Billy Ward

The Dominoes Meet the Ravens

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    9
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A 20-song collection featuring two groups, drawn from Jubilee (and licensed from EMI), all unified by their chronology and the fact that their respective lead singers, Jackie Wilson of the Dominoes and Jimmy Ricks from the Ravens, became successful solo artists. Otherwise, peculiarly enough, these aren't among the best-selling or best-known sides by either group (a fact acknowledged in the notes). However, they do superbly showcase the singing of each group's most famous member, Jackie Wilson opening the disc with a near-operatic performance on "Take Me Back to Heaven," while the Ravens open with a wonderfully subtle, swinging rendition of "Green Eyes" that harkens back to the Mills Brothers. Ricks' baritone is a magnificent instrument throughout this collection, which features a trio of previously unissued songs ("Rockin' at the Record Hop" among them). At the same time, Wilson delivers a gloriously frenzied lead performance on the Dominoes' previously unissued "Stop!...You're Sending Me." The sound is a match for the best reissues from Rhino or Ace, and the notes are a treasure trove of information on the Ravens, in particular.

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