Various Artists

Hard to Find 45's on CD, Vol. 2: 1961-64

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The second installment of the Hard to Find 45's series is, like the first, a wide assortment of Top 40 hits, some of them indeed very hard to find on CD or even hear on the radio. Some of them are not really that hard to find on CD, though this disc (like every one in this series) takes pains to present original 45 RPM single versions, often in stereo. Whereas the first volume was devoted to material from 1955-1960, this goes into the next era (1961-1964), and though it's pretty pop-inclined, there's a good deal of diversity. There's doo wop verging on soul by the Stereos ("I Really Do Love You," the Flares' "Foot Stompin'," Clyde McPhatter's "Lover Please"), girl-sung teen idol pop (Little Peggy March's "I Will Follow Him," Marcie Blane's "Bobby's Girl"), the poppiest brand of girl group sounds (the Murmaids' "Popsicles and Icicles," Diane Renay's "Navy Blue," the Caravelles' "You Don't Have to Be a Baby to Cry"), the foreign novelty (Singing Nun's "Dominique"), middle-of-the-road pop (Joe Dowell's "Wooden Heart"), forgotten British Invasion/middle-of-the-road pop/folk-country (the Bachelors' "Diane"), and a hot rod tune (the Hondells' "Little Honda") whose relatively hard-driving toughness is almost out of character on this CD. As far as hits that are really hard to hear on oldies radio or buy on CD in some fashion, there aren't that many. But some of the tracks that really don't show up much on whatever channels include the rockabilly pop of Larry Finnegan's 1962 hit "Dear One," Paul & Paula's "Hey Paula" follow-up hit "Young Lovers," Richard Chamberlain's celebrity hit one-shot "Theme From Dr. Kildare (3 Stars Will Shine Tonight)," Joe Dowell's 1962 hit "Little Red Rented Rowboat," and, above all, Julie Rogers' gloppy orchestral number ten 1964 single "The Wedding," a throwback to pre-rock vocal pop that somehow was a big hit when such music was being rapidly phased out of the pop mainstream. Surprisingly, Rogers was a young British singer, though one virtually never mentioned as being part of the British Invasion in subsequent times.

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