Various Artists

Cruisin' 1959

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Part of L.A. DJ Hunter Hancock's theme included the declaration "you'll hear music that runs the gamut from bebop to ballads, swing to sweet, and blues to boogie." And while on this fifth installment of Increase Records' history of classic rock & roll radio, the claim isn't strictly true, Hancock is heard guffawing in between an array of R&B hits and various period ads hawking everything from a local high school record hop to the Saturday Evening Post. Hancock's nerdy, self-deprecating humor does take its toll at times (but, then again, most of these '50s and '60s DJs had a schtick), but the discs he spins are all top notch. Highlights on the classic side include the Flamingos' "I Only Have Eyes for You," Dinah Washington's "What a Difference a Day Makes," and the Crests' "Sixteen Candles," while less high-profile gems include Lloyd Price's "Personality" and Brook Benton's "It's Just a Matter of Time." Topped off with fine cuts by Chuck Berry, Big Jay McNeely, and Bo Diddley, this 1959 installment in the year-by-year Cruisin' series makes for the perfect backdrop to anyone's home-brewed record hop.

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