Various Artists

More Rockin' on Broadway

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Like its predecessor, this is an assortment of rare tracks from Bob Shad's Time, Brent, Shad, and Warner labels, all recorded from 1958-1961. Among the 25 tracks are just a couple of contributors that most oldies rock fans might recognize: the Bell Notes, famous for "I've Had It" (not here, though three of their other tracks are), and Skip & Flip, who had hits with "Cherry Pie" and "It Was I" (though they're represented here by a different single, "Fancy Nancy"). Otherwise it's a real grab bag of obscurities, musically like something you might shovel up if you were looking through the dime-a-single bin in the early '60s, though these happen to all be from the same family of labels. Like many scrappy indies of the time, Bob Shad's imprints tried various rock & roll styles: somewhat raw, rockabilly-tinged rock & roll; vocal group doo wop; instrumentals; urban R&B; light pop/rock ballads with strings; novelties; and more. This isn't the least distinguished of such CD reissues by any means, but it's real middle-of-the-pack, with nothing in the way of hidden gems or desirable oddities to recommend it. The Bell Notes are about the best of this motley lot, sounding a little like a garage Everly Brothers, the 1960 single "No Dice" being the best of their tracks on the CD. Mickey Baker (who plays on a couple of the Bell Notes' songs) and King Curtis are heard as sessionmen on some tracks, though these are far from their more notable credits; Curtis, in fact, fronted the studio band O.C. & the Holidays, and both sides of an instrumental 1958 single they did for Warner are here. Three of the songs on the CD (two of them by Jimmy Church, one by the Genies) were previously unissued.

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