Rhythm & Blues, Soul & Doo-Wop - Bulletin October 2008 - Booker T. & The MGs -> The Vibrations + DVD
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BULLETIN - October 2008
Vintage Rock 'n' Roll & Rockabilly
Johnny Burnette ->
Frank Virtue & The Virtues + DVD




DELBERT MCCLINTON JC Communications 2081 Rocking The Boat - A Musical Conversation & Journey ● DVD $29.98
Award winning documentary and concert film featuring the talented McClinton in the company of a boatload of his musical friends. The DVD blends road warrior stories with 19 musical performances from 2006 featuring guest appearances from Rodney Crowell, Marcia Ball, Wayne Toups, Tommy Castro, Kinky Friedman and others. There are 67 minutes of bonus features including 11 more songs. It has been mastered in Dolby 5.1 and DTS surround sound.




JOHNNY BURNETTE Bear Family BCD 16992 Johnny Rocks ● CD $24.98
36 tracks, 76 mins, highly recommended
If you don't have all of the tracks recorded by the original Rock & Roll Trio of Johnny & Dorsey Burnette and Paul Burlison, then you absolutely, positively need to get them if you are any kind of Rock 'N' Roll fan. The Trio made just the purest, most glorious Rock noise ever made. By 1956 the set the blueprint for cool with such blasters as Train Kept a Rollin/ Tear it Up/ All By Myself/ Rock Therapy/ Honey Hush/ Rock Billy Boogie, and Lonesome Train (on a Lonesome Track), to name the core tracks, all of which are featured here. Later sessions would also produce great tracks, then Johnny, mostly by himself, would create a few more, making a whole slew of essential music before the brothers veered off into the pop world and died too young--in Johnny's case, in just a few short years. This doesn't feature every single track from the Rock 'N' Roll Trio, but it has most of them and then great later tracks. Other highlights to mention like Eager Beaver Baby/ Boppin Rock/ Crazy Legs/>Wampus Cat, and, of course, Bertha Lou. Many of these later tracks didn't make the light of day until the last 10-20 years. None are new to this collection, but this is certainly the best ensemble of tracks by Johnny Burnette and the boys outside of the 9 CD Bear Family box set. Booklet features good notes, rare photos and extensive discographical information. (JM)
JOHNNY BURNETTE: All By Myself/ Bertha Lou/ Boppin' Rock/ Boppin' Rosalie/ Butterfingers/ Cincinnati Fireball/ Come On Baby/ Crazy Legs/ Do Baby Do/ Drinking Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee/ Eager Beaver Baby/ Honey Hush/ If You Want It Enough/ Kiss Me/ Little Girl (aka Kiss Me Sweet)/ Lizzy Dee/ Lonesome Tears In My Eyes/ Lonesome Train (On A Lonesome Track)/ Me And The Bear/ Mule Boy/ My Honey/ My Little Baby Came Rockin'/ Oh Baby Babe/ Please Don't Leave Me/ Rock Away Baby/ Rock Billy Boogie/ Rock Therapy/ Sweet Baby Doll/ Sweet Love On My Mind/ Tear It Up/ The Train Kept A Rollin'/ Wampus Cat/ Warm Love/ We're Gonna Rock It/ You Gotta Get Ready/ Your Baby Blue Eyes

EDDIE COCHRAN Primo 6075 Forever Eddie ● CD $10.98
2 discs, 42 tracks, 92 mins, recommended
Eddie Cochran needs no introduction to die-hard fans of rock 'n' roll; a great singer, crafty songwriter, and master guitarist, his early death in 1960 was a tragic loss to the world. The first disc collects tracks he cut for a British TV show, "Boy Meets Girl"--in January 1960 while he was on that fateful tour of England-and an interview he did with Freeman Hoover in November 1957. The second disc contains material from his earlier years, including his work with Hank Cochran as the Cochran Brothers, various instrumentals, and some of Eddie's session work. All of this material has been issued before, but the package is attractively priced and the sound quality is good. Basically, if you don't already have this stuff, here is a chance to obtain it at a bargain price. (GMC)

LINK DAVIS Rev-Ola CRREV 252 Gumbo Yaya: The Best Of Link Davis, 1948-1958 ● CD $15.98
30 tracks, 74 mins, highly recommended
Now that's Cajun music! It's also Country, Western Swing, Rhythm & Blues, Jump Blues, Rockabilly, and Rock'N'Roll. Needless to say this collection covers a long and varied career of a very enigmatic artist. As a solo artist Link Davis is best known for his composition and original recording of Big Mamou. As a musician he is best known for his saxophone playing on the Big Bopper's Chantilly Lace. Starting off playing fiddle, sax and other instruments in Western Swing outfits like Texas Wanderers, Blue Bonnet Playboys, etc, Davis soon evolved into a solo artist who would record Cajun music: Big Mamou/ Hey Garcon!/ Cajun Love/ Kajalena, Country: Falling For You/ Time Will Tell, Rhythm & Blues: Joe Turner/ Have You Heard The News/ Grasshopper, then Rock'N'Roll like: Grasshopper Rock/ Don't Big Shot Me/ Sixteen Chicks, and many more. Not only performing, but writing in each style, Davis is the songwriter on about 3/4ths of the songs in the collection. He never comes across as somebody cashing in on tends, but a truly expansive artist able to create in many genres. Along the way Link would also become a renowned session player whose work anybody reading this would have heard. The liner notes give you an overview, but clearly there could be a whole book about Link Davis and his long and crazy career. (JM)
LINK DAVIS: Big Mamou/ Bon-ton-ru-la (let The Good Times Roll/ Cajun Love/ Cockroach/ Crawfish Crawl/ Don't Big Shot Me/ Every Time I Pass Your Door/ Falling For You/ Grasshopper/ Grasshopper Rock/ Gumbo Ya-ya (everybody Talks At Once)/ Have You Heard The News/ Hey, Garcon!/ Joe Turner/ Kajalena/ Lonely Heart/ Mama Say No/ Mamou Waltz/ Pretty Little/ Rice & Gravy Blues/ Rice & Gravy Boogie/ San Antonio Blues/ Sixteen Chicks/ Slippin' And Slidin' Sometimes/ Time Will Tell/ Trucker From Tennessee/ Va T'cacher (go Hide Yourself)/ You Played Around/ You Show Up Missing/ You're Little But You're

THE DIAMONDS Stardust 1010 The Diamonds Collection ● CD $17.98
Not a new release but not listed before. A 25 track collection of collection of sides by this Canadian group who first found fame with a cover version of the Teenagers' Why Do Fools Fall in Love. They naturally enough continued on that path and follow-up covers included slick versions of the Willows' Church Bells May Ring, the G-Clefs' Ka-Ding-Dong and the Rays' Silhouettes. Most famous and successful of all, of course, was their cover version of the Gladiolas' Little Darlin' which just missed topping the pop charts. They also has hits with songs specifically written for them like The Stroll and She Say (Oom Dooby Doom). Other tracks include Black Denim Trousers And Motorcycle Boots/ Love, Love, Love/ Daddy Cool/ HIgh Sign/ Happy Years and a version of Words Of ove that doesn't do Buddy Holly any favors. 25 tracks in all.

BOB JAXON Hydra 27135 On A Rockin' Beach Party ● CD $22.98
22 tracks, 51 mins, fans only
This is a collection devoted to a pop singer that never was that popular. Bob Jaxon tried his best to create teenage Rock 'N' Roll in the mid-late'50s -- even though he wasn't a teenager and only got into Rock 'N' Roll after it was a phenomenon -- with mixed results. Starting his R 'N' R career around 1955, Jaxon was a precursor to the teen sensations like Paul Anka, Fabian, etc, that would capture the charts about 5 years later. Still, if you have a soft spot for his kind of pop Rock 'N' Roll, Jaxon was on the mark on many tracks like Beach Party/ I'm Hanging Around/C ome On Down/ (Gotta Have Money in the) Bank Frank, etc. Comes with extensive notes and recording information. (JM)

BOB LUMAN Bear Family BCD 16985 Bob Rocks ● CD $24.98
36 tracks, highly recommended
A great collection of sides from this expressive Texas singer who started as a hot rockabilly singer moved into a more pop rock style before shifting into country and dying at the early age of 42. This set includes his hot 1955 demo session with The Mac Curtis Band - Stranger Than Fiction/ You're The Cause Of It All/ In The Deep Dark Jungle , etc., the 1957 Dallas session (with the great James Burton-led band) - Red Cadillac And A Black Moustache/ Wild Eyed Woman , etc. and the 1957 Hollywood session (again with Burton) - Red Hot/ Whenever You're Ready/ Your Love , etc. It includes his terrific demo of Guitar Picker with Eddie Cochran on guitar from 1958. By 1958 he was on Capitol and moving in a more pop oriented direction but there are some fine rockers. In 1959 he started his tenure with Warner Brothers where he finally hit the big time with the pop country rocker Let's Think About Livin'(included here). In spite of the occasionally mushy accompaniments Bob's powerful baritone strikes hard on songs like Meet Mr Mud/ Bad Bad Day and Boston Rocker and returns to his rock 'n' roll roots in 1969 and 1974 with fine versions of Oh Boy/ Johnny B. Goode and Mystery Train. Usual fantastic Bear Family sound plus a detailed 84 page booklet. (FS)

JOHNNIE RAY Acrobat ACTRCD 9016 The Nabob Of Sob ● CD $24.98
3 discs, 91 tracks, recommended
A somewhat lost figure in the history of popular music, Johnnie Ray was hugely popular on both sides of the Atlantic in the pre-rock 'n' roll era. Ray was also influential: he was apparently a major inspiration on Elvis Presley, while Bob Dylan was quoted as saying that Ray was the first singer whose voice and style he "totally fell in love with." Although prone to theatrical histrionics when he performed, Ray has been regarded by some as the "missing link" between the old-school crooners (Frank, Perry et al) and the first generation of sexually galvanizing rock 'n' rollers (Elvis and all of his imitators). Certainly, Ray's vocalizing has innovative: he was the first white singer to use melisma, which was primarily a Blues/R&B vocal trick. He also worked with black R&B musicians, and played to black audiences something few white performers did at the time. This box set collects Ray at his peak and contains all of his hits, the two best known of which are Cry and The Little White Cloud That Cried. (Here I Am) Broken Hearted is a good example of his style: highly emotional, bluesy, and torch-y (perhaps tortured). Three CDs might be too much of a good thing for those merely curious about what Elvis loved in this guy, but for anyone interested in a true original song stylist Nabob of Sob makes for fascinating listening. (GMC)
JOHNNIE RAY: (Here I Am) Broken Hearted/ A Full Time Job/ A Sinner Am I/ Ain't Misbehavin'/ Alexander's Ragtime Band/ All I Do Is Dream Of You/ All Of Me/ An Orchid For The Lady/ As Time Goes By/ Because I Love You/ Build Your Love (On A Strong Foundation)/ Candy Lips/ Coffee And Cigarettes/ Cry (with The Four Lads)/ Destiny/ Don't Blame Me/ Don't Say Love Has Ended/ Don't Take Your Love From Me/ Everyday I Have The Blues/ Faith Can Move Mountains/ Flip, Flop And Fly/ Gee, But I'm Lonesome/ Give Me Time/ Glad Rag Doll/ Going-Going-Gone/ Good Evening Friends/ Goodbye, Au Revoir, Adios/ Hernando's Hideaway/ Hey There/ How Long, How Long Blues/ I Miss You So/ I Want To Be Loved (But Only By You)/ I'll Never Be Free/ I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town/ I'm Gonna Walk And Talk With My Lord/ I've Got So Many Million Years/ If You Believe/ In The Candlelight/ Johnnie's Comin' Home/ Just Walkin' In The Rain/ Let's Walk That-A-Way/ Look Homeward Angel/ Lotus Blossom/ Love Me (Baby Can't You Love Me)/ Ma Says, Pa Says/ Miss Me Just A Little/ Mister Midnight/ Mountains In The Moonlight/ No Wedding Today/ Nobody's Sweetheart/ Oh, What A Sad, Sad Day/ Out In The Cold Again/ Papa Loves Mambo/ Parade Of Broken Hearts/ Paths Of Paradise/ Pink Sweater Angel/ Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone/ Please Mr Sun/ Pretty-Eyed Baby/ Satisfied/ Sent For You Yesterday/ Shake A Hand/ She Didn't Say Nothin' At All/ So Long/ Soliloquy Of A Fool/ Somebody Stole My Gal/ Song Of The Dreamer/ Street Of Memories/ Such A Night/ Taking A Chance On Love/ Tell The Lady I Said Goodbye/ Tell The Lady I Said Goodbye/ Texas Tambourine/ The Lady Drinks Champagne/ The Little White Cloud That Cried/ The Only Girl I'll Ever Love/ The Others I Like/ To Ev'ry Girl - To Ev'ry Boy/ Trouble In Mind/ Up Above My Head (I Hear Music In The Air)/ Walk Along With Kings/ Walking My Baby Back Home/ What's The Use?/ Whiskey And Gin/ Who's Sorry Now?/ Why Does Your Daddy Have To Go/ Why Should I Be Sorry/ With These Hands/ Yes, Tonight Josephine/ You Don't Owe Me A Thing/ You'd Be Surprised

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1158 That's Swift - Instrumentals From The Norman Petty Vaul ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 52 mins, highly recommended
Petty's association with Buddy Holly launched him into iconic status, but as a producer/engineer, he was also well-known for some of the cleanest, most ambient Pop recordings of the time. This time in question was the early sixties, when instrumental rock 'n' roll was in bloom, led by the Ventures and Dick Dale. Blending Classical, Jazz, European Folk, and Film score musical styles with rock's "wild child" sensibilities made for some intriguing results. Sadly, though, many of this genre's practitioners have never risen above obscurity - at least not to the present day. Fortunately, we have a twenty-four track compilation of instrumental rock (sometimes referred to as "Surf Music") rarities from a handful of groups that are hardly household names, yet they serve up a mean batch of tunes guaranteed to be the hit of your next beach party. (BC)
THE BENTLEYS: Portugal/ THE CANADIAN NOMADS: Las Vegas Scene/ THE CHANCES: Black Grass/ Camelback/ THE CHANDELLES: El Gato/ Jester/ THE CORDS: Termites/ WES DAKUS' REBELS: Bach's Back!/ Manipulator/ Side Winder/ Sour Biscuits/ THE FAYROS: Skokiaan/ THE FIREBALLS: Torquette or Torquay/ THE FIVE COUNTS: Skuzzy/ That's Swift/ THE GLIDERS: Wild Jam/ THE IMPACTS V: Riptide/ THE KEYMEN: Boy Blue/ THE KING PINS: Door Banger aka Ninety Four Second Surf/ Rod Hot Rod/ THE RHYTHM MASTERS: Exotique/ Wild Kitten/ THE TECHNIQUES: Dream Theme or King/ THE TIARAS: Mexican Rock

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1166 The Answer To Everything - Girl Answer Songs Of The 60s ● CD $18.98
For every major hit that posed a lover's question, or had you crying in your beer back in the sixties, there was the reassuring certainty of the "answer" song. Answer records were a prevailing American phenomenon. Usually rendered by female artists, they were an expedient way to hitch a ride on the coat tails of an existing hit. Deejays favored them for their topical value and many answer records from the Golden Age made the charts in their own right. Many of the titles on this extremely potent and novel compilation appear on CD for the first time and all are sourced from the best master tapes. In addition to the 27 songs by female performers there is 'guest boy' Bertelle Dache whose Not Just Tomorrow, But Always, a riposte to the Shirelles' smash Will You Love Me Tomorrow, is among the sought-after highlights of the set. Compiled and annotated by Rob Finnis, it comes with a 24 page booklet booklet with extensive notes, photos, ads and label shots.
JEANNE BLACK: He'll Have To Stay/ THE BLOSSOMS: Son-in-law/ THE BOBBETTES: I Don't Like It Like That/ THE CHANTELS: Well, I Told You/ BERTELL DACHE: Not Just Tomorrow But Always/ DAMITA JO & THE CHUCK SAGLE ORCHESTRA: I'll Be There/ FLORRAINE DARLIN: Long As The Rose Is Red/ SKEETER DAVIS: (i Can't Help You) I'm Falling, Too/ GINGER DAVIS & THE SNAPS: I'm No Run Around/ DEBBIE DEAN: Don't Let Him Shop Around/ TRACEY DEY: Jerry (i'm Your Sherry)/ GERRI GRANGER: Just Tell Him Jane Said Hello/ WENDY HILL: Gary, Please Don't Sell My Diamond Ring/ JOSEPHINE: They Took You Away - I'm Glad, I'm Glad/ THEOLA KILGORE: (chain Gang) The Sound Of My Man/ GEORGIA LYNN: Sugar Shack Queen/ SAMMI LYNN: You Should Know I'm Still Your Baby/ GLORIA LYNNE: You Don't Have To Be A Tower Of Strength/ MARILYN MICHAELS: Tell Tommy I Miss Him/ JODY MILLER: Queen Of The House/ THE PEARLETTES: Duchess Of Earl/ ESTHER PHILLIPS: When A Woman Loves A Man/ THE SIERRAS: I'll Believe It When I See It/ MARGIE SINGLETON: I'll Just Walk On By/ DODIE STEVENS: Yes, I'm Lonesome Tonight/ THE SWEETHEARTS: Sorry, Daddy/ THE TEEN QUEENS: There Is Nothing On My Mind Pts 1 & 2/ CARLA THOMAS: I'll Bring It On Home To You

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1170 A Gerry Goffin & Carole King Song Collection ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, 73 mins, essential
To my way of thinking, the Brill Building Era is one of the most underestimated chapters in the history of rock and roll; not only did many timeless and wonderful songs come from that time, but it was also a major influence on the one band who single-handedly spearheaded the next rock revolution: the Beatles. Consequently, it does my heart good to see Ace Records taking seriously the preservation and celebration of BB heritage. Of all the teams that comprised Don Kirshner's famed stable of songwriters, then-husband and wife Gerry Goffin and Carole King were probably the most commercial minded. Their songs are full of immediate hooks, catchy melodies, and universal lyrics, and their hits are legendary: Up on the Roof/ Will You Love Me Tomorrow, and The Loco-Motion to name a few. None of those songs are here, but the 26 tracks do a fine job of illustrating the breadth of the duo's talents: from the Beach Boys-esque He's in Town (the Tokens, 1964) to the teeny-bopper trappings of Let Me Get Close to You (Skeeter Davis, 1965) and Halfway to Paradise (Tony Orlando, 1961) to the soulful swooning of Another Night With the Boys (The Drifters, 1962) to the pop-a-billy of Don't Ever Change (The Crickets, 1962) to the psychedelia-lite of You're Just What I Was Looking For Today (the Everly Brothers, 1967), Goffin & King could do it all. The CD concludes what I consider to be Goffin & King's greatest achievement: (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman performed by its greatest interpreter Aretha Franklin. The world-weary beginning ("Looking out on the morning rain/I used to feel so uninspired") gives way to an exhilaration at being rescued and renewed; we all knows what it feels like to meet someone who makes us feel so wonderful that everything seems right with the world, and Natural Woman conveys these feelings perfectly. And they deserve a medal for giving the Animals one of that band's greatest songs, Don't Bring Me Down. The usual rare tracks, great liner notes, and classy packaging make this collection worthwhile, but every aspiring songwriter and pop music lover needs this CD in their home. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1203 Do-Wha-Diddy: Words & Music BY Greenwich & Barry ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 63 mins, highly recommended
Like the Gerry Goffin/Carole King Song Collection (Ace 1170), "Do-Wah-Diddy" celebrates the work of another one of those Brill Building Era, (then-) husband and wife songwriting teams: Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry. Although perhaps less remembered than Goffin/ King, Barry/ Greenwich created just as many memorable songs, albeit in a tougher, less sentimental manner than their contemporaries; remember, this is the team (along with producer Shadow Morton) who created those legendary teen melodramas for the Shangri-Las. Working mostly for Leiber and Stoller's Red Bird and Blue Cat labels, Barry/ Greenwich were very much the in-house songwriters and some of that amazing work is here including You Should Have Seen the Way He Looked at Me (the Dixie Cups), He Ain't No Angel (the Ad Libs), Baby Be Mine (the Jelly Beans), Good Night Baby (the Butterflys), and Hold On Baby (Sam Hawkins). But they also found time to write hits for Leslie Gore (Maybe I Know), the Beach Boys (I Can Hear Music, originally recorded by the Ronettes in 1966), and the Chiffons (I Have a Boyfriend) among others which are also featured. The greatest pleasure of this compilation comes in hearing the original versions of songs that became bigger hits for others: the Exciters' Do-Wah-Diddy (a hit for Manfred Mann), the Summits' Hanky Panky (Tommy James & the Shondells), along with the aforementioned I Can Hear Music. And although it is interesting to hear Harry Nilsson's take on the duo's most famous song, it would have made more sense to include Ike & Tina's towering original version of River Deep - Mountain High. That minor complaint aside, this collection of Barry/Greenwich's timeless songs is a textbook reminder of the once great craft of songwriting which has been, by and large, lost in this post-modern age. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1204 You Heard It Here First! ● CD $18.98
The original versions of 26 songs recorded in the 50s and 60s that are best known from the subsequent hit versions by other artists. It includes Mark James's 1968 version of Suspicious Minds that became a hit a year later for Elvis, I Fought The Law by The Crickets (Bobby Fuller Four, The Clash), Go Now by Bessie Banks (Moody Blues), Diamond Ring by Sammy Ambrose (Gary Lewis & The PLayboys), My Boy Lollipop by Barbie Gaye (Millie), Let's get Together by The Kingston Trio (The Youngbloods, Dave Clark Five) and lots more. Usual superlative Ace sound and 28 page illustrated booklet with extensive notes on all the performances.
SAMMY AMBROSE: This Diamond Ring/ BESSIE BANKS: Go Now/ RICHARD BERRY & THE PHARAOHS: Louie Louie/ PRISCILLA BOWNMAN & THE SPANIELS: A Rockin' Good Way/ CARSON & GAILE: Something Stupid/ THE CRICKETS: I Fought The Law/ SUNNY DAE & THE KNIGHTS: Rock Around The Clock/ JOHNNY DARRELL: Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town/ DIANE AND ANITA: A Groovy Kind Of Love/ YVONNE FAIR: I Found You/ BARBIE GAYE: My Boy Lollipop/ HOWLIN' WOLF: The Red Rooster/ TOMMY HUNT: I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself/ IAN & SYLVIA: You Were On My Mind/ MARK JAMES: Suspicious Minds/ GLORIA JONES: Tainted Love/ JOE JONES: California Sun/ THE KINGSTON TRIO: Let's Get Together (live)/ HOAGY LANDS: Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand/ THE LEAVES: Hey Joe, Where You Gonna Go/ THE LITTLE DARLINGS: Little Bit O'soul/ JOHN D. LOUDERMILK: Tobacco Road/ THE RAINDROPS: Hanky Panky/ EDDIE RIFF: Ain't That Loving You Baby/ MUDDY WATERS: You Need Love/ THE WILD ONES: Wild Thing

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1205 Still Dead! The Grim Reaper's Jukebox ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 62 mins, highly recommended
Just in time for Halloween, is the follow-up to Ace's earlier collection Dead! (Ace 1100 $ 18.98); Still Dead! Brings us more of those strange phenomena of the late 50's/early 60's: death discs. Although many of the true classics of "genre" are on that first compilation, this one doesn't disappoint: the Shangri-La's Leader of the Pack (how this one didn't make the first CD, is a mystery to me), Dickie Lee's Laurie (Strange Things Happen), and Cobey Carson's Too Young To Be a Widow certainly live up to the legacy. Just to show that death songs weren't limited to a particular time frame, the compilers of this CD managed to find songs from as early as 1952 (Goodbye Baby - Little Caesar; The Bells - Billy Ward & the Dominoes) and as late as 1969 (The Singing Star, Elaine Arthur). The award for most chilling goes to Tony Casanova's The Grave, while the award for "best rip-off" goes to The Whyte Boots for their perfect Shangri-La's knock-off Nightmare. Del Shannon tries his hand at a tear jerker with The Prom, and does ok, but nothing beats The Cadets Car Crash for sheer melodrama and theatrics. It can safely be said there's something for everyone here, and this CD is the perfect aural companion for a Halloween party or a night of solipsistic self-pity. (GMC)
ELAINE ARTHUR: A Singing Star/ THE BEVERLY SISTERS: Flight 1203/ PAMELA BLUE: My Friend Bobby/ THE CADETS: Car Crash/ BERNADETTE CARROLL: The Hero/ COBEY CARSON: Too Young To Be A Widow/ TONY CASANOVA: The Grave/ RONNIE COOK: Susie Darling/ RONNIE DANTE: In The Rain/ DARWIN: Little Gold Locket/ THE DOMINOES: The Bells/ ESTELLE: The Year 2000/ BOB FRYFOGLE: Six Feet Under/ HOAGY LANDS: White Gardenia/ DICKEY LEE: Laurie (strange Things Happen)/ LITTLE CAESAR & ARK ANGELS: The Ghost Of Mary Meade Pt 1/ LITTLE CAESAR W/QUE MARTIN: Goodbye Baby/ THE POETS: Dead/ THE SHANGRI-LAS: Leader Of The Pack/ DEL SHANNON: The Prom/ VERN STOVALL: Long Black Limousine/ TERRY TYLER: A Thousand Feet Below/ THOMAS WAYNE WITH THE DELONS: Tragedy/ WHYTE BOOTS: Nightmare

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1207 The Big Top Records Story: Classic New York Pop,1958-64 ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, 59 mins, recommended
Big Top was the sideline record label run by the Aberbach brothers, who also owned the Hill & Range song publishing empire, which had the country and western music market sewed up. During its existence, the commercial-minded label churned out hits by Don & Juan (What's Your Name), Del Shannon (Runaway) and others, while providing jobs for renown songwriting teams Pomus and Shuman and Bacharach/David. For the completists in the audience, there's a couple of early productions by Phil Specter to savor: He Knows I Love Him Too Much by Arlene Smith (former lead singer of the Chantels), Sammy Turner's Raincoat in the River, and Airmail Special Delivery by Karen Lake. The material on this CD leans heavily toward the kind of pop that rock n roll sought to eliminate, but the occasional classic livens things up; notably, Lou Johnson's towering version of Bacharach/David's (There's) Always Something There to Remind Me, Del Shannon's two hits (the other was Little Town Flirt), and Sammy Turner's version of the standard Lavender Blue (produced by Leiber and Stoller), which became Big Top's first major hit in 1959. Still, for the Spector tracks alone, this CD is worth the price of admission. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Acrobat ACQCD 7012 Lipstick, Nylons, Petticoats & Stilettos : Brit Girls ● CD $26.98
4 discs, 120 tracks, recommended
In the 50's, the U.K. had its own batch of female singers; so many, in fact, that not only was there much competition for good material, but U.S. contemporaries (Rosemary Clooney, Patti Page, Teresa Brewer et al) could seldom get a look in as a result. The first tier stars of the time-- Alma Cogan, The Beverly Sisters, Lita Roza, Joan Regan, Ruby Murray, and Dorothy Squires -- are all well represented, as well as young 'uns like Petula Clark, and late comers (their careers began in 1956 and 1957, respectively) Shirley Bassey and Marion Ryan. The so-called "second division" gets their due as well: The Kaye Sisters, Billie Anthony, Jill Day, Barbara Lyon, Nancy Whiskey, Edna Savage, Joan Savage, Suzi Miller, Yana, and Pauline Shepherd among others. The set covers a wide selection of musical styles--ballads, pop, novelty songs, show tunes, watered-down rock and roll, skiffle, and American R&B--and each artists' hit records from this period are included, along with the usual rarities and collectables. Suffice to say, that anyone who either remembers these singers (or has interest in them) will want this fairly thorough box set. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Acrobat ACTRCD 9005 British No. 1 Hits, 1950-1957: Melodies, Mambo, Waltzes ● CD $24.98
3 discs, 75 tracks, recommended
This box set is exactly what the title says: a collection of No. 1 British hits from the years 1050 to '57, and for the most part the music is pre-rock 'n' roll pop that runs the gamut from show tunes and movie music (Moulin Rouge, Mantovani; Secret Love, Doris Day; Three Coins in the Fountain, Frank Sinatra) to mainstream pop (The Tennessee Waltz, Patti Page; Comes A-Long-A-Love, Kay Starr) to novelty tunes (I Taut I Taw a Puddy Tat, Mel Blanc) to country (Guy Mitchell, Frankie Laine, Tennesse Ernie Ford) and everything in between. Rock 'n' Roll rears its ugly head on disc 2 in the form of Bill Haley's Rock Around the Clock and Frankie Lymon & the Teenager's Why Do Fools Fall in Love, and fully takes hold on disc 3 with Johnny Ray, Tommy Steele, Lonnie Donegan (skiffle division), Elvis, and the Crickets (with Buddy Holly). Basically, this set is for musicologists, the curious, and anyone else who wants to know what our British cousins listened to before rock 'n' roll turned the world upside down. From this evidence, I'd say that British tastes weren't that different from American ones, at least during the first half of the decade. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Acrobat 9015 This Record Is Not Be Broadcast - Banned By The B.B.C. ● CD $24.98
3 CDs, 75 tracks, 216 mins, highly recommended
When the Sex Pistols' God Save The Queen reached number 1 on the British charts, it was represented by a blank space. Even though it was the biggest song in the country it wasn't supposed to be played. This bizarre event is not just an example of how Punk Rock shook up the establishment in the U.K., it is the crowning moment (pun intended) of a long and extensive campaign to ban songs from the U.K. airwaves. This collection comes nowhere near the Punk era, but instead covers the years from 1931-57 where such controversial acts as Woody Herman, the Mills Brothers, George Formby, Kitty Wells, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, the Andrews Sisters and many, many more had their records declared too racy and/or inappropriate for the airwaves--so many so that it took three CDs to incompletely compile them all. This is a fascinating compilation and, not surprisingly, it is full of all kinds of great music. It's amazing that an instrumental song can be banned, but that didn't stop the BBC. Sure there are a number of tracks that even if you don't agree with the decision, you can understand it, Sixty Minute Man by Billy Ward & His Dominos, Woman Love by Gene Vincent, Josh White's The House Of The Rising Sun, Tom Lehrer's The Old Dope Peddler, Cab Calloway's Minnie The Moocher, certainly deal with mature themes. Most tracks on here don't have such mature themes though and were banned for the oddest of reasons. Amazingly, they even banned a song sung completely in French! Now (thankfully for historians and archivists) the kind of anal-retentive people who would commit such acts of censorship kept meticulous records, so we get to delve into the reasoning behind the banning of most of the 75 cuts herein. Some things make sense: during the wartime, they didn't want overly sentimental or sad songs being heard by the troops, so in order to keep their spirits up, no I'll be Home For Christmas by Bing Crosby, etc. Then you also couldn't mix and God or religion into your songs, so out go Billy Holidays God Bless The Child, Arthur Askey's The Christening, Crying In The Chapel by Lee Lawrence, Jimmie Rodgers' Honeycomb, and so on. Then there were of course some English artists who were intentionally thumbing their noses at the system, providing us with such great cuts such as Norman Long's You Can't Broadcast That, George Formby's With My Little Ukulele In My Hand, and Noel Coward's Don't Let's Be Beastly To The Germans. Sure most of those at least kind of make sense, but then you get such fascinating examples as Bing Crosby's Deep in the Heart Of Texas which was deemed too "infectious" and banned during work hours "to prevent factory hands from using their tools for banging the machinery to keep time with the music." The Andrews Sisters whose Rum and Coca-Cola was banned not for promoting alcohol use, but.wait for it. it was banned for promoting Coke without advertising being paid! No wonder pirate radio came about and thrived for so long. These are just some of the stories, there are quite a few more, plus a whole lot of great music. This is easily one of the most entertaining collections to come out in a long time and paints a pretty telling picture of the ridiculous extremes that bureaucracy can reach. Includes 48 page booklet with details about each performance here. (JM)
THE ANDREWS SISTERS: Rum And Coca-Cola/ LOUIS ARMSTRONG: Mack The Knife/ ARTHUR ASKEY: The Christening/ JOSEPHINE BAKER: La Petite Tonkinoise/ SHIRLEY BASSEY: Burn My Candle/ ART BAXTER & HIS ROCK 'N' ROLL SINNES: Rock You Sinners/ THE BBC DANCE ORCHESTRA: Radio Times/ THE BEVERLEY SISTERS: Greensleeves/ We Have To Be So Careful/ CAB CALLOWAY: Minnie The Moocher/ PETULA CLARK: The Sky/ PERRY COMO: Iím Always Chasing Rainbows/ Till The End Of Time/ DON CORNELL: Hold My Hand/ NOEL COWARD: Donít Letís Be Beastly To The Germans/ BING CROSBY: Deep In The Heart Of Texas/ Iíll Be Home For Christmas/ LONNIE DONEGAN: Digginí My Potatoes/ TOMMY DORSEY AND HIS ORCHESTRA: Song Of India/ DEANNA DURBIN: Say A Prayer For The Boys Over There/ EDDIE FISHER: My Friend/ ELLA FITZGERALD: Bewitched/ Love For Sale/ GEORGE FORMBY: With My Little Stick Of Blackpool Rock/ With My Little Ukelele In My Hand/ THE FOUR ACES: Stranger In Paradise/ STAN FREBERG: John And Marsha/ GEORGE HAMILTON IV: A Rose And A Baby Ruth/ A Rose And A Candy Bar/ WOODY HERMAN: Sabre Dance/ LES HOBEAUX: Toll The Bell Easy/ BILLIE HOLIDAY: Gloomy Sunday/ God Bless The Child/ FRANKIE HOWERD: Iím Nobodyís Baby/ HERB JEFFRIES: The Devil Is A Woman/ SPIKE JONES AND HIS CITY SLICKERS: I Went To Your Wedding/ The Blue Danube/ EARTHA KITT: The Heel/ FRANKIE LAINE: Answer Me/ I Heard The Angels Singing/ LEE LAWRENCE: Crying In The Chapel/ TOM LEHRER: The Old Dope Peddler/ LIBERACE: Sincerely/ NORMAN LONG: We Can't Let You Broadcast That/ DENNIS LOTIS: Cuddle Me/ Honey Love/ RAY MARTIN: The Story Of Three Loves/ TONY MARTIN: Walk Hand In Hand/ BILLY MAY AND HIS ORCHESTRA: Main Title (from The Man With The Golden Arm)/ GEORGE MELLY: Send Me To The ‘Lectric Chair/ JOHNNY MERCER: A-Hugginí And A-Chalkiní/ JOHNNY MESSNER: She Had To Go And Lose It At The Astor/ MICKEY AND SYLVIA: Love Is Strange/ GLENN MILLER: The Story Of A Starry Night/ THE MILLS BROTHERS: Paper Doll/ GUY MITCHELL: The Unbeliever/ PETER PEARS: The Foggy Foggy Dew/ JOHNNIE RAY: Such A Night/ JOAN REGAN: Croce Di Oro (Cross Of Gold)/ JIMMIE RODGERS: Honeycomb/ LITA ROZA: Keep Me In Mind/ ANNE SHELTON: Hank Janson Blues/ FRANK SINATRA: How Little We Know/ Light A Candle In The Chapel/ The Cradle Song (Brahmsí Lullaby)/ JO STAFFORD: It Is No Secret/ KIRK STEVENS: This Silver Madonna/ T. TEXAS TYLER: Deck Of Cards/ FRANKIE VAUGHAN: The Garden Of Eden/ MALCOLM VAUGHAN: St. Theresa Of The Roses/ GENE VINCENT AND THE BLUE CAPS: Woman Love/ THE VIPERS SKIFFLE GROUP: Maggie May/ BILLY WARD AND HIS DOMINOES: Sixty Minute Man/ KITTY WELLS: It Wasnít God Who Made Honky Tonk/ JOSH WHITE: House Of The Rising Sun

VARIOUS ARTISTS Big Beat CDWIK2 283 Sing Me A Rainbow - A Trident Anthology, 1965-1967 ● CD $27.98
2 CDs, 44 tracks, 113 mins, highly recommended
Trident Productions was the brainchild of Frank Werber, who was the manager of the Kingston Trio; he took the Trio's money and invested it in many enterprises, including a building on Columbus Street in San Francisco - Columbus Tower - which contained offices and a recording studio with a goal toward finding and nurturing local Bay Area talent. This compilation presents the work-both released and unreleased-by the artists discovered by Trident, and in truth the songs are a mixed bag ranging from the proto-folk rock of the We Five (their You Were On My Mind was the companies' only hit) and Blackburn & Snow to the proto-psychedelia of the Mystery Trend, the Justice League, and the Sons of Champlin to the garage rock of the Front Line and the New Tweedy Brothers. Nonetheless, this collection is an insightful and fascinating window into the San Francisco music scene in the two years between the end of the folk boom and the beginning of the Summer of Love. It was a transitional time, and, for a while, Frank Werber wanted to be at the forefront of the new music; his hopes, philosophies, and ultimate failure are candidly spelled out in his own words in a revealing booklet. This CD is essential for anyone interested in a closer look into a lost chapter of the San Francisco music scene of the mid-60's. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS CFR 20-101 It Rocks On 20th Century Fox ● CD $17.98
25 track collection of rock 'n' roll recorded in the late 50s and early 60s for the New York based 20th Century Fox label in the late 50s and early 60s. Some pretty hot stuff here - quite a bit of it making its first appearance on C D . Includes Wayne & Ray, Bobby Mizzell & Lee Wayne, The Royal Jacks, Jim Mitchum (yep, Robert's son) , Eddie Moore, Buddy K ain, Chip Fisher, Curt Jensen, Chuck Austin and others. Good sound and four page booklet has brief notes on the artists and some label shots.
CHUCK AUSTIN: Honey Baby/ WALT BENTON & THE SNAPPERS: Big Wheel/ Stuck Up/ RED BERRY & BEL RAVES: Hot Rod/ What a Dolly/ THE DIXIELANDERS: Uncle John's Bongos/ Walk Easy/ THE ESQUIRE BOYS: Have You Got Good Religion/ CHIP FISHER: Snow Job/ GARY & BILLY: Working After School/ TONY GAVIN: Everlovin' Baby/ I Just Don't Know/ CURT JENSEN: Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis/ BUDDY KAIN: Hinky, Dinky Danky/ THE MAJESTICS: The Lone Stranger/ JIM MITCHUM: Ooh What a Wonderful Feeling/ BOBBY MIZZELL & LEE WAYNE: Same Thing/ EDDIE MOORE: Peppermint Kisses/ Phone Chick/ THE ROYAL JACKS: I'm in Love Again/ The Big Ring/ JIMMY SOUL: Respectable/ ORRIN TUCKER: Been Lookin' for Love/ I Need Lovin'/ WAYNE & RAY: Sweet Lou

VARIOUS ARTISTS Chief CCD 1156513 Ultra Rare Rockin' & Boppin' Vol. 3 ● CD $16.98
30 tracks, 69 minutes, highly recommended
This collection is loaded to the gills with hot rockers like the Recalls' pounding Nobody's Guy , the Frontiers' super tough You Shake Me Up , the Commodores - Who Dat? (love those spooky tunes), the Four Teens' hopped-up Go Little Cat , the Divots' hilarious Diddy-Wah-Diddy , the Trashers' Berry-esque Summer anthem Fort Lauderdale , the Rebelaires steady rollin' Satillite Rock , Ron Haydock's Vincent-ripoff Be-Bop-A-Jean and the Temptations' (no, not those Motown guys) Everly Brothers rip-off I Love You . Plenty more good ones make this a must have. (AE)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Collector 4528 Wild Rockin' With Vocals, Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
26 tracks, highly recommended
I don't know if the album title has any significance but here is Collector with a hot collection of rare rockabilly and rock 'n' roll from the 50s and early 60s - most of it making it first appearance of CD. It starts off in great style with The Panting Panther and his crazed Cooler Weather with some wild guitar, The Sultans do a storming version of Little Richard's She's Got It, Danny Roland raves it up with Shockwave full of strange sound effects and hot sax, The Fairviews' Twinkie Lee seems based on Dorsey Burnette's Bertha Lou but is wilder, Paddy Manna cover's Fats's I'm In Love Again and there's more from Jim Kelly & The Belvederes, Freddy Montell, "Elmo" Stringers, Patti Ross and others. The "bonus track" by The Shannon Sisters is a little out of place here - it falls into the realm of cocktail lounge rock 'n' roll. Booklet has some cool cover art and includes a bunch of full color label shots of the records on this set - mostly one offs by these artists who were never heard of again. (FS)
THE CHANCES: Betty Lou/ CLASSICS 5: Wine, Wine, Wine/ C.C. CURTIS: Aunt Minnie/ BILLY DEMARCO: How Sweet It Is/ BILLY DOLTON: Girls/ THE FAIRVIEWS: Twinkee Lee/ FREDDY & THE RAVEN'S: Big Itch, The/ JOHNNY HUGHES: Grounded/ SAMMY JACKSON JR.: Playin' In The Field/ JIM KELLY & THE BELVEDERES: Walkin' In The Garden/ PADDY MANNA: I'm In Love Again/ MIKE & THE RAVENS: I've Taken All I Can/ FREDDIE MONTELL: I Squeeze Her/ Stop The Rock/ THE PANTING PANTHER: Cooler Weather/ TOMMY REDD & THE REDDYMEN: Better Be Better/ TONY REESE & HUGO PERETTI ORCH.: I Never Knew A Dolly/ DANNY ROLAND: Shockwave/ PATTI ROSS: Big Bear, The/ Rock It, Davy, Rock It/ THE SHANNON SISTERS WITH JACK POLLACK ORCH.: Yak-A-Tak/ BILLY SMITH WITH THE FOUR C-NOTE & THE ORVITS: Mister Rock And Roll/ ELMO STRINGER: Times Have Changed/ THE SULTANS: She's Got It/ TICO & THE TRIUMPHS: Motorcycle/ UNKNOWN ARTIST: Delta Tau Baby

VARIOUS ARTISTS Hydra 27136 .. Like What We Wrote - The Songs Of Johnny & Dorsey Bu rnette ● CD $22.98
27 tracks, 62 mins, recommended
The battling Dorsey brothers couldn't get along with each other for too long of a time, but thankfully for us, they managed to get along long enough to write some great tunes. Thankfully the bulk of these covers concentrate on some of the Rock'N'Roll trio era of songwriting, with some of the better later material. Ricky Nelson had a huge amount of success covering Burnette material; legend has it the brothers went to L.A. and ambushed Nelson in his front yard and were thrilled when he already knew their stuff. Since this is volume two of the series, the Ricky Nelson tracks are some of the lesser known ones, but still rockin' stuff, with strong versions of Hey Pretty Baby/ Gypsy Woman/ I've Been Thinkin'/ One Of These Mornings, and A Long Vacation. Other big names making appearances here: Roger Miller with Ain't That Fine and Fabian doing Just Keep On Going. Of course the material really takes off when you get some of the real Rockabillies behind it, as witnessed on Charlie Feathers' Tear It Up, Deke Wade's Tall Oak Tree, Donnie & Ronnie's Pure Love, Alan Knight's Bertha Lou and many more, with a special mention for The Ring A Dings fantastic Snacky Poo 2. Then on top of all of that there's a previously unreleased Fly Away and Hurry Home by the Dorsey Brothers themselves from 1961; it's probably the worst track one here, but die hard fans might want it. Extensive recording and biographical material included in a highly informative booklet. (JM)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Pet 007 Soft Sounds For Gentle People Presents: Sounds Of She ● CD $15.98
23 Tracks, 72 mins, highly recommended
As a compliment to their fabulous "Mystic Males" compilation, Pet records now presents the "Sounds of She" CD. 23 tracks of female vocal fronted studio pop psych all from the Aquarian age, featuring such fantastic acts such as The London Phogg, The Ravelles, The Enchanted Forrest, Morningstarr, The Sugar Towns, and many more. Probably the most well known artist on here would be Carolyn Hester, she is here with her Coalition doing Rise Like Phoenix. This is possibly the softest and gentlest installment of the whole series, out in perfect time for your rainy day, dream away listening. (JM)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Proper BOX 135 Rock 'n' Skiffle - Brit Beat Beginnings ● CD $26.98
4 CDs, 4 hours 10 min., recommended
In the 1950s while R&B and rock and roll were having their way with the listening public, in England Skiffle, a combination of folk music mixed with jazz, country and blues, was king. It's reign lasted into the 1960s and was a direct antecedent to British rock 'n' roll. Mick Jaggar was once in a skiffle band. The Beatles started out that way too. The skiffle spirit was DIY, homemade instruments and high energy. But it was also big bands, professional jazz musicians, and sweeping arrangements. Big band vocal music tended to weld itself to folk, country, and boogie woogie influences--sort of a British rockabilly without the rawness or originality. This collection sticks with the 1952-56 period, the high watermark of the form, and ponies up 100 tracks, perhaps all the skiffle the average person will need in a lifetime. Skiffle king Lonnie Donegan is featured on 10 cuts, Tommy Steele on 6, Tony Crombie & his Rockets on 3, but the variety here is impressive. How many collections can boast songs by Lita Roza with the Ted Heath Orchestra, The Deep River Boys, Alma Cogan, and The Goons? Also of interest is the large number of rock and roll covers where the lifeblood has been drained and replaced with tepid milk. Take The Southlanders' version of Ain't That A Shame, or The Four Jones Boys' rendition of Little Richard's Tutti Frutti (which cuts Pat Boone's but falls far short of anything approaching wild), or Gale Warning and The Weathermen's curious take of Heartbreak Hotel, which feels like a novelty song on the order of The Monster Mash. And that's just Disc 1! In fact, the rock covers may be where all the real fun is. So while a reasonable amount of this collection is worthwhile, some songs may only need to be played once, and a few less than that. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS QDK Media 022 Love, Peace & Poetry - Latin American Psychedelic Music ● CD $16.98
18 tracks, 52 mins, highly recommended
For anyone who thinks that Psychedelic music in Latin America begins and ends with 60's Brazilian band Os Mutantes, is in for a surprise: here's a collection of Latin American weirdness that will blow your minds. Countries represented include Argentina (Los Gatos with their psychotronic meltdown Cuando Llegue El Ano 2000; the Sunshine pop of Almendra's Trema de Pototo), Peru (Traffic Sound, who remind me of Quicksilver Messenger Service; and Laghonia, who channel Vanilla Fudge), Chile (the dreamscapes of Los Mac's), Brazil (the Flemenco Rock of Som Imaginario), and Venezuela and Mexico (Ladies W.C. and Kaleidoscope, who both sound influenced by Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd). This is awesome stuff and I hope there's more where this came from; until a volume two comes along, owning this CD is mandatory! (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS RPM Retro 837 `Shiverin' And Shakin - Challenge Records, Vol. 1, 195 ● CD $18.98
28 tracks, 62 mins, highly recommended
Challenge records was home to all kinds of primitive Rock'N'Roll, with so much hot wax they could have been a candle factory. Their roster was full of artists that are total heroes of mine, like Kip Tyler & His Flips, Big Al Downing, The Champs, and The Rhythm Rockers. Halloween alert! Many tracks on here that will be perfect for your All Hollows Evenings: Mogul Monster by The Rangers, Tarantula by Bob Regan, Vampira, by Bobby Bare (!), and Experiment in Terror by The Champs, not to mention just plain wild and wooly tracks like Buzzzzzzz Jimmy Gordon, The Whip The Originals, Shiverin' and Shakin' Dean Beard, and Rock Roma Rock it by Scatman Crothers. For you instrumental fans, the ratio of vocals to non is about 50/50. No surprise, Kim Fowley had his maniacal mitts on many of these musical marvels, so appropriately Alec Palao includes a good-sized interview with Fowley in his astute liner notes. (JM)
JERRY ARNOLD: Little Boy Blue/ BOBBY BARE: Vampira/ DEAN BEARD: Shiverin & Shakin/ THE CHAMPS: Experiment In Terror/ Subway/ KIMBALL COBURN: My Little Girl/ SCAT MAN CROTHERS: Rock Roma Rock It/ DONDI: Buzz Buzz Buzz/ AL DOWNING WITH THE POE KATS: Down On The Farm/ Oh Babe/ HUELYN DUVALL: Three Months To Kill/ THE FOUR TEENS: Go Little Go Cat/ JIMMY GORDON: Buzzzzzz/ JIM AND ROD: Didn't It Rock/ BOBBY MILANO: Life Begins At Four O Clock/ GENE MOLES: Burnin Rubber/ THE ORIGINALS: The Whip/ THE RANGERS: Mogul Monster/ Reputation/ BOB REGAN: Tarantula/ THE RHYTHM ROCKERS: Rendezvous Stomp/ THE RIPTIDES: Machine Gun/ THE SNOWMEN: Ski Storm (part One)/ WYNN STEWART: Come On/ KIP TYLER & HIS FLIPS: Jungle Hop/ Ooh Yeah Baby/ Wail Man Wail/ GEORGE WESTON: Too Good To Be True

VARIOUS ARTISTS RPM Retro 838 Allergic To Flowers - Challenge Records, Vol. 2, 1965-6 ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 61 mins, highly recommended
The only thing that is almost as cool as the records that Challenge put out between 1958-65, is all the records that they put out from 1965-68. Taking the natural progression into American Beat and Garage Rock bands, Challenge just kept grabbing up one great artist after another. The Knickerbockers' Beatlesque Lies is probably the biggest hit scored for the label and that rightly starts of the collection, with other great tracks: Stick With Me/ High On Love/ One Track Mind, plus two more. These are followed by one of the toughest of all, non-Pacific Northwest garage bands, We The People, and their raging tracks You Burn Me Up and Down/ Mirror Of Your Mind/ In The Past, and St John's Shop, along with the almost as cool bands Brogues, Fenwyck, and Boston Tea Party, Nuggets anybody? The most contentious tracks on here have to be the Gene Vincent cuts Bird Doggin/ Hurting For You Baby, and Born To Be A Rolling Stone. Not the best Vincent tracks by far, but pretty cool and you can't blame the label for wanting to get behind him in hopes for some of his magic to still be there. On a lighter note there is the title track Allergic To Flowers by The Jefferson Handkerchief is easily the best anti-hippy-dippy song ever. (JM)
LINDY BLASKEY AND THE LAVELLS: Let It Be/ You Ain't Tuff/ BOSTON TEA PARTY: Spinach/ Words/ THE BROGUES: But Now I Find/ Don't Shoot Me Down/ I Ain't No Miracle Worker/ FENWYCK: I'm Spinning/ Mindrocker/ THE FREE FOR ALL: Show Me The Way/ THE JEFFERSON HANDKERCHIEF: I'm Allergic To Flowers/ THE KNICKERBOCKERS: High On Love/ Lies/ One Track Mind/ Rumors, Gossip, Words Untrue/ Stick With Me/ They Ran For Their Lives/ GENE VINCENT: Bird Doggin'/ Born To Be A Rolling Stone/ Hurting For You Baby/ WE THE PEOPLE: In The Past/ Mirror Of Your Mind/ St John S Shop/ You Burn Me Up And Down

THE VENTURES Ace CDCHD 1176 In The Vaults, Vol. 4 ● CD $18.98
26 Tracks, 66 mins, recommended
Rare and unreleased tracks from the legends of instrumental rock, spanning their full career up to present day, many clocking in at under three minutes! Six solo songs from guitarist Don Wilson (with vocals!) seem slightly out of place on this compilation, but there is still plenty of pure Ventures music for true fans to enjoy. Very infectious, melodic guitar work throughout, as is their trademark, evidenced on covers of Downtown/ Son of a Preacher Man, or Delta Lady. Liner notes give a well-detailed history of the Ventures, including personnel changes, session musicians, and song-by-song information. Not a good starting point for the curious, but an excellent addition to a Ventures collection. (BC)
THE MARKSMEN: Night Run/ Scratch/ THE VENTURES: Beautiful Obsession/ Black Tarantella/ Bumble Bee Twist (The Wasp)/ Caravan/ Delicado/ Delta Lady/ Downtown/ Driving Guitars (Ventures Twist)/ Echo/ Journey To The Stars/ Medley: Walk Don't Run/Perfidia/Lullaby Of The Leaves/ Memphis/ Original Number One/ Pedal Pusher/ Son Of A Preacher Man/ Station Breaks/ The Jam/ Yellow Jacket/ DON WILSON: Feel So Fine/ The Twomp/ DON LEE WILSON: Don't Avoid Me/ Heart On My Sleeve/ Like You've Never Known Before/ Runaway

FRANK VIRTUE & THE VIRTUES Hydra 27104 Hop, Skip & Jump ● CD $23.98
30 tracks, recommended
Not a new release but not listed before. A 30 track collection of urban rock 'n' roll recorded between 1955 and 1962 for a variety of labels by Philadelphia group led by singer, bass player and guitarist Frankie Virtue. The group is best known for their 1958 hit instrumental Guitar Boogie Shuffle - a rockin' updating of the old Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith classic. The rest of their repertoire is mostly vocals including originals, songs written for them and covers of recent hits and pop standards. Includes Rollin An' A' Rockin'/ Guitar Boogie Shuffle/ Let's Have A Party/ Bophe Blues/ I Ain't Gonna Do It No More/ My Constant Love/ Lover Boy/ Fever/ Charleston twist/ Roll Over Beethoven, etc. Excellent sound and Cd comes with 20 page booklet with detailed notes, rare photos and full discographical info. (FS)


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