Complete History

Bob Knight

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Complete History Review

by Greg Adams

The Bob Knight Four, a white doo wop vocal group from New York, scored only one national hit: "(Good Goodbye) So So Long," which reached number 90 on the Cash Box charts in 1961. The group never registered on the Billboard charts and was mainly a regional phenomenon, with its "hit" seeing local chart action in New York City and Philadelphia. The Bob Knight Four recorded for a number of independent labels, including Laurel, Jubilee, Josie, Goal, Madison, and Vegas, mainly between 1961-1964, cutting a variety of originals and doo wop covers. The Complete History, a 34-track German anthology, isn't truly complete but contains most of the group's recordings including commercial releases, unreleased cuts, demos, and jingles. The collection expands and improves upon a 1994 CD, The Complete Story, by adding two songs and upgrading the sound quality. The commercial sides, particularly the ones made for Josie and Jubilee, are the standouts, while the demos are understandably rough and, at times, somewhat experimental. "Charlie the Firebug," for example, is an unusual novelty song sung in a basso profundo growl that tells a strange story of domestic violence. It is interesting to note that the package's lengthy notes and program are more lavish than many big-name artists ever receive. Despite some enjoyable music, there are no great lost classics here, and the Bob Knight Four's obscurity means that The Complete History will appeal only to hardcore doo wop collectors and listeners with a local interest.

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