LATEST ADDITIONS  06/04/2013

 

DVD

 
WANDA JACKSON Wanda Jackson Enterprises 1232 Live In Chicago ● DVD $11.98
17 tracks, 125 mins, highly recommended
One of my favorite things about this DVD is the fact that it is released through Wanda Jackson Enterprises; all these decades in the business and Wanda Jackson is still going strong and making things happen on her own. This features a fine live performance from 2011 in Chicago, where she performs pretty much all of the right songs. Classic W.J. rockers like I Gotta Know/ Funnel Of Love/ Fujiyama Mama/ Mean, Mean Man/ Let's Have A Party, etc, are complimented by rip roaring Rock & Roll covers, some of which she has been doing for over 50 years now, like Riot in Cell Block #9/ Rip It Up, and closing with Whole Lotta Shaking Going On. On top of all of those high octane burners, you also get a fine version of Wanda's greatest ballad Right Or Wrong. You get all of these with a great backing band, full of younger players that seem to really relish playing with such a legend. Wanda Jackson might look like a little old lady now, but she's still got some great pipes and is now, finally, a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, so hopefully there are a lot of great shows still to come from the Rockabilly Queen. (JM)

 
 
JERRY LEE LEWIS Cleopatra 206 An Anthology ● DVD $9.98
83 mins, highly recommended
Here's a fantastic collection of rare, and not so rare, performances by the Killer. This DVD starts off with the great 1973 documentary about the London Rock & Roll Show. The documentary of the 1972 Rock & Roll show features bits from opening acts like Heinz (not so great) and Screaming Lord Such (very cool) before it digs into sets by the heavy hitters Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bill Haley, Little Richard, and closing with Chuck Berry. This fine film and the great performances it captures, makes this DVD well worth picking up on its own. On top of that you get a great 1957 TV performance of Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On, two fine, rare TV performances from 1971 one with Carl Perkins, the other, a gospel number with The Rust College Quintet backing Lewis up that puts it all over the top. There's lots more early '70s TV spots as well, but those mentioned are the best and make this something that Jerry Lee Lewis fans will surely need. (JM)

 

COMPACT DISCS

 
NATHAN ABSHIRE Ace CDCHD 1348 Master Of The Cajun Accordion ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, utterly essential
Following Ace's recent revamp of a 20 year old Balfa Brothers reissue they now turn their attention to the greatest of them all - the fantastic singer and accordion player Nathan Abshire. Most of the tracks here were previously reissued on Ace 329 twenty years ago. This new release has been remastered, resequenced and has one bonus track that was only originally issued on a single thereby including all the recordings he made for the Swallow label between 1965 and 1976. It also includes a 20 page booklet featuring a newly researched essay by Lloyd Ferbach, notes on all the songs and full discographical info. Nathan's music was deep and intense with heartfelt vocals and striking accordion and on the sessions here is accompanied by the great Balfa Brothers on fiddles and guitar plus some great steel guitarists - Larry Miller on the earlier sessions and J.W. Pelsia on the later ones. In additions to Nathan's vocals there are also vocals from drummer Thomas Langley, Rodney Balfa and Don Guillory. Most of the songs are Abshire originals including his incredible signature song Pine Grove Blues based on the traditional Ma Negresse as well as other gems like A Musician's Life/ Shamrock/ French Blues/ Choupique Two Step and others. There are also several fabulous renditions of country songs sung in Cajun French highlighted by an incredible version of Tramp Sur La Rue ("Tramp On Your Street") with a vocal by Langley and Joe South's Games People Play with a vocal by Chuck Guillory. As John Broven's introductory notes point out Nathan occupies the same status in Cajun music as Muddy Waters in blues or Hank Williams in country music. If you buy only one Cajun album in your lifetime, make it this one! (FS)

 
BOBBY BARE/ BILL PARSONS El Toro 1059 Buddies With The Blues, 1956-1961 ● CD $18.98
30 tracks, 70 mins, very highly recommended
In the early days Bobby Bare and Bill Parsons were friends whose careers were intertwined, to the point where Bare's demo version of The All American Boy, a song intended for Parson's to cover, got released with Parsons' name mistakenly credited on the label, and made it all the way to #2 on the Billboard charts. That track, and many more fine Rock & Roll and Country recordings by the two, are collected here, with quality notes to help you keep track of everything. Other cool tracks include Down On the Corner Of Love/ The Living End, and, of course, Vampira by Bare. Edjucated Rock & Roll/ My Rockin' Shoes, and "Hot Rod Volkswagen (I think that's called a Baja Bug,) by Parsons. This features lots of great, and many of them rare, recordings from both artists. Bobby Bare just doesn't get enough credit for the great artist that he is and the decades of good music he put out, starting off on tracks like these, Bill Parsons gets far less. Pick this up and give these great artists some love. (JM)
BOBBY BARE: A Beggar/ Another Love Has Ended/ Book Of Love/ Brooklyn Bridge/ Buddies With The Blues/ Darlin' Don't/ Down On The Corner Of Love/ Island Of Love/ Lorena/ Lynchin' Party/ More Than A Poor Boy Could Give/ Sailor Man/ Sweet Singin' Sam/ Tender Years/ That Mean Old Clock/ The Day My Rainbow Fell/ The Life Of A Fool/ The Livin' End/ Vampira/ Zig-Zag/ I'm Hangin' Up My Rifle/ That's Where I Want To Be/ No Letter From My Baby/ BILL PARSONS: Guitar Blues/ Hot Rod Volkswagen/ My Rockin' Shoes/ Rubber Dolly/ Sputnick No. 2/ The All-American Boy/ Educated Rock And Roll

 
THE BARRIER BROTHERS B.A.C.M. 398 Bluegrass Classics ● CD $14.98 $10.98
28 tracks, recommended
The Barrier Brothers were an excellent traditional styled bluegrass group featuring brothers Herman, Earl & Ernest with fiddler Gene Dykes though on most of the recordings here the fiddle player is Benny Martin. Most of the performances here are drawn from LPs issued the Phillips label in the early 60s where they did covers of songs mostly made famous by other bluegrass artists - particularly Bill Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs along with some lesser known items and bluegrass versions of honky tonk country favorites like Gotta Travel On and Smoke Along The TRacks. The performances are excellent with fine lead vocals, excellent harmonies and solid instrumental work but is hard not to make comparisons with the originals and find these versions somewhat lacking. There are also four tracks recorded for the obscure Armoneer label in 1959 with the brothers doing their own songs and these are more rewarding. (FS)
THE BARRIER BROTHERS: Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow/ Before I Met You/ Blue Moon Of Kentucky/ Blue Ridge Mountain Home/ Breaking In A Brand New Pair Of Shoes/ Cabin In The Hills/ Crying My Heart Out Over You/ Dear Old Dixie/ Destroyed/ Don't This Road Look Rough And Rocky/ Earl's Breakdown/ Flint Hill Special/ Gotta Travel On/ I'll Go Steppin' Too/ Jimmy Brown The Newsboy/ Little Cabin On The Hill/ My Little Georgia Rose/ Please Don't Leave Me Here Alone/ Polka On A Banjo/ Salty Dog Blues/ Shuckin' The Corn/ Smoke Along The Track/ Someday Sweetheart You'll Be Crying/ Someday We'll Meet Again Sweetheart/ Stone Wall Around Your Heart/ Whippoorwill/ Wild Chord Breakdown/ Will I Be That Lucky Man

 
EDDIE FONTAINE El Toro 1058 Goodness It's Eddie Fontaine ● CD $18.98
34 tracks, 78 mins, recommended
Though not exactly a household name, Eddie's known for a number of things, including the great Nothin' Shakin' (But The Leaves On The Tree) from 1958 which the Beatles and others covered and Cool It Baby recorded for Decca that he did in the movie Girl Can't Help It. This collection of recordings made between 1954 and 1958 reveals Eddie to be a fine and powerful singer with a nice raspy style which he uses to good effect on a number of rockers here like Don't You Know/ Goodness It's Gladys/ Stand On That Rock/ One And Only/ East Of The Mississippi and others - several featuring that nice spidery guitar work that makes that Nothin' Shakin' so distinctive. On his earliest sides recorded for RCA's "X" subsidiary he did a number of covers of R&B hits including Lulu Reed's Rock Love, Bull Moose Jackson's All My LOve Belongs To You and others. Interestingly, the hit version of Nothin' Shakin' was originally intended as a demo until Argo picked it up - the "official" release on Sunbeam is also included here and is very different a nd not quite as good as the hit version. There are also some forgettable pop and night club style material here but in general this is worthwhile collection with excellent sound and informative notes from Dave Penny. (FS)
EDDIE FONTAINE: All My Love Belongs To You/ Baby, You Did This To Me/ Boom-De-De-Boom/ Cool It Baby/ Don't Ya Know/ East Of The Mississippi/ Fun Lovin'/ Goodness, It's Gladys!/ Here 'Tis/ Hey Marie, Rock With Me/ Homesick Blues/ Honky Tonk Man/ I Miss You So/ I'll Be There/ Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall/ It Ain't Gonna Happen No More/ Just Tryin' (To Win Your Heart)/ Love Eyes/ Middle Of The Road/ Nothin' Shakin'/ Nothin' Shakin' (But The Leaves On The Trees) (alt)/ On Bended Knee/ One And Only/ Rock Love/ Rollin' Stone/ Run, Elmer, Run/ Stand On That Rock/ The Years Before/ Tryin' To Get To You/ Where Is De Woman/ Who Is Eddie?/ You Can't See The Sun When You're Crying/ I'm Ready As I'll Ever Be/ Nobody Else Can Handle This Job But Me

 
REV.C. L. FRANKLIN Fuel 61842 The Best Of Rev. C. L. Franklin ● CD $16.98 $10.98
2 CD's, 11 tracks, 1 hour 50 min., highly recommended It's tough to say that these sermons are the best of Rev. Franklin when his catalog of recorded sermons is great and his abilities vast, but these are right up there. The first CD offers a more-or-less complete church experience, beginning with opening remarks, and the naming of texts. Franklin, apparently responding to a woman walking out of church, says ,"Baby, you not gonna leave before we started are you?" Then the sermon proper begins and builds to a crescendo. Music follows. Unsurprisingly, the father of Aretha, Carolyn, and Erma knows his way around a gospel song. His sermon, "I Saw A New Heaven & A New Earth," starts with the book of Revelation and presents a metaphoric reading of the four horsemen that concludes with the idea that the times require a new heaven, one that does not separate whites and blacks. The second CD offers more stirring sermons and songs from the master of the form at the height of his powers, a preacher of great sophistication and intelligence who never lost the common touch. No booklet or notes with this one. (JC)

 
MARVIN GAYE Jasmine 245 A Stubborn Kind Of Fellow - From The Beginning, 1957-1962 ● CD $15.98
28 tracks, very highly recommended
As with Stevie Wonder, anyone who hasn't heard Marvin Gaye's amazing voice during the last 50 years is either been hiding under a rock or not paying attention. Marvin was the King of Motown to Wonder's prince during the company's salad years of roughly 1962 to 1974. When the compilers say the beginning they mean it: four of the first nine tracks featuring Marvin in a backing vocal capacity, singing with the groups he was with at the time (The Marquees and Harvey & the Moonglows). It's particularly fun to listen to Chuck Berry's Almost Grown and Back in the USA with Harvey & the Moonglow's playful backing vocals, and know that Gaye was part of the ensemble. Marvin's lead vocal on the Moonglow's Mama Loochie demonstrates much of what was to come when Berry Gordy got his hands on him (through lead Moonglow and partner in crime, Harvey Fuqua). Also included is Marvin's first Motown LP, produced by Gordy himself, "The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye" (1961), which finds the man doing the usual early 60's thing of trying to become Nat King Cole (when not trying to be Sam Cooke or Ray Charles) by singing standards like My Funny Valentine/ Love For Sale/ How Deep is the Ocean, and Witchcraft. He acquits himself well-in fact, better than one might expect - but, it's when Gordy, Faqua and the rest of the Motown songwriting brain trust start supplying the songs that MG really shows what he was capable of. Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide (also cut early on by Mary Wells) and Never Let You Go set the stage for 1962 singles I'm Yours, You're Mine/ Soldiers Plea, and Taking My Time which culminated in his first chart hit Stubborn Kind of Fellow and its follow-up, the great Hitch Hike. These 1962 cuts are among the final eight tracks on the disc, which conclude one era and herald the beginning of a new one that well documented elsewhere. In sum, this collection of early Marvin Gaye is extremely welcome and no proper R&B library should be without it. (GMC)

 
THE HI-FLYERS B.A.C.M. 406 1937-1941 ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 67 min., essential
One of the earliest proponents of western swing, the Hi-Flyers have remained in the professional shadow of the more popular and influential Light Crust Doughboys. (Former Doughboy Milton Brown formed the Musical Brownies in 1932 and original Hi-Flyer Ocie Stockard was in that band, often sited as the first western swing outfit.) This excellent release collects some of the finest tracks of the Hi-Flyers career and includes some originally unreleased cuts (e.g., I Know The Reason Why) and some alternate takes (e.g., What Do I Do Now and You Can't Do That To Me). A wonderful sampler covering 1937-1941, when the Hi-Flyers were arguably at the top of their game, and just about everybody else's game too. It took World War II to stop them. Most insertional lyrical moment: "I'm even getting jealous of myself." And with good reason too. (JC)

 
HOWELL DEVINE Arhoolie 544 Jumps, Boogies & Wobbles ● CD $13.98
12 tracks, 52 mins, highly recommended
This is the first release from Arhoolie to feature new Blues recordings in almost thirty years, so it must be something special, right? Well, this is pretty special; Howell Devine play acoustic Blues and they play it very well. They are a tight-as-tits outfit consisting of acoustic guitars, washboard and other percussion, thumpin' upright bass, wailing harmonica, some occasional tasteful saxophone, and a smooth vocalist up front. This CD is fantastic and really showcases a talented group of players. Material wise; you get a couple really good originals, and then a mix of vintage blues numbers. As far as the covers are concerned, they are at their best when they are ferreting out more obscure Blues tunes to put their stamp on. Which they do quite well on tunes like Sylvester Weaver's Soft Steel Piston, and Guitar Rag, and Fred McDowell's Write Me A Few Of Your Lines. So, all in all, an excellent CD that roots fans will love, and hopefully a sign of lots more goodness to come. (JM)

 
MILLIE JACKSON Kent CDKEND 391 The Moods Of Millie Jackson - Her Best Ballads ● CD $18.98
20 tracks, very highly recommended
This long-in-the-works follow up to Millie Jackson's "Soul For the Dancefloor" (Kent 297) is a complimentary collection of her most soulful ballads culled from her Spring Records catalog. Although none of these songs are of the "heard for the first time anywhere" variety, they do collectively make a compelling case for Millie's superlative skill as a singer and a woman "who tells it like it is". Millie's opening "raps" are key to her ability to sell not the only the song's content but also its mood, and she comes up trumps on A Love of Your Own/ From Her Arms to Mine, the immortal hit Hurts So Good, Allen Toussaint's I'll Be Rolling (With the Punches), I'm Tired of Hiding, and Bobby Womack's I'm Through Trying To Prove My Love To You. Each is a powerful missive to a lover in which Millie bares herself raw and says what every woman has ever been through when dealing with the opposite sex. But it's the last song that may well sum up Millie's status as a great artist; A Child of God (It's Hard To Believe) is a searing denouncement of hypocrisy and hate that's even more relevant now than it was in 1971. For this song alone, this collection gets the big thumbs up from me. (GMC)

 
MAGIC SAM & SHAKEY JAKE Rockbeat 3161 Live At Sylvio's ● CD $13.98
17 tracks, very highly recommended
More live recordings of the late great Magic Sam - this time recorded at Sylvio's club in 1966 by Belgian blues researcher George Adins. These were originally issued on LP on the Dutch Black Magic label and subsequently on CD on the defunct Black Top label but hasn't been available for around a decade so if you missed it before don't make that same mistake again. Sam is in stunning form both vocally and instrumentally, and is accompanied by a taut rhythm section (Mack Thompson/ bs, Odie Payne/ dms). By comparison, most of his studio records seem fairly tame, and we also get to hear some titles that were never recorded elsewhere. His uncle Shakey Jake Harris sings or plays harmonica on 6 of the cuts with Sam providing stellar guitar accompaniment. Considering the circumstances the recording quality is fine and this release features two bonus cuts by Sam from his performance at the Folk Blues Festival in Europe in 1969 along with an interviews. Indispensible! (FS)

 
JOHN PRIMER & BOB CORRITORE Delta Groove 159 Knockin' Around These Blues ● CD $15.98
10 tracks, highly recommended
John Primer is one of the best current exponents of traditional style Chicago blues and here is joined by fine and ubiquitous harmonica player Bob Corritore and an excellent band (Barrelhouse Chuck, Billy Flynn, Bob Stroger, etc) for a set of solid, unflashy Chicago blues. Primer is not much of songwriter so most of his songs are covers but the covers are less common songs like Jimmy Reed's The Clock, Lil' Son Jackson's Cairo Blues, Junior Parker's Man Or Mouse and Lightnin' Hopkins' Going Back Home. Primer is an excellent vocalist and a splendid guitarist who eschews pyrotechnics in favor of feeling. Corritore and the band do a fine job though as an old fart I find their backing a little too "in your face." Still, a most enjoyable set. (FS)

 
RALPH STANLEY Rebel 9502 Old Songs And Ballads, Vol. 2 ● CD $8.98
10 tracks, 24 mins, highly recommended
I raved about the first volume of this series when it came out, and this volume is just as good. You get the great Ralph Stanley, backed by simple band of fantastic players and singers doing classic Bluegrass music. What more could you ask for? Little Birdie/ Handsome Molly/ Nine Pound Hammer/ Cluck Old Hen, and six more wonderful tracks make for a sublime listening experience. Oh yeah, it's got a real nice version of that Man Of Constant Sorrow - a song all the kids today dig as well. (JM)

 
THE STAPLE SINGERS Soul Jam 600810 Swing Low Sweet Chariot/ Uncloudy Day Plus ● CD $15.98
27 tracks, 70 mins, essential
With the Recall release of The Staple Singers out of print this is the best and most comprehensive reissue of the classic Vee-Jay recordings made by The Staple Singers between 1955 and 1961 and this release has superior sound to the Recall release. This family group recorded some of the most moving and powerful gospel music in this period. Lead vocals are taken by dad Roebuck Staples or daughter Mavis with her magnificent spine chilling emotion charged contralto with glorious harmonies from Cleotha and Pervis. It's astonishing to realize that Mavis was a teenager when many of these recordings were made.. In some cases, as on the the incredible I Had A Dream both Roebuck and Mavis take lead. Instrumental accompaniment is mostly just Roebuck playing spine-chilling Delta blues riffs on vibrato laden electric guitar and occasional discreet drums. Material is a mix of gospel favorites (I'm So Glad/ Good News/ Swing Low, Sweet Chariot/ Will The Circle Be Unbroken, etc) and original songs by Roebuck (Each Day/ Don't Knock/ Let Me Ride/ Low Is The Way, etc.). It also includes their original recording of Roebuck's This May Be The Last Time which was reworked as a rock song by The Rolling Stones. It's impossible to pick favorites as every track is a gem and belongs in every gospel lover's collection. None of their post Vee-Jay recordings for Riverside, Stax & Epic come anywhere close to the soul masterpieces here. Sound quality is possibly the best I've heard on these recordings and the set comes with a 16 page booklet with new notes plus original LP notes plus photos and label shots. (FS)

 
TAIL DRAGGER Delmark 828 Stop Lyin - Tail Dragger's First Recordings ● CD $14.98
10 tracks, 54 min, very good
James Yancey Jones aka Tail Dragger has been a fixture of the Chicago blues scene for some 30 years now and has had a number of albums issued but these are his earliest recordings cut for Jimmy Dawkins' Leric label in 1982 and with the exception of two tracks issued on a Leric single are previously unissued. Dragger's biggest influence was Howlin' Wolf and at times he tends to milk the Wolf imitation to the point of parody. This is a shame as there are some good songs here and the accompanying band with Johnny B. Moore & Jesse Lee Williams on guitars, Eddie "Jewtown" Burks on harmonica, Willie Kent on bass and Larry Taylor on drums are superb. The last track is a 17 minute narration by Dragger discussing his background. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 17289 Street Corner Symphonies - Story Of Doo-Wop Vol. 11 ● CD $24.98
34 tracks, 84 mins, essential
Bear Family continues its fabulous survey of the development of doo-wop from 1939 through 1963 with the final five volumes covering the years 1959 through 1963. As before the mix is hits, titles that weren't hits but were important in the development of the music and choice rarities. 1959 opens with the Flamingoes utterly sublime rendition of the standard I Only Have Eyes For You - taken at a very slow tempo with Nate Nelson's lovely lead complemented by the almost staccato "doo-wop-shoo-bops" of the rest of the group is the very definition of "haunting" in a musical context. They are followed by the Clovers up tempo Love Potion No. 9 - a Leiber and Stoller composition that was their first hit in three years. And that's just for starters. Other gems include Detroit's Falcons with their magnificent You're So Fine with a superb lead by Joe Stubbs (Levi's brothers), The Shirelles in the vanguard of the girl group sound with Dedicated To The One I Love and Island Of Love by The Sheppards points the way to "soul music." More and more white groups are making their presence felt - many of them Italian-American groups from New York. Dion & The Belmonts with A Teenager In Love were the best but there are also superb contributions from The Crests, The Mystics and The Passions. Other groups on this set include The Impalas, Impressions, Rivieras, Coasters, Olympics, Fireflies, Phil Phillips & The Twilights, The Satintones and others and the set ends with The Isley Brothers and their raucous gospel flavored two part Shout. Another impeccable selection compiled by Bill Dahl who provides detailed notes on each performance. Sound quality is absolutely superb - these tracks have never sounded better. (FS)
THE ACCENTS: Wiggle, Wiggle/ THE BOSS-TONES: Mope-itty Mope/ THE CHANNELS: My Love Will Never Die/ THE CLOVERS: Love Potion No. 9/ THE COASTERS: Charlie Brown/ THE CRESTS: The Angels Listened In/ THE DELLS: Dry Your Eyes/ THE DESIRES: Let It Please Be You/ DION AND THE BELMONTS: A Teenager In Love/ THE DRIFTERS: There Goes My Baby/ THE ETERNALS: Rockin' In The Jungle/ THE FALCONS: You're So Fine/ THE FANTASTICS: There Goes My Love/ THE FASCINATORS: Oh Rose Marie/ THE FIESTAS: Good News/ THE FIREFLIES: You Were Mine/ THE FLAMINGOS: I Only Have Eyes For You/ THE GENIE: Who's That Knocking/ THE IMPALAS: Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home)/ THE IMPRESSIONS: Senorita I Love You/ THE ISLEY BROTHERS: Shout (Parts 1 & 2)/ LITTLE ANTHONY & THE IMPERIALS: Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko-Ko-Bop/ LITTLE JIMMY AND THE TOPS: Puppy Love/ THE MYSTICS: Hushabye/ THE OLYMPICS: (Baby) Hully Gully/ THE PASSIONS: Just To Be With You/ PHIL PHILLIPS: Sea Of Love/ THE RIVIERAS: Moonlight Serenade/ THE SATINTONES: My Beloved (without strings)/ THE SHEPPARDS: Island Of Love/ THE SHIRELLES: Dedicated To The One I Love/ THE SKYLINERS: This I Swear/ HUEY SMITH: Dearest Darling/ THE SONICS: This Broken Heart

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 17290 Street Corner Symphonies - Story Of Doo-Wop Vol. 12 ● CD $24.98
35 tracks, 86 mins, highly recommended
1960 saw a move towards a more "pop" oriented sound to doo-wop recordings with many recordings featuring strings - some recordings more effectively than others. Among the highlights of this year recordings are Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs and their classic Stay, The Clovers loping Easy Lovin, the tough Dollar Bill by The Fiestas, The Shirelles with their #1 pop hit Will You Love Me Tomorrow and the beginnings of The Motown sound with Smokey Robinson & The Miracles first Tamla recording Who's Lovin' You. There are fewer slower ballads than in previous years though Once Upon A Time by Rochell & The Candles and Diamond And Pearls by The Paradons are real gems. Other artists include Hank Ballard & The Midnighters, The Drifters, Olympics, Crests, Chaperones, Four Tops (an early Columbia side), The Jesters, Distants, Falcons, Moonglows, Five Satins and more. Perhaps not quite as compelling as previous volumes but still very worthwhile. (FS)
THE 5 ROYALES: I'm With You/ HANK BALLARD AND THE MIDNIGHTERS: Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go/ THE BLUE NOTES: My Hero/ THE CADILLACS: I'm Willing/ THE CHAPERONES: Cruise To The Moon/ THE CHIMES: Once In A While/ THE CLOVERS: Easy Lovin'/ THE COASTERS: Besame Mucho (Part 1)/ THE CRESTS: Step By Step/ THE DANLEERS: If You Don't Care/ THE DEMENSIONS: Over The Rainbow/ THE DESIRES: Rendezvous With You/ THE DISTANTS: Come On/ THE DRIFTERS: This Magic Moment/ THE DUBS: Don't Laugh At Me/ THE FALCONS: The Teacher/ THE FIESTAS: Dollar Bill/ THE FIVE DOLLARS: My Baby-O/ THE FIVE SATINS: I'll Be Seeing You/ THE FLAMINGOS: Nobody Loves Me Like You/ THE FOUR TOPS: Ain't That Love/ THE JESTERS: Sally Green/ THE MIRACLES: Who's Lovin' You/ THE MOONGLOWS: Mama Loocie/ THE OLYMPICS: Big Boy Pete/ THE PARADONS: Diamonds And Pearls/ THE PENTAGONS: To Be Loved (Forever)/ ROCHELL & THE CANDLES: Once Upon A Time/ THE SEVILLES: Charlena/ THE SHIRELLES: Will You Love Me Tomorrow/ THE SKYLINERS: Pennies From Heaven/ THE SPANIELS: I Know/ THE STARLITES: Valarie/ THE VIBRATIONS: So Blue/ MAURICE WILLIAMS AND THE ZODIACS: Stay

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 17291 Street Corner Symphonies - Story Of Doo-Wop Vol. 13 ● CD $24.98
35 tracks from 1961 including The Marcels (their wonderfully over the top rendition of Blue Moon), Shep & The Limelights, The Jive Five (their classic My True Story), The Stereos, Sheppards, Corsairs, Blue Jays, Cleftones (the all time favorite Heart And Soul), The Showmen (their tribute to rock 'n' roll It Will Stand), The Spinners, Temptations, Rollers and many more.
HANK BALLARD AND THE MIDNIGHTERS: Nothing But Good/ THE BLUE JAYS: Lover's Island/ THE CARNATIONS: Long Tall Girl/ GENE CHANDLER (WITH THE DUKAYS): Duke Of Earl/ THE CHANTELS: Look In My Eyes/ THE CLEFTONES: Heart And Soul/ THE CORSAIRS: Smoky Places/ THE CRYSTALS: There's No Other (Like My Baby)/ DION (WITH THE DEL-SATINS): Runaround Sue/ THE DOVELLS: Bristol Stomp/ THE DREAMLOVERS: When We Get Married/ THE DRIFTERS: Some Kind Of Wonderful/ THE FLARES: Foot Stompin', Part 1/ THE HALOS: Nag/ THE IMPRESSIONS: Gypsy Woman/ THE JARMELS: A Little Bit Of Soap/ THE JIVE FIVE: My True Story/ THE LARKS: It's Unbelievable/ LITTLE CAESAR & THE ROMANS: Those Oldies But Goodies (Remind Me Of You)/ THE MARCELS: Blue Moon/ THE MARVELETTES: Please Mr. Postman/ THE PIPS: Every Beat Of My Heart/ THE REGENTS: Barbara-Ann/ THE ROLLERS: The Continental Walk/ THE SENSATIONS: Let Me In/ SHEP AND THE LIMELITES: Daddy's Home/ THE SHEPPARDS: Glitter In Your Eyes/ THE SHOWMEN: It Will Stand/ THE SPINNERS: That's What Girls Are Made For/ THE STEREOS: I Really Love You/ THE TEMPTATIONS: Check Yourself/ THE TOKENS: Tonight I Fell In Love/ THE VALADIERS: Greetings (This is Uncle Sam)/ THE VELVETS: Tonight (Could Be The Night)/ THE VIBRATIONS: The Watusi

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 17292 Street Corner Symphonies - Story Of Doo-Wop Vol. 14 ● CD $24.98
34 tracks from 1962 including sides by The Earls, Shirelles, Volumes, 4 Seasons, Belmonts, Exciters, Blue-Belles, Cookies, Delco's, Ronnie & The Hi-Lites, THe Dells and more.
THE 4 SEASONS: Sherry/ THE BELMONTS: Come On Little Angel/ THE BIRD DELLS: The (Bossa Nova)/ THE BLUE-BELLES: I Sold My Heart To The Junkman/ THE CONTOURS: Do You Love Me/ THE COOKIES: Chains/ THE DAYLIGHTERS: Oh What A Way To Be Loved/ THE DEL-RIOS: There's A Love/ THE DELCO'S: Arabia/ THE DONAYS: Devil In His Heart/ THE DOVELLS: Hully Gully Baby/ THE DRIFTERS: Up On The Roof/ THE DUPREES: You Belong To Me/ THE EARLS: Remember Then/ THE EXCELLENTS: Coney Island Baby/ THE EXCITERS: Tell Him/ THE FALCONS: I Found A Love/ THE IMPRESSIONS: Little Young Lover/ THE ISLEY BROTHERS: Twist And Shout/ THE JIVE FIVE: What Time Is It/ THE MAJORS: A Wonderful Dream/ THE MARVELETTES: Forever/ NATHANIEL MAYER: Village Of Love/ THE MIRACLES: You've Really Got A Hold On Me/ THE ORLONS: Don't Hang Up/ THE RIVINGTONS: Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow/ RONNIE AND THE HI-LITES: I Wish That We Were Married/ THE SHIRELLES: Soldier Boy/ NOLAN STRONG & THE DIABLOS: Mind Over Matter (I'm Gonna Make You Mine)/ THE SUPREMES: Your Heart Belongs To Me/ THE TAMS: Untie Me/ THE TEMPTATIONS: Paradise/ THE VALENTINOS: Looking For A Love/ THE VOLUMES: I Love You

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 17293 Street Corner Symphonies - Story Of Doo-Wop Vol. 15 ● CD $24.98
The final volume with 35 sides from 1963 from The Tymes, Vito & The Salutations, The Chiffons, Drifters, O'Jays, Impressions, Jaynetts, Ideals, Drew-Vels, Artistics, Billy Butler & Four Enchanters, The Falcons, etc.
ANTHONY & THE SOPHOMORES: Play Those Oldies, Mr. Dee Jay/ THE ARTISTICS: I Need Your Love/ BILLY BUTLER & THE FOUR ENCHANTERS: Found True Love/ THE CHIFFONS: He's So Fine/ THE CLASSICS: Till Then/ THE COOKIES: Don't Say Nothin' Bad (About My Baby)/ THE DOVELLS: You Can't Sit Down/ THE DREW-VELS: Tell Him/ THE DRIFTERS: I'll Take You Home/ THE DUPREES: Have You Heard/ THE EARLS: Never/ THE ESSEX: Easier Said Than Done/ THE FALCONS: Let's Kiss And Make Up/ THE FIVE DU-TONES: Shake A Tail Feather/ THE IDEALS: The Gorilla/ THE IMPRESSIONS: I'm The One Who Loves You/ THE JAYNETTS: Sally, Go 'Round The Roses/ DONALD JENKINS & THE DELIGHTERS: Elephant Walk (Native Girl)/ THE KING PINS: It Won't Be This Way (Always)/ PATTI LA BELLE AND THE BLUE BELLES: Down The Aisle (Wedding Song)/ MARTHA & THE VANDELLAS: A Love Like Yours/ THE MIRACLES: A Love She Can Count On/ THE NORVELLS: As I Walk Alone/ THE O'JAYS: Lonely Drifter/ THE OLYMPICS: The Bounce/ THE ORLONS: Not Me/ RANDY & THE RAINBOWS: Denise/ THE RIVINGTONS: The Bird's The Word/ THE RONETTES: Be My Baby/ THE SAPPHIRES: Who Do You Love/ THE SHIRELLES: Foolish Little Girl/ THE TAMS: What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am)/ THE TEMPTATIONS: May I Have This Dance/ THE TYMES: So Much In Love/ VITO & THE SALUTATIONS: Unchained Melody

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 17313 The Sun Rock Box, 1954-1959 ● CD $199.98
The third and final box set from Bear Family devoted to the music made at Sam Phillips' legendary Sun studios is devoted to rockabilly and rock 'n' roll. Since Sun was THE rockabilly label it would be impracticable to put out a box as all encompassing as the Blues and Country sets, especially since Bear Family has a number of CDs and box sets devoted devoted to many of the most important Sun rockers. So this set gives us selections by some of the labels major rockers like Elvis, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Billy Lee Riley, Sonny Burgess, etc as well as more in depth looks at some of the more obscure but fine artists like Jack Earls, Glenn Honeycutt, Ray Harris, The Kirby Sisters, Dick Penner, Kenny Parchman, Jimmy Williams and many more including Charley Pride's first recording. Many tracks were not originally released issued on singles but delvings in the vaults has resulted in many LP and CD reissues but Bear Family have managed to unearth a previously unissued test acetate of Carl Perkins doing Blue Suede Shoes! Essentially this is an expanded and remastered version of the old Charly "Sun Records - The Rockin' Years" 12 LP set with much more documentation. All told there are 255 tracks on 8 CDs totaling more than 10 hours of music. The Set comes with a 224 page LP sized hard covered book with extensive notes on all the artists and background on the label and its recordings, loads of rare and great photos and memorabilia and full session details. This mammoth set weighs 8 pounds and counts as 32 regular CDs for shipping purposes.
ALTON & JIMMY: No More Crying The Blues/ ANDY ANDERSON: Tough Tough Tough/ ERNIE BARTON: She's Gone Away/ Stairway To Nowhere/ DEAN BEARD: Johnny Carroll/ Long Time Gone/ Rakin' And Scapin'/ Rock Baby, Rock It/ That's The Way I Love/ JOHNNY BERNERO BAND: Bernero's Boogie/ Cotton Pickin' Boogie/ I Don't Mind/ It Makes No Difference Now/ Rockin' At The Woodchopper's Ball/ TOMMY BLAKE: Flat Foot Sam/ I Dig You Baby -1/ I Dig You Baby -2/ Lordy Hoody/ Shake Around/ Sweetie Pie/ You Better Believe It -1/ You Better Believe It -2/ BOBBIE & THE BOYS: To Tell The Truth/ EDDIE BOND: This Old Heart Of Mine/ BILL BOWEN: Two Timin' Baby/ EDWIN BRUCE: Baby That's Good/ Eight Wheel Driver/ King Of Fools/ Rock Boppin' Baby/ Sweet Woman/ SONNY BURGESS: Ain't Got A Thing/ Feelin' Good/ Find My Baby For Me/ Life's Too Short To Live (vocal by Joe Lewis)/ Red Headed Woman/ Restless/ Sadie Brown/ Thunderbird/ Truckin' Down The Avenue/ We Wanna Boogie/ JOHNNY (ACE) CANNON: That's Just Too Bad (with unknown vocalist)/ That's The Way I Feel (vocal by Jimmy Pritchett)/ Tuff (Cattywampus)/ JACK EARLS: A Fool For Loving You/ Crawdad Hole/ If You Don't Mind/ Sign It On The Dotted Line/ Slow Down/ HANNAH FAY: It's Love Baby (24 Hours A Day)/ Miracle Of You/ NARVEL FELTS: (Did You Tell Me) You Don't Care/ Cry Baby Cry/ MICKEY GILLEY: Have A Little Party (C'mon Baby)/ Thinkin' Of Me/ Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On/ CLIFF GLEAVES: Love Is My Business/ ROSCO GORDON: Cheese And Crackers/ Sally Jo/ RUDY GRAYZELL: Judy/ PATSY HALCOMB: I Wanta Rock/ Ooh That's Good/ Someone To Love/ ROY HALL: Christene/ I Lost My Baby/ RAY HARRIS: Come On Litte Mama -1/ Come On Litte Mama -2/ Foolish Heart/ Green Back Dollar, Watch And Chain -1/ Green Back Dollar, Watch And Chain -2/ Lonely Wolf/ Love Dumb Baby/ Where'd You Stay Last Night/ CURTIS HOBOCK: Apron Strings/ GLENN HONEYCUTT: Be Wise, Don't Cry/ I'll Be Around/ I'll Wait Forever/ Rock All Night/ ROLAND JANES BAND: Hey Good Lookin' (vocal by Eddie Cash)/ Little Bitty Pretty Girl (vocal by Eddie Cash)/ Rolando/ HAROLD JENKINS (CONWAY TWITTY): Born To Sing The Blues/ Crazy Dreams/ Give Me Some Love/ I Need Your Lovin' Kiss/ Rockhouse/ BILL JUSTIS ORCHESTRA: After The Hop (vocal by Bill Pinky & The Turks)/ Bop Train/ College Man (vocal by Billy Riley)/ Flip Flop And Bop/ Raunchy/ Sally's Got A Sister (vocal by Bill Pinky & The Turks)/ Scroungie/ Somehow We'll Find A Way (vocal by Roger Fakes)/ The Midnight Man (vocal by Roger Fakes & The Spinners)/ Wild Rice/ THE KIRBY SISTERS: So Tired/ The Blond In Red Velvet/ You'll Always Belong To Me/ DICKEY LEE: Dreamy Nights/ Fool Fool Fool/ Good Lovin'/ Hey Heart/ Memories Never Grow Old/ JERRY LEE LEWIS: Breakup/ Crazy Heart/ High School Confidential/ Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On/ You Win Again/ CARL MANN: Mona Lisa/ Pretend/ Rockin' Love/ Too Young/ LUKE MCDANIEL: Go Ahead Baby/ High High High/ Huh Babe/ My Baby Don't Rock/ That's What I Tell My Heart/ THE MILLER SISTERS: Ten Cats Down/ THE MILLER TRIO: Don't Let Me Down/ ROY ORBISON: Domino/ Go! Go! Go!/ Ooby Dooby/ Rockhouse/ KENNY PARCHMAN: Get It Off Your Mind/ I Feel Like Rockin'/ Love Crazy Baby/ Tennessee Zip/ Treat Me Right/ What's The Reason/ You Call Everybody Darlin'/ TRACY PENDARVIS: A Thousand Guitars/ Beat It/ Is It Me?/ Is It Too Late?/ Southbound Line/ DICK PENNER: Cindy Lou/ Fine Little Baby/ Honey Love/ Move Baby Move/ CARL PERKINS: Blue Suede Shoes (Test Acetate)/ Carl Perkins In Memphis (Advertising Spot)/ Dixie Fried/ Everybody's Tryin' To Be My Baby/ Only You/ Pink Pedal Pushers/ Put Your Cat Clothes On -1/ Put Your Cat Clothes On -2/ That Don't Move Me/ That's Right/ You Can't Make Love To Somebody/ BARBARA PITTMAN: Everlasting Love/ I Need A Man/ I'm Getting Better All The Time/ Sentimental Fool/ Voice Of A Fool/ JOHNNY POWERS: With Your Love, With Your Kiss/ ELVIS PRESLEY: Baby Let's Play House/ Good Rockin' Tonight/ Mystery Train/ That's All Right/ CHARLEY PRIDE: (There's My Baby) Walkin' (The Stroll)/ MAGEL PRIESMAN: Memories Of You/ CHARLIE RICH: Blue Suede Shoes/ Charlie's Boogie/ Lonely Weekends/ My Baby Done Left Me/ Rebound/ Whirlwind/ RUDI RICHARDSON: The Fools Hall Of Fame/ BILLY RILEY: Flyin' Saucer Rock And Roll/ Got Your Water Boiling/ I Want You Baby/ No Name Girl/ One More Time/ Red Hot/ Rock With Me Baby/ Trouble Bound/ MACK SELF: Goin' Crazy/ Mad At You/ GENE SIMMONS: Blues At Midnight/ Crazy Woman/ Down On The Border/ Drinkin' Wine/ I Don't Love You Baby/ I Done Told You/ If I'm Not Wanted/ Juicy Fruit/ Money Money Money/ Pop And Mama/ Shake Rattle And Roll/ The Chains Of Love/ CHARLOTTE SMITH: What Are You Gonna Do Now?/ MACK ALLEN SMITH: Kansas City/ Mean Woman Blues/ Sandy Lee/ Young Dreams/ RAY SMITH: Breakup/ Forever Yours/ Right Behind You Baby/ Rockin' Bandit/ Sail Away/ Shake Around/ So Young/ Why Why Why/ Willing And Ready/ You Made A Hit/ WARREN SMITH: Dear John/ Rock 'n' Roll Ruby/ Stop The World/ Uranium Rock/ DANNY STEWART: I'll Change My Ways/ VERNON TAYLOR: Breeze/ Hey Little Girl/ Mystery Train -1/ Mystery Train -2/ Sweet And Easy To Love/ This Kinda Love/ Today Is Blue Day/ Your Lovin' Man/ CLIFF THOMAS: Sorry I Lied/ HAYDEN THOMPSON: Blues Blues Blues/ Fairlane Rock/ Love My Baby -1/ Love My Baby -2/ One Broken Heart/ Rock-A-Billy Gal/ JESSE LEE TURNER: Put Me Down/ J. M. VAN EATON: Hey Bo Diddley/ MACK VICKERY: Drive-In/ Fool Proof/ Have You Ever Been Lonely/ WADE & DICK (THE COLLEGE KIDS): Bop Bop Baby/ Don't Need Your Lovin' -1/ Don't Need Your Lovin' -2/ Wild Woman/ JIMMY WAGES: Heartbreakin' Love/ Mad Man -1/ Mad Man -2/ Miss Pearl/ Take Me From This Garden Of Evil/ JIMMY WILLIAMS: All I Want Is You/ Fire Engine Red/ Good Lookin' Woman/ My One Desire/ Please Don't Cry Over Me/ Rock-A-Bye Baby/ Sonny Boy/ Sweet Rocking Mama/ That Depends On You/ Tomorrow/ MARTIN WILLIS: Sugarfoot Rag/ MALCOLM YELVINGTON: It's Me Baby/ Rockin' With My Baby/ Trumpet

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Fuel 61686 Cobra Record Co. - Treasures From The Vaults ● CD $13.98 $7.98
16 tracks, 40 mins, highly recommended
Great collection of blues and R&B drawn from Eli Toscano's Chicago based Cobra label and it's Artistic subsidiary featuring alternate takes and obscure performers. Many have been out before on CD (most notably on Westside) but few are currently available and several are making their first appearance on CD. It includes alternate takes of both sides of Buddy Guy's debut release for Artistic in 1958 which featured the great lead guitar of Otis Rush, a couple of fine alternates from Ike Turner's Kings Of Rhyth, two fine instrumentals by Duke Jenkins making their first appearance on CD plus sides by Betty Everett, Shakey Jake, Harold Burrage, Lee Jackson, Guitar Shorty, The Calvaes and superb down home singer and harmonica player Little Willie Foster. Sidemen on these sessions includes the like of Magic Sam, Little Brother Montgomery, Wayne Bennett, Jody Williams, Lafayette Leake and other stellar musicians including bassist Willie Dixon who produced most of these sessions. Usual quality notes from Bill Dahl. (FS)
HAROLD BURRAGE: Messed Up/ You Eat Too Much/ THE CALVANES: Fine Girl/ BETTY EVERETT: My Life Depends On You/ My Love/ LITTLE WILLIE FOSTER: Crying The Blues/ GUITAR SHORTY: Irma Lee/ BUDDY GUY: This Is The End/ You Sure Can't Do/ LEE JACKSON: I'll Just Keep Walkin'/ DUKE JENKINS: Something Else/ The Duke Walks/ CLARENCE JOLLY: Don't Leave Me/ SHAKEY JAKE: Roll Your Moneymaker/ IKE TURNER'S KINGS OF RHYTHM: I'm Gonna Forget About You/ You've Got To Lose

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Jasmine 256 Grooving With The Grim Reaper ● CD $18.98
Two CDs, 56 tracks, highly recommended
The American music business was certainly obsessed with songs about death in the late 50s and early 60s. Ace has already explored the phenomenon with two discs ("Dead" - Ace 1100 - $18.98 and "Still Dead' - Ace 1205 - $18.98) and now Jasmine brings us a double CD with 56 songs about suicide, murder, car crashes, plane crashes and other forms of mayhem. There are about a dozen duplications with the Ace CDs but there's plenty here to keep you happy (or miserable) including Kenny Karen's sick Susie Forgive Me (a delightful tale about a boy who injures his girl friend in a car accident and then gets shot by the cops while robbing a store to get money for her surgery), The Ballad Of Billy Brown by Harvie June Van ("he won't back in school this winter"), A Thousand Feet Below by Terry Tyler, Wayne Cochran's original 1961 recording of Last Kiss which was a big hit for J. Frank Wilson a few years later. Lot's more goodies (?!) from Del Shannon, John Leyton, Gene Vincent (a beautiful version of Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain), The Mystics, The KIngston Trio, Mark Dinning and more. Eddie Cochran is here with Three Stars - a tribute to his friends Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and Big Bopper which is particularly chilling since Eddie himself died in a car crash less than a year later. Most of the tracks are from the 1958 through 1962 period though there are several earlier songs including Pat Hare's great blues from 1954 I'm Gonna Murder My Murder - 10 years later Pat was in jail for murdering his baby! Lots of fun to be had by all. (FS)
REX ALLEN: Don't Go Near The Indians/ KENNY ANCEL: Teenage Honeymoon/ MIKE BERRY & THE OUTLAWS: Tribute To Buddy Holly/ PAT BOONE: Moody River/ RALPH BOWMAN: Tragedy Of School Bus 27/ THE CADETS: Car Crash/ CATHY CARROLL: Jimmy Love/ TONY CASANOVA: The Grave/ SANFORD CLARK: Run Boy Run/ EDDIE COCHRAN: Three Stars/ WAYNE COCHRAN: Last Kiss/ SONNY CURTIS: Red Headed Stranger/ JOHNNY CYMBAL: The Water Was Red/ JIMMY DEAN: Big Bad John/ VARETTA DILLARD: I Miss You Jimmy/ MARK DINNING: Teen Angel/ The Pickup/ MORT (DOC) DOWNEY JR (WITH HARVIE JUNE VAN): The Ballad Of Billy Brown/ THE EVERLY BROTHERS: Ebony Eyes/ EUGENE FOX: Sinner's Dream/ LEFTY FRIZZELL: Long Black Veil/ BILLY FURY: Don't Jump/ GEORGE HAMILTON IV: Tremble/ PAT HARE: I'm Gonna Murder My Baby/ BILL HAYES: Message From James Dean/ LEE HAZLEWOOD WITH DUANE EDDY: Girl On Death Row/ FERLIN HUSKY: The Drunken Driver/ KENNY KAREN: Susie Forgive Me/ THE KINGSTON TRIO: Everglades/ Tom Dooley/ BUDDY KNOX: I Think I'm Gonna Kill Myself/ DICKEY LEE: Patches/ LAURA LEE: Tell Tommy I Miss Him/ JERRY LEE LEWIS: The Ballad Of Billy Joe/ JOHN LEYTON: Johnny Remember Me/ JERRY LORDAN: Man On My Trail/ BOB LUMAN: Let's Think About Living/ BOBBY MARCHAN: There's Something On Your Mind (Part 2)/ ROBERT MITCHUM: Ballad Of Thunder Road/ JACKIE MORNINGSTAR: Rockin' In The Graveyard/ THE MYSTICS: Star-Crossed Lovers/ RICKY NELSON: Gloomy Sunday/ PATTI PAGE: One Of Us (Will Weep Tonight)/ JOHNNY PRESTON: Running Bear/ MARTY ROBBINS: Big Iron/ El Paso/ JULIAN ROSE: The Rumour/ DEL SHANNON: The Prom/ THE STANLEY BROTHERS: No School Bus In Heaven/ VERN STOVALL: Long Black Limousine/ BOBBY SWANSON: Janie's Face/ TERRY TYLER: A Thousand Feet Below/ RICKY VALANCE: Tell Laura I Love Her/ GENE VINCENT: Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain/ MARTY WILDE: Endless Sleep/ DONALD WOODS & THE VEL-AIRES: Death Of An Angel

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 4236 Paese Mio Bello - My Beautiful Country ● CD $23.98
Two CDs, 44 tracks, very highly recommended
Another superb and unique collection of ethnic music from JSP - this time devoted to music recordings made in the USA between 1911 and 1939 by Italian immigrants. The first disc is devoted to the traditional folk stylings of Italy while the second disc showcases urban artists whose songs evokes the cities and era in which they lived. The material is incredibly varied including vocals and instrumentals. The instrumentals feature guitar, mandolin, brass bands, accordion, zampogna (Italian bagpipes), friscalettu (penny whistle) and more including a remarkable tenor banjo instrumental by Frank Fazio on a tune that gives this collection its name. Instruments are featured solo and in various combinations. The songs range from an unaccompanied ballad to simple songs with guitar accompaniment to songs with orchestral accompaniment and some semi-operatic pieces. A wide variety of dance forms are featured including polkas, mzaurkas, tarantellas and more. Most of the performers are unknown today though cornestist/ bandleader Santi Taferalla who is featured on the rousing Napoli e New York went on to compose and arrange for Frank Sinatra in the 1940s. Sound quality is superb and there are informative notes by Todd Cambio who collected most of the recordings here. Wonderful! (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS King 4402 King Blues & Gospel Kings, Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, 68 mins, highly recommended
The second volume is, I think, better than the first which had a few too many tepid tracks. This one is mostly solid jump blues and gospel with hot tracks from Ben Rogers & His Orch, The Jubaliares, Lennie Lewis & His Orch., King Porter & His Orch., Doc Wiley (the partcularly fine Big House Blues), Harold Tinsley and others. The great SWan Silvertones are here with two tracks including a superb version of Will The Circle Be Unbroken and there's even some hot white gospel from Lee Roy Abernathy & The Homeland Harmony Quartet including their classic Gospel Boogie. Excellent sound and informative notes. (FS)
LEE ROY ABERNATHY & THE HOMELAND HARMONY QUARTET: Gospel Boogie/ You Can't Believe Everything You Hear/ WALTER BROWN & SKIP HALL'S ORCH.: Susie May/ CLIFF BUTLER: I Dream Such Foolish Dreams/ Shame On You/ BOBBE CASTON: This Is The Last Time I'll Cry Over You/ PANAMA FRANCIS & HIS MIAMIANS: Sweet Slumber/ SLIM GAILLARD & HIS BOOGIEREENERS: Queen Boogie/ THE JUBALAIRES: Get Lost/ Jean/ LENNIE LEWIS & HIS ORCH. (VCL. HAROLD TINSLEY): Mean, Bad And Evil Blues/ KING PORTER & HIS ORCH. WITH COUNT DETROIT AT: Shuffling Boogie/ KING PORTER & ORCH.: Russell Street Hustle/ BEN ROGERS & HIS ORCH.: Trumpet Boogie/ TAB SMITH ORCH. WITH RIFF WASHINGTON: Believe Me When I Tell You/ SWAN'S SILVERTONE SINGERS: My Time Done Come/ Will The Circle Be Unbroken/ JOE THOMAS - HIS SAX AND ORCH.: Big Foot/ Got To Have Her Lovin'/ Sooey Sooey Baby/ HAROLD TINSLEY: Big Time Blues/ CHARLES "CROWN PRINCE" WATERFORD: I'm Sweet On You/ Time To Blow/ DOC WILEY: Big House Blues

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Lake 320 Dealing With The Devil's Music ● CD $22.98
26 tracks, highly recommended
Thanks to the efforts of British trad jazz band leader Chris Barber, Britain got to see a number of blues artists in the 50s and early 60s - well before the "blues boom" and some of those got to record in the U.K. Three of the artists here are piano players - Little Brother Montgomery, Memphis Slim and Speckled Red and have been well represented on record - suffice to say they are in fine form on the recordings here - some of which appeared on the British Columbia label while others are previously unissued. But what makes this set significant is the eight tracks by singer/ harmonica player Jimmy Cotton recorded in 1961 - his first solo recordings since his Sun sides in 1954. At the time Jimmy was holding down the harmonica chair with Muddy Waters so it's not too surprising that his playing is exceptional and well worth the price of admission. On most cuts he is accompanied by guitarist Alexis Korner and on some a piano and bass player join in and all do a decent job. I'm not too sure about Chris Barber's trombone of three of the cuts, but the main focus is on Jimmy's singing and playing - he does a couple of original instrumentals, songs from the repertoire of Sonny Boy Williamson #1, Big Bill Broonzy and St. Louis Jimmy and Muddy's Standing Around Crying. and does a superb job on all of them. Originally issued on two Columbia E.P.s this marks their first appearance on CD and they are a pleasure to have. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Li-Jan 07 Sam We'll Never Forget You! ● CD $16.98
20 tracks, recommended
Sam Cooke was the inspiration for many an aspiring R&B singer (and a couple Rock singers, i.e. Rod Stewart) in the late 50's on into the 60's; just to show how influential he was, here are twenty examples from the likes of Garnett Mimms (Don't Change Your Heart), the Ovations (Pure Natural Love), Clay Hammond (No One Else Will Do), Johnnie Taylor (I'll Always Be in Love With You), Bennie Conn (It's Time For Love), Sam's brother L.C. Cooke (I'll Wait For You) and more. There's no dating data, but the songs sound like they're mostly for the early 60's; many of which transcend their "sound-a-like" roots to become enjoyable in and of themselves - Troubles of This World by James Phelps & The Clefs of Calvary and Sam We'll Never Forget You from George Jackson & Louis Williams being two shining examples. In sum, a nice tribute to a great vocalist and artist. (GMC)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS One Day 195 Wait A Minute: The Stax & Satellite Story ● CD $11.98
2 CDs, 45 tracks, 111 mins, highly recommended
There ain't nothing wrong with this CD. A collection of the earliest releases from the great Stax label (and its pre-Stax incarnation Satellite,) so no surprise there are a lot of great tracks to feature. What might be a little surprising would be the great Rockabilly of Don Willis' Boppin' High School Baby, and Warrior Sam, as well as the straight up Country of Hoyt Johnson's two tracks collected here. This is by and large a Rhythm & Blues and Southern Soul affair though, with the acts that laid the foundation for the Stax empire represented here in large portions. Which means fantastic tracks by Booker T & The M.G.'s, Rufus & Carla Thomas, William Bell, and The Mar-Kays, and not just the hits, many less compiled tracks by those artists are here as well and all sounding fantastic. Plus quality tracks by lesser known artists like Nick Charles, The Veltones, The Chips, Barbara Stevens, etc. (JM)
WILLIAM BELL: Any Other Way/ Formula Of Love/ Please Help Me I'm Falling/ You Don't Miss Your Water/ BOOKER T & THE MGS: Behave Yourself/ Green Onions/ THE CANES: Why Should I Suffer With The Blues/ CARLA & RUFUS: Cause I Love You/ NICK CHARLES: Ain't That Love/ Sunday Jealous/ The Right Girl/ The Three Dogwoods/ THE CHIPS: As You Can See/ You Make Me Feel So Good/ PRINCE CONLEY: All The Way/ I'm Going Home/ THE DEL-RIOS: Just Across The Street/ There's A Love/ JIMMY & THE SPARTANS: You're My Girl/ HOYT JOHNSON: Cindy/ I Just Can't Learn To Say Goodbye/ THE MAR-KEYS: About Noon/ Diana/ Foxy/ Last Night/ Morning After/ Night Before/ One Degree North/ Pop Eye Stroll/ Sack O Woe/ What's Happenin/ DONNA RAE & THE SUNBEAMS: Little Fool/ BARBARA STEPHENS: I Don't Worry/ Love Is Like A Flower/ That's The Way It Is With Me/ The Life I Live/ Wait A Minute/ CARLA THOMAS: For You/ Gee Whiz Look At His Eyes/ RUFUS THOMAS: Can't Ever Let You Go/ It's Aw'rite/ THE VELTONES: Fool In Love/ Someday/ DON WILLIS: Boppin' High School Baby/ Warrior Sam

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS SFTV 3 A Deep Dip Into Memphis Soul, Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
21 tracks, highly recommended
A superb collection of soul recorded at Memphis's legendary Royal Sound studios. Originally founded by Hi Records in 1956 it is the oldest continuously running studio in the world. Under the guidance of Willie Mitchell hundreds of classic Hi soul recordings were made here. But many other labels recorded there hopiong that some of Willie's magic would rub off on them and this great CD presents a selection of those non Hi artists originally issued on label like Epic, Twinight, Checker, Westbound, etc - many making their first appearance on CD. It includes sides by Johnny K. Wiley, Buddy Lamp, Buster Benton (best known as a Chicago bluesman but here with some fine bluesy soul), Ray Scott (the fabulous Can't Get Over Losing You), Na Allen, Ike & Tina Turner (an obscure but excellent Minit side), Tony Ashley and others. Excellent sound and booklet with two pages of informative notes. (FS)
THE 5 ROYALES: Time For Everything/ VEE ALLEN: Cheating Is A No-No/ LEON BYRD: I Catch Myself Crying/ FRANCINE CARR: I'll Always Be In Love With You/ WILLIE COBBS: You Don't Love Me/ SONNY CRAVER: Outside Of Memphis/ CAROL FRAN: So Close/ BOB GREEN: Please Forgive Me/ JUDY GREEN: I Can't Get Along Without You/ SAM HUTCHINS: I Can Make You Happy/ MARJORIE INGRAM: I Have No Right To Love You/ JIMMY JONES: Lonely Room In Memphis/ JAMES LEWIS: Waiting For Your Love/ ERIC MERCURY: A Gift To You/ JIMMY RICHARDS: I Won't Be Responsible/ SAM THE SHAM: How Does A Cheating Woman Feel/ CHEE CHEE SCOTT: You've Been Lying To Me/ RAY SCOTT: Can't Get Over Losing You/ NED TOWNS: Money/ NORM WEST: Words Won't Say How Much You Mean To Me

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Spectrum 2070 Trojan Presents Original Reggae - 40 Original Tighten Up Hits ● CD $15.98
Two CDs, 40 tracks, very highly recommended
Great collection of some of the greatest and most popular reggae recordings of the late 60s and early 70s from the premier reggae label - Trojan. It opens with Toots & The Maytals 1968 recording of Do The Reggay which is credited with the giving the music its name and are also featured on the gorgeous Pressure Drop from the indispensible movie "the Harder They Come." It includes many other classic sides like Max Romeo's oh so naughty Wet Dream, Fatty Fatty by Clancy Eccles, Ken Boothe with some political commentary on Freedom Street, Nicky Thomas's superb cover of the Waylon Jennings country hit Love Of The Common People, an early Bob Marley classic Duppy Conqueror plus sides from The Inspirations, Lloyd Robinson, Roland Alphonso, Niney, Peter Tosh, The Heptones and others. Wonderful music with excellent and detailed information in the 12 page booklet. (FS)

 
MARY WELLS Jasmine 239 Bye Bye Baby - The Early Collection ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, highly recommended.
Just when we thought Kent had had the last word on Mary Wells' early recordings, along comes Jasmine with this set. Like "The One Who Really Loves You/ Two Lovers" (Kent 387 - $18.98), this CD also features that 1962 LP in its entirety; however, unlike the former, this collection also has Mary's first Motown album, "Bye Bye Baby/ I Don't Want To Take a Chance", which was named after and built around her first two hits. This first LP is considerably grittier than Mary's later recordings - closer (or at least as close as Motown could get!) to the recordings of Ruth Brown or LaVern Baker - as she gets to strut her stuff on Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide and I Love the Way You Love. For anyone who is only familiar with Wells' smoother side-e.g. My Guy or Two Lovers (which is included here as a single) - these 1961 cuts are a revelation, particularly the bluesy Please Forgive Me. Last four tracks - I'm Gonna Stay/ Old Love/ Operator, and Two Lovers - are already familiar to anyone who already owns the Kent CD; however, if you don't, these 45 tracks represent Mary's transformation into the sultry songstress that we remember. Although it's hard to justify buying the same material twice, I'm gonna recommend this CD even if you already own the Kent CD because the Bye Bye Baby… album is such a valuable piece of Mary Wells' legacy that if this is the only way to get it, then so be it. (GMC)

 
ALAN WILSON Severn 057 The Blind Owl ● CD $17.98
2 CD's, 20 tracks, 1 hour 18 min., highly recommended
Anyone in a band in the 1960's undoubtedly stole a few riffs from Canned Heat LPs. It was the reasonable thing to do. The best of those were the product of Alan Wilson (who, of course, owes much to John Lee Hooker and other blues gods), a.k.a. the Blind Owl, since he couldn't see so well. That's him on Canned Heat's legendary Going Up The Country, which made quite an impression at Woodstock and went Top Ten on the Billboard charts. Wilson was also responsible for On The Road Again from the Boogie With Canned Heat LP. This set collects Wilson's finest moments and makes a convincing case for his musical genius. (Downbeat Magazine once called him "the greatest harmonica player of the 20th century.") The tragedy in Wilson's life informed his music and resulted in his apparent suicide at age 27. This great set almost does him justice, and sports interesting booklet notes. Why this is 2 CD's when the running time would fit on one disc, remains a mystery. (JC)

 
LITTLE STEVIE WONDER Jasmine 273 The Jazz Soul Of Little Stevie + Tribute To Uncle Ray ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
The name Stevie Wonder needs no introduction to anyone who has listening to music for the last 50 years; from his 60's hits, right on through to his groundbreaking albums in the 70's and the legend status he maintains to today, Wonder has seldom been far from our radios and/or turntables/CD players. But like many geniuses, Stevie's beginnings were modest and it took him a while to find his footing. Presented here for the first time are his first two Motown albums from 1962; the first, a collection of instrumentals is pleasant listening, and it showcases Stevie's proficiency on drums, organ, piano, and, especially, harmonica while bouncing off the incomparable Funk Brothers. The latter instrument is employed particularly well on BAM and Some Other Time. The second album, a tribute to Ray Charles, allows Stevie a chance to sing and show that, for a 12 year old, he had a very expressive voice. And that voice gets to shine on Don't You Know/ The Masquerade, and Come Back Baby, although he's no patch on RC himself but nobody would expect him to be at his age, and Wonder does sell the song extremely well. The CD's trump cards are in the bonus tracks: these are non-LP singles Wonder cut during 1962 in Berry Gordy's efforts to spring his latest sensation on the masses. Arguably, the singles-especially I Call it Pretty Music But the Old People Call it the Blues Pts. 1 & 2 - do more than the albums to show the world what Stevie was capable of. In fact, it's odd that La La La La La and Contract On Love (co-written by Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier) should have missed the charts. Unfortunately, the albums and the singles all passed by unnoticed by the punters, and it wasn't until Gordy went make-or-break with Wonder's third album , "Little Stevie Wonder: The 12 Year Old Genius Recorded Live," that world discovered what it had been missing. As it stands now, the only thing we've been missing are these important pieces in Stevie Wonder's musical evolution, and it's wonderful to have them in all their remastered glory. (gmc)

 
TIMI YURO Jasmine 745 I'm So Hurt ● CD $18.98
Two CDs, 55 tracks, very highly recommended
Superb collection of all the early recordings from this outstanding vocalist who had 11 hits in the early 60s but is largely forgotten today. Yuro was one of the first white soul singers whose voice sounds like a cross between Dinah Washington and Big Maybelle! This CD includes her first six Liberty pop hits (several of which crossed over into the R&B charts). Whether singing an R&B song, a country song or a pop standard Timi gives it her soulful all. Liberty didn't really appreciate Timi's talent and steered her towards trite material with overly lush arrangements but her vocal talents shone through regardless. Her first hit Hurt was a stellar update of an old Roy Hamilton hit and among the highlights here are her version of the doowop favorite Trying, a beautiful version of Charlie Chaplin's Smile, her churning rendition of the old favorite Let Me Call You Sweetheart and, best of all, her 1962 hit What's The Matter Baby - a straight R&B song written by Clyde Otis. The follow up LP with the same title features Timi doing splendid renditions of mostly R&B favorites like It's Too Soon To Know/ Fever/ Hallelujah I Love Him So/ For Your Love and others including a version The Night Time Is The Right Time that could have landed her a job with The Raelettes! At times Timi's vocals get a bit too bombastic and the arrangements are sometimes wince inducing but it's clear that this girl had real talent - listen to the phrasing, timing and dynamics on Should I Ever Love Again for proof. (FS)

 

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