Various Artists

On the Northern Side: Campark Records, Vol. 1

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Philadelphia's Cameo-Parkway Records endures among the most successful independent labels of its era -- founded in 1956 by Bernie Lowe and Kal Mann, the company was home to artists including Chubby Checker ("The Twist"), Dee Dee Sharp (the brilliant "Mashed Potato Time"), and the Tymes ("So Much in Love") before it was purchased by Alan Klein and rechristened Abkco in 1967. The first volume in the On the Northern Side: Campark Records series documents some of the lesser-known Cameo-Parkway acts, forgoing the label's big hits in favor of the kind of rare grooves celebrated by Britain's Northern soul club scene -- in the smooth, upbeat Campark sound lies the roots of the classic Philadelphia soul of the 1970s, and while it never rivaled other regional imprints like Motown or Stax, the label revealed an uncommon knack for discovering new talent as it documented and fostered its city's scene. Highlights include Eddie Holman's wonderful "Eddie's My Name," the GTOs' "Girl from New York City," Evie Sands' "Picture Me Gone," and Christine Cooper's "SOS."