Various Artists

Super Oldies of the 50's, Vol. 6

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As oldies radio stations have progressively played newer music, few bother to reach back to the first decade of rock & roll in the '50s. Serial compilations like Super Oldies of the 50's, then, provide fans with a good starting place to return to doo wop and rock & roll's beginning and create their own version of oldies radio. Super Oldies of the 50's, Vol. 6 includes a solid list of known and lesser-known songs, cutting a wide swath across the era. Favorites will include Danny & the Juniors' "At the Hop," Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode," Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti," and Bill Haley & the Comets' "Shake, Rattle & Roll." There are also fun oddities like the Cadets' bouncy "Stranded in the Jungle" and Sam Cooke's smooth take on "Summertime." The collection comes to a close with the ethereal "Sleepwalk" by Santo & Johnny. At less than two and a half minutes, the instrumental is a model of simplicity and grace, underpinned by a lovely batch of chords and Santo Farina's steel guitar work. While Super Oldies of the 50's, Vol. 6 is quite enjoyable as a collection, the series lacks liner notes and the sound quality is less than pristine. Vol. 6 will nonetheless allow the listener to re-create a nearly hourlong version of oldies radio, '50s style.

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