The Harptones

The Legendary Group at Their Best

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The Harptones were one of the best doo wop groups of all time, performing their jazz-tinged music with the power and enthusiasm that made them legendary in the genre. What is even more amazing is not a single song on this collection ever charted, proving how fickle the record and radio industries were at the time. This takes two of their best previous collections, The Goldner Recordings and The Very Best of the Harptones, and puts them together in one oversized box (the packaging is very inconvenient, a minor complaint). The first disc features the material they recorded with George Goldner. Showcasing Willie Winfield's silky voice and the wonderful harmonies that the group came up with, it acts as a document of a group that never quite made it. The second disc, made up of the material they recorded for Old Town, features several repeated tracks from different sessions as well as a few duets with Ruth McFadden and Peggy Farmer. The material here is still quite good, although there is a certain fatigue that becomes evident as the collection goes on. Despite their incredible talents, the group never had anything outside of regional success, and they eventually disbanded, reuniting for live performances and one album in the early '80s. For any fan of '50s doo wop, this is a great collection that showcases a group who never got their due.

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