Various Artists

(Not Just) A Pretty Face & A Pompadour

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White pretty boys became the direction of Jackson, Mississippi's Ace Records in the wake of the success of Jimmy Clanton. But unlike the Frankies and Bobbies and Fabians of the era, many of the label's teenage rockers could actually sing with some real rhythmic feeling. On many of the tracks, the Ace house band at Cosimo's Studio were used, bringing in the cream of the New Orleans players to blow hard and heavy behind artists like Johnny Angel on "Teenage Wedding," one of the many highlights included here. On others, label owner Johnny Vincent merely had micro-talents like Scotty McKay put his vocals over the original band tracks of "Little Liza Jane," "Sea Cruise" and "Roberta." There's far more rockin' aboard than one would normally suspect on this type of compilation and tracks from Roland Stone, Jimmy Clanton (the burning "It Takes a Long, Long Time" from the movie Go, Johnny, Go), Cliff Thomas, Dick Holler, Ike Clanton, Bat Carroll and Johnny Fairchild tip the scales mightily. Maybe it was the geographical location of the label's stable of talent, but certainly Fabian was never like this.

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