Rhythm & Blues, Soul & Doo-Wop - Bulletin July/ August 2009 - Bobby Byrd -> Freddie Waters + Books + DVDS
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BULLETIN - July/ August 2009
Rhythm & Blues, Soul & Doo-Wop
Bobby Byrd -> Freddie Waters + Books + DVDS




LISTEN TO THE LAMBS by Johnny Otis ● BOOK $18.95
Paper, 242 pages, counts as three CDs for shipping
In the summer of 1965, the Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts exploded in a race riot that spanned six days, claimed thirty-four lives, and brought America's struggle with racial oppression into harrowing relief. For renowned R&B musician Johnny Otis, the events of that summer would inspire one of the most compelling books ever to explore that fateful August in Watts. Originally published in 1968, Listen to the Lambs grew from a letter Otis wrote to an expatriate friend during the days following the riots. Otis moves back and forth between Watts and his own childhood to reveal an alternate history of the riots. Equal parts memoir, social history, and racial manifesto, Listen to the Lambs is a "disturbing, incisively written book.that should be required reading." (Los Angeles Times, 1968)

THE COOL GENT The Nine Lives Of A Radio Legend by Herb Kent & David Smallwood ● BOOK $24.95
Hardbound, 302 pages, counts as seven CDs for shipping
Known as the Cool Gent, the King of the Dusties, and the Mayor of Bronzeville, Herb Kent is one of radio's most illustrious and legendary stars. This fascinating autobiography details both the high and low points of Herb's life while providing a vivid picture of black music, culture, and personalities from the 1950's to today. Herb had a typical rock-and-roll lifestyle-drugs, alcohol, all-night partying, and women-eventually hitting rock bottom, where he finally faced his personal demons. At least nine times Herb came close to death, but through it all, he maintained his debonair, classy persona and his uncanny knack for picking timeless tunes. And along the way, he blazed new trails for all African-Americans and remains a role model for today's top deejays.

HOUND DOG - The Leiber & Stoller Autobiography by Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller with David Ritz ● BOOK $24.98
Hardcover, 322 pages, highly recommended (counts as five CDs for shipping)
If Leiber and Stoller came clean, I mean really dished the dirt regarding their famous/ infamous lives, this book would be the essential read of the decade. As it is, they tell enough of their story and illuminate enough of their incredible lives that this is a highly entertaining read. Told in a conversational manner, with David Ritz probably mostly there to give things a coherent and grammatically correct flow, this follows their lives chronologically from their days as relatively poor Jewish kids finding their way in the world up to their amazing successes from Big Mama Thorton to Peggy Lee, concentrating the largest portion on their days with the Coasters, Drifters and Elvis. Leiber and Stoller certainly wrote the soundtracks to many of our lives and their story is a fascinating take on the good old American Dream. I have read a number of books and interviews with L&S and many of the people who worked with them over the years and I can tell you that even though they contradict their own versions of events that they had told in the past and they leave out a lot of areas that I would have liked to know more about, this is still the best (or possibly second best, after Tell The Truth Until They Bleed by Josh Alan Friedman) book that has come out about these guys and the scenes they were involved in. It's a quick and fun read that I can see a lot of our regulars not being able to put it down once they start it. (JM)



RAY CHARLES Immortal 940143 The Legend Lives On ● DVD $18.98
14 songs, 55 mins, recommended
This collection of video performances by the great Ray Charles is a mixed bag: the song selection is, by and large, good, but the clips are from different sources, differing in visual quality, and from different eras. But whether it's an older Brother Ray still delivering the goods at the Montreux Jazz Festival, a young man rocking out on the Ed Sullivan in the 60's (with Billy Preston on organ!), or holding court with other Rock royalty (Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis and Ron Wood), the end result is still the same: we are watching a man with the kind of talent we're not likely to see again. There's a few hits here: Mess Around/ I Got a Woman/ Busted, and What'd I Say, but the real treats are the slow Blues Since You've Been Gone (with Wood), the Jazzy Mississippi Mud, and the dueling pianos of Lewis Boogie with Jerry Lee. Picture quality notwithstanding, this DVD is loads of fun. (GMC)

ARETHA FRANKLIN Immortal 940152 The Queen Of Soul - Live From Chicago ● DVD $18.98
16 songs, 59 mins, recommended
Aretha Franklin enjoyed a second career in the 80's thanks to Luther Vandross' producing and writing skills and Clive Davis' (of Arista Records) business acumen. The year 1985 was her high watermark of that period; this DVD contains a concert recorded at Park West nightclub in Chicago during April 1985, and shows a revitalized Franklin doing what she does best. During this period, she was still in excellent voice, even if the material she sang wasn't always up to the standards of her hallowed past. That being said, some of the contemporary material here - Love is the Key/ Love All the Hurt Away/ Sweet Bitter Love - does mesh well with the rushed versions of her golden oldies (Think/ Respect, etc). The supper club arrangements aren't my cup of tea, but Aretha and her singers do give it their all, and, in sum, this is a fair representation of Lady Soul in the 1980s. (GMC)



BOBBY BYRD Alston 4500 Got Soul - The Best Of Bobby Bird ● CD $17.98
22 tracks, 79 min., very highly recommended
It was as one of the Famous Flames that Byrd earned the admiration of hardcore soul fans. As a founding member, he invited James Brown to join, which Brown did and then took over and put the Flames on the back burner. This compilation collects material (released and unreleased) cut between 1964-73, includes backing from James Brown's band (Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker, Fred Thomas, and others, including, on two tracks, Bootsy Collins) as well as occasional assistance from Mr. Superbad himself--grunts, shouts and a duet on You've Got To Change Your Mind (making it to 47 R&B-wise in '68). Sure, you get the feeling that Brown could have outperformed his long-time warm-up act on these tracks, but that's hardly a fair criticism. Byrd, while perhaps not an extraordinary vocalist is dynamic and exciting singer and acquits himself quite well and even shines (almost) as brightly as his boss on I Know You Got Soul (reaching #30 hit on the R&B charts). Other standout tracks include Baby Baby Baby (a duet with Anna King), the #34 hit Hot Pants - I'm Coming, I'm Coming, I'm Coming, the #40 hit Keep On Doin' What You're Doin', and lots more. If not a definitive collection, easily the best one so far, collecting the vast majority of his best sides, most of which have been long out of print. No notes with this one but still too good to pass up. (JC)

TERRY CALLIER BGP BGPCD 199 About Time - The Terry Callier Story, 1965-1982 ● CD $18.98
16 tracks, 77 mins, highly recommended
Terry Callier is one of those performers who's had a rabid cult following forever, but for the most part remains an unknown quantity to the mainstream. This is a shame, because the man is truly a unique talent. This compilation, spanning the Chicago native's career from the mid 60's to the early 80's, does a fine job of reintroducing him to a new audience. Callier's stock in trade can only be described as a singer/songwriter who didn't limit himself to the R&B genre; on these tracks-tracing his years recording for Cadet, Prestige, and Elektra -- Callier tackles folk, jazz, and pop in equal measure. With a voice similar to Jerry Butler's, but with less bass tones, Callier's closest musical equivalents are Ritchie Havens and Laura Nyro. His style could be playful (You Goin' Miss Your Candyman) or intense (Dancing Girl), but never boring. Terry Callier is a major find, and anyone who hasn't sampled his wares owes it to themselves to check this guy out. (GMC)

THE CROWS Collectables 1351 Gee - 20 Doo Wop Classics ● CD $13.98
20 tracks, 53 mins, highly recommended
The Crows Quartet hung out on 142nd Street in Harlem during the early 50's and got their first big break in 1952 at Apollo's Wednesday Amateur night. Nationwide success came in 1954 when their 2nd single, Gee, for the Rama label shot up in the nation's R & B charts. The Crows' "Sonny" Norton had a cool swinging style. This 20 track collection set features the groups entire output including their rare 1952 Jubilee session as The Four Notes along with their giant hits Gee and I Love You So remastered at the correct speed. Also includes Perfidia featuring Lorraine Ellis, Seven Lonely Days with a standout lead vocal by Viola Watkins and a great cover of the country hit No Help Wanted. Excellent sound but, unfortunately, no notes. (OLN/ FS)

THE DEL VIKINGS Jasmine 508 Cool Shake - The Very Best Of ● CD $15.98
28 tracks, 67 mins, highly recommended
The Del Vikings' place in the history of Doo Wop is assured if only for two reasons: they were one of few successful integrated Doo Wop groups of the era, and second, they managed two huge chart hits (which more than most Doo Wop groups could claim). As significant as those two accomplishments are, they don't take away from the fact that the Del Vikings made some of the most tantalizing music of their time. Everyone knows Come Go With Me (1957) and Whispering Bells (even though it was cut by a splinter group that called itself the Dell-Vikings), but who could resist good time tracks like The Big Beat or romantic calling cards like Oh I Love You. This compilation covers mostly the group's stint on Mercury Records (1957 to 1959), but also contains some earlier tracks that were cut for Dot Records, including the two hits. Although, complicated band and record label politics, and greed destroyed the band, the Del Vikings live on through this excellent compilation. (GMC)
THE DEL VIKINGS: Bells/ Big Beat/ Can't Wait/ Come Along With Me/ Come Go With Me/ Cool Shake/ Don't Be a Fool/ Flat Tire/ Friendly Moon/ Heaven on Earth/ I'm Sittin' on Top of the World/ I'm Spinning/ Jitterbug Mary/ Meeting of the Eyes/ Nobody's Kisses But Yours/ Oh Baby/ Oh I Love You/ Oh Tonight/ Somewhere Over the Rainbow/ String Along/ Sunday Kind of Love/ That's Why/ There I Go/ Voodoo Man/ What You Have Done to Me/ When I Come Home/ Whispering Bells/ You Are Invitied

SUGAR PIE DESANTO Kent CDKEND 317 Go Go Power - The Complete Chess Singles, 1961-1966 ● CD $18.98
Sugar Pie DeSanto is a talented singer who could handle Blues, R&B, and Jazz in the vocals department, and is also quite the comedienne, a fine dancer, accomplished songwriter whose songs were cut by Fontella Bass, Billy Stewart, Little Milton, and Minnie Riperton among others. Discovered and named by Johnnie Otis, DeSanto scored her biggest hit in 1960, I Want to Know, which was recorded for Bob Geddins' Veltone label. This compilation features the sides she waxed for Chess, starting with some masters the Chess brothers bought from Geddins in 1961, as well as three duets with Etta James and notable songs like her answer to Tommy Tucker's Hi Heel Sneakers - Slip-in Mules (No High Heel Sneakers) plus Soulful Dress/ Go Go Power and others.

THE EXCITERS Kent CDKEND 319 Soul Motion-Complete Bang, Shout & RCA Recordings 1966- ● CD $18.98
21 tracks, 57 mins, highly recommended
The Exciters hit big with Tell Him in 1963; this collection covers their time recording for master songwriter and producer Bert Berns' Bang and Shout labels (as well as their post-Berns tenure with RCA), which makes perfect sense since it was Berns who wrote Tell Him. Including the group's final chart entry, a remake of A Little Bit of Soap, this collection demonstrates that although the hits stopped coming it wasn't due to a lack of great material or performances. Singles like I'm Gonna Get Him Someday/ You Better Come Home, and Weddings Make Me Cry (all from 1966) should have been hits and the reason they weren't was probably due more to the changing musical times than any lack of quality. Bonus: this CD also includes the group's entire 1969 RCA LP "Caviar and Chitlins" which has been long out of print. Punchy, spiritedly sung, and downright melodic, these tracks deserve to be rediscovered and here's your chance. (GMC)

THE IMPACTS/ BLUE CHIPS Cat King Cole 1014 From The Beginning ● CD $17.98
New York Doo Wop group the Impacts have their complete recordings collected by Cat King Cole; including tracks recorded under their early name (The Renditions), later names (The Blue Chips, Kenny and the Impacts), and other artists for which the group sang back up (Lenny Welch, The Spaniels, Earl Wade). This CD is for fans of rare 50's/60's doo wop.

LUTHER INGRAM Kent CDKEND 315 I've Been Here All The Time/ If Loving You Is Wrong I D ● CD $18.98
21 tracks, 77 mins, highly recommended
The follow-up to Kent's 2007 compilations, "Pity For the Lonely: The Ko Ko Single Vol. 1" (Kent 279 - $18.98) and "I Don't Want To Be Right: The Ko Ko Singles Vol. 2" (Kent 292 - $18.98), this two-albums-on-one-CD collection marks the first time that Ingram's first and second albums have appeared on CD. Both released in 1972, the two albums set the stage for the Southern Soul balladeer's early 70's successes. "I've Been Here All the Time" is basically a collection of Ingram's Ko Ko singles up to the point of its release in early '72, while "If Loving You is Wrong." is comprised mostly of material recorded exclusively for that project. Although the songs are first rate, the first album sounds like exactly what it is: a singles collection. With a couple of minor adjustments, the second album is presented here as it was originally released in October 1972; the title hit is here in a different mix along with Ingram's follow-up hits, I Be You're Shelter (In Time of Storm) and Always. Anyone who is familiar with Kent's Ingram singles collections already knows that he was one hell of a singer, and there's nothing on this CD that disproves that assumption. If you're a fan, you need this CD. (GMC)

LITTLE WILLIE JOHN Ace CDCHD 1221 The Later King Sessions, 1961-1963 ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 62 min., highly recommended
This release completes Ace's reissuing of Little Willie John's great King catalog, which is essential listening for all soul fans. What's striking here is that, while the material is often substandard (and sometimes worse), and while the backing tracks are often trite and silly sounding, LWJ's vocal performances are uniformly superb. It's as if he couldn't help it. Like Ray Charles, John ranks among the greatest early proponents of the music that came to be known as "soul," and, interestingly, like Charles he cuts two country standards (Big Blue Diamonds & She Thinks I Still Care) that stand out as among the earliest country soul efforts. But for every amazing vocal triumph here, such as the ballad Without A Friend, LWJ is forced to record mediocre material unworthy of his talents or wholly inappropriate for the times. One listen to Bill Bailey will confirm the claim, and yet LWJ manages to jack the track out of the sewer by virtue of his vocal gifts. Little Willie John died in prison in 1968, making these latter-day King sides all the more precious. (JC)

ROY LEE JOHNSON Bear Family BCD 16321 When A Guitar Plays The Blues ● CD $24.98
30 tracks, highly recommended
26 tracks recorded between 1961 and 1968 by singer/ songwriter/ guitarist Roy Lee Johnson along with four unissued sides by singer/ guitarist Curtis Smith accompanied by Johnson. In spite the title song most of the tracks here are not blues but rather a mix of R&B, soul and funk. Johnson is best known for having written and first recorded the song Mister Moonlight (include here) while he was a member of Piano Red's band and which was covered by The Beatles on the b-side of their first single. Johnson started his musical career working with Robert Ward & The Ohio Untouchables in Detroit where they both played their guitars through Magnetophone amps with their distinctive underwater tremolo sound and he uses this style to great effect on a number of the tracks here. Most of the tracks here are from his stint with Columbia from 1961 to 1965 along with a couple of sides recorded for Josie in 1965 and six for Phillips in 1967 and '68. His earlier sides find him attempting a range of styles which are not always effective but by the mid 60s he settled into a solid groove of deep soul ballads and rocking funk numbers with a superb band. The last of his recordings here from 1967 and '68 were recorded in Rick Hall's Fame studios with that great Fame sound. Curtis Smith worked with Roy in Piano Red's band and his tracks are enjoyable if not especially compelling. Though not always consistent there's enough really good material here to make it worth your while. (FS)

ANNIE LAURIE Official 9138 It Hurts To Be In Love ● CD $16.98
26 tracks, 68 mins, highly recommended
A most welcome reissue of the 50s recordings of this outstanding R&B vocalist. Her 40s recordings with the Paul Gayten band have been available for a long time but this is the first in depth look at her post Gayten sides. Laurie was an exciting singer with a touch of gospel in her vocals and on these recordings cut in New York between 1951 and 1962 she is accompanied by top New York session men like Taft Jordan, Sam Taylor, Mickey Baker, Budd Johnson and others. The set opens with her biggest hit the romping double tracked It Hurts To Be In Love (not the Gene Pitney song) from 1957 and includes a fine selection of material with an emphasis on soulful bluesy ballads but also including torchy jazzy numbers and up tempo rockers. Tracks include Hold On To What You Got/ Rockin' And Rollin' Again (with a storming guitar solo from Baker)/Cryin' Sighin' Dyin'/ Lonesome And Blue/ If You're Lonely/ It Must Be You/ Feeling The Need/ Out Of My Mind/ Time Out For Tears and more. At her last session in 1962 she is accompanied by a string orchestra and chorus on two songs including a gorgeous rendition of the blues standard Trouble In Mind. After 1962 Annie disappeared off the scene - possibly becoming involved in religious pursuits which were a big part of her life. Sound quality is superb and booklet has brief biographical notes. (FS)
ANNIE LAURIE: Cryin' Sighin' Dyin'/ Feeling The Need/ Get Me Some Money/ Give Me Half A Chance/ Hand In Hand/ Hold On To What You Got/ I Feel So Right Tonight/ If You're Lonely/ In The Mood For You/ It Hurts To Be In Love/ It Must Be You/ It's Gonna Come Out In The Wash Someday/ Lonesome And Blue/ Lost Love/ Love Is A Funny Thing/ Nobody's Gonna Hurt You/ Out Of My Mind/ Please, Honey, Don't Go/ Rockin' And Rollin' Again/ Since I Fell For You/ Someday Someway/ Stop Talkin' And Start Walkin'/ Time Out For Tears/ Trouble In Mind/ You Belong To Me/ You Promised Love/ BETTE MCLAURIN: A Love That's True/ Autumn Leaves/ Cottage For Sale/ Crying For You/ Do You Know Why?/ Forever Forever/ Grow Old Along With Me/ How Can I/ I Hear A Rhapsody/ I May Hate Myself In The Morning/ I Won't Tell A Soul I Love You/ I'm Alone Because I Love You/ I'm Past Sixteen/ It's Easy To Remember/ Just Come A Little Closer/ My Dreams Of You/ My Heart Belongs To Only You/ Old Man River/ Petticoat Baby/ Please Don't Leave Me/ Sleepy Lagoon/ So Will I/ The Masquerade Is Over/ What A Night For Love/ Who Can I Turn To?

BETTYE LAVETTE Reel Music 78003 Tell Me A Lie ● CD $14.98
10 tracks, 35 mins, highly recommended
Before LaVette made her stunning comeback with her two Anti albums, "Scene of the Crime" and "I've Got My Own Hell to Raise", she had recorded an album in 1982 for Motown which now gets its first CD release via Reel Music, Universal's Special Markets label. Critically acclaimed but commercially disappointing at the time (not surprising since it was so completely at odds with the funk records Motown was cranking back then), this southern soul update is in perfect keeping with LaVette's later albums. Really, from the swooning opener Right in the Middle (Of Falling in Love) (with its echoes of Knock on Wood) to a sultry take on Eddie Rabbitt's Suspicions to a cover of I Heard it Through the Grapevine that owes more to Marvin Gaye's version than Gladys Knight's, this is the type of album Tina Turner should have been making at the time, rather than the synthetic R&B that may have got her back in the charts, but didn't do her any favors artistically in my opinion. Anyone who's already converted to LaVette's cause thanks to the Anti releases, or a longtime fan who's been slow off the mark, owes it to themselves to give this one a listen. (GMC)

JACKIE LEE Kent CDKEND 320 The Mirwood Records Masters ● CD $18.98
Jackie Lee was a Los Angeles-based R&B singer who recorded under several different names (including his real one, Earl Nelson) and had his first hit as one half of Bob & Earl, Harlem Shuffle, in 1964. From there, Lee went on to have a big hit in 1965 with dance song The Duck, which was cut for Mirwood Records. All of Lee's mid-60's Mirwood recordings are collected on this CD, including The Duck, his remake of Harlem Shuffle, and his cover of Hully Gully (originally cut by The Olympics, who were produced by the same man behind Lee, Fred Smith, a talented R&B producer/songwriter). Kent has also included tracks cut under one of Lee's aliases, Earl Cosby, and the usual alternate takes and previously unissued tracks.

LEGENDS OF DOOWOP Crystal Ball 1099 All In The Family ● CD $17.98
This CD answers the question: what happens when a bunch of old time doo-wopers relocate to Florida and form a singing group, late in their careers. The Legends of Doowop are: Tony Passalacqua (Fascinators), Jimmy Gallagher (Passions), Frank Mancuso (Imaginations), and Steve Horn (5-Sharks), and they recorded some latter-day tracks which are compiled here. Also featured are demos from the singers' original groups. Songs include Nobody/ It Wasn't A Le/ LOve Is A Game/ Old Man River/ All Night Long/ This IWS The NIght For Love/ You Don't LOve Me Anymore/ SWoosh and more, including two Walt Disney jingles!

BETTE MCLAURIN Official 9137 The Masquerade Is Over ● CD $16.98
25 tracks, 72 mins, recommended
Fans of "The Derby Records Story" (Acrobat 3001) compilation take note: the '50s R&B/Pop diva, who contributed the torchy hit I May Hate Myself in the Morning to the latter CD, now has a CD all her own. This collection of singles recorded from 1951 to 1957-for Derby, Derby's off-shoot Central, Coral, Jubilee, Glory, Bon Ton, and Atco-showcases the singer, who, to all intents and purposes, was the female Johnny Mathis: a black singer who was more mainstream Pop than R&B, although McLaurin's voice is nowhere near as smooth as Mathis or even Nat Cole for that matter. In fact, it is probably the band arrangements, which are similar to 40's big band jazz, that helped cross her over into the Pop charts more than her less-than-polished vocals. Nonetheless, Bette does have a unique way with a song, and anyone who liked her track on the "Derby Story" should find something here to entertain them, including her other hits, The Masquerade is Over and My Heart Belongs to Only You (both cut with the Eddie Wilcox Orchestra). And she really knocks Old Man River out of the park! (GMC)

THE NIGHT SHADOWS Hottrax 60003 Vol. 1 - The Rhythm & Blues Period, 1959-1964 ● CD $13.98
20 tracks, 53 mins, recommended
This CD is the first of a three volume series chronicling the career of the Night Shadows, a Georgia band that are known to record collectors as one of the pioneer garage bands of the 60's. They also apparently were the paragons of psychedelic music in the South-an era that will be covered on a later volume-but here the focus is on the band's so-called "Rhythm & Blues Period". It was during this time that a bunch of school friends came together and played college frat parties and one-night stands in Georgia. All told, there were six versions of the Night Shadows and the music herein was recorded by the first three editions. The R&B here is quite good: the band essays a mix of covers and originals mostly composed by the band's leader Aleck Janoulis. Also of interest is the use of a man and a woman to front the band (this was the format used for Night Shadows' #2 and 3), which was somewhat usual for garage rock bands of the time. If you're a fan of "garage bands" from other parts of the U.S. (the Northwest rock of the Sonics and the Kingsmen, for example) then these sides will prove interesting and very likely entertaining. Songs include I Love You Babay/ Blindside/ Station Break/ The Elevator/ Ruby Baby/ Garbage Man/ See See Rider/ Blue Moon, etc. (GMC)

PIANO RED AKA DR. FEELGOOD Bear Family BCD 16639 Rocks ● CD $24.98
33 track retrospective of the most rockin' sides of Willie Perryman including his boisterous barrelhouse blues under the name of Piano Red for Victor and rockin' R&B under the name of Dr. Feelgood & His Interns for OKeh. This disc includes 'Red's Victor hits and a generous array of other Victor standouts (including the blistering instrumental 'Wild Fire'), the best of his late '50s sides for Checker and Jax, and five previously unreleased OKeh and Columbia sides from 1962 and '66 that were presumed lost when the Bear Family box set (BCD 15685 - 4 CD set - $99.98) was compiled.
DOCTOR FEELGOOD & THE INTERNS: Bald-Headed Lena/ Blang Dong/ Can't Wait No Longer/ Doctor Feelgood/ I Ain't Gonna Be A Lowdown Dog No More/ I Need You/ I'm Gonna Rock Some More/ Jumping The Boogie aka Jump/ Rock Me aka Rock Rock Rock/ The Double Twist/ What's Up Doc/ PIANO RED: Big Rock Joe From Kokomo/ Boogie Re-Bop/ Chitlin' Hop/ Decatur Street Boogie/ Diggin' The Boogie/ Everybody's Boogie/ I Ain't Fattenin' Frogs For Snakes/ I've Been Rockin'/ Jump Man Jump/ Jumpin' The Boogie/ Layin' The Boogie/ Red's Boogie/ Right String But The Wrong Yo Yo/ Rock And Roll Boogie/ Rock, Baby/ Rockin' With Red/ She Knocks Me Out/ She Walks Right In/ She's Dynamite/ The Sales Tax Boogie/ Wild Fire/ Woo-Ee

FREDDIE SCOTT Kent CDKEND 314 Mr. Heartache-The Best Of The Columbia Recordings Plus! ● CD $18.98
23 tracks, 63 mins, highly recommended
After his 1963 hit ballad Hey Girl (written by Goffin/King) and a couple more singles for Colpix, Freddie Scott moved over to the former's parent company Columbia where the R&B crooner underwent an ill-advised make-over as a cabaret singer in 1964. After little success in that genre, Scott returned to his R&B roots in 1965 for a few more unsuccessful singles, until he was dropped by Columbia and picked up by Bert Berns' Shout Records in 1966. The long out-of-print material from this era has been helpfully collected by the gang at Kent. Scott had a rich and expressive tenor voice (kind of like Jerry Butler), and these songs, although packed with middle-of-the road arrangements, receive sensitive treatment in Scott's hands. Make no mistake, this is a welcome long missing piece to an intriguing puzzle. (GMC)

THE SHIRELLES Ace CDCHD 1227 Foolish Little Girl/ It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World ● CD $18.98
23 tracks, 54 mins, highly recommended
In 1963, the Shirelles were on a roll, that showed no signs of letting up: two more albums appeared that year and they comprise this third installment in Ace's series of re-issues. These two albums, their fifth and sixth, would be the final non-concept full-priced that their label Scepter Records would release. Anchored by the hit title track, "Foolish Little Girl" also sports material composed by heavy hitters like Sam Cooke, Van McCoy, Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe (writers of the Four Seasons' hits), and Brill Building stalwarts Howard Greenfield and Ellie Greenwich. The other half of this two-fer, finds the girls singing the theme to the classic Stanley Kramer comedy "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," which wasn't used in the movie, and the song 31 Flavors which was (it's the music in the scene with Dick Shawn wildly frugging away). It was this tie in that resulted in album number six's raison d'etre, this wasn't just a film cash-in (which maybe the public thought it was, resulting in poor sales) but an organic piece of work-despite the reprise of Boys from the first Scepter album-containing the sexy Love on the Moon, the infectious The Music Goes Round and Round, and the churchy You Satisfy My Soul among the gold. From here on, the Shirelles' story will get bumpier, but that will have to wait until the volume. For now, revel in the premiere girl group goodness that is the Shirelles. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCH2 1226 The Complete Goldwax Singles, Vol. 1: 1962-1966 ● CD $27.98
2 CDs, 58 tracks, 146 mins, highly recommended
Goldwax is the Memphis R&B label established in 1964 by Quinton Claunch which is being celebrated by the first of three volumes from Ace Records. This two disc set contains singles (A sides and B sides) released by the label and its subsidiaries Bingo, Savoy, and Bandstand USA by the likes of O.V. Wright, James Carr, The Ovations, and Spencer Wiggins. Presented in chronological order, the tracks range from the novelty tunes Big Bad Jon The Twister and Pop-Eye Time (1962) by Jon Kennedy that kicks things off on Disc One to Oboe's tribute to John F. Kennedy The Day the World Cried (1964) to the teen tragedy of Bobby McDowell's Our Last Quarrel (1964) to The Lyrics' "dance" track The Side Wind (1964) to the sweet soul majesty of O.V. Wright's That's How Strong My Love Is (1964), the diversity of Goldwax's releases could never be disputed. Some of these songs are kinda silly and slight, but everything is worth a listen and, as always, Ace provides excellent liner notes that illuminate each track. (GMC)
EDDIE BOND: I Can't Fight This Much Longer/ Now and Then/ JAMES CARR: I Can't Make It/ Lover's Competition/ Only Fools Run Away/ She's Better Than You/ Talk Talk/ You Don't Want Me/ BIG LUCKY CARTER: Hurricane Blues/ Ohio Bound/ JON KENNEDY: Big Bad Jon The Twister/ Pop-Eye Time/ THE LAMARS: My Motorbike Balked/ Patsy/ THE LYRICS: Darling/ How A Woman Does Her Man/ So Hard To Get Along/ The Side Wind/ BOBBY MCDOWELL: A Gal Named Jo/ A Thousand Vows/ Our Last Quarrel/ These Ain't Raindrops/ THE MERITS: Arabian Jerk/ Please Please Little Girl/ GENE 'BOWLEGS' MILLER: Bow Legged/ Toddlin'/ OBOE: Mother-In-Law Trouble/ The Day The World Cried Part 1/ The Day The World Cried Part 2/ Tradin' Stamps/ She's Better Than You/ Too Slow/ THE OVATIONS: Don't Cry/ I Need A Lot Of Loving/ Dance Party/ I'm Living Good (version 1)/ It's Wonderful To Be In Love/ Pretty Little Angel/ Recipe For Love/ Won't You Call/ PHILLIP AND THE FAITHFULS: Love Me/ Rhythm Marie/ THE PLAYBOY FIVE: Spoonful/ What Am I Living For/ JEB STUART: The Greasy Frog/ Will I Ever Be Free/ AL VANCE: Every Woman I Know (Is Crazy Bout Automobiles)/ Have You Seen Jean/ THE VEL TONES: Darling/ I Do/ SPENCER WIGGINS: I'll Be True To You/ Love Works That Way/ Lover's Crime/ What Do You Think About My Baby/ DOROTHY WILLIAMS: Country Style/ The Well's Gone Dry/ O.V. WRIGHT WITH THE KEYS: That's How Strong My Love Is/ There Goes My Used To Be

VARIOUS ARTISTS BGP CDBGPD 201 Memphis 60 - Soul, R&B And Proto Funk From Soul City ● CD $18.98
The BGP label's follow up to 2008's Memphis 70 (BGP 192) finds the Ace Records off-shoot delivering more choice tracks from the magic music city of Memphis, this time from the 1960's. Goldwax, XL, and Stax/Volt are among the represented labels, providing songs by Eddie Kirk, Sir Isaac & the Do-Dads (aka Isaac Hayes), Spencer Wiggins, Ann Hodge, and Wee Willie Walker.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Doo-Wop 601 The "Chapel Of Doo-Wop" ● CD $17.98
Holy cow! 30 doo-wop songs with the word "Chapel" or "Church" in the title including Chapel Bells by The Impossibles, Crying In The Chapel by The Four Dukes, Alone In The Chapel by The Ivy Three, Church Bells by Jay Fanning and more.
MARVIN BASKERVILLE & THE FIVE CHESTNUTS: Chapel in the Moonlight/ THE CHARMERS: The Curch on the Hill/ THE ELITES: In the Little Chapel/ THE FABULOUS FOUR: In the Chapel in the Moonlight/ JAY FANNING: Church Bells/ THE FOUR DUKES: Crying in the Chapel/ THE FOUR STARS: Chapel By the Sea/ SUNNY GALE: Church Bells May Ring/ THE GAYLARKS: Church on the Hill/ THE GAYNOTES: Waiting in the Chapel/ THE GLENNS: In the Chapel in the Moonlight/ THE HITMAKERS: Chapel of Love/ THE IMPOSSIBLES: Chapel Bells/ THE IVY THREE: Alone in the Chapel/ JIMMY & THE STARFIRES: In the Chapel in the Moonlight/ THE KESTRELS: In the Chapel in the Moonlight/ LITTLE JERRY: Chapel On the Hill/ LONNIE & THE CAROLLONS: Chapel of Tears/ THE MELLOKINGS: Chapel on the Hill/ DON MIKKELSON: Chapel of Love/ THE MISTAKES: Chapel Bells/ THE PALISAIDES: Chapel Bells/ RICHTIE PARIS: Outside the Chapel Door/ JOHNNY SHIELDS: Crying in the Chapel/ THE SUNDIALS: Chapel of Love/ THE SUNNY BOYS: Chapel Bells/ THE VELONS: From the Chapel/ THE VELVETS: Crying in the Chapel/ BOBBY WILLIAMS: Chapel of Love/ SONNY WOODS & THE TWIGS: Chapel of Memories

VARIOUS ARTISTS Doo-Wop 905 25 Way To Say Goodbye ... Doo-Wop Style ● CD $17.98
25 track collection of farewell songs by doo-wop groups including Don't Say Goodbye by The Shells, You Said Goodbye by The Reflections, I Say Goodbye by The Teamates, Goodbye My Love by The Montereys and 21 more.
THE ANGELS: I'm Saying Goodbye/ BLACKBEARD & THE PIRATES: Lovers Never Say Goodbye/ THE CHEVELLES: It's Goodbye/ THE CONCORDS: Our Last Goodbye/ THE CORSAIRS: Goodbye Darling/ THE CRITERIONS: Don't Say Goodbye/ THE FIVE DELIGHTS: There'll Be No Goodbye/ THE FIVE SPEEDS: Goodbye/ THE FOUR JACKS: Goodbye Baby/ THE FRESCANDOS: Your Last Goodbye/ JOHNNY HOLLIDAY & GRADUATES: Goodbye My Love/ JOEY BROOKS: Goodbye Goodbye/ THE BOB KNIGHT FOUR: So So Long/ LINDA & THE TEARS: Good Goodbye/ THE MARCELS: Goodbye To Love/ PATTY MCCOY & RENEGADES: Goodbye/ THE MODERN RED CAPS: Never Kiss a Good Man Goodbye/ THE MONTEREYS: Goodbye My Love/ THE MOONGLOWS: Don't Say Goodbye/ NANCY CAROLE & THE MILOS: Tell Him Goodbye/ THE REFLECTIONS: You Said Goodbye/ THE SHELLS: Don't Say Goodbye/ THE SUPERIORS: Don't Say Goodbye/ THE TEAMATES: I Say Goodbye/ THE VIBRATIONS: Don't Say Goodbye

VARIOUS ARTISTS Eldo 101 The Best Of Doo-Wops Of Eldo Records ● CD $16.98
23 tracks recorded in the early 60s for this Los Angeles based labels - much of it fairly pop oriented. It includes eight tracks by The Safaris including their big hit Images Of A Girl and their lesser hit The Girl With The Story In Her Eyes, Other artists include The Tri Dels, H.B. Barnum (good pop R&B instrumentals - not doo-wop), Julie Stevens & The Premieres, The Twilighters, Little Julian Herrera (the most soulful sounding artist here), etc.
H.B. BARNUM: Hallelujah/ Lost Love/ THE DING DONGS: Ding Dong/ Sweet Thing/ JULIAN HERRERA: Lonely Lonely Nights/ LITTLE JULIAN HERRERA: In Exchange of Your Love/ LILY OF THE VALLEY: Blue Mood/ I Had a Sweet Dream/ THE PENGUINS: Universal Twist/ THE SAFARIS: Four Steps To Love/ Garden of Love/ Girl With the Story In Her Eyes/ Image of a Girl/ In the Still of the Night/ Shadows/ Soldier of Fortune/ Summer Nights/ JULIE STEVENS & PREMIERS: Blue Mood/ Crazy Bells/ THE TRI DELS: Baby I Love You So/ Little Do I Know/ THE TWILIGHTERS: Do You Believe/ Nothin'

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fantastic Voyage 16 R&B Spotlight '58 ● CD $18.98
Fantastic Voyage has taken over from the sadly bankrupt Acrobat label and in the same tradition as Acrobat bring us this excellent two CD set featuring 60 tracks - most that made the Billboard R&B charts in 1958 - many in the top ten and quite a few that crossed over into the pop charts. Artists include Roy Hamilton, Little Richard, Bill Doggett, The Platters, Fats Domino,Jimmy Clanton, Bobby Freeman,Little Walter, Earl Grant, Ivory Joe Hunter, Ray Charles, Little Junior Parker, Chuck Willis and many more. Fine sound and 16 page booklet has informative notes by Mike Atherton.
LEE ALLEN & HIS BAND: Tic Toc/ Walkin' With Mr Lee/ GENE ALLISON: Have Faith/ LAVERN BAKER: I Cried A Tear/ CHUCK BERRY: Johnny B Goode/ Sweet Little Rock And Roll/ BILLY & LILLIE: La Dee Dah/ RUTH BROWN: This Little Girl's Gone Rockin'/ THE CHANTELS: Maybe/ RAY CHARLES: Rockhouse (Part 2)/ EUGENE CHURCH & THE FELLOWS: Pretty Girls Everywhere/ JIMMY CLANTON & HIS ROCKETS: Just A Dream/ THE COASTERS: Yakety Yak/ COZY COLE: Topsy II/ NAT "KING" COLE: Looking Back/ SAM COOKE: You Were Made For Me/ THE CRESCENDOS: Oh Julie/ THE DANLEERS: One Summer Night/ BOBBY DAY: Rock-in Robin/ BILL DOGGETT: Leaps And Bounds (Part 1)/ FATS DOMINO: Sick And Tired/ Whole Lotta Loving/ THE ELEGANTS: Little Star/ BOBBY FREEMAN: Betty Lou Got A New Pair Of Shoes/ Do You Want To Dance/ EARL GRANT: The End/ ROY HAMILTON: Don't Let Go/ THURSTON HARRIS: Do What You Did/ HARVEY & THE MOONGLOWS: Ten Commandments Of Love/ BOBBY HENDRICKS: Itchy Twitchy Feeling/ JOHN LEE HOOKER: I Love You Honey/ IVORY JOE HUNTER: Yes I Want You/ LITTLE ANTHONY & THE IMPERIALS: Tears On My Pillow/ LITTLE RICHARD: Good Golly, Miss Molly/ Ooh! My Soul/ LITTLE WALTER: Key To The Highway/ JIMMY MCCRACKLIN & HIS BAND: The Walk/ CLYDE MCPHATTER: Come What May/ MICKEY & SYLVIA: Bewildered/ THE MONOTONES: Book Of Love/ THE OLYMPICS: Western Movies/ THE ORIGINAL CASUALS: So Tough/ JOHNNY OTIS SHOW: Willie And The Hand Jive/ LITTLE JUNIOR PARKER: Sweet Home Chicago/ THE PLATTERS: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes/ Twilight Time/ LLOYD PRICE: Stagger Lee/ THE QUIN-TONES: Down The Aisle Of Love/ JIMMY REED: I'm Gonna Get My Baby/ THE RIVIERAS: Count Every Star/ ROBERT & JOHNNY: We Belong Together/ THE SHIELDS: You Cheated/ THE SILHOUETTES: Get A Job/ HUEY (PIANO) SMITH & THE CLOWNS: Don't You Just Know It/ JOE TURNER: (We're Gonna) Jump For Joy/ THE VELOURS: Remember/ MUDDY WATERS: Close To You/ CHUCK WILLIS: Betty And Dupree/ Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes/ Keep A-Driving

VARIOUS ARTISTS GVC 1005 Love Is A Wailing Thing ● CD $13.98
30 tracks, recommended
A fine collection of R&B, city blues and doo-wop featuring all 30 sides issued by MGM in 1955 and 1956 in their short lived 55000 R&B series. Most of these sides were arranged and produced by prolific musician, arranger, songwriter & producer Leroy Kirkland who started his career working with jazz groups in the 30s and continued until the 1970s. He assembled a crack group of musicians to perform on the sessions here including Mickey Baker, Sam "The Man" Taylor, Al Sears, Taft Jordan and others. There are four fine tracks by Kirkland's band here credited as Claude Cloud & His Thunderclaps including the original version of Cloudburst which is best known from the vocalese version by Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. Most of the artists here are fairly obscure and among the highlights are fine blues singer Jimmie Newsome doing an excellent rendition of fellow MGM artist Hank Williams' Long Gone Lonesome Blues and the Kirkland composition I'm Afraid To Love. Mamie "Miss Good Blues" Thomas lives up to her monicker with two fine sides and there are also cuts by doo-wop groups The Hide-A-Ways, The Ramblers and The Twilighters plus single R&B artists like Jimmy Oliver, Ray Reid, Gladys Patrick and others. A number of the cuts are rather pedestrian novelty items or are bland otherwise this would have gotten a "highly recommended" rating. Still, most worthwhile, with excellent sound and informative notes. (FS)
BABY DEE: He Ain't Mine No More/ When I Cry/ CLAUDE CLOUD & HIS THUNDERCLAPS: Bang Up/ Cloudburst/ One Bone/ THE HIDE-A-WAYS: Cherie/ Me Make Em Pow Wow/ JIMMIE NEWSOME: I'm Afraid I Love You/ Long Gone Lonesome Blues/ JOHNNY OLIVER: Darling Is It Time/ I Must Have Love/ Lemonade Baby/ My Lady Love/ GLADYS PATRICK: The Blues/ Unchain My Heart/ Love Is A Wailing Thing/ Somebody Please/ THE RAMBLERS: Bad Girl/ Rickey-Do, Rickey-Do/ RAY REID: I'll Take The Blame/ Move It On Over/ DOLORES (BABY DEE) SPRIGGS: Unless You Love Me/ Zoom De De Ho Ho/ SAM "THE MAN" TAYLOR WITH CLAUDE CLOUD & HIS THUNDERCL: High Winds/ MAMIE (MISS GOOD BLUES) THOMAS WITH LEROY KIRKLAND'S ORCHESTRA: Daddy On My Mind/ Nobody Like My Man/ THE TWILIGHTERS: Gotta Get On The Train/ Half Angel/ Little Did I Dream/ Lovely Lady (Lundy Lou)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 313 Goldwax Northern Soul ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, recommended The companion to Ace's "The Complete Goldwax Singles" (Ace 1226) is this Kent collection of Northern Soul classics from the same Memphis label. Although there is some overlap with the Ace CD, there are enough unreleased and post-1966 tracks (although, one would assume that the later tracks will appear on Ace's future Goldwax Singles volumes) to make this set worthwhile. Highlights include Spencer Wiggins' high-charged Let's Talk It Over and Love Attack, George & Greer's To Me It's Storming, Ivory Joe Hunter's Every Little Bit Helped Me, and Timmy Thomas' It's My Life. As Northern Soul collections go, this one is quite tasty despite the fact that a few tracks are a tad too slow to be considered true Northern Soul. But why quibble, a good song is a good song and here are 24 good songs. Enjoy. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 318 The Real Thing-The Songs Of Ashford, Simpson & Armstead ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 59 mins, highly recommended
Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson made their name as by composing and producing the legendary string of Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell duets for Motown. Before that, however, Ashford and Simpson, along with Joshie Jo Armstead, wrote scores of fab soul songs between 1964 and 1967. The trio worked best with the girl groups (the Crystals, the Shirelles, the Chiffons), but they also wrote some great tracks for the Diplomats (Love Ain't What it Used to Be), Betty LaVette (Only Your Love Can Save Me), and Aretha Franklin (one of the better songs she recorded during her ill-fated Columbia tenure, Cry Like a Baby). A few of the artists they worked with are eye brow raising (Ronnie Milsap, B.J. Thomas), but everything here is solid mid-60's pop. Definitely worth a listen. (GMC)
THE APOLLAS: Mr Creator/ BIG MAYBELLE: No Better For You/ TINA BRITT: You re Absolutely Right/ MAXINE BROWN: You re In Love/ CANDY & THE KISSES: Looky, Looky (What I Got)/ THE CHIFFONS: The Real Thing/ THE COASTERS: Let's Go Get Stoned/ THE CRYSTALS: Are You Trying To Get Rid Of Me Baby/ THE DIPLOMATS: Love Ain t What It Used To Be/ BETTY EVERETT: The Shoe Won t Fit/ Too Hot To Hold/ ARETHA FRANKLIN: Cry Like A Baby/ VERNON GARRETT: Running Out/ CHUCK JACKSON & MAXINE BROWN: I m Satisfied/ THE JEWELLS: Smokie Joe's/ JO ANN & TROY: Same Old Feeling/ MARIE KNIGHT: Say It Again/ BETTY LAVETTE: Only Your Love Can Save Me/ MARY LOVE: Baby I ll Come/ Dance Children Dance/ RONNIE MILSAP: I Saw Pity In The Face Of A Friend/ THE SHIRELLES: Look Away/ B. J. THOMAS: Never Had It So Good/ DORIS TROY: Please Little Angel

VARIOUS ARTISTS Music Club Deluxe 101 The Best Of Burlesque - 50 Original Club Classics ● CD $16.98
Two CDs, 50 tracks, recommended
An entertaining collection of mostly R&B songs from the late 40s and the 50s that are currently being played in burlesque clubs. Yes Burlesque has once again become part of popular culture. Thought dead by the late 60s - it's relatively tame risqué entertainment had given way to to more explicit striptease and nude dancing and eventually live sex acts. In the 1990s burlesque was revived in Britain and the USA with clubs providing old style striptease, modern dance, theatrical mini dramas and, of course, raunchy comedy. This collection features some of the most popular sides currently being played in U.K. clubs and is mostly R&B along with some jazz, pop and Latin. Needless to say it includes David Rose's 1958 homage to the culture The Stripper along with risqué numbers like Bull Moose Jackson' Big Ten Inch, Paula Watson's I LOve To Rise, The Swallows It Ain't The Meat and others plus tracks from Earl Bostic, Li'l Millett & His Creoles, The Flamingos, Dr. Horse (his wonderful Jack, That Cat was Clean),  Billy Gayles, Perez Prado, Amos Milburn, Sugar Boy Crawford, Roy Montrell, Etta James, Dinah Washington and others. No surprises here for long time collectors but an enjoyable collection and may give you the inspiration to start your own burlesque club with that certain Ms. or Mister to help out practicing the moves. (FS)
DAVE BARTHOLOMEW: The Monkey/ EARL BOSTIC: Harlem Nocturne/ TINY BRADSHAW & HIS ORCH.: Train Kept A-Rollin'/ ROY BROWN: Let the Four Winds Blow/ THE CADETS: Stranded in the Jungle/ JOE CLAY: Sixteen Chicks/ THE COASTERS: Three Cool Cats/ SGAR BOY CRAWFORD: Jock-O-Mo/ BO DIDDLEY: Bo Diddley/ THE FLAMINGOS: Jump Children (Voot Voot)/ CLARENCE GARLOW: New Bon-Ton Roulay/ BILLY GAYLES: I'm Tore Up/ DIZZY GILLESPIE: Manteca/ WYNONIE HARRIS: Good Morning Judge/ I Want My Fanny Brown/ Lovin' Machine/ DALE HAWKINS: Suzy Q/ SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS: I Put a Spell on You/ DR. HORSE: Jack, That Cat Was Clean/ FLUFFY HUNTER WITH THE JESSE POWELL ORCH.: Walkin' Blues/ BULL MOOSE JACKSON: Big 10 Inch Record (Of the Blues)/ WILLIS "GATOR" JACKSON: Gator's Groove/ ETTA JAMES: Good Rockin' Daddy/ LITTLE WILLIE JOHN: Fever/ BOB LANDERS: Cherokee Dance/ JULIA LEE & HER BOYFRIENDS: My Man Stands Out/ Snatch It and Grab It/ JULIE LEE & HER BOYFRIENDS: Gotta Give Me What You Got/ JIMMY LIGGINS & HIS DROPS OF JOY: Drunk/ JOE LIGGINS & HIS HONEYDRIPPERS: The Honeydripper/ PAPA LIGHTFOOT: Wine, Women, Whiskey/ LIL' MILLET & HIS CREOLES: Rich Woman/ MARVIN & JOHNNY: Yak Yak/ JIMMY MCCRACKLIN: I Wanna Make Love to You/ STICK MCGHEE & HIS BUSDDIES: One Monkey Don't Stop No Show/ JACK MCVEA & HIS ALL STARS: Bartender Boogie/ AMOS MILBURN: One Scotch One Bourbon, One Beer/ ROY MONTRELL: That Mellow Saxophone/ ELLA MAE MORSE: House of Blue Lights/ PEREZ PRADO & HIS ORCH.: Mambo No. 5/ LOUIS PRIMA: Just a Gigolo-I Ain't Got Nobody/ DAVID ROSE & HIS ORCH.: The Stripper/ FRANKIE LEE SIMS: She Likes to Boogie Real Low/ FRANK SINATRA: Lover/ THE SWALLOWS: It Ain't the Meat/ BIG JOE TURNER: My Gal's a Jockey/ T-BONE WALKER: T-Bone Shuffle/ DINAH WASHINGTON: Long John Blues/ PAULA WATSON: I Love to Ride/ LINK WRAY: Rumble

VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 50-001 RCA-Victor Jump 'n' Jive, Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, 57 mins, highly recommended
Great collection of jumpin' blues and R&B from the late 40s and early 50s - most of it making its first appearance on CD. Among the highlights are three sides by the superb Jackson Brothers recorded in L.A. - two of them featuring the raucous Wynonie Harris influenced vocalist Billy Henderson and the other a hard driving instrumental with some tough guitar work from George Collier. Guitarist and bandleader Rene Hall is featured on two cuts, one of them an instrumental, featuring solid guitar from Hall. Atlanta saxman Clyde "Blow Top" Lynn is featured with his band on two tracks with fine vocals from Melvin Smith and there are also excellent contributions from Gay Crosse & His Good Humor Six, Mr. Sad Head, The Ford Nelson Quintet (a romping version of the pop/ jazz favorite Organ Grinder's Swing) and more. There are no notes but sound quality is excellent. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Soulscape 7017 Malaco Soul Brothers, Vol. 1 ● CD $19.98
25 tracks, 76 mins, highly recommended
In its ongoing mission to document the more obscure recordings of Malaco Records, Soulscape brings us three more singers from the Malaco archives: Chuck Brooks, Joe Wilson, and George Soule. All three recorded for the Jackson, Mississippi label in the early 70's: Brooks cut a few 45's-notably Loneliness (Is a Friend of Mine) - but really made his mark as a songwriter and producer during the 80's; Wilson cut the notable Let a Broken Heart Come in b/w (Don't Let Them) Blow Your Mind in 1971; George Soule has written, produced and played with many artists, but his output for Malaco was minimal. Brooks was a fine ballad singer with a smooth style that he put to good use on I Believe in Love, for example as well as a spunky uptempo groove as shown on Baby Please Don't Set Me Free in the manner of early 70's soul. Wilson's voice was in the mold of Al Green, which comes across well on his tracks especially (Don't Let Them) Blow Your Mind/ When a Man Cries, and Your Love is Sweet (to the Very Last Drop). Wilson has the most tracks here, and he's also the most obscure of the three: unlike the others, he promptly faded back into obscurity in New Orleans after the 80's. Soule's tracks are the most stylized of the three men: dramatic, stark, and intense sum up Talkin' About Love and The Easiest Thing I've Ever Done. He only has three tracks here, but Soulscape promises more in the future; I for one can't wait. In the meantime, this fine collection of three excellent, but relatively forgotten, singers is a must have. (GMC)

FREDDIE WATERS Black Magic 9201 Singing A New Song ● CD $18.98
18 tracks, 50 mins, recommended
The annals of music from the 1960's and 1970's are filled with talented people who never got their due, either because of bad breaks or being ahead of their time. And another such talent was Freddie Waters, a Nashville R&B singer who's voice is reminiscent of Sam Moore's and who cut a series of memorable tracks for Ref-O-Ree (including his southern regional hit Singing a New Song) in the 60's and October in the 70's. Waters was good enough for Curtis Mayfield to sign him to Mayfield's Curtom label and, by listening to these tracks, it's easy to see why: Waters had a supple voice that was capable of generating real emotional currency on songs like Love is a Two Way Thing. This CD contains all of Waters' Ref-O-Ree sides, and the best of his October material; the 60's cuts are very much in the vein of what Stax was doing at the same time, while the October material sounds like generic 70's soul, albeit well sung. Regardless, there is enough here to conclude that if Waters had had better luck (he cut the original version of We're in the Love Together - which isn't here unfortunately-that later became a smash for Al Jarreau) he might have been a huge star. However, all we are left with is this collection and the usual what if questions. (GMC)


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