VA – Boogie Woogie Santa Claus – An R&B Christmas

Blues and R&B records about Christmas have been released since the earliest days of the record business. Nearly 100 years ago, Bessie Smith recorded At The Christmas Ball in 1925, and Blind Lemon Jefferson chimed in with Christmas Eve Blues in 1928. Pre-war bluesmen Bo Carter, Tampa Red, and Charlie Jordan came up with variations on the theme, and the often-ribald duo of Butterbeans & Susie checked in with Papa Ain’t No Santa Claus (Mama Ain’t No Christmas Tree) in 1930.

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VA – Perfect For Parties

It was the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll: revolutionary rhythms, electric guitars, off-beat saxophones and hammering pianos, plus piercing vocals and choruses which made everything that went before sound antiquated: awopbopaloobopalopbamboom, Be-bop-a-lula… However, this turbulent environment also produced a delicate flour which kept on blossoming in a most miraculous way: Petite Fleur by Chris Barber’s Jazz Band. Monty Sunshine’s melodic clarinet successfully stood up against the powerful sound of rock music. The METRONOME single with Sidney Bechet’s composition kept incessantly spinning on the turntables, against the rock ‘n’ roll trend of its day.

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Narvel Felts & Jerry Mercer – 1956 Radio Rockabillies

Reissued by popular demand is the ‘Radio Rockabillies’ material recorded by Jerry Mercer and his band, the Rhythm and Blues Boys, in 1956 for a local radio show in Malden, Missouri. Jerry’s band included a certain NARVEL FELTS who would go on to record at SUN and MERCURY before achieving stardom in the South in the 1960s and then international renown as a major country music entertainer in the 1970s.

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VA-Just Sitting In The Balcony

Here’s a musical journey back to the 1950s with a dozen themes from Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. The songs from films like ‘Around The World In 80 Days’; ‘High Society’ (the song True Love); ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’ (Moon River); and ‘Love Me Tender’ are accompanied by vintage movie illustrations. An unexpected treasure is the theme from an obscure prison film called ‘Unchained’ that sank without a trace at the time, but went on to become one of the most recorded romantic songs of all time. Unchained Melody has been called the most memorable love song ever written.

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Bill Monroe – Castle Studio 1950/1951 5 CD Box Set

For devotees of Bill Monroe’s music, the CD box sets issued by BEAR FAMILY beginning in 1989 were the answer to a listener’s dream: having the bluegrass originator’s complete recordings tastefully collected in boxes, with informative books included. What we now have is something even more dreamlike: all the familiar Monroe recordings for DECCA in 1950-51, featuring lead singers Jimmy Martin, Carter Stanley, and Edd Mayfield, presented next to unbelievably all the outtakes (none previously issued) of all the tracks.

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Johnny Cymbal – Mr.Bass Man

There was a lot more to Johnny Cymbal than his 1963 smash Mr. Bass Man, though the song remains his chief claim to fame (under his own name, anyway). You’ll find no less than three versions of his calling card on Mr. Bass Man The Acetates the beloved hit with ex-Valentines bass singer Ronnie Bright providing the deep-voiced retorts as well as an alternate take and a fascinating solo demo version where Johnny magically sings both parts.

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Alexis Korner, Tony Sheridan, Steve Baker – The RIAS Session

Though nobody knew it at the time, this was literally a once in a lifetime encounter: the father of British blues Alexis Korner, whose groundbreaking group Blues Incorporated laid the foundations for the emergence of bands such as the Rolling Stones and many others, and Tony Sheridan, the man who played a major role in the early development of the Beatles during their formative period in Hamburg, including their recording debut.

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