Various Artists

Gee Wizz: Class Records Story 1956-1962

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Class Records was a Los Angeles-based R&B label which had big hits by Jesse Belvin and Bobby Day, the singer/songwriter who also was crucial in the founding of this '50s independent imprint. Both are here -- Day is represented heavily, with "Rockin' Robin" and a version of "Little Bitty Pretty One," a song Clyde McPhatter would popularize -– along with a bunch of happily swinging, chipper, crossover-minded R&B and doo wop from the likes of Bob & Earl, the Sputniks, Eugene Church, and other obscure names (plus Johnny "Guitar" Watson with an atypical novelty called "The Bear"). This is music very much of its time -- the late '50s, when it was possible for any indie to strike it big, so they all tried to have hits -- and if only the best cuts transcend the time, it's still a fun period trip.