Various Artists

The Golden Era of Doo-Wops: Atlas Records

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Tommy Robinson's Atlas Records, originally based on 125th St. in New York's Harlem, was one of the first culturally significant record labels founded and operated by a Black owner. From 1951 until the early 1970s, the company specialized in R&B, evolving from urban blues and jazz in the beginning to doo wop music in the late 1950s -- their first release in December of 1951 was "Rock H-Bomb Rock" by H-Bomb Ferguson. In 1953, he started recording vocal groups, which heralded his entry into the doo wop field with the Caverliers Quartet. Other harmony groups and a cappella outfits that came aboard included the Revels, the Travelers, the Fi-Tones (the reorganized Caverliers), the Parakeets, the Gypsies (who had more of a jump sound), the Five Dukes, and the Lincolns, all of whom -- along with many others -- are represented on this 29-song collection. None of Atlas's releases ever charted nationally -- the company was essentially a one-man operation, and lacked the promotional clout and money to push songs that high nationwide -- but their artists were fixtures on local and regional charts. As for the diversity of material here, it runs the gamut from raunchy, heavily R&B-flavored numbers like the Caverliers' "Dynaflow" (a great unheralded car song with a real cool sax solo) and the Gypsies' jumping "Young Girl to Calypso," to smooth near-pop like "Lenora" by the Travelers. This collection also includes a pair of unreleased numbers by the Travelers and the Fi-Tones. The sound is generally good, and the notes are exceptionally detailed, as well.

blue highlight denotes track pick