The argument will forever rage, but Memphis, Tennessee, is as much the fountainhead of rock ’n’ roll as is Cleveland, Ohio. Whilst the north had Alan Freed as its turntable champion, the south was blessed with the madcap deejay, Dewey Phillips. Chances are, ole Dewey would have played most of the 75 titles that go to make up Raunchy Sugar on his Red Hot and Blue show that aired over WHBQ in Memphis.During the 1950s the city was alive with labels, record hops, musicians and the general chaos that goes hand in hand with the big beat. The geographical lie of the land helped a great deal, because the city was central to so many rural areas that harboured musical talent and style. Carl Perkins and Carl Mann gravitated to the area from Jackson, Tennessee, Billy Riley and Conway Twitty did the same from Arkansas, and Elvis Presley hit the trail from Mississippi in order to soak up some of that unique Shelby County action. Outside of Sam Phillips’ legendary Sun Records, the labels included such names as Hi, Cover, Fernwood, Meteor, Vaden Moon and Satellite.
The Complete Motown Singles has been a dream project of Motown and soul fanatics for many years, ever since the first decade of Stax/Volt singles was compiled in an impressive nine-disc box set in 1991. The Complete Motown Singles might have seemed like a logical move to soul collectors and fanatics, but it remained in the realm of fantasy for many years because, as enticing as that set was, it was difficult to create.
This brilliant CD series entitled "Didn't It Blow Your Mind, Soul Hits Of The 70s" is a 20-volume anthology of excellent R&B music from the 1970s. Each CD features several artists of the R&B genre, performing songs that helped to shape their generation. This is like having your very own 70s Soul Music party. Great R&B classics don't get any better than this, and Rhino brings it to you in one amazing, top-knotch series.
Fifty years, 11 CDs, 11 Doctors and 389 tracks. This is the release that Doctor Who fans worldwide have been waiting for, assembled after years of research and trawls through dusty archives and libraries. It's a comprehensive overview of the very special music that has accompanied the Doctor over his travels through time and space from William Hartnell in 1963 to present day Matt Smith. From Ron Grainer's iconic theme realised by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop's Delia Derbyshire to Murray Gold's orchestral tapestries, this is a musical saga of monumental proportions. The esteemed collection of composers featured include Tristram Cary, Brian Hodgson, Wilfred Josephs, Dudley Simpson, Geoffrey Burgon, Paddy Kingsland, Roger Limb, Malcolm Clarke, Keff McCulloch, Dominic Glynn, John Debney and many more. The lavish 32 page booklet with the set includes liner notes from Doctor Who composer Mark Ayres on the history of music in the series and details of the episodes.
California may be the largest state in the Union, but it's only one state nuzzling one ocean, with only so many people living near the coastline, and a small minority of them have attempted to navigate waves on a board, much less possess the fetching physique to do so in public. Obviously, then, surf music isn't for surfers. If it were, Rhino would put out a greatest-hits EP instead of a four-disc box set. Cowabunga! is all the permanent-wave stuff most people will ever need.
Never realised the breadth of the "Pop-Sike" genre until I heard Fading Yellow, a really fine compilation that hangs together beautifully as an album. That most of the tracks are obscure isn't surprising: everything is a little odd, a little ramshackle, with a strong melancholic undertow and not a little creepiness. Of course, this music is also specific to a particular time in Western pop music history so there's a strong nostalgic element, but the knowledge this music could never be exactly replicated is what also makes it so fascinating. Recommended, in a warm and loving 60s way.