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NEWSLETTER #146
Rhythm & Blues, Soul & Doo-Wop
Ruth McFadden -> Johnny "Guitar" Watson

 

 

 
 

NEW COMPACT DISCS

 
 
RUTH MCFADDEN Black Tulip 2638686 Darling, Listen To The Words Of This Song ● CD $17.98
20 tracks from the mid 50s to 60s by this fine R&B singer who had a minor hit with the title song. Also includes Teenage Blues/ Two In Love/ Since My Baby's Been Gone/ If You Hadn't Gone Away/ It Could Be Sweet Again/At The Crossroads/ He Hurt Me Again/ You Must Come In At The Door/ Stop Playing That Song, etc.

 
CLYDE MCPHATTER & THE DRIFTERS Collector's Choice 817 Clyde McPhatter & The Drifters ● CD $12.98
The debut album by the Clyde McPhatter-fronted Drifters was originally released in 1956, after McPhatter had already left the group, and was re-issued by Atlantic in 1958. Basically the album was a collection of all the singles the group had recorded with McPhatter on lead vocals, including classics like Money Honey and Such a Night. This album has been released on CD before, but if you don't own it already, Collectors' Choice has done a fine job of re-packaging it.

 
MICKEY & SYLVIA Rainbow 7002 Love Is Strange ● CD $17.98
Mickey and Sylvia were one-hit wonders with 1957's Love Is Strange, but Mickey Baker was actually one of the great guitar players of rhythm & blues and early rock n' roll, and with his partner (and second guitarist) Sylvia Robinson, created some of the most engaging R&B of the 50's and early 60's. This collection ranges from their earliest recordings in 1955 through to recordings made when the duo reunited in the mid/ late 60s - Love Is Strange/ Se De Boom Run Dun/ I'm So Glad/ No Good Lover/ Love Is A Treasure/ Where Is My Honey/ This Is My Story, etc. - 31 tracks in all.

 
THE RIVINGTONS Shout 35 Papa Oom Mow Mow - Rockin' R&B And Boss Ballads ● CD $17.98
23 tracks, highly recommended
23 tracks recorded for Liberty in 1962 and 1963 whose members had a distinguished doo-wop career as members of The Sharps and other groups dating back to 1954 but it took the much covered novelty Papa OOm Mow Mow. Subsequent singles featured similar novelties like Mama Oom Mow Mow and The Bird's The Word but as many of their flipsides reveal they were also superb ballad singers in doo-wop/deep soul vein, usually featuring expressive leads by Al Frazier on gorgeous performances like Deep Water/ My Reward and Waiting. This CD features their entire output - all the singles plus tracks from their only LP which included distinctive covers of Long Tall Sally/ Unchain My Heart/ You Are My Sunshine (based on the Ray Charles arrangement)/Slippin' And Slidin' as well as some original songs. 12 page booklet has informative notes by Clive Richardson as well as a singles discography listing all singles involving group members between 1p54 and 1982. (FS)

 
SWAMP DOGG S.D.E.G. 1955 Resurrection ● CD $15.98
15 tracks, 78 min., recommended
Jerry "Swamp Dogg" Williams has a bad attitude and doesn't mind sharing. Bad as in pissed off about politics, racism, war, and other stuff worth being pissed off about. He's also a talented soul singer and songwriter. Smart too. And he has no use for political correctness. His latest effort pulls no punches. For example, the cover shows Mr. Dogg nailed Jesus-like on a cross, wearing boxer shorts made of an American flag and a hat that bears the words "Witness Protection Program." Above his head is a sign reading "Program Failure"; in the background a rifle is stuck bayonet first into the ground, an army helmet hanging on the business end. For example, one song is called They Crowned An Idiot King. Another song is called In Time Of War Who Wins and another America Is Bleeding. You get the picture. The title track is a 12-minute opus that uses the ideas of crucifixion and resurrection as metaphors for the African-American experience in America. In anyone else's hands, the idea (the whole album) would no doubt come off as a didactic, unpleasantly heavy-handed mess. But Williams knows what he's doing and never loses his sense of humor. With so many musicians (and Americans in general) in a Caligari-like sleep in terms of political speech, it's nice to hear someone stay awake and call it as he sees it. You may see with different eyes, but Williams will give you something to think about while you're looking through his. So while he has a bad attitude, he's earned it. But he's also an optimist and, arguably, a patriot. He writes a pretty good love song, too. An ambitious album from a man with big plans. Don't bet against him. (JC)

 
JOHNNIE TAYLOR Stax 8628 Live At The Summit Club ● CD $11.98
10 Tracks, 64 min., recommended
One of the greatest soul singers at Stax (or anywhere), Johnnie Taylor seemed incapable of making a bad record. This show, recorded live at the Summit Club in Los Angeles in 1972 for possible use in the Wattstax film, is no exception. Booklet noter Lee Hildebrand chronicles some of the show's troubles and missteps, any yet for all of it, Taylor still burns down the house. The band may be off now and then, the backup singers may seem a bit tenuous here and there, but Taylor's performance absorbs it all and effortlessly transforms it into energy. Songs include two versions of the Jimmy Hughes hit Steal Away, Little Bluebird, Take Care Of Your Homework, I Don't Wanna Lose You, Stop Doggin' Me, Hello Sundown, Who's Making Love, and Jody's Got Your Girl And Gone. Only the latter made it into the Wattstax film, the other tracks are previously unreleased in their complete form, although three show up elsewhere in edited versions. Put it on the short list of great live soul albums. (JC)

 
ALLEN TOUSSAINT Varese 66832 Allen Toussaint ● CD $13.98
12 tracks, highly recommended
Reissue of 1971 Sceptre album with two bonus cuts. This album is considered by many to be the best solo album by this brilliantly talented singer, songwriter, pianist, producer. Accompanied by a solid band including top New Orleans and Los Angeles session musicians he performs five songs and does seven instrumental cuts - all but two Toussaint compositions. The instrumental Number Nine is previously unissued in the USA and instrumental Poor Folks is issued here for the first time. Also includes From A Whsiper To A Scream/ Sweet Touch Of Love/ Working In The Coal Mine/ Pickles/ Either, etc. Includes new notes by Billy Vera. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 601 The Heart Of Southern Soul - Volume 2: No Brags-Just Facts ● CD $18.98
Back in print. Superb collection of southern soul, originally issued on AVI/ Excello 3019 featuring 24 tracks of deep soul drawn from the vaults of Excello and affiliated Sims, A-Bet & Renegade labels including two unissued songs and two unissued alternate takes.
KIP ANDERSON: Letter From My Darling/ Watch You Work It Out/ You'll Lose A Good Thing/ LATTIMORE BROWN: I Will/ CHUCK & MARIANN: Let's Walk Down The Street Together/ DEE & DON: I Can't Stand It/ THE EXOTICS: Let Me Be A Part Of You/ Let's Try To Build A Love Affair/ THE KELLY BROTHERS: My Love Grows Stronger/ EUGENE KEMP: No Pity In The City/ STACY LANE: Funky Little Train/ Lifetime Of A Man/ No Brags Just Facts/ LUCILLE MATHIS: Am I Asking Too Much/ I Don't Want To Go Through Life (Being A Fool)/ JOHNNY TRUITT: Don't Let Me Be A Cryin' Man/ I'm Through With You/ THE WALLACE BROTHERS: Those Precious Words/ JERRY WASHINGTON: Right Here Is Where You Belong/ TINY WATKINS: Forbidden Fruit/ Way Cross Town/ LEE WEBBER: Seventh Son/ MARVA WHITNEY: Here I Am/ PERCY WIGGINS: Look What I've Done

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1163 Hands Off! ● CD $18.98
Fine collection of female blues and R&B vocalists recorded for Modern and RPM. There are five tracks by the great veteran blues singer Helen Humes from 1951 including four previously unissued alternate takes. The rest are all from the 1954/55 and includes sides by Donna Hightower, Dolly Cooper, Linda Peters and Zola Taylor (first recordings from vocalist who subsequently joined The Platters and was on their early hit recordings).
DOLLY COOPER: Ay La Bah/ Down So Long (take 3)/ Every Day And Every Night/ My Man (Aka He May Be Your Man)/ Teenage Prayer/ Teenage Wedding Bells/ DONNA HIGHTOWER: Bob-O-Link/ Cool Daddy Cool/ Dog Gone It/ Hands Off/ He's My Baby/ I Ain't Gonna Tell/ Love Me Again/ Right Now/ Since You/ HELEN HUMES: Hey Hey Baby/ I Ain't In The Mood/ Living My Life My Way/ Take My Love/ The Laziest Gal In Town/ LINDA PETERS: Central 1609/ If I Had Listened/ One More Chance/ Ooh Daddy/ You Won't Trouble Me No More/ ZOLA TAYLOR: Make Love To Me/ Oh My Dear

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1164 Zell's Girls ● CD $18.98
28 track collection of rare girl group, R&B, doo-wop and soul sides recorded for Harlem based producer Zell Sanders between 1955 and 1970 and released on the J&S, Zell's, Baton and Dice labels.
THE CLICKETTES: To Be A Part Of You/ NEICE DEZEL: It Doesn't Matter/ Last night/ THE ENDEAVORS: I Got The Feeling/ Suffering With My Heart/ THE HEARTS: All My Love Belongs To You/ Disappointed Bride/ Going Home to Stay/ No Turning Back For Me/ Talk About Him Girlie/ Your Little Toy/ THE JAYNETTS: Cry Behind The Daisies/ Extra Extra Read All About It/ I Wanted To Be Free/ Peepin' In And Out The Windows/ Vangie Don't You Cry/ Where Are You Tonite/ THE KADAKS: Don't Want No Teasing/ Look Up To The Sky/ TAFFIE LEE: Stay Away From My Baby/ MISS JOHNNIE: Over The Mountain Across The Sea/ THE PRE-TEENS: Pass It On/ What Makes Me Love You Like I Do/ ADA RAY: Give Our Love A Chance/ Oh Come Back Baby/ JOHNNIE RICHARDSON: Everynight The Same Time/ RITA ZELL: I Don't Understand You No More/ THE ZELL: Need You To Hold Me

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS BGP CDPGPD 186 Golden State Funk ● CD $18.98
20 tracks, 62 min., very highly recommended
Mining the metaphoric vaults of Golden State Recorders for its late 1960s-early 1970s output, this collection stands out from the recent flood of regional funk compilations by virtue of the fact that it's so damn good. The subtitle is "Impossibly Rare Funk From The Bay Area." Half the tracks are previously unissued and thus impossibly rare. Of the other half, most are indeed extremely tough to find 45s. One such is the true funk classic Are You Together For The New Day? by The Love Experience, reason enough to pick this up. Not only does the song work up a powerful sweat, but how many funk classics use the word "altruist" ? Sadly, that's the only Love Experience cut, a pair of previously unreleased songs by the obscure 87th Off Broadway do much to relieve the pain, as does the frenzied instrumental House Party by Wally Cox & The Natives. Other little-known wonders include Jeanette Jones' I'm Glad I Got Over You & You'd Be Good For Me, a couple from Spooky & The Cosmic Flowers (including one fittingly short number where Spooky sings the praises of the mini skirt), an instrumental from Marvin Holmes & The Uptights, and more. Ramona King's Super Chicken , which employs the phrase "toe lickin' good" manages to be funky and funny, no small trick. And what Bay Area funk compilation would be complete without a song about Vida Blue? The one here comes courtesy of Jimmy Bee. (JC)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Blue Label 49742 The Rich Records Story ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, 54 min., recommended
Before Nashville disc jockey "John R" Richbourg started the Sound Stage 7 label, he created the Rich label, which boasted no hits but several interesting performances. The 6 cuts of Bobby Hebb are pre-Sunny and show off his country leanings, covering Night Train To Memphis, a Roy Acuff-associated number. Interestingly, four of Hebb's cuts feature the great New Orleans pianist James Booker and a young Mac "Dr. John" Rebbenack on guitar! Hebb's pop tendencies surface now and again, but the Rich tracks do have some grit. He does his best Ray Charles on Cherry, and his best is pretty good. Also worth hearing is Lattimore Brown, who went on to record some fine soul records with Richboug on his other labels. (And none of his 6 tracks are duplicated on the recent AIM release, which is well worth picking up.) Detroiter J.J. Barnes first record (Won't You Let Me Know) is here too (one side of it anyway), having been released initially on the Kable label and quickly leased by Richbourg. Motown trivia buffs should know that the background singers on Barnes' track are The Del-Phis, who later called themselves Martha Reeves & the Vandellas. And the Cornell Blakely song I Got That Feeling features the much-praised Funk Brothers. The 3 Jimmy Church pieces went unissued at the time but deserve to have been radio favorites. The few cuts that represent Richbourg's own attempt at becoming a music sensation can be avoided without any sense of loss. (He merely talks his way through the songs, a tradition that William Shatner would later perfect on his excellent "Has Been" album.) Enough cool stuff here to make it worthwhile, although not uniformly wonderful. (JC)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Blue Label 49792 The Rogana Story - Hossman's Blues ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, 62 mins, highly recommended
Fine collection of soul and blues recorded by legendary DJ William "Hoss" Allen for his Rogana production company and subsequently leased to other companies like Excello, Jewel, Stardust and others. Some sessions were held in Nashville with the great Johnny Jones & The Imperials as the house band and other sessions were held at the famed Fame studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama - usually with the great Muscle Shoals house band. Most of these performances are appearing on CD for the first time and fine performances they are too. Artists include Sam Baker, Jimmy Stuart (one time trumpet play for B.B. King with some fine harmonica based blues including an instrumental duet with Scotty Moore), Dottie Clark, Art Grayson (terrific deep soul), The Beat Boys (actually Johnny Jones & The Imperial Seven with three fine instrumentals including the strange Strung Out which features country steel guitar great playing through a Leslie speaker to get an organ sounds), Rodge Martin (more fine deep soul including the gorgeous Two Women), Lucille Mathis, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown (the obscure but very fine have You Ever Been Mistreated), Johnny Copeland and others including a remarkable spoken word (with music) track by Hoss Allen himself channeling Dr. Martin Luther King on He Went To The Mountain Top. Sound quality at times is dodgy but music is mostly excellent. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Bonanza 501 A Doo-Wop Trasure Chest Filled With 30 Super Rare Sides ● CD $17.98
In spite of the plethora of doo-wop reissues this new series includes many titles making their first appearance on CD.
KENNY BEAU & THE WHIRLWINDS: You're The Right One/ THE BLUE CHIPS: Deep Freeze/ FRED BRIDGES: It Must Be Love/ SONNY BROOKS: Sweetheart Darling/ THE CAROUSELS: Fading Away/ Solitude/ THE CLOUDS: All I Do Is Worry/ THE DUNDEES: Never/ THE DYNAMICS: No One But You/ FANNIE & THE VARCELLS: The Guy/ THE FASCINATIONS: If I Had Your Love/ Since You Went Away/ THE GLIDERS: School Days/ THE INVADERS: Paradise/ SUSAN MADDOX: I'm Not Alone/ THE RADIANTS: Ra Cha Cha/ DAN RODGERS: I'll Be Lost Without You/ BUDDY ROGERS & HI LITERS: Ding Dong/ THE ROSEBUDS: Hurry Baby/ STEPHAN ROSO: Please Be My Love/ THE SEDATES: Girl Of Mine/ THE SENTIMENTALS: Wedding In September/ THE SHY TONES: Annette/ LC STEELS: Always I Have Loved You/ I Always Will Love You/ THE SWANS: In The Morning/ THE TRI TONES: Teardrops/ TOMMY TUCKER & THE LULLABYES: You Belong To Me/ THE VIBRAHARPS: Cozy With Rosie/ FLOYD WHITE: Hey Theresa

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Bonanza 502 A Doo-Wop Trasure Chest Filled With 30 More Super Rare ● CD $17.98
Another 30 fine doo-wop rarities - about 2/3 of them new to CD.
THE ALLADINS: Gee/ Then/ THE BLUE ANGELS: Deserie/ MIKE DONOTO & TRI DELS: Summertime Love/ THE DUMONTS: She's My Love/ THE FASCINATIONS: I'm Gonna Cry/ THE FOUR JEWELS: All That's Good/ THE GENOS: Wishful Thinking/ RUEBEN GRUNDY: Every Word/ LEE HARRISON & THE KOUNTS: Mine Alone/ THE INVICTAS: Lest You Forget/ Over The Wall/ LITTLE D & THE DELIGHTERS: A Love Do Fine/ Oh My Darling/ SUSAN MADDOX: I'm Not Alone/ THE MADISON BROTHERS: Baby Don't/ Give Me Your Heart/ LARRY MEADOWS: Phyllis/ JIMMY MOORE & THE PEACOCKS: I Want You To Know/ THE PETITES: Beating Of My Heart/ SHERRY RAY: Say Little Star/ LYNN ROBERTS & THE PHANTOMS: I'll Be Around/ THE SHY TONES: White Bucks/ THE STORY TELLERS: Hey Baby/ THE SWANS: Believe In Me/ THE TEEN DREAMS: The Time/ THE TONETTERS: Uh Oh/ THE TONETTES: He Love Me He Love Me Not/ THE TUNES: The Lie/ THE VEL AIRES: Forever Always

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Bonanza 503 A Doo-Wop Trasure Chest Filled With Even 30 More Super ● CD $17.98
Yes even 30 more doo-wop rarities - many new to CD though some tracks have a rather muffled sound quality.
ARTHUR & THE COVERTS: Darling I Love You/ TONY BAXTER: How Long/ JAMES BRUCE & THE DEL CATOS: Sweet Sixteen/ DUANE CALVERT: Somewhere Somehow/ THE CAROUSELS: I've Cried Enough/ BOBBY CHASE: Missing Someone/ JOHNNY CHRISTMAS & THE DYNAMICS: Soft Lips/ THE DAYLIGHTERS: I Love The Life I Live/ MIKE DONOTO & TRI DELS: Dora/ THE DUNDEES: Evil One/ THE ENSENADAS: Love I Beg Of You/ On And On/ THE FIVE CHORDS: I Need Your Loving/ KENNY, FRANK & RAY: If You Love Me/ Why Was I Born/ THE MARK SEVEN: Wasting My Life/ CONNIE MCGILL & THE VISIONS: I'm So Happy I Found You/ LARRY MEADOWS: We're Through/ JIMMY MOORE & THE PEACOCKS: Tender Love/ ROSE MORRIS & THE DAYLIGHTERS: It's No Secret/ THE NORVELLS: As I Walk Alone/ LYNN ROBERTS & THE PHANTOMS: Miss You Tonight/ ROSEMARY & THE ROSEBUDS: What Did I Mean To You/ JIMMY ROYSTERS: They May Not Like Me/ THE SEQUENCE: Nite Owl/ THE SHAR MELS: I'd Love To Be Loved/ THE SHY TONES: Bandstand Rock/ RAY SMITH & THE HI LITES: Love You So Much/ THE TEEN DREAMS: Why Why/ SAMMY WARD & THE ALLEY KATS: Begging For Love

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Bonanza 504 A Doo-Wop Trasure Chest Filled With Now Even 30 More Su ● CD $17.98
Another 30 impossibly rare sides.
SONNY ACE & THE DEL SHARPS: If My Teardrops Could Talk/ THE BARBEES: The Wind/ THE BILLBOARDS: With All My Heart/ THE BLUE CHIPS: Wishing Well/ TIM BOYD & THE ESQUIRES: My Dearest My Darling/ GEORGE BRYAN: I Love Only You/ LARRY BURN & THE WANS: Back To School/ LARRY BURN & WAGS: Ain't No Big Thing/ THE CATALINAS: Hey Little Girl/ THE CHEVIES: I Love That Girl So/ THE CRYSTAL CHORDS: When In The World/ THE GLEAMS: Bad Boy/ ARTIE GOLDEN: Dear Mary/ FLOYD HENDERSON: Tenderly/ THE HEPTONES: Annabell/ THE HI-LITES: Please Believe I Love You/ JOHNNY & THE JACKS: Baby I Love You So/ THE LOVERS: Someone/ GEORGE MANTIS: Teen Angel/ THE NOTEMAKERS: It Hurts To Wonder/ THE PARRISH TWINS: My Lover Is Gone/ WALT PERCY & THE TRACERS: Wishing/ THE RESONICS: Split Personality/ THE ROYAL DRIFTERS: Little Linda/ FRED SANDERS: Another Fool In Love/ THE SINNERS: Could This Be Love/ THE TRU TONES: Darling I'm Sorry/ THE WEBS: Do I Have A Chance/ Let Me Take You Home/ MARTY WILSON & LOVER BOYS: Carol Ann

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Bonanza 505 A Doo-Wop Trasure Chest Filled With Surprisingly Even 3 ● CD $17.98
Another 30 super rare doo-wop sides - many making their first appearance on CD.
THE AQUARIANS: Janice/ THE BALLADS: I Hope I Never Fall In Love/ THE BLENDERS: I Asked For Your Hand/ THE CHARTERS: My Rose/ THE CHEVIES: Come On And Love Me/ THE CRYSTAL CHORDS: Be Mine Again/ THE CRYSTALAIRES: Nobody Nowhere/ LANCE CURTIS & UNIQUES: Sympathy/ THE DESSONAIRES: One Love/ DOLLY & THE DEANS: The Happiest Years/ THE GLEAMS: Give Me A Chance/ ARTIE GOLDEN: The Night Is Young/ HERMAN GRIFFIN & MELLODEES: Hurry Up And Marry Me/ THE HEPTONES: I'm So In Love Tonight/ THE HI C'S: Just How It Is/ THE HI LITES: Sweet And Lovely/ THE HOLLAND QUINTET: Right Time For Love/ THE LEVETTES: I'll Try Again/ Papa Do Run/ THE MONTCLAIRES: Lisa/ JAMES MOORE & THE PRETENDERS: To Be Loved (forever)/ THE PARRISH TWINS: All Alone/ THE PENTAGONS: Forever Yours/ THE TEE KINGS: The Greatest Wish/ THE TONETTES: Please Don't Go/ DAN VALENTINE: Being Together/ THE VELTONES: I Want To Know/ THE VISCAYNES: Heavenly Angel/ IONA WADE & THE BILLBOARDS: I Love You Baby/ MARTY WILSON & LOVER BOYS: Mindy

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Boulevard 1014Z The R&B Years 1955, Volume 2 ● CD $19.98
Two CD set with 50 tracks featuring some of the best and most popular blues and R&B recordings of 1955 - about half of them making the R&B charts. Includes classic recordings by Ray Charles, B.B. King, The Jacks, Joe Turner, Billy Emerson, Eddie Taylor, Rollee McGill, Chuck Berry, Dolly Cooper, The El Dorados, Fats Domino, Sonny Boy Williamson, Chuck Higgins, Junior Parker, Roy Gaines, Priscilla Bowman with Jay McShann's Orch., Little Richard, Billy Bland, Anita Tucker, Hal Singers, Willie Mabon and lots more. Excellent sound and informative notes by Roy Bainton.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Chicago 60290 Doo-Wops From Chicago ● CD $17.98
28 tracks, highly recommended
A particularly nice collection of 50s black doo-wop from the Windy City. Chicago is, of course, America's greatest blues city so not surprisingly a number of these tracks have a strong blues feel to them and Cloudy Weather by The Eagleaires and Who's Been RIding My Mule by The NObles are pretty much straight blues. A number of other tracks have nice bluesy guitar solos which leads me to wonder who the backing musicians on these recordings are. There are also fine sides by The Debonaires, Mixers, Sheooards, Clouds, Rip Chords, Daffodils and more. A couple of tracks have the dreaded digital noise reduction artifacts but most of it sounds fine. (FS)
THE CLOUDS: I Do/ Rock and Roll Boogie/ THE DAFFODILS: Walk/ Wine/ THE DEBONAIRES: Cracker Jack Daddy/ Lanky Linda/ Mother's Son/ Say A Prayer For Me/ THE EAGLAIRES: Cloudy Weather/ Number One Baby/ THE FOSTER BROTHERS: I Said She Wouldn't Do/ Pretty Fickle Woman/ Revenge/ Tell Me Who/ THE MARVELLOS: Calypso Mama/ You're the Dream/ THE MIXERS: Casanova/ Johnny's Got a Girlfriend/ Love and Kisses/ You Said You're Leaving/ THE NOBLES: Do You Love Me/ Who's Been Riding My Mule/ THE RIP CHORDS: I Love You the Most/ Let's Do the Razzle Dazzle/ THE SHEPPARDS: Cool Mambo/ Love/ WALLY WILSON: If You Don't Love Me/ The Hunt

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS CRCD 101 The Best Of Caddy Records ● CD $17.98
26 tracks recorded for Los Angeles based label in mid/ late 50s. Doo-wop & R&B it includes sides by The Twilighters, Dots (a fine female group), Johnny Flamingo, Bobby Pierce, Chuck Higgins (R&B instrumentals), The Lonely Guys (including their fine updating of the pop ballad The Way You Look Tonight), Shades Of Rhythm, Jack & Jill (two tracks including the hot rocker Party Time with great guitar), Frankie Day (a Fats Domino impersonater) and The Techniques (a group that sounds like The Champs on the Mexican flavored instrumental El Corrido and do a nice bluesy Tom And Jerry with harmonica).
FRANKIE DAY: I Don't Care/ THE DOTS: Good Luck To You/ Heartsick and Lonely/ I Confess/ I Lost You/ I Wish/ Johnny/ JOHNNY FLAMINGO: Is It A Dream/ Make Me A Present of You/ So Long/ Teenage Theme/ You're Mine/ CHUCK HIGGINS: Flip Top Box/ Roller Coaster/ The Blacksmith Blues/ JACK AND JILL: No One To Talk To/ Party Time/ THE LONELEY GUYS: The Way You Look Tonight/ THE LONELY GUYS: Moonflight/ BOBBY PIERCE: 100 Years From Today/ THE SHADES OF RHYTHM: Bubble Gum/ Gumbo/ THE TECHNIQUES: El Corrido/ Tom and Jerry/ THE TWILIGHTERS: Eternally/ I Believe

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Crystal Ball 1078 DooWop Radio, Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
Subtitled "A Tribute To The DJ's Past & Present Who Helped Keep The Music Alive For The Past 50 Years" this CD features several dee-jay jingles and photos of dee-jays in the booklet. The rest of the set is an enjoyable collection of doo-wop - most of it sounds like it comes from the 70s. It includes 21 tracks on CD for the first time, 11 of them previously unreleased. Includes sides by Kenny Vance, The Elegants, Georgia Harris & The Hitones (two unreleased demos), The Eternals, Sountrac, The Lixingtons aka The Camelots, The Newports, Milton Love & The Solitaires, Classic Sounds, The Emotions, etc.
14 CARET SOUL: Bobby Jay Jingle/ NICKY ADDEO & THE NITE OWLS: My One and Only Love/ BOBBY & THE DISCOUNTS W NICK ADDEO: Doreen/ BRUCE & THE HEATBREAKERS: Bring Back Those Oldies/ SAMMY CANTOS: That Girl Is Driving Me Crazy/ CLASSIC SOUNDS: Girl of My Dreams (Acap.)/ THE CLUSTERS: Till Then/ THE CROSSTONES: Stuart Weiss Jingle/ THE DEL CARLOS: Baby Sister/ THE DEMESSIOS: That's the Way It Goes/ THE ELEGANTS: Rama Lama Ding Dong/ THE EMOTIONS: Echo/ THE ETERNALS: Bobby Emmons Jingle/ THE EXPLORERS: This Is the Beginning of Forever/ FRANKIE & THE FASHIONS: Where Did the Music Go/ GERRY AND THE GENS: I Remember/ GEORGIA HARRIS & HITONES: Come On and Kess Me Now/ Say You'll Be Mine/ THE HOLIDAYS: Recess In Heaven/ THE LEXINGTONS AKA CAMELOTS: Love Sickness/ MILTON LOVE & SOLATAIRES: The Angels Sang/ THE NEWPORTS: Kathleen/ Mickey B Jingle/ THE OVATIONS: Ronnie I Jingle/ THE PARAMONTS: Diddy Boppers/ THE ROOMATES: Happiness/ SOUNTRAC: The Angels Listened In/ KENNY VANCE: Don K. Reed Jingle/ Sweet on Me

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Crystal Ball 1079 DooWop Radio, Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
The second volume include more dee-jay jingles plus 24 tracks making their first appearance on CD - 14 previously unissued. Includes sides by The Paramounts, The Visuals, Billy & The Essentials, The Legends Of Doo Wop (you'd never know that this is a German group by listening to them), Milton Love & The Solitaires, The West Side Boys, Starlight, The Nite Kings, The REgals, Bruce & The Heartbreaks, etc.
NICKY ADDEO & THE NITE OWLS: Again/ THE BEL-ANGELS: Ronnie I Jingle/ BILLY & THE ESSENTIALS: Our Rendezvous/ BRUCE & THE HEARTBRAKES: Stuttering/ THE CROSSTONES: Dave the Rave Jingle/ Dianna Jingle/ Joanne/ THE EARLS: Johnny Z Jingle/ THE ELITES: Libaray of Love/ GERRY & THE GEMS: In the Still of the Night/ GEORGIA HARRIS & THE HI-TONES: Time To Rock/ LEGENDS OF DOO WOP: I'm Nobody/ MILTON LOVE & THE SOLITAIRES: I Wonder Why/ THE MOORES: Mr. Lee Jingle/ THE NEWPORTS: Gloria/ Hushabye My Love (Acap.)/ Rich Rosen Jingle/ THE NITE KINGS: You Beat Me to the Punch/ THE PARAMONTS: If You're My True Love/ THE REGALS: Isabell Angelina/ THE ROMANTICS: I Want a Girl/ STARLIGHT: Don K Reed Jingle/ Mickey B Jingle/ STREET CORNER SOCIETY: Ronnie I Pizza Pie Jingle/ JACKIE T & THE RHYTHM JESTERS: The Ballad of Don K Reed/ BOBBY THOMAS' ORIOLES: I Like It Like That/ THE VISUALS: Murray the K Jingle/ Submarine Race/ THE WEST SIDE BOYS FEAT. FRANK LAFARO: Starlight, Starbright/ BRIAN WILSON BAND: Jerry Blavat Jingle

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Crystal Ball 1084 Rarest Of The Rare, Vol. 15 ● CD $17.98
Fine collection of 26 vocal group rarities which appear to range from the 40s through the 60s - 85% of them new to CD. Includes sides by THe Cosmic Rays, Donald Amaker, Freddy Owens, The Souvenirs, The Sherrys, The Bachelors, The Bill Johnson Quartet, The Caravans, The Bridgetts (the terrific intense and bluesy Down On My Knees), Ralph Robles (a great cover The Chantels Maybe), Lynn Britt, The Nobleaires (a gospel song done doo-wop style), Hannah Lee, The Big Three Trio and others.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Grapevine Soul 3034 Macon Soul Soup ● CD $19.98
22 tracks of Southern soul from late 60s and early 70s recorded for the obscure Macon, Georgia labels Jar-Val and Stone labels. 
THOMAS BAILEY & THE FLINTSTONES BAND: Flintstone Shuffle/ I Need You (Most of All)/ JIMMY BRASWELL: This Time It's Got to Be for Real/ Time Waits for No Man/ MATT BROWN: Baby I'm a Want You/ Every Day (I Love You Just a Little Bit More)/ Sweet Thing/ Thank You Baby/ JIMMY BRYANT: I Want to Hold You/ My Little Girl/ NANCY BUTTS: I Can't Love But One Man at a Time/ I've Been Blind Too Long/ I've Been Blind Too Long (Instrumental)/ Letter Full of Tears/ Only One Love/ Too Many Yesterdays/ THE FLINTSTONES: Flintstones/ Ruby/ RONNIE MILLER: I Owe You Love/ Listen to the Music/ ALICE ROZIER & LITTLE JOE: I Love You/ I'm Gonna Hold on to You

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Grapevine Soul 3035 Kelley's Soul Heroes ● CD $19.98
25 fine soul sides from the 70s produced in Detroit and New York by Ernest Kelley who had previously worked for Atlantic and Motown. A mix of uptown sweet and deep soul. Includes two previously unissued sides.
AL & RAY: I Should Have Gone/ CAROL ANDERSON: Tomorrow Is Not A Promise/ BETTY BIBBS: I Want Some Satisfaction/ Story Of My Life, The/ CHARLES & IVORY: My Little Baby/ WILLIE COLLINS: Two Lives/ THE COMBINATIONS: (Too Long) I've Been Waiting/ THE DYNAMICS: We Found Love/ You Can Make It If You Try/ DEE EDWARDS: (I Can) Deal With That/ BILLY HAMBRIC: I Gotta Find That Girl/ MIKE JEMISON: Spread Love/ You'll Never Get My Love/ CLETUS MARLAND: Every Now And Then/ I Wish That You Were Here/ You're Gonna Miss Me/ CLOE MARTIN: What Do You See In Her/ Winter Is Much Too Long/ PERFECT TOUCH: Merry Go Round/ SANDRA RICHARDSON: Stay Here With Me/ SOLID SOLUTION: Think About It Girl/ SOLID STATE: Right In Your Own Back Yard/ ERNEST SPARKS: I'll Be Glad/ BARRETT STRONG: You Make Me Feel The Way I Do/ SAMMY TAYLOR: I Need A True Love

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 281 For Connoisseurs Only, Vol. 3 ● CD $18.98
Third volume of soul rarities recorded in the 60s and early 70s for the Moedrn & Kent labels. This volume has 24 tracks - five of them previously unissued.
FRANK ARMSTRONG & THE STINGERS: Feel Like I Want To Holler/ JOHNNY COPELAND: You Must Believe In Yourself/ JACKIE DAY: If I'd Lose You/ THE FOUR TEES: I Could Never Love Another/ VERNON GARRETT: I'm Guilty/ WILLIE GAUFF & THE LOVE BROTHERS: I Know She's Gonna Leave/ WILLIE HEADEN: I Wanna Know/ THE IKETTES: Don't Feel Sorry For Me/ AL KING: My Name Is Misery/ FREEMAN KING: Working For The Woman/ LITTLE HENRY & THE SHAMROCKS: The Ta Ta Song/ MARY LOVE: I've Gotta Get You Back/ JIMMY MCCRACKLIN: This Life Of Mine/ LEON PETERSON: Baby Baby Baby/ MARVIN PHILLIPS & SPINNERS: That Righteous Feeling/ JEB STUART: Can't Count The Days/ FELICE TAYLOR: Good Luck Aka New Love/ GENE TAYLOR: Cut Me Loose/ TERRY & THE TYRANTS: Love Me To Death/ BILLY WATKINS: Beverly/ BOBBY WHITE: It's A Great Life/ ESTHER WILLIAMS: It's Ok/ THE WIND JAMMERS: Poor Sad Child Pt 1/ TOMMY YOUNGBLOOD: Back In The Saddle

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Mictlan 2004 Chicano Soul - Texas Group Treasures, Volume 1 ● CD $16.98
20 rarities, 1963-1970 - The Volumes, Dukes, Fats & The All Stars, Steve Jordan, Sal de Leon & The Centenniels, Johnny & The Sinceres, The Heartbreakers, Rocky Gil & The Bishops, Carlos Landin & The Rondels, Paul Rios & The Rivieras, etc.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Numero 013 Eccentric Soul - Twinight's Lunar Rotation ● CD $28.98
2 CDs, 40 tracks, 1 hour 50 min., very highly recommended
If you thought Chicago's Twilight/Twinight label was all about Syl Johnson, you were right. And you were wrong. Yes, of the 55 singles issued by Twinight between 1967-1972, only 8 made the charts, and 7 of those bear Syl Johnson's name, as the booklet noters note. But as this excellent compilation proves, Twinight had talent that ran soul deep. These 40 tracks (no Syl here) sport a high percentage of better-than-average soul with a reasonable sprinkling of outright great. Include the Notations optimistic gem A New Day among the cuts no soul fan should go without. In it they recommend "shooting pool" as a possible remedy for racially motivated violence between "black and white." Other praise-worthy songs include George McGregor & The Bronzettes' Temptation Is Hard To Fight, The Radiants post-Chess, Smokey-esque effort My Sunshine Girl, and the Perfections' almost-perfect Which One Am I. The Dynamic Tints, Krystal Generation, Renaldo Domino, Velma Perkins, Kaldirons, Elvin Spencer, Mistiques, Chuck & Mac, and others also offer consistently cool Windy City soul worth telling your friends about. The 32-page booklet is half well-written, informative notes and half rare photos. Class job all the way. [One minor gripe: Track lists appear only on the tray card (not in the booklet), which is inconvenient, and the small brown-on-brown print is squint inducing.] (JC)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Proper BOX 129 The Cosimo Matassa Story ● CD $26.98
4 CDs, 120 Tracks, highly recommended
Cosimo Matassa was the studio owner/engineer of J&M studios in New Orleans, a location where many of the prime R&B records were cut in the Crescent City. The folks at Proper Records have once again put together an impeccable sounding, tastefully packaged, and well annotated box set spotlighting the host of musicians that benefited from Matassa's talents and vision at one of his four recording studios. The music herein is unbeatable; how can anyone go wrong with sides by Fats Domino, Smiley Lewis, Little Richard, and Lloyd Price, the kings of New Orleans R&B in the 50's. As great as those four titans are, some of the best moments come from lesser lights like Shirley & Lee, The Barons, and the Hawketts. Not a moment is wasted over the four CDs, and this is one of the best box sets I've heard this year. (GMC)
LEE ALLEN: Rockin' At Cosimo's/ THE BARONS: Boom Boom/ Eternally Yours/ DAVE BARTHOLOMEW: Country Gal/ My Ding-A-Ling/ Stormy Weather/ Teejim/ Tra-La-La/ Who Drank My Beer While I Was In The Rear/ JIMMY BEASLEY: Don't Feel Sorry For Me/ Little Coquette/ THE BEES: I Want to Be Loved/ Toy Bell/ EDGAR BLANCHARD: Stepping High/ EDDIE BO: I'm Wise (Slippin' And Slidin')/ BOO BREEDING: Country Woman/ Low And Lonesome/ ROY 'BALDHEAD' BYRD (PROFESSOR LONGHAIR): Rockin' With Fes/ BOBBY CHARLES: On Bended Knee/ See You Later Alligator/ Take It Easy, Greasy/ DAVE COLLINS & THE SCRUBBS: Bluesy Me/ PEE WEE CRAYTON: Every Dog Has His Day/ Runnin' Wild/ You Know Yeah/ FATS DOMINO: Don't Blame It On Me/ I'm In Love Again/ Little School Girl/ My Blue Heaven/ Reeling And Rocking/ THE DUKES: Cotton Picking Hands/ Teardrop Eyes/ WERLY FAIRBURN: All The Time/ I'm A Fool About Your Love/ FATS & DAVE: Cat Music/ Jump Children/ LOWELL FULSON: Don't Leave Me Baby/ CLARENCE GARLOW: New Bon Ton Roulay/ GUITAR SLIM: The Things That I Used To Do/ Well, I Done Got Over It/ THE HAWKETTS: Mardi Gras Mambo/ Your Time's Up/ THE HAWKS: Candy Girl/ Give It Up/ I-Yi/ It's Too Late Now/ Nobody But You/ CLARENCE 'FROGMAN' HENRY: Ain't Got No Home/ I'm A Country Boy/ WILLIE JOHNSON: Say Baby/ That Night/ ERNEST KADOR (ERNIE K-DOE): Do Baby Do/ THE KIDDS: Drunk Drunk Drunk/ EARL KING: Those Lonely, Lonely Feelings/ You Can Fly High/ THE KINGS: 'Til I Say Well Done/ SMILEY LEWIS: Blue Monday/ Don't Jive Me/ Down Yonder (We Go Ballin')/ I Hear You Knocking/ Real Gone Lover/ Shame Shame Shame/ LI'L MILLETT & HIS CREOLES: Rich Woman/ LITTLE BO: Baby/ So Glad/ LITTLE LEO: Handwriting On The Wall/ What's It All About?/ LITTLE MR. MIDNIGHT: Four O'Clock Blues/ Got A Brand New Baby/ LITTLE RICHARD: Heebie Jeebies/ I'm Just A Lonely Guy/ Long Tall Sally/ Ready Teddy/ Rip It Up/ Slippin' And Slidin'/ The Girl Can't Help It/ Tutti Frutti/ FAT MAN MATTHEWS: I'm Thankful/ BOBBY MITCHELL: No No No/ Try Rock'n'Roll/ Baby's Gone/ Sister Lucy/ ROY MONTRELL: (Everytime I Hear) That Mellow Saxophone/ Oooh-Wow/ BIG BOY MYLES & THE SHA-WEEZ: Hickory Dickory Dock/ Just To Hold My Hand/ That Girl I Married/ Who's Been Fooling You?/ ART NEVILLE: Back Home To Me/ Oooh-Wee Baby/ THE PELICANS: Ain't Gonna Do It/ LLOYD PRICE: Chee Koo Baby/ Lawdy Miss Clawdy/ Rock'n'Roll Dance/ PROFESSOR LONGHAIR: Tipitina/ THE ROYAL KINGS: Bouncin' The Boogie/ Teachin' And Preachin'/ SLIM SAUNDERS: Let's Have Some Fun (Honey)/ THE SHA-WEEZ: Early Sunday Morning/ SHIRLEY & LEE: Baby/ Feel So Good/ I Feel Good/ I'm Gone/ Let The Good Times Roll/ Sweethearts/ HUEY PIANO SMITH & HIS RHYTHM ACES: Everybody's Whalin'/ Little Liza Jane/ THE SPIDERS: 21 (3x7=21)/ I Didn't Want to Do It/ That's Enough/ You're The One/ SUGAR BOY & HIS CANE CUTTERS: Jock-A-Mo/ T-BONE WALKER: Got No Use For You/ Long Distance Blues/ JAMES WAYNE: Agreeable Woman/ Two Faced Woman/ WEE WILLIE WAYNE: I Remember/ Travelin' Mood/ CHARLES WILLIAMS: So Glad You're Mine/ BERNIE WILLIAMS & THE BARONS: Why Fool Yourself

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Sony-BMG (UK) 106822 The Northern Soul Story, Vol. 1 - The Twisted Wheel ● CD $11.98
25 Tracks, 64 mins, highly recommended
Here is yet another collection of obscure mid 60's R&B that most Americans have never heard of, but was huge in the clubs of Northern England in the same time frame. The Twisted Wheel was a celebrated club in Manchester that spotlighted this music non-stop from 1963 to 1971, and this edition of a four volume series--which spotlights the clubs that popularized scene--pays tribute to The Twisted Wheel's most popular hits. Smokin' tracks by the likes of James Carr, Shirley Ellis, Lee Dorsey, and Major Lance are treasures worth owning, but the coolness of songs from a young Al Green and latter day Shirelles (here billed as Shirley & the Shirelles) is a pleasant surprise. The only "hit" I recognize here is James & Bobby Purify's Shake A Tail Feather, but it doesn't matter; I dug everything on this CD and loved reading the track-by-track liner notes. (GMC)
THE BANDWAGON: Breakin' Down The Walls Of Heartache/ BOB BRADY & THE CON-CHORDS: Everybody's Going To The Love/ BILLY BUTLER: Right Track/ JAMES CARR: That's What I Want To Know/ CLIFFORD CURRY: I Can't Get A Hold Of Myself/ MOSES & JOSHUA DILLARD: My Elusive Dreams/ LEE DORSEY: Ride Your Pony/ SHIRLEY ELLIS: Soul Time/ AL GREEN & THE SOUL MATES: Don't Leave Me/ BUNKER HILL: Hide And Go Seek/ THE INCREDIBLES: There's Nothing Else To Say/ LOU JOHNSON: Magic Potion/ BOB KUBAN & THE IN-MEN: The Cheater/ MAJOR LANCE: Ain't No Soul (Left In These Old Shoes)/ It's The Beat/ LITTLE RICHARD: A Little Bit Of Something/ PEACHES & HERB: I Need Your Love So Desperately/ JAMES & BOBBY PURIFY: Let Love Come Between Us/ Shake A Tail Feather/ SANDI SHELDON: You're Gonna Make Me Love You/ SHIRLEY & THE SHIRELLES: Look What You've Done To My Heart/ THE SPELLBINDERS: Help Me (Get Myself Back Together Again)/ OSCAR TONEY JR: No Sad Songs/ THE VIBRATIONS: Cause You're Mine/ LARRY WILLIAMS & JOHNNY WATSON: A Quitter Never Wins

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Sony-BMG (UK) 106852 The Northern Soul Story, Vol. 2 - The Golden Torch ● CD $11.98
25 tracks, 65 mins, highly recommended
The second volume in Sony's Northern Soul series picks up where the first volume left off: the Golden Torch club in Stoke-On-Trent, England became Northern Soul's mecca in 1972 after Manchester's Twisted Wheel closed the year before. The songs featured herein are mostly in the same vein as the previous edition: a 60's mix of Motown knock-offs, Sweet Soul obscurities by capable vocalists (Lou Johnson, Major Lance, Little Richard, Robert Knight, Roy Hamilton), the occasional non-hit from a one-hit wonder (the Exciters), and some hot instrumentals from the early 70's (K-Jee by the Nite-Liters, for example). Also like Vol. 1, the liner notes are impeccable, the sound quality excellent (except for Free For All (Winner Takes All) by Phillip Mitchell, which sounds like it was taken off vinyl), and the packaging classy. (GMC)
GEORGE CARROW: Angel Baby (Don't You Ever Leave Me)/ THE CARSTAIRS: He Who Picks A Rose/ THE CAVALIERS: Hold On To My Baby/ THE EXCITERS: Blowing Up My Mind/ THE GLORIES: I Worship You Baby/ ROY HAMILTON: Crackin' Up Over You/ LOU JOHNSON: Unsatisfied/ WILLIE KENDRICK: Change Your Ways/ ROBERT KNIGHT: Love On A Mountain Top/ MAJOR LANCE: Investigate/ You Don't Want Me No More/ LITTLE RICHARD: I Don't Want To Discuss It/ THE LORELEI: S.T.O.P./ BOBBI LYNN: Earthquake/ PHILLIP MITCHELL: Free For All (Winner Takes All)/ JOHNNY MOORE: Walk Like A Man/ THE NITE-LITERS: K-Jee/ THE OVATIONS: They Say/ THE SWEET THINGS: I'm In A World Of Trouble/ THE TRAMMPS: Scrub Board/ THE TRIUMPHS: I'm Coming To Your Rescue/ THE VIBRATIONS: Gonna Get Along Without You Now/ THE VIRGINIA WOLVES: Stay/ HERB WARD: Honest To Goodness/ LARRY WILLIAMS & JOHNNY WATSON: Too Late

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Sony-BMG (UK) 106862 The Northern Soul Story, Vol. 3 - Blackpool Mecca ● CD $11.98
25 tracks, 75 mins, highly recommended
Volume Three in the Northern Soul series moves the party from the Golden Torch to Saturday nights at the Highland Rooms at Blackpool Mecca. While half the records are still rooted in the mid-to-late 60's, this volume represents the first (and only) serious helping of the rare gems of the early-to-mid 70's. Consequently, there's more "name" performers present; some from their early days (a young Patti Austin shines on Didn't Say a Word), while others are captured in their prime (Earth, Wind & Fire, the Trammps). As always, though, it's the lesser-knowns that steal the show: Shane Martin, Morris Chestnutt, Susan Barrett, Lorraine Chandler, and Lynn Randell are few of the who-are-they highlights. Since the 70's have been breached, there's more of a disco element creeping into the songs, but that's part of the set's charm and one of the things that made Northern Soul what it was back then. (GMC)
AQUARIAN DREAM: Phoenix/ PATTI AUSTIN: Didn't Say A Word/ SUSAN BARRETT: What's It Gonna Be/ THE BROTHERS: Are You Ready For This/ LORRAINE CHANDLER: I Can't Hold On/ MORRIS CHESTNUT: Too Darn Soulful/ LOU COURTNEY: Trying To Find My Woman/ LEE DAVID: Temptation Is Calling My Name/ EARTH, WIND & FIRE: Happy Feelin'/ LOU EDWARDS & TODAY'S PEOPLE: Talkin' 'Bout Poor Folks Thinkin' 'Bout My Folks/ LAURA GREENE: Moonlight, Music & You/ ROBERT KNIGHT: Branded/ BOBBY LESTER: Hang Up Your Hang-Ups/ THE M.V.P.'S: Turnin' My Heartbeat Up/ SHANE MARTIN: I Need You/ VAN MCCOY: Soul Improvisations Pts 1 & 2/ TONY MIDDLETON: Paris Blues/ THE PHILLY DEVOTIONS: I Just Can't Say Goodbye/ LOU RAGLAND: I Travel Alone/ LYNN RANDELL: Stranger In My Arms/ THE TRAMMPS: Hold Back The Night/ THE UPTIGHTS: Shy Guy/ T. D. VALENTINE: Love Trap/ THE VAN DYKES: Save My Love For A Rainy Day/ BERNIE WILLIAMS: Ever Again

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Sony-BMG (UK) 106872 The Northern Soul Story, Vol. 4 - Wigan Casino ● CD $11.98
25 tracks, 65 mins, highly recommended
The final volume in this excellent series is the most diverse of all four: artists that I would never have considered "Northern Soul" make appearances (Paul Anka, Taj Mahal, Billy Joel Royal, Spiral Staircase) and all fit in seamlessly with the other more typical tracks. The songs here were played at the former Empress Ballroom (re-christened Wigan Casino), which opened in 1973 and helped fill the void left by the closure of the Twisted Wheel. 60's-centric with a couple tunes from the early 70's, Vol. 4 offers some of the tastiest morsels of the entire series with guaranteed floor-fillers like Dana Valery's You Don't Know Where Your Interest Lies, Panic by Reparata & the Delrons, Sweet Music by Christopher Cerf, and I'm Where It's At by the Jades to name a few. It might be my imagination, but it seems like the tunes lean more to the pop side of the fence; whatever, it doesn't take away from the sheer pleasure these songs elicit from my groove center. A perfect conclusion to a fantastic set of CDs that's worth owning many times over. (GMC)
NANCY AMES: I Don't Want To Talk About It/ PAUL ANKA: I Can't Help Loving You/ BEVERLY ANN: You've Got Your Mind On Other Things/ OTIS BLACKWELL: It's All Over Me/ CHRISTOPHER CERF: Sweet Music/ THE CHARMAINES: Eternally/ DEAN COURTNEY: I'll Always Need You/ DEREK & RAY: Interplay/ JIMMY FRASER: Of Hopes & Dreams & Tombstones/ JUDY FREEMAN & BLACKROCK: Hold On/ GERRI GRANGER: I Go To Pieces (Everytime)/ THE JADES: Iím Where It's At/ TOBI LEGEND: Time Will Pass You By/ SUE LYNN: Don't Pity Me/ TAJ MAHAL: (Ain't That) A Lot Of Love/ MICHAEL & RAYMOND: Man Without A Woman/ DON RAY: Born A Loser/ REPARATA & THE DELRONS: Panic/ BILLY JOE ROYAL: Hearts Desire/ THE SEVEN SOULS: I Still Love You/ RICK SHEPPARD: Can We Share It/ SPIRAL STAIRCASE: More Today Than Yesterday/ HONEY TOWNSEND: The World Again/ DANA VALERY: You Don't Know Where Your Interest Lies/ PERCY WIGGINS: It Didn't Take Much (For Me To Fall In Love)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Soul World 102 The Northern Soul Of Sue ● CD $17.98
26 Tracks, 67 mins, recommended
Sue Records was a New York label that operated from 1957 to 1970; Northern Soul is a term Brits coined to differentiate the type of soul music played in northern British clubs from that played in south of England clubs. Although Northern Soul tended to be up tempo soul music recorded mostly in Chicago and Detroit during the early and mid 60`s, this compilation spotlights the hot Big Apple sides released by Sue during the same time frame from artists both forgotten (except by collectors) and well-known. Early hits by Ike & Tina Turner, Barbara George, and Inez Fox are the draw, but cuts by Billy Prophet, The Poets, Sandra Phillips, Eddie & Ernie, and Baby Washington are just as groovy and satisfying. Some of the tracks veer into Motown-sound-a-like territory, but there's enough originality here to make the set a worthy purchase. (GMC)
BLACK IVORY: You Turned My Whole World Around/ THE CARSTAIRS: Girl Have Pity/ CHOCOLATE SYRUP: Stop Your Crying/ CYNTHIA & THE IMAGINATIONS: There's Something The Matter/ THE EMANONS: One Heart/ FIRST CLASS: What About Me/ THE FIVE WAGERS: Come And Ask Me/ THE FOUR MINTS: Do You Really Love Me/ THE FUTURES: (Love Lives On A) Windy Hill/ THE INTENTIONS: Don't Forget That I Love You/ THE JONESES: Baby (There's Nothing I Can Do)/ THE LOVE COMMITTEE: Heaven Only Knows/ GARNETT MIMMS & THE ENCHANTERS: Until You Were Gone/ THE MOMENTS: Best Thing For Me/ THE MONTCLAIRS: All I Really Care About Is You/ NEW YORK CITY: Make Me Twice The Man/ THE NOTATIONS: At The Crossroads/ THE PLAYERS: Why Did I Lie/ SHO-NUFF: Don't Be Lonely/ THE WHAT NAUTS: Let Me Be That Special One

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Soul Time 102 Soul Vocal Group Delights, Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
Not new but not listed before. 20 soul vocal group recordings from the 60s and 70s - many making their first appearance on CD. Includes tracks by New York City, The Four Mints, Love Committee, The Notations, The What Nauts, First Class, Chocolate Syrup, The Futures, Black Ivory, Sho-Nuff and more. Good sound, minimal packaging.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Soulworld 103 Ric-Tic Relics, Vol. 1 ● CD $17.98
28 tracks, 76 min., essential
Ric-Tic Records, owned by Ed Wingate, who also owned the Golden World and Wingate imprints, competed head to head with Motown in the early days. Motown's house musicians would moonlight at Ric-Tic increasing the quality level of that label's releases and causing Berry Gordy to be concerned enough to forbid his players to work there, a fine being the penalty for disobediance. Finally, Gordy bought the label and did next to nothing to promote any of the artists, whom he apparently saw as unwanted competition for pre-existing Motown talent. These days, Ric-Tic has gained legendary status because of the high quality of its releases and the scarcity of available records. This release offers a generous 28 cuts, most issued on CD for the first time. Edwin Starr, who did go on to success at Motown with the remarkable War (despite its receiving almost no promotion), stood tall at Ric-Tic, with his classic Agent OO-Soul and Stop Her On Sight receiving a great deal of airplay. Future soul star Laura Lee had one single on Ric-Tic, the A-side To Win Your Heart included here with the flip presumably slated for volume 2. Other Ric-Tic talent represented here includes The Fantastic Four (who had a little-promoted LP on Motown imprint Soul), Freddie Gorman, Rose Batiste, Flaming Embers, Andre Williams, Al Kent, Willie "G," The San Remo Golden Strings, and the great J.J. Barnes. If you could find the 45 rpms, they'd set you back many hundreds of dollars. Lucky you don't have to. (JC)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Soul World 104 Ric-Tic Relics, Vol. II ● CD $17.98
28 tracks, 76 min., highly recommended/ essential
The second helping of soul sides from Detroit's legendary Ric-Tic label opens with the flip sides of Freddie Gorman's releases (#101 & 102) on that label, just as volume 1 kicked off with the other sides. (The playlist follows the release order.) And for continuity, the third cut is the instrumental version of Edwin Starr's classic spy number Agent OO-Soul, whereas the earlier release gave the vocal version. And so it goes through much of the disc, volume II providing the missing flip of each track on volume one. The rarest side on the label is the reworking of Edwin Starr's Stop Her On Sight (S.O.S.) done for a local deejay, titled Scott's On Swingers (S.O.S.) which was issued in minute quantities as a local promotional item, and, thankfully, is included here. The play list pattern breaks occasionally, as when the other side (So I Will) of Laura Lee's sole Ric-Tic 45 rpm fails to appear despite the appearance of To Win Your Heart on vol. 1. A sad truth. Likewise, this release ends with one side of Little Ann's only Ric-Tic release, but the flip was not on vol.1. But there are still enough sides out there for a volume III, and soul fans must live in hope. Since neither side of Ric-Tic 100 (Geno Wahsington's Gino Is A Coward b/w Puppet On A String has shown up yet, and since it isn't particularly rare, a third release seems likely. This album (and its fellow) is currently the only way to get this important and wonderful music, and because it is offered by a small label, don't expect it to stay in print forever. (JC)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Soul World 105 The Northern Soul Of Tangerine ● CD $17.98
27 tracks, 68 mins, recommended
Tangerine Records was started by Ray Charles in 1963, and he owned it for ten years until it was sold to ABC Records, who had previously been distributor for the label. The label's released were all an R&B mixture of well known names like Ike & Tina Turner, Louis Jordan, Percy Mayfield, and the Ohio Players, and obscure artists such as Vala-Quons, Visitors, Douglas Gibson, and Brandi Alexander. Soul World has brought us another collection of Northern Soul gems, this time from the Tangerine roster, and there are some very tasty morsels here indeed. Sound quality is good, not great, and there's very little information about these tracks; this is a case where the music is supposed to speak for itself, and it does. Ike and Tina are predictably exciting on Dust My Broom, the Visitors light a fire with What About Me, and Vala-Quons with Mike Akopoff (!) get clever on Window Shopping On Girl's Avenue. For the Northern Soul fan, this is a worthy purchase. (GMC)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Soul 1000 Soulful Thangs, Vol. 1 ● CD $17.98
Not new but not listed before. A collection of 22 rare sweet and Northern sides. Includes Masterplan, 21st Century, Mike & The Censations, Chapter One, Sly, Slick & Wicked, Timothy Wilson, Bloodstone, The Manhattans, The Lovelites, The Performers, The Constellations, etc.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Sounds Of Yester Year 737 The Real Sound Of R&B And Boogie Woogie ● CD $12.98
Fine collection of R&B and boogie woogie from the 40s - some of it from familiar names along with some obscurities. Some tracks are from live performances. Includes Four Joes & A Jane (a great version of Caldonia), The Ray McKinley Quartet, Lionel Hampton band, Joan benson, The Four Blazes, The Jesse Price Quartet, Count Basie, Mary Lou Williams, Meade Lux Lewis, Harry "The Hipster" Gison and others. Excellent sound.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS South Side Kingdom 005 South Side Soul, Vol. 5 ● CD $17.98
26 tracks from the smoother, more romantic side of soul featuring a mix of well known names and obscurities. Includes Carla Thomas, Rocky Brown & The Impacts, The Passionettes, Lee Fields & The Expressions, The Informers, William Bell, The Impressions, Dells, Sensations, Stylettes, Persuaders, Delroy Wilson, Herb Johnson and others.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Stax 30203 Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration ● CD $18.98
2 CDs, 50 tracks, 2 hours, 33 min., highly recommended
If you already own the three Complete Stax Singles box sets (28 CDs!) or the 4-CD box set "The Stax Story", you may safely pass on this. But if you want a wonderful 2-disc overview of Stax's greatest spins (1961-72), this will hit the spot nicely. Tracks include Gee Whiz by Carla Thomas, Respect by Otis Redding, I'll Take You There by The Staple Singers, Mr. Big Stuff by Jean Knight, Knock On Wood by Eddie Floyd, Theme From Shaft by Issac Hayes, and many others. The closest thing to an obscure song here is probably Linda Lyndell's Volt single What A Man, which stalled at #50 on the R&B charts and never got over Pop-wise. Booklet notes (52-pages) by noted Stax expert Rob Bowman, great photos (especially if you want one of Issac Hayes with his shirt off--damn right), and a 1960s style-3D finger snap logo on the box cover for that animated soul effect you've been craving. (JC)
THE ASTORS: Candy/ THE BAR-KAYS: Son Of Shaft/ THE BAR-KEYS: Soul Finger/ WILLIAM BELL: I Forgot To Be Your Lover/ You Don't Miss Your Water/ Private Number/ BOOKER T. & THE MGS: Green Onions/ Soul Limbo/ Time Is Tight/ SHIRLEY BROWN: Woman To Woman/ THE DRAMATICS: In The Rain/ Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get/ THE EMOTIONS: So I Can Love You/ EDDIE FLOYD: I've Never Found A Girl (to Love Me Like You Do)/ Knock On Wood/ ISAAC HAYES: Never Can Say Goodbye/ Theme From Shaft/ Walk On By/ MABLE JOHN: Your Good Thing (is About To End)/ ALBERT KING: Born Under A Bad Sign/ FREDERICK KNIGHT: I've Been Lonely For So Long/ JEAN KNIGHT: Mr. Big Stuff/ LITTLE MILTON: That's What Love Will Make You Do/ LINDA LYNDELL: What A Man/ THE MAD LADS: I Want Someone/ THE MAR-KEYS: Last Night/ MEL & TIM: Starting All Over Again/ OLLIE & THE NIGHTINGALES: I Got A Sure Thing/ OTIS & CARLA: Tramp/ OTIS REDDING: (sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay/ I've Been Loving You Too Long (to Stop Now)/ Respect/ SAM & DAVE: Hold On I'm Comin'/ Soul Man/ You Don't Know Like I Know/ SOUL CHILDREN: Hearsay/ I'll Be The Other Woman/ THE STAPLE SINGERS: I'll Take You There/ If You're Ready (come Go With Me)/ Respect Yourself/ JOHNNIE TAYLOR: Cheaper To Keep Her/ Jody's Got Your Girl And Gone/ Who's Making Love/ THE TEMPREES: Dedicated To The One I Love/ CARLA THOMAS: B-a-b-y/ Gee Whiz (look At His Eyes)/ I Like What You're Doing (to Me)/ Let Me Be Good To You/ RUFUS THOMAS: Do The Funky Chicken/ Walking The Dog

 
BABY WASHINGTON Stateside 474 447-2 I've Got A Feeling - The Best Of ● CD $13.98
Fine collection of 28 sides by this excellent soul singer recorded for Sue and Veep between 1963 and 1969 including her biggest hits That's How Heartaches Are Made and Only Those In LOve and her entire Veep album "With You In Mind" featuring her renditions of pop, R&B and jazz classics I'm On The Outside Looking In/ All Around The World/ People Sure Act Funny/ Get A Hold Of Yourself/ At Last/ Hurt So Bad, etc.

 
JOHNNY "GUITAR" WATSON Ace CDCHD 1180 Untouchable - The Classics 1959-1966 Recordings ● CD $18.98
27 tracks, highly recommended Fine collection of sides by this versatile performer after he left RPM in 1958. Unfortunately it doesn't include his great sides for Keen and Goth but does include all his sides recorded for King recorded between 1961 and 1963 along with sides for labels like Class, Arvee, Escort, Jowat, Highland and Magnum. By this time was expanding his repertoire beyond blues to include R&B, soul, pop ballads with strings and even a version of Hank Williams' Cold Cold Heart done as a soul song! But whatever he sang it came out pure Johnny "Guitar" Watson - drenched with soul. Although only a handful of these tracks feature his dynamic guitar work there are some great performances here like The Eagle Is Back/ Cuttin In/ Gangster Of Love/ Those Lonely, Lonely Nights and others. (FS)

 

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