CD The Golden Age of American Rock 'N' Roll, Vol. 11 (CD 1147881),
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The Golden Age of American Rock 'N' Roll, Vol. 11
1. Jim Dandy - LaVern Baker & the Gilders
2. Ruby Baby - Dion
3. White Bucks and Saddle Shoes - Bobby Pedrick Jr.
4. Transfusion - Nervous Norvus
5. Lavender Blue - Sammy Turner
6. (You're the) Apple of My Eye - The Four Lovers
7. Mathilda - Cookie & the Cupcakes
8. Henrietta - Jimmy Dee & The Off-Beats
9. One Track Mind - Bobby Lewis
10. I Need Your Lovin' - Conway Twitty
11. Tennessee Waltz - Bobby Comstock & The Counts
12. Love Is Strange - Mickey & Sylvia
13. Pretend - Carl Mann
14. Drip Drop - The Drifters
15. Chills and Fever - Ronnie Love
16. Let the Good Times Roll - Shirley & Lee
17. Miss Fine - The New Yorkers
18. I'm Stickin' With You - Jimmy Bowen/Rhythm Orchids
19. Breaking up Is Hard to Do - Jivin' Gene & The Jokers
20. Goodbye Baby - Jack Scott
21. This Little Girl's Gone Rockin' - Ruth Brown
22. Last Chance - Collay & the Satellites
23. Record Hop Blues - Quarter Notes
24. Without Love (There Is Nothing) - Clyde McPhatter
25. Village of Love - Nathaniel Mayer & the Fabulous Twilights
26. Fabulous - Charlie Gracie
27. Peanut Butter - Vibrations/Marathons
28. Smokey Joe's Cafe - The Robins
29. Come on Over - The Strollers
30. Finger Poppin' Time - Hank Ballard & the Midnighters
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): CDCHD-1200
Trevor Churchill (Compilation); Rob Finnis (Compilation)
The 11th volume of this venerated series is split about half between out-and-out classics from rock & roll's first decade and considerably lesser-known (and usually much lower-charting) items from the same period. The benefit of this approach is that it makes available quite a few tracks that rarely get reissued, or at least rarely anthologized on all-purpose rock & roll oldies collections, while putting in enough familiar staples to avoid being tagged as a rarities collection. The drawback, of course, is that those relatively little-known singles -- all Top 100 Billboard hits to some degree or another, though seldom played on oldies stations today -- simply aren't nearly as good or memorable as the big hits with which they share space on this CD. Collectors might get frustrated by all the big hits that they already have in their collection several times over; more general fans will find the quality of the disc erratic, owing to the presence of all those obscurities. Still, there's no arguing with the first-rate status of many of the big hits here, including great smashes by LaVern Baker ("Jim Dandy"), Dion ("Ruby Baby"), Mickey & Sylvia ("Love Is Strange"), Shirley & Lee ("Let the Good Times Roll"), Jimmy Bowen ("I'm Stickin' with You"), Hank Ballard ("Finger Poppin' Time"), and Nervous Norvus ("Transfusion," a novelty so gruesome it still remains astonishing it made the Top Ten in 1956). Among the less celebrated selections, a few standouts are in or almost in the same league, like the Robins' wonderful "Smokey Joe's Cafe," Ruth Brown's "This Little Girl's Gone Rockin'," Carl Mann's late-'50s Sun Records rockabilly cut "Pretend," and Cookie & His Cupcakes' swamp pop standard "Mathilda." Much of the rest of the anthology is of a decidedly lower level, although early efforts are included by some artists who went on to much bigger fame in different contexts, like the 1956 doo wop single "(You're The) Apple of My Eye" by the Four Lovers (later to become the Four Seasons) and "White Bucks and Saddle Shoes" by Bobby Pedrick, Jr. (later to have hits as Robert John). Rob Finnis' liner notes give excellent background information about each track, and cite one of the more obscure cuts, Jimmy Dee's 1957 Top 50 hit "Henrietta," as the first record Bob Dylan ever bought. ~ Richie Unterberger-
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