Various Artists

Pittsburgh's Greatest Hits, Vol. IX

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From the opening "Dooley paddy wah, dooley paddy wah, dooley paddy wah"s by the El Venos on "Geraldine (Be My Queen)," it's obvious that this is another stellar entry in Travis Klein's documentation of the local Pittsburgh scene of the 1950s and '60s, with the odd '70s retro recording thrown in to give the big picture. With 25 tracks featuring all Pittsburgh-area artists, this compilation runs the usual wide range of sounds that Pittsburgh teenagers listened to on the radio and danced to at the local record hops. The local heroes who went on to national fame are well represented here, starting with three very early tracks from an 11- (and later all of 16-) year-old George Benson, soloing on "It Should Have Been Me #2" and "She Makes Me Mad" and as a teenaged member of the Altairs on "Groovie Time." The Dell Vikings are aboard with two sides from 1961 ("I'll Never Stop Crying" and "Bring Back Your Heart"), and the Marcels are doing business as the Blue Moons on a 1974 Jaguar single that has them doo-wopping through a breakneck version of "Sunday Kind of Love." But as always, it's the totally obscure one-offs that make this series so enticing, and such is the case here with the Five Playboys' "Pages of My Scrapbook," the Coronas' "I Need Your Lovin' Again," Davey Day's noisy "Motorcycle Mike" and Buddy Sharpe and the Shakers' silly but bluesy "Bald Headed Baby" being the particular highlights this time around.

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