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RHYTHM & BLUES, SOUL & DOO-WOP

The Silhouettes -> The Spinners

THE SILHOUETTES
CHUCK SIMMONS
JOE SIMON
HAL SINGER
CHARLIE SINGLETON
THE SIX TEENS
THE SKYLINERS
THE SLADES
PERCY SLEDGE
BOBBY SMITH
MELVIN SMITH
TAB SMITH
HUEY "PIANO" SMITH & HIS CLOWNS
THE SOLITAIRES
THE SOPHOMORES/ THE SULTANS
JIMMY SOUL
THE SPANIELS
JOHNNY SPARROW
BENNY SPELLMAN
THE SPIDERS
THE SPINNERS

THE SILHOUETTES Collectables 5748 Get A Job ● CD $11.98
13 tracks, 31 min., highly recommended
A short but solid collection of the late 50's sides released by this broadly experienced quartet when they were recording for the Junior and Ember labels. The program opens with the quintessential title track, then moves on to I Am Lonely, Heading for the Poorhouse, Voodoo Eyes, I Sold My Heart to the Junkman, Never Will Part, Vision in the Night, and Your Love Is All I Need. Solid music from start to finish, with Bill Horton's fine baritone taking the lead on most cuts. And, thankfully, all production values are above reproach here, with a fine cover photo of the group, excellent sound quality, and extensive liner notes that may well require a magnifying glass to read. (DH)

 
THE SILHOUETTES Rhythm 1006 The Complete Package ● CD $17.98
Though they only had one hit - the monster Get A Job, the Silhouettes recorded a lot of other fine vocal group sides and this 30 tracks collection includes just about all of them including three unissued sides and solo cuts by lead vocalist Bill Horton.
THE SILHOUETTES: Bing Bong/ Bull Frog/ Climb Every Mountain/ Evelyn/ For Your Precious Love/ Gaucho Serenade/ Get A Job/ Headin' For The Poor House/ I Am Lonely/ I Sold My Heart To The Junkman/ I Wanna Know/ Like To See You In That Mood/ Miss Thing/ Move On Over/ Never/ Never Will Part/ No One Can Take Your Place/ Not Me Baby/ Rentman/ Shadow/ She's Gone/ Stormy Weather/ The Push/ Vision In The Night/ Voodoo Eyes/ What Would You Do/ Which Way Did She Go/ Wish I Could Be There/ Workin' Hard/ Your Love Is All I Need

 
CHUCK SIMMONS Funky Delicacies 050 Hustler's Strut ● CD $15.98
16 tracks, 58 min, recommended
A 15-year association with producer-arranger Wardell Quezerque left Chuck Simmons hitless but with an impressive catalog of soul and funk sides. Former member of the obscure The Unemployed (w/ Quezerque), who cut sides for Atlantic's Cotillion logo, Simmons (who had a rather limited voice that was pushed to its limits and beyond regularly) spent most of his time focussed on his solo careeer -- that is, when he wasn't working his day job as a mechanic. His contributions to the funk dynasty include Funky Broom, Hustler's Strut Parts 1 & 2, Lay It On Me Parts 1 & 2 (which is Hustler's Strut with different vocals), and Doin' The Sissy, cut as Charlie Simmons and the Imperials. His more soulful side is featured on Don't Send Me No Doctor, recorded with Allen Toussaint at his Sea-Saint Recording Studio, Run Away and You're Not The One For Me (both ballads!) and I'm Wondering, a should-have-been hit and the finest cut here. Contains informative booklet notes and four songs previously unavailable on CD. (JC)

 
JOE SIMON Ace CDCHD 663 Mr. Shout ● CD $18.98
24 tracks rceorded for Hush and Vee-Jay by this fine vocalist.
JOE SIMON: (Just) Call My Name/ Bring It On Home To Me/ Doreetha/ Everybody Needs Somebody/ Goodnight Irene/ I Keep Remembering/ I See Your Face/ It's A Miracle/ It's All Over/ Just Like Yesterday/ Land Of Love/ Let's Do It Over/ My Adorable One/ No One Else Will Do/ Ocean Of Tears/ Only A Dream/ Pledge Of Love/ Say (that Your Love Is True)/ The Golden Tones/ The Whoo Pee/ Troubles/ When I'm Gone/ When You're Near (1st Version)/ When You're Near (2nd Version)/ You Left Me Here To Cry Alone

 
JOE SIMON Collectables 5114 Chokin' Kind - Golden Classics ● CD $11.98
Includes My Special Prayer/ Message From Maria/ Your Love/ Chokin' Kind/ Nine Pounds Steel/ In The Ghetto/ Farther Down The Road and seven more.

 
JOE SIMON RPM 222 Monument Of Soul ● CD $18.98
26 track collection featuring some of the best of Joe's Sound Stage 7 sides recorded between 1966 and 1972 including his #1 R&B hit The Chokin' Kind and #7 hit Farther On Down The Road along with other fine hits and b-sides featuring his silky country soul style like Misty Blue/ Teenagers Prayer/ My Special Prayer/ Just A Dream/ Nine Pound Steel/ No Sad Songs/ You Keep Me Hanging On/ I Worry About You/ Standing In The Safety Zone and more. Fold out booklet has notes by Clive Richardson plus photos and label shots.

 
JOE SIMON Southbound CDSEWD 102 Greatest Hits, The Spring Years 1970-1977 ● CD $18.98
Smouldering Southern soul vocals and disco smashes.
JOE SIMON: All My Hard Times/ Carry Me/ Come Get To This/ Drowning In The Sea Of Love/ Easy To Love/ For Your Love, Love, Love/ Georgia Blue/ Get Down, Get Down (get On The Floor)/ Help Me Make It Through The Night/ I Found My Dad/ I Need You, You Need Me/ Music In My Bones/ One Step At A Time/ Pool Of Bad Luck/ Power Of Love/ River/ Step By Step/ The Best Time Of My Life/ Theme From Cleopatra Jones/ Trouble In My Home/ You Did'n't Have To Play No Games/ You're The One For Me/ Your Turn To Cry

 
JOE SIMON Southbound CDSEWD 954 The Sounds Of Simon/ Simon Country ● CD $18.98
Reissue of two early 70's LP's, chock full of such country standards as Help Me Make It Through The Night/ My Woman, My Woman, My Wife/ Before The Next Teardrop Falls/ Kiss An Angel Good Morning. With these efforts, Simon joined a handful of R&B/soul singers (Ray Charles, Percy Sledge, Joe Tex and others) who put on Stetsons for a little while to bolster their careers. 19 selections.

 
JOE SIMON Southbound CDSEWD 971 Mood, Heart And Soul/ Today ● CD $18.98
2 mid-70's albums on one CD - 18 cuts. Simon's southern soul was tempered with crossover potential during this period with the Spring label, resulting in covers like Neither One Of Us Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye/ Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues/ Let's Spend The Night Together/ I Just Want To Make Love To You/ Let The Good Times Roll/ What A Wonderful World. Also has his hits Carry Me/ The Best Time Of My Life/ Come Get To This.

 
HAL SINGER Classics 5073 The Chronological Hal Singer, 1948-1951 ● CD $14.98
25 track collection featuring Hal Singer's honkin' and screamin' tenor sax instrumentals plus a handful of vocals. Singer was in Ellington's reed section when his 1948 Cornbread (included here) hit it big, and he left the band to pursue the beat-heavy music that would soon be driving teens crazy. Many of these cuts are in the hand-clappin' toe-tappin' vein, while others are more thoughtful jazz and blues numbers.

 
CHARLIE SINGLETON Classics 5121 The Chronological Charlie Singleton, 1949-1953 ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, 67 mins, highly recommended
Fine collection of sides featuring bands led by alto and tenor sax player Charlie Singleton. About two thirds of the tracks are instrumental ranging from the dreamy instrumental cover of Johnnie Ray's pop hit Cry to the bluesy Cat's Paw to the torrid Blow Mr. Singleton. Singleton was a fine straight ahead player who never indulged in the screeching histrionics of some of his contemporaries. Personnel varied from session to session but was always fine. Singleton takes the vocal on the fine blues Lonely Lover Blues and other excellent vocalists featured include Linwood Sutton, Jake Vaughn and Freddie Jackson. Sound quality is excellent and there are informative (but tiny) notes by Dave Penny. (FS)

 
THE SIX TEENS Ace CDCHD 842 A Casual Look ● CD $18.98
The Six Teens were a sextet (three boys, three girls - ranging in age from 12 to 17) from LA who struck it big in May, 1956 with a lilting ballad called A Casual Look. The group sang pretty and sweet although lyrically insipid at times - collectors either hate or adore them. I think they constitute a unique and important part of 50s California vocal group history and that songs like Afar Into the Night/ Arrow Of Love and My Secret represent some of the best teen heartache on wax. 25 tracks featuring all their singles, most from original master tapes.
THE SIX TEENS: A Casual Look/ A Foolish Little Girl/ A Little Prayer/ Afar Into The Night/ Arrow Of Love/ Baby You're Dynamite/ Baby-o/ Danny (this Is The Last Dance)/ Heaven Knows I Love You/ Love's Funny That Way/ My Secret/ My Special Guy/ My Surprise/ Oh It's Crazy/ Only Jim/ Send Me Flowers/ So Happy/ Stop Playing Ping Pong With My Little Heart/ Suddenly In Love/ Teenage Promise/ Teenage Promise (fast Version)/ That Wonderful Secret Of Love/ Was It A Dream Of Mine/ Why Do I Go To School/ You're My Boy Friend

 
THE SIX TEENS Famous Groove 971019 A Casual Look ● CD $18.98
The Sixteens were a sextet (three boys, three girls) from LA who struck it big in May, 1956 with a lilting ballad called A Casual Look. The group sang pretty and sweet although lyrically insipid at times - collectors either hate or adore them. I think they constitute a unique and important part of 50s California vocal group history and that songs like Afar Into the Night/ Arrow Of Love and My Secret represent some of the best teen heartache on wax. 27 sides including cuts of them billed as The Ivy Leaguers and Trudy & Louise Williams and an acapella version of A Casual Look. Detailed sleeve notes by Jim Dawson which are printed tiny and in a poor type style renedering them illegible. (OLN)
THE SIX TEENS: A Casual Look/ A Casual Look/ A Little Prayer/ Afar Into The Night/ Arrow Of Love/ Baby You're Dynamite/ Baby-O/ Danny/ Don't Worry About A Thing/ Heaven Knows I Love Him/ Love's Funny That Way/ My Secret/ My Special Guy/ My Surprise/ Oh, It's Crazy/ Only Jim/ So Happy/ Stop Playing Ping Pong With My Heart/ Suddenly In Love/ That Wonderful Secret Of Love/ Was It A Dream Of Mine/ Why Do I Go To School/ THE SWEET TEENS: Forever More/ TRUDY WILLIAMS & THE PHARAOHS: A Foolish Little Girl/ You're My Boyfriend

 
THE SKYLINERS Original Sound OSCD 8873 Greatest Hits ● CD $10.98
20 original hits, including Since I Don't Have You, Stardust, When I Fall In Love, This I Swear, Pennies From Heaven.

 
THE SKYLINERS Sky 101 Pre-Flight & Beyond ● CD $18.98
30 tracks featuring the excellent Pittsburgh group The Skyliners and their predecessor The Crescents - both featuring one of the finest white doo-wop singers Jimmy Beaumont. This set features some of their rarer and originally unissued material. There are 11 early sides that are acapella or almost acapella including a beautiful, though poorly recorded version of their most famous song Since I Don't have You. It also includes their rare 1962 release on Viscount (Tell Me/ Comes Love), four live tracks (including versions of Since and This I Swear) and more.

 
THE SLADES Dee-Jay Jamboree 55002 The Slades ● CD $18.98
15 tracks, 33 min., recommended
The Slades claim to rock 'n' roll fame is twofold. First, they scored a minor chart hit in at least some regions of the country with their first release on Liberty, You Mean Everything to Me. Second, their lead singer Don Burch wrote and the Slades originally recorded You Cheated, a song which was made into a substantial hit a very short time later by the black Los Angeles group the Shields. Besides that, how many other white doo-wop groups can you think of that came out of Austin, Texas? Well, while you're pondering that, let me point out that the material here was recorded for Domino Records between 1957 and 1960. And highlights include the two numbers already named, plus No Time, Just You, Take My Heart, and with lead singer Joyce Webb After You've Gone and I Cheated. Nice music, decent sound, and a fine cover photo of the guys. I'm buying one. (DH)

 
PERCY SLEDGE Atlantic 8210 The Best Of Percy Sledge ● CD $11.98
Budget reissue of 1969 hits package - 12 of his best - When A Man Loves A Woman/ Just Out Of Reach/ Cover Me/ It Tears Me Up, etc.

 
PERCY SLEDGE Atlantic 80212 The Ultimate Collection ● CD $11.98
This outstanding disc ranks with the Otis & JB discs as one of the best single artist soul collections I've heard. The Atlantic LP was excellent, this contains the entire hits album and adds 4 cuts, Sudden Stop/ That's How Strong My Love Is/ You Really Got A Hold On Me/ Put A Little Lovin' On Me (as far as I know these haven't been reissued anywhere else) making 20 cuts in all, nearly an hour playing time. Also, of course, has When A Man Loves A Woman/ Cover Me/ Warm & Tender Love/ Dark End Of The Street/ You're Pouring Water On A Drowning Man , etc.... GM

 
PERCY SLEDGE Collectables 7676 When A Man Loves A Woman/ Warm & Tender Soul ● CD $13.98
23 tracks, 63 min., essential
This release reissues Sledge's first two albums on Atlantic Records on one CD. Sledge ranks as one of the great soul song interpreters of soul music's golden age. His version of When A Man Loves A Woman may just be the most recognizable soul song of all time. WAMLAW (originally released in 1966 as Atlantic 8125) and Warm & Tender Love (originally released in 1966 as Atlantic 8132, misidentified here as 8123) features our man singing the hell out of other people's hits, including That's How Strong My Love Is (Otis Redding, O.V. Wright), You've Really Got A Hold On Me (The Miracles), Oh How Happy (Edwin Starr), Love Me Tender (Elvis Presley), A Sweet Woman Like You (Joe Tex), Love Makes The World Go Round (Deon Jackson), I Stand Accused (Jerry Butler), and others. Both albums, produced by Quin Ivy and Marlin Greene, feel of a piece--as if they came from one long recording session. Greene adds his guitar to WAMLAW, as well as the song Love Me Like You Mean It, which may have been the partial inspiration for Wilson Pickett's non-hit Lay Me Like You Hate Me, many years later. Greene's other song here, Heart Of A Child is so strikingly good it's a wonder no one ever charted with it. The Dan Penn original You Fooled Me unfairly escaped being a hit. The original liner notes are reproduced here, which is fine, although would it kill Collectables to hire someone to write some notes and include some photos or chewing gum or something? (JC)

 
BOBBY SMITH Acrobat 4202 Tippin' In ● CD $13.98
28 tracks, 79 mins, recommended
Fine collection of jump blues and jazzy R&B featuring former Erskine Hawkins alto-saxist Bobby Smith. 16 of the tracks are instrumentals by Smith and his combo - a solid group featuring Smith's soulful sax work. The remaining 12 tracks finds Smith accompanying vocal group The Larks and blues singers Eddie Mack, Willie Bryant and Bob Range including a humorous duet between Bryant and Range. Sound quality is generally fine though a number of tracks have clicks and pops that could easily have ben removed. There are informative notes by Dave Penny but no discographical details at all - not even year of issue. (FS)

 
MELVIN SMITH Bear Family BCD 15703 At His Best ● CD $41.98
2 CDs, 32 tracks, 85 mins, very good
Melvin Smith was an blues shouter from Atlanta who had 13 singles on RCA and Groove for RCA between 1951 and '54. This double CD features both sides of these singles plus 6 previously unissued titles. His first sides cut in Atlanta with "Blow Top" Lynn & His Houserockers at the age of 15 show the influence of the local hero Billy Wright. Subsequent sessions were held in New York and show a less aggressive style where he was accompanied by top New York session men like Bill Jeings, Eddie Barfield, Haywood Henry, "Big Al" Sears, Mickey Baker & others. Although not exceptional or distinctive singer Smith was a appealing one and there are some good songs here like the original version of Looped and the amusing booze song It Went Down Easy. Although his singles never went anywhere Melvin continued working with various groups through the early 80s when he gave up on music and went to work for the post office. As always for Bear Family the production is exceptional with great sound, interesting notes by Billy Vera and full discographical. A nice snippet from the career of a solid, if not outstanding, performer. (FS)

 
TAB SMITH Delmark DD 447 Jump Time ● CD $11.98
20 selections from Smith's early fifties work on Chicago's United label, the first of three volumes. Personally I prefer the Saxophonograph collection, which concentrates on his earlier and more energetic blowing - despite the title Tab's alto lays low on a lot of these tracks, oozing smoochy slow dance syrup when it could have been spitting fire. For vocal R&B/pop fans this would be rewarding, but jump hounds and jitterbuggers are advised to keep browsing. (MB)

 
THE SOLITAIRES Ace CDCHD 383 Walking Along With The Solitaires ● CD $18.98
27 tracks, 69 min., recommended
Though they never really had much chart success beyond the confines of their East Coast homebase, this versatile vocal group certainly ranks with the best of the 50s vocal ensembles in the minds of most fans today. Equally at home with ballads and jumps, they recorded for Hy Weiss's small New York label, Old town Records between 1954 and 1960. Their best known side, successfully covered by the Diamonds for Mercury Records, provides the title for this fine disc, while the other numbers offered here include The Wedding/ Please Remember My Heart/ The Angels Sang/ I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance/ Please Kiss This Letter, and the uncharacteristic but fine later effort Light a Candle in the Chapel. This is a landmark group that's finally getting its due. And Ace maintains its normal high standards in the of quality sound, graphics, and notes. (DH)

 
THE SOLITAIRES Rhythm Records RHY 1003 The Final Chapter ● CD $16.98
25 track collection including 12 previously unissued songs or alternate takes.

 
THE SOPHOMORES/ THE SULTANS S+S 001 The Sophomores Meet The Sultans ● CD $18.98

THE SOPHOMORES: Charades/ Checkers/ Cool Cool Baby/ Each Time I Hold You/ Every Night About This Time/ Everybody Loves Me/ I Get A Thrill/ I Just Can't Keep The Tears From Tumblin' Down/ I Left My Sugar In the Rain/ If I Should Lose Your Love/ Is There Someone For Me/ Linda/ Ocean Blue/ What Can I Do/ THE SULTANS: Baby Don't Put Me Down/ Blues At Dawn/ Bopping With The Mambo/ Don't Be Angry/ Good Thing Baby/ How Deep Is The Ocean/ I Cried Out My Heart Out/ If I Could Tell/ Lemon Squeezing Daddy/ My Love Is So High/ What Makes Me Feel This Way/ You Capture My Heart

 
JIMMY SOUL Ace CDCHD 593 The Very Best Of Jimmy Soul ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, 65 min., recommended
Solid collection of Jimmy McCleese, a.k.a. Jimmy Soul, including as it does most of the SPQR material that matters as well as his first sides on Marco (using his real name), producer Frank Guida's other label. Both sides of Marco 103--Jimmy's first waxing -- are included (Tell Me Why/ I Need Your Love), yet oddly only the b-side of Marco 106 (I Love You So) made it. Also included are Soul's biggest hits, the calypso influenced Twistin' Matilda, and his #1 R&B charter If You Wanna Be Happy, a version of the calypso song Ugly Woman. Fans of Jimmy's labelmate, Gary U.S. Bonds, will notice the unmistakable Guida production throughout, complete with heaps and heaps of clapping, and that one-take, studio live party feel. Occasionally, on such songs as Don't Release Me, Guida kicks in an embarrassingly corny little recitation. (JC)
JIMMY SOUL: Call Me/ Church Street In The Summertime/ Don't Release Me/ Everybody's Gone Ape/ Go 'way Christina/ Guess Things Happen That Way/ Hands Off/ I Can't Hold Out Any Longer/ I Hate You Baby/ I Know Why Dreamers Cry/ I Love You So/ I Need Your Love/ I Want To Know If You Love Me/ If You Wanna Be Happy/ My Little Room/ She's Alright/ Some Kinda Nut/ Take Me To Los Angeles/ Tell Me Why/ Treat 'em Tough/ Twistin' Matilda (and The Channel)/ When I Get My Car/ When Matilda Comes Back/ You Can't Have Your Cake/ You're Nothin'

 
THE SPANIELS Dipper 203 1953-57 ● CD $17.98
24 tracks, 65 min., recommended
A solid and very clean sounding collection of the works of Gary, Indiana's claim to vocal group fame, the Spaniels. It even includes a couple of tracks not on the Vee-Jay collections that were issued a few years back—specifically Don'Cha Go, Why Don't You Dance, and Since I Fell for You. (The program list on the back of the case also names Baby Come Along With Me as a featured track, but at least on the disc that I've got, it's definitely not there.) Other featured numbers include Bounce, Baby It's You, The Bells Ring Out, Goodnite Sweetheart, You Painted Pictures, Do You Really, You Gave Me Peace of Mind, and Everbody's Laughing. The cover photo is drawn from the group's classic Vee-Jay LP, and the notes are brief but worth reading. So well done on the whole that even buyers of the earlier Spaniels' discs should consider it. (DH)

 
THE SPANIELS Dipper 207 The Spaniels, Part 2 : 1957-1960 ● CD $17.98
26 tracks

 
JOHNNY SPARROW Classics 5163 The Chronological Johnny Sparrow, 1949-1955 ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, recommended
The complete recordings under his own name by obscure Grenada born tenor sax player John P. Sparrow. Little is known of his early life but he started recording with Jay McShann's Orchestra in 1944 and subsequently with Louis Armstrong and Lionel Hampton before striking out on his own in 1949. His first recording for the Melford label Sparrow's Flight reached #12 in the R&B charts and was his only hit. His material is more jazz than R&B though a few tracks have an R&B flavor but it's mostly a mix of swing, bebop flavored items, lush ballads, jive and the occasional bit of jungle exotica. (FS)

 
JOHNNY SPARROW Collectables 5332 His Bows & Arrows ● CD $11.98
Reissue of Krazy Kat LP. Tenor saxist Sparrow languished in the rhythm sections of Jay McShann, Louis Armstrong, & Lionel Hampton before striking out on his own in '49. This LP covers his Gotham sides from '52-3, skirting the thin line between jazz and R&B. Sparrow recorded 16 tunes at 4 sessions, with backing by anonymous musicians ranging from a 3 piece rhythm to a full blown group with trombone, flute, baritone sax, and keyboards. Gotham issued 5 couplings and here are at least 1 take of 15 of the tunes, with only "Boudoir Boogie" & "When Your Lover Has Gone" being the originally issued takes. Many sound like a lighter version of Earl Bostic. (GM)

 
BENNY SPELLMAN Collectables 5165 Fortune Teller ● CD $11.98 $7.98
16 tunes by Benny Spellman, one of the many New Orleans singers that cashed in on the popularity of the Crescent City sound in the 60's. These Minit, Alon and Bandy tunes were recorded 1959-66 and presents a nice cross-section of Spellman's gently rolling numbers, spiced by his always pleasing voice. There's more than one song here that echoes Benny's supreme moment, singing the bass response on Ernie K Doe's Mother-In-Law . Fortune Teller/ Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette) (Minit 644) has to be one of the best two sided R&B 45's ever. Both are included plus The Word Game/ T'Ain't It The Truth/ Talk About Love/ Life Is Too Short , etc. (AE)

 
THE SPIDERS Bear Family BCD 15673 The Imperial Sessions ● CD $41.98
If you were to make a list of all the nationally known New Orleans vocal groups in the 1950s it would begin and end with The Spiders. The group, which began as the gospel singing Zion City Harmonizers, centered around the brothers Leonard "Chick" and Hayward "Chuck" Carbo. Everything is here: the hits - I Didn't Want To Do It/ You're The One/ I'm Slippin In/ Twenty-one/ Witchcraft - as well as less popular but great numbers such as Why Do I Love You/ I'll Stop Crying/ Bells In My Heart/ Better Be On My Way. Also included in this package are John The Revelator/ Bye And Bye which were recorded using the name Delta Southernaires and were probably never previously issued. A 36 page booklet full of photos and info help make this 2-disc set yet another dream re-issue from Bear Family. (JC)

 
THE SPINNERS Tri-Phi 1001 Their early Years ● CD $18.98

 

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