Performers include: King Curtis, George Benson, Mickey & Sylvia, Arthur Crudup, Otis Blackwell, The Five Keys, Eartha Kitt.
Contains 30 tracks.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Eartha Kitt; George Benson ; King Curtis; Mickey & Sylvia; Otis Blackwell; Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup; The Five Keys.
RCA Victor was one of the very few majors who actually had an R&B division that could keep pace with labels like Chess, Modern, Savoy, Atlantic, King and others. This opening volume of an ongoing series comes up with 28 terrific performances illustrating that the corporate giant at least had their pulse on what actually constituted rhythm & blues in the early 1950s, and then some. From the out-and-out wildness of Mr. Bear and the Bearcats' "Mr. Bear Comes to Town," Big Al Sears' "Great Googa Mooga," Milt Trenier's "Day Old Bread" and the Jackson Brothers' "There's No Other Way," this collection also plumbs some deep blues with the unissued Larry Dale tracks "Midnight Hours," "Please Tell Me" and "Down to the Bottom," all three featuring some stellar guitar work from Mickey Baker. Other highlights include Louis Jordan's "Chicken Back," Big Al Sears' "Rock'n'Roll Ball," Beatrice Reading's bluesy "I"ll Do It All Again," an 11-year-old George Benson's first record ("She Makes Me Mad"), Eartha Kitt's uncharacteristic R&B outing "My Heart's Delight," and Big Connie's "Mumbles Blues." A nice chunk of seldom-anthologized American music. ~ Cub Koda