Monday, February 15, 2010
Here is my list of artists, of artists I feel made the best records, had the best voices, had the best material...but just didn't have Top 20 records. All of these guys deserved it though, just listen to their classic, timeless tunes.
NUMBER FIVE-----DEAN RANDOLPH
Dean Randolph is no stranger to us Teen fans. His real name is Frankie Pescatore and he lived and still lives in Philadelphia, PA. He recorded on Chancellor, Saturn, MGM, and ABC among other labels.
If you had to compare him to a well known teen artists, I would say he is similar to a swingin' Bobby Rydell. Hideaway Heaven, Vol 1 features one of his best tracks, "Fair Weather Friend".
Today he sings in the accapella group "Memory Lane". Dean, if you are reading this, we would love to interview you!
NUMBER FOUR-----ALAN VALLONE
Alan Vallone (real name Alan Sykes) had several releases in the early sixties, mostly on the Philips label, but also on small labels such as VCB. His records always had the finest backing with strings and percussion. He even wrote and co-wrote a lot of his material, and also recorded songs by top notch writers like Jeff Barry.
One of my favorite Vallone tracks, "You Had No Right", appears on the well-acclaimed Rare Rockin Records disc, "The Big Sound". Seek out all of his releases, you won't be dissapointed! Alan, we want an interview with you!
NUMBER THREE----BARRY DARVELL
Barry Darvell (real name Barry Peregoy) made a slew of records back in the 60s. He did a have a minor hit with a rockabilly styled record named Geronimo Stomp. But we are here to discuss his amazing teen recordings.
His first teen recording was a classic- "How Will It End". He then moved on to Atlantic for some amazing releases. My favorite is a double sided smash- Atlantic 2138. A KING FOR TONIGHT is a great, mid-tempo teen epic written by the great Pomus and Shuman. ADAM AND EVE is a Dion-styled rocker. Try NOT to dance while the record is playing.
A Barry Darvell 2-CD set can be found on the internet or in your local oldies store featuring all his recordings and unreleased material.
Barry used to have a website, but it has disappeared. Barry, where are you?
NUMBER TWO-----RICK RANDELL
Woah, now we are getting to superstar territory. Rick Randell is the stuff of legend. Every record he ever made was golden.
His real name is Rocco Gaeta, and he recorded for ABC, UA, and DECCA among other labels. His release, Dining And Dancing, is considered one of the top teeners ever made. How this was not a #1 hit, I don't know. This record is very rare and goes for top dollar....and it deserves it's legendary status!
His other records on UA such as Stars and Take My Name and Number are amazing as well. He also had a nice 1964 teener named Debbie, which is currently unavailable on CD.
Rick, we love your records and your golden voice!
you've waited for it....
In my opinion, Vinnie Monte made the best records in the 1960s. He had a tremendous voice and recorded on only the best labels. He had over 18 releases!!!!!
There isn't enough room to mention all of his great records here, but one of his most popular is the Belmonts-styled Hey Look At The Winter Snow, and on the B Side was a great, dreamy teener with an amazing, powerful vocal, What's The Matter With Marilyn.
His most famous record perhaps is One Of The Guys, in which Vinnie dreams of being like all the guys on the Billboard charts. The song is hilarious and is a classic teen recording.
Vinnie could sound eerily like Gene Pitney when he wanted to, as evidenced on recordings like "Camera" and "Joanie Don't Be Angry" on Harmon, and also his 1965 northern soul/Pitney-esque gem, "I Don't Have The Heart To Tell Her".
Vinnie, we hope you are reading this and we would love yo hear your stories!
Did your favorite 60s obscure teen artist not make my list? Then comment and tell us who your faves are!
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Hey guys and gals!
Wishing all of you doo wop, teen and rare oldies lovers a happy valentines day. Snuggle up with your loved one, and enjoy a nice romantic evening...and don't forget to put on some 60s love songs on your record or CD player!
And....one more thing, ladies and gents. While you lovebirds are cuddling on the couch, I will be attending a very cool Valentines Day concert featuring Charlie Thomas' Drifters, The Marcels, La La Brooks, Charlie Gracie, Johnny Farina (of Santo and Johnny), and The Cadillacs.
If anyone would like a review of this (hopefully!) knockout show posted on the blog, leave a comment and I would be happy to oblige.
Until then, enjoy the holiday!
There is no label you can put on Van McCoy, he wrote great Doo-Wops, R&B, Soul, Pop, Novelty, Heart Wrenching Ballads, Disco, Northern Soul, Popcorn, Beat Ballads and this list can go on & on & on.
Here is His Story................
Van McCoy was born as Van Allen Clinton McCoy in Washington D.C. on January 1940, by his mid teens he formed a vocal group with his brother Norman McCoy, Fred Smith, Paul Comedy & Bernard Wisenant called the Starlighters. In 1958, The Starlighter cut their first single with both sides written by Van for New York's George Goldner End Records "The Birdland" the B side was "It's Twelve O'Clock".
George Goldner must have really liked the group cause their second single "You're The One To Blame" backed by "I Cried" was released in 1959. The single was reviewed on June 20, 1959 receiving Excellent 4 stars.
By 1960, the final Starlighters single came out on End with "The Story of Love" and "Let's Take a Stroll". Actually Van Was a student at Howard University for a couple of years but in 1961 he decided to start a record label based out originally Philadelphia called Rock'N.
The first release on Rock'N was Van solo record called "That's How Much You Mean To Me" backed by the rocking soulful "I Wantcha Back". The second Rock'N release was Van's own "Mr. DJ" backed by "Never Trust a Friend". Scepter picked up distribution of the single, with Mr. DJ" becoming a hit reaching number 104 on the Billboard charts. Van also has the very dreamy "Girls Are Sentimental" & his first co-composition with Luther Dixon called "Baby Don't Tease Me". The other artist who recorded for Rock'N was a group called The Twylights "Darling Let's Fall In Love" backed by "If You Try".
It was in 1961 that Van writes several intersting records first let's start with Lee Andrews very "In The Still of the Night" style "A Nite Like Tonight" backed by the Drifters sounding "You Gave To Me" released on Swan records and reviewed Good by Billboard on May 29, 1961.
Next in 1961, Van came in contact with Jerry Ross who produced a Van McCoy penned two sider on Sheryl records with a vocal group called The Larks "There is a Girl" a rocking Doo Wop with Weldon McDougal on bass & the ballad "Let's Drink a Toast".
The last one we are going to cover is The Gainors featuring Garnett Mimms and the future Enchanters. Van first wrote for them the very Drifters "This is a Perfect Moment" on Talley Ho Records. He then wrote second song "Tell Him" which resembles The Drifters "Dance With Me".
Part 2 will be coming soon focusing on 1962-1963 years, featuring his time with Scepter, Leiber-Stoller & the Allen Davis years for Arock & Philips.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Neil Sedaka knew he was in big trouble. The British Invasion had struck hard and fast, and Neil was left as a casualty. It is ironic in that he was a huge influence on the Merseybeat sound, yet all those groups inspired by him were leaving him in the dust.
Yet Neil made some of the greatest records of his career in 1964. If you haven't heard or read about them, here's your chance!
RCA 8341) The Closest Thing To Heaven
Mr. Sedaka's first release of the year remains one of his strongest teen singles. It's got a smooth, medium tempo, and Neil croons it like it's an old classic. Horns are added tastefully, and the usual trio of girls is backing him up. Unfortunately, the public didn't agree and this release only reached the bottom rungs of the charts. Producer Joe Rene argued with Neil about the production, telling Neil that this was why he wasn't having Top 40 records anymore. Regardless, it is a classic in my book. Listen to it here
(RCA 8328) SUNNY/ SHE'LL NEVER BE YOU
After the failure of The Closest Thing To Heaven, Neil went back into the studio and recorded a Four Seasons inspired tune, Sunny. Ron Dante helped him out with the falsetto notes. While not a strong record, it was still very good and deserved better than it's mediocre chart rating. Listen
The B-Side, She'll Never Be You, is actually much better. A return to the usual Sedaka sound, it features an strong backbeat, a double tracked harmony vocal, and a catchy melody. THIS should have been the A Side. She'll Never Be You
(RCA UNRELEASED) It Hurts To Be In Love...version one
Around this time, Neil recorded a Greenfield-Miller recording, It Hurts To Be In Love. Intended as a demo, he liked it so much that he wanted RCA to release it as a single. Listen to the DEMO now
(RCA UNRELEASED) It Hurts To Be In Love...version two
Neil took the demo version to RCA, who declined to release it, insisting it must be recorded at the RCA studio to be released. So Neil re-recorded it there. HERE is where to hear it.
Neil nor RCA was satisfied with the results. Later in the year, Don Kirshener took the original demo, wiped off Neil's vocal, leaving a backing track. Kirshener then gave it to, well......see for yourself.
IT HURTS TO BE IN LOVE - HIT VERSION
(RCA 8453) I HOPE HE BREAKS YOUR HEART
After RCA rejected It Hurts To Be In Love, Neil went back into the studio with another Greenfield-Miller song. I Hope He Breaks Your Heart still sported the trademark Sedaka sound. This disc is one of my favorites and I think it will be one of yours too.
He promoted the record very hard, and two video clips survive of Neil lip-syncing the song, and another with live vocals.
And, so my friends, despite making some amazing records this year, Mr. Sedaka would have to wait until the 70s to get the chart popularity that the genius deserved.
We know there are many great modern groups keeping the oldies sounds alive especially in the name of doo wop. Another fantastic group "The Senti-Mentals" from the UK are another that fabulously combine elements of Jazz/swing/ doo wop/ Big Band and Ska sound and it all fits together perfectly. Their very latest cd offering "Who Know's, Who Cares" was released late last year, 2009 and I was lucky to sample a copy from John Dobinson, who is the key songwriter and arranger for the group as well as his fantastic work on piano and Saxaphone. Roomates fans will also notice that the legendary Steve Webb is also a part of this group singing backing vocals throughout the recordings. His fantastic Tenor Vocals and Choir voice is ever present.
Click below Song titles for samples from this great cd -
Bye Bye baby
Just Like Lovers Do
For The Last Time
Get Over You
Take The Bull By The Horns
A Horse To Water
Check out : www.senti-mentals.co.uk for more info and where to order this fantastic cd
For All Live Bookings or master and publishing Enquiries and clearances please contact John Dobinson, email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Now, What we want to do here at Rare Rockin' Records is give these labels extra promotion and yes, we will even make available some downloads, BUT only sound samples and this way you can still appreciate the music and decide for yourself If it is worth buying...
Wouldn't you think those BLOGS that allow full downloads should really do this and actually help promote the industry.. If they just showed snippets of material then there wouldn't be a problem as they'd actually be promoting the material for collectors.
The Sad thing is, These download blogs instead blame the very companies that have shaped and help bring RARE music to the world... They actually claim cd prices are too expensive or that these cd's are not made available in shops etc... Real collectors and lovers of the music know this is absolutely crap and the truth is, those that visit these blogs more then likely only visit to actually download FREE music.. Only a very select few go on their to SAMPLE, because lets face it.. If you can download the full cd's then how is that sampling.? You are actually getting the complete album..... So why would they then go and buy the cd later on...??Well, The only saving grace for the record labels is - Most of the time, the blogs Only have the FRONT and maybe BACK cover art, so The true collectors will want to have the nice booklets that more then often have liner notes and/ or label scans and artists pics so they will still buy the cd's to have the complete package in their possession.
So, what Is the answer to this sometimes complex but very concerning issue ??
I'd like your thoughts... I'm not trying to act as a crusader, Rather just ensure the wider community that these blogs exist and whilst they may not think of the consequences, the truth Is The 50's and 60's CD and Oldies Music Industry is struggling enough already with the older generation slowly dying BUT It's the advent of these Blogs and download sites that just steal the labels material and offer for FREE downloads that is really hurting the CD Industry... Without these Record/ CD labels You wouldn't even have the material so in the long run, these people that post the FREE downloads are only hurting the very music they claim to love and want to share.. Sure, sharing is cool with friends and with your own PRIVATE material you may have collated, BUT If you are POSTING ACTUAL CD RELEASES FROM RECORD LABELS. This is at the very least UNETHICAL AND WRONG and at worst actually stealing and Illegal due to many of the labels that actually pay licenses to issue the material in the first place.
So, Without further Ado, let the discussions start. We will also combat this, By putting up info on CD releases, but the difference is --- We will Openly Tell you the Record label that releases the cd and also give links on the labels website and where to buy the cd.. We will only share Samples of the material, NOT provide Full downloads of songs ( Unless they are from Rare Rockin' Records OR unless we have direct permission from the labels themselves) so You can easily look and listen and work out if you may want to purchase down the line. It's our way of giving a little back, hopefully to the record labels, but still giving the music lover a good taste of the music and products..
Long Live 50's and 60's Rock and Roll!!!!
Friday, February 12, 2010
It is with great pleasure that we would like to announce that THE EARTH ANGELS will be releasing their Fantastic Debut CD on Rare Rockin’ Records! The CD is entitled Street Corner Style. It will contain 17 tracks: uptempos, ballads, remakes, originals, and even an acappella.
THIS IS A MUST-HAVE FOR DOO WOP & OLDIES LOVERS!
Click here for the Earth Angels' page on Rare Rockin’ Records:
This release is scheduled for March 22,2010. Don't miss it.
And hey, by the way....would you like to see The Earth Angels in action? Check them out doing their thing, accapella style:
For all the 60s girl-pop lovers out there....
Check out the latest TEENSVILLE release, RARE TEENAGE POP:THE GIRLS. It features 30 fun-filled, female sung tracks.
Care to read a review? Check one out down below, written by yours truly...
RARE TEENAGE POP:THE GIRLS (TV 1011)
It is my pleasure to review another release for Ash at Rare Rockin’ Records. Except this time things are a bit different.
Instead of the familiar RRR imprint, this newest release of girl teeners is on the brand new label TEENSVILLE. Of course, don’t be misled, the same great people are still behind these releases and the quality is still outstanding! There will be many more TEENSVILLE releases to come, so keep your eyes out for exciting new releases at rarerockinrecords.com
If you like 1960s girl teen/pop records (and who doesn’t?), you’ve come to the right place! There are 30 smash “should have been” hits, here in one package at a low price. There are over 70 minutes of listening pleasure, and so many wonderful tracks to choose from. As a taster, I would like to mention a few of my favorites, describing the sound and story behind the tracks. Hopefully it will make you want to go right ahead and click the order button!
-The disc opener is an uptempo fun-fest entitled “Wish I Didn’t Love Him”. The artist is Carol Montgomery, who made several teener records in her heyday. The beat is uptempo and infectious, and not unlike many hit records made by The Orlons. The song is very short, and makes you want more. Carol’s vocals are double tracked and she harmonizes with herself, which always makes for a great sounding pop record! Carol sees her boyfriend in his car with another girl, and wishes she didn’t love him the way she does.
-Dawn Glass puts in an impressive showing with her track “A Date For Crying”. Released on ABC Paramount in 1964, it has a slight resemblance to a Neil Sedaka record of that time. A big production with horns, strings, and a strong rhythm track. Dawn won’t accept any dates because her true love has rejected her.
-“I’m Not The Same Girl I Was” is a nice midtempo tune by Nancy Allen. Maracas are very prominent in this melancholy girl teener. This sounds like something Bob Crewe was producing at the time. Nancy goes to a party only to find out her best friend steals her guy, and things will never be the same.
-1963 was a great year for music, and one of the best girl releases from that year was “Handle With Care” by Kathie King. The backing uses pizzicato strings, baoin drums. The melody is great, and Kathie’s vocal is very passionate. This is what I would imagine a Bobby Vee record to sound like if he were a female! This particular record also came with a cool picture sleeve, which can be seen on the back of the inlay if you buy the CD! Kathie tells her guy that he should be truthful and true to her.
-The well known Dodie Stevens is up next with another great 1963 release. “I Wore Out Our Record” is co-written by legendary Brill Building lady Helen Miller. Great chorus on this one! It was on Dolton Records, home of Vic Dana and The Fleetwoods. Dodie wants to find out why her boyfriend has left her by playing their favorite record over and over. Back then, the vinyl would wear out, but it is impossible to wear out your copy of RARE TEENAGE POP:THE GIRLS, so play it as many times as you’d like!
-Josie Records brings us out next fabulous track, “If She Doesn’t Want You”. A powerful vocal from Lynette West and the Dion-esque swagger makes this track a must. This was written by two of the writers who penned the classic “ The Night Has A Thousand Eyes” by who else, Bobby Vee. Lynette tells her ex-boyfriend that he can’t come back to her if his new love doesn’t work out.
-Teeners from 1965 can be hard to come by, let alone fantastic ones, but Ash has provided us with “Tears Of Joy” by the obscurest of the obscure, Hillary Hokom. This is an amazingly catchy song, and after the first listen I know you will all be singing along with the fun and hooky chorus. Hillary sings it like a true professional. Five stars! The title pretty much explains it, Ms. Hokom is crying out of happiness because she has a new boyfriend.
-Susan Wayne, the biggest Lesley Gore wannabe there ever was, gives us a bikini beach treat with “Think Summer”. I haven’t ever heard a record by Susan that I haven’t liked, and this is no exception. Susan can’t wait to get to summer to have a blast with all her friends.
-Whew, after all these uptempos, I need a ballad! Teri Allen’s “This Little Girl Stayed Home” is just that, a Connie Francis-esque slow tune with a very powerful vocal. The writers who penned this one, Paul Vance and Eddie Snyder, have penned many other songs you all know from previous releases on RRR. We welcome them to Teensville Records where they are right at home. Teri doesn’t go to her graduation dance because her boyfriend is now with someone else.
-A fitting tribute to Ellie Greenwich (RIP) is in order. Mary Ann Lewis does Ellie’s composition “I Won’t Cry” justice, giving it an uptempo punch. The original was by Ellie’s group The Raindrops, and I’m having a hard time deciding my favorite version! Mary Ann refuses to cry even though the boy she loves is unfaithful and will leave her soon.
-“It’s Better To Cry Today Than Tomorrow” is a knockout final track! A short song with a long title, Anita Bryant really swings with a double tracked vocal. All you Molly Bee fans, check this one out! This is the essential girly pop sound which we all love. Anita wants to get her crying through now so she can be happy later.
At the time of this writing, we are nearing the holidays…..and there’s nothing better on Christmas morning than a cup of Hot Chocolate, a Warm Fireside, and a copy of Rare Teenage Pop: The Girls on Teensville Records.
Care to watch the preview video? Well, look no further:
And if you are ready to buy this wonderful disc, head on over to the Rare Rockin' Records shop and purchase it directly from us!
Welcome to the blog....please feel free to post any and all comments pertaining to our label and the wonderful teen, doo wop, and popcorn music of the late 50s and early 60s! We would be thrilled to hear what you think. Don't be shy guys and gals, YOU are going to make this place rock n roll!
I'd like to welcome you all to the Rockin'est place in blog world - Rare Rockin' Records Blog!!!
Yes... it may not look like much right now, but in time, I'm sure we'll make this place look awesome and it'll be rockin' in no time. Stay tuned for insights, Reviews, upcoming events, rare songs and downloads and rare footage from our rockin' staff members and fellow music Lovers. We look forward to offering collectors of 50's and 60's music the chance to share stories and insights and hopefully find some cool music along the way.. Please welcome Chief Blogger Kyler who'll be keeping it all Happenin' - Here We go....