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Rhythm & Blues, Soul & Doo-Wop
Al Sears & His Orchestra -> Bobby Womack




AL SEARS & HIS ORCHESTRA Ocium 030 The Big Raw Tone ● CD $14.98
23 tracks, 64 mins, recommended
Similar to the now deleted Bear Family CD. A major tenor sax player of both the big band and 50's rock 'n roll eras, Sears began his professional career in the late 20's, while still in his teens. During the 30's and 40's, he lent his blues-based style of play to various jazz ensembles including Chick Webb's orchestra, Andy Kirk and his Cloud of Joy, and, after W.W. II, Duke Ellington's orchestra. In the 50's he was both a session musician and a leader of his own recording aggregations for Coral, RCA, and Herald. The 23 tracks on this disc, recorded between 1945 and 1953, are about evenly split between those tracks which still have a big band jazz feel and those which lean toward rhythm & blues, with fine performances throughout. Several of the cuts feature vocals. Highlights include Brown Boy, the forerunner of the Jive Bombers later hit retitled Bad Boy, Mag's Alley, Fo-Yah, Groove Station, and the rockin' Huffin' And Puffin'. This also includes Johnny Hodges 1951 hit Castle Rock with Sears taking the lead. Excellent sound and 16 page booklet has informative notes and full discographical info. (DH/FS)

ROSCOE SHELTON Blue Label 95812 Save Me ● CD $16.98
12 tracks, 45 min., recommended
Shelton recorded gospel for Nashboro as a member of The Skylarks in 1956-57, and by 1958 followed friend Sam Cooke into the secular marketplace , recording, unlike Cooke, for the Excello label, which released an LP on him--now an extremely rare slice of vinyl, but easily obtained on CD. By 1964 he had a #25 hit on "John R" Richbourg's Sims label with Strain On My Heart (Sims 217). He switched to another Richbourg label for his next hit Easy Going Fellow (Sound Stage 7 2555) and released an LP on that label (Music In His Soul: Soul In His Music), which collected his two hits and added 10 tracks. Save Me is sort of a companion piece to the SPV Earl Gaines CD, in that this one also features outtakes and out-of-print selections from Shelton's post-1995 career (he died in 2002) mostly from the Excello Legends sessions and the Appaloosa label and demos. In fact, the Shelton-penned Someday Things Are Gonna Change, which features a duet with Gaines, is the sme recording as the one on Gaines' album. (JC)

PERCY SLEDGE DBK Works 532 The Percy Sledge Way/ Take Time To Know Her ● CD $15.98
Two classic Atlantic albums from 1967 and 1968 with The Dark End Of The Street/ I had A Talk With My Woman/ Tell It Like It is/ Drown In My own Tears/ You Don't Miss Your Water/ Take Time To Know Her/ Come Softly To Me/ Out Of Left Field/ It's All Wrong But It's Alright/ I Love Everything About You, etc.

HOWARD TATE Solid Ground 1001 A Portrait Of Howard ● CD $16.98
18 tracks, 72 min., recommended
A solid effort despite and not because of the "concept" of telling Tate's life story in songs--often other people's. Covering four Randy Newman songs isn't much of stretch for Mr. Tate, but he covers Nick Lowe (Homewrecker) with outstanding results. And his take on Lou Reed's How Do You Think It Feels not only stands up all by itself, but features Reed himself on guitar. Similarly, the cover of Carla Bley's The Lord Is Listenin' To Ya, Hallelujah features Bley on piano (and Steve Swallow on bass). Again and again Tate proves himself bigger than the material, bending it, if gently, to his will. Only on the Bacharach/ David schlock fiasco Close To You (yes, The Carpenters hit) does one suspect he's met his match, at least on part of the song. But that's no slight and may even be a compliment. The man still has a powerful voice and he's not afraid to use it. No apologies necessary. (JC)

ALLEN TOUSSAINT Water 176 Life, Love And Faith ● CD $15.98
12 tracks, 39 min., recommended
On the expensive heels of Rhino Handmade's already out of print 2CD collection of Toussaint's Warner Bros. sides (three LPs between 1972-78), comes the straight album reissues from Water (manufactured by Rhino!), of which, "Life, Love And Death" is easily the best. It features a dozen Toussaint originals (including Fingers And Toes/ Soul Sister/ Goin' Down/ I've Got To Convince Myself), and all the first drawer New Orleans session men anyone could ask for, including George Porter, Jr. on bass and Joseph Modeliste on drums--The Meters rhythm section. Add to that the guitar of Leo Nocentelli and baritone sax of Red Tyler, among others. In fact, the weakest link in the soul chain is Toussaint's own vocals, which occasionally go farther than wisdom would send them. Still, always worth hearing (again) from the most influential soul producer the Big Easy has seen in at least 40 years. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1140 Even More Mellow Cats 'n' Kittens ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 67 mins, highly recommended
Another fine collection of West Coast jump blues, R&B and jiving jazz recorded for the Modern group of labels between 1945 and 1951 including 14 unissued songs or alternate takes. Includes sides by Herb Fisher & His Trio, Clarence Williams, The Three Bits Of Rhythm (three jazzy jive sides including the great, previously unissued, Put A Nickel In The Slot featuring a roll call of some of the hottest cats and kittens on the music scene), Jim Wynn & His Orchestra, Happy Johnson Sextette (the fine instrumental B Splat with hot guitar from "Tiny" Webb), Butch Stone & His Orchestra (four songs including an answer song to Fats Waller with his My Feet's Too Big), Helen Humes, Johnny Otis & His Orch., Howard McGhee & His Sextette (with fine vocal by Pearl Traylor), Felix Gross & His Orch. and more. Excellent sound and illustrated booklet with enthusiastic notes by Tony Rounce. (FS)
HADDA BROOKS & HER TRIO: Bully Wully Boogie/ HERB FISHER & HIS TRIO: Ride, Ride, Ride/ FELIX GROSS & HIS ORCHESTRA: Full House/ HELEN HUMES: Living My Life My Way/ The Laziest Gal In Town/ HAPPY JOHNSON SEXTETTE: B Splat/ THE SAUNDERS KING ORCHESTRA: Pitch A Boogie/ HOWARD MCGHEE & HIS SEXTETTE (VOCAL BY PEARL TR: Gee I'm Lonesome/ HOWARD MCGHEE & HIS SEXTETTE (VOCAL BY ESTELLE: Play Fair/ JOHNNY OTIS & HIS ORCHESTRA (VOCAL BY LITTLE ES: Mean Ole Gal/ JOHNNY OTIS & HIS ORCHESTRA FEATURING PETE "GUI: Thursday Night Blues/ WILL ROWLAND & HIS ORCHESTRA: Huggin' The Pillow/ SCAT MAN: Keep It Hot/ BUTCH STONE & HIS ORCHESTRA: A Good Man Is Hard To Find/ Baby Face/ Little Girl/ My Feet's Too Big/ THE THREE BITS OF RHYTHM: Drop A Nickel In The Slot/ Gruen Special/ The Signifying Monkey/ AL CAKE WICHARD & HIS SEXTETTE (VOCAL BY JIMMY W: Pinocchio Blues/ CLARENCE WILLIAMS: Baby Take Me Home With You/ My Baby Don't Understand/ JIM WYNN & HIS ORCHESTRA: Stop - Skip Four Beats!

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1142 Hollywood Rock 'n' Roll Record Hop ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, 70 mins, highly recommended
Following up the "Rock 'n' Roll Dance Party" compilation (Ace 1119 - $16.98), Ace Records continues to scratch the underbelly of Los Angeles in the 1950's. This is a re-issue combining two versions of this hard to find compilation with lots of bonus tracks. Originally released in the late 50s on Modern & Crown (the budget line for Modern Records), the record was released twice, with a different version on each to maximize album sales. This compilation rounds up all seventeen of those tracks from both versions, plus nine more pulled from the vaults including four that are unique to this release. All tracks are taken from original master tapes, or in the case of Jesse Belvin's classic Goodnight My Love, Pleasant Dreams, the version here is off of master tapes, but a different take than has ever been released. A lot of the artists from the first comp re-appear on this one as well. You get healthy portions of The Cadets - including their version of the Jayhawks Stranded in The Jungle- and their alter egos the The Jacks, as well as Young Jessie, Etta James, BB King, Johnny Guitar Watson, Joe Houston, Joe Turner, Shirley Gunter, Dolly Cooper, The Rams and Marvin & Johnny. For the bonus tracks you get the ultra rare rocker by BB King Bim Bam from 1957, the odd, but effective Ewing Sisters rendition of My Babe, the oh-so-charming Mercy Dee letting loose on Romp and Stomp Blues (Take 6) and a few more nuggets of R&B gold, all done in the high quality that we expect from Ace. (JM)
JESSE BELVIN: Goodnight My Love, Pleasant Dreams/ HADDA BROOKS: Old Man River/ THE CADETS: I Want You/ Rollin' Stone/ Stranded In The Jungle/ True Love/ THE CLIQUES: The Girl In My Dreams/ DOLLY COOPER: Teenage Prayer/ MAXWELL DAVIS & HIS MOD CATS: Everybody's Rockin'/ THE EWING SISTERS: My Babe/ SHIRLEY GUNTER & THE QUEENS: Oop Shoop/ DONNA HIGHTOWER: Dog Gone It/ JOE HOUSTON: Blow Joe Blow/ THE JACKS: Why Don't You Write Me/ ETTA JAMES: Crazy Feeling/ Good Rockin' Daddy/ B.B. KING: Bim Bam/ Jump With You Baby/ MARVIN & JOHNNY: Tick Tock/ MERCY DEE: Romp and Stomp Blues/ THE RAMS: Rock Bottom/ ZOLA TAYLOR: Oh My Dear/ THE TEEN QUEENS: Rock Everybody/ JOE TURNER & PETE JOHNSON: Kansas City Blues/ JOHNNY GUITAR WATSON: Hot Little Mama/ YOUNG JESSIE & THE CADETS: Mary Lou

VARIOUS ARTISTS AVI 5015 Soul Of The 60s, Vol. 1 - Calla Records ● CD $15.98
24 tracks, 67 min., recommended
We've turned up a few copies of this long out of print set. New York's Calla Records was an important black-owned '60s soul label. Possessed of an eclectic ear, the label's owner, Nate McCalla, didn't mind signing talent of differing styles, as this disc begins to demonstrate. The Orlons' Spinnin' Top and J. J. Jackson's classic But It's All Right represent Calla's ability to turn out quality hits, but some of the less well-known tracks are at least as pleasing. Count all of Jean Wells' efforts as required soul listening, as well as Betty LaVette's Let Me Down Easy and Only Your Love Can Save Me Now. Fans take note that the Little Jerry Williams, who has 2 cuts here, later transformed into soul iconoclast Swamp Dogg. Other artists include Mary Wheeler, Ernie & Jean Terrell, The Sand Pebbles, Roscoe Gordon, Tony Fox, J. R. Bailey, and Billy Mitchell. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bloodthirsty 4572 Gangster Of Love - Killer Doo Wops, Vol. 1 ● CD $17.98
First in a new series of reissues of rare doo-wop and early soul which, judging by the packaging and song selection, are geared to the Latino market. This one has 20 tracks from the 50s and early 60s - about 50% seems to be new to CD - includes sides by Bobby Marchan, Goldentones,  Legends, Rochell & Candles (the gorgeous A Long Time Ago),  Spinners (one of earliest sides from 1962 by this long lived soul vocal group), The Vows, Gene & Billy and more. Second volume in this series is on the Zodiac label!
TONY ALLEN & THE CUPIDS: Lilly May/ THE BIG FIVE: Blue Eyes/ THE DELTAS: Let Me Share Your Dreams/ THE DOWNBEATS: You Did Me Wrong/ THE DU MAURIERS: Baby I Love You/ THE EASTMAN: Lover Come Home/ THE FIVE BLACKS: Forever In Love/ GENE & BILLY: Zerlene/ THE GOLDENTONES: Ocean Of Tears/ THE HEARTS: Dissapointed Bride/ JACKIE KARR: Jacky, Sonny, Bobby, Billy/ THE LA RELLS: I Guess I'll Never Stop Loving You/ THE LEGENDS: The Legend Of Love/ BOBBY MARCHAN: What Can I Do/ THE ORIENTALS: Please Come Back Home/ THE RAMBLERS: Vaudunt--un-va-da Song/ ROCHELL & THE CANDLES: A Long Time Ago/ THE ROCKETONES: Deel/ THE SPINNERS: She Loves Me So/ THE VOWS: I Wanna Chance

VARIOUS ARTISTS Zodiac 5352 Gangster Of Love - Killer Doo Wops, Vol. 2 ● CD $17.98
First and third volume in this series is on Bloodthirsty label! 22 more fine doo-wop and early soul tracks though most of these have been out on CD before. Includes sides by Marv Johnson, The Counts, Flames,  Delights, Roy & Gloria,Ann Fleming & Group, etc.
LARRY BIRDSONG: Now That We're Together/ THE BOBBETTES: You Are My Sweetheart/ THE BUCKEYES: Dottie Baby/ THE COOKIES: In Paradise/ THE COUNTS: Waiting 'round For You/ THE CRICKETS: Your Love/ THE DE-VAURS: Baby Doll/ THE DELIGHTS: Mary Don't You Weep/ THE FLAMES: Love Or A Game/ ANN FLEMING & GROUP: Beside You/ ROSCO GORDON: Let's Get High/ MARV JOHNSON: Once Upon A Time/ THE KAC TIES: Let Your Love Light Shine/ THE OHIO UNTOUCHABLES: Forgive Me Darling/ THE RHYTHM MASTERS: The Baby We Two/ ROY & GLORIA: We Fell In Love/ SHIRLEY & LEE: Confessin'/ STICKS & STONES: Desperately/ NOLAN STRONG & THE DIABLOS: Since You're Gone/ The Wind/ VIN VINCENTE: I'm In Your Corner/ THE ZEBULONS: Falling Water

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bloodthirsty 03 Gangster Of Love - Killer Doo Wops, Vol. 3 ● CD $17.98
The third volume has 25 tracks - most have been on CD before.
TONY ALLEN: I Found An Angel/ THE BUCKEYES: Since I Fell For You/ THE DELICATES: I Want To Get Married/ CARL ELL & BUDDIES: Bobby My Love/ RAY FOURINA: You Done Me Wrong/ THE GALAHADS: The Answer To Love/ THE GAY KNIGHTS: The Loudness Of My Heart/ BOBBY HAMILTON: Crazy Eyes For You/ THE LADDERS: Hey Pretty Baby/ TONY LAMAR: Come Out Tonight/ THE MINT JULEPS: Bells Of Love/ THE NEW YORKERS: Dream A Little Dream/ MARVIN PHILLIPS: Let's Get Together/ LLOYD PRICE: Ain't It A Shame/ THE SERENADERS: A Sinner In Love/ THE SHEPPARDS: Loving You/ RUBEN SIGGERS & THE KOOL KATS: Those Love Me Blues/ THE SOLITARES: Girl Of Mine/ TEDDY & THE CONTINENTALS: Crying Over You/ TEX & THE CHEX: I Do Love You/ THE TITANS: Arlene/ THE TURBANS: I Promise You Love/ THE TWILIGHTERS: Little Did I Dream/ THE UNTOUCHABLES: Standing There/ BABY WASHINGTON: Tears Fall

VARIOUS ARTISTS Blue Label 95822 The Poncello Records Story - Tennessee R&B ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, 63 mins, recommended
Fine collection of blues, R&B and soul drawn from the Poncello label and its Valdot and Spar subsidiaries run by legendary Nashville songwriter and entrepreneur Ted Jarrett in the early and mid 60s. Spar specialized in soundalike recordings featuring note for note covers of hits and there are a few of these here including Earl Gaines & Lucille Johns doing a fine copy of Ray Charles's version of You Are My Sunshine. The other Gaines song here is the tough blues Please Send Me Someone To Love. Singer/ guitarist Arthur K. Adams is featured on two songs including the excellent blues The Same Thing with superb guitar. Gene Allison's brother Levert is featured on two great songs including an uptempo version of Percy Mayfield's Please Send Me Someone To Love. Gene himself is featured on a less than stellar version of Sam Cooke's We're Having A Party Other artists include Alpha Zoe, The Chellows, Herbert Hunter, Tim Jarrett, Janis Parks, Ricky Rezell, Thomas Henry and The Tempo Rhythm. Includes 8 page booklet with notes by Fred James. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Body & Soul 2822 Absolute Funk ● CD $15.98
20 tracks, 55 min., highly recommended
Strikes the right balance between rare/obscure funk 45 rpms (cut between 1968-73) on the one hand and quality on the other, never giving in to the temptation to include an incredibly rare (and deservedly so) record just because they can. So while Peter Pan by Soul Patrol and Everything's Gonna Be All Right by Robert Moore and Daddy Love by Gi Gi all change hands for not-so-small fortunes in the world of collector vinyl, they are also stainless steel funk. Other undeservedly obscure funksters include Johnnie Morisette with Jennell Hawkins Sexette, Sarah Simpson, Watson And The Sherlocks, Sir Guy & The Rocking Cavaliers, General Crook, Spanky Wilson, O. D. Williams, and others. The late James Brown's influence is unsurprisingly all over these tracks, and more than a few owe thanks to Dyke And The Blazers--and that's as it should be. (JC)
BETTY AND ANGEL: Honey Coated Loving/ LOYCE COTTON: Try It, You'll Like It/ GENERAL CROOK: Do It for Me/ GI GI: Daddy Love, Pt. 1/ Daddy Love, Pt. 2/ JOE & EVERYDAY PEOPLE: Sleep Walk-Pt. 1/ Sleep Walk-Pt. 2/ LANDLORD & TENANTS: Sagittarius-Pt. 1/ LENA MONE: You Stay on My Mind/ ROBERT MOORE: Everything's Gonna' Be All Right/ JOHNNIE MORISETTE: I'm Hungry/ THE PHILLIPS BROS: I Got Hurt/ THE SHERLOCKS: Funky Walk/ SARAH SIMPSON: I Kicked the Habit (Of Loving You)/ SIR GUY: Funky Virginia/ THE SOUL MACHINE: Twitchie Feet/ SOUL PATROL: Don't Knock the Cop/ Peter Pan/ O.D. WILLIAMS: I'm Moving on out of Your Life/ SPANKY WILSON: You

VARIOUS ARTISTS Dynamite DGS 141 Dynamite Group Sounds, Vol. 41 ● CD $17.98
Another in this fine series featuring 25 doo-wop obscurities from the 50s and 60s plus one track (The Angels Listened In by Percy Sledge & Group) from the 70s. All the tracks have been out before but as usual with this series the standard is high and a number of the previous reissues are no longer available.
RUTH BROWN & THE JAMES QUINTET: Have a Good Time/ THE CATALINAS: Give Me Your Love/ THE CELTICS: Can You Remember/ THE CHERIOS: Ding Dong Honeymoon/ THE CLIPPERS: I'm For You Baby/ JOHNNY DARLING & GROUP: I Don't Want To Wind Up in Love/ TONY DEE & THE PAGEANTS: Saturday Romance/ THE ELGINS: Extra! Extra!/ THE ENCHANTERS: Spellbound By the Moon/ THE EPICS: Wishing You Were Mine/ THE FIVE DELIGHTS: That Love Affair/ THE FIVE DOLLARS: That's the Way It Goes/ THE HI-LITES: Gloria My Darling/ THE HOLLYWOOD SAXONS: Diamonds/ THE IVORY TONES: Teen Love/ R. LANHAM & THE TEMPO-TONES: Wishing All the Time/ THE MORROCCOS: Bang Goes My Heart/ JOE PERKINS & ROOKIES: A New Feeling/ THE PRELUDES: Don't Fall In Love Too Soon/ THE ROULETTES: Hasten Jason/ THE SERENADERS: I'll Cry Tomorrow/ THE SIERRAS: Chance Pt. 1/ PERCY SLEDGE & GROUP: The Angels Listened In/ THE TENDER TONES: Just For a Little While/ THE VISUALS: Please Don't Be Mad at Me/ DINAH WASHINGTON & GROUP: It's Too Soon To Know

VARIOUS ARTISTS East Coast Music 999 East Coast Teen Party, Vol. 9 ● CD $16.98
29 tracks, 67 mins, recommended
Another fine and varied collection of 50s and early 60s rock 'n' roll, up tempo R&B and doo-wop mixing familiar and obscure artists and including a fair number of titles making their first appearance on CD. Includes Ivory Joe Hunter, Dee Clark (the hot Dance On Little Girl with Little Richard style vocal and Chuck berry style guitar), "Big Mike" Gordon, The Belmonts (two fine sides), Chuck Reed (fairly bland teen rock), Wally Cox, Roy Hamilton (a fine cover of Hank Ballard's Tore Up), Emile Ford & The Checkmates (British group rock up the standard On A slow Boat To China), The Chips (their insane though frequently reissued Rubber Biscuit), The Ventures, The Jodimars, Tommy Love, Little Richard, Otis Banks, Lucky Enois Quintet (great Louis Jordan style rockin' R&B with two songs including a version of Crazy Man Crazy) and more. (FS)
HANK BALLARD & THE MIDNIGHTERS: The Twist/ OTIS BANKS: She's My Baby/ THE BELMONTS: Little Orphan Girl/ Tell Me Why/ THE CHIPS: Rubber Biscuit/ DEE CLARK: Dance On Little Girl/ WALLY COX: The Heebee Jeebees/ LUCKY ENOIS QUINTET: Crazy Man Crazy/ Zig Zag Ziggin'/ EMILE FORD & THE CHECKMATES: On a Slow Boat To China/ JOHN FRED: Lenne/ BOBBY FREEMAN: Little Girl Don't You Understand/ BIG MIKE GORDON: Careless Lover/ ROSCO GORDON: Gotta Keep Rolling/ ROY HAMILTON: Tore Up Over You/ IVORY JOE HUNTER: Did You Mean It/ THE JODIMARS: Story Telling Baby/ LITTLE RICHARD: Poor Boy Paul/ TOMMY LOVE: Ice Cream, Soda Pop/ WINK MARTINDALE: All Love Broke Loose/ THE OLYMPICS: Baby It's Hot/ Dance With a Dolly (With a Hole In Her Stocking)/ CHUCK REED: Let's Put Our Hearts Together/ No School Tomorrow/ RAY SCOTT & HIS COMBO: We Need Love/ THE TREND-ELS: Don't You Hear Me Calling Baby/ THE VENTURES: Penetration/ JERRY WALLACE: Good and Bad/ JIMMY WITHERSPOON: Who Baby Who

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 268 The Soul Of Spring, Vol. 2 ● CD $18.98
The second collection of soul recorded in the 60s and 70s for the New York based Spring Records and its Event and Posse offshoots.
ACT I: Goodbye Love (we're Through)/ It Takes Both Of Us/ RICHARD BARBARY: When Johnny Comes Marching Home/ CLARE BATHE: Turn Yourself Around/ VERNON BROWN: I'm A Lover/ THE DETERMINATIONS: One Step At A Time/ THE EQUATIONS: You Make Me Feel Good/ FLOWER SHOPPE: Don't Turn Me On/ RAY GODFREY: Sherry Washington/ GARLAND GREEN: You And I Go Good Together/ LITTLE EVA HARRIS: Mr Everything/ THE INTERNATIONALS: Dry Bones In The Valley/ MILLIE JACKSON: You Can't Turn Me Off (in The Middle Of Turning Me On)/ THE JONESES: Baby (there's Nothing You Can Do)/ DALTRY MARTIN: Stay With Me/ MAYBERRY MOVEMENT: It's So Good To Know/ EDDIE MCLOYD: Once You Fall In Love/ PHILLIP MITCHELL: I'll See You In Hell First/ WINFIELD PARKER: I'm On My Way/ PRINCE HAROLD: Ain't It Amazing/ LEROY RANDOLPH: Good To The Last Drop/ JOE SIMON: In My Baby's Arms/ JACKIE VERDELL: Walk All Over God's Heaven/ RONNIE WALKER: Just Can't Say Hello (once You've Said Goodbye)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 270 Change Is Gonna Come-The Voice Of Black Amer. 1964-1973 ● CD $18.98
23 track collection documenting how it felt to to be black and American in the 1960s using some of the great soul recordings made between 1964 and 1973. The stirring title song written by Sam Cooke is performed here by Otis Redding and there are also performances by The Staple Singers, Homer Banks,  Oscar Brown, Jr., Yaphet Kotto (!), Ray Scott and others.
HOMER BANKS: Ghetto/ JAMES BROWN: I Don't Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (open The Door I'll Get It Myself)/ OSCAR JR. BROWN: Forty Acres And A Mule/ THE CHI-LITES: We Are Neighbours/ JACKIE DAY: Free At Last/ SWAMP DOGG: I Was Born Blue/ THE DRIFTERS: Only In America/ LOU GOSSETT & PAUL SINDAB: Blues For Mr Charlie/ DONNY HATHAWAY: Someday We'll All Be Free/ PATRICE HOLLOWAY: Stay With Your Own Kind/ THE IMPRESSIONS: We're A Winner/ YAPHET KOTTO: Have You Ever Seen The Blues/ NICKIE LEE: And Black Is Beautiful/ PARLIAMENT: Oh Lord Why Lord/ GEORGE PERKINS & THE SILVER STARS: Cryin' In The Streets, Parts 1 & 2/ OTIS REDDING: Change Is Gonna Come/ J.P. ROBINSON: George Jackson/ RAY SCOTT: Prayer/ GIL SCOTT-HERON: Revolution Will Not Be Televised/ NINA SIMONE: To Be Young Gifted And Black/ THE SPINNERS: Message From A Black Man/ THE STAPLE SINGERS: When Will We Be Paid/ THE TEMPTATIONS: Run Charlie Run

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 271 Hitsville West - San Francisco's Uptown Soul ● CD $18.98
24 tracks of sophisticated soul from the San Francisco Bay area - mostly drawn from the Villa label. Includes sides by The Magicians, The Ballads,  Harold Andrews, The Magicians, The Tandels, The Checkerboard Squares (the much in demand instrumental Double Cookin') and more.
HAROLD ANDREWS: You're A Winner/ THE BALLADS: I Can't See Your Love (for Tears In My Eyes)/ THE CASANOVA II: We Got To Keep On/ THE CHEKERBOARD SQUARES: Double Cookin'/ TRY DODDS: Earthquake/ THE FULLER BROTHERS: Times A Wastin'/ LONNIE HEWITT: You Gotta Git/ CLAUDE HUEY: Feel Good All Over/ Why Would You Blow It/ THE MAGICIANS: Is It All Gone?/ Just A Little Faith And Understanding/ Keep Your Hands Off (my Baby)/ Love Let's Try It Again/ Trust In Me/ Where Was I/ Why Do I Do These Foolish Things/ Why Must You Cry (i Deeply Love You)/ OZ & THE SPERLINGS: Can You Qualify/ Dance (holes In Your Soul)/ I Can't Jerk/ THE PERFORMERS: I'll Always Love You/ SISTERS THREE: You Can Forget It/ THE TANDELS: Is It Love Baby/ Why Did Our Love Go

VARIOUS ARTISTS Numero 11 Eccentric Soul - Mighty Mike Lenaburg ● CD $19.98
17 tracks, 48 min., very highly recommended
his time Numero focusses its eclectic attention on Mike Lenaburg's various Arizona-based soul labels operating between 1962-71 (although one cut comes from 1980). Many of Lenaburg's labels are one-offs and many more of his efforts never saw wax at all. He did manage to get national releases (on Brent, for example), but they tended to disappear almost before they emerged. The most "famous" cut here might be Function Underground by We The People--an engrossing funk-rock workout. But one of the best kept secrets to discover here is the trio of tracks by The Soul Blenders (w/ & w/o Lon Rogers). This CD is full of secret soul wonders, many in the funk arena. Ronnie Whitehead's Begging You is irresistible, as is the rare female vocal cut by Shiela Jack I've Got To Have You. In short, this is probably the best Numero release since No. 1, and that's saying something, since the label is 11 for 11 in the interesting releases department. Informative booklet notes, cool photos. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS RDW 010 Rockin 'n' Rare Doo-Wop ● CD $17.98
30 tracks, recommended
Rockin' - yes, rare - not so much. Here we have a fine collection of up tempo doo-wop numbers. Most have been out on CD before - a number of them more than once but there are a few that appear to be new to CD and if you want a collection that rocks from beginning to end this might be your cup of tea. Includes sides by The Channels, Edsels, Bop-Chords, Blentones (two tracks including the bizarre Military Kick), The Equadors, Emblems, Jimmie Jones & The Savoys, Enchords, Orients and more. Good sound and four page booklet has a few artist and label shots. (FS)
THE BLENTONES: Lilly/ Military Kick/ THE BOP-CHORDS: When I Woke Up This Morning/ THE CHANNELS: Bye Bye Baby/ THE CORDELLS: The Beat Of My Heart/ THE DEL VIKINGS: Come Along With Me/ What'cha Gotta Loose/ THE DEL-LARKS: Lady Love/ DINO & THE DIPLOMATS: Hushabye My Love/ THE EBONIERS: Shut Your Mouth/ THE EDSELS: Rama Lama Ding Dong/ THE ELCHORDS: Gee I'm In Love/ THE EMBLEMS: Bang Bang "Shoot 'Em Daddy"/ THE ENCHORDS: Zoom, Zoom, Zoom/ THE EQUADORS: Sputnik Dance/ THE FIVE DISCS: I Remember/ THE FIVE ROYALS: I Do/ THE HEARTBEATS: Oh Baby Don't/ THE IVY TONES: Oo Wee Baby/ JIMMIE JONES & SAVOYS: Please Say You're Mine/ THE KINGLETS: My Baby Don't Need Changing/ Pretty Please/ THE KODOKS: Oh Gee, Oh Gosh/ Run Around Baby/ THE L'CAPTANS: Home Work/ LEWIS LYMON & THE TEENCHORDS: I'm Not Too Young To Fall In Love/ THE MONOTONES: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow/ THE ORIENTS: Shoudn't I/ THE PEARLS: Ugly Face/ THE VIBRANAIRES: Ooh, I Feel So Good

VARIOUS ARTISTS Rhino 62923-2 You Better Believe It - Rare & Modern Soul Gems ● CD $19.98
25 tracks, 75 min., essential
Compiled by Manchester DJ Richard Searling, this is one of the best various artist soul CDs available. Searling compiles songs recorded between 1967-1978 on the WEA family of labels, including Atlantic, Cotillion, Atco, Warner Bros., Reprise, Kwanza, Clintone, and others. Rare soul collectors will thrill to the playlist full of imposssible-to-find 45s, such as the Duponts Always Be My Baby, which was only issued as a promo, and The Dynells' Let Me Prove That I Love You. Rarity aside, the music is unbeatably great. To discover even one song as good as Vivian Reed's Save Your Love For Me, Aretha Franklin's Don't Let Me Lose This Dream, The Classic Sullivans' Paint Yourself In The Corner, Gerald Sims' You'll Never Be Sorry, Major Lance's Without A Doubt, or Sam Dees Fragile, Handle With Care would be worth the price of admission, but all 25 tracks are keepers. Excellent sound, too. Obscure and superb soul--life is good. (JC)
THE ARISTOCRATS: Let‘s Get Together Now/ JEAN BATTLE: I‘ve Got To Come In/ ARCHIE BELL & THE DRELLS: When You Left Heartache Began/ THE CLASSIC SULLIVANS: Paint Yourself In The Corner/ TERRY COLLINS: I L.o.v.e. Y.o.u./ COOL SOUNDS: Free (i‘m Coming Home)/ SAM DEES: Fragile, Handle With Care/ THE DUPONTS: Always Be My Baby/ THE DYNELLS: Let Me Prove That I Love You/ THE ENTICERS: Calling For Your Love/ ARETHA FRANKLIN: Don‘t Let Me Lose This Dream/ DONNY HATHAWAY: Love, Love, Love (alt Mix)/ THE HYPNOTICS: Beware Of The Stranger/ BEN E. KING: Smooth Sailing/ MAJOR LANCE: Without A Doubt/ BARBARA LYNN: Nice And Easy/ PRINCE PHILLIP MITCHELL: One On One/ VIVIAN REED: Save Your Love For Me/ PEGGY SCOTT: Nobody‘s Gonna Get Your Mama/ BOBBY SHEEN: I May Not Be What You Want/ GERALD SIMS: You‘ll Never Be Sorry/ BETTYE SWANN: Kiss My Love Goodbye/ TOWER OF POWER: So Very Hard To Go/ MARY WELLS: If You Can‘t Give Her Love (give Her Up)/ BRENTON WOOD: Better Believe It

VARIOUS ARTISTS Rhino (UK) 112 270-2 You Better Believe It, Vol. 2 - Rare & Modern Soul Gems ● CD $19.98
23 tracks, 76 min., very highly recommended
Raiding the vaults of Atlantic/Warner Bros. (and associated labels) for great and obscure soul songs cut between 1967-79 must be easier than finding talentless people to audition for reality teevee shows. It is a "target-rich environment," as they say. No surprise, then, that this collection ranks with the best. Half the tracks come from obscure talents and the other half are obscure performances by soul singers most fans are familiar with. So, while this is not a CD worth a million dollars of rare 45 rpms chosen for monetary rather than artistic value, it is a various artist soul collection with few peers. Tracks that make this disc indispensable for the soul fan include Lorraine Johnson's If You Want Me To Be More Of A Woman (You Got To Be More Of A Man) and Bettye Swan's wistful gem I Want Sunday Back Again, both, amazingly, heretofore unreleased. Other previously unreleased tracks include a version of Betty Lavette's Waiting For Tomorrow and Jackie Moore's surprisingly good cover of the Charlie Rich schmaltz hit Behind Closed Doors, produced by Thom Bell. Some songs appear here on CD for the first time, among them the Prince Phillip Mitchell cut You're All I Got In This World. Other aural temptations include Garland Green's little known Plain And Simple Girl, Tony And Tandy's Bitter With The Sweet, Barbara Lewis' I'm So Thankful, The Hypnotics Chicago-styled Girl, You Know That I Love You, Frankie Newsome's We're On Our Way (Pt. 1), Al Hudson & The Soul Partners' I'm About Loving You, Darrow Fletcher's under rated Rising Cost Of Love, and the Pointer Sisters outstanding 1971 effort Don't Try To Take The Fifth, which almost sounds as if the ladies were backed by the Jackson 5 circa the "I Want You Back" sessions. The booklet notes inform, despite the many typographical errors. (JC)
JOHNNY BRISTOL: Strangers In The Dark Corners/ SAM DEES: Signed Miss Heroin/ THE DUPONTS: If You Do Love Me/ DARROW FLETCHER: Rising Cost Of Love/ GARLAND GREEN: Plain And Simple Girl/ AL HUDSON & SOUL PARTNERS: I'm About Loving You/ THE HYPNOTICS: Girl You Know That I Love You/ WALTER JACKSON: Coldest Days Of My Life/ LORRAINE JOHNSON: If You Want Me To Be More Of A Woman.../ LINDA JONES: If Only (we Had Met Sooner)/ BETTYE LAVETTE: Waiting For Tomorrow/ BARBARA LEWIS: I'm So Thankful/ BARBARA LYNN: You Make Me So Hot/ PRINCE PHILLIP MITCHELL: You're All I Got In This World/ JACKIE MOORE: Behind Closed Doors/ FRANKIE NEWSOME: We're On Our Way/ THE OLYMPICS: Girl You're My Kind Of People/ THE POINTER SISTERS: Don't Try To Take The Fifth/ BETTYE SWANN: I Want Sunday Back Again/ TONY & TANDY: Bitter With The Sweet/ DEE DEE WARWICK: Only The One You Love/ MARY WELLS: Cancel My Subscription/ WINDY CITY: Hey It's Over

VARIOUS ARTISTS Royale 4091 Doo-Wop Delights, Vol. #1 ● CD $17.98
25 fine tracks of obscure black doo-wop - about half new to CD. Includes The Sultans,  The Rebels, Scotty Mann & the Masters, Miss Lavell,  Elmore Morris, Bea Booker and others. Sound quality on some tracks is a bit muffled.
BEA BOOKER: Comfort In My Heart/ BILLY DAVIS & LEGENDS: Goodbye Jesse/ CHUCK EDWARDS: I'm Wondering/ If You Love Me/ MISS LAVELL: Tide of Love/ SCOTTY MANN & THE MASTERS: Just A Little Bit of Loving/ The Mystery Man/ JIMMY MCCRACKLIN: I Need Your Loving/ ELMORE MORRIS: Baby I Need You/ PAUL PERRYMAN: Paul Loves Betty/ Teenage Romeo/ THE REBELS: Donkey Step/ Just Give Me Your Hand/ THE SULTANS: Baby Don't Put Me Down/ Boppin With the Mambo/ Good Thing Baby/ How Deep Is the Ocean/ I Cried My Heart Out/ If I Could Tell/ What Makes Me Feel This Way/ THE UNIQUES: Mysterious/ Picture of My Baby/ Right Now/ Somewhere

VARIOUS ARTISTS Royale 4092 Doo-Wop Delights, Vol. #2 ● CD $17.98
26 more - about 2/3 new to CD..
BUDDY ACE: Angel Boy/ This Little Love Of Mine/ Won't You Reconsider/ THE CLEFS: I'll Be Waiting/ Please Don't Leave Me/ THE DAPPERS: Come Back To Me/ Mambo Oongh/ KENNETH DEAL: Chinatown Rock/ THE DOWNBEATS: Someday She'll Come Along/ You're So Fine/ THE FOUR DUKES: Crying In the Chapel/ I Done Done It/ BETTY LAVELL: Yes I've Been Crying/ CHESTER MCDOWALL: I Wonder Why/ JOHNNY OTIS & PEACOCKS: Young Girl/ JR. RYDER & THE PEACOCKS: Don't Tell Nobody/ Every Star I See/ Sad Story/ THE SCAMPS: Waterproof/ Yes My Baby/ TED TAYLOR: Be Ever Wonderful/ Count the Stars/ Hold Me Tight/ SONNY WOODS & THE DOWNBEATS: Let's Go Steady/ So Many Tears

VARIOUS ARTISTS Royale 4093 Doo-Wop Delights, Vol. #3 ● CD $17.98
27 this time - about 2/3 new to CD
AL "TNT" BRAGGS: A Little Bit Closer/ Chase'em Tom Cat/ Listen To Me Baby/ THE CHECKER DOTS: All I Hear/ Alpha Omega/ THE CHEROKEES: Drip Drip/ Is She Real/ THE EL TORROS: Barbara Jean/ Dance With Me/ Doop Doop A Walla Walla/ Mama's Cookin/ Two Lips/ What's the Matter/ Yellow Hand/ You Look Good To Me/ You May Say Yes/ THE FIVE JADES: Rock and Roll Molly/ Without Your Love/ ROSCOE GORDON: The Dilly Bop/ You'll Never Know/ LITTLE BUCK: Let It Be Snow/ JOHN LITTLETON & THE CAPISTRANOS: Now Darling/ Po' Mary/ JOE MEDWICK: Johnny Brown/ Searching In Vain/ THE VERSATILES: Just Words/ The White Cliffs of Dover

VARIOUS ARTISTS Royale 4094 Doo-Wop Delights, Vol. #4 ● CD $17.98
30 tracks on this one - a mix of black and white group - about half new to CD.
JEFF BARRY: Teen Quartet/ THE BLUE CHIPS: Puddles of Tears/ The Contest/ BARRY DEVORZON: Barbara Jean/ VARETTA DILLARD & THE COOKIES: Rules of Love/ VARETTA DILLARD & COOKIES: Star of Fortune/ THE FANTASTICS: Believe In Me/ Millionaire Hobo/ My Girls/ There Goes My Love/ THE GRANDISONS: All Right/ Daddy Roll'Em/ I Love You So/ True Romance/ THE IDOLS: 30 Days/ The Prowler/ THE IMPACTS: Bobby Sox Squaw/ Canadian Sunset/ Croco Doll/ They Say/ JULIANA: You Can Have Any Boy/ THE JULIANA: You're Saying Goodnight/ THE MAGNETS: Don't Tarry Little Mary/ When the School Bell Rings/ THE PLAYGIRLS: Gee But I'm Lonesome/ Sugar Beat/ Sugar Beat/ THE STUDENT NURSES: Simply/ THE TRADEWINDS: Toni/ Twins

VARIOUS ARTISTS Royale 4095 Doo-Wop Delights, Vol. #5 ● CD $17.98
Another selection of 30 tracks. It includes two sides by the excellent El Vinos (aka El Venos), two by The Teen Queens, two by the Four Escorts including a pre-Elvis version of Love Me, half a dozen by the rather bland Cascades, two by the Lafayettes including their great Life's Too Short, four by the excellent Nuggets who are actually The Calvanes and others. About 50% of the tracks are new to CD.
THE CASCADES: A Little Like Lovin/ Awake/ Cinderella/ For Your Sweet Love/ I Dare You To Try/ Jeannie/ THE EL VINOS: My Heart Beats Faster/ You Won't Be True/ THE EQUADORS: A Vision/ I'll Be the One/ Sputnik Dance/ DIAN ERHARDT: I'll Wait/ Mama Worries/ THE ESCORTS: Itchy Coo/ You Can't Even Be My Friend/ THE FOUR ESCORTS: Loop De Loop Mambo/ Love Me/ THE GRANDISONS: True Romance/ THE LAFAYETTES: I Still Do/ Life's Too Short/ Nobody But You/ THE NUGGETS: Angel on the Dance Floor/ Before We Say Goodnight/ Cap Snapper/ Just A Friend/ THE PREMIERS: Run Along Baby/ THE RHYTHMETTES: Only You/ THE TEEN QUEENS: Dear Tommy/ You Good Boy You Get Cookie/ JIMMY WITHERSPOON & THE STARLIGHTS: Ain't Nobody Business

VARIOUS ARTISTS Royale 4096 Doo-Wop Delights, Vol. #6 ● CD $17.98
29 tracks - about half new to CD. Includes six tracks by the awful teen pop group the Deb Tones. Also includes sides by The Concords,  Chargers, Kings (probably the best group here),The Destineers, Barry De Vorzon, Ray Johnson and others.
THE ANTWINETTES: Johnny/ Kill It/ THE BLUE CHIPS: Adios Adios/ JOHNNY CAMERON: The Crying I'm Doing Alone/ Why Do Fools Fall In Love/ THE CHARGERS: Dandilion/ Old Mac Donald/ Who Baby Who/ THE CHARGES: The Counterfiter/ THE CONCORDS: Again/ The Boy Most Likely/ THE DEB TONES: Cuddly Baby/ Give It Up/ I'm In Love Again/ Knock Knock Who's There?/ Miss Lonley Hearts/ Rock A Bye/ THE DESTINEERS: So Young/ Take A Look/ BARRY DEVORZON: Baby Doll/ RAY JOHNSON: Baby Won't You Please Come Home/ THE KINGS: Elephant Walk/ Till You/ Your Sweet Love/ THE QUARTER NOTES: Punkanilla/ THE RHYTHMETTES: Homing Pigeon/ DAVE RICH: I've Thought It Over/ THE SAPPHIRES: Everybody Knows/ THE WAGNON SISTERS: My Desire

VARIOUS ARTISTS Royale 4097 Doo-Wop Delights, Vol. #7 ● CD $17.98
Fine 29 track collection - about half of it new to CD. Includes The Interludes,  Neptunes (their This Is My Love is early soul), Fanstastics, Wildcats (the fine rocker Beating On The Rug with tough guitar), Little Caesar, Twintones Quintet, The Interludes and more.
THE BABY DOLLS: Cause I'm In Love/ THE CHARGERS: Here In My Heart/ KIMBALL COBURN: Kam and Pam/ THE DOODLERS: Don't Shake the Tree/ THE DRIVERS: Blue Moon/ I Get Weak/ THE FANTASTICS: Angie Lee/ Dancing Doll/ Drum Beat/ I Got A Zero/ I Told You Once/ This Is My Wedding Day/ THE GROOVERS: Going Steady/ THE INTERLUDES: I Shed A Million Tears/ Oo Wee/ LITTLE CAESAR: I'm Reachin/ Who Slammed the Door/ THE NEPTUNES: Curiosity Killed the Cat/ This My Love/ THE THYTHMETTES: Boom Boom/ THE TWINTONES QUINTET: Baby Lover/ Dream Face/ Love Nest/ THE TWINTONES: My Dear/ The Flip Skip/ THE WAGNON SISTERS: Baby Wait For Me/ THE WILDCATS: Beating On the Rug/ Keep Talking/ JIMMY WITHERSPOON & THE STARLIGHTS: Who Baby Who

VARIOUS ARTISTS Spectrum 544 426-2 Motown Connoisseurs ● CD $13.98
20 track collection of lesser known tracks from Tamla, Motown and Gordy - some making their first appearance on CD here. Includes booklet with notes on each track.
CHRIS CLARK: Do I Love You/ THE CONTOURS: It's Growing/ THE DETROIT SPINNERS: Where Is That Girl/ THE FOUR TOPS: Where Did You Go/ MARVIN GAYE: Sunny/ When We're Together/ BRENDA HOLLOWAY: Tell Me Your Story/ THE ISLEY BROTHERS: My Love Is Your Love (Forever)/ GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS: Here Are The Pieces Of My Broken Heart/ THE MARVELETTES: Don't Make Hurting Me A Habit/ BARBARA MCNAIR: Forget You Ever Met Me Baby/ THE ORIGINALS: Don't Stop Now/ MARTHA REEVES: No One There/ SMOKEY ROBINSON & THE MIRACLES: Flying High Together/ BOBBY TAYLOR: Don't Be Afraid/ THE TEMPTATIONS: That'll Be The Day/ TAMMI TERRELL: Lone Lonely Town/ UNDISPUTED TRUTH: You Got The Love I Need/ JUNIOR WALKER: Ain't That The Truth/ STEVIE WONDER: Hey Love

VARIOUS ARTISTS Sundazed 11153 A Fine Time! The South Side Of Soul Street ● CD $16.98
18 track collection of Southern soul drawn from the obscure Minaret label from Florida recorded between 1967 and 1970 including three previously unissued. It features sides by Genie Brooks, Willie Gable, Johnny Dynamite, The Double Soul, Candy & Billy (featuring Candi Staton), John Hamilton & Doris Allen, Willie Cobbs, Gable Reed and Leroy Lloyd & The Dukes.
DORIS ALLEN: A Shell of a Woman/ Bright Star/ Them Changes/ GENIE BROOKS: Fine Time/ Helping Hand/ South Side of Soul Street/ CANDY & BILLY: The Judgement/ WILLIE COBBS: Don't Worry About Me/ You Have Done Me Wrong (previously unreleased)/ DOUBLE SOUL: I Can't Use You/ Unfinished Sympathy (previously unreleased)/ JOHNNY DYNAMITE: Everybody's Clown/ Money Man (previously unreleased)/ The Night the Angels Cried/ WILLIE GABLE: Eternally/ LEROY AND THE DUKES: Sewanee Strut/ GABLE REED: Who's Been Warming My Oven/ DOUBLE SOUL: Blue Diamonds

VARIOUS ARTISTS Universal 984 616-3 100 Soul Classics ● CD $27.98
Four CD set with 100 tracks from the late 50s through mid 70s. Dutch TV package with original recordings by Diana Ross & The Supremes, Otis Redding, Erma Franklin, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Elgins, Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes, Ramsey Lewis Trio, Jerry Butler, The Contours, The Isley Brothers, Jackson 5, The Temptations, The Velvelettes, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Roy Ayers, The Stylistics, Johnnie Taylor, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Bill Withers, Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions, Michael Jackson, Shirley Brown, Johnny Bristol, Sammy Davis Jr. (!), Howard Tate, The Marvelettes, Marvin Gaye, The Originals, Brook Benton, William Bell & Judy Clay, Eddie Holman, Eddie Kendricks and many more.

BOBBY WOMACK Stateside 584 936-2 Lookin' For A Love ● CD $11.98
19 tracks, 73 mins, highly recommended
Great collection of soul and funk recorded for Minit and Liberty between 1968 and 1976 by this brilliant singer and songwriter. Includes remakes of two songs he originally recorded with The Valentinos Looking For A Love and a funk version of It's All Over Now that bears little resemblance to the original, I'm A Midnight Mover written for Wilson Pickett (who recorded 17 of Bobby's songs), the theme song from the superior "blaxploitation" movie Across 110th Street and other fine songs, often dealing with social concerns. Great singing, great songs and great arrangements from an underrated talent. Just listen to what he does to The Mamas & Papas california Dreaming - he takes it to a whole other place. (FS)


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