Various Artists

Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974, Vol. 2 (1952-1955)

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During the years covered on Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974, Vol. 2 (1952-1955), Atlantic began to gain a firm hold in the marketplace as Ruth Brown and Joe Turner began to score hits ("Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean" and "Wild Wild Young Men" for Baker, "Honey Hush" and "Shake, Rattle & Roll" for Turner), and the label signed Ray Charles, LaVern Baker and Clyde McPhatter & the Drifters. Of these three artists, the Drifters had the most hits out of the starting gate, scoring with "Money Honey," "Such a Night," "White Christmas" and "Honey Love." Charles began writing a number of classics, including "The Midnight Hour," "Mess Around" and "I Got a Woman," and Baker had hits with "Soul On Fire" and "Tweedle Dee." All of these songs -- plus excellent sides from the Clovers ("Ting-A-Ling," "Good Lovin'," "Lovey Dovey"), the Chords ("Sh-Boom"), Tommy Ridgley ("Jam Up") and the Diamonds ("A Beggar for Your Kisses") -- are on Vol. 2. These are some of the greatest R&B singles ever recorded, sounding just as vital decades after their original release, and the songs that weren't hits are nearly as good -- sometimes just as good -- as the ones that were.

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