Various Artists

Baton Label: Sol's Story

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The Baton label, run by Sol Rabinowitz, was a small New York R&B indie that had some modest successes in the 1950s, most notably with the original version of "Got My Mojo Working," by Ann Cole (included here). This has 28 sides from 1953-1959, three of them previously unissued, presenting a solid if occasionally generic mix of period R&B styles, particularly doo wop and jump R&B. Highlights include the dreamy doo wop of the Rivileers' 1953 single "A Thousand Stars," Baton's first release and first success; the Hearts, whose "Lonely Nights" (from 1955) is one of the best examples of the fairly infrequently recorded female doo wop group genre; and the Lonely Ones' "My Wish," which sounds a little like Little Anthony & the Imperials. Much of the doo wop material has a rather poppier flavor than the typical stuff from the style, which actually makes it stand out from the pack a bit. Blues collectors will be most interested in the nine tracks by Ann Cole; none of them match "Mojo Working" ("I've Got Nothing Working Now" is a blatantly similar-sounding follow-up), and some of them have no relation to the blues, but "Each Day" is a pretty good cut that sounds like a minor-keyed variation of Little Walter's "My Babe."

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:09
2 2:42
3 3:19
4 2:46
5 2:36
6 2:19
7 2:09
8
2:14
9 2:39
10 2:57
11 2:25
12 2:22
13 2:21
14 2:13
15 2:33
16 2:28
17 2:31
18 3:17
19 2:30
20 2:56
21 2:31
22 2:34
23 2:43
24
2:07
25 3:00
26 2:40
27
2:39
28 2:40
blue highlight denotes track pick