Sunday, 10 June 2012 09:57 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

daThe latest Ace Records "Songwriters" compilation offers a second snapshot of the work of Brill Building luminaries ELLIE GREENWICH and JEFF BARRY. Both hailed from Brooklyn and they joined forces in 1962 with spectacular results. This new set – entitled 'Da Doo Ron Ron' – offers 24 of their very best songs and like the first collection it includes many big classics and lots of lesser known gems. Because of a recent relaxation in the ability to license PHIL SPECTOR productions, many of those "big classics" came out of the SPECTOR studios. So here there's THE RONETTES' 'Baby I Love You', BOB B SOXX'S 'Not Too Young To Get Married', DARLENE LOVE'S 'Wait Til' My Bobby Gets Home' and THE CRYSTALS' 'Da Doo Ron Ron' –which gives the long player its title.

Other soul cuts include THE DIXIE CUPS' 'Chapel Of Love', THE JELLY BEANS' 'I Want To Love Him So Bad', SAM HAWKINS' 'I Know It's All Right' and THE EXCITERS' 'All Grown Up'. There's plenty of great 60s pop too from people like LESLEY GORE, THE MONKEES, CONNIE FRANCIS, JAY and the AMERICANS, THE McCOYS and MANFRED MANN.

GREENWICH and MANN also nursed ambitions as performers and the album ends with a couple of their own efforts –JEFF'S 'I'll Still Love You' and ELLIE'S 'Goodnight, Goodnight (What's So Good About It') –both proving they could've been contenders.

Last Updated on Sunday, 10 June 2012 10:03



Saturday, 09 June 2012 18:33 Bill b E-mailPrintPDF

butrtOur tongue-twisting headline is to announce a great new 33 track compilation of early BURT BACHARACH songs. Released on El Records, 'Long Ago Last Summer' covers the years 1959 – 61 when the King Of Cool was a jobbing songwriter at New York's famed Brill Building. Working with people like PAUL HAMPTON, ROBERT COLBY, BOB HILLIARD, MACK DAVID and, of course, HAL DAVID, BURT turned out dozens of songs across all kinds of genres – easy-listening, pop, novelty, instrumental and embryonic soul. Soul folk need to check out great outings from THE SHIRELLES ('Baby It's You'), CHUCK JACKSON ('The Breaking Point'), GLORIA LYNNE'S ('You Don't Have To Be A Tower Of Strength' – a riposte to GENE McDANIELS' 'Tower Of Strength') ), GENE McDANIELS himself ('In Times Like These' ) and THE WANDERERS ('Somebody Else's Sweetheart' – once a big item on the Northern soul scene). The collection's a must for BACHARACH fans and pop collectors. Find out more @

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 June 2012 18:44



Saturday, 09 June 2012 18:31 Bill b E-mailPrintPDF

dstepReleases celebrating THE DELLS' 60th anniversary continue apace with's reissue of the group's Private I, 1984 LP 'One Step Closer'. The album was recorded in Chicago and California with most of the album produced by the then hot team of CHUCK JACKSON and MARVIN YANCY. The album yielded three singles – 'You Just Can't Walk Away', 'Love On' and the LP's title cut – all of which managed to dent the R&B hot 100. There's also an interesting remake of ASHFORD and SIMPSON'S 'I Am Your Man' – a song originally recorded by BOBBY TAYLOR and the VANCOUVERS and then the 4 TOPS. This reissue offers the original album's 9 tracks along with three bonuses – single and club edits of 'You Just Can't Walk Away' and 'One Step Closer, while the sleeve notes feature perceptive quotes from DELLS main man, CHUCK BARKSDALE.



Wednesday, 06 June 2012 17:19 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

herbreed_2240515bHERB REED, the last surviving founding member of vocal group THE PLATTERS, has died in Boston aged 83. The singer's manager said he died after a period of declining health that included chronic heart disease.

Founded by REED and business man BUCK RAM in 1953 in Los Angeles, the group enjoyed a string of huge 50s hits which melded doo-wop with commercial pop. Signed to Mercury, their biggest hits included 'Smoke Gets In Your Eyes', 'Only You' and 'The Great Pretender'. All featured the soaring lead tenor of TONY WILLIAMS while it was REED'S bass harmonies that anchored the sound.

In the 60s their manager, BUCK RAM signed them to Musicor and attempted successfully to update their sound. Soul collectors still cherish songs like 'I Love You 1,000 Times', 'With This Ring' and 'Washed Ashore'.

Over the years band personnel changed with rapidity but REED was the only ever-present - he was the only singer to appear on all PLATTERS recordings.



Tuesday, 05 June 2012 10:27 BillBuckley E-mailPrintPDF

Charles_HammondCHARLES HAMMOND JR is a singer/songwriter working out of Chicago and he's just released a stunning and innovative four track EP that is available from his web site. The mini set kicks off with a subtle yet soulful '(Re) Introduction'. It possesses a wrap-around warmth that reminds me of MAXWELL'S debut long player. Boasting angelic harmonies and ethereal muted trumpets, it's a fine piece of modern soul music... the aural definition of laid back. Second cut, 'The Beautiful Struggle', creates a similar mood but just lacks the opener's magic. 'The Truth' is jazzier altogether while the closer, 'Left Behind' rides in on a funky/rocky chassis. All four cuts are worth an investigation – though for '(Re) Introduction' investigation is essential. The EP is called 'HELLO MY NAME IS CHARLES HAMMOND JR' and it's available via

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 June 2012 10:31


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