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RHYTHM & BLUES, SOUL & DOO-WOP

Ohio Express -> Johnny Otis

OHIO EXPRESS
THE OLYMPICS
THE ORIOLES
JOHNNY OTIS

OHIO EXPRESS Collectables 535 Golden Classics ● CD $11.98

 
THE OLYMPICS Ace CDCHD 324 Hully Gully/ Dance By The Light Of The Moon/ Party Time ● CD $18.98
A landmark CD reissue of 3 complete LP's (they made 'em short in those days!) - the oft-tapped Doin' The Hully Gully, their follow-up Dance By The Light Of The Moon, and the rarely-heard 10-cut dance craze spinner Party Time. 26 nifty novelty numbers. (MB)

 
THE OLYMPICS Ring Of Stars 880 Western Movies ● CD $17.98
30 tracks, 70 min., highly recommended. A remarkably thorough look at the group most closely associated with the title track here, but whose roots go back to 1954 when they first got together and to their first recording from 1956 on the Mel-A-Tone label, I Can Tell backed by The Mambo Beat. Subsequent tracks take the group from that first big hit, Western Movies, in 1958 on through the mid-60's. Featured tracks, in addition to those already listed, include Dance with the Teacher, Everybody Needs Love, (Baby) Hully Gully, Dance by the Light of the Moon, Shimmy Like Kate, Big Boy Pete, The Bounce, Dancin' Holiday, the original version of Good Lovin', and Baby Do the Philly Dog. A solid program, with jumps making up the vast majority of the cuts. Sound quality is impressive; notes are brief, and there's a cool cover photo of the group with cowboy hats on and six guns drawn. For what more could one ask? (DH)

 
THE OLYMPICS/ THE MARATHONS Collectables 5081 Golden Classics ● CD $11.98
8 wild songs by each.

 
THE ORIOLES Bear Family BCD 15682 The Jubilee Recordings ● CD $139.98
6 CDs, 152 tracks, approx. 7 hours, essential
Blessed with two distinctive lead voices in Sonny Til and George Nelson, this pioneer Baltimore vocal group, along with The Ravens, blazed the R&B trail for the many 50's vocal groups to follow, many of them named after birds in honor of these two worthy predecessors. The Orioles began to record in 1948 and enjoyed chart success with their first release, It's Too Soon to Know. Other successes followed in the early 50's, culminating with their biggest hit, Crying in the Chapel in 1953. And even though the vocal group sound had begun to change by then, Til and his associates continued to record in pretty much their original style through early 1956. This beautiful compilation offers every number Til, Nelson, Alexander Sharp, Johnny Reed, Tommy Gaither and later permutations ever laid down for Jerry Blaine's blue and silver label, drawn almost completely from the original master tapes, and splendid from start to finish. It is dominated by the sinuously slow ballads for which the group was and is justly famous, but it also reveals their journeyman touch on night club-styled blues and up tempo numbers. The play list can only be hinted at here, but it includes At Night/ Tell Me So/ I Cover the Waterfront/ (It's Gonna Be A) Lonely Christmas/ What Are You Doing New Years Eve?/ We're Supposed to Be Through/ Oh Holy Night/ Don't Tell Her What's Happened to Me/ Pal of Mine/ See See Rider, and Write And Tell Me Why, to name just a few. In addition, the set features an attractive LP-sized booklet written by Peter Grendysa, rich in studio portraits of both the original group and the later aggregation (Sonny Til plus the Regals), which did do several recordings for Jubilee.  Bear Family - with the able assistance of Little Walter DeVenne, Donn Fileti, and several other stateside movers and shakers - did it right. Thanks guys. The Orioles deserved no less a job. (DH)

 
THE ORIOLES Collectables 5408 Sing Their Greatest Hits ● CD $13.98
If you passed up on previous issues, and want to enjoy the R & B quintet who revolutionized the sound of popular black quartet singing in the late 40's, this is for you. The smooth, plea-like vocal stylings of lead heartthrob Sonny Til can be heard here on million-sellers Tell Me So (second version), Forgive And Forget/ What Are You Doing New Year's Eve/ It's Gonna Be A Lonely Christmas, and Crying In The Chapel. All the group's finest earlier work is included. Good sound reproduction and detailed notes by Bob Hyde. (OLN)

 
THE ORIOLES Collectables 8801 For Collectors Only ● CD $32.98
From 1948 to the early 1950's The Orioles were the premier R&B vocal group. They made their name on Jubilee Records, primarily on the strength of ultra-smooth ballads sung by leader Sonny Til, who had a reputation for driving the ladies wild. This 3 disc collection was previously released - with a different song order and notes - on Murray Hill vinyl, and contains a staggering 60 tracks. And while that's too much of a good thing at one time, it's nice to have them all. Faves include Crying In The Chapel/ I Cover The Waterfront/ Goodnight Irene/ I Miss You So (two versions)/ Lonely Christmas/ It's Too Soon To Know/ Tell Me So/ A Kiss And A Rose/ I Challenge Your Kiss/ Forgive And Forget/ What Are You Doing New Year's Eve/ Baby Please Don't Go. Why In The Mission Of St. Augustine, a substantial hit of 1953, is missing is anybody's guess. (JC)
THE ORIOLES: (It's Gonna Be A) Lonely Christmas/ A Kiss and A Rose/ Along About Sundown/ At Night/ Baby Please Don't Go/ Bad Little Girl/ Barbra Lee/ Blame It On Yourself/ Bring The Money Home/ Can't Seem To Laugh Anymore/ Cigareetos/ Crying In The Chapel/ Deacon Jones/ Don't Cry Baby/ Don't Keep It To Yourself/ Don't Stop/ Drowning Every Hope Ever Had/ Everything They Said Came True/ Feeling Low/ Forgive &Forget/ Gettin' Tired, Tired, Tired/ Good Looking Baby/ Goodnight Irene/ Hold Me! Squeeze Me!/ Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me/ How Blind Can You Be/ I Challenge Your Kiss/ I Cover the Waterfront/ I Don't Want To Take A Chance/ I Had To Leave Town/ I May Be Wrong/ I Miss You So (1st version)/ I Need You So/ I Promise You/ I'd Rather Have You Under The Moon/ I'm Beginning To Think You Care For Me/ In The Chapel In The Moonlight/ It's Too Soon To Know/ Maybe You'll Be There/ Moonlight/ My Baby's Gonna Get It/ My Loved One/ Once Upon A Time/ Pal of Mine/ Please Give My Heart A Break/ Pretty, Pretty Rain/ See See Rider/ So Much/ Teardrops On My Pillow/ Tell Me So (2nd version)/ Till Then/ Trust In Me/ Waiting/ Walking By The River/ Wanted/ What Are You Doing New Year's Eve/ Why Did You Go/ Would I Love You (Love You, Love You)/ You Are My First Love/ You Belong To Me

 
JOHNNY OTIS ORCHESTRA Ace CDCHD 774 Rock 'n' Roll Hit Parade ● CD $18.98
Reissue of album issued on Johnny's own Dig label in 1956 along with 9 previously unissued tracks and two tracks only previously on a 45. Arthur and his vocalist (who include Richard Berry, Jesse Belvin, Arthur Lee Maye and Mel Williams!) perform R&B/ doo-wop hits of the day like

 
JOHNNY OTIS SHOW Ace CDCHD 673 The Greatest Johnny Otis Show ● CD $18.98
26 tracks recorded for Capitol between 1957 & '59 with Johnny joined by Marie Adams & The Three Tons Of Joy, Mel Williams, Jeannie Sterling and others. Includes such U.S. hits as Willie & The Hand Jive/ Castin My Spell and others plus the great Ma (He's Making Eyes At Me) which was a big hit in England and lots more.
MARIE ADAMS: A Fool In Love/ All I Want Is Your Love/ Loop De Loop/ The Light Still Shines In My Window/ What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For?/ Bye Bye Baby/ (Romance) In The Dark/ Ma (he's Making Eyes At Me)/ MARCI LEE & JOHNNY OTIS: Castin' My Spell/ I'll Do The Same Thing For You/ Telephone Baby/ JOHNNY OTIS: Can't You Hear Me Callin'/ Crazy Country Hop/ Good Golly/ Hey Baby, Don't You Know/ Hum Ding A Ling/ Let The Sun Shine In My Life/ Mumblin' Mosie/ Ring-a-ling/ Shake It Lucy Baby/ Three Girls Named Molly, Doin' The Hully Gully/ Willie And The Hand Jive/ Willie Did The Cha Cha/ JEANNIE STERLING & THE MOONBEAMS: Story Untold/ MEL WILLIAMS: Mel Williams/ Well Well Well/ You Just Kissed Me Goodbye

 
JOHNNY OTIS & FRIENDS BGP CDBGPD 144 Watts Funky ● CD $18.98
A collection of 20 productions from the multi talented Johnny Otis recorded between 1968 and 1975 and featuring his infrequently heard funk, dance and soul productions. The recordings here were issued on Kent, Epic, Okeh and Johnny's own Lujon, Hawk Sound and Jazz World labels and there are also several previously unissued tracks including two by Johnny's son Shuggie from around the same time as his recently reissued and highly acclaimed "Inspiration Information" album. Includes sides by Debbie Lyndsey, The Vibrettes, Ice Water Slim & The Fourth Floor, Delmar & Carla (The Funky Disco Boogie - need I say more!), Willie "Jitterbug" Webb and others.

 

Note: See Blues Section for more Johnny Otis Titles

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