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RHYTHM & BLUES, SOUL & DOO-WOP

Various Artists Collections - Relic Records, Part 1

 

INTRODUCTION : Relic Records was formed in the mid 60s by collectors Donn Fileti and Eddie Gries and started by buying up masters of rare doo-wop titles which they reissued on 45s. They subsequently started reissuing titles on LP making available a lot of great and rare material and when the CD era arrived shifted their output to that format continuing to make available to doo-wop lovers material that no-one else could be bothered with. Although there is now a torrent of doo-wop reissues available Relic was there at the beginning of the revival. Alas the label is now defunct, however most titles are still available through us though it would pay not to wait too long for titles you may be interested in. All albums have decent sound and packaging and are accompanied by informative notes. 
 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7005 The Original Rumble ● CD $14.98
This is THE original Rumble collection, first put out along with two others as part of a tough black vocal group series on Jubilee Records in the early 60's. The CD expands upon the original, adding six extra cuts. Contains doo-wop gold Castles In The Sky - The Bop Chords (Holiday, 1957), Gleam In Your Eye - Channels (Whirlin Disc, 1956), Dear Lord - Continentals (Port, 1960), and United - Love Notes (Holiday, 1957), plus fourteen others of equal merit. Great N.Y. doo-wop from the music's twilight years, with two unreleased alternate takes. Definitive sleeve notes by Don Fileti, digitally reconstructed from original master tapes by Boston's own celeb D.J./ collector, Little Walter. (OLN)
THE BOP CHORDS: Castle In The Sky/ I Really Love Her/ My Darling To You/ So Why/ When I Woke Up This Morning/ THE CHANNELS: I Really Love You/ Now You Know/ The Gleam In Your Eye/ What Did You Do/ THE CONTINENTALS: Dear Lord/ Fine, Fine Frame/ Picture Of Love/ Soft And Sweet/ THE LOVE NOTES: Don't Go/ If I Could Make You Mine/ Tonight

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7009 Raging Harlem Hit Parade ● CD $14.98
Fabulous collection of blues, R&B, soul and doo-wop from the priceless vaults of Harlem's greatest black music pioneer Bobby Robinson, spanning the years 1957-'62. Choice material includes Elmore's remake of Dust My Broom, Gladys Knight's cover of Every Beat Of My Heart, Bobby Marchan's unforgettable version of There Is Something On Your Mind, Buster Brown's unstoppable Fannie Mae, Lightnin's Mojo Hand, Wilburt Harrison's cover of Kansas City, Don Gardner and Dee Dee Ford's powerhouse I Need Your Lovin' and much more. Twenty-two winning cuts in all. Other luminaries include King Curtis, Tarheel Slim, The Charts, Red Prysock, Dr. Horse, Les Cooper, Velvets, Lee Dorsey, and Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup. Put aside your wax copies and listen to your 'faves' in digitally transferred form from original session tapes, some of which appear for the first time in magic stereo. (OLN)
BUSTER BROWN: Fannie Mae/ Is You Or Is You Ain't/ THE CHARTS: Deserie/ LES COOPER: Wiggle Wobble/ ARTHUR "BIG BOY" CRUDUP: That's All Right/ KING CURTIS: Soul Twist/ LEE DORSEY: Do Re Mi/ Ya Ya/ DON GARDNER & DEE DEE FORD: I Need Your Lovin'/ WILBERT HARRISON: Kansas City/ LIGHTIN' HOPKINS: Mojo Hand/ DR. HORSE: Jack, That Cat Was Clean/ ELMORE JAMES: Dust My Broom/ Shake Your Moneymaker/ The Sky Is Crying/ GLADYS KNIGHT & PIPS: Every Beat Of My Heart/ Letter Full Of Tears/ BOBBY MARCHAN: There Is Something On Your Mind/ RED PRYSTOCK: Wiggles/ TARHEEL SLIM & LITTLE ANN: Much Too Late/ TARHEEL SLIM: Number Nine Train/ THE VELVETS: At Last

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7027 Rockin' At Midnight At The Parrot Club ● CD $14.98
The sleeve notes to this collection lead one to imagine how the nightlife with popular local black artists might have seemed in mid-50's Chicago. This fine 16-cut collection is made up of blues, R&B, doo-wop, jazz and comedy singles from the excellent "Old Swingmasters'" (Al Benson's) Blue Lake and Parrot catalog. The set opens with a good-rocking Rockin' At Midnight, a previously unissued stomper by The 5 Thrills and continues with a burlesque act by The Choclateers with their risque ditty Peckin'. Marvin Phillips pays homage to Jesse Belvin's Dream Girl with his similarly arranged Anna Marie and so forth. Other notables include a weepy I'm Not A Fool Anymore by The 5 Echoes with Walter Spriggs, a hasty instrumental by Lowell Fulson called Jukebox Shuffle, Lou Mac's Slow Down, plus Mable Scott's fine torchy vocalizing on Mr Fine. Other artists include The Maples, Browley Guy & The Skyscrapers, 5 Arrows, and Rockettes. Rich, varied and important material. (OLN)
THE 5 THRILLS: Rockin' At Midnight/ THE CHOCLATEERS: Bartender Blues Ball/ Peckin'/ THE FIVE ARROWS: Pretty Little Thing/ LOWELL FULSOM: Jukebox Shuffle/ BROWLEY GUY: I'll Be Seeing You/ You Look Good To Me/ LOU MAC: Slow Down/ THE MAPLES: 99 Guys/ MARVIN PHILLIPS: Anna Marie/ Honey Baby/ Salty Dog/ Sweetheart Darling/ THE ROCKETTES: Love Nobody/ MABLE SCOTT: Mr. Fine/ WALTER SPRIGGS & 5 ECHOS: I'm Not Your Fool Anymore

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7033 Doo Wop Delights - The Hartford Groups ● CD $14.98
The collection features The 5 Bell Aires, Gene Pitney & Larry Lee with The Embers, plus the latter soloist with The Serenaders. Some of the material is in mono but most is in stereo. Personal favorites include young Pitney's pipes on Darkness/ Runaway Lover/ So Tired, Larry Lee doing Winter Romance, The Bell Aires balladeering on Wedding Bells and Henry Hall's fine heart-felt I'm So Happy. Gene Pitney has never sounded better. Exceptional sound quality and exhaustive notes round out a fine set, which appeared on vinyl as Unreleased Gems Of The 50's (LP 5085). (OLN)
HENRY HALL & 5 BELL AIRES: Come On To My Love House/ House Of Love/ I'm So Happy/ My Friends/ JOHN HALL & 5 BELL AIRES: Come On Home/ Wedding Bells/ LARRY LEE & EMBERS: That Little Girl Was Mine/ Tremble/ Winter's Romance/ LARRY LEE & SERENADERS: All Alone/ Dreams Of Heaven/ Too Young/ GENE PITNEY & EMBERS: Darkness/ Runaway Lover/ So Tired/ Victory

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7034 The Soul Of Detroit ● CD $14.98
The R&B sounds have been smoothed out and the gospel influence is bigger on these early soul tracks. The Primettes are again used as a backup group, singing on Lonely Nights with Gene Martin and on The Return of Stagger Lee with Don Revel. The Falcons back future star Betty Lavette on You Killed The Love and 3 Falcons are heard on early solo sides - Mack Rice in Baby I'm Coming Home , Eddie Floyd on Lonely and Joe Stubbs on Hey Hey/ What's My Destiny plus cuts by Benny McCain and The Ohio Untouchables (later The Ohio Players), Minor Chords, Conquerors, Majestics and Rivals. Same as LP 8009. ([GM])
CHARLES AMOS: Thunder In My Heart/ THE CONQUERORS: Lovers Celebration/ Since You've Been Gone/ EDDIE FLOYD: Lonely/ People Gonna Talk About You/ AL GARNER: I'll Get Along Without You/ BETTY LAYETTE: You Killed The Love/ THE MAJESTICS: Hard Times/ GENE MARTIN & PRIMETTES: Lonely Nights/ BENNY MCCAIN: I' Don't Want No Part Time Love/ THE MINOR CHORDS: Let Her Go Now/ DON REVEL & PRIMETTES: Return Of Stagger Lee/ MACK RICE: Baby I'm Coming Home/ THE RIVALS: Love Me/ JOE STUBBS: Hey Hey/ Whats My Destiny

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7046 Raging Harlem Hit Parade, Vol 2 ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 71 min., recommended Like its predecessor, Relic 7009, this disc pays tribute to Harlem producer, song writer, label owner, and record retailer Bobby Robinson. Through a wide ranging program recorded between 1953 and 1965 and comprised of blues and doo-wop, the high quality of Robinson's productions is repeatedly demonstrated. Among the many fine numbers featured here are It Hurts Me Too by Elmore James, Come See About Me by Gladys Knight & the Pips, Truly Yours by the Scarlets, Is It a Dream by the Vocaleers, I by the Velvets, Jookin' by Noble Watts, and These Lonely Tears by Little Joe Cook. All presented with top flight production values: a great cover photo, fine sound quality, and worth-reading notes by Ronnie Erwin. A fitting tribute to the man responsible for the Red Robin, Fire, Fury, and Enjoy labels. (DH)
BUSTER BROWN: Madison Shufhe/ THE CHANNELS: Sad Song/ LITTLE JOE COOK: These Lonely Tears/ LES COOPER: Let's Do The Boston Monkey/ KING CURTIS: Twistin' With The King/ LEE DORSEY: People Gonna Talk/ CHAMPION JACK DUPREE: Shake Baby Shake/ DON GARDNER & DEE DEE FORD: Don't You Worry/ BILLY HAMBRIC: Human/ JACKIE & STARLITES: Valerie/ ELMORE JAMES: I Believe/ It Hurts Me Too/ GLADYS KNIGHT & PIP'S: Come See About Me/ GLADYS KNIGHT & PIPS: Operator/ BOBBY MARCHAN: All In My Mind/ NOBLE WATTS: Jookin'/ THE PIPS: Darling/ THE RAINBOWS: Mary Lee/ THE SCARLETS: Dear/ Truly Yours/ JIMMY SPRUILL: Kansas City March/ TITUS TURNER: People Sure Act Funny/ THE UPSETTERS: Jaywalkin'/ THE VELVETS: I/ THE VOCALEERS: Is It A Dream?

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7049 The Golden Era Of Doo-Wops: Vita Records ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, 59 min., recommended. As with the Onyx set (Relic 7048), this vital Vita collection is chock full of vocal vitriol. Catch The Bakersfield Colts singing their wide-selling Adorable (later covered by The Drifters), the great Billy Storm & The Chavelles warble the unforgettable Valley Of Love, The Titans offer a formidable reading of So Hard To Laugh, So Easy To Cry, and The Squires grab on Sindy. Includes four previously unreissued cuts, great pics, Billboard ads, score, label discography, and revitalized notes by Donn Fileti. Lovingly mixed and edited by "Little" Walter of Boston. Duplicates Relic LP 5007. (OLN)
THE CHAVELLS: Red Tape/ Valley Of Love/ Valley Of Love/ THE COLTS: Adorable/ Hey You, Shoo Bee Ooh Be/ Honey Bun/ Kwella/ Lips Red As Wine/ Never No More/ Sweet Sixteen/ THE SQUIRES: A Breath Of Air/ Do Be Oo Be Wop Wop/ Heavenly Angel/ Me And My Deal/ S'cadillac/ Sindy/ Sweet Girl/ Venus/ Venus/ THE TITANS: Look What You're Doin'/ Rhythm & Blues/ Rhythm & Blues/ So Hard To Laugh/ So Hard To Laugh, So Easy To Cry

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7052 The Best Of Acapella ● CD $14.98
20 tracks, 43 min., good The vocal group sound of the 50s died a slower death in the New York/New Jersey area than in most parts of the country, and in 1964-1965 the then young founders of Relic Records were there to record it for their first LP release. The singers themselves were mostly low budget semi-professionals, a fact that was reflected in their lack of instrumental accompaniment, thus the title here. Most numbers are remakes of doo-wop classics, including the Velvet Angels doing Blue Moon, the Excellons doing Sunday Kind of Love, the Barons doing When You Dance, and the Chessmen doing Heavenly Father. It's mostly second tier stuff, but fun nonetheless. The sound quality is heavy on echo and a bit amateurish, and the notes are appropriately historical in tone, but Eddie Gries's mistaken definition of a cappella as meaning "without music" doesn't seem true even in the worst cases here. (DH)
THE BARONS: When You Dance/ THE CAMELOTS: Chain Of Broken Hearts/ THE CHESSMEN: All Nightlong/ For All We Know/ Heavenlyfather/ Two Kinds Of People/ THE DEL STARS: Zoop Bop/ THE EVCELLONS: Sunday Kind Of Love/ THE KOOLTONES: Traveling Stranger/ THE NUTMEGS: Down In Mexico/ Let Me Tell You/ THE PRETENDERS: Pennies From Heaven/ THE SAVOYS: Gloria/ THE VELVET ANGELS: Blue Moon/ Fools Rush In/ Im In Love/ THE YOUNGONES: Sweeter Than/ THE ZIRCONS: Lonely Way/ Silver Belis/ Stormy Weather

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7053 The Golden Era Of Doo-Wops: Parrot Records ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, 67 min., recommended The CD reissue of the earlier Relic lp 5087, plus six bonus tracks, and an outstanding look at the mid-50s Chicago vocal group scene through one of its rarest but most interesting early labels. Featured artists include the Flamingos, with four numbers including both the beautiful Dream of a Lifetime and their wonderful version of Eddie Arnold's I Really Don't Want to Know, the Orchids, with eight numbers including their best effort, You Said You Loved Me, the 5 Thrills, with eight numbers including Gloria, and the Rockettes and the Earls, with two numbers each. Fine sound quality, updated notes by Goldmine Magazine's Robert Pruter, and a facsimile of an original Parrot label on the disc itself. ( DH )
THE FIVE THRILLS: All I Want/ Feel So Good/ My Baby‘s Gone/ Ride Jimmy Ride/ Rockin‘ At Midnight/ So Long Young Girl/ Wee Wee Baby/ THE EARLS: Darlene/ Laverne/ THE FLAMINGOS: Dream Of A Lifetime/ Get With It/ I Really Dont Want To Know/ On My Merry Way/ THE ORCHIDS: Hey Miss Fine/ I Cant Refuse/ Newly Wed/ Newly Wed/ Sweet Fine Woman/ You Have Two (i Have None)/ You‘re Everything To Me/ THE ROCKETTES: I Can‘t Forget/ Love Nobody

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7055 The Golden Era Of Doo-Wops: Whirlin' Disc Records ● CD $14.98
18 tracks, 46 min., recommended The slightly expanded reissue of Relic lp 5091, an overview of one of the labels owned and operated by Harlem's Danny Robinson, the younger brother of the legendary Bobby Robinson, and one which between 1956 and 1958 put out a total of 14 innocent and exuberant issues, nine of which were vocal group efforts. All of those group sides are reissued here, including Castle in the Sky/ So Why, and My Darling to You by the Bop Chords; United/ Don't Go, and If I Could Make You Mine by the Love Notes; and Lorraine and Come Back by the Harmonaires. Another winner from Relic, featuring fine sound, solid notes by label owner Donn Fileti, and improving cover art. ( DH )
THE CHANNELS: Flames In My Heart/ I Really Love You/ I Really Love You/ My Lovin‘ Baby/ Now You Know/ Stars In The Sky/ The Closer You Are/ The Gleam In Your Eye/ What Do You Do/ What Do You Do/ THE CONTINENTALS: Dear Lord/ Dear Lord/ Fine, Fine Frame/ Fine, Fine Frame/ Picture Of Love/ Soft and Sweet/ THE EMPIRES: Linda/ Whispering Heart/ THE PRETENDERS: Close Your Eyes/ Part Time Sweetheart/ THE QUADRELLS: Come To Me/ What Can The Matter Be/ THE WHIRLERS: Don‘t You Know/ I Pray/ Magic Mirror/ Tonight And Forever

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7060 The Golden Era Of Doowops - The Groups Of Ember Records ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 60 min., recommended Here, the keepers of the doo-wop flame at Relic focus on a label that began independently but ultimately became a Herald subsidiary. Its claim to fame is that it spawned several of the biggest hits of the 50s, two of which are included in this set, Get a Job by the Silhouettes and To the Aisle by the Five Satins. Less successful but equally meritorious tracks offered here include the great unreleased Five Satins' number, Love with No Love in Return, the Skarlettones' Will You Dream, the Marktones' Hold Me Close, the Travelers' People Call Me Little Boy, and the Camelots' Pocahontas. A fine set, nicely presented. Excellent sound quality, fresh notes by Donn Fileti, and attractive cover art featuring the two hit-makers named above. (DH)
THE BARNES: Mary Ann/ THE BARRIES: Why Don't You Write Me/ THE BOPTONES: Be My Pussy Cat/ Betty Jean/ Running After You/ THE CAMELOTS: Pocahontas/ THE COLONAIRES: Devil's Angel/ THE CORVAIRS: True True Lo Ve/ THE EMBERS: Paradise Hill/ THE FABULONS: Give Me Back My Ring/ Smoke From Your Cigarette/ THE FIVE SATINS: Love With No Love In Return/ Our Anniversary/ To The Aisle/ THE MARKTONES: Hold Me Close/ Talk It Over/ ROGER & THE TRAVELERS: People Call Me Litele Boy/ THE SILHOUETTES: Bing Bong/ Get A Job/ I Am Lonely/ Miss Thing/ THE SKARLETTONES: Will You Dream/ THE SMOOTHTONES: Dear Diary/ THE STARLARKS: Fountain Oflove/ Send Me A Picture Baby

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7061 Doo-Wop Dedications To The 1950s Girls ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 62 min., recommended A concept disc with a great nostalgic cover from Donn Fileti and Eddie Gries of Relic. All of the cuts here are doo-wop ditties whose titles are girls' names. Featured numbers, mostly obscure, include Sandy by the Colonaires, Lorraine by the Harmonaires, Cora Lee by the Hemlocks, Aurelia by the Pelicans, Linda by the Empires, Gloria by the Five Thrills, and Dear Lorraine by the Starlites. The music delightful; the sound is great. The brief notes offer full discographical information. And the cover art features a couple of great photo booth shots of a cute 50s chick trying to look cool as she takes a drag on her cigarette. Great fun. (DH)
THE THREE FRIENDS: Blanche/ THE FOUR BELAIRES: Rosa/ THE FIVE THRILLS: Gloria/ THE AUTUMNS: Maureen/ THE CENTURIES: Betty/ THE CHARTS: My Diane/ THE CHESTNUTS: Mary, Hear Those Love Bells/ THE COLONAIRES: Sandy/ THE DON JUANS: Delores/ THE EMPIRES: Linda/ THE FEDERALS: Dear Lorraine/ THE FIVE SATINS: Rose Mary/ THE HARMONAIRES: Lorraine/ THE HEMLOCKS: Cora Lee/ THE KENTS: My Juanita/ THE LEWIS LYMON & TEENCHORDS: Lydia/ THE MELLO KINGS: Valerie/ THE PEACOCKS: Fontella/ THE PELICANS: Aurelia/ THE RAINBOWS: Mary Lee/ THE SMART TONES: Ginny/ THE SQUIRES: Sindy/ THE STARLITES: Joannie/ THE VERSATONES: Bila/ THE YOUNGTONES: Patricia

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7062 The Golden Era Of Doowops - The Groups Of Flash Records ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 64 min., recommended This small Los Angeles label was started by record store owner "Flash" Reynolds to take advantage of the fast growing r&b scene in the mid-50s. Its only real vocal group success came with the original recording of Stranded in the Jungle by the Jayhawks, the group which, in a somewhat different configuration, became the Vibrations. But there are plenty of other noteworthy efforts here as well, including Vowels of Love by the Poets, You've Been Gone So Long by the Cubans, Blues for Monday by the Emanon Four, and the nice ballad, My Only Darling, by the Jayhawks. Another well done Relic production, with fine cover art, excellent sound quality, and authoritative notes by Donn Fileti. Bless his heart, he even takes a moment to poke some gentle fun at "obsessive record collectors." (DH)
THE ARROWS: Annie Mae/ Indian Bop Hop/ Indian Bop Hop/ THE CU BANS: Oh Miss Dolly/ THE CUBANS: Can't You See/ Don't Go Baby/ Tell Me/ You've Been Gone So Long/ THE EMANON 4: Blues For Monday/ Oh That Girl/ THE HORNETS: Crying Over You/ Crying Over You/ Tango Moon/ THE JAYHA WKS: Counting My Teardrops/ THE JAYHAWKS: Counting My Tea Rdrops/ Don't Mind Dyin'/ Love Train/ My Only Darling/ Stranded In The Jungle/ The Devil's Cousin/ The Devil's Cousin/ THE POETS: Dead/ Dead/ Vowels Of Love/ Vowels Of Love

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7063 Golden Era Of Doo-Wops: Fury Records, Pt. 1 ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 63 min., recommended Another of the legendary labels founded and run by New York's Bobby Robinson, the Fury label began operation in late 1956 and took its name from a business dispute with Jubilee Records boss Jerry Blaine which presumably filled Robinson with fury. The label name may have been inspired by anger, but the music is still great. Featured numbers here include All Night Long by the Du Mauriers, Remember by Sherman and the Darts, Truly Yours by the Scarlets, While Our Hearts Are Young by the Federals, Every Beat of My Heart by Gladys Knight and the Pips, Be My Dancing Partner by the Vibra-Harps, and Bye Bye Baby by the Channels. Journeyman vocal group sounds reissued by the ever-reliable Relic Records crew, with fine sound, graphics and notes. (DH)
THE CHANNELS: Bye Bye Baby/ THE DO MAURIERS: Babyl Love You/ THE DU MAURIERS: All Nightlong/ THE FEDERALS: Dear Lorraine/ While Our Hearts Are Young/ You Gota Love Me Baby/ THE HEMLOCKS: Cora Lee/ CARL HOGAN & MIRACLES: Ilove You So/ JACKIE & THE STARLITES: I Found Out Too Late/ Silver Lining/ Valerie/ GLADYS KNIGHT & PIPS: Every Beat Of My Heart/ THE KODAKS: Little Boyand Girl/ Make Believe World/ My Baby And Me/ Runaround Baby/ LEWIS LYMON & TEENCHORDS: Honey Honey/ LEWIS LYMON & THE TEENCHORDS: Im So Happy/ THE PIPS: Linda/ THE SCARLETS: East Of The Sun/ Truly Yours/ SHERMAN & THE DARTS: Remember/ THE VELVETS: Love You Still/ THE VIBRA-HARPS: Be My Dancing Partner

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7066 The Golden Era Of Doowops - The Groups Of Beltone Records ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 60 min., recommended Beltone's claim to fame in the vocal group arena, of course, is the Jive Five's 1961 classic My True Story, included here. But this company also laid down other journeyman doo-wop numbers during its heyday between 1960 and 1963. Among the many highlights here are Valerie by the Leopards, Walk Softly by the Mello Kings, the solid a cappella Because I Love You by the Corvairs, Comin' Down with Love by the Headliners, and Long Tall Girl by the Carnations. Hats off to the two man crew at Relic for providing another vocal group winner. Sound quality, art work, and liner notes are all first rate. This disc is the digital reissue of Relic LP 5028, with seven added tracks. (DH)
DEAN BARLOW & TONE DEAFS: Night Before Last/ THE CARNATIONS: Is There Such A World?/ Long Tall Girl/ Long Tall Girl/ THE CORVAIRS: Because I Love You/ Girl With The Wind In Her Hair/ THE DONTELLS: Lover's Reunion/ Make A Change/ THE HEADLINERS: B.i. Moore/ Comin' Down With Love/ GEORGE JACKSON & UNISONS: Miss Frankenstein/ GEORGE JACKSON & THE UNISONS: Watching The Rainbow/ THE JIVE FIVE: My True Story/ Never, Never/ These Golden Rings/ What Time Is It?/ JOHNNY & JOKERS: I Know/ Where Did My Baby Go?/ THE LEOPARDS: Mah Mah Chicken Pot Pie/ Valerie/ THE MELLO KINGS: But You Lied/ Walk Softly/ THE METEORS: Let's Start Anew/ Trying To Get Back Home/ THE SYDELLS: In The Night

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7068 I Dig Acapella ● CD $14.98
20 tracks, 44 min., recommended. The digital reissue of the Cat-Time LP (#201) "I Dig Acappella" from 1965, featuring early 60's white ensembles reprising doo-wop classics such as Zoom Zoom Zoom/ Teardrops/ Church Bells May Ring/ To the Aisle/ This I Swear/ Stormy Weather, and The Ten Commandments of Love. The performers, who tend to sound choir trained, include the Savoys, the Destinaires, the Five Fashions, The Zircons, and the Five Sharks (wishfully (?) mislabeled the Five Sharps in the back cover notes). It's actually pretty good music. I was put off at first by the music's relative tameness. That is, most numbers lack the punch of the original versions. Nevertheless, after several listenings, I began to appreciate these re-recordings on their own terms. In short, I liked them more and more. Sound quality and liner notes are both fine, and the campy cover art is a reissue of the original. (DH)
THE CHRIS & CYTATIONS: Zing/ THE DESTINAIRES: Teardrops/ You Baby You/ THE FIVE FASHIONS: Comes Love/ Diamonds And Pearls/ Stormy Weather/ Ten Commandments Of Love/ This I Swear/ THE FIVE SHARPS: Little Girl (you Re Gonna Belong To Me)/ THE RUE TEENS: She Cried/ THE SAVOYS: A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening/ If You Were Gone From Me/ When I Fall In Love/ Zoom Zoom Zoom (i Love You So)/ THE VERSAILLES: Church Bells May Ring/ One Summer Night/ To The Aisle/ THE ZIRCONS: Blue Moon/ Lone Stranger/ Unchained Melody

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7069 The Golden Era Of Doowops - The Groups Of Celeste Records ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, 66 min., recommended Celeste Records was a small outfit even by the standards of obscure 50's labels, but it too put out a solid, collectable product, mostly in 1956. Its efforts were highlighted, of course, by the memorable formal and a cappella audition recordings of Lillian Leach and the Mellows included here. Label owner David Levitt in fact began his record-producing career with the earlier short-lived Decatur label, whose four vocal group sides from 1953, all by the Billy Dawn Quartet, are included here also. Highlights, then, include Love Me Kiss Me Thrill Me and This is the Real Thing Now by the Billy Dawn ensemble, Jerry by the Minors, Afraid by the Four Sounds, and twelve cuts by the Mellows including My Darling and I'm Yours. An expanded reissue of Relic LP 5014, featuring the fine sound quality, expert liner notes, and photo-studded cover art that vocal group fans have come to expect from this stellar company. (DH)
BILLY DAWN QUARTET: Crying For My Baby/ You Will Always Find Me True/ THE BILLY DAWN QUARTET: Love Me, Kiss Me, Thrill Me/ This Is The Real Thing Now/ THE FOUR SOUNDS: Afraid/ Noisy Clock/ Tall Lanky Papa/ You Stole My Heart/ THE HI-LITERS: I Ain't Givin' Up Nothin'/ THE HILITERS: Undecided/ THE MELLOWS: Ain't She Got Nerve/ I Call To You/ I'm Gonna Pick Your Teeth With An Icepick/ I'm Yours/ Lucky Guy/ My Darling/ My Darling/ Sweet Lorraine/ Sweet Lorraine/ When The Lights Go On Again/ You've Gone/ THE MINORS: Jerry/ Jerry/ Lucky Guy/ Where Are You/ Where Are You?

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7073 The Golden Era Of Doo-Wops: Parrot Records, Part 2 ● CD $14.98

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7074 Gus Gossert's 25 Favorite New York Doo-Wops ● CD $14.98

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7076 Tip Top Records ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 63 min., recommended Really a compilation derived from several of the labels owned or at least partly controlled by New York original, Leo Rogers, including Bruce, Tip Top, Lido, Allstar, Bayfront, and Fonsco. Highlights include three numbers by the Harptones - A Sunday Kind of Love/ Loving a Girl Like You, and Since I Fell for You - Tell Me by the Mastertones, Whadaya Want? by the Debs, Blanche by the Three Friends, Embraceable You by the Jumping Jacks, and No More Pain by the Hi-Tones. It's a varied program, ranging from a solid early 50's r&b sound to the more pop-influenced styles of the early 60's. Sound quality , graphics, and liner notes are, typical for the label, first rate. (DH)
THE CREATIONS: Every Night I Pray/ There Goes The Girl I Love/ THE DEBS: Wadaya Want?/ THE EMBLEMS: Bang Bang Shoot'em Daddy/ Poor Humpty Dumpty/ Too Young/ Would You Still Be Mine?/ THE FIVE VETS: Right Now/ THE HARPTONES: A Sunday Kind Of Love/ Loving A Girl Like You/ Since I Fell For You/ THE HI-TONES: No More Pain/ THE JUMPING JACKS: Embraceable You/ Pa-Pa-Ya Baby/ THE KINGSMEN: Guardian Angel/ THE MASTERTONES: Tell Me/ What'll You Do?/ THE MISTAKES: Chapel Bells/ I Got Fired/ THE PERFORMERS: Give Me Your Heart/ I'll Make You Understand/ THE THREE FRIENDS: Blanche/ I'm Only A Boy/ Now That You've Gone/ THE VERSATONES: Bila

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7077 The Golden Era Of Doowops - Jay-Dee Records ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, 72 min., highly recommended. The delightful follow-up to Relic's earlier Jay-Dee issues of Lillian Leach and the Mellows and the Crickets, this time a compilation of meticulously-produced ballads and jumps from Joe Davis's Jay-Dee and Davis labels. Highlights include Forever I Vow and Love is True by the Chestnuts, Meaning of Love by the Goldentones, Don't Play Around with Love by the Blenders, At Any Cost by the Pyramids, and Why Did You Leave Me? by the Sparrows. Good music from start to finish, most of it recorded between 1952 and 1956, though much of it has something of a late 40's feel, which should come as no surprise given the fact that Davis was well into his fifties when he produced these sessions. And sound quality and production values are, as usual, rock solid.  (DH)
THE BLENDERS: Don't Play Around With Love/ THE CHESTNUTS: Brother Ben/ Forever I Vow/ It's You I Love/ Love Is True/ THE CONTINENTALS: Don't Do It Baby/ Tongue Twister/ THE DEEP RIVER BOYS: Sleepy Little Cowboy/ THE DOVERS: Boy In My Life/ Devil You May Be/ Sweet As A Flower/ The Sentence/ THE GOLDENTONES: Meaning Of Love/ Run Pretty Baby/ THE PYRAMIDS: At Any Cost/ O.k. Baby/ Why Did You Go?/ THE ROMANCERS: No Greater Love/ You'll Never Know/ THE SCALETONES: Dreaming And Dreaming/ Everlasting Love/ THE SPARROWS: Come Back To Me/ Hey!/ I'll Be Loving You/ I'm Gonna Do That Woman In/ Love Me Tender/ Tell Me Baby/ Why Did You Leave Me?

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7082 The Best Of Acapella, Vol 2 ● CD $14.98
20 tracks, 42 min., recommended. The digital reappearance of Relic lp #102 from 1965, with bonus tracks of course, showcasing mostly white groups involved in the New York area's brief love affair with a cappella vocal group music in the early to mid-60's. Among the highlights are Johnny Johnny by the Velvet Angels,Let Me Come Back by the Chessmen,When I Woke Up This Morning by the Citadels, and Maryann and Shining Star by the Youngones. There's no denying that some of the program here is a bit on the amateur side, but then it's also fair to say that the youthful enthusiasm that marks some of the best 50's doo-wop is here too. So, on the whole, this set is well worth a listen. Produced, of course, with Relic's usual attention to detail. (DH)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7083 The Golden Era Of Doowops - The Groups Of Standord R ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, 74 min., recommended Between 1956 and 1958, this tiny Connecticut label, run by two young men just out of high school, Marty Kugell and Tom Sokira, sought out the local New Haven talent and, in Horatio Alger fashion, produced the quintessential 50's ballad, In the Still of the Night, by the Five Satins. Their other productions, many unreleased, but all immortalized herein, have a similar spontaneous, recorded-in-the-basement feel to them. Featured tracks include the four numbers by the Five Satins originally released on the Standord label - In the Still of the Night, The Jones Girl, All Mine, and Rose Mary - plus The Dream I Had by the Revlons, We Five Boys by the Five C's,So Good by the Shades,Mary Hear Those Love Bells by the Chestnuts, and A Fool by the Ballads. Probably not a program for beginners, but veteran vocal group aficionados should love it. And, as usual, beautifully produced by the Relic team, Donn Fileti and Eddie Gries, which has done more to preserve and distribute this classic American art form than anyone else. Thanks guys. (DH)
THE CHANNELS: Bye Bye Baby/ THE DU MAURIERS: Baby I Love You/ THE DUMAURIERS: All Night Long/ THE FEDERALS: Dear Lorraine/ While Our Hearts Are Young/ You Gotta Love Me Baby/ THE HEMLOCKS: Cora Lee/ CARL HOGAN & THE MIRACLES: I Love You So/ JACKIE & THE STARLITES: I Found Out Too Late/ Silver Lining/ Valerie/ GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS: Every Beat Of My Heart/ THE KODAKS: Little Boy & Girl/ Make Believe World/ My Baby And Me/ Runaround Baby/ LEWIS LYMON & THE TEENCHORDS: Honey Hone/ I'm So Happy/ THE PIPS: Linda/ THE SCARLETS: East Of The Sun/ Truly Yours/ SHERMAN & THE DARTS: Remember/ THE VELVETS: Love You Still/ THE VIBRA-HARPS: Be My Dancing Partner

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7084 The Golden Era Of Doowops - The Groups Of Klik Records ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, 71 min., recommended This Connecticut label, the second owned and operated by Marty Kugell and Tom Sokira (with partner Joseph Giammattei) produced no monster hits on the order of In the Still of the Night; still it recorded a very listenable mixture of white and black vocal group music between 1957 and 1958 in the musically-active New Haven area. Among the featured cuts here are Love in the Afternoon by the Dreamtones, Schoolday Crush by Nicky & the Nobles,The Voice by Fred Parris and the Scarlets, Sincere by the Pyramids,Shifting Sands by the Rajahs, andYour Tender Lips by the Syncopates. A worthwhile collection featuring generally more polished efforts than were apparent on the Standord compilation reviewed above. Otherwise, this set offers Relic's usual solid combination of clean sound, informative notes, and stylish but predictable design. (DH)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7086 Doo Wop Delights - The Los Angeles Groups ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 63 min., highly recommended A particularly appealing collection spotlighting the 50's vocal group output of various small Southern California labels, including Showtime, Eastman, Capri, Vita, MJC and several others. Tempos range from romantically ballads to driving jumps, and styles range from appealingly crude to well-rehearsed and polished. Highlights include the original version of Why Don't You Write Me and two other cuts by the Feathers, the delightful New Love by the Jayhawks, No One But You by the Dynamics, Dear One by the Individuals, the cumbersomely titled but solid They Turned the Party Out at Bessie's House by the Rocketeers, and Until You Say We're Through by the Bonnevilles. A fine and nicely varied program, featuring original label information, notes by both Donn Fileti and West Coast group expert Dave Antrell, solid sound and several vintage photos. (DH)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7087 The Golden Era Of Doowops - The Groups Of Premium Records ● CD $14.98
18 tracks, 46 min., recommended Another of the particular gems from the recent bumper crop of Relic releases, highlighted by all six of the sides laid down for this label by the too-little-known Wheels and their hugely-talented guitarist, Alden "Tarheel Slim" Bunn. In addition to My Heart's Desire, Let's Have a Ball, and How Could I Ever Leave You by the Wheels, featured cuts include My Every Dream by the Montclairs, Sorry by the Escorts, Believe in Me by the Copesetics, and Never Look Behind by the True Loves. An excellent addition to the Golden Doo Wops series, complete with stylish cover art, exemplary sound quality, and more solid notes by Donn Fileti. (DH)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7088 The Golden Era Of Doowops - The Groups Of Rainbow Records ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, 68 min., essential Rainbow is one of those near-legendary early labels, there at the birth of the r&b group sound in the very early 50's, and earlier reissues of its material have, none too surprisingly, been marred by starkly primitive sound quality. But this time out Relic has put state-of-the-art technology to work in order to clean things up, and the results are impressive. Here are the first recordings of the Clovers (Yes Sir, That's My Baby) and Lee Andrew and the Hearts (The Bells of St. Mary's, The Fairest) sounding as sharp as they are ever likely to. Additional tracks include My True Love by the Swans, You Came to Me by the Duvals (actually the Five Crowns), Don't Be No Fool by the Love Notes, Drag It Home Baby by the Jets, and Popcorn Willie by the Marquis. Great music from the dawn of doo-wop. Solid liner notes and several rare group photos. (DH)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7091 Times Square Records, Vol 1 ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, 71 min., recommended. Born in the tiny New York City record store of Irving "Slim" Rose in 1961, Times Square records was the first of the vocal group reissue labels. Over the next three years, owner Slim Rose put out an interesting mix of journeyman and apprentice doo-wop discs, some of the best of which are included here. Strong numbers by the well known groups include No One to Love by the Crests, Hello by the Nutmegs (Rajahs), and Now You're Gone by the Laddins. And appealing numbers by the relative beginners include It's Going to Be All Right by the Decoys, Sweeter Than by the Youngones, and Dance Girl by the Camelots. Solid notes and fine sound quality as usual. Another fine Relic release. (DH)
THE ADMIRATIONS: Mixture Of Love/ THE CAMELOTS: Dance Girl/ Tomorrow/ THE CENTURIES: Crying For You/ THE CRESTS: No One To Love/ Wish She Was Mine/ THE DECOYS: It's Going To Be All Right/ THE EL SIERROS: Love You So/ THE FIVE SHARKS: Stormy Weather/ FRANKIE & C-NOTES: Forever And Ever/ THE HEARTSPINNERS: I've Searched/ THE JAYTONES: Oh Darling/ THE LADDINS: Did It/ Now You're Gone/ THE MEMORIES: Will I/ THE MOONGLOWS: I've Got The Right/ NICKY & NOBLES: Schoolday Crush/ THE NOBLES: Ting A Ling (unreleased Outtake)/ Why Be A Fool?/ THE NOBLETONES: I Love You/ THE NUTMEGS: Hello/ Why Must We Go To School?/ THE SHADES: The Chimes/ THE SUMMITS: Go Back Where You Came From/ THE TIMETONES: I've Got A Feeling/ In My Heart/ My Love/ THE YOUNGTONES: Sweeter Than

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7092 Bebop, Blues & Sanctification ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, 73 min., recommended This disc finishes off the Relic review of the output of the Robinson brothers' Red Robin label with a somewhat jarring juxtaposition of band jump tunes, country blues numbers, and store-front gospel. Fortunately each category contains some real gems. The band numbers include Jackpot by Red Prysock and Juicy Fruit by Tiny Grimes. Blues sides include Doggin' My Heart Around by Sonny Terry, Too Much Competition by Allen Bunn, and Drunk Again by Champion Jack Dupree. And the gospel numbers include Night Prayer by the Blind Wonders of Washington D. C., I Can't Tarry by the Two Gospel Keys, and Good Morning to Heaven by the Robert Ross Singers. Fine liner notes by keeper of the 50's flame, Donn Fileti, and several nice photos. (DH)

 

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