Various Artists

Pittsburgh's Favorite Oldies: At the Hop

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Pittsburgh was a fertile creative breeding ground for no holds barred radio programming from the mid 1950s into the early 60s. The competition between deejays for their share of the audience was fierce and consequently each radio personality played tunes that couldn't be heard anywhere else and certainly nothing that was heard on a national level. This sub series to Itzy's multi volume Pittsburgh's Greatest Hits (this one being subtitled At The Hop and split evenly between uptempo selections and ballads) serves up 24 sterling examples of this wide range of programming and shows how it all appealed to the local scene. From wild instrumentals like "The Red Headed Flea" by the Caps and "The Hunch" by Mad Mike and the Maniacs to hard core doo-wop obscurities like "Bila" by the Versatones, "True Love Gone" by the Enchanters, and the haunting "A Million Miles Away" by the Uniques to rockers like the original "Charlena" by the Sevilles and Ronnie Haig's "Don't You Hear Me Calling, Baby," the Pittsburgh scene obviously had a built audience for the wild, bluesy, harder sounds being issued at the time. This compilation not only sheds light on an earlier scene, but provides top notch listening all the way. If you want to proceed past the hits and hear some remarkable music in the bargain, this one is highly recommended.