Traced Her Footsteps Down to the Shore
2961. V.A.: Alan Freed's Memory Lane 2962. V.A.: Alan Freed's Top 15 2963. V.A.: The Roots of Rock 'n' Roll 2964. V.A.: The Vocal Group Album 2965. V.A.: In the Still of the Night 2966. V.A.: You Found the Vocal Group Sound 2967. V.A.: The Golden Age of Rhythm & Blues 2968. V.A.: The Best of Chess/Checker/Cadet: Doo-Wop 2969. V.A.: Collectors Showcase: Groups Three, Vol. V 2970. V.A.: "Rock, Rock, Rock" 2971. V.A.: Parrot Doowop 2972. V.A.: Unreleased Gems of the 1950's 2973. V.A.: Cruisin' With the Cadillacs 'n Cats Like That Mixworthy: "In the Still of the Nite," Five Satins, and "Goodnight My Love," Jesse Belvin, #2961; "Kansas City," Wilbert Harrison; "Speedo," Cadillacs; and "Get a Job," Silhouettes, #2962; "Count Every Star," Ravens; #2963; "It All Comes Back to Me Now," Marshall Brothers, 2964; "Close Your Eyes," Five Keys, and "Stay," Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs, #2965; "The Closer You Are," Channels, #2966; "This Broken Heart," Sonics, and "So Far Away," Pastels, #2967; "Over the Mountain, Across the Sea," Johnny & Joe, #2968; "Girl of My Dreams," Earls, #2971. I'll carry on with compilations and save box sets for later. I'm too lazy to do so right now, but I still plan to relocate compilations and 12-inches from the front of the collection to the back, to match the way everything's numbered here, so I won't gum that up by sticking box sets in the middle...I've never filed LPs in a specific order within the compilation section. There are a bunch of subsections roughly deter- mined by genre, and as long as I reshelve something in the same general area, that's as precise as I get. So as I work through the next couple of hundred records, I'm giv- ing them a fixed order for the first time...To begin, the first half of the '50s rock and roll section, albums that are wholly or mostly made up of doo-wop. (Except for Alan Freed's Top 15, which I like to keep paired with the other doo-wop-heavy Freed collection.) My immersion into doo-wop dates to the second half of the '80s, espe- cially my time at CIUT; some of the songs listed above were the core of my all-night show's second incarnation, an all-ballad format I adopted partly as a joke, and part- ly as a preemptive overreaction to a bit of CRTC trouble I got into during the show's first incarnation. I think it was a combination of Mean Streets and Marcus's occa- sional writings on the genre that first got me interested in doo-wop, with American Graffiti and American How Wax also playing a role. I learned very quickly that this was a body of work that was locked into the time frame it came out of (the very end of the '40s to the early '60s, approximately; I'm not sure exactly when the name doo- wop came into general usage, but I know it didn't happen for at least a few years), and that trying to drag the genre into the present-day--New Edition's Under the Blue Moon was one version of how that might be done; those PBS revue-type specials that periodically air are another--is invariably a bad idea. That faraway, almost secret- ive world that my favourite doo-wop conjures up was very appealing to me, with a beauty and a stillness in songs like the Sonics' "This Broken Heart" and Dee (Clark) & the Kool Gents' "When I Call on You" comparable to what I hear in "Norwegian Wood," the Velvet Underground's "Jesus," and the best parts of Kind of Blue. The closest I've ever seen anyone come to capturing the dreamier end of the doo-wop spectrum on film is Kenneth Anger in Rabbit's Moon. The intensity of my feelings for the genre began to subside over time (a process hastened along by a few too many starry-eyed mix-tapes for another CIUT D.J.), and when I play any doo-wop on my current show, it's usually of a wilder variety: the Chips' "Rubber Biscuit," the Cellos' "Rang Tang Ding Dong (I Am the Japanese Sandman)," and Sheriff & the Ravels' "Shombalor" are my current favourites. But that world contained in the ballads will always have a spot somewhere in my imagination. ________________________________________________________________________________ 2974. V.A.: American Graffiti 2975. V.A.: The Best of Chess Rock 'n' Roll 2976. V.A.: Golden Oldies Revisited 2977. V.A.: Collector's Records of the 50's and 60's 2978. V.A.: Heartbreak Fifties 2979. V.A.: 20 Golden Pieces of Vintage Rock 'n' Roll 2980. V.A.: The Australian Rock 'n' Roll Stars 2981. V.A.: Teenage Meeting 2982. V.A.: Rocking Back Rock Revival Mixworthy: "The Stroll," Diamonds; "Little Darlin'," Diamonds; "Peppermint Twist," Joey Dee & the Starlighters; "Barbara Anne," Regents; "Do You Wanna Dance," Bobby Freeman; "Come Go With Me," Del-Vikings; "Since I Don't Have You," Skyliners; and "Green Onions," Booker T. & the M.G.'s, #2974; "Suzie Q," Dale Hawkins, and "Sally Go Round the Roses," Jaynetts, #2975; "I Will Follow Him," Little Peggy March; "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," Tokens; and "Love Is Strange," Mickey & Sylvia, #2976; "This I Swear," Skyliners, #2977; "Endless Sleep," Jody Reynolds, #2978; "Tell Me Why," Rob Roys, #2982. I guess this is the mostly-'50s, mostly-non-doo-wop section; it was larger until I just now started relocating stuff into the mostly-'60s section. A bunch of colossal songs I don't have anywhere else, though, thanks primarily to the American Graffiti soundtrack, which still has to be the greatest multi-artist soundtrack ever assembled (i.e., if forced to choose, I'd probably nominate the British Help! as the greatest period); a commercially available Mean Streets soundtrack would have been more eso- teric, but I don't think it would have been quite as good. The Wolfman Jack excerpts from the film are excellent, although they can be intrusive if you ever want to lift something for a mix-tape. (He's not around for the two songs I used most often over the years, "Come Go With Me" and "Since I Don't Have You," so I got lots of mileage out of the album.) The "I Love Everything" message board recently had a poll on the greatest films of the '70s; I voted, placing American Graffiti 13th on a list of 20, and there's some back-and-forth between me and my new bete noir, one Dr. Morbius, way at the bottom of the page. (You say white, Morbius says black; you say up, Morbi- us says down; you counter with a joke about how absurd down is, Morbius's feelings are hurt and he throws a hissy fit. I'm hoping he changes his handle to "Miss Conge- niality" one of these days.) Much to my amazement, American Graffiti did not finish in the Top 100. It didn't finish in the Top 150, either, and at #198 just barely made it into the Top 200--one spot ahead of Bedknobs and Broomsticks, I'm happy to say, but below Grease, Live and Let Die, and Capricorn One. I know, it's easy to start selectively playing the over/under game to make a point; for the most part it's a well-chosen, wide-ranging list, but that one still has me scratching my head...As Radio On's first-ever cover girl, Little Peggy March was our house Marilyn Monroe. She was matched up with a probing lyric from C&C Music Factory, an historic meeting of underappreciated pop geniuses across the sands of time. ________________________________________________________________________________ 2983. V.A.: Phil Spector's Greatest Hits 2984. V.A.: Phil Spector's Greatest Hits 2985. V.A.: Carole King Plus 2986. V.A.: Dream Babies 2987. V.A.: Golden Summer 2988. V.A.: Summer Means Fun 2989. V.A.: California U.S.A. 2990. V.A.: All the Hits by All the Stars 2991. V.A.: Golden Era Series, Volume 3 2992. V.A.: Now That's What I Call Rock & Roll 2993. V.A.: Rock of Ages 2994. V.A.: Hairspray Mixworthy: "I Love How You Love Me," Paris Sisters, and "Just Once in My Life," Righteous Brothers, #2983; "The Loco-Motion," Little Eva, and "Chains," Cookies, #2985; "The One You Can't Have," Honeys, #2986; "Surfin' Bird," Trashmen, and "The Lonely Surfer," Jack Nitzsche, #2987; "The Twist, Chubby Checker; "Bristol Stomp," Dovells; "Pony Time," Chubby Checker; and "I'll Be True," Orlons, #2990; "Death of an Angel," Donald Woods, and "No More," Uptones, #2991; "Time Won't Let Me," Out- siders; "Nobody But Me," Human Beinz; "Wild Thing," Troggs; "Wooly Bully," Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs; and "Louie Louie," Kingsmen, #2992; "Come a Little Bit Closer," Jay & the Americans, #2993; "The Madison Time," Ray Bryant Combo; "Nothing Takes the Place of You," Toussaint McCall; and "I'm Blue (The Gong-Gong Song)," Ikettes, #2994. Onto the '60s. #2984 is an ever-so-slightly abridged British version of #2983: 20 songs instead of 24, with not a single variation among them. So why did I buy it? Because it was there and it was probably a dollar or two, although for most people that still leaves one unanswered question: so why did I buy it? Most of the Spector stuff was covered in the alphabetical section. I said earlier that "Ebb Tide" wasn't included on the domestic Spector collection, but I was wrong, it's there--anyway, not one of my favourites...Conversely, #2987 and #2988 are two-record surf collections with no overlap whatsoever--the first on United Artists, the second CBS--but they still miss some key non-Beach Boys songs ("Pipeline," the Marketts' "Out of Limits") that I had to buy on 45; California U.S.A., also a double, mostly consists of surf, but there are also people like Walter Egan, Jackie DeShannon, and Flo & Eddie on there--Eddie on a surfboard, okay, but Flo? I don't know the album well at all. Jack Nitzsche's "The Lonely Surfer" is one of the most evocative pop instrumentals ever, whatever the genre...There was a Cameo-Parkway box set released very recently; #2990, a 40-year-old Pye pressing, gets most of the label's most famous hits onto a single 12-song collection, limiting Chubby Checker to "The Twist" and a couple more. The box is probably worth whatever it costs for Senator Bobby's "Wild Thing" alone, one of my favourite download discoveries of the past year, but I got a lot of mix-tape and radio-show use out of the more modest single volume. No recollection of where I bought it...One year I got the idea that I'd have my class present the line dance they do in Hairspray to "The Madison Time" at a school assembly. I really did want to do it, but it was also a ruse to get this great-looking teacher from across the hall to teach me the steps. It's a complicated dance, and I could never even get the very rudimentary movements of the Macarena correct. Not surprisingly, the pro- ject was abandoned when a couple of lessons made it clear I was no way ever going to learn this dance. ________________________________________________________________________________ 2995. V.A.: John Richbourg Presents 20 Golden Oldies 2996. V.A.: Cruisin' 1964 2997. V.A.: The History of Syracuse Music, Volumes X & XI 2998. V.A.: Liverpool 1963-1968 2999. V.A.: 20 One Hit Wonders, Volume Two 3000. V.A.: Twenty One Hit Wonders, Volume II 3001. V.A.: Hullabaloo Au Go-Go! 3002. V.A.: Where the Action Is! 3003. V.A.: The In Crowd 3004. V.A.: The Four Seasons/Johnny Rivers/Neil Sedaka/The J Brothers 3005. V.A.: A Taste of Birchmount Pop 3006. V.A.: Zenith Salutes...The Teen Sound 3007. V.A.: The Young Blood Story, Vol. 1 Mixworthy: "My True Story," Jive Five, #2995; "The Girl From Ipanema," Stan Getz/ Astrud Gilberto, and "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)," Betty Everett, #2996; "Torquay," Vanguards, #2997; "Now We're Through," Poets, #2999; "Shakin' All Over," Guess Who, #3005. '60s odds and ends. I've included two picks from Cruisin' 1964 just to get them on record, but, as anyone familiar with the Cruisin' series knows, overlapping D.J. chatter and radio spots render them useless for mix-tapes, and that's really all I ever used compilations for. There's only one I can think of that I listened to on a semi-regular basis like I would any other single-artist album, Alan Freed's Memory Lane (as much for Freed's introductions as for the music itself), but otherwise I'd play them once or twice, mentally make note of whatever songs I really liked, and only take them off the shelf when taping or for the radio show. So I never bought any of the other Cruisin' albums, even though I wouldn't mind owning the whole ser- ies just for the cover art...#2997 has Sgt. Pepper-parody cover art--one of two LPs in my own collection to try that, and one of probably about 50 overall (the most famous being the Mothers' We're Only in It for the Money)--and a Lou Reed song from 1964 called "You're Driving Me Insane." All I remember about the album is that "Tor- quay"'s a pretty wild instrumental...Something I never realized until right now: #2999 and #3000 are exactly the same album. That's embarrassing. Even though they share the same title (with some variation in how it's rendered), their cover art is so completely different, and both were filed so quickly, that I never noticed the duplication. I took out one of them a few weeks ago looking for something to play on the radio, and that's when I discovered the Poets song (an Andrew Loog Oldham produc- tion). But even there I didn't clue into the fact I owned the same record twice. I'm not sure if I'm now obligated to buy the first volume in duplicate...#3001-3004 are all on the Design label, which specialized in some of the cheesiest covers to predate K-Tel. If I can come up with a scan of Hullabaloo Au Go-Go!, I'll put it up...There are undoubtedly great songs I'm missing as I go through these. I was 97% confident that I was remembering my favourite songs as I worked through the alphabetical sec- tion, but I look at something like The Young Blood Story, Vol. 1, which has the Easy- beats and the Showstoppers and the Sorrows and Mac & Katie Kissoon, and I'm thinking there's got to be something on there that would sound really great to me right now. I won't stop to check, though, because then I'll start obsessively checking every compilation, and then six months will go by and I'll still be working on this, then four more months, then another four months, and then I'll just go insane and have to be hauled off for some rest somewhere before I have a chance to finish.