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



CLASSIC BLUES ARTWORK FROM THE 1920S - 2017 Calendar Blues Images 217 ● CALENDAR $21.98
Calendar+23 track CD, essential
Once again, ace collector John Tefteller has delved into his treasure trove of rare artwork and rare pre war blues records to bring us another amazing calendar/ CD combination. Like last year's calendar the CD has been remastered by the new technology developed for the TV series "American Epic" and if you have last year's calendar you will know that the recordings have a never before heard clarity and depth that blows away any previous remastering of these titles. The 32 page calendar features 12"x12" ads (from original artwork) for records by artists like Garfield Akers, Memphis Minnie, Charley Patton, Skip James, Joe Williams, Blind Willie Johnson and others along with a great rare photo of Big Bill Broonzy. The calendar also includes small reproductions of other ads, sample song lyrics, brief biographies and birth and death dates for many blues artists. The accompanying 23 track CD featuring all the records advertised in the full sized ads as well as both sides of a newly discovered Big Bill Broonzy 78 from 1930 that has never been reissued before. The bonus tracks include the flip sides of some of the 78s in the calendar along with great and rare sides by Blind Gussie Nesbitt, Blind Leroy Garnett, Blind Joe Reynolds and Ishman Bracey. Although most of these records have been reissued before, the improvement in quality with the new remastering is simply breathtaking. The Charley Patton Paramount sides sound more like a new Columbia 78 than a Paramount which were notorious for their poor sound quality.
Because of the high cost of the new remastering, the calendar/ Cd set has gone up in price but once you see and hear it you'll know that it's well worth the price.(FS)

GARFIELD AKERS: Cottonfield Blues, Part I and Part II/ ISHMAN BRACEY: Suit Case Full Of Blues/ Woman Woman Blues/ JED DAVENPORT: How Long How Long Blues/ BLIND LEROY GARNETT: Chain 'Em Down/ Louisiana Glide/ SKIP JAMES: Illinois Blues/ Yola My Blues Away/ BLIND WILLIE JOHNSON: Let Your Light Shine On Me/ BIG BILL JOHNSON (BROONZY): I Can't Be Satisfied/ The Western Blues/ MEMPHIS MINNIE: I'm Talking About You/ MEMPHIS MINNIE: Bumble Bee/ THE MOBILE STRUGGLERS: Fattenin' Frogs/ Memphis Blues/ BLIND GUSSIE NESBITT: I'll Just Wring My Hands And Cry/ Motherless Children/ FRANK PALMES: Ain't Gonna Lay My 'Ligion Down (Take 2)/ CHARLEY PATTON: I'm Goin' Home/ Lord I'm Discouraged/ BLIND JOE REYNOLDS: Nehi Blues/ Outside Woman Blues/ JOE WILLIAMS: Mr. Devil Blues



DOUG SAHM New West 8047 Live From Austin** ● DVD $15.98
12 tracks, 57 mins, highly recommended Recorded for Austin City Limits on November 14, 1975 during the first full season of this now legendary show. Includes all of the favorites: (Is Anybody Goin' To) San Antone/ Nuevo Laredo/ Mendocino and She's About A Mover, peppered with lesser known originals and great covers, like One Night/ Cotton Eyed Joe and Wasted Days and Wasted Nights just to name a few. The king of the Texas hippies, Augie Meyers is there as usual, soundin' just fine, as does the whole band, with Sir Doug up in front full of piss and vinegar. This is easily one of my favorites of all of the episodes of the show that I have seen and is one that I can see getting many repeat viewings. (JM)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Hip-O DVD 75009 American Folk Blues Festival, 1962-1966, Volume 1** ● DVD $19.98
18 tracks, approx 75 mins, black & white, highly recommended The first of two incredible DVDs featuring footage shot in Germany in the 60s of some true blues greats who were on tour in Europe as part of the series of tours organized by German promoters Horst Lippman and Fritz Rau under the banner of "American Folk Blues Festival". Originally presented as television shows on German TV, this is the first time that any of this footage has been issued commercially. Some of the performances are filmed in front of a small studio audience and some are filmed on a somewhat hokey set. Artists featured on this volume include Shakey Jake (with T-Bone Walker on guitar), Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Memphis Slim (with some great Matt Murphy guitar), Otis Rush (a bit restrained), Lonnie Johnson (superb), Sippie Wallace, John Lee Hooker (possible the highlight with a stunning solo performance of Hobo Blues), Eddie Boyd, Walter "Shakey" Horton, Junior Wells, Big Joe Williams, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Willie Dixon (the only performance less than excellent), Sonny Boy Williamson (with Otis Spann on piano), Otis Spann and Muddy Waters (Got My Mojo Working with harp by Sonny Boy!). There is an 18th bonus cut from 1969 featuring a wild instrumental from Earl Hooker. Video and audio quality is superb and the DVD comes with a 24 page illustrated booklet with informative notes by Robb Bowman. I was living in England and got to see the 1963,'64 and '65 tours and these DVDs bring back some very fond memories. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Virgil Films 71185 The Winding Stream - The Carters, The Cashes, and The Course of Country Music ● DVD $19.98
DVD 90 mins, highly recommended This is a wonderful documentary on the lives and legacy of the Carter Family and their extended relations. "The Winding Stream" covers from A.P.'s earliest wanderings, through the prime of the original Carter Family, all the way up through Rosanne Cash, Carlene Carter, and other descendents that are keeping the tradition alive. Their story was told here in an entertaining way that interweaves vintage photographs, interviews, animation, and performance footage. Features interview segments with Johnny and June Carter Cash, Kris Kristopherson, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, John Prine, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and many more. I was somewhat surprised at how much I enjoyed this, I'm a huge fan of the music, though so often documentaries like these can get pretty clunky, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and even teared up on a couple occasions. (JM)



ROY ACUFF Bear Family BCD 17300 King Of Country Music: Foundation Recordings Complete 1936-1951 ● CD $369.98
Due by end of month. Another amazing production from Bear Family featuring all the early recordings of honky tonk country pioneer Roy Acuff made for Vocalion, ARC and Columbia between 1936 and 1951. Nine CDs and a DVD housed in an LP sized box with a 184 page hardbound book. The CDs include a total of 228 songs including every surviving take of all the songs recorded during this period including such classic and much covered titles like Great Speckle Bird/ Wabash Cannon Ball/ Freight Train Blues/ The (House of the) Rising Sun/ Will The Circle Be Unbroken/ Beneath That Lonely Mound Of Clay/ The Precious Jewel/ Wreck On The Highway/ Fireball Mail/ Night Train To Memphis/ The Prodigal Son/ Low And Lonely/ Pins And Needles In My Heart/ I Saw The Light/ We Live In Two Diff'rent Worlds/ Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain and many more. The DVD features the complete "Grand Ole Opry " film from 1940. The book includes a biography, discography and hundreds of photos and other memorabilia - many published for the first time. The recordings show the outstanding quality of Acuff's Smoky Mountain Boys, including Clell "Cousin Jody" Sumny, Tommy Magness, Tommy Jackson, Benny Martin, and, of course, Pete "Bashful Brother Oswald" Kirby. The instrumental album "Old Time Barn Dance" by the Smoky Mountain Boys from 1948 is also part of this extensive box.

ALBERTA ADAMS Cannonball 29106 Born With The Blues ● CD $15.98 $6.98
11 tracks, highly recommended
This 1999 album was the first in almost 50 years by this fine singer whose career dates back to the 40s and whose previous recording was a session for Chess in 1951! In her mid 70s at the time of these recordings she performs a selection of 11 songs including several originals. Her singing is powerful and expressive and she is accompanied by an excellent band featuring excellent horn work and outstanding guitar work from Johnnie Bassett. (FS)

DAVID BROMBERG BGO BGOCD 811 David Bromberg/ Demon In Disguise** ● CD $19.98
18 tracks, 80 mins, highly recommended
Compiles what are probably Bromberg's two best-known albums on one CD; his major label debut "David Bromberg" from 1972 and the follow up "Demon in Disguise" from '73, both released on Columbia records. Bromberg is an eclectic artist to say the least, with elements of Folk, Blues, Country, Bluegrass, and more popping up throughout his recordings. Bromberg was definitely well known by the time his self-titled album came out. He had already worked with Jerry Jeff Walker, Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, and George Harrison, not bad company and almost as impressive is the fact that while attending Columbia university, Bromberg took guitar lessons from Reverend Gary Davis; his pedigree was pretty undisputable and the record label only lightly held the reins, allowing him to deliver some funky, interesting records. His lengthy version of Mr. Bojangles off of "Demon" garnered him the most radio airplay at the time, but mostly Bromberg was a critical success loved by other musicians and a hardcore, albeit not huge following of fans. Bromberg is highly regarded for his guitar playing and there are countless great examples of it throughout these albums. Other standout tracks include The Boggy Road to Midgetville (Arkansas Traveler,)/ Dehlia/ The Holdup (co-written with George Harrison,) / Sammy's Song/ Hardworkin' John/ Diamond Lil/ Demon in Disguise as well as his fantastic Medley of Irish Fiddle Tunes, which includes Rodney's Glory/ The Rights of Man, and The First of May. Bromberg is truly an enormously talented musician and this captures him in his prime (although he is still going strong). (JM)

THE IAN CAMPBELL FOLK GROUP Cherry Tree Box 16 The Complete Transatlantic Recordings ● CD $39.98
Four CDs, 105 tracks, highly recommended
The Ian Campbell Folk Group were one of the most popular folk groups in the British Isles in the 1960s. Original formed as skiffle group in the mid 50s by Scottish born brother and sister Ian and Lorna Campbell they switched to folk after skiffle ended its short lived reign and made some records for Topic before joining the famed Transatlantic label in 1963 and made their most popular recordings for them between 1963 and '68. The first three CD features their six LPs and the fourth features a selection originally issued on singles and EPS including their version of Dylan's The Times They Are A Changin' which made the U.K. top 50s. The first disc features their first two albums "This Is The Ian Campbell Folk GRoup" and "Across The Hills" find Ian and Lorna doing most of the vocals with Brian Clark on vocals and guitar, Dave Swarbrick on fiddle and mandolin and John Dunkerly on banjo and melodica. The material is mostly traditional including songs like Twa Recruting Sergeants/ The Unquiet Grave/ The Jute Mill Song/ Down In The Coal Mine and more. The second CD features their next two LPs "Coaldust Ballads" and "Contemporary Campbells" - the former, unsurprisingly, is a collection of coal mining songs including Come All Ye Gallant Colliers/ Sandgate Girl's Lament/ Pay Friday/ Blackleg Miners/ Collier Laddie, etc. "Contemporary" is mostly contemporary songs from Britsih folk songwriters like Sidney Carter, Ewan MacColl, Stan Kelly and others but still has a traditional feel. The two albums on the third CD "New Impressions Of The Ian Campbell Folk Group" and "The Circle Game" feature a slightly different line up with Dave Swarbrick gone replaced by George Watts on flute, piccolo and clarinet. "Impressions" is a mix of traditional and contemporary songs including LOrd Of The Dance/ The Bold Benjamin/ Baron O' Brackley/ Greensleeves/ The Laird Of Windy Wa's and others. "Circle Game" find them moving in a more pop-folk direction - in addition to the Joni Mitchell title song there are songs from Tim Hardin, Gordon Lightfoot, Randy Newman and others. The fourth discs featuring the singles and EPs is a mix of traditional and contemporary including The Boys Of Wexford/ One Eyed Reilly/ Highland Widow's Lament/ The Earl Of Moray, etc. Although the Campbell's performances sound a little "tame" compared to the artists that would follow them their music is very enjoyable and they were certainly important pioneers. Sound quality is excellent and the 36 page, copiously illustrated, booklet has informative notes on the history of the group as well as reprints of the notes from the original LPs. (FS)

FAIRPORT CONVENTION Island (UK) 9845385 Live At The BBC** ● CD $59.98
Four CD set, 69 tracks, highly recommended
Just when you thought that the well of Fairport recordings from their prime years was dry along comes this great four CD set with 69 tracks drawn from BBC radio broadcasts made between 1967 and 1974. 17 tracks have been out before, most notably on the "Heyday" album but the rest are all previously unreleased and includes all the various incarnations of the group over this period. Most of the songs are drawn from their studio albums but with the turnover of personnell, lead vocals are frequently different and arrangements vary and there are a number of songs that they never recorded commercially. Since the BBC didn't keep all their tapes (shame on you BBC) some of the tracks are from second or third generation sources of lesser quality but most sound fine. Set is housed in a handsome book format with a 48 page booklet with notes by Kingsley Abbott and some great vintage photos. (FS)
FAIRPORT CONVENTION: Angel Delight (27/3/71)/ Autopsy (6/4/69)/ Banks Of The Sweet Primroses (27/3/71)/ Bird On A Wire (8/12/68)/ Bonny Bunch Of Roses (26/7/70)/ Book Song (6/1/69)/ Bridge Over The River Ash (27/3/71)/ Cajun Woman (6/4/69)/ Chelsea Morning (10/12/67)/ Close The Door Lightly When You Go (2/6/68)/ Deserter (26/7/70)/ Dirty Linen (26/7/70)/ Doctor Of Physick (1/8/70)/ Down In The Flood (6/8/74)/ Eastern Rain (1/9/68)/ Fiddlestix (6/8/74)/ Flatback Caper (27/4/70)/ Fotheringay (1/9/68)/ Fotheringay (9/2/69)/ Gone, Gone, Gone (1/9/68)/ Hangman's (26/7/70)/ I Don't Know Where I Stand (2/6/68)/ I Still Miss Someone (8/12/68)/ If (Stomp) (3/3/68)/ If I Had A Ribbon Bow (3/3/68)/ If It Feels Good, You Know It Can't Be Wrong (1/9/68)/ Jack O' Diamonds (24/6/68)/ John The Gun (6/8/74)/ Journeyman's Grace (19/11/70)/ Lady Is A Tramp (27/9/69)/ Lay Down Your Weary Tune (10/12/67)/ Let's Get Together (10/12/67)/ Light My Fire (22/12/68)/ Lord Marlborough (27/3/71)/ Marcie (24/6/68)/ Matthew, Mark, Luke & John (20/2/73)/ Medley: The Lark In The Morning-Rakish Paddy-Foxhunter's Jig-Toss The Feath/ Meet On The Ledge (8/12/68)/ Night In The City (24/6/68)/ Nottamun Town (2/6/68)/ Now Be Thankful (19/11/70)/ Now Be Thankful (26/7/70)/ One Sure Thing (10/12/67)/ Open The Door Richard (27/4/70)/ Percy's Song (6/4/69)/ Poor Will And The Jolly Hangman (2/5/70)/ Possibly Parsons Green (20/2/73)/ Reno Nevada (6/1/69)/ Reynardine (27/9/69)/ Rising For The Moon (6/8/74)/ Rosie (20/2/73)/ Shattering Live Experience (9/2/69)/ Si Tu Dois Partir (6/4/69)/ Sickness & Diseases (27/3/71)/ Sir Patrick Spens (27/4/70)/ Sir Patrick Spens (27/9/69)/ Sir William Gower (27/3/71)/ Some Sweet Day (2/6/68)/ Suzanne (1/9/68)/ Tam Lin (26/7/70)/ Tam Lin (27/9/69)/ Time Will Show The Wiser (3/3/68)/ Tokyo (20/2/73)/ Tried So Hard (6/1/69)/ Violets Of Dawn (3/3/68)/ Walk Awhile (2/5/70)/ Who Knows Where The Time Goes? (9/2/69)/ You Never Wanted Me (2/6/68)/ You're Gonna Need My Help (9/2/69)

FLATT & SCRUGGS Columbia 92574 Foggy Mountain Gospel** ● CD $19.98
2 CDs, 52 tracks, 131 mins, highly recommended
From the start of their professional careers in Bill Monroe Bluegrass Boys, Sacred music was a important and consistent part of the repertoire and throughout their recording career as Flatt and Scruggs, they would record a vast number Sacred tunes. This collection covers a wide swath of their best work in this genre. Covering the spectrum from J.E. Mainer's Mountaineers Take Me In Your Lifeboat, to Tom T. Halls A Stone the Builders Refused, this is a fantastic collection that really tells the history of the music. The Bailes Brothers Give Mother a Crown, The Carter Familys I'm on My Way To Canaans Land and On The Rock Where Moses Stood, and Bill Carlisles Gone Home, are just a few of the fantastic covers, but Flatt and Scruggs were no slouches themselves. Under their own and with assumed names, they wrote dozens of great Sacred tunes as well, with tracks like He Took Your Place/ Brother, Im Getting Ready To Go, and Mother Prays Loud in her Sleep, among some of the best of them that are contained herein. This is an absolutely outstanding collection that will appeal to fans of the High Lonesome and the Spiritual alike. (JM)

THE HARLEM HAMFATS JSP JSPCD 77201 Masters Of Jazz & Blues, 1936-1944 ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 110 tracks, very highly recommended
A most welcome release featuring all the recordings made by this hugely entertaining group between 1936 and 1939 including accompaniments to various vocalists and, as a bonus, we have 12 tracks recorded between 1940 and 1944 by Hamfats leader Joe McCoy with a small group as Big Joe & His Rhythm. The combination of sophistication and unpretentiousness embodied in the group's name is precisely what made the Harlem Hamfats (actually from Chicago) sound so fresh in 1936 and so welcome. A little jazz and blues, some swing, and songs about drinking, sex and dope make for completely enjoyable listening 80 years later too. The brainchild of entrepreneur J. Mayo Williams, the Hamfats were a studio group that never performed live. The core of the group was Joe McCoy (formerly Memphis Minni's husband) on guitar and lead vocal with his brother Charlie on guitar and mandolin with trumpeter Herb Morand, clarinetist Odell Rand, pianist Horace Malcolm and various different bass players and drummers. The Hamfats' first hit came with their first release, Oh! Red, which was influential enough to have Chuck Berry borrow some of its essence during his first sessions two decades later when he cut Maybelline. Other efforts bear such inviting titles as Let's Get Drunk And Truck/ Sales Tax On It/ My Garbage Man/ We Gonna Pitch A Boogie Woogie/ Jam Jamboree/ Hoodooin' Woman/ Hallelujah Joe Ain't Preachin' No More/ Baby Don't You Tear My Clothes and Weed Smoker's Dream, which Lil Green reworked in 1941 as Why Don't You Do Right?. 26 of the tracks features the Hamfats accompanying the superb singer Rosetta Howard including her paean to marijuana, If You're A Viper, its flip Rosetta's Blues, a cover of Bessie Smith's Empty Bed Blues and Let Your Linen Hang Low, featuring an anything but subtle lyric shared with with Joe. They can also be heard accompanying fine vocalists Alberta Smith and Lil Allen. After the Hamfats disbanded Joe formed a new, smaller group Big Joe & His Washboard Band (later Big Joe & His Rhythm) with Robert Lee McCoy (aka Robert Nighthawk) on harmonica, Charlie McCoy on mandolin, Ransom Knowling on bass and the brilliant Amanda Sortier on washboard. Although a very different line up the group performs in the lively spirit of the Harlem Hamfats. An exceptional release from JSP with great sound and informative notes by Neil Slaven. (FS)

JIMMY "DUCK" HOLMES & TERRY "HARMONICA" BEA Broke & Hungry 13011 Twice As Hard ● CD $14.98
10 tracks, strongly recommended
Excellent collection of Mississippi down home and country blues featuring the first collaboration between these two fine artists. There are a couple of solo titles from Holmes but most are duets with Holmes or Bean taking lead vocals and few where they share vocals. Some tracks are acoustic and some electric and on a number of cuts they are accompanied by drummer Frank Vick. The songs are mostly originals though strongly rooted in tradition. A varied and enjoyable set. (FS)

JIMMY LIGGINS & HIS DROPS OF JOY Jasmine 3073 Knocking You Out - A Singles Collection ● CD $15.98
30 tracks, highly recommended
Like his older brother Joe, singer, songwriter, guitarist & bandleader Jimmy Liggins was one of the architects of rhythm & blues in the 1940s. Jimmy's sound was harder and less polished than his brothers but equally vibrant. Like Joe, JImmy's key recordings were made for Specialty for whom he recorded between 1947 and 1953. His complete Specialty recordings, including unissued sides, were issued on a couple of out of print Specialty CDs but the first 20 tracks here features the best of his Specialty sides including hits like Tear Drop Blues/ Careful Love/ Careful LOve/ Don't Put Me Down and the oft-covered Drunk as well as other great sides like I Can't Stop It/ Cadillac/ Homecoming Blues/ Night Life Boogie/ Saturday Night Boogie Woogie Man/ Goin' Down With The Sun (a rare chance to hear Jimmy's dynamic guitar work)/ Comeback Home and more. This set also includes four superb sides Jimmy recorded for Aladdin in 1954 including a couple of sequels to Drunk in I Ain't Drunk and No More Alcohol and six sides he recorded for his own Duplex label in 1959 which are fine but not up to the standard of his earlier sides - mostly the problem of poorer sound. Sound is excellent and there are informative notes by Bob Fisher and full discographical details. (FS) During a 6-year tenureship with Specialty, Jimmy cut surprisingly few recordings, this in spite of the fact that Teardrop Blues/ Don't Put Me Down and Drunk All appeared in the Billboard R&B charts. This set contains many of his best recordings

LITTLE WALTER Acrobat 3165 The Complete Checker Singles, 1952-1960 ● CD $16.98
2 CDs, 52 tracks, 145 mins, essential
Little Walter was arguably the greatest harmonica player that ever lived, a transcendent player who revolutionized the instrument, and this is a collection of tracks from his most fertile years. After recording for Chess records as Muddy Waters' sideman, Walter stepped up front to lead his own group for these Checker records releases, the very first song he recorded as such: Juke was a smash hit, the biggest Chess/ Checker had up to that point. Little Walter spent the next few years tearing it up in the studio and often the Rhythm& Blues charts with classics like Sad Hours/ Off The Wall/ Mellow Down Easy/ Blues with a Feeling/ Boom Boom, Out Go The Lights/ You're So Fine, and of course probably his best known song My Babe. Having all of the A and B sides for Little Walter is great because of his habit of releasing an instrumental on one side and a vocal cut on the flip, so you get the best of both worlds. This one is certainly all killer, from the first track to the last, and you are missing out if you don't have these recordings. Complete session info included, accompanied by a short bio. (JM)

PERCY MAYFIELD Jasmine 3071 Lost Love - The Singles As & Bs ● CD $18.98
Two CDs, 56 tracks, essential
This is the most comprehensive collection of recordings by this magnificent artist featuring not only all his classic Specialty singles but also earlier and later recordings. It's not without reason that Percy Mayfield is called "The Poet Of The Blues" with his beautifully crafted, witty and intelligent, but never pretentious, lyrics that can strike at many nerves. Although his songs have been recorded by many singers few could equal Percy's own smokey voiced renditions. It starts with his four earliest recordings for the obscure GruVtone label in 1947 - fine sides marred by the fact that Percy's voice is buried in the mix and is almost inaudible - it does include a recording of one of his most famous songs Two Years Of Torture. That same year he cut four sides for Supreme where the recording balance is much better and includes another version of Two Years Of Toture. After a three year hiatus he was signed to Specialty where he remained for several years and this CD includes all his Specialty hits includes including his first recording for that label - the monumental Please Send Me Someone To Love - one of the great blues songs of the 50s with Percy praying to God for peace and racial equality and, if he's not too busy, could he fix him up with a girl to love - truly brilliant. This set also includes lots of other great songs like Strange Things Happening/ Praying For Your Return/ Lost Love/ What A Fool I Was/ Two Hearts Are Greater Than One/ Advice (For Men Only)/ The Big Question and others including his first recording of The River's Invitation which was later a hit for him on Tangerine. After being let go by Specialty in 1954 he made recordings for Checker, Imperial and & Arts as well as returning to Specialty a couple of times all of them splendid performances. The set ends with his first recording for his friend Ray Charles' Tangerine label in 1962 with the superb Never No More and I Reached For A Tear accompanied by Ray's band with Ray on piano. A tremendous release with great sound, informative notes by Bob Fisher and full discographical info. (FS)

JOE MEDWICK Edsel 632 I'm An After Hours Man - The Crazy Cajun Recordings ● CD $17.98 $10.98
19 tracks, recommended
Excellent soul singer and songwriter from Texas who is best known for having written a number of Bobby Bland's hits like Further On Up the Road/ I Pity the Fool and others. As usual for the Crazy Cajun reissues on Edsel the information is pretty vague but I would guess that most of these are unissued demos and arrangements are occasionally a bit ragged but there are some very fine performances from Joe who turns in some great deep soul ballads as well as some rocking up tempo numbers. I would assume that most of the songs are Medwick originals but there are also some nice covers including Robert Parker's Barefootin' and a surprising but effective version of Hank Williams' Wedding Bells. Arrangements range from rhythm section with keyboards to a full band with horns. Well worth a listen. (FS)

MICKEY & SYLVIA Hoodoo 263546 New Sounds ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, 61 mins, highly recommended
Mickey & Sylvia certainly recorded some of the most charming records of their time, their playful interactions and beautiful harmonies, plus Mickey's fantastic guitar playing made them down right irresistible. This is a re-issue of Mickey & Sylvia's classic 1957 "New Sounds" album, with 12 bonus tracks recorded from 1955-1960. Highlights on this fine collection include Love Will Make You Fail In School/ Who Knows Why?/ Where Is My Honey/ There Oughta Be A Law, and many more. The bonus tracks also make sure to include Love is Strange, just in case you didn't have it. Also worth noting is their take on Gonna Work out Fine that stands up right next to Ike & Tina's version. Special treat for you guitar aficionados, check out tracks like Shake It Up and Where Is My Honey, and tell me that isn't some of the hottest guitar pickin' of any Rhythm & Blues recordings from the 1950s. Another special treat for comedy fans is the great track "Love Lessons" written by Nipsy Russell! This CD also includes solid liner notes with lots of great pictures, reproductions of concert posters, record labels, and other ephemeral from M&S's classic years. (JM)
MICKEY & SYLVIA: A New Idea On Love/ Forever And A Day/ Gonna Work Out Fine/ I'm Going Home/ I'm So Glad/ I've Got A Feeling/ In My Heart/ It's You I Love/ Love Is Strange/ Love Lesson/ Love Will Make You Fail In School/ No Good Lover/ Oh Yeah! Uh Huh/ Peace Of Mind/ Rise Sally Rise/ Say The Word/ Se De Boom Run Dun/ Seems Like Just Yesterday/ Shake It Up/ There Oughta Be A Law/ There'll Be No Backin' Out/ Too Much Weight/ Where Is My Honey/ Who Knows Why?

THE NITE OWLS B.A.C.M. 538 Featuring Al Dexter and Clay Long ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, strongly recommended
Fine hillbilly trio from the 1930s with a Western Swing feel featuring Bob Symons on steel guitar and electric, Luke Owens on guitar and vocal and Jack True on string bass and vocals. They perform a fine and varied collections of songs, many written by group members. Includes I'm Just As Happy/ All That I'm Asking Is Sympathy/ What's Yo Name/ Memphis Blues/ Get It Ready and more. Symons's splendid steel guitar work is well to the fore on many tracks adding to the western swing feel. The group also accompanied Al Dexter on his earliest sessions and their are two fine previously unissued tracks from those sessions. The disc ends with five tracks from 1938 where they accompany obscure Alabama singer Clay Long. Excellent and informative notes from Kevin Coffey in teeny tiny print. (FS)
THE NITE OWLS: Alabama Moon/ All That I’m Asking Is Sympathy/ Answer To Disappointed Love/ Beale Street Blues/ Captain, Tell Me True/ Come A Little Closer/ Dreaming Of You/ Eight Ball Blues/ Get It Ready/ Here Comes Your Pappy/ High And Dry Blues/ I Got Worry On My Mind/ I Love You Best Of All/ I’m Gonna Ride/ I’m Just as Happy/ I’m Sorry I Made You Cry/ Loud Mouth/ Memphis Blues/ Nine Miles Out O’ Town/ Papa’s Gone/ Rosie/ Then I’ll Be Happy/ Waiting Old Pal For You/ What’s Yo Name/ Who’s Sorry Now

JOHNNY OTIS Kent (US) 8002 Otisology ● CD $10.98 $6.98
9 tracks, recommended
A swinging, jumpin', wailin', jiving set of standards & instrumentals on this 1995 release featuring Otis on a good time remake of Hand Jive, the peppery pipes of Barbara Morrison on Roll With Me, Henry, the souling sound of Chuck Williams on I'm Ready For Love, plus some stinging guitar licks from Shuggie and sax-hacks from Fred Clark. Groovy party-down collection. (JC)

CHARLIE PARKER Proper Box 99 Chasin' The Bird ● CD $24.98 $17.98
4 CDs, 63 tracks, essential
Wonderful overview of Parker's live career. Probably every note that Bird played has been chronicled & released, no matter how poor the quality or short the performance. This box collects four discs of highly listenable live performance from all areas of Bird's career. Starting off with a jam session at Monroe's in '42, the first disc covers live tracks done with Jay McShann's Orch. & with Dizzy Gillespie in '43 while a member of Billy Eckstine's Orch, then a few more sets with Diz & a Carnegie Hall appearance with Miles Davis. The second disc covers live airshots from The Royal Roost in NY - a brief 9/48 appearance with the rest from Dec. '48-Jan '49 including the famed Christmas show where he does White Christmas. The third disc is an entire all-star show from Birdland 5/50 with a group including Fats Navarro, Bud Powell & Art Blakey. The final disc starts off with a Carnegie hall appearance fomr12/49, then a '51 reunion with Diz & a few shorter shows including a couple appearances "with Strings" & a '52 show backed by the Gillespie Big Band's rhythm section of Milt Jackson (vibes), John Lewis (piano), Percy Heath (bass) 7 Kenny Clarke (drums) who would soon be known as the Modern Jazz Quartet. 48 pg booklet gives all the info. (GM)

WASHINGTON PHILLIPS Dust-To-Digital 49 And His Manzerene Dreams ● CD $24.98
16 track CD in 76 page hardcover book, essential
Washington Phillips made some of the most beautiful and haunting gospel recordings ever made. Although there have been previous reissues this is the definitive one - newly remastered from pristine copies of the original 78s the songs have never sounded better and the book, based on original research by the author Michael Corcoran provides us with much new information about his life and family. Phillips' accompanied his wistful arless singing with an eerie sounding instrument listed on his records as "novelty instrumental" that has been the source of controversy but thanks to Corcoran's research we now know that the instrument was a home made zither that Phillips called a "manzarene" - hence the enigmatic album title. Phillips was playing the instrument asa early as 1907 and probably up to his death in 1954. His songs were mostly originals, sometimes based on biblical themes, but often exploring his own view of the world - even willing to criticise different factions of the church in Denomination Blues, Part 1 & 2. Other songs include Take your Burdens To Lord And Leave Them There/ Lift Him Up That's All/ I Am Born To Preach The Gospel and others including the originally unissued two part You Can't Stop A Tattler. The book gives a biography of Phillips along with information on his family, including a family tree, anecdotes about him from some of the last people who knew him and much more. It includes the only known photograph of Phillips as well as a photo of his second wife, his death certificate, ads for his records, sheets from the recording ledger and more including a photo of the snuff bottle he used that was unearthed on hs property in 2002. This set is a wonderful testament to a truly unique performer. (FS)

THE RANCH BOYS B.A.C.M. 536 Vol.2 - More Songs Of The Plains ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, very good
Complementing B.A.C.M. 012 this is the second collection of recordings made by this West Coast based WEstern groupp (Ken Carson, Jack Ross and Curley Bradley). The 28 tracks here are mostly from radio transcriptions made between 1933 and '37 along with a handgul of their commercial discs made for Decca around the same time. The group have a pleasant sound though are not especially disnguished. Songs include Rock Me To Sleep In My Rocky Mountain Home/ Cowboy's Heaven/ Hand Me Down MY Walking Cane/ Ridge Runner Roan/ The Utah TRail, etc. (FS)
THE RANCH BOYS: Arizona Here I Come/ By A Window At The End Of The Lane/ Cowboy’s Heaven/ Desert Rose/ Genevieve/ Git Along Little Dogies/ Golden River/ Gooseberry Pie/ Hand Me Down My Walking Cane/ In The Cumberland Mountains/ Left My Gal In The Mountains/ Little Buckaroo/ Me And My Burro/ Nancy Till/ Old Pardner/ Open Up Them Pearly Gates/ Ridge Running Roan/ Ridin' The Range/ Rock Me To Sleep In My Rocky Mountain Home/ Roll On Little Dogies (Cowboy’s Dream)/ Sleepy Valley/ Sweet Betsy From Pike/ The Utah Trail/ There's A Blue Sky Away Out Yonder/ Wanderers Of The Wasteland/ When The Bees Are In The Hive/ When The Roses Bloom Again/ Wonder Valley

WAYNE RANEY Ace CDCHD 857 That Red Hot Boogie Boy** ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, 68 mins, essential
At last, an indepth look on CD at the recordings of this outstanding harmonica player, singer and composer recorded for King records between 1947 and 1953. Wayne sings in his unique nasal twang, combining elements of honky tonk, blues, country boogie, and old time balladry, forming his own very effective style. Nearly all the recordings find him accompanied on guitars by The Delmore Brothers who also provide vocal harmonies. On a couple of sessions they are joined by harmonica player Lonnie Glosson for a twin harmonica sound and some of the later sessions feature occasional electric guitar, steel, guitar, fiddle and piano. It includes his hits Lost John Boogie, Jack & Jill Boogie and the classic Why Don't You Haul Off And Love as well as lots of other great songs like Fox Chase (his only solo harmonica piece), the lovely Lonesome Wind Blues with fine mandolin from Mac Luna, the delightful novelty Pardon My Whiskers, an excellent cover of Lefty Frizzell's If You've Got The Money, I've Got The Time and lots more. Sound quality is superb (none of those horrible overdubs) and the 12 page booklet has extensive notes by Dave Sax plus photos and label shots. A winner all the way. (FS)

OTIS REDDING Rhino 55965 Complete & Unbelievable - The Otis Redding Dictionary Of Soul ● CD $19.98
2 CD, 32 tracks, essential
Last year, Atlantic/Rhino gave us a spiffy re-issue of Redding's seminal "Otis Blue" album for its' 50th anniversary; this year, his fifth studio album, originally issued in 1966, also gets the 50th anniversary treatment. Like "Otis Blue", "Complete and Unbelievable." sports remastered mono and stereo mixes of the original album, as well as bonus tracks. "Complete and Unbelievable.." contains the hits Try a Little Tenderness and Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song), but it also has covers of Tennessee Waltz and the Beatles' Day Tripper, as Redding continues to play with the limits of the Soul format. But best of all are his originals: it doesn't get any better than I'm Sick Y'All/ Sweet Lorene/ She Put the Hurt On Me/'Ton of Joy, and the immortal Try a Little Tenderness, which contains some of the best playing ever by Booker T. & the MGs and the Memphis Horns. As for the bonus tracks, You Left the Water Running is charming, Trick or Treat is sassy, and Loving By the Pound is cut from the same boastful cloth as Hard to Handle. Also: an alternate take of Try a Little Tenderness and three electrifying live cuts from 1967 - Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa/ Day Tripper, and a spellbinding Try a Little Tenderness. Apart from a duet album cut with Carla Thomas, this is the last studio album Redding completed before his untimely death. Listening to this CD brings home even more what we lost that December day in 1967 when Otis Redding's plane crashed into that lake. No self-respecting R&B/Soul fan should be without this album in their collection. (GMC)

OTIS REDDING Volt 39646 Live At The Whiskey A Go Go - The Complete Recordings ● CD $65.98
6 CDs, 65 tracks, essential
On the nights of April 8-10 in 1966, Otis Redding became the first R&B artist to play at the well-known Sunset Strip rock club, The Whiskey A Go Go. These landmark performances were recorded for the occasion, but have never been released, in their entirety, until now. All three nights are documented for posterity over six CDs, two discs for each show. Performing two sets each night, Otis and the band mixed up the running order of the songs considerably. Although the reason for these recordings not being issued during the 60's was due to supposed inconsistency in the recording quality, the crystal clear sound quality on these discs is totally evident. Featuring songs from Otis' then-currently LP, "The Soul Album" (Just One More Day/ Any Ole Way/ Good To Me), the set is also liberally peppered with earlier gems like Mr. Pitiful/ Respect/ I've Been Loving You Too Long, and These Arms of Mine. Although the audience is polite, they aren't exactly on fire, even though Otis and the band are giving it their all. But ultimately it doesn't matter about the staid crowd; what matters is that everyone here is firing on all cylinders on the breathless (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction/ I'm Depending On You, and I Can't Turn You Loose. The final night of the run sees the boys going nuts with the cover versions, throwing into the mix rousing versions of A Hard Day's Night and Papa's Got a Brand New Bag. Although the liner notes are a bit on the skimpy side, as historic artifacts, these recordings are essential; as listening pleasure, they are unforgettable. (GMC)

BIG AL SEARS Bear Family BCD 15668 Sear-iously** ● CD $21.98
25 tracks, highly recommended
A major tenor sax player of both the big band and 50's rock 'n roll eras, Sears began his professional career in the late 20's, while still in his teens. During the 30's and 40's, he lent his blues-based style of play to various jazz ensembles including Chick Webb's orchestra, Andy Kirk and his Cloud of Joy, and, after W.W. II, Duke Ellington's orchestra. In the 50's he was both a session musician and a leader of his own recording aggregations for Coral, RCA, and Herald. The 25 tracks on this disc, recorded between 1949 and 1956, are about evenly split between those tracks which still have a big band jazz feel and those which lean toward rock 'n roll, with fine performances throughout. Six of the cuts feature vocals. Highlights include Brown Boy, the forerunner of the Jive Bombers later hit retitled Bad Boy, Mag's Alley, Fo-Yah, Goin' Uptown, Come And Dance With Me, and Love Call. Typical Bear Family quality with excellent sound, great photos, and a 28 page booklet full on informative notes. My only regret, a minor one, is that Sears' lead performance on Johnny Hodges 1951 hit Castle Rock is not included. (DH)

GENE SIMMONS Charly SROLL 834 I Done Told You** ● CD $9.98
27 tracks, 62 mins, highly recommended
Tupelo, Mississippi's other Rockabilly Cat, Jumpin' Gene Simmons, is one of those unfortunate "what could have been" stories in the history of early Rock 'n' Roll. Lost in the shuffle at Sun records with only two of his recordings for the label ever released in the day, so much of this great Rockabilly singer/ songwriter work sat on a shelf during his prime. Most folks, if they know Simmons at all, know him from his 1964 Hi records cover of Johnny Fuller's Haunted House, a great version that was a minor hit, if justice was served it would have been one of many. You can get that and a whole lot of other great tunes on "Haunted House: The Complete Jumpin' Gene Simmons on Hi Records." This collection deals with all his recordings for Sun Records, which covers his earliest work. This is certainly essential stuff for Rockabilly fans with such killer kuts as Drinkin Wine/ I Done Told You, the slow and sultry Blues At Midnight, Peroxide Blonde and a Hopped Up Model Ford, (which Brian Setzer would cover 50 years later,) Crazy Woman, and many more boppin beauties. It might be a bit telling that this collection starts with Drinkin' Wine and ends with Drinkin' Scotch, must have been frustrating having all this talent and watching everyone around you get rich and famous. Fairly extensive notes tell of our hero's journey and the booklet also includes a few rare photos. Great stuff! (JM)

THE SPIRITS OF RHYTHM JSP 6706 Fine Jazzmen Whose Object Was Fun ● CD $17.98
16 tracks, strongly recommended
Previously available as JSP 307 in the 1990s. 16 performances by this wonderfully exuberant group of 4 strings & a drummer, with scat pioneer Leo Watson on vocals & tipple, joined on tipple by Wilbur & Douglas Daniels, & Teddy Bunn on guitar. Includes their wild & swingin' versions of Junk Man/ I Got Rhythm(2 versions)/ Nobody's Sweetheart/ Dr. Watson & Mr. Holmes (2 versions), plus 4 tunes from a session with vocalist Red McKenzie (GM)

RALPH STANLEY Freeland CFRC 9002 Classic Stanley** ● CD $24.98
2 CDs, 34 tracks, 1 hour, 26 min; essential
Fantastic collection of recordings from festivals, rehearsal tapes and studio recordings of Ralph's band from the period 1970-76, including 16 selections from the festival season of 1971, mostly recorded live at various festivals. These recordings are significant because they marked the first summer that the youthful Keith Whitley and Ricky Skaggs toured as Clinch Mtn. Boys, and they, along with Ralph, band stalwarts Jack Cooke, Curly Ray Cline, and Roy Lee Centers, made some mighty bluegrass that summer, some of the most exhilarating, exciting bluegrass imaginable, marked both by its spontaneity and high polish. Even the most dedicated Stanley fans must be asking themselves at this point; Do I want yet another recording of these warhorses, which have made up the bulk of Ralph's repertoire for thirty years or more? The answer, (trust me) is a resounding yes; this is an amazing set with great sound, informative notes, and inspired versions of virtually every song and tune included. Selections include Nobody's Love Is Like Mine/ Going Up Home To Live In Green Pastures (incredible!)/ Bright Morning Star/ Stone Walls and Steel Bars/ Who Will Sing For Me/ , Cry From The Cross/ Rank Stranger et al .(RP)

SYREETA Kent CDTOP 455 The Rita Wright Years - Rare Motown, 1967-70 ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Syreeta Wright is best known today as Stevie Wonder's first ex-wife, co-writer on his 1970 hit If You Really Love Me, and for her 1979 hit duet with Billy Preston, With You, I'm Born Again. But before all that, during a brief period in the late 60's, Motown attempted to carve a solo career for her as Rita Wright. Previously working as a receptionist and demo singer, Motown gave Wright her one shot at solo success in 1967, the wonderful I Can't Give Back the Love I Feel For You, which sank without a trace. After the song's failure, Rita went back to the front desk and demo singing; those demos form the bulk of this compilation. Many of these songs ended up being recorded by the Supremes - in fact, Berry Gordy considered replacing the departing Diana Ross with Rita in the Supremes. A curious notion, since Rita's voice and delivery are more reminiscent of Tammi Terrell than Diana Ross, at least to these ears. Nonetheless, Rita's performance on songs like Ain't I Gonna Win Your Love/ It Don't Mean Nothin' To Me, and Something On My Mind (the B-Side of I Can't Give Back the Love I Feel For You, both written by Ashford and Simpson) is first rate it boggles the mind why she didn't get more chances at scoring a hit of her own. Of the songs Rita demoed for the Supremes, the most fascinating is her version of the 1968 hit Love Child: the arrangement is almost intact (only the strings are missing) and there's an extra verse that didn't make it to the finished version. From a historical and musical standpoint, Rita's Love Child is worth the price of admission all on its' own. Although, Rita's time would come later-beginning with the album she and Stevie masterminded in 1972, "Syreeta" - this compilation proves that she had the goods all along. (GMC)

ALLEN TOUSSAINT & OTHERS Jasmine 3074 The Wild New Orleans Piano & Productions, 1958-1962 ● CD $15.98
32 tracks, 73 mins, very highly recommended
There is a whole lot of Allen Toussaint to love here. Starting off you get his 1958 album "The Wild Sound of New Orleans" in its entirety, an instrumental beauty with some of New Orleans best like Lee Allen, and Red Tyler sitting in as well. From there is a quartet of fantastic rare singles, both A and B sides, from 1959-60. Highlights on those include Sweetie Pie (Twenty Years Later,) the playful Naomi, and rockin Moo Moo. On top of all that, you get a murderers' row of tracks with Toussaint accompanying, producing and/ or writing, like Ooh Poo Pah Doo by Jessie Hill, Mother In Law by Ernie K. Doe, Fortune Teller by Benny Spellman, and many more. This release is a tribute to Allen Toussaint, a celebration of the music and the man, which also happens to have some of the greatest Rhythm & Blues ever recorded in New Orleans. (JM)
ALLEN AND ALLEN: Heavenly Baby/ Tiddle Winks/ JESSIE HILL: Ooh Poo Pah Doo (Part 1)/ Ooh Poo Pah Doo (Part 2)/ ERNIE K-DOE: 'Taint It The Truth/ A Certain Girl/ Mother In Law/ CHRIS KENNER: I Like It Like That (Part 1)/ I Like It Like That (Part 2)/ AARON NEVILLE: Over You/ BENNY SPELLMAN: Fortune Teller/ Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)/ IRMA THOMAS: It's Raining/ AL TOUSAN AND HIS PIANO: A Blue Mood/ Back Home In Indiana/ Chico/ Moo Moo/ Naomi/ Sweetie Pie (Twenty Years Later)/ ALLEN TOUSSAINT: Bono/ Happy Times/ Java/ Me And You/ Nashua/ Nowhere To Go/ Pelican Parade/ Po' Boy Walk/ Tim Tam/ Up The Creek/ Wham Tousan/ Whirlaway

DAVE VAN RONK Rockbeat 3284 Hear Me Howl, Live 1964 ● CD $18.98
2 CDs, 25 tracks, 98 mins, highly recommended
This is Dave Van Ronk in his prime, in 1964, holding court at the University of Indiana at Bloomington, a college show, second only to a coffee house as the best setting for a Dave Van Ronk concert. You get him at his growling, whispering, shouting, and story telling best. This excellent set features Van Ronk's take on a wealth of Folk and Blues classics (heavy on the Rev. Gary Davis,) with a couple originals mixed in. Highlights include Buddy Bolden's Blues/ Motherless Children/ Green Rocky Road/ Alabama Song/ Cocaine Blues, and the one bonus track, his heartbreaking version of He Was A Friend of Mine recorded at the Phil Ochs memorial concert in 1977. The only problem I have with this set is that his soft sounds are awfully quiet and his loud sounds (his barbaric yawp,) are awfully loud, so I had a little trouble finding a volume where I could consistently enjoy this. Overall this is an excellent set that I'm sure Folk fans will love. (JM)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 433 Old Town Doo Wop, Volume One** ● CD $18.98
27 tracks, 67 min., essential
The first in a projected three disc series focused on the vocal group output of Hy Weiss's fine New York label and an easy-to-listen-to mix of ballads, medium tempo numbers, and jumps. Among the many highlights are Zu Zu by the Bonnevilles, A Fool in Love and Seven Wonders of the World by the Keytones, Later Later Baby and You Could Be My Own by the Five Crowns, Have You Ever Loved Someone and I Need Your Love So Bad by the Vocaleers, There's a Moon Out Tonight by the Capris, and Remember Then by the Earls. A must-buy disc, with first rate sound, excellent notes, and fine cover art featuring a photo of the Capris. (DH)
THE BONNEVILLES: Lorraine/ Zu Zu/ THE CAPRIS: There's A Moon Out Tonight/ THE CO-EDS: I Love An Angel/ Love You Baby All The Time/ THE EARLS: Remember Then/ THE ESQUIRES: I Fell In Love/ THE FIESTAS: Last Night I Dreamed/ THE FIVE CROWNS: Later Later Baby/ You Could Be My Love/ THE HARPTONES: It All Depends On/ Mambo Boogie/ On A Sunday Afternoon/ THE KEYTONES: A Fool In Love/ Seven Wonders Of The World/ THE LAURELS (AKA THE ORBITS): Message Of Love/ RUTH MCFADDEN & THE ROYALTONES: Two In Love (With One Heart)/ THE ROYALTONES: Hey, Norman/ Never Let Me Go/ THE SOLITAIRES: Magic Rose/ Walking Along/ THE SYMBOLS: Crying My Heart Out/ Last Rose Of Summer/ THE TRU-TONES: Why Oh Why/ THE VALENTINES: Tonight, Kathleen/ THE VOCALEERS: Haved You Ever Loved Someone/ I Need Your Love So Bad

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 470 Old Town Doo Wop, Vol. 2** ● CD $18.98
28 tracks, 69 min., essential
Even before the celebratory dust had settled from the arrival of volume one, here is volume two in Ace's review of the vocal group output of New York's Old Town Records. It's every bit as good as that earlier issue and is again a solid mix of fine ballads and jumps. Among the many highlights are My Dearest Darling by the Clefftones, The Day We Fell in Love by the Ovations, Where I Fell in Love by the Capris, Life is But a Dream by the Harptones, Lullaby Of The Bells by the Five Crowns, Love and Devotion by the Vocaleers, and The Angels Sang by the Solitaires. Almost all tracks are taken from the original master tapes. The notes are genuinely informative, and the cover art features a classic photo of Willie Winfield and the Harptones. Great music, and volume three is due soon. (DH)
THE CAPRIS: Where I Fell In Love/ THE CHIMES: Mexico/ My Broken Heart/ THE CLEFFTONES: The Masquerade Is Over/ THE CLEFTONES: My Dearest Darling/ THE ESCORTS: There's Something Awful Nice About You/ Why Does The World Go Around/ THE FIESTAS: Our Anniversary/ So Fine/ THE FIVE CROWNS: Good Luck Darling/ Lullabye Of The Bells/ THE HARPTONES: I've Got A Notion/ Life Is But A Dream/ THE HUMMERS: Do You Know What I Mean/ Gee What A Girl/ RUTH MCFADDEN & THE HARPTONES: School Boy/ THE OVATIONS: My Lullabye/ The Day We Fell In Love/ THE PACKARDS: Ding Dong/ Dream Of Love/ THE ROYALTONES: Hong Kong Jelly Wong/ I Give You My Word/ THE SOLITAIRES: The Angels Sang/ What Did She Say/ THE SUPREMES: My Babe She Don't Want Me/ Zip Boom/ THE VOCALEERS: Love And Devotion/ THE WHIRLPOOLS AKA THE CLEFTONES: Little Girl (I Love You Madly)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 471 Old Town Doo Wop, Vol 3** ● CD $18.98
28 tracks, 71 min., essential
The final volume in the Ace review of the vocal group output of New York's Old Town Records. The distinguishing characteristic of this disc, much like the first two in the series, is variety: a nice mix of ballads and jumps performed by no less than seventeen groups, with nine cuts unreleased in the 50s. Among the highlights are Indian Girl by the Capris, I Beg Your Forgiveness by the Co-Eds, My Heart by the Keytones, The Wedding by the Solitaires, My Faith by the Fi-Tones, and Please Give Me One More Chance by Gene Mumford and the Serenaders. Fine monaural sound, track by track notes, and a great cover photo of the Royaltones. (DH)
THE CAPRIS: Indian Girl/ THE CO-EDS: I Beg Your Forgiveness/ I'm In Love/ THE CROWNS: Possibility/ THE EARLS: Life Is But A Dream/ THE ESQUIRES: Why Must I Love You/ PEGGY FARMER AND THE HARPTONES: I Love You Baby/ THE FI-TONES: My Faith/ THE FOUR PHARAOHS: China Girl/ Give Me Your Love/ THE HARPTONES: School Girl/ You Know You're Doing Me Wrong/ You're Gonna Need My Help Someday/ THE INSPIRATORS: Oh, What A Feeling/ Starlight Tonight/ THE KEYTONES: My Heart/ RUTH MCFADDEN & THE SUPREMES: Darling, Listen To The Words Of This Song/ GENE MUMFORD & THE SERENDERS: Please Give Me One More Chance/ THE ROYALTONES: Crazy Love/ Latin Lover/ THE SOLITAIRES: The Wedding/ THE SUPREMES: The Last Round Up/ Tonight/ THE TREMAINES: Jingle, Jingle/ Moon Shining Bright/ THE UNIVERSALS: Think/ THE WHIRLPOOLS AKA THE CLEFTONES: Gloria/ Guess Who

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1483 Let It Be - Black America Sings Lennon, McCartney & Harrison ● CD $18.98
22 tracks, highly recommended
The Beatles' songs have always eminently coverable and many artists have put their stamp on the songs of Lennon and McCartney-everyone from Joe Cocker to Ray Charles. And the R&B world has been no exception, on this sequel to "Come Together: Black America Sings Lennon & McCartney" (Ace 1300 - $18.98) 22 of the biggest names in R&B/Soul get their Fab Four on. With the inclusion of songs by the underrated George Harrison, the album is kicked up several notches by Nina Simone's take on Here Comes the Sun, Ella Fitzgerald swinging out on Savoy Truffle, and Isaac Hayes' epic interpretation of Something. Of course from people like Aretha Franklin (Eleanor Rigby), Randy Crawford (Don't Let Me Down), Bill Withers (Let It Be), Ike & Tina Turner (She Came in Through the Bathroom Window), Dionne Warwick (We Can Work it Out), and The Temptations (Hey Jude) one expects greatness and they don't disappoint. But the real surprises are from Arthur Conley (Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da), Junior Parker (a spooky Tomorrow Never Knows), Screamin' Jay Hawkins (a spirited A Hard Day's Night), Maceo & All the King's Men (a tender For No One), and Boyz II Men (a gorgeous In My Life). As a second trip the well, I can report that Let It Be is not a wasted journey. (GMC)
THE 5 STAIRSTEPS: Dear Prudence/ GARY US BONDS: It's Only Love/ BOYZ II MEN: In My Life/ ARTHUR CONLEY: Ob La Di Ob La Da/ RANDY CRAWFORD: Don't Let Me Down/ FATS DOMINO: Lovely Rita/ EARTH, WIND AND FIRE: Got To Get You Into My Life/ ELLA FITZGERALD: Savoy Truffle/ THE FOUR TOPS: The Fool On The Hill/ ARETHA FRANKLIN: Eleanor Rigby/ SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS: A Hard Day's Night/ ISAAC HAYES: Something/ MACEO & ALL THE KING'S MEN: For No One/ JUNIOR PARKER: Tomorrow Never Knows/ NINA SIMONE: Here Comes The Sun/ THE SUPREMES: A World Without Love/ THE TEMPTATIONS: Hey Jude/ IKE & TINA TURNER: She Came In Through The Bathroom Window/ THE UNDISPUTED TRUTH: With A Little Help From My Friends/ DIONNE WARWICK: We Can Work It Out/ MARY WELLS: Do You Want To Know A Secret/ BILL WITHERS: Let It Be

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1486 Boppin' By The Bayou - Drive-Ins & Baby Dolls ● CD $18.98
Another fine collection of rare and unissued Louisiana rockabilly and rock & roll - mostly from the vaults of Goldband and Jay Miller. This one includes sides by Cookie Roberts, Jerry Noble & The Plantation Boys, Burl Boykin, Zoro & The Zips, Terry Clement, Roy Templin & The Credit Cards, Frankie Lowery, Arnold Broussard, Wayne Farmer & The Teen-Beats and more. Usual high quality sound and documentation.
BEE ARNOLD: Don't Do It Daddy/ JOHNNY BASS: Love Can Wait/ ROD BERNARD: No Money Down/ BURL BOYKIN: Let Me Come Your Way/ FRED CARTER: (You'll Have To) Come And Get It/ JAY CHEVALIER: Cuttin' Cane/ TERRY CLEMENT & THE TUNE TONES: Hey Joli/ She's My Baby Doll/ TERRY CLEMENT &THE TUNE TONES: Won't Somebody Love Me/ TERRY CLEMENT THE TUNE TONES: Rock Me Mama/ CLEVELAND CROCHET: Sweet Thing/ WAYNE FARMER & THE TEEN BEATS: Yeah! Yeah! My Baby/ JOHN FRED: Lenne/ MICKEY GILLEY: Drive-In Movie/ JOE JACKSON: Rock My Warriors Rock/ WILEY JEFFERS: You're So Square/ JOHNNY & THE JAMMERS: School Day Blues/ FRANKIE LOWERY: She's Fine/ She's Mine/ JAY NANULES: Trio Boogie/ JERRY NOBLE & THE PLANTATION PLAYBOYS: Mabel's Done Gone/ COOKIE ROBERTS: Draggin' The Drive-Ins/ DOUG STANFORD: Won't You Tell Me/ ROY TEMPLIN: Charge It/ TOMMY TODD: Prisoners Song/ UNKNOWN ROCKABILLY BAND: Zynnin'/ VIC WILDER: Earline/ ZORRO & THE ZIPS: Frankie & Johnny

VARIOUS ARTISTS Acrobat 7102 America's Greatest Hits, 1941 ● CD $23.98
4 CDs, 91 tracks, 289 mins, highly recommended
Here is an extravaganza of nostalgia, full of great music from the height of the swing era. Four CDs worth of big band greats like Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, Xavier Cugat, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, Harry James, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, etc. plus vocalists like Dinah Shore, Bing Crosby, The Andrews Sisters, and a young up and comer named Frank Sinatra. This set includes every record that hit the Billboard Best Sellers Top Ten in 1941, so there's a little carryover from the 1940 edition, and a couple of tracks will probably slip over into the 1942 set. Mind you, this doesn't include the Rhythm & Blues charts, the main artist to cross over by this point would be the Ink Spots, but that will change soon enough. Also, during this time it was common for multiple artists to have a hit with the same song, so there are multiple versions of numbers like I Don't Want to Set the World On Fire/ There I Go/ Elmer's Tune/ Shepherd Serenade/ Maria Elena, etc. Some favorites tracks of mine featured here, that I haven't heard in years included: Frenesi - Artie Shaw & His Orchestra, Perfidia - Xavier Cugat & His Waldorf-Astoria Orch., Let Me Off Uptown - Gene Krupa & His Orchestra Featuring Anita O'Day & Roy Elridge, and We Three - The Ink Spots, just to name a few. (JM)
THE ANDREWS SISTERS WITH VIC SCHOEN & HIS OR: I'll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time/ Ferry-Boat Serenade/ CHARLIE BARNET & HIS ORCH. WITH BOB CARROLL: I Hear A Rhapsody/ WILL BRADLEY & HIS ORCH. FEAT. RAY MCKINLEY &: Beat Me Daddy (Eight To The Bar)/ WILL BRADLEY & HIS ORCH. FEAT. RAY MCKINLEY: Scrub Me Mama With A Boogie Beat/ BOB CROSBY & HIS ORCH. WITH BONNIE KING: Down Argentina Way/ BING CROSBY WITH BOB CROSBY & HIS ORCH.: New San Antonio Rose/ BING CROSBY WITH JOHN SCOTT TROTTER & HIS ORC: 'Til Reveille/ Only Forever/ XAVIER CUGAT & HIS WALDORF-ASTORIA ORCH.: Perfidia/ AL DONAHUE & HIS ORCH. WITH DEE KEATING: The Wise Old Owl/ JIMMY DORSEY & HIS ORCH. BOB EBERLY & HELEN O': Amapola/ JIMMY DORSEY & HIS ORCH. WITH BOB EBERLY: Blue Champagne/ Green Eyes (Aquellos Ojos Verdes)/ JIMMY DORSEY & HIS ORCH. WITH HELEN O'CONNELL: Jim/ JIMMY DORSEY & HIS ORCH. WITH BOB EBERLY: Maria Elena/ My Sister And I/ The Things I Love/ Time Was (Duerme)/ Yours (Quiereme Mucho)/ TOMMY DORSEY & HIS ORCH. WITH FRANK SINATRA &: Do I Worry/ Dolores/ TOMMY DORSEY & HIS ORCH. WITH FRANK SINATRA: Everything Happens To Me/ TOMMY DORSEY & HIS ORCH. WITH THE PIED PIPERS: Let's Get Away From It All/ TOMMY DORSEY & HIS ORCH. WITH FRANK SINATRA &: Oh Look At Me Now/ TOMMY DORSEY & HIS ORCH. WITH FRANK SINATRA: This Love Of Mine (Este Amor Mio)/ Two In Love/ TOMMY DORSEY & HIS ORCH. WITH JO STAFFORD & SY: Yes Indeed! (De Verdad Que Si!)/ EDDY DUCHIN & HIS ORCH. WITH JOHNNY DRAKE: You Walk By/ BENNY GOODMAN & HIS ORCH. WITH LOUISE TOBIN: There'll Be Some Changes Made/ HORACE HEIDT & HIS MUSICAL KNIGHTS WITH RONNIE: G'bye Now/ Goodbye Dear, I'll Be Back In A Year/ HORACE HEIDT & HIS MUSICAL KNIGHTS WITH LARRY C: Shepherd Serenade/ WOODY HERMAN & HIS ORCH.: Blue Flame/ THE INK SPOTS: We Three/ HARRY JAMES & HIS ORCH.: Music Makers/ HARRY JAMES & HIS ORCH.: You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want To Do It)/ Lament To Love/ DICK JURGENS & HIS ORCH.: Elmer's Tune/ SAMMY KAYE & THE KAYE CHOIR: Daddy/ SAMMY KAYE & THE THREE KAYDETS: Until Tomorrow (Goodnight My Love)/ HAL KEMP & HIS ORCH. WITH BOB ALLEN: It All Comes Back To Me Now/ WAYNE KING & HIS ORCH.: Intermezzo/ GENE KRUPA & HIS ORCH. WITH HOWARD DULANY: High On A Windy Hill/ GENE KRUPA & HIS ORCH. WITH ANITA O'DAY: Just A Little Bit South Of North Carolina/ Let Me Off Uptown/ KAY KYSER & HIS ORCH. WITH HARRY, GINNY, JAC: Alexander The Swoose/ Til Reveille/ GUY LOMBARDO & HIS ROYAL CANADIANS WITH KENN: The Band Played On/ TONY MARTIN: Tonight We Love (Concerto No. 1 B Flat Minor)/ FREDDY MARTIN & HIS ORCH.: Piano Concerto In B Flat/ The Hut-Sut Song (A Swedish Serenade)/ GLENN MILLER & HIS ORCH.: Anvil Chorus (from "Il Trovatore")/ I Dreamt I Dwelt In Harlem/ Song Of The Volga Boatman/ A Nightingale Sang In Berkley Square/ Along The Santa Fe Trail/ Chattanooga Choo Choo/ Five O'Clock Whistle/ Jingle Bells/ The Booglie Wooglie Piggy/ White Cliffs Of Dover/ You And I/ VAUGHN MONROE & HIS ORCH.: There I Go/ ARTIE SHAW & GRAMERCY FIVE: Dancing In The Dark/ Summit Ridge Drive/ ARTIE SHAW & HIS ORCH.: Concerto For Clarinet/ Frenesi/ Star Dust/ Blues In The Night/ DINAH SHORE: Yes My Darling Daughter/ CHARLIE SPIVAK & HIS ORCH. WITH GARRY STEVENS &: This Is No Laughing Matter/ TOMMY TUCKER TIME WITH AMY ARNELL & THE VOICES: I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire

VARIOUS ARTISTS Archeophone 1009 Waxing The Gospel: Mass Evangelism & The Phonograph ● CD $46.98
Amazing new release from the adventurous Archeophone label featuring the earliest religious recordings made in the USA. Three CDS with 102 recordings, mostly made on cylinders, between 1890 and 1900 bound in a beautiful 408 page hardbound book. The 1890s were a great period of religious revival led by interationally famed evangelists Dwight Moody and Ira Sankey. The set opens with an 1890 recitation of The Lord's Prayer by the inventor of the gramophone Emile Berliner. It includes studio recordings made by Moody and Sankey as well as the leading artists of the day including the earliest recordings of such sacred favorites as Rock Of Ages/ Rocked In The Cradle Of The Deep/ Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior/ Nearer My God To Thee and others. The set also includes more than a dozen recordings made in the parlors of ordinary people experimenting with their own phonographs. The set also includes highlights from a cache of cylinders found some time ago that were thought to be home cylinders but, after much research, were determined to be "field recordings" from 1897 made at the annual Methodist camp meeting at Ocean Grove, New Jersey which includes the only known recording of the prolific blind hymn-writer Fannie Crosby. Although most of the performers are Caucasian it also includes an 1894 recording of the Standard Quartette with the first known recording of Swing Low Sweet Chariot with different lyrics. The book itself is a masterpiece with extensive notes by Richard Martin on the history of evangelism and its relation to the phonograph, extensive background to the recordings, profiles of the performers, track by track information on each performance with lyrics and hundreds of rare photos - some in full color. Sound quality varies as some of the original cylinders were in very poor condition but meticulous restoration efforts means that every track is listenable.

VARIOUS ARTISTS B.A.C.M. 537 Country Music On The Nashville Label, Vol. 1 ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, recommended
The Nashville label was a subsidiary of Starday formed in 1961 which mostly concentrated on custom releases. 19 of the tracks were recorded in the Starday studios, usually under the supervision of Tommy Hill and the rest were submitted by the artists. The artists are all obscure and in many cases these are their only recordings. Among the highlights are two fine bluegrass songs from Lowell Varney, two above average honky tonkers from Dave Stewart who sounds a little like George Jones and Jimmie Zack is a fine performer with an old time feel to his performances. Most of the rest is solid, if not outstanding, honky tonk from artists like Ray Pressley, Hal Parson, Joe Hudgins, Buddy Meredith and others. Fine sound and notes from Phil Tricker with what little information is known about the artists. (FS)
RAY ARDEN: Send Me Back My Heart/ BEN & BILL & ARKANSAS TRAVELERS: Monkey See - Monkey Do/ My One Mistake/ LEON HOBSON: Ball And Chain Blues/ BOBBY HODGE: Carolina Bound/ JOE HUDGINS: Around The Town/ I'm Crying My Heart Out/ WHALEN JAMES: My Beautiful/ BROWNIE JOHNSON: Your Heart Of Stone/ EDDIE JONES: Memories Of You/ RAY KING: Show Her Lots Of Gold/ BUDDY MEREDITH: Time/ HAL PARSON: Lonely Juke Box Love/ Lost Love/ RAY PRESSLEY: You're A Part Of Me/ Your New Love/ JIMMY SIMPSON: A Year And A Day/ Life Goes On I Wonder Why/ SAMMY SMITH: Consolation In My Dreams/ Your Helping Hand/ DAVE STEWART: Thinking About You/ Yearning Heart/ LOWELL VARNEY & THE ROCKY MT. PALS: Corner Of My Heart/ Why I Love You/ PAUL WAYNE: More Can I Can Bear [sic]/ The Blues Have Got The Best Of Me/ JIMMIE ZACK: Lost John's Gone/ My Get Up And Go

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 17426 Arthur Q. Smith - The Trouble With The Truth ● CD $37.98
Two CDs, 49 tracks, highly recommended
A truly revelatory release. The story of Arthur Q. Smith is the stuff of fiction but it's all true. Smith was one of the great country songwriters of the late 1940s and 1950s and wrote many songs that became big hits but he made very little money from his songs as he would frequently sell his songs to whoever was around for $15 or $25 to buy booze to stoke his serious alcoholism or just to get by. Songs like Wedding Bells/ Rainbow At Midnight/ I Overlooked An Orchid/ How Will Explain About You and many other hits were written by Arthur but have another name as composer. In the case of Wedding Bells which was a hit for Hank Williams the author credit is Claude Boone, a little known singer/ songwriter, who bought the song from Arthur for $15. After Boone got a $15,000 royalty check for the song he was asked by a friend if he would share some of the money with Smith since Arthur was broke most of the time and Boone told him "No. You know What I'm going to do for Q? I'm going to buy him a big steak." Documentation exists proving that Smith did, indeed, compose many hit songs and stories and rumors exist that there are many more he wrote for which no proof exists. Smith presented two faces to the world - to his friends he was a warm hearted and generous person, to his family he was something of a monster beating his wife and children. All this and much more is presented in the incredible 124 page booklet thanks to the intensive research of authors Bradley Reeves and Wayne Bledsoe. The booklet alone is worth the price of this set but we also get two CDs of great music. The first CD includes original recordings of songs that Smith wrote - many of them country hits with performances by Roy Acuff, Hank Williams, Carl Smith, Bill Monroe, Carl Butler, Orval Prophet, George McCormick, Carl Story and others. It also includes the beautiful The Man In The Moon Cried Last Night by Chester Smith - a song Smith wrote in late 1951 for his friend Hank Williams who died before he had a chance to record it but was certainly prime Williams material. The second disc features 15 songs by Smith himself - four of them from his two very rare King 78s and the others previously unissued demos from acetates in the possession of one of Arthur's friends and reveal that he was a very fine performer in his own right. It also includes fine demos by Don Gibson and Carl Butler - two artists who greatly benefited from Arthur's unintended largesse. This CD features Marty Stuart singing Harlan Howard's song Be Careful Who You Love inspired by Arthur's story. Stuart is also spearheading a move to get Smith inducted into the Songwriter's Hall Of Fame. Sound quality is superb and the amazing documentation gives us whole lot of important new insight into a little known aspect of country music - Smith, apparently, was not the only songwriter who didn't get the credit they deserved for their work. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Big Beat CDWIKD 262 Get Ready To Fly-Pop-Psych From The Norman Petty Vaults** ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, 73 mins, highly recommended
Herein we have a compilation of the late `60s Norman Petty productions. The brilliant producer behind the early Buddy Holly, The Fireballs etc., so this will be full of twangy guitars, sincere melodies and classic Rock `n Roll, right? Well, it's more like fuzzy guitars, spaced-out lyrics, two fisted strychnine infused dope rock madness. except Petty didn't allow that kind of behavior in his studio; what these pimple-faced troglodytes did in the parking lot was their own biz, but they better be able to produce when the tape rolls, otherwise he'll get one of the Fireballs to replace ya. Bands The Hooterville Trolly, The Apple Glass Cyndrom, The Dard, Group Axis, The Tyme of Day and many more full of misplaced consonants from all over the west coast flocked down to Clovis, NM to get a little of that Petty magic before he gave up on this Rock `N Roll beast that seemed so distant from the good ole days. Like Frankenstein still trying to calm his monster while the windmill burned, Petty tried to mold these young A-heads into stately pop gentlemen. What you get is some pure psych pop experimentation drenched in the blues, rife with melody and, for the most part, locked away in vaults for decades until 2007, where twelve of these imperfect gems finally see the light of days and 14 more get put into their proper context. The heart of darkness, the belly of the beast--not really, but a lot of 60's fun to goof on and play to confuse your friends. (JM)
THE APPLE GLASS CYNDROM: Going Wrong/ Someday/ THE BRENTWOODS: Yeah, Yeah, No, No/ MIKE BURNETT: Mattie Jo's/ Saying Things/ THE BUTTER REBELLION: Aftermath/ THE CORDS: Ain't That Love/ The Lesson/ THE DANIEL PAUL REVELATION: Reflections Of Mine/ THE DARD: I Know/ THE FIREBALLS: Groovy Motions/ THE FRANTICS: Just For A While/ Think About It/ GROUP AXIS: Not Fade Away/ Silly Ants/ THE HAPPY RETURN: To Give Your Lovin'/ THE HOOTERVILLE TROLLEY: No Silver Bird/ THE INTRICATE BLEND: Door Knob/ Insane (The Jungle)/ THE LIVIN' ENDS: Jolyn/ STU MITCHELL WITH WES DAKUS' REBELS: Acid/ THE SHI GUYS: Mystic Magic Movements/ THE TYME OF DAY: Listen To What Is Never Said/ WHITE LIGHTNIN': Blue Man (Peace Of Mind)/ WILLIE & THE WALKERS: Magic In Her Eyes/ Poor Janie

VARIOUS ARTISTS Grammercy 287 The Copulatin' Blues, Vol. 1 ● CD $11.98
22 tracks, recommended
A collection of dirty ditties ranging from the very tame Preachin' Blues by Sidney Bechet to the double entendre of New Rubbin' On The Darned Old Thing by Oscar's Chicago Swingers to the completely unexpurgated raunch of Lucille Bogan's wonderful Shave 'em Dry. Other gems include My Daddy Rock Me (With One Steady Roll) by Tampa Red's Jug Band with a great vocal from Frankie Jaxon, Lil Johnson with Press My Button (Ring My Bell), Please Warm My Weiner (Carlos Danger's theme song?) by Bo Carter and more. This is a reissue of a CD originally issued on the Jass label about 25 years ago and it sounds like Grammercy haven't done any remastering - not that it sounds that bad, just that it could better. No notes but booklet has full discographical info. (FS)
SIDNEY BECHET & HIS NEW ORLEANS FEETWARMERS: Preachin' Blues/ LUCILLE BOGAN: Barbecue Bess/ Shave 'em Dry (2nd Version)/ BO CARTER: Please Warm My Wiener/ COOT GRANT & KID WILSON: Keep Your Hands Off My Mojo/ LIL JOHNSON: Press My Button (Ring My Bell)/ Stavin' Chain (That Rockin' Swing) Take 2/ You Stole My Cherry/ MERLINE JOHNSON: Don't You Make Me High/ LIL JOHNSON WITH HER CHICAGO SWINGERS: Let's Get Drunk And Truck/ JELLY ROLL MORTON: Winin' Boy Blues, Part 2/ OSCAR'S CHICAGO SWINGERS FEATURING LOVIN: New Rubbin' On The Darned Old Thing/ THE PALOOKA WASHBOARD BAND: Save Me Some/ BILLIE PIERCE: I'm In The Racket/ IRENE SCRUGGS: Must Get Mine In Front/ BESSIE SMITH: Do Your Duty/ I Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl/ TAMPA RED'S HOKUM JUG BAND FEATURING FRA: My Daddy Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll)/ LOVIN' SAM THEARD: State Street Blues/ ETHEL WATERS: Bring Your Greenbacks/ GEORGIA WHITE: Hot Nuts (Get 'Em From The Peanut Man)/ I'll Keep Sittin' On It (If I Can't Sell It)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Jasmine 3063 Christmas 'Round The Jukebox ● CD $14.98
Election's over - now it's time to get ready for Christmas and here is a fine collection of blues, R&B and doo-wop Christmas songs. No suprises here if you have a few similarly themed collection but, if not, this is a solid set of classic tracks - Run Rudolph Run by Chuck Berry, Please Come Home For Christmas by Charles Brown, White Christmas by The Ravens, Boogie Woogie Santa Claus by Mabel SCott and 23 more from Joe Turner, The Drifters, The Moonglows, Jimmy McCracklin, Jimmy Liggins, Lowell Fulson and more.
CHUCK BERRY: Run Rudolph Run/ CHARLES BROWN: Merry Christmas Baby/ Please Come Home For Christmas/ THE CADILLACS: Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer/ THE DOMINOES: Christmas In Heaven/ THE DRIFTERS: White Christmas/ THE FALCONS: Can This Be Christmas/ THE FIVE KEYS: Its Christmas Time/ LOWELL FULSON: Lonesome Christmas (Part 1)/ Lonesome Christmas (Part 2)/ CECIL GANT: Hello Santa Claus/ BIG JOHN GREER: We Want To See Santa Do The Mambo/ THE HARMONY GRITS: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town/ LOUIS JORDAN: May Every Day Be Christmas/ B.B. KING: Christmas Celebration/ JIMMY LIGGINS: I Want My Baby For Christmas/ JIMMY MCCRACKLIN: Christmas Time/ AMOS MILBURN: Let’s Make Christmas Merry Baby/ ROY MILTON: Christmas Time Blues/ THE MOONGLOWS: Hey Santa Claus/ JOHNNY MOORE’S THREE BLAZERS: Christmas Eve Baby/ THE ORIOLES: (It’s Gonna Be) Lonely Christmas/ THE RAVENS: Silent Night/ White Christmas/ MABEL SCOTT: Boogie Woogie Santa Claus/ JOE TURNER: Christmas Date Boogie/ JIMMY WITHERSPOON: How I Hate To See Christmas Come Around

VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP 7776 Rembetika** ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 89 tracks, approx five hours, essential
This is one of THE reissues of 2006. Rembetika is often thought of as the Greek equivalent of the blues - a creation of the underclass and dealing with the realities of their life - smoking hash, thieving, jail, addiction, desire and betrayal sung with incredible soul and feeling. The music is thought to have originated with Greeks who had to leave Asia Minor at the beginning of the 20th Century. The earliest form is the Smyrnaic style (after Smyrna in Turkey) where the musicians first played the style and had a strong Turkish flavor to it. The usual accompaniment included violin, santouri/ cimbalom (hammered dulcimer), guitar and oud. The first disc is mostly devoted to recordings in this style and includes such legendary performers as Marika Papagika (who recorded in the USA), Achilleas Poulus (who sang in Turkish), the prolific and popular Andonios Dhiamandidhis (aka "Dalgas") and the sublime female singers Roza Eskenazi and Rita Abadzi. In the early 30s a new style of rembetika began to appear in the port city of Piraeus with a less ornamented style of singing and the extensive use of the bouzouki and its smaller cousin the baglama. The second disc is devoted to this style featuring sides by the gruff voiced Markos Vamvakaris - another extremely popular performer who recorded hundreds of songs as well as Stratos Payioumidzis, Yiorgis Batis and others. The third volume is strongly dominated by the guitar though the bouzouki and other instruments are also featured. It includes five gorgeous instrumental sides - two of them featuring bouzouki master Jack Halikias, one a rare example of a lute instrumental in rembetika and a dazzling guitar instrumental from the mysterious K. Kostis. This disc also features a track by the amazing George Katsoras whose modal singing and guitar playing almost has the feel of a Mississippi hill country blues. In April, 1936 a right-wing government took power in Greece and censorship was introduced resulting in the banning of lyrics with an "undesirable" content as well as "Eastern style" music. The fourth disc features recordings from this period of censorship and while the lyrics are more concerned with romance than with dope or crime the performances are still powerful and moving featuring artists like Rirta Abadzi, Stellakis, Vassilis TsitsanisYiorgos Kavouras and others. The sound quality is superb and the only drawback to this set is that only 12 pages were allocated to the notes and compiler and annotator Charles Howard has done his best to give an overview of the music, brief biographies of the performers, a glossary and very brief excerpts or descriptions of the songs. Unfortunately there is no discographical information. (FS)
RITA ABADZI Markopouliotissa/ I Margarita/ O Vlamis Tou Psyri/ Pane Yia To Prasso/ To Flidzani Tou Yianni/ YIORGOS BATIS: I Fylakes Tou Oropou/ Taxim Athineiko Ke Zeimbekiko/ Varka Mou Boyiatismeni/ Thermastis/ AND. DALGAS: Sousta Politiki/ Zeimbekiko Melemenio/ ANDONIOS DALGAS: Echo Meraki Echo Dalga/ ANESTIS DHELIAS: Soura Ke Mastoura/ A. DHIAMADIDHIS ‘DALGAS’: Huseini Manes/ GUS DUSSAS: I Efmorfi Attaleia/ O Paraponiaris/ ROZA ESKENAZI: Dzerkeza/ Gazeli Sabach, Sti Mavri Yi Chrosto Kormi/ Ime Prezakias/ Mas Kynigoun Ton Argile/ Mes’ To Vathi Skotadhi/ LEOPOLD GAD: Piran Ta Frygana Fotia/ D. GONGOS ‘BAYIANDERAS’: Htan Anixi/ Panta Me Glyko Hasisi/ JACK GRIGORIOU & S.MICHELIDHIS: To Minore Tou Deke/ HADZICHRISTOS & I.STAMOULIS: Nea Vaggelitsa/ A. HADZICHRISTOS: Paliopedho/ Tha Se Klepso Tha Se Paro/ JACK HALIKIAS: Trikouverto/ JOHN (JACK) HALIKIAS: Raste Tou Deke/ YIANNIS IOANNIDHIS & MANOLIS KARAPIPERIS: Tout’ I Batsoi Pou’Rthan Tora/ AND. KALYVOPOULOS: O Prezakis/ Paraponiounde I Manges Mas/ Pende Manges/ Yiovan Tsaous/ KOSTAS KARIPIS: Minore Manes, S’Afino Tin Kali Nychtia/ YIORGOS KARRAS: Strive Logia/ GEORGE KATSAROS: Stis Syras To Aniforo/ YIORGOS KAVOURAS: Dhen Tha’rtho Peia Stin Kokkinia/ O Tsiggounis O Babas Sou/ STELLIOS KEROMYTIS: I Moni Mou Parigoria/ Mes’Tou Vavoula Ti Gouva/ A. KOSTIS: Me Pianoune Zaladhes/ K. KOSTIS: Troumba/ PETROS KYRIAKOS: O Skylomangas/ EL. MELEMENLIS: Tsifte Telli/ MARIKA PAPAGIKA: Aidhinikos Xoros/ Mandalena/ YIANNIS PAPAIOANNOU: Pali Mou Kanoun Proxenia/ Vadhizo Me Parapono/ MIKE PATRINOS & YIANNIS DEYAITAS: Hadzimilousiko/ PAYIOUMIDZIS & TSITSANIS: I Meraklidhes/ EF. PAYIOUMIDZIS: Manges Piaste Ta Vouna/ Vaggelitsa/ EFSTRATIOS PAYIOUMIDZIS: Ouzak-To Tragoudhi Tis Xentias/ San Eyriz’ Ap’ Tin Pylo/ STRATOS PAYIOUMIDZIS: Opios Orfanepse Mikros/ Zeimbekano Spaniolo/ STELLAKIS PERPINIADHIS & ANNA PAGANA: Dhervisis Ke Anna/ STELLAKIS PERPINIADHIS: Ego Thelo Prigipessa/ D. PHILLIPOPOULOS & D. EFSTRATIOU: To Yellekaki/ MARIKA POLITISSA: Melachrinoula/ Rast Zergile/ THE POPULAR ORCHESTRA: Bournovalio/ ACHILLEAS POULOS: Chakiji Zeibek/ E. SOPHRONIOU ‘VAGGELAKIS’: Ballos Smyrneikos Me Mane/ STELLAKIS: I Mikri Ap'To Passalimani/ Mikroula Pireotissa/ Ola Ta ‘Cho Varethi/ STELLLAKIS: I Magdhalo/ STRATOS & ST.KEROMYTIS: I Baglamadhes/ STRATOS & STELLAKIS: O Serianis/ Se Fino Akroyiali/ Thelo Na Se Andamoso, Xaveriotissa/ STRATOS & ST. KEROMYTIS: Tis Mastouras O Skopos/ STRATOS & V.TSITSANIS: To Proi Me Tin Dhrossoula/ Varka Yialo/ VASSILIS TSITSANIS: Tatavliano/ MARKOS VAMVAKARIS: I Klostirou/ Kapote Imouna Ki’Ego/ Manavissa Me Gaidhouraki/ O Synachis/ Olli I Rembetes Tou Dounia/ Prepi Na Xeris Michani/ San Ise Mangas Ke Dais/ Taxim-Zeimbekiko/ To Portofoli/ NIKOS VRACHNAS: Ithela Na’ Moun Iraklis/ MICHAILIS YENITSARIS: Ego Mangas Fenomouna

VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 77200 I've Got The Blues, But I'm Too Damn Mean To Cry ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 104 tracks, highly recommended
A superb collection of pre-war blues and gospel which have as underlying theme protest at living under Jim Crow. It was not possible to address the situation directly at this time so the references were often oblique but understood by the people they were intended for. Subjects include political corruption, police abuse, lack of work and more. Compiled by researcher Max Haymes the set includes many tracks not readily available elsewhere except on Documents CDs along with more familiar titles. Among the many artists featured are The Mississippi Sheiks, Wilmer Davis, The Birmingham Jubilee Singers, Sara Martin, George Carter, Charley Patton, Charles Tyus, Pigmeat Pete & Catjuice Charlie, Cow Cow Davenport, Rev. Edward Clayborn, Hezekiah Jenkins, Walter Davis, Alberta Hunter and many others including field recordings of prison songs. Sound quality is excellent. Unfortunately the cheapskates at JSP only give Haymes eight pages to document this important subject, however if you go on line to - I've Got The Blues But Too Damn Mean To Cry.htm you will find a full length essay by Haymes which helps put the selection chosen into much clearer perspective. (FS)
8 UNKNOWN GIRLS: Hopali/ TEXAS ALEXANDER: Justice Blues/ JAMES 'IRON HEAD' BAKER: Go Down Old Hannah/ TOM BELL: Worried Blues/ WILL BENNETT: Railroad Bill/ THE BIRMINGHAM JUBILEE SINGERS: Raise A R-U-K-U-S Tonight/ LUCILLE BOGAN: Red Cross Man/ They Aint Walking No More/ JESS BRADLEY: Hammer Ring/ BESSIE BROWN: Song From A Cotton Field/ BUMBLE BEE SLIM: Chain Gang Bound/ Im Having So Much Trouble/ HATTIE BURLESON: Sadies Servant Room Blues/ JOHN BYRD: That White Mule Of Sin/ BOB CAMPBELL: Starvation Farm Blues/ CHARLEY CAMPBELL: Eighteen Hundred And Ninety One/ GENE CAMPBELL: Wash And Iron Woman Blues/ LEROY CARR & SCRAPPER BLACKWELL: Workhouse Blues/ DORA CARR WITH COW COW DAVENPORT: Cow Cow Blues/ BO CARTER: Good Old Turnip Greens/ GEORGE CARTER: Rising River Blues/ SMITH CASEY: Two White Horses Standing In Line/ REV. EDWARD CLAYBORN: I Shall Not Be Moved/ MARTHA COPELAND: Bank Failure Blues/ Dyin Crapshooters Blues/ Hobo Bill/ JULIUS DANIELS: Richmond Blues (Tk 1)/ COW COW DAVENPORT: Jim Crow Blues/ MADLYN DAVIS: Landladys Footsteps/ WALTER DAVIS: No Place To Go/ WILMER DAVIS: Gut Struggle/ DOROTHY DODD: Ive Got The Blues But Im Just Too Mean To Cry/ MOANIN' BERNICE EDWARDS: Moaning Blues/ THE FISK JUBILEE SINGERS: Po Moaners Got A Home At Last/ REV. J.M. GATES: Hitler And Hell/ These Hard Times Are Tight Like That/ JAZZ GILLUM: Sarah Jane/ HELEN GROSS: Workin Womans Blues/ VERA HALL: Another Man Done Gone/ Been Drinking/ Boll Weevil Blues/ Poor Lazarus/ THE HEAVENLY GOSPEL SINGERS: Mean Old World/ ROSA HENDERSON: Penitentiary Bound Blues/ SON HOUSE: Am I Right Or Wrong/ Preachin The Blues Pt 1/ ALBERTA HUNTER: Experience Blues/ MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT: Blue Harvest Blues/ JIM JACKSON: I Heard The Voice Of A Pork Chop (Tk 1)/ BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON: Dynamite Blues/ One Dime Blues/ Prison Cell Blues/ HEZEKIAH JENKINS: The Panic Is On/ ROBERT JOHNOSON: Last Fair Deal Gone Down/ LONNIE JOHNSON: Broken Levee Blues/ JOHNSON-NELSON-PORKCHOP: G. Burns Gonna Rise Again/ CURTIS JONES: Highway 51 Blues/ MAGGIE JONES: North Bound Blues/ JACK KELLY & HIS SOUTH MEMPHIS JUG BAND: Red Ripe Tomatoes/ LEADBELLY: Im All Out And Down/ The Bourgeois Blues/ SARA MARTIN: Black Hearse Blues/ The Prisoners Blues/ REV. F.W. MCGEE: The Sure Route Excursion To Hell Pt 1/ OZIE MCPHERSON: Down In The Bottom Where I Stay/ BLIND WILLIE MCTELL: Dying Crapshooters Blues/ THE MEMPHIS JUG BAND: Hes In The Jailhouse Now/ JOSIE MILES: Mad Mamas Blues/ THE MISSISSIPPI SHEIKS: Jail Bird Love Song/ ALICE MOORE: Black Evil Blues/ Daddy-Calling Mama/ THE NORFOLK JUBILEE SINGERS: Raise A R-U-K-U-S Tonight/ KELLY PACE: It Makes A Long Time Man Feel Bad/ SYLVESTER PALMER: Broke Man Blues/ THE PARAMOUNT JUBILEE SINGERS: I Couldn?t Hear Nobody Pray (Tk 2)/ CHARLEY PATTON: Down The Dirt Road Blues/ Im Goin Home/ Mississippi Bo Weavil Blues/ PIGMEAT PETE & CATJUICE CHARLIE: On Our Turpentine Farm/ MOSE 'CLEAR ROCK' PLATT & JAMES IRON HEAD BAKER: Old Rattler/ MA RAINEY: Toad Frog Blues/ IRENE SCRUGGS: My Daddys Calling Me/ BESSIE SMITH: Washwoman Blues/ CLARA SMITH: Get On Board/ Nobody Knows The Way I Feel Dis Mornin/ The Basement Blues/ Waitin For The Evenin Mail/ FUNNY PAPER SMITH: Fools Blues/ MAMIE SMITH: Dont Mess With Me/ ROOSEVELT SYKES: Trouble And Whiskey/ TAMPA RED: Cotton Seed Blues/ RAMBLIN THOMAS: No Job Blues/ TOO TIGHT HENRY: Squinch Owl Moan/ BESSIE TUCKER: Bessies Moan/ Key To The Bushes Blues/ CHARLES TYUS: Youve Got To Recognise Me/ SIPPIE WALLACE: Sud Bustin Blues/ WASHBOARD SAM: Life Is Just A Book/ WASHINGTON (LIGHTNIN): Long John/ SYLVESTER WEAVER: Rock Pile Blues/ GEORGE BULLET WILLIAMS: The Escaped Convict (Tk 2"/ ERNEST WILLIAMS, JAMES IRON HEAD BAKER & CONVIC: Aint No More Cane On This Brazos/ EDNA WINSTON: Pail In My Hand

VARIOUS ARTISTS Legacy/ Philles 86422 The Essential Phil Spector** ● CD $14.98
2 CDs, 35 tracks, 101 mins, essential The title says essential and I am going to have to agree. Phil Spector's "Back To Mono" box set was a landmark release for the record industry; an essential four CD collection that set the standard for how box sets should be done. This two CD set is essentially that wonderful box set distilled down to two CDs; well, more like 3/4ths of that set distilled down, since this doesn't have any of the tracks from "A Christmas Gift." which is a release that stands on its own. The track listing goes in pretty much the same order as they were on the box set, only with certain songs taken out. You get all the highest highs of Spector's career starting with To Know Him Is To Love Him by The Teddy Bears, to Black Pearl by Sonny Charles and The Checkmates, Ltd., with a whole lot of great songs by The Crystals, Ben E. King, Darlene Love, Curtis Lee, The Righteous Brothers, The Ronettes, Ike & Tina, etc. You know 35 of the greatest pop songs of the 1960s, sounding as great as ever! (JM)
THE ALLEY CATS: Puddin N Tain/ SONNY CHARLES AND THE CHECKMATES LTD: Black Pearl/ THE CRYSTALS: Da Doo Ron Ron/ He s A Rebel/ He's Sure the Boy I Love/ Then He Kissed Me/ There s No Other Like My Baby/ Uptown/ BEN E. KING: Spanish Harlem/ CURTIS LEE: Pretty Little Angel Eyes/ DARLENE LOVE: (Today I Met) The Boy I'm Gonna Marry/ A Fine, Fine Boy/ Stumble And Fall/ Wait Til My Bobby Gets Home/ THE MODERN FOLK QUARTET: This Could Be The Night/ THE PARIS SISTERS: I Love How You Love Me/ RAY PETERSON: Corrine, Corrina/ GENE PITNEY: Every Breath I Take/ THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS: Ebb Tide/ Unchained Melody/ You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling/ THE RONETTES: (The Best Part Of) Breakin Up/ Baby, I Love You/ Be My Baby/ Do I Love You?/ Paradise/ Walking In The Rain/ When I Saw You/ BOB B. SOXX AND THE BLUE JEANS: Not Too Young To Get Married/ Why Do Lovers Break Each Others Heart?/ Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah/ THE TEDDY BEARS: To Know Him Is to Love Him/ THE TREASURES FEATURING PETE ANDERS: Hold Me Tight/ IKE & TINA TURNER: River Deep, Mountain High

VARIOUS ARTISTS Mela'dee 501 Ballin' In N'awlins, Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, strongly recommended
A fine collection of obscure New Orleans R&B recorded between 1951 and '59. It opens with two cuts from Jack Davis & His Blues Blasters recorded for the obscure Sultan label out of Natchez, Mississippi - in spite of the label location and the song title Going To Natchez it certainly sounds like New Orlean R&B. The most familiar names here are Joe Jones and Ernest Kador (later known as Ernie K-Doe) - each with two early sides. Other artists include Ramp Davis, BLind Billy Tate (with some tough guitar - probably Tate himself), Blanche Thomas (with Dave Bartholomew's Orch.), Eddie Lang, Rose Mitchell with the splendid Live My Life and more. Excellent sound quality and booklet has discographical details where known. (FS)
JESSE ALLEN: What A Party/ ARTHUR & BOOKER: You're Near Me/ RAMP DAVIS: The Blues Has Got Me/ JACK DAVIS & HIS BLUES BLASTERS FEAT. JOE FRA: Going To Natchez/ Martha Mae/ DAVE DIXON: Feeling So Low/ ALBERTA HALL WITH LLOYD LAMBERT'S BAND: Let Me Dream/ GEORGE "MR. BLUES" JACKSON: Hold Me/ I'm Sorry/ JOE JONES: Adam Bit The Apple/ Will Call/ ERNEST KADOR & HIS BAND: Do, Baby Do/ Eternity/ RICHARD KING & HIS ORCH.: Ride Daddy Ride/ EDDIE LANG: Come On Home/ LITTLE EDDIE: Hallelujah/ MILSON LUCE WITH JOHNNY WALLACE SEXTET: I Got You/ THE MARDI GRAS LOUNGERS (VCL THOMAS JEFFERSO: Hello, Mellow Baby/ ROSE MITCHELL: Live My Life/ JOHNNY MOSES: You're Torturing Me/ LESTER ROBERTSON & THE UPSETTERS: My Girl Across Town/ BLIND BILLY TATE & HIS ORCH.: I Got News For You Baby/ BLANCHE THOMAS: Not The Way That I Love You/ You Ain't So Such A Much

VARIOUS ARTISTS Narro Way 1601 Best Of Proverb & Gospel Corner Records ● CD $27.98
Two CDs, 52 tracks, strongly recommended
Another excellent release of 60s black gospel from the Swedish Narro Way label. This features a cross section of recordings made between 1959 and 1969 for the Proverb and associated Gospel Corner labels run by Los Angeles entrepreneur Brother Henderson (former R&B singer Duke Henderson) who is featured on two performers - the powerful I Made Up My Mind accompanied by his Spiritual Lambs and the moving poem with organ accompaniment Eleven-Twenty Two Nineteen Sixty Three about the assassination of President Kennedy. Among its more well known artists are The Mighty Clouds of Joy with one of their first recordings - the highly energetic Jesus Is Real recorded live in a local church. The label also issued the first single by The Chambers Brothers - one side issued here. The label also recorded a mostly new version of The Pilgrim Travelers. Paul Foster, a member of the Soul Stirrers for many years, is featured on a fine version of A Closer Walk with his group the Golden Crowns. There are several tracks by the fine singer/ pianist/ organist Prince Dixon whose large frame led to his nickname "The Small One."Other artists include The Singing Corinthians, The Vocal-Aires of Birmingham, Ala., Melvin Boyd & The Ohio Wonders, The Los Angeles Angels, The Hampton-Aires of Memphis, Tn., The Spiritual Five Of Sacramento, Ca., Madame Nellir Robinson (a powerful song about the war in Vietnam), Lady Bird, Rev. Willie T. Snead and others. Excellent sound and the 20 page booklet has informative notes by Per Notini. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Westside 811 First Take Is The Deepest ● CD $15.98 $9.98
24 unissued tracks from the vaults of Ace recorded at Cosimo Matassa's legendary studio in New Orleans in the 50s. 14 of the cuts are early, alternate takes of issued songs from Albert Scott, Joe And Ann, Earl King, Calvin Spears, Dave Dixon and others. The rest is early takes of unissued songs from Roland Cook, Calvin Spears, Huey "Piano" Smith, Gerri Hall, and others.
CHUCK CARBO: Yes I Got You [take 2]/ ROLAND COOK: I Was Wrong [take 1]/ DAVE DIXON: I'm Not Satisfied [take 3]/ GERRI HALL: It's Not As Easy As That [take 1]/ What I Learned About You [take 1 & 2]/ JOE & ANN: Gee Baby [take 4]/ Mr. Blues [take 1]/ Wherever You May Be [take 4]/ Will You [take 1]/ EARL KING: My Love Is Strong [take 1]/ Nervous Breakdown [take 1 & 2]/ Well O Well O Well O Baby [take 1]/ LITTLE BOOKER: Teenage Rock [take 1]/ BOBBY MARCHAN: Chickee Wah Wah [take 4]/ I Know [take 1]/ I'll Never Let You Go [take 1]/ It Hurts Me To My Heart [take 1]/ ALBERT SCOTT: Can't Let You Go I Love You So [take 1]/ HUEY SMITH: That's All I Can Say [take 1]/ CALVIN SPEARS: Bugs In Your Head [take 3]/ Doin' The Rock & Roll [take 1]/ Heaven Came Down [take 1]/ THE SUPREMES: Honey Honey [take 1]/ JOE TEX: Blessed Are These Tears [take 1]

VARIOUS ARTISTS Yazoo 7002 Mysteries Of The Sabbath:Classic Cantorial Songs - 1905-1947** ● CD $16.98
16 sides, 61 min, essential
Lovely, spellbinding vocal performances by various Jewish cantors from 1905-47. Cantors sang various prayers and religious texts in the synagogue, using virtuoistic vocal technique and impassioned singing to underscore the prayer's impact. When sound recording turned its attention to music, European khazonim such as Gershon Sirota and Yeshaya Meisels were natural candidates to appeal to the Jewish market, despite the controversial aspect of such profane manifestations of religious art. Later, in America especially, cantors such as Yossele Rosenblatt, Mordechai Hershman, & Zavel Kwartin became almost stars, with their vocal ornamentations and the pathos of their sighs debated by their aficionados. With organ and choral accompaniment, rare in temple, these recordings give testimony to an impressive art that has lost none of its emotional power. All these cantors are featured, as well as the fine Leib Glantz, Samuel Malavsky, a rare woman cantor- Sophie Kurtzner, & Joseph Shapiro. With mostly fine sound and detailed notes by compiler Henry Sapoznik. JM

BUKKA WHITE Snapper Blues 22 Fixin' To Die** ● CD $10.98
20 tracks, essential
Bukka White's recordings cut in 1930, 1937, 1939 and 1940 are among the greatest country blues ever recorded so it is a pleasure to have them available again. Bukka, in addition to also being a great Mississippi singer & guitar player was also a brilliant songwriter whose lyrics were more inventive and original than those of many of his contemporaries - much of them based on personal experiences. Several songs deal with the subject of sickness & death and there are several songs about his stay at the dreadful Parchman Farm prison and other events in his life. All this is sung in Bukka's beautiful rich voice with its powerful vibrato and effective use of slurs and slides. He accompanies himself with rhythmic, complex guitar parts with occasional use of slide. Excellent sound and informative notes. This material has been reissued several times before but if you don't already have it you really should! (FS)

JIMMY & MAMA YANCEY Collectables 7702 Chicago Piano, Volume One** ● CD $12.98
14 tracks, 47 mins, essential
Originally issued on LP in 1972 as Atlantic 7229 and subsequently on CD as Atlantic 82368. The 14 cuts here, 5 of which feature effective vocals by Mama Yancey, were originally cut in 1951, just eight weeks before Jimmy passed away. And they are stunning examples of the stately style of one of the elder statesmen of boogie woogie piano. Tracks include Mournful Blues/ Yancey Special/ 35th And Dearborn/ Make Me A Pallet On The Floor/ How Long Blues. Features the 1972 notes by Bruce Bastin and fine digitally remastered sound. Buy two, just in case a friend with good taste steals one while you're not looking. (DH)

BERNIE YOUNG Frog DGF 74 Every Saturday Night** ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, 71 mins, highly recommended
Great selection of blues and jazz featuring , or supposedly featuring, New Orleans born cornetist Bernie Young. Though born in New Orleans Young moved to Chicago when he was, well, young and formed a small group Young's Creole Band and the first six tracks from 1923 feature this group - four instrumental tracks, a blues vocal and Anna Oliver and a jazz from Ollie Jenkins. The only other documented session of Young is 1926 session for OKeh a as a member of Arthur Sims & His Creole Roof Orchestra, a largish group, who are featured on three tracks. The rest of the tracks are thought to feature Young based on aural evidence and are mostly accompaniments to blues singers, often as a member of Lovie Austin's Blues Serenaders, including Viola Bartlette, Ozie McPherson, Ida Cox and Ma Rainey - the sides by the latter two are particularly fine. Sound is excellent and there are detailed notes by Chris Hillman. (FS)

TOMMY YOUNGBLOOD/ MARIE FRANKLIN Li-Jan 10 West Coast Deep Soul Giants, Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
23 tracks, recommended
Like the first volume, this second collection of West Coast deep soul puts the spotlight on two artists; this time they are Tommy Youngblood and Marie Franklin. Youngblood (aka Wilee McEwen), was originally from Mississippi and ended up in Los Angeles after a short stint in Memphis working with Roscoe Gordon. After cutting You Cheated You Lied with the Shields (also featuring Jesse Belvin) in 1958, Youngblood went solo. These eleven songs date from the 60's, Youngblood's most prolific decade. Little else is known about Youngblood so all we have to judge him by is this music: dramatic R&B with pleading vocals. Apparently several of these cuts - I Worry About You/ Now You're On Your Own/ Why Did You Leave Me/ Caress Me Now My Love, and Did I Ever Make You Cry - are rare or extremely hard to find today, which should get the historians out there rubbing their hands together with glee. Marie Franklin (no relation to Aretha) was a West Coast singer who started recording in the mid 60's and kept at it for about 15 years. As with Youngblood, little is known about her and all we have is what's contained herein. The liner notes claim the torchy Every Night About Midnight was cut in 1966; her first recording was Blues Medley in G, which is quite a rare recording; and the gutsy You Ain't Changed was recorded a couple of years after Every Night.. As a bonus, the compilers included two songs Franklin cut in the 70s that were never issued before: the down beat ballad I'm So Alone and the frisky Who Will You Call On. In sum, these two performers have some interesting performances, but this release will be of more interest to hardcore R&B scholars rather than casual Soul fans. (GMC)


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