Various Artists

Get with the Beat: Mar-Vel' Masters

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Get with the Beat features an hour's worth of rock & roll, rockabilly, and blues (and even some music from the distaff side, courtesy of Ginny Carter), culled from Harry Glenn's Chicago-based Mar-Vel' label, which tried for 17 years, from 1949 through 1966, to make a mark on music. These entries never troubled any chart compilers, but that doesn't mean this isn't highly proficient and even inspired rock & roll on occasion -- some of the artists here, such as Billy Hall, were top-notch regional talent, able to loft singles to the tops of the charts in various cities of the South and Midwest, while others were little more than also-rans, and a few, like Harry Carter ("Jump, Baby, Jump") and Chuck Dallis, deserved more success than they found through these releases. The selection is superb, the sound excellent, and the annotation limited but as full as it's ever likely to be on a lot of these artists. A must-own release for rockabilly and early Southern rock & roll enthusiasts, and a recommended purchase for anyone else with a serious interest in '50s rock & roll.

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