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RHYTHM & BLUES, SOUL & DOO-WOP

The Earls -> The Excellents

THE EARLS
THE EBON-KNIGHTS/ THE METRONOMES
THE ECHOES
EDDIE & ERNIE
JOHN EDWARDS
WILLIE EGAN
THE EL DORADOS
DONNIE ELBERT
THE ELEGANTS
SHIRLEY ELLIS
THE EMOTIONS
THE ESCORTS
THE ESSEX
THE ETERNALS
THE EXCELLENTS

THE EARLS Ace CDCHD 366 Remember Then - The Best Of The Earls ● CD $18.98
Best remembered for the title track, the Earls, who recorded from 1961-1965, represent the last, often white, flowering of the doo-wop sound. Their earliest 5 cuts here, originally on the Rome label, are more interesting in sound than most of the later ones from Old Town, which either sought to rekindle the success, the tempo, and the sound of Remember Then or aimed for a variety of pop sounds. Highlights include Looking for a Dream/ Without You/ I Believe/ Cross My Heart and the title cut. The kind of high quality job that you'd expect from Ace. Brief but decent notes. Fine sound quality. Good photos. (DH)
THE EARLS: All Through Our Teens/ Amor Amor/ Ask Anybody/ Cross My Heart/ Cry, Cry, Cry/ Don't Forget/ Eyes/ I Believe/ I Keep A-tellin' You/ Kissing/ Let's Waddle/ Life Is But A Dream/ Lookin' My Way/ Looking For My Baby/ Never/ Oh What A Time/ Ol' Man River/ Our Day Will Come/ Out In The Cold Again/ Remember Me Baby/ Remember Then/ Without You

 
THE EARLS Collectables 6064 Remember Then ● CD $13.98
25 tracks, 63 mins, recommended
High quality white doo-wop from this Bronx group featuring the expressive lead vocals of Larry Chance (aka Larry Figueiredo) recorded fro Rome and Old Town between 1961 and 1968. The Earls were second only to Dion & The Belmonts in some people's book with their fine harmonies and imaginative arrangements. Several of the cuts try to recapture the hit sound of their classic Remember Then and there's lots of fine songs here including Cry Cry Cry/ I Believe/ I Keep Tellin' You/ Out In The Cold Again/ Don't Forget/ Amor/ Kissing and others. Good sound and booklet has informative notes by Mark Marymont. (FS)

 
THE EARLS Dee Jay Jamboree 55104 Hits & Rarities - The Rome Years & Beyond ● CD $18.98
32 track collection of songs from 1961-67 including two solo tracks from Larry Chance.

 
THE EBON-KNIGHTS/ THE METRONOMES Dipper 216 I'm Confessing ● CD $18.98
20 tracks from the late 50s/ early 60s from two black groups performing in a polished pop style with only touches of R&B. Mostly pop standards along with some other material - Firs date/ Only, Only You/ I'm Confessing/ Georgia/ Lover Come Back To Me/ Falling In Love/ That's The Way The Ball Bounces/ Embraceable You, etc.

 
THE ECHOES Blue Lion BL 416 Baby Blue ● CD $18.98
29 track collection from this New York group best known for the haunting title song which was their only hit. In addition to the hit 1961 version this set also includes the very different 1960 demo of the song. The majority of the tracks are from the 60s along a number from the groups reunion in the 80s. Includes several unreleased songs and demos.

 
EDDIE & ERNIE Kent CDKEND 214 Lost Friends ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 67 min, highly recommended
This great soul-reissue label has included this disc in their new "Artistry In Soul" series, showcasing what they feel are some of the best in known & unknown greats. This is the 1st collection of this deep soul close-harmony duo, sounding a bit like Sam & Dave if Sam was Sam Cooke! Both started in gospel groups in the 50s, influenced by Cooke. Based in Phoenix & part of that city's soul scene, led by Dyke & The Blazers, Eddie Campbell & Ernie Johnson recorded there, in NY & LA as a duo (under Eddie & Ernie and The New Bloods), solo, & as singers in The Phoenix Express. All these aspects are covered here in tunes recorded 1963-72 on a variety of labels, including sides produced by Juggy Murray & Richard Gottherer, & including a number of never released tunes. The whole set is an obvious labor of love from compiler Dave Godin! (GM)

 
JOHN EDWARDS Kent CDKEND 127 Careful Man ● CD $18.98
JOHN EDWARDS: Ain't That Good Enough/ Careful Man/ Claim Jumpin/ Cold Hearted Woman/ Danny Boy/ Everybody Don't Get A Second Chance/ Exercise My Love/ How Can I Make It Without You/ I Had A Love/ I'll Be Your Puppet/ It's A Groove/ It's Got To Be The Real Thing This Time/ It's Those Little Things That Count/ Spread The News/ Stop This Merry-go-round/ The Look On Your Face/ The Way We Were/ Time/ Tin Man/ Vanishing Love/ We Always Come Back Strong/ You Were Made For Love/ You're Messin' Up A Good Thing

 
WILLIE EGAN Relic 7047 Come On ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 58 min., recommended
In spite of the single artist title that Relic has chosen to given this fine release, the program is actually composed of 14 tracks by Egan, plus two by Big Boy Groves, four by Harmonica Slim, three by Effie Smith and the Squires, and one by Jimmy Thomason - all of whom recorded for the Vita/Mambo label of Los Angeles in the last half of the 50s. Egan is a boogie woogie pianist/blues artist of undeserved obscurity, the bulk of whose work in included here. His highlights include several high energy instrumentals, plus vocals on most of the numbers, including Wear Your Black Dress, the rocking Come On, and a take-off on Fats Domino's Rosemary called Sometimes I Wonder. Groves is something of a Richard Berry sound alike and, like Berry, a one time protege of Leiber and Stoller. Harmonica Slim is really Travis Blaylock, a Texas blues singer with a smooth delivery. Effie Smith is a vocalist in the style of Nellie Lutcher. And the Thomason cut is thrown in either for completeness or contrast. His one effort here is country-inflected pop. Oh well. Fine sound quality and art work. Excellent notes by Jim Dawson. (DH)
WILLIE EGAN: Big Boy's Bounce/ Can't Under- Stand It/ Champagne/ Come On/ Do What You Wanna Do/ Don't Know Where She Went/ Drop Anchor/ I Can't Understand It/ My Baby Won't Quit Me/ Now Hear This/ Oh Baby/ Potato Stomp/ Sad Sad Feeling/ She 's Gone Away But../ Sometimes I Wonder/ Water Water/ Water Water/ Wear Your Black Dress/ What A Shame/ Whipped Cream/ Wilile's Blues/ Wow Wow/ You Better Believe It/ You Can't Beat The Horses/ You Ought To Be Ashamed Of Yourself

 
THE EL DORADOS Dipper 205 28 1950s Vocal Group Cuts ● CD $17.98
28 classic sides, 1954-58 - My Loving Baby/ Annie's Answer/ One More Chance/ What's Buggin' You Baby/ At My Front Door/ I'll Be Forever Loving You/ Now That You're Gone/ A Fallen Tear/ Trouble Trouble, etc.

 
THE EL DORADOS Eagle 90411 At My Front Door ● CD $18.98
27 tracks, 72 min., recommended
An almost perfect track-by-track match for the Dipper El Dorados' issue reviewed above, this German import is just slightly less bright in its sound quality. Here we have two versions of Bim Bam Boom, the issued track plus an outtake, but we do not have Always My Love and Oh What a Girl, both of which are on the Dipper issue. Otherwise the two discs are alike, including the fact that both issue the four tracks that were not on the 1992 Vee-Jay reissue. Liner notes here are solid, and you get three photos of the group instead of one. A close call to be sure You're going to have to make up your own mind on this one. (DH)
THE EL DORADOS: A Fallen Tear/ A Love Of My Own/ A Rose For My Darling/ Annie's Answer/ At My Front Door/ Baby I Need You/ Bim Bam Boom/ Bim Bam Boom (outtake)/ Boom Diddle Boom/ Chop Ling Soon/ I Began To Realize/ I'll Be Forever Loving You/ It's No Wonder/ Language Of Love/ Little Miss Love/ Lord Knows I Tried/ My Loving Baby/ Now That You've Been Gone/ One More Chance/ Rock 'n' Roll's For Me/ She Don't Run Around/ Tears On My Pillow/ The Lights Are Low/ There In The Night/ Three Reasons Why/ Trouble Trouble/ What's Buggin' You Baby

 
THE EL DORADOS St. George STG 7702 Chicago Street Corner Blues & Rhythm ● CD $14.98
19 tracks, 59 min., recommended
A delightful exception to the rule: Here we have a several-decades-later look at the vocal group sound that's worth every nickel of its purchase price. Original El Dorados lead Pirkle Lee Moses Jr. is joined by four similarly mature harmonizers and a band of able backup musicians in a virtuoso tour of doo-wop standards. Among the highlights are Blues in a Letter/ Whoo-Wee Baby/ White Cliffs of Dover/ Gloria and W-P-L-J. Even though youthful enthusiasm is replaced here by emeritus expertise I soon forgot that I was listening to 1990s recordings. Excellent sound quality, acceptable graphics, and minimal, appreciative notes. (DH)

 
DONNIE ELBERT Famous Groove 971053 Philadelphia's R&B and Soul Legend ● CD $18.98
28 track collection of sides recorded between 1961 and 1971 by this distinctive falsetto vocalist. Includes I Beg Of You/ Someday (You'll Want Me To Want You)/ Don't Cry, My Love/ Set My Heart At Ease/ Will You Ever Be Mine?/ Who's Gonna Be/ A Piece Of Leather/ Never Again/ Just A Cotton Pickin' Minute/ In Between The Heartaches, etc.
DONNIE ELBERT: A Piece Of Leather/ After All I've Done For You/ Baby Cakes/ Can't Get Over Losing You/ Do What Cha Wanna/ Don't Cry My Love/ Everything To Me/ Help Me/ Hey, Baby/ I Beg Of You/ I Can't Help Myself/ I Got To Get Myself Together/ I've Loved You, Baby/ In Between The Heartaches/ Just A Cotton Pickin' Minute/ Lilly Lou/ Love Stew/ Mommie's Gone/ Never Again/ Nobody Knows/ Sentimental Reasons/ Set My Heart At Ease/ Someday (You'll Want Me To Want You)/ Too Far Gone/ Where Did Our Love Go/ Who's Gonna Be/ Will You Ever Be Mine/ Your Red Wagon

 
THE ELEGANTS Admiral 25005 Complete Recordings, 1956-65 ● CD $17.98
31 tracks, 77 mins, recommended
Excellent collection of white doo-wop featuring the soulful lead tenor of Vito Vicone. In addition to all his recordings with the Elegants cut between 1958 and '61 it also includes his two early sides by The Crescents featuring lead vocals by Pat Cordell and a later mid 60s group he led called The Elegantes. The set includes unissued songs and alternate takes. The group had a giant hit with the beautiful Little Star but were unable to even dent the charts with their followups. Includes Please believe Me/ Goodnight/ Pay Day/ Still waiting/ HappinessLet My Prayers Be With You/ Green Eyes and many more. 12 page booklet has extensive notes and some nice photos. (FS)
PAT CORDELL & THE CRESCENTS: Darling Come Back/ THE ELEGANTS: A Dream Can Come True/ A Letter From Vietnam/ Barbara Beware/ Bluffin'/ Bring Back Wendy/ Dressin' Up/ Get Well Soon/ Getting Dizzy/ Goodnight/ Green Eyes/ Happiness/ I've Seen Everything/ It's Just A Matter Of Time/ Let My Prayers Be With You/ Little Boy Blue/ Little Boy Blue/ Little Star/ Lonesone Weekend/ My Tears/ Pay Day/ Please Believe Me/ Rain, Rain/ Speak Low/ Spiral/ Still Waiting/ Tiny Cloud/ True Love Affair/ True Love Affair/ Wake Up/ VITO & THE ELEGANTS: Belinda

 
THE ELEGANTS Collectables 5420 Little Star - The Best Of The Elegants ● CD $13.98
This album duplicates the Canadian Am-Par release (Apt 1000) but in addition offers alternate takes of True Love Affair and Little Boy Blue as well as the previously unreleased Rain Rain , all issued on Apt & Ban Cassalin's Hull label in Manhattan. The quintet was focused around Vito Picone's tender, soulful lead tenor, yet the boys from Staten Island suffered from sticking to the rigid formula which brought them their one single hit recording in 1958. Similar package as Murray Hill 210. (OLN)
THE ELEGANTS: Get Well Soon/ Getting Dizzy/ Goodnight/ Little Boy Blue/ Little Boy Blue (alternate take)/ Little Star/ Pay Day/ Please Believe Me/ Rain, Rain/ Still Waiting/ True Love Affair/ True Love Affair (Alternate take)

 
SHIRLEY ELLIS Pavillion 71450 The Best Of Shirley Ellis ● CD $17.98
30 tracks, 78 mins, recommended
There are some that would write off Miss Ellis as a second rate Soul singer, who's main appeal was to the teeny boppers, but I disagree. Sure I can do without hearing the Name Game any time soon and don't really think a 30 track compilation is necessary, there are a lot of great songs that are worth picking up if you don't have 'em. Her endlessly catchy rhythmic ditty The Clapping Song is a 45 that I wore out and what turned me onto Shirley Ellis in the first place, equally catchy is her next single The Puzzle Song. Sure, these border on novelty, but also on genius and they certainly are enchanting. My all time favorite track by her has to be the charming tongue twister Ever See A Diver Kiss His Wife, sounding as great as ever on this CD. There are at least eight more really good songs here and another handful of pretty good tracks, with not too many clunkers. This could have been a brilliant 12 track CD, but I appreciate the completeness of this compilation and anybody looking for any Shirley Ellis song should be able to find it here. Those that are familiar with Pavilion records releases will know that they don't have any notes and they don't look that great, although the sound is on the money. (JM)

 
THE EMOTIONS Crystal Ball 1012 A Story Now Told ● CD $17.98
30 tracks, several previously unissued, from white New York group featuring Joe Favale on lead. Mostly from the early and mid 60s it includes their one minor hit, the car crash song Echo from 1962. It also includes some of their earlier recordoings issued as The Runarounds.
THE EMOTIONS: (She Said) "No, No, No, No"/ A Million Reasons/ A Story Untols/ Boomerang/ Come Dance Baby/ Down Lovers Lane/ Echo/ Echo '90/ Every Time/ Heart Strings/ Here I Stand/ Hey Baby/ I Don't Care What The People Say/ I Love You Madly/ I Wonder/ Joey Won't Ask Me/ L-O-V-E/ L-O-V-E/ Little Miss Blue/ Lovers Lane/ Movin' On/ One Life, One Love, One You/ Rainbow/ Starlight Night/ Teenage Baby/ The Nearest Thing To Heaven/ The Nearest Thing To Heaven/ When You Dance/ When You Were Just A Little Girl/ You Were There

 
THE EMOTIONS Stax 4121 Chronicle ● CD $12.98

 
THE ESCORTS Collectables 5167 All We Need (Is Another Chance) ● CD $11.98
After recording By The Time I Get To Phoenix/ Little Green Apples and Ooh Baby Baby do The Escorts really deserve another chance? 7 cuts.

 
THE ESCORTS Collectables 5168 3 Down 4 To Go ● CD $11.98
Now on compact disc. The title refers to the fact that The Escorts were a prison band and that 3 were released with 4 more awaiting release from Rahway Prison. They specialized in intricate vocal interplay like the Philly soul groups and later Curtis Mayfield work. With the typical big, dramatic arrangements behind them they work out on Disrespect Can Wreck/ Let's Make Love/ Corruption/ Brother , etc.... AE

 
THE ESSEX Collectables 6204 Easier Said Than Done/ A Walkin' Miracle ● CD $13.98

 
THE ETERNALS Clifton 3029 Today ● CD $15.98
17 tracks, 49 mins, recommended
Recent recordings by this fine vocal group best known for their novelty hit Rockin' In The Jungle in 1959. The group still sounds good and features two original members Ernie Sierra and George Villanueva. The material includes new recordings of some their 50s and 60s sides (Today/ Bablu's Wedding Day/ To the Service/ Rockin' In the Jungle/ Blind Date, etc, new songs by group members (A Sad Christmas/ Babalu's Salsa 2001) and covers of songs made famous by other groups (Everybody's Somebody's Fool/ Solitaire/ Just Two Kinds Of People, etc).

 
THE EXCELLENTS Crystal Ball 1020 Coney Island Baby ● CD $17.98
30 tracks from this excellent (!) New York group best known for their beautiful 1962 version of Coney Island baby. This set includes most of their 60s recordings including some fine acapella demos. It also features more acapella sides recorded in the 90s by a reformed group with sevreal different members. Their upbeat acapella version of Sunday Kind Of Love from 1960 is particularly nice.
THE EXCELLENTS: Because Of You (acapella)/ Biggest Mistake/ Coney Island Baby/ Coney Island Baby (acapella)/ Geraldine/ Gloria (acapella)/ Glory Of Love/band Of Gold - Medley (acapella)/ Helene (original Acapella Version)/ Helene (your Wish Came True)/ Here I Am Broken Hearted (acapella)/ Here In My Heart (acapella)/ I Hear A Rhapsody/ Lorraine/ Love No One But You/ Love No One But You (acapella)/ Mexico (acapella)/ My Hearts Desire (acapella)/ My Juanita (acapella)/ Red Red Robin/ Red Red Robin (acapella)/ She's Not Coming Home/ Sunday Kind Of Love (acapella)/ Vows Of Love (acapella)/ Walking Along (acapella)/ White Cliffs Of Dover/ Why Did You Laugh/ You Baby You/ You Baby You (acapella)/ Zoom Zoom Zoom (acapella)

 

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