Various Artists

Groove Story: R&B from the Radio Corporation, Vol. 2

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RCA Victor started up their Groove subsidiary in 1954 after watching indie labels like Specialty, Chess, Modern, Savoy, Atlantic, King and others dominate the R&B market. Actually, the label was relaunched on two separate occasions after that, but this 28-track collection is pulled from its original 1950s incarnation. As a companion volume to Westside's Honkin' 'N' Hollerin': R&B From the Radio Corporation, Volume 1, there's some marginal duplication with the previous entry (Beatrice Reading's "I'd Gladly Do It Again" is inadvertently repeated, and Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's cover of Professor Longhair's "She's Got No Hair" is listed but is an audio no-show), but this equals the rockin' and bluesy quotient of its predecessor with consummate ease. From the deep blues of Big John Greer ("Bottle It Up and Go"), Melvin Smith ("You Can't Stay Here") to the jump novelties from the Nitecaps ("Tough Mama"), Buddy Lucas ("High Low Jack") and the Five Keys ("Lawdy Miss Mary") to the straight-ahead jump instrumentals of Big Al Sears ("Here's the Beat") and King Curtis ("Moving On"), it's obvious that the Groove label had more than its share of high-quality R&B releases, and this disc brings together some of the very best of them.

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