Various Artists

Hard to Find Jukebox Classics 1963: Rock, Rhythm & Pop

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This collection of classic oldies brings together 30 songs from 1963, the year before the Beatles hit America and upended the pop charts forever. In many ways, 1963 was the last year the influence of rock's first era was felt so strongly on the charts, and this collection features an eclectic range of sounds and styles: classic girl group numbers ("Then He Kissed Me" by the Crystals), surf music ("Wipe Out" by the Surfaris), rhythm & blues ("Cry Baby" by Garnet Mimms & the Enchanters), teen idols ("Kissin' on the Phone" by Paul Anka), movie themes ("More" from Mondo Cane by Kai Winding), easy listening duos ("I Want to Stay Here" by Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme), novelty numbers ("Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah" by Allan Sherman) and pop-leaning country hits ("500 Miles from Home" by Bobby Bare). Hard to Find Jukebox Classics reflects both the diversity and feel of pop radio in 1963, and this release also features stereo mixes for 17 of the selections, two making their stereo debut on CD. (The compilers have also unearthed original mono or 45 rpm versions of several tunes.) While most of these songs are familiar to most oldies fans, there are several that have been all but forgotten in recent years, such as "Elephant Walk (Native Girl)" by Donald Jenkins & the Delighters and "Please Don't Talk to the Lifeguard" by Diane Ray. This is a collection of vintage pop and rock for the discerning listener, and the audio remastering is excellent throughout; if you're looking for some genuine early-'60s rarities in high fidelity, this will fill the bill with flying colors.

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