Ace Records first-ever exploration of the late 1940s hillbilly & western swing masters issued (& in many cases unissued) by Modern/Colonial/Flair Records. Drawing on material recorded in Texas, Louisiana, & Hollywood, 'Swingbillies' offers many important early recordings by young hopefuls who, in many cases, went onto become major country singers & musicians in the 50s & 60s - among them Jimmy Bryant, Ramblin' Jimmie Dolan, Jimmy C. Newman, Link Davis & of course Bill Woods, the godfather of Bakersfield country. 28 tracks.
One of the hippest albums ever from the team of Harold Land and Bobby Hutcherson – and a set that's even more open than some of their other records on Blue Note or Chess! This set's a bit more electric than some of the other records from the pair – with these drawn-out Fender Rhodes lines from Bill Henderson – who comps and vamps with modal energy that really draws out some searing, searching solos from Land's tenor! Bobby's vibes are maybe a bit more restrained, but offer a key element in the overall soundshape of the record – and the rest of the lineup includes Reggie Johnson on bass, Ndugu and Woody Theus on drums, and Harold Land Jr on additional piano.
This collection of rarities from the Sceptor vaults strengthens the case for the Shirelles to be considered the finest of the girl groups of the 60s. Lost & Found succinctly describes this rare collection of Shirelles material. The remastering job is excellent here and equally fine on all other Shirelles collections re-issued on the Ace label. Hooray!!!!
28 slices of down’n’dirty blues from the Deep South – including eight previously unheard tracks and takes. The “By The Bayou” series leaps to Volume 18 with a return to the blues of South Louisiana, bringing you rare or previously unissued tracks from stars of the genre such as Lightnin’ Slim, Lazy Lester and Slim Harpo, plus a host of little-known or completely unknown performers. We also have two artists who you would never think performed in the downhome style – Barbara Lynn and Cookie (aka Huey Thierry) – but who sound right at home, with an unknown harmonica player setting the tone on Barbara’s track whilst Cupcakes guitarist Marshall Laday supports Cookie with some mean blues pickin’. In fact there are several tracks here that will have air-guitar virtuosos reaching for their imaginary axes.
Two dozen rare B-sides from Stax Records’ “blue” period, many reissued for the first time. An enormous and impressive undertaking, “The Complete Stax-Volt Singles 1959-68” box set was issued in 1991. While pleased with its content, hardcore collectors were nevertheless disappointed that it was not as “complete” as it claimed to be, as it featured all the A-sides and only selected B-sides. While highly welcome, its release left more than 100 of approximately 225 “blue period” Stax and Volt B-sides un-reissued in any form. Several of those sides have since featured on CD compilations, either as individual tracks here and there or on Kent’s recent “The Other Side Of The Trax”, but that still left many awaiting reissue. Fortunately, the success of “The Other Side Of The Trax” has warranted this second volume. The 24 tracks here span almost the whole of Stax Records’ blue period, as far back as when the label was still called Satellite.
During the final part of their career, the Stanley Brothers did most of their recording for the King label, laying down almost 200 sides for the company between 1958 and 1965. All of those tracks are available in box set form should you want them, but the ordinary fan will be satisfied with more selective samplers such as this one, which has a couple dozen cuts originally released in 1961-1966. The Stanley Brothers were a consistent enough act that the songs picked for best-of comps are pretty much up to the taste of the compiler, but this does a fine job both in the quality and the variety of the material presented. In addition to plenty of originals, there are also interpretations of songs by A.P. Carter, Alton Delmore, and traditional items.
The second volume of Ace’s Shirelles reissue project finds our heroines firmly entrenched as America’s premiere group. Shirley, Doris, Beverly and Micki (“Mouse” to her friends) were on top of the world as they rang in 1962 at the Apollo Theater’s holiday show – the youngest-ever women to headline Harlem’s fabled showplace. 1961 had seen them rise to dizzying heights with seven major hits, numerous TV appearances and non-stop touring, including an appearance at the Hollywood Bowl. The craze they had incited was booming – the Apollo bill featured the Marvelettes, who had recently become the second girl-group chart-toppers.
2008 release, the first in a series that will restore to catalogue the original Scepter and Pricewise vinyl albums by The Shirelles, in the same running order as issued plus bonus non-album flipsides. This one pairs their first two albums, which include the Top 40 hits: classics such as 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow', 'Mama Said' and 'Dedicated to the One I Love' amongst others. The Shirelles were the door openers for the girl group sound of the early '60s. Their strongest sides stand alongside the best of anything that splendid genre has to offer. Exquisitely remastered - and in stereo where stereo tapes still exist - this CD and future releases in the series will provide the definitive Shirelles collection for anyone who wants something more than the umpteenth rehash of their Greatest Hits.
All good things must come to an end. Thus it is with tears in our eyes and handkerchiefs in hand that, this month, we bring the curtain down on our series of pairings of the Shirelles’ original Scepter albums. We’d love it to have continued for longer but, unfortunately for us all, the girls just did not release enough long players to make that happen. If you’re looking for someone to blame for that, blame Florence Greenberg – Scepter was her label, not ours. Few big (or small) girl groups of the 1960s could have achieved the level of success that they did without the pioneering work of Shirley Alston, Micki Harris, Doris Coley and Beverly Lee. The conclusion of the series is with two very rare albums, neither of which has ever been on CD before.
It was always going to be a dangerous mission. Trevor Churchill’s brainchild, THE GOLDEN AGE OF AMERICAN POP, had been in development for some time and the prototype was about to be launched into the fray with a bundle of seemingly undifferentiated repertoire. The potential embarrassment factor was high with risk of heavy flak on the way and snipers on the ground in the landing zone. Trevor was calling for volunteers. There was a lot of nervous shuffling among the ranks. Some of the lads took to studying their toecaps, while others took an inordinate interest in the state of their cuticles, or tried to look inconspicuous by melting into the background.