Rhythm & Blues, Soul & Doo-Wop - Bulletin May/ June 2010 - Chuck Berry -> Bobby Womack
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BULLETIN - May/ June 2010
Rhythm & Blues, Soul & Doo-Wop
Chuck Berry -> Bobby Womack

 

NEW COMPACT DISCS



CHUCK BERRY Hip-O Select 13790-02 Have Mercy - Complete Chess Recordings, 1969-1974 ● CD $69.98
The third and final volume devoted to the complete Chess recordings of this great rock 'n' roll pioneer picks up the story in 1969 when he returned to Chess after a three year hiatus at Mercury Records. His first single - Tulane/ have Mercy Judge while not a hit showed that Chuck together with the Chess production team still had the old magic. This 71 track collection features everey available master and alternate take from this period plus 22 previously unissued recordings, ranging from in-studio jams to four additional live recordings from the concert that produced the live side of The LOndon Chuck berry Sessions LP and much more. It includes, of course, his only #1 hit - the live version of My Ding-A-Ling (no comment!). Includes liner notes from Chuck's biographer Fred Rothwell who also compiled the series and booklet includes great period photos and session-by-session credits.

 
JAMES BROWN Hip-O Select 12928-02 Live At The Garden - Expanded Edition ● CD $31.98
2 CD, 34 tracks. Originally released in 1967, the original LP may not have become as legendary as 1962's "Live at the Apollo", but it's still an excellent reminder of how good Brown was in his prime. The title is a misnomer, as the recordings were actually cut at the Latin Casino in Cherry Hill, NJ during a ten night stand (two shows a night) in January 1967. The original 12 song LP has been expanded to include an entire concert recreated - and given the more accurate title "Live at the Latin Casino" - from the same cache of tapes. Another limited edition release in Hip-O Select's James Brown re-issue program, this disc is a worthy companion to the label's "Singles" series.

 
JAMES BROWN Hip-O Select 13349-02 The Singles, Vol. 8: 1972-73 ● CD $31.98
2 CDs, 40 tracks, 144 mins, highly recommended
Here's another fine installment in this great series chronicling the singles releases of The Godfather of Soul, James Brown. Since we are getting into the '70s on this collection, the hits aren't happening as often, but when they hit, they hit hard. This covers the whole James Brown spectrum of the time -- JBs, Lyn Collins etc.--and also includes some alternate mixes and such. Killer cuts like King Heroin/ Honky Tonk (pts 1 & 2,)/ Pass The Peas/ Mamas Dead/ The Boss/ Doing It To Death/ Slaughter Theme, and so, so many more. Essential for fans of James Brown and of classic Soul & Funk in general at least Highly Recommended for everyone else. (JM)

 
THE CADILLACS Jasmine 556 Zoom - The Josie Singles, 1954-1959 ● CD $15.98
Two CDs, 43 tracks, highly recommended
Formed in Harlem, NY as the Carnations in the early 50's, this R&B/doo-wop vocal group was first influenced by the Orioles but soon developed their own style managed to make a fine body of work during its original lifespan. This great collection features all their singles issued between 1954 and '59. Their first single I Wonder Why b/w Gloria and it was a regional hit on the East Coast; both sum up the group's style: Gloria with its romantic balladry and I Wonder Why with its up-tempo, swing-y love declarations. The group finally hit big in 1955 with Speedoo - a memorable paean to romantic prowess in honor of the group's leader Earl "Speedoo" Caroll - and although they couldn't quite repeat the feat, they remained a popular live act with their flamboyant stage antics. Their later recordings have a more novelty feel and shows the influence of The Coasters and while the latter sides are not as consistently fine as the earlier ones there's lot's of great sides including my personal favorite - the great Peek A Boo. Excellent sound and informative notes by Bob Fisher. (FS)
THE CADILLACS: About That Girl Called Lou/ Ain't You Gonna/ Always My Darling/ Bad Dan McGoon/ Betty My Love/ Broken Heart/ Buzz Buzz Buzz/ Cool It Fool/ Copy Cat 1959/ Down The Road/ Dumbell/ Girl I Love, The/ Gloria/ Holy Smoke Baby/ Hurry Home/ I Want To Know/ I Want To Know About Love/ I Wonder Why/ Jay Walker/ Let Me Explain/ Look A Here/ Lucy/ My Girl Friend/ Naggity Nag/ No Chance/ Oh Oh Lolita/ Peek-A-Boo/ Please Mr. Johnson/ Romeo/ Rudolp The Red Nosed Reindeer/ Shock A Doo/ Speedo/ Speedo Is Back/ Sugar Sugar/ Sympathy/ That's All I Need/ Who Ya Gonna Kiss/ Window Lady/ Wishing Well/ Woe Is Me/ Yea Yea Baby/ You Are/ Zoom

 
KING CURTIS JSP JSPCD 8812 With Al Casey - Live In New York Plus .. ● CD $16.98
14 tracks, 78 min., recommended
Originally released on LP in 1985, this live set was recorded in 1961 at Small's Paradise in New York but should not be confused with the Atlantic album called Live at Small's Paradise. The sound here, although not of studio quality, and filled as it is with noise from the club patrons, is good enough, and documents the King Curtis at a critical point in his development. The set is part jazz, part R&B; part sax, part singing. And Curtis sounds most at home, most free on How High The Moon and Canadian Sunset, where he just blows his tenor sax for all he's worth, which is plenty. He sounds most forced and awkward on the uninspired reading of his hit The Twist, where he puts down his ax and sings. The original club date has been supplemented with 5 bonus tracks recorded in 1985 by Al Casey and band. A worthwhile addition to King Curtis' eclectic and all to brief catalogue. (JC)

 
KING CURTIS Official 9139 King's Rock - 1950s Recordings ● CD $16.98
29 tracks, highly recommended
Fabulous collection of super hot R&B recorded between 1952 and 1959 all featuring the dynamic hard driving sax work of Texas giant King Curtis including sides issued under his own name as well as his accompaniments to vocalist Melvin Daniels and the incredible sides with the Sam Price Quintet and Sextet. Three tracks from 1952 or '53 are untitled instrumentals by a teenage Curtis with an unknown band that were originally unissued and show that Curtis was already a force to be reckoned with. There are five cuts from 1953 with Curtis accompanying superb but little known Texas R&B vocalist Melvin Daniels. Curtis's first tracks under his own name were his 1953 coupling Wine Head and I've Got News For You Baby where he turns in two fine blues vocals. The rest of the disc is all instrumental including five singles issued under Curtis's name ranging from the storming King's Rock to the sultry The Stranger. There are three sessions with groups led by pianist Sam Price from 1956 and 1956 - the first two feature guitarist Mickey Baker who turns in some of his most incendiary playing - after those six tracks you may want to call the fire brigade! The other Sam Price session features jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell who does a pretty good job emulating Baker's approach. A terrific ollection with superb sound. The booklet has no notes but does have full discographical info. (FS)
KING CURTIS: Dynamite At Midnight/ I've Got News For You Baby/ King's Rock/ Movin' On/ Rockabye Baby/ Steel Guitar Rag/ Tenor In The Sky/ The Stranger/ Unknown Instrumental/ Unknown Instrumental/ Unknown Instrumental/ Wicky Wacky, Part 1/ Wicky Wacky, Part 2/ Wine Head/ MELVIN DANIELS WITH KING CURTUS ORCH.: Boogie In The Moonlight (Aka: Lean Chicks)/ Hey Hey Little Girl/ I'll Be There/ No More Crying On My Pillow/ O.C. & THE HOLIDAYS: The Tuttle/ Watch That Action/ SAM PRICE QUINTET: After Hour Swing/ Ain't No Strain/ Back Room Rock/ Bar-B-Q Sauce/ Rib Joint/ Tishomingo/ SAM PRICE SEXTET: Chicken Out/ Gulley Stomp/ Jive Joint

 
THE EBONYS Shout 63 Forever: Philly Soul Gems ● CD $18.98
13 tracks, 54 mins, recommended
Sometimes there's a reason why a certain group doesn't quite make it to the big time. Take the Ebonys for example: although they received a quality make-over from the Gamble/Huff Philly Soul assembly line, they never really made the leap into lasting stardom, although they've since become beloved on the English Northern Soul circuit. And the material on this CD tells the story why: although the material is well produced and sung, there's nothing really special about the group to separate them from the pack in 1971. This collection compiles the group's first album-which includes their two medium-sized hits, You're the Reason Why and It's Forever - as well as bonus tracks released as 45s that were not included on the LP. The songs are pleasant enough, but there's not quite enough oomph to match contemporaries like the Stylistics or the Delphonics. Fans and completists of Philly Soul-especially fans of the Philadelphia International label-should step up to the plate; others enter at your own risk. (GMC)

 
GEORGIE FAME BGP CDBGPD 206 Mod Classics, 1964-1966 ● CD $18.98
24 tracks. The name Georgie Fame many not mean anything to Americans, but to Brits of a certain age, Georgie and his band the Blue Flames provided the soundtrack to a night out at the clubs. He was noteworthy for playing a potent fusion of R&B, Jazz, and Ska and this collection concentrates less on his hits (including Yeh Yeh and Getaway) and spotlights more obscure material. Many of the songs are covers (Papa's Got a Brand New Bag/ See Saw/ Funny How Time Slips Away), but Fame, with help from the Blue Flames and the cream of UK Jazz musicians, makes the tunes his own with his unique organ playing and singing. The collection also contains rare photos and insightful liner notes.

 
THE FIVE KEYS Jasmine 555 Rocking & Crying - The Complete Singles, 1951-54 Plus ● CD $15.98
Two CDs, 58 tracks, very highly recommended
Another of the great doo-wop groups gets an in depth treatment from Jasmine. This time it's the great Five Keys out of Newport News, Virginia. Like the finest groups of the time, The Five Keys showed talent on ballads, uptempo and everything in between. Formed in 1950 as the Sentimental Four, The Five Keys were basically comprised of the West brothers - Rudy and Bernie with Ripley Ingram, Maryland Pierce and Dickie Smith. Rudy West, Pierce and Smith all took turns as lead and are admired as some the finest lead singers of the era. Signed to Aladdin in 1951, the group topped the R&B charts in 1951 with their second single, a soulful vocal group rendition of the old pop ballad Glory Of Love and the uptempo flip Huckldbuck With Jimmy also had a big following and this set the trend for future releases featuring the group doing doo-wop rendition of pop favorites coupled with uptempo rockers. The first disc and part of the second features all their Aladdin singles as well as originally unissued tracks. In 1953 Rudy West and Dickie Smith left to join the army and were replaced by Ulysses S. Hicks and Ramon Lopez. The group briefly signed with Groove before moving to Capitol in 1954 and hitting the charts again with their rocking Ling Ting Tong which crossed over into the pop charts. The rest of the second disc features the Groove sides and a selection of their best Capitol recordings cut between 1954 and '58 including tracks from their live LP. Doo-wop at its finest with fine sound and informative notes by Bob Fisher. (FS)
THE FIVE KEYS: Be Anything But Be Mine/ Can't Keep From Crying/ Close Your Eyes/ Come Go My Bail Louise/ Darlin'/ Deep In My Heart/ Do I Need You/ Emily Please/ From The Bottom Of My Heart/ Glory Of Love, The/ Goin' Downtown/ Gypsy, The/ Handy Andy/ Hold Me/ How Do You Expect Me To Get It/ How Long/ Hucklebuck With Jimmy/ I Cried For You/ I Dreamt I Dwelt In Harlem/ I Hadn't Anyone 'Til You/ I Wish I'd Never Learned To Read/ I'll Always Be In Love With You/ I'll Follow You/ I'm So High/ It's A Cryin' Shame/ It's Christmas Time/ Lawdy Miss Mary/ Let There Be You/ Ling Ting Tong/ Lonesome Old Story/ Love My Loving/ Mama (Your Daughter Told A Lie On Me)/ Mistakes/ My Love/ My Pigeons Gone/ My Saddest Hour/ Oh Babe/ Old Macdonald (Had A Farm)/ One Great Love/ Out Of Sight Out Of Mind/ Red Sails In The Sunset/ Rocking And Crying Blues/ Serve Another Round/ She's The Most/ Someday Sweetheart/ Story Of Love/ Teardrops In Your Eyes/ There Ought To Be A Law/ These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)/ To Each His Own/ Too Late/ Verdict, The/ When Will My Troubles End/ Who Do You Know In Heaven (That Made You The Angel You Are)/ Why Oh Why/ Wisdom Of A Fool/ With A Broken Heart/ Yes Sir That's My Baby

 
THE FLAMINGOS Jasmine 554 Dream Of A Lifetime, 1953-1959 ● CD $15.98
Two CDs, 50 tracks, very highly recommended
The Flamingos were one of the greatest and most influential vocal groups of the 50s and one of the few who continued to be a major force in the 1960s. This collection features both sides of every one of their singles recorded between 1953 and 1959 for five different labels plus a selection of LP sides, alternate takes and originally unissued performances. The group underwent several changes over the period represented here but the founders of the group, cousins Zeke & Jake Carey were consistent except for a couple of years when Zeke was in the army. The first CD features their earliest sides which were consistently superb but not very successful - it wasn't until they recorded I'll Be Home - a song about a soldier returning from the army that they had their first hit and they followed it with several other hits and in 1959 had their biggest hit - a gorgeous funeral paced version of the pop ballad I Only Have Eyes For You with a unique arrangement which also became a big pop hit. All the 50s hits are here along with other great songs like Some Day Someway/ That's My Desire/ Plan For Love/ Listen To My Plea/ Dream Of A Lifetime/ I'm Yours/ I Found A new Baby/ Need Your Love/ Shilly Dilly/ Would I Be Crying/ Chickie Um Bah/ When, etc. Excellent sound and booklet has informative notes by Bob Fisher. (FS)

 
AL GREEN Hi HEXD 57 The Legendary Albums, Vol. 1 ● CD $25.98
The first of three double CD to reissue all twelve of the great soul singer Al Green's studio albums. Originally issued between 1969 and 1972 the four albums here - "Green Is Blues," "Al Green gets Next To You," "Let's Stay Together," and "I'm Still In Love With You" includes such hits as You Say It/ Right Now, Right Now/ I Can't Get Next To You/ Tired Of Being Alone/ Let's Stay Together along with classic non hits like How Can You Mend A Broken Heart and Love And Happiness It also includes three bonus non-album b-sides including his soul drenched cover of The Beatles' I Want To Hold Your Hand. Includes booklet with extensive notes by Tony Rounce.

 
JIMMY HUGHES Kent CDKEND 331 Why Not TOnight? The Fame Recordings, Volume 2 ● CD $23.98
21 tracks, 52 mins, highly recommended
This second volume of recordings from the Alabama soul man's years with Fame Records (first volume: "Steal Away: The Early Fame Recordings", Kent 324 - $23.98) contains his second album, "Why Not Tonight?," complete, plus bonus tracks including three previously unissued masters. The second part of a Kent CD trilogy, the disc features the 1966 hit Neighbor, Neighbor (arranged by Ray "Ahab the Arab" Stevens) and the 1967 hit Why Not Tonight, as well as tracks composed by the likes of Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham, Huey Meaux, and Jerry Butler and Curtis Mayfield, and Hughes himself. This is the last CD to cover Hughes time recording for Fame mastermind Rick Hall; the next volume, "Something Extra Special," will pick up with the 27 masters Hughes cut for Stax/ Volt. Until then, enjoy these exceptional slices of Muscle Shoals soul. (GMC)

 
THE INK SPOTS King 0132 18 Greatest Hits ● CD $7.98
18 tracks, 49 mins, recommended
Every house should have a good Ink Spots collection and this is a good one to have. Nothing fancy: this collection has minimal packaging, but maximum classic Ink Spots tunes. This set features all of the tracks that the group recorded for King/ Federal in the mid 1950's, 17 of which were released back then, one track Doing, is making it's first appearance anywhere on this collection. You get Melody Of Love/ Ebb Tide/ Don't Laugh At Me, and many more Ink Spots classics. (JM)

 
LOU JOHNSON Kent CDKEND 333 Incomparable Soul Vocalist ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, 72 mins, highly recommended
If silky voiced soul man Lou Johnson is remembered at all it's for the fact that he recorded the original versions of Reach Out For Me and Kentucky Bluebird (Send a Message to Martha), which later became hits for Dionne Warwick (the latter as Message to Michael). For that reason, and because of his superior way with sophisticated material, Johnson became known as the "male Dionne Warwick", but he was much more than that as this superb compilation demonstrates. This collection contains tracks Johnson recorded for the Big Top and Hilltop labels-which had connections to Brill Building publisher Hill and Range-between 1962 and 1967, seven of which were written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David including the aforementioned songs as well as (There's) Always Something There to Remind Me (hit covered in the 60's by Sandie Shaw and in the 80's by Naked Eyes). With six previously unreleased tracks included to sweeten the pot, this is the definitive collection by an underrated artist. (GMC)

 
LAURA LEE Edsel 2050 Women's Love Rights/ I Can't Make It Alone/ Two Sides . ● CD $19.98
A fine companion to our popular collection of Laura Lee's Chess recordings (Chess 983-229) is this compilation containing Lee's recordings for former Motown writers/producers Holland/Dozier/Holland's Hot Wax and Invictus labels. Featuring the complete albums (minus duplicated tracks on "I Can't Make It Alone") plus bonus tracks, this 2 CD set of tracks cut between 1971 and 1974 present a necessary continuation of the Laura Lee story and are a must for any true fan.

 
LITTLE ESTHER JSP JSPCD 4223 The Early Hits, 1949-1954 ● CD $22.98
Two CD set featuring most of the recordings made between 1949 and 1954 by this superb and ill fated vocalist. 52 tracks ranging from her first hits with the Johnny Otis Orchestra in 1949 when she was only 13 years old through to numerous recordings for Federal and her lesser known Decca sides. Most of her sessions featured members of the Johnny Otis Orch. (George Washington, Pete Lewis, Mario Delagarde, etc.) It includes duets with Mel Walker, Bobby Numm and Little Willie Littlefield as well as tracks with vocal groups The Robins and The Dominoes.
LITTLE ESTHER: Aged And Mellow Blues/ Better Beware/ Bring My Loviní Back To Me/ Cherry Wine/ Cryiní And Singiní The Blues/ Cupidís Boogie/ Deceiviní Blues/ Donít Make A Fool Out Of Me/ Double Crossing Blues/ Far Away Blues/ Flesh Blood And Bones/ Get Together Blues/ Heart To Heart/ Heís A No Good Man/ Hold Me/ Holleriní And Screaminí/ Hound Dog/ I Donít Care/ I Dream/ I Paid My Dues/ If You Want Me/ Iíll Be There/ Iím A Bad Bad Girl/ Just Canít Get Free/ Last Laugh Blues/ Looking For A Man/ Lost Dream Blues/ Love Oh Love/ Love Will Break Your Heart For You/ Loverís Lane Boogie/ Mainliner/ Misery/ Mistrustiní Blues/ Other Lips Other Arms/ Please Donít Send Me/ Rambliní Blues/ Ring-A-Ding-Doo/ Saturday Night Daddy/ Sit Back Down/ Somebody New/ Stop Cryiní/ Street Lights/ Summertime/ Sweet Lips/ Talkiní All Out Of My Head/ Tell Him That I Need Him So/ The Crying Blues/ The Deacon Moves In/ The Storm/ Turn The Lamps Down Low/ Wedding Boogie/ You Took My Love Too Fast

 
GENE MUMFORD Official 9140 And The Dominoes - Including His Solo Sides ● CD $16.98
23 tracks, 58 mins, recommended
The third lead singer of vocal group Billy Ward and His Dominoes (after Clyde McPhatter and Jackie Wilson), Gene Mumford held that chair from 1957 to 1958, but before that he led vocal group the Larks (1950 to 1955). However, this CD is the first collection of Mumford's time with the Dominoes as well as the solo sides he cut for Columbia and Liberty in the early 60's. Mumford's arrival in the group signaled its transition from a "chitlin' circuit" R&B act to a Las Vegas-style pop group, epitomized by the Mumford-sung hits Star Dust and Deep Purple. This version of the Dominoes also cut an LP in 1957, "Sea of Glass," some tracks of which are included here. Those seeking the grit of McPhatter's Dominoes or the sexy shouting of Wilson's Dominoes won't find any of that here; this material is very much in the vein of the Platters-i.e. orchestrated pop for the masses, albeit very well crafted and beautifully sung by Mumford. The inspirational material - Swing Low Sweet Chariot/ Above Jacob's Ladder-from "Sea of Glass" has a bit more verve, but still slick enough as to not offend white sensibilities. Mumford's later solo tracks are more of the same, but the one-off single he cut as Gene Mumford & the Serenaders - Please Give Me One More Chance b/w When You're Smiling - between membership in the Larks and the Dominoes is a revelation; the type of up tempo R&B (on the A-side) and glistening ballad (on the flip) that he should have been cutting all along. Still, a great singer is a great singer, and this CD does show that Gene Mumford did indeed have the goods. (GMC)

 
TONY OWENS Grapevine 3022 I Got Soul ● CD $19.98
Tony Owens is an 'underground hero' who lived in the shadows of the big names during soul music's golden age. Although his name may be unknown to the masses and almost forgotten by many soul fans, Owens is highly respected by real soul connoisseurs who rightly consider him to be one of the great unknowns. Despite the fact that he wasn't a prolific recording artist, having less than a dozen 45s issued in a period of 24 years, Owens was a big attraction in his native city of New Orleans and he built up a small but loyal following overseas, particularly in Europe and Japan. This 22 track collection of classic '60s and '70s soul from various small New Orleans labels features 4 previously unissued tracks. Includes I Got Soul/ Wishing, Waiting, Hoping/ This Is My Prayer/ I Can't Lose, Parts 1 & 2/ One Man's Woman, Another Man's Wife/ I Don't Want Nobody But My baby, etc.

 
LLOYD PRICE Jasmine 552 Restless Heart ● CD $15.98
Two CD set with 57 tracks featuring both sides of all his singles recorded between 1952 and 1959 for Specialty, his own KRC label and ABC Paramount.
LLOYD PRICE: (You've Got) Personality/ Ain't It A Shame/ Baby Don't Turn Your Back On Me/ Baby Please Come Home/ Breaking My Heart (All Over Again)/ Chee Koo Baby/ Come Into My Heart/ Country Boy Rock/ Down By The River/ For Love/ Forgive Me Clawdy/ Frog Legs/ Georgianna/ Gonna Let You Come Back Home/ Have You Ever Had The Blues/ Hello Little Girl/ How Many Times/ I Wish Your Picture Was You/ I Yi Yi Comen-A-Sai (I'm Sorry)/ I'm Glad Glad/ I'm Gonna Get Married/ Is It Really Love/ Jimmie Lee/ Just Because/ Lady Luck/ Lawdy Miss Clawdy/ Let Me Come Home Baby/ Lonely Chair/ Lord Lord Amen/ Mailman Blues/ Mailman Blues/ Never Let Me Go/ No If's - No And's/ No Limit To Love/ Oh Oh Oh/ Oo Ee Baby/ Oooh - Oooh - Oooh/ Question/ Restless Heart/ Rock `N' Roll Dance/ So Long/ Stagger Lee/ Such A Mess/ Tell Me Pretty Baby/ The Chicken And The Bop/ Three Little Pigs/ To Love And Be Loved/ Too Late For Tears/ Trying To Find Someone To Love/ Walking The Track/ What's The Matter Now/ Where Were You On Our Wedding Day/ Where You At/ Why/ Woe Ho Ho/ Wont'cha Come Home/ You Need Love

 
OTIS REDDING Shout Factory 11619 Best: See & Hear ● CD $19.98
CD 12 tracks, 33 min.; DVD 12 tracks 49 min., highly recommended
It's as if they had to fade out every song because once Otis Redding got worked up, there was no stopping him. But of course there was. For anyone unfortunate enough not to own any of Otis Redding's music, this collection is a perfect introduction, being as it is, some of his finest performances, including The Dock Of The Bay/ Respect/ Try A Little Tenderness/ I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)/ Pain In My Heart, and 7 more. And for the rest, the DVD offers 12-tracks (some directed by D.A. Pennebaker of "Don't Look Back" fame) from 1967 as visual proof that Redding was as compelling onstage as he is through the speakers (or earbuds, as the case now stands). Included is a performance of Booker T. & The MG's (Green Onions, and two from Sam & Dave (When Something Is Wrong With My Baby and Hold On! I'm Comin'). Seven cuts come from a performance in Oslo, Norway, and the rest are from Monterey, CA. If anyone one ever asks you what soul music is, direct them to Otis Redding. (JC)

 
THE SHIRELLES Ace CDCHD 1239 Swing The Most/ Hear And Now ● CD $18.98
23 tracks, 55 mins, highly recommended
The second-to-last CD in Ace Records' Shirelles re-issue program contains these two albums from 1964, which contained some recycled singles and previously canned tracks. The reason for these ad-hoc album releases is due to the fact that the group was embroiled in a legal battle with Scepter Records that prevented them from recording any new material during 1964. The true reason for the release of these albums is unknown: perhaps they were used to inaugurate the budget label that released them, Pricewise; or perhaps this was label owner Florence Greenberg's way of getting revenge on the girls for suing the label. Whatever, the albums are not a total waste as they do have some gems, notably Why Does Every Boy Remind Me Of You and Oh No, Not My Baby from "Swing" and Make the Night a Little Longer and Only Time Will Tell from "Hear". Not bad for a bunch of tracks that were released as afterthoughts, these two albums are the last Shirelles LPs of studio material. Next time comes the live album. (GMC)

 
THE SOLITAIRES Crystal Ball 1081 Still Walking Along ● CD $17.98
The Solitaires were one of the top New York doo-wop group in the mid/ late 50s best known for their hit Walking Along. Lead singer on that hit was Milton LOve who has kept the Solitaires vocal group active ever since though all the other original members are long gone. These recordings are probably from the 90s and includes live and studio recordings with group sounding fine on a selection original songs, covers of doo-wop favorities and doo-wop renditions of pop standards. Songs include Round Goes My Heart/ Blue Valentine/ Light A Candle In The Chapel/ My Dear/ What Would You Say/ This I Swear/ What Did She Say/ Chances I've Taken and more. As a bonus the set includes Milton Love's first recording Candlelight from 1954 when he was lead singer for The Concords.

 
CANDI STATON Honest Jon's 37 Who's Hurting Now ● CD $10.98
Innovative label Honest Jon's has done much to re-establish R&B vocalist Candi Staton in the world marketplace; by re-issuing her long-unavailable recordings on Fame (Honest Jon's 6) and releasing her first secular recordings in more than 20 years (the critically acclaimed "His Hands," Honest Jon's 23), they have single-handedly reminded the world of what was great about her captivating vocals in the first place. Now comes her secular follow-up to "His Hands" (in between there was another gospel album, "I Will Sing My Praise to You" on Emtro Gospel), "Who's Hurting Now?," another slow-burning Southern Soul mediation on love and loss. Recorded in Nashville and featuring tracks written by Dan Penn and Mary Gauthier, this CD was hailed by Mojo magazine as one of the best albums of 2009.

 
THE TRENIERS Bear Family BCD 16164 Rock ● CD $24.98
The Treniers were led by twin brothers Cliff and Claude Trenier and had been active since the 1940's playing music that was a cross between swing and early rock 'n' roll, and contained a thumping backbeat. Known for the humorous content in their songs and on stage acrobatics, they were very much perceived as precursors to the later rock and roll groups and were a big influence on Bill Haley and His Comets. This 32 track collection brings together the groups wildest numbers recorded between 1950 and '57 for London, OKeh (including their 1951 Top Ten R&B hit Go, Go, Go), Epic, Vik and Brunswick. Comes with 64 page copiously illustrated booklet.

 
IKE & TINA TURNER Pegasus 083 Heroes Collection - 50 Classics Tracks ● CD $7.98
2 CDs, 50 tracks, 158 mins, recommended
This is a nicely priced wide-ranging collection of lesser-known (and compiled) tracks from the great Ike & Tina. In fact the only really big song on this collection would have to be It's Gonna Work Out Fine. The rest ranges from slow, sultry blues numbers like Rock Me Baby/ It Sure Ain't Me/ Honest I Do/ Sweet Black Angel, to barn stormers like Shake A Tail Feather/ The Hunter/ Sugar Sugar, etc. Includes a few great covers in addition to the Archies cut, like Sam Cooke's Good Times, and Stevie Wonder's Living For The City. In general this is going to appeal to Blues fans the most, with Ike's stinging guitar work and Tina's down & dirty vocals. The sound quality on this is the only thing holding back a higher recommendation; it's not bad overall, but a few tracks have some issues. (JM)

 
CHUCK WILLIS JSP JSPCD 2303 The Complete Chuck Willis, 1951-1957 ● CD $24.98
Three CD set, 78 tracks, essential
This wonderful set features the complete recorded output, in chronological order, of this oustanding R&B singer recorded between 1951 and 1957 who was poised for major stardom when he died of a perforated ulcer in April, 1958. Chuck was a great original with a very soulful voice and was a superb songwriter - many of the songs he recorded were written or co-written by him. He started his recording Career in 1951 first recording for Columbia and then switching to their OKeh subsidiary. Most of these sides find him to be an outstanding blues shouter of the Roy Brown/ Billy Wright school. Accompanied by top New York R & B sidemen like he performs a selection of uptempo numbers like the great Let's Jump Tonight/ Be Good or Be Gone and Loud Mouth Lucy, some straight soulful blues like I Tried and You Know You Don't Love Me and some bluesy ballads that point the way to his subsequent Atlantic sides - I Can Tell & Need One More Chance. In 1956 he moved to Atlantic who sweetened his sound a little and Chuck then crossed overto the pop market having big hits in 1957 and '58 with his reworked versions of old blues favorites C.C. Rider and Betty & Dupree. Chuck's tragic death in April 1958 left a great void and in May of that year Atlantic released his first posthumous single - the prophetic two sider Hang Up My Rock & Roll Shoes and What Am I Living For.There are lots of other great titles from his Atlantic period like the truly wonderful soul ballad It's Too Late, the powerful Juanita (with vocal backup from The Cookies and some very effective steel guitar) and lots more. In addition we get great live performances of It's Too Late and What's You Name from 1956 on the Alan Freed radio show. Sound quality is excellent but notes by Bob Fisher are too brief. (FS)

 
BOBBY WOMACK Metro 560 The Last Great Soul Man - Essential Bobby Womack ● CD $16.98
R&B legend Bobby Womack gets the deluxe compilation treatment with this 2CD set collecting tracks from the '60s, '70's and '80's. The set includes his signature songs It's All Over Now/ Lookin' For a Love/ Across 110th Street/ Nobody Wants You When You're Down and Out, and I'm a Midnight Mover. It also includes his cover of the Mama's and the Papa's California Dreaming that was used in a U.K. advert.

 

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