Various Artists

DooWoppin' with King, Federal and Deluxe Vocal Groups

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Although they never had the success of other R&B indie labels of the 1950s, there's no doubt that King Records (and its subsidiaries, Federal and Deluxe) recorded more doo-wop than anybody, hoping to get its fair share of the market nonetheless. This first entry into a multi-volume series is subtitled "Volume 1: Dynamite Darling," and brings together 21 tracks from some of the most obscure groups to record for the Cincinnati imprint. The only name of any import on here are the two Deluxe sides by Otis Williams and the Charms (the title track and "I'd Like to Thank You, Mr. DJ" which open and close this compilation), but from a musical standpoint, this is some of the best stuff ever issued on the label. Great one-off singles abound from groups like the Buckeyes ("By Only You" and the slow grinder "Dottie Baby"), the Van Dykes ("The Bells Are Ringing" and "Meaning of Love"), the Chanters (the Frankie Lymon sound-alikes "No, No, No" and "Over the Rainbow"), the Guytones ("I Don't Care" and "You Won't Let Me Go"), the Five Chances ("Tell Me Why"), the Swingin' Phillies ("L-O-V-E"), the Cats (the swingin' "I Don't Care No More") and three astounding tracks from the totally unknown Carpets (two takes of "Lonely Me" and "Why Do I"), making this a keeper to any doo-wop collection you'd care to add it to. Like the best music in any genre, there's always a pile of great ones by a bunch of people you never heard of, and here's a motherlode of just that.

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