Various Artists

R&B Jukebox Hits 1953, Vol. 1

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Of the many volumes in this series, this series of jukebox hits form 1953 reveals that it was more than a good year. Can you imagine strolling into your local watering hole back then, dressed for a Saturday night with your companion, checkerboard floor, the smell of tobacco and beer and wine wafting over the joint, greeting your friends and giving them the nod, complimenting them on their threads and strolling over to drop some heavy coinage into the box with these choices? Baby, you'd go flip to wig city for some of this stuff and be sweatin' up a mighty storm on the crowded floor. The joint would be jumpin' and hollerin' and grooving and wailin' with these fine sounds. Check it: Little Walter and his Chicago blues thud, Big Mama Thornton laying out the no good dis for a no good man, Annisteen Allen throwing down the gauntlet of broken love called "Doin' It Baby," followed by Billy Ward & the Dominoes -- sans Clyde McPhatter -- building up the wall of romance once more? And just to slow things down to a simmer where some buckle-polishing slo-mo moves could enter into the evening there's Nat King Cole, Johnny Ace, and the Vocaleers before winding up the joint again. This is all one needs for a tough R&B party, or a mind-boggling listen through the sounds of an incredible year.

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