A 9 track, 23 minute oldies compilation put together by the folks at Rhino as a promotional gift from Chevrolet (see story below). It's brief, but packed with good stuff.
- Good Golly Miss Molly – Little Richard (1958), Pop #10, R&B #4: Little Richard is an Entertainer (with a capital E) and any time he performs, I pay attention. On this particular track, check out the funky drum part by Earl Palmer - years ahead of its time.
- Why Do Fools Fall In Love - Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers (1956), Pop #6, R&B #1: When I think of doo-wop music, this is one of the first songs to enter my head and it usually takes up residence there for quite a while. Another doo-wop that quickly enters my head is...
- Duke of Earl - Gene Chandler (1962), Pop #1, R&B #1: the classic I-vi-IV-V7 chord progression has never been laid out more clearly. The bass line helped me through my ear-training courses in college. The song is a classic - it's been inducted into the Grammy and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame. These two songs are enough to make me want to start up my own doo-wop group, but wait there's more:
- Blue Moon - The Marcels (1961), Pop #1, R&B #1: there's so many great versions of this Rodgers/Hart classic, but dang it that's a catchy opening. Bom ba ba bom ba bom ba bom bom ba ba bom ba ba bom ba dang a dang dang ba ding a dong ding... These days, the song reminds me of the slap-in-the-face end credits of the 1981 movie An American Werewolf In London (the first R-rated movie I ever saw in a movie theater).
- I Got You Babe - Sonny & Cher (1965), Pop #1, R&B #19: this song doesn't do much for me, but man did I dig the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour from 1971-74 and, if memory serves, this song served as the closer for each episode.
- (Theme From) The Monkees - The Monkees (1966). Speaking of TV series that I dug! World's first pre-fab boy band? No matter. I remember singing this song non-stop around the house, which probably drove my parents crazy (The Tra La La Song from the Banana Splits Adventure Hour was also a singing favorite of mine around the same time, but I digress).
- Shout, Part 1 - Joey Dee & The Starlighters (1962), Pop #6. One of those covers that leaves you scrambling for the original. The only skippable track on the disc.
- The Loco-Motion - Little Eva (1962), Pop #1, R&B #1: a song so good I've liked every version I've ever heard (well, almost). Little Eva's teenaged voice, the minimalist sax solo, the slightly-off hand claps, it all works. Any truth to the rumor that Little Eva was songwriter Carole King's babysitter? Talk about right place, right time.
- Stand By Me - Ben E. King (1961), Pop #4 in 1961/#9 in 1986, R&B #1: The album ends with a stone cold classic. The orchestration is as close to perfect as you'll get in a pop song and King's soulful voice is the icing on the cake. One of those "is it a gospel song or isn't it?" tracks. Based on the spiritual Lord Stand By Me, I like to think of it as a gospel song.
The mistake was two-fold: first and foremost, the van was pretty crappy - we used the heck out of the warranty and traded it in as soon as it was paid off (for an even crappier Saturn Relay, but that's another story). Secondly, the Warner Bros. Edition came with a WB amenities kit that was to include monthly gifts from GM (CDs, VHS tapes of Looney Tunes, etc.). However, the dealership (I'll take the high road and won't name names here) never told us about that amenities package and had it sent to one of their employees. Once we figured it all out, we had that corrected (no apology from GM or the dealership) and received items for a few months before the program expired. This CD was one of those monthly gifts.