Various Artists

The Roulette Story

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This three-CD, 84-track box set brings together the hits and rarities from Morris Levy's New York indie label that closed down in 1977, after being in business for a 20-year period spanning the history of rock & roll's ascendancy to the top of the charts. Starting off with two million sellers on its first two releases (Buddy Knox's "Party Doll" and Jimmy Bowen's "I'm Sticking With You"), Roulette also made inroads in the folk and pop fields with the success of Jimmie Rodgers and artists like Valerie Carr and Georgia Gibbs. The label also released some of the very best in rockabilly, doo wop, and rock & roll with Ronnie Hawkins' "Forty Days" and "Who Do You Love," Tiny Tim and the Hits' "Wedding Bells," and Jimmy Lloyd's "Rocket in My Pocket." But Roulette was much more than just another indie rock & roll label, as the second disc amply proves with stellar jazz offerings from Count Basie, Joe Williams, Sarah Vaughan, Sonny Stitt, Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington peppering the catalog. The third disc picks up the pop/rock story from the early '60s to the label's demise in the late '70s, with hitworthy selections from Lou Christie, the Hullabaloos, Tommy James, and Alive and Kicking. The label also knew a good novelty record when it heard one, as all three discs are peppered with items like the Playmates' "Beep Beep" and the Detergents' "Leader of the Laundromat." For true surrealism, one is directed to Jim Nabors doing a rock & roll version of "There's No Tomorrow," an early stab at what Elvis later turned into "It's Now or Never." Excellent notes, stellar sound; this is one great label overview that tells the story of rock & roll and its place in the pop music scheme of things in microcosm.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:11 Spotify
2 2:06 Spotify
3
2:29 Spotify
4 2:12 Spotify
5 2:15 Spotify
6
2:09 Spotify
7
2:29 Spotify
8 2:08 Spotify
9 2:19 Spotify
10 2:21 Spotify
11 2:37 Spotify
12 2:18 Spotify
13 2:36 Spotify
14 1:52 Spotify
15 2:18 Spotify
16 2:25 Spotify
17 2:30 Spotify
18
2:23 Spotify
19 2:12 Spotify
20 2:16
21 2:05 Spotify
22 2:40 Spotify
23 1:58 Spotify
24 2:35 Spotify
25
2:59 Spotify
26
2:52 Spotify
27 2:42 Spotify
28 2:18 Spotify
29 2:01 Spotify
30 2:05 Spotify

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 4:41 Spotify
2 3:42 Spotify
3 2:37 Spotify
4 2:26 Spotify
5 3:19 Spotify
6 2:40 Spotify
7 2:13 Spotify
8 2:12 Spotify
9 3:16 Spotify
10 2:51 Spotify
11 2:38 Spotify
12 3:09 Spotify
13 2:20 Spotify
14 3:17 Spotify
15 2:12 Spotify
16 2:23 Spotify
17 2:52 Spotify
18 2:40 Spotify
19 2:18 Spotify
20 2:14 Spotify
21 2:12 Spotify
22 2:52 Spotify
23 2:29 Spotify
24 3:33 Spotify
25
2:22 Spotify
26 3:03 Spotify

Track Listing - Disc 3

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:41 Spotify
2 2:08 Spotify
3 2:08 Spotify
4
2:27 Spotify
5 1:59 Spotify
6
2:39 Spotify
7 2:01 Spotify
8
2:36 Spotify
9 3:10 Spotify
10
2:48 Spotify
11 2:05 Spotify
12 2:52 Spotify
13 2:38 Spotify
14 2:52
15
2:40 Spotify
16
2:49 Spotify
17
2:20 Spotify
18 2:51 Spotify
19
3:04
20 2:44 Spotify
21 2:17 Spotify
22 3:38 Spotify
23 2:44 Spotify
24
3:25 Spotify
25 3:16 Spotify
26
3:30 Spotify
27 4:03 Spotify
28
4:17 Spotify
blue highlight denotes track pick