LATEST ADDITIONS  07/03/2014

BOOK
WOMAN WITH GUITAR: Memphis Minnie's Blues

DVDS
MAGIC SLIM

VARIOUS ARTISTS

COMPACT DISCS
KING SUNNY ADE

RUBY ANDREWS
CHARLIE BARNET
DAN BURLEY/ BROWNIE & STICKS MCGEE
WAYNE COCHRAN
THE CONTOURS & DENNIS EDWARDS
THE COOKE DUET
THE COONHUNTERS
PEE WEE CRAYTON
CROCKETT'S KENTUCKY MOUNTAINEERS
THE FOUR PICKLED PEPPERS
SARAH OGAN GUNNING

WYNONIE HARRIS
WILBERT HARRISON
BIG WALTER HORTON & ALFRED "BLUES KING" HARRIS
THE JUBALAIRES
GRADY MARTIN & THE SLEWFOOT FIVE
LUKE MCDANIEL
BARRELHOUSE BUCK MCFARLAND
AARON NEVILLE
HOYLE NIX
BUCK OWENS
JIM REEVES
JIMMIE RODGERS
THE SHOWMEN
SONNY TERRY & BROWNIE MCGHEE
PADDY TUNNEY
VARIOUS ARTISTS
BUKKA WHITE
BILLY WILLIAMS
BIG JOE WILLIAMS & J.D. SHORT
OTIS WILLIAMS & THE CHARMS

 

 
Since our Second Time Around selections seem to be very popular this list includes some great releases which have been out for a while but you may have missed them the first time we listed them in addition to new releases. To avoid you getting possible duplicates we have added an asterisk (*) after these particular titles.

BOOK

 
WOMAN WITH GUITAR: Memphis Minnie's Blues by Paul & Beth Garon ● BOOK $19.95
Paper, 407 pages, counts as five CDs for shipping, essential
This is a most welcome release - a revised and expanded edition of one of the best studies of the life and music of a blues artist, originally published in 1992. And not any blues artist - the greatest of all female country blues artists - Memphis Minnie. The first third of this book is a carefully researched biography of Minnie with factual details, including photos (one previously unpublished) and copies of historical documents. (ads in African American newspapers, marriage licenses, union records and more). For the rest of the book the authors use the rich imagery of Minnie's varied lyrics to embark on a number of thoughtful and provocative essays. Some of these discourses are strictly related to blues study, others mix in interesting aspects of feminism, symbology, psychology, social issues, sex, voodoo and even surrealism! Also included is a thorough updated discography of Minnie's recordings and the numerous reissues of them. If you buy only one book on the blues this year - this should be the one! (FS)

 

DVDS

  
MAGIC SLIM Kingston 9414 Just Magic - The Magic Slim Story ● DVD $15.98
55 mins, strongly recommended
From the late 1960s up to his death in 2013, Morris Holt, better known as Magic Slim, was one of the most consistently great Chicago blues performers with his rough hewn vocals and funky, down in the alley, guitar style accompanied by his solid no-nonsense band The Teardrops and an immense repertoire. Most of the video is a lengthy interview with Slim along with comments from his sister, his manager in Chicago, band members and fellow blues artists (Lonnie Brooks, Koko Taylor, Dr. John, etc) interspersed with excerpts of Slim performing. Slim talks about his early years in Mississippi, learning to play guitar, why he had to switch from piano to guitar, his move to Chicago and more. This is an enjoyable DVD though I would have liked some more historical info and more music - most of the musical excerpts are frustratingly brief except for the closing song. However if you like Magic Slim you will find much to enjoy and if you don't know him, here is a chance to get introduced. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Stomper Time DVD 3 Hillbilly Rockabillies On T.V.* ● DVD $22.98
50 performances, 102 mins, color, essential
New lower price! Fabulous selection of mostly up tempo rocking honky tonk country performances from mid-50s T.V. shows. Just about every major artist from the period is featured including Marty Robbins, Webb Pierce, Moon Mullican, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Ernest Tubb, Faron Young, Chet Atkins, Carl Smith, Little Jimmy Dickens, Ray Price, Jim Reeves and Gordon Terry. There's also a trio of Webb Pierce, Red Sovine & Teddy Wilburn doing In The Jailhouse Now and Pierce, Marty Robbins & carl Smith doing Why Baby Why and Ray Price's band The Cherokee Cowboys doing a great Silver Lake Blues with three fiddles! Performances are consistently superb and video and sound quality are fine. A real treasure trove of great music. (FS)
CHET ATKINS: Frankie And Johnny/ Mr Sandman/ THE CHEROKEE COWBOYS: Silver Lake Blues/ "LITTLE" JIMMY DICKENS: Blackeyed Joe/ Hillbilly Fever/ You Betta Not Do That/ HAWKSHAW HAWKINS: Borrowing/ Car Hoppin' Mama/ MOON MULLICAN: 12th Street Rag/ Blue Tears/ Rock'n'roll Mr. Bullfrog/ Shine On Harvest Moon/ There's A New Moon Over My Shoulder/ WEBB PIERCE: I'm Gonna See My Baby Tonight/ I'm Walking The Dog/ Love Love Love/ Teenage Boogie/ Why Baby Why/ In The Jailhouse Now/ RAY PRICE: Crazy Arms/ Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes/ I'll Be There/ JIM REEVES: Caribbean/ Mexican Joe/ Railroad Steamboat/ Then I'll Stop Loving You/ MARTY ROBBINS: At The End Of A Long Lonely Day/ Call Me Up And I'll Come Calling On You/ I Can't Quit/ I Couldn't Keep From Crying/ Pretty Mama/ Pretty Words/ Singing The Blues/ Sugaree/ That's Alright Mama/ Time Goes By/ You Don't Owe Me A Thing/ CARL SMITH: Go Boy Go/ If You Want It, I've Got It/ GORDON TERRY: Keep Talking/ ERNEST TUBB: I Know My Baby Loves Me/ Kansas City Blues/ So Doggone Lonesome/ Tomorrow Never Comes/ Walking The Floor Over You/ You Nearly Lose Your Mind/ FARON YOUNG: Goin' Steady/ I've Got Five Dollars And It's Saturday Night/ Just Married/ Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young

 

COMPACT DISCS

 
KING SUNNY ADE Shanachie 66034 The Best Of The Classic Years* ● CD $17.98
10 tracks, 71 mins., highly recommended
there's not much left to be said about King Sunny Ade, the all-time master of Nigerian juju music and consummate performer, bandleader, and cultural mover and shaker. This CD offers a solid dose of Ade's music from 1966 to 1974 that for one reason or another has not before been available digitally. Culled from the dozen albums Ade recorded for the Nigerian label African Songs Ltd., these tracks are a timewarp trip back to the heyday of juju, the mesmerizing groove music that swept from west Africa to infect the entire world. Included is the complete original version of "Synchro System", all 18 minutes of it, along with another 18-minute 5-song medley that is guaranteed to get you smiling, bopping or both. A great addition to any serious Ade collection and a fine introduction for those who've never heard the King. (DC)

 
RUBY ANDREWS Grapevine 3014 Just Loving You* ● CD $19.98
28 tracks, 77 min., essential
If you were thinking of opening your own soul music label to reissue the sadly overlooked and criminally ignored great soul singers of the past the right way, think again. Grapevine is already there. Ruby Andrews recorded for Ric Williams' Zodiac Records, and this release gathers most of those sides (1967-73) and includes booklet notes from Chicago soul pundit Robert Pruter (author of "Chicago Soul", the definitive work on the subject). Andrews' earliest hits, such as Casanova (You're Playing Days Are Over), showcase her sweeter side, vocally. But after working with The Brothers of Soul and recording out of Detroit, Andrews vocal style became a deep-soul shout with power to spare -- check You Made A Believer (Out Of Me). Standouts include Help Yourself (Lover), the LP-only track Since I Found Out, The Love I Need, Uh! Uh! Boy, That's A No No, Tit For Tat, You Can Run (But You Can't Hide), and the "northern" soul dance-floor packer Just Loving You, and everything else. (JC)

 
CHARLIE BARNET Fabulous 2039 The Charlie Barnet Collection, 1935-1947 ● CD $9.98
Two CDs, 50 tracks, strongly recommended
Excellent sides recorded between 1937 and 1947 by one of the first integrated big bands and the first band with a largely white lineup to play New York's famed Apollo Theater. Barnet was strongly influenced by Ellington and it shows in his classy scoring and horn section harmonies. Tunes run the gamut from swing to proto-bop, all arranged with spit and polish. Led by tenor and alto saxist Barnet the band featured a wide array of excellent musicians and vocalists including Toots Camarata, Laura Deane, Frank Newton, Charlie Shavers, Bob Burnett, Billy May, Mary Anne McCall, Peanuts Holland, Lena Horne, Dodo Mamarosa, Roy Eldridge, Barney Kessell, Clark Terry, Doc Severinson and others. Excellent sound and booklet has full discographical info and informative notes. (GM/ FS)

 
DAN BURLEY/ BROWNIE & STICKS MCGEE Southland 9 Circle Blues Session* ● CD $14.98
17 tracks, highly recommended
This splendid release features 17 tracks recorded for Rudi Blesh's Circle label in June, 1946 - 8 previously unissued. 11 tracks feature vocalist/ piano player/ author/ journalist Dan Burley accompanied by his Skiffle Boys (Brownie McGhee, Sticks McGhee and Pops Foster). Burley was a fine and expressive singer and piano player who was influenced by the great Hersal Thomas whom he dedicates one of his tunes to. 6 of the tracks are by the McGee brothers and are particularly nice with great interplay between the two guitars, Brownie sings on four of them, Sticks on one and they do an excellent instrumental Tennessee Shuffle. (FS)
NAT BROWN: If This Is What You Want Go Ahead/ THE DEBONETTES: Choose Me/ ARTIE FULLILOVE: Thank You/ CHARLOTTIA GILBERT: Falling In Love With Him/ THE HEPTONES: Darling I Love You/ JAQUELINE JONES: You Make My Life a Sunny Day/ TABY KING: Operator/ THE MARK-KEYS: My Sweet Baby/ PAT & PAM: I Love You Yes I Do/ BOBBY REED: If I Don't Love You/ The Time Is Right for Love/ RUBY SHERRY: Feminine Ingenuity/ Please Don't Go/ MARVIN L. SIMS: Hurting Inside/ SIR THOMPSON: Oh Girl/ SMOKEY 007 & HIS EXCITERS: My Precious World/ THE SWEETS: Something About My Baby/ TASTE OF LOVE: Cindy/ Love Meditation/ THE TEMPOS: I Call It Love/ THERON & DERRELL: I Was Made To Love You/ THE THRILLS: No One/ TOMORROWS PEOPLE: Hurry On Up Tomorrow/ THE UNLIMITED FOUR: Walk Away Lover/ THE WEBS: We Belong Together/ RONNIE WEST: Lil Women/ DANNY WHITE: King for a Day

 
WAYNE COCHRAN Ace CDTOP2 1393 Goin' Back To Miami - The Soul Sides, 1965-1970 ● CD $24.98
2 CDs, 38 tracks, highly recommended
A couple of years ago I reviewed a Wayne Cochran CD (Raven 183) that gave a hint of what the legendary blue-eyed soulster was capable of. This new release from Ace goes much deeper: in addition to covering singles issued by Chess, Mercury, and King, the album also sports alternate takes, unedited versions, and unreleased gems. Hear Cochran tear it up on Goin' Back to Miami/ Which One Should I Choose/ To Make Me a Man, and You Can't Judge a Book By Its Cover, while being equally adept on ballads like Some-A Your Sweet Love and Big City Woman. The piece de resistance of the set, however, is the recreation of Cochran's typical Las Vegas live set (right down to the patter that precedes the songs) that comprises Disc Two. Done "live" in the studio between 1967 and 1970, this is as close as it gets to experiencing Cochran's dazzling live prowess. You can practically imagine the sweat pouring down his face during incendiary versions of Dance to the Music/ Soul Man, and 634-5789; conversely, you can sense the passion on his face during When Something is Wrong With My Baby and I Wish it Would Rain. Although the set complete comprised of covers, Wayne sings his butt off and you never dare compare him to the originals. For Disc Two alone this CD is worth the price of admission (along with a great interview with the man himself in the booklet), and proves that among blue-eyed soul singers in the 60's, Wayne Cochran ruled the roost. (GMC)
WAYNE COCHRAN: (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay/ 634-5789/ Big City Woman/ Chopper 70/ Dance To The Music/ Everybody/ Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa (Sad Song)/ Get Down With It/ Get Ready/ Goin' Back To Miami/ Hard To Handle/ Harlem Shuffle/ Hold On I'm Comin'/ Hoochie Coochie Man/ I Can't Turn You Loose/ I Wish It Would Rain/ I'm In Trouble/ I'm Leaving It Up To You/ I've Been Loving You Too Long/ If It Don't Fit, Don't Force It/ Let Me Come With You (Part One)/ Life's Little Ups And Downs (Part Two)/ Little Bitty Pretty One/ My Machine/ No Rest For The Wicked/ Some-A Your Sweet Love/ Somebody Please/ Soul Man/ The Peak Of Love/ Think/ To Make Me A Man/ Try A Little Tenderness/ Up In My Mind/ When My Baby Cries/ When Something Is Wrong With My Baby/ Which One Should I Choose Aka No Name/ You Can't Judge A Book By It's Cover/ You Got It From Me

 
THE CONTOURS & DENNIS EDWARDS Kent CDTOP 419 Just A Little Misunderstanding - Rare & Unissued Motown ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, very highly recommended
Having covered the early part of the Contours' story on "Dance With the Contours" (Kent 350 - $18.98), Kent returns to the Motown vaults to give us more of the R&B group's tale and that of their most famous member, Dennis Edwards. Starting in 1965, the Contours' story becomes that of rotating lead singers; first, original lead singer Billy Gordon was kicked out and replaced with ex-Falcon Joe Stubbs. Stubbs lasted for one single (the bouncy Just a Little Misunderstanding) and was then replaced by Edwards. Edwards apparently had concurrent solo career while he was a Contour-as related in the liner notes to this collection-so some of the songs might have been either solo tracks or Contours tracks, the notes point out that the studio logs were sometimes vague on who the tracks were credited to. Muddled history aside, these cuts-mostly previously unreleased-show off different sides of the group: the gritty (Joe Stubbs' powerhouse vocals on Determination), the commercial (Billy Gordon's persuasive lead vocal on an alternate take of First I Look At the Purse), and the smooth (Dennis Edwards' subtle handling of It's Growing). Although, the unreleased tracks with Stubbs prove that he would have been a great addition to the group (he's particularly strong on I Can't Help Loving You Baby) and Edwards' subsequent addition wasn't necessarily a terrible thing (Your Love Grows More Precious Everyday is as good as anything the Temptations did at the time), it's clear that Edwards might have had a good shot at a solo career if the stars had been properly aligned; all one has to do is give a listen to Sunny or Keep On Tryin' (Till You Find Love) for proof. As the second half to an intriguing R&B story, this CD is essential listening. (GMC)

 
THE COOKE DUET Freeland 647 Early Cooke Duet* ● CD $15.98
12 tracks, 30 mins, highly recommended
This features some of the earliest recordings from 1964-66 by this incredible gospel duo featuring just their own strumming guitar accompaniment. The Cookes are up there among the best - Jeanette is a spine chilling and ferociously intense singer, a little like Molly O'Day. Husband Hubert is a bit more restrained providing a beautiful counterpoint to Jeanette's powerhouse voice. The songs are mostly gospel favorites like The Lord Will Make A Way/ What A Time In Heaven / Got Sweet Heaven In My View and a sensational rendering of Ain't No Grave. There are also several fine originals - I'm Longing For Home/ I'm So Happy/ There Must A Power. Truly magnificent stuff - it's a shame the sound isn't better. Some of this couldn't be corrected since Jeanette's vocals often overloaded the microphones but the harsh edge to the sound in general makes for tiring listening. Still, it is really great music! (FS)

 
THE COONHUNTERS B.A.C.M. 042 Featuring Merle Travis* ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, highly recommended
Delightful collection of tracks from Capitol transcriptions recorded in the mid 40s featuring Merle Travis/ guitar & vocal, Wesley Tuttle/ guitar, Herman The Herman/ banjo, Charlie Lindville/ fiddle and possibly Cliffie Stone/ bass. Most of the songs are traditional along with a few more recent compsoitions and although Travis hadn't developed his famous guitar style yet he provides fine lead vocals on songs like Little Darling I'm Sick Of You/ Footprint In The Snow/ Jim Crow (a dance - not a comment on race)/ Midnight Special/ Nancy Till/ Oh Dem Golden Slippers/ Bile That Possum/ I'll Remember You Love In My Prayers/ Coming Home From The Wake (sounds like an Irish music hall song!)/John Henry/ False Hearted Girl and others. There are also several fine instrumental tracks. (FS)
THE COONHUNTERS: Bile That Possum/ Coming Home From The Wake/ De Glendy Burke/ Detour/ False Hearted Girl/ Fisher‘s Hornpipe (instr.)/ Folly Waddle Do/ Footprints In The Snow/ Grey Eagle (instr.)/ Higgins‘ Farewell (instr.)/ I‘ll Remember You Love In My Prayers/ I‘m Going Back To Dixie/ Jim Crack Corn/ Jim Crow/ John Henry/ Little Darling I‘m Sick And Tired Of You/ Liza Jane/ Methodist Pie/ Midnight Special/ Nancy Till/ Nellie Bly/ Off She Goes (instr.)/ Oh Dem Golden Slippers/ Sourwood Mountain/ You Are My Sunshine/ You‘re The Apple Of My Eye

 
PEE WEE CRAYTON Ace CDCHD 1400 Texas Blues Jumpin' In Los Angeles ● CD $18.98
28 tracks, very highly recommended
A most welcome third volume from Ace devoted to the Modern recordings of the great West Coast singer and guitarist Pee Wee Crayton (complementing Ace 632 and 767 - $18.98 each). Most of this album consists of previously unissued alternate takes of both Modern 78s and unissued songs that have appeared on previous volumes along with a few Modern titles not previously on Ace CDs. After careful research in the vaults Ace have managed to come up with alternate takes that are different enough from the original versions to make for a dynamite collection. Pee Wee was master of the blues guitar instrumental and his Blues After Hours was the first guitar instrumental to top the R&B charts and this set starts with a delightful alternate version and includes other great instrumentals like Austin Boogie/ Long After Hours/ The Bop Hop/ Poppa Stoppa and others. He was also a superb and distinctive vocalist as he shows on I'm Still In Love With You/ When Darkness Falls/ Tired Of Travelin/ My Everything and others which all feature his dynamic guitar work with crashing chords that distinguish his playing. He is accompanied by top West Coast musicians like David Lee Johnson (piano), Buddy Floyd (tenor), Al "Cake" Wichard (drums), Que Martin (tenor), Ed Hall (drums) and others. On Rockin' The Blues he is accompanied by the Harry Edison to good effect. Sound quality is absolutely superb and the detailed notes by Dick Shurman (who helped compile this collection) discuss in detail all the sessions here and how the versions here differ from previously issued ones. If you've enjoyed the first two volumes you'll know that this is indispensible. (FS)
PEE WEE CRAYTON: Answer To Blues After Hours/ Austin Boogie (unissued instrumental)/ Blues After Hours (alt)/ Blues For My Baby (alt)/ Brand New Woman (Alt Of Modern 707) (alt)/ Brand New Woman (False Start Alt Of Modern 707) (alt)/ California Women (alt)/ Central Avenue Blues (alt)/ Change Your Way Of Lovin' (alt)/ Crayton Special (unissued instrumental)/ Good Little Woman (alt)/ Huckle Boogie (alt)/ I Love You So Aka I Still Love You (alt)/ I'm Still In Love With You/ Long After Hours (alt)/ My Everything (alt)/ Old Fashioned Blues (alt)/ Poppa Stoppa (alt)/ Rockin' The Blues (alt)/ Some Rainy Day/ T For Texas (Mistreated Blues) (unissued song)/ Texas Hop (alt)/ The Bop Hop (alt)/ Thinkin' Of You (alt)/ Tired Of Travelin' (alt)/ Tired Of Travelin' (alt)/ When A Man Has The Blues (unissued song)/ When Darkness Falls (unissued song)

 
CROCKETT'S KENTUCKY MOUNTAINEERS B.A.C.M. 023 Classic Old Time String Band Music* ● CD $14.98
19 tracks, highly recommended
Excellent string band recorded between 1928 and '31. In spite of the groups name they were actually based in Fowler, California (near Fresno) though the group's founder John "Dad" Crockett was originally from West Virginia. They were one of the first West Coast based string bands featuring the fine lead vocals of "Dad" and instrumental work from other family members on fiddle, guitar, banjo and occasional Jew's harp and bones. They perform fine versions of traditional songs and tunes like Cripple Creek/ Bile Them Cabbage Down/ Little Rabbitt/ Gambling Man/ Medley Of Old Time Dance Tunes/ I Was Born 10,000 Years Ago/ Skip To My Lou and others. There also a superb instrumental blues Fresno Blues which features just two guitars. (FS)
CROCKETT'S KENTUCKY MOUNTAINEERS: After The Ball/ Bile Them Cabbage Down/ Buffalo Gals Medley/ Convict's Lament/ Cripple Creek/ Fresno Blues/ Gambling Man/ Granny's Old Arm Chair/ Hard Cider Songs/ I Was Born 10,000 Years Ago/ In The Shade Of The Old Apple Tree/ Little Rabbit (intro. Rabbit Where's Your Mammy)/ Medley Of Old Time Dance Tunes Pt. 1/ Medley Of Old Time Dance Tunes Pt. 2/ My Blue Eyed Girl And I/ Rosalee/ Skip To My Lou/ Sugar Hill/ The Lightning Express

 
THE FOUR PICKLED PEPPERS B.A.C.M. 452 And Associates ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, good
All the artists on this collection had at one time or another been associated with Charlie Poole. The first 19 tracks are by the Four Pickled Peppers a group including singer/ guitarist Norman Woodlief, Hamon Newman/ tenor banjo and Dllas Hubbard/ vocal or bones. The first sesion features Esmond Harris who is replaced by Earl Taylor on the second which also adds fiddler Lonnie Austin. They perform tame versions of western, pop and old time songs - so tame that when they sing a version of "Raise A Rukus Tonight" it sounds like the dullest rukus ever! There are two tracks from 1929 by Woodlief and fiddler Posey Rorer which are a wuit bit more spirited and the last three tracks features The Carolina Buddies with Woodlief and fiddler Odell Smith have three tracks from 1931 which are the best tracks here. (FS)
PICKLED PEPPERS: Baby Chile/ Brace Up And Be A Man, She Said/ Broken Hearted Lover/ Bungalow Big Enough For Two/ Come Along Children Come Along/ Dill Pickle Rag/ Four Leaf Clover/ From Broadway To Heaven/ He Went In Like A Lion and came Out Like A Lamb/ I Fell In Love With A Married Man/ I'll Remember You Love In My Prayers/ I'm Not Angry With You Darling/ Jolly Group Of Cowboys/ Long Lost Sweetheart/ My Little Naponee/ Poor Old Jane/ Ramblin' John/ She's A Cousin Of Mine/ Somebody's Darlin' Not Mine/ That Wabash Rag/ Thirteen Steps/ When I was A Baby/ When The Golden Moon Is Shining/ Work Don't Bother Me

 
SARAH OGAN GUNNING Folk Legacy 26 Girl Of Constant Sorrow* ● CD $16.98
20 tracks, 43 mins, very highly recommended
Wonderful collection of traditional and topical songs sung acapella by Kentucky born singer Sarah Ogan Gunning - the half sister of the legendary Aunt Molly Jackson and every bit her equal as a singer though not as well known. They were both active in the struggle to organize the mine workers in the Kentucky coal fields and a number of the songs that Sarah wrote have become standards of the folk repertoire. Sarah had first recorded for the Library Of Congress in 1938 and '39 but this first LP was recorded by Archie Green at Sarah's home in Detroit in 1964 and after the release of the LP in 1965 Sarah began performing regularly at folk festivals and concerts. The material featured here mixes original and topical material with traditional ballads, gospel songs and more. Many of the topical songs were based on familiar traditional or gospel tunes in order to better reach the target audience such as the title song, Down On The Picket Line (based on Down In The Valley To Pray) and Dreadful Memories (from Precious Memories). Traditional songs and gospel songs include Loving Nancy/ May I Go With You, Johnny/ Christ Was A Wayworn Traveler/ Captain Devlin/ Oh, Death and more. (FS)

 
WYNONIE HARRIS Acrobat 3110 The Wynonie Harris Collection, 1944-1947 ● CD $16.98
Two CDs, 44 tracks, 122 mins, highly recommended
A most welcome release featuring all the recordings made by the great Omaha born blues shouter Wynonie Harris before he joined King Records in 1947 for a long and successful career and includes several originally unissued alternate takes and songs. Harris was known as a wild-living man, which would carry over to his uninhibited live performances as well as his recordings, making for some of the wildest R&B to ever hit the charts. He started his career with the great Lucky Millender band and sang on their 1945 #1 hit Who Threw The Whiskey In The Well for Decca. He then started his solo career and in 1945 he recorded for Philo accompanied by The Johnny Otis band on the great two part Around The Clock - an obvious influence on Chuck Berry's later Reelin' And Rockin'. From there he moved to Apollo in 1945 where he was backed by groups like Jack McVea & His All Stars, Illinois Jacquet & His All Stars and others and had the first hits under his own name Wynonie's Blues and Playful Baby as well as great performances Somebody Changed The Lock/ Papa Tree Top/ Time To Change Your Town and others. He subsequently recorded for Hamp-Tone, Bullet & Aladdin recording many great sides like Hey, Ba-Ba-Re-Bop/ Lightnin' Struck The Poorhouse/ Mr. Blues Jumped The Rabbit/ BIg City Blues and his wonderful duet with Big Joe Turner on the two part Battle Of The Blues but failed to crack the charts again until he signed with King in 1947. Sound quality is generally excellent though a few cuts sound a bit rough and booklet has full discographical data and informative notes. If you mised out on the long out of print Classics CDs this collection is indispensible. (FS)
WYNONIE HARRIS: Around the Clock, Pt. 1/ Around the Clock, Pt. 2/ Baby Look at You/ Battle of the Blues, Pt. 1 (alternate take)/ Battle of the Blues, Pt. 1 (with Big Joe Turner)/ Battle of the Blues, Pt. 2 (with Big Joe Turner)/ Big City Blues/ Cock-a -Doodle-Doo/ Come Back Baby/ Dig This Boogie/ Drinkin' By Myself/ Everybody's Boogie/ Everybody's Boogie (Alternate Take)/ Goin' Home, Blues (unissued)/ Good Morning, Corrine/ Hard Ridin' Mama/ Here Comes the Blues/ Hey, Ba-Ba-Re-Bop Pt. 1/ Hey, Ba-Ba-Re-Rop Pt. 2/ Hurry Hurry/ I Gotta Lyin' Woman/ I Gotta Lyin' Woman (Alternate Take)/ In the Evenin' Blues/ Lightnin' Struck the Poor House/ Mr. Blues Jumped the Rabbit/ My Baby's Barrel House/ Papa Tree Top/ Playful Baby/ Rugged Road/ Somebody Done Changed the Lock on My Door/ Straighten Him Out/ Take Me Out of the Rain/ That's the Stuff You Gotta Watch/ Time to Change Your Town/ Whiskey and Jelly-Roll Blues/ Who Threw the Whiskey In the Well/ Yonder Goes My Baby/ You Got to Get Yourself a Job, Girl/ Young Man's Blues/ Young and Wild/ Â Ghost of a Chance/ Â Rebecca's Blues/ Â She's Gone With the Wind/ Â Wynonie's Blues

 
WILBERT HARRISON Fuel 61998 Kansas City - Greatest Hits & Rarities ● CD $13.98
25 tracks, highly recommended
Wilbert Harrison CDs are a bit like buses - you wait ages for one and then two come, one right after the other. A couple of months ago Jasmine issued a double CD (Jasmine 733 - $18.98) which issued both sides of all his singles issued between 1953 and 1962. This one mostly features sides recorded for Bobby Robinson's Fury label between 1959 and 1961 (some not originally issued on Fury) along with sides recorded for Buddha in 1971 and an obscure Constellation side from 1964. As a result we have 14 duplications between the two. So is this worth it for the 11 tracks not on the Jasmine release? I think so. A Woman In Trouble and It's Been A Long Time are tough blues with hot guitar from Jimmy Spruill, Pretty Little Women is a tough rocker using the same backing track as Elmore James' Stranger Blues and New York World's Fair from 1964 is essentially Kansas City with new lyrics in honor of the amazing 1964 World's Fair and a hot sax solo (King Curtis?) instead of Jimmy Spruill's guitar. The last three tracks are from Wilbert's 1971 Buddha LP of mostly R&B covers which are good though unexceptional but does include an unexpected version of Hank Williams' Cold, Cold Heart which is a bit odd but quite effective - typical Wilbert idiosyncrasy. (FS)
WILBERT HARRISON: A Woman In Trouble/ Ain't It A Shame/ Aint That A Shame/ At The Worlds Fair/ C. C. Rider/ Cheatin Baby/ Cold, Cold Heart/ Da-De-Ya-Da/ Dont Drop It/ Dont Wreck My Life/ Drafted/ Going To River/ Goodbye Kansas City/ Its Been A Long time/ Kansas City/ Kansas City Twist/ Lets Stick Together/ Listen My Darling/ Little School Girl/ Messed Around And Fell In Love/ My Love/ Pretty Little Women/ Since I Fell For You/ The Horse/ Why Did You Leave

 
BIG WALTER HORTON & ALFRED "BLUES KING" HARRIS Delmark 712 Harmonica Blues Kings* ● CD $10.98
16 tracks, 47 mins, highly recommended
Reissue of Pearl 12 with 3 bonus unissued alternate takes. A marvelous collection of harmonica blues recorded for the States and United labels of Chicago in 1954. 8 tracks feature the brilliant Walter Horton in his prime - two songs under his name (plus alternate takes of each song) and four accompanying urban blues singer Tommy Brown including the classic Southern Woman which features some of Walter's best playing. There are two previously unissued cuts from the Brown session. The other 8 sides featuring the brilliant but mysterious Alfred Harris - a fine rural sounding harmonica player accompanied by a lovely down home group .Only two tracks from this session were ever issued - the superb Gold Digger and Blues & Trouble featuring vocals by drummer James Bannister. The other five tracks (plus one alternate) feature vocals by Harris - an excellent and very country blues sounding singer. Sound is excellent and there are informative notes by the always reliable Jim O'Neal. (FS)

 
THE JUBALAIRES Heritage 48 The Singing Waiters, 1947-1948* ● CD $16.98
25 tracks, 52 mins, highly recommended
Excellent quartet from the 40s who performed both sacred and secular material though the majority of the material here is sacred. The group has a complicated history which is elaborated upon in the 12 page booklet by compiler Opal Louis Nations. This set features previously unissued radio transcriptions from 1947 & '48. Featuring the fine lead of William Johnson they perform 19 gospel songs and 6 secular pieces sung acapella or accompanied by Jimmie O'Brien on piano. The material is performed in fine jubilee style inspired by the Golden Gate Singers but with a harder, more contemporary, edge on some of the tracks like You Better Run and When The Moon Goes Down. Titles include John Saw The Number/ Ezekiel/ I Declare This World Is In A Bad Condition/ Wade In the Water/ Dese Bones Gwine Rise Again/ My Father's Rich/ Old Lamb/ Live A-Humble/ My Trouble Is Hard/ Jube's Blues/ Casey Jones (with some nice boogie piano from O'Brien)/ Long, Lean & Lanky and others. Sound quality is superb. (FS)

 
GRADY MARTIN & THE SLEWFOOT FIVE Jasmine 285 There'll Be Hot Time Tonight ● CD $14.98
36 tracks, recommended
During the 1950s and 60s, Grady Martin was Nashville's premier guitarist and his playing can be heard on thousands of country recordings cut in the city my both major and obscure performers. He also contributed to rockabilly recording with Johnny Burnette, Johnny Carroll, Buddy Holly and more. He also recorded many instrumentals under his own name with his group The Slewfoot Five which was not strictly a country group with many of the leads being taken by a rather annoying sax but always featuring superb guitar work from Martin. This CD reissues three LPs recorded in the late 50s/ early 60s. "Hot Time Tonight" is a collection of pop and jazz standards (Moonlight & Roses/ That Old Gang Of Mine/ Elmer's Tune, etc.), "Big City Lights" is a set of instrumental versions of country favorites (City Lights/ Crazy Arms/ Hearatches By The Number, etc.) and "Swingin' Down The River" is a collection of "river" songs (Lazy River/ Darkness On The Delta/ Red River Valley, etc.). If you don't mind the slick pop arrangements you might enjoy these for Martin's guitar playing. (FS)

 
LUKE MCDANIEL Stomper Time 24 Is Jeff Daniels - Mississippi Honky-Tonk Rockabilly Man* ● CD $18.98
34 tracks, 78 mins, highly recommended
Luke McDaniel/ Jeff Daniels was a cool Country/ Rockabilly cat that came out of the Honky-Tonks of Mississippi. Stomper Time has gathered up a whole mess of high velocity tunes from the height of ole' Luke/ Jeff's career. From 1956 - 1960 he seem to be recording one hot number after another, with the bulk of the tracks cut between those years. We get recordings from as early as 1952-54, which are pretty cool as well, just not quite the level he would later achieve. I honestly didn't really know much about Luke/ Jeff, but the liner notes provided take care of his basic story and have a few great old pictures as well. With tunes like Switchblade Sam/ Daddy-O-Rock/ Foxy Dan/ Huh Babe/ Bottoms Up, etc, you can easily guess what you are in store for, and it's a good time for sure. Putting out records on labels like Big Howdy, Astro, Venus, and Meladee, you know it was a blast at the time as well. As far as I can tell this is the first real comprehensive collection of this material put out on CD, long overdue, but well worth the wait. Too bad ole' Luke/ Jeff died in 1992 and would never see it. (JM)

 
BARRELHOUSE BUCK MCFARLAND Delmark 788 Alton Blues* ● CD $14.98
17 track, 48 mins, very highly recommended
What an absolute delight! Barrelhouse Buck McFarland recorded a handful of superb sides in the 20s and 30s with great piano work and distinctive raspy vocals and phrasing. When he was rediscovered in 1961 by Bob Koester and St. Louis cop Charlie O'Brien he was still a potent performer as this superb, previously unissued session, shows. McFarland was from Alton, Illinois (also the birthplace of Miles Davis), around 20 miles from St. Louis, Mo. where there was an active group of pianists like Speckled Red, Roosevelt Sykes, Walter Davis and others and McFarland's style, like that of Wesley Wallace and Jabo Williams is considered an offshoot of the St. Louis style with distinctive bass work with the left hand and a flowing right hand style. On this August, 1961 session Buck is in fine form playing versions of songs he had recorded prewar as well a variety of other compositions with his distinctive vocals and lovely piano work. This outstanding set also includes a five minute chat with McFarland where he reminisces about people like Henry Brown, Peetie Wheatstraw, Charlie Jordan and other denizens of the St. Louis blues scene. He was only 58 at the time of these recordings and obviously had the ability to rekindle his musical career but, sadly, he passed away eight months after these recordings. If you like piano blues then this release is a must. (FS)

 
AARON NEVILLE Fuel 62004 For The Good Times - The Alan Toussaint Sessions ● CD $14.98
22 tracks, highly recommended (with a caveat)
Although any collection of Aaron Neville's sides cut with producer/songwriter Allen Toussaint is a worthy purchase, I would be remiss if I did not point out an important point. Basically, this CD is the second disc from Charly's recent Neville collection "Hercules - The Minit and Sansu Sessions, 1960 -1977," (Charly 632 - $17.98) with a couple of song substitutions: Waiting For a Bus/ One Fine Day, and My Greatest Gift out, a longer re-mix of One Fine Day, Over You (which is actually on the first disc of the "Hercules" set) and a lovely cover of Skylark's 1973 hit Wild Flower, in. So in sum, if you don't already own the Charly set, this CD is a good primer for Neville's rarely heard early recordings. Otherwise, caveat emptor. (GMC)
AARON NEVILLE: All These Things/ Baby, I'm a Want You/ Been So Wrong/ Cry Me a River/ For the Good Times/ Going Home/ Hercules/ Love Letters/ Make Me Strong/ Mojo Hannah/ My Greatest Gift/ One Fine Day/ One Fine Day (Royal Wedding Remix)/ Over You/ Performance/ She's on My Mind/ Speak to Me/ Struttin' on Sunday/ Tell It Like It is/ The Greatest Love/ Waiting for a Bus/ Where Is My Baby?/ Wild Flower (Los Angeles Sessions)/ You Can Give But You Can't Take/ You Don't Love Me Anymore

 
HOYLE NIX B.A.C.M. 453 And His West Texas Cowboys ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, highly recommended
Excellent collection of western and western swing from this fine Texas group led by fiddler and vocalist Hoyle Nix. The recordings here were cut between 1949 and 1959 - mostly for small Texas labels. Although his group changed over the years it usually included his brother Ben on rhythm guitar and the excellent Tommy Harvell or Dusty Stewart on steel. The later sides features a larger group including Bob Wills alumnus Eldon Shamblin on electric lead guitar. His first single for Star Talent featured his reworking of an old song Big Ball's In Cowtown that became a local hit and became his theme songs and was covered by many artists over the years. Many of the songs here were written by Hoyle and/ or his brother Ben and include a fairy selection of lively instrumentals. Good stuff! (FS)
HOYLE NIX & HIS WEST TEXAS COWBOYS: A Big Ball's In Cowtown/ Another You/ Big Balls In Cowtown (second version)/ Blue Flame (Instr.)/ Choose The One You Want/ Comin' Down The Pecos (Instr.)/ Coming Down From Denver (Instr.)/ Darling Why Are You So Mean To Me/ Hoyle's Fox Trot (Instr.)/ I'm All Alone/ Ida Red/ Invitation/ Kelly Waltz (Instr.)/ La Goldrina Waltz (Instr.)/ Life Is Blinded Through These Tears/ Little Betty Brown (Instr.)/ May You Never Break A Heart Like You Broke Mine/ Medley (Instr.)/ My Mary/ My Wasted Love/ Real Rockin' Daddy/ River Bottom (Instr.)/ San Antonio Rose (Instr.)/ Summit Ridge Drive (Instr.)/ Texas Girl/ The Kind Of Love I Can't Forget/ The Lady In Red (Instr.)/ You're Throwing Life Away

 
BUCK OWENS Sundazed 6042 Country Ballads By One Of America's Top Singers* ● CD $16.98
14 tracks, 33 mins, essential
These are not Buck Owens' first recordings; he previously recorded for the Pep and Chesterfield labels . However, these pre- Buckaroo tracks from the late '50s, Owens' first Capitol's release, are among his very best. Actually several of the future Buckaroos are here as well, including Don Rich on lead guitar and Ralph Mooney on pedal steel. Many of the finest examples of the Bakersfield sound are here: Second Fiddle/ Above and Beyond/ Under Your Spell Again, and I'll Take a Chance on Loving You, to name a few. Buck delivers some of his greatest vocals anywhere and the instrumental backup is always driving, right on target, and pure country! Bonus tracks include High as the Mountains and Nobody's Fool But Yours from a early single and anthology. For owners of Rhino's Buck Owens anthology of a few years ago, there are 4 duplications with this release. It's just not possible to find so much great early Buck Owens material on one disc anywhere else! The CD booklet includes the original liner notes, complete personnel listings, and an essay on Owens by Rich Kienzle. (DP)

 
JIM REEVES Bear Family BCD 17356 The Complete Abbot Recordings, Plus ● CD $74.98
Just arrived. The definitive reissue of all the recordings Jim Reeves made before he joined RCA and became a country superstar. This set includes three CDs with 76 tracks including all his recordings made for Fabor Robinson's Abbot label including all surviving alternate takes and partial takes. Compiled by Reeves expert David Busey with the assistance of researcher Kevin Coffey they carefully reviewed every session tape and unearthed much new discographical information about these sessions and Coffey interviewed many of the original musicians. In addition the set includes his vey first recordings for Macy's in 1949 as well as a handful of early 50s demos. Set is housed ina mini-box with a 100 page booklet with extensive notes and rare and previously unpublished photos from the period.

 
JIMMIE RODGERS Bear Family BCD 15540 The Singing Brakeman, 1927-33* ● CD $159.98
6 CD Box Set, 143 tracks, essential
This monumental 6-CD box set - including a 60-page booklet by Nolan Porterfield with comprehensive discography and dozens of rare photographs - is the most exhaustive overview of Rodgers' career we are ever likely to see. Rodgers had an immeasurable impact on the history of country music; he was the first big country recording star, and without him the music today would be much different. Gene Autry, Jimmie Davis, Hank Snow, and Ernest Tubb began their careers as Rodgers imitators, and he influenced Bill Monroe, Bob Wills, Doc Watson, Merle Haggard, Lefty Frizzell and many others in style and repertoire. Jimmie's genius lay in his ability to combine disparate familiar musical elements into something uniquely his. His droll, languid vocals owed much to the country blues of his native Mississippi, but also contained elements of "classic" blues vocal style, along with hints of vaudeville and Tin Pan Alley. He also recorded with Hawaiian guitarists, Louis Armstrong, The Carter Family, fiddler Clayton McMichen, Louisville Jug Band, and sweet jazz bands. And most of it worked. Jimmie was fond of parlor ballads about home and mother, and ersatz cowboy songs such as Prairie Lullaby/ Yodeling Cowboy/ Cowhand's Last Ride/ When The Cactus Is In Bloom. His trademark blue yodels were unique; many, such as Blue Yodel #8 (Muleskinner Blues)/ #3 ("She's long, she's tall, she's 6 feet from the ground...") or Last Blue Yodel ("These women make a fool out of me...") have entered the fabric of American music. Jimmie's railroading career was reflected in Waiting For A Train/ Hobo Bill's Last Ride/ Train Whistle Blues/ Southern Cannonball. His versions of Frankie And Johnny/ He's In The Jailhouse Now can be traced back to blues songs. Mother, The Queen Of My Heart is the quintessential mother song; its sentimentality is so cloying that it is perfect in a way. All these classics and more are here, including many alternate and unreleased takes, along with the soundtrack from Jimmie's musical short The Singing Brakeman (with below par sound), plus eight overdubbed cuts of original hits, produced in 1955 by Chet Atkins. 145 selections in all, with good sound, including a fascinating alternate of Let Me Be Your Sidetrack which features country bluesman Clifford Gibson's wonderful lead guitar. Another curiosity is an unissued 1930 item entitled The Pullman Porters, featuring Jimmie in a blackface style dialogue. This is a wonderful tribute to a great and unique figure in popular music. Any serious student of American vernacular music will want this set. It's astonishing to realize that all this great material was recorded over a six year span, from 1927 to '33 when "that old T.B." finally caught up with Jimmie for the last time. (RP)

 
THE SHOWMEN Black Tulip 00240 It Will Stand* ● CD $17.98
26 tracks, 64 mins, highly recommended
The Showmen are best known for their classic rock 'n' roll anthem It Will Stand, their only hit. Listening to this collection of recordings made between 1961 and '67 it comes as a surprise that they didn't have greater success as they were exceptional. Their music has the feel of The Drifters of the period but without the overly lush arrangements. Originally from Norfolk, Virginia the group featured the distinctive and incredibly soulful lead vocals of Norman Johnson (who later went on to front Chairmen Of the Board) and great harmonies from the rest of the group. Most of their earlier sides were recorded in New Orleans so they had backing from some of the best R&B musicians in the business. Soul harmony at its finest on songs like the title song 39-21-40 Shape/ This Misery/ Country Fool/ For You, My Darling/ I Love You, Can't You See?/ I'm Coming Home/ The Wrong Girl and others. Good sound but, unfortunately, no notes. (FS)
THE SHOWMEN: 39-21-40 Shape/ Country Girl/ Fate Planned It This Way/ For You, My Darling/ For You, My Darling (demo)/ I Love You, Can't You See/ I'll Go On Loving You/ I'm Coming Home/ In Paradise/ It Will Stand/ It Will Stand (outtake)/ Let Her Fell It In Your Kiss/ Our Love Will Grow/ Please Try And Understand/ Skinny Mcginny/ Strange Girl/ Swiss Fish/ Take It, Baby/ The Honey House/ The Owl Sees You/ The Owl Sees You (demo)/ The Wrong Girl/ This Misery/ True Fine Mama/ Valley Of Love/ You're My Everything

 
SONNY TERRY & BROWNIE MCGHEE Jasmine 3044 London, 1958 ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 76 mins, highly recommended
Excellent collection of sides recorded by this popular duo in London during their first tour of England in 1958. The tour was arranged by jazz trombonist Chris Barber who was a pioneer in introducing blues to Britain and seven of the tracks features members of Barber's group accompanying them and a fine job they do too - giving the performances a New Orleans feel on songs like Betty & Dupree/ This Little Light Of MIne/ Custard Pie and others. On eight sides they are accompanied by pianist Dave Lee who acquits himself admirably on songs like Brownie's Blues/ Just A Dream and a couple of risque numbers - Auto Mechanic Blues and Wholesale & Retail. The rest of the album is just Sonny & Brownie doing mostly old favorites (though new to the British public at that time) like Change The Lock On My Door/ Climbing On Top Of The Hill/ Woman's Lover Blues/ Southern Train/ Gone But Not Forgotten and others. At this time it was still early in their career playing to white audiences and the music here sounds fresh and exciting and shows what superb musicians they were. Later over-familiarity and a personal rift led to their performances sounding stale but not here. Compiled by Roger Dopson with notes by Groper Odson whose name just happens to be an anagram of Roger Dopson. (FS)

 
PADDY TUNNEY Folk Legacy 7 The Man Of Songs* ● CD $16.98
13 tracks, 41 mins, essential
Paddy Tunney from County Donegal was one of Ireland's greatest traditional singers with a wonderful melodic style with subtle use of ornamentation. He was also a folk song collector and was responsible for introducing many great songs to a wider audience. His style and repertoire have influenced later "revival" singers like Paul Brady, Andy Irvine, Dolores Keane, Dick Gaughan and others. These are his first recordings cut by Diane Hamilton in 1962 and includes recordings of some of his most memorable songs like Lough Erne Shore/ The Green Fields Of Canada/ The Mountain Streams Where The Moorcocks Crow/ Roisin Dubh and the utterly sublime love song As I Roved Out. One song is sung in Irish Gaelic and one track features a wonderful example of the wordless evocation of dance music called "lilting." (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 505 The Baton Label* ● CD $18.98
28 tracks, 74 mins, highly recommended
Terrific collection of 50s recordings from Sol Rabinowitz's feisty New York label recorded between 1953 and '57. There are 8 songs by the superb Ann Cole including her version of a song usually associated with Muddy Waters Got My Mojo Working (she taught the song to him!), the upbeat gospel flavored Each Day with hot guitar from Mickey Baker and others including the previously unissued ballad The Clock Of Love. There's doo-wop from New York favorites The Hearts (featuring Johnnie Richards who later became Johnnie of Johnnie & Joe fame), The Rivileers (with the original version of A Thousand Stars) and others. It also includes Noble "Thin Man" Watts great instrumental Hard Time (The Slop) and more. Great sound and notes by Rabinowitz himself. (FS)
ANN COLE: I've Got Nothing Working Now (but My Real Old Fashioned Love)/ My Tearful Heart/ No Star Is Lost/ The Clock Of Love/ You're Mine/ Are You Satisfied/ Easy Easy Baby/ Each Day/ Got My Mo-jo Working (but It Just Won't Work On You)/ The Fidelity's/ The Things I Love/ THE HEARTS: Gone Gone Gone Aka Four O'clock Blues/ Lonely Nights/ Oo-wee/ Until The Real Thing Comes Along/ MARIE KNIGHT WITH TEACHO WILTSHIRE ORCH: I Thought I Told You Not To Tell Them/ Pepper-hot Baby/ The Belvederes/ We Two/ THE MELLO-MAIDS: I Remember, Dear/ Will You Ever Say You're Mine/ THE PILGRIMS: Careless Love/ THE RIVILEERS: (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons/ A Thousand Stars/ Deep Down Inside/ THE SUBURBANS: I Remember/ I Told Them/ Tv Baby/ NOBLE "THIN MAN" WATTS AND HIS RHYTHM SPARKS: Hard Times (the Slop)/ My Wish/ The Lonely Ones

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 698 Modern Vocal Groups, Volume 1* ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 65 min, highly recommended
This is the first in a new series that will feature the many vocal groups that recorded for the Modern/ RPM/ Flair/ Crown stable of labels owned by the Bihari Family. The selections include the 1st releases by The Flairs (I Had A Love with a Cornell Gunter lead), Arthur Lee Maye & The Crowns (Set My Heart Free with guest bass singer Randolph Jones), The Meadowlarks (Love Only You/ Real Pretty Mama - yes the Don Julian group, but with Ronald Barrett handling the leads), and The Native Boys. The highlight of the three tracks by Oscar McLollie & His Honey Jumpers must certainly be Be Cool My Heart ('53) featuring sweet tenor lead singer Berdell Forrest. The three Original Jubilaires tracks should please all you fans of the early postwar group sound, especially their rockin' You Better Stop (unissued), the Mills Brother-ish Dreaming Of The Ladies In The Room (with, I believe, a lead by Bill Johnson), and Waiting All My Life For You featuring lead tenor Orville Brooks. Finally, fans of Grady Chapman & The Rob(b)ins will be pleased with the new alternate take of Double Crossin' Baby (the master take is on Ace 335 : JukeBox R&B) featuring ex-Johnny Otis associate Lorenzo Holden on tenor sax. (EL)
MICKEY CHAMPION & THE NIC NACS: Found Me A Sugar Daddy/ THE DRIFTERS: Sacroiliac Swing/ The World Is Changing/ THE FIVE HEARTS: Please Please Baby/ The Fine One/ THE FLAIRS: I Had A Love/ Tell Me You Love Me/ THE FIVE HEARTS: Let Me Be Your Man/ ARTHUR LEE MAYE & THE CROWNS: I Wanna Love/ Set My Heart Free/ THE MEADOWLARKS: Love Only You/ Real Pretty Mama/ OSCAR McLOLLIE & HIS HONEY JUMPERS: Be Cool My Heart/ Falling In Love With You/ Love Me Tonight/ THE NATIVE BOYS: It Won't Take Long/ Native Girl/ BOBBY NUNN with THE ROBBINS: That's What The Good Book Says/ THE ORIGINAL JUBALAIRES: Dreaming Of The Ladies In The Moon/ Waiting All My Life For You/ You Better Stop/ MARVIN PHILLIPS & THE BARONS: Forever/ THE ROBINS: Double Crossin' Baby/ I Made A Vow

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 723 Modern Vocal Groups, Vol. 2* ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 66 min., highly recommended The second (of a projected 7 CD series) that gathers together the many groups that recorded for the Bihari Family of labels (Crown, Flair, Modern, RPM Records). A few of the groups (The Flairs, The Original Jubalaires, The Rob(b)ins, Oscar McLollie & His Honey Jumpers, etc.) were included in volume 1 (Ace 698). New to CD are tracks by The Chanters (Tell Me, Thrill Me), The Cobras (Sindy), The Dreamers (At Last with an awesome Richard Berry bass lead), The Queens (Oop Shoop with Shirley Gunter) and The Stardusters (I'm A Fool To Care featuring the young lead singing of Anna Marie Woolridge, aka jazz singer Abbey Lincoln). Compilers rightly point out the importance of the Jefferson High Scholl as a training ground for all these Los Angeles-based vocal groups. In more than one way, this whole series is a tribute to the public school music teacher Samuel Rodney Browne (1908-1991) who was responsible for setting up the music program at Jefferson. (EL)
RICHARD BERRY & THE DREAMERS: At Last/ Daddy Daddy/ THE CHANTERS: Tell Me, Thrill Me/ THE COBRAS: I Will Return/ Sindy (aka Cindy)/ THE FIVE HEARTS: Tell Me, Tell Me Baby/ THE FLAIRS: Love Me Girl/ This Is The Night For Love/ SHIRLEY GUNTER & THE QUEENS: Oop Shoop/ What Difference Does It Make/ Why/ ANNA MARIE AND THE STARDUSTERS: I'm A Fool To Care/ ARTHUR LEE MAYE & THE CROWNS: Loop De Loop De Loop/ Oochie Pachie/ Truly/ OSCAR MCLOLLIE & THE HONEY JUMPERS: Dig That Crazy Santa Claus/ God Gave Us Christmas/ THE ORIGINAL JUBALAIRES: Drinkin' And Dreamin'/ Little Church Of Capistrano/ You Won't Let Me Go/ THE ROBINS: All I Do Is Rock/ Key To My Heart/ Rockin'/ YOUNG JESSIE: Don't Think I Will

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 758 Rockin' On Broadway - The Time/ Brent/ Shad Story* ● CD $18.98
30 tracks, 68 mins, highly recommended
Excellent collection of rock 'n' roll and pop issued by Bob Shad's Time, Brent & Shad labels in the late 50s and early 60s (plus a couple previously unissued). It includes several big hits including the hypnotic I've Had It by The Bell Notes, the poppish It Was I and Cherry Pie by Skip & Flip and the great rocking Clap Your Hands by The Beau-Marks from Canada. Other highlights include the rocking doo-wop cut Who's That Knocking from The Genies, Rusty Isabell's wonderful piano led instrumental Firewater, a great hard driving version of Sonny Burgess's Red Headed Woman by Tennessee rockabilly Wayne Worley, the beautiful and soulful Oh My Angel by Bertha Tillman and two cuts by excellent girl group The Donays including the original of Devil In His Heart which was covered by four guys from Liverpool. This set also features the earliest recordings of Lou Reed - two unissued solo cuts as Lewis Reed and two as member of The Jades - all cuts a million miles from the Velvet Underground? There are a couple of bizarre cuts here I Hate People by Brad & Jerry and Bury The Hatchet from Chuck & The Chuckles (actually Gary Paxton & Clyde Battin). Rounding things out are Tony Farrell, Leslie Harris, Don Jordan, The Knockouts, Lee Greenlee, Latino rocker Eddie Quinteros, Jody Reynolds and Pete & The Minute Men. Usual quality production from Ace with superb sound and 12 page booklet with notes by Rob Finnis and a bunch of photos. (FS)
THE BEAU-MARKS: Clap Your Hands/ Oh Joan/ THE BELL NOTES: Be Mine/ I've Had It/ White Buckskin Sneakers And Checkerboard Socks/ BRAD & JERRY: The People Hater/ CHUCK & CHUCKLES: Bury The Hatchet/ THE DONAYS: Bad Boy/ Devil In His Heart/ TONY FARRELL: Stumpty Stump/ THE GENIES: Who's That Knocking/ LEE GREENLEE: Starlight/ LESLIE HARRIS: Come On Little Sarah/ RUSTY ISABELL: Firewater/ THE JADES: Leave Her For Me/ So Blue/ DON JORDAN: Hypnotized/ THE KNOCKOUTS: Darling Lorraine/ Riot In Room 3 C/ PETE & THE MINUTE MEN: Barracuda/ EDDIE QUINTEROS: Come Dance With Me/ Slow Down Sandy/ LEWIS REED: Merry Go 'Round/ Your Love/ JODY REYNOLDS: Raggedy Ann/ SKIP & FLIP: Betty Jean/ Cherry Pie/ It Was I/ BERTHA TILLMAN: Oh My Angel/ WAYNE WORLEY: Red Headed Woman

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1018 Gene Vincent Cut Our Songs* ● CD $18.98
30 tracks, 66 mins, highly recommended
Fine collection of mostly unissued primitive Texas rockabilly and honky tonk from the vaults of Texas bandleader, songwriter and entrepreneur Jack Rhodes. The reason for the album name is that several of the songs that Rhodes and his cohorts wrote were pitched to and recorded by Gene Vincent and this set features the original recordings or demos of Woman Love/ Red Blue Jeans And A Pony Tail/ Bi-BickeyBi, Bo-Bo-Boo and a wonderful version of Git It, one of my favorite Vincent songs, performed by an unknown black vocal group. Quite a few of the other songs are in the Vincent style and so were probably pitched to him but rejected. Among the artists featured here are Elroy Dietzel & The Rhythm Bandits, Derrell Felts, Jimmy Johnson, Johnny Dollar, Johnny Fallin and others. Many of the tracks here are demos recorded in Rhodes' home studio and some are pretty rough but there's a lot of worthwhile stuff here. Usual impeccable Ace sound and set includes 20 page illustrated booklet with extensive notes by Rob Finnis. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1430 Night Walker - The Jack Nitzche Story, Vol. 3 ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, very highly recommended
Eight years on we get the third installment of Ace Records' overview of producer, arranger, songwriter, and musician Jack Nitzsche, following "The Jack Nitzsche Story" (Ace 1030 - $18.98) and "Hard Workin' Man: The Jack Nitzsche Story Volume 2" (Ace 1130 - $18.98). Like the other two collections, this one also shows the breath of Nitzsche's reach and talent. His magic is sprinkled on artists as diverse as Darlene Love, the Modern Folk Quintet, Buffalo Springfield, the Righteous Brothers, Preston Epps, Mink DeVille, Jerry Cole, the Everly Brothers, and the Crystals. And Nitzsche wasn't merely a 60's/70's relic, oh no, he was a man with his finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist as one of his last productions, C.C. Adcock's Castin' My Spell from 2001, illustrates. As great as he was working with other artists, there is nothing quite like the works under his own name, and the cuts here - Poor White Hound Dog (with Merry Clayton on incendiary vocals), Night Walker and Lower California - only reinforce that point spectacularly. I don't how many more compilations Ace can squeeze out of Nitzsche's oeuvre, but I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with next. In the meantime, this one belongs on the CD shelf next to the first two. (GMC)
C.C. ADCOCK: Castin' My Spell/ THE ALLEY CATS: Puddin N' Tain (Ask Me Again, I'll Tell You The Same)/ THE BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD: Expecting To Fly/ LOU CHRISTIE: If My Car Could Only Talk/ JERRY COLE: Every Window In The City/ THE CRYSTALS: Little Boy/ JACKIE DESHANNON: Try To Forget Him/ MINK DEVILLE: Just Your Friends/ PRESTON EPPS: Bongo Bongo Bongo/ THE EVERLY BROTHERS: June Is As Cold As December/ THE FLEETWOODS: Come Softly To Me/ HALE & THE HUSHABYES: Yes Sir, That's My Baby/ VINCE HOWARD & THE VIN-ETTES: The Wayward Wind/ RAMONA KING: What About You/ DARLENE LOVE: A Long Way To Be Happy/ HONEY LTD: Louie, Louie/ THE MODERN FOLK QUINTET: Night Time Girl/ JACK NITZSCHE: Lower California/ Night Walker/ Poor White Hound Dog/ MICHELLE PHILLIPS: Victim Of Romance/ THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS: I Still Love You/ THE RIP CHORDS: Here I Stand/ THE RONETTES (FEAT. VERONICA): Is This What I Get For Loving You?/ THE SATISFACTIONS: Daddy You Just Gotta Let Him In/ BILLY STORM: Educated Fool

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS B.A.C.M. 451 Cool Hillbilly - 27 Rare Country Music Tracks From 50s ● CD $14.98
27 tracks, highly recommended
Excellent collection of country recorded for the obscure Cool label based in Harrison, New Jersey. In spite of being recorded in the late 50s most of the tracks could have been recorded much earler since there is no Nashville style slickness and only a few tracks show the impact of rock 'n' roll. Among the better artists are Steve Reeves & The Country Swing Billy, Hank Brady (the fine intense Don't Be Ashamed Of Your Past), Sheila Gernon (a tough rocking version of Money Honey with fine Wanda Jackson style vocal), Lefty King & His Rangers (fine steel guitar instrumental), Ben Baker & The Petit Valley Boys, Billie Jean Harless (lovely soulful old time singing in the vain of Molly O'Day) and Wick Craig & The Chords (odd instrumental with electric guitar and autoharp solos!). There are a few duds with offkey singing but, all in all, a very worthwhile collection. Boooklet has notes by Phil Tricker detailing what little is known about these obscure artists. (FS)
BEN BAKER & THE PETIT JEAN VALLEY BOYS: Tomorrow You're Leaving/ HANK BRADY (VOCAL, WILLIS ASH'S SUNSET VALLEY: Don't Be Ashamed Of You Past/ WICK CRAIG & THE AUTO CHORDS: Auto Hop (Instr.)/ SHEILA GERNON: Money Honey/ BILLIE JOAN HARLESS: Faded Ole Sun Bonnet/ JACK KING: Lonesome/ Wildfire/ LEFTY KING & HIS RANGERS (VOCAL HANK DAVIDS): Geraldean/ LEFTY KING & HIS RANGERS (VOCAL JIMMY CLEE): I'm Losing You/ Please Forgive Me Darling/ LEFTY KING & HIS RANGERS (VOCAL HANK DAVIDS): Ranger Boogie (Instr.)/ ROCKY LANE & ROCKY MT. BOYS: I'll Be Hanged/ DONA LEE: Poor Little Joe/ MERLE MATTS II: Tennessee Baby/ FRANK OLESHAY & HIS BLUE MOUNTAIN BOYS: Foot Loose And Fancy Free/ Take The Price Tag From Your Heart/ BOB PERRY & HIS THROBING GUITAR [SIC]: Gone With The Wind/ GEORGE QUARTA JR: Don't Move/ STEVE REEVES & THE COUNTRY SWING BILLYS: Come On Along With Me On Saturday Night/ I Walked Away From You/ THE WARREN BROS (SHORTY & SMOKEY): I Wonder Where You Are Tonight/ Necessary To Me/ JOHNNY WHITE & HIS COUNTRY RHYTHM BOYS: Crying Rose/ Rose In The Garden/ VERN WICKLUND: Let's Try Again/ The Gossipers/ THE WILLIS SISTERS & THE COUNTRY MUSIC MAKER: Chickle Foot

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 16440 That'll Flat Git It! Vol. 20 - Event Records* ● CD $21.98
37 tracks, 77 mins, highly recommended
The 20th volume in this great series featuring label oriented collections of rockabilly and rock 'n' roll from the 50s and early 60s. This one features 37 tracks recorded for Al Hawkes' Event label based in Westbrook, Maine in the mid/ late 50s including 17 previously unissued songs or alternate takes. A mix of rockabilly, rock 'n' roll plus some group sounds and country. Star of the show is Curtis Johnson who has 12 tracks including his classic Baby, Baby. Some of his cuts feature superb guitar work from Leonard "Sonny" Breau who also appears on an early recording of trucker favorite Dick Curless on the great bluesy country song Evil Hearted Man. Another exceptional artist is Boston rocker Ricky Coyne who is heard on three fine songs including an outstanding unissued cover of Larry Williams' Short Fat Fannie. Other artists include Scotty McKay, The Javalans, Slim Martin, Johnny Houston (the dullest artist here), Danny Harrison, The Dreamers, Joe Taylor and others. As always for Bear Family the sound quality is stunning and the CD comes with a 52 page booklet crammed ful of information, discographical data and rare photos including one showing Joe Taylor with Buddy Holly! (FS)
ROY ALDRIDGE: It's Not Easy To Forget/ BILL BRADDY & THE WESTERN STARLIGHTERS: Blue Eyed Blonde/ JIMMY COPELAND: Jealous Hearted Me/ RICKY COYNE: I Want You To Know/ Rollin' Pin Min/ Short Fat Fannie/ DICK CURLESS: Evil Hearted Man Blues/ THE DREAMERS: Ding Dong/ Rock And Roll Baby/ THE FOUR DAPPERS: Baby You Done Me Wrong/ Say I Do/ DANNY HARRISON: Rock-a-billy Boogie/ JOHNNY HOUSTON: Give Me A Kiss For Christmas/ Rockin' On The Range/ Slick Chic/ Torrid Tessie Lee/ THE JAVALINS: Come Dance With Me/ Hold On Tight/ Your Love Will Come My Way/ CURTIS JOHNSON: Baby Let's Play House/ Baby, Baby/ Heading For The High School Hop/ I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine/ I Need You Baby To Love (guitar)/ I Need You Baby To Love (sax)/ Let's Do A Little Rockin' (guitar)/ Let's Do A Little Rockin' (sax)/ Lover Boy/ Lover Boy (with Accoustic Guitar)/ Teenage Love Affair/ You're The One/ HERBIE LEE III: Champagne, Charlene/ SLIM MARTIN: Bunny Hop Rock/ SCOTTY MCKAY: Evenin' Time/ Rollin' Dynamite/ JOE TAYLOR: The Red Bird Boogie/ THE WESTERN STARLIGHTERS: Rockin' Too Much

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Delmark 760 On The Battlefield* ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 70 mins, highly recommended
Terrific collection of gospel quartet singing recorded for Chicago labels J.O.B. and United between 1952 and 1954 - a good deal of it previously unissued. Joiner's Five Trumpets, an acapella group, are particularly fine on their four sides with soulful leads and wonderful buildups. The Veteran Singers are featured on six tracks and are a fine group who were formed before World War II - they are a frily restrained group and are backed by piano. There are eight songs by the Southern Tornados who were thought to include members of the Veteran Singers and their approach is a little more intense than that of the Veterans and finally seven cuts, all of them unissued by the Spiritulaires from South Carolina including demos cut at a radio station in South Carolina and songs recorded in United studios in Chicago. In spite of the obscurity of the performers and the fact that very little was actually issued the musical standard is very high. Excellent sound and informative notes by Opal Louis Nations. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Frog 21 Memphis Blues Singers, Vol. 1* ● CD $17.98
22 tracks, 72 mins, essential
If you have much of a collection of Document CDs then chances are that you have everything on this collection. What makes this issue so important is the unparalleled quality of the sound on these legendary sides. Thanks to the use of extremely fine quality original 78s and the genius of John R.T. Davies's remastering the sound has a clarity, warmth and presence heard on no other reissues of this material. And what about the material? Well we have eight sessions in chronological order from February and August 1928 including 12 tracks by Frank Stokes - some with Dane Sane on second guitar including his wonderful two part 'Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do. There are four beautiful genre defining performances by Tommy Johnson Cool Drink Of Water Blues/ Big Road Blues/ Bye Bye Blues and Maggie Campbell Blues. There are two lovely cuts from Ishman Bracey and four cuts by Rosie Mae Moore with Charlie McCoy on guitar. Vital music, impeccable sound and good notes by Larry Hoffman. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Frog 22 Memphis Blues Singers, Vol. 2* ● CD $17.98
23 tracks, 72 mins, essential
Complementing Frog 21 this features more wonderful country blues in the best ever sound quality. Continuing on chronologically from the first volume this features 23 tracks (including four alternate takes) recorded at five sessions between August 28, 1928 and September 8, 1928. There are 10 tracks by Furry Lewis including such classics as I Will Turn Your Money Green, Cannon Ball Blues and the two part Kassie Jones. Ishman Bracey's dark vocals and powerful guitar work are heard to good effect on five songs - two with additional accompaniment from Charlie McCoy on mandolin. Tommy Johnson is one of the greatest of all Mississippi bluesmen and we have four tracks here by him including two of his finest and most influential recordings Canned Heat Blues and Big Fat Mama Blues along with two takes of the originally unissued Lonesome Home Blues. Finally we have Robert Wilkins first two 78s featuring his lovely voice and lyrical guitar playing on the two part Rolling Stone and others. Essential country blues by some of the greatest country bluesmen with a sound quality that makes you think you're there in the studio and good notes by Neil Slaven. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Fuel 62005 Essential Chicago Blues - Rarities Collection ● CD $10.98
20 tracks, 67 mins, highly recommended
Previously issued in 1998 on Takoma as "Takoma Blues" with two more tracks. THis is an excellent collection of sides recorded between 1963 and '65 by Norman Dayron and originally available on two Takoma LPs - "Chicago Breakdown" (Takoma 7071) and "Rare Blues" (Takoma 7081). The sound of country and down home blues in 1960's Chicago as 10 important artists are caught live, mainly in small Chicago clubs and all playing acoustic blues. Though most are solo performances, recorded 1960-65, members of Paul Butterfield's newly formed band are heard, with Butter backing Dr. Ross on Hobo Blues and Big Joe Williams on Whistling Pines , Butter & Elvin Bishop backing James Cotton (playing some beautiful National Resonator guitar) on Polly Put The Kettle On/ V-8 Ford Blues , and Mike Bloomfield backing Little Brother Montgomery. Also, includes a superb rendition of Preachin' Blues by Son House, some beautiful slide guitar by Rev. Robert Wilkins on I Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down plus sides by Sunnyland Slim, Eddie Boyd, Maxwell Street Jimmy, Son House & John Lee Granderson. Includes new notes by Bill Dahl. (GM/ FS)
EDDIE BOYD: Five Long Years/ JAMES COTTON: Polly Put The Kettle On/ V-8 Ford Blues/ JOHN LEE GRANDERSON: Good Morning Little Schoolgirl/ Minglewood Town/ SON HOUSE: Preachin' Blues/ MAXWELL STREET JIMMY: Alberta/ Cryin' Won't Make Me Stay/ Two Trains Running/ LITTLE BROTHER MONTGOMERY: Michigan Water Blues/ Pleadin' Blues/ DR. ISAIAH ROSS: Chicago Breakdown/ Good Morning Little Schoolgirl/ Hobo Blues/ SUNNYLAND SLIM: Lend Me Your Love/ REV. ROBERT WILKINS: I Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down/ BIG JOE WILLIAMS: I Ain't Got Nobody/ I Feel So Worried/ Stack O' Dollars/ Whistling Pines

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Fuel 62007 The Ronn Records Story ● CD $18.98
Two CDs, 36 tracks, highly recommended
Stan Lewis founded the Ronn label as a subsidiary to his Jewel label in 1966 and over the next decade or so issued many fine soul, R&B and blues recordings of which this is a small sampling. Curiously the lebl's first release was a garage rock single by white group The In Crowd (not the West Coast group) included here but after that it was pretty much black music all the way. The label had it's first hit with the sublime Nothing Takes The Place Of You by Toussaint McCall which McCall recorded in his own home studio and the funky recording adds to the song's haunting quality. Another track by him, the gorgeous minor key I'll Do It For You was recorded professionally but failed to achieve success. Other big artists on the label were Ted Taylor and Little Johnny Taylor. Ted is here with three songs including a lovely version of Chuck Willis's It's Too Late . Johnny also has three - all them R&B hits including Everybody Knows About My Good Thing which engendered an answer record from Barbara George which is also included here. Big Mac was a Chicago blues singer whose Rough Dried Woman is a big favorite with Chicago blues lovers, not least because the backing group includes Hubert Sumlin, Eddie Taylor and Johnny Jones. As it turns out the record featured Mac overdubbed on an instrumental recorded several years earlier. Other artists include Eddie Powers, Barbara West, Joe Valentyne, Big Joe Turner (sounding a bit uncomfortable with a soul horn arrangement), Al King (fine West Coast bluesman who wrote fascinating topical songs), Clay Hammond, The Four Shades, Casey Jones (a fine soul effort from Chicago blues drummer), The Patterson Twins and others. Bill Dahl's notes gives us insight into the artists featured. (FS)
NA ALLEN: Everytime It Rains/ BUSTER BENTON: Lonesome For a Dime/ BIG MAC: Rough Dried Woman, Pt. 1/ BILL BUSH: I'm Waiting/ ESSENCE: Broken Promises/ THE FOUR SHADES: Something Special/ THE GENIES: Know What To Do When You Get It/ BRENDA GEORGE: Everybody Don't Know About My Good Thing, Pt. 1/ CLAY HAMMOND: You Threw Out Your Lifeline/ THE IN-CROWD: Nothing You Do/ CASEY JONES: Good Thing, Pt. 1/ BILLY KEENE: Somebody Please/ AL KING: I Can't Understand/ Nosey Neighbors/ TOUSSAINT MCCALL: I'll Do It For You/ I'm Gonna Make Me a Woman/ Nothing Takes The Place Of You/ HAROLYN MONTGOMERY: Gotta Get Away/ THE PATTERSON TWINS: Looking For a Lover/ BILL PERRY: Sitting On the Banks of the River/ EDDIE POWERS: Tears in My Eyes/ AL PRINCE: New Orleans/ TOMMY RIDGLEY: I'm Not the Same Person/ WILLIE ROGERS: Wake Up/ ISAAC TAYLOR: Just Another Man/ LITTLE JOHNNY TAYLOR: Everybody Knows About My Good Thing, Pt. 1/ It's My Fault Darling/ Open House At My House, Pt. 1/ TED TAYLOR: How's Your Love Life Baby/ It's Too Late/ Something Strange is Goin' On In My House/ JOE TURNER: Morning Glory/ JOE VALENTINE: A Woman's Love/ One Night of Satisfaction/ BARBARA WEST: Give Me Back the Man I Love/ Will He Come Back

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Hull 711 The Best Doo-Wops From Hull Records* ● CD $17.98
32 tracks, highly recommended
Terrific collection of New York doo-wop recorded for the Hull and subsidiary Mascot label in the 50s and early 60s. The label produced four all time doo-wop classics - a couple that were picked up by bigger labels before they even appeared on the parent labels. These include The Heartbeats featuring the sublime lead vocals of James "Shep" Sheppard with the 1956 hit A Thousand Miles Away and the great sequel Daddy's Home featuring a new Sheppard group Shep & The Limelites, the rocking Book Of Love from the Monotones and the lovely Little Star by The Elegants. These are all on this disc along with other songs by these artists along with tracks by lesser known but superb groups like The Desires (featuring the falsetto lead of Robert "Bootsie" White), The Avons, Jackie & The Starlites, The Legends, Carouselles, Sparks (the great rocker Run Run Run) and others. Consistently fine music with decent sound but no notes. (FS)
THE AVONS: Baby/ You Are So Close To Me/ THE BELTONES: I Talk To My Echo/ Oof Oof/ THE CAROUSELLES: Way Over There/ THE DESIRES: Hey Lena/ Let It Please Be You/ Rendezvous With You/ Set Me Free/ THE ELEGANTS: Getting Dizzy/ Little Boy Blue/ Little Star/ THE ELEGENTS: Get Well Soon/ THE HEARTBEATS: A Thousand Miles Away/ Crazy For You/ Darling How Long/ Your Way/ WILLIE HOWARD & THE CHORDELLS: Louise/ JACKIE & THE STARLITES: For All We Know/ I Cried My Heart Out/ THE LEGENDS: Legend of Love/ Now I'm Telling You/ THE MONOTONES: Book of Love/ Legend of Sleep Hollow/ You Never Loved Me/ THE PASTELS: Been So Long/ So Far Away/ SHEP & THE LIMELITES: Daddy's Home/ Our Anniversary/ What Did Daddy Do?/ THE SPARKS: Run Run Run/ THE SUPREMES: Just Yell

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Jasmine 293 Phil Spector - Completing The Wall Of Sound, 1960-62 ● CD $18.98
Two CD set with 43 tracks. Third and final volume in Jasmine's history of the rise of Phil Spector. 'He's Still A Rebel - Completing The Wall of Sound' continues where volume two ended with productions for Gene Pitney, The Paris Sisters and more! It includes his realization of the amazing Wall of Sound with classic sides from the Crystals and Bob B. Soxx and The Blue Jeans. Features many rare sides including the hard to find That's Alright Baby by Bing Crosby's son Gary and both sides of the rarest early Philles label singles.
THE ALLEY CATS: Feel So Good/ Puddin' N' Tain/ THE BLACKWELLS: Unchained Melody/ GARY CROSBY: That's Alright Baby/ Who/ THE CRYSTALS: Another Country-Another World/ Frankenstein Twist/ Gee Whiz Look At His Eyes (Twist)/ He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)/ He's A Rebel/ He's Sure The Boy I Love/ I Love You Eddie/ No One Ever Tells You/ On Broadway/ Please Hurt Me/ Uptown/ Walking Along (La La La)/ What A Nice Way To Turn Seventeen/ TERRY DAY: Be A Soldier/ I Love You Betty/ STEVE DOUGLAS & HIS MERRY MEN: Lieutenant Colonel Bogey's Parade/ Yes Sir! That's My Baby/ CONNIE FRANCIS: Gonna Git That Man/ Second Hand Love/ ALI HASSAN: Chop Sticks/ Malaguena/ THE PARIS SISTERS: A Lonely Girl's Prayer/ He Knows I Love Him Too Much/ Let Me Be The One/ Once Upon A While Ago/ What Am I To Do/ Yes I Love You/ GENE PITNEY: Dream For Sale/ Mr. Moon, Mr. Cupid And I/ JOEL SCOTT: Here I Stand/ You're My Only Love/ BOBBY SHEEN: How Can We Ever Be Together/ How Many Nights (How Many Days)/ TROY SHONDELL: Na Ne No/ BOB B. SOXX & THE BLUE JEANS: Flip & Nitty/ Zip A Dee Doo Dah/ OBREY WILSON: Hey There Mountain/ Say It Again

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 7753 Shake That Thing! East Coast Blues, 1935-1953* ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 105 tracks, essential
The complete recordings of three fine, individual but obscure East Coast country bluesman. There are 41 tracks by Gabriel Brown, a brilliant and original singer/ guitarist from Florida who came up with some unique lyrics. It includes 10 tracks recorded for the Library Of Congress in Florida in 1935 which is mostly traditional material - often featuring slide. The remaining tracks were recorded for New York entrepreneur Joe Davis between 1942 and 1952 and includes quite a few titles that were not originally issued. There are 19 tracks recorded for Gotham in 1949 by the utterly magnificent Dan Pickett whose background is a total mystery. Although quite a few of Pickett's songs were drawn from the repertoire of other bluesman his expressive vocals and stunning guitar (often using slide) turned them into individualistic gems. The set is rounded out with 46 tracks by Ralph Willis - another biographical mystery who is thought to be from Alabama and later moved North Carolina where he met up with Buddy Moss, Blind Boy Fuller and Sonny & Brownie and his music shows their influences. There are a dozen gorgeous solo sides by him revealing him to be a superb guitarist. The remaining tracks feature his with small groups - sometimes just bass or washboard, other times with guitar, bass & drums - the other guitarist usually being Brownie McGhee and on one sessions they are joined by Sonny Terry. Sound is excellent and there are informative notes from Neil Slaven. A beautiful collection of country blues. (FS)
GABRIEL BROWN: A Dream Of Mine/ Baby, Boy, Baby/ Bad Love/ Black Jack Blues/ Blues/ Careless Love/ Cold Love/ Cold Mama/ Doing My Best/ Don't Worry About It/ Down In The Bottom/ Education Blues/ Going My Way/ Good-Time Papa/ Got No Money Blues/ Hold Me Baby/ I Am Just Hard Luck/ I Am Playing The Game/ I Get Evil When My Love Comes Down/ I Had My Hands On It/ I'm Gonna Take It Easy/ I'm Just Crazy/ I've Done Stopped Gamblin'/ I've Got To Stop Drinkin'/ It's Getting Soft/ It's Time To Move/ John Henry (Instrumental)/ John Henry (Vocal)/ Mean Old Blues/ Motherless Child/ Nobody Loves Me Like My Little Girl/ Not Now, I'll Tell You When/ Po' Boy, Long Way From Home/ Stick With Me/ Talking In Sebastopol/ That's Alright/ The Jinx Is On Me/ Tone The Bell Easy/ You Ain't No Good/ You Have To Be Different/ Youngster's Blues/ DAN PICKETT: 99 1/2 Won't Do/ Baby Don't You Want To Go/ Baby How Long/ Chicago Blues/ Decoration Day/ Drivin' That Thing/ Drivin' That Thing (Alt)/ Early One Morning/ I Can Shake It/ Laughing Blues/ Laughing Rag/ Lemon Man/ Number Writer/ Number Writer Take 1/ Ride To A Funeral In A V-8/ Something's Gone Wrong/ That's Grieving Me/ You Got To Do Better/ RALPH WILLIS: Amen/ Amen Blues/ Bed Tick Blues/ Black And Tan/ Blues, Blues, Blues/ Boar Hog Blues/ Christmas Blues/ Church Bell Blues/ Church Bells/ Cold Chills/ Cold Chills/ Comb Your Kitty Kat/ Cool That Thing/ Do Right/ Door Bell Blues/ Eloise/ Everyday I Weep And Moan/ Goin' To Chattanooga/ Goin' To Viriginia/ Gonna Hop On Down The Line/ Goodbye Blues/ Hoodoo Man/ I Got A Letter, Too Late To Scream And Shout/ I Will Never Love Again/ I'm Gonna Rock/ I've Been A Fool/ Income Tax Blues/ Just A Note/ Lazy Woman Blues/ Mama, Mama Blues/ Neighborhood Blues/ New Goin' Down Slow/ Old Home Blues/ Salty Dog/ Shake That Thing/ So Many Days/ Somebody Is Got To Go/ Sportin' Life/ Steel Mill Blues/ Tell Me Pretty Baby/ Tell Me Pretty Baby/ That Gal's No Good/ Trouble Don't Last/ Why'd You Do It/ Worried Blues

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 415 Dore: L.A. Soul Sides ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
As a companion to their release of lost recordings by R&B group The Superbs (Kent 417 - $18.98), Kent has brought out a collection of more R&B sides from the Los Angeles label Dore. Kicking off with the beautiful It Only Hurts For a Little While by the Whispers, the set showcases the gold that, until now, only hard-core R&B collectors knew about. A couple of Superbs tracks are included here, along with some smooth grooves from The Natural Resources (If There Were No You, a great vault find), Toussaint McCall, and The Vel-Vetts, along with some funky grooves from the likes of Milton James, Rita & the Tiaras, and Kenard Gardner. When label owner Lew Bedell decided to switch his emphasis from pop radio to black radio, it was then that Dore hit its stride as a major player in Southern California soul. And this CD contains some of the label's best contenders. (GMC)
ENTERTAINERS IV: Do It Right Now/ Temptation Walk/ THE FIDELS: Take Away This Loneliness/ FRIDAY'S CHILD: As I Sit Here/ KENARD GARDNER: Do The Skin/ LITTLE JOHNNY HAMILTON: Oh How I Love You/ MILTON JAMES: My Lonely Feeling/ EDDIE KOOL: Where There's A Will There's A Way/ RAY MARCHAND: Your Ship Of Fools/ TOUSSAINT MCCALL: I Would Rather Have All Of Nothing/ I'll Laugh Till I Cry/ NATURAL RESOURCES: Hold Back The Dawn/ If There Were No You/ RITA & TIARAS: Gone With The Wind Is My Love/ SHADES OF JADE: Why Does It Feel So Right/ SLIM & THE TWILITES: Family Man/ STARBRIGHT: Sunshine/ THE SUPERBS: Baby's Gone Away/ On A Day When It's Raining/ TOMMY & LEON: Your Love Belongs To Me/ BETTY TURNER & THE CHEVELLES: The Winds Kept Laughing/ THE VEL-VETTS: You Really Never Know Till Its Over/ THE WHISPERS: Doctor Love/ It Only Hurts For A Little While

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 421 More Lost Soul Gems From The Sounds ● CD $18.98
22 tracks, very highly recommended
The follow-up to "Lost Soul Gems from Sounds of Memphis" (Kent 378 - $18.98) contains more previously unreleased sides extracted from the vaults of Gene Lucchesi's Sounds of Memphis label. These tracks-cut between 1964 and 1974-further show the evolution of Memphis Soul and the pivotal role Sounds of Memphis played in its' development. It's always nice to hear more stuff from the likes of George Jackson, Dan Greer, Barbara & the Browns, and William Bollinger, and to savor such buried treasures as Marjorie Ingram's Tempted, It Don't Bother Me No More by a mystery male singer, Barry Jones' That's How I Take to You, Vision's Lost in a Dream, and Tommy Raye's You Don't Love Me. All killer and no filler, this CD set is another coup for Kent in its' ongoing mission to bring the Sounds of Memphis catalog back to public consciousness. (GMC)
BARBARA & THE BROWNS: Human Emotions/ WILLIAM BOLLINGER: That's Why I Keep Her/ BILLY CEE & THE FREEDOM EXPRESS: Don't Matter If It's In The Past/ WILLIE COBBS: Hey Little Girl/ FRAN FARLEY: I Care For You/ Memphis Funk/ DAN GREER: Since My Baby Left Me/ ANN HODGE: Your Own Free Will/ MARJORIE INGRAM: Tempted/ GEORGE JACKSON: Hold On Hold Out/ THE JACKSONIANS: If I Could Build My Whole World Around You/ BARRY JONES: That's How I Take To You/ CARROLL LLOYD: A Great Big Thing/ Poor Side Of Town/ ART JERRY MILLER: You Can Always Depend On Me/ DONALD O'CONNOR: You Don't Understand Me/ TOMMY RAYE: You Don't Love Me/ RUDOLPH TAYLOR: Misery/ One Man's Poison/ You're Using Me/ UNKNOWN MALE VOCALIST: It Don't Bother Me No More/ VISION: Lost In A Dream

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS One Day 044 Snap Your Fingers - The Barry Records Story ● CD $13.98
3 CD, 75 tracks, highly recommended
Barry Records was a Canadian label started by George Keane in 1960 that was based in Toronto, and was an outlet for recordings made in the U.S., but a few Canadian acts were released by it as well. Since Barry existed only to issue (or re-issue) American recordings for the Canadian market, it shouldn't be a surprise to find artists here that are better known for recording for certain domestic labels, Dionne Warwick, Johnny & Hurricanes, Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and B.B. King to name a few. Still, there's some stuff of interest here; for example, early tracks from both David Gates (the future leader of the group Bread) and 70's Blues legend Johnny Winter. There's also good stuff from Chuck Reed, The Checkers, The Viscounts, R. Dean Taylor, Bob & Earl, McKinley Mitchell and more. So it would seem that a close examination of the track listing to spot any track duplication might be in order, otherwise this is a solid compilation. (GMC)
DEAN BARLOW: Baby Doll/ THE BLUE JAYS: Lover's Island/ BOB & EARL: Don't Ever Leave Me/ DAVID BOX: If You Can't Say Something Nice/ BARRY BOYD & THE FRANTIKS: Goin' Home To Memphis/ AL BRUNO: Midnite Creep/ B. BUMBLE & THE STINGERS: Apple Knocker/ Caravan/ BERNADETTE CARROLL: My Heart Stood Still/ AL CASEY COMBO: Cookin'/ Jivin' Around/ THE CASHMERES: Satisfied Part 1/ THE CHECKERS: Stormin'/ Twilight Twist/ LES COOPER: Wiggle Wobble/ CYD AND CHERI: I'm A-Lookin'For Blue Eyes/ DANTE & THE EVERGREENS: Alley Oop/ RONNIE DAWSON: Summer's Comin'/ GLORIA DENNIS: Richie/ THE DEVRONS: Brand X/ PAUL DINO: Ginnie Bell/ DON & JUAN: Chicken Necks/ Two Fools Are We/ THE DUKAYS: Nite Owl/ THE ECHOES: Angel Of My Heart/ BOBBY EDWARDS: You're The Reason/ THE EMBERS: Solitaire/ THE ENCHANTERS: I Lied To My Heart/ THE ESQUIRES: Electrocution/ DON GARDNER & DEE DEE FORD: Don't You Worry/ I Need Your Loving/ DAVID GATES: The Happiest Man Alive/ The Road That Leads to Love/ JOE HENDERSON: After Loving You/ Snap Your Fingers/ BUNKER HILL: Hide And Go Seek (Pt. 1)/ JOHNNY & THE HURRICANES: Down Yonder/ Rocking Goose/ B.B. KING: Hully Gully Twist/ GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS: I'll Trust In You/ Operator/ PATTI LA BELLE: Tear After Tear/ THE LARKS: It's Unbelievable/ BOBBY LEWIS: A Man's Gotta Be A Man/ I'm Tossin' And Turnin' Again/ BONNIE LOU: 24 Hours Of Loneliness/ THE MARATHONS: Peanut Butter/ JIMMY MCCRACKLIN: The Drag/ THE MEGATONS: Shimmy, Shimmy Walk, Pt. 1/ THE MIDNIGHTERS: Slow Walk/ MCKINLEY MITCHELL: The Town I Live In/ JOHNNIE MORISETTE: Meet Me At The Twisting Place/ THE MUS-TWANGS: Marie/ JACK 'B' NIMBLE & THE QUICKS: Nut Rocker/ CHUCK REED: Talkin' No Trash/ THE ROBINS: The White Cliffs Of Dover/ RONNIE AND THE HI-LITES: I Wish That We Were Married/ BOBBY RYDELL: Good Time Baby/ Sway/ THE SIMS TWINS: Soothe Me/ BOBBIE SMITH & THE DREAM GIRLS: The Duchess Of Earl/ THE STARLETS: Better Tell Him No/ R. DEAN TAYLOR: At The High School Dance/ It's A Long Way To St. Louis/ THE TORNADOES: Bustin' Surfboards/ TITAS TURNER: Pony Train/ THE UPTONES: No More/ THE VISCOUNTS: Night Train/ Shadrach/ DIONNE WARWICK: Don't Make Me Over/ I Smiled Yesterday/ JOHNNY WINTER: Ease My Pain/ Voodoo Twist/ KATHY YOUNG: Our Parents Talked It Over/ A Thousand Stars

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS One Day 058 Dirty Boogie - The Fortune Records Story ● CD $13.98
Three CDs, 60 tracks, highly recommended
Another fine 3 disc collection from the folks at One Day; this time the spotlight is on Detroit's Fortune Records. Started in 1947 by husband and wife Jack and Devora Brown, didn't hit the national stage until a country recording by the Davis Sisters, Jealous Love (Betty Davis of the duo later became better known as Skeeter Davis), was issued in 1952. Other country artists issued by the Browns' include Skeets McDonald, Jimmy Lee, Johnny Buckett, the York Brothers, and Roy Hall (opening track, Dirty Boogie is a standout). But the Browns' didn't limit themselves, and also issued Rockabilly (Johnny Powers, The Terrigan Brothers), R&B (Nolan Strong & the Diablos, The Centurys, The Creators, and Andre Williams), instrumentals (The Nite Sounds, The Catalinas, Tony Lee), and lots of doo wop. Although Fortunae is probably best known for its blues, R&B and doowop recordings, this collection mostly concentrates on hillbilly and rockabilly but doesn't totally ignore the other genres. Although Fortune didn't have a lot of hits (the biggest was Nathaniel Mayer's Village of Love in 1962, after it was licensed to United Artists), there's a lot to enjoy over these three CDs: Rock and Roll Baby by Eddie Jackson, Nolan Strong's If Could Be With You Tonight, Don Radar & Roy Hall's She Sure Can Rock Me, Skeets McDonald's risque classic The Tattooed Lady and Johnny Buckett's Let Me Play With Your Poodle to name a few. This collection ends in 1962, but the label continued operations for another decade after that, so there could be a volume two, and I wouldn't mind that in the least. (GMC)
JOHNNY BUCKETT: Let Me Play With Your Poodle/ Griddle Greasing Daddy/ JIMMY BURKE & THE SEQUINS: Forbidden Love/ THE CATALINAS: Destruction/ Long Walk/ THE CENTURYS: Oh Joe Joe/ Take My Hand/ THE CREATORS: Wear My Ring/ THE DAVIS SISTERS: Jealous Love/ PETE DE BREE: Hey, Mr Presley/ Long Tall Lou/ THE DELTEENS: (Why Don't You) Love Me/ Listen To The Rain/ EARL & JOY WITH RUFUS SHOFFNER: At The Burlesque Show/ THE EARTHQUAKES: Bashful Guy/ Crazy Bop/ THE FOUR KINGS: Rose Of Tangier/ BOOTS GILBERT: He's A Mighty Good Man/ ROY HALL: Okee Doaks/ Dirty Boogie/ THE HUNT SISTERS: Elvis Is Rocking Again/ EDDIE JACKSON: Rock And Roll Baby/ ARLANDO KING & THE EARTHQUAKES: Baby Only You/ Look What You've Done/ ELLIS KIRK AND THE TOWN AND COUNTRY BOYS: Sweetie Pie/ DON LANE & THE DON JUANS: The Cha-Cha Of Love/ JIMMY LEE: You Ain't No Good For Me/ TONY LEE: Poppin' Off/ Suicide/ NATHANIEL MAYER: Village Of Love/ Well, I've Got News (For You)/ Work It Out/ SKEETS MCDONALD: Birthday Cake Boogie/ The Tattooed Lady/ THE MONTCLAIRS: Golden Angel/ JIM MYERS: Baby Baby/ After Tomorrow/ Pretty Baby Rock/ J&D Hop/ THE NITE SOUNDS: Cheese Cake/ GINO PARKS & THE HI FIDELITIES: Last Night I Cried/ JOHNNY POWERS: Honey, Let's Go (To A Rock & Roll Show)/ THE PREMIERS: The Trap Of Love/ When You Are In Love/ DON RADAR & ROY HALL: She Sure Can Rock Me/ DON RADER: Rock 'n' Roll Grandpa/ THE ROYAL JOKERS: September In The Rain/ FOREST RYE: Wild Cat Boogie/ FLOYD SMITH WITH THE MONTCLAIRS: This Is A Miracle/ NOLAN STRONG & THE DIABLOS: Blue Moon/ Mind Over Matter/ Someday You'll Want Me To Want You/ NOLAN STRONG AND THE DIABLOS: If I Could Be With You Tonight/ THE TERRIGAN BROTHERS: Hi Ho Little Girl/ DELL VAUGHN AND THE FORTUNE AIRES: Rock the Universe/ ANDRE WILLIAMS: Bacon Fat/ THE YORK BROTHERS: Hamtramck Mama/ Highland Park Girl/ GEORGE YOUNG: Buggin' Baby/ Shaking Shelly

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS One Day DAY3CD 066 After Hours - The King Records Story, 1956-1959 ● CD $13.98
Three CDs, 75 tracks, strongly recommended
A great collection of tracks drawn from the mighty King and Federal labels though the subtitle is incorrect - the recordings cover the period 1949 through 1959 not 1956-1959 - a shame since a narrower focus would have made it and even more interesting collection. The main emphasis here is on blues (Roy Brown, Wynonie Harris, Jimmy Witherspoon, etc). R&B (Ace Harris, James Brown, Earl Bostic, Doc Bagby, etc) and doo-wop (Hank Ballard & The Midnighters, The 5 Royales, Dominoes, Platters, etc.) but it also includes a handful of country sides (The Delmore Brothers, Reno Smiley, The York Brothers, etc.), rock 'n' roll (Mac Curtis & Boyd Bennet), jazz (Roland Kirk and Cozy Cole) and defying definition two cuts from raunchy nightclub singer Ruth Wallis. Back in the day when I worked in a record shop in Petticoat Lane I sold lots of copies of Johnny Had A Yoyo and The Dinghy Song (included here). People do like a nice dose of smut. Lots of big hits here along with some more obscure titles. (FS)
THE 5 ROYALES: Dedicated To The One I Love/ Messin' Up/ DOC BAGBY: Grinding/ Soft One/ HANK BALLARD & THE MIDNIGHTERS: Annie's Aunt Fannie/ Switchie Witchie Titchie/ Work With Me Annie/ BOYD BENNETT AND HIS ROCKETS: Seventeen/ EARL BOSTIC: Bubbins Rock/ Jungle Drums/ TINY BRADSHAW: Heavy Juice/ Walkin' The Chalk Line/ JAMES BROWN: Let's Make It/ Please, Please, Please/ There Must Be A Reason/ ROY BROWN: Bar Room Blues/ Boogie At Midnight/ THE CHARMS: Hearts Of Stone/ COZY COLE ORCHESTRA: Blop Up, Blop Down/ COWBOY COPAS: Filipino Baby/ MAC CURTIS: You Ain't Treatin' Me Right/ THE DELMORE BROTHERS: Blues Stay Away From Me/ Freight Train Boogie/ Steamboat Bill Boogie/ BILL DOGGETT: Honky Tonk (Parts 1 & 2)/ Slow Walk/ THE DOMINOS: Sixty Minute Man/ DONNIE ELBERT: Just A Little Bit of Lovin'/ Let's Do The Stroll/ What Can I Do/ ACE HARRIS: After Hours/ WYNONIE HARRIS: Blood Shot Eyes/ Good Rockin' Tonight/ HAWKSHAW HAWKINS: Rattlesnakin' Daddy/ IVORY JOE HUNTER: Jealous Heart/ Too Late/ BILL JENNINGS: One For My Baby/ LITTLE WILLIE JOHN: Fever/ Need Your Love so Bad/ LONNIE JOHNSON: I'm So Tired Of Living All Alone/ Lonesome Road/ GRANDPA JONES: Old Rattler/ Steppin' Out Kind/ ROLAND KIRK: Stormy Weather/ LITTLE ESTHER: Heart To Heart/ I Paid My Dues/ Ring-A-Ding-Doo/ BONNIE LOU: Seven Lonely Days/ Tennessee Wig Walk/ BIG JAY MCNEELY: Rock Candy/ Whipped Cream/ CLYDE MCPHATTER & THE DOMINOS: Have Mercy Baby/ CLYDE MCPHATTER & THE DOMINOES: Pedal Pushin' Papa/ MOON MULLICAN: Cherokee Boogie/ Honolulu Rock-A Roll-A/ THE PLATTERS: Only You/ Voo Vee Ah Bee/ LULA REED: Bump On A Log/ Rock Love/ RENO & SMILEY: Green Mountain Hop/ Limehouse Blues/ THE STANLEY BROTHERS: How Mountain Girls Can Love/ Train 45/ THE SWALLOWS: Beside You/ EDDIE CLEANHEAD VINSON: I'm Weak But I'm Willing/ RUTH WALLIS: Johnny Had A Yo Yo/ The Dinghy Song/ BILLY WARD & HIS DOMINOES: Over The Rainbow/ WASHBOARD BILL: In The Morning/ OTIS WILLIAMS & HIS CHARMS: Ko Ko Mo/ Ling, Ting, Tong/ JIMMY WITHERSPOON: 24 Sad Hours/ I Done Told You/ THE YORK BROTHERS: Chicken Blues/ Tremblin'

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Shanachie 6004 The Great Gospel Women* ● CD $17.98
31 tracks, 76 min., essential
 An utterly splendid overview of solo female gospel music, featuring recordings made between 1939 and 1991. Among the 16 featured artists are Mahalia Jackson with one 60's live performance of Just a Closer Walk With Thee plus five much earlier Apollo cuts, Marion Williams with five cuts from the 70s through the early 90s, Sister Rosetta Tharpe with three numbers, one each from the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and two tracks each by Clara Ward, Cora Martin, and Dorothy Love Coates. The other ten cuts are individual numbers by each of ten less well known but nonetheless meritorious gospel vocalists. My only quibble with this disc as a whole would be that occasionally there is too little time between the end of one cut and the beginning of the next one. Otherwise, fine notes by Anthony Heilbut, lots of photos, and generally fine sound quality. (DH)
DOROTHY LOVE COATES: Elijah/ Trouble/ JOHNSON DAVIS: Ain't That Good News Mary/ BESSIE FOLK: I'll Do What You Want Me To Do/ GLADYS BEAMON GREGOR: Tell The Angels/ GOLDIA HAYNES: This Old World/ MAHALIA JACKSON: Dig A Little Deeper/ Just A Closer Walk With Thee (Live)/ Just As I Am/ Just Keep Still/ Just Over The Hill/ These Are They/ MARIE KNIGHT: Walk With Me/ CORA MARTIN: Didn't It Rain/ There's A Place/ ROBERTA MARTIN: What A Friend/ JESSIE MAE RENFRO: I Must Tell Jesus/ LUCY SMITH: O What A Time/ WILLIE MAE FORD SMITH: What Manner Of Man Is This/ FRANCES STEADMAN: Hark The Voice/ SISTER ROSETTA THARPE: I Looked Down The Line/ Nobody's Fault But Mine/ Peace In The Valley/ CLARA WARD: Just One Moment/ The Last Mile Of The Way/ MARION WILLIAMS: Come Out The Corner/ Feel Like My Time Ain't Long/ Nobody Knows, Nobody Cares/ Prayer Changes Things/ Shall These Cheeks Go Dry/ There's A Man

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Soul Jazz 275 Gipsy Rhumba, 1965-1974 ● CD $23.98
20 tracks, 50 mins, very highly recommended
A truly delightful and irresistible collection of a unique musical style. This is the first album ever outside of Spain to seriously focus on the history of Gipsy Rhumba, one of the most interesting musical culture clashes ever that first took place in the early 1960s.In the Catalan region of Spain, Gypsies primarily known as the creators of Flamenco, came up with a fascinating hybrid style - Gipsy Rhumba - which blended together Latin and Rhumba music of Cuba and the Caribbean together with their own Flamenco as well as the emerging Rock and Roll from America. The result is absolutely entrancing and unlike some more recent attempts to combine musical styles from different countries sounds perfectly natural and organic. The album comes with a 60 page booklet that tells this unique story of how this latin-tinged music came about in the heart of Spain's gypsy community. As well as a musical overview of this unique art form (in English and Spanish) , this release also features the stunning photography of Jacques Leonard, a French photographer who began documenting Gypsy life in rural and urban Spain in the 1960s after marrying a Spanish gypsy, creating in the process one of the most important records of this unique world in the 20th century. The album is put together by two of Spain's most important Gipsy Rhumba specialists - compiler David El Indio and sleevenotes by Jose Manuel G¢mez (Gufi). If you don't feel like you want to dance while listening to this you might need to see an undertaker! (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Stereo 1002 Stereo Doo Wop, Vol. 2 ● CD $17.98
A second excellent collection of rarely heard stereo versions of doo-wop songs - mostly from the early/ mid 60s. Includes Memories Of El Monte by The Penguins, Chip Chip by The Mellokings, Mr. Magic by The G-Clefs, Take Me As I Am by The Duprees, Long Tall Girls by The Carnations as well as songs by The Imaginations, Otis Williams & His Charms, The Meteors, DEsires, Videls, Stereos, Dukays, Dells and others. Mostly powerful ballads along with a handful of up tempo numbers.
THE AVONS: Whisper (Softly)/ BILL BAKER & GROUP: Teenage Triangle/ THE CARNATIONS: Long Tall Girl/ THE DANLEERS: The Angels Sent You/ THE DARVELS: I Lost My Baby/ THE DEL-SATINS: Teardrops Follow Me/ THE DELLS: Oh What A Good Night/ THE DESIRES: Next Spring/ DINO & THE DIPLOMATS: My Dream/ THE DUKAYS: Festival of Love/ THE DUPREES: Take Me As I Am/ THE EARLS: Remember Me Baby/ THE ELEGANTS: Tiny Cloud/ THE G-CLEFS: Mr Magic/ THE IMAGINATIONS: Guardian Angel/ THE MELLOKINGS: Chip Chip/ THE METEORS: Let's Start Anew/ THE MYSTICS: Again/ THE NOBLES: Ting A Ling/ THE OVATIONS: My Lullabye/ THE PENGUINS: Memories of El Monte/ THE SHONDELLS: Special Delivery/ THE STEROES: I Really Love You/ THE VIDELS: A Letter From Ann/ OTIS WILLIAMS & HIS CHARMS: My Prayer Tonight

 
BUKKA WHITE Genes 9903 1963 isn't 1962* ● CD $14.98
13 tracks, 48 mins, essential
Bukka White was one of the greatest of the Mississippi bluesmen to be rediscovered by blues enthusiasts in the 60s. His voice had deepened and become more gravelly since his classic recordings cut between 1930 and '40 but his playing on his battered old National was as good as ever often featuring searing slide riffs. He was also a remarkable blues writer singing original songs often based on personal experiences. The recordings here from live concerts in Berkeley, California find Bukka in dazzling form. He does versions of his earlier commercial recordings like the moving Fixin' To Die and Aberdeen Blues - the latter with some marvelously effective rapping on the guitar. Streamline Special is a long reworking of his 1940 Special Streamline. Traditional songs like Jack O'Diamonds and Corrinna Corrinna become, to all inetnts and purposes, original Bukka White songs. The album title song is a magnificent performance with intense lyrics and some really lovely guitar work. But it's all great music from an endlessly rewarding performer. Though recorded live the sound is studio quality and the 12 page booklet has some wonderfully evocative notes by david Evans which not only discuss Bukka and his music but also what his discovery meant to young blues enthusiasts in the early 60s. Don't miss this! (FS)

 
BILLY WILLIAMS Jasmine 491 A Letter From Billy Williams ● CD $14.98
29 tracks, 78 mins, strongly recommended
Billy Williams is best known for his catchy 1957 hit I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Right Myself A Letter and subsequent songs with similar arrangements but he started his recording career in 1930 when he was a founding member of the pioneering vocal group The Charioteers where his smooth ad expressive tenor vocal was the lead on many of their recordings. This collection features six tracks by The Charioteers with Billy's lead including their two most popular songs from the late 40s Ooh Looka There Ain't She Pretty and A Kiss And A Rose as well as a fine rendition of the biggest song of 1947 Open The Door Richard. In 1950 he left The Charioteers and formed his own group The Billy Williams Quartet and over the next six years recorded for MGM, Mercury and Coral in a style not too far afield from the work of The Charioteers but frequently accompanied by Leroy Holmes & His Orch. and there are 12 tracks by this group including minor hits like Shanghai/ Wheel Of Fortune and (It's No) Sin. In 1956 Billy went out as solo and had a big hit with Letter followed by hits like Nola and Goodnight Irene with arrangements getting more lush as the decade progressed though Billy's vocals are always impressive. Excellent sound and informative notes by Ossie Dales. (FS)
BILLY WILLIAMS: (It's No) Sin/ (What Can I Say) After I Say I'm Sorry/ (Why Did I Tell You I Was Going To) Shanghai?/ A Kiss And A Rose/ Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea/ Chi-Baba Chi-Baba (My Bambino Go To Sleep)/ Don't Worry 'Bout Me/ Dream Of You/ Goodnight Irene/ I Won't Cry Anymore/ I Wonder/ I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter/ In The Cool Of The Evening/ Music By The Angels/ Nola/ On The Boardwalk(In Atlantic City)/ Ooh Looka There Ain't She Pretty/ Open The Door Richard/ Pour Me A Glass Of Teardrops/ Pretty Eyed Baby/ Red Hot Love/ Smack Dab In The Middle/ The Gaucho Serenade/ The Little Boy/ Walkin' By The River/ What Did He Say? (The Mumble Song)/ Wheel Of Fortune/ You Don't Know/ You Made Me Love You

 
BIG JOE WILLIAMS & J.D. SHORT Delmark 609 Stavin' Chain Blues* ● CD $10.98
15 tracks, highly recommended
Reissue of 1958 session which had been unavailable on LP for a long time and includes a couple of alternate takes and two unissued songs. Both Joe and J. D. were outstanding Mississippi bluesmen who later settled in St. Louis (in Joe's case only temporarily). Joe played his unique 9 string guitar and sang in his rough impassioned style on most of the tracks here with Short on second guitar and neck rack harmonica. Short sings on two songs only - two versions of Stavin' Chain Blues and You Got To help Me Some and was a magnificent singer with a lovely voice with a subtle but verty effective vibrato. No disrespect to the brilliant Big Joe but I sure wish there were more vocals here by the all to infrequently recorded Short. Joe's songs include titles that had become staples of his repertoire including Roll & Tumble/ Mean Stepfather/ You're Gonna Need King Jesus/ Sweet Old Kokomo/ Rambled And Wondered, etc and these gain a new dimesion with the added guitar and harmonica of Short. Bearing in mind the primitive conditions under which these recordings were made the sound here is very good and the package includes Bob Koester's original notes from the 1965 issue. Excellent country blues. (FS)

 
OTIS WILLIAMS & THE CHARMS Jasmine 760 "Ivory Tower" & Other Hits - Singles Collection,1953-58 ● CD $18.98
Two CDs, 63 tracks, highly recommended
The most comprehensive collection of recordings by this outstanding group featuring the clear, powerful tenor of Otis Williams this features every one of the group's singles issued between from their 1953 recording of Heaven Only Knows cut for Rockin' through to The Secret in 1958 by which time the group's hits had dried up though they continued to make very fine records for several more years. In 1955 the original members of The Charms split from Otis in a money dispute and recorded two singles as the Charms with no success. Meanwhile Otis formed a new group but was not allowed to use the name The Charms which the original members claimed and so his singles were issued as Otis Williams and His New Group but when the Charms releases foundered he got the name back and subsequent releases were issued as by Otis Williams and His Charms. Both versions of the group had hits in the R&B charts (and occasionally the pop charts) and a number have become vocal group standards like Hearts Of Stone/ Two Hearts and Ivory Tower but just about everything they did is worth a listen. Excellent sound and booklet has informative notes by Bob Fisher. (FS)
THE CHARMS: Bazoom, I Need Your Loving/ Bye Bye Baby/ Come To Me, Baby/ Crazy Crazy Love/ Fifty Five Seconds/ Happy Are We/ Hearts Of Stone/ Heaven Only Knows/ It's You You You/ Ko Ko Ko/ Let The Happiness Happen/ Ling Ting Tong/ Loving Baby/ Mambo Sh-Mambo/ My Baby Dearest Darling/ One Fine Day/ Please Believe Me/ Quiet Please/ The First Time We Met/ Two Hearts/ Whadaya Want/ What Do You Know About That/ When We Get Together/ Who Knows/ Boom Diddy Boom Boom/ Heart Of A Rose/ I Offer You/ I'll Be Late/ OTIS WILLIAMS AND HIS CHARMS: Blues Stay Away From Me/ Burnin' Lips/ Could This Be Magic/ Don't Deny Me/ Don't Wake Up The Kids/ Dynamite Darling/ Gypsy Lady/ I'd Like To Thank You Mr DJ/ I'll Remember You/ I'm Waiting Just For You/ It's All Over/ Ivory Tower/ Let Some Love In Your Heart/ My Friends/ No Got De Woman/ Nowhere On Earth/ Oh Julie/ One Kind Word From You/ One Night Only/ Pardon Me/ Red Hot Love/ The Secret/ United/ Walkin' After Midnight/ Well Oh Well/ Whirlwind/ You'll Remain Forever/ OTIS WILLIAMS AND HIS NEW GROUP: Do Be You/ Gum Drop/ In Paradise/ Miss The Love (I've Been Dreaming Of)/ Save Me Save Me/ Tell Me Now/ That's Your Mistake/ Too Late I Learned

 

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