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  RHYTHM & BLUES, SOUL & DOO-WOP

LaVern Baker -> Billy & Lillie
 

LAVERN BAKER
MICKEY BAKER
SAM BAKER
MARCIA BALL
HANK BALLARD & THE MIDNIGHTERS
BARBARA & THE BROWNS
THE BAR-KAYS
THE BARONS
DAVE BARTHOLOMEW
THE BASIN STREET BOYS
FONTELLA BASS

JIMMY BEAUMONT & THE SKYLINERS
WILLIAM BELL
THE BELMONTS
JESSE BELVIN
BROOK BENTON
RICHARD BERRY
BIG MAYBELLE
BIG SANDY
BILLY & LILLIE

  
LAVERN BAKER Atlantic 82311 Soul On Fire - The Best Of Lavern Baker ● CD $11.98 $9.98
From the Atlantic Remasters series comes this excellent collection of Lavern Baker hits recorded between 1953-'62, and all digitally remastered by Stephen Innocenzi. The first song, Soul On Fire, written by Ahmet Ertegun, comes from her initial Atlantic recordings and never charted, but deserved to. The 20-song set includes biggies like Tweedle Dee/ Bop Ting A Ling/ I Cried A Tear/ Play It Fair/ Jim Dandy/ Still/ I Can't Love You Enough/ Jim Dandy Got Married/ I Waited Too Long/ See See Rider. Uncharted, but cool nonetheless are You Said/ Tomorrow Night/ How Often which features Lavern and Ben E. King, and throws in King Curtis on tenor sax for kicks. These historically important recordings are essential listening for anyone interested in the development of rock and roll, or for anyone who likes to dance around in their socks with the volume turned up loud. Is that Doc Severinson blowing his trumpet on Shake A Hand? Yup. Thank Nick Tosches for the fine notes. (JC)

 
LAVERN BAKER Charly CRR 023 Rock 'n' Roll Legend ● CD $10.98
28 tracks, 74 mins, recommended
The Charly record label has instituted a series of artist compilations that give you a lengthy collection of hits and lesser-known tracks, done with simple packaging and offered at a discount price. The sound is consistently great throughout and folks looking to pick up an overview of Baker's best stuff should be satisfied with this CD. Includes hits like Jim Dandy/ Tweedle Dee & Jim Dandy Got Married, along with tunes like Bop-Ting-A-Ling/ Romance in the Dark/ Everybody's Somebody's fool/ Game of Love, etc. All recordings seem to be originals, though with the lack of discographal info, it's hard to date all of them. Most Roots and Rhythm customers won't learn much from the liner notes, which give a brief over-view of Baker's career. (JM)

 
LA VERN BAKER Collectables 6224 La Vern/ La Vern Baker ● CD $13.98
La Vern's first two Atlantic albums from 1956 and '57. "La Vern" features her earliest Atlantic sides before she hit it big - ballads and blues like Lots & Lots Of Love/ You'll Be Crying/ In A Crying Mood/ Harbor Lights/ Romance In The dark, etc. "La Vern Baker" has all of her biggest hits from 1956 & '57 - Jim dandy/ Tra-La-La/ Bop-Ting-A-Ling/ Still/ Tweedlee Dee, etc.
LAVERN BAKER: Bop Ting A Ling/ Everybody's Somebody's Fool/ Fool That I Am/ Get Up, Get Up/ Harbor Lights/ How Can You Leave A Man Like This/ How Long Will It Be/ I Can't Love You Enough/ I'll Never Be Free/ I'm In A Crying Mood/ Jim Dandy/ Lots And Lots Of Love/ Mine All Mine/ Miracles/ My Happiness Forever/ Of Course I Do/ Play It Fair/ Romance In The Dark/ Still/ That Lucky Old Sun/ That's All I Need/ Tomorrow Night/ Tra La La/ Tweedlee Dee/ You Set My Soul On Fire/ You'll Be Crying

 
LA VERN BAKER Collectables 6231 See See Rider/ Blues Ballads ● CD $13.98
"Blues Ballads" is from 1959 and "See See Rider" is from 1962. While the former is not all blues or ballads there are some great sides here like I Cried a Tear, a major hit for Baker late in 1958. It also includes a solid version of the Edith Piaf/Kay Starr hit If You Love Me plus Love Me Right, I Waited Too Long, Humpty Dumpty Heart, St. Louis Blues and others. "Rider" has a more pop oriented feel with strings on many cuts. Besides the hit title song it includes he's A Real Gone Guy/ You Said/ Don't Let The Stars get In Your Eyes and more.
LAVERN BAKER: A Little Bird Told Me So/ All The Time/ Dix A Billy/ Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes/ Endless Love/ Half Of Your Love/ He's A Real Gone Guy/ Humpty Dumpty Heart/ I Cried A Tear/ I Waited Too Long/ I'm Leavin' You/ If You Love Me/ It's So Fine/ Love Me Right/ See See Rider/ So High, So Low/ St Louis Blues/ Story Of My Love/ Trying/ Whipper Snapper/ Why Baby, Why/ You Better Stop/ You Said/ You're Teasing Me

 
LAVERN BAKER Collectables 6415 Precious Memories/ LaVern Sings Bessie Smith ● CD $13.98
Two Atlantic albums on one CD showing LaVern's talent as an interpreter - one album features gospel songs and spirituals and the other features her doing some of the songs made famous by one of the greatest blues singers of the 20s and 30s - Bessie Smith.
LAVERN BAKER: After You've Gone/ Baby Doll/ Back Water Blues/ Carrying The Cross For My Boss/ Didn't It Rain/ Empty Bed Blues/ Everytime I Feel The Spirit/ Gimme A Pig Foot/ I Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle/ In The Upper Room/ Journey To The Sky/ Just A Closer Walk With Thee/ Money Blues/ Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out/ On Revival Day/ Preaching The Blues/ Precious Memories/ Previous Lord/ Somebody Touched Me/ There'll Be A Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight/ Too Close/ Touch Me, Lord Jesus/ Without A God/ Young Woman's Blues

 
LAVERN BAKER Royale 101 The Uncollected LaVern Baker ● CD $18.98
Terrific collection of 24 tracks by LaVern not available on other reissues. Quite a few of the tracks pre-date her hits of the mid 60s when she worked as a fine but straight ahead jump blues and R&B vocalist recording as Little Miss Sharecropper for National in 1950, as Bea Baker for OKeh in 1951 and with The Todd Rhodes Orchestra in 1952. Lots of fine sides from this period like I Want To Rock/ Take Out/ Good Daddy/ Los Child/ Pig Latin (a much better song than you might think from the title)/Trying/ I Want A Lavender Cadillac and others. There are also some of her lesser known songs from her mid/late 50s hit making period like You Better Stop/ Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny/ Tiny Tim/ If You Love Me and others. Finally there are four sides from a live concert in 1956 including Tweedle Dee/ I'll Do The Same For You/ Fee Fee Fi Fo Fum/ Play It Fair.

 
MICKEY BAKER Bear Family BCD 15654 Rock With A Sock ● CD $21.98
28 tracks, 77 mins, recommended
Mickey Baker is a great guitarist whose hot licks graced hundreds of R&B sessions held in New York in the 50s until he hit it big as half of Mickey & Sylvia in 1957. After several years in the pop business he grew disgusted with and moved to Europe. This disc presents his solo recordings from 1952 through 1957 along with 5 previously unissued Mickey & Sylvia cuts that were not included on the Bear Family double set (BCD 15438 - $41.50). 9 of the tracks are exciting R&B instrumentals including the dynamite title tune. There are another half a dozen fine R&B cuts from Groove with vocals by Mickey or Larry Dale and band members like Sam Taylor, Jack Dupree, "Panama" Francis and others. The remaining solo tracks are either dreary ballads or cocktail lounge jazz instrumentals. The Mickey & Sylvia tracks finds them at their most pop with none of Mickey's guitar though I Can't Get You On The Phone is quite catchy. Brief notes by Kurt Mohr who mentions that Mickey is working on his autobiography - now that should be interesting. Usual exquisite Bear Family sound and booklet has some wonderful photos including a couple from 1948 with his first group. (FS)

 
SAM BAKER Soulscape 7013 I Believe In You - The Legendary John Richbourg Sessions ● CD $19.98
22 tracks, 58 mins, recommended
Sam Baker is a Southern Soul singer who, during his most consistent artistic period, cut twelve 45s for the Sound Stage 7 label, which was owned by Nashville DJ John Richbourg. For the first time, all of his Sound Stage 7 output is available on CD. Baker was a singer cut in the Otis Redding mode, but possessed of a high falsetto that became his trademark. These recordings, cut between 1965 and 1969, demonstrate Baker's vocal range and powers of persuasion in selling a song. In songs like Let Me Come On Home, one can detect a similarity to James Brown at his most dramatic, but Baker never makes one feel that he's merely imitating another singer; he handily lets his singular personality come through. This is Southern Soul sweetness at its best. (GMC)

 
MARCIA BALL Rounder 3095 Hot Tamale Baby ● CD $17.98
 

 
MARCIA BALL Rounder 3101 Gatorhythms ● CD $17.98
MARCIA BALL: Daddy Said/ Find Another Fool/ How You Carry On/ La Ti Da/ Mama's Cooking/ Mobile/ Red Hot/ The Power Of Love/ What's A Girl To Do/ You'll Come Around

 
HANK BALLARD & THE MIDNIGHTERS Bear Family BCD 16795 Nothing But Good, 1952-1962 ● CD $144.98
Bear Family doesn't put out a lot of R&B boxes but when they do you can be sure it will be a killer and here is the latest - a 5 CD box set with 150 tracks featuring the complete recordings of Hank Ballard & The Midnighters made between 1952 and 1962. They were the Motor City's first nationally successful R&B group despite their risque 1954 R&B chart-topper Work With Me Annie and its equally raunchy smash follow-up Annie Had A Baby being banned from most U.S. radio airwaves. Ballard's singularly dynamic lead tenor and the muscular harmonies and uproarious onstage hi-jinks of the Midnighters were enormously influential to everyone from The Contours to James Brown. In 1958, the group cut the original version of The Twist, which Hank wrote, only to see Chubby Checker score one of the biggest smashes of the era with a sound-alike cover. Ballard and his crew got a measure of revenge by cutting a slew of early '60s dance hits for Cincinnati-based King Records, most notably Finger Poppin' Time/ Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go, and The Hoochie Coochi Coo. Its five jam-packed discs open with Hank's earliest appearances as lead singer of The Royals before collecting every song The Midnighters recorded from 1954 through 1962, first for King's Federal subsidiary and from '58 on for the parent King logo. This collection unearths several previously unreleased titles including a 1960 rendition of Wynonie Harris' Keep On Churnin' ('Til The Butter Come), a selection of unheard alternate takes, and a slew of obscure 45s and album tracks that have consistently eluded CD reissue until now. Also aboard is the demo of The Twistthat the group cut for Miami producer Henry Stone prior to re-signing with King. And, of course, being Bear Family, you can be sure that the sound is truly stellar and the set comes with a hardcover book with biography by BIll Dahl, complete discography and rare and previously unpublished photos.
HANK BALLARD & THE MIDNIGHTERS: After School/ Annie Had A Baby/ Annie's Aunt Fannie/ Are You Forgetting/ Ashamed Of Myself/ Autumn Breeze/ Baby Please/ Big Red Sunset/ Big Red Sunset (alt 2)/ Big Red Sunset (alt)/ Bring Me Your Love/ Broadway/ Can't You See I Need A Friend/ Christmas Time For Everybody But Me/ Come On And Get It/ Crazy Loving (Stay With Me)/ Cute Little Ways/ Daddy Rolling Stone/ Daddy's Little Baby/ Deep Blue Sea/ Do You Know How To Twist/ Do You Know How To Twist (alt)/ Do You Remember/ Don't Ever Change Your Pretty Ways/ Don't Go I Love You/ Don't Say Your Last Goodbye/ Dream World/ E Basta Cosi/ Early One Morning/ Everybody Does Wrong Some Time/ Excuse Me (I Think I've Got A Heartache)/ Finger Poppin' Time/ Get It/ Get Ready/ Give It Up/ Good Twistin' Tonight/ Goodbye So Long/ Hello Lover, Goodbye Tears/ Hello Miss Fine/ Henry's Got Flat Feet (Can't Dance No More)/ House With No Windows/ I Belong To You (You're The Keeper Of My Heart)/ I Could Love You/ I Feel So Blue/ I Feel That-A-Way/ I Got A Mind To Leave You (I Got A Mind To Go Back Home)/ I Like To See My Baby/ I Love And Care For You/ I Love You, I Love You So-o-o/ I Must Be Crazy/ I Said I Wouldn't Beg You/ I Want To Thank You (From The Bottom Of My Heart)/ I'll Be Home Someday/ I'll Keep You Happy/ I'll Pray For You/ I'll Pray For You/ I'm Crying Mercy, Mercy/ I'm Gonna Miss You/ I'm Learning/ I'm Sick Of You/ I'm So Crazy About You/ I'm Thinking Of You/ I'm Young/ If You'd Forgive Me/ In The Doorway Crying/ Is Your Love For Real/ It's Love, Baby (24 Hours A Day)/ It's Twistin' Time/ Just One More Chance/ Kansas City/ Keep On Churnin' (Till The Butter Come)/ Keep On Dancing/ Leave That Fat/ Let 'Em Roll/ Let 'Em Roll/ Let Me Hold Your Hand/ Let's Go Again (Where We Went Last Night)/ Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go/ Look At Little Sister/ Looka Here/ Love, Oh Love (Where Can You Be)/ Miss Twister/ Mona Lisa/ Move, Move, Move/ Never Knew/ No, It Ain't/ Nothing But Good/ Oh So Happy/ Ooh Bah Baby/ Open Up The Back Door/ Ow-Wow-Oo-Wee/ Partners For Life/ Rain Down Tears/ Ring A-Ling A-Ling/ Rock And Roll Wedding/ Rock, Granny, Roll/ Santa Claus Is Coming/ Santa Claus Is Coming (alt)/ Sexy Ways/ Shaky Mae/ She's Got A Whole Lot Of Soul/ She's The One/ She's The One/ So Good To Be Home/ Someone Like You/ Stay By My Side/ Stingy Little Thing/ Sugaree/ Sugaree (alt)/ Summertime/ Sweet Mama, Do Right/ Switchie Witchie Titchie/ Switchie Witchie Titchie (alt)/ Teardrops On Your Letter/ Tell Them/ That House On The Hill/ That Woman/ That's It/ The Coffee Grind/ The Continental Walk/ The Float/ The Hoochi Coochi Coo/ The Hoochi Coochi Coo (alt)/ The Switch-A-Roo/ The Twist/ The Twist/ The Twist (with sax overdub)/ These Young Girls/ Tore Up Over You/ Until I Die/ Up And Away (alt)/ Up And Away (with Woody Woodpecker voice)/ Waiting/ We'll Never Meet Again/ What Is This I See/ What Made You Change Your Mind/ What's Your Name/ Whatsonever You Do/ When I Need You/ When I Need You/ Where Is The Love/ Why Are We Apart/ Work Baby/ Work Baby (with overdub)/ Work With Me Annie/ Work With Me Annie (alt)/ You Ain't Nothing But Fine/ Young Lady/ Young Lady/ Your Lovin'

 
HANK BALLARD & THE MIDNIGHTERS Collectables 2823 The Very Best Of Hank Ballard & The Midnighters ● CD $15.98
25 track collection of this great group featuring all their chart hits and lots more. 20 of the songs appear here in stereo for the first time. I
HANK BALLARD & THE MIDNIGHTERS: Big Red Sunset/ Cute Little Ways/ Deep Blue Sea/ Do You Know How To Twist/ Finger Poppin' Time/ Good Twistin' Tonight/ House With No Windows/ I Said I Wouldn't Beg You/ Kansas City/ Keep On Dancing/ Let's Go Again/ Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go/ Look At Little Sister/ Nothing But Good/ Rain Down Tears/ Sugaree/ Teardrops On Your Letter/ The Coffee Grind/ The Continental Walk/ The Float/ The Hoochi Coochi Coo/ The Rising Tide/ The Switch-a-roo/ The Twist/ What Is This I See

 
BARBARA & THE BROWNS Kent CDKEND 278 Can't Find Happiness ● CD $18.98
20 tracks, 54 min., essential
This is what reissue labels are for. The obscure Barbara Brown (and her many background singing sisters) recorded a handful of singles between 1964-72, released on various labels (e.g., Tower, Stax, Atco, XL, MGM, Cadet) all uniformly excellent examples of southern soul. She had but one commercial success, Big Party, which only made it to #97 on the R&B charts, but as is so often the case, her talents far exceeded her popularity. Brown began recording with Chips Moman shortly after he left the Stax production team, and , while the files seem to be incomplete or missing, she recorded with some of the sharpest session men in Memphis, which is saying something considering the concentration of talent in that city at the time. This album collects her various released sides and adds 8 previously issued gems. Tracks include Can't Find No Happiness, If I Can't Run To You I'll Crawl, Pity A Fool, Watch Dog, I'm Gonna Start A War, and much more. Any fan of Aretha Franklin or Otis Redding will undoubtedly appreciate these forgotten wonders. (JC)

 
THE BAR-KAYS Stax 8542 The Best Of The Bar-Kays ● CD $12.98
The Bar-Kays have a long, involved history, starting as the #2 Stax house band (#1 was the MGs/Mar-Keys) and currently an extremely popular black funk band. The original band is the band that was killed with Otis Redding in the plane crash, and survivors James Alexander (b) and Ben Cauley (t) started a new version which replaced the MGs as Stax house band in the early 70s, best known for being Isaac Hayes's original backing group (that's them on Shaft ), and doing instrumental hits before adding Commodores-influenced funk and vocals. This set includes their instrumental hits, including Son of Shaft and Copy Cat , a sound-alike of the original band's Soul Finger , plus a few early vocal hits like Holy Ghost and Don't Stop Dancin' (To The Music) . (GM)

 
DEAN BARLOW Lescay 3004 The Solo Sides ● CD $17.98
26 sides from the 50s and early 60s by this fine vocalist who is probably best known as the lead singer of The Crickets. Includes Hi Ya Honey/ My Life Is Empty Without You/ I'll String Along With You/ Forever/ Come Back/ Friendly People/ Third Window From The Right/ The Night Before Last/ The Glory Of Love, etc.

 
THE BARONS Funky Delicacies 05 Society Don't Let Us Down ● CD $15.98
20 tracks, 57 min., essential
A vocal group out of New Orleans, The Barons spent the 1960s and '70s melding elements of doo wop and soul and succeeded every way but financially. They could sing as sweeter than aspartame or turn so funky that Perry Como and Pat Boone would run frightened and confused into the streets. This collection includes their earliest releases on the tiny Etah label, their last stab at monetary reward was undertaken in 1981 when they still sounded fine despite considerable lineup changes, and lots of good stuff in between. Impressive. (JC)

 
DAVE BARTHOLOMEW Collectables 2883 The King Sides ● CD $15.98
23 tracks, 64 mins, highly recommended
If you're not collecting the comprehensive chronological series on Classics this is a great way to get the complete DeLuxe and King recordings of trumpeter, bandleader, arranger and producer Dave Bartholomew including two previously unissued alternate takes that are not on Classics. Bartholomew is best remembered for sides he did with Fats Domino on Imperial, but between 1949 and 1952 he cut for De Luxe and King under his own name. Although little more than an average vocalist, Dave could blow breath-taking solos. Many star instrumentalists passed through Dave's band: Frank Fields (bass), Earl Palmer (drums), Todd Rhodes (piano), Herb Hardesty (tenor), and Ernest McLean (guitar), among many others. Includes Stardust/ Gumbo Blues/ Country Boy/ In The Alley/ Twins/ I'll Never Be The Same ad others including the two part Lawdy Lawdy Lord with a vocal by Tommy Ridgley and the original recording of My Ding-A-Ling. Sound quality is fine and their informative notes by Victor Pearlin but no discographical info. (FS)

 
THE BASIN STRET BOYS Night Train 7028 Satchelmouth Baby ● CD $16.98
18 tracks, recommended
The Basin Street Boys were a late 40's vocal group in the same vein as the Ink Spots and The Five Red Caps. The group was formed in LA by singer/ guitarist Ormand Wilson and had some good success in 1946 with the song I Sold My Heart To The Junkman recorded for Exclusive with accompaniment by Eddie Beale's Quartet. The 18 tunes featured here were all done for Leon Rene's Exclusive label and show the boys to be very talented in a variety of styles from slow crooning to gently rocking. They recorded some of the hippest jive numbers too like Voot Nay On The Vot Nay/ I Need A Knife, A Fork, And A Spoon and the title Satchel Mouth Baby. You'll also dig tenor sax great Lucky Thompson, and alumnus of the Counta Basie Band, who appears on many of these. Other cuts include Nothing Ever Happens To Me/ Exactly Like You/ Near To You/ Josephine/ Summertime Gal, etc. (
AE/ FS)

 
FONTELLA BASS Chess (UK) 19252 Rescued - The Very Best Of ● CD $10.98
16 tracks, 47 mins, highly recommended
We've turned up some copies of this U.K. issue of the long deleted Chess 9335. This release collects much of Fontella's best material recorded for the Checker label between 1964-'68, including her only #1 hit Rescue Me and the moving The Soul Of A Man, often touted as her finest recording. Four duets with Bobby McClure are included: Don't Mess Up A Good Thing/ You're Gonna Miss Me and two of her biggest hits - the often overlooked gem Don't Jump and Jimmy Reed's Baby What You Want Me To Do. The two best reasons to get this particular set are 1) innately soulful voices as fine as Fontella Bass' are hard to find, and 2) many of the cuts are previously unreleased in the U.S., or not on U.S. LP, or in the case of the stunning and mysterious Joy Of Love, just plain unreleased. (JC)

 
FONTELLA BASS Fuel 2000 61072 Free ● CD $16.98 $6.98
Superb soul singing from St. Louis vocalist Bass on 15 songs recorded for the Jewel subsidiary Paula in 1972 and '73. The sessions were produced by the great Oliver Sain who gave Fontella her first break in the early 60s and features arrangements by Gene Barge. Includes fine song like To Be Free/ I Want Everyone To Know/ Talking About Freedom/ Wiping Tears/ Who You Gonna Blame/ I'm Leaving The Choice To You and others including a fine remake of her most famous song - the classic Rescue Me.

 
JIMMY BEAUMONT & THE SKYLINERS Collectables 8822 40th Anniversary Edition ● CD $24.98
Two CD set with 40 tracks by this fine and distinctive vocal group. Starting in 1959 this set spans their entire recording career for an array of labels like Calico, Colpix, Atco, Viscount, Jubilee, Drive, and Capitol. The set includes five previously unissued alternate takes including an alternate of their most popular Since I Don't have You.
JIMMY BEAUMONT & THE RAY CHARLES SINGERS: Blossoms In The Snow/ THE SKYLINERS: Another Lonely New Year's Eve/ Believe Me/ Close Your Eyes/ Comes Love/ Footsteps/ Happy Time/ How Much/ I Can Dream, Can't I/ I Could Have Loved You So Well/ I'd Die/ I'll Be Seeing You/ I'll Close My Eyes/ If I Loved You/ It Happened Today/ Lonely Way/ Lonely Way/ Lorraine From Spain/ One Night, One Night/ One Night, One Night/ Our Love Will Last/ Pennies From Heaven/ Since I Don't Have You/ Since I Don't Have You/ Since I Fell For You/ Stardust/ Tell Me/ The Day The Clown Died/ The Door Is Still Open/ The Loser/ This I Swear/ This I Swear/ Tired Of Me/ Tired Of Me/ Tomorrow/ Warm/ When I Fall In Love/ Where Have They Gone/ You're My Christmas Present/ Zing Went The Strings

 
WILLIAM BELL Stax 8541 The Best Of William Bell ● CD $12.98
The best of Bell's post-Atlantic Stax hits, 1968-75. Many tunes co-written by Booker T who produced, along with Al Bell. Includes a funky remake of the Jones-Bell classic Born Under A Bad Sign , his two hits with Judy Clay -- Private Number and My Baby Specializes , plus 'Til My Back Ain't Got No Bone / I'll Be Home / I Forgot To Be Your Lover . (GM)

 
WILLIAM BELL Stax 8566 A Little Something Extra ● CD $12.98
The most amazing thing about this collection is that the songs were all previously unissued before coming out recently on the British Stax imprint. It is a testament to the strength of Stax that these 20 tracks were left in the can. But after hearing Let's Do Something Together/ You're Never Too Old/ She Won't Be Like You you wonder how the folks at Soulville USA determined which songs to issue. These tracks were laid down between 1961-67, and Otis Redding's influence is strong, but the material here represents a variety of styles. Most were presumably demos, but the instrumentation, rather than the quality, is the betraying factor. When you hear Bell's Will You Love Me Tomorrow you'll probably throw out your Shirelles' record. Recommended. (JC)

 
THE BELMONTS Ace CDCHD 580 The Laurie, Sabina & United Artists Sides, Vol 1 ● CD $18.98
30 tracks, 77 min., recommended
Dion's one time backup group herein gets the first class treatment that characterizes England's Ace label. Tracing the group's recordings from their first performance without their former lead in 1961 through their first four U. A. sides in the mid-60's, the program here makes a convincing argument that this solid trio deserved more success than it originally found. Featured tracks include Such a Long Way, Come On Little Angel, My Love Is Real, Searching for a New Love, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, Time to Dream, Summertime, Diddle-Dee-Dum, and Today My Love Has Gone Away. Good music from start to finish, with fine liner notes, great cover graphics, and excellent sound quality. But do note: If you already own Relic's two Belmonts' volumes (#'s 7085 and 7089), you already have 24 of these cuts.
(DH)
THE BELMONTS: (I've Got) More Important Things To Do/ Ann-Marie/ Come On Little Angie/ Come Take A Walk With Me/ Dancin' Girl/ Diddle-Dee-Dum/ Don't Get Around Much Anymore/ Have You Heard/ Hombre/ How About Me/ I Confess/ I Don't Know How To Cry/ I Don't Know Why, I Just Do/ I Got A Feeling/ I Need Someone/ My Love Is Real/ Not Responsible/ Now It's All Over/ Searching For A New Love/ Smoke From Your Cigarette/ Such A Long Way/ Summertime Time/ Tell Me Why/ That Background Sound/ Time To Dream (Brahms Lullaby)/ Today My Love Has Gone Away/ Walk On Boy/ We Belong Together/ Why/ You're Like A Mystery

 
THE BELMONTS Ace CDCHD 685 The Laurie, Sabina & United Artists Sides, Vol 2 ● CD $18.98
Complementing Ace 580 this features the remaining sides cut by Dion's former backing group The Belmonts for Laurie, Sabina & United in the early/mid 60s. Includes previously unissued songs, alternate takes and foreign language versions of their Sabina sides.

 
THE BELMONTS Relic 7085 The Best Of The Belmonts ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 65 min., recommended
The digital reissue of the rare Carnival of Hits lp (Sabina 5001) from 1962, featuring the efforts of this well-known group after former-lead Dion DiMucci had gone solo. There are 13 bonus tracks here to sweeten the offering, and Carlo Mastrangelo, Angelo D'Aleo, and Freddie Milano at their best still produced undeniably appealing music. Featured tracks here include their version of Tell Me Why, plus Coma Coma Baby, Time to Dream, Searching for a New Love, How About Me?, More Important Things to Do, and Come On Little Angel. It's some of the best white doo-wop around, and this compilation includes four unreleased tracks, many numbers in stereo, fine graphics, and Donn Fileti's usual solid liner notes. (DH)

 
THE BELMONTS Relic 7089 Lost Treasures ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 65 min., recommended
A compendium of rare and unreleased sides, most laid down between 1962 and 1963 when the Dion-less trio was recording for Sabina/Sabrina, with 11 tracks in stereo. Standout numbers include Look Out for Cindy/ Loneliest Guy in the World/ Come Take a Walk with Me, Broken Heart, The Wedding Song, and I'll Be Seeing You. Polished group singing from start to finish, and a fit companion to Relic 7085 reviewed above. And like its predecessor, it features fine sound quality, knowledgeable notes, and several vintage photos.
(DH)

 
JESSE BELVIN Ace CDCHD 1020 Guess Who - The RCA Victor Recordings ● CD $27.98
Two CD set with 36 tracks featuring the complete RCA recordings made in 1959 and 1960 including both his RCA LPs and a dozen non-album singles tracks. On these recordings Jesse was moving in a more pop/ jazz oriented direction and many of the sides were standards. He was accompanied on these sessions by top West Coast jazz musicians like Art Pepper, Russ Freeman, Marty Paich, Red Callender. Includes his hits Funny and Guess Who plus Secret Love/ Now You Know/ Witchcraft/ Take Me Back To The Island/ Ever Since We Met/ Volare/ Give Me Love/ It Could Have Been Worse/ Something Happens To Me and more.

 
JESSE BELVIN Specialty 7003 Legends Of Specialty - Jesse Belvin : The Blues Balladeer ● CD $15.98
 

 
BROOK BENTON Gold Dust 935 A Rockin' Good Way ● CD $17.98
32 tracks, highly recommended
An older release but reviewed for the first time. Generous compilation of great R&B vocalist Bentonís early 60ís recordings, including his hits Itís Just a Matter of Time/ Kiddio, and Boll Weevil Song. Also featured are his two 1960 duets with Dinah Washington, A Rockiní Good Way and Baby (Youíve Got What it Takes). By turns playful (the Elvis-like I Wanna Do Everything For You), romantic (Itís Just A Matter Of Time) and sassy-sexy (Hotel Happiness), Benton was capable of handling most any material that came his way. For anyone who only knows Benton from his 1970 masterpiece, Rainy Night in Georgia, these sides are a revelation. (GMC)
BROOK BENTON: A Million Miles From Nowhere/ A New Love/ A Rockin' Good Way/ Another Cup Of Coffee/ Baby You've Got What It Takes/ Boll Weevil Song/ Careless Love/ Crazy In Love With You/ Do It Right/ Don't Hate Me/ Endlessly/ Fools Rush In/ Frankie And Johnny/ Hit Record/ Honey Babe/ Hotel Happiness/ I Wanna Do Everything For You/ It's Just A Matter Of Time/ It's My Lazy Day/ Just Tell Me When/ Kiddio/ Lingering On/ Love's That Way/ My True Confession/ Revenge/ Shadrack/ Steppin' Out Tonight/ The Intoxicated Rat/ Two Tickets To Paradise/ When I Grow Too Old To Dream/ Won't Cha Love/ You're For Me

  
RICHARD BERRY Ace CDCHD 977 Have "Louie" Will Travel ● CD $18.98
Great collection of R&B and doo-wop from the man who created the original version of the immortal Louie Louie. This collection features 30 tracks recorded for Flip, Paxley, K&G and Warner Brothers between 1956 and 1962 including, of course, Louie and featuring four previously unissued tracks. Richard's earlier recordings for Flair and Modern are available on Ace 355 ($16.98). Great sound and set comes with 16 page illustrated booklet with extensive notes by Eric Prudahl.

   
RICHARD BERRY Nile 101 Baby, Please Come Home ● CD $17.98
27 tracks from this important artist - Louie, Louie/ Tell Me You Love Me/ Tender Love/ Do I, Do I/ I'll Never, Ever Love Again/ Sweet Sugar You/ You Are My Sunshine/ The Mess Around, etc.

 
BIG MAYBELLE Rojac/ Traffic 9926 Saga Of The Good Life & Hard Times ● CD $16.98
11 tracks, highly recommended
Reissue of 1967 album cut for the tiny Rojac label by the mighty Big Maybelle. Maybelle started her recording career in 1947 and became one of the great female blues shouters. She made a seamless transition to the more soul oriented style of the 60s and this outstanding album finds her tackling a wide range of material ranging from pop and jazz standards to deep soul to tough blues. Highlights include her magnificent rendition of the Billie Holiday favorite Gloomy Sunday, the outstanding deep soul song old Love Never Dies and the ferocious Maybelle Sings The Blues but it's all fine. Cd is packaged in a heavy cardboard LP style sleeve like many Japanese releases. (FS)

 
BIG MAYBELLE Savoy 17101 Savoy Blues Legends - Candy ● CD $33.98
Available again with a new number. Two CD set featuring all the recordings made by this great singer for Savoy and Cub between 1956 and 1959. Great late 50's R&B with the mighty Maybelle, backed by guitarists Mickey Baker and Kenny Burrell, sax stars Warren Lucky and Jerome Richardson, etc. Plenty of gritty cuts like Candy/ Ring Dang Dilly, the tough That's A Pretty Good Love, Big Boy Myles' Tell Me Who, plus Goin' Home Baby/ A Good Man Is Hard To Find and lots more.

 
BIG SANDY Hightone 8092 Dedicated To You ● CD $13.98
16 tracks, 44 mins, recommended Best known for his recreation of the classic rockabilly and country boogie style, Big Sandy now tries his hand at a collection of 50s/early 60s R&B and doo-wop. With outstanding vocal back up from legendary Los Angeles group The Calvanes plus guest vocal appearances by Dewey Terry, Vicky Tafoya and others he does a splendid and convincing job on this collection of lowrider favorites. Includes Lonely Guy/ Gloria/ Baby Baby Me/ Hey Girl, Hey Boy/ Death Of An Angel/ Have LOve Will Travel/ I'm Leavin' It All Up To You/ Yama, Yama Pretty Mama, and others. (FS)

 
BILLY & LILLIE B&L 4002 La Dee Da ● CD $17.98
31 track collection including their hits La Dee Dah/ Happiness/ Lucky Ladybug and Bells, Bells, Bells)

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