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RHYTHM & BLUES, SOUL & DOO-WOP

Tarheel Slim -> Sonny Til

TARHEEL SLIM & LITTLE ANN
JOHNNIE TAYLOR
TED TAYLOR
THE TEEN QUEENS
THE TEMPREES
JOE TEX
CARLA THOMAS
IRMA THOMAS
JOE THOMAS
RUFUS THOMAS
RUFUS & CARLA THOMAS
SONNY TIL

TARHEEL SLIM & LITTLE ANN Collectables 5159 The Robin & Fire Years ● CD $11.98
15 tracks, 51 mins, highly recommended
Excellent collection of blues, doo-wop, R&B ballads and some forgettable versions of a few country songs by superb singer & guitarist Tarheel Slim (Allen Bunn) and his wife Little Ann recorded for Bobby Robinson's Red Robin, Fire & Fury labels between 1954 and '62. It includes Slim's double sided rockin' blues masterpiece from 1959 Number Nine Train/ Wildcat Tamer and two 1954 blues sides by him. There is also a superb solo performance by Ann on You're Gonna Reap. The rest is duets Anne including some great minor key doom laden R&B ballads like the two part Can't Stay Away, It's Too Late and Much Too Late. Most of the rest is pretty much mainstream R&B plus some country songs which might have been O.K. but for the awful string section and wretched heavenly choir. Sound could have been better but is satisfactory. (FS)

 
JOHNNIE TAYLOR Fantasy 60006 Chronicle: The Twenty Greatest Hits ● CD $15.98
Twenty Taylor triumphs for the Stax label, totaling over an hour of music. Includes Who's Makin' Love, Steal Away, Cheaper To Keep Her, Just Keep On Lovin' Me.

 
JOHNNIE TAYLOR Malaco 7452 Crazy 'Bout You ● CD $16.98

 
JOHNNIE TAYLOR Malaco 7480 Good Love ● CD $16.98

 
JOHNNIE TAYLOR Stax 4115 Who's Making LOve ● CD $12.98
Reissue of Stax 2005 from 1968, Johnnie's 2nd LP. A gritty soul classic throughout, most songs co-written by Homer Banks including the set's 2 hits, the title classic and Take Care Of Your Homework , plus I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water/ Payback Hurts/ Can't Trust Your Neighbor (GM)

 
JOHNNIE TAYLOR Stax 4432 Lifetime - A Retrospective Of Soul, Blues & Gospel ● CD $29.98
4 CDS, 65 tracks, 3 hours 47 mins, essential
Unfortunately it took death to get the ultimate compilation of this extraordinary singer out, with everything in one place. It helps that Fantasy owns Stax & Specialty, but also Warners, ABKCO, Malaco & Sony contributed. This 3 CD set starts out with, starting with the self-penned I Dreamed That Heaven Was Like This by The Highway QC's from Vee Jay & a dozen incredible Soul Stirrers sides from Specialty where he replaced his good friend Sam Cooke. In fact, the next sides were done for the Cooke-owned SAR & Derby labels incl the original version of Rome Wasn't Built In A Day written by & later recorded by Sam. At this point, his career wasn't doing great, but the career of the similarly named Little Johnny Taylor (who recorded for Galaxy) was going through the roof, with a blues tune Part Time Love which was #1 in the R&B charts. Little Johnny couldn't tour outside the West Coast, but our Johnnie could. He included the tune in his show & took on a more blues style, best exemplified here with I've Got To Love Somebody's Baby for Stax . The beginning of his Stax career wasn't taking off, so he switched to a more soulful style, finally striking gold with Who's Making Love, which crossed over to the pop market. More big hits on Stax, including a great cover of The Parliament's Testify (I Wanna), Cheaper To Keep Her & Jody's Got Your Girl & Gone. From there over to CBS where he had the very 1st platinum record with Disco Lady, & into the 80s & 90s with Malaco, where his final single was 99's Soul Heaven. In between are all the hits, plenty of LP tracks, lots of unissued sides, both studio (covers of Part Time Love & Sam Cooke's That's Where It's At) & live (a wonderful version of Steal Away). Comes with a booklet with rare pics & excellent liner notes from Lee Hildebrand. (GM)

 
JOHNNIE TAYLOR Stax 8508 Raw Blues ● CD $12.98
Reissue of Johnnie's 1st Stax LP, STS-2008, from 1969, produced by Al Jackson with Steve Cropper engineering - lots of great blues & soul shouting - Hello Sundown/ Part Time Love/ That Bone/ Where There's Smoke There's Fire/ Pardon Me Lady, etc.

 
JOHNNIE TAYLOR Stax 8558 Little Bluebird ● CD $12.98

 
JOHNNIE TAYLOR Stax 8563 The Johnnie Taylor Philosophy Continues ● CD $12.98
Despite the uninviting title, this reissue of Taylor's 1969 Stax album is great soul in the tradition. Backed by 3/4 of The MG's (Marvell Thomas on keyboards), Taylor's sure-fired grooves change styles as easily as most people change parking spaces. For low-down soul there's Testify, for the ballad-minded listener there's Separation Line, and for boxing metaphors there's I Had A Fight With Love - guess who wins. The eclectic set also includes the classic Isley Bros.' song It's Your Thing, and the Holiday Inn lounge fave Who Can I Turn To, which Taylor works into a Nat "King" Cole feel. Throw in I Could Never Be President/ Love Bones/ Love Is A Hurting Thing and more, sit back with the volume up, and you'll wonder why this wasn't reissued sooner. (JC)

 
TED TAYLOR Collectables 5669 Ted Taylor's Greatest Hits ● CD $13.98
18 tracks, 45 min., recommended
The welcome reissue of Ted Taylor's mid-60's cuts for the Okeh division of Columbia Records. Distributed by Collectables, the disc itself is pressed by Sony and features excellent sound quality. The program opens with the charted hit, Stay Away from My Baby, then moves on to Can't Take No More, Don't Lie, a solid remake of his Duke label hit Be Ever Wonderful, Don't Deceive Me (Please Don't Go), Need You Home, You Must Have Been Meant For Me, Him Instead of Me, and Somebody's Always Trying. Fine falsetto soul music from this solid entertainer, a man who began his career as a member of the Cadets/Jacks vocal group in the mid-50's and who enjoyed his last chart successes on the Ronn and Alarm labels into the mid-70's. (DH)

 
THE TEEN QUEENS Ace CDCHD 581 Eddie My Love ● CD $18.98
22 tracks, 50 min., recommended
The younger sisters of Cadets'/Jacks' member Aaron Collins, Betty and Rosie Collins hit the big time as the Teen Queens when they were only 16 and 14 years old. Their first record, Eddie My Love, written by brother Aaron, was a smash hit in early 1956. Later records for the RPM label in much the same vein included Red Top, Until the Day I Die, Rock Everybody, Baby Mine, So All Alone, and Teenage Idol, all included here. None of these later numbers clicked with the public, however, and, sadly, the Collins sisters, like Frankie Lymon, turned self destructive and died in their early 30's. Thanks are due to Ace for preserving their youthful output, with that label's usual care. Sound quality, liner notes, graphic considerations, and vintage photos are all solid. (DH)

 
THE TEMPREES Stax 8524 The Best Of The Temprees ● CD $12.98
Excellent 70s soul trio featuring the sweet falsetto lead of Jabbo Smith. 12 fine singles recorded for the Stax subsidiary We Produce in 1972-76, including beautiful remakes of Dedicated To The One I Love & A Thousand Miles Away + Love Maze/ Explain It To Her Mama/ At Last/ My Baby Love , etc. (GM)

 
JOE TEX Collectables 5451 Golden Classics ● CD $13.98
24 tracks featuring some of his best sides recorded between 1964 and 1976 - Ain't Gonna Bump No More/ I Gotcha/ Hold What You Got/ Skinny legs & All/ Show M/ Men Are Getting Scarce/ Buying A Book, etc.

 
JOE TEX Kent CDKEND 114 Skinny Legs & All ● CD $18.98

 
JOE TEX Kent CDKEND 117 You're Right, Joe Tex ● CD $18.98
22 soul gems recorded for Dial in late 60s.

 
JOE TEX Kent 216 From The Roots Came The Rapper ● CD $18.98
First CD reissue of classic 1971 Atlantic album by Joe with nine bonus tracks from 1971 through '75 - one previously unissued.

 
JOE TEX R n B CD 1001 The Early Years ● CD $18.98
27 tracks, 72 min., recommended
A comprehensive look at the late 50's and very early 60's recordings of this soul star to be. And, truth to tell, Tex's early works very accurately predict the output to come, for, like Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, and James Brown, he seemed to know the music of the next decade long before that decade began. Tracks here include All I Could Do Was Cry, She's Mine, Boys Will Be Boys, Ain't Nobody's Business, Mother's Advice, You Little Baby Faced Thing (an attempt to sound like Little Richard), I'll Love You Just the Same, Davy You Upset My Home, Get Closer Together, Another Woman's Love, Yum Yum, and I'll Never Break Your Heart. Fine music, offered here with solid sound quality, a great vintage cover photo, and no notes at all. (DH)

 
JOE TEX Varese Vintage 66101 25 All Time Greatest Hits ● CD $16.98
25 tracks,73 min, essential
A wonderful collection of Joe's 65-72 Dial hits, with the added addition of his '77 comeback single for Epic, Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman). Joe Arlington Jr. was the original rapper, testifying & preaching on such hits as Hold On To What You Got/ One Monkey Don't Stop No Show/ A Sweet Woman Like You & I Believe I'm Gonna Make It. By '68 he was into a more novelty vein, 1st with SYSLJFM (The Letter Song) & finally his smash Skinny Legs & All & his follow-up (my fave) Men Are Getting Scarce. All these are here, along with The Love You Save (May Be Your Own)/ Papa Was Too, the incredible I Gotcha, tons more, all written by Joe except Bump, which was written for him by his long-time producer Buddy Killen, who started the Dial label (distributed by Atlantic) just for Tex. (GM)

 
CARLA THOMAS Stax 8538 Memphis Queen ● CD $12.98
Reissue of Stax 2019 from 1969, Carla's first for the post-Atlantic label, fine Memphis soul including her last big hit, I Like What You're Doing (To Me) , the obligatory Hair tune Where Do I Go , plus Precious Memories/ Strung Out/ Guide Me Well/ More Man Than I Ever Had (GM)

 
IRMA THOMAS Kent 010 Time Is On My Side ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 66 min., essential
At least the third major reissue for the queen of New Orleans soul in the last few years, this one has one more track than the others, better graphics, and a cool photo of Irma (this CD reissues a Kent LP and adds 8 cuts). The song selection is arguably as good as the EMI collection (which is out of print) and better than the Razor & Tie release (which is in print). Fans who have the EMI disc, still might what to spring for this set since they only have 12 tracks in common. The Kent offers Baby Don't Look Down, I Haven't Got Time To Cry, and Wait, Wait, Wait, all from her 2nd LP, as well as Look Up (When Ever), the b-side from her Bandy single and heaps more not on the EMI disc. It features the outstanding It's A Man's-Woman's World-Part 1&2 ('66), produced by Mr. James Brown himself. Of course, all her important sides like Wish Someone Would Care, Anyone Who Knows What Love Is, Times Have Changed, Time Is On My Side (covered by The Rolling Stones), and Ruler Of My Heart are included. It's really all so simple. The more Irma Thomas the better. ( JC/EL)
IRMA THOMAS: (I Want A) True, True Love/ Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (will Understand)/ Baby Don't Look Down/ Break-a-way/ Gone/ I Did My Part/ I Done Got Over It/ I Haven't Got Time To Cry/ I Need Your Love So Bad/ It's A Man's-woman's World Parts 1 & 2/ It's Raining/ Look Up (when Ever)/ Ruler Of My Heart/ Some Things You Never Get Used To/ Somebody Told You/ Straight From The Heart/ Take A Look/ Time Is On My Side/ Times Have Changed/ Two Winters Long/ Wait, Wait, Wait/ Wish Someone Would Care/ Without Love (there Is Nothing)/ You Don't Miss A Good Thing (until It's Gone)

 
IRMA THOMAS Mardi Gras 5014 Soul Queen Of New Orleans ● CD $9.98
9 tracks, 32 mins, highly recommended. In the case of Irma Thomas the claim "Soul Queen" is no hyperbole - she is one of the all time great soul singers as this reissue of her 1978 Maison De Soul LP clearly shows. Produced by John Fred with a fine band of musicians Irma is featured on new versions of some of her most famous songs like Breakaway/ Ruler Of My Heart/ It's Raining and a wonderful 7 minute version of Wish Someone Would Care with a lengthy and risqué spoken rap. There are also fine versions of other songs like Alan Toussaint's Hittin' On Nothin', the bluesy Hip Shakin' Mama, Kris Kristofferson's For The Good TImes and others. A joy. (FS)

 
IRMA THOMAS Rounder 2110 Simply The Best - Live ● CD $16.98

 
IRMA THOMAS Rounder 2149 The Story Of My Life ● CD $16.98
11 tracks, 43 min., recommended. A 1997 effort by this outstanding New Orleans soul singer, and just one more disc that leaves no doubt at all that she's still got what it takes to put across both ballads and jumps with deep rooted conviction. It's hard to think of a female voice more rich and warm than hers. The numbers that she makes her own this time around include No Use Talkin', The Story of My Life, I Count the Teardrops, Love Don't Get No Better Than This, Get Here, Keep the Faith, and even a more-than-convincing version of Aretha Franklin's classic Dr. Feelgood, though the bouncy, independent-woman spirit of I Won't Cry for You is the highlight performance for me. This is the good stuff. (DH) 

 
IRMA THOMAS Rounder 2163 My Heart's In Memphis ● CD $16.98
The great R&B and soul singer Irma Thomas singe the song of great R&B and soul songwriter Dan Penn. The set includes nine new compositions and four Penn classics.

 
JOE THOMAS Blue Moon BMCD 1051 The Complete Recordings, 1945-50 ● CD $16.98
Thomas, long time Jimmy Lunceford vet (he even led the orch. after Jimmy's death) started a wild R&B band in '48 and became one of the earliest screamin' saxes.

 
RUFUS THOMAS Alligator 4769 That Woman Is Poison! ● CD $13.98

 
RUFUS THOMAS Rhino 72410 Do The Funky Somethin' - The Best Of Rufus Thomas ● CD $16.98

 
RUFUS THOMAS Stax 8569 Can't Get Away From This Dog ● CD $12.98
These 20 unreleased songs from the world's oldest teenager comprise another fine release of Stax treasures. Recorded between 1963-67, the selections are heavy on the R&B dance music that made Thomas famous - Walking The Dog being the best known. An alternate version of that hit is here, along with other doggie songs like Can Your Monkey Do The Dog/ Stop Kicking My Dog Around and the title track. The latter is not only the best cut but was, according to Rufus, written by Sam Cooke. Of the three duets with daughter Carla, the best is their version of Don't Mess Up A Good Thing, though Reconsider Baby is no slouch. The backing band is none other than Booker T & The MG's and the Mar-Key Horns (Wayne Jackson and Andrew Love, later known as The Memphis Horns). (JC)

 
RUFUS & CARLA THOMAS Stax 4124 Chronicle: Their Greatest Stax Hits ● CD $12.98
15 soul duets and solo outings, including Rufus's hits Do The Funky Chicken/ Push And Pull/ Sixty Minute Man/ The Breakdown/ Do The Funky Penguin.

 
SONNY TIL Sequel NEMCD 737 Solo - Featuring Edna McGriff ● CD $16.98
25 tracks, 71 min., recommended Even while he was leading the preeminent vocal group of the late 40's and early 50's, Sonny Til was encouraged by his label to record both solo numbers and, for one session in 1952, duets with Edna McGriff, whose popular recording of Heavenly Father had brought her to public attention. And you can rest assured that Til is still the epitome of silky smoothness even when he lacks the backing of the rest of the Orioles. Highlights of the program here include My Prayer, Fool's World, Blame It One Yourself, The First of Summer, and Panama Joe as solos, and Once in a While and Pic-A-Dilly as duets. It's delightful music, presented with Sequel's normal high production values, but be forewarned: If you already own the Orioles Bear Family boxed set, you already have every track here. (DH)

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