LATEST ADDITIONS  06/06/2016

COMPACT DISCS
ARIZONA JOE (ROBERT STREEPY)

DOC BAGBY
EDDIE C. CAMPBELL
HOAGY CARMICHAEL
KEN CLARK & THE MERRY MOUNTAIN BOY
NAT KING COLE
DANNY & THE JUNIORS
BO DIDDLEY
CHARLIE FEATHERS
LEFTY FRIZZELL
JOHNNY FULLER
LOWELL FULSON
ROSCO GORDON
ROY HEAD

CLARENCE "FROGMAN" HENRY
ROSCOE HOLCOMB
GEORGE JACKSON
FURRY LEWIS
SMILEY LEWIS
PERCY MAYFIELD
EARL PALMER
JOHN PRINE
THE STAPLE SINGERS
JIMMY STAYTON & MORT MARKER
HANK THOMPSON
DAVE VAN RONK
VARIOUS ARTISTS
JUNIOR WELLS & THE ACES
MAURICE WILLIAMS

 

 
Since our Second Time Around listings are so popular this list includes some great releases which have been out for a while but you may have missed them the first time we listed them.To avoid you getting possible duplicates we have added  asterisks (**) after these particular titles.

 

COMPACT DISCS

 

ARIZONA JOE (ROBERT STREEPY) B.A.C.M. 522 Radio Transcriptions ● CD $14.98
27 tracks, recommended
Cowboy singer Robert Streepy aka Arizona Joe was originally from Iowa and settled in Seattle in the 1930s where he started broadcasting over a local radio station. Though he performed regularly on the radio and occasionally toured he never made any commercial recordings but in the mid 1940s he made radio transcriptions of over 150 songs in the mid 40s from which these recordings are drawn. Unusual for this period, Joe was a solo performer, accompanying his vocals with his own guitar only. He had a pleasing light voice and his repertoire consisted mostly of old favorites from he repertoire of The Sons Of The Pioneers, Carson Robison, Gene Autry and others along with some traditional songs and turn of the century popular compositions. Songs include When The Bloom Is On The Sage (his theme songs)/ Home On The Range/ Mexicali Rose/ Sing Me A Song Of The Saddle/ Silver On The Sage/ The Utah Trail/ You're The Only Star In My Blue Heaven/ The Steer's Lament, etc. Excellent sound and informative notes from Kevin Coffey. (FS)
ARIZONA JOE: Back On The Texas Range/ Bronco Busting Blues/ Cowboy's Heaven/ Going Back To Texas/ Home On The Range/ I'm Lonely And Blue/ I'm Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes/ Little Mohee/ Little Old Sod Shanty/ Little Sir Echo/ Mexicali Rose/ Mother The Queen Of My Heart/ My Blue Ridge Mountain Home/ Nobody's Darling But Mine/ Ridin' Down That Texas Trail/ Riding Down The Canyon/ Roll Along, Prairie Moon/ Silver On The Sage/ Sing Me A Song Of The Saddle/ The Little Ranch House On Old Circle B/ The Steer's Lament/ The Strawberry Roan/ The Utah Trail/ There's A Gold Mine In The Sky/ Tumbling Tumble Weeds/ When The Bloom Is On The Sage (Theme Song)/ You're The Only Star In My Blue Heaven

 
DOC BAGBY Jasmine 275 Smooth Organ, Groove Organ ● CD $19.98
Two CDs, 48 tracks, strongly recommended
Although not a familiar name today organist, Doc Bagby had a good sized hit in 1957 with his hot R&B instrumental Dumplins accompanied by Mickey Baker and Billy Mure on guitars and Seldon Powell on tenor sax and he also has an interesting background. He started playing piano in the 1930s and led several small jazz and lounge groups in the 30s and 40s. In 1950 he joined Gotham Records where he not only recorded for the first time but also produced and played on many blues, R&B and gospel records for that label. The first six sides on the first disc were recorded for Gotham in 1952 and '53 with Bagby joined by the superb guitarist Billy Butler on a mix of material including a couple of jazz instrumentals, a couple of dire pop vocals by Bagby and a jive retelling of the story of Little Red Riding Hood. In 1955 he joined KIng and did a session with Eddie Lockjaw Davis - half lounge jazz and half R&B. In 1956 he joined OKeh where most of what he recorded was R&B instrumentals with the assistance of Baker, Mure and Everett Barksdale on guitar and Seldon Powell and/ or Ellsworth Gooding on tenor. His fine 1958 side Crazy Chemistry got some local attention but failed to chart. The second disc features 24 sides drawn from singles made for various small labels - Vim, Gone, Kaiser, Red Top, etc. These are all R&B instrumentals with Bagby accompanied by various unknown musicians and are good but very samey. Sound is excellent and the booklet has informative notes by Bob Fisher. (FS)

 
EDDIE C. CAMPBELL Delmark 799 Tear This World Up** ● CD $14.98
14 tracks, 61 min., highly recommended
After a brief decade away from the American music market, Chicagoan Eddie C. Campbell returns with a smoking collection studded with first rate originals, including the humorous Big World, in which his lady is "ready, Eddie," but our man is fast asleep at the, uh, switch. When was the last time a bluesman displayed a self-deprecating sense of humor? Campbell, who has played along side Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and every king of the Chicago blues from the 1950s to date, covers Easy Baby, a Mighty Sam (Campbell's long-time friend) staple. He also burns through Howlin' Wolf's My Last Affair and even the Gershwin classic Summertime. But the stars here are aligned for Campbell's own songs, which drive forward with relentless energy and an economy of notes. No aimless noodling or self-aggrandizing showing off here. (But whoever thought it wise to put the septuagenarian on the cover shirtless might want to rethink his career in graphic arts.) Get it while you can. (JC)

 
HOAGY CARMICHAEL Avid 909 The Essential Collection ● CD $13.98
Two CDs, 53 tracks, 155 mins, highly recommended
Excellent collection devoted to the music of this great songwriter, singer and musician. The first CD features 27 tracks recorded between 1933 and 1953 featuring Hoagy singing his own songs including all the classics - Star Dust/ Georgia On My Mind/ Lazy River/ Lazybones/ Ole Buttermilk Sky, etc - as well as lesser known songs like Sing It Way Down Low/ Little Old Lady/ Old Man Harlem/ Memphis In June, etc. The second disc starts with 15 tracks featuring Hoagy singing other peoples songs including Am I Blue/ I Don't Know Why/ Gonna Get A Girl/ Darktown Strutters Ball/ I'm Movin' On (Yes the Hank Snow song) and others and the final 12 tracks features other artists singing Hoagy's songs including Connee Boswell doing heart And Soul, Frances Langford with Baltimore Oriole, Kay Starr doing A Woman Likes To Be Told, Sarah Vaughn with The Nearness Of You and more. A splendid collection with excellent sound. Notes are very brief and there is no discographical information only recording dates but, for the price, this can't be beat. (FS)

 
KEN CLARK & THE MERRY MOUNTAIN BOY B.A.C.M. 523 Featuring Fiddlin Don "Chubby" Anthony ● CD $14.98
29 tracks, strongly recommended
Obscure but excellent bluegrass group led by singer/ guitarist Ken Clark, originally from Georgia but based in Florida. Clark led a fine group whose personnel varies but includes the great former Stanley Brothers fiddler "Chubby" Anthony on a number of tracks. 15 of the tracks here were recorded for Starday in 1957 and includes some fine songs written by Clark along with some hard driving instrumentals, often featuring the superb fiddle work of Anthony. The remaining 14 tracks are previously unissued and are probably from around the same period as the issued material and is, mostly, of the same high standard though some don't have the greatest sound. (FS)
KEN CLARK & THE MERRY MOUNTAIN BOYS: A Thousand Miles Of Ocean/ Big Man/ Buckskin Coat/ Candy Man/ Chubby's Run/ Country Jumpin'/ Cross Over The Mountain/ Dobro Dolly/ Gold Watch Chain/ I Couldn't Stand To Give You Up Again/ I Love Nellie Brown/ Lee Highway Swing/ Merry Mountain Hoedown/ Open The Door And Come On In/ Pretty Love/ Rambler's Ride/ Simple Things In Life/ Southern Moon/ Southern Pacific Shore/ Stacking Up Those Memories/ Standing On The Outside/ This Maple Tree/ Three Silver Dollars/ Till Summer Comes Again/ Tiny Doll/ Truck Drivin' Joe/ Turn Back The World/ We're Too Far Apart/ You're Nobody Unless Somebody Cares

 
NAT KING COLE Acrobat 7507 The Complete US & UK Hits, 1942-1962 ● CD $24.98
Nat King Cole was undoubtedly one of the most popular, successful and respected vocalists of the post-war era, and would have enjoyed even greater success had his career not been cut short by cancer when he was just 45 years old. His success reflected his ability to transcend the boundaries between jazz and easy listening pop, with a unique talent both as a singer and top flight jazz pianist. He initially enjoyed success in the R&B charts with his trio in the early '40s, pioneering the piano, bass and guitar line-up, before embarking on a solo career in 1947, and racking up a remarkable string of pop hits through until his death in 1965. This collection brings together in a great-value 113-track 5-CD set all of his US Billboard chart entries in R&B and pop and his UK hits, both with the King Cole Trio and as a solo artist with orchestral accompaniment, up until 1962, and includes classic No. 1s like "Nature Boy", "Mona Lisa" and "Too Young", as well as many other iconic recordings, notably the perennial favourite "When I Fall In Love". Includes a 28 page booklet with detailed notes, photos and basic discographical info.

 
DANNY & THE JUNIORS One Day 294 Greatest Hits ● CD $11.98
Two CDs, 32 tracks, very good
Philadelphia's Danny Rapp and his group The Juniors (originally The Juvenairs) had one of the biggest hits of 1958 with their infectious At The Hop which entered the charts at the end of 1957 and zoomed to No. 1 - staying there for a remarkable five weeks. Originally issued on the small Singular label it was picked by ABC-Paramount who signed the group and had modest hits with the groups next two sides Rock And Roll Is Here To Stay and Dottie. Subsequent sides flopped and in 1960 they signed with Swan Records and had minor hits with Twistin' USA/ Pony Express/ Back To The Hop/ Doin' The Continental Walk and Twistin' All Night Long - the latter features them joined by Freddy Cannon. Other tunes here include Some KInd Of Nut/ In The Meantime/ Crazy Cave/ Mister Whisper/ The Charleston Fish and others. The group was a bit limited - they were enjoyable enough on the up tempo dance songs but didn't really have the vocal chops for the doowop ballads. Still, here is the most comprehensive collection available of their recordings. (FS)

 
BO DIDDLEY Acrobat 9057 Thr Bo Diddley Collection, 1955-1962 ● CD $19.98
Three CDs, 84 tracks, essential
The most comprehensive collection currently available of the great and totally unique Bo Diddley. Diddley was one of the true originals in the history of R&B and rock 'n' roll whose style has been copied by literally thousand of performers since he first entered the studio - is there any rock 'n' roll band that hasn't performed his theme song Bo Diddley at some time or another? That song with it's insistent "shave and a haircut" beat, Bo's tremolo laden guitar and the maraccas of Jerome Green were to provide the template for number of Bo's subsequent recordings but with endless variations so it never gets boring. This set features both sides of all Bo's singles issued between 1957 and 1962 from the double sides smash Bo Diddley/ I'm A Man in 1957 through to You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover/ I Can Tell in 1962 along with all the non single tracks from his first seven LPs. There are so many classic sides Pretty Thing/ Who Do You Love?/ Cops and Robbers/ Mona/ Before You Accuse Me/ Dearest Darling/ Say Man/ Road Runner/ Run Diddley Daddy/ Ride On Josephine and so many more - all but half a dozen songs aritten by Bo. In addition to all the vocal tracks there are several great guitar instrumental as well as the wonderful electric violin instrumental The Clock Strikes Twelve. Many tracks feature Bo accompanied by his trusty sidekick Jerome Green on maracas with Clifton James or Frank Kirkland on drums, Willie Dixon on bass and some occasional great harmonica work from Billy Boy Arnold with various other musicians at various times including Lady Bo on guitar, piano and backing vocals, The Moonglows providing vocal backups and others. Sound quality is excellent and there are informative notes though it is unfortunate that Acrobat seem to have stopped providing discographical info. (FS)
BO DIDDLEY: Aztec/ Back Home/ Before You Accuse Me/ Bo Diddley/ Bo Diddley Is A Lover/ Bo Diddley Is Loose/ Bo Meets the Monster/ Bo's Blues/ Bo's Guitar/ Bo's Vacation/ Bring It To Jerome/ Cadillac/ Call Me/ Cheyenne/ Come On Baby/ Congo/ Cops and Robbers/ Crackin' Up/ Crawdad/ Dancing Girl/ Dearest Darling/ Deed and Deed I Do/ Detour/ Diddley Daddy/ Diddling/ Diddy Wah Diddy/ Doin' The Jaguar/ Doing the Craw-Daddy/ Don't Let It Go/ Down Home Special/ Gunslinger/ Here 'Tis/ Hey! Bo Diddley/ Hong Kong, Mississippi/ Hush Your Mouth/ I Am Looking For A Woman/ I Can Tell/ I Know/ I Love You So/ I'm Bad/ I'm Sorry/ I'm a Man/ Let Me In/ Limber/ Little Girl/ Live My Life/ Love Is A Secret/ Love Me/ Mona/ Mumblin' Guitar/ My Babe/ My Story (aka 'The Story Of Bo Diddley'/ No More Lovin'/ Not Guilty/ Nursery Rhyme/ Oh Yeah/ Pills/ Pretty Thing/ Quick Draw/ Ride on Josephine/ Road Runner/ Run Diddley Daddy/ Say Man/ Say Man, Back Again/ Say! Boss Man/ Scuttle Bug/ Shank/ She's Alright/ She's Fine, She's Mine/ Signifying Blues/ Sixteen Tons (Merle Travis, arr. McDaniel)/ Somewhere/ Spanish Guitar/ The Clock Strikes Twelve/ The Great Grandfather/ The Twister/ Travelin' West/ Walkin' and Talkin'/ Who Do You Love'/ Whoa Mule (Shine)/ Willie and Lillie/ You Can't Judge a Book by the Cover/ You Don't Love Me (You Don't Care)/ You're Looking Good

 
CHARLIE FEATHERS Hoodoo 263534 Jungle Fever: 1955-1962 Recordings ● CD $14.98
30 tracks, 75 mins, highly recommended
Rockabilly legend Charlie Feathers might not be a household name to most, but to folks like us here at Roots & Rhythm, he is a superstar. Every household would be a better place with a collection of Feathers classic tracks, and this is a fine one to start with. You get 30 tracks recorded during the first seven years of Feathers' under-appreciated career, done for labels like Sun Records, King, Meteor, Flip, Memphis, and Holiday Inn. All but 5 of these tracks recorded in Memphis Tennessee and it shows. Get With It/ Bottle To The Baby/ Tongue Tied Jill/ Jungle Fever/ Wild, Wild Party, and my favorite Can't Hardly Stand It, which like many people my age I originally knew it from the beautiful Cramps cover version on "Bad Music For Bad People." Many more Rockin' tracks are here, plus a number of straight Country cuts like Defrost Your Heart, and When You Decide. Also includes a couple of killer alternative takes on Bottle to the Baby, and Can't Hardly Stand It. It's been almost 20 years since Charlie Feathers' heart gave out on him, but if you want to get your own heart pumpin', just put this baby on. The only complaint I have on any of this is that the sound quality on some of the later recordings is a little rough, but that is probably just the source material they had to use, because, overall, the sound is fantastic. (JM)

 
LEFTY FRIZZELL Southern Routes 2503 The One And Only ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, 69 mins, essential
When his recording career started in 1950, Lefty Frizzell came out swinging for the fences; both songs on his debut single If You've Got the Money (I've Got the Time)/ I Love You A Thousand Ways hit #1 on the charts. "Thousand Ways" was written from poems that Lefty had sent his wife from jail, and shows not just a superb songwriter, but also the ability he possessed to go from rollicking Honky Tonk to smooth love ballads. In the nine years in-between that debut 45 and the "The One and Only" LP Frizzell had an additional 14 top 10 singles, including 3 more chart toppers. Between the original album (mostly a compilation of singles in the first place,) and the 14 bonus tracks, you basically have Lefty Frizzell greatest hits of the 1950s. On top of all the great tracks, this CD simply sounds fantastic, crisp and clean like they were recorded last week, not 60+ years ago, Lefty's rich baritone booming out of the speakers. CD also includes such classics as I Want to Be with You Always/ Always Late (With Your Kisses,) cover of My Bucket's Got A Hole In It, and Blue Yodel #2, & #6, Why Should I Be Lonely, one of his proto-Rockabilly gems You're Humbuggin' Me, The epic The Long Black Veil, and many more, truly some of the best Country music ever recorded. (JM)

 
JOHNNY FULLER Black Magic 9048 Fullers Blues ● CD $17.98
12 tracks, highly recommended
In the interests of full disclosure I should point out that I had a hand in producing this album along with Bruce Bromberg. It was originally issued on the Australian Bluesmaker label. Fuller was born in Mississippi and settled in the Bay Area where he started performing regularly cutting sides for a variety of labels like Aladdin, Imperial, Hollywood, Flair & Checker in a variety of styles ranging from doomy down home blues to Elvis style rockers and a number of his records were local hits. Like so many blues artists he quit performing in the 1960s and was overlooked by the blues revival. At the time these recordings were made he would occasionally perform at clubs and blues festivals. On most cuts he is accompanied by the Phillip Walker Blues Band with superb guitar work from Phillip and imaginative horn arrangements from David Ii and occasional effective harmonica from Zaven "Big John" Jambazian. Although most of the songs are remakes of some of his most popular 50s numbers his singing is powerful and the new arrangements remain faithful to the spirit of the originals but give them a more modern feel. Two cuts were recorded at my house with Johnny singing and playing fine guitar accompanied only by Jambazian on harp and the result is solid down home blues. Songs on the album include Tin Pan Alley/ Strange Land/ You Got Me Whistling/ Bad Luck Overtook Me/ Crying Won't Make Me Stay/ Mercy, Mercy and more. This is a limited edition release of 500 copies. (FS)

 
LOWELL FULSON Ace CDCHD 804 Black Nights** ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 72 mins, highly recommended
The second compilation of Lowell's fine Kent recordings features his earliest Kent recordings from 1964 to 1967. Lowell joined Kent in 1964 after nearly ten years with Checker and a brief stint at the small Movin' label. These are shining examples of Fulsom's soulful California blues approach. With his incredibly soulful voice, economical guitar work, stripped-down arrangements and laid-back, funky beats, Fulsom's music epitomized urban blues at it's best while still maintaining a rural sensibility. This set includes his big R&B hit from 1965 Black Nights, his first in ten years, as well as other fine songs like Every Time It Rains/ Too Many Drivers/ Strange Feeling/ No More/ Sittin' Here Thinkin'/ Shattered Dreams/ Talkin' Woman and others. Most of the songs are written by Fulson and/or his manager Ferdinand "Fats" Washington and are quality efforts though after the success of Black Nights there were more than a few titles with a very similar sound. Great sound and informative notes by Dick Shurman. (FS)

 
ROSCO GORDON Jasmine 3056 Just A Little Bit - All The Singles As & Bs, 1951-1961 ● CD $19.98
Two CDs, 56 tracks, very highly recommended
The most comprehensive survey of the recordings this wonderfully idiosyncratic Memphis bluesman, discovered by Sam Phillips in 1951 who recorded Rosco extensively through 1958 and was responsible for 44 of the tracks licensing Roscos' recordings to RPM, Chess and Duke as well as issuing cuts on his own Flip and Sun labels. Rosco's piano playing was chaotic but had a distinctive rhythmic approach that Sam dubbed "Rosco's Rhythm" and his hits that were released in Jamaica were credited with being one of the musical foundations of ska music. Rosco had an immediately recognizable vocal approach and a penchant for offbeat lyrics. While he was with Sam he enjoyed three R&B hits, the much covered No More Doggin', Saddled The Cow (And Milked The Horse) (I told you he had offbeat lyrics!) and Booted. In 1959 he signed with Chicago's Vee-Jay label and he had his biggest R&B hit with Just A Little Bit which also crossed over into the pop charts and has become a blues standard. There are lots more fine sides here like Roscoe's Boogie/ Ouch! Pretty Baby/ Love You 'Til The Day I Die (a duet with Bobby Bland)/ What You Got On Your Mind/ New Orleans Women/ T-Model Booogie/ Three Cent Love (one of Rosco's few records with prominent guitar this includes a hot solo by Pat Hare)/ The Chicken (Dance With You)/ Cheese And Crackers/ That's What You Do To Me and more. Roscoe is accompanied by fine bands with a couple of horns and some of the tracks rock like crazy. Sound quality is superb and informative notes by Bob Fisher round out an exceptional package by an underrated but important bluesman. (FS)
ROSCO GORDON: A Fool In Love/ A New Remedy For Love/ Ain't No Use/ Bad Dream/ Blues For My Baby/ Booted (Chess Version)/ Booted (Rpm Version)/ Cheese And Crackers/ City Woman/ Cold, Cold Winter/ Dime A Dozen (Women Women Women)/ Dream Baby/ Goin' Home (Tomorrow)/ Hey, Fat Girl/ I Remember Your Kisses/ I'm In Love/ I've Loved And Lost/ Just A Little Bit/ Just In From Texas/ Just Love Me Baby/ Keep On Doggin'/ Let 'Em Try/ Love For You Baby/ Love You 'Til The Day I Die/ Lucille (Lookin' For My Baby)/ Maria/ New Orleans Wimmen/ New Orleans Women/ No More Doggin' (Rpm Version)/ No More Doggin' (Vee-Jay Version)/ Ouch Pretty Baby/ Rosco's Boogie/ Rosco's Mambo/ Saddled The Cow (And Milked The Horse)/ Sally Jo/ Shoobie Oobie/ Surely I Love You/ T-Model Boogie/ Tell Daddy/ That's What You Do To Me/ The Chicken (Dance With You)/ The Dilly Bop/ Three Cent Love/ Tomorrow May Be Too Late/ Too Many Women/ Torro/ Trying/ Tummer Tee/ Two Kinds Of Women/ We're All Loaded (Whiskey Made Me Drunk)/ Weeping Blues/ What Wouldn't I Do/ What You Got On Your Mind/ Wise To You Baby/ You Figure It Out/ You'll Never Know (The Way I Feel)

 
ROY HEAD Fuel 2000 61580 An Introduction To Roy Head ● CD $11.98 $7.98
16 tracks, 44 min., recommended
The sticker on the case says, "The Best Of The Best!" Perhaps, but his biggest hit Treat Her Right from 1965 (on Back Beat) is missing. In fact, this is a repackaging of Head's Crazy Cajun LP from the 1970s called "Same People" with three non-LP tracks added. And since Head is one of the finest white soul shouters ever, it's a pleasure to have these recordings available. It's horn-driven and intense all the way through. But if you already own the out-of-print Roy Head CD in the Edsel series of the Crazy Cajun catalogue, skip this because the Edsel release offers 8 more tracks. If not, this is a good way to get it; includes notes by Bill Dahl. (JC)

 
CLARENCE "FROGMAN" HENRY Jasmine 3062 You Always Hurt The One You Love - The Complete Singles, 1956-1962 ● CD $15.98
30 tracks, strongly recommended
In spite of the title this also includes the sides from his Argo LP. Best known for the novelty song Ain't Got No Home, in which he sounds now like a little girl, now like a frog, New Orleans vocalist Clarence Henry accompanied by the Paul Gayten band rode his first wave of popularity on that Argo single in 1956 including the follow-up I Found A Home. It took four more years and teen genius/pianist Allen Toussaint to generate the next wave with the likes of (I Don't Know Why) But I Do/ You Always Hurt The One You Love/ On Bended Knees and others. This collection offers all the cuts recorded between 1956 and 1961 for the Chess subsidiary Argo. Henry shows his admiration for Fats Domino by singing like him, but ultimately the "Frogman" didn't get to be a mainstay of New Orleans by sounding like anyone else but himself (JC/ FS)

 
ROSCOE HOLCOMB Smithsonian Folkways 40144 An Untamed Sense Of Control** ● CD $16.98
26 tracks, 74 mins, essential
Roscoe Holcomb is a wonder! One of the greatest of all traditional singers his incredible high and intense voice never fails to send shivers down my spine. He was also a magnificent musician on the guitar and banjo and, as this collection shows, he was also adept on fiddle and harmonica. This second collection of his recordings (his first on Smithsonian Folkways 40104 is also essential) is mostly drawn from his three Folkways albums issued between 1961 and 1972 but also includes some unissued tracks including several from a 1973 live concert. Roscoe's repertoire embraced old time songs, traditional ballads, blues, Baptist hymns, popular songs and more - all performed with Roscoe's "untamed sense of control" as Bob Dylan so aptly put it. Songs and tunes include Swanno Mountain/ Graveyard Blues/ Born And Raised In Covington (an incredible unaccompanied vocal) Barbara Allen Blues (an harmonica instrumental)/Rock Island Prison/ Combs Hotel Burned Down/ The Hills Of Mexico/ Mississippi Heavy Water Blues/ Train That Carried My Girl From Town/ Milk Cow Blues (a blues banjo instrumental!)/ Darling Corey/Sitting On Top Of The World/ Foggy Mountain Top/ Fair Miss In The Garden and more. 24 page booklet has beautiful photos and extensive and insightful notes from Roscoe's discoverer John Cohen whose life was changed by Roscoe and his music - it might very well ahve the same effect on you. (FS)

 
GEORGE JACKSON Grapevine 3026 What Would Your Mama Say** ● CD $19.98
22 tracks, 73 min., essential
Jackson signed with Malaco in 1982 as the house songwriter for Denise LaSalle, Latimore, Johnnie Taylor, Bobby Bland, Tyrone Davis, and others. And as luck would have it, Malaco eventually bought Muscle Shoals Sound, where Jackson used to be the house pen. So when Grapevine licensed the Malaco material they gained access to a wealth of demonstration tapes Jackson had recorded to promote his songs in hopes of their being covered. The earlier CD, George Jackson In Muscle Shoals, featured 20 songs from that cache, and this disc sports another 22 of no less quality than their brethren. Mostly, Jackson is backed by the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (Jimmy Johnson on guitar, Barry Beckett on Keys, David Hood on bass, Roger Hawkins on drums), perhaps the best in the business at the time. Jackson's sometimes Sam Cooke-influenced vocals are pleasing enough, to be sure, but the songs themselves are the stars here. Great lost soul rediscovered. (JC)

 
FURRY LEWIS Fat Possum 80374 Good Morning Judge** ● CD $14.98
10 tracks, 42 minutes, highly recommended
Originally recorded by George Mitchell in Memphis, Furry cut Don't You Come Home Blues and Furry Lewis Rag in 1962, while the remaining eight tracks were done in 1967. Considering he was near and beyond 70 when these were done, his spirit and performing capabilities are alarming with stunning guitar playing and full, passionate vocals. He offers great slide on the title track, romping rhythmic sense on Worried Blues, and decades-old bass string snaps on Blues Around My BedFurry Lewis Rag (with washtub bass by Dewey Corley - though not credited). His interpretation of Roll And Tumble Blues is a standout, and more than a few steps from the time-tested version most of us are used to. Sound quality is excellent throughout.(CR)

 
SMILEY LEWIS Acrobat 3157 The Collection, 1947-1961 ● CD $16.98
Two CDs, 60 tracks, essential
If you can't afford the complete Bear Family box set (BCD 15745 - $84.98) this is the most extensive retrospective available of this magnificent New Orleans singer. It includes two of his earliest sides recorded for DeLuxe in 1947 along with 58 cuts recorded for Imperial between 1950 and 1961. Lewis was a magnificent singer with a deep rich and expressive voice and a limited but effective guitarist. He is accompanied by a veritable who's who of New Orleans musicians in their prime led by the amazingly productive Dave Bartholomew. The bands includes such pianists as Tuts Washington, Fats Domino and Salvador Doucette, sax players Herb Hardesty, Lee Allen & Clarence Hall, guitarists Ernest McLean and Justin Adams and drummers Earl Palmer & Charles Williams among others!. All of his classic recordings are here including Dirty People/ The Bells Are Ringing/ Gumbo Blues/ Big Mamou/ Blue Monday/ That Certain Door/ One Night (the original of the song covered by Elvis)/ I Hear You Knocking/ Come On/ Shame, Shame, Shame (used as theme music for the Elia Kazan movie "Baby Doll"/ Down Yonder We Go Balling and lots more lesser known but equally fantastic tracks. Sound quality is excellent and there are informative notes, though, unlike most Acrobat reissues, there is no discographical data. INdispensible music. (FS)
SMILEY LEWIS: Ain't Goin' There No More/ Ain't Gonna Do It/ Bad Luck Blues/ Bee's Boogie/ Big Mamou/ Blue Monday/ Bumpity Bump/ Caldonia's Party/ Can't Stop Loving You/ Come On/ Dirty People/ Down The Road/ Down Yonder (We Go Ballin')/ Farewell/ Go On Fool/ Goin' To Jump And Shout/ Growing Old/ Gumbo Blues/ Gypsy Blues/ Here Comes Smiley/ I Can't Believe/ I Hear You Knocking/ I Love You For Sentimental Reasons/ I Want To Be With Her/ If You Ever Loved A Woman/ It's Music/ It's So Peaceful/ Jailbird/ Last Night/ Lil' Liza Jane/ Lillie Mae/ Little Fernandez/ Lowdown/ My Baby Was Right/ No No/ Nobody Knows/ Oh Baby/ Oh Red!/ One Night/ Ooh La La/ Play Girl/ Please Listen To Me/ Queen Of Hearts/ Real Gone Lover/ Rootin' And Tootin'/ School Days Are Back Again/ Shame, Shame, Shame/ She's Got Me (Hook, Line And Sinker)/ Slide Me Down/ Someday You'll Want Me/ Stormy Monday Blues/ Sweeter Words (Have Never Been Told)/ Tee-Nah-Nah/ That Certain Door/ The Bells Are Ringing/ The Rocks/ Too Many Drivers/ Turn On Your Volume Baby/ You Are My Sunshine/ You're Not The One

 
PERCY MAYFIELD Hoodoo 263371 Nightless Lover - The Specialty Sides ● CD $13.98 $10.98
29 tracks, 78 mins, highly recommended
It's not without reason that Percy Mayfield is called "The Poet Of The Blues" with his beautifully crafted, witty and intelligent, but never pretentious, lyrics that can strike at many nerves. Although his songs have been recorded by many singers few could equal Percy's own smoky voiced renditions. He started recording in 1947 but it was when he was signed to Specialty in 1950 that he started producing his greatest work and this collection features most of the singles cut for Specialty. This CD includes most of his singles recorded Specialty including his first recording for that label - the monumental Please Send Me Someone To Love - one of the great blues songs of the 50s with Percy praying to God for peace and racial equality and, if he's not too busy, could he fix him up with a girl to love - truly brilliant. This set also includes lots of other great songs like Strange Things Happening/ Praying For Your Return/ Lost Love/ What A Fool I Was/ Two Hearts Are Greater Than One/ The Big Question and others including his first recording of the wonderful The River's Invitation which was later a hit for Percy on Tangerine. Percy was accompanied by some great West Coast musicians like Maxwell Davis, Eddie Beal, Gene Phillips, Jack McVea, Willard McDaniel and others. Musically this would be essentially but I've had to drop it down a bit as the sound is a bit muffled - possibly too much filtering. Still if you missed Specialty CDs 7001 and 7027 this is the most extensive collection available of Percy's great Specialty recordings. (FS)

 
EARL PALMER Ace CDCHD 719 The World's Greatest Drummer, Ever** ● CD $18.98
30 tracks, 70 mins, highly recommended
Great compilation featuring the work of this great session drummer from recordings made in New Orleans and on West Coast in the 50s. A nice mix of old favorites and obscurities including a handful of cuts with Palmer as the leader (the two part Johnny's House Party and Drum Village). Among the treasures included here are I Got It by Little Richard, Shame, Shame. Shame by Smiley Lewis, Chicken Shack Boogie by Amos Milburn, Dance With Me Henry by Etta James, King Kong by Big T. Tyler, Little Bitty Pretty One by Thurston Harris & The Sharps, Red Hot Rockin' Blues by Jesse James, La Bamba by Ritchie Valens, Somethin' Else by Eddie Cochran and lots more. Great sound and set comes with 12 page booklet with extensive notes by Stuart Coleman and rare photos. Another winner from Ace! (FS)
THE ADDRISI BROTHERS: It's Love/ LEE ALLEN: Rockin' At Cosmo's/ JIMMY BEASLEY: Don't Feel Sorry For Me/ RICHARD BERRY: Mad About You/ BOB & EARL: Sweet Pea/ CHARLES BROWN: Please Believe Me/ EDDIE COCHRAN: Somethin' Else/ BOBBY DAY: Rockin' Robin/ FATS DOMINO: I'm Walkin'/ DON & DEWEY: Koko-Joe/ ERNIE FIELDS & HIS ORCHESTRA: In The Mood/ THURSTON HARRIS & THE SHARPS: Little Bitty Pretty One/ ETTA JAMES: Dance With Me Henry/ JESSE JAMES: Red Hot Rockin' Blues/ EDDY LANG: I'm Beggin' With Tears/ SMILEY LEWIS: Shame, Shame, Shame/ LITTLE RICHARD: I Got It/ AMOS MILBURN: Chicken Shack Boogie/ ROY MONTRELL: (Everytime I Hear) That Mellow Saxophone/ EARL PALMER & HIS TEN-PIECE ROCKIN' BAND: Drum Village (Part 1)/ Drum Village (Part 2)/ EARL PALMER'S PARTY ROCKERS WITH THE JAY HAWK: Johnny's House Party (Part 1)/ Johnny's House Party (Part 2)/ LLOYD PRICE: I'm Glad, Glad/ SHIRLEY & LEE: Rock All Night/ THE TURKS: Rockville U.S.A./ BIG T. TYLER: King Kong/ Sadie Green/ RITCHIE VALENS: La Bamba/ ARTIE WILSON: Jerry Jerry

 
JOHN PRINE Golden Rain 010 The 1970 Broadcasts - The 5th Peg Chicago & Studs Terkel ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, 83 mins, essential
I was petty blown away by this CD. These are the first known recordings of John Prine, and rather than get some murky recording of a diamond in the rough, you get fantastic, clear recordings of a pretty much fully-formed John Prine almost a year before his debut album would come out. John Prine would play open mic nights at the Fifth Peg in Chicago starting in 1969 and through those performances he became well known in the area. Of course, the great Studs Terkel wasn't going to have a talent like Prine making a name in Chicago without having him down to his radio show. So, the first 18 tracks are a live radio broadcast on WMIR FM from the 5th Peg, then the rest of the tracks are Prine playing and being interviewed on Studs' show on WFMT. Prine pretty much had his greatest hits volume one ready to go in 1970. Most of his most famous songs are here and sounding beautiful. You get Hello In There/ Souvenirs/ Sam Stone/ Paradise/ You're Flag Decal Won't Get You To Heaven Anymore/ Illegal Smile/ Angel From Montgomery/ Spanish Pipedream, and many more. It's also great hearing Studs on the last tracks laughing and having other audible reactions to John Prine's lyrics as he sings them, Spanish Pipe Dream seemed to especially delight him, and the interview segments are interesting as well. Totally essential for John Prine fans and Folk/ Country fans of all stripes. (JM)

 
THE STAPLE SINGERS Real Gone 448 Amen/ Why ● CD $18.98
22 tracks, very highly recommended
This superb collection reissues two Epic LPs by the Staples issued in 1964 and 1966. Wonderful gospel performances anchored by Pops Roebuck Staples distinctive tremolo guitar plus bass and drums. Most of the leads are by Roebuck with occasional leads by Mavis and one by Pervis and glorious harmonies from the rest of the group. There are several original compositions by Roebuck including the magnificent Why? (Am I Treated So Bad) which was his response to the 1957 barring of nine black students from entering Little Rock, Arkansas's Central High School, which ended up becoming a standard of the Civil RIghts Movement and favorite of the Staples' good friend and inspiration Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. There are two songs from the oustanding Memphis writer Rev. W.H. Brewster with most of the rest being traditional gospel favorites He's Got The Whole World In His Hands/ Mary Don't You Weep/ If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again/ Move Along Train and others. Indispensible music from a great group. (FS)

 
JIMMY STAYTON & MORT MARKER Knock Out 003 Hot Hot Mama ● CD $15.98 $9.98
20 tracks, 48 mins, recommended
Collection of rockabilly, rock 'n' roll and country from two pioneers of the Delaware rock 'n' roll scene - Jimmy Stayton and frequent guitar playing associate Morton Marker. The first four tracks by Stayton were recorded for the local Blue Hen label with their band The Country Cats - two tracks (Hot Hot Mama and You're Gonna Treat Me Right are hot rockabilly with fine guitar by Marker amd the other two are honky tonk country. The remaining eight by Stayton (four previously unissued) were recorded in the early 60s after Stayton came out of the army and are mainstream pop country. Marker released one single on Don Robey's Backbeat label in 1958 - the hot rocker Tear Down The House and the rock 'n' roll ballad Tell Me You Love Me - the other four tracks by him would appear to be demos including both sides of the Backbeat single and a couple others. The set is rounded out by two fine rockers from Lanie Walker with solid guitar by Marker. (FS)

 
HANK THOMPSON Bear Family BCD 15904 1946-1964** ● CD $239.98
12-CDs, 323 tracks, essential
This definitive work on the man who first mixed honkytonk singing with danceable, upbeat Western Swing begins at the dawn of his professional career with six 1946-47 songs he recorded in Texas, two for a Globe Records 78 , four songs for two Blue Bonnet releases. Following that comes all 317 of his 1947-1964 Capitol recordings chronologically, including two never-released numbers (neither amounting to much). Thompson's evolution from late forties honky-tonk balladeer to buoyant swing vocalist is easily traced as his Brazos Valley Boys evolved into a tight, swinging outfit, hammered into shape through the efforts of Thompson and his bandleader Billy Gray. All the Thompson standards, Wild Side of Life Whoa Sailor, Wake Up, Irene, The Blackboard of My Heart A Six Pack to Go sound fantastic through the magic of remastering. Given Thompson's tendency to stylize everything, a little of him can go a long way for some people. Still, his effervescent delivery complimented by the band's crystal-clear precision makes for consistently rewarding listening. Along with his many hit singles, he recorded several brilliant LPs. One was an instrumental set featuring the band. The best of his three live albums was At the Golden Nugget, the first live LP ever done by a country singer, and the brilliant Songs For Rounders honkytonk LP. His friend Merle Travis garnishes most of the post-1953 material with his peerless fingerpicking. Thompson stayed with Capitol session until 1964 when, weary of the label's corporate mentality and Beatles fixation, he left when his contract ended. Assembled with Hank's active participation, the booklet complements the music. Most photos come from Hank's personal collection, as well as the 1943 original manuscript of Swing Wide Your Gate of Love, written on US Navy stationary. The 84 page hardback book features Rich Kienzle's definitive essay. Given Hank's unbelievable recall and ability to articulate his own story, Kienzle wisely allowed Thompson's voice to take over the narrative at times. That provided much deeper insight into both the artist's personality and career motivations and how some of his big hits came to be. Unsung heroes also get fair exposure. Jim Halsey, later one of country's first supermanagers, got his start managing Hank. Much also appears about Billy Gray and Brazos Valley Boys steel players Lefty Nason ( inventor of the Thompson steel sound) and his successors, Bobbie White, Pee Wee Whitewing, Curly Chalker and Bobby Garrett. One of Bear Family's greatest country boxes. (AK)

 
DAVE VAN RONK Not Now 597 The Folk Blues Of Dave Van Ronk ● CD $11.98
Two CDs, 29 tracks, highly recommended
Long a staple performer in folk venues all over America, Dave Van Ronk was a leading member of the Greenwich Village folk scene in the fifties. He personified for many what a folk singer should be, with his gravelly voice, tasty fingerpicking guitar style, and imaginative and far-reaching repertoire. This double CD reissuing Dave's first two albums recorded for Folkways in 1959 and 1961 represent Dave at his finest, singing such great old songs as Duncan And Brady/ Spike Driver Blues/ Please See That Grave Is Kept Clean/ 12 Gates To The City/ Careless Love/ Bed Bug Blues/ Winin' Boy/ Come Back Baby and the hilarious Georgie On The IRT, a spoof of Maybelle Carter's Engine #143. Van Ronk has always knew a good song when he heard one, and his versions of many of these classics are the first versions many aspiring folkies heard including Bob Dylan. You can almost hear the steam escaping from the espresso machine as this disc plays. (RP/ FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 839 Dootone Rock 'n' Rhythm & Blues** ● CD $18.98
28 tracks, 73 mins, highly recommended
Great selection of rocking blues and R&B recorded for Dootsie Williams' Dootone label in the mid 50s. There are eight fine sides by one of the pioneers of the West Coast sound Roy Milton - his glory days at Specialty were behind him but he sounds as good as ever with his soulful vocals and great band featuring Jackie Kelso/as, Eddie Taylor/ ts, Floyd Turnham/ bas, Camille Howard/ p, Jimmie Davis/ g and others. There are nine tracks from hot sax man Chuck Higgins whose band has a more contemporary sound (for 1956) than Milton and includes the wonderful guitar work of Jimmy Nolen. Higgins is not a great vocalist biut most of his sides are instrumental so that's not a problem. Another fine west coast tenor player is Claude McLin who is featured on two tracks here. There are also tracks by veteran vocalist Helen Humes and by Mickey Champion. Informative notes by Bob Porter but no discographical info. (FS)
MICKEY CHAMPION & THE ROY MILTON ORCHESTRA: Bam-a-lam/ I'm A Woman/ CHUCK HIGGINS: Don't You Know I Love You Baby (vocal By Frank Dunn)/ Eye Ballin'/ Gamblin' Woman/ Here I'm Is/ Hey Dig/ Looking For My Baby/ The Itch (instrumental)/ Tonky Honk/ Wet Back Hop/ LORENZO HOLDEN & ERNIE FREEMAN: Groovy Boogie/ Just Blues/ JOE HOUSTON: Shindig (instrumental)/ HELEN HUMES: All I Ask Is Your Love/ I'll Surrender Anytime/ Real Fine Daddy/ Woojamacooja/ ROY MILTON: Baby I'm Gone/ Cry Some Baby/ Fools Are Getting Scarcer/ I Can't Go On/ I Never Would Have Made It/ I Want To Go Home/ Nothing Left/ You Got Me Reeling And Rocking/ CLAUDE McLIN: So Fine/ You're Lookin' Good

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1445 Here Today! The Songs Of Brian Wilson ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, 65 mins, essential for Wilson fans, highly recommended for everyone else
Unlike legendary songwriters like Dylan, Springsteen, Lennon/ McCartney, etc., artists didn't often have hit records with Brian Wilson compositions. Aside from Jan & Dean early on, I can't think of any big versions of Wilson songs outside of the Beach Boys. Not for lack of trying though, and this compilation captures a wide variety of artists that tried to wrap their talents around a Brian Wilson tune. This starts strong with a beautifully produced 1994 track Do You Have Any Regrets? by Darian Sahanaja of The Wondermints, and Brian Wilson's band, that sounds more like a classic '60s recording than Wilson's own version from his 1990 solo album did. The bulk of these tracks here were recorded in 1960s and feature legendary producers like Phil Spector, Jan Berry, Gary Usher, Terry Melcher, etc. The Melcher produced track, a rather lukewarm version of Help Me Rhonda by Bruce & Terry, is Melcher and future Beach Boy Bruce Johnston. Stand out tracks include I Do by The Castells, the groovy Girl From New York City by Tony Rivers & The Castaways, God Only Knows by Betty Everett, and two that feature future Three Dog Night lead singers, the fantastic Basil Swift & The Seegrams Farmer's Daughter with a quirky Strageloves- esque rhythm section and over-zealous falsetto, and the Wilson produced Time To Get Alone by Redwood who would soon get dropped from Brother records and change their name officially to Three Dog Night. I'm also a big fan of Hugo Montenegro's version of Good Vibrations, but I'm not sure others will share my enthusiasm. Deep notes on all the tracks, fantastic sound throughout, Wilson/ Beach Boys fans will absolutely need this, but others will certainly enjoy. (JM)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS B.A.C.M. 524 Bluegrass Special Label ● CD $14.98
32 tracks, strongly recommended
A fine collection of bluegrass and some old time country mostly drawn from a series of six track E.P.s issued in 1960 and '61 on the Bluegrass Special label produced by country singer and savvy entrepreneur Jimmie Skinner. Some of the material was drawn from the archives of the King label but much was newly recorded material cut at the King studios in 1960 and '61. There are 14 tracks from 1960 by Rusty York and his Kentucky Mountain Boys. York is probably best known for his rockabilly sides like Sugaree but he started in the mid 50s as a bluegrass performer before switching to rockabilly and then back to bluegrass. His sides here are mostly bluegrass standards (Pretty Polly/ Girl In Sunny Tennessee/ East Virginia Blues/ Knoxville Girl, etc) given a fine treatment with Rusty accompanied by a fine group with Curley Tuttle on banjo and Herman Kress/ fiddle and some excellent harmony singing. The same group accompanies Jimmie Skinner on his four cuts recorded in 1961 including a bluegrass rendition of one of his most popular songs Doin' My Time. The rest of the sides are older recordings from KIng and includes fine performances from Reno & Smiley, Jimmy Martin & Bob Osborn (four fabulous sides from 1951), J.E. Mainer, Wade Mainer, Grandpa Jones and Leon Jackson & The White Oak Boys. The last two cuts are 1959 Starday sides featuring a fine duet by Rusty York and Willard Hale. Very nice. (FS)
LEON JACKSON & THE WHITE OAK MOUNTAIN BOYS: Leon's Breakdown (Buttahatchee)/ Love Please Come Home/ White Oak Mountain Breakdown/ GRANDPA JONES: Old Rattlers Treed Again/ J. E. MAINER: John Henry/ WADE MAINER: Little Birdie/ JIMMY MARTIN & BOB OSBORNE: Blue Eyed Darling/ My Lonely Heart/ She's Just A Cute Thing/ You'll Never Be The Same/ DON RENO & RED SMILEY: I'm Gone Long Gone/ Tennessee Cut-Up Breakdown/ JIMMIE SKINNER: Doin' My Time/ Fallen Leaves/ Rambler's Call/ Short Life Of Trouble/ RUSTY YORK & THE KENTUCKY MOUNTAIN BOYS: Bring Back My Blue Eyed Boy To Me/ Cindy/ Cripple Creek/ East Virginia Blues/ Girl In Sunny Tennessee/ Kentucky Mountain Chimes/ Knoxville Girl/ Little Maggie/ Little Rosewood Casket/ Over The Hill To The Poorhouse/ Pretty Polly/ Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms/ Roving Gambler/ They're At Rest Together/ RUSTY YORK & WILLARD HALE: Don't Do It/ Lock On Your Heart

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS B.A.C.M. 525 The DeLuxe Label ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, strongly recommended
Though best known for it's R&B recordings the Braun Brothers DeLuxe label issued more than 60 country 78s between 1944 and '49. When Syd Nathan of King Records purchased a mjor interest in the label in 1947 he moved the label's base of operations to Cincinatti and used the label to issue some of his King artists. The selection here is enjoyable mainstream hillbilly featuring sides from performers like singer/ guitarist Jimmy Widener (a couple featuring some of his splendid guitar work), prolific King songwriter Louie Innes, Leon Rusk, Arthur Q. Smith (although referred to in the notes as "stubbornly obscure" a little research on line would reveal that his real name was James Arthur Pritchett and he was a prolific songwriter and was Hank Williams' manager for a short while), Cowboy Jack Derrick, Gurney Thomas and Preston Ward. An enjoyable collection. (FS)
COWBOY JACK DERRICK: Alone With A Memory Of You/ Got Worried Blues On My Mind/ I Want A Woman (That Can Cook)/ I'm Ashamed Of You/ LOUIS INNES: I Guess You Just Don't Care/ I'd Be Ashamed If I Were You/ LEON RUSK: Don't Change Your Mind/ Honey Child/ My Book Of Souvenirs/ Sunshine Is Back In Town/ ARTHUR Q. SMITH: Little Tow Head/ There's 48 States In The Union (But Only One Of You)/ GURNEY THOMAS: I Vow To Never Love Again/ Saviour Of The Old Rugged Cross/ You Didn't Mean It/ PRESTON WARD: I'll Still Be Missing You/ There's A Dangerous Curve Ahead/ JIMMY WIDENER: Come A Little Bit Closer/ Don't Count Your Dreams/ Take It Or Leave It/ You Better Wake Up Baby/ JOHNNY [SIC] WIDENER: Got That's My Lindy Lou/ Got The Hesitation Blues

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS B.A.C.M. 526 Renfro Valley Revisited ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, strongly recommended
Complementing B.A.C.M. 041 this is a second collection of commercial recordings featuring artists that performed on radio show "The Renfro Valley Barn Dance" that originally started broadcasting in 1937 from the Cincinatti Music Hall, eventually moving to Mount Vernon in Renfro Valley, Kentucky in 1939. Although the radio show ended in the late 50s the live music show continues to this day. The performances here are mostly from the late 40s and early 50s. Being based in Kentucky and featuring many local artists it's not surprising that quite a few of the performers have an old time or bluegrass feel with some performances from Claude Sweet & Roy Davidson (their I Have No Mother Now has such a lovely tune it is almost worth the price of admission - it sounds like the inspiration for Otis Pierce's wonderful song Every Bush and True), The Holden Brothers (lovely brother style duets though they were not actually brothers), Jack Holden (of The Holden Brothers) & His Georgia Boys, Mattie Martha and Minnie (including Martha Carson) and wonderful Coon Creek Girls. Other artists include The Renfro Valley Folks, Wade Baker, Randal Parker and more. Sound from the very rare 78s is pretty rough at times but generally quite listenable. (FS)
WADE BAKER: Long Gone From Bowling Green/ You Can't Make Me Cry Anymore/ JERRY BEHRENS & THE COON CREEK GIRLS: It Is No Secret What God Can Do/ THE COON CREEK GIRLS: Jim Along Josie/ What Do I Do With The Baby-O/ THE HOLDEN BROTHERS: Sweetheart Mountain Rose/ Dust On The Bible/ Mother's Not Dead, She Is Only Sleeping/ JACK HOLDEN’S GEORGIA BOYS: Black Mountain Blues (Instr.)/ Mama I'm Sick/ Mocking Bird (Instr)/ New Drifting And Dreaming/ MATTIE MARTHIE & MINNIE: Tennessee Memories/ You Can't Live With 'Em (And You Can't Live Without 'Em)/ RANDAL PARKER: Win Or Lose/ RANDALL PARKER: Believe Me I Don't Mind/ I Said It's You/ Not Just Tomorrow But Forever/ You're The Someone I Can't Forget/ THE RENFRO VALLEY FOLKS: The Valley Where Time Stands Still/ CLAUDE SWEET & ROY DAVIDSON: I Have No Mother Now/ Old And Only In The Way/ You'll Never Miss The Water/ SMOKEY WARD: Dog Bite Yo' Hide/ Doin' My Time

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Columbia 30501 Columbia Records - The R&B Years, Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Terrific collection of urban blues and R&B recorded for the Columbia label between 1947 and 1951. It opens with the hot instrumental honker Dance Boogie by The Five Scamps who return later on the disc with the delightfully risque The Fishing Song featuring a lead vocal from Evelyn Twine. The Golden Gate Quartet are featured here in secular mode that was listed simply as by Gates - they do a fine blues and a blues ballad. The early Willie Dixon group The Big Three are here with three excellent sides. But the real standouts are the two cuts by the mysterious Three Dynamites featuring a slide guitarist who really goes to town on the hot instrumental Dynamite Boogie - who the heck is he? Other artists featured include Happy Johnson & His International Jive Five, Sonny Parker, Kirby Walker and others. Sound quality is superb and booklet has full discographical details where known. (FS)
MARGIE ANDERSON: Hurry, Hurry, Margie/ THE BIG THREE TRIO: After Awhile (We're Gonna Drink A Little Whiskey)/ Baby I Can't Go On Without You/ Evening/ Just Can't Let Her Be/ Lonely Roamin'/ DUSTY BROOKS & THE FOUR TONES: Shoo Boogie Mama/ WINI BROWN & ORCH.: This Is The Last Time (I'll Cry Over You)/ BILL CROSBY & HIS BAND: Eat, Drink And Be Merry/ DOROTHY DONEGAN WITH "RED" SAUNDERS & HIS ORCH.: D.D.D. (Dorothy Donegan's Doghouse)/ THE FIVE SCAMPS: Dance Boogie/ The Fishing Song/ GATES (GOLDEN GATE QUARTET): I'm Just A Dreamer/ She's Gonna Ruin You, Buddy/ HAPPY JOHNSON & HIS INTERNATIONAL JIVE FIVE: Eight, Skeight And Donate/ MR. GOOGLE EYES WITH BILLY FORD & HIS MU: For You My Love/ SONNY PARKER: Gamblin' Woman/ Lay Right Down And Die/ THE THREE DYNAMITES: Dynamite Boogie/ Facing Life/ THE THREE FLAMES: Johnny Take My Wife/ Succotash Baby/ KIRBY WALKER WITH INSTRUMENTAL ACC.: High-Brow Blues/ Shut Up

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Columbia 30502 Columbia Records - The R&B Years, Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
Just arrived. A second collection of obscure blues and R&B from the Columbia label in the early 50s including Dorthy Donegan with Red Saunders & His Orch., The Five Scamps, Sylvia Vanderpool (later of Mickey & Sylvia fame), The Big Three Trio, The Carols, Margia Anderson & Milton Hayes, Sonny Parker and others.
MARGIE ANDERSON & MILTON HAYES: Always Love Him (Never Leave Him Blues)/ THE BIG THREE TRIO: Blip Blip/ Get Her Off My Mind/ I Feel Like Steppin' Out/ DUSTY BROOKS & HIS TONES (VCL. RAY WHEATON): I Ain't Gonna Worry No More/ DUSTY BROOKS & THE FOUR TONES: Liddy/ WINI BROWN & ORCH.: A Good Man Is Hard To Find/ THE CAROLS: I Should Have Thought/ Please Believe In Me/ DOROTHY DONEGAN WITH "RED" SAUNDERS & HIS ORCH.: Ridin' Boogie/ THE FIVE SCAMPS: Gonna Buy Myself A Mule/ Good Lover Blues/ IDA JAMES WITH DICK VANCE ORCH.: Shake Your Can/ MR. GOOGLE EYES WITH BILLY FORD & HIS MU: I'm Glad You're Comin' Home/ Life Can Be A Hard Road To Travel/ THE NATURALS: Warpath Blues/ SONNY PARKER: Tossin' And Turnin'/ RED SAUNDERS & HIS ORCH. (VCL JUMPIN' JOE WI: Blow, "Mr. Low-Blow"/ THE THREE FLAMES (VCL "TIGER" HAYNES & GROUP: Viddle De Vop/ THE THREE FLAMES WITH BENNY CARTER ORCH.: Sky Full Of Sunshine/ Stick Around/ SYLVIA VANDERPOOL WITH NELSON CLARK'S ORCH.: Sharp Little Sister/ THE VELVETONES: I'm Disillusioned/ CHUCK WILLIS: Can't You See

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Dust-To-Digital 046 Music Of Morocco - From The Library of Congress ● CD $59.98
Another remarkable production from Dust-To-Digital - this time devoted to field recordings made in 1959 in Morocco by poet, novelist and composer Paul Bowles. Bowles, who was associated with the Beats - Peter Orlovsky, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsburg and others had been living in Morocco since 1947 and was anxious to preserve the music that he had heard before it disappeared. With financial support from a Rockefeller grant and with the support of the Library of Congress he spent six months travelling around the country gathering as many examples of indigenous music as he could. The tapes remained archived at the Library until 1972 when it was decided to make some of the material available on two LPs which Bowles carefully compiled, truncating the performances to try and present as wide a range of the mmaterial recorded as possible. This new four CD set builds on those two LPs but is now able to present each performance in its entirety (sometimes 15 minutes or more) as well as replacing a few of the performances with better ones and adding a number of previously unissued performances. The first two discs are devoted to the Berbers of The Highlands or Morocco and the last two are recordings from the lowlands. I can't really do justice to the music in a short space as it is music that requires repeated listening and concentration - some of it is very repetitive and as Bowles noted is hypnotic - some have called it trance music but Bowles preferred the term "hypnotic" as "trance" has religious implications which is often not the case here. The four CDs are packaged in an 8.5"x6"x1" box with a beautiful silkscreened design and includes a 120 page leatherette bound book with extensive notes by Philip Schuyler, field notes by Bowles, an introduction by Lee Reynaldo and numerous photographs. Obviously this is not for everyone but for those who have an interest this will be a rewarding experience.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Free Reed 04 The Tale Of Ale** ● CD $16.98
45 tracks, 79 mins, highly recommended Wonderful reissue of 1977 Free Reed two LP set featuring songs and readings celebrating that very popular British pasttime of beer. drinking 45 tracks including songs and music by Peter Bellamy, Robin Dransfield, Vic Gammon, Barry Dransfield, Roy Harris, The Pump & Pluck Band and others and readings from William Rushton, Joby Blanshard & Michael Smee. Musical accompaniments from Musica Inebriata have a Renaissance music feel featuring fiddle, recorders, citter, bassoon, and percussion. Songs include Bring Us In Good Ale/ Soldiers, Three/ The Malt's Come Down/ Good Ale For My Money/ John Barleycorn/ Ale, Ale, Glorious Ale/ October Brew and many more including briefer "healths." The spoken word sections derives from poems and writings ranging from the 16th to 20th centuries and includes the great dialogue between McDuff and the porter from Shakespeare's "Macbeth" as well as several epitaphs. Includes eight poage booklet with notes on all the tracks. A truly entertaing release. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 77115 Cajun - Rare & Authentic ● CD $28.98 $19.98
Four CD set, 100 tracks, very highly recommended
Complementing JSP 7726 and 7749 this is JSP's third foray into the world of vintage Cajun music with 100 superb tracks recorded between 1928 and 1939. It includes legendary names like Joe Falcon, Amede Ardoin, The Hackberry Ramblers (very little duplication with Arhoolie 7050 - $12.98) and Breaux Freres along with great but lesser known performers like Adam Trehan, Anatole Credure, Connor & Grader, Delin T. Guillory & Lewis LaFleur, Miller's Merrymakers, Louisiana Rounders (featuring "Papa Cairo"), The Alley Boys Of Abbeville, etc. Considering the rarity of many of these recordings the sound quality is excellent and there are brief informative notes by Pat Harrison and full discographical data. (FS)
THE ALLEY BOYS OF ABBEVILLE: Ja Vas Jamais Lessair Pleurer (I'll Never Let You Cry)/ Pourquois Te En Pen/ AMEDIE ARDOIN: Aimez Moi Ce Soir (Love Me Tonight)/ La Turtape De Saroied (The Turtape of Saroied)/ La Valse Des Chantiers Peteroliferes (Waltz of the Oil Field)/ La Valse Du Ballard/ Le Midland Two-Step/ Les Blues De La Prison (The Jail House Blues)/ Si Dur D'etre Seul (So Hard To Be Alone)/ Tortope D'osrun/ Tostape De Jennings (Tostape of Jennings)/ Valse Brunette/ Valse De La Pointe D'eglise (Church Point Walt)/ Valse De Mon Vieux Village (My Old Home Town Waltz)/ PERCY BABINEAUX & BIXY GUIDRY: Elle a Plurer Pour Revenir (She Cried To Come Back But She Couldn't)/ I Am Happy Now/ Waltz of the Long Wood/ BREAUX FRERES: Egan One Step/ La Valse D'auguste (August Waltz)/ La Valse Des Pins (Pinewood Waltz)/ CONNOR & GRADER: Lake Arthur Two Step/ Valse De Boscoville/ ANATOLE CREDURE: Black Bayou One Step/ Gasport One Step/ Lacassine Waltz/ Lake Charles Waltz/ THE DIXIE RAMBLERS: I've Got a Gal/ La Musique Encore, Encore/ JOE FALCON: A Cowboy Rider/ Fe Fe Ponchaux/ La Marche De La Noce/ Rayne Special/ Vieux Airs/ DUDLEY & JAMES FAWVOR: La Valse De Creole/ BLIND UNCLE GASPARD: Mercredi Soir Passe/ THE GUIDRY BROTHERS: Homme Abandonne/ Le Garcon Chez Son Pere/ Le Garcon Negligent/ Le Mes Beaux Yieux/ Le Recommendation Du Soulard/ DELIN T. GUILLORY & LEWIS LAFLEUR: Ma Petite Blonde (My Little Blonde)/ THE HACKBERRY RAMBLERS: Blue Eyes/ Bonnie Blue Eyes/ Bring It Down To the Jailhouse Honey/ Dobie Shack/ Don't Ever Trust a Friend/ Green Valley Waltz/ High Mountain Blues/ Just Because/ Louisiana Moon/ Mama Don't Allow No Hanging Around/ My Little Girl/ On Top of the World/ Sonny Boy/ Su Charin/ Te Ma Pris De La Maison/ Wandering Man, The/ HARRINGTON, LANDRY & STEWARD: La Stomp Clreole (Sic)/ Ta Aura Regret/ THE JOLLY BOYS OF LAFAYETTE: Abbeville/ Cata Houla Breakdown/ High Society/ Jolie (Brunette)/ La Valse De La Lafayette/ Old Man Crip/ Tant Que Tu Est Avec Moi (As Long As You're With Me)/ There'll Come a Time/ SYDNEY LANDRY: Confession D'amour/ La Vlouse Francaise/ LE JEUNNE & FRUGE: La Valse De La Veuve/ Le Petit One Step/ THE LOUISIANA ROUNDERS: Alons Kooche Kooche/ Ayou, Ayou, Mon Petite Chien Pour Edete (Where,Oh Where Has My Little Dog G/ Bon Whiskey/ Je Vue Ta Figure Dans La Lune (I Saw Your Face In the Moon)/ La Valse a Karo/ Quatre Ou Cinq Fois (Four or Five Times)/ DENUS MCGHEE & AMEDE ARDOIN: Sunset (Sunset)/ Tout Que Rest C'est Mon Linge/ MCGHEE & COURVILLE: Allon a Tassone/ Disez Goodbye a Votre Mere/ MILLER'S MERRYMAKERS: It's the Top of Everything/ Lake Arthur Waltz/ Merrymaker's Hop/ Over the Waves/ THE RIVERSIDE RAMBLERS: Let's Go Fishing/ She's One of Those/ THE SEGURA BROTHERS: Bury Me In a Corner of the Yard/ My Sweetheart Run Away/ FLOYD SHREVE: Darling of Yesterday/ THE THIBODEAUX BOYS: La Manvais Femme/ La Vieux Valse a Ma Belle/ Ma Petite Chere Ami/ Par De Su Les Lames/ ADAM TREHAN: Arcadian Waltz/ Do You Think Work is Hard?/ The Pretty Girls Don't Want Me/ The Waltz of Our Little Town/ JOE WERNER & THE RAMBLERS: The Answer To "Weeping Willow"/ The Lonesome Wanderer

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 447 Jack Ashford - Just Productions ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Jack Ashford was a Detroit musician/songwriter, who after doing time as a Funk Brother with Motown, threw in his lot with music mover and shaker Shelley Haims to form Pied Piper Productions. The Pied Piper story is well documented on two Kent CDs - "Pied Piper Presents a New Concept in Detroit Soul" (Kent 389 - $18.98) and "Follow Your Soul" (Kent 429 - $18.98) - and after that operation folded, Ashford started Just Productions in 1968 and continued producing gritty R&B for his own Ashford, Sepia, and Triple B labels. Like the Pied Piper recordings, Just Production sides were highly prized by English Northern Soul DJs, and Eddie Parker's Love You Baby was one of the scene's biggest hits in 1970. Between 1969 and 1977, Ashford and his producing partner Lorraine Chandler (who had recorded some of Pied Piper's best sides) created raw Detroit soul for assorted U.S. and U.K. labels. The artists-Eddie Parker, the Smith Brothers, Al Gardner, Billy Sha-Rae, the Four Sonics, Sandra Richardson-might be little known, but the talent is evident in cuts like Body Chains (Parker), After You Give Your All (Softouch), Sweet Baby (Gardner), Where Are You (Four Sonics), Payback is a Drag and There Can Be a Better Way (Smith Brothers), and "Deserted Garden" (Richardson). As a sequel to Ashford's Pied Piper work in the 60's, this collection is superb on every level, and it also serves as a sterling document of Detroit soul in the 70's. (GMC)
JACK ASHFORD: I'll Fly to Your Open Arms/ Do the Choo Choo Part 1/ SMITH BROTHERS: Payback's a Drag/ There Can Be a Better Way/ THE FOUR SONICS: Where Are You/ Lost Without You/ Tell Me You're Mine/ RAY GANT & THE ARABIAN KNIGHTS: Don't Leave Me Baby/ AL GARDNER: I Can't Stand It/ Sweet Baby/ Watch Yourself/ JOHNNY GRIFFITH ACC BY BILLY SHA-RAE'S BAND: Do It (Instrumental)/ J.C. HEARD: J.C.'s Grit Gitter/ EDDIE PARKER: Body Chains (Vocal)/ But If You Must Go/ I Need a True Love/ I'm Gone/ Love You Baby/ THE PERFECTIONS: Don't Take Your Love from Me/ SANDRA RICHARDSON: Stay Here with Me/ The Ring/ LEE ROGERS: I Need Your Love (To Satisfy My Soul)/ BILLY SHA-RAE: Crying Clown/ I Found the One/ Let's Do It Again

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 449 Mainstream Modern Soul, 1969-1976 ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, recommended
Mainstream Records-along with its sister labels IX Chains and Brown Dog-was the brainchild of Jazz musician-turned-producer and A&R man Bob Shad. Recording Jazz was always his first love, but he spent much of his time and energy recording R&B during the early and mid 70's. Although there's a few performers known to non-collectors - The Dramatics, Lenny Welch, Sarah Vaughan (!) for example - most are fairly obscure and some of the songs are a bit mediocre. Still, there's some gold here, like Welch's A Hundred Pounds of Pain, Alice Clark's Don't You Care, Nia Johnson's Plain Out of Luck, J.G. Lewis' What Am I Going to Do, Randolph Brown's I'm On Sick Leave (great title!), and Vaughan's I Need You More. Although not everything is up to the standards of the aforementioned tracks, there's enough of interest here to tempt the R&B collector's out there. (GMC)
CALVIN ARNOLD: Satisfy My Woman/ LEE BATES: What Am I Gonna Do, (What Am I Gonna Say)/ THE JACKEY BEAVERS SHOW: We're Not Too Young to Fall in Love/ When Something Is Wrong with My Baby/ CHARLES BEVERLY: Stop and Think a Minute/ RANDOLPH BROWN: I'm on Sick Leave/ It Ain't Like It Used to Be/ ALICE CLARK: Don't You Care/ THE DRAMATICS: No Rebate on Love/ THE FANTASTIC PUZZLES: Come Back PT 1/ ELLERINE HARDING: All I Need/ NIA JOHNSON: Plain Out of Luck/ ALMETA LATTIMORE: These Memories/ J.G. LEWIS: I'm the One Who Loves You/ What Am I Going to Do/ MCARTHUR: It's So Real/ LINDA PERRY: Ain't Nobody Gonna Make Me/ I Can't Give You Up/ It's All in the Back of Me Now/ THE STEPTONES: Let the People Talk/ SARAH VAUGHAN: I Need You More (Than Ever Now)/ LENNY WELCH: A Hundred Pounds of Pain/ BOBBY EARL WILLIAMS: That's the Way She Is/ THE WORDS OF WISDOM: You're a Friend of Mine

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Mustang 111 Soul Singers and Country Songs ● CD $16.98
21 tracks, highly recommended
Over the past couple of years, Kent Records has released three collections of R&B/Soul artists recording songs originally cut and/or written by Country artists. Those four CDs - "Behind Closed Doors" (Kent 375 - $18.98), "Sweet Dreams" (Kent 3395 - $18.98) and "Cold Cold Heart" (Kent 422 - $18.98) - feature the cream of 60's and 70's soul bringing a fresh take on assorted country classics and obscurities. This compilation isn't in the same league as the Kent series, but there's still some fine listening contained herein. With only a handful of recognizable (at least to me) songs - Hank Williams' Cold Cold Heart, Conway Twitty's Judge of Hearts, Charlie Louvin's Think I'll Go Somewhere and Cry Myself to Sleep - there's little to tempt outside of the artists themselves. Fortunately, there's a great selection of talent on hand - Lloyd Price, Sugar Pie DeSanto, James & Bobby Purify, Joe Simon, Joe Medwick, Ted Taylor, Sam Cooke, and Aretha Franklin to name a few - and most deliver compelling performances. Highlights: Joe Medwick's Searching in Vain, Ted Taylor's I'm Lonely Tonight, Willie Hobbs' Judge of Hearts, Kip Anderson's Take it Like a Man, and JJ Jackson's Courage Ain't Strength. With no decent liner notes, it's hard to know the exact time frame of these songs; my guess: mid 60's through the mid 70's. The bottom line is, for those of you who haven't had your fill of Country meets Soul, this CD makes for a delightful dessert. (GMC)
KIP ANDERSON: Take It Like A Man/ LATTIMORE BROWN: I Know That I'm Gonna Miss You/ SAM COOKE: One Hour Ahead Of The Posse/ SUGAR PIE DESANTO: It's Done And Forgotten/ ARETHA FRANKLIN: Cold, Cold Heart/ WILLIE HOBBS: Judge Of Hearts/ J.J. JACKSON: Courage Ain't Strength/ ONE'SE MACK: I Do Believe That I'm Losing You/ JOE MEDWICK: Searching In Vain/ JOE ODOM: Let Me Gradually New/ LOUIE PALMER: How Do You Quit Drinking Wine/ CHARLES PENNY: Conscience I'm Guilty/ JOE PERKINS: Think I'll Go Somewhere And Cry Myself To Sleep/ LLOYD PRICE: If You Really Love Him/ JAMES & BOBBY PURIFY: Turning Back The Pages/ MADLYN QUEBECK: Love Is All I Want/ JOE SIMON: Glad You Came My Way/ JEB STUART: I Ain't Never/ TED TAYLOR: I'm Lonely Tonight/ SYLVIA THOMAS: So Will I/ SANDRA WRIGHT: Love Me Love Me

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS One Day 232 American Heartbeat 1957 ● CD $11.98
This series moves on to 1957 with 50 of the most popular songs from that year including <>SChool Day by Chuck Berry, Gone by Ferlin Huskey, That'll Be The Day by The Crickets, Dark Moon by Gale Storm, Banan Boat Song (Day-O by Harry Belafonte, Party Doll by Buddy Knox, I Like Your KInd Of LOve by Andy Williams, Happy Happy Birthday Baby from the Tune Weavers and lots more from Billy Ward & The Dominoes, Tab Hunter, Debbie Reynolds, The Coasters, Charlie Gracie, Frank Sinatra, The Rays and many others.
PAUL ANKA: Diana/ HARRY BELAFONTE: Banana Boat (Day-O)/ CHUCK BERRY: School Day/ THE BOBBETTES: Mr. Lee/ PAT BOONE: Love Letters in the Sand/ JIMMY BOWEN: I'm Stickin' with You/ THE COASTERS: Searchin'/ PERRY COMO: Round and Round/ SAM COOKE: You Send Me/ JILL COREY: Love Me to Pieces/ THE CRICKETS: That'll Be the Day/ THE DEL-VIKINGS: Come Go with Me/ THE DIAMONDS: Little Darlin'/ FATS DOMINO: I'm Walkin'/ Valley of Tears/ JIMMY DORSEY: So Rare/ THE EVERLY BROTHERS: Bye Bye Love/ Wake Up Little Susie/ CHARLIE GRACIE: Butterfly/ THE HILLTOPPERS: Marianne/ BUDDY HOLLY: Peggy Sue/ TAB HUNTER: Ninety-Nine Ways/ Young Love/ FERLIN HUSKEY: Gone/ JOHNNIE & JOE: Over the Mountain, Across the Sea/ BILL JUSTIS: Raunchy/ BUDDY KNOX: Party Doll/ FRANKIE LAINE: Moonlight Gambler/ JERRY LEE LEWIS: A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On/ LITTLE RICHARD: Keep a Knockin'/ JOHNNY MATHIS: Chances Are/ MICKEY & SYLVIA: Love Is Strange/ SAL MINEO: Start Movin'/ GUY MITCHELL: Rock-a-Billy/ RICKY NELSON: A Teenager's Romance/ PATTI PAGE: Old Cape Cod/ THE PLATTERS: I'm Sorry/ ELVIS PRESLEY: All Shook Up/ Love Me/ THE RAYS: Silhouettes/ DEBBIE REYNOLDS: Tammy/ MARTY ROBBINS: A White Sport Coat (And a Pink Carnation)/ JIMMIE RODGERS: Kisses Sweeter Than Wine/ TOMMY SANDS: Teenage Crush/ FRANK SINATRA: Hey! Jealous Lover/ GALE STORM: Dark Moon/ THE TUNE WEAVERS: Happy Happy Birthday Baby/ BILLY WARD & HIS DOMINOES: Stardust/ ANDY WILLIAMS: I Like Your Kind of Love/ BILLY WILLIAMS: I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7103 The Golden Era Of Doowops - Everlast Records** ● CD $14.98
29 tracks, 70 min., highly recommended
This late 50's New York label is yet another of those created and run by one of Harlem's distinguished Robinson brothers, in this case, Danny. Its claim to doo-wop fame, of course, is the immortal Deserie by the Charts, which charted (pun intended) in late 1957. But the rest of the label's output is similarly fine. Among those gems are Hey Pretty Baby by the Ladders, The Night Is Quiet by the reformed Vocaleers, Searching for Tomorrow by Jay Dee Bryant and the Magic Knights, Queenie Bee by the Rodans (for those of you who remember that Sci-Fi "classic"), From Now On by the C-Notes, Please Come Back to Me by the Rhythm Tones, and the outstanding ballad Why Do You Cry by the Charts. Directly-from-the-tapes sound quality, several vintage group photos, and knowledgeable liner notes by Donn Fileti. Definitely not one to miss. (DH)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Rockbeat 3352 Cubana Perfecto - Cuban Music Collection, 1928-1999 ● CD $39.98
Just arrived. Four CD, 88 track retrospective of Cuban Music recorded betweeen 1926 and 1999, with the majority of tracks from before 1970. Each CD is devoted to a different theme and, in addition to music by Cuban musicians also shows the influence of Cuban music on American Jazz. Among the many artists featured are Don Apiazu's Havana Casino Orchestra, Trio Matamoros, Antobal's Cubans, Antonio Machin, Desi Arnaz, Stan Kenton, Xavier Cugat & His Orchestra, Rita Montaner, Arsenio Rodriguez, Machito & His Orch., Benny More with The Perez Prado Orchestra, Cuarteto d'Aida, Celia Cruz, Charlie Parker & The Afro Cubop All Stars, Los Zafiros, Tito Puente and many more. Compiled by roots musix expert Mark Humphrey who provides track by track annotation in the 20 page fold-out booklet.
XIOMARA ALFARO: Bahia/ Siboney/ ANTOBAL'S CUBANS: El Maraquero/ La Mulata Rumbera/ DESI ARNAZ: La Conga En Nueva York/ Babalu/ DON AZPIAZU AND HIS HAVANA CASINO ORCHESTRA: Wanna Lot O Love/ DON AZPIAZU'S HAVANA CASINO ORCHESTRA: El Manisero/ DON BARRETO Y SU ORQUESTA DE MELODY'S BAR: Cuatro Palomas/ ABELARDO BARROSO WITH ORQUESTA SENSACIóN: Tiene Sabor/ ENRIQUE BRYON Y SU ORQUESTA: Las Maracas De Cuba/ CACHAO Y SU COMBO: Trombon Criollo/ CASCARITA & LA ORQUESTA DE BEBO VALDéS: Que Paso En El Congo/ CELINA & REUTILIO: A Santa Barbara (Que Viva Chango)/ CONJUNTO CASINO: A Romper El Coco (Guaracha)/ Sun Sun Baba‚/ CELIA CRUZ: Bemba Colora/ Rock And Roll/ CUARTETO D'AIDA: Las Mulatas Del Cha Cha Ch / Nocturno Antillano/ JULIO CUEVA: Tingo Talango/ Rareza Del Siglo/ XAVIER CUGAT AND HIS ORCHESTRA: The Lady In Red (Rumba)/ JOSE CURBELO Y SU ORQUESTA: Bambanquere/ El Rey Del Mambo/ BARBARITO DIEZ: El Amor De Mi Bohio/ DUO LOS COMPADRES: Su Se¤oria La Conga/ DúO LOS DIABLOS: Loco Amor/ IBRAHIM FERRER CON CHEPIN Y SU ORQUESTA ORIENTAL: !ay, Azabache!/ El Botellero/ DIZZY GILLESPIE WITH CHANO POZO: Manteca/ CELINA GONZALEZ: Camina Y Ven/ Que Viva Fidel/ OLGA GUILLOT: Eres Todo Para Mi (Bolero)/ Odiame/ STAN KENTON: The Peanut Vendor/ LA LUPE: Fever/ ROLANDO LA SERIE: La Pachanga/ LECUONA CUBAN BOYS: Para Vigo Me Voy/ Tabou/ LOS BUCANEROS: Triste Estoy/ LOS VAN VAN: Havana City/ LOS ZAFIROS: Mi Oracion/ LA LUPE: Con El Diablo En El Cuerpo/ ANTONIO MACHIN: Envidia/ La Ru¤idera/ MACHITO AND HIS ORCHESTRA: Tang / CELESTE MENDOZA: Ansias Locas/ MIRTHA Y RAUL: Y Tu Algun Dia La Seguir s/ RITA MONTANER: Ay Que Sospecha Tengo/ BENY MORE WITH PEREZ PRADO Y SU ORQUESTA: Babarabatiri/ BENY MORE Y JOSEITO FERNáNDEZ: La Guantanamera/ ORQUESTA ARAGON: Los Tamalitos De Olga/ ORQUESTA BROADWAY: Time Out For Dengue/ ORQUESTA CASINO DE LA PLAYA: Coje Pa La Cola/ CUBANA ORQUESTA CHEO BELéN PUIG: La Bella/ ORQUESTA DE ARCANO Y SUS MARAVILLAS DEL: Mambo/ ORQUESTA ELIO REVé: Fifi, Tete & Popo/ ORQUESTA ENRIQUE JORRIN: La Enga¤adora/ ORQUESTA HERMANOS CASTRO: Panama/ ORQUESTA OSCAR CALLE: Trigue¤ita/ ORQUESTA RIVERSIDE: Yayabo/ ORQUESTA VERAR DEL REAL: El Nuevo Ford/ CHARLIE PARKER WITH THE AFRO CUBOP ALL STARS: Mambo Fortunado/ GUILLERMO PORTABALES: Esto Se Llama Montuno/ OMARA PORTUONDO: Noche Cubana (Canci¢n)/ CHANO POZO Y SU CONJUNTO CON EL MAGO DEL TRES: Sacale Brillo Al Piso Teresa (Son Montuno)/ PEREZ PRADO Y SU ORQUESTA: (que Rico) El Mambo/ Locas Por El Mambo/ CARLOS PUEBLA: Gracias, Fidel/ TITO PUENTE: Oye Como Va/ ARSENIO RODRIGUEZ: La Yuca De Catalina/ TITO RODRIGUEZ Y SU CONJUNTO: Mango Del Monte/ MONGO SANTAMARIA: Afro Blue/ DANIEL SANTOS & SONORA MATANCERA: El Ni¤o Majadero/ SEPTETO ANACAONA: Algo Bueno/ CHIQUITA SERRANO: Quiero Una Conga/ SEXTETO HABANERO: Ay Mam  In‚s/ Tres Lindas Cubanas/ ALBERTO SOCARRAS & SU ORQUESTA CUBANACAN: Masabi/ SENEN SUAREZ Y SU CONJUNTO: Yambeque (Guaguanc¢)/ RENE TOUZET: El Loco Cha Cha Cha/ TRIO MATAMOROS: Malanga/ ADOLFO UTRERA: Aquellos Ojos Verdes/ FREDESVINDA GARCIA VALDES: Sombras Y Mas Sombras/ MERCEDITAS VALDES WITH BATA DRUMS OF JESUS PEREZ: Shango/ MIGUELITO VALDOS & THE ORQUESTA CASINO D: Rumba Rumbero/ MARIA TERESA VERA: Y Tu Qu‚ Has Hecho

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Stackhouse 1916 Meet Me In The Bottom - Arkansas Blues Vol. 2 - The Ban ● CD $15.98
15 tracks, very good
In 1976 Louis Guida with the help of a Bicentennial Grant travelled around Arkansas making recordings of blues musicians including the first recordings of idiosyncratic country bluesman Cedell Davis. In the 1990s Rooster Blues records issued a CD featuring solo artists (reissued on Stackhouse 1910 - $15.98). Now Stackhouse has issued a CD featuring blues bands recorded at the same time including a group recorded at the infamous Cummins Prison Farm as well as a contribution from the prison's most famous musical inmate Calvin Leavy. Like the collection of solo artists I find the performances here not particularly compelling - most of the groups are unexceptional both vocally and instrumentally and the material is mostly covers of blues favorites (You Don't Love Me/ Laundromat Blues/ Don't Start Me To Talking/ Meet Me In The Bottom, etc) though there are several relatively undistinguished originals. The recording quality is also rather unexceptional and at times sounds like someoe holding a cassette recorder at the back of a club. I'm sure a lot of work went into these recordings but not every field recorder is an Alan Lomax, David Evans or George Mitchell. The booklet does have detailed notes on the artists. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Tompkins Square 2479 Bloody War; Songs, 1924-1939** ● CD $16.98
15 tracks, 45 mins, essential
For as long as rich old men have been sending poor young men off to die in battle, there have been artists chronicling the experience. This collection take the unique approach of featuring songs recorded from the end of the First World War up to the precipice of the second. This provides us with a tapestry of String Band, Country, Folk and Blues covering the subject from the Civil War through WW1, with compositions going as far back as 1865. No doubt, this is stirring stuff, bloody and heartbreaking, but with an occasional biting humor. You won't be getting any "Yankee Doodle Dandy" or the like here; this is the real deal for sure. For example, you get tracks like Bloody War by Jimmy Yates' Boll Weevils from 1928 about the misfortunes of a "simple country boy" and his bloody misadventures in the First World War, The Old Vacant Chair by The Dixon Brothers in 1936, which tells of the loss, on either side, of important family members, or The Faded Coat Of Blue by Buell Kazee in 1928 about a fallen Union soldier, later done by the Carter Family. Copious notes and fantastic graphics included with the CD tell the story much better than I can in a short review, let me just say that this is a wonderful collection that was truly a moving experience listening to, and I strongly recommend picking this up especially for those history buffs like me out there. (JM)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Trailer Park 5501 UFO On Farm Road 318: Twisted Tales From The Vinyl Wastelands ● CD $16.98
18 tracks, 42 mins, highly recommended
Trailer Park Records have stepped up their game recently: they have restarted this series, moving up to full jewel case packaging with a thicker booklet insert that includes deeper notes, label repros, new original illustrations, and even an original science fiction short story! On top of that, they are doing limited vinyl pressings ($25.98) starting with this collection. If you have any of the previous volumes, make sure to check the track lists, this has some tracks from the original vol. 1, as well as from other volumes. If you are checking this series out for the first time, what you are getting is a bunch of whacked out Rock & Roll and Country, put out in the late 1950s and early 1960s, mostly from small labels like Dollie D., Ranger, and Jed, but also including one RCA recording - Bill Carlisle's Tiny Space Man. This new volume focuses on UFOs and Hillbilly/ (ahem.) Southern culture. Some of my favorite tracks here are the rabid Rockabilly conspiracy theory of Swamp Gas by The Space Walkers, the hop along Country of Lookin' For That UFO by Calvin Boles, the murky coolness of Who's Gonna Sleep With Me by Dan Price, the deranged Country crooning of My Evil Mind by Jack Cook, and the emphatic I Hate Men by Little Carolyn Sue. (JM)
CALVIN BOLES: Lookin For That Ufo/ BILL CARLISLE: Tiny Space Man/ JACK COOK: My Evil Mind/ SIDNEY ESTER: U.f.o. On Farm Road 318/ GENE HALL: Monkey On The Moon/ HORACE HELLER: Hello World/ JOHNNIE HOWARD: Moon Man/ LITTLE CAROLYN SUE: I Hate Men/ NEAL MERRITT: I Like To Booze It/ RUDY PRESTON: Poor White Trash/ DAN PRICE: Who S Gonna Sleep With Me/ CHUCK ROBBINS: U.f.o. Go Away/ THE SPACE WALKERS: Swamp Gas/ LARRY STEELE: Little Jimmy/ SCOTTIE STONEMAN: The Martian Band/ MIKE YAGER: The Invader

 
JUNIOR WELLS & THE ACES Delmark 809 Live In Boston, 1966** ● CD $14.98
12 music tracks + seven spoken, highly recommended
Superb live set recorded in Boston in September 1966 featuring the great singer and harmonica player reunited with his first band The Aces (Louis Myers/ guitar, Dave Myers/ bass, Fred Below/ drums) - the consummate Chicago blues band. They do a selection of mostly Chicago blues favorites including Junior's own blues hit Messin' With The Kid and several songs that sound like they were improvised on the spot including the mostly instrumental Junior's Whoop featuring stellar harmonica from Junior and dynamic guitar by Louis. Other songs include Feelin' Good/ Worried Life Blues/ That's All Right/ I Don't Know and more. Junior is obviously having a great time as the patter between the songs clearly shows. The sound quality is not the greatest but is quite listenable and the quality of the music more than compensates for any deficiencies in the sound quality. (FS)

 
MAURICE WILLIAMS Acrobat 3124 With The Gladiolas & The Zodiacs - Complete, 1956-62 ● CD $16.98 $12.98
Two CDs, 37 tracks, highly recommended
An expanded version of Acrobat 4250 this features all the recordings made between 1956 and 1962 by the two doowop groups led by the excellent soulful vocalist Maurice Williams. Williams formed his first gospel group while still in high school and when the group turned to doo-wop they adopted the name The Gladiolas. They wangled an audition with Excello Records in Nashville who immediatley signed and they had a big R&B hit with their first release, the iconic Little Darlin' which became a big R&B hit in 1958 though they had only minimal success in the pop charts as the song was covered by the bland white group The Diamonds. After three more fine, but unsuccessful sides for Excello they were let go though Excello hung on to the rights of the name The Gladiolas so the group changed its name to the Zodiacs. They made several singles for the Cole and Soma labels with little success and in 1960 fired the members of the group and brought in new singers to become the Zodiacs. They were signed by Al Silver's Herald label and their first record Stay became a hit in both the R&B and pop charts and became one of the all time doowop classics. Over the next few years they recorded a fine selection of sides though Stay was to be their only hit. However many of these later cuts became regular "Beach" dance classics in the Carolinas including I Remember/ Do I/ Come Along/ Someday/ Little Mamma/ Come And Get It/ It's Alright and a great cover of Ray Charles' I Got A Woman. Sound is excellent and 12 page booklet has informative notes by Paul Watts. (FS)

 

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