Rhythm & Blues, Soul & Doo-Wop - Bulletin March/ April 2009 - Hank Ballard & The Midnighters -> Otis Williams & The Charms + Book + DVD
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BULLETIN - March/ April 2009
Rhythm & Blues, Soul & Doo-Wop
Hank Ballard & The Midnighters ->
Otis Williams & The Charms + Book + DVD




TELL THE TRUTH UNTIL THEY BLEED by Josh Alan Friedman ● BOOK $19.95
Paperback, 262 Pages, recommended
Counts as four CDs for shipping. I was fresh off of reading Alex Halberstadt's excellent Doc Pomus biography, "Lonely Avenue," when we got this new anthology in stock. "Tell The Truth Until They Bleed" is actually the title of the piece on Pomus as well as the book's title and Pomus's time and influence is felt throughout. Broken into fifteen sections, this book chronicles the lives and dishes some inside dirt on the likes of Lieber & Stoller, Joel Dorn, Dr. John, Johnny Winter, Mose Allison, David "Fathead" Newman and many more. Covers the ins and outs of the music biz, particularly Jazz, Rock 'N' Roll, and Rhythm & Blues from the 1950's on up. Whether it's songwriters, producers, studios or just grist for the music mill, Friedman looks at the music world from many an angle, and trust me, he doesn't do it with rose-colored glasses. Wild tales abound, without getting too sensational in the telling, but also unfortunately not digging as deep as you would like at times. All in all Friedman is a good, but not great writer, at least not yet, but fans of music writers like Dave Marsh, Peter Guralnick and Greil Marcus, who tell a deeper story, will find a lot to dig in this tome. (JM)



IKE TURNER & THE KINGS OF RHYTHM Charly MVDV 4806 Live In Concert ● DVD $17.98
132 mins, almost highly recommended
The first half this DVD is a live concert featuring Ike and his most recent incarnation of the Kings Of Rhythm at the North Sea Jazz Festival in 2002. Apart from keyboard player Ernest Lane the rest of the band isn't identified but are excellent with a fine three piece horn section. The repertoire is a mix of old Turner favorites, blues standards and even a version of Tequila. Ike's vocals aren't much but he plays some fine boogie and blues piano and distinctive whammy bar guitar For the last four songs the group is joined by vocalist Audrey Madison who does helps out on some old Ike & Tina favorites and does a reasonably good job. Bonus features includes a 19 minute "early years" biography which includes some vintage live clips but is marred by horrible psychedelic visual effects. There are also fine excerpts from a concert in Switzerland in 1999 and playing at club in Paris in 2002 - the latter is particularly nice with Ike, Audrey & the band sounding more inspired than on the North Sea gig. It also includes an interesting documentary around Ike receiving the Memphis Heroes Award in 2004. Lots of Ike for a very reasonable price. (FS)



HANK BALLARD & THE MIDNIGHTERS Bear Family BCD 16795 Nothing But Good, 1952-1962 ● CD $144.98
Bear Family doesn't put out a lot of R&B boxes but when they do you can be sure it will be a killer and here is the latest - a 5 CD box set with 150 tracks featuring the complete recordings of Hank Ballard & The Midnighters made between 1952 and 1962. They were the Motor City's first nationally successful R&B group despite their risque 1954 R&B chart-topper Work With Me Annie and its equally raunchy smash follow-up Annie Had A Baby being banned from most U.S. radio airwaves. Ballard's singularly dynamic lead tenor and the muscular harmonies and uproarious onstage hi-jinks of the Midnighters were enormously influential to everyone from The Contours to James Brown. In 1958, the group cut the original version of The Twist, which Hank wrote, only to see Chubby Checker score one of the biggest smashes of the era with a sound-alike cover. Ballard and his crew got a measure of revenge by cutting a slew of early '60s dance hits for Cincinnati-based King Records, most notably Finger Poppin' Time/ Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go, and The Hoochie Coochi Coo. Its five jam-packed discs open with Hank's earliest appearances as lead singer of The Royals before collecting every song The Midnighters recorded from 1954 through 1962, first for King's Federal subsidiary and from '58 on for the parent King logo. This collection unearths several previously unreleased titles including a 1960 rendition of Wynonie Harris' Keep On Churnin' ('Til The Butter Come), a selection of unheard alternate takes, and a slew of obscure 45s and album tracks that have consistently eluded CD reissue until now. Also aboard is the demo of The Twistthat the group cut for Miami producer Henry Stone prior to re-signing with King. And, of course, being Bear Family, you can be sure that the sound is truly stellar and the set comes with a hardcover book with biography by BIll Dahl, complete discography and rare and previously unpublished photos.
HANK BALLARD & THE MIDNIGHTERS: After School/ Annie Had A Baby/ Annie's Aunt Fannie/ Are You Forgetting/ Ashamed Of Myself/ Autumn Breeze/ Baby Please/ Big Red Sunset/ Big Red Sunset (alt 2)/ Big Red Sunset (alt)/ Bring Me Your Love/ Broadway/ Can't You See I Need A Friend/ Christmas Time For Everybody But Me/ Come On And Get It/ Crazy Loving (Stay With Me)/ Cute Little Ways/ Daddy Rolling Stone/ Daddy's Little Baby/ Deep Blue Sea/ Do You Know How To Twist/ Do You Know How To Twist (alt)/ Do You Remember/ Don't Ever Change Your Pretty Ways/ Don't Go I Love You/ Don't Say Your Last Goodbye/ Dream World/ E Basta Cosi/ Early One Morning/ Everybody Does Wrong Some Time/ Excuse Me (I Think I've Got A Heartache)/ Finger Poppin' Time/ Get It/ Get Ready/ Give It Up/ Good Twistin' Tonight/ Goodbye So Long/ Hello Lover, Goodbye Tears/ Hello Miss Fine/ Henry's Got Flat Feet (Can't Dance No More)/ House With No Windows/ I Belong To You (You're The Keeper Of My Heart)/ I Could Love You/ I Feel So Blue/ I Feel That-A-Way/ I Got A Mind To Leave You (I Got A Mind To Go Back Home)/ I Like To See My Baby/ I Love And Care For You/ I Love You, I Love You So-o-o/ I Must Be Crazy/ I Said I Wouldn't Beg You/ I Want To Thank You (From The Bottom Of My Heart)/ I'll Be Home Someday/ I'll Keep You Happy/ I'll Pray For You/ I'll Pray For You/ I'm Crying Mercy, Mercy/ I'm Gonna Miss You/ I'm Learning/ I'm Sick Of You/ I'm So Crazy About You/ I'm Thinking Of You/ I'm Young/ If You'd Forgive Me/ In The Doorway Crying/ Is Your Love For Real/ It's Love, Baby (24 Hours A Day)/ It's Twistin' Time/ Just One More Chance/ Kansas City/ Keep On Churnin' (Till The Butter Come)/ Keep On Dancing/ Leave That Fat/ Let 'Em Roll/ Let 'Em Roll/ Let Me Hold Your Hand/ Let's Go Again (Where We Went Last Night)/ Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go/ Look At Little Sister/ Looka Here/ Love, Oh Love (Where Can You Be)/ Miss Twister/ Mona Lisa/ Move, Move, Move/ Never Knew/ No, It Ain't/ Nothing But Good/ Oh So Happy/ Ooh Bah Baby/ Open Up The Back Door/ Ow-Wow-Oo-Wee/ Partners For Life/ Rain Down Tears/ Ring A-Ling A-Ling/ Rock And Roll Wedding/ Rock, Granny, Roll/ Santa Claus Is Coming/ Santa Claus Is Coming (alt)/ Sexy Ways/ Shaky Mae/ She's Got A Whole Lot Of Soul/ She's The One/ She's The One/ So Good To Be Home/ Someone Like You/ Stay By My Side/ Stingy Little Thing/ Sugaree/ Sugaree (alt)/ Summertime/ Sweet Mama, Do Right/ Switchie Witchie Titchie/ Switchie Witchie Titchie (alt)/ Teardrops On Your Letter/ Tell Them/ That House On The Hill/ That Woman/ That's It/ The Coffee Grind/ The Continental Walk/ The Float/ The Hoochi Coochi Coo/ The Hoochi Coochi Coo (alt)/ The Switch-A-Roo/ The Twist/ The Twist/ The Twist (with sax overdub)/ These Young Girls/ Tore Up Over You/ Until I Die/ Up And Away (alt)/ Up And Away (with Woody Woodpecker voice)/ Waiting/ We'll Never Meet Again/ What Is This I See/ What Made You Change Your Mind/ What's Your Name/ Whatsonever You Do/ When I Need You/ When I Need You/ Where Is The Love/ Why Are We Apart/ Work Baby/ Work Baby (with overdub)/ Work With Me Annie/ Work With Me Annie (alt)/ You Ain't Nothing But Fine/ Young Lady/ Young Lady/ Your Lovin'

MAXINE BROWN Kent CDKEND 312 Best Of The Wand Years ● CD $18.98
28 tracks, 72 mins, highly recommended
Underrated R&B singer Maxine Brown gets her due with this collection of singles, LP, and unissued tracks from her years on the Wand label (1964 to 1969). She had few hits (the powers-that-be spent more time on hitmaker Dionne Warwick, who recorded for sister label Scepter), but two of them are here - Oh, No Not My Baby and It's Gonna Be Alright, both written by Goffen-King (her duets with Chuck Jackson, also minor hits, are not included). Many of the songs are in the lush, Leiber and Stoller influenced style of R&B of the early '60's, were written by seasoned songwriting pros (Ashford and Simpson, Luther Dixon, Norman Whitfield and Eddie Holland, and Otis Redding), and Brown sings them with a powerful voice that certainly should have been able to hold its own against the formidable Warwick, given a sporting chance. For fans of 60's R&B, this compilation is definitely worth a spin. (GMC)

THE CLEFTONES Collectables 7629 Heart And Soul/ For Sentimental Reasons ● CD $13.98
Two Gee albums from 1961 and '62 on one CD by this fine doo-wop group. 24 tracks including their hits You Baby You/ Little Girl Of Mine/ Heart And Soul plus A Hundred Pounds Of Clay/ Can't We Be Sweethearts/ Glory Of Love/ You Baby You/ (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons/ Red Sails In The Sunset/ Vacation In The Mountains/ Earth Angel/ Shadows On The Very Last Row/ Hey Babe and others.
THE CLEFTONES: 100 Pounds Of Clay/ Blues In The Night/ Can't We Be Sweethearts/ Deed I Do/ Earth Angel/ For Sentimental Reasons/ Glory Of Love/ Heart And Soul/ Heavenly Father/ Hey Babe/ How Do You Feel/ Leave My Woman Alone/ Little Girl Of Mine/ My Babe, She's A Rollin' Stone/ Please Say You Want Me/ Red Sails In The Sunset/ Shadows On The Very Last Row/ She's Gone/ String Around My Heart/ Time Is Running Out On Our Love/ Vacation In The Mountains/ What Did I Do That Was Wrong/ You And I Can Climb/ You, Baby You

THE DUPREES Collectables 7820 You Belong To Me/ Have You Heard ● CD $13.98
24 tracks, recommended
Originally dubbed the Parisiennes, in the summer of 1962 the rechristened Duprees scored a number 7 national hit with their updated version of the onetime Jo Stafford hit You Belong to Me. Their appealing style on that number set the tone and the agenda for things to come. That is, most of the group's subsequent output is comprised of remakes of earlier hits performed in a pop/rock style fine vocal harmonies. This collection reissues their two Co-Ed LPs from 1962 and 1963 and includes their big hit along with lesser hits like My Own True Love (vocal version of "Tara's Theme" from "Gone With The Wind")/ I'd Rather Be Here In Your Arms/ Have You Heard/ (It's No) Sin and Gone With The Wind along with other sides like September In The Rain/ As Time Goes By/ My Dearest One/ Exodus/ It Isn't Fair, etc. (DH/ FS)
THE DUPREES: (It's No) Sin/ As Time Goes By/ Exodus/ Ginny/ Gone With The Wind/ Have You Heard/ I Gotta Tell Her Now/ I Wish I Could Believe You/ I'd Rather Be Here In Your Arms/ It Isn't Fair/ Let's Make Love Again/ Love Eyes/ My Dearest One/ My Own True Love/ September In The Rain/ So Little Time/ Take Me As I Am/ The Sand And The Sea/ The Things I Love/ These Foolish Things/ Where Are You/ Why Don't You Believe Me/ You Belong To Me/ Yours

THE ALAN FREED ROCK 'N' ROLL BIG BAND Ace CDCHD 1184 A Stompin' Good Time ● CD $18.98
24 tracks of 1950's big bland blastin'! The Big Band that Alan Freed lent his name to in the mid 50s was one of the hardest rocking outfits of its era, boasting the cream of New York's R&B session musicians in its lineup and featuring such stellar tenor saxophonists as Sam "The Man" Taylor, "Big" Al Sears, Freddie Mitchell and King Curtis and including guitarist Kenny Burrell providing some hot guitar licks. Freed's band could be heard on four albums that were issued between 1956 and 1958 one recorded under the name of the King's Henchmen. This CD features the King's Henchmen albums in their entirety, along with the Alan Freed Big Band tracks from the two various artists albums.

LINDA HAYES Shout 49 Atomic Baby - Hollywood R&B From The Platters' First Di ● CD $18.98
21 tracks, 55 mins, highly recommended
The original "Dish" from the Platters gets her own collection, showing her as a pretty great solo singer in her own right. Although little-known now outside of Platters fans and hardcore R&B enthusiasts, at one time it was thought (at least by her record company) that Hayes was going to be the next big Rhythm & Blues singer. Her 1952 single for the Recorded in Hollywood label, Big City, was advertised as "THE GREATEST R&B RECORD EVER RECORDED!" That's some hype, but unfortunately although Hayes was a fine singer (compare to somewhere between Dinah Washington and LaVerne Baker), she was not as great as that would make her out to be. Although she would have some chart success, Hayes never caught on that big as a solo artist. Her lack of success was not for lack of great material, most of which is found on this fine collection. At times backed by such greats as Red Callender, Maxwell Davis, Chico Hamilton, Johnny Moore and many more. This collection features great tracks like the mambo flavored Atomic Baby, the rockin You Ain't Movin' Me, and the slow burner Our Love's Forever Blessed. Also of note are her answer records, one to Willie Mabon's I Don't Know called Yes, I Know, and one to Hank Ballard My Name Ain't Annie, (with backing vocals by the Platters,) along with her tribute record to Johnny Ace Why Johnny Why recorded with Johnny Moore's Three Blazers. These and many more fine cuts recorded for the RIH/Hollywood, King and Antler Labels during the 1950's, making for an excellent overview of a rather under-appreciated artist that deserves to be heard. (JM)

JIMMY HUGHES Fame 10 The Best Of Jimmy Hughes ● CD $16.98
19 tracks, 45 mins, highly recommended
First in what is hoped to be a series of reissues from the legendary Fame Records catalog. R&B singer Jimmy Hughes was the first product of Rick Hall's Fame Studios, and it was Hughes' 1964 hit Steal Away that put Fame and Hall on the musical map. This collection has all three of Hughes' 60's hits-the aforementioned Steal Away/ Why Not Tonight, and Neighbor, Neighbor - as well as other choice cuts that spotlight his pleading, yet lively vocal style. In some ways, Hughes could be seen as a precursor to Al Green; the two men's styles are very similar. As an added bonus: the last track is a roundtable discussion, in mp3 format, featuring Hughes, Hall, Norbert Putnam, Spooner Oldham, and others speaking with Muscle Shoals Music historian Terry Pace in 2008. (GMC)

JOHNNY JOHNSON & THE BANDWAGON Kent CDKEND 307 Breakin' Down The Walls Of Heartache ● CD $18.98
Although not very well known in the USA dance oriented soul group Johnny Johnson and The Bandwagon were very popular in England including having half a dozen U.K. top 40 hits in the late 60s and early 70s. This compilation collects together 24 of the best sides by this group drawn from recordings made for Epic and Bell between 1968 and 1975.

THE KNOCKOUTS/ THE GENIES Collectables 5920 The Knockouts Meet The Genies ● CD $11.98
This CD spotlights two 50's doo wop groups from the New York/New Jersey scene who recorded for Bob Shad's Shad label. Both had their defining hits in 1959, the Knockouts with Darling Lorraine and the Genies with Who's That Knocking. This CD includes six previously unissued cuts, a long version of Darling Lorraine and several cuts in stereo.
THE GENIES: Chicken Necks (Stereo)/ Come Walk With Me (Previously Unreleased)/ S'Cuse Me Lady (Previously Unreleased)/ The First Time/ Where Did You Go? (Previously Unreleased)/ Who's That Knocking/ THE KNOCKOUTS: Darling Lorraine/ Darling Lorraine (Long Version)/ Jungle Mambo (Previously Unreleased)/ Nobody But You (Previously Unreleased)/ Please Be Mine/ Rich Boy, Poor Boy (Stereo)/ Riot In Room 3C/ Stormy Weather (Previously Unreleased)

DENISE LASALLE Shout 48 A Little Bit Naughty - THe ABC & MCA Years ● CD $19.98
2CDs, 24 tracks, 112 mins, highly recommended
Denise LaSalle is a blues singer with a strong contemporary soul streak that runs through her recorded work; a fact that is amply demonstrated on this collection of tracks dating from the late 70's and early 80's. The material is drawn from the six albums she recorded for ABC and MCA ("Second Breath," "The Bitch is Bad," "Under the Influence," "Unwrapped," "I'm So Hot," and "Guaranteed"), and combines Southern soul, disco, and blues into an attractive package for those in the proper listening mood. She is also a songwriter of note, writing sassy and seductive tunes that fit her raunchy voice to a tee. This era is not generally as well regarded as her early 70's recordings for Westbound, there's plenty of worth on this CD for anyone willing to listen with open ears. From the moment Sweet Soul blasts out of the speakers until the seductive sounds of A Miracle, You and Me caress your ears, you'll know you're in the presence of someone with incandescent talent. (GMC)

LEO'S FIVE Ace CDCHD 1187 Direct From The Blue Note Club ● CD $18.90
Fine album of R&B and blues featuring St. Louis based combo formed by entrepreneur & vocalist Leo Gooden to be the house band for his Blue Note club in 1961. The driving rhythm section of drummer Kenny Rice and organist Don James was something of a prototype for the small Jazz-R&B combos that abounded on the early-mid '60s, such as those of Jimmy McGriff and Jimmy Smith, while the hard saxophony of tenor player Charles `Little Man' Wright led a tough horn section. Recorded in 1963 and '64 12 of the 21 tracks are hard driving instrumentals and the rest featuring features the band accompanying various vocalists including four rare sides by blues guitar giant Albert KIng who frequently sat in with the band. Other vocalists include Leo Gooden himself, Jamie Ross and Charles Drain.

BOBBY LEWIS Collectables 7685 Tossin' And Turnin' ● CD $13.98
18 tracks, highly recommended
Following the stereotypic storyline of his era, Bobby Lewis struck chart gold with his first Beltone outing, the title tune here which rose to number one in 1961, and never saw those glorious heights again. Nonetheless during his tenure with that label he cut a total of 17 tracks, many of which have the same sort of rhythm and energy as Tossin' And Turnin' and all of which are reissued here, including One Track Mind/ Cry No More/ A Man's Gotta Be A Man/ Lonely Teardrops/ Nothing But the Blues, and, of course, the title track which is featured in both mono and stereo. They all show the sensitivity of a performer with roots in the 50's rather than one who's looking ahead to the emergence of soul. Sound quality is excellent. (DH/ FS)
BOBBY LEWIS: A Man's Gotta Be A Man/ Are You Ready?/ Boom-A-Chick-Chick/ Cry No More/ Day By Day I Need Your Love/ Head Over Heels/ I'm Tossin' And Turnin' Again/ Let Me Be The One You Love/ Lonely Teardrops/ Mamie In The Afternoon/ Nothing But The Blues/ Oh Yes, I Love You/ One Track Mind/ Tossin' And Turnin'/ Tossin' And Turnin' (Stereo)/ Turn Over A New Leaf/ What A Walk/ Yes, Oh Yes, It Did

BIG JAY MCNEELY Collectables 7701 Recorded Live At Cisco's, Manhattan Beach ● CD $11.98
11 tracks, recommended
The great R&B sax blower recorded live in Los Angeles in 1962 and originally issued in 1963 by Warner Brothers. He is accompanied by a solid band with brother Bob on bass, "Streamline" Ewing on trombone, Fred Thompson on organ and others. Three cuts feature the great blues harmonica player George Smith and he takes the lead on instrumental versions of blues standards You Don't Have To Go and Further On Up the Road. Other cuts include Big jay's Shuffle/ Big Boy/ Sunset/ Deacon's Hop/ The Party's Over, etc. Not as wild as some of his earlier recordings but an excellent collection, nonetheless. (FS)

MCKINLEY MITCHELL Shout 22 The Town I Live In - The One-Derful Years ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 59 mins, highly recommended
Mississippi soul shouter Mitchell, his 1962 hit The Town I Live In aside, didn't get the commercial recognition he deserved and this splendid collection goes a long way toward giving the man his due. He could be smooth or gritty when the occasion called for it, as aptly demonstrated on his hit and the outstanding No Love (Like My Love), and that's just for starters. All of the material he recorded for the One-derful label during the 60's is here, including alternate takes, and he never puts a foot wrong whether rocking out on Reckless Lover or testifying on Handful of Sorrows. Combining the best qualities of Sam Cooke, Clyde McPhatter, and Jackie Wilson, McKinley Mitchell was the real deal, and this CD does him proud. (GMC)

THE OVATIONS FEATURING LOUIS WILLIAMS Kent CDKEND 311 Hooked On A Feeling/ Having A Party ● CD $18.98
19 tracks, highly recommended
It makes sense for Kent to follow their exemplary Ovations collection "One in a Million" (Kent 294), with this two-fer of the trio's first two albums for the Sound Of Memphis and MGM labels. "Hooked on a Feeling" (1972) features the superb Sam Cooke soundalike Louis Williams on a collection that is every bit as fine as their earlier Goldwax sides. Standouts include a Soul Stirrers-like medley of Were You There/ Touch The Hem Of His Garment, and a teasingly beautiful version of Touching Me. "Having A Party" is another superb collection which includes the top 10 title song and other fine sides like Born On A Back Street/ You Send Me/ Don't Look Back/ A Change Is Gonna Come and more. (GMC/ FS)

ANN PEEBLES Music Club 595 Original Funk Soul Sister - The Best Of Ann Peebles ● CD $10.98
18 tracks, 50 mins, recommended
Decent compilation from the Queen (to Al Green's King) of Hi Records, which contains a mix of singles and album tracks from her 70's recordings. Although there could have been more of Peebles' singles included (several hits are missing), the essential tracks that she's noted for are here: I Can't Stand the Rain/ I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down/ 99 Lbs, and I Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody's Home. I could do without the slant toward disco that the latter tracks on the CD take, but this is a pretty good representation of the combination of Peebles' powerhouse vocals and Willie Mitchell's production genius. Bonus: the sleeve notes are by British writer Paolo Hewitt, a noted Soul music scholar. (GMC)
ANN PEEBLES: 99 lbs/ Be For Me/ Being Here With You/ Bip Bam Thankyou Mam/ Come To Mama/ Crazy About You Baby/ Games/ Give Me Some Credit/ Good Day For Lovin'/ I Can't Stand The Rain/ I Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody's Home/ I Still Love You/ I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down/ It's Your Thing/ Love Vibration/ Make Me Yours/ Slipped Tripped And Fell In Love/ Trouble Heartaches And Sadness

ROSCOE ROBINSON Soulscape 7015 Why Must It End? ● CD $19.98
20 tracks, 57 mins, highly recommended
Lots of great 60's soul singers learned their trade singing in the church-Clyde McPhatter, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Ben E. King to name but a few. And Roscoe Robinson is no exception; as the second sighted member of the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi (in addition, he was a member of the Highway Q.C.'s, and the Fairfield Four), his gospel roots should not be called into question. His only hit was That's Enough (included here) for Wand in 1966, but as this collection demonstrates, he recorded other more-than-worthy material on his own Geri label and for John Richbourg's JR Enterprises that was leased to Sound Stage 7 Records. He has moved back and forth between soul and the church, but anyone interested in Robinson's secular recordings can start right here; you won't be disappointed. (GMC)

HUEY "PIANO" SMITH & HIS CLOWNS Westside WESM 516 Having A Good Time, The Very Best Of, Vol. 1 ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 60 mins, essential
Available again - but who knows for how long! A terrific collection of New Orleans R&B recorded for Johnny Vincent's Ace label between 1956 and 1960 featuring pianist Huey "Piano" Smith with his band The Clowns featuring lead vocals by Bobby Marchan or Gerri Hall and great backups from the rest of the Clowns. With the exception of a few soulful ballads it's rockin' all the way - Rockin' Pneumonia & The Boogie Woogie Flu, Pts 1 &2/ Free Single And Disengaged/ High Blood Pressure/ Don't You Just Know It/ Don't You Know Yockamo/ Little Liza Jane/ Tu-Ber-Cu-Lucas And The Sinus Blues and lots more. Sidemen includes the likes of lee Allen, Earl King, Robert Parker, Red Tyler and others top NOLA muicians. Sound from original master tapes is superb and this set includes 8 page booklet with notes by Neil Slaven. New Orleans R&B is frequently good time music and the times don't get any gooder than with Huey and his gang. (FS)
HUEY "PIANO" SMITH: Beatnik Blues/ Dearest Darling/ Don't You Just Know It/ Don't You Know Yockomo/ Everybody's Whalin'/ For Cryin' Out Loud/ Free, Single And Disengaged/ Genevieve/ Havin' A Good Time/ High Blood Pressure/ I Think You're Jiving Me/ Just A Lonely Clown/ Little Chickee Wha Wha/ Little Liza Jane/ Mean Mean Man/ Pop-eye/ Rockin' Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu, Pt. 1/ Rockin' Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu, Pt. 2/ Scald Dog/ She Got Low Down/ Tu-ber-cu-lucas And The Sinus Blues/ We Like Birdland/ Well I'll Be John Brown/ Would You Believe It (i Have A Cold)

JOE TEX Southbound 043 Ain't Gonna Bump No More ● CD $18.98
19 tracks, 71 mins, highly recommended
OK, we've reviewed Joe Tex compilations centered on his early days in the 50's ("Get Way Back," Ace 1197 - $18.98) and part of his middle period in the 60's ("First on the Dial," Shout 47 - $18.98); now it's time to tackle Joe's 70's period which this CD covers quite well. By the 70's, Tex, following the trends in black music, was embracing funk and disco, as memorably displayed his two big crossover hits, I Gotcha(1972) and Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman) (1977). All of the tracks included here are taken from his major albums of the period: "I Gotcha" (Dial 1972), "Bumps and Bruises" and "Rub Down" for Epic (1977 and 1978, respectively), and "He Who is Without Funk Cast the First Stone" (TK 1978). As his pop and R&B hits (Rub Down and Loose Caboose, both 1978) from the decade demonstrate, Tex easily adapted to the new sounds while managing to interject his own outsized personality into the proceedings. If you're a fan of Joe Tex, then this CD is an essential addition to your collection. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1214 Respect - Aretha's Influences And Inspiration ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 69 mins, highly recommended
Every true lover of classic R&B/soul needs no introduction to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. Her talent is not disputed, but even an original like her had influences and inspirations, and this collection sheds some light on the people that Aretha admired and covered. Everyone knows Otis Redding's version of Respect, which was very successfully covered by Aretha, but how many have heard Thelma Jones' version of The House That Jack Built or Ben E. King's version of Don't Play That Song (You Lied)? Other well-known originals that Aretha put her stamp on are here-Dionne Warwick's I Say a Little Prayer, Don Covay's See Saw, Nina Simone's To Be Young, Gifted and Black - but I'm intrigued by the unfamiliar and surprising (to me) tunes: Jean Wells' Sit Down and Cry, Big Maybelle's Pitiful, Helen Humes' Today I Sing the Blues, and Little Miss Cornshucks' (!) Try a Little Tenderness (heck, I didn't even know that there was an R&B version of this standard before Redding's) to name a few. And it's nice to know that Aretha managed to draw as much inspiration from 70's recordings - by Bill Withers, Howard Tate, and Bobby Womack - as she did from a 1949 gospel number by Clara Ward. No ands, ifs or buts; you need this CD now. (GMC)
JOHNNY ACE WITH THE BEALE STREETERS: My Song/ BIG MAYBELLE: Pitiful/ BOBBY BLAND: Share Your Love With Me/ JAMES CARR: The Dark End Of The Street/ RAY CHARLES: Drown In My Own Tears/ DON COVAY & THE GOODTIMERS: Seesaw/ BRENDA HOLLOWAY: Every Little Bit Hurts/ HELEN HUMES WITH BUCK CLAYTON'S ORCHESTRA: Today I Sing The Blues/ THELMA JONES: The House That Jack Built/ BEN E. KING: Dont Play That Song (You Lied)/ LITTLE MISS CORNSHUCKS: Try A Little Tenderness/ PERCY MAYFIELD: The Rivers Invitation/ WILSON PICKETT: Im In Love/ OTIS REDDING: Respect/ NINA SIMONE: To Be Young, Gifted And Black/ HOWARD TATE: Eight Days On The Road/ CLARA WARD: The Day Is Passed And Gone/ DIONNE WARWICK: I Say A Little Prayer/ DINAH WASHINGTON: Soulville/ JEAN WELLS: Sit Down And Cry/ MARY WHEELER: Prove It/ JACKIE WILSON: Im Wanderin/ BILL WITHERS: Let Me In Your Life/ BOBBY WOMACK: Thats The Way I Feel About Cha

VARIOUS ARTISTS BGP CDBGPD 197 The Soul Of Spanish Harlem ● CD $18.98
20 tracks, 63 mins, essential
There have been many compilations covering New York's R&B scene of the '50s and '60's, but few have given the Latin-meets-soul product of Spanish Harlem its due. This CD attempts to fill in the gaps by focusing on movers and shakers like Bobby Martin, Jerry Masucci, Ronnie Marks, Marty Sheller, and others. This is music that is great in its own right, and proved highly influential later during the disco era. These tracks-released on labels like Fania, Uptite, Latin Soul, Speed, and Cotique to name a few-were recorded between 1967 and 1972, which, as everyone knows, was a fertile period for soul music. Covering a seldom heard chapter in American modern music, this collection is mandatory listening. (GMC)
JOE BATAAN: Ordinary Guy/ RUSSELL COHEN & THE NEW YORKERS: I m Gonna Leave You/ THE HARVEY AVERNE DOZEN: Central Park/ RAY JAY & THE EASTSIDERS: Same Old Sad Song/ KING NANDO: Maria, Maria/ THE LAT-TEENS: I ll Never Let You Go/ THE LEBRON BROTHERS ORCHESTRA: Don t Be Afraid/ RONNIE MARKS: Some Lonely Heart/ TONY MIDDLETON & BOBBY MATOS: Already Satisfied/ THE TERRIBLE FRANKIE NIEVES: True Love/ THE NITTY SEXTETTE: Nitty Boo Boo/ OLIVIERI: There s No Other Girl/ RALFI PAGAN: Ain't No Big Thing/ PARRISH: Your Smile/ JOEY PASTRANO: That s How Rumours Start/ RALPHIE & THE LATIN LOVERS: Lonely Has Been My Day/ TITO RAMOS: Heaven (Is Not For Everyone)/ MONGUITO SANTAMARIA: Crying Time

VARIOUS ARTISTS Brown Sugar BSRBOX 2 The Manifesto Of Rare Groove, Vol. 2 ● CD $34.98
3 CDs with 52 tracks. In 2008, Brown Sugar issued the follow-up to their first compilation box set of their CD collections of Jazz, Soul, Funk, and Blaxploitation music (listed previously) . Volume 4, "Let There Be Funk" ( issued 2004), features the Meters, the Pointer Sisters, Graham Central Station, Kool & the Gang, Larry Williams & Maceo Parker, and Mandrill; ; Volume 5, "Paint it Black" (2004), has Herbie Hancock, Donald Byrd, Gil Scott-Heron, and Johnny Hammond among its featured artists; and Volume 6, "You Can Count on Me" (2004), takes a Jazzier slant with the likes of Sammy Davis, Jr. Bernard Purdie, Nina Simone, Lou Rawls, Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, and Jimmy Smith & Kenny Burrell.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Deep Groove 11101 Barnyard Soul! ● CD $18.98
Back in stock in very limited quantities. Exciting collection of 27 upbeat, dance oriented, soul and funk numbers from the late 60s and early 70s - much of it making its first appearance on CD. Includes sides by Lou Courtney, Piney Brown, Frankie Seay, Al Gardner,Tony Borders, Lowell Fulson, Larry Birdsong, Gene "Bowlegs" Miller, Sir Sidney Wallace & The Valentines and others. Nothing deep here but great party music if you can keep up. No notes but fine sound and booklet has some label shots.
JESSE ANDERSON: Swing Too High/ LARRY BIRDSONG: Every Night In The Week/ TONY BORDERS: Lonely Weekends/ BOBBY BOSEMAN: Astrological Soul Train/ B.B. BROWN: Low Down Dirty Tramp/ PINEY BROWN: Everything But You/ ISAAC CLARK: Do The Dog Funk/ OTIS CLAY: Baby Jane/ LOU COURTNEY: Hot Butter 'N All, Part 1/ BILLY DAVIS: Stanky/ LOWELL FULSOM: Why Don't We Do It In The Road/ AL GARDNER: Watch Yourself/ DON GARDNER: You Babe/ BENNY GORDON: A Kiss To Build A Dream On/ GUITAR RAY: Funky Pete Part 1/ JOE HAYWOOD: I'm Walking/ THE INTENSIONS: I Dont Get Down Like That/ RALPH JACKSON: Jambalaya/ STERLING MAGEE: Oh, She Was Pretty/ GENE BOWLEGS MILLER: Frankenstein Walk/ THE RHYTHM KING: Party Time/ ROSCOE & FRIENDS: Barnyard Soul/ FRANKIE SEAY: All I Want Is Loving You/ CHARLES SIMMONS & THE ROYAL IMPERIALS: Sissy/ JOE VALENTINE: Hands On, Hands Off/ SIR SIDNEY WALLACE & THE BELAIRS: Green Power/ WILLIE WEST: Fairchild

VARIOUS ARTISTS El Toro 113 Ai! Si! Si! Mambo & Latin Flavored Rhythm & Blues ● CD $19.98
28 tracks, highly recommended
A delightful collection of 28 R&B tracks paying homage to the enthusiasm for mambo music in the USA in the early/ mid 50s. Originating in Cuban music transplanted to New York in the late 40s with jazz elements grafted on it became a very popular dance form for almost a decade. Like many of the pop songs celebrating the dance the R&B songs here are not often actual mambos but certainly capture a Latin music feel including Ivory Joe Hunter doing I Got To Learn To Do The Mambo, The Dootones with Ai! Si! Si!, The Street Singers updating Louis Jordan on Caledonia's Mambo, The Harptones with Mambo Boogie plus tracks by The Champions, Huey "Piano" Smith, Lee Andrews & The Hearts (who give their tribute to another Latin dance, the merengue), The Robins, The Enchanters and others. Superb sound quality and informative notes by Juan Ibanez. (FS)
LEE ANDREWS & THE HEARTS: Show Me The Merengue/ RUTH BROWN & GROUP: Mambo Baby/ THE CALVAES: Lonely Lonely Village/ Mambo Fiesta/ THE CHAMPIONS: Mexico Bound/ THE CHARMERS: The Mambo/ THE COLTS: Lips Red As Wine/ THE CROWS: Mambo Shevitz/ THE DOOTONES: Ay, Si, Si/ THE DRIFTERS: Honey Love/ THE ECHOES: Aye Senorita/ THE ENCHANTERS: Mambo Santa Mambo/ THE HARPTONES: Mambo Boogie (alt take)/ IVORY JOE HUNTER & THE IVORYTONES: I Got To Learn To Do The Mambo/ THE MOONGLOWS: Barcelona Rock (unreleased)/ THE MOROCCOS: Morocco Chant (unreleased)/ THE NEW YORKER'S 5: Cha Cha Baby/ THE NU-TONES: Niki Niki Mambo/ THE ONTARIOS: Lover's Mambo/ THE PENGUINS: Hey Senorita/ THE PLATTER: Shake It Up Mambo/ CANDY RIVERS & THE FALCONS: Mambo Baby Tonight/ THE ROBINS: Loop De Loop Mambo/ HUEY "PIANO" SMITH: We Like Mambo/ THE SQUIRES: Do Be Oo Be Wop Wop/ THE STREET SINGERS: Caldonia's Mambo/ NOLAN STRONG & THE DIABLOS: The Mambo Of Love/ ANDRE WILLIAMS & THE DON JUANS: Going Down To Tia Juana

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 299 In The Naked City ● CD $18.98
The subtitle to this fascinating compilation is "strange neighborhood and other songs of urban life", and that aptly describes the contents herein: 24 songs that "tell it like it was" (or still is in some cases) about life in the Big City (i.e. New York). Some of the songs are familiar (Up on the Roof/ Spanish Harlem/ On Broadway/ Uptown, etc), but by other artists rather than those that the songs are normally identified with (Ralfi Pagan, Aretha Franklin, the Cookies, and Little Eva, respectively). Recorded between 1962 and 1972 (with an emphasis on the mid-60's), these tracks from the cream of 60's R&B (Chuck Jackson, Arthur Alexander, Jackie Wilson, Jerry Butler, the Drifters, Walter Jackson, and Garnet Mimms to name a few) deserve to be heard, often.
ARTHUR ALEXANDER: Concrete Jungle/ WAYNE BARTLETT: Those City Lights/ JAN BRADLEY: Nights In New York City/ JERRY BUTLER: I Don't Want To Hear It Anymore/ DEE CLARK: In My Apartment/ THE COOKIES: On Broadway/ BARRY DARVELL WITH HASH BROWN & HIS ORCHESTRA: I Found A Daisy (In The City)/ THE DRIFTERS: Up In The Streets Of Harlem/ ARETHA FRANKLIN: Spanish Harlem/ AUDREY FREEMAN: Three Rooms/ DONALD HEIGHT: Song Of The Street/ THE IMAGINATIONS: Strange Neighbourhood/ CHUCK JACKSON: Big New York/ WALTER JACKSON: No Butterflies/ MARVA JOSIE: I Love New York/ COLETTE KELLY: City Of Fools/ LITTLE EVA: Uptown/ CLYDE MCPHATTER: Second Window, Second Floor/ GARNET MIMMS & THE ENCHANTERS: A Quiet Place/ RALFI PAGAN: Up On The Roof (interpolation: Some Kinda Wonderful)/ JACKIE SHANE: In My Tenement/ THE TYMES: Street Talk/ ERIC WILLIAMS: That Old Neighbourhood/ JACKIE WILSON: No Pity (In The Naked City)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 306 J&S Harlem Soul ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 62 mins, highly recommended
Zelma "Zell" Sanders was one of the few female label owners during the 50's/'60s/early '70s and this compilation brings together sides from her J&S, Zell's, and Sprout imprints (and these were only three of the many labels she ran!). The big names here are Johnnie & Joe, The Hearts, and The Jaynetts, but there's plenty for lovers of New York R&B to savor. Compiling tracks ranging from 1962 to 1973, many styles are touched on--bluesy R&B to funky soul--and the liner notes tell the story of a remarkable woman. (GMC)
FREDA ALLYNE: Money And All Your Love/ JIMMY ARMSTRONG & THE PINS: I Want To Be Close To You/ CLARENCE ASHE: I'm A Working Man Who Needs A Good Woman/ She Said I'd Be A Failure/ NEICE DEZEL: It Doesn't Matter/ DICKY & BILLY: I Got A Feeling/ The Dream I Had Came True/ THE FREEMAN BROTHERS: Life Of Love/ THE GILLETTES: 24 Hours Of The Day/ You Haven't Been Like You Should/ THE HEARTS: Don't Let Me Down/ HENRY HODGE: I Won't Ever Try To Change You/ THE JAYNETTS: Be My Boyfriend/ JIMMY & ARTHUR: Dancing In A Dream World/ JOHNNIE & JOE: I Pray To Keep Our Love Strong/ Let Your Mind Do The Walking/ TAFFIE LEE: Stay Away From My Baby/ MISS JOHNNIE: Let Sleeping Dogs Lie/ CATHA MORRISON: The Leaf Is Just Like Me/ LEE PRATT: Ha Baby, I'm Coming On Back/ THE RELATIONS: Say You Love Me/ JOHNNIE RICHARDSON: Every Night The Same Time/ SITY & JAMES: You Needn't Tell Me/ BABY WASHINGTON WITH THE HEARTS: Disappointed Bride

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 310 Masterpieces Of Modern Soul, Volume 2 ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 79 mins, highly recommended
The follow-up to Kent's first "Masterpieces of Modern Soul" (Kent 222 - $18.98) is another exceptional collection of obscure and semi-obscure R&B from the 1970's; some of which are seeing the light of day for the first time ever. The Ovations are here, and so are noted names Garland Green and Freddie Hubbard, but if you've heard of Towana & the Total Destruction or Lynn Varnado or Betty Fikes, then you're a better person than I am. But it doesn't matter because this varied mix of crossover, 70s stompers, and modern dance room classics should appeal to everyone. (GMC)
BOBBY BURN: I m A Dreamer/ THE CALIFORNIA PLAYBOYS: Double Love/ THE CHARGERS: You Gotta Be A Lady/ THE CHECKMATES LTD: Take All The Time You Need/ BETTY FIKES: The Fool Who Used To Live Here/ DARROW FLETCHER: Hope For Love/ GARLAND GREEN: Always/ HIGHER FEELINGS: I Wanna Stay High On You/ FREDDIE HUBBARD FEATURING JEANIE TRACY: You re Gonna Lose Me/ TY KARIM: Lightin Up/ LAURA LEE: Your Song/ THE MAYBERRY MOVEMENT: I Can See Him Making Love To You/ THE MINITS: Still A Part Of Me/ GROVER MITCHELL: What Hurts/ THE OVATIONS: I m In Love/ THE PACESETTERS: Lovin/ THE PRETENDERS: A Broken Heart Cries/ THE RADIATIONS: That's The Way Our Love Is/ TOWANA & THE TOTAL DESTRUCTION: Wear Your Natural/ UNKNOWN ARTIST: All In My Mind/ LYNN VARNADO: Staying At Home Like A Woman/ JOHNNY WATSON: It s Better To Cry/ BRENDA WAYNE: More Than Just Somebody I Know

VARIOUS ARTISTS Moonshine 5501 Motortown Group Sounds ● CD $17.98
30 tracks, highly recommended
This has been out a while but hasn't been listed before. 30 rare doo-wop, R&B and soul vocal group titles from Detroit recorded between 1959 and 1964 - six of them previously unreleased. Includes Willie Hamilton & Grouo, The Distants (1960 recordings featuring several members who later went on to The Temptations), Marv Johnson & Group (both sides of his first recording for Kudo), Wyatt "Big Boy" Shepherd, Ty Hunter & The Voice Msters, The Pirates (superb intense performance), The Creations, Chico Leverett & Group, Sandra Mallett & The Vandellas, The Miracles (an alternate take of Depend On Me), Henry Lumpkin and Group and others. Generally excellent sound and booklet has brief notes on all the tracks. (FS)
THE ANADANTES: That's a Funny Way (unissued)/ THE CONTOURS: Whole Lotta Woman/ THE CREATIONS: Say Say Baby (unissued)/ THE DISTANTS: Open Your Heart/ THE DOWNBEATS: Your Baby's Back/ LINDA GRINER & GROUP: Envious/ WILLIE HAMILTON & GROUP: I'm So Glad You're Mine/ TY HUNTER & VOICE MASTERS: Everything About You/ MARV JOHNSON & GROUP: Once Upon a Time/ MARVIN JOHNSON & GROUP: My Baby-O/ WILLIE JONES & THE CHIMES: I Need You/ WADE JONES & THE RAYBER VOICES: Insane/ CHICO LEVERETT & GROUP: I'll Never Love Again/ Solid Sender/ HATTIE LITTLES & GROUP: I Wish You Were Here (unissued)/ HENRY LUMPKIN & GROUP: We Really Love Each Other/ THE MAJESTICS: Hello Love (unissued)/ SANDRA MALLETT & VANDELLAS: Camel Walk/ It's Gonna Be Hard Times/ THE MIRACLES: You Can Depend on Me (alternate)/ THE PIRATES: I'll Love You Til I Die/ POPCORN WYLIE & THE MOHAWKS: Pretty Girl/ THE ROYAL RAVENS: Grand Spanish Lady/ THE SATINTONES: Fine Son-in-Law (unissued)/ Going To the Hop/ Motor City/ THE SERENADERS: I'll Cry Tomorrow/ WYATT "BIG BOY" SHEPHERD: You Don't Want Me No More/ THE TEMPTATIONS: My Pillow (unissued)/ THE VERSATONES: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (unissued)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Pepto Roma 509 Dazzling Group Sounds, Vol. 9 ● CD $17.98
29 tracks, 76 mins, recommended
Another excellent volume in this fine series features 29 tracks from the early 50s through the early 60s - many making their first appearance on CD. Includes sides by George Grant & The Castelles, The Majestics, Velps, Peppermint Harris & The Laurels (fine rockin' doo-wop from this bluesman with vocal group backing), The Stylists, Lillian Brooks & The Moroccos, Mark Hill & The Laurels (two poorly recorded acapella sides), Dora Tapp & Group (the gorgeous minor key Sad And Broken Heart), Chris Powell & The Five Blue Flames (from 1951), Bunny Paul & Group, The Marvells (a lovely and imaginative rendition of the standard For Sentimental Reasons), Little Sammy Yates & The Premiers, The Shadows (a fine doo-wop rendition of the country hit There Stands The Glass), The Sof-Tones and more. Sound quality on some of these extraordinarily rare titles are a bit rough on too much digital noise reduction is used on these but generally the sound is excellent. (FS)
THE AIRIBIANS: To Look at a Star/ LILLIAN BROOKS & THE MOROCCOS: No Parkin'/ THE COCOAS: Flip Your Daddy/ THE CRUISERS: The Mission/ FREDDIE & THE QUANTRILLS: If I Give My Heart to You/ THE GOODFELLOWS: Another Chance/ GEORGE GRANT & THE CASTELLES: Hey Baby Baby/ PEPPERMINT HARRIS & THE LAURELS: Just Me and You/ Need Your Lovin'/ MARK HILL & THE EARLS: Good Lovin' Mama (acappella)/ MARK HILL & THE LAURELS: I'm All Alone (acappella)/ WILLIAM HINES & GROUP: Bring Back Your Heart/ THE HONEYBEES: Give Your Love to Me/ THE IVORYS: Wishing Well/ THE MAJESTICS: Pennies For a Beggar/ THE MARVELLS: For Sentimental Reasons/ BUNNY PAUL & GROUP: Anser the Call/ CHRIS POWELL & HIS FIVE BLUE FLAMES: My Love Is Gone/ THE SHADOWS: There Stands the Glass/ THE SOF-TONES: Oh Why/ THE STARLINGS: I Gotta Go Now/ THE STYLISTS AKA BUSTER BANKS & MARYLANDERS: Mourning/ DORA TAPP & GROUP: Sad and Broken Heart/ THE TWILIGHTERS: I Wonder Who's Calling Her Now/ THE VALQUINS: Falling Star/ My Dear/ THE VANDELS: A Small Silver Ring/ THE VELPS: Korea/ LITTLE SAMMY YATES & THE PREMIERS: Red Sails in the Sunset

VARIOUS ARTISTS Rhino (UK) 77579 Atlantic R&B, Vol. 4: 1957-1960 ● CD $9.98
27 tracks, 73 mins, essential
Are you ready for more timeless R&B tracks from Atlantic Record's vaults? Volume 4 is chock full of hits by The Coasters ("Young Blood", "Yakety Yak", "Charlie Brown", "Poison Ivy"), Clyde McPhatter ("A Lover's Question"), Ray Charles ("What'd I Say" Parts 1 & 2), Ben E. King ("Stand By Me", "Spanish Harlem"), The Drifters ("There Goes My Baby", "Save the Last Dance For Me"), and Carla Thomas ("Gee Whiz"). Throw in great tracks from Chuck Willis, LaVern Baker, and Solomon Burke, and you have the makings for one indispensable CD. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Soul Time 104 Soul Vocal Group Delights, Vol. 4 - Lover's Choice ● CD $16.98
An older release listed here for the first time. 20 obscure soul ballads from the mid 60s through the mid 70s including sides by The Vanguards, Fantastic Four, Fascinators, Natural Four, Honey & The Bees, Gaslight, Topaz, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, The Escorts, Topics and more. Fine sound, bare bones packaging.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Time Life 15530 New Orleans Party Classics ● CD $19.98
2 CDs, 30 Tracks, 90 mins, highly recommended
There have certainly been a ton of New Orleans compilations over the years and I have picked up a lot of them. What sets this collection apart from others is its depth and the time span that it covers. Throughout the course of this collection you get the full breadth of New Orleans history from the genius of Professor Longhair in the 1950's all the way through to Labelle's 70's smash Lady Marmalade, at all points in-between digging deeply to tell the tales of this legendary musical city. Many of these tracks have appeared on comps before, but on this one you get some real gems that rarely if ever pop up on compilations, like Who Shot the Lala by Oliver Morgan, Do Whatcha Wanna (pt.2) by The Rebirth Brass Band, and Down Home Girl by Alvin Robinson. You get two great big CDs, full of some of the best music ever made, if you have your share of New Orleans comps, then you probably want to check the full track list to make sure, if not this is a fantastic starting point. (JM)
SUGARBOY CRAWFORD: Jockomo/ DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND: Little Liza Jane/ BO DOLLIS AND THE REBIRTH BRASS BAND: Tipitina/ FATS DOMINO: When the Saints Go Marching In/ LEE DORSEY: Ride Your Pony/ Ya Ya/ DR. JOHN: Junko Partner/ FRANKIE FORD: Sea Cruise/ CLARENCE "FROGMAN" HENRY: I Don't Know Why I Love You But I Do/ JESSIE HILL: Ooh Poo Pah Doo-Part 1/ AL JOHNSON: Carnival Time/ JOE JONES: You Talk Too Much/ ERNIE K-DOE: Te Ta Te Ta Ta/ CHRIS KENNER: I Like It Like That/ Land of 1,000 Dances/ LABELLE: Lady Marmalade/ THE METERS: Cabbage Alley/ Fire on the Bayou/ OLIVER MORGAN: Who Shot the La La/ THE NEVILLE BROTHERS: Hey Pocky A-Way/ ROBERT PARKER: Barefootin'/ PROFESSOR LONGHAIR: Big Chief/ Go to the Mardi Gras/ REBIRTH BRASS BAND: Do Whatcha Wanna/ ALVIN ROBINSON: Down Home Girl/ SHIRLEY AND LEE: Let The Good Times Roll/ HUEY "PIANO" SMITH AND THE CLOWNS: Didn't You Just Know It/ Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu/ STOP, INC: Second Line/ THE WILD TCHOUPITOULAS: Meet De Boys on the Battlefront

VARIOUS ARTISTS Time Life 80051 Let Freedom Sing - The Music Of The Civil Rights Movement ● CD $44.98
3 CD, 58 tracks, essential
Time Life does it again with this set that chronicles-both in song, and a 40-page book with detailed commentaries, a timeline, and rare photos - one of the 20th century's greatest stories, from the darkest days of segregation through the struggles of the 1950's, the triumphs of the 1960's, and beyond. Some of the greatest blues, jazz, folk, gospel, soul, reggae, and R&B artists are featured here; everyone from Big Bill Broonzy (When Do I get To Be Called A Man?), Billie Holiday (Strange Fruit), Mahalia Jackson We Shall Overcome to Bob Dylan Blowin' In The Wind , Otis Redding A Change Is Gonna Come , Bob Marley & the Wailers (Get Up, Stand Up), The Jungle Brothers Black Is Black), and everyone in between including Brother Will Hairston's wonderful and rarely heard Alabama Bus from 1956. 70 years of historic, galvanizing, and inspiring music in one handy box set; you just can't beat it. (GMC)
DISC ONE: THE SOUTHERN SONS Go Down Moses/ BILLIE HOLIDAY Strange Fruit/ JOSH WHITE Uncle Sam Says/ THE GOLDEN GATE QUARTET No Restricted Signs/ BROWNIE MCGHEE Black, Brown, And White/ THE WEAVERS Hammer Song (If I Had a Hammer)/ THE RAMPARTS Death of Emmett Till, Pts. 1-2/ BIG BILL BROONZY When Do I Get to Be Called a Man?/ BROTHER WILL HAIRSTON, Alabama Bus/ NAT KING COLE We Are Americans Too/ THE STAPLE SINGERS Why (Am I Treated So Bad)?/ THE HARMONIZING FOUR I Shall Not Be Moved/ THE BELAFONTE FOLK SINGERS, HARRY BELAFONTE Oh Freedom/ LOUISIANA RED Ride On, Red, Ride On/ NINA SIMONE Mississippi Goddam/ BOB DYLAN Blowin' in the Wind/ MAHALIA JACKSON We Shall Overcome/ PHIL OCHS Too Many Martyrs/ J.B. LENOIR Alabama Blues/ THE JUBILEE HUMMINGBIRDS Our Freedom Song/ OTIS REDDING Change Is Gonna Come DISC TWO: OSCAR BROWN, JR. Forty Acres and a Mule/ THE IMPRESSIONS People Get Ready/ THE MIGHTY CLOUDS OF JOY Nobody Can Turn Me Around/ SOLOMON BURKE I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel to Be Free)/ ARETHA FRANKLIN Respect/ JOHN LEE HOOKER Motor City Is Burning/ GEORGE PERKINS & THE SILVER STARS Cryin' in the Streets, Pt. 1/ SMOKEY ROBINSON & THE MIRACLES Abraham, Martin, And John/ RAY SCOTT Prayer/ JAMES BROWN Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud, Pt. 1 / NICKIE LEE And Black Is Beautiful/ BILL MOSS Sock It to 'Em, Soul Brother/ B.B. KING Why I Sing the Blues, Pt. 1/ JAMES BROWN I Don't Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing (Open Up the Door, I'll Get It Myself)/ SLY & THE FAMILY STONE Stand!/ THE TEMPTATIONS Message from a Black Man/ SYL JOHNSON Is It Because I'm Black/ SWAMP DOGG I Was Born Blue/ LEE DORSEY Yes, We Can, Pt. 1/ CURTIS MAYFIELD We the People Who Are Darker Than Blue/ BOB & MARCIA Young, Gifted, And Black DISC THREE: GIL SCOTT-HERON Revolution Will Not Be Televised/ THE CHI-LITES, (For God's Sake) Give More Power to the People/ THE UNDISPUTED TRUTH Smiling Faces Sometimes/ MARVIN GAYE Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)/ AARON NEVILLE Hercules/ BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS, Get Up, Stand Up/ THE ISLEY BROTHERS Fight the Power, Pt. 1/ THE O'JAYS Give the People What They Want/ JUNGLE BROTHERS Black Is Black/ THE NEVILLE BROTHERS, SISTER ROSA Sister Rosa/ CHUCK D Pride/ SOUNDS OF BLACKNESS Unity/ SOLOMON BURKE None of Us Are Free/ THE SOJOURNERS Eyes on the Prize/ MAVIS STAPLES Down in Mississippi/ THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA Free at Last

VARIOUS ARTISTS Valmor 001 The Best Of Valmor Records ● CD $17.98
32 tracks, recommended
Not a new release but not listed before. The New York based Valmor label is best known for their big hit in 1961 with the lovely ballad Please Love Me Forever by Cathy Jean & The Roomates and 21 of the tracks on this 32 track collection are by Cathy Jean & The Roomates or The Roomates on their own or Cathy Jean on their own. The Roomates were an excellent white group with a very mellow sound and their tracks without Cathy Jean are actually more interesting than those with her though many of their cuts are covers of other artists hits (Band Of Gold/ Glory Of Love/ Come Go With Me), etc. There are a few other groups featured here (some released originally on the affiliated Empress & finesse labels) - The Embers, The Paramounts, Marie Elena & The Twilights and The Twilights - all of whom are quite good.
CATHY JEAN: Canadian Sunset/ One Love/ Sugar Cake/ I Only Want You/ Please Tell Me/ There Goes My Heart/ Make Me Smile Again/ Please Love Me Forever/ Turn Me Loose/ THE EMBERS: Abigail/ I Was Too Careful/ I Wish I Didn't Love You So (stereo)/ I Won't Cry Anymore/ Solitaire/ What A Surprise/ MARIE ELENA & THE TWILIGHTS: I Was Too Careful/ Temptation/ THE PARAMOUNTS: Blues No More/ THE ROOMATES: Band of Gold/ Come Go With Me/ Glory of Love (stereo)/ I Want A Little Girl/ Making Believe/ My Foolish Heart (stereo)/ My Kisses For Your Thoughts/ Never Knew/ One Summer Night/ Please Don't Cheat on Me (outtake)/ The Only Girl For Me/ To the Aisle/ THE TWILIGHTS: My Heart Belongs To Only You/ Oh Baby Love

ELLA WASHINGTON Soulscape 7014 He Called Me Baby ● CD $19.98
28 tracks, highly recommended Great collection of Southern Soul sides produced by John Richbourg in Memphis, Nashville and Muscle Shoals for Monument's Sound Stage 7 subsidiary between 1967 and '72. It includes almost all her recordings for the label including five previously unreleased. It includes the classic title song which was her only hit, a great version of Clarence Carter's Too Weak To Fight which was her last single for the label as well as other great sides like Starving For Love/ The Affair/ Doing The Best I Can/ I Can't Afford To Lose Him, etc. Remastered in mono and with informative liner notes by Southern Soul expert John Ridley. (FS)

OTIS WILLIAMS & HIS CHARMS Collectables 2879 The Very Best Of, Vol. 2 ● CD $15.98
25 tracks, 63 mins, highly recommended
Collectables have done another of their fine collections for this prolific group. Though the previous installment in this series contains a lot of their bigger songs, this edition has plenty of great material, well worthy of another installment, starting off where the group's career started, with Loving Baby their first release. That record came out in 1953, and this collection takes you on a journey throughout the fabulous fifties, with the last tracks featured from a 1960 recording date. Along the way The Charms put out fine Rhythm & Blues and Doo Wop, with boisterous songs like the What do You Know about That?/ Gum Drop/ Do Be You/ Crazy, Crazy Love, and Whadaya Want? (Leiber and Stoller penned and originally recorded by the Robins,) as well mellow and sentimental cuts like Quiet Please/ It's All Over, and Nowhere on Earth. Otis Williams and his Charms were certainly a fantastic vocal group and I heartily recommend this collection, as well as its predecessor. (Collectables 2873) (JM)
OTIS WILLIAMS & THE CHARMS: And Take My Love/ Crazy Crazy Love/ Do Be You/ Friends Call Me A Fool/ Funny What True Love Can Do/ Gum Drop/ I Knew It All The Time/ I'm Waiting Just For You/ In Paradise/ It's All Over/ Just Forget About Me/ Let Some Love In Your Heart/ Loving Baby/ My Friends/ Nowhere On Earth/ One Fine Day/ Pardon Me/ Quiet Please/ Red Hot Love/ So Can I/ Tell Me Now/ Well Oh Well/ Whadaya Want?/ What Do You Know About That?/ You'll Remain Forever


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