Various Artists

The Golden Era of Doo-Wops: Lupine Records

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Motown collectors take note -- Lu Pine Records was one of several outfits controlled by Robert West, one of Detroit's more ambitious music entrepreneurs in the years before Berry Gordy founded Motown Records. Other labels with which West was associated included Flick, Kudo, Contour, and Bumble Bee, all of which are represented on this 25-song collection -- future Motown songwriting mainstay Eddie Holland sang on Kudo's release of "(Where Is the Joy) In Nature Boy," while Marv Johnson cut "Once Upon a Time," both of which show up here. This disc has a rich mix of fast-paced rock & roll ("Bill Is My Boyfriend" by the Conquerors, "Lonely Night" by Jimmy Von Carl) and broad ballads ("This Heart of Mine" and "You're So Fine" by the Falcons, whose members included Levi Stubbs' brother Joe, and Eddie Floyd) with dreamy a cappella harmony cuts ("Please Let It Be" by the Bumble Bees). There are also some real pieces of choice ephemera here, such as the Conquerors' answer to Gene Chandler's "Duke of Earl," called "Duchess Conquers Duke."

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