( Advanced Search )  


Various Artists Collections - Miscellaneous Labels, N/O

VARIOUS ARTISTS Neil 100 The Best Of Neil Records ● CD $17.98
Only 14 tracks on this collection but that seems to be the entire output of this tiny New York based label that was active in 1956 & '57. Mostly good black doo-wop from The Monarchs, The Young Lads, Jimmy Williams and Bobby Williams plus two tracks from R&B singer Dorian Burton.
DORIAN BURTON: I Want You/ One Little Kiss/ THE KINGSMEN: One Foolish Mistake/ Stranded Love/ THE MONARCHS: Always Be Faithful/ How Are You/ In My Younger Days/ Pretty Little Girl/ BOBBY PIERCE: I Met A Stranger/ I've Tried/ JIMMY WILLIAMS: I Knew/ Love Only Me/ THE YOUNG LADS: I'm In Love/ Moonlight

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 Night Train 1007 Night Train To New Orleans ● CD $12.98
16 tracks, 41 min., recommended
A mostly uptempo sampler of New Orleans and environs numbers drawn from Night Train's current reissue series. Numbers drawn from the "Legendary Labels of Louisiana" issues include I'm Still in Love with You by Alonzo Stewart and Southern Style by Eskew Reeder's Eskerettes from the Hermitage label, Daddy O Rock by Jeff Daniels from the Meladee label, Crazy Crazy Feeling by the Kings of Swing from the Castle label, and Hound Dog Rock by the El-Der Rocks from the Sapphire label. Other tracks include Whole Lotta Twistin' by Professor Longhair, I Got the Blues by Eddie Bo, Love Power by the Barons, and Well, I Done Got Over It by Bobby Mitchell. Most numbers are from the late 50's or the early 60's. Both a worthwhile introduction to Crescent City obscurities and a fine various artist program. Sound quality is solid. And, sadly, there are no liner notes or photos of the featured artists. (DH)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Night Train 2007 The Best Of Drew-Blan ● CD $22.98
Two CD set featuring 50 tracks of New Orleans R&B and rock & roll recorded for Andrew Blanco's Drew-Blan labels between 1959 and 1963. Artists featured include Jay Nelson, Peter Buck & The Dondeleers, Jimmy Dale, Wayne & The Velvetones, The Vikings, Skinny Dynamo (a Fats Domino imitator - surprise, surprise!)Charles Leman, Gilbert Giroir, Earl King, Allen Orange and The Drew-Blan All Stars. 20 of the tracks are unissued studio recordings, demos or rehearsal tapes. Some good stuff here along with some pedestrian material and it would have made a better single CD.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Night Train 7019 Swingtime Doo-Wop ● CD $16.98
20 tracks, 55 min., highly recommended
If you like that early blues ballad sound, and I very much do, this is definitely a disc to pick up. Recorded between 1949 and 1954, the program here is made up of released numbers, rehearsal tapes, and alternate takes taken from Swingtime's own Los Angeles sessions and from material that owner Jack Lauderdale bought from small labels in Detroit. The playlist includes seven cuts by the Hollywood Flames, including three versions of I Know, plus one each of Marie, and Let's Talk It Over; three numbers by the Musketeers, including Deep In My Heart and Love Me Till Your Dying Day; two songs by the Serenaders; two tracks by the Drifters (not the Atlantic group); and four numbers by the Question Marks (a.k.a. the Violinaires), including two versions of the great gospel ballad Another Soldier Gone. All of this great music and solid liner notes by Richie Benway. (DH)
THE DRIFTERS: Honey Chile/ Mobile/ THE HOLLYWOOD FLAMES: I Know/ I Know (version 1)/ I Know (version 2)/ Let's Talk It Over/ Marie/ Mellow As A Man Can Be/ Roseanne Of Charing Cross (acapella)/ THE MUSKETEERS: Deep In My Heart (version 1)/ Deep In My Heart (version 2)/ Love Me 'til Your Dying Day/ THE QUESTION MARKS: Another Soldier Gone (version 1)/ Another Soldier Gone (version 2)/ Go Get Some More/ Joy In The Beulah Land/ THE ROCKINEERS: Happy As A Man Can Be/ THE SERENADERS: Ain't Gonna Cry No More/ Maybelle/ PLAYBOY THOMAS AND GROUP: End Of The Road Baby

VARIOUS ARTISTS Night Train 7026 Legendary Labels Of Louisiana - Best Of Sapphire ● CD $16.98
16 tracks, 39 min., recommended
An eclectic mix of 50's numbers culled from the archives of New Orleans' own Sapphire Records, a small independent label whose owners recorded their artists at Cosimo Matassa's studio on North Rampart, just like their more successful counterparts like Imperial Records. And the folks at Sapphire used the same well known Crescent City musicians. The result is that all of these numbers, even the ones in Spanish (!), are firmly r&b in sound. Featured tracks include the original version of Mardi Gras Mambo by Jody Levens, Geraldine by Casanova & the Chants, Why Should I by the Flips, Hound Dog Blues by the El-Der Rocks, Crying the Blues by Billy Tircuit and the Moonbeams, and Juke Box Boogie Woogie Chick by Snookum Russell. Musical gumbo to be sure, and loads of fun, everything from doo-wop to Louisiana styled blues, all offered here with informative liner notes and solid sound quality. (DH)
CASANOVA & THE CHANTS: Geraldine/ I Know You/ GLADYS DEVORE: Yes Ma'am/ THE EL-DER ROCKS: Back Room/ Hound Dog Blues/ THE FLIPS: Why Should I/ TITO GUIZAR: Cienito Lindo/ La Paloma/ Take Me In Your Arms/ JODY LEVENS: Jingle Bell Boogie/ Mardi Gras Mambo/ SNOOKUM RUSSELL: Basin Street Ain't Basin Street No More/ Juke Box Boogie Woogie Chick/ BILLY TIRCUIT & THE MOONBEAMS: Crying The Blues/ Teenage Baby

VARIOUS ARTISTS Night Train 7044 Legendary Labels Of Louisiana - The Best Of Hermitage ● CD $16.98
20 tracks, 48 min., recommended A delightful and thorough look at the 1962-1963 output of William "Hoss" Allen's Hermitage label, an outfit with something of a split personality, in that about half of its tracks reflect the black musical styles of the label's Nashville home base, while the other half reflect Allen's tendency to record in New Orleans. The first nine numbers here clearly come from the Crescent City; they include I Get the Blues When It Rains by Alonzo Stewart, Eternity and I Can't Help It by Joe and Ann, and Southern Style by Eskew Reeder's Eskerettes. And on the Nashville side of the roster, the program includes six r&b sides by Sam Baker - including Rainin' and Stormin', Keep on Scratchin', and Sweet Little Angel - two numbers by Good Jelly Bess (a male performer according to my ear), two by Preston Jackson, and one by Henry Moore. The mix of strong ballads with upbeat dance numbers makes for a particularly enjoyable program. (DH)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Night Train 7045 New Orleans Rock 'n Roll Party ● CD $15.98
23 tracks, 52 mins, highly recommended
Terrific collection of New Orleans R&B from the late 50s and early 60s. Mostly obscure artists recording for tiny labels like Pontchartrain, Dewitt, Arcadia and Concertone but most have that distinctive New Orleans sound with riffing, rolling horns and a strong backbeat. Among the artists here are Billy Tircuit, Stella Johnson (the terrific Trial Of Stagger Lee), Chris Kenner, Earl Williams, Byron Gipson, Al Reed (a wonderful New Orleans style version of El Rancho Grande)!), Calvin "Hound Dog" Ruffin, Big Al Downing (doing a prefect Fat Domino impersonation on his two songs), The Mel Lastie Band and others. Only one clinker here - the dismal ballad Face The Facts by Billy Tircuit. Many of the tracks sound like they were dubbed from 45s but the sound is by no means bad. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Night Train 7046 Legendary Labels Of Louisiana - Best Of Scram ● CD $15.98
17 tracks of New Orleans R&B, soul and funk (9 of them previously unissued) recorded for Al Scramuzza's Scram label in the late 60s - Walter Washington, Errol Chandler, Sonny Jones, Curly Moore, Richie Matta, The Jades, Benny Spellman and The Scram Band.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Night Train 7075 New Orleans Popeye Party ● CD $16.98
23 tracks, 58 min., recommended
A generous collection of fast and medium tempo numbers from the early 60's, all presumably appropriate for dancing the Popeye, for those of you who still do or who ever did. Drawn from a variety of original labels, tracks here include Check Mr. Popeye by Eddie Bo, Private Eye by Wallace Johnson, Little Papoose by Joe Barry, You Talk Too Much by Frankie Ford, Talk About You by Jimmy Jules, Sorry 'Bout That by Al Reed, Popeye Joe by Ernie K-Doe, She's So Fine by Big Boy Myles, The Girl from Kooka Monga by Tommy Ridgley, Tarzan by Lee Tillman, and, of course, Popeye by Huey Smith. Enjoyable New Orleans music even if you have no idea how the featured dance steps are done. Solid sound quality and no notes or artist photos at all. (DH)
JOE BARRY: Jewel Of The Viex Carre/ Little Papoose/ BLAZER BOY: That's Where It's At/ EDDIE BO: Check Mr. Popeye/ BERNA DEAN: Little Willie/ JAMES EASTERLING: You Think You're Smart/ FRANKIE FORD: You Talk Too Much/ BARBARA GEORGE: Whip-o-will/ JOE & ANN: Runnin' And Foolin'/ WALLACE JOHNSON: Private Eye/ JIMMY JULES: Take It Like It Comes/ Talk About You/ ERNIE K-DOE: Popeye Joe/ THE MEDALLIONS: Why Do You Look At Me?/ BIG BOY MYLES: She's So Fine/ AL REED: Sorry 'bout That/ TOMMY RIDGLEY: The Girl From Kooka Mooga/ HUEY SMITH: Popeye/ ALEX SPEARMAN: Mama Ka Toka La Poo Poo Ya/ BETTY TAYLOR: I'm Goin' Home/ WILLIE TEE: Always Accused/ LEE TILLMAN: Tarzan/ JOE VALENTINE: Sweeter Than Sugar

VARIOUS ARTISTS Night Train 7076 New Orleans Senior Prom ● CD $16.98
23 tracks, 52 minutes, recommended
ubtitled "1 Hour of Crescent City Rock & Roll and Teenage Heartbreak", this has a ton of little known NO R&B & a bunch of great smoochin' swamp pop. The closest to a "name" artist is Danny Zella, heard on the wonderful Youngster Meets Monster, but there plenty of fine unknowns including Julian with Tasso & His Orch - Beings You're Acting So Smart, Chuck Como - I'm Not A Know-It-All & The Scotchtones - Sake Wa Dookie. Only complaint, no info given, just band names & titles. However, it what's in the grooves that counts! (GM)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Night Train 7077 Legendary labels Of Louisiana - Meladee Records ● CD $16.98
15 tracks, 37 min., recommended
Released as a part of Night Train's current exploration of small Louisiana record labels, this set of bluesy solo artist numbers features Little Leo Price, Roy Perkins, Jeff Daniels, and one track by Daywood Penny. The specific selections, all recorded between 1955 and 1958, include What's It All About, Handwriting on the Wall, Teenie Weenie Bee, and I Cried by Little Leo; Bye Bye Baby, You're on My Mind, and Drop Top by Perkins; Daddy O Rock, Hey Woman, and Switch Blade Sam by Daniels; and Come Back Baby by Penny. Spicy New Orleans-flavored rhythm & blues, offer here with fine sound quality, one photo, and no notes at all. (DH)
JEFF DANIELS: Daddy O Rock/ Hey Woman/ Switch Blade Sam/ You're Still On My Mind/ LITTLE LEO (PRICE): Handwriting On The Wall/ I Cried/ Teenie Weenie Bee/ What's It All About/ DAYWOOD PENNY: Come Back Baby/ ROY PERKINS: Ba Da Ba Da/ Bye Bye Baby/ Drop Top/ Please Be True/ The Mailman Said/ You're On My Mind

VARIOUS ARTISTS Night Train 7085 New Orleans Soul A Go-Go ● CD $15.98
Collection of 23 New Orleans R&B and soul sides - probably from the 70s though there is no information on the disc. Some good stuff, most of it pretty obscure, from George & Lee, Candy Phillips, Senator Jones, Joyce Harris, Art Neville (a great New Orleans treatment of the Little Walter hit My Babe), Elliot Small, Tony Washington, Tommy Ridgeley, L'il Willie & The Rockin' Imperials, Charles Smith, Sammy Ridgeley, L. Ruffin, Bonnie & Sheila and others.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Night Train 7086 The Best Of Spinett ● CD $15.98
18 tracks, 39 mins, recommended
Another in Night Train's series devoted to the "Legendary Labels Of Louisiana" - this one features 18 sides recorded for Spinett - a label formed by Frankie Ford and his manager Joe Caronno in 1957 and lasted for two years. Many of the recordings featured various combinations of New Orleans musicians recording out of contract - usually Ford, Huey "Piano" Smith and Mac Rebennac - and were issued under such pseudonyms as The Cheerleaders, Snuffy Smith (their Lumumba is a very bizarre political song) and The Three Stooges. Other artists recorded under their real names including Louis Hayward, Roland Stone (his Preacher's Daughter is a great steal of James Wayne's Junco Partner), high pitched vocalist Stormy, Bobby Lonero and Johnny Meyers. Nothing terribly profound here but a nice bunch of entertaining music with that distinctive New Orleans feel. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Night Train 7115 Legendary Labels Of Louisiana - The Best Of Rustone ● CD $15.98
16 tracks - most of them recorded for the tiny Rustone label out of Houma, Louisiana in the early 60s. Six of the tracks are by fine swamp pop band Emmet & The Jades, four by soulful R&B vocalist Willie West, two by The Scotchtones including their much in demand rocker Sake Wa Dukie and two by swamp pop vocalist Bobby Jay. The last two tracks are by Jack & The Rippers - a later incarnation of Emmet & The Jades issued on the Houma label in the late 60s.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Night Train 7131 Sax Kari - Fumigate Funky Broadway ● CD $16.98
29 tracks, good
A collection of 29 tracks recorded in New Orleans between 1963 and 1968 under the guidance of the remarkable Sax Kari - a figure who appears prominently as a musician, producer, songwriter and more from the late 40s through to the present day. His work is represented on dozens of labels including important independents as well tiny labels some of them run by himself. The music here represents the full range of Kari's eclectic talents from the down home bllues of Polka Dot Slim to the lounge music of Kari himself with The Codes. We also hear urban blues (Warren Lee Taylor), funky New Orleans R&B (Chris Kenner), soul (Charles "Soul" Brown) and more. There's lots of good music here that's not available elsewhere but I find it hard to recommend this because of the poor sound quality. Tracks are presumably mastered from worn 45s and the sound is frequently distorted. I know these records are not that easy to come by but I think with greater effort to track down better copies and with more care in remastering it could have been much better. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Night Train 7139 Ike Turner - The Bad Man - The Ike Turner Diaries ● CD $15.98
A collection of mostly obscure sides recorded for Ike's own labels (Innis, Prann, Sonja, etc). In addition to performancees by Ike and Ike & Tina it also includes sides by Robbie Montgomery, The Ikettes, Fontella Bass, Vernon Guy, Bobby John and others.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Nigh Train 7146 Don't Be No Square - Get Hip To Quezerque ● CD $16.98
A collection of 23 tracks recorded between 1959 and 1981 and produced by underrated New Orleans producer/ arranger Wardell Quezerque (pronounced "keh-zare" - hence the rhyming album titles). The music is a mix of New Orleans R&B, soul, funk and a bit of pop. 13 tracks were on previously issued LPs/ CDs on Night Train/ Funky Delicacies or Soulville albums. The rets are from rare singles or unissued. Artists include Elliot Small, Wardell & The Sultans, Warren (Lee) Taylor, Irma Thomas, Reggie Hall, Donald Lee Richardson, Joe Wilson, Tommy Val, Joe Wilson, June Gardner, Jim Cotton and others.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Night Train 7152 New Orleans Will Rise Again ● CD $15.98
22 Tracks All proceeds from this CD benefit the New Orleans Musicians' Clinic. This is chock full of rare and unreleased material from a lot of the usual suspects that you think of when you think New Orleans, Aaron Neville, Ernie K-Doe, Jessie Hill, Luther Kent etc.. The nature and recording dates of these tracks are wide and varied, one track being Jerry Raines' excellent Dirty Rotten Mother Fuyer dating back to 1959! Stand out track has to be Ernie K-Doe's My Mother In Law's In My Hair Again, - I'm amazed that this hasn't come out before, it is actually a really great track.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Norton 317 Get In The Groove ● CD $14.98
18 tracks, 80 min., good
Norton Records cultivates an image of raucousness, releasing more untamed new music that all the majors put together. Part holiday R&B review, part birthday celebration for Norton Records boss man Billy Miller, this live show features Andre Williams, Nathaniel Mayer, Lonnie Youngblood, Rudy Ray Moore (a.k.a. Dolomite), King Coleman, Bettye Lavette, Barrence Whitfield, The Great Gaylord, The Mighty Hannibal, and others two days after Xmas, 2003, at Southpaw, Brooklyn, NY. Now, I enjoy screaming, ranting, and songs about genitalia as much as the next fellow, maybe more so, but the first half of this show is marred by a certain lack of substance. Mayer (backed by The Shanks) and his six and a half pack of songs (more than anyone else) marks the high point, but his always-strained voice is stretched thinner than ever. He is reintroduced for his encore as "the pimp of all pimps," although the designation seems unofficial. Lavette sounds good (as always) on her two songs, but one is the everyone-back-on-stage finale and it just isn't enough. No doubt that this show tore up the club that night, but the power doesn't always transfer to disc very well, and something necessary is lost in translation. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Now Again 5019 Texas Funk - Black Gold From The Lone Star State ● CD $15.98
21 tracks, 68 min. essential
Texas may at first seem an unlikely source of funkiness, but as this release demonstrates (and as the notes explain), it was pretty much funk central. Compilers have included a couple of fairly well known acts (e.g., Sunny & The Sunliners), but most of these musicians started out obscure and become less well known as time passed. All they have in common is Texas and incredibly cool funk 45s, often only one or two, often on the tiniest of labels. The Brothers Seven, James Polk & The Brothers, Joe Bravo, Road Runners, Mickey & The Soul Generation, The Groove Merchants, Tickled Pink, Timothy McNealy, and others make irresistible funk offerings, many channeling James Brown to one degree or another, of course, but with a variety of styles. The booklet notes overflow with detailed and interesting information, photos, label pictures, session info, and more. This is the way to reissue music. Not to be missed. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Now Again 5063 California Funk - Rare Funk 45s From The Golden State ● CD $16.98
21 tracks, 64 mins, very highly recommended
This CD is a fascinating examination of California's unique take on funk music in the late 60's. The detailed liner notes give great insight into what funk music meant to the Black community, how it was influenced by James Brown and the prevailing unrest endemic to California's disillusioned Black populace. This is some tough, hard hitting music: All Blinded Into One by Water Color, What Goes Around Comes Around by Arthur Monday, Curse Upon the World by Apple & the Three Oranges, and Politician Rag by King Soloman to name but a few. Before Rap, this was the music through which young, disenfranchised Black people vented their frustrations at the injustice and poverty that surrounded them every day. The first compilation of its kind (according to the liner notes) is very well done, highly listenable, educational, and nearly essential. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS NR 101 Nursery Rhymes & Fairy Tale Doo Wops ● CD $18.98
30 track collection of doo-wop songs with nursery rhyme or fairy tale titles including Fairy Tales by The Spaniels, Cinderella by Gary Kay, Old MacDonald by The Orlandos, Wizard Of Love by The Lydells, Genie by The Inspirations, Little Miss Muffet by The Colonials, and others.
THE ADMIRATIONS: Little Bo Peep/ THE CARONATORS: Fairy Tales/ THE CHARM KINGS: Tell Me A Tale/ CHIP & QUARTERTONES: Simple Simon/ THE CLASSICS: Cinderella/ THE COLONIALS: Little Miss Muffet/ THE CORVAIRS: Sing A Song Of Sixpence/ THE DEVOTIONS: Rip Van Winkle/ Snow White/ THE ELEGANTS: Little Boy Blue/ THE EMBLEMS: Poor Humpty Dumpty/ THE FIVE SHADES: Mary Had A Little Lamb/ THE GARY KAY: Cinderella/ THE IDEALS: Mary's Lamb/ THE INSPIRATIONS: Genie/ THE LAMPLIGHTERS: Bo Peep/ THE LYDELLS: Genie Of The Lamp/ Wizard Of Love/ THE MONOTONES: Legend Of Sleepy Hollow/ THE NUTMEGS: Rip Van Winkle/ THE ORLANDOS: Old Macdonald/ THE RICARDOS: Mary's Little Lamb/ THE RIVINGTONS: Fairy Tales/ THE ROULETTES: Hasten Jason/ THE ROYAL KINGS: Peter Peter/ THE SPANIELS: Fairy Tales/ THE STORY SISTERS: Twinkle Little Star/ THE TORNADOS: Geni In The Jug/ THE TROUPERS: Peter Pumpkin Eater/ THE VALAQUANS: Jolly Green Giant

VARIOUS ARTISTS Nu-Kat NKR 100 The Best R&B Of Nu-Kat ● CD $16.98
A collection of 21 tracks from the Virginia based Nu-Kat label recorded in the late 50s/ early 60s. Mostly doo-wop plus some R&B. It includes 16 issued sides plus unissued alternate takes. Artists include The Continental Five, The 5 Roses, Lady Nell, The Velvetones, Walter & Lola, Lucky Edward and Bunie Fitz
THE CONTINENTAL FIVE: King Of Rock And Roll/ King Of Rock And Roll(unissued Alternate)/ Moe & Joe/ Moe & Joe (unissued Alternate)/ My Lonely Friend/ Predelia/ Predelia(unissued Alternate)/ LUCKY EDWARD: Tell Me That You Love Me/ BUNIE FITZ: Just A Fool For You/ One More Chance/ THE FIVE ROSES: Don't Cry Della/ Don't Cry Della (unissued Alternate)/ Romance In The Spring/ LADY NELL: Don't Forget/ Lovin' Daddy/ LUCKY EDWARD: Lonesome Walk/ THE VELVETONES: I'm Leaving Home/ Impossible/ Impossible(unissued Alternate)/ WALTER & LOLA: Broken Heart/ No Mercy

VARIOUS ARTISTS Numero 001 Eccentric Soul - The Capsoul Label ● CD $19.98
19 tracks, 60 min., essential
The Capsoul (short for Capital City Soul) label only survived for five years, only issued a dozen 45s, only pressed one LP (by the Four Mints), but has since gained legendary status in soul circles. Their secret? Founder Bill Moss released great soul songs and, unless you lived in or near the source (Columbus, Ohio), they were tough to find even when they were new. The master tapes drowned in a flood (although the sound here is quite good), and Moss destroyed his back stock one sad day. Perhaps the best known group here is the Four Mints (who still perform in Ohio). Their doo-wop inspired You're My Desire and Do You Really Love Me worked their way up the national R&B charts to #80 and #84, respectively--an amazing achievement considering the lack of distribution and promotion available to Capsoul. Marion Black's Go On Fool did even better (although on the Avco Embassy label), reaching #39 in 1971. Johnson, Hawkins, Tatum & Durr's You Can't Blame Me had regional hit power, but didn't chart. But the hands-down, put-on-your-soul-shoes best track has got to be the Kool Blues' I'm Gonna Keep On Loving You, on the short list for most underrated soul song of the '70s. The other two Kool Blues tracks shine too. The booklet notes do not include much session information, but you can't have everything. The reissue label seems as obscure as Capsoul was. May it last longer. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Numero 003 Eccentric Soul - The Bandit Label ● CD $19.98
20 tracks, 70 min., essential
The story of the Bandit label and its owner Arrow Brown is likely one of the strangest on record (pun intended). Brown apparently lived with many nubile young women in a commune or "family" or non-religious cult, depending on how you look at it. And when he wasn't demanding the sexual fidelity of his harem, he was writing, recording, and releasing some of the sweetest soul music to make its way out of Chicago in the late 1960s and '70s--all this after (?) an apparent life of crime (thus the label name). Many of the performances come from his "family." Altyrone Deno Brown (Arrow's son) began recording at age 7; local papers dubbed him Chicago's Michael Jackson, high praise at the time. Deno Brown went on to win a Tony Award for his performance in "Raisin" (a musical version of Lorraine Hansbury's play "A Raisin In The Sun"), before slipping into obscurity, as most of the artists here eventually did. The recordings collected here, never widely available outside of the Windy City, include both sides of Linda Ballintine's only Bandit 45 (Glad About That and You're A Habit Hard To Break, of which only 2 copies are known to exist. One of the soul beacons here, Johnny Davis, who turns in a powerful performance on the charger You've Got To Crawl To Me, was brutally murdered in 1973. Most cuts are by the superb Majestic Arrows, whose lineup changes, but whose gorgeous records were rarely surpassed by their more commercially successful competitors. The exceptional Love Is All I Need would by itself make this collection essential. Includes three "rehearsal" performances found on cassette tapes belonging to Tridia Brown (Arrow's daughter by his first marriage before the "family"), among them an a cappella performance of Make Yourself Over, which is wonderful. Unrelentingly good. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Numero 007 Eccentric Soul - The Deep City Label ● CD $19.98

VARIOUS ARTISTS Numero 009 Eccentric Soul - The Big Mack Label ● CD $19.98
19 tracks, 52 min., highly recommended
The Numero label's "Eccentric Soul" series (starting with the Capsoul label story) is easily the most interesting and best researched of any label's soul reissue program. This time the focus is on Ed McCoy's tiny Detroit label, Big Mack, named for its owner. McCoy apparently used the eclectic approach inasmuch as no single soul style predominates. He even started a subsidiary called Wildcat to release white garage bands such as The Sleepwalkers. The most pleasing musical moment at Big Mack came when Bob and Fred (Bob Thomas and Fred Brown) waxed their own I'll Be On My Way, a sweet slice of violin-driven goodness. But as seemingly radio friendly as the song was, it went nowhere. Other obscure groups worth (re)discovering here include L. Hollis & the Mackadoos, Edd Henry, Ms. Tyree "Sugar" Jones, Essence, Soul President, Mae Young, The Performers, and The Manhattens (with an "e"), who also recorded as Grand Prix's (especially after The Manhattans, with an "a," became popular), and whose 1962 doo wop effort Why Should I Cry is another standout. (The tracks here were cut between 1961-73.) The booklet houses informative notes, rare photos, and the story of a label worth reading about. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Numero 011 Eccentric Soul - Mighty Mike Lenaburg ● CD $19.98
17 tracks, 48 min., very highly recommended
This time Numero focusses its eclectic attention on Mike Lenaburg's various Arizona-based soul labels operating between 1962-71 (although one cut comes from 1980). Many of Lenaburg's labels are one-offs and many more of his efforts never saw wax at all. He did manage to get national releases (on Brent, for example), but they tended to disappear almost before they emerged. The most "famous" cut here might be Function Underground by We The People--an engrossing funk-rock workout. But one of the best kept secrets to discover here is the trio of tracks by The Soul Blenders (w/ & w/o Lon Rogers). This CD is full of secret soul wonders, many in the funk arena. Ronnie Whitehead's Begging You is irresistible, as is the rare female vocal cut by Shiela Jack I've Got To Have You. In short, this is probably the best Numero release since No. 1, and that's saying something, since the label is 11 for 11 in the interesting releases department. Informative booklet notes, cool photos. (JC)

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

VARIOUS ARTISTS Numero 014 Cult Cargo: Grand Baham Goombay ● CD $18.98
16 tracks, 77 min., highly recommended
This time the cargo is the interesting story of the Grand Bahama record label, the G.B.I. Recording Company, during its glory years of 1968-76. Who knew the tiny island that didn't gain its independence until 1973 housed so much cool soul and funk? The tourist trade spawned any number of hotel bands of varying skill, but the Numero Group has handpicked some wonderful examples of American soul with a Grand Bahaman attitude--or is it the other way around? Oddly, the opening funk workout by Cyril Ferguson is one of the least interesting cuts, but the Jay Mitchell beater that directly follows makes up for it. In fact Mitchell owns five tracks here and is no small part of why the album is so much fun. The two tracks by The Mustangs deserve high praise as well for their easy going brand of infectious reggae. And while the scales tilt toward funk on this set, the occasional pop oddity (The Gospel Chandeliers Honesty Is The Best Policy) startles in its naiveté. And what can be said about Sylvia Hall's paean to sexual abstinence Don't Touch That Thing except that while it almost has to be tongue in cheek, it doesn't seem to be. This cargo isn't for all cults, but its unusual assortment of styles is pretty charming. And as usual the booklet is full of intelligent notes, rare photos, and cool pictures of records you'll wish you owned. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Numero 015 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 Numero 017 Eccentric Soul - The Outskirts Of Deep City ● CD $18.98
20 tracks, 56 mins, highly recommended
The latest edition of Numero's "Eccentric Soul" series is a related follow-up to "Eccentric Soul: The Deep City Label, concentrating on the smaller independents that were satellites or rivals of the original Deep City imprint. The story leads us to into unsung labels Reid, Sun Cut, Lloyd, Concho, Blue Star, and Green Gold, as well as giving us further insight into the Deep City saga. The famous Florida grooves are present as ever on songs from Helene Smith, James Knight & the Butlers, Clarence Reid, and a young Betty Wright. Lush balladry is to had from Lynn Williams, Smith, The Rising Sun, and The Rollers, and all offer excellent counterpoint to the Saturday-nite party feel of the up tempo tracks. Dating from 1963 to 1971, these songs form the backbone of the Miami soul scene that became more famous later on thanks to KC & the Sunshine Band and George McCrae. As we've come to expect from the Numero series, the package is expertly annotated and put together. Bottom line: if you like the other Numero CD's, you'll need this one too. (GMC)

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 Numero 021 Soul Messages From Dimona ● CD $18.98
16 tracks, 69 min., very highly recommended
At the least, listeners expect a collection of great, rare soul sides from a Numero release, such is that little label's deserved reputation. But every so often, they reveal a secret world of coolness that even ardent soul fans are not likely to have stumbled across. Such is the case here, where the Black Hebrew culture centered in Dimona, Israel (referred to here as the "spiritual capital of the world"), comes to life for anyone curious. The stellar (as usual) booklet provides a well-written and necessary road map from the back-to-Africa movement of 1967 that, for a select few, ended in a back-to-the-promised-land-of-Israel movement. The unusual suspects here include Charles "Hezekiah" Blackwell (who played bass for the Metrotones), Thomas "Yehudah" Whitfield, and John "Shevat" Boyd, who were at one time loosely connected to the Mar-V-Lus, Toddlin' Town, One-Der-Ful, M-Pac Chicago labels, no doubt familiar to most soul aficionados. The Soul Messengers are featured on 10 cuts, but also play on the 2 by The Spirit Of Israel. And, the Jackson-Five-influenced (just listen to the wonderful Holding On) Tonistics, , who have a pair of fine tracks, are the offspring of the members of the Soul Messengers. The Sons Of The Kingdom, also rate 2 songs. The sound features a mixture of straight-ahead soul, psychedelic soul, rasta beat, jazz, funk, and gospel. Song subjects tend to be spiritual, though often in surprising ways. The Sons Modernization takes a decidedly unfavorable view of that concept. The Messengers' Prince Of Zeal is more-or-less straight up jazz, but the best pieces, including Victory fuse soul, jazz, and funk. The Spirit's charmer A Place To Be features a Sam Cooke-esque vocal with first-rate female back-up singers that would give The Vandellas a run for their money. Not to be missed. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Numero 023 Eccentric Soul - The Young Disciples ● CD $19.98
21 tracks, 60 mins, highly recommended
In Numero Records never-ending quest to dig up lost and/or forgotten R&B from the late 60's/early 70's, Volume 23 brings us music from the mean streets of East St. Louis Illinois. In an effort to help keep kids off the streets and out of trouble in the crime and poverty riddled city, teacher Allan Merry organized music programs through a youth center. The collective name for the teenage musicians and singers was the Young Disciples, but this catch-all name actually encompassed solo singers, duos, and groups. The music here, originally released on Merry's homegrown labels YoDi and Merry, is rawer than most Soul of the time, possibly reflecting the rough lives of the participants: from the tough-minded The World is Changing by LaVal Moore and Crumbs From the Table by Young Disciples Co. to the deceptively sweet sounds of Anyone Or Anything by DeDe Turner Happening, this music oozes potency from every note. And the songs are amazingly accomplished for teenagers; surprisingly, many of the ballads are throwbacks to the R&B of the early 60's, rather than the lush Gamble & Huff sounds that came to dominate the Soul scene of the late 60's and early '70's. In sum, this is yet another winner from the folks at Numero. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Numero 027 Eccentric Soul: Smart's Palace ● CD $19.98
19 tracks, 60 mins, highly recommended
More obscure R&B from the American hinterlands courtesy of the folks at Numero; this time they delve into the Wichita, Kansas soul scene (who even knew that Wichita had a soul scene) to focus on Dick Smart, DJ, bassist, club owner (the "Smart's Palace" of the title), record store owner, promoter, and solo proprietor of Solo Records. This CD is the story of the Smart and Neal brothers, and how their fortunes dominated the Wichita show band circuit during the 1960s and 1970s. The music here is passionate R&B by Baby Neal & the Smart Brothers, Fred Williams & the Jewels Band, Chocolate Snow (a great instrumental cover of the Beatles' A Day in the Life), and Hard Road featuring C.C. Neal. This is actually one of the more interesting Numero collections because the music has a lot of spirit, fire, and oomph (!), and the story of how the music came to be is a classic American success story. In short, this is a must-have for lover of grass-roots R&B. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 2001 Dynamite R&B Duos, Vol. 1 ● CD $17.98
26 track collection of some of the more obscure R&B duos - Charlie & Rosie, The Cats, Bobby & Melvin, Bob & Earl, Robert & Bobby, Sugar & Spice,  Arthur & Booker and others. Some fine music though poor quality remastering makes for difficult listening.
ARTHUR & BOOKER: You're Near Me/ BALTIMORE & MARYLAND: I've Got Plenty Of Love/ BILLY & MICKEY: You Are/ BOB & EARL: Gee Whiz/ BOBBY & MELVIN: Forever And A Day/ THE CATS: Get Gone/ CHARLIE & ROSIE: Toodle Loo Tennessee/ DEAN & JEAN: Never Let Youir Love Fade Away/ DON & LEE: Turn Out The Lights/ GENE & WENDELL: In My Dreamland/ HARVEY & ANN: What Can You Do Now/ JACK & JILL: Record Hop/ JIMMY LEE & ARTIS: Why Do You Make Me Feel Blue/ JOHNNY & MACK: I Want To Tell You Why/ KENNY & MOE: So Long I'm Gone/ LLOYD & WILLIE: Don't Know Where She Went/ MAYMIE & ROBERT: Ain't No Way In The World/ ROBERT & BOBBY: Once Upon A Time/ RON & BILL: It/ ROSALLE & DONELL: Beginning Of Our Love/ STICKS & BRICKS: Kiss The Pretty Girl Twice/ STICKS & STONES: You Made Me Cry/ SUGAR & SPICE: There Were No Angels/ SUGAR PIE & PEE WEE: One, Two, Let's Rock/ TERRY & JERRY: Out Of Luck/ TINY & TIM: Love At First Sight

VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 2002 Dynamite R&B Duos, Vol. 2 ● CD $17.98
26 more fine tracks with less than wonderful sound - Miles & Andrew, Venon & Cliff, Robert & Bobby, Sugar Pie & Pee Wee,Sugar & Spice,Mamie & Robert, Charlie & Rosie and others.
ARTHUR & BOOKER: Heavenly Angel/ BALTIMORE & MARYLAND: Don't You Know (i Love You So)/ BILLY & MICKEY: Rock & Roll Baby/ BOB & EARL: When She Walks/ BOBBY & BUDDY: What's The Word Thunderbird/ THE CATS: You're So Nice/ CHARLIE & ROSIE: Don't Call The Wagon/ DEAN & JEAN: Turn It Off/ DON & LEE: Sweet Honey Dew/ GENE & WENDELL: From Me To You/ HARVEY & ANN: Will I Do/ JACK & JILL: No One To Talk To (but The Blues)/ JIMMY LEE & ARTIS: All Right Baby/ JOHNNY & MACK: Do Be You/ KENNY & MOE: Double Talk Baby/ MAYMIE & ROBERT: Parting Tears/ MILES & ANDREW: Forever And Ever/ ROBERT & BOBBY: Girl Of My Dreams/ ROSALLE & DONELL: Shame On You/ STICKS & STONES: Desperately/ SUGAR & PEE WEE: Just A Few Little Words/ SUGAR & SPICE: Indeed I Love You/ TERRY & JERRY: What Is Love/ TINY & TIM: Bop A Diddy Do/ V & BB.: They're Just Rockin' & Rollin'/ VERNON & CLIFF: You Came Along

VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 2003 Dynamite R&B Duos, Vol. 3 ● CD $17.98
Third collection featuring 25 tracks by mostly obscure but fine R&B duos (vols 1 & 2 issued a few years ago are still available). This one includes Johnnie & Joe (a very different version of Over The Mountain, Across The Sea), Joyce & Nelson, Rosie & Ron, Bobby & Lucy, Bip & Bop, Sherri Taylor & Singin' Sammy, Gene & Wendell and others.
BILLY & MICKEY: The Creep/ BILLY & RICKEY: Baby Doll/ BIP & BOP: Du Wadda Du/ BOB & EARL: You Made A Boo Boo/ BOBBY & LUCY: It's Nothing/ DEAN & JEAN: Cross My Heart/ We're Gonna Get Married/ DELMAR & SYDNEY: You Are My Queen/ DON & BOB: I'm Lost/ DON & DEWEY: Miss Sue/ FREDDIE & LOU: Rosalie/ GENE & BILLY: After I Gave You My Heart/ GENE & WENDELL: Two Gun Bess/ JIMMY LEE & ARTIS: My Heart's Desire/ JOHNNY & JOE: Over The Mountain, Across The Sea (alt. Version)/ JOHNNY & MACK: Money, Money, Money/ JOYCE & NELSON: I Want To Marry You/ KENNY & MOE: Can't Help Myself/ LOIS & LOUIS: Baby Please Don't Go/ MARVIN & JOHNNY: Bye Bye My Baby/ ROSIE & RON: So Dearly/ RUTH & AL: I'll Be The Bee/ SUGAR & SPICE: First Last And Always/ SHERRI TAYLOR & SINGIN' SAMMY: Lover/ TERRY & JERRY: Mama Julie

VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 2004 Dynamite R&B Duos, Vol. 4 ● CD $17.98
Another 25 sides by duos - Rosemarie & Bo, Jimmy Lee & Artis, Lois & Louis, Dean & Gene, Freddie & Lou, Gene & Wendell, Billy & Mickey and others.
BEN & BEA: Let The Good Times Roll/ BILLY & MICKEY: Little Girl Don't Cry/ BILLY & RICKEY: Mama Papa Please/ BIP & BOP: Ding Dong Ding/ BOB & EARL: That's My Desire/ DEAN & GENE: That's The Way It Goes/ DEAN & JEAN: Too Young To Know/ DELMAR & SYDNEY: Don't Vip A Vop/ DON & BOB: Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl/ FRAN & FLO: You Walked Out The Door/ FRANKIE & JOHNNY: My First Love/ FREDDIE & LOU: You'll Be Mine Tonight/ GENE & BILLY: Don't Care No More/ GENE & WENDELL: Your Sister Or You/ JIMMY LEE & ARTIS: Let's Talk It Over Baby/ JOHNNY & MACK: Don't Ever Close The Door/ JOYCE & NELSON: You're Something Else/ KENNY & MOE: You're Going To Miss Me When I'm Gone/ LOIS & LOUIS: Pow Wow/ MARVIN & JOHNNY: Baby Baby Baby/ MILTY & MAT: Baby I'm Coming Home To You/ ROSEMARIE & BO: Close Your Eyes/ ROSIE & RON: Bring Me Happiness/ RUTH & AL: P's & Q's/ TERRY & JERRY: People Are Doing It Every Day

VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 5006 Most Wild & Frantic ● CD $16.98
23 fine and rocking R&B sides from the 50s - a number of them showing the influence of Little Richard. Includes sides by Frankie Ervin, Emmett Davis, John Jenning & The Kuf-Linx, Frankie Marshall, Bobby Hendricks, Thunder Lee, Jimmy Witherspoon, Sammy Jay & The Tiffineers, etc.
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 Official 50-001 RCA-Victor Jump 'n' Jive, Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, 57 mins, highly recommended
Great collection of jumpin' blues and R&B from the late 40s and early 50s - most of it making its first appearance on CD. Among the highlights are three sides by the superb Jackson Brothers recorded in L.A. - two of them featuring the raucous Wynonie Harris influenced vocalist Billy henderson and the other a hard driving instrumental with some tough guitar work from George Collier. Guitarist and bandleader Rene Hall is featured on two cuts, one of them an instrumental, featuring solid guitar from Hall. Atlanta saxman Clyde "Blow Top" Lynn is featured with his band on two tracks with fine vocals fromn Melvin Smith and there are also excellent contributions from Gay Crosse & His Good Humor Six, Mr. Sad Head, The Ford Nelson Quintet (a romping version of the pop/ jazz favorite Organ Grinder's SWing) and more. There are mno notes but sound quality is excellent. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 50-002 RCA-Victor Jump 'n' Jive, Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, highly recommended
Another excellent collection of jump blues and R&B from the late 40s/ early 50s - many tracks making their first appearance on CD. It includes four fine sides by the frequently maligned Arbee Stidham accompanied by top Chicago sidemen like Oett "Sax" Mallard, Bob Call, Willie Lacey, Ransom Knowling and others. Most of the other artists were New York based and includes sides by Big Johnson Greer (four sides including his fine cover of Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee), the always wonderful "Hot Lips" Page, Wynonie Harris inspired vocalist Mr. Sad Head, TNT Tribble, Joe Robinson with Benny Carter's Orchestra and Lloyd Thompson with Brother Moncur's Strollers (two tracks including a great duet with Kitty Madden on baby You Ain't Nowhere). Excellent sound, no notes. (FS)
BIG JOHN GREER & HIS RHYTHM ROCKERS: Drinking Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee, Drinking Wine/ If I Told You Once/ Long Tall Gal/ Rocking Jenny Jones/ HOT LIPS PAGE & HIS ORCH.: Let Me In/ That's The One For Me/ JOE ROBINSON WITH BENNY CARTER'S ORCH.: Don't Scream, Don't Shout/ Roll With The Boogie/ MR. SAD HEAD WITH BILLY FORD & ORCH.: Butcher Boy/ Hot Weather Blues/ Mumbles Blues/ Sad Head Blues/ ARBEE STIDHAM: Any Time You Ring My Bell/ Barbeque Lounge/ Squeeze Me Baby/ What The Blues Will Do/ LLOYD THOMPSON WITH BROTHER MONCUR'S STROLLERS: Baby You Ain't Nowhere/ I Want A Lavendar Cadillac/ MILT TRENIER & HIS SOLID SIX: Rock Bottom/ Squeeze Me/ TNT TRIBBLE & CREW: Cocoa Moe Joe/ That's What Makes Me Love You So

VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 50-003 RCA-Victor Jump 'n' Jive, Vol. 3 ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, 58 mins, highly recommended
If you liked the first two volumes in this series then this one is another for you with 22 more fine and mostly up tempo R&B from the early 50s featuring many of the same artists from the first two volumes - TNT Tribble, Arbee Stidham, Jesse Stone, Big John Greer, Hot Lips Page, etc. plus a couple of fine artists new to this volume - Eddie "Sugarman" Penigar and future member of The Trenier, Gene Gilbeaux. A mix of vocal and instrumental cuts in excellent sound. (FS)
GENE GILBEAUX & HIS ORCH.: Up The Hill With Jeep/ BIG JOHN GREER & HIS RHYTHM ROCKERS: Big John's A Blowin'/ Clambake Boogie/ I'm The Fat Man/ Red Juice/ JOHN GREER & HIS RHYTHM ROCKERS: I'll Never Let You Go/ Ride Pretty Baby/ HOT LIPS PAGE & HIS ORCH.: I Wanna Ride Like The Cowboys Do/ Strike, While The Iron Is Hot!/ GENE PARRISH: Screamin' In My Sleep/ EDDIE SUGARMAN PENIGAR: Brand New Baby/ ARBEE STIDHAM: I've Got So Many Worries/ Stidham Jumps/ You'll Be Sorry/ JESSE STONE & ORCH.: Hey, Sister Lucy (What Makes Your Lips So Juicy)/ Sneaky Pete/ Who Killed 'Er (Who Killed The Big Black Widow)/ MILT TRENIER & HIS SOLID SIX: Flip Our Wigs/ You're Killin' Me/ TNT TRIBBLE & CREW: Mr. Von/ TNT TRIBBLE & FRANK MOTLEY: I Get My Kicks In The Country/ Tv Boogie Blues

VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 50-004 RCA-Victor Jump 'n' Jive, Vol. 4 ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, highly recommended
Another fine collection of blues shouters with hot R&B bands with lots of tough honkin'. Artists include Jesse Stone & His Orch., Dossie Terry (the great gambling song When I Hit The Number), John Greer, Ford Nelson Quintet, Boots Brown & His Blockbusters (the storming instrumental Block Buster), Danny "Run Joe" Taylor, Buddy Lucas & His Orch. and others. (FS)
BOOTS BROWN & HIS BLOCKBUSTERS: Block Buster/ BIG JOHN GREER: Bottle It Up And Go/ JOHN GREER: Come Back Maybelline/ Strong Red Whiskey/ Too Long/ LES HARRIS: 96 Lbs./ GEORGE JAMES & HIS ORCH.: '53 Convertible/ INEZ JONES: Take A Back Seat, Mr. Jackson/ BUDDY LUCAS & HIS ORCH.: I Know What I'm Doin'/ BUDDY LUCAS & ORCH.: I Got Drunk/ JIMMY MCPHAIL: Some Folks Do It And Some Folks Don't/ That's How Much I Love You/ FORD NELSON QUINTET: Little Annie/ MELVIN SMITH: Businessman's Blues/ I'm Out Of My Mind/ Looped/ Sarah Kelly (From Plumnelly)/ JESSE STONE & HIS ORCH.: Keep Your Big Mouth Shut/ Who's Zat?/ JESSE STONE ORCH.: Get It While You Can/ DANNY "RUN JOE" TAYLOR: You Look Bad/ DOSSIE TERRY: When I Hit The Number

VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 50-006 RCA Rhythm & Blues, Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
Essentially a continuation of the RCA-Victor Jump & Jive series but includes some slower paced items as well as some great doo-wop stylings. There are two tracks by veteran bandleader Cab Calloway who holds his own with the young R&B upstarts on tow fine sides plus tracks from Annisteen Allen, The Heartbreakers, Melvin Smith, Bixie Crawford, Jackie Davis Trio, The Robins, Al Sears & His Orch., Otis Blackwell, Meredith Howard and others.
ANNISTEEN ALLEN WITH LUCKY MILLINDER'S ORCH.: Moanin' The Blues/ OTIS BLACKWELL: Wake Up Fool/ RED CALLENDER SEXTETTE: Chico's Boogie/ CAB CALLOWAY & HIS CAB JIVERS: Rooming House Boogie/ Your Voice/ BIXIE CRAWFORD WITH ERNEST A. FREEMAN & ORCH.: Please Let Me Be/ Tonight Of All Nights/ JACKIE DAVIS TRIO: Do Baby Do/ THE HEARTBREAKERS: Heartbreaker/ Wanda/ You're So Necessary To Me/ MEREDITH HOWARD: Cold Potato/ Jelly And Bread/ LUCKY MILLINDER & HIS ORCH.: D' Natural Blues/ BOBBY PRINCE: Have A Little Pity/ I'm Such A Fool Over You/ THE ROBINS: (Now And Then There's) A Fool Such As I/ All Night Baby/ AL SEARS & HIS ORCH.: Huffin' And Puffin'/ MELVIN SMITH: Everybody's Got The Blues/ DANNY "RUN JOE" TAYLOR: Gator Tail/ RUDY TRAYLOR & ORCH. (MARY LOUISE & THE TRAYL: Those Magic Words

VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 50-007 RCA Rhythm & Blues, Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
Another 22 fine sides with tracks from Cab Calloway (two songs including the topical Ol' Joe Louis), Otis Blackwell, Meredith Howard, Mevin Smith and others.
OTIS BLACKWELL: Fool That I Be/ Number 000/ BILLY BUNN & HIS BUDDIES: That's When Your Heartaches Begin/ CAB CALLOWAY & HIS CAB JIVERS: I Beeped When I Shoulda Bopped/ Ol' Joe Louis/ JACKIE DAVIS TRIO: Buzz Me Baby/ THE HEARTBREAKERS: I'm Only Fooling My Heart/ Rockin' Daddy-O/ Why Don't I/ MEREDITH HOWARD: Easy Come, Easy Go Blues/ Home Cookin' Mama/ GEORGE JAMES WITH HOWARD BIGGS ORCH.: Goose Grease/ LUCKY MILLINDER ORCH. (ANNISTEEN ALLEN, PAUL B: I'll Never Be Free/ LUCKY MILLINDER ORCH. (ANNISTEEN ALLEN, VCL.): In The Middle Of The Night/ BOBBY PRINCE: I'm In Bad Shape/ THE ROBINS: I'll Do It/ My Heart's The Biggest Fool/ AL SEARS & HIS ORCH.: In The Good Old Summertime/ MELVIN SMITH: It Went Down Easy/ TERRY TIMMONS: Ain't Supposed To Be Like That/ Eating My Heart Out For You/ Worried Woman Blues

VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 50-008 RCA Rhythm & Blues, Vol. 3 ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, 59 mins, highly recommended
More fine black music recorded for RCA in the late 40s including jump blues, R&B, vocal group sounds and, this time, a couple of gospel tunes featuring the obscure but excellent Starlight Spiritual SIngers and one of the earliest recordings of the Original Gospel Harmonettes. Artists featured include Erskine Hawkins Orch. (the jumpin' instrumental Cornbread), The Robins, Terry Timmons (superb underrated female vocalist), Jimmy Lewis (the hot Cherry Wine with hot guitar - Mickey Baker?), Billy Bunn & His Buddies, Johnny Moore's Three Blazers (two tracks - one with a vocal by Lee Barnes who does an uncanny impression of Nat King Cole), Bob Williams (his 1951 recording of On A Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor which, I think, predates the country recordings of this song), The Four Clefs (a small group with the fine mid-tempo intrumental Dig These Blues featuring a steel guitar solo) and others. EXcellent sound - no notes. (FS)
OTIS BLACKWELL: Please Help Me Find My Way Home/ BILLY BUNN & HIS BUDDIES: I'm Afraid/ THE DEEP RIVER BOYS WITH HOWARD BIGGS ORCH.: Oo-Shoo-Be-Do-Be/ THE FOUR CLEFS: Dig These Blues/ GENE GILBEAUX & HIS ORCH. (VCL. BIXIE CRAWFOR: I've Got What It Takes/ BIG JOHN GREER: Cheatin'/ ERSKINE HAWKINS & HIS ORCH.: Cornbread/ THE HEARTBREAKERS: It's O.K. With Me/ There Is Time/ JIMMY LEWIS: Cherry Wine/ BLOW TOP LYNN & HIS HOUSE ROCKERS (VCL. MELVIN SM: Come Back My Darlin'/ Homesick Blues/ JOHNNY MOORE'S THREE BLAZERS (VCL. LEE BARNES): A New Shade Of Blues/ This Is One Time, Baby (You Ain't Gonna Two-Time Me)/ THE ORIGINAL GOSPEL HARMONETTES: No, No, Nothing Can Change Me/ THE ROBINS: Let's Go To The Dance/ Oh Why/ THE STARLIGHT SPIRITUAL SINGERS: Step By Step/ TERRY TIMMONS: Got Nobody To Love/ The Same Old Thrill/ BOB WILLIAMS: On A Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor/ MICKI WILLIAMS WITH HOWARD BIGGS ORCH.: My Kind Of Love

VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 50-009 RCA Rhythm & Blues, Vol. 4 ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, highly recommended
Another splendid collection opening with the fine instrumental Cruisin' by Benny Carter & His Orch. and including tracks by The Robins (their fine Ten Days In Jail has a feel like some of their later recordings as The Coasters), The Five Trumpets (excellent gospel quartet with a version of the standard Don't Let Nobody Turn You Around), Terry Timmons (the great He's The Best In The Business), Johnny Moore's Three Blazers, Erskine Hawkins & His Orch. (a fine big band cover of Pee Wee Crayton's Texas Hop), Rene Hall Orch. (with obscure but fine blues shouter Courtland Carter on the humorous Seen Better Days), Erskine Hawkins & His ORch. (a vocal version of Tuxedo Junction with The Deep River Boys) and more. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 65001 Coral Rhythm 'n' Blues, Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, highly recommended
Fine collection of R&B, jive vocal group sounds, blues and gospel recorded for the Coral label between 1949 and 1952. Though some of these tracks were issued some years back on the long defunct Big Q label most of them are not currently available elsewhere on CD. Includes sides by Big Joe Turner (with the Freddie Slack Trio), Jimmie Lunceford Orch. (with vocals by The Trenier twins), Max Bailey (fine obscure blues shouter), Ethel Davenport with The Jimmy Blythe Trio (fine gospel with pianist Sammy Price and a guitarist emulating Sister Rosetta Tharpe!), Jesse Allen (fine New Orleans singer/ guitarist), Delores Bell, Joe Black & His Boogie Woogie Boys, The James Quintet, Calvert Jones (a New York cover of dave Bartholomew's Tra-La-La), Danny "Run Joe" Taylor (the fine risque blues Coffee Daddy Blues with Mickey Baker on slide guitar) and others. Excellent sound but no notes. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 65002 Coral Rhythm 'n' Blues, Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, recommended
Another fine selection from the late 40s and early 50s. Not quite as strong as the first volume due to the overabundance of pop style ballads but good stuff nonetheless including sides by Orville Brooks (the interesting topical song Since Things Got Tough Again), Joe Black & His Boogie Woogie Boys (The delightfully named Fish Grease Boogie - a jazzy instrumental), Max Bailey, Martha Davis, The James Quintet, The X-Rays (a fine rocking rendition of the standard Charmaine), Danny "Run Joe" taylor, The Beavers, Bonnie David & The Picadilly Pipers, Ace Harris, The James Quintet, Jimmy Scott and others. (FS)
MAX BAILEY: Love Me Pretty Baby/ THE BEAVERS: Big Mouth Mama/ DELORES BELL W/DAVE YOUNG ORCHESTRA: There Should Be Tears in My Eyes/ JOE BLACK & HIS BOOGIE WOOGIE BOYS: Fish Grease Boogie/ Flag Wavin' Boogie/ THE BLUES CARAVAN FEATURING JOHN PEEK & ZILL: Triple Eight/ ORVILLE BROOKS: Since Things Got Tough Again/ BOB CALL & HIS ORCHESTRA (GRANT 'MR. BLUES': Talking Baby Blues/ THE COLEMAN BROTHERS: Low Down the Chariot/ EUNICE DAVIS: What Do You Want/ MARTHA DAVIS: You're the Doctor/ BONNIE DAVIS & THE PICCADILLY PIPERS: Out in the Cold Again/ ACE HARRIS: Honey/ MYRTLE JACKSON WITH THE JIMMY BLYTHE ORCHESTRA: Where Can I Go/ THE JAMES QUINTET: Bewildered/ Pleasing You (As Long As I Live)/ JIMMY SCOTT: When You Surrender/ AL SEARS & THE SPARROWS: Shake Hands/ Tan Skin Lad/ OLLIE SHEPPARD & HIS ORCHESTRA: L-U-C-I-L-L-E (Bop The Boogie)/ DANNY "RUN JOE" TAYLOR: Sweet Lovin' Daddy/ THE X-RAYS: Charmaine

VARIOUS ARTISTS Olimpic 1001 The Olimpic Record Story ● CD $18.98
26 track collection featuring 22 tracks from the Olimpic label and four from other labels featuring some of the same artists. A mixture of doo-wop, teen rock 'n' roll and a bit of garage band sounds - Frankie Bearse & The Voices, Caleb & The Playboys, The Emperors, Casinos, Jewels, Joyce Spivey & The Melvettes and others.
THE AVALONS: Begin The Beguine/ Malanese/ FRANKIE BEARSE & THE VOICES: I Cry/ No End To Love/ THE BELLTONES: (please Try) To Understand/ Swing Little Chicken/ CALEB & THE PLAYBOYS: I'm Yours/ See About Me/ THE CASINOS: Do You Recall/ Do You Recall (alt Version)/ The Swim/ THE CASIONS: Teach'er/ THE DRAKES: I Made A Wish/ Old King Cole/ THE EMPERORS: Dancing In The Moonlight/ Steve Allen/ THE JEWELS: Jimmie Lee/ The Hash/ THE MELVETTES: Quiet Now/ Take One Step/ PHIL & THE CATALINAS: Bobby Layne/ Dancing Little Fool/ June 30th/ Our Love Is So True/ JOYCE SPIVEY & THE MELVETTES: Angel/ Dreaming

VARIOUS ARTISTS Owl 1001 The Best Of Owl Records, Vol. 1 ● CD $17.98
30 tracks, highly recommended
Great collection of doo-wop from the 50s and early 60s. Most of these were originally unissued, extremely scarce or obscure album tracks that were issued on the Phildelphia based Owl label in the late 60s and early 70s (according to the cover of the CD) or between 1973 and 1979 (according to the R&B Indies!). Anyway this a very fine selection featuring some of the genre's top artists. Some have been out on CD before but quite a few haven't. This first volume includes sides by The Platters, The Coronets (their great Begging N' Pleadin" - originally unissued, with accompaniment by the great blues harmonica player Little Walter and his group!), The Monotones, Fiestas, Jive Five, The Five Owls, Aladdins, Sheppards, Gassers, Chocolateers, Hunki Dori and others. Excellent sound but no notes. (FS)
THE ALADDINS: Eternally/ THE BARONS: Until The End/ ELIAS BATES: I Love You/ THE BEES: Darling Please/ JESSE BELVIN: Let's Try Romance/ THE CHOCOLATEERS: For Sentimental Reasons/ THE CONTINENTALS: This Is Why/ THE CORONETS: Begging N' Pleading/ THE DANLEERS: Whole Mess O'trouble/ THE EL DORADOS: She Don't Run Around/ THE FIESTAS: Mexico/ THE FIVE KEYS: Your Teeth And Your Tongue/ THE FIVE OWLS: Lima Beans (acapella)/ THE FLAMINGOS: I'll Be Home/ THE GASSERS: Beloved/ THE GLADIOLAS: We're Lovers/ THE HONEY BOYS: Honey Honey Honey (acappella)/ HUNKI DORI: Use Your Head/ THE JACKS: Away/ THE JAGUARS: I See You/ THE JIVE FIVE: You're My Only Love/ THE MAGNIFICENTS: Rose Bud/ THE MARCELS: Peace Of Mind/ THE MONOTONES: A Toast To Lovers/ THE NITE CAPS: Oh You Sweet Girl/ THE PASTELS: Human (acappella)/ THE PLATTERS: Sixteen Tons/ THE SHEPPARDS: So Fine/ THE SPANIELS: The Possee/ THE SPARROWS: Hold My Baby Tight

VARIOUS ARTISTS Owl 1002 The Best Of Owl Records, Vol. 2 ● CD $17.98
30 tracks, highly recommended
Another great collection of originally unissued and extreemly rare sides from the 50s and early 60s. Includes The Cadillacs, Flamingos, Danleers, Barons, Cues, Spaniels, Gassers, Pastels, Crows, DRifters and more. (FS)
THE BARONS: My Secret/ BO & THE CARNATIONS: Don't Let It Go/ THE CADILLACS: Baby's Coming Home To Me/ THE CONTINENTALS: Goodbye/ THE CROWS: Baby/ THE CUES: Be My Wife/ THE DANLEERS: I Found You/ THE DIABLOS: What You're Doing To Me/ THE DRIFTERS: Sadly My Love/ THE EMERALDS: Schoolboy Crush/ THE FIESTAS: Come On And Love Me/ THE FIVE KEYS: (i've Always Been) A Dreamer/ When My Troubles End/ THE FIVE OWLS: The Thril Is Gone (acappella)/ THE FLAMINGOS: If I Can't Have You/ Stolen Love/ THE GASSERS: Why Did You Go Away/ THE GLADIOLAS: Running Around/ ED KIRBY: Blue Nights/ THE LAMPLIGHTERS: Sad And Lonely/ THE MARCELS: Crazy Bells/ THE MONOTONES: Book Of Dance/ THE NEW-NOTES: I Want You To Be Mine (acappella)/ THE PASTELS: Oh Me Oh My/ THE PLATTERS: Are You Sincere/ THE SHEPPARDS: Queen Of Hearts/ THE SPANIELS: Little Joe/ THE SPIDERS: Don't Knock/ THE TAKE-FOURS: Come Back My Love/ OTIS WILLIAMS & THE CHARMS: Creation Of Love


Back To Rhythm & Blues Index


Roots & Rhythm
P.O. Box 837
El Cerrito, CA 94530 USA
Toll Free Order Line : 888-ROOTS-66

© 2017 Roots & Rhythm. No part of this site may be reproduced without written permission