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RHYTHM & BLUES, SOUL & DOO-WOP

Various Artists Collections - Relic Records, Part 2

 

VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7095 The Golden Era Of Doowops - The Groups Of Lumtone Records ● CD $14.98
21 tracks, 54 min., recommended. The Lumtone label was formed in South Central Los Angeles by one Lummie Fowler, and between 1959 and 1965 he released a total of 18 records, all by local vocal groups. Fowler thought he could put out a better product than he usually heard on the radio, and, judging by this fine compilation, he may well have been right. His best groups, the Upfronts and the Elgins, who make up most of the program here, recorded several excellent early soul-styled ballads, including It Took Time, Your Lovely Ways, When You Kiss Me, Finally, A Winner Never Quits, and Send Me Someone to Love. Other featured groups are the Troopers, the Colognes, and the Five Ramblers. Particularly fine music, with six cuts in stereo, from another little known label lovingly preserved by Relic. And, as is usually the case, both sound quality and liner notes are solid. (DH)
THE COLOGNES: A River Flows/ THE ELGINS: A Winner Never Quits/ Finally/ I Lost My Love In The Big City/ Your Lovely Ways/ THE FIVE RAMBLERS: I Want You To Know/ THE TROOPERS: In That Order/ My Choice For A Mate/ THE UPFRONTS: Baby For Your Love/ Benny Lou & The Lion/ I Stopped The Duke Of Earl/ It Took Time (1st Version)/ It Took Time (2nd Version)/ Little Girl/ Married Jive/ Most Of The Pretty Young Girls (alternate Take)/ Most Of The Pretty Young Girls (master Take)/ Send Me Someone To Love/ So Much In Love With You (unreleased)/ Too Far To Turn Around/ When You Kiss Me

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7096 The Golden Era Of Doowops - The Groups Of Glory Records ● CD $14.98
27 tracks, 73 min., highly recommended. The Glory Record Company was launched in 1955 by Phil Rose, who had formerly work for the Derby label. His premier group from the beginning was the Four Fellows, with one record on Derby, who hit the charts for Glory right off the bat with Soldier Boy. And, though they never enjoyed another real hit, they put out consistently high quality pop-flavored music, somewhat reminiscent of the Sophomores. They perform 16 of the tracks here, including In the Rain, Angels Say, and Give Me Back My Broken Heart. More clearly in the r&b fold are the Leaders, with six tracks here, including their great version of Stormy Weather and Dearest Beloved Darling, and the Buddies with I Waited and I Stole Your Heart. The entire program is solid and put together with Relic's usual commitment to quality. Not a collection to miss. (DH)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7099 The Golden Era Of Doo-Wops: Herald Records - Part 2 ● CD $14.98
27 tracks, 65 min., recommended Between 1953 and 1964, the output of Al Silver's Herald Records shifted from straightforward r&b to rock 'n' roll and even pop. Still, better than half of the label's over 200 releases featured vocal group recordings. The program here, of course, highlights those numbers, opening with the major hit, When You Dance by the Turbans, then moving on to Whispering Blues by the Debonaires, Baby Come a Little Bit Closer by the Willows, Foolish One by the Rocketeers, the previously unreleased Shoop by the Desires, Marlene by the Concords, a previously unreleased version of Chapel on the Hill by the Mello Kings, Little Dream Girl by the Cashmeres, The Winds by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, and Great Big Heart by Little Butchie Saunders and the Buddies. A nicely varied program, offering ballads and jumps, and black and white group sounds, all put together with Relic's expected high standards. (DH)
THE CASHMERES: Little Dream Girl/ THE CONCORDS: Marlene/ THE DEBONAIRES: Whispering Blues/ THE DESIRES: Cold Lonely Heart/ Shoop/ THE DYNAMICS: Forever Love/ THE FIVE WILLOWS: Baby Come A Little Bit Closer/ Look Me In The Eyes/ THE LOUNGERS: Dizzy Spell/ Wedding Bells/ THE MELLO KINGS: Chapel On The Hill/ Chip Chip/ THE NUTMEGS: My Story/ Ship Of Love/ THE ROCKETEERS: Foolish One/ THE ROYAL HOLIDAYS: Dancin' At The Bandstand/ Down In Cuba/ LITTLE BUTCHIE SAUNDERS & THE BUDDIES: Great Big Heart/ Rock & Roll Indian Dance/ THE SONNETS: Why Should We Break Up?/ THE THRILLERS: Lizabeth/ Please Talk To Me/ THE TURBANS: The Wadda-Do/ When You Dance/ THE VOCAL-AIRES: Dance, Dance/ MAURICE WILLIAMS & THE ZODIACS: Come Along/ The Winds

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7100 The Golden Era Of Doo-Wops - Ember Records, Part 2 ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, 70 min., recommended This second volume featuring the vocal group recordings for Al Silver's Ember Records opens with the label's now overexposed classic, In the Still of the Night by the Five Satins. The rest of the program is far less familiar, thank goodness, but generally solid. Program selections include I'll Write a Book by the Wonders, Voodoo Eyes by the Silhouettes, Sandy by the Colonaires, Pretty Brown Eyes by the Starlites, Soft Lights by David Clowney and group, and Shedding Tears by the Paramonts. But the highlight for me were the two tracks, one previously unreleased, by the Mifflin Triplets - I Do and the particularly nice The Voice of an Angel, both in stereo. All in all, the music here is a bit more in the pop mold than is that of its sister label Herald, but at times at least that difference plays to Ember's advantage. (DH)
THE BARRIES: Tonite Tonite/ THE BOP TONES: I Had A Love/ DAVID CLOWNEY & GROUP: Soft Lights/ THE COLONAIRES: Can't Stand To Lose You/ Sandy/ THE CONCORDS: I'll Always Say Please/ Satisfied With Rock & Roll/ THE FABULONS: I Want A Girl/ Little Miss Muffet/ THE FIVE SATINS: In The Still Of The Night/ Tell Me Dear/ Wishing Ring/ THE ILLUSIONS: Can't We Fall In Love?/ How High Is The Mountain/ THE MIFFLIN TRIPLETS: I Do/ The Voice Of An Angel/ THE PARAMOUNTS: In A Dream/ Shedding Teardrops/ ROGER & THE TRAVELERS: You're Daddy's Little Girl/ THE SILHOUETTES: Headin' For The Poorhouse/ Voodoo Eyes/ THE SKARLETTONES: Do You Remember?/ THE STARLITES: Boom Chicka Boom/ Pretty Brown Eyes/ Tears Are Just For Fools/ They Call Me A Dreamer/ THE WONDERS: Hey Senorita/ I'll Write A Book

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7101 What's Your Name ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 61 min., recommended This is the second volume in Relic's doo-wop dedications to the girls of the 50's (and early 60's). The selections are drawn from a wide variety of original labels, including Fury, Atlas, Ancho, Parrot, Rainbow, Class, Showcase, Club 51, and Celeste. And the songs themselves, recorded between 1954 and 1965, include Valerie by Jackie & the Starlites, Toni My Love by the Five Satins, Darlene by the Earls, Sweet Lulu by the Love Notes, Delores by the Four Buddies, Anna Mae by Bob E. Lee and the Aquatones, Oh Theresa by the Premiers, and Lizabeth by the Thrillers. A thoroughly enjoyable various artist program, prepared with Relic's usual attention to detail. Eddie Gries' nostalgic and honest liner notes are brief indeed, but there are lots of fun photos of 50's teenage girls trying hard to look alluring. For my money, one or two succeed. (DH)
THE ACADEMICS: Darla My Darling/ THE BOP TONES: Betty Jean/ THE CHANDELIERS: Dolly/ THE CHARTS: Deserie/ THE CONCORDS: Marlene/ THE DREAMLOVERS: Annabelle Lee/ THE EARLS: Darlene/ THE EMERSONS: Joanie Joanie/ THE FIVE JADES: Rose Marie/ THE FIVE SATINS: Toni My Love/ THE FOUR BUDDIES: Delores/ BOB E LEE & THE AQUATONES: Anna Mae/ LITTLE FREDDIE & THE GENTS: Betty/ THE LOVE NOTES: Sweet Lulu/ THE MELLOWS: Sweet Lorraine/ THE PARAKEETS: Yvonne/ THE PREMIERS: Oh Theresa/ THE RAINBOWS: If You See Mary Lee/ Shirley/ THE SPUTNIKS: Hey Maryann/ THE STARLITES: Valarie/ THE THRILLERS: Lizabeth/ THE TRAVELERS: Lenora/ THE UNIVERSALS: Dear Ruth/ THE YOUNGONES: Maryann

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7103 The Golden Era Of Doowops - Everlast Records ● CD $14.98
29 tracks, 70 min., highly recommended This late 50's New York label is yet another of those created and run by one of Harlem's distinguished Robinson brothers, in this case, Danny. Its claim to doo-wop fame, of course, is the immortal Deserie by the Charts, which charted (pun intended) in late 1957. But the rest of the label's output is similarly fine. Among those gems are Hey Pretty Baby by the Ladders, The Night Is Quiet by the reformed Vocaleers, Searching for Tomorrow by Jay Dee Bryant and the Magic Knights, Queenie Bee by the Rodans (for those of you who remember that Sci-Fi "classic"), From Now On by the C-Notes, Please Come Back to Me by the Rhythm Tones, and the outstanding ballad Why Do You Cry by the Charts. Directly-from-the-tapes sound quality, several vintage group photos, and knowledgeable liner notes by Donn Fileti. Definitely not one to miss. (DH)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7104 The Golden Era Of Doowops - V-Tone Records ● CD $14.98
23 tracks, 54 min., recommended Philadelphia-based V-Tone Records was founded by upholsterer Venton "Buddy" Caldwell in the fall of 1958 and closed its doors in 1963. In spite of its lack of a national hit, the label's output during its relatively short life is consistently good. For example, before they hit pay dirt on the Heritage label with When We Get Married, the Dreamlovers cut four solid sides for V-Tone, including Home Is Where the Heart Is, Annabelle Lee, and May I Kiss the Bride. Other journeyman sides cut for V-Tone include I Am Dreaming of You by the Fashions, Did We Go Steady Too Soon by Farris Hill & the Madison Brothers, Give Me Your Heart by the wonderful Joe Van Loan Quartet, Crying Over You by the Cruisers, Three Love Letters Ago by the Sherwoods, and the original version of the delightful novelty jump Mope-Itty Mope by the Boss-Tones. Otherwise, fine sound, notes, and photos. Another Relic issue that's too good to miss. (DH)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7106 Golden Era Of Doo-Wops - Len Records ● CD $14.98
18 tracks, 42 min., recommended Len Records was a 1958-1960 subsidiary of Venton Caldwell's V-Tone Records of Philadelphia. Featured artists in this solid compilation of its vocal group output include high tenor Herb Johnson, who performs four group-backed numbers here including Help, Guilty, and Have You Heard?; the Dreamlovers who sing For the First Time and Take It From a Fool; the Four Bars with Just Bid Me Farewell and The Game of Romance; the Marquees who perform Say Hey and I'm in Misery; and the Masters, Little Jimmy and the Tops, Nelson Dupree, and the Parliaments. Music worth hearing, packaged with Relic's standard graphics, excellent sound quality and expert liner notes. (DH)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7107 Golden Era Of Doo-Wops - Relic Records ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 61 min., recommended
The by now venerable Relic Record label was begun in 1963 by Eddie Gries, whose youthful photo appears herein. One of his original goals was to purchase the rights to some of his personal group favorites in order to reissue them on his fledgling label. So most of the delightful material that is offered here, having gone from original label to Relic 45 and now to CD, is in at least its third incarnation. Among the doo-wop gems are I Love You by the Four Most, Our Love is a Vow by the Levees, the classic Can I Come Over Tonight by the Velours, Love Only One by the Teenos, My Memories of You by the Harptones, Baby Doll by the Excels, Your Way by the Zircons, Heavenly Father by the Starlarks, and Don't Say Goodbye by the Kents. Original label information is provided in Donn Fileti's thorough and informative notes. And sound and graphic considerations are satisfied in Relic's usual expert manner. (DH)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7112 The Best Of Acapella, Vol 3 ● CD $14.98
20 tracks, 41 min., recommended. In the 60's, lots of a cappella vocal groups formed on the East Coast. Most were white, and most recorded songs that had been made famous by better known groups in the 50's. This disc is Relic's third celebration of that phenomenon. Featured numbers include I Wonder Why by the Quotations, My True Story by the Islanders, Bells of Love by the Count Five, Pennies from Heaven by the Citadels, and Don't Say We're Through by the Durhams. It's all pretty good music primarily because the sincerity and the spontaneity of the performers does shine through. A straight reissue of Relic LP 103. (DH)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7113 Golden Era Of Doo Wops - Grand Records ● CD $14.98
22 tracks, 58 min., recommended. In its few years of existence, between the years 1953 and 1956, the Grand label helped to establish the mournful ballad with a high tenor lead as the characteristic Philadelphia sound of the 50's. It worth noting that they did this to some degree in retrospect, because Grand records didn't sell any too well at the time of their release. Thus, collectors today tend to revere them. Among those sought-after numbers included here are The Rain by the Marquees, Estelle by the Belltones, Cool Whalin' Papa by the Carter Rays, Remember When? by the Cherokees, 535 by the Dreamers, and Wedding Bells by the Angels. All presented with Relic's usual flair for excellent sound quality, informative notes, and rare group photos. And definitely easier on your budget and time schedule than picking up the original 45's. (DH)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7115 The Golden Era Of Doo-WOps - Club Records ● CD $14.98
18 tracks, 46 min., recommended In spite of the single label mentioned in the title here, this disc actually compiles group recordings from several of the small labels owned by businessman Carl Edelson in the late 50's and early 60's, including the Michele, Ultra D'Or, Showcase, and Club labels. Probably the best known tracks here are the two by Pat Cordell and the Crescents, My Tears and Darling Come Back, cuts whose reputation relies in large measure on the fact that two members of the Crescents went on to form the vastly more popular Elegants. Other tracks include This Is the End by the Willows, Heaven Have Mercy by Jay Saunders and the Duvals, Tender Love by the Pageants, Little Little by the Cherlos, and Burying Ground by the Relations. Sound, notes, and graphic considerations are all as expected for Relic. (DH)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7117 Golden Era Of Doowops - Atlas Records ● CD $14.98
29 tracks, 74 min., recommended New York's Atlas label was founded in 1951 by jazz trumpeter and booking agent Tommy Robinson, a native of Detroit. When his early jazz releases failed to click with the record buying public, he turned, in 1953, to the increasingly popular vocal group sound. The fruits of his exploration of that genre include Just to Be in Love by the Four Haven Knights, Love Was a Stranger to Me by Vic Donna & the Parakeets, Dolores by Roscoe Thorne, Yvonne by the Parakeets, You Thrill Me So by the Caverliers, and My Lost Love by the Revels - a fine set of songs measured in the artistic terms of a vocal group fan. Unfortunately for Robinson, he found as little economic success with doo-wop as he did with jazz. To put that another way: there are some mighty rare records offered here. (DH)
 

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7118 Golden Era Of Doowops - Joyce Records ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, 68 min., highly recommended. Long one of my favorite micro-labels, Joyce Records began in 1956 and lasted for about a year. Under the direction of Al Browne, a total of six records, most wistful ballads, actually saw release, two of them by the then unknown Johnny Maestro and the Crests, featuring My Juanita, No One to Love, Sweetest One, and Wish She Was Mine. Other released tracks include Everybody Knew But Me and You Have No Heart by the Crescents, Bad Motorcycle and Sweet Daddy by the Twinkles (leased to Cameo/Parkway and successfully reissued as by the Storey Sisters), Missing You and Give Me a Kiss by the Starlites, and I Love You and You Left Me by the Gaytunes. The remaining 14 tracks are solid but previously unreleased numbers by these same five groups and the Love Notes. Production standards are typical for Relic, and Donn Fileti's notes are, as usual, authoritative. (DH)
THE CRESCENTS: Baby, I‘m Serious About You/ Dolores/ Everybody Knew But Me/ Everybody Knew But Me/ I‘ll Walk In The Shadow/ You Have No Heart/ THE CRESTS: My Juanita/ No One To Love/ Sweetest One/ Wish She Was Mine/ THE GAYTUNES: I Love You/ I Love You/ Plea In The Moonlight/ Tell Me You Love Me/ You Left Me/ You Left Me/ THE LOVE NOTES: Dream Girl/ Treat Me Right/ THE STARLITES: Give Me A Kiss/ Joanne/ Missing You/ My Greatest Thrill/ Pen Pal/ THE TWINKLES: Bad Motorcycle/ Sweet Daddy

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7120 Doo Wop Delights - The Boston Groups ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 60 min., recommended The third of the regional discs from Relic, with the selections this time around personally chosen by Boston's own doo-wop expert and sound mastering expert Little Walter Devenne. His selections include numbers by the well known G-Clefs - Cause You're Mine and Ka-Ding-Dong - and the polished Love Notes - I'm Sorry and Since I Fell for You. But thirteen of the cuts here are either privately issued or previously unreleased numbers recorded by Devenne in the 60's. Most of these tracks are a cappella and rather spontaneous sounding. My favorite group in this category is the Del-Tones who perform Misty, All in My Mind, Lonely Drifter, and Don't Pass Me By. Definitely the good stuff. (DH)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7121 Golden Era Of Doowops - Angletone Records ● CD $14.98
Atlas Record's founder, Thomas Robinson, originally conceived of his Angletone subsidiary as a gospel label, and he chose its name in imitation of the successful classical label, Angel Records. For reasons unknown at this point, but quite possibly financial, he quickly converted Angletone's output to r&b and rock 'n' roll. His vocal group efforts in that vein, immortalized herein, include Blueberry Sweet and One More Step by the Chandeliers, Yesterday's Dreams by Dougie & the Dolphins, For Sentimental Reasons by the Original Charmers, Tell Me What Is Wrong by Rudy & the Tradewinds, Why Are You? (So in Love) by Rickie and Vickie, and Somewhere by Little Butchie & the Vells. Solid New York doo-wop, offered with Relic's usual solid sound quality and expert notes. (DH)
THE CASINOS: Baby Don't Do It/ I Like It Like That/ Oh Yvonne/ THE CHANDELIERES: Blueberry Sweet/ THE CHANDELIERS: Dancin' In The Congo/ Dolly/ One More Step/ Tender Love/ Wild Cherry/ THE CHRISTALIERS: Darling/ Homeroom Rock/ DOUGIE & DOLPHINS: Double Date/ Yesterday's Dreams/ THE FABULOUS FABULAIRES: I Found My Baby/ She's The Girl For Me/ THE LINCOLNS QUINTET: Dream Of Romance/ Tell Me What Is Wrong/ LITTLE BUTCHIE & VELLS: Please Tell The Angels/ Sometimes Little Girl/ Somewhere/ THE ORIGINAL CHARMERS: For Sentimental Reasons/ RICKIE & VICKIE: Joanie/ RICKIE & VELLS: Why Are You? (so In Love)/ RUDY & TRADEWINDS: Careless Love/ Unemployment

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7122 Golden Era Of Doowops - Mohawk Records ● CD $14.98
27 tracks, 65 min., highly recommended New York's Mohawk Records is chiefly remembered today for its national success with the Demensions' Over the Rainbow and for issuing Dion and the Belmonts' first single, We Went Away/Tag Along. But label owner Irving Spice had a solid feel for the white vocal group sound, and most of his efforts here, from both Mohawk and its subsidiaries, Dragon and Wizz, are well worth listening to. Highlights here, in addition to the titles listed above, include Chapel of Tears, The Gang All Knows, My Heart, and Hold Me Close by Lonnie & the Carollons; Ding a Ling a Ling by Dicky Dell & the Bing Bongs; I Still Love You by Joey & the Ovations; Legend of Love by Billy Love & the Lovers, and I'll Love You Forever by the Deans. A particularly fine set, rounded out by definitive notes by Donn Fileti and several vintage group photos. (DH)
DICKY BELL & THE BING BONGS: Ding A Ling A Ling/ THE BELMONTS: Santa Margherita/ Teenage Clementine/ THE COMPANIONS: How Could You/ No Fool Am I/ THE DEANS: I'll Love You Forever/ It's You/ My Heart Is Low/ THE DEMENSIONS: Over The Rainbow/ Please Don't Say Goodbye/ DION & THE TIMBERLANES: Out In Colorado/ DION & THE BELMONTS: Tag Along/ DION & THE TIMBERLANES: The Chosen Few/ DION & THE BELMONTS: We Went Away/ JOEY & THE OVATIONS: I Still Love You/ Runaround/ LONNIE & THE CAROLLONS: Chapel Of Tears/ Hold Me Close/ My Heart/ The Gang All Knows/ Trudy/ You Say/ BILLY LOVE & THE LOVERS: Legend Of Love/ THE MELLO-KINGS: You Don't Know What You Got/ THE RADIANTS: I'll Never Be Mean/ Ra Cha Cha/ VIRGIL & THE VI TONES: Let Him Talk

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7130 Goodbye 40s, Hello 50s ● CD $14.98
20 tracks, 56 min., highly recommended The sound of the numbers here generally falls halfway between the Mills Brothers and Ink Spots on the one hand and the high energy doo-wop numbers of the mid-50's and beyond on the other. It's a mellow sound by and large, descended partly from the groups mentioned above and partly from the jubilee gospel sounds of the 30's and 40's. The featured Apollo artists on this compilation are the Striders, vocal group accompanists of Savannah Churchhill, with If I Only Knew and Hesitating Fool, the Four Vagabonds with P. S. I Love You, the Melody Masters with My Baby and Don't You Ever Mind Them, the Four Bars with As Long As I Live and Missing You, plus two fine Christmas numbers by the Rhythm Kings and three less seasonal cuts the Whispers. A good antidote to the pace of life in the 90's, produced with care and quality by the reliable folks at Relic Records. Thanks guys. (DH)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7131 Goodbye 40s, Hello 50s, Part 2 ● CD $14.98
20 tracks, 55 min., highly recommended The second volume in this delightful series offers more soul-soothing harmonies in a pre-doo-wop style. Highlights include Jumping Jack and Driftin' by the Three Riffs, Subway Cutie by the Melody Masters, If I Only Knew by the Striders, Why My Darling Why by the Rhythm Kings, Rock My Baby and Baby Won't You Please Come Home by the Mel-O-Dots, My Reverie by the Larks, and It Takes a Long Tall Brown Skinned Gal and Re-Bop-De-Boom by the Four Blues. A good mix of ballads and easy-going jumps, worth spinning the next time you get home after spending the afternoon stuck in a traffic jam. (DH)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7133 Golden Era Of Doo-Wops, Apollo Records Part 3 ● CD $14.98
20 tracks, 51 min., recommended On these last two various artist discs from the Apollo Records tapes, Relic offers more vocal group gems, including a few surprises. The program on Part 3 opens with four tracks by the Vocaltones, among them Darling (You Know I Love You) and My Girl. Subsequent numbers include I Don't Know by the Keynotes, Raindrops and Pretty Mama by the Inspirations, two previously unreleased numbers by Lillian Leach & the Mellows (a surprise to me) - So Strange and Be Mine - plus four numbers by the Sparks of Rhythm with Jimmy Jones, including the unreleased original of Handy Man, and one track each by the Casanovas and the Claremonts. The closing four numbers are again by the Vocaltones, two of them fronted by one Miss Brenda Lee. But, no, not that Brenda Lee. (DH)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7136 Golden Era Of Doowops - Groups Of Lupine Records ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 66 min., highly recommended A fine collection of gospel-tinged vocal group and single artist numbers laid down for the myriad of labels in which Detroit's Robert West had either a production or a leasing interest. Those labels include West's own LuPine, plus Flick, Contour, Bumble Bee, Kudo, and Puff. Among the many worthwhile cuts are West's major claims to fame - You're So Fine and I Found a Love by the Falcons - and Once Upon a Time by Marv Johnson (his first record), Please Let It Be and Please Don't Go by the Bumble Bees, Geni in the Jug by the Tornados, Bubble Gum by Little Joe & the Moroccos, It's All My Fault by Billy Kope & the Quardells, the crude but infectious Geraldine by Bob Hamilton & group, We Are Like One by the Five Masters, and (Where's the Joy) In Nature Boy by Briant Holland (later of the Motown song writing team of Holland, Dozier, Holland). The good stuff, as usual, from the dedicated crew at Relic. (DH)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7140 Golden Era Of Doowops - Groups Of Swingin' Records ● CD $14.98
20 tracks, 49 min., recommended The story of Hunter Hancock's Los Angeles-based Swingin' Records, a label which put out quite a few solid sides between 1959 and 1964. Probably the best known group on the label was Rochell and the Candles who hit pay dirt in 1960 with Once Upon a Time. Other Candles' tracks here include So Far Away, When My Baby is Gone, Hey Pretty Baby, Beg of My Heart, and A Long Time Ago. Remaining numbers include I'm Your Man, Everyday's a Holiday, and L. A. Lover by the Hollywood Saxons, Jo Jo by Art Wheeler, I'm in Your Corner by Vin Vincente, and One Week Romance by the Calendars. Solid music straddling the imaginary gap between doo-wop and soul music, offered here with Relic's normal attention to detail: fine sound quality and solid, informative notes. (DH)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7141 Golden Era Of Doowops - Groups Of Chez Records ● CD $14.98
27 tracks, 65 min., recommended Chex was the brainchild of Detroit producer Willie Ewing, and though it survived for a mere two years, its output included one solid hit, I Love You by the Volumes, and a plentiful supply of prototypical soul numbers. In addition to that hit, numbers by the Volumes include Come Back Into My Heart, County Jail, Dreams, and the La La Song. Among the highlights by other groups offered here are Come to Me by Othea George, Gwendolyn and Unhappy and Blue by the Majestics, Some Happy Day by the Bohemians, Ha Ha He Told on You by Tony and the Technics (sic), and Hello Operator by Donald Richards. Another well-told chapter in the musical history of the Motor City. (DH)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7142 Best Of Acapella, Vol. 4 ● CD $14.98
20 tracks, 50 min., recommended. The digital reissue of the identically titled 1966 LP, a part of the continuing celebration of the then popular trend of recording latter day rock 'n' roll vocal groups without instrumentation. By this time, most of the groups still working in this essentially 50's style were white and on the East Coast. And, as this set demonstrates, some of them are pretty darned good. Highlights herein include Lost Love, For Your Precious Love, and Kentucky Babe by the racially mixed Notations; I'll Be Home and Why Do You Like Me Like You Do by the Quotations; Laura My Darling and Summer Nights by the Semesters; The White Cliffs of Dover by Nicky and the Naks; and a version of the Youngsters' I'm So Young by Little Joe and the Majestics. As always with Relic, sound quality, notes, and graphics are solid. (DH)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7143 Rockin' The Blues - The Movie Soundtrack ● CD $14.98
16 tracks, 38 min., recommended. A seeming anomaly from the good folks at Relic Records, an actual movie soundtrack disc, but then this particular movie is right down Relic's alley, a 1955 variety show featuring the Harptones, the Wanderers, Linda Hopkins, the Miller Sisters, and the Hurricanes. Not great cinema perhaps, but certainly great music. Featured live performances include High Flyin' Baby, Ou Wee Baby, and Mambo Boogie by the Harptones; My First, Last, and Only Girl and Sweetie Pie by the Wanderers; Fast Movin' Mama and T.V. Is the Thing by Connie Carroll; You May Not Know by the Hurricanes; and Everybody's Havin' a Ball by the Miller Sisters. A musical program well worth adding to your 50's rhythm and blues collection.  (DH)


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