed Spark after they had gotten a raw deal from Don Robey at Duke over that song. Over a period of about 18 months they recorded a wide variety of black talent - mostly from the Los Angeles area - the incredibly talented duo wrote many of the songs and produced most of the sessions. One notable exception are the fine sides by Eugene "Sly" Fox recorded in Clarksdale, Mississippi by Ike Turner who together with members of The Kings Of Rhythm backed Fox. The label's most succesful act were The Robins who were picked up by Atlantic and became The Coasters and Leiber & Stoller moved to New York to write for them and produce them. Other fine acts here include the duo Willy & Ruth who do the original version of Love Me - later recorded by Elvis, tough sax man Gil Bernal who has a couple of instrumental sides and backs many of the other artists, prolific L.A. bluesman Ray Agee, Big Boy Groves with the great I Gotta New Car, poerful bluesman Mister Ruffin and others. Sound, of course, is superb, and the 12 page illustrated booklet tells the Spark Record story. (FS)
RAY AGEE: Another Fool (sings The Blues)/ Wobble Lou/ ERNIE ANDREWS: In The Still Of The Night/ Soft Winds/ GIL BERNAL: Easyville/ King Solomon's Blues/ GARLAND THE GREAT: Strike A Match/ Tree Stump Jump/ GENE & BILLY: It's Hot/ Zerlene/ BIG BOY GROVES & BAND: I Gotta New Car/ Midnight Special/ THE HONEY BEARS: I Shall Not Fail/ One Bad Stud/ FRANKIE MARSHALL: Just Say The Word/ No One Else Will Ever Know/ THE ROBINS: I Must Be Dreamin'/ Loop De Loop Mambo/ Riot In Cell Block #9/ Smokey Joe's Cafe/ The Hatchet Man/ Whadaya Want/ MISTER RUFFIN: A Touch Of Heaven (just Around The Corner)/ Bring It On Back/ THE SLY FOX: Alley Music/ Hoo-doo Say/ I'm Tired Of Beggin'/ My Four Women/ WILLY & RUTH: Farewell/ Love Me

VARIOUS ARTISTS Archeophone 9007 The Phonographic Yearbook - 1922* ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Archeophone is a label dedicated to making listenable CDs of discs originally recorded acoustically (pre-electric). This volume has plenty of wonderful tunes. Something nice about hearing original versions of such tunes as Second Hand Rose & My Man, both by Fanny Brice, April Showers by Al Jolson, My Buddy by Henry Burr, I'm Just Wild About Harry by Vaughn De Leath & early versions of Ma! (He's Making Eyes At Me) by the Isham Jones Orch, The Sheik (of Araby) by The Club Royal Orch, even Ernie Jones & Billy Hare (AKA The Happiness Boys, The Interwoven Pair, etc), doing a cover & getting the hit of Mr. Gallagher & Mr. Shean, while the originators, Ed Gallagher & Ed Shean do their follow-up hit to Mr Gallagher & Mr. Shean, ,Positively Mr. Shean". Also includes sides by Eddie Cantor, Paul Whiteman Orch incl the original version of Hot Lip, along with a history of the year 1922. (GM)

VARIOUS ARTISTS B.A.C.M. 439 The Cozy Label - Classic Country Music ● CD $14.98
Collection of country and bluegrass recorded between 1947 and 1950 for John Bava's Cozy label in Davis, West Virginia. Apart from the superb bluegrass group The Lonesome Pine Fiddlers, most of the other artists are very obscure. It includes more fine bluegrass from Cousin Bob Nicholson & The Lonely River Boys and Red Belcher & The Kentucky Ridge Runners and others. Most of the rest is more mainstream country including sides by Jack Swenson, Harry Wellman, Bob Mason's Western Swingbillies, Dorse Lewis & The Shadow Mountain Boys (the fascinating talking blues Scared Coal Miner), Old Brother Charlie & Daisy Mae and others.
MASON AYERS & HIS WEST VIRGINIANS: Diddie Wah Diddie/ I'm Not The Fool I Used To Be/ LEE BAILEY: Lonesome And Blue/ RED BELCHER & THE KENTUCKY RIDGE RUNNERS: I Ain't Gonna Let Old Satan Turn Me Round/ I'm Moving On/ THE DRIFTING PIONEERS V. DICK WESTON: Please Don't Go/ THE DRIFTING PIONEERS V. TEX FERGUSON: Two Broken Hearts/ HANK THE COWHAND: Cowhand Stomp (Instr.)/ When You Walked Out Of My Life Yesterday/ DORSE LEWIS "THE SCARED COAL MINER" & SHADOW M: Scared Coal Miner/ THE LONESOME PINE FIDDLERS: Lonesome Sad And Blue/ Pain In My Heart/ BOB MASON'S WESTERN SWINGBILLIES V. LLOYD CO: Honey, You're Letting Me Down/ BOB MASON'S WESTERN SWINGBILLIES: Just A Hand Full Of Mem'ries/ Move On Gal/ Three Little Words/ COUSIN BOB NICHOLSON & LONELY RIVER BOYS: I Know You'll Never Be My Own/ I Want To Be Wanted By Someone/ OLD BROTHER CHARLIE & DAISY MAE: Our U.S. Volunteers/ Our United Nations Flag/ DUSTY SHAVER: My Name Is Ticklish Rubin/ JACK SWANSON: Arizona Here I Come/ HARRY WELLMAN: You Can't Take My Memories From Me/ THE WESTERN SWINGBILLIES WITH LLOYD CORNELL: A Heart Once Broken/ THE WESTERN SWINGBILLIES FEAT. LLOYD CORNELL: Tear Drops And Empty Arms/ THE WHISPERING STRINGS BAND V. RUTLEDGE SIST: If I'd Listened To My Mother

VARIOUS ARTISTS B.A.C.M. 446 Cozy Records - Country Music On The Cozy Label, Vol. 2 ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, strongly recommended
Complementing B.A.C.M. 439 this is another collection of country and bluegrass recorded between for John Bava's Cozy label in Davis, West Virginia. The first volume covered the years 1947 to 1950 and this one features sides from 1950 and '51 and a includes a greater percentage of bluegrass flavored recordings - in addition to the well known Lonesome PIne Fiddlers there are also some nice bluegrass tracks from Jake Taylor & The Radio Ranch Hands (with a clarinet on some cuts) and Claude Stewart & The Tennessee Ramblers. Other artists include The Robson Quartet (a close harmony gospel group), The Rhythm Rascals, Little John & Cherokee Sue (a couple of real old time sounding sentimental songs), Bobby Cook and more. Excellent sound and detailed notes from English country expert Al Turner. (FS)
CLIFF ALLEN: I'm Lonesome And Blue/ I'm A-Gonna Leave You/ BONNIE BALDWIN: I'll Just Yodel & Forget About You/ I'll Never More Be Shackled In A Fool's Paradise/ JOHN & LUCY BAVA: Mother, How I Miss You Tonight/ Where The Saints Of God Go/ BOBBY COOK: Let's Live A Little/ Sick, Sober & Sorry/ TEX EAGY & THE DRIFTING TROUBADOURS: Tennessee River/ The Rest Of My Life/ HANK THE COWHAND: I Want To Go Crazy/ Let's Take A Little Walk In The Moonlight/ LITTLE JOHN & CHEROKEE SUE-THE WEST VIRG: Hang Out The Front Door Key/ Mother's Old Checkered Apron/ THE LONESOME PINE FIDDLERS: Don't Forget Me/ Will I Meet Mother In Heaven/ THE RHYTHM RASCALS: A Rose To Remember/ That's The Way It's Got To Be/ THE ROBSON QUARTET: Bend Way Down Low/ Come On Dear Lord And Get Me/ CLAUDE STEWART & THE TENNESSEE RAMBLERS: New River Train/ Sad And Lonely/ JAKE TAYLOR & THE RADIO RANCH HANDS: A Triflin' Woman/ I'm Losing You/ I'm So Ashamed/ Wedding Waltz

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 16946 The Other Side Of Bakersfield, Vol. 1 ● CD $21.98
31 tracks, 69 mins, highly recommended
The California city of Bakersfield is known for producing numerous country hits in the 60s and 70s with a distinctive pared down sound. But this sound didn't appear overnight - Bakersfield had been hotbed of country music since the early 1950s and this is the first of two CDs devoted to early recordings made in Bakersfield, often on tiny local labels and featuring some artists who would later become synonymous with the "Bakersfield sound" as well as many obscure artists that made only a couple of singles, often on tiny labels. The music here is a mix of hillbilly, western swing, rockabilly and rock 'n' roll. Artists on this volume include Billy Barton (who founded the first Bakersfield labels in the early 50s), Bill Woods, Tommy Duncan (a pretty good stab at rock 'n' roll from this great western swing vocalist), Corky Jones (aka Buck Owens with his rockabilly classic Hot Dog), Johnny Taylor, Billy Mize, "Cousin" Herb Henson, Gene Martin, Ernie Kelly, Joe Hall with The Corvettes and others. Sound quality is superb and the 52 page booklet has extensive notes by Scott Bomar based on original interviews with many of the artists. (FS)
GLEN AYERS: Sweet Love/ BILLY BARTON: Blues In The Blue Of The Night/ BONNIE BLUE BELL: Let's Go/ CUSTER BOTTOMS: Stood Up Blues/ AL BRUMLEY: Someone's Gonna Get Hurt/ BILL CARTER: I Used To Love You/ AL COKER: Don't Go Baby (Don't Go)/ ALVADEAN COKER: We're Gonna Bop/ TOMMY COLLINS: Untied/ CLIFF CROFFORD: There Ain't Nothin' Happenin' To Me/ THE FARMER BOYS: Flash, Crash And Thunder/ VANCIE FLOWERS: What A Man/ MERLE HAGGARD: Skidrow/ JOE HALL & THE CORVETTES: Bongo Beating Beatnik/ AL HENDRIX: Monkey Bite/ COUSIN HERB HENSON: Up The Path And In My Door/ CORKY JONES: Hot Dog/ ERNIE KELLEY: Seal Rock/ WALLY LEWIS: Lover Boy/ GENE MARTIN: Make It Soon/ BILLY MIZE: Solid Sender/ BOB ORRISON: Sarah Lee/ FUZZY OWEN: Arkie's Got Her Shoes On/ BUCK OWENS: Sweet Thing/ DUSTY PAYNE: Long Time Gone/ BOB ROSS & THE TEENS: Stingy Daddy/ RONNIE SESSIONS: Scaredy-Cat/ JOHNNY TAYLOR: Mixed Up Rhythm & Blues/ JIMMY THOMASON: Now Hear This/ BILL WOODS: Go Crazy Man/ Daddy Loves Mommyo

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 17353 The Other Side Of Bakersfield, Vol. 2 ● CD $21.98
31 tracks, 69 mins, highly recommended Another great collection of early Bakersfield recordings of hillbilly, rockabilly and rock 'n' roll. Some artists return from Volume 1 as well as artists unique to this volume. It includes sides by Ferlin Husky, Fuzzy Owen (a terrific 1956 version of the Buck Owens composition Yer Fer Me with Owens on guitar who would have a hit with song himself in 1963), Terry Fell (the excellent, previously unissued, What's Good For The Goose), Bill Woods, Lynn Billingsly (the fine Childhood Boogie with Red Simpson on lead guitar), The Three Notes (rockin' female trio), Abe Mulkey, Dallas Frazier, Lawton Jiles, Billy Bledsoe, Cathy Sharpe and others. Again sound is great and notes are detailed. (FS)
LYNN BILLINGSLY: Childhood Boogie/ BILLY BLEDSOE: That's Just Where (I Oughtta Be)/ JOHNNY BOND: Three Or Four Nights/ BILL BRYAN & THE GOLDTONES: Rockin' Chair/ LARRY BRYANT: I Remember/ JOE CARSON: Take Me In Your Arms/ BILL CARTER: I Wanna Feel Good/ GROVER CLEVELAND: Why Not/ CLIFF CROFFORD: Teenage Tears/ DEL AND SUE: Just Before Dawn/ TOMMY DUNCAN: I'll Be There Next Sunday (With Larry Thornton)/ BOB EHRET: Stop The Clock/ THE FARMER BOYS: Somehow, Someway, Someday/ TERRY FELL: What's Good For The Goose/ DALLAS FRAZIER: I Can't Go On/ AL HENDRIX: Rhonda Lee/ HERB HENSON: Goodbye, Baby, Goodbye/ FERLIN HUSKY: I Feel Better All Over/ LAWTON JILES: That's What I Get For Lovin' You/ CORKY JONES (AKA. BUCK OWENS): Rhythm And Booze/ J. R. LARUE & THE GOLDTONES: I Know Better/ WALLY LEWIS: Kathleen/ MEL & CARL: Come On Home/ BILLY MIZE: Planet Named Desire/ ABE MULKEY: Packed Up And Shoved Off/ FUZZY OWEN: Yer Fer Me/ DUSTY PAYNE: My Walkin' Shoes/ CATHY SHARPE: North Pole Rock/ THE THREE NOTES: I've Been Thinking It Over/ GEORGE WESTON: Hey Little Car Hop/ BILL WOODS: Phone Me Baby

VARIOUS ARTISTS Gospel 1001 The Best Of Newark Gospel, Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, very highly recommended
Fabulous collection of sides recorded between 1955 and 195 for the Newark based Gospel and Sharp labels featuring a broad spectrum of African American gospel. There are five tracks from the soaring soprano of the magnificent Marion Williams including her moving version of spiritual pop song I Believe. There are also five tracks from the superb quartet The Selah Singers including their wonderful defence of young people Don't Blame The Children. Other fine quartets here include Rev. H.B. Crum and His Golden Keys and The Sensational Six of Birmingham, Alabama. The great Caravans are featured on two cuts with superb lead vocals from Inez Andrews and there are also fine tracks from The Unique Gospel Singers, Gate City Singers, Prof. Alex Bradford & The Ladies Of Music and others. A splendid set with fine sound and full discographical details. (FS)
PROF. ALEX BRADFORD & THE LADIES OF MUSIC: He Makes All My Decisions For Me/ THE CARAVANS: I'm Not Tired Yet/ I'm Willing/ REV. H.B. CRUM & HIS GOLDEN KEYS: I Can Feel Him/ The Bible's Right/ THE GATE CITY SINGERS: John The Revelator/ THE GOSPEL MESSENGERS: His Love/ LAWRENCE ROBERTS SINGERS: If You Make It To The Moon/ THE SELAH JUBILEE SINGERS: Gospel Train/ THE SELAH SINGERS: Don't Blame The Children/ Music In The Air/ Old Rugged Cross/ Trouble In The Land/ THE SENSATIONAL SIX OF BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA: Guide My Mind/ I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray/ THE SMITH SISTERS: Heavenly Vision/ THE UNIQUE GOSPEL SINGERS: I Had To Tell It/ THE VICTORIOUS GLORYLANDERS OF GREENSBORO, N: How Beautiful/ In The Promised Land/ MARION WILLIAMS: Get Your Business Right/ Hallelujah, Praise The Lord/ Holy Ghost/ I Believe/ I Can't Forget

VARIOUS ARTISTS One Day 063 Wild Child - The Warwick Records Story ● CD $11.98
Three CDs, 75 tracks, recommended
Warwick Records was a short lived label (1959-62) run by veteran songwriter/ producer Morty Craft. During it's short life it racked up big hits by instrumental groups Johnny & The Hurricanes and The String-A-Longs. They also recorded guitar master Link Wray though his fine cuts had little success. The rest of the catalog included R&B, doo-wop, rock 'n' roll and pop. Many of their recordings have a pop flavor thanks to the addition of strings but Little Esther Phillips's great Wild Child and Feel Like I Wanna Cry are straight R&B without any "sweetening." OTher artists include Bob Crewe, Jerry Landis (aka Paul Simon), Dean Barlow (former lead singer of The Crickets), Artie Garr (aka Art Garfunkle), The Crests, Faye Adams (two songs including a remake of her hit Shake A Hand), The Tokens (pre Lion Sleeps Tonight), Bill Kenny, The Four Winds, The Genies, Fran Jeffries, The Harptones, The Distants, The Fireballs, The Willows, Buddy Charles, Larry Darnell, The Vox Poppers, Mary Osborne (legendary female jazz guitarist), The Craftsmen and others. (FS)
FAYE ADAMS: Hurts Me To My Heart/ It Can't Be Wrong/ Shake A Hand/ GINNY ARNELL: He Likes Rock And Roll Better Than Me/ DEAN BARLOW: It's All In Your Mind (I'n Not Cheatin' On You)/ Your Love Is All I Need/ THE BUDDY BRENNAN QUARTET: Big River/ BUDDY CHARLES: A Soldier's Prayer/ Oh Yes I Do/ PETULA CLARK: Romeo/ THE CRAFTSMEN: Rock A-Long/ THE CRESTS: The Actor/ BOB CREWE: Cool Time (In The Old Town Tonight)/ Oh How I Miss You Tonight/ Water Boy/ LARRY DARNELL: If I Had You/ THE DISTANTS: Always/ Come On/ THE ETERNALS: Blind Date/ THE FASHIONS: All I Want/ THE FIREBALLS: Quite A Party/ THE FOUR WINDS: Daddy's Home/ SUNNY GALE: Church Bells May Ring/ My Foolish Heart/ ARTIE GARR: Beat Love/ Dream Alone/ THE GENIES: Little Young Girl/ Twistin' Pneumonia/ JIMMY GILMER: Good Good Lovin'/ LINDA GLOVER: A Different Kind Of Love/ Counting Sheep Over You/ THE HALOS: Mean Old World/ Village Of Love/ THE HARPTONES: I Remember/ Love Me Completely/ What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am)/ JEANIE & HER BOY FRIENDS: Baby/ It's Me Knockin'/ FRAN JEFFRIES: No Moon At All/ JOHNNY & THE HURRICANES: Crossfire/ Red River Rock/ Reveille Rock/ JOHNNY & THE TOKENS: The Taste Of A Tear/ BILL KENNY: Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall/ Whispering Grass/ KITT 'N' KORY: Across The Moon/ JERRY LANDIS: Just A Boy/ Play Me A Sad Song/ Shy/ DONNY MARCHAND: I Don't Know/ MATT MONRO: My Kind Of Girl/ THE MYSTERIONS: Amnesia/ Transylvania/ MARY OSBORNE: I'm Beginning To See The Light/ A PAIR OF KINGS: Ev'rytime/ LITTLE ESTHER PHILLIPS: Feel Like I Wanna Cry/ Wild Child/ THE RAGING STORMS: The Dribble (Twist)/ MARVIN RAINWATER: Boo Hoo/ EDDIE REEVES: Talk Talk/ NORMAN SANDS & THE VALIANTS: Don't Wanna Leave The Congo/ THE SEDATES: Girl Of Mine/ THE SHEPHERD SISTERS: Alone/ SHIRLEY & LEE: Let The Good Times Roll/ Like You Used To Do/ Well-A, Well-A/ ANDY STEWART: A Scottish Soldier (Green Hills Of Tyrol)/ THE STRING-A-LONGS: Wheels/ THE TOKENS: Tonight I Fell In Love/ THE VOX POPPERS: In My Heart Of Hearts/ THE WILLOWS: My Dear, Dearest Darling/ You/ LINK WRAY: Big City Stomp/ Poppin' Popeye

VARIOUS ARTISTS One Day 3CD 064 Good Rockin' Tonight-The Old Town Records Story,1952-62 ● CD $13.98
Three CDs, 60 tracks, strongly recommended
Old Town was a significant independent label, particularly on the New York scene. It was founded in New York in 1952 by loveable rascal Hy Weiss and for the first six years of its existence issued a fine selection of doo-wop, R&B and blues that were popular locally from artists like The Five Crowns, The Solitaires (including their classic Walking Along which was only a local hit but is now considered a doowop standard), Arthur Prysock (a fine cover of Good Rockin' Tonight), Ruth McFadden & The Supremes, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Ursula Reed, Bob Gaddy (great blues singer and piano player), The Supremes (not the Motown group) and others. In 1958 they finally hit the nationwide charts with Robert & Johnny's great doowop ballad We Belong Together and over the next couple of years had a string of hits including There's A Moon Out Tonight by The Capris, Let The Little Girl Dance by Billy Bland and So Fine by The Fiestas though they have inexplicably left off Dear One by Larry Finnegan (one of the label's few whte artists) and Remember Then by The Earls. Still this is a fine and varied set. (FS)
BILLY BLAND: Chicken Hop/ Chicken In The Basket/ How Many Hearts/ Let The Little Girl Dance/ PRESTON BROWN: Walk On/ THE CAPRIS: There's A Moon Out Tonight/ Why Do I Cry/ THE CLEFTONES: My Dearest Darling/ The Masquerade Is Over/ LOU DEE & VALLEY BOYS: King Of The Hill/ GWEN EDWARDS & THE CO'EDS: I Love An Angel/ THE FAIRFIELD FOUR: Don't Let Nobody Turn You Around/ Memories (Of My Mother)/ THE FI-TONES: My Faith/ THE FIESTAS: Good News/ I'm Your Slave/ Look At That Girl/ So Fine/ LARRY FINNEGAN: Oh Lonesome Me/ Pretty Suzy Sunshine/ THE FIVE CROWNS: Good Luck Darling/ Later Later Baby/ Lullaby Of The Bells/ You Could Be My Love/ BOB GADDY: Gonna Be At The Station/ I Love My Baby/ I'll Go My Way/ Operator/ GENE KENNEDY: Am I The Boy/ Wandering Wanderer/ THE KEYTONES: A Fool In Love/ Seven Wonders Of The World/ VINNY LEE & THE RIDERS: Mule Train Rock/ RUTH MCFADDEN & THE HARPTONES: School Boy/ RUTH MCFADDEN & THE ROYALTONES: Two In Love (With Only One Heart)/ RUTH MCFADDEN & THE SUPREMES: Darling, Listen To The Words Of This Song/ Since My Baby's Been Gone/ BROWNIE MCGHEE & SONNY TERRY: Climbing On Top Of The Hill/ I Need A Woman/ She Loves So Easy/ Uncle Bud/ ARTHUR PRYSOCK: Good Rockin' Tonight/ URSULA REED: Ursula's Blues/ You're Laffin' 'Cause I'm Crying/ ROBERT & JOHNNY: Broken Hearted Man/ Dream Girl/ We Belong Together/ You're Mine/ THE ROGUES: If You Love Me/ It's True/ Puppy Love/ World Of Love/ THE ROYALTONES: Crazy Love/ Never Let Me Go/ THE SOLITAIRES: I Really Love You So (Honey Babe)/ My Dear/ South Of The Border/ Walking Along/ THE TREMAINES: Jingle Jingle/ THE VALENTINES: Tonight Kathleen

VARIOUS ARTISTS One Day 244 Blues From The Vocalion Vaults ● CD $11.98
Two CDs, 50 tracks, strongly recommended
Vocalion Records, originally founded in 1916, was one of the most important labels recording blues in the 1920s and 30s. This 50 track collection is a tiny fraction of the label's considerable output but provides a nice introduction to the wealth of talent the label recorded. The most well known artist today that the label recorded was Robert Johnson (featured here with Ramblin' On My Mine and Stones In My Passway) but the label's most popular artist was Leroy Carr who is featured here with his "theme" song How LOng, How Long Blues - a title which has become a blues standard. Other great artists the label recorded and featured here include Blind Boy Fuller, Big Bill Broonzy, Henry Thomas, Tampa Red, Memphis Minnie, Furry Lewis, Charley Patton, Big Joe Turner and more. There are also lesser known, but superb, artists featured including St. Louis Bessie, Charlie Segar, Edmonia Henderson, George Noble (fantastic piano player), Mississippi Sarah & Daddy Stovepipe, Son Becky, Hattie Hart, Jelly Jaw Short (J.D. Short) and more. Sound quality is variable - mostly excellent but some tracks have too much noise reduction. (FS)
TEXAS ALEXANDER & WILLIE REED: Easy Rider Blues/ SON BECKY: Midnight Trouble Blues/ SCRAPPER BLACKWELL: Kokomo Blues/ BIG BILL BROONZY: How You Want It Done/ ADA BROWN: Panama Limited Blues/ BESSIE BROWN: Song from A Cotton Field/ BUMBLE BEE SLIM: New B & O Blues/ LEROY CARR & SCRAPPER BLACKWELL: How Long, How Long Blues/ BO CARTER: Ram Rod Daddy/ REV. EDWARD W. CLAYBORN: Your Enemy Cannot Harm You/ IDA COX AND HER ALLSTAR BAND: Four Day Creep/ COW COW DAVENPORT: Cow Cow Blues (Take A)/ BERNICE EDWARDS: Butcher Shop Blues/ BLIND BOY FULLER: Mamie/ Step It Up And Go/ HATTIE HART: I Let My Daddy Do That/ EDMONIA HENDERSON: Dead Man Blues/ ROSA HENDERSON: Chicago Policemen Blues/ BERTHA CHIPPIE HILL: Trouble In Mind/ JIM JACKSON: My Monday Blues/ LULU JACKSON: Lost Lover Blues/ BLIND WILLIE JOHNSON: Dark Was The Night (Cold Was The Ground)/ ROBERT JOHNSON: Ramblin On My Mind/ Stones In My Passageway/ CURTIS JONES: Reefer Hound Blues/ CHARLEY JORDAN: Keep It Clean/ FURRY LEWIS: Billy Lyons And Stack O'lee/ LITTLE SON JOE: A.B.C. Blues/ BERT MAYS: Michigan River Blues/ BLIND WILLIE MCTELL: Broke Down Engine Blues/ MEMPHIS MINNIE: New Bumble Bee/ MISSISSIPPI SARAH & DADDY STOVEPIPE: Burleskin' Blues/ THE MISSISSIPPI SHEIKS: Sitting On Top Of The World/ MONKEY JOE & ROOSEVELT SCOTT: Send Me An Angel Down/ GEORGE NOBLE: Dozing Blues/ CHARLEY PATTON: Hang It On The Wall/ IRENE SCRUGGS: Sorrow Valley Blues/ CHARLIE SEGAR: Key To The Highway/ BLACK BOY SHINE: Sail On Little Girl No. 3/ JELLY JAW SHORT: Snake Doctor Blues/ VICTORIA SPIVEY: Toothache Blues/ ST. LOUIS BESSIE: Sugar Man Blues Pt.1 & Pt.2/ BLIND JOE TAGGART: The Storm Is Passing Over/ TAMPA RED: You Rascal You/ SONNY TERRY: Harmonica And Washboard Breakdown/ HENRY THOMAS: Fishing Blues/ BIG JOE TURNER & PETE JOHNSON: Roll 'Em Pete/ CASEY BILL WELDON: W.P.A. Blues/ PEETIE WHEATSTRAW: Police Station Blues/ BUKKA WHITE: Special Steam Line

VARIOUS ARTISTS One Day 245 Blues From The Checker Vaults ● CD $11.98
Two CDs, 40 tracks, strongly recommended
Checker was, of course, a subsidiary of the mighty CHess label and like it's parent was home of some of the greatest blues artists of the 50s including harmonica giants Little Walter & Sonny Boy Williams and the West Coast urban bluesman Lowell Fulson - all featured here by several tracks. THere are also a slew of "one off" recordings by such magnificent performers as Memphis Minnie (smong her last recordings), Otis Spann, Big Ed & His Combo (singer & harmonica player Eddie Burns), John Brim (his sublime It Was A Dream and Rattlesnake), Joe Hill Louis (the ferocious When I'm Gone), Rocky Fuller (later to be known as Louisiana Red), Percy Lee Crudup (actually Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup) and more. If you don't already have all these cuts then this is well worth your $11.98. (FS)
BIG ED & HIS COMBO: Biscuit Baking Woman/ JOHN BRIM: It Was A Dream/ Rattlesnake/ PERCY LEE CRUDUP: Open Your Book/ Tears In My Eyes/ BO DIDDLEY: I'm A Man/ Pretty Thing/ WILLIE DIXON: Crazy For My Baby/ Walkin' The Blues/ ROCKY FULLER: Come On Baby/ Soon One Morning/ LOWELL FULSON: I Believe I'll Give It Up/ If I give My Love To You/ Lonely Hours/ Loving You (Is All I Crave)/ Trouble Trouble/ ELMORE JAMES: Country Boogie/ She Just Won't Do It Right/ J.B. LENOIR: Let Me Die With The One I Love/ LITTLE WALTER: Mean Old World/ Off The Wall/ Rocker/ JOE HILL LOUIS: Dorothy Mae/ When Im Gone (She Treats Me Mean And Evil)/ MEMPHIS MINNIE: Broken Heart/ Me & My Chauffeur/ DANNY OVERBEA: Forty Cups Of Coffee/ MORRIS PEJOE: Cant Get Along/ Tired Of Crying Over You/ OTIS SPANN: Five Spot/ It Must Have Been The Devil/ BIG BOY SPIRES: One Of These Days/ LITTLE WALTER: Lights Out/ JOE WILLIAMS AND KING KOLAX: Everyday I Have The Blues/ SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON: All My Love In Vain/ Keep It To Yourself/ Let Me Explain/ Your Imagination/ JIMMY WITHERSPOON: Time Brings About A Change/ When The Lights Go Out

VARIOUS ARTISTS Topic TSCD 671 You Never Heard So Sweet - Southern English Traditional ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, highly recommended
A recent release in Topic's remarkable series "Voice Of The People" documenting traditional music from throughout the British Isles - mostly drawn from field recordings in the 1950s and 60s. This volume is devoted to singing from the Southern part of England and was selected by famed English folk singer Shirley Collins from the archives of researcher Peter Kennedy and Bob Copper (himself a singer and member of the legendary Copper Family). All songs are sung unaccompanied - some of the songs will be familiar to folk lovers (The Bonny Bunch Of Roses/ The Lark In The Morning/ Spencer The Rover/ While Jones's Ale Was New, etc) but many are not like The Bold Princess Royal/ Caroline And Her Your Sailor/ Jim The Carter Lad/ Six Jolly Miners/ The Broken Down Gentleman and more and I suspect that some of these will be entering the repertoire of contemporary singers. Except for two lovely tracks by Bob & Ron Copper most of the performers are little known outside folklore circles but many are very fine including Ned Adams, George Maynard, George Burton, Jim Barrett, Fred Hewett and others. Sound quality is excellent and it comes with a 56 page booklet with extensive notes on the performers and songs by Shirley . (FS)

THE VIBRATIONS Kent CDKEND 304 The Vibrating Vibrations - The OKeh & Epic Singles* ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, 65 mins, highly recommended
Los Angeles-formed, Chicago and Philadelphia-based vocal group the Vibrations are known as one of the best-loved groups in 60's soul. This collection, which brings together all of their noteworthy soul sides in a single package for the first time, highlights the original material (written by the three songwriters within the group) recorded across four albums for Okeh (when Columbia shut down the label, they moved all of its major artists over to Epic). With a sound that is reminiscent of the Temptations, the Vibrations sound remarkably ahead of their time: songs like Love in Them There Hills from 1968, seem rooted in a 70's sound that had yet to be fully formulated at that time. Recording for Chess and Atlantic (where they had several hits, including the original version of My Girl Sloopy aka Hang on Sloopy), the group switch to Okeh in July 1964 and while they struggled to obtain more U.S. chart hits, they became Northern Soul favorites in the UK thanks to tracks like Soul A Go-Go/ Pick Me/ Cause You're Mine, and I Took An Overdose. With production back-up from the likes of Curtis Mayfield and Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, it seems inconceivable that the Vibrations went mostly hitless in this segment of their career; however, we can now cherish what the masses missed out on way back when. (GMC)

THE WATERSONS Topic TSCD 472 Early Days* ● CD $14.98
27 tracks, 78 mins, essential
The Watersons were truly a British national treasure. They produces some of the most compelling and moving unaccompanied harmony singing in the English tradition. Originally consisting of siblings Mike, Lal and Norma Waterson with cousin John Harrison, family commitments caused the Watersons to disband in 1967. They reformed in 1973 with Martin Carthy replacing Harrison. This magnificent collection features some of the groups' earliest recordings from 1965 and 1966. There are five songs from a collection of up and coming performers called "New Voices", all of their second album "The Watersons", 2/3 of their third album "Yorkshire Garland" and the previously unissued Rap Her To Bank from "The Watersons" sessions. Every track is superb but the group are at their very pinnacle on "The Watersons" recordings which include such gems as Dido Bendigo/ The North Country Maid/ I Am A Rover/ The Holmfirth Anthem, Ewan MacColl's beautiful and powerful tale of gypsy life The Thirty Foot Trailer and one of my all time favorite Watersons performances - Brave Wolfe. The harmonies on this track are truly spine chilling. Excellent sound on this CD and detailed notes on each song from A.L. Lloyd. (FS)

BIG JOE WILLIAMS Arhoolie 315 Shake Your Boogie* ● CD $13.98
24 tracks, essential
Big Joe Williams was a remarkable performer in many ways - unlike many of the country blues singers rediscovered by blues enthusiats in the 60s, Joe had never retired from music or recordings. Starting with his first recordings in 1935 he was a regular visitor to the recording studio up until shortly before his death in 1982 at the age of 79. He was a brilliant performer with a unique style partly due to the use of a 9 string guitar, a creation he put together from parts of regular guitars. His material was a mixture of traditional songs, original songs and improvised combinations of traditional blues verses. The recordings here are from two different sessions in 1960 and 1969 and were previously issued on Arhoolie 1002 and Arhoolie 1053. The earlier sides are particularly fine and intense and include powerful versions of Sloppy Drunk Blues/ President Roosevelt/ Greystone Blues (about his recent experiences of being arrested and sent to jail) /Mean Stepfather/ Shake Your Boogie and others including a lovely version of the spiritual I Want My Crown sung by Joe's wife Mary. The later recordings are almost as good though the recordings are not as clear. Several tracks feature some rough slide playing from Joe. It includes a couple of topical songs (The Death Of Martin Luther King/ Army Man In Vietnam), a gospel song (King Jesus) plus Louisiana Bound/ Throw The Boogie Woogie/ Montreal Blues and others. Excellent sound and brief notes by Chris Strachwitz. Country blues of the very highest order. (FS)
BIG JOE WILLIAMS: Army Man In Vietnam/ Brother James/ Creole Queen/ Dirt Road Blues/ Forty Four Blues/ Greystone Blues/ I Want My Crown/ Killing Floor Blues/ King Jesus/ Louisiana Bound/ Mean Step Father/ Montreal Blues/ President Roosevelt/ Remember Way Back/ Shake Your Boogie/ She Left Me A Mule To Ride/ Sloppy Drunk Blues/ So Glad/ Take Me Out Of The Bottom/ The Death Of Dr. Martin Luther King/ Thinking Of What They Did To Me/ Throw The Boogie Woogie/ Vitamin A Blues/ Yo Yo Blues

HANK WILLIAMS Omnivore 87 The Garden Spot Programs, 1950 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, 46 mins, essential
Just when you thought that we wouldn't hear any more previously unissued Hank Williams recordings along comes this CD with previously Hank Williams recordings. These recordings were taken from radio transcriptions made for the nation's largest plant nursery, Naughton Farms. This set consists of four complete shows but unlike some of his other radio shows there are no pitches for the sponsor's product - an announcer at a local station would cut in this. The original transcriptions are thought to have been cuts around the second week of January, 1950 when Hank was taking a break from his hectic touring schedule. Unlike most of his other radio shows he is not backed by his regular band The Drifting Cowboys but by Nashville musicians - probably Clell Sumney on steel guitar and Dale Potter on fiddle and, as a result, the songs, which are all familiar Hank classics have a different feel to them and Hank's performances as always are full of passion and sincerity. He sings Loveisck Blues (twice)/A Mansion On The Hill/ I've Just Told Mama Goodbye/ Mind Your Own Business (with a telling added verse)/ At The First Fall Of Snow/ I Can't Get You Off My Mind/ I Don't Care (If Tomorrow Never Comes)/ I'll Be A Bachelor 'Til I Die/ Wedding Bells and Jesus Remembered Me. There is also an opening jingle for each show, a fiddle tune and a closing tune. Though not as awe inspiring as the monumental Mother's Best shows any chance to hear previously unheard Hank is truly welcome. Insightful notes by Hank's biographer Colin Escott and he ends his notes with "Providentially, there's still more to come" - well I'm ready! (FS)

BOB WILLS & HIS TEXAS PLAYBOYS Real Gone Music 244 Riding Your Way - The Lost Transcriptions For Tiffany ● CD $34.98
Two CD set, 50 tracks, essential
Wow! 50 previously unissued tracks from the king of western swing at his best. In 1946 and '47 Wills and The Texas Playboys recorded over 400 tracks on transcription discs for the Tiffany Transcription Company to create a series of pre-packaged radio shows. These were some of the best recordings Wills ever made - the band featured the great Tommy Duncan on vocals and fabulous musicians like Noel Boggs and Herb Remington on steel guitar, Eldon Shamblin and Junior Barnard on guitar, Tiny Moore on mandolin, Joe Holley and Louis Tierney on fiddle and Bob's brother, Billy Jack Wills on bass. The extra time afforded by the 16" transcriptions gave the band more room to jam - something they were masters at. In addition to featuring his most famous hits it also includes lots of lesser known songs as well as songs never recorded commercially. The rights to these priceless recordings were acquired by Kaleidoscope Records in the 1980s who subsequently issued some of them on LP and CD and they were later acquired by Rhino who reissued them in the 1990s. Now Real Gone have dug into the vaults to turn up 50 tracks that were not previously issued by Kaleidoscope including 20 that never even went out as radio shows. The CDs are handsomely packaged in a DVD sized case with a 20 page booklet with notes by Mike Johnson and Western Swing expert Cary Ginnell along with a complete discography of the Tiffany recordings. (FS)
BOB WILLS & THE TEXAS PLAYBOYS: A Year Ago Tonight/ Be Honest With Me/ Brown Skin Gal (Instrumental)/ Brushy Fork (Instrumental)/ Bubbles In My Beer/ Columbus Stockade Blues (Version 1)/ Dear Old Southern Home/ Detour/ Don T Be Ashamed Of Your Age/ Don T Fence Me In (Take 2)/ Dont You Hear Jerusalm Moan (Take 2)/ Each Minute Seems Like A Million Years/ El Rancho Grande/ Goodnight Little Sweetheart/ Have I Stayed Away Too Long/ I Cant Begin To Tell You/ I Knew The Moment I Lost You/ I Wonder If You Feel The Way I Do/ Im An Old Cowhand (Take 2)/ Im Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes/ It Makes No Difference Now/ Liberty (Instrumental)/ Love Letters In The Sand/ Make Room In Your Heart For A Friend/ Margie/ My Little Buckaroo (Take 3)/ My Wild Irish Rose/ No Letter Today/ No Wonder (That I Love You)/ On The Alamo (Instrumental)/ Paradise Isle (Instrumental)/ Put Another Chair At The Table/ Ragtime Annie (Instrumental)/ Ride On (My Prairie Pinto)/ River Stay Way From My Door/ Sally Johnson (Instrumental)/ Shes Gone/ Shes Killing Me/ Silver Dew On The Blue Grass Tonight/ Sixteen Days In Georgia (Instrumental)/ Soldiers Joy (Instrumental, Version 2)/ Still Water Runs The Deepest/ Take Me Back To My Boots And Saddle/ The Covered Wagon Rolled Right Along/ Too Late/ Travelin Blues/ Under The Double Eagle (Instrumental)/ We Might As Well Forget It/ Yellow Rose Of Texas/ You Are My Sunshine


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