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RHYTHM & BLUES, SOUL & DOO-WOP

The Cadets -> The Chanters

THE CADETS/ THE JACKS
THE CADILLACS
THE CAMELOTS
THE CAPITOLS
THE CAPRIS
THE CARDINALS
UNA MAE CARLISLE
CARL CARLTON
JAMES CARR
WYNONA CARR
CLARENCE CARTER

THE CASANOVAS
THE CASTELLES
THE CATS & THE FIDDLE
THE CELLOS
EDDIE CHAMBLEE
GENE CHANDLER
THE CHANTELS
THE CHANTERS
 

 
THE CADETS/ THE JACKS Ace CDCHD 534 The Cadets Meet The Jacks - Stranded In The Jungle ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, 65 min., recommended
The Cadets didn't have to go far to meet The Jacks since they were the same talented fellows. As The Cadets the group cut jump sides and the occasional novelty song for Modern with Dub Jones or Aaron Collins on lead. As The Jacks they recorded mostly ballads for RPM with tenor Willie Davis (and sometimes Ted Taylor) on lead. This collection concentrates on The Cadets offering 21 of their sides, including unreleased outtakes of Annie Met Henry/ Dancin' Dan, and the original and undubbed version of their hit Stranded In The Jungle. The few Jacks tracks were chosen primarily because they sound like Cadets stuff, i.e., Collins or Jones on lead. An unreleased outtake of The Jacks Why Did I Fall In Love is included. Original album cover art, great music. (JC)

 
THE CADILLACS Bear Family BCD 15648 The Complete Josie Sessions ● CD $99.98
4 discs, 104 tracks, over 4 hrs., recommended
Once again the folks at Bear Family have done it right. In fact, as usual, they have done the job downright lavishly: four individually cased discs, plus a great, 32 page lp-sized booklet complete with intelligent commentary by Peter Grendysa, and lots of rare professional and candid photos. New York City's own Cadillacs deserve no less. Throughout the set, the tracks are organized chronologically, by recording date, and when two different takes of the same number are both meritorious, both are included. Disc one opens with the now classic Gloria, then moves on through I Wonder Why, Party for Two, Window Lady, Speedo, and the great Let Me Explain, ending with version one of Shock-A-Doo. Disc two opens with version two of Shock-A-Doo, then features Zoom, Why, Baby's Comin' Home to Me, Betty My Love, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Sugar Sugar, and Broken Heart. Disc three features C'mon Home Baby, From This Day On, Don't Be Mad with My Heart, Ain't You Gonna, Speedo is Back, Copy Cat, Peek-A-Boo (The first of their numbers clearly cast in the Coasters' comic mold), Please Mr. Johnson, and Cool It Fool. Disc four continues the string of comic operettas with Jay Walker, Naggity Nag, Bad Dan McGoon, Dumbell, Frankenstein, and The Boogie Man. Fortunately disc four also includes some solid non-comic material as well, such as the previously unreleased ballad The Vow, the uptempo You're Not in Love with Me, and Always My Darling. Material that is much too good to miss, and no one will ever do a better job of presenting it. Get it while you can. (DH)

 
THE CADILLACS Collectables 8800 For Collectors Only ● CD $29.98
The Cadillac's big hit was Speedo (1956), written about singer Earl "Speedo" Carroll's romantic proficiency. It's here on this 3-disc set along with 59 others recorded for Jubilee/ Josie Records between 1954-60. What is amazing about this collection, and the group, is that it never becomes a labor to listen to. Far from it. Even the later Coasters-like tunes are a considerable amount of fun... well, most of them. The disappointments can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Onomatopoetic titles include Zoon/ Buzz Buzz Buzz/ Dum De Dum Dum/ Zoom Boom Zing/ Shock-A-Doo and the #9 hit Peek A Boo. For namesakes there's Betty My Love/ Gloria/ Romeo/ Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer/ Speedo Is Back/ Oh Oh Lolita/ Please Mr. Johnson among others. (JC)

 
THE CADILLACS Rhino 70955 The Best Of The Cadillacs ● CD $10.98
18 track CD featuring classic doo wop from the original master tapes - Speedoo/ Gloria/ Peek-A-Boo/ My Girl Friends/ Zoom, etc.
THE CADILLACS: Betty My Love/ Down The Road/ Gloria/ My Girl Friend/ No Chance/ Peek-A-Boo/ Please, Mr. Johnson/ Speedoo/ Speedoo Is Back/ Sugar-Sugar/ Tell Me Today/ The Girl I Love/ Window Lady/ Woe Is Me/ You Are/ Zoom/ Zoom-Boom-Zing

 
THE CADILLACS/ THE ORIOLES Collectables 5412 Cadillacs Meet The Orioles ● CD $13.98
Yet another reissue from the Jubilee 1100 "Rumble" album series featuring six Josie delights by Earl "Speedy" Carroll and the Harlem-based Cadillacs, including the chart-topping Speedo (1956), supported by Zoom/ The Girl I Love/ Sugar Sugar/ My Girlfriend and the beautiful Gloria. Veteran Baltimore harmoneers The Orioles fronted by Sonny Til wail on the second half, with original renderings of Crying In The Chapel/ It's Too Soon To Know/ Chapel In The Moonlight/ Tell Me So/ I Cover The Waterfront/ What Are You Doing New Year's Eve in tearful, laid-back fashion. Fluffy notes, no pics, good average sound. (OLN)

 
THE CAMELOTS Castle 1007 The Camelots Want You to "Dance Girl" ● CD $18.98
32 tracks from early/mid 60s by fine New York vocal group who never had a big hit but had a strong local following. About half the tracks are acapella including the popular local hit Dance Girl. There are no notes but I think some of the tracks here are from when the group reformed in the 80s.

 
THE CAPITOLS Collectables 5105 Golden Classics ● CD $11.98
12 tunes, including Cool Jerk.

 
THE CAPRIS Collectables 5000 Gotham Recording Stars ● CD $11.98
 

 
THE CAPRIS Collectables 5450 Morse Code Of Love ● CD $13.98
A straight reissue of this group's Ambient Sound LP from 1982 with the addition of both sides of their very popular 1958 Planet/Old Town single, There's a Moon Out Tonight, 14 cuts in all. In addition to the title track and the two certified oldies, this disc features the nostalgic There's a Moon Out Again/ Guardian Angel/ That's How Love Goes/ Oh Darlin', and Tonight I'm So in Love. An updated vocal group sound from an ensemble with over 20 years of experience, well done. Fine monaural sound, solid notes by Jerry Greene, and the original 1982 notes as well. But surprisingly, there's no photo of the group included. (DH)
THE CAPRIS: A Love of My Own/ Boy Meets Girl/ Guardian Angel/ Imagine/ Indian Girl/ Morse Code of Love/ Oh Darlin'/ She's My Girl/ That's How Love Goes/ There's A Moon Out Again/ There's A Moon Out Tonight/ To Be Loved (Forever)/ Tonight I'm So In Love/ You Are

 
THE CAPRIS Flyright FLYCD 56 The Capris, 1954-58 ● CD $16.98
20 tracks, 52 min., recommended
For reasons that are unclear to me, Flyright tends to release its Gotham Records material in alternate rather than issued takes, a pattern which continues here, with only three of the numbers in this collection actually having been released in the 50's. Nonetheless, the songs are the ones that fans would be familiar with, the sound is impressive for the era, and the takes issued here are solid from start to finish. Those takes include versions of their biggest hit, God Only Knows, Too Poor to Love, Let's Linger Awhile, Milk and Gin, She Loves Me Still, and Please Believe Me. And though the lead singer is often Rena Hinton, whose quavering soprano is the group's trademark, the guys do get a chance to take the lead once in a while too. So there is variety in the program. As George Moonoogian points out in his fine notes here, the Capris were probably not a great group, but were they good? "Hell, yes!" (DH)

 
THE CARDINALS Plaza 501 Come Back My Love ● CD $17.98
29 tracks, 76 min., essential
With the great tenor lead of Ernie Warren, the Cardinals belong to that elite class of balladeers, the small group which includes fellow Baltimore residents Sonny Til and the Orioles and Rudy West's Five Keys. And, though they never scored that elusive "big" hit, the Cardinals made records that are rightly among the most sought-after by discerning doo-wop collectors. Well, it's all here, every track that ever saw the light of day, plus five demo recordings preserved only on the original scratchy acetates. The program includes Come Back My Love, Shouldn't I Know, The Wheel of Fortune, The Door Is Still Open, Two Things I Love, Near You, I Won't Make You Cry Anymore, One Love, and You Are My Only Love. Sound quality is solid, and the liner notes are extensive and authoritative. Definitely not a disc to miss. (DH)

 
UNA MAE CARLISLE Harlequin HQCD 19 1944 ● CD $16.98
21 tracks, 61 min., recommended Though this disc highlights the early 40's Beacon label recordings by three different female jazz/pop ballad singers, the melancholy Una Mae Carlisle dominates, with 15 cuts, including Tain't Yours/ I'm a Good Good Woman/ He's the Best Little Yankee, and The Rest of Your Life. Maxine Sullivan's two similar cuts are Behavin' Myself for You and I Carry the Torch for You. And Savannah Churchill, backed by a tasty Dixieland combo, performs four, rather more energetic numbers, including He's Commander in Chief of My Heart and the delightful Fat Meat Is Good Meat. Nice vintage publicity photo of Una Mae on the cover, generally good sound quality, and informative notes. (DH)

 
CARL CARLTON Black Tulip 38730 25 Greatest Hits ● CD $18.98
25 track compilation of sides from this fine soul vocalist recorded between 1968 and 1982. He mostly had modest success but did hit it big with his smoothly wonderful remake of Robert Knight's Ever Lasting Love in 1974 and the disco flavored She's A Bad Mama Jama from 1981 that hit #6 on the charts. Also includes his debut Competition Ain't Nothin plus Don't Walk Away/ Wild Child/ You Can't Stop A Man In Love/ Morning, Noon & Nighttime/ I Think It's Gonna Be Alright and others.

 
JAMES CARR Ace CDCHD 1120 A Man Worth Knowing - The 1990s Goldwax & Soultrax Records ● CD $22.98
20 tracks, 71 min., highly recommended
Some rate the late Carr as the greatest soul singer of all time. And although those are fighting words to many, the claim is not without some merit. Unfortunately for all concerned, after Carr's two superb Goldwax LPs in the 1960s, he disappeared from the recording studio. After battling some pretty serious emotional and chemical demons, and releasing only single of two over the interim, Carr resurfaced for real in the 1990s. Recording again for Goldwax (with the guidance of old friend Roosevelt Jamison) and later for Soultrax. This CD collects the best of this later output. Had he not been known as a soul giant, these sides might well have been hailed as the solid soul sides they are, instead of meeting with initial interest followed quickly by apathy. This release reissues Carr's two "comeback" albums-- "Take Me To The Limit" and "Soul Survivor" -- and adds a 2000 version of the classic You're Pouring Water On A Drowning Man. When he was put in front of good material (such as the George Jackson-penned Put Love First), Carr had few equals, as this release aptly demonstrates. (JC)

 
JAMES CARR Kent CDKEND 202 The Goldwax Singles ● CD $18.98
First in a series of releases from the legendary soul label Goldwax. This one features both sides of all 12 singles recorded for Goldwax by one of the greatest of all soul singers.

 
JAMES CARR Kent KENCD 211 You Got My Mind Messed Up ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 60 min, essential
Carr's been called, by those in the know (yours truly included) as probably the best soul singer who ever lived, even topping Otis! This set is a real treasure trove. The first half reissues the original LP, Goldwax 3001 from 1967, gives most of those tracks a new stereo mix, then adds a dozen bonus tracks. Eight of those tracks are from Goldwax CD compilations or rare Japanese Vivid Sounds LPs, & four more have never been issued, including a great version of The Rascals' Love Is A Beautiful Thing, a tune called A Lucky Loser, & alternate takes of Love Turned Her That Way & A Losing Game. And of course, all the hits are here - Dark End Of the Street/ Pouring Water On A Drowning Man, & the title track. (GM)

 
JAMES CARR Kent KENCD 215 A Man Needs A Woman ● CD $18.98
Reissue of Carr's second Goldwax album from 1968 this CD features the original 11 track US album plus the five tracks added to it when the album was released in the U.K. plus 8 bonus tracks - some of them previously unissued. All tracks remastered from original master tapes.

 
WYNONA CARR Specialty SPCD 7048 Jump Jack Jump! ● CD $15.98
24 tracks, 59 min., recommended
Dropping the "Sister" from her name, Wynona Carr went secular in 1955 her splendid gospel sides are available on Specialty SPCD 7016 and, behind the "Bumps" Blackwell Orchestra, cut some bluesy jump tunes and impressive ballads that were as deserving of success in the R&B market and her gospel sides were in the religious. Which is plenty. Unfortunately, as before in her career, she received little attention. Some of these cuts were issued on LP under the same title, but this collection adds several tracks including, the previously unreleased and currently stunning Weather Man/ Finders Keepers/ If These Walls Could Speak. So good you'll forgive her the trio of post tubercular Sonny Bono sides. (JC)

 
CLARENCE CARTER Rhino 70286 Snatching It Back ● CD $10.98
This greatest hits package from his Atlantic years (1965-71) will send listeners searching for Carter's out-of-print albums. Every song is a piece of classic Southern soul with singer/ guitarist Carter's expressive baritone leading the way. He deals in love and infidelity; if he's not Looking For A Fox, he's claiming I Smell A Rat. All his top 10 hits are here, including Slip Away/ Patches/ I Can't Leave Your Love Alone/ Doin' Our Thing/ The Feeling Is Right and the title track. But some of his best cuts never even charted. The gospel-flavored I Stayed Away Too Long captures the sound of pure regret as few other songs have done. Likewise the preaching Making Love (At The Dark End Of The Street) which bears little resemblance to James Carr's version, is a bit of uncharted genius. Great photos, and notes from rock critic Dave Marsh. Best title: Back Door Santa. Unambiguously recommended. (JC)

 
THE CASANOVAS Relic 7132 You Are My Queen ● CD $14.98
20 tracks, 51 min., highly recommended
Relic's Donn Fileti hits the nail on the head in the liner notes here when he refers to this strong North Carolina vocal group as underrated. The members of the Casanovas were connected by in-law relationship and by slight shared group membership to their state's other famous vocal group, The Five Royales. And though the Casanovas are more mellow by far, they too have something of a bluesy sound. Among the standout tracks herein are Are You For Real, Please Be Mine, Hush-A-Meca, It's Been a Long Time, Sleepy Head Mama, Night Rider, For You and You Alone, and the lovely Please Be Mine. Equally adept at ballads and jumps, the Casanovas surely deserve a broader positive reputation. In his discographical detective work, Fileti even makes a convincing case that the Five Royales' Dedicated to the One I Love actually derives from the Casanova's earlier number, I Don't Want You to Go. (DH)

 
THE CASTELLES Relic 7114 Sweetness ● CD $14.98
15 tracks, 41 min., recommended
One of the defining practitioners of that 50's Philadelphia sound were George Grant and the Castelles, who formed in junior high school in 1949 and laid down their few sides for Grand Records while still in high school in 1953-1954. Grant had the high tenor lead voice that characterizes this sound, and it should come as no great surprise that the original pressings of the group's wistful ballads command very high prices indeed among well-heeled collectors. Their complete output for the Grand label is offered here, including My Girl Awaits Me, Do You Remember?, Marcella, I'm a Fool to Care, It's Christmas Time, and My Wedding Day. Fine music for fans of this genre, all presented with Relic's usual flair for solid sound quality and authoritative notes. (DH)

 
THE CATS & THE FIDDLE Dee-Jay Jamboree 55101 Killin' Jive - Complete Recordings, Vol. 1 ● CD $18.98
First of two volumes presenting the complete recordings of this fine and important group who specialized in the jive vocal style with the occasional close harmony ballad and featured the distinctive instrumental sound of tenor guitar, two tipples and string bass. This volume, covering 1939 and '40 has 26 songs and includes their most famous one I Miss You So which has been covered by dozens of groups and solo vocalists as well as Gang Busters/ Nuts To You? Mister Rhythm Man/ That's On Jack, That's On/ Left With The Thought Of You/ Swing The Scales/ That's All I Mean To You/ Till The Day I Die/ Killer Diller Man From The South.

 
THE CATS & THE FIDDLE Dee-Jay Jamboree 55102 Killin' Jive - Complete Recordings, Vol. 2 ● CD $18.98
25 more fine sides featuring recordings from 1941 to '46 including a couple with June Davis. Includes I'll Always Love You Just The Same/ Until I Met You/ Another Day/ My Darling/ Blue Skies/ Life's Too Short (Tpo Worry About)/ My Sugar's Sweet To Me/ Shorty's Got To Go, etc.

 
THE CELLOS Relic 7029 Rang Tang Ding Dong (I Am The Japanese Sandman) ● CD $14.98
The Cellos, whose ballad 'B' sides have long been cherished by doo-wop collectors, hailed from West Manhattan. They struck paydirt with their first single, the novelty Rang Tang Ding Dong (I'm The Japanese Sandman) in 1957, but never repeated this success. All 4 singles cut in 1957-58 appear here plus 3 unissued sides, 2 alternates and the bluesy Don't Wait on which the group accompanies Dolly Lyon. Although the Cellos' ballad sides are good, they never really came "alive" except on the novelties, all 4 of which are included here. (OLN)
THE CELLOS: Buffalo Bill/ Don't Wait/ Doo Doo Wah/ Girlie That I Love/ I Beg For/ Juicy Crocodile/ Love That Girl/ Rang Tang Ding Dong (I'm The Japanese Sandman)/ The Be Bop Mouse/ Under Your Spell/ What's The Matter For You/ You Took My Love/ Your Love

 
EDDIE CHAMBLEE Blue Moon BMCD 1049 The Complete Recordings, 1947-52 ● CD $17.98
20 tracks, 54 mins, recommended
Tenor saxist Chamblee is heard on 20 fine small group sides cut for United, which feature a variety of styles - honking R&B, jazz, smooth vocals & jumpin' jive. Joined by such stellar sidemen a Danny Overbea, Goon Gardner, Osie Johnson, even a cut with either Roosevelt Sykes or Johnny Young on piano. Most tunes written by Chamblee (a notable exception is In A Sentimental Mood), with Lima Beans probably the one with the most interest, as the lineup has Little Walter (hca), Eddie Ware (p), Big Crawford (b) & Elga Edmons (d). Lots of fine guitar throughout from Walter Scott, who plays fine steel guitar in Steel Blues. Soon after these sides Chamblee found greater fame as Lionel Hampton's saxist & Dinah Washington's husband. (GM)

 
EDDIE CHAMBLEE/ JULIAN DASH/JOE THOMAS Blue Moon BMCD 1052   ● CD $17.98
 

 
GENE CHANDLER Collectables 5140 Rainbow '80 ● CD $11.98
 

 
GENE CHANDLER Collectables 5516 Live At The Regal ● CD $11.98

 
GENE CHANDLER Collectables 5518 Greatest Hits ● CD $13.98
20 tracks, 57 min., recommended
A solid and pleasantly generous program which leads off with Chandler's best known Vee-Jay numbers - Duke of Earl, Rainbow, and Man's Temptation - but quickly moves on to his later soul material cut for the Constellation label between 1964 and 1966. Standout later tracks include Just Be True, Nothing Can Stop Me, (Gonna Be) Good Times, the live audience Rainbow '65, and (I'm Just A) Fool for You. Effectively sung soul ballads dominate the program. The package as a whole is nicely prepared, with intelligent liner notes by Mark Marymont and professional-looking cover graphics. (DH)

 
GENE CHANDLER Collectables 5735 Just Be True ● CD $11.98
 

 
THE CHANNELS Relic 7002 Greatest Hits Featuring Earl Lewis ● CD $14.98
16 tracks, highly recommended
Available again after being out of print for a while. Reissue of Relic LP 5086. Central Harlem's Earl Lewis & The Channels never enjoyed a nationally acclaimed hit record but were most certainly deserved of one. The outfit's appearance at The Apollo Theatre led to an enormous following on the East Coast group scene. During the zenith of their long career (1956-59), the quintet recorded these 16 fine jumps and ballads for Whirlin' Disc, Gone, Fury and Fire Records. Their best sides The Closer You Are (1956), All Alone (1958), and the gorgeous My Love Will Never Die, are all included here in peerless fidelity with info-laden sleeve notes by the incomparable Donn Fileti. (OLN)
THE CHANNELS: All Alone/ Altar Of Love/ Bye Bye Baby/ Flames In My Heart/ I Really Love You/ My Heart Is Sad/ My Love Will Never Die/ My Lovin' Baby/ Now You Know/ Stars In The Sky/ Stay As You Are/ That's My Desire/ The Closer You Are/ The Girl Next Door/ The Gleam In Your Eye/ What Do You Do

 
THE CHANTELS Collectables 5423 The Chantels ● CD $13.98
12 great songs by one of the earliest and best girl groups, spearheaded by the soulful lead vocals of 15 year old Arlene Smith. This collector's item, a reissue of Roulette 59032, includes their monster hit Maybe plus Come My Little Baby/ Prayee/ I Love You So/ Whoever You Are/ Sure Of Love, etc. Many tracks also appeared on Rhino.

 
THE CHANTELS Collectables 8802 For Collectors Only ● CD $24.98
Featuring the classically-trained lush lead of Arlene Smith, The Chantels, the first major female R&B vocal group, scored big with Maybe and the similar sounding Every Night. Most of the material here, those hits included, was recorded for End Records between 1957-62, with some cuts from the Gone and Carlton labels. I Love You So/ Summer's Love/ Look In My Eyes, all of which saw chart success, are here too, but unsurprisingly this collection is primarily desirable for the "collector's only" stuff. No fewer than 9 songs are alternate takes, including Memories Of You/ I'm The Girl/ Goodbye To Love/ I've Lied featuring The Tunemasters, and If You Try. So Real and the boring instrumental (?!) Peruvian Wedding Song are previously unreleased. With 40 tracks in all, the songs sound a bit samey if taken in one sitting - sort of like listening to two hours of Maybe - but fortunately they can be listened to in any amount necessary. Let's hear it for moderation. (MB)

 
THE CHANTELS Rhino 70954 The Best Of The Chantels ● CD $12.98
18 track CD by one of the earliest and best girl groups featuring the great lead vocals of Arlene Smith. Includes Maybe/ Look In My Eyes/ I Love You So/ Well, I Told You and more. CD bonus tracks include one with Richard Barrett.

 
THE CHANTERS Collectables 5820 Golden Classics ● CD $13.98
18 tracks, 45 min., recommended
In the wake of Frankie Lymon's success, many labels sought out rock 'n' roll "kiddie groups” of their own. The Chanters, led by junior high schooler Larry Pendergrass, were the Deluxe label's talented but unsuccessful candidate for boy soprano chart action. The songs offered here, their full output, all recorded in 1958-1959, include My My Darling, I Need Your Tenderness, Stars in the Sky, Angel Darling, Over the Rainbow, I Make This Pledge, No No No, You're Driving Me Crazy, and For Sentimental Reasons. Fans of the pre-pubescent lead sound should enjoy this well-produced and generally uptempo music. Sound quality is excellent and the liner notes are written by vocal group expert Ronnie Italiano. (DH)
THE CHANTERS: Angel Darling/ At My Door/ At My Door (Unreleased version)/ Five Little Kisses/ For Sentimental reasons/ I Made This Pledge/ I Need Your Tenderness/ I Need Your Tenderness (unreleased version)/ My, My Darling/ No, No, No/ No, No, No (Unreleased version without Bass &Drums)/ On the Alamo/ Over the Rainbow/ Over the Rainbow (unreleased version)/ Row Your Boat/ Stars in the Sky/ Stars in the Sky (Unreleased version)/ You're Driving Me Crazy

 

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