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RHYTHM & BLUES, SOUL & DOO-WOP

Billy Bland -> Earl Bostic 

BILLY BLAND
THE BLENDERS
THE BLUE JAYS/ HI TENSIONS
THE BLUE NOTES
THE BLUE STARS
EDDIE BO
 
THE BOBBETTES
LUTHER BOND & THE EMERALDS
GARY "U.S." BONDS
THE BOOGIE KINGS
BOOKER T. & THE MGS
EARL BOSTIC

BILLY BLAND Ace CDCHD 370 Let The Little Girl Dance ● CD $18.98
29 tracks, 62 minutes, good
This 29 track CD covers the material originally released on Ace LP 222 plus the rest of Bland's Old Town career. The North Carolina native moved to New York City in the late 40's and started his career in earnest with Hy Weiss' label, releasing 15 records from 1955 to 1963, highlighted by his smash title hit in 1958. He made several more pop R&B recordings, even the obligatory follow-up to his hit called Can't Stop Her From Dancing , but his range of styles covers some ground. There's the down-home harmonica stomp of Chicken Hop , the Diddley beat of Chicken In The Basket , the Bobby Bland style of Little Boy Blue and several Jackie Wilson style numbers. Bland might have been a bit of a trend follower but there's no denying his talent on the gamut of R&B styles. Grandma Gave A Party/ The Fat Man/ Flo-Open The Door/ Do The Bug With Me , etc. (AE)

 
THE BLENDERS Famous Groove 971018 Come Back Baby Blues ● CD $18.98
27 track collection covering most of the recordings by this transitional gorup from 1949 to 1953 who started off in a Mills brother style and moved into a harder doo-wop style. Includes their 1953 recording of Don't Play Around With With Love and the infamous alternate take Don't F*** Around With Love.
THE BLENDERS: All I Gotta Do Is Think Of You/ Come Back Baby Blues/ Count Every Star/ Don't Play Around With Love/ Don't Play Around With Love/ Gone/ Honeysuckle Rose/ I Can Dream Can't I/ I Don't Miss You Anymore/ I'd Be A Fool Again/ I'm So Crazy For Love/ If That's The Way You Want It Baby/ Isn't It A Shame/ Just A Little Walk With Me/ Kansas Kapers/ Little Small Town Girl/ Memories Of You/ My Heart Will Never Forget/ Never In A Million Years/ Please take Me Back/ Somebody's Lying/ The Busiest Corner In My Hometown/ The Masquerade Is Over/ What About Tonight/ Would I Still Be In Your Heart/ You Do The Dreaming/ You'll Never Be Mine Again

 
THE BLUE JAYS/ HI TENSIONS Relic 7014 Lovers Island ● CD $14.98
Here at last are the long awaited gems by The Blue Jays (1961/62), later renamed The Hi Tensions(1964), spotlighting the smooth as silk high tenor of Leon Peels. Standouts like the title track, Tears Are Falling & the classic Casual Kiss from the Milestone & Whirleybird labels are legally reissued here for the first time. So Long Lovers Island will take your breath away. Soul doo-wop at its best on 16 tracks, same as Relic LP 5064. Highly recommended. (OLN)
THE BLUE JAYS: A Casual Kiss/ A Magic Island/ Cottonhead Joe/ Darlene/ Let's Make Love/ Lovers Island/ Rock Rock Rock/ So Long Lovers Island/ Tears Are Falling/ That's All It Took/ The Heart You Break May Be Your Own/ The Right To Love/ Tree Tall Len/ Venus My Love/ Woe Is Me/ You're Gonna Cry

 
THE BLUE NOTES UGGH Records 704 Our Early Hits ● CD $17.98
23 tracks - If You Love Me/ My hero/ Retribution Blues/ A Good Woman/ W-P-L-J/ There's Somthing In Your Eyes Eloise, etc.

 
THE BLUE STARS Clifton 3030 Rhapsody In Harmony ● CD $15.98
Acapella group performing versions of doo-wop classics. 16 of these tracks were issued on a Clifton LP in 1991 and the rest are from previously unrelsaed sessions in the mid 90s - Sweet Was The Wine/ Hold Me, Chill Me, Thrill Me/ Moonlight In Vermont/ Life Is But A Dream/ Six Nights A Week/ Dream A While/ Gee/ Count Every Star/ Tenderly, etc.

 
EDDIE BO Famous Groove 971052 I Love To Rock 'n' Roll ● CD $18.98
Great collection of 29 tracks from the 50s and early 60s from this fine New Orleans singer/ songwriter and piano player. It includes his 1956 recording of I'm Wise which Little Richard reworked as Slippin' And Slidin'. The material is a mix of rock 'n' roll, ballads and New Orleans style rock 'n' roll including Baby/ I'm So Tired/ We Like Mambo/ Happy Tears/ I'll Be Satisfied/ My Heart Was Meant For You/ Hey, Bo/ Too Much Of A Good Thing and more.

 
EDDIE BO Night Train 7025 New Orleans Solo Piano ● CD $15.98
10 tracks, 52 min., highly recommended
The first six tracks were recorded at the Boiler Room, New Orleans, June 1995, and the remaining four at MAI studios, New York, in April 1993. For those who are familiar only with Bo's outstanding funk work, these self-penned, solo instrumental piano blues will reveal another side of the man. Born Edwin Bocage, Bo has been recording and doing session work since the mid-1950s. Still hitless after all these years, Bo's best-known song is perhaps Check Mr. Popeye, included on the Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes 1977 LP This Time It's For Real. Bo's style at the ivories here reflects both blues and jazz influences, as one might expect from a long-time resident of the Crescent City. Songs such as Havin' Fun In New Orleans and Boogie At The Boiler Room highlight the fact that even into his mid-sixties Bo's command of the keys was impressive. A solid and satisfying outing from an influential if under-appreciated performer. (JC)

 
THE BOBBETTES Titanic TRC 981008 The Ultimate Collection ● CD $18.98
34 track collection featuring, I believe, the complete recordings of this early girl group who were between the ages of 11 and 15 when they hit it big with the classic Mr Lee. That hit is here along with their own answer song I Shot Mr. Lee (two versions in mono and stereo) and their answer song to Chris Kenner's I Like It Like That plus loads more. As their voices changed they moved on to tougher material, like Come-A Come-A and even a good cover of Billy Ward's rockin' Have Mercy Mercy Baby. Lots more like Come-A, Come-A/ The Dream (considered to be their best side)/ Untrue Love/ Dance With Me Georgie/ / Teach me Tonight/ Oh My Papa/ Looking For Lover, etc. Liner notes by R&B expert Peter Grendysa.
THE BOBBETTES: Are You Satisfied/ Billy/ Close Your Eyes/ Come-a Come-a/ Dance With Me Georgie/ Don't Say Goodnight/ Have Mercy Baby/ I Cried/ I Don't Like It That Way Part 1/ I Don't Like It That Way Part 2/ I Shot Mr. Lee/ I Shot Mr. Lee/ I'm Climbing A Mountain/ In Paradise/ Look At The Stars/ Looking For A Lover/ Mama, Papa/ Mister Johnny Q/ Mr. Lee/ My Dearest/ My Mama Said/ Oh My Papa/ Rock & Ree Ah Zole/ Row, Row, Row/ Sandman/ Somebody Bad Stole The Wedding Bell/ Speedy/ Teach Me Tonight/ Teddy/ The Dream/ Um Bow Wow/ Untrue Love/ You Are My Sweetheart/ Zoomy

 
LUTHER BOND & THE EMERALDS E+G 1001 Meet The Guytones ● CD $18.98
Features 14 tracks by The Emeralds and 10 by The Guytones.
LUTHER BOND & THE EMERALDS: Gold Will Never Do/ He Loves You Baby/ I Cry/ I Won't Believe You Anymore/ It's Written In The Stars/ Jitterbug Jamboree/ Old Mother Nature/ See What You Done/ Should I Love You So Much/ Six Foot Hole/ Someone To Love Me/ Starlight Starbright/ What If You/ You Were My Love/ THE GUYTONES: Baby I Don't Care/ Hunky Dory/ Not Wanted/ Ooh Bop Sha Boo/ She's Mine/ Tell Me/ This Is Love/ You Won't Let Me Go/ Young Dreamer/ Your Heart Is Bigger Than Mine

 
GARY "U.S." BONDS Ace CDCHD 549 Take Me Back To New Orleans ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 62 min., recommended
You won't find Quarter To Three or New Orleans here or anything else you remember hearing on the radio. But that's fine, since the hits have been endlessly reissued. What is here are Mr. Bonds' B-sides and undeservedly neglected album tracks, including many an R&B ballad (I Know Why Dreamers Cry) and the occasional doo-wop outing (Give Me One More Chance/ Don't Go To Strangers). Five songs, including I Walk The Line(!) have not been issued in any format before, and only 1 of those, Guida's Romeo & Juliet, is dross--imagine two people singing the balcony scene to R&J and trying to make it sound natural. But the song is so hokey it becomes irresistible fun. Okay, maybe not irresistible, but amusing anyway. All in all, a pleasant surprise. (JC)

 
THE BOOGIE KINGS Jin 9035 Nine Lives - Blue Eyed Cajun Soul Music ● CD $15.98
13 tracks, 59 min., recommended. Album cover says "Blue Eyed Cajun Soul Music," in case you need a category for these Southern Louisiana faves. Nine Lives recorded live at Riverside Centraplex in Baton Rough on New Year's Eve 1990, is a collection of standard soul songs covered in a more or less standard way. Gee Gee Shin gets soulful on Harlem Shuffle, and In The Midnight Hour; Bert Miller tilts the hat to Bobby Bland with Cry Cry Cry; Duane Yates does Sam Cooke's Shake; Tony Goulas does his best James Brown a la Papa and his recently acquired bag. Nothing wrong with this set--nothing very exciting about it either. (JC)

 
THE BOOGIE KINGS Jin 9038 Louisiana Country Soul ● CD $15.98
1991 recordings

 
BOOKER T. & THE MGS Atlantic 82255 Green Onions ● CD $12.98
12-track all-instrumental reissue, with original cover. Booker T. Jones and his crew have all the bases covered here with the groovers Green Onions/ Mo' Onions/ Rinky-Dink/ I Got A Woman/ Twist And Shout, the midnight blues of Behave Yourself/ Comin' Home Baby and the especially flashy finger work of Lonely Avenue, and even some MOR corn like Stranger On The Shore/ One Who Really Loves You and more. (MB)

 
BOOKER T. & THE MGS Fantasy 60004 The Best Of Booker T. And The MGS ● CD $11.98
Hang 'Em High, Time Is Tight, Hip Hug Her, Born Under A Bad Sign, Elenor Rigby and 12 more.

 
BOOKER T. & THE MGS Rhino (UK) 77660 The Definitive Soul Collection ● CD $14.98
2 CDs, 30 tracks, highly recommended
It seemed that when the re-activated Stax Records issued The Very Best of Booker T. & the MG's (reviewed in an earlier newsletter) in late 2007, we had seen the last word regarding the ultimate compilation of that seminal group's hits and best loved recordings. However, in 2006, Rhino issued this similarly-priced European import that contains nearly everything on the Stax CD (minus four tracks: Heads or Tails/ Over Easy/ Sunday Sermon and Soul Clap '69). Which comp is better? Well, that depends on what one wants: if you want the long versions of Melting Pot and Time is Tight and 20 songs are enough to satisfy your funky soul instrumental jones, then stick with the Stax collection. On the other hand, if, for the same price, you want maximum "Soul-Limbo" goodness, then this is the CD for you. (GMC)
BOOKER T. & THE MGS: Be My Lady/ Behave Yourself/ Booker-Loo/ Boot-Leg/ Can't Be Still/ Chinese Checkers/ Green Onions/ Groovin'/ Hang 'Em High/ Hip Hug Her/ Home Grown/ Jellybread/ Jingle Bells/ Melting Pot/ Mo' Onions/ Mrs. Robinson/ My Sweet Potato/ Outrage/ Pigmy/ Red Beans & Rice/ Slim Jenkin's Place/ Slum Baby/ Something/ Soul Dressing/ Soul Sanction/ Soul-Limbo/ Summertime/ Terrible Thing/ Tic-Tac-Toe/ Time Is Tight

 
BOOKER T. & THE MGS Stax 4113 Soul Limbo ● CD $11.98
Reissue of Stax 2001 from 1968 - the last solid MGS LP - includes the title hit + Hang 'Em High/ Foxy Lady/ Eleanor Rigby & Booker T's own composition, the classic Born Under A Bad Sign. 11 in all.

 
BOOKER T. & THE MGS Stax 8521 Melting Pot ● CD $11.98

 
BOOKER T. & THE MGS Stax 8531 The Booker T. Set ● CD $12.98

 
BOOKER T. & THE MGS Stax 8562 Soundtrack From The Motion Picture "Uptight" ● CD $12.98
1968 soundtrack recording, which shows a different side of the MGS. In addition to their hit Time Is Tight, we get a very soulful Children, Don't Get Weary with gospel-tinged vocal by Judy Clay, and a handful of atmospheric and period instrumentals, plus some numbers where Booker T. takes the vocal mic. 10 cuts. (MB)

 
BOOKER T. & THE MGS Stax 30293 The Very Best Of Booker T. & The MGs ● CD $11.98
20 Tracks, 67 mins, highly recommended
Somewhere between sessions as a backing group for nearly every Stax recording, these four brilliant musicians found the time to produce 11 albums and 23 singles on their own, racking up a few hits in the process. This is quite possibly the definitive collection from the famed Memphis Giants, digitally re-mastered (of course), sounding cleaner than ever, with the possible exception of Booker-Loo, which may well have been transferred from a 45 RPM single, perhaps it was the only source recording available. Time Is Tight and Melting Pot are the lengthier versions that appeared on their respective original albums, rather than the better-known singles. Witness the mastery of Booker T. Jones on Hammond Organ (who is also impressive in the piano department), guitarist Steve Cropper, bassists Lewis Steinberg (tracks 1-4) and Donald "Duck" Dunn (tracks 5-20), and drummer Al Jackson, Jr. (BC)
BOOKER T. & THE MGS: Booker-loo/ Boot-leg/ Chinese Checkers/ Green Onions/ Groovin'/ Hang 'em High/ Heads Or Tails/ Hip Hug-her/ Melting Pot/ Mo' Onions/ Mrs. Robinson/ My Sweet Potato/ Over Easy/ Slim Jenkins' Place/ Something/ Soul Clap '69/ Soul Dressing/ Soul-limbo/ Sunday Sermon/ Time Is Tight

 
EARL BOSTIC Collectables 2886 The Very Best Of Earl Bostic ● CD $15.98
25 tracks, 67 min, excellent
All the hits for King including Flamingo/ Sleep/ Temptation/ Hot Sauce Boss/ Earl Blows A Fuse/ Choppin' It Down/ Don't You Do It/ Flamingo/ Always/ I Got Loaded/ Smoke Gets In Your Eyes/ Cherokee, etc. Typical Collectables package - great selection, iffy sound minimal liner notes & no recording info. (GM)

 
EARL BOSTIC King 5010 All His Hits ● CD $9.98
14 tunes from the master of the slick alto sax - That's The Groovy Thing Parts 1&2/ 845 Stomp/ Where Or When/ Flamingo/ Sleep/ Blue Moon/ Blue Skies/ Harlem Nocturne/ September Song etc.

 
EARL BOSTIC Proper BOX 112 The Earl Bostic Story ● CD $28.98
4 CDs, 106 tracks, 299 mins, highly recommended
Fantastic collection, 4 CDs jammed full of music, shining the spotlight on one of the all-time great alto sax players. Earl Bostic is someone a little lost in history, but someone whose influence on music of the 1940s and 1950s really doesn't get enough credit. Probably the main root of the mixed feelings on Bostic stem from his teetering between the world of Jazz and Rhythm & Blues: the Jazzbos looked down on the wild wailin' sax and the R&B cats and kittens getting bothered by too much instrumental music. Earl Bostic's music has indeed aged well and open-minded fans of both genres should find a lot to love here (I certainly did!) How many bandleaders can boast to having John Coltrane on some sessions and then Mickey Baker on the next batch of recordings? This works chronologically through Bostic's recorded output from late 1945 to may 1955, seemingly without missing a session. As usual this has Proper's fantastic sound, intricate notes and candy colored individual CD and box packaging. Well done! (JM)
EARL BOSTIC: 8.45 Stomp/ Ain't Misbehavin'/ All On/ Always/ Apollo Theatre Jump/ Artistry By Bostic/ Away/ Baby, You Don't Know It All/ Bar Fly Baby/ Beyond The Blue Horizon/ Blip Boogie/ Blue Skies/ Bostic's Boogie Blues/ Bostic's Jump/ Chains Of Love/ Cherokee/ Choppin' It Down/ Cracked Ice/ Cuttin' Out/ Danube Waves/ Deep Purple/ Disc Jockey's Nightmare/ Don't You Do It/ Earl Blows A Fuse/ Earl's Blues/ Earl's Imagination/ Earl's Rumboogie/ East Of The Sun/ Filibuster/ Flamingo/ For You/ From Midnight Till Dawn/ Here Goes/ Hot Sauce Boss/ How Could It Have Been You And I/ Hurricane Blues/ I Can't Give You Anything But Love/ I Got Loaded/ I'm Getting Sentimental Over You/ I'm The Guy Who Loves You/ Joy Dust/ Jumpin' Jack/ Jungle Drums/ Let's Ball Tonight, Part 1/ Let's Ball Tonight, Part 2/ Liebestraum/ Linger Awhile/ Liza/ Lover Come Back To Me/ Mambolino/ Mambostic/ Melancholy Serenade/ Memories/ Merry Widow Waltz/ Moonglow/ My Heart At Thy Sweet Voice/ My Special Dream/ Nay! Nay! Go Away!/ Night And Day/ No Name Blues/ O Sole Mio/ Off Shore/ Poeme/ Portrait Of A Faded Love/ Rockin' And Reelin'/ Scotch Jam/ September Song/ Serenade/ Serenade To Beauty/ Seven Steps/ Sheik Of Araby/ Sleep/ Slightly Groovy/ Smoke Gets In Your Eyes/ Smoke Rings/ Song Of The Islands/ Steamwhistle Jump/ Sugar Hill Blues/ Sweet Lorraine/ Swing Low Sweet Boogie/ Temptation/ That's The Groovy Thing - Part A/ That's The Groovy Thing - Part B/ That's The Heat You Gotta Beat/ The Barefoot Boy/ The Hour Of Parting/ The Major And The Minor/ The Man I Love/ The Man I Love/ The Moon Is Low/ The Song Is Ended/ The Very Thought Of You/ These Foolish Things/ Tiger Rag/ Time On My Hands/ Tippin' In/ Velvet Sunset/ Watch Where You Walk Boy/ Way Down/ What, No Pearls?/ Where Or When/ Who Snuck The Wine In The Gravy?/ Wild Man/ Wrap It Up/ Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams/ You Go To My Head

 

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