Chess and Vee-Jay may have been the best-known rhythm & blues labels in Chicago during the city's heyday as a home for blues and soul in the '50s and '60s, but some of the best soul music to come out of the city was released by the small family of labels run by George and Ernie Leaner. The Leaner brothers ran record shops and a distribution company before they expanded into making records by founding One-Derful! Records in 1963. Before long, the Leaners had added five sibling labels to their empire, including Mar-V-Lus Records, an imprint intended to spotlight upbeat material that would appeal to teenage record buyers. Secret Stash Records has been issuing a series of albums collecting vintage gems from the Leaner brothers' labels, and The One-Derful! Collection: Mar-V-Lus Records features 25 selections recorded for that label between 1963 and 1971, including ten previously unreleased performances. Includes vintage sides by Alvin Cash & the Crawlers, the Blenders, Josephine Taylor, the Du-Ettes, Cicero Blake, and more.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming