LATEST ADDITIONS  05/29/2012

 

COMPACT DISCS

 
THE AD LIBS Real Gone 050 The Complete Blue Cat Recordings ● CD $17.98
23 tracks, 79 mins, highly recommended
Following on the heels of compilation "The Red Bird Girls: The Very First Time in True Stereo" (Real Gone Music 023, $17.98), comes this CD containing everything you would ever want to hear (and more) by one of the few Red Bird groups that wasn't a "girl group" so much as an R&B vocal group with Jazz trappings (which is probably why they ended up on "blues" subsidiary Blue Cat). The Ad Libs hit the ground running on their first single, the awesome sing-a-long The Boy From New York City and scored a major hit in the Spring of 1965. The follow-up, He's No Angel, failed to click with the listening public, as did their next two singles, and the group became Blue Cat history. The Ad-Lib's Blue Cat recording legacy may be small, but it makes up in quality what it lacks in quantity. And the group was ahead of its' time: it comes as no surprise to me that the Manhattan Transfer covered The Boy From New York City in 1981 (and made it a hit again) since the Ad-Libs practically pioneered the Transfer's mainstream Jazz/R&B vocal potpourri. Filling out the handful of tracks the group cut in its' heyday is a brace of previously unreleased tracks, demos, and alternate versions (including the alternate version of The Boy From New York City that also appears on "The Red Bird Girls" collection). Including the backing track from The Boy From New York City (minus the lead vocal) is probably going a bit too far (although it is kinda cool hearing the great backing vocals without being distracted by the lead), but the six hidden bonus tracks of the group in the studio is my kind of listening, although I realize it might not be to everyone's taste. In any case, this CD is welcome if only for the tracks Oo-Wee Oh Me Oh My (beautiful doo wop), Kicked Around/ Ask Anybody, and You'll Always Be in Style". Bonus points for recreating the Blue Cat logo on the CD. (GMC)

 
LEE ALLEN Acrobat ACMCD 4267 Walkin' With Mr. Lee ● CD $13.98 $9.98
23 tracks, recommended
A fine collection of mostly instrumental New Orleans R&B featuring legendary tenor sax player Lee Allen who worked with just about everybody in New Orleans in the 50s and 60s. Joined by fellow New Orlenians Allen Toussaint, Edgar Blanchard, Justin Adams and others recorded a number of excellent tracks for the New York based Ember Records in 1957 and '58 which resulted in two minor hits Walkin' With Mr Lee and Tic Toc which are featured here along with 14 other fine sides recorded for Ember, two cuts backing vocalist Ernie K. Doe, three sides recorded for Savoy in 1954 but not originally issued and three sides recorded for Aladdin in 1956, one not originally issued.Fine music with excellent sound and informative notes by Bob Fisher. (FS)

 
BLIND BLAKE JSP 7714 All The Published Sides ● CD $28.98 $19.98
5 CDs, 110 tracks, essential
Since 1991, when Document issued a four volume series of Blind Blake recordings, a further 10 alternate takes have been released on another six Document CDs. This reissue brings all this material together in an attractive box set with notes by Drew Kent under the heading "The Vanished Bluesman". Certainly little is known about Blind Blake other than that he originated from Florida and may have died there shortly after his last recordings. What is beyond doubt is that he was one of the most accomplished of the pre-war guitarists, a talented composer and an amazingly consistent performer during his six years as a Paramount star. Blake did not have the most expressive of singing voices, but somehow his relaxed delivery leaves more room to appreciate his marvelous guitar. Capable of accurate fingerpicking at lightning speed, he had a creative genius to match his technical skills, often executing brilliant arrangements most blues guitarists couldn't even have attempted. The variety of musical settings here include Southern Rag and Police Dog Blues which provide a showcase for his fingerpicking and thumb bass work, a memorable session with clarinetist Johnny Dodds, superb accompaniments to female singers like Leola B. Wilson, minstrel/medicine show songs, piano/guitar duets of the highest quality and sombre, reflective blues. (If this were not enough, anybody who can come up with a song title like Rumblin' and Ramblin' Boa Constrictor Blues just has to be a bit special.) After their Patton and Jefferson sets JSP know all about the challenges posed by the notorious sound quality of Paramount 78s, and they have again worked their magic with this set. Most of the crackles, clicks and pops in the originals have been removed, and while some of the more worn discs are still pretty rough, sound quality generally shows a marked improvement over the Document reissues. This means that great performances which were quite noisy on Document such as Detroit Bound Blues with its lovely double time passages can now be fully enjoyed. The speed of the JSP transfers also appears to be more accurate on tracks like Ice Man Blues. My only quibble concerns Rope Stretchin' Blues a skillfully constructed two part blues about a condemned man contemplating his execution, which is dismissed as "maudlin stuff" in Mr.Kent's otherwise informative booklet notes. Certainly the sequencing of this song doesn't help its appreciation. While presenting tracks in strict chronological order as they are here is usually the best way to enjoy pre-war blues, the recording chronology means that we get Part Two, followed by Part One (alternate take) and finally the issued Part One. I wish JSP had been brave enough to sequence the issued takes in their proper order, but apart from this (and Mr. Kent's lapse of taste) this reissue is an absolute delight. (DPR)

 
J
SANDY DENNY Island 530 725-9 The Tune Weaver - Sandy Denny Remembered ● CD $21.98
Two CDs, 36 tracks, essential
I find it hard to be objective about Sandy Denny - just the first few notes of her voice and shivers run over my body and the hairs raise on the back of my neck. This two CD set is a wide ranging retrospective of her recordings from her first tentative sides in 1967 through her recordings with Fairport Conversation, Fotheringay, solo recordings and her guest appearance on a Led Zeppelin album. In addition to tracks from original albums it also includes originally unissued demos, live performances from the BBC and more. It's all been reissued before but this makes a perfect introduction to the wonderful and too short career of someone I consider England's greatest singer. Songs include many originals, some traditional songs and songs by writers like Tom Paxton, Richard Thompson, Richard Farina and others including The North Star Grassman & The Ravens/ Solo/ Stranger To Himself/ The Deserter/ One More Chance/ Fhir A' Bhata/ Who Knows Where The Time Goes/ Farewell, Farewell/ Fotheringay/ The Battle Of Evermore/ You Never Wanted Me/ John The Gun/ After Halloween and more. Simply magnificent. (FS)

 
DAVY GRAHAM Les Cousins 016 Anthology, 1961-2007 Lost Tapes ● CD $36.98
Three CDs, 57 tracks, highly recommended
Davy Graham was far and away the most talented, versatile and influential guitarist to emerge on the British music scene in the early 1960s. He was adept at fusing blues, jazz, folk, world and even classical music and his playing influenced generations of folk guitarists. His talents were too eclectic to reach a wide audience but he has had a loyal following and just about every British folk guitarist from the 60s and 70s listened and learned from him. This superb collection features previously unreleased recordings including home tapes, audition tapes, live performances and off the air radio broadcasts. The first disc includes five tracks that he recorded in 1962 as an audition tape for Decca who issued his first album. From a year earlier there are a number of tracks recorded at the home of Les Partridge including the first ever recording of Anji - a tune that has been covered by many artists over the years. On this recording he talks about the genesis of the tune and plays a wonderfully extended version full of his coruscating improvisational technique. Disc 2 features recordings made between 1965 and 1970 though no dates are given and much of it is drawn from rather poorly recorded live performances and can be rough going though Davy's playing is still dazzling and in addition to the jazz, blues and folk elements he started exploring Middle Eastern sounds on tunes like Maajun and the whimsical Anji's Greek Cousin. By 1970, a decade of drug abuse and erratic behavior led to him retiring from full time performing and he only performed occasionally for the rest of his life and the last disc features performances from those last four decades though, again, no dates are given. Davy was still a superb performer performing an even wider range of material including Latin material and while the playing is superior the dazzling inventiveness of his earlier years is gone and it sounds like he's working at his playing where the early performances flowed effortlessly. So a bit of a mixed bag but certainly worth it for the first disc alone. (FS)

 
COUSIN HERB HENSON B.A.C.M. 371 And His Trading Post Gang ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 63 min., highly recommended
Best known for his KERO-TV program, "Cousin Her Henson Trading Post," which ran for 10 years, and featured the likes of Buck Owens, Merl Haggard, Roy Clark, Bob Wills, Tex Ritter, Lefty Frizzel, Merl Travis, and many others. His own records never sold well, but he is credited with being an early developer of the Bakersfield sound. This collection offers songs from the Abbott, Bakersfield, and Capital labels recorded between 1952-57. Henson seemed to favor novelty songs, such as Toto The Eskimo and his own I've Never Heard, or at the very least, humorous songs, calling one of his efforts Laugh Laugh Laugh. Four of these cuts feature Henson band member Dallas Frazier on vocals--enough reason to get this. Henson died in 1963 of a massive heart attack at the age of 38, and, as this collection makes clear, deserves to be more than a footnote in country music history. (JC)
COUSIN HERB HENSON: Ain't You Had No Bringing Up AT All/ Birds And The Bees/ Bouncing Ball/ Come A Little Biut Closer/ Funny Book/ Hootchy Kootchy Henry From Hawaii/ How Come Y'All Come/ Hurry Back/ I'm Gonna Move Over Yonder/ I've Never Heard/ In Remembrance Of You/ Laugh Laugh Laugh/ Leave All Your Heartaches To Jesus/ Love Live At Fourteen/ Man Holds Lightning In His Hands/ Old Jalopy/ Out Of Line/ Space Command/ Tattle Tale Moon/ Toto The Eskimo/ Up My Path And In My Door/ Up Yaander/ When You Give A Rose To A Red Head/ Y'All Come

 
WILLIE HOBBS Soulscape 7030 A Penny For Your Thoughts ● CD $19.98
22 tracks, 68 mins, recommended
This compilation of singles from obscure southern soul singer Hobbs-cut during the late 60s/early 70s-has some moments of greatness, his version of Jerry Butler's You Don't Know What You Got (Until You Lose It) and the swagger of (Please) Don't Let Me Down for instance, but for the most part this music is just-ok. Hobbs has a good voice and the material is pretty good, but there's a low budget feel to these recordings that belie their ultra indie roots, as they were cut for, variously, Silver Fox, Seventy 7, Sound Stage 7, and Sound Plus. Still, Hobbs has a following in Europe and Japan and every now and then-on the title track and his version of Dark End of the Street-it's easy to see why. (GMC)

 
MAY IRWIN & CLARICE VANCE Archeophone 5015 The High Pristess Of Jollity & The Southern Singer ● CD $14.98
21 tracks, 54 mins, recommended for music historians only
A fascinating and frightening collection if there ever was one. I have certainly come across a number of cringe-worthy moments listening to old-timey music and I try and keep things in perspective of their times be as open-minded as possible. That said, May Irwin is just about the most racist person that I have ever heard, and I have had the unfortunate experience of actually talking to an old West Virginia Klansman. I can see Jefferson Davis listening to her and thinking that she needs to tone it down a bit. The folks at Archeophone realize this as well; they emphatically apologize and are presenting this as purely a historical artifact. Thankfully, Clarice Vance was a better singer, and although she also sang "coon shouters," she at least doesn't come across as hateful as her contemporary Irwin. Fascinating and deeply researched notes accompany and are the main appeal of this collection. This is certainly not for everyone (I couldn't make it through the whole CD myself) but it is arguably an important document of some of the uglier parts of American history. (JM)

 
GRANDPA JONES Omni 159 Everybody's Grandpa ● CD $17.98
32 tracks, 80 mins, recommended
Omni records have made a specialty out of re-issuing music by Country artists that were a bit off the beaten path, stuff that most labels wouldn't bother with, and showing you just why these artists should be appreciated. Grandpa Jones is the latest to get the full Omni treatment. Although a regular cast member of the Grand Ole' Opry for decades (since he was a young man just pretending to be old), a lot of folks out there don't really consider him much of a serious artist. What Grandpa Jones was, was a walking encyclopedia of Country music, a fantastic Banjo player and a man born to entertain. This collection features hyper Hillbilly barnburners like Are You From Dixie/ Night Train To Memphis, and Old Rattler, sweet and sentimental tunes like Don't Look Back, Steady Drips Of Water, and much more. As with most of these great Omni CDs, you get well-researched notes and, with this one in particular, some really fantastic photos you need to run out and try and hunt down all of Grandpa Jones's records--there are some clunkers out there--but this CD is a perfect collection to have to get the essence of the man. (JM)

 
JIMMIE JOY Jazz Oracle 8067 Jimmie's Joys ● CD $17.98
26 tracks, 72 mins, highly recommended
Excellent collection of hot white jazz featuring recordings by Jimmie (Maloney) Joy, a Texas clarinetist who led a college jazz band at the University of Texas in the early 1920s. After turning professional in 1923, the band became nationally known and recorded for Golden in Los Angeles and OKeh in Dallas and Kansas City as Jimmie's Joys and, later, for Brunswick in Chicago as Jimmy Joy & His Orchestra. This collection features all the groups Golden and OKeh sides recorded between 1923 and 1926 plus three of the Brunswick sides from 1928 with different personnel. The earlier sides feature spirited renditions of tunes like Sobbin' Blues/ Wolverine Blues/ Tiger Rag/ Milenburg Joys/ Memphis Bound/ Red Hot Henry Brown/ Stomp It, etc. The Brunswick sides features a larger group with a smoother dance band feel. Sound quality is superb thanks to great restoration work by Hans Eekhoff and the 44 page booklet includes detailed notes by renowned jazz scholar Dick Raichelson and full discographical data. (FS)

 
PAPA LIGHTFOOT/ JIMMY ANDERSON Delta Cat 1004 Natchez Harmonica Naturals ● CD $16.98
25 tracks, 63 mins, recommended
Fine collection of harmonica blues. The first nine cuts features all the 1950 recordings issued under his own name by Natchez born Alexander "Papa George" Lightfoot with the exception of his astoundingly rare Sultan 78. Lightfoot is a favorite among blues fans for his powerful gruff vocals and dynamic vocals and his recordings have been frequently reissued but it's nice to have them all (or almost all) together here. Jimmy Anderson was a younger blues singer and harmonica player, also from Natchez who was initially influenced by Lightfoot but subsequently took as his model Jimmy Reed - both instrumentally and in his slurred vocal stylings. Anderson recorded for Jay Miller in the early 60s and had a handful of singles issued on Zynn, Excello and Dot and all these are featured here along with a number of unissued tracks that first appeared on Flyright many years ago. Although Anderson was no great original he was an engaging and appealing performer accompanied by top notch Excello studio musicians and performs mostly original songs like Angel Please/ Naggin'/ Going Through The Park/ Goin' Crazy Over TV and others. He also does a nice rendition of fellow Excello artist Slim Harpo's I'm A KIng Bee. Sound quality is fine and though there are no notes there is full discographical info. (FS)

 
MAGIC SAM Rockbeat 3110 Raw Blues Live - Magic Sam, Live 1969 ● CD $14.98
17 tracks, 70 mins, essential
Probably the most exciting and most important blues release of the year. The first new album of previously unissued material in over 10 years by Magic Sam whose premature death in 1969 robbed the world of one of the truly great blues talents - Sam was a magnificently soulful singer and a staggeringly creative guitar player. This CD features 17 tracks recorded live at Mandrakes in Berkeley in July, 1969 with Sam accompanied by bassist Bruce Brown and drummer Sam Lay. He performs a selection of songs recorded previously along with some not recorded elsewhere including a spine chilling version of B.B. King's You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now. He does original songs along with songs from the repertoire of Freddie King, B.B. King, Junior Parker and others and every performances bears his unique stamp. His playing is truly mind boggling with a richness to his styling that makes you think there are two guitar players but it's all Sam - in spite of the richness and intensity of his sound Sam never indulges in guitar histrionics - there's not a wasted or superfluous note. Songs/ tunes include San-Ho-Zay/ You Don't Love Me/ Mama, Talk To Your Daughter/ I Feel So Good/ Tremble/ I Don't Want No Woman/ Looking Good/ Just Pickin'/ Sweet Home Chicago, etc. This recordings was made live without professional equipment so the sound is not perfect but is superior to some of the live Sam I've heard and the music is utterly magnificent from start to finish. If you love electric blues you must have this! (FS)

 
CHRISTY MOORE/ DONAL LUNNY/ JIMMY FAULKNER Tara 2005 Live in Dublin ● CD $14.98
9 tracks, highly recommended
Lovely low key selection of performances recorded live in 1978 with Christy's superb vocals accompanied by Donal Lunny and Jimmy Faulkner on bouzouki and guitars. Christy was moving away from doing mostly traditional to doing mostly contemporary songs - often with a political message including Harvey Andrews' Hey Sandy and Felix Pappalardi's One Last Cold Kiss. He also does a spectacular rendition of Woddy Guthrie's Pretty Boy Floyd with great slide guitar from Faulkner. Traditional songs are not forgotten and there are lovely performances of Bogie's Bonnie Belle/ Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair and the moving mining ballad Clyde's Bonnie Banks. Another classic album from Christy. (FS)

 
WENDY RENE Light In The Attic 080 After Laughter Comes Tears: Complete Stax & Volt ● CD $15.98
22 tracks, 63 mins, highly recommended
In the beginning, there was a quartet called the Drapels who released two singles on Stax during 1964. Then, in August 1964, the powers-that-be decided to release a Drapels recording, After Laughter Comes Tears, credited solely to Wendy Rene (nee Mary Frierson), a member of the group. This act was the undoing of the group and the making of Rene's brief solo career, of which After Laughter was the closest she came to a hit. Following a handful of singles-that did nothing-Rene was cut loose from Stax, and she retired thus ending her story. This compilation collects everything Rene recorded: eleven singles (including the tracks cut with the Drapels), nine rarities, and two unreleased tracks, as well as liner notes containing comments from the lady herself. Vocally a cross between Shirley Ellis and Bessie Banks, Rene puts her church training to good use on Give You What I Got/ She's Moving Away/ Gone For Good, and, of course, After Laughter. In some ways, Rene was about five years ahead of her time; I think her vocal style would gone down better in the early 70's backed by the recording smarts of Holland-Dozier-Holland or Florida's TK Records. And I can't help but feel that the Stax brain trust was trying to turn Rene into another Carla Thomas (who was away at college at the time). And yet, I can't argue with the appearance of these tracks, which, except for a brief period in the mid-90's when a couple of these songs were on an Ace compilation, are making their CD debut. Wendy Rene might have had a brief time in the spotlight, but she made the most of it and we now have the recorded evidence. (GMC)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1319 Criminal Records - Law, Disorder And Vinyl Justice ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 64 mins, highly recommended
Here is a great compilation of fun tunes with the theme of Law & Order, not like the TV show, but '50s style. So lots of what you would expect: wild Rhythm & Blues plus a few killer Rockabilly cuts, with a Stan Freberg track thrown in to keep you honest. You get a very out of character Chubby Checker, channeling his inner Coaster on Those Private Eyes (Are Watching Me). The Coasters are kind the connecting theme throughout with The Cadillacs sounding very Coaster-ish on Bad Dan McGoon, The (pre-Coasters ) Robins with Framed, Vikki Young doing The Robins' biggest hit Riot In Cell Block #9, and even Richard Berry (the original lead on Cell Block #9) with the great Next Time, and of course The Coasters themselves with one of their best - Bad Detective. On the Rockabilly side of things you get Dean Carter's unhinged version of Jailhouse Rock, Bob Luman's Private Eye, Warren Storm's Birmingham Jail, and more. Wynonie Harris, The Chants (with their fantastic Dick Tracy,) Magic Sam, George Jones, Hylo Brown, man everyone here is great, this collection will not disappoint. (JM)
RAY ANTHONY AND HIS ORCHESTRA: Dragnet/ BILLY BOY ARNOLD: Prisoner's Plea/ RICHARD BERRY: Next Time (Take 1)/ BOOGALOO AND HIS GALLANT CREW: Cops And Robbers/ HYLO BROWN: The Prisoner's Song/ THE CADILLACS: Bad Dan Mcgoon/ DEAN CARTER: Jailhouse Rock/ THE CHANTS: Dick Tracy/ CHUBBY CHECKER: Those Private Eyes (Are Watching Me)/ THE COASTERS: Bad Detective/ SCATMAN CROTHERS: Have You Got The Gumption/ THE DELACARDOS: Mr Dillon/ STAN FREBERG: St George And The Dragonet/ WYNONIE HARRIS: Good Morning Judge/ GEORGE JONES: Life To Go/ SONNY KNIGHT: Jail Bird/ BOB LUMAN: Private Eye/ MAGIC SAM: Twenty One Days In Jail/ THE ROBINS: Framed/ JUMPIN' GENE SIMMONS: Folsom Prison Blues/ CLIFF SOLOMON AND HIS ORCHESTRA (VOCAL: GIGI G: But Officer/ RAY STEVENS: Sergeant Preston Of The Yukon/ WARREN STORM: Birmingham Jail/ VICKI YOUNG (WITH BIG DAVE'S MUSIC): Riot In Cell Block #9

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1327 Something Good From The Goffin & King Songbook ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, 67 mins, highly recommended
Ace records have certainly put out a lot of fantastic collections over the years and the "Songwriters" series have proved to be some of their all-time best compilations. This CD, the third to spotlight the songwriting talents of Gerry Goffin & Carole King, has a very interesting selection of tracks on it. Sure, there are some real big hits here, like One Fine Day by The Chiffons, and Don't Say Nothing (Bad About My Baby.) by The Cookies. The real focus of this collection, though, seems to be famous songs done by artists that are different from the hit versions like: I'm Into Something Good by Earl Jean, The Loco-Motion by Dee Dee Sharp, Will You Love Me Tomorrow by Bunny Sigler, and Chains by The Everly Brothers. Then you also get great lesser-known tracks by well known artists like Sweet Young Thing by The Monkees, Goin' Back by The Byrds, and Down Home by Rick Nelson. This is just one fantastic track after another, if you are at all a fan of 1960s Pop music, you will definitely love this. (JM)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1329 Ike Turner - Studio Productions, 1963-1965 ● CD $18.98
27 tracks, recommended
A collection of sides produced by Ike Turner featuring various members of his Kings Of Rhythm and the Ikettes taking center stage. A few of these tracks were originally issued on obscure singles but the majority, produced for Modern Records were not originally issued though some later appaeerd on a long out of print Ace LP - the rest are previously unissued. The music is a mix of blues, R&B and soul - often covers of other artists' hits. Tina is featured as lead on two songs and is featured on backup on a track by Ernest Lane & The Ikettes. Other songs feature Jimmy Thomas, Vernon Guy, Bobby John, Jackie Brenston, Venetta Fields and Stacy Johnson. Some good stuff here though not as exciting as one might hope. Detailed notes by Brian Nevill help put these recordings into context but actual discographical data would have been more useful. (FS)
JACKIE BRENSTON: I'm Tore Up (Fs / Tk 7)/ In Love (Tk 3)/ VENETTA FIELDS: Through With You (Tk 6 Fs / Tk 7)/ VERNON GUY: Just To Hold My Hand (Tk 1)/ That's All Right (Tk 1)/ They Ain't Lovin' Ya/ You're So Fine (Tk 3)/ You've Got Me (Just Where You Want Me)/ For Your Precious Love (Tk 5)/ You Can't Have You Cake And Eat It Too/ BOBBY JOHN: Dust My Broom (Tk 1)/ I'm Comin' Home (Tk 2-A)/ Too Late (Tk 4-A)/ Like I Do (Tk 16)/ Think (Tk 4)/ STACY JOHNSON: Consider Yourself (Tk 1)/ Don't Believe Him (`Em)/ Remove My Doubts/ ERNEST LANE & THE IKETTES (WITH TINA TURNER): What Kind Of Love (Tk 1-A)/ JIMMY THOMAS: Darkest Hour (Tk 7)/ Feel So Good (Fs Tk 4)/ I Smell Trouble/ Mother In Law Blues (Tk 1)/ Tin Pan Alley (Tk 1)/ TINA TURNER: All In My Mind (Tk 4)/ Five Long Years (Tk 1)/ IKE TURNER & THE IKETTES: Walking Down The Aisle (Tk 4)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1332 Elvis Heard Them Here First ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 64 mins, highly recommended
I don't think I can even remember all of these kind of "Elvis' Jukebox" collections that I have seen over the years. Most have a predictable set of songs with varying degrees of sound quality; however, with this one being from Ace, you can count on two things: 1. That they will have the best possible sound quality and 2. That they will take a look at things from a fresh angle, which is exactly what they do. Concentrating on songs that the Big E covered on albums that a lot of us ignored (think a lot of '60s soundtrack albums,) and finding many gems. Some tracks that you would expect like Girls, Girls, Girls by The Coasters, and Guitar Man from Jerry Reed, which are both great songs, but the magic really happens on the surprises you get with the more obscure tracks like: Bobby Darin's I Want You With Me, For Ole Times Sake by Tony Joe White, Rick Nelson doing Stop Look and Listen, and many more. Hands down my favorite surprise moment has to be Brenda Lee's beautiful version of "You Were Always On My Mind," continuing the argument that Brenda Lee is one of the most under-appreciated artists of her time. Of course, since this is from Ace, you also get some of the deepest, most entertaining liner notes around. The King could pick them, no matter how bad the movie he was singing it in might have been. (JM)
ROGE DOUGLASS: Never Ending/ THE BARDS: Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues/ CHARLIE BLACKWELL: The Girl Of My Best Friend/ JERRY BUTLER: Only The Strong Survive/ THE COASTERS: Girls! Girls! Girls! (Part Two)/ BOBBY DARIN: I Want You With Me/ DUANE DEE: True Love Travels On A Gravel Road/ BOB DYLAN: Tomorrow Is A Long Time/ BRENDA LEE: Always On My Mind/ CARL MANN: I'm Coming Home/ MATTHEWS' SOUTHERN COMFORT: I've Lost You/ RICK NELSON: Stop, Look And Listen/ MICKEY NEWBURY: An American Trilogy/ RAY PETERSON: The Wonder Of You/ THE POINTER SISTERS: Fairytale/ JERRY REED: Guitar Man/ CHARLIE RICH: Pieces Of My Life/ THE SPIDELLS FEATURING BILLY LOCKRIDGE: Find Out What's Happening/ VERN STOVALL: Long Black Limousine/ TIPPIE & THE CLOVERS: Bossa Nova Baby/ T-BONE WALKER: Three Corn Patches/ THOMAS WAYNE: Girl Next Door/ TONY JOE WHITE: For Ol' Times Sake/ BOBBY WOOD: If I'm A Fool For Loving You

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1334 Kent Harris' R&B Family ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, 63 mins, highly recommended
Kent Harris was one of those behind-the-scenes genius type cats, who wrote and produced all sorts of great, if unknown or at least underrated, music. This collection is chock full of fantastic tracks. Excellent Doo-Wop with So Far Away by the Rooty Poots, the sweet Soul music of Our Love Is Like The Sea by The Lon-Genes, and lots of killer Rhythm & Blues like Big Fat Lie by Boogaloo & His Gallant Crew (think Screamin Jay Hawkins,) The Freedom Riders by Harold Jackson & The Jackson Brothers, Long Lean Lanky Juke Box by Dimples Harris & Her Combo, and Big Chief Hug-um and Kiss-um by Jimmy Shaw, and much more. Kent Harris' R&B Family indeed, as the liner notes will show you, Harris was an amazingly talented and versatile cat, who surrounded himself with a lot of great talent. It's really a shame more of these tracks aren't better known. Many of these tracks are making their first appearance on CD. This one is easily one of the best compilations of the year so far. (JM)
RAY AGEE: I Can't Work And Watch You/ BOOGALOO & HIS GALLANT CREW: Big Fat Lie/ I'm In The Dog House Again/ EDDIE BRIDGES: Pay And Be On My Way/ CRY BABY CURTIS: Don't Just Stand There/ DONOMAN: Monday Is Too Late/ DUCKY DRAKE WITH DIMPLES HARRIS & HER COMBO: Saint Or Sinner/ THE FRANCETTES: He's So Sweet/ You Stayed Away Too Long/ JOHNNY GOSEY: Double Locks/ KENT HARRIS: Lover Supreme/ DIMPLES HARRIS & HER COMBO: Long Lean Lanky Juke Box/ THE HARRIS SISTERS: Kissin' Bug/ DIMPLES JACKSON: Love Came Tumbling Down/ HAROLD JACKSON & THE JACKSON BROTHERS: The Freedom Riders/ ADOLPH JACOBS: Recession Blues/ TY KARIM: Take It Easy Baby/ THE LON-GENES: Our Love Is Like The Sea/ Show Me How To Shake Like That/ THE PHILLIPS SISTERS: I'm The Only One/ Someday I Won't Be Blue/ ROOTY POOTS: So Far Away/ FAYE ROSS: You Ain't Right/ JIMMY SHAW: Big Chief Hug-Um An' Kiss-Um/ THE VALAQUONS: Diddy Bop

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1340 Da Doo Ron Ron - More From The Greenwich & Barry Songbook ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 63 mins, highly recommended
Much like the new volume of Goffin & King also new out on Ace, this collection of songs penned by the great songwriting talents of Ellie Greenwich & Jeff Berry has a formula consisting of a handful of big hits that everyone will know, plus a couple of famous songs done by artists other than the ones that made them famous, and, on top of that, some rare gems that were never hits for anybody, even though many of them deserved it. For the hits you get classics like: Baby I Love You, By The Ronettes, Chapel Of Love by The Dixie Cups, and the title cut by The Crystals. For the alternate versions of the classics you get: Lesley Gore doing The Look Of Love, and Ray Peterson mining more of the songs of tragedy with Give Us Your Blessing. For the great lesser-known songs, which provides some of my favorite moments on this CD, there's: The very cool McCoys with a very cool version of I Got To Go Back (And Watch That Little Girl Dance,) The Monkees with She Hangs Out (a hit for us Monkeemaniacs, but it didn't even touch the charts,) and how about I Know It's Alright by Sam Hawkins. Great tracks by Darlene Love, Bob B Soxx & The Blue Jeans, The Butterflys, The Chiffons, and more. Plus, to top it all off, not satisfied to stay behind the scenes all the time, there's a track each by Jeff Berry (I'll Still Love You) and Ellie Greenwich (Goodnight, Goodnight (What's So Good About It.)) (JM)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 17282 Street Corner Symphony - Complete Story Of Doo-Wop Vol4 ● CD $24.98
31 tracks, 85 mins, essential
1952 was a big year for doo-wop with lots of chart hits like Have Mercy Baby by The Dominoes, Wheel Of Fortune by The Cardinals (covered by pop singer Kay Starr), Baby Don't Do It by The 5 Royales, Rock Me All Night Lng by The Ravens (the last hit by this pioneering group), the exquisite Beside You by The Swallows and others. 1952 also marked the debut of some great new groups like the bluesy Du-Droppers answering The Dominoes with Can't Do Sixty No More), The Royals with the original recording of Every Beat Of My Heart which became a hit nine years later for Gladys Knight & The Pips, The Checkers and others along with lesser known gems from Billy Bunn & The Buddies, The Larks, The Four Jacks, The Five Sharps (their gorgeous version of Stormy Weather which is one of the rarest of all doo-wop records with only three known copies in existence which changes hands for more than $20,000), The Four Flames and others. Usual superb sound and in depth notes. (FS)
THE '5' ROYALES WITH CHARLIE FERGUSON: Baby Don't Do It/ BILLY BUNN AND HIS BUDDIES: That's When Your Heartaches Begin/ THE CARDINALS: The Wheel Of Fortune/ THE CHECKERS: Flame In My Heart/ THE CLOVERS: One Mint Julep/ Ting-A-Ling/ THE DIAMONDS: A Beggar For Your Kisses/ THE DOMINOES: Have Mercy Baby/ That's What You're Doing To Me/ THE DU-DROPPERS: Can't Do Sixty No More/ THE ENCHANTERS: I've Lost/ THE FIVE CROWNS: You're My Inspiration/ THE FIVE KEYS: Serve Another Round/ THE FIVE SHARPS: Stormy Weather/ THE FOUR BLAZES: Rug Cutter/ THE FOUR BUDDIES: You're Part Of Me/ THE FOUR FLAMES: Later/ THE FOUR JACKS: The Last Of The Good Rocking Men/ THE FOUR KNIGHTS: That's The Way It's Gonna Be/ THE FOUR TUNES: Let's Give Love Another Chance/ THE HEARTBREAKERS: Rockin' Daddy-O/ THE LARKS FEATURING EUGENE MUMFORD: Hold Me/ THE MARYLANDERS WITH BUDDY LUCAS: Make Me Thrill Again/ THE MEL-O-DOTS FEATURING RICKY WELLS: One More Time/ THE ORIOLES WITH BUDDY LUCAS ORCHESTRA: Don't Cry Baby/ THE RAVENS: Rock Me All Night Long/ THE ROYALS: Every Beat Of My Heart/ THE SERENADERS: But I Forgive You/ THE SULTANS: Don't Be Angry/ THE SWALLOWS: Beside You/ THE VOCALEERS: Be True

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 17283 Street Corner Symphony - Complete Story Of Doo-Wop Vol5 ● CD $24.98
33 tracks, essential
1953 and the impact of doo-wop on the African-American music scene continued to grow and a number of songs here started crossing over to the white market though none made the pop charts. Groups who performed in the older style were beginning to disappear though groups that adapted to the more hard edged R&B were still able to attract attention and The Orioles had their biggest hit in 1953 with the lovely Crying In The Chapel. As doowop grew the vocal arrangements became more complex and instrumental accompaniments were solid R&B with tough saxes and occasional guitar. Other big hits that year were Money Honey by Clyde McPhatter & The Drifters, Gee by The Crows, Too Much Lovin' by The Five Royales, These Foolish Things Remind Me Of You by Billy Ward and The Dominoes, Good Lovin by The Clovers and others. 1953 marked the debut of several of the greatest doo wop groups. The Harp-Tones gave us A Sunday Kind Of Love - a song that never even cracked charts but is now considered an all time classic. From Chicago came two great groups who recorded on the small Chance label and were to have lengthy careers- The Flamingos featuring the ethereal lead of Solly McElroy and The Moonglows with the distinctive lead of Bobby Lester. 1953 also marked the debut of The Platters featuring the lead of Tony Williams - two years later they became the first doowop group to top the pop charts and became the most successful doowop group of all time. Other groups on this collection include The Spaniels, Vocaleers, Coronets, Robins, Four Tunes, Wanderers, Prisonaires (the great Just Walkin In The Rain which became a big hit three year later for the great pop singer Johnnie Ray), The Cardinals and more. Another fabulous collection of rockers and soulful ballads giving us another chapter in the doowop story. The next five volumes in this series covering 1954 through 1958 are expected later in the year. (FS)
THE '5' ROYALES: Too Much Lovin' (Much Too Much)/ THE BUCCANEERS WITH THE JOE WHALEN TRIO: Dear Ruth/ THE CARDINALS: Lovie Darling/ THE CASTELLES: My Girl Awaits Me/ THE CHECKERS: White Cliffs Of Dover/ THE CLOVERS: Good Lovin'/ THE CORONETS: Nadine/ THE CRICKETS: You're Mine/ THE CROWS: Gee/ THE DU DROPPERS: I Wanna Know/ THE FIVE ECHOES WITH FATS COLE'S BAND: Baby, Come Back To Me/ THE FIVE KEYS: My Saddest Hour/ THE FLAIRS: I Had A Love/ THE FLAMINGOS WITH RED HOLLOWAY'S ORCH.: Golden Teardrops/ THE FOUR TUNES WITH SID BASS ORCH.: Marie/ THE HARP-TONES: A Sunday Kind Of Love/ THE HORNETS: I Can't Believe/ CLYDE MCPHATTER AND THE DRIFTERS: Money Honey/ THE MOONGLOWS WITH RED HOLLOWAY ORCH.: Baby Please/ THE ORIOLES: Crying In The Chapel/ THE PLATTERS: Hey Now/ THE PRISONAIRES: Just Walkin' In The Rain/ THE ROBINS: (Now And Then There's) A Fool Such As I/ THE ROYALS: Get It/ THE SPANIELS: Baby, It's You/ THE SPIDERS: You're The One/ THE SWALLOWS: Nobody's Lovin' Me/ THE VELVETS: I/ THE VOCALEERS: Is It A Dream/ VANN WALLS AND THE ROCKETS: Big Leg Mama/ THE WANDERERS: We Could Find Happiness/ BILLY WARD AND HIS DOMINOES: These Foolish Things Remind Of You

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS BGP CDBGPD 250 Royal Grooves ● CD $18.98
23 tracks, 61 mins, very highly recommended
During the 60's, when one thought of King Records-the Cincinnati R&B empire presided over by Syd Nathan-only the name of James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, sprang immediately to the tongue, especially after he returned to the label in 1965. In fact, Brown dominated the King release schedule so thoroughly that even records under other people's names had the Godfather's fingers on it somehow-either through producing, his production company, or backing from his band. Following the reissue of Bill Doggett's "Honky Tonk Popcorn" album (BGP 249, $18.98), comes this collection of singles, many of which Brown either directly or indirectly had a hand in. Ranging in time from 1967 to 1973, these sides represent some of the toughest funk or grooviest soul never before released; if the mind-blowing opening instrumental Getting Down (With Hoss) from Kastle doesn't convince, then maybe the following one-two punch of Love's Sweet Water and The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow, from Barbara Burton and the Messengers and Kay Robinson, respectively, will. And then there's the cuts from Brown associates The Brownettes (Baby, Don't You Know), Leon Austin (a nice cover of Jimmy Hughes' Steal Away), and Clay Tyson (Man on the Moon, an early example of proto-rap). Of course, King had other sources of A&R-notably the Hollywood label out of Nashville, which provided Robert Moore (Lookin' For a Woman), and the Presidents (Shoe Shine/ Peter Rabbit)-as well as the occasional local talent like Albert Washington (the magnificent Somewhere Down the Line). And if this collection does nothing else, it illustrates that King did try to soften the blow of disaster should James Brown have decided to defect from the label again. Although we'll never know if King would have survived such an event, we should be glad to have this CD collection of peerless early funk 'n' soul. (GMC)
ELAINE ARMSTRONG: Sad But True/ CONNIE AUSTIN: Ball Of Fire/ LEON AUSTIN: Steal Away/ HANK BALLARD: Unwind Yourself/ BONNIE & SHEILA: You Keep Me Hanging On/ THE BROWNETTES: Baby Don't You Know/ BARBARA BURTON AND THE MESSENGERS: Love's Sweet Water/ THE COASTERS: Cool Jerk/ BILL DOGGETT: Wet & Satisfied (Tk 5)/ GLORIA EDWARDS: (Need Nobody Help Me) Keep Up With My Man/ FRANK HOWARD & THE CONTINENTALS: Do What You Wanna Do (Pt 1)/ KASTLE: Getting Down With Hoss/ KING COLEMAN: The Boo Boo Song (Pt 2)/ WENDY LYNN: I Can Remember/ ROBERT MOORE: Looking For A Woman/ THE PRESIDENTS: Peter Rabbit/ Shoe Shine/ Shoe Shine (Inst)/ KAY ROBINSON: Lord Will Make A Way (Pt1)/ CLAY TYSON: Man On The Moon/ ALBERT WASHINGTON: Somewhere Down The Line/ WILLY WILEY: Just Be Glad/ Push And Shove

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Fantastic Voyage 144 R&B Spotlight '61 ● CD $19.98
Fantastic Voyage turns it spotlight on 1961 with this two CD set with 56 of the biggest and best R&B and blues hits of that year - Jimmy Reed, The Chantels, Chubby Checker, The Coasters, Lavern Baker & Jimmy Ricks, Ike & Tina Turner, The Marathons, Gene & Wendell, Fats Domino, Gary (US) Bonds, Slim Harpo, Lee Dorsey, The Marcels, Little Junior Parker, Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs, The REgents, Dinah Washington, etc.
LAVERN BAKER: Saved/ You re the Boss/ HANK BALLARD & THE MIDNIGHTERS: Let s Go Again Where We Went Last Night/ The Hoochi Coochi Coo/ The Switch-a-Roo/ JOE BARRY: I m a Fool to Care/ BROOK BENTON: For My Baby/ BOBBY BLAND: Turn On Your Love Light/ THE BLOSSOMS: Son-in-Law/ GARY U.S. BONDS: Quarter to Three/ School Is In/ School Is Out/ THE BUTANES: Don t Forget I Love You/ ACE CANNON: Tuff/ THE CHANTELS: Well, I Told You/ RAY CHARLES: Hit the Road Jack/ One Mint Julep/ CHUBBY CHECKER: Let s Twist Again/ Pony Time/ THE COASTERS: Little Egypt Ying-Yang/ Wait a Minute/ FATS DOMINO: Ain t That Just Like a Woman/ It Keeps Rainin/ Jambalaya On the Bayou/ LEE DORSEY: Do-Re-Mi/ Ya Ya/ THE FLARES: Foot Stomping Part 1/ ARETHA FRANKLIN: Won t Be Long/ GENE & WENDELL WITH THE SWEETHEARTS: The Roach/ ROY HAMILTON: You Can Have Her/ SLIM HARPO: Rainin in My Heart/ CLARENCE "FROGMAN" HENRY: But I Do/ ETTA JAMES: Don t Cry Baby/ ERNIE K-DOE: A Certain Girl/ Mother-in-Law/ CHRIS KENNER: I Like It Like That Part 1/ FREDDY KING: Hide Away/ I m Tore Down/ San-Ho-Zay/ BOBBY LEWIS: Tossin and Turnin/ THE MARATHONS: Peanut Butter/ THE MARCELS: Blue Moon/ BOBBY PARKER: Watch Your Step/ LITTLE JUNIOR PARKER: Driving Wheel/ In the Dark/ PRINCE LA LA: She Put the Hurt On Me/ JIMMY REED: Big Boss Man/ Bright Lights Big City/ THE REGENTS: Barbara-Ann/ THE ROLLERS: The Continental Walk/ IKE & TINA TURNER: It s Gonna Work Out Fine/ Poor Fool/ PHILIP UPCHURCH COMBO: You Can t Sit Down Part 2/ THE VIBRATIONS: The Watusi/ DINAH WASHINGTON: September in the Rain/ MAURICE WILLIAMS & THE ZODIACS: I Remember

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Fantastic Voyage 145 It's Saturday Night! Starday-Dixie Rockabilly, 1955-196 ● CD $23.98
Three CDs, 103 tracks, highly recommended
Outside of Sun, Starday Records of Houston had, probably, the best catalogue of hard core rockabilly. Like Sun, many of the artists were young rural performers bursting with creative energy which found its outlet in rockabilly. There have been a number of collections of Starday rockabilly, but this one is the most extensive with 103 tracks spread over three CDs featuring sides recorded for Starday and its affiliated Dixie label. Lots of great, hard driving music from the likes of Sonny Fisher, Bill Mack, Thumper Jones (George Jones's excursion into rockabilly), Rudy Grayzell, Link Davis, Fred Crawford, Amos Como & His Tune Toppers, Lucky Wray (Link's brother), Sleepy LaBeff, Hal Harris, Cliff Blakely, Truitt Forse, Jape Richard (the first recording of The Big Bopper), Benny Joy, Derrell Felts, Groovy Joe Poovey and many more. Excellent sound and informative notes by Dave Penny in 16 page booklet. (FS)
GLENN BARBER: Feeling No Pain/ Shadow My Baby/ BENNY BARNES: You Gotta Pay/ BILL & CARROLL: Feel So Good/ CLIFF BLAKLEY: Get Off My Toe/ High Steppin'/ Want To Be With You/ CECIL BOWMAN: Blues Around My Door/ DOUG BRAGG: Pretty Little Thing/ BILL BROWNING: Don't Push-Don't Shove/ ART BUCHANAN: Queen From Bowling Green/ AMOS COMO: Hole In The Wall/ FRED CRAWFORD: Can't Live With 'Em/ Rock Candy Rock/ LINK DAVIS: Don't Big Shot Me/ Grasshopper Rock/ Sixteen Chicks/ Trucker From Tennessee/ THE DAVIS TWINS & SLEEPY JEFFERS: Pretending Is A Game/ BOB DOSS: Don't Be Gone Long/ CONNIE DYCUS: I Could Shoot Myself/ DERRELL FELTS: Playmates/ The Weepers/ SONNY FISHER: Hey Mamma/ Hold Me Baby/ I Can't Lose/ Pink And Black/ Rockin' And A Rollin'/ Rockin' Daddy/ Sneaky Pete/ ROCKY BILL FORD: Have You Seen Mabel/ Mad Dog In Town/ TRUITT FORSE: Chicken Bop/ Doggone Dame/ JAY GALLEGHER: Crazy Legs/ THE GENTRY BROTHERS: Swanky/ RUDY GRAYZELL: Duck Tail/ Jig-Ga-Lee-Ga/ Let's Get Wild/ You're Gone/ KEN HAMMOCK: Blue Guitar Jump/ JERRY HANSON: I'm Doing All Right/ HAL HARRIS: I Don't Know When/ Jitterbop Baby/ ALDEN HOLLOWAY: Blast Off/ Loving Is My Business/ Swinging The Rock/ ORANGIE RAY HUBBARD: Sweet Love/ RAY HUDSON: The Blues Walked Away/ DEE JOHNSON: Just Look, Don't Touch/ JIMMY JOHNSON: All Dressed Up/ Woman Love/ THUMPER JONES: How Come It/ Rock It/ BENNY JOY: Spin The Bottle/ Steady With Betty/ SLEEPY LABEFF: All The Time/ I Ain't Gonna Take It/ I'm Through/ Little Bit More/ JIMMIE LEE: Three Little Wishes/ BILL MACK: Cat Just Got In Town/ Fat Woman/ It's Saturday Night/ Kitty Kat/ HOWARD MAYBERRY: This Just Can't Be Puppy Love/ LLOYD MCCOLLOUGH: Half My Fault/ FRANKIE MILLER: True Blue/ LATTIE MOORE: Why Did You Lie To Me/ TOMMY NELSON: Hobo Bop/ Honey Moon Blues/ LARRY NOLEN: King Of The Ducktail Cats/ ART ONTARIO: It Must Be Me/ ARNOLD PARKER: Find A New Woman/ PAT & DEE: Don't Tease Me/ Gee Whiz/ HAL PAYNE: Honky Tonk Stomp/ PETE PETERS: Dizzy/ Rockin' N' My Sweet Baby's arms/ GROOVE JOE POOVEY: Ten Long Fingers/ JOE POOVEY: Careful Baby/ Move Around/ MEL PRICE: Little Dog Blues/ THE RAINDROPS: I Don't Want A Sweetheart/ EDDIE REYNOLDS: Wrangler/ JAPE RICHARDSON: Crazy Blues/ ROCKING MARTIN: All Because Of You/ ROCK ROGERS: Little Rock Rock/ That Ain't It/ AL RUNYON: Baby Please Come Home/ J.C. SAWYER: Goin' Steppin'/ HOYT SCOGGINS: Tennessee Rock/ BUDDY SHAW: Don't Sweep That Dirt On Me/ EDDIE SKELTON: Keep It Swinging/ CARL TRANTHAM: Deedle Deedle Dum/ LOU WALKER: Little Bitty Man/ Rock And Roll/ SLIM WATTS: Tu-La-Lou/ FUZZY WHITENER: Sugar Buggar/ THE WILLIAMS BROTHERS: Ali-Baba/ BILL WILLIS: Boogie Woogie All Night/ LUCKY WRAY: Got Another Baby/ Teenage Cutie

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Jasmine 3610/11 Hillbilly Bop, Boogie & The Honky Tonk Blues, Vol. 5 ● CD $18.98
Two CDs, 48 tracks, highly recommended
The fifth in this great series features fine and mostly uptempo and hill from 1958 and '59. Although by this time there wasn't a whole of country bop or hillbilly boogie being recording there's a lot of fine honky tonkin' going on here from very obscure performers like Dick Miller, Eddie Williams, The Strangers, Jesse & Lee & The Rocky Mountain Boys, Jimmy Pickard, Adrian Roland, Bob Dean & Cindy With The Kountry Kings, Jack Tate and The Sandy Land Play Boys and others recording for tiny labels like Aggie, Arc, KCM, Pace, Jiffy, Azalea, Kay, Caprock, Sundown and more. As usual, sound is excellent and there are brief, informative notes from Al Turner. (FS)
LAVERNE ADAMS & THE COUNTRY FOUR: Blue/ BILL ALEX & THE DIXIE DRIFTERS: I'm Just a Nobody/ HAL ANDREWS & HIS ESCAMBIA COUNTY BOYS: Darlin'/ JERRY ARNOLD: (Don't Want No) Blonds, Brunettes or Redheads/ HAROLD BAILEY & THE COUNTRY DRIFTERS: I'm A Fool/ I'm Gonna' Leave/ HOUSTON BARKS: She's Gone/ AL BRITT: You Waited Too Long/ GARY BRYANT: I Fell For You/ JEANIE CHRISTIE: Flying High/ RILEY CRABTREE: I've Lived Two Day's In One/ BOB DEAN & CINDY WITH THE KOUNTRY KINGS: Walk, Walk, Walkin' Blues/ EDDIE AND DON & THE LOUISIANA PLAYBOYS: I'm Loaded (With the Blues)/ DESSIE FAULKNER WITH SUNSET DRIFTERS: These Memories That I Have/ FIDDLIN' SISK & THE TENNESSEE SWEETHEART: Don't Say We're Thru/ NEAL GRAHAM: Stop Your Teasing Me/ TOMMY GUESS & BILL LOWE: Foolish Heart/ BILL GUESS & SUNDOWNERS: You Set My Heart on Fire/ DAYTON HARP & HIS DIXIELAND DRIFTERS: Man Crazy Woman/ WES HOLLY: Shufflin' Shoes/ JESSE AND LEE & THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN BOYS: Life Ain't Worth Living/ JOHNNY & DUANE: Dreaming/ CHARLIE KELLOGG & HIS OZARK DRIFTERS: Oooooh Daddy/ MONA KERRY: Don't Hang Around My Door/ KEN LIGHTNER & HIS HAY RIDERS: Mary Ann/ LINA LYNNE WITH JACK TUCKER & HIS OKLAHOMA PL: Please Be Mine/ DICK MILLER: I'll Take Your Love/ Now I'm Gone/ RAY MITCHEM: Out Yonder/ ROY NEW & THE TRANS-PECOS MELODY BOYS: Blue Tomorrow/ CHARLIE PARKER: I Bowed My Head and Cried/ BILLY PARKS: Four Leaf Clover/ HARRY PEPPEL & THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY RANGERS: Selfish Heart/ Sugar Doll/ KERMET PHILLIPS: Walkin' Alone Tonite/ JIMMY PICKARD: I Got Another Love/ ADRIAN ROLAND: I Stepped Out On My Baby/ JIMMY SIMPSON & HIS OILFIELD BOYS: Blue As I Can Be/ CHESTER SMITH: Tennessee Saturday Night/ THE STRANGERS: Honky Tonk Women/ JACK TATE & THE SANDY LAND PLAY BOYS: Casanova/ JACK TUCKER WITH DON EVANS (GUITAR): Lonely Man/ LES UCKER: Wrong Kinda Lovin/ DON WARD WITH MILLIE REID: Free From the Chains/ I'm Gonna' Cry/ GLENN & VIVIAN WATSON: Just Keep On Going/ HUNTER WATTS & HIS SOUTHERN PALS: Wild Man Rock/ EDDIE WILLIAMS: Cigarettes and Coffee Blues (sic)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Jookin' 18010 Jookin', Vol. 10 ● CD $16.98
27 tracks, 65 mins, recommended
More fine rocking R&B sides from the 50s and early 60s - this volume includes a fair amount of doo-wop and soul including some slower numbers. Artists include D.D. (Foots) Ford (fine two part instrumental with tough sax), O.S. Grant & The Downbeats, Buck Rogers & His Jets (the fine Rose Marie (with some great piano), Kip Anderson (soul legend with the great I Can't), Davey Jones, Marie Taylor, The Chargers (fine blues guitar instrumental with interesting effects), The Tanglers and others. (FS)
EDDIE ALLEN: Nothing At All/ JOHNNIE ALTON: Please Love Me/ KIP ANDERSON: I Can't/ THE CHARGERS: The Large Charge/ L.C. COOK: I'm Falling/ LARRY DARNELL: Flame Of Love/ D.D. (FOOTS) FORD: D.D.'S Bounce, Part 1/ D.D.'S Bounce, Part 2/ THE FOUR HOLLIDAYS: Step By Step/ BONNIE FUSSELL & THE DIXIE CRYSTALS: Lend Me Your Pencil/ O.S. GRANT & THE DOWNBEATS: You Did Me Wrong/ HANNIBAL & THE RAVELS: Sputnik 69/ AL HARRISON: Brand New Money/ REUBEN (TUTTI) JACKSON: Come Home/ STONEY JACKSON: Where Is My Baby/ DAVEY JONES: I Was Blind/ MORRIS JONES WITH EARL DEMUS BAND: Her Spare/ ELMER PARKER & THE LIGHT LIGHTERS: I Like The Way You Walk/ THE PERSIANS: Love Me Tonight/ SONNY RAYE: Eye To Eye/ BUCK ROGERS & HIS JETS: Rose Marie/ THE ROMANCERS: Baby I Love You So/ MELVIN SMITH: Zaki Sue/ THE TANGIERS: Doin' The Waddle/ MARIE TAYLOR WITH SLEEPY KING'S ORCH.: Great Big Daddy/ TITUS TURNER: Hold Your Loving/ EARL WILLIAMS: A Fool In Love

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 77150 Juke Joints 3 ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 104 tracks, highly recommended
Terrific collection of down home and country blues from the late 40s through the mid 50s. Although all the tracks have been out on CD before, many are not currently available and this is well chosen selection that would cost you a small fortune if you wanted to get the original 78s. There are some familiar names here - Slim Harpo, Jerry McCain, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Rogers, etc. but much of it is by artists who only recorded a handful of sides - in many cases just one 78 - Pete McKinley, Wright Holmes (his amazing Alley Special), David Wylie, Johnny Williams, The Sugarman, Hank Kilroy, Sunny James, Stick Horse Hammond (magnificent country blues), Manny Nicholls, Pinetop Slim, Leroy Johnson, Luther Stoneham, etc. If you don't have many of the tracks here then this is essential - if you do then this is worth consideration as it falls into the category of "all killer, no filler" (well, except maybe for Nat Terry's deliriously out of tune I Don't Know Why though there is a certain compelling quality to it!). Sound quality is excellent, there are brief notes by Neil Slaven and full discographical data. (FS)
WILLIE BAKER: Goin’ Back Home Today/ JOHNNY BECK: Locked In Jail Blues/ You Gotta Lay Down Mama/ JUNIOR BLACKMON: Down South/ HOUSTON BOINES: G-Man Blues/ Operator Blues/ JOHN BRIM: Gary Stomp/ CHICAGO SUNNY BOY: Western Union Man/ BUDDY CHILES: Jet Black Woman/ Mistreated Blues/ COUNTRY JIM: Good Lookin’ Woman/ Hollywood Boogie/ Sad And Lonely/ LITTLE SAM DAVIS: 1958 Blues/ Goin’ To New Orleans/ J.D. EDWARDS: Cold In The Evening/ Crying/ BOY GREEN: A & B Blues/ Play My Juke Box/ L.C. GREENE: Little School Girl/ STICK HORSE HAMMOND: Highway 51/ Truck ‘Em On Down/ SLIM HARPO: I’m A King Bee/ I’ve Got Love If You Want It/ Strange Love/ Wonderin’ And Worryin’/ SMOKEY HOGG: Crawdad/ I Want A Roller/ Size 4 Shoe/ You Better Watch That Jive/ WRIGHT HOLMES: Alley Special/ HOMESICK JAMES: Homesick Blues/ Late Hours At Midnight/ HONEYBOY: Have You A Match/ You Better Move On Away From Here/ EARL HOOKER: After Hours/ Jammin’/ JOHN LEE HOOKER: My Baby Left Me/ J.D. HORTON: Cadillac Blues/ LOST JOHN HUNTER: Y M & V Blues/ SUNNY JAMES: Excuse Me Baby/ Please Mam Forgive Me/ COUNTRY JIM: Dial 110 Blues/ LEROY JOHNSON: Log House On The Hill/ No One To Love Me/ HANK KILROY: Awful Shame/ Harlem Women/ EDDIE KIRKLAND: I’ll Move You/ SAMMY LEWIS & WILLIE JOHNSON: Feel So Worried - Tk 2/ LIGHTNIN’ SLIM: Bad Feeling Blues - Alt/ Lightnin’ Slim Boogie/ LITTLE MILTON: Lookin’ For My Baby - Tk 5/ CLARENCE LONDON: Goin’ Back To Mama/ Got A Letter This Morning/ Want To Boogie-Woogie/ LESLIE LOUIS: Don’t Do It Again/ Ridin’ Home/ LAZY BILL LUCAS: I Had A Dream/ My Baby’s Gone/ She Got Me Walkin’/ JERRY MCCAIN: She’s Tough/ Steady/ PETE MCKINLEY: Ardelle/ Don’t Want Me Blues/ Sail On, Little Girl/ MANNY NICHOLLS: Forgive Me/ No One To Love Me/ Throw A Little Boogie/ Walking Talking Blues/ WILLIE NIX: Baker Shop Boogie Tk 1/ Seems Like A Million Years - Tk 1/ DAN PICKETT: Chicago Blues/ Number Writer/ PINEBLUFF PETE: Uncle Sam Blues/ PINETOP SLIM: Applejack Boogie/ John Henry/ JIMMY REED: Jimmie’s Boogie/ JIMMY ROGERS: I’m In Love/ Ludella/ That’s All Right/ SILVER COOKS: Mr Ticket Agent/ BILL SIMPSON: Jelly Roll Man/ BIG BOY SPIRES: About To Lose My Mind/ Which One Do I Love/ LUTHER STONEHAM: Sittin’ Here Wonderin’/ THE SUGARMAN: She’s Gone With The Wind/ EDDIE TAYLOR: I’m Gonna Love You/ You’ll Always Have A Home/ NAT TERRY: I Don’t Know Why/ Take It Easy/ D.C. WASHINGTON: Happy Home Blues/ BOOGIE BILL WEBB: Boogie/ Love Me Mama/ ROBERT LEE WESTMORELAND: Hello Central, Please Give Me 209/ BIG JOE WILLIAMS: Eula Mae/ King’s Highway/ Rather Be Sloppy Drunk/ Ride My New Car With Me/ JOHNNY WILLIAMS: Fat Mouth/ Silver Haired Woman/ HOP WILSON: Broke And Hungry/ Chicken Stuff/ My Woman Has A Black Cat Bone/ DAVID WYLIE: Shackles Round My Body

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 77153 Turkish Tradition - Masterpieces Of Turkish Musical Cul ● CD $28.98
Four CDS, 97 tracks, highly recommended
Another superb though rather frustrating collection of vintage ethnic music from JSP. This time devoted to Turkish music recorded between 1930 and 1955 along with a few from the 1920s. The material includes traditional folk music, Turkish classical music and western influenced music. The music ranges from solo vocal and oud to small groups to full folk orchestras. Unfortunately the documentation is even scantier than usual for JSP (and that's saying something) and there is no discographical information so the listener is really on his or her own. This really does disservice to such and important and unique release. Suffice to say that the music is beautiful, haunting and compelling and since Greek rembetika music originally derived from Turkish music there are a number of tracks that sound very much like rembetika. An online search will turn up information on some of the artists here. Sound quality is superb. JSP is noted for its low priced releases but I think most people would be willing to pay another $10 to get a booklet with detailed information. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 370 Nobody Wins - Stax Southern Soul, 1968-1975 ● CD $18.98
21 tracks, 69 mins, highly recommended
Typically tasteful R&B compilation from Kent focusing on random tracks from the Stax/Volt label; what's significant about these tracks is the fact that many of them come from the label's so-called declining years (roughly 1973-75), a time when money was tight and chart action scarce but the music quality was high. Whether it's Eddie Floyd's Stealing Love, William Bell's Lovin' on Borrowed Time, Bettye Crutcher's Make a Joyful Noise, Willie Singleton's Two Fools, Little Milton's Woman Across the River, or Ollie & the Nightingales' You're Leaving Me, the Stax magic is still present and at least three of these songs should have been massive hits. Like Kent's Fame label and studio series of CDs, this collection is the first shot in a series of various artist collections and original albums featuring music issued by Stax and its subsidiaries from the late 60s and early 70s. From the looks and sound of things, I'd say the series is off to an excellent start. (GMC)
WILLIAM BELL: Lovin' On Borrowed Time/ CHUCK BROOKS: Hold On This Time/ CHARLENE & THE SOUL SERANADERS: Love Changes/ THE CHARMELS: I've Done It Again/ BETTYE CRUTCHER: Make A Joyful Noise/ JOHNNY DAYE: Stay Baby Stay/ JOHN EDWARDS: Lonely Life/ EDDIE FLOYD: Stealing Love/ INEZ FOXX: Crossing Over The Bridge/ JIMMY HUGHES: Let 'em Down Baby/ MABLE JOHN: Shouldn't I Love Him/ JIMMY LEWIS: Where Was He?/ LITTLE MILTON: Woman Across The River/ OLLIE & THE NIGHTINGALES: You're Leaving Me/ MACK RICE: Nobody Wins Til The Game Is Over/ CALVIN SCOTT: I've Never Found A Girl To Love Me Like You Do/ SHACK: A Love Affair That Bears No Pain/ WILLIE SINGLETON: Two Fools/ THE SOUL CHILDREN: Move Over/ SYLVIA AND THE BLUE JAYS: The Fault Is Not In Me/ JOHNNIE TAYLOR: Will You Love Me Forever/ FREDDIE WATERS: Groovin' On My Baby's Love

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 372 Hall Of Fame - Rare & Unissued Gems From The Fame Vault ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 62 mins, very highly recommended
Kent's recent re-issues of recordings from the catalog of Rick Hall's Fame Records-beginning with "The FAME Studios Story" 3CD set (Kent Box 12, $44.98)-have been a welcome addition to many a soul fan's music library. And the gift givers at Kent just keep on giving: a new series of compilations has been introduced, the "Hall of Fame" series, which will "focus on the darker corner of the company's tape vaults" (this from the liner notes). An intriguing statement to be sure and one wonders what goodies will be in store for the future. As for right now, the series kicks off with this collection of twenty-one previously unreleased tracks from the late 60s/early 70s, plus three that have never been issued on CD before. Fans of "The FAME Studios Story," as well as Kent's Jimmy Hughes and George Jackson re-issues, will savor over I Worship the Ground You Walk On from the former and For You from the latter along with the other 22 cuts. Other highlights: early versions of Clarence Carter's Tell Daddy and Too Weak To Fight; June Conquest's Motown-ish I Do; Richard Earl & the Corvettes should-have-been-a-hit Blind Can't See; The Entertainers sublime I Need Someone; and Otis Clay's two-punch I'm Qualified and Your Helping Hand. Just because these are the high points I've singled out, don't think that the rest of the CD is low rent because every cut here is first rate, and anyone who already owns any of the previous Kent Fame CDs needs to own this right now. And if this is an example of what the rest of the "Hall Of Fame" series is like, then I say bring it on! (GMC)
BIG BEN ATKINS: Tell It Like It Is/ JAMES BARNETT: You're So Fine/ BEN & SPENCE: Hand Shakin'/ GEORGE BYRD & THE DOMINOES: It Ain't No Harm/ CLARENCE CARTER: Tell Daddy (Demo)/ Too Weak To Fight (Demo)/ OTIS CLAY: I'm Qualified/ Your Helping Hand (Demo)/ JUNE CONQUEST: I Do/ RICHARD EARL & THE CORVETTES: Blind Can't See/ THE ENTERTAINERS: I Need Someone (Demo)/ JAMES GILREATH: Meet Me Tonight/ JIMMY HUGHES: I Worship The Ground You Walk On/ Steal Away '67 (Part 1)/ MARJORIE INGRAM: In The Heat Of Love/ JACKIE: Almost Persuaded/ GEORGE JACKSON: For You (Home Demo)/ RALPH "SOUL" JACKSON: You Really Know How To Hurt A Guy/ O.B. MCCLINTON: Two Big Legs And A Short Red Dress/ BOBBY MOORE & THE RHYTHM ACES: Baby Come Back/ PRINCE PHILLIP: Keep On Talking/ JOE SIMON: When It Comes To Dancing/ UNKNOWN: Love Changes A Man/ TRAVIS WAMMACK: Let's Do It Over

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Rhythm & Blues 015 Rumba DooWop, 1933-1954 ● CD $16.98
Two CDs, 62 tracks, very highly recommended
The Rhythm And Blues label have been doing a wonderful job documenting the influence of Latin Music, and in particular, the rumba, on American music. Previous volumes have covered blues and jazz and this is the first of two sets looking at the influence on doo-wop. The first disc covers the period 1933 through 1953 and includes some gospel sides and features songs that have elements of rumba, son clave, bolero, tango, cha cha cha and other Latin rhythms from groups like The Spirits Of Rhythm, Golden Gate Quartet, The Four Vagabonds, The Pilgrim Travelers, The Heartbreakers, The Five Keys, The Prisonaires and others. The second disc features recordings from 1954 when the mambo craze was sweeping the USA and many of the tracks on this disc show the influence of the mambo on doo-wop with tracks from The Hawks, Drifters, Jewels, Pelicans, Lamplighters, Eagles, Chanters, Flamingos and others. Sound quality is superb and the 24 page booklet has detailed notes from Nick Duckett. (FS)
THE CHANTERS: Watts/ THE CHARIOTEERS: Jesus Is a Rock in a Weary Land/ THE CHARMS: Ling Ting Tong/ Mambo Sh-Mambo/ THE CHECKERS: Let Me Come Back/ THE CLOVERS: Don't You Know I Love You?/ Good Lovin'/ I've Got My Eyes On You/ THE COOKIES: All Night Mambo/ THE CROWNS: I Wanna Love/ THE CROWS: Mambo Shevitz/ THE DELTA RHYTHM BOYS: La Cucaracha/ THE DREAMERS: Bye Bye/ THE DRIFTERS: Such a Night/ White Christmas/ THE DUKES: Chee Koo Baby/ THE EAGLES: Trying to Get to You/ THE FIVE BLIND BOYS OF MONTANA: Brother Bill/ THE FIVE KEYS: I'm So High/ THE FIVE SPIRITS OF RHYTHM: I Got Rhythm/ THE FLAMINGOS: Ko Ko Mo/ THE FOUR DUKES: Baby Doll/ THE FOUR VAGABONDS: Choo Choo/ THE GOLDEN GATE JUBILEE QUARTET: Packing Up Getting Ready to Go/ THE GOLDEN GATE QUARTET: Shadrack/ THE HAWKS: Give It Up/ It's Too Late Now/ THE HEARTBREAKERS: Wanda/ THE HOLIDAYS: Irene/ THE JEWELS: Natural Natural Ditty/ THE JUBALAIRES: Casey Jones/ St Louis Blues/ Swing Down Chariot/ THE KIDDS: Drunk, Drunk, Drunk/ THE LAMPLIGHTERS: Be Bop Wino/ Five Minutes Longer/ THE LOVE NOTES: Sweet Lulu/ THE MELLO TONES: Geechie Goomie/ THE MILLS BROTHERS: Tiger Rag/ THE MISSIONARY QUINTET: Dry Bones/ THE MOONGLOWS: Real Gone Mama/ Tempting/ THE PEACHEROOS: Be Bop Baby/ THE PELICANS: Ain't Gonna Do It/ Down in Mexico/ White Cliffs of Dover/ THE PENGUINS: Hey Senorita/ THE PILGRIM TRAVELERS: Jesus Met The Woman At The Well/ THE PLATTERS: Shake It Up Mambo/ You Made Me Cry/ THE PRISONAIRES: Softly and Tenderly/ THE RAVENS: Calypso Song/ Ol' Man River/ THE RAY-O-VACS: Besame Mucho/ My Baby's Gone/ THE ROBINS: All I Do Is Rock/ THE ROYALS: I Want You to Be My Baby/ THE SPIDERS: I Didn't Want to Do It/ THE SQUIRES: Whop/ THE STARLIGHTERS: Sweet Sue/ THE SULTANS: Boppin' With The Mambo/ THE SWALLOWS: Bicycle Tillie/ Roll Roll Pretty Baby

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Rhythm & Blues 016 Rumba DooWop, 1955-1956 ● CD $16.98
Two CDs, 62 mins, very highly recommended
Another fabulous and eye-opening collection of doo-wop with a Latin flavor. Artists include Little Junior & The Empires with lead vocal by Champion Jack Dupree), The Penguins, The Turbans (their classic bolero flavored When You Dance), The Hawketts (the great Mardi Gras Mambo with lead by 16 year old Art Neville ), The Squires, The Five Tinos, The Moroccos (their Red Hots & Chili Mac with a tumbao rhythm), The Colts, The El Dorados and many more. Great stuff with excellent sound and detailed notes. (FS)
THE ALADDINS: Help Me/ THE CALVAES: Mambo Fiesta/ THE CARDINALS: Choo Choo/ THE CHAMPIONS: Mexico Bound/ THE CHANTERS: Hot Mama/ THE CHIMES: Zindy Lou/ THE COASTERS: Brazil/ Down in Mexico/ THE COLTS: Lips Red As Wine/ THE COMBONETTES: Gotta Have You Baby/ THE COOKIES: In Paradise/ THE DANDERLIERS: Chop Chop Boom/ THE DON JUANS: Going Down to Tia Juana/ THE DOOTONES: Ay Si Si/ THE DRIVERS: Smooth, Slow and Easy/ THE DUKES: Cotton Pickin' Hands/ Last Ride/ THE EARLS: Laverne/ THE EBONY MOODS: Grand, Nice, Swell/ THE EL CAPRIS: Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Wop/ THE EL DORADOS: A Fallen Tear/ THE EMPIRES: Somebody Changed The Lock/ THE FALCONS: Mambo Baby To-Nite/ THE FIVE DOLLARS: You Know I Can't Refuse/ THE FIVE TINOS: Don?t Do That/ THE FOUR FRESHMEN: Day By Day/ THE HAWKETTS: Mardi Gras Mambo/ THE HEARTS: Show Me The/ THE JAGUARS: Rock It, Davy, Rock It/ THE JAYHAWKS: Stranded in The Jungle/ THE JEWELS: Goin' Goin' Gone/ THE JOYTONES: All My Love Belongs to You/ THE LARKE SISTERS: Gumbo Mambo/ THE MARIGOLDS: Rollin' Stone/ THE MELLOWS: Ain't She Got Nerve/ I'm Yours/ THE MOROCCOS: Morocco Chant/ Red Hots and Chili Mac/ THE NEW YORKERS 5: Cha Cha Baby/ THE NOTES: Cha Jezabel/ THE NUTMEGS: Gift O' Gabbin' Woman/ THE ORIOLES: Cigareetos/ THE PENGUINS: Jingle Jangle/ THE PHARAOHS: Watusi/ THE PLAYBOYS: So Good/ THE QUEENS: That's The Way I Like It/ THE RHYTHM ACES: Everybody's Whalin'/ THE RHYTHM MASTERS: Patricia/ THE RIP CHORDS: Let's Do The Razzle-Dazzle/ THE ROBINS: Out of The Picture/ THE SAVOYS: Yacka Hoom Boom/ THE SHEPPARDS: Cool, Mambo/ THE SPIDERS: A-1 in My Heart/ Witchcraft/ THE SQUIRES: Do-Be-Do-Be-Wop-Wop/ THE STARLIGHTERS: Last Night/ THE SUPREMES: Tonight/ THE SWEET TEENS: Don't Worry About a Thing/ THE TENDERFOOTS: Watussi Wussi Wu/ THE TURBANS: It Was a Night Like This/ When You Dance/ THE VEL-AIRES: Man from Utopia

 
MUDDY WATERS BLUES BAND Douglas 5063 Mud In Your Ear ● CD $16.98
15 tracks, 49 mins, very good
The tracks here are drawn from two LPs issued on Douglas label in 1967 and '68 as by Luther Johnson & The Muddy Waters Blues Band. Featuring Luther "Snake" Johnson on lead vocals and guitar this is essentially the Muddy Waters Band of the time with Samy Lawhorn and Muddy on guitars, Mojo Buford/ harmonica & vocals, Otis Spann/ piano, "Sonny" Wimberley on bass and Francis Clay/ drums. They perform a selection of straight ahead Chicago blues including songs like Digging My Potatoes/ Mud In Your Ear/ I'm So Glad/ Excuse Me Baby/ Evil, etc. Both Johnson and Buford are decent singers but without Muddy in the lead the band does not sound as spirited. The back liner claims that this is the first time these tracks have been reissued on CD but, actually, Muse issued them on CD in 1997 but that CD (which included all 20 tracks from the two sessions) is long deleted, (FS)

 

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