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Rhythm & Blues, Soul & Doo-Wop
Carla Thomas -> Al Wilson





CARLA THOMAS Stax 30328 Live At The Bohemia Caverns ● CD $11.98
15 tracks, 62 mins, highly recommended
Carla Thomas was the first lady of Stax Records and the Queen of Memphis Soul during the '60s, and this never-before released live album-recorded in Washington D.C. on May 25th, 1967-shows her wanting to expand her musical horizons into Tin Pan Alley pop and Jazz standards. With a band organized and led by Donny Hathaway, Thomas lets rip on everything from You're Gonna Hear From Me (originally featured in the film "Inside Daisy Clover") to Jorge Ben's Brazilian hit Mas Que Nada to A Lot of Livin' to Do (from Broadway musical "Bye Bye Birdie"). While she doesn't ignore her hits Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes) and B-A-B-Y, and while it's also clear that she's no Ella Fitzgerald or Nancy Wilson, Thomas does give it her all on the show-tunes in a way that proved she was sincere, and gives an engaging performance in spite of her lack of technique. Although the last five tracks feature her father Rufus Thomas (recorded at the same performance, after she had finished), this is truly Carla's show all the way. The packaging, liner notes and sound are excellent, of course, but it's worth noting that these recordings were supposed to have been released on Stax in 1967, but for some reason the label pulled the album at the last minute. The trajectory of Thomas' career might have been vastly different if these recordings had been released, but we now have them to treasure and to make one think what could have been. (GMC)

IRMA THOMAS S.D.E.G. 1963 Swamp Dogg Presents The Two Phases Of Irma Thomas ● CD $14.98
21 tracks, highly recommended
The title represents two versions of the same recordings that Swamp Dogg cut with the Queen of New Orleans R&B Irma Thomas, the first eleven tracks are the ones Dogg cut with Irma in 1973, which was released on a small label as the album "In Between Tears." But Dogg wasn't happy with the way the record turned out, so he revamped the same tracks in 1993-adding new backing tracks to the existing recordings-the results of which were released as the album "Turn My World Around." Both albums are here for the discerning listener to decide whether Dogg was right to tamper with history or wrong to mess with his (and Irma's) art. The choice is yours. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1178 Twist And Shout - The Bert Berns Story, Vol. 1 ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, 66 mins, highly recommended
When he's remembered at all, Bert Berns is recalled as the man who recorded early Van Morrison and Neil Diamond, but he did much more than that during his relatively short career: he was a songwriter, a singer, a producer, and a record company mogul. With this collection, Ace Records has set out to preserve Berns' legacy as a 60's renaissance man, and they do an admirable job, pulling together his early 60's hits as a song writer (the Jarmels ' A Little Bit of Soap), producer (Solomon Burke's Cry To Me, the Isley Brothers' Twist and Shout), and performer (the convincingly soulful You'd Better Come Home, as Russell Byrd). This CD cherry picks Berns' greatest sides as songwriter/producer, but still manages to include seminal songs like 1964's My Girl Sloopy by The Vibrations (retooled as Hang On Sloopy by the McCoys a year later), Killer Joe by the Rocky Fellers, and Lulu's original version of Here Comes the Night. Berns' productions during this time were mostly for Atlantic Records, and his style seemed to fall in between the sophisticated R&B of Leiber and Stoller and adventurousness of Phil Spector, as evidenced by his tracks with Burke, Ben E. King, and the Drifters. One could quibble about the lack of some of Berns' better known hits on the collection: where's the first by Them (with Van Morrison), Baby Please Don't Go, for example? But these are minor points when the songs chosen show off Berns' eclectic tastes, and love of R&B. With notes that recall Berns' story and detail each song on the compilation, the CD does its job of showing the world what a forgotten genius Bert Berns was, and I can't wait for Vol. 2. (GMC)
SOLOMON BURKE: Cry To Me/ RUSSELL BYRD: You'd Better Come Home/ LITTLE JIMMY DEE: I Should Have Listened/ THE DRIFTERS: One Way Love/ GIL HAMILTON: Tell Her/ ROY HAMILTON: You Can Count On Me/ BETTY HARRIS: I'll Be A Liar/ THE HOCKADAYS: Hold On Baby/ THE ISLEY BROTHERS: Twist And Shout/ THE JARMELS: A Little Bit Of Soap/ MARV JOHNSON: Come On And Stop/ BEN E. KING: Gypsy/ HOAGY LANDS: Lighted Windows/ RUTH MCFADDEN: Pencil & Paper/ GARNET MIMMS: Look Away/ GENE PITNEY: If I Didn't Have A Dime (To Play The Jukebox)/ JIMMY RADCLIFFE: Moment Of Weakness/ AUSTIN TAYLOR: Push Push/ MEL TORME: You Can't Love 'Em All/ SAMMY TURNER: Pour It On/ THE WANDERERS: You Can't Run Away From Me

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCH 1179 On With The Jive! 1950s R&B From Dolphin's Of Hollywood ● CD $18.98
The first of several planned volumes that will revisit the catalogue of the late R&B entrepreneur John Dolphin concentrates on rare and unissued material that he produced for the first of his many record labels, Recorded In Hollywood, in the early 1950s. Chock full of familiar Los Angeles names (Pee Wee Crayton, Jesse Belvin, Tonny Allen, Scatman Crothers, Red Callender etc) and introduced by legendary R&B DJ (and sometime Dolphin employee) 'Huggy Boy', this is as representative a selection of West Coast black music of the pre-rock 'n' roll era as you'll find.
TONY ALLEN: You're A Mean And Evil Woman (take 2)/ I'm Knocking On The Door (take 2)/ JESSE BELVIN: Hang Your Tears Out To Dry/ My Love Comes Tumbling Down/ LITTLE CAESAR: Cadillac Baby (take 2)/ RED CALLENDER SEXTET (THE): Blues/ RED CALLENDER SEXTET: Dolphin's Theme (take 1)/ Rock Bottom (take 2)/ PEE WEE CRAYTON: Crying And Walking (take 1)/ Forgive Me (take 2)/ Pee Wee's Blues AKA Pappy's Blues (take 2)/ SCAT MAN CROTHERS: Beale Street On Saturday Night (take 3)/ Easy Money (take 1)/ Papa (I Don't Treat That Little Girl Mean)/ LINDA HAYES: Atomic Baby (take 1)/ Darkest Hour (take 3)/ What's It To You Jack/ DICK 'HUGGY BOY' HUGG: Dolphin's Radio Jingle/ MAGGIE JACQUET: Tall Tan Baby (take 1)/ Three Men In My Life (take 1)/ LITTLE CAESAR: You Can't Bring Me Down/ MARVIN PHILLIPS: Baby Doll (take 1)/ My Baby Won't Let Me In (take 1)/ Sun Was Shining (take 1)/ UNKNOWN: Blues Has Got Me (take 1)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Blue Label 49802 Champions OF R&B ● CD $16.98
18 tracks, recommended
SPV's Blue Label has done an excellent job of documenting the Nashville R&B scene of the 50's and 60's-The Rich Records Story, Bullet Records Blues, Bullet Records R&B, and The Rogana Story are just a few of Blue Label's superb compilations. Now the label brings us a collection of recent recordings by some of the former stars of Jefferson Street: Roscoe Shelton, James Nixon, Freddie Waters, Charles Walker, Larry LaDon, Johnny Jones, Earl Gaines, Clifford Curry, Al Garner, and Herbert Hunter. Although some liner note documentation of when the tracks were recorded and who played on them would have been nice, it is good to see these legendary musicians haven't stopped doing what they love. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Collectables 0257 The Encyclopedia Of Doo Wop ● CD $37.98
Four CD set, 100 tracks, very highly recommended
If you don't have very much doo-wop this is a great place to start since it includes many of the greatest all time classics from the 50s and early 60s like In The Still Of The Night by The Five Satins, Come Go With Me by The Dell Vikings, Rama Lama Ding Dong by The Edsels, Church Bells May Ring by The Willows, There's A Moon Out Tonight by The Capris, Stay by Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs, Tonight Tonight by The Mello-Kings, When You Dance by The Turbans and loads more along with great lesser known sides by The Quinns, Veltones, DuMauriers, REvalons, Cinerams, Duvals, Monarchs, Ladders, etc. Great sound thanks to remastering from original master tapes by Little Walter DeVenne. Too bad there are no notes at all but it is the music that counts. (FS)
LEE ANDREWS & THE HEARTS: Long Lonely Nights/ Teardrops/ Try The Impossible/ THE AVALONS: Heart's Desire/ What's Wrong/ THE BALITNEERS: Moments Like This/ THE BELMONTS: Tell Me Why/ THE BOP-CHORDS: Castle In The Sky/ When I Woke Up This Morning/ THE BOSS TONES: Mope-Itty Mope/ THE CAMELOTS: Don't Leave Me Baby/ THE CAPITOLS: Angel Of Love/ THE CAPRIS (GOTHAM): God Only Knows/ THE CAPRIS (OLD TOWN): There's A Moon Out Tonight/ THE CARNATIONS: Long Tall Girl/ THE CHALETS: Fat Fat Fat Mom Mi O/ THE CHANNELS: Bye Bye Baby/ The Closer You Are/ THE CHARTS: Deserie/ THE CHIMES: Once In Awhile/ THE CINERAMAS: Life Can Be Beautiful/ THE CLASSICS: Cinderella/ Til Then/ THE CLICKETTES: Lover's Prayer/ THE COLLEGIANS: Let's Go For A Ride/ Zoom Zoom Zoom/ THE CONTINENTALS: Dear Lord/ THE CRESTS: My Juanita/ Sweetest One/ THE DANLEERS: One Summer Night/ THE DELL VIKINGS: Come Go With Me/ Whispering Bells/ THE DELTAIRES: Lullabye Of The Bells/ THE DU MAURIERS: All Night Long/ THE DUPONTS (FEATURING LITTLE ANTHONY): You/ THE DUVALS: You Came To Me/ THE EBONAIRES: Love Call/ THE EDSELS: Rama Lama Ding Dong/ THE ELCHORDS: Peppermint Stick/ THE FABULAIRES: While Walking/ THE FIVE SATINS: In The Still Of The Night/ To The Aisle/ Wonderful Girl/ THE HARMONAIRES: Lorraine/ THE HARPTONES: My Memories Of You/ Sunday Kind Of Love/ THE HEARTBEATS: Tormented/ THE HIDE-A-WAYS: Can't Help Loving That Girl Of Mine/ JACKIE & THE STARLITES: Valarie/ THE JESTERS: The Wind/ THE JIVE FIVE: My True Story/ What Time Is It/ THE KODAKS: Oh Gee Oh Gosh/ Teenager's Dream/ THE LADDERS: Counting The Stars/ THE LOVE-NOTES: United/ LEWIS LYMON & THE TEENCHORDS: Honey Honey/ I'm So Happy/ THE MELLO KINGS: Tonight, Tonight/ THE MELLO-MOODS: Where Are You/ THE MONARCHS: Always Be Faithful/ Pretty Little Girl/ THE MOONGLOWS: I Just Can't Tell No Lies/ THE NOBELS: Poor Rock And Roll/ THE NUTMEGS: Ship Of Love/ Story Untold/ THE PARAGONS: Florence/ Let's Start All Over Again/ THE PYRAMIDS: Ankle Bracelet/ THE QUINNS: Hong Kong/ Oh, Starlight/ THE RAINBOWS: Mary Lee/ THE REVALONS: Dreams Are For Fools/ LITTLE BOBBY RIVERA & THE HEMLOCKS: Cora Lee/ THE ROCKETONES: Mexico/ THE ROULETTES: I See A Star/ THE SCARLETS: Cry Baby/ Dear One/ THE SHEPPARDS: Island Of Love/ THE SILHOUETTES: Bing Bong/ Get A Job/ THE STARLARKS: Fountain Of Love/ THE SUPERIORS: Lost Love/ THE TOKENS: Doom Lang/ Tonight I Fell In Love/ While I Dream/ THE TURBANS: Congraulations/ Sister Sookey/ When You Dance/ THE VANGUARDS: Moonlight/ THE VELTONES: I Need You So/ Now/ THE VELVETS: I/ THE VERSATONES: Bila/ THE VIDEOS: Trickle, Trickle/ THE VOCALEERS: Is It A Dream/ THE WHEELS: My Heart's Desire/ THE WHISPERS: Are You Sorry/ MAURICE WILLIAMS & THE ZODIACS: Stay/ THE WILLOWS: Church Bells May Ring

VARIOUS ARTISTS Crystal Ball 1082 Rarest Of The Rare - From The Beginnings, Vol. 1 ● CD $17.98
27 tracks, 72 mins
The folks at Crystal Ball bring us more R&B vocal group obscurities to savor: with no liner notes, there's no telling when this music was recorded, but I'd guess the late 50's/early 60's. The sound quality ranges from passable to good, but if names like The Radars, the Flames, The Carols, the Bluebirds, the Five Embers, the Melotones, the Four Chords, the Five Dukes of Rhythm, and the Twilighters ring a bell, or if vocal group R&B is a passion, or if label names like Gem, Abbey, Rendezvous, Lee Tone or Selective mean anything, then this CD is for you. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Doo-Wop 036 Super Rare Doo-Wops, Vol. 1 ● CD $17.98
30 doo-wop rarities - about 50% new to CD
SANDY BLAIR: When the Bells Stop Ringing/ LEADELL BROWN: My Destiny/ JOE CALDWELL & THE MAJESTICS: How Long Will It Last/ TOMMY CULLINS: Land of Love/ STEVE DUMANE: Teenage Rose/ ETTA & AMELIA: Dry Your Eyes/ Teenage Boy/ RAY FRAZIER & THE SHARPS: My Son/ AUBREY GARRETT: Foolish Questions/ THE HI TONES: That's All I Want To Do/ THE IDOLS: Tell Me/ RALPH JEROME: And I Cried/ PHIL JOHNSON & THE DUVALS: Yes I Do/ THE LARKS: I Need You/ BOBBY LEWIS: You Even Forgot My Name/ NATHAN MCKENNEY: Soldier Boy/ JOE MUSENGALE: Only One Girl/ THE NORELKOS: The Way You Came To Me/ THE PYRAMIDERS: Don't Ever Leave Me/ How It Feels/ JOHNNY SABLAN: Will She Agree To Go Steady/ THE SANDETTES: Cutting Silhouettes/ THE SWINGING HEARTS: Something Made Me Stop Shopping Around/ THE TEAM MATES: In My Dreams/ THE TIDES: Who Told You/ THE TONE BLENDERS: I Thank Heaven/ I'm In Love With You/ JIMMY VELVIT: Wisdom of a Fool/ LEWIS WEBER: Judy/ RAY WILLIAMS & MASTERTONES: I Want To Know

VARIOUS ARTISTS Doo-Wop 037 Super Rare Doo-Wops, Vol. 2 ● CD $17.98
30 more rare do-wop delights
JIMMY ANCRUM & CAVALIERS: The Magic of 16/ ROGER BALLIN: Why/ THE BLUE DOTS: My Very Own/ DANNY BRIKTA: Sweet Little Angel/ THE BY STANDERS: Lucky To Have Your Love/ JOE CALDWELL & THE MAJESTICS: Make Up Your Mind/ JOHNNY CARL: Tell Me/ MARK CAVELL & THE CLASSMATES: I See It/ THE CHANTS: The Graveyard Hop/ THE CHARTS: What's Your Excuse/ THE DELFI'S: Worthless Love/ THE ELECTRONAIRES: One Lonely Night/ THE FOUR KNIGHTS: La La/ Tic Toc/ THE GLENS: Image of Love/ THE IDOLS: The Stars Will Remember/ JIMMY & WAYNE: Magic of Her Love/ JOHNSON & THE DUVALS: Wanna Be Free/ DANNY KENT: It's All Over/ BILLY KENT & THE ANDANTES: Your Love/ LITTLE JOHN & THE SHERWOODS: King of the World/ RICKY NORTH: The Angels Bring Me Dreams/ NICK PACE & THE PACERS: I'm In Love With a Girl/ LOU ROBERTS: My Promise To You/ THE SANDETTES: Without You/ THE STORMS: I Only Need To Think of You/ THE TWIGGS: Red Cap/ BILLY WALKINS: I'm Somebody's Love/ BEN E. WILLIAMS & DEL RAYS: Nay Oy Swor/ ZIP & THE ZIPPERS: Where You Going Little Boy

VARIOUS ARTISTS DW CD 01 Northern Soul vs Doo-Wop ● CD $17.98
24 tracks, 60 min, recommended
The whole deal feels budget: poor cover design, no notes whatsoever, and sound quality that is less than audiophile and leaves much to be desired much of the time. Even the concept seems faulty. So-called Northern soul and doo-wop are not exactly brothers--cousins maybe--not exactly competing for the same audience, for the most part. Much of the music here is obscure and otherwise prohibitively expensive. For example the Chesterfields' Drifters-influenced You Walked Away is a mega-rare 45 rpm (Philips 40060), as is the Blenders Graveyard (AFO 305) from 1962. Other wallet killers include The Upfronts' Baby, For Your Love (Lummtone 108), Ronnie & the Manhattans' Long Time No See (Enjoy 2008), The Elgins' Street Scene (Valiant 712), the Drapers' You Got To Look Up (Gee 1081), which is also among the better tracks, and many others. A cost-effective approach for the hardcore fan of either genre. (JC)
THE ASCOTS: She Did/ THE ATLANTICS: Let Me Call You Sweetheart/ THE AVALONS: Many Things From Your Window/ THE BISHOPS: Out of Sight/ THE BLENDELLS: Dance With Me/ THE BLENDERS: Graveyeard/ THE CHELLOWS: Be My Baby/ THE CHESTERFIELDS: You Walked Away/ THE CLEFTONES: There She Goes/ THE CONCEPTS: Sad Little Boy/ JONNY DOLLAR: His Eyes/ THE DRAPERS: You Got To Look Up/ DUPRESS FEATURING JOEY VANN: So Little Time/ THE ELGINS: Finding A Sweetheart/ Street Scene/ THE FIVE SATINS: Your Memory/ POOKIE HUDSON & THE SPANIELS: (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons/ THE PERSIANS: (When You Said) Let's Get Married/ RONNIE & THE MANHATTANS: Long Time No See/ THE SENORS: May I Have This Dance/ THE SNOWMEN: You Started It/ THE TAMS: You'll Never Know/ THE UPFRONTS: Baby For Your Love/ THE VISIONS: Secret World (Of Tears)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Dynamite DGS 142 Dynamite Group Sounds, Vol. 42 ● CD $17.98
Fine 26 track collection of rare doo-wop. Most of the tracks have been out before but as usual for this series the quality is high.
LEE ANDREWS & THE HEARTS: A Night Like Tonight/ ANDY & THE MARGLOWS: I'll Get By/ THE AVALONS: You Do Something To Me/ THE AVONS: A Girl To Call My Own/ BRIAN BRENT & THE CUT OUTS: For Eternity/ WANDA BURT & GROUP: Mr. Dee-Jay/ THE CORVAIRS: What'cha Gonna Do/ THE DANDERLIERS: May God Be With You/ THE DEL-CHORDS: Say That You Love Me/ BO DIDDLEY & FLAMINGOS: You Know I Love You/ THE FORTUNES: Tarnished Angel/ BOBBY HALL & THE KINGS: You Never Knew/ THE IMPACTS: Darling, No You're Mine/ JEANNIE & HER BOYFRIENDS: It's Me Knockin'/ JOHNNY & THE THUNDERBIRDS: They Say/ EMMET LORD & GROUP: Turn Him Down/ ARTHUR LEE MAYE: Truly/ THE PLURALS: Goodnight/ BOBBY SMITH & THE SPINNERS: Too Young, Too Much, Too Soon/ CHORD THE SPINNERS: Call Me/ THE SQUIRES: Joyce/ PHIL TERRELL & GROUP: Can I Come In/ TONY & THE TWILITERS: Be My Girl (Woodpecker Song)/ THE VERSATONES: Hold Me Lover/ WILL WENDEL & THE AKTONES: Lover/ THE WONDERS: I Wonder

VARIOUS ARTISTS Dynamite DGS 143 Dynamite Group Sounds, Vol. 43 ● CD $17.98
26 more fine and obscure sides from the 50s and early 60s plus one from 1948 (a version of the ever popular Bewildered) by The James Quintet. Includes The Fabulous Five Flames, Limelighters, Charters, Royaltones, Ella Fitzgerald & Group (an interesting cover of the Four Fellows Soldier Boy), The Admirals and more.
THE ADMIRALS: Left With a Broken Heart/ WINI BROWN & HER BOYFRIENDS: Here In My Heart/ THE CHARTERS: My Rose/ THE CRESCENTS: Ill Make a Vow/ THE FABULOUS FIVE FLAMES: Lonely Lover/ ELLA FITZGERALD & GROUP: Soldier Boy/ THE FOUR BARS: If I Give My Heart To You/ THE HEPTONES: Anna Bell/ THE HI-LITES: Please Believe I Love You/ THE JAMES QUINTET: Bewildered/ THE L'CAPTANS: The Bells Ring Out/ THE LIMELIGHTERS: Love Conquers All/ THE MARQUEES: That's the Way I Feel/ THE MARVELLOS: You're the Dream/ THE MONTCLAIRS: Lisa/ EARL NELSON & THE PELICANS: I Bow To You/ THE OVATIONS: The Day We Fell in Love/ THE PARISIANS: On the Sunny Side of the Street/ BERLIN PERRY & THE GLEAMS: Put That Teardrop Back/ THE ROYALTONES: Hey Norman/ THE SINNERS: Could This Be You/ THE TEEN KINGS: The Greatest Wish/ THE VALTONES: Have You Ever Met an Angel/ THE VAN DYKES: Come on Baby/ THE VERSATILES: Crying/ THE VIDALTONES: Someone To Love

VARIOUS ARTISTS Jazzman 15 Good Things - The Story Of Saadia Records ● CD $18.98
10 Tracks, 28 mins, recommended
In a short-but-sweet under 30 minutes, the early history of Miami funk is presented on this fine compilation from London's Jazzman label. Saadia Records was the product of a partnership between saxophonist/bandleader Frank Williams and celebrated guitarist Willie "Little Beaver" Hale, which released a memorable series of 45's in the late 60's and early 70's. Little Beaver, who would go on to becoming a mainstay with TK Records in the mid 70's, dominates these recordings with his kinetic guitar playing and bluesy singing, best exemplified on Blind Man and Do it To Me One More Time. The James Brown Xeroxes of Robert Moore (Everything's Gonna Be Alright) and Brother Williams (a rather weak cover of Cold Sweat) are not without interest, and Pearl Dowdell acquits herself well on It's All Over, but this is Beaver's show all the way. Sound quality is decent (mostly vinyl transfers that have been cleaned up) and liner notes tell the story very well. Anyone who wants to sample the great Little Beaver in his embryonic phase, will do well to begin here. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 275 Birth Of Soul, Volume 4 ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 59 min., recommended
The idea behind this series is, I think, supposed to be the shedding of light upon early soul songs recorded during the transitional period of the late 1950s-early 1960s. And though most of these tracks clearly occupy that occasionally awkward developmental space, just about nothing here has anything to do with the actual birth of soul. The argument that soul was more or less invented by The 5 Royals carries some weight, although the track that represents them here, Catch That Teardrop on the Home Of The Blues label, while quite good, is hardly a seminal, genre-changing recording. (For those listen to their Apollo and King sides.) Of course, Ace/Kent does its usual quality job of compiling obscure soul songs with a chaser of well-researched booklet notes. Many of the sides here are tin pan alley-esque songs sung by black singers, including Hal Miller's On My Own Two Feet, Della Reese's A Clock That's Got No Hands, Tippie & The Clovers'Bossa Nova Baby, among others. Ketty Lester's 1964 RCA recording of Please Don't Cry Anymore makes a pleasing addition to this collection, but it is hardly up to the level of her earlier Era sides. Among the gems here, count Take Your heart, the A-side of the Rendezvous single by the little-known but very talented Betty Willis. Too bad its flip Someday You'll Need My Love isn't here. Other fine efforts include The Charmaines' Where Is The Boy Tonight, Wade Flemons' I Came Running (Back From The Party), The Fiestas' The Gypsy Said, the bluesy Harold Burrage Vee-Jay single Crying For My Baby, the Flip 45 I Can Tell (I'm Losing Your Love) by the obscure Lena Calhoun & The Emotions, and more. The first home-grown song of this CD series belongs to British singer Kenny Lynch, whose version of Puff (Up In Smoke) makes for a great pop single, if it isn't exactly soul music. Fans of The Intruders should be pleased by the inclusion of the early nursery-rhyme themed Jack Be Nimble. Can Volume 5 be far behind? (JC)
CLARENCE ASHE: The Trouble I've Had/ BILLY BLAND: My Heart's On Fire/ HAROLD BURRAGE: Crying For My Baby/ LENA CALHOUN & THE EMOTIONS: I Can Tell (I'm Losing Your Love)/ THE CHARMAINES: Where Is The Boy Tonight/ JAMES CONWELL: The Trouble With Girls (Of Today)/ BOBBY DAY: Pretty Little Girl Next Door/ THE FIESTAS: The Gypsy Said/ THE FIVE ROYALES: Catch That Teardrop/ WADE FLEMMONS: I Came Running (Back From The Party)/ THE INTRUDERS: Jack Be Nimble/ MARV JOHNSON: Come On And Stop/ KETTY LESTER: Please Don't Cry Anymore/ KENNY LYNCH: (Puff) Up In Smoke/ M-M'S & THE PEANUTS: Lil' Valley/ THE MATADORS: You'd Be Crying Too/ HAL MILLER: On My Own Two Feet/ MR TEARS PARIS: Don't Lead Me On/ JIMMY NORMAN: I Don't Love You No More (I Don't Care About You)/ THE PERSIANS: Gee, What A Girl/ BOBBY PETERSON: Irresistable You/ DELLA REESE: A Clock That's Got No Hands/ TIPPIE & THE CLOVERS: Bossa Nova Baby/ BETTY WILLIS: Take Your Heart

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 283 Can't Be Satisfied - The XL And Sounds Of Memphis ● CD $18.98
22 tracks, 71 mins, highly recommended
Following hot on the heels of their Barbara & the Browns collection, Kent has brought us an excellent compilation of music from the XL label who brought us BATB, The Ovations, George Jackson, and other succulent slices of Memphis soul. The story of XL and its mastermind, Gene Lucchesi, is a fascinating one (well documented in the superb liner notes) and this sample of the label's wares provides a spectacular helping of Soul, from Spencer Wiggins' I Can't Be Satisfied to The Mints' gospel flavored Last Mile of the Way to The Ovations' should-have-been-a-hit Don't Break Your Promise. The quality of these tracks from the late 60's and early 70's is first rate, it's a definite treat to hear unreleased sides (like Wiggins' Best Thing I Ever Had) for the first time. Hopefully, we will get more individual releases of XL artists from Kent, but until then this will do nicely. (GMC)
BARBARA AND THE BROWNS: Pity A Fool/ Plaything/ WILLIAM BOLLINGER: You Can Lead Your Woman To The Altar/ BILLY CEE AND FREEDOM EXPRESS: Hanging Around Your Doorstep/ DAN GREER: Hook Line And Sinker/ Thanks To You/ ANNE HODGE: Shower Of Tears/ You're Welcome Back/ GEORGE JACKSON: Talking About The Love I Have For You/ Walking The City Streets/ THE JACKSONIANS: California Dreaming/ THE MINITS: Last Mile Of The Way/ Still A Part Of Me/ THE OVATIONS: Don't Break Your Promise/ Take It From Someone Who Knows/ RICHARD AND WALTER: Love Just Ain't There/ LOU ROBERTS: Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Love/ THE SWEETEENS: I'm Your Woman (You're My Man)/ RUDOLPH TAYLOR: Tell Him Tonight/ VISION: Let The Moment Last/ SPENCER WIGGINS: Best Thing I Ever Had/ I Can't Be Satisfied

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 284 Larry Banks' Soul Family Album ● CD $18.98
24 mins, highly recommended
Larry Banks was a New York R&B singer-songwriter who, in addition to leading vocal group the Four Fellows, was also a producer. This collection compiles some of the material of Banks, and the family and friends he worked with in the 60's. Top-lined by Banks' incomparable production of wife Bessie Banks' almost-a-hit original version of Go Now, this CD spotlights singles by The Pleasures, The Hesitations, and The Exciters. The bulk of the compilation is made up of unreleased tracks by Kenny Carter, The Geminis, The Devonnes, and Jaibi. Initiated by lifelong Banks devotee, Dave Godin, this CD serves as a tribute to them both. (GMC)
BESSIE BANKS: Go Now/ You Should Have Been A Doctor/ LARRY BANKS: Don't Pull Away/ Let's Roll Up Our Sleeves/ Ooh It Hurts Me/ We Got A Problem/ Will You Wait/ MILTON BENNETT: What's One More Lie/ KENNY CARTER: I Can't Stop Laughing/ Lights Out/ You'd Better Get Hip Girl/ THE CAVALIERS: Living In The Land Of Heartache/ THE DEVONNES: Doin' The Gittin' Up/ I Couldn't Build A World (With You On The Outside)/ THE DYNAMICS: My Life Is No Better/ THE EXCITERS: You Don't Know What You're Missing/ THE GEMINIS: Come On Act Right/ He Moves Me/ THE HESITATIONS: No Brag Just Fact/ JAIBI: What Good Am I/ You Got Me/ THE PLEASURES: Don't You Know (I Love You)/ THE SHALADONS: Showdown/ We Can Do It

VARIOUS ARTISTS Krypton 6006 Fine & Dandy Doo-Wops, Vol. 6 ● CD $17.98
A fine and varied (and dandy) selection of vocal group sounds from the 50s and 60s - about 50% making its first appearance on CD. 30 sides.
CLIFF AYERS & THE CROWNS: I Wonder Why/ THE BISCAYNES: Yellow Moon/ STORMY BROOKS & THE ESCOPADES: Doris/ THE CARMELLETTES: Aching For You/ THE CLASSMEN: I Won't Cry/ THE CORDIALS: I'm Ashamed/ Listen My Heart/ My Heart's Desire/ THE EXPRESSIONS: Now That You're Gone/ THE FIVE STARS: Let's All Fall in Love/ THE FORTUNES: This Is Love/ THE IDEALS: Do I Have the Right/ You Won't Like It/ THE JAVALONS: Took a Chance/ JIMMY & THE TOWERS: Meaning of Love/ THE KID: Sleep Tight/ JOHNNY KNIGHT & THE KINGSMEN: Secret Heart/ THE PLAYERS: You Need a Love/ THE PREMIERS: False Love/ SAMMY PURCELL: My Darling Baby Eyes/ THE SONGCRAFTERS: Please Tell Me/ THE SONICS: It's You/ THE STIMULATORS: Warm Summer Nights/ THE SUGARTONES: Scandal/ THE TRA VELLES: Can't Go for That/ THE VALANTS: Dear Cindy/ RONNIE VARE & THE INSPIRATERS: Let Me Be Your Love/ THE VISCOUNTS: Wandering/ BOBBY WILLIAMS: Romeo and Juliet/ YOLANDA & THE CASTONETS: Meet Me After School

VARIOUS ARTISTS Latin Soul 4000 Sisters Of Soul - The Sweeter Voices Of Soul ● CD $17.98
27 soul songs on the slick sides from the late 60s and early 70 from three female groups - The Lovelites (19 tracks), The Fuzz (7 tracks) and The Passionettes (1 track).
THE FUZZ: I Love You For All Seasons/ I'm So Glad/ It's All Over/ Leave It All Behind Me/ Like An Open Door/ Ooh Baby Baby/ Search My Mind/ THE LOVELITES: Betcha By Golly Wow/ Bumpy Road Ahead/ Certain Kind Of Love/ Gotta Let You Go/ How Can I Tell My Mom And Dad/ I Don't Want To Cry/ I Love You (yes I Do)/ I'm In Love/ I'm Not Like The Others/ I'm The One That You Need/ I've Got Love/ Is That Loving In Your Heart/ Love So Strong/ My Baby Loves Me/ My Conscience/ Oh My Love/ Shyboy/ This Love Is Real/ You've Hurt Me Now/ THE PASSIONETTES: Stand By Your Man

VARIOUS ARTISTS Latin Soul 7000 Soulful Thangs, Vol. 7 ● CD $17.98
Another collection of 21 rare sweet and northern soul sides from the 60s and 70s - most making their first appearance on CD.
ANSWERS TO LOVE: It Was Real/ CHUBBY AND THE TURNPIKES: I Know the Inside You/ THE CONTINENTAL IV: Day By Day (Every Minute of the Hour)/ THE CONTINENTAL SHOWSTOPPERS: Not Too Young/ THE EQUASIONS: It's So Hard to Say So Long/ THE ESCORTS: Let Love Walk into Your Heart/ EXPERIENCE UNLIMITED: Second Time Around/ TONEY FOUNTAINE & GROUP: Come Back To Me/ THE GANG'S BACK: All I Want to Do is Spend Time With You/ JEFF GRAHAM & FAMILY CONNECTION: Can You Remember/ THE IMPERIAL WONDERS: Trying to Get to You/ MIKE JAMES KIRKLAND: Together/ LIFESTYLE: I'm Gonna Love You, Girl/ THE NEW ATTRACTIONS: The World Today/ THE NOTATIONS: At the Crossroads/ THE ORDELLS: Sipping On a Cup of Coffee/ PERFECT TOUCH: What Goes Around/ THE RIPPLES: Cowgirls to Boys/ SOUL SOUNDS UNLIMITED: Lost in a Dream/ STONE LUV: Never Turn Your Back on the One You Love/ U.S. MUSIC: I Miss My Baby

VARIOUS ARTISTS Maple Street 003 Northern Soul Of New York ● CD $17.98
21 tracks, 51 mins, recommended
Another week, another Northern Soul compilation. This time around a Canadian company, Maple, has brought us a sampling of R&B from New York. Or that's what we are led to believe, since there are absolutely no liner notes or annotation to tell us anything about these tracks; evidently, the compilers wanted the music to "speak for itself". It does, but some historical background would have been nice; I'm not even sure of the exact time frame of these tracks--I'd guess the early-to-mid 60's. There's some cool stuff here: the Motown imitations are in short supply, what we have instead are numerous attempts at trying to be the next Leiber and Stoller. But that does make for some fascinating music, such as Ralph Graham's She Just Sits There and Jimmy Beaumont's You Got Too Much Going For You. The thing that separates the New York brand of Northern Soul from, say, Philadelphia, is the more complex arrangements that are peppered throughout the collection, as on Satan Let Me Sleep Tonight by Brenda Starr and Third Window From the Right by Dean Barlow. As usual, there's a couple of "names" to bait the uninitiated: a young and green Freda Payne on "On Easy Street" and Dee Dee Warwick (Dionne's sis) belting out "Worth Every Tear I Cry". Although I recommend this CD, I do so with reservations because the sound quality is up-and-down throughout (over-modulated, mostly) and the lack of any annotation bugs me. Still, the music is mostly great, so those who don't mind no-frills compilations should find something to enchant. (GM)
JOE ANDERSON: So Glad/ AL APOLLO: I'm Walkin'/ DEAN BARLOW: Third Window From The Right/ JIMMY BEAUMONT: You Got Too Much Going For You/ MINZI BERRY: Don't You Dare To Cry/ THE GHETTO BOYS: Handwriting On The Wall/ RALPH GRAHAM: She Just Sits There/ FREDDIE HOUSTON: Soft Walkin'/ THE INVITATIONS: Girl I'm Leavin' You/ LAREINE LAMAR: That's Not The Way To Love/ MAMIE LEE: I Can Feel Him Slipping Away/ LITTLE CHARLES & SIDEWINDERS: It's A Heartache/ BETTI LOU & BOBBY ADAMS: Dr. Truelove/ FREDA PAYNE: On Easy Street/ THE PREMONITIONS: In Love Together/ PAUL SINDAB: I Was A Fool/ THE SPIDELLS: Pushed Out Of The Picture/ BRENDA STARR: Satan Let Me Sleep Tonight/ HELEN TROY: I Think I Love You/ DEE DEE WARWICK: Worth Every Tear I Cry/ SCOTTY WILLIAMS: Fear

VARIOUS ARTISTS Neptune 1001 The Best Of Neptune Records ● CD $17.98
30 tracks, 68 mins, recommended
Little is known about the Neptune label: it was owned by Donald Shaw, located in Newark, NJ, and was part of a complex of companies that included J&S Records and Dice Records. They did manage to record some of the finest East Coast R&B during the late 50's/early 60's, a sampling of which is available on this compilation. Baby Washington, the Spaniels, Wilbert Harrison, and the El Pollos are just a few of the talents that Neptune recorded. As usual with these types of comps, the little-known artists are the ones that make the album worth buying and here the keepers include Georgeous George (that's not a typo!), Glenda Green and Del Rios. Unfortunately, there's no annotation to tell the label's story, however the sound quality is good and if you don't already have Stateside's Baby Washington collection, this is a good place to catch her bewitching vocal talents. (GMC)
THE DEL RIOS: I'm Crying/ Wait Wait Wait/ CLIFF DRIVER'S COMBO: Drive On/ Driver's Roll/ Juicy Fruit (part 1)/ Juicy Fruit (part 2)/ THE EL POLLOS: School Girl/ Why Treat Me This Way/ GEORGEOUS GEORGE: Now I Believe/ Will You Love Me/ GLENDA GREEN: He's Gone/ When I Marry/ WILBERT HARRISON: After Graduation/ Off to Work Again/ THE SPANIELS: For Sentimental Reason/ Meek Man/ BABY WASHINGTON: Deep Down Love/ Let's Love in the Moonlight/ Medicine Man/ Money's Funny/ Move On/ Nobody Cares (About Me)/ Tears Fell/ The Bells/ The Time/ Too Late/ Why Did My Baby Put Me Down/ Workout/ You Could Never Be Mine/ Your Mama Knows What's Right

VARIOUS ARTISTS Numero 15 Eccentric Soul - The Prix Label ● CD $19.98
19 Tracks, 53 mins, recommended
The Numero group seems determined to prove that Columbus, Ohio is a gold mine of unsung soul music; three years ago, they brought us "Eccentric Soul: The Capsoul Label" which documented some tasty tracks tidbits of Columbus R&B. Now, Numero returns to Ohio for "Eccentric Soul: The Prix Label", which similarly makes the case for the city's underground scene. The brainchild of a Black electronics geek and a white lawyer, Prix and its accompanying recording operation, Harmonic Sounds, released singles roughly from 1969 to 1976, never had a hit, and remains shrouded in mystery to this day. The names on this CD are unknown, but Eddie Ray, Mitchell Mitchell and Marion Black--based on the evidence contained here--deserved more recognition than they got. Black's Listen Black Brother from 1972 is a powerful denouncement of black-on-black violence that still rings true today. The sound quality is good, if somewhat tinny sounding (probably more due to the way the songs were recorded), the liner notes are informative, and the packaging attractive if Spartan. This collection of Motown-meets-Stax hybrids and James Brown-esque funk ready-mades is not without its charm, and is definitely worth investigation. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 5006 Most Wild & Frantic ● CD $15.98
23 fine and rocking R&B sides from the 50s - a number of them showing the influence of Little Richard.
DAVE "BABY" CORTEZ: Hey-Hey-Hey/ EMMET DAVIS: How About it Baby/ FRANKIE ERVIN: Wilhemina/ HARVEY: Da Da Goo Goo/ SAM HAWKINS: The Whatchamacallit/ BOBBY HENDRICKS: Cast Your Vote/ THE JACKSON BROS. ORCH.: The Wrong Door/ SAMMY JAY & TIFFINEERS: You're Driving Me Insane/ JOHN JENNINGS & THE KUF-LINX: Eyeballin'/ SLEEPY KING: Rock Rock/ THUNDER LEE & SAMMY LOWE ORCH.: I Won't Be Your Fool No More/ Too Late for Tears/ BOBBY LEWIS: Mumbles Blues/ HARRY LEWIS & HIS ORCH.: Night Stroll, Part 2/ LITTLE VICTOR: Papa Lou and Gran/ BIG BUDDY LUCAS: Bump Te Bump/ La-Ja-Ma-Doodle (This Is my Lucky Day)/ FRANKIE MARSHALL: Fanny Lou/ LEE MAYE: At the Party/ TONY MIDDLETON & DAVE RHODES ORCH.: Blackjack/ PRENTICE MORELAND: Oh! Pretty Baby/ CHARLES TURNER & FIVE JADES: Rock and Roll Molly/ JIMMY WITHERSPOON & THE QUINTONES: My Girl Ivy

VARIOUS ARTISTS Pass The Soul 2 Pass The Soul, Vol. 2 - Steppin' Hot ● CD $16.98
25 Tracks, 61 mins, recommended
Out of print - limited stock. If you can get past the sexist CD cover (and I did.just barely, no pun intended), this is a pretty hot collection of (mostly) instrumentals from (presumably) the mid to late 60's, although the complete lack of liner notes or information makes it impossible to tell for sure. The artists are mostly obscure, but a couple of names stand out: Chuck Edwards (a re-make of his 1965 regional hit Bullfight), Johnny Otis (Banana Peels, featuring a flute solo!), The Packers (featuring Packy Axton of the Mar-Keys), Jimmy Liggins (Joe's brother), and in-demand session musician Billy Strange weighing in with some prime "loungabilly" on Run Spy Run. But special mention goes to: Timmy Norman's smoking version of the Hombres Let it All Hang Out, the East Bay Soul Brass' hard-driving The Panther (complete with cat roar sound effects!), and the funky slow-burn by The Fabulous Georgia Soul Twisters, Soul Shaing-a-Lang-Dance. Even the few vocal tracks here-Richard Knight's Showstopper, Dave Holden's Hog - are basically dance tracks a la The Monkey Time or The Twist. The only track that doesn't seem to belong is The Four Monitors' Dark Side of the Ghetto, a latter-day Temptations-like slice of social commentary, that's sounds great despite its incongruous appearance. In sum, a pretty good compilation of choice dance music. (GMC)
CURLY DAVIS & THE UNIQUES: Black Cobra Pt. 2/ EAST BAY SOUL BRASS: The Panther/ CHUCK EDWARDS: Bullfight #2/ THE FABULOUS GEORGIA SOUL TWISTERS: Soul Shaing-A-Ling Dance/ THE FOUR MONITORS: Dark Side Of The Ghetto/ RUFF FRANCIS & ILLUSIONS: Give Me Mercy/ STEVE HARTMAN: Bulls Eye/ What Happened/ DAVE HOLDEN: Hog/ GUS JENKINS & HIS ORCHESTRA: Too Tough/ LEN JOHNSON: Duck With Wolfman/ RAY JOHNSON & HIS GROUP: Soul City/ RICHARD KNIGHT: Showstoppers/ BILLY LAMONT: Sweet Thang/ LEON & THE BURNERS: Crack Up/ JIMMY LIGGINS: Last Round/ THE MARTELLS: Broadway Exit/ TIMMY NORMAN & THE O'JAHS: Let It All Hang Out/ JOHNNY OTIS: Banana Peels/ THE PACKERS: You Got It/ SILAS & THE COUNTS: Pass The Soul/ SIMON & PIEMEN: Cut It Out/ BILLY STRANGE: Run Spy Run/ U.S. WARREN: The Drop Pt. 1/ FREDDIE YOUNG: Monkey Business

VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7091 Times Square Records, Vol 1 ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, 71 min., recommended
Available again. Born in the tiny New York City record store of Irving "Slim" Rose in 1961, Times Square records was the first of the vocal group reissue labels. Over the next three years, owner Slim Rose put out an interesting mix of journeyman and apprentice doo-wop discs, some of the best of which are included here. Strong numbers by the well known groups include No One to Love by the Crests, Hello by the Nutmegs (Rajahs), and Now You're Gone by the Laddins. And appealing numbers by the relative beginners include It's Going to Be All Right by the Decoys, Sweeter Than by the Youngones, and Dance Girl by the Camelots. Solid notes and fine sound quality as usual. Another fine Relic release. (DH)
THE ADMIRATIONS: Mixture Of Love/ THE CAMELOTS: Dance Girl/ Tomorrow/ THE CENTURIES: Crying For You/ THE CRESTS: No One To Love/ Wish She Was Mine/ THE DECOYS: It's Going To Be All Right/ THE EL SIERROS: Love You So/ THE FIVE SHARKS: Stormy Weather/ FRANKIE & C-NOTES: Forever And Ever/ THE HEARTSPINNERS: I've Searched/ THE JAYTONES: Oh Darling/ THE LADDINS: Did It/ Now You're Gone/ THE MEMORIES: Will I/ THE MOONGLOWS: I've Got The Right/ NICKY & NOBLES: Schoolday Crush/ THE NOBLES: Ting A Ling (unreleased Outtake)/ Why Be A Fool?/ THE NOBLETONES: I Love You/ THE NUTMEGS: Hello/ Why Must We Go To School?/ THE SHADES: The Chimes/ THE SUMMITS: Go Back Where You Came From/ THE TIMETONES: I've Got A Feeling/ In My Heart/ My Love/ THE YOUNGTONES: Sweeter Than

VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7093 The Golden Era Of Doowops - Fury Records, Part 2 ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 62 min., recommended
Available again. Fury was the third label formed by one of the Robinson brothers, Bobby and Danny, coming into existence after the earlier-created Red Robin and Whirlin' Disc labels. Between late 1956 and 1962, 73 Fury singles were issued, most of them featuring vocal groups. This compilation represents the completion of Relic's tour of those group recordings. Selections include Joys of Love by Little Bobby Rivera & the Hemlocks, You're the One I Love by the Federals, Please Tell the Angels by Lewis Lymon & the Teenchords, the previously unreleased My Baby's Car Crazy by the Velvets, Room in Your Heart by Gladys Knight & the Pips, Teenager's Dream by the Kodaks, The Only Love of Mine by the Vibra-Harps, and Rockin' at Midnight by Sherman & the Darts. In all ways, a typical Relic production, with several group photos, fine sound quality, and knowledgeable liner notes. (Relic 7063 tells part one of the Fury Records story.) (DH)
THE CHANNELS: My Love Will Never Die/ THE FEDERALS: Good Wishes To You/ She's My Girl/ You're The One I Love/ CARL HOGAN & THE MIRACLES: Your Love/ JACKIE & THE STARLITES: Ain't Cha Ever Coming Home/ I'm Coming Home/ Way Up In The Sky/ GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS: Room In Your Heart/ THE KODAKS: Guardian Angel/ Kingless Castle/ Oh Gee Oh Gosh/ Teenager's Dream/ LEWIS LYMON & THE TEENCHORDS: I'm Not Too Young To Fall In Love/ Lydia/ Please Tell The Angels/ THE PIPS: Darling/ LITTLE BOBBY RIVERA & THE HEMLOCKS: Joys Of Love/ THE SCARLETS: Remember/ Truly Yours/ SHERMAN & THE DARTS: Rockin' At Midnight/ THE VELVETS: Dance Honey Dance/ I-i-i Love You So/ My Baby's Car Crazy/ THE VIBRA-HARPS: The Only Love Of Mine

VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7118 Golden Era Of Doowops - Joyce Records ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, 68 min., highly recommended
Available again. Long one of my favorite micro-labels, Joyce Records began in 1956 and lasted for about a year. Under the direction of Al Browne, a total of six records, most wistful ballads, actually saw release, two of them by the then unknown Johnny Maestro and the Crests, featuring My Juanita, No One to Love, Sweetest One, and Wish She Was Mine. Other released tracks include Everybody Knew But Me and You Have No Heart by the Crescents, Bad Motorcycle and Sweet Daddy by the Twinkles (leased to Cameo/Parkway and successfully reissued as by the Storey Sisters), Missing You and Give Me a Kiss by the Starlites, and I Love You and You Left Me by the Gaytunes. The remaining 14 tracks are solid but previously unreleased numbers by these same five groups and the Love Notes. Production standards are typical for Relic, and Donn Fileti's notes are, as usual, authoritative. (DH)
THE CRESCENTS: Baby, I‘m Serious About You/ Dolores/ Everybody Knew But Me/ Everybody Knew But Me/ I‘ll Walk In The Shadow/ You Have No Heart/ THE CRESTS: My Juanita/ No One To Love/ Sweetest One/ Wish She Was Mine/ THE GAYTUNES: I Love You/ I Love You/ Plea In The Moonlight/ Tell Me You Love Me/ You Left Me/ You Left Me/ THE LOVE NOTES: Dream Girl/ Treat Me Right/ THE STARLITES: Give Me A Kiss/ Joanne/ Missing You/ My Greatest Thrill/ Pen Pal/ THE TWINKLES: Bad Motorcycle/ Sweet Daddy

VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7126 Golden Era Of Doowops - Timely/ Luna Records ● CD $14.98
20 tracks, 49 min., recommended
Available again. During the brief span of 1953-1954, Hy Siegal ran Timely Records out of the New York offices of the Apollo label, a company that he had helped to found in the early 40's, though by 1953 Apollo was run by Ike and Bess Berman. In operating Timely, Siegal sought to tap into the then-popular vocal group sound through numbers such as Darling I'm Sorry and Calling for Love by the Ambassadors, I Was Wrong and Battle Axe by the Charmers, My Heart's Desire and Squeeze Me Baby by the Crystals, and Thrill of Romance by the Gaytunes. His product was solid, but sales were poor. So, once again, thanks are due to Relic for preserving these youthful doo-wop rarities. Of special interest here are the two a cappella demos by the Gaytunes: I Want You to Love Me and I'll Always Love You. Definitely the good stuff. (DH)
THE AMBASSADORDS: Calling For Love/ THE AMBASSADORS: Darling I'm Sorry/ Moanin'/ Willa Bea/ Willa Bea (Cheatin)/ THE ANBASSADORS: Darling I'm Sorry/ THE CHARMERS: Battle Axe/ Battle Axe/ Church On The Hill/ Church On The Hill/ I Was Wrong/ The Mambo/ THE CRYSTALS: Come To Me Darling/ My Hearts Desire/ Oh But She Did/ Squeeze Me Baby/ THE GAYTUNES: I Want You To Love Me/ I'll Always Love You/ Thrill Of Romance/ Why Leave Me This Way

VARIOUS ARTISTS Robbee 100 The Best Of Robbee Records ● CD $17.98
31 tracks of mostly bland white doo-wop and teen pop from the early 60s. Includes sides by The Holidays, Jimmy Massi, Rosemary, The Four Seasons (NOT the Frankie Valli group), The La-Rells, Marcy Joe, Lugee & The Lions, Jimmy Massey and Honorable Fats Wilson.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Soul Mission 009 Northern Soul Of The Crescent City, Vol. 1 ● CD $17.98
25 tracks, 65 mins, good
Here we go again. Another Northern Soul compilation for the die hard fan, this time of R&B from New Orleans. Unfortunately, the proliferation of these collections has meant that with each new one, the quality goes down a little bit more. For example, Soul Mission not only couldn't be bothered to give the consumer liner notes, they couldn't even be bothered to pay for decent re-mastering: this album is little more than songs recorded from (mostly) vinyl burned onto a CD. But what about the music? Well, it's pretty good, but not many of the songs seem to have any characteristics of Crescent City music style; these songs could have been recorded in Philadelphia, New York, or Chicago. However, it is fun to hear two variations of the same song (Carlton Lee & the Delfonics' Come On Down and Wilbert Harrison's Near To You; same tune, different lyrics) and early tracks by N.O. stalwarts Ernie K-Doe and Aaron Neville. I assume these tracks are from the early to mid 60's, but without proper annotation who knows? Bottom line, approach this one with caution. (GM)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Soul Jazz 47 New Orleans Funk - The Original Sound Of Funk 1960-1975 ● CD $29.98
24 track CD with 40 page illustrated booklet featuring sides by The Meters, Eddie Bo, Aaron Neville, Cyril Neville, Marilyn Barbarin, Ernie K-Doe and more.
MARILYNN BARBARIN: Reborn/ EDDIE BO: Check Your Bucket/ Hook & Sling/ CHICK CARBO: Can I Be Your Squeeze/ ERNIE K. DOE: Here Comes The Girls/ LEE DORSEY: Who's Gonna Help Brother Further/ Love Lots Of Lovin'/ ERNIE & THE HIGH NOTES: Dap Walk/ THE EXPLOSIONS: Garden Of Four Trees/ Hip Drop/ GENTLEMAN JUNE GARDNER: It's Gonna Rain/ THE GATURS: Gatur Bait/ MARY JANE HOOPER: I've Got Reasons/ DR. JOHN: Mama Roux/ SONNY JONES: Sissy Walk/ THE METERS: Hand Clapping Song/ Just Kissed My Baby/ AARON NEVILLE: Hercules/ CYRIL NEVILLE: Tell Me What's On Your Mind/ ROBERT PARKER: Everybody's Hip Huggin/ PROFESSOR LONGHAIR: Big Chief Pt.1/ HUEY PIANO SMITH: Free Single & Disengaged/ ALLEN TOUSSAINT: Get Out My Life Woman/ DANNY WHITE: Nartural Soul Brother/ THE WILD MAGNOLIAS: Handa Wanda Pt.1

VARIOUS ARTISTS Soul World 106 Girls Of Golden World ● CD $17.98
28 Tracks, 71 mins, recommended
Detroit-based Golden World Records was Motown's chief local rival during the mid-60's, until owner Ed Wingate sold out to Berry Gordy in 1966. Although Edwin Starr was Golden World's biggest star (his hits Agent Double-O Soul and Stop Her on Sight were released by Golden World), this compilation spotlights the label's female artists including first signing Sue Perrin, cult artists the Adorables (featuring Pat Lewis, who also recorded solo) and the Debonaires (featuring Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson, later back up singers for Tony Orlando as Dawn), and Northern Soul star Rose Battiste. While all of the Debonaires' singles are included here (including the legendary Eenie, Meenie, Gypsaleenie), only the final single by the Adorables - Ooh, Boy! b/w Devil in His Eyes-made the cut. The tracks range from the girl group glosses by the aforementioned groups to Juanita Williams' Dionne Warwick impersonation on You Knew What You Were Gettin' to Battiste's Diana Ross-ish vocals. As with everything issued by Soul World, packaging is minimal and sound quality is decent, but despite its shortcomings, this CD makes a fine companion to Soul World's Ric Tic Relics collections (Ric Tic was Golden World's sister label). (GMC)
THE ADORABLES: Devil in His Eyes/ Ooh, Boy!/ ROSE BATISTE: Sweetheart Darling/ That's What He Told Me/ THE DEBONAIRES: A Little Too Long/ Big Time Fun/ C.O.D. (Collect on Delivery)/ Eenie, Meenie, Gypsaleenie/ How's Your New Love Treating You/ Please Don't Say We're Through/ TAMIKO JONES: Am I Glad Now/ I'm Spellbound/ PAT LEWIS: Can't Shake it Loose/ Let's Go Together/ THERESA LINDSEY: Daddy-O/ I'll Bet You/ BARBRA MERCER: Can't Stop Loving You Baby/ Doin' Things Together with You/ Hey!!/ Nobody Loves You Like Me/ SUE PERRIN: Can't Let Go/ Candy Store Man/ Clickety Clack Heart/ Recipe of Love/ JUANITA WILLIAMS: Baby Boy/ Some Things You Never Get Used To/ You Knew What You Was Gettin'/ You Knew What You Were Gettin'

VARIOUS ARTISTS Soul Jazz 171 Jamaica Funk - Original Jamaican Funk And Soul 45s ● CD $27.98
18 tracks, 61 mins, highly recommended
This compilation is a highly entertaining sampling of exactly what the title says: Jamaican Funk and Soul singles released in the years 1972-78. The takes on American hit singles--The Now Generation's cover of the Stylistics' People Make the World Go Round, Sidney, George and Jackie's tough re-do of the Temptations' Papa Was a Rolling Stone, Jackie Paris' amazing re-imagining of Chicago's Make Me Smile--are worth the price of admission alone, but that doesn't sell short things like Herman and the Aquarians' Dunce Cap (a wild domestic tale set to the beat of Jean Knight's Mr. Big Stuff) and Augustus Pablo's Lightning Chap (a dub version of Bill Withers' Ain't No Sunshine). All brilliant stuff. Listening to the free transfer of influences between Jamaican reggae and American funk and soul is a marvelous history lesson, and makes for great dance party music. Liner notes are decent, sound quality is excellent. Boogie on! (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Titanic 1002 Fillies Of Soul ● CD $17.98
24 Tracks, 60 mins, recommended
Who knew the world of 60's and 70's R&B was so full of little-known, but talented artists. Compiled herein are more singles from assorted female singers-and a couple of girl groups-that are rare and hard-to-find (according to the liner notes) sides from the Northern Soul genre. Many of the tracks are typical of the era-heavy Motown and/or Brill Building influences for the 60's; Holland-Dozier-Holland for the 70's-but that doesn't make them any less fun to hear. I particularly dig The Sweet Things' Love You Eternally, Pat Lundy's It's Rainin' Outside, and Linda Carr's Watch What You Plant in Your Garden. What I like most about collections like this is discovering singers who had interesting connections and/or became semi-famous later on-like Richard "Louie, Louie" Berry's wife Dorothy, and Sandy Wynns (aka Edna Wright) who is Darlene Love's sister and who was later a member of The Honey Cone (Want Ads). It's these type of revelations that make CDs like this fascinating to listen to. Titanic did a decent job of cleaning up the sound, and the packaging is minimalist, but tasteful. Really, you can't go wrong with prime pieces of R&B/pop like Ramona King's Hey Everybody and Nancy Wayburn's The World Goes on Without Me. And Dottie Cambridge's funky He's About a Mover (yes, the Sir Douglas Quintet classic) is out of this world, and owes nothing to the original. Girl Power! (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Trikont 803632 Motel Lovers ● CD $22.98
18 tracks, 75 min., highly recommended
The German Trikont label offers some of the strangest and most eclectic CDs here on planet earth, and they can put together one tough soul compilation as this release testifies. This set collects some of the best performers of the so-called "chitlin' circuit" of southern soul clubs. Not rap or modern R&B, this; instead it's cheaply (but not badly) produced blues, soul and funk that mixes modern mores with old fashioned soul grooves. So synths replace strings and horns, and machines replace drums, but somehow it all makes sense on the dance floor and off. Sex is the common denominator here, with most tracks displaying either the barest trace of metaphor hiding the sexual content or none at all. Among the long timers is Willie Clayton, whose Three People is smoother are more thoughtful than, say fellow veteran Denise LaSalle's Long Dong Silver. Peggy Scott-Adams, possessor of some late 1960s soul hits, Lee Fields, Bobby Rush, Gwen McCrae and others deserve awards for finding a way to stay relevant for so long. But newer talent such as Big Cynthia (daughter of Junior Walker, no less), O. B Buchana, Floyd Taylor (son of Johnnie Taylor) and Marvin Sease turn in performances every bit as sharp as their elders. As an example of the times and how they are changin' or have changed, consider Barbara Carr who cut singles for Chess in the 1960s such as Mama Told Me and Don't Knock Love and starting in the 1990s cut songs such as Bone Me Like You Own Me (regrettably absent from this collections), and Down Low Brother, (present and accounted and only slightly more subtle than the other). All in all, a worthwhile disc full of hard-to-find modern southern soul. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS WR 1 Wild Rock 'n' Roll Howlers ● CD $16.98
35 tracks, 78 mins, highly recommended
With a title like that, how can you resist? This is a much expanded version of an LP released on the Club label in 1992 and features wild black R&B and rock 'n' roll - much of it influenced by Little Richard. So it has much in common with the "Wild & Frantic" series on Official including some track duplication! Most of these tracks have been reissued before but not in this context which is wildness from beginning to end. You may not have known that Otis Redding, Joe Tex and Dee Clark started their careers influenced by Little Richard but their tracks here show that they could wail with the best of them. Most of the rest of the artists are fairly obscure. It includes the fine California bluesman Tommy Louis with his great Wail Baby Wail with guitarist Marshall Hooks channeling Ike Turner, Little Ike, the Valiants (two tracks including a totally demented cover of Good Golly, Miss Molly), Bobby Peterson's bizarre Mamma Get Your Hammer ("a fly's on the baby's head"), Eddie Riff with his great Ain't That Lovin' You Baby (not the Jimmy Reed song) with washboard and hot guitar from Mickey Baker, Screamin' Joe Neal is here with four songs that shows where the "Screamin'" part comes from, Screamin' Jay Hawkins (no comment needed!), Johnny Amelio, Rudy Greene, Earl Wade, Richard Berry and others. If you're looking for music to smooch to, look elsewhere, but if you're looking to liven the party up this should do the trick and then some! No notes but what would you do with them if there were? (FS)
JOHNNY AMELIO: Jo-ann Jo-ann/ RICHARD BERRY: Yamma Yamma Pretty Mama/ DEE CLARK: 24 Boyfriends/ WAILIN' BILL DELL: You Gotta Be Loose/ THE FOUR STEPS OF RHYTHM: You Better Dig It/ WILD CHILD GIBSON: Uncle John/ RUDY GREENE: Juicy Fruit/ SONNY HALL: My Big Fat Baby/ SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS: Mountain Jive/ What That Is/ BILLY LAMONT: Country Boy/ LITTLE IKE: She Can Rock/ LITTLE MISS JESSIE: My Baby Has Gone/ TOMMY LOUIS: Wail Baby Wail/ DALE MCBRIDE: Prissy Missy/ MR. P.I.: Crazy Sadie/ SCREAMIN' JOE NEAL: Don't Quit Me Baby/ Rock 'n' Roll Deacon/ She's My Baby/ Tell Me Pretty Baby/ BOBBY PETERSON: Mamma Get Your Hammer/ PRETTY BOY: Rockin' The Mule/ OTIS REDDING: Fat Girl/ EDDIE RIFF: Ain't That Lovin' You Baby/ THE RING-A-DINGS: Snacky Poo 2/ FREDDY ROBINSON: Five Feet Of Lovin'/ ROCKIN' BRADLEY: Lookout/ JOE TEX: You Little Babyface Thing/ BA BA THOMAS: Miss Shake It/ Why Don't You Leave It/ THE TWILIGHTERS: Live Like A King/ THE VALIANTS: Frieda Frieda/ Good Golly Miss Molly/ EARL WADE: I Dig Rock 'n' Roll/ Let Me Miss You

AL WILSON Kent CDKEND 290 Searching For The Dolphins ● CD $18.98
The complete 1960s and early 70s solo recordings of this much admired soul singer. His original 1968 LP "Searching For Dolphins" features the Northern Soul classic The Snake along with the original recording of Jim Webb's Do What You Gotta Do. In addition to the original LP this CD features 11 bonus tracks. 22 tracks in all.
AL WILSON: Bachelor Man/ Brother Where Are You/ By The Time I Get To Phoenix/ Do What You Gotta Do/ Falling (In Love With You)/ Gettin' Ready For Tomorrow/ I Hear You Knocking/ I Stand Accused/ Lodi/ Mississippi Woman/ Now I Know What Love Is/ Poor Side Of Town/ Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)/ Sometimes A Man Must Cry/ Sugar Cane Girl/ Summer Rain/ The Dolphins/ The Snake/ This Guy's In Love With You/ When You Love (You're Loved Too)/ Who Could Be Lovin' You (Other Than Me)/ You Do The Right Things


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