Various Artists

New York Soul Serenade

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Twenty-eight rare '60s New York soul cuts, mostly from the vaults of the Scepter and Musicor labels. There are a few recognizable minor soul stars here (Maxine Brown, Chuck Jackson, Big Maybelle, Walter Jackson, Judy Clay, Johnny Maestro), as well as selections by performers on the downhill commercial slide (the Platters and Jive Five). The Scepter and Musicor discs were characterized by grand, melodramatic songs and production, and while these are not lost classics, they do boast some good tunes and arrangements. This is recommended above most of Kent's other soul rarities collections for that reason: there's a good deal of variety and range of emotion, not just the standard uptempo happy music so beloved on Northern soul dance floors. And if you're looking for curiosities, there are plenty: an obscure Bacharach-David tune from 1962 (Jimmy Radcliffe's "(There Goes) The Forgotten Man"), blue-eyed soul from future country star Ed Bruce, social realism from football star Roosevelt Grier on "In My Tenement," the Dionne Warwick-produced side by the Gentlemen Four, and Big Maybelle's version of the superb ballad "Oh Lord, What Are You Doing to Me," better known as sung by Dionne Warwick.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:24
2 2:51
3 2:08
4 2:27
5 3:10
6 3:02
7 2:56
8 3:13
9 2:23
10 2:19
11 2:29
12 2:46
13 2:29
14
2:44
15 2:51
16 2:17
17
3:00
18 4:54
19 2:53
20 2:35
21 1:53
22 2:24
23
2:29
24 2:27
25 2:54
26 2:47
27 2:56
28 4:20
blue highlight denotes track pick