Randy & the Rainbows

Play Ball

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Two performers who were prominent in the 1960s have joined together to bring back a style of popular music that got its start with young singers on the street corners of Philadelphia and the Queens: doo wop. Randy & the Rainbows were formed in 1962 and had a big hit with "Denise," which is reprised on this album, connected with Jimmy Wisner, aka "Jimmy the Wiz," for a new release. Wisner was a highly sought after session musician having worked with Judy Collins, Tony Bennett, and other pop luminaries of the time. On this album, Randy & the Rainbows supply the singing, helped exceedingly by top-flight musicians. Wisner supplies the label WizWorks, some of the arrangements, produces, and takes a turn on the Hammond B3 organ on "Deep Down" and "Joseph." The outcome is a Randy & the Rainbows updated to the 21st Century, but still retaining more than a vestige of that wonderful pre-rock harmonic style from the 1950s and 1960s. Although never enjoying the success of their Top Ten hit "Denise," the group has not been hiding out. It has shared the stage with top groups the Four Seasons, Dionne Warwick, Pat Cooper, and others. Good talent rarely ever disappears. Mike Zero, an original member of the group, Vinny Corella, and Jimmy Bense deliver nicely on a play list of 12 tunes, some love songs, others upbeat toe tappers, especially the swinging renditions of "Ain't She Pretty" and "Joseph." The happy music on this CD creates an urge to roll up the rug and do some meaningful dancing, not the senseless, nondirectional, self-indulgent gyrations that pass for that lost art these days. Recommended.

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