Various Artists

Dootone Rock N' Rhythm & Blues

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AllMusic Review by

Dootone was one of many notable Los Angeles independent labels releasing R&B and early rock & roll in the mid-'50s, though it wasn't on the same level, musically or commercially, as Specialty and Modern. This gathers 28 Dootone cuts from the mid- to late '50s that generally lean toward the jump blues and jazzy R&B end of things, though there's some honkin' sax rock & roll too. In fact, most of the artists were pretty important figures in the scene, though many would contend that their best work was done for other labels: Roy Milton, Helen Humes, Chuck Higgins, and Joe Houston (though the last is represented by just one track, the 1958 single "Shindig"). These kind of styles were passing their peak by the mid-'50s, and while the artists hadn't lost their energy or skills, the songs do sound on the routine and samey-sounding side. Miss Mickey Champion fronts two songs by Roy Milton's orchestra, and these stand out a little due to her saucy, slightly raunchy vocals. The duo of Lorenzo Holden and Ernie Freeman also contributes to variety with their two organ instrumentals. Overall it's one for those who just can't get enough of the urbane-to-rough 1950s Los Angeles R&B sound, and not among the best anthologies of the style.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:32
2 2:50
3 2:48
4 2:58
5 2:09
6 2:40
7
2:21
8 2:32
9 2:59
10 2:53
11 2:32
12 3:13
13 2:42
14
2:41
15
2:16
16
2:54
17 2:25
18 2:33
19 2:21
20 2:27
21 2:54
22 2:08
23 2:08
24 2:29
25 2:17
26 3:01
27 2:21
28 2:39
blue highlight denotes track pick