Buddy Johnson & His Orchestra

Rockin' n' Rollin' Featuring Ella Johnson

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Four of Buddy Johnson's six R&B hits on Mercury can be found on this 14-song collection that is drawn in part from the album Rock 'n' Roll Stage Show. Several tracks feature vocals by Johnson's sassy sibling, Ella, whose no-nonsense personality comes through on songs like "(Gotta Go) Upside Your Head." These recordings from the mid-'50s tend toward brassy R&B rave-ups that range from the honking instrumental "A-12" to the near doo wop of "Bring It Home to Me." "I'm Just Your Fool" is Johnson's big hit here, but the comparably successful "Hittin' on Me" is omitted. Rockin' n' Rollin' isn't exactly a greatest-hits collection, but is a worthwhile reissue since Johnson's Mercury and Wing recordings are otherwise scarce on CD.

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