Various Artists

The History of Cadence Records, Vols. 1-2

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Cadence was a significant independent label in the 1950s and early '60s, recording hits by the Everly Brothers, Andy Williams, Chordettes, Lenny Welch, and various teen idols and pop vocalists. Putting all of them together on the same retrospective, however, isn't a good idea, unless you're going to concentrate on just the rock, or just the pop vocals. These two collections have plenty of hits by the aforementioned names, as well as one-shots by the likes of Link Wray ("Rumble"). But there's no thematic coherence, other than the fact that they happened to be issued on the same imprint -- why you would want to hear the Everlys' classic "('Til) I Kissed You" right after Bill Hayes' corny novelty "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" for instance, is anyone's guess. Volume two has a good, interesting rare 1961 single by Charlie McCoy (who became one of Nashville's top session musicians), but on the whole you're much better off pursuing compilations of the individual artists represented here than getting these mish-mash samplers.