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Bulletin - September 2008
Rhythm & Blues, Soul & Doo-Wop
Solomon Burke -> Jackie Wilson





SOLOMON BURKE Shout 46 This Is It - Origins Of Soul ● CD $18.98
16 tracks, highly recommended
We've had a lot of requests for a reissue of Solomon's earliest recordings and our good friends at Shout have now obliged. This is, I believe, a reissue of a Savoy LP issued many years ago - it features 16 of the 22 sides recorded for Apollo 1955-56 Starting as a 15 year-old spiritual singer, Burke recorded such tunes as No Man Walks Alone/ Christmas Presents From Heaven/ To Thee, before going more secular. Burke's style was close to black pop on these sides, but the presence is definitely there and you can hear the shape of soul to come. The song You Can Run, But You Can't Hide, "written" by Joe Louis, led to Burke's appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show! Also includes You Are My One Love/ Walking In A Dream/ I Need You Tonight/ This Is It/ My Heart Is A Chapel and others. Includes booklet with extensive notes by Clive Richardson. (GM)

CHARLIE & RAY Acrobat ACMCD 4310 I Love You Madly - The Herald Recordings ● CD $15.98
16 tracks, 39 min., recommended
The title tune here is the closest that this duo ever came to a bonafide hit, nonetheless, their mastery of the up tempo, chalypso, and ballad tempos popular in the last half of the 1950's is more than evident is this collection of their material for Al Silver's Herald Records. The program includes the title tune, plus Tag Along/ Certainly Baby/ Dearest One/ You're To Blame/ The Closest Thing to an Angel/ Guess I'm Through with Love, and others. There are several originally unissued titles including a second, slightly slower version of I Love You Madly. Though the possibilities for harmony are limited with just two voices, these two won the weekly amateur night contest at Harlem's Apollo Theater five times in a row. (DH)

DR. JOHN Music Club Deluxe 080 The Best Of The Night Tripper ● CD $18.98
2 CDs, 36 tracks, 150 mins, highly recommended
This collection covers the prime years of Dr. John, the psychedelic, Hoo-Doo Man years from 1968 - 74, the period of time that a widely known name was made for Dr. John, although as Mac Rebenac he had been paying his dues and recording on some great records for many years prior as a bandleader and session player. This also comprises the good Doctor's time at Atco records, widely regarded as his best, most creative period. From the sublime Voodoo freak-outs like Gris, Gris Gumbo Yay Ya/ Mama Roux/ Jump Sturdy/ Walk On Gilded Splinters, etc, to the more traditional New Orleans R&B - IKO, IKO/ Junko Partner/ Tipitina, to his big hit Such A Night--it's all there. Two CDs fully loaded with highly entertaining, one-of-a-kind music. This is an excellent jumping-in point for the uninitiated and a comprehensive set for the fans. Turn off the lights, light up the candles (and anything else you might be inclined to), and turn this up real loud. Fantastic sound, O.K. notes, but some more recording info would have been appreciated. (JM)

THE FIVE SATINS Acrobat 9001 Chronicles ● CD $28.98
3 CDs, 65 tracks, 166 mins, highly recommended
O. K ., here is where I try and talk you into shelling out your hard earned dollars buying a three-CD set for a band that only had 1 big hit. No small task, thankfully, though, the one big hit they had was the all-time classic, (I Remember) In The Still Of The Night. It also helps that they recorded a lot of other great material in addition to this one classic. As is the case with many a Doo-Wop outfit, these tracks actually represent about 3 different groups with, let's say, around 15 members or so. Fred Parris is the link that ties everything together; it would be his late night Army guard duty that inspired him to write Still Of The Night and he would be the driving force behind not only the first incarnation of the group as The Scarlets, but is also still fronting the group today some 54 years after their first recordings. Despite those facts, he actually isn't on all of these tracks. Uncle Sam took him away for more in the '50s, but the tracks that he isn't on are still fantastic. This covers recordings done in the '50s & '60s with all the classic versions, plus many rare songs and alternate takes. Includes debut single All Mine b/w Rose Mary from the obscure Standord (not a typo) label, nine Scarlets recordings done for the Red Robin Label, into their heyday with Ember records, then rounding out with a full CD plus of material that came out on a variety of different labels between '61 - 2002. With so many great tracks like The Jones Girl/ True Love/ Weeping Willow/ A Night To Remember, and so many more, this is an absolute treasure trove for Vocal Group fans. (JM)
THE FIVE SATINS: A Love With No Love In Return/ A Love With No Love In Return (Alt)/ A Million To One/ A Night Like This/ A Night To Remember/ A Night To Remember/ Again/ All Mine/ Baby Face/ Candlelight/ Candlelight (Alt)/ Church Bells Played The Blues/ Cry Baby/ Darling I'm Yours/ Dear One/ I Got Time/ I Wish I Had My Baby (Alt)/ I'll Be Seeing You/ I'll Get Along/ I'll Remember (In The Still Of The Night)/ I'll Remember (In The Still Of The Night) (Alt)/ I've Lost/ I've Lost/ Indian Fever/ Kiss Me/ Love Doll/ Love With No Love In Return (Tk 5)/ Moonlight And I/ Oh Happy day/ Our Anniversary/ Our Anniversary (Alt)/ Our Love Is Forever/ Our Love Is Forever/ Playmates/ Please Be Mine Tonight/ Pretty Baby/ Pretty Baby (Tks 1&3)/ Rose Mary/ Senorita Lolita/ Shadows/ She's Gone With The Wind/ Silver Waters/ Skippity Doo/ Sugar/ Tell Me Dear/ That's Love/ The Jones Girl/ The Jones Girl (Alt)/ The Time/ The Voice/ The Voice (Acappella)/ To The Aisle/ To The Aisle (Alt)/ To The Aisle (Tk 5)/ Toni My Love/ True Love/ True Love (alternate)/ Weeping Willow/ When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano/ When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano (Tk 12)/ When Your Love Comes Along/ Wish I Had My Baby/ Wishing Ring/ Wonderful Girl/ You Must Be An Angel

AL GREEN Music Club Deluxe 008 Love And Happiness - The Very Best Of Al Green ● CD $18.98
Two C D set featuring some of the best recordings this great soul singer made for the Hi label between 1972 and 1977. Green, together with his producer abd co-writer Willie Mitchell, hold a unique position within the rich history of soul music. Their best work together drew on that music's greatest tradition and then, through their unique sensibility and brilliant music acumen, moved it signficantly forward. This set include many of his biggest hits like Tired Of Being Alone/ Look What You've Done For Me/ Call Me (Come Back Home)/ Let's Get Married/ Belle and others along with B-sides and classic album tracks.
AL GREEN: Belle/ Call Me (Come Back Home)/ Feels Like Summer/ For The Good Times/ For The Good Times/ Free At Last/ Georgia Boy/ Hangin' On/ Have You Been Making Out OK?/ Here I Am (Come And Take Me)/ How Can You Mend A Broken Heart/ I Can't Get Next To You/ I Gotta To Be More (Take Me Higher)/ I Tried To Tell Myself/ I'm Hooked On You/ I'm Still In Love With You/ Keep Me Cryin'/ L.O.V.E (Love)/ Let It Shine/ Let's Get Married/ Let's Stay Together/ Living For You/ Look What You Done For Me/ Love And Happiness/ Love Ritual/ Loving You/ Never Found A Girl (Who Loves Me Like You Do)/ Oh Me Oh My (Dreams In My Arms)/ One Woman/ Schooldays/ Sha La La (Make Me Happy)/ Simply Beautiful/ So Good To Be Here/ Something/ Take Me To The River/ The Letter/ Tired Of Being Alone/ Unchained Melody

SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS Sony Special 724490 Cowfingers & Mosquito Pie ● CD $6.98
19 tracks, essential
Budget priced, limited edition reissue of Epic 47933. This is basically a reissue of Jay's classic "At Home With Screamin' Jay Hawkins" LP with some welcome additions. We not only get the drunken blaster I Put A Spell On You but enough Hawkins mayhem to raise the dead on Little Demon , the surrealistic tale of Screamin' Jay's Yellow Coat (amazing lyrics), a campy pseudo-Oriental Hong Kong , and nutty versions of I Love Paris and Take Me Back To My Boots & Saddle . Alligator Wine and the flip There's Something Wrong With You are added as well as another Okeh single Frenzy and the flip. And if that ain't enough to have you reaching for a glass of "Bulldog spine wine" how about four prime alternate takes including I Put A Spell On You and Alligator Wine ? Like snowflakes, no two Screamin' Jay screams are the same. (AE/ FS)

THE HEARTS Collectables 7887 The Very Best Of The Hearts ● CD $13.98
21 tracks, 53 mins, highly recommended
This CD is basically a companion disc to Collectable's Jaynetts' collection since the Hearts and the Jaynetts were more or less the same group, although it didn't start out that way. The girl group was originally assembled in the Bronx by songwriter Zelma (Zell) Sanders-who managed and recorded them; they managed one hit in 1955 for the Baton label, Lonely Nights (not included here). The group vanished, only to return in 1963 with none of the original members present; Sanders had formed J&S Records by this time and she merely had the same five singers record under a bunch of different names.including the Hearts and the Jaynetts. Lonely Hearts might not have been included, but it appears that some of those early recordings by the original group did make it onto the disc, judging by the sound of tracks like All My Love Belongs to You/ Until the Real Thing Comes Along, and So Long Baby - all have a pronounced 50's R&B slant about them. Since there were few "girl groups" in the 50's-and these girls were among the first-it would seem that this CD is necessary as much for history as for musical purposes. But whatever reason drives you to listen to this, you won't be disappointed because Sanders had a way with a pen and these girls-regardless who was doing the singing-could really belt the out the tunes. Alternately bouncy and bluesy, these songs ooze warmth and soul. (GMC)

MILLIE JACKSON Kent CDKEND 297 Millie Jackson's Soul For The Dancefloor ● CD $18.98
22 tracks, 74 mins, highly recommended
Kent has done a excellent job of re-issuing the Spring recordings of the irrepressible Millie Jackson; now comes this compilation of her greatest dance tracks. These recordings ranging from 1969 to 1982 (including several unreleased versions making their first appearance on CD) showcase the Diva's raspy vocals (similar to Gladys Knight's), interpretive skill with a lyric, and rowdy "raps". Although a few tracks skirt perilously close to "disco"-and, indeed, labeling most of these songs "dance" might be stretching the point just a bit--by and large, this is prime 70's soul and Millie fans can savor the singles edits of A Little Taste of Outside Love and You Can't Stand the Thought of Another Man Loving Me, while newbies can use these 22 tracks as an introduction. (GMC)
GARY US BONDS: I'm Glad You're Back/ RUTH BROWN: Stop Knocking/ C & THE SHELLS: On Your Way Home/ KENNY CARTER: What's So Wrong With You Loving Me/ ARTHUR CONLEY: Complication # 4/ HELEN CURRY: (Shoo-Doo-Pa-Poop) Love Being Your Fool/ THE DRIFTERS: Your Best Friend/ INEZ & CHARLIE FOXX: (1-2-3-4-5-6-7) Count The Days (Single version)/ G P: She's A Heartbreaker/ ELEANOR GRANT: Plea # 3 (Is It True Boy?)/ Rockin' Your Baby Now/ The Other Woman/ ZZ HILL: Touch 'Em With Love/ TOMMY HUNT: I Need A Woman Of My Own/ OBE JESSIE & THE SEEDS OF FREEDOM: Who's To Blame/ PATTI LABELLE & THE BLUE BELLES: He's Gone/ LITTLE CHARLES & THE SIDEWINDERS: Please Open Up The Door/ SLICK 'N' THE FAMILY BRICK: Don't Trust A Woman/ SWAMP DOGG: Don't Throw Your Love To The Wind/ Straight From My Heart/ JERRY WILLIAMS: Run Run Roadrunner/ Shipwrecked/ Your Man/ WOLFMOON: God Bless

THE JAYNETTS Collectables 0999 Sally Go 'Round The Roses - The Very Best ● CD $11.98
13 tracks, 37 mins, recommended
Hot on the heels of last year's 29 track Jaynetts' anthology (Cat King Cole 1005 - $17.98) comes this condensed "Best Of" courtesy of Collectables. Contained in a slightly spiffier package are the girl group's one big hit - Sally Go Round the Roses, in case you forgot-several misses (the imaginatively titled Who Stole the Cookie From the Cookie Jar, Peepin' in and Out the Windows, and Is it My Imagination), and a couple of unreleased demos. Bonus: also included is one track missing from the earlier collection, "Cry Behind the Daisies" which is featured in both single and demo form. Basically, if you already have the Cat King Cole CD, you don't need this (unless you're a completist). However, for the merely curious, the lower priced "Very Best Of" will do just nicely. Or, to put it another way, if you only want a bite instead of the whole sandwich, then this is the CD for you. (GMC)

ERNIE K-DOE Great American Music 842 Here Come The Girls! ● CD $13.98
13 tracks, 41 mins, highly recommended
Much sought after 1970 release. At the time, this was an attempted comeback of sorts by New Orleans legend Ernie K-Doe. Produced by Allen Toussaint, who also wrote 8 of the tracks, this was a serious attempt to rev up K-Doe's career and update his style. No cheesy re-makes on the original album, although the CD producers couldn't help themselves and put an alternate take of Mother In Law on the bonus tracks (Heaven forbid there was a K-Doe CD out there without a version). Other bonus tracks are Hotcha Mama and (I Can't Believe) She Gave It All To Me. Back to main album, the impetus for this re-issue probably came from the recent hugely successful use of the title track in a U.K. ad campaign in 2007, which made the song a bit of a sensation with the Redcoats. Whatever the excuse, this is a much welcome re-issue and high time to appreciate this lost gem of an album. Many will recognize the great bluesy track Whoever Is Thrilling You (Is Killing Me,) which would be a hit for Rufus (featuring Chaka Khan, of course) a few years later. This is for far more than fans of K-doe's, I think any old Soul aficionados will truly dig this. (JM)

GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS Acrobat 3050 Letter Full Of Tears ● CD $18.98
2 CDs, 47 tracks, 124 mins, highly recommended
In the world of re-issue labels there is a certain strata of quality that is primarily held by Ace, Norton and Bear Family records and an occasional few others, labels whose output is so aesthetically pleasing, notes are astutely written, and sound is superb. For the most part Acrobat has been really good, but consistently a tier or two down from the greats. They have put out a series of Gospel collections that rose to that higher level, Brother Cecil Shaw, Five Blind Boys CDs etc; this, however, is the first non-Gospel outing for Acrobat that I think attains that height, let's hope it's a sign of more to come. This CD rounds up all of the possible tracks that Gladys Knight & The Pips released in their Pre-Motown career and super stardom, represents work done for labels Fury, Vee-Jay, Everlast, Springboard, Maxx, and more, and documents the evolution of their classic sound. Gladys Knight & The Pips were certainly fantastic long before they hit Motown and although they weren't smashes, this collection has all of their first songs to start making the charts and making the group a name. Giving Up/ Who Knows/ Lovers Always Forgive/ Either Way I Love You/ Stop And Get A hold Of Myself/ Baby It's You/ Queen Of Tears/ Every Beat Of My Heart, and a lot more greats that Soul fans will eat up. This also has the interesting side note of representing some of the early successes Van McCoy would have as a writer, with six of his compositions represented here, alongside the works of Johnny Otis, Jesse Belvin, Bob Elgin, Richard Gottehrer, and of course Knight & co themselves. (JM)

BARBARA LYNN Jamie 3906 The Jamie Singles Collection, 1962-1965 ● CD $25.98
2 CDs, 32 tracks, 75 mins, highly recommended
Beaumont Texas native Barbara Lynn is best known for her lone Pop hit from 1962 You'll Lose a Good Thing, which is unique for having been written the artist at a time when performers rarely wrote their own material. Lynn, also noteworthy for accompanying herself on guitar, was recorded by Texas legend Huey Meaux at Cosimo Matassa's studio in New Orleans. Although she hit pop only once, Lynn had a number of R&B chart hits including You're Gonna Need Me and Second Fiddle Girl. A solid compilation of one of R&B's lost talents. (GMC)

ROGER AND THE TRAVELERS Roger Rabbit 1001 Traveling Thru Time ● CD $17.98
30 tracks of white doo-wop and pop from various groups led by singer/ songwriter Roger Koob. His earliest group was the Premiers who started recording in 1958 and had some regional success with the novelty song Jolene. In 1962 they switched labels and changed their name to Roger & The Travelers to avoid confusion with another group called The Premiers. In 1963 they switched labels again and became The Frontiers and began performing in a more more pop oriented style. This compilation includes 16 previously unissued sides including several acapella performances and a couple of solo sides by Koob from the 70s.

THE SHIRELLES Ace CDCHD 1196 Tonight's The Night/ Sing To Trumpet And Strings ● CD $18.98
27 tracks, 64 mins, essential
There are a lot--I repeat, a lot--of shoddy Shirelles collections out there, the majority of which you should avoid; it's really been a shame that their catalog hadn't had a proper treatment. Thankfully, here come Ace records to the rescue. This is the first installment of an extensive re-issue project, one that will see the acts 8 Scepter records LPs released from 1961 - 1965, plus bonus tracks. With fantastic sound and providing booklets that are fully annotated, with scads of label and original reproductions, photos, and general paraphernalia. Each CD will feature two LPs in sequential order plus bonus tracks. For fans of the Girl Group sound, certainly the first two CDs, if not the full series, will be essential. Were the Shirelles the greatest of all of the Girl Groups? A case could easily be made; they sure had a lot of great songs. The first two albums featured here, "Tonight's The Night," and "The Shirelles Sing To Trumpets and Strings" (both from 1961) contain the hits like the splendid Tonight's The Night, the revolutionary Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, the poignant Dedicated To The One I Love, the Ringo-inspiring Boys, and the pragmatic Mama Said, next to great album tracks Lower The Flame/ Johnny On My Mind/ Unlucky/ I Don't Want To Cry/ My Willow Tree, and many more. Bonus tracks on this volume are Look A Here Baby/ Please Be My Boyfriend, and A Teardrop and A Lollipop. The only down side to this is the surprising lack of inclusion of the group's fantastic and successful first song I Met Him On A Sunday (Ronde, Ronde) which hopefully will find it's way onto the bonus of a later installment. (JM)

JOE TEX Shout 47 First On The Dial - Early Singles And Rare Gems ● CD $18.98
Soul man Joe Tex became a major star when Hold What You've Got took him into the U.S. Top 10 in 1965, and became the first of some 30 hit singles from his recording career on the Dial label, up to the time of his death in 1982. This compilation contains the 10 singles he recorded for Dial before his breakthrough-including Blood's Thicker Than Water a Northern Soul classic-as well as some hard to find bonus tracks.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Acrobat ACMCD 4318 Ember Doo Wop ● CD $15.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Complementing Acrobat 4249 (The Herald Doowop Story, Vol. 1 - $15.98) this great disc features 24 tracks recorded for Herald's sister label Ember which was originally founded by Jack Angel and Duke Ellington's son Mercer in 1953 and subsequently acquired by Herald. The label notched up three massive vocal group hits - the sublime ballad In The Still Of The Night and To The AisleGet A Job by The Silhouettes in 1958 (all included here). Although the label had no other big hits it issued a series of fine vocal group discs and this disc features 24 of them including more from the Five Satins plus sides by The Smoothtones, The Concords, Kenny Esquire & The Starlites, The Marktones, Boptones, Wonders and others. Excellent sound and booklet with informative notes by Bob Fisher. (FS)
THE BARRIES: Mary Ann/ Why Don't You Write Me/ THE BOPTONES: Be My Pussycat/ THE CAMELOTS: Pocahontas/ DAVE CLOWNEY BAND: Soft Lights/ THE COLONAIRES: Sandy/ THE CONCORDS: L'll Always Say Please/ THE EDSELS: Three Precious Words/ KENNY ESQUIRE & THE STARLITES: Pretty Brown Eyes/ THE FABULONS: Smoke From Your Cigarette/ THE FIVE SATINS: A Night To Remember/ I'll Be Seeing You/ In The Still Of The Night/ To The Aisle/ THE ILLUSIONS: Why Can't We Fall In Love/ THE MARKTONES: Hold Me Close/ THE MIFFLIN TRIPLETS: I Do I Do I Do/ THE PARAMOUNTS: In A Dream/ ROGER & THE TRAVELERS: You're Daddy's Little Girl/ THE SILHOUETTES: Get A Job/ Headin' For The Poor House/ THE SMOOTHTONES: Dear Diary/ THE STARLARKS: Fountain Of Love/ THE WONDERS: Hey Senorita

VARIOUS ARTISTS Acrobat 7009 Pig Iron, Washboards, Freight Trains & Kazoos ● CD $27.98
Four CD set with 120 tracks (!) features the most in-depth look at that peculiarly British popular music phenomenon - Skiffle. With it's home made, do it yourself ethos skiffle briefly rivaled rock 'n' roll and the hot, new teenage craze during 1956 and '57. This compilation features every major skiffle and all the genres big names along with lots of lesser known artists. Includes Lonnie Donegan, The Vipers Skiffle Group, Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group, City Ramblers, Alan Lomax & The Ramblers, Johnny Duncan & His Bluegrass Boys, Alexis Korner's Breakdown Group (with Cyril Davies), Johnny Parker's Washboard Band, Ken Colyer Skiffle Group, Bob Wallis' Washboard Beaters, Peggy Seeger with Guy Carawan, Beryl Bryden's Backroom Skiffle, The Clyde Valley Stompers and others. Includes 48 page booklet with extensive notes by Roger Dopson.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 16867 Sweet Soul Music - 31 Scorching Classics From 1961 ● CD $26.98
31 tracks, essential
Continuing where they left off with their Blowin' The Fuse compilations, Bear Family takes us into the golden age of Soul music, starting off at 1961, the year considered to be when R&B switched to being Soul, for this first installment and taking the tracks in basically chronological order by release date. A couple major artists like Sam Cooke and Ray Charles will not be featured in this series due to legal unavailability, but there is so much fine music collected here, you hardly notice. A major point of interest with this series over the previous would be that the tracks on here are from an era that hasn't been as widely comped yet, outside of collections by specific label. There are a lot of obvious big hits that are pretty easy to come by: Shop Around by the Miracles, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow The Shirelles, Gee Whiz Carla Thomas, Mother-in-Law Ernie K-Doe, etc. Then there are a bunch of songs that don't pop up nearly as often: Driving Wheel Little Junior Parker, Rainin' in My Heart Slim Harpo, Hide Away Freddy King, Last Night Mar-Keys, and so on. Ike & Tina, Solomon Burke, Jimmy Reed, The Drifters, Dee Clark, The Jarmels, plus many, many more greats are all here. Absolutely one fantastic tune after another, all wrapped up in the usual beautiful manner expected from Bear Family. I plan on getting all of the volumes in this series and I very enthusiastically recommend any or all of them. (JM)
BOBBY BLAND: Turn On Your Love Light/ MAXINE BROWN: All In My Mind/ SOLOMON BURKE: Just Out Of Reach (of My Two Open Arms)/ DEE CLARK: Raindrops/ FATS DOMINO: Let The Four Winds Blow/ LEE DORSEY: Ya Ya/ THE DRIFTERS: Some Kind Of Wonderful/ ROY HAMILTON: You Can Have Her/ SLIM HARPO: Rain'n In My Heart/ CLARENCE "FROGMAN" HENRY: (i Don't Know Why) But I Do/ THE IMPRESSIONS: Gypsy Woman/ CHUCK JACKSON: I Don't Want To Cry/ THE JARMELS: A Little Bit Of Soap/ THE JIVE FIVE: My True Story/ ERNIE K-DOE: Mother In Law/ CHRIS KENNER: I Like It Like That Part 1/ BEN E. KING: Stand By Me/ FREDDY KING: Hide Away/ GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS: Ever Beat Of My Heart/ BOBBY LEWIS: Tossin & Turnin/ THE MAR-KAYS: Last Night/ THE MARCELS: Blue Moon/ THE MARVELETTES: Please Mr. Postman/ THE MIRACLES: Shop Around/ LITTLE JUNIOR PARKER: Driving Wheel/ JIMMY REED: Big Boss Man/ SHEP & THE LIMELITES: Daddy's Home/ THE SHIRELLES: Will You Love Me Tomorrow/ CARLA THOMAS: Gee Whiz (look At His Eyes)/ IKE & TINA TURNER: It's Gonna Work Out Fine/ THE VIBRATIONS: The Watusi

VARIOUS ARTISTS BGP CDBGPD 183 SuperFunk Is Back, Rare & Classic Funk 1968-1977 ● CD $18.98
21 tracks, 67 min., highly recommended
The fifth volume in the excellent "SuperFunk" series definitely measures up to its predecessors in offering quality and rarity in pleasing amounts. One of the finest songs here, a horn-stabbed workout called Hi Off Life by The Eternal Flames, is also one of the rarest, in that only two copies of the 45 rpm are known to exist. That, along with the previously unreleased Can't Get Enough by 87th Off Broadway, the Miles Grayson instrumental Home Brew, and the Phillips Brothers' Little Boy Blue (also previously unreleased), would be enough reason to pick this collection up, but it's full of other solidly built temptations, including the maga-rare Give Me Another Chance by The Uniques--out of the 200 originally pressed 45s, only one is known to exist, and it recently sold on Ebay for about $3000--the totally obscure La May & Company performing Free The Soul Man on the S.P.Q.R. label, an alternate take of Dyke & The Blazers' Let A Woman Be A Woman - Let A Man Be A Man, and a funk surprise (Shake A Leg) from none other than Jackie Wilson, to name but a few. Good stuff worth working up a sweat over. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Collectables 7888 The Hits Of Harlem, Vol. 1 ● CD $13.98
14 tracks, recommended Complements the other recent CDs on Collectables by The Hearts, Jaynetts, etc, that focus on the career of Rhythm & Blues record mogul Zelma "Zell" Sanders. This is comprised of acts from her labels that probably couldn't handle a whole CD retrospective of their own, but certainly had at least a couple good songs each. This collection features strong tracks by The Plants, Climbers, Pre-teens, Bell Tones, and more. More importantly, though, are a couple great cuts with Baby Washington singing lead with The Plants. Quality sound, but minimal notes (pick up other volumes for full story). (JM)
CLARANCE ASHE & THE HEARTS: Dancing In a Dream World/ THE BELL TONES: I Love You Darling/ Merengue/ THE CLIMBERS: Angels In Heaven Know I Love You/ I Love You/ Train, Car, Boat or Plane/ THE KODAKS: Don't Want No Teasing/ THE PLANTS: Dear I Swear/ From Me/ I Search the Seven Seas/ My Girl/ THE PRE-TEENS: What Makes Me Love You Like I Do/ BABY WASHINGTON & THE PLANTS: Congratulations Honey/ There Must Be a Reason

VARIOUS ARTISTS Collectables 7889 The Hits Of Harlem, Vol. 2 ● CD $13.98
14 tracks, recommended
More tracks chronicling many of the productions of Zelma "Zell" Sanders and her many labels, J&S, Zells, etc. The Hearts have one on here I Want Your Love Tonight, and then one billed as Rita Zel & The Hearts. Along with other interesting tracks by The Plants, The Kodaks, Baby Washington, The Ascots etc. (JM)
THE ASCOTS: What Love Can Do/ THE CLIMBERS: My Darling Dear/ THE ENDEAVORS: Suffering With My Heart/ THE HEARTS: I Want Your Love Tonight/ THE KODAKS: I Look Up To The Sky/ THE PLANTS: I Took A Trip Way Over The Sea/ It's You/ THE PRE-TEENS: Pass It On/ BABY WASHINGTON: I Hate To See You Go/ Knock Yourself Out/ Been A Long Time Baby/ Every Day/ RITA ZEL & THE HEARTS: I Don't Understand You No More/ Need You To Hold Me

VARIOUS ARTISTS Documents 223007 Rhythm & Blues ● CD $19.98
After being out of print for a while this title is now available again. This very low priced 10 CD set with 200 tracks seems to be an abbreviated version of the now out of print two 15 CD sets "Rhythm & Blues Goes Rock 'n' Roll." A great collection of mostly up tempo blues, R&B and occasional doo-wop from the 40s and early 50s mixing familiar names like Jimmie Liggins, Little Walter , Tarheel Slim, Big Bill Broonzy, Big Maybelle, Lula Reed, Buddy Johnson, Lighnin' Hopkins and more with obscure artists like Pearl Reaves, Sheri Washington, Pork Chops, Nat Cool Cat, hank Moore, Jimmy Crawford, Sandra Grimes and others. Most tracks are available on other collections though a few are not available anywhere else. Sound quality is adequate though some tracks exhibit excessive digital noise reduction artifacts. Still, at this price, a few drawbacks are worth putting up with for a consistently entertaining collection and it's a good chance to get acquainted with artists you may not be familiar with.
THE 4 GATHORS: Wine O Wine/ JESSE ALLEN: Love Me Baby/ EDDIE ALSTON: I Just Can't Help It/ ELTON ANDERSON: I Love You/ JIMMY ANTHONY: Before Day In The Morning/ THE ARABIANS: Dog Wild/ LIL ARMSTRONG: Joogie Boogie/ BABY CURTIS: I Wanna/ LEE BARNES: Blues For What I Never Had/ PAUL BASCOMB: Mumbles Blues/ THE BEES: Tough Enough/ BIG MAYBELLE: Rockhouse/ BOBBY & RON: You're Mine/ JUKE BOY BONNER: Running Shoes/ EDDIE BOYD: Kilroy Won't Be Back/ BIG BILL BROONZY: Little City Woman/ B.B. BROWN: I Weep/ BUSTER BROWN: Sugar Babe/ HONEY BROWN: Rockin' & Jumpin'/ BROWN & BROOKS: Sleeping In An Ocean Of Tears/ MILT BUCKNER: Red Red Wine/ EDDIE BURNS: Hard Hearted Woman/ THE CARDINALS: Choo Choo/ WYNONA CARR: Touch & Go/ RICKY CHARLES: Hi Yo Silver/ CHARLIE & RAY: Oh Gee Oh Wee/ LEE CHRISTY: My Heart Goes Diddley Bum/ CHARLES CLARK: Hidden Charms/ EDDIE CLEARWATER: A Real Good Time/ JIMMY CRAWFORD: Till My Baby Comes Back/ ARTHUR CRUDUP: That's Alright Mama/ MARY DELOATCH: Straighten Him Out/ VARETTA DILLARD: Them Their Eyes/ FLOYD DIXON: Ooh Little Girl/ Wine Wine Wine/ JOHNNY DUKE: Oh Oh Mojo/ J.D. EDWARDS: Hobo/ ESTHER & WILLIE: Turn The Lights Down Low/ THE FAMOUS RENEGADES: Invasion/ H-BOMB FERGUSON: Rock H-bomb Rock/ FINNEY MO: Shake That Thing/ T.J. FOWLER: Tell Me What's The Matter/ JOHNNY FULLER: No More/ LOWELL FULSON: Baby Won't You Jump With Me/ Cold Hearted Woman/ Juke Box Shuffle/ G A S: Seven To Eleven/ DOC GADDY: Evil Man Blues/ GARLAND: Hello Miss Sims/ BILLY GARNER: Little Schoolgirl/ BILLY GAYLES: Do Right Baby/ GENE & EUNICE: I Gotta Go Home/ BABS GONZALES: House Rent Party/ She's Just Right For Me/ THE GOOD GUYS: Whoa Whoa/ CARRIE GRANT: Mish Mash/ RUDY GREENE: Wild Life/ JOHN GREER: Honey Why/ TONY GRIMES: Hey Now/ SANDRA GRIMMS: Hallelujah Rock & Roll/ BIG BOY GROVES: I Got A New Car/ GUITAR CRUSHER: I Got To Know/ FREDDIE HALL: She's An Upsetter/ LARRY HANNA: Good Lovin/ HARMONICA FATS: My Baby Didn't Come Home/ ERLINE HARRIS: Long Tall Papa/ PEPPERMINT HARRIS: The Blues Pick On Me/ WYNONIE HARRIS: I Want My Fanny Brown/ Teardrops From My Eyes/ BILL HEYMAN: I Want My Baby/ HOMESICK JAMES: Set A Date/ EDDIE HOPE: A Fool No More/ LIGHTNIN' HOPKINS: I'm Wild About You/ Movin' Out/ HOWLIN' WOLF: Down In The Bottom/ IVORY JOE HUNTER: I Like It/ BETTY JAMES: I'm A Little Mixed Up/ BOBO JENKINS: Tell Me Who/ DUKE JENKINS: The Duke Walks/ GEORGE JENKINS: Shufflin' Boogie/ GUS JENKINS: Slow Down/ LITTLE WILLIE JOHN: Leave My Kitten Alone/ BUDDY JOHNSON: Walk The Chalk Line/ LEMMY JOHNSON: Eatin' & Sleepin' Blues/ HARMON JONES: Pack Your Clothes/ OLIVER JONES: What I Say/ LOUIS JORDAN: Choo Choo Ch' Boogie/ JUMPIN' JAY: Come On Home/ THE KID: Booted/ PAUL KIMBLE: That Big Fat Mama/ JEWEL KING: 3 X 7 = 21/ WILLIE KING: Big Leg Woman/ KING PERRY: Come Back Baby/ Everything's Gonna Be Alright Tonight/ SONNY KNIGHT: But Officer/ ANNIE LAURIE: My Rough & Ready Man/ JOHN LEE: Rhythm Rockin' Boogie/ MARTY LEWIS: Satisfied With My Lovin'/ JIMMY LIGGINS: I Ain't Drunk/ Talking That Talk/ FRANK LINKENBERG: Ball Of Fire/ LITTLE ESTHER: It Ain't What You Say/ LITTLE WALTER: Roller Coaster/ LONESOME SUNDOWN: Mojo Man/ BOBBY LONG: Jersey City/ LORD TENNISON: The Dance/ LOUISIANA RED: Ride On Red/ BUDDY LUCAS: Night Train/ CHERRI LYNN: You're Money Ain't No Long Enough/ HERMAN MANZY: I'm Your Rockin' Man/ TEAM MATES: Crazy Baby/ CARL MATTHEWS: Big Man/ JOE MCCOY: Hey Loretta/ Too Much Going On/ JIMMY MCCRACKLIN: I Wanna Make Love To You/ She Felt Too Good/ BROWNIE MCGHEE: Anna Mae/ STICK MCGHEE: One Monkey Don't Stop The Show/ WALLY MERCER: Rock Around/ MERCY BABY: Pleadin'/ AMOS MILBURN: Let Me Go Home Whiskey/ THE MILLIONAIRES: Arkansas Jane/ ROY MILTON: Milton's Boogie/ BILLY MIRANDA: Go Ahead/ MISS BAKER: You'd Better Find/ MISTER RUFFIN: Bring It On Back/ WILLIE MITCHELL: Lizzie Lou/ MODEL T. SLIM: Shake Your Boogie/ HANK MOORE: Knock Kneed Rooster/ TOMMY MOORE: Your Car Machine/ WOO WOO MOORE: Something's Wrong/ JOE MORRIS: Beans & Corn Bread/ MR. BO: I'm Leaving This Town/ MR. GOOGLE: Oh What A Fool/ MR. RAIN: Who Dat/ MR. SAD HEAD: Sad Head Blues/ SAM MYERS: You Don't Have To Go/ NAT COOL CAT: Come By Here/ JIMMIE NELSON: Great Big Hunk Of Man/ THE NITERIDERS: Looking For My Baby/ ELMO NIXON: Forgive Me Baby/ JOHNNY OTIS: Court Room Blues/ Goomp Blues/ PAPA LIGHTFOOT: Jumpin' With Jarvis/ LOUIS PAYNE: That's Allright With Me/ PORK CHOPS: Everything Is Cool/ KING PORTER: Chitlin' Ball/ JIMMY PRESTON: Oh Babe/ PRINCE CH.: Come On Home/ PEARL REAVES: You Can't Stay Here/ LULA REED: Sick & Tired/ KING RHYTHM: Killer Diller/ EDDIE RIFF: My Baby's Gone Away/ THE ROCKETS: Big Leg Mama/ BUDDY ROGERS: Mad At You/ THE ROYALS: All Night Long/ JOAN SHAW: You Drive Me Crazy/ CHARLES SHEFFIELD: It's Your Voodoo Working/ Shoo Shoo Chicken/ THE SILHOUETTES: Miss Thing/ FRANKIE LEE SIMS: She Likes To Boogie Real Slow/ PIANO SLIM: Lot Of Shakin' Lot Of Jivin'/ L.J. SMITH: If It's Too Late/ SONNY & JAYCEE: You Keep On Doggin' Me/ STOMP GORDON: The Grind/ JESSE STONE: Runaway/ THE SULTANS: You Got Me Goin'/ TARHEEL SLIM: Number Nine Train/ LEON TARVER: Somebody Help Me/ DANNY TAYLOR: You Look Bad/ JOE TEX: You Upset My Home/ BLANCHIE THOMAS: You Ain't So Such A Much/ JESSE THOMAS: It's You I'm Thinking Of/ KID THOMAS: Wolf Pack/ RUFUS THOMAS: Decorate The Counter/ Easy Livin' Plan/ BIG MAMA THORNTON: You Did Me Wrong/ THE THRILLS: I Ain't Got The Money/ JOE TURNER: Long Down Dog/ Mad Blues/ My Gal's A Jockey/ Rocket Boogie 88/ Sally Zu Zazz/ Wine-o-baby/ EDDIE VINSON: Gonna Send You Back/ CHARLES WALKER: You Know It Ain't Right/ WALKIN' WILLIE: Bow Little Willie/ WASHBOARD SAM: Never Never/ SHERI WASHINGTON: Ain't Talkin' To You Baby/ MOJO WATSON: Look A There/ WEBSTER & CONROY: Baby Baby/ JUNIOR WELLS: Little By Little/ BOB WILLIAMS: Talk To Me/ CHARLES WILLIAMS: So Worried/ EARL WILLIAMS: Let's Make Love Tonight/ L.C. WILLIAMS: Shout Baby Shout/ ARTIE WILSON: Tarzan/ HOP WILSON: Chicken Stuff/ BILLY WRIGHT: Man's Brand Boogie/ JOHNNY WRIGHT: Look At That Chick

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 293 Blame It On The Dogg: The Swamp Dogg Anthology, 1968-78 ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 76 mins, essential
Although it's gonna take more than one CD to fully document the career of mad genius Jerry Williams, aka Swamp Dogg (and that's just his own recordings, never mind the people he's produced over the years), this comp from Kent makes a good try at it. While other Kent CDs featuring the Dogg's productions have tended to focus on the ladies he's worked with (e.g. Doris Duke and Irma Thomas), this disc shows the full breadth of his production abilities: ranging from one of Gene Pitney's last hits, 1968's uncharacteristically hard rockin' She's a Heartbreaker, to Inez & Charlie Foxx's 1967 chart hit (1-2-3-4-5-6-7) Count the Days to I Need a Woman of My Own, a funky jam from balladeer Tommy Hunt. If nothing else, these aforementioned tracks demonstrate the Dogg's knack for breathing life into artists that others might have given up for dead and done; in addition, the Drifters, Gary US Bonds (long before Bruce Springsteen brought him back to the charts in the 80's), and Patti LaBelle & the Blue Belles (soon to be known simply as LaBelle) all got the Dogg makeover treatment that produced ravishing music, if no hits (which was not the Dogg's fault, by the way). Bonus: under his real name Swamp Dogg shows off his rarely heard tender side on towering ballad You Man. The CD is worth the price for this track alone, but everything here is fantastic music, and the liner notes (which clear up a lot of mystery surrounding the Dogg's late 60's/early 70's activities) make this package near perfect. Just one thing: next time, guys, how about giving us two CDs worth? (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 295 Northern Soul's Classiest Rarities 3 ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 61 mins, recommended
Here's volume 3 in Kent's Northern Soul's Classiest Rarities series, which contains more odds and sods of R&B released between 1960 and 1969 (and the usual couple of unreleased tidbits). If you already own any Northern soul collection, then you know what to expect from this one: some good (Cry it Out Baby by Deana Lucas; His True Love For You by Al McCarther), some great (I Won't Cry by Tommy Smiley; Can't Break the Habit (Of Your Love) by Frankie Vance) and some beyond great (ZZ Hill's boogaloo through Tim Hardin's Don't Make Promises [You Can't Keep]). You know the score, so buy accordingly. (GMC)
'ORIGINALS' OF SIGHT & SOUNDS: Long Boots/ LARRY ATKINS: Ain't That Love Enough/ FRANK DELL: Baby You've Got It/ DON & RON: I'm So So Sorry/ CHARLES DRAIN: Stop And Think About It Baby/ EDDIE & ERNIE: Indication/ DARROW FLETCHER: What Have I Got Now/ THE FLOWERS: Got To Get To Know You/ THE GILLETTES: The Same Identical Thing/ HARVEY & THE SEVEN SOUNDS: Glamour Girl/ ZZ HILL: Don't Make Promises (You Can't Keep)/ ANN HODGE: You're Welcome Back/ TY KARIM: You Really Made It Good To Me/ DEANA LUCAS: Cry It Out Baby/ AL MCCARTHER: His True Love For You/ BROOKS O'DELL: The Heartless One/ PAT POWDRILL & THE POWERDRILLS: Together Forever/ THE QUOTATIONS: I Don't Have To Worry/ LOU ROBERTS & THE MARKS: You Fooled Me/ THE SERVICEMEN: Connie/ TOMMY SMILEY: I Won't Cry/ PAUL SMITH: I'll Run/ THE SOUL BROTHERS: Later For You/ FRANKIE VANCE: Can't Break The Habit (Of Your Love)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Numero 020 Eccentric Soul - The Tragar & Note Labels ● CD $28.98
2CD, 50 tracks, 128 mins, recommended
The gang at Numero Records is at it again with this collection of extremely rare soul from Atlanta labels Tragar and Note, both formed, in 1968 and 1971 respectively, by saxophone player Jesse Jones. Neither of the labels produced anything approaching a hit, but these tracks represent the first attempts of releasing locally produced and distributed music from the ATL. These tracks, recorded between 1968 and 1977, represent the rarest of the rare Southern R&B that documents a time and place that shouldn't be forgotten or ignored. Eula Cooper was the "star" of Jones' stables; this teenager had the goods to go national but never got the breaks needed. Just listen to Heavenly Father for the proof. (GMC)
CHERRY BLEND: Love is Gone/ RICHARD COOK: Love is So Mean/ Somebody Got' a Help Me/ EULA COOPER: Beggars Can't Be Choosey/ Have Faith In Me/ Heavenly Father/ I Can't Help If I Love You/ I Need You More/ Let Our Love Grow Higher/ Love Makes Me Do Foolish Things/ Shake Daddy Shake/ Standing By Love/ That's How Much I Love You/ Try/ L. DANIELS: Nite Cap/ TEE FLETCHER: All Because of You/ Down In the Country/ Would You Do It For Me/ THE FOUR TRACKS: Charade/ You Mean Everything To Me/ FRANKIE & ROBERT: Love (It's Been So Long)/ Sweet Thing/ SANDY GAYE: Talk is Cheap/ Watch the Dog That Bring the Bone/ J.J. JONES: Black Midnight/ I Can't Stand It/ THE KNIGHTS: The Hump/ Tippings Strings/ LANGSTON: Tumbling Down/ Let's Get Funky/ TOKAY LEWIS: What Can the Matter Be/ Who Wants Me Now/ BOBBY OWENS & THE DIPLOMATS: Messing Around/ SONIA ROSA: Breaking My Heart/ Every Now and Then/ Let Me Be Free/ ALICE SWOBODA: I Think It's Time (You Were Mine)/ Potters Field/ FRANCIENE THOMAS: I'll Be There/ Too Beautiful To Be Good/ CHUCK WILDER: The Clown/ Why/ NATHAN WILKES: Now That I'm Wise/ Strange Feeling/ ANDREA WILLIAMS: Love Makes Me Do Foolish Things/ BILLY WRIGHT: You Got a Spell On Me/ You're the Only Thing I've Got Going For Me/ YOUNG DIVINES: Ain't Tha Sharp/ Deep In Your Heart/ I'll Show You With Love

VARIOUS ARTISTS Spectrum 530 370-5 Stax Chartbusters, Volume 1 ● CD $10.98
18 tracks, highly recommended
Stax Records needs no introduction to fans of soul music: the Memphis rival to Motown and Atlantic during the sixties is responsible for some of the most memorable, gutsy, and moving music ever created. This budget priced compilation, the first in a series, merely touches the iceberg of the Stax vaults, but many of tracks made the R&B charts including definitive tracks from Jean Knight (Mr. Big Stuff), the late Isaac Hayes (Theme From Shaft), Mel & Tim (Starting All Over Again), The Staple Singers (Respect Yourself, from their protest phase), and Johnnie Taylor (Part-Time Love) the CD has a lot going for it. Rounded out with tracks by Stax mainstays Booker T. & the M.G.s, Rufus Thomas, The Bar-Kays, and Carla Thomas-as well as bluesmen Albert King and Little Milton-this collection of tunes from the 60's and 70's demonstrates the consistency and class that was Stax in its heyday. Remastering is superb and the booklet has notes on the artists and performances. (GMC/ FS)
THE BAR-KAYS: Do You See What I See/ BOOKER T & THE MG'S: Born Under A Bad Sign/ THE DRAMATICS: Get Up And Get Down/ ISAAC HAYES: Joy (part 1)/ Theme [shaft]/ ALBERT KING: That's What The Blues Is All About/ JEAN KNIGHT: Mr Big Stuff/ LITTLE MILTON: Hard Luck Blues/ THE MAD LADS: Cry Baby/ MEL & TIM: Starting All Over Again/ THE SOUL CHILDREN: Sweeter He Is (part 1)/ THE STAPLE SINGERS: Respect Yourself/ We'll Get Over/ JOHNNIE TAYLOR: Part Time Love/ Standing In For Jody/ THE TEMPREES: Your Love (is All I Need)/ CARLA THOMAS: I Play For Keeps/ RUFUS THOMAS: Breakdown (part 1)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Spectrum 530 334-4 Stax Chartbusters, Volume 2 ● CD $10.98
The second volume is another fine collection of hits along great titles that didn't quite make it. Includes sides by Shirley Brown, Albert King, Jean Knight, The Mad Lads, The Staple Singers, The Bar-Kays, Carla Thomas, Johnnie Taylor and others.
THE BAR-KAYS: Grab This Thing/ WILLIAM BELL: I Forgot To Be Your Lover/ BOOKER T & THE MG'S: Soul Limbo/ SHIRLEY BROWN: Woman To Woman/ THE DRAMATICS: Fell For You/ ISAAC HAYES: By The Time I Get To Phoenix/ Man Will Be A Man/ ALBERT KING: Killing Floor/ JEAN KNIGHT: Take Him (you Can Have My Man)/ LITTLE MILTON: How Could You Do It To Me/ THE MAD LADS: I Just Can't Forget/ MEL & TIM: Don't Mess With My Money My Honey Or My Woman/ THE SOUL CHILDREN: Hearsay/ THE STAPLE SINGERS: Heavy Makes You Happy (sha Na Boom Boom)/ Weight/ JOHNNIE TAYLOR: Can't Trust Your Neighbour/ Steal Away/ CARLA THOMAS: I Take It To My Baby

VARIOUS ARTISTS Yellow Label 42762 The Giant Records Story - Rockin' From Nashville ● CD $16.98
Yellow Label is a companion to Blue Label and while the latter features blues, R&B and gospel, this label concentrates on rock 'n' roll, pop R&B and country. This collection os devoted to the Nashville based Giant label and its Caravelle & Kenilworth subsidiaries. These labels concentrated on "soundalike" recordings featuring obscure artists performing mostly note-for-note covers of current and recent hits that were sold at a much lower price than the real thing - often in packages of three 45s for $1.00. This collection includes Marty & The Merits doing Twist Twist Senora, The Belles with If You Wanna Be Happy, Leroy Jones with the Peppermint Twist, Bill Allison with Shout and others. There are a couple of tracks that are not covers and occasionally the performer will veer away from the note-for-note approach to provide a more individualistic take on the song

JACKIE WILSON Music Club Deluxe 22 Best Of The Original Soul Brother ● CD $18.98
2-CDs, 40 tracks 114 mins highly recommended
Very little needs to be said about Jackie Wilson: second lead singer of Billy Ward's Dominos, who went solo with great success in 1957 and remained a top R&B star until his devastating stroke in 1975. This modestly priced two Cd set on Music Club contains his best known Pop hit (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher and a generous sampling of his career from first hit Reet Petite to tracks from the end of his career, including one recorded with the Chi-Lites (released in 1976) Don't Burn No Bridges. The nice packaging, reasonable price and great sound quality make up for the random, non-chronological sequencing of the tracks. A great way to check a legendary talent. (GMC)


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