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Those Oldies But Goodies: Bear Family Offers Up Vintage Everly Brothers, Paul Anka

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Everly Brothers BalladsThough best known for its definitive box sets spanning careers or large swaths of them, Germany’s historically-minded Bear Family label also keeps busy with a steady flow of single-disc anthologies, all with the label’s hallmarks of quality.  Three such anthologies have recently arrived from Bear Family, two focusing on The Everly Brothers and one on Paul Anka.

Brothers Don and Phil Everly successfully straddled the line between country and rock-and-roll (with a healthy dollop of R&B in there) beginning with their first hit record, 1957’s “Bye Bye Love.”  Still an oldies-radio staple today, the Felice and Boudleaux Bryant classic began a long stretch of successes for the duo.  Archie Bleyer, of Cadence Records, signed the boys in February 1957 and was keenly aware of their potential to appeal to both teenaged and adult markets.  And so the Everlys were instructed to pair a rocking A-side with a romantic B-side on each single.  Bear Family has now tapped into both styles for their pair of releases, The Everly Brothers Rock and The Ballads of The Everly Brothers.

Bear Family’s long-running Rocks series has previously put the spotlights on rave-ups from artists both expected (Ronnie Hawkins, Wanda Jackson) and unexpected (Pat Boone, Marty Robbins) and everybody in between (Bobby Darin, Conway Twitty).   The Everlys’ volume chronologically includes 30 songs from “Bye Bye Love” on the Cadence label to “Dancing on My Feet,” recorded in 1962 but not issued until 1995 on Bear Family’s box set The Price of Fame 1960-1965.  (That box falls between Classic Everly Brothers and Chained to a Memory: 1966-1972.  Taken together, the three boxes tell the entire Everly story up to 1972.  A subsequent mini-box, The Outtakes, was released as a companion volume.)  The compilation includes beloved Cadence records like “Wake Up Little Susie” (1957), “Bird Dog” (1958), “Till I Kissed You” (1959) and “When Will I Be Loved” (1960) along with tracks from the duo’s subsequent Warner Bros. stint such as “Cathy’s Clown” and “Temptation” (both 1960).  Among the most interesting tracks are a trio from lyricist Gerry Goffin – two co-written with Carole King and one with Jack Keller.  This collection truly takes Don and Phil from Nashville to Hollywood.

Everly Brothers RockThe Ballads of the Everly Brothers is comparable in scope, also including 30 tracks from the same 1957-1962 time period.  Previous Ballads volumes have focused on Johnny Horton, Johnny Burnette, Wanda Jackson and Gene Vincent, among others.  The Everlys’ entry begins with the flipside of “Wake Up Little Susie,” the Don and Phil co-write “Maybe Tomorrow,” and ends with Goffin and Keller’s “No One Can Make My Sunshine Smile,” also first issued on the Price of Fame box and featuring Wrecking Crew personnel including Ray Pohlman and Billy Strange.  The Keller/Goffin team also supplied the Everlys with “Don’t Ask Me to Be Friends,” while Carole King teamed with Howard Greenfield for the hit “Crying in the Rain.”  Both songs are included here.  There are also a number of Broadway and Hollywood songs that might strike casual fans as atypical: Cole Porter’s “True Love” from High Society, Bob Merrill’s “Love Makes the World Go Round” from Carnival, and Jule Styne and Betty Comden and Adolph Green’s “The Party’s Over” from Bells Are Ringing.  Ironically, Ballads also includes “Hi Lili, Hi Lo” from Lili, the screen version of the same story depicted in Broadway’s Carnival.  The versatile Brothers even stretched back to the thirties for Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields’ “Don’t Blame Me” and Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein II’s “When I Grow Too Old to Dream.”

Even when their personal lives were far from harmonious, The Everly Brothers sure sounded heavenly.  Both volumes, produced and annotated by Andrew Sandoval, are available now, and both feature 34-page booklets with complete discographies/sessionographies for the disc’s songs.  You’ll find the full track listing and order links after the jump, along with the scoop on Paul Anka’s Dianacally Yours!

Paul Anka - Dianacally YoursPaul Anka’s Dianacally Yours (so named for Anka’s old sign-off when personally replying to fan letters) chronicles the Canadian teen idol’s earliest hits on the ABC-Paramount label as released between 1957 and 1962 over a whopping 36 tracks.  Anka, about to celebrate his 55th year in showbiz with an autobiography and a new duets collection from Legacy Recordings, had grand aspirations from an early age.  The Ottawa-born pop star scored his first hit with 1957’s “Diana,” the first track on the new Bear Family anthology. When the song was released, Anka was just shy of 16 years old, and it earned him a No. 1 in the U.S. Best Sellers in Stores and R&B charts, as well as No. 1 in the U.K., Canada and Australia. But overnight sensation Anka was a teen idol with a difference: he was a true singer/songwriter, writing both music and lyrics for his own songs.  By the age of 20, Anka was reportedly raking in $1.5 million a year and selling some 20 million records, but he knew that he had to take himself to the next level.  Anka poised himself for a reinvention for the adult market with more mature material for the supper club crowd.

Tension over his musical direction led to a departure from ABC in late 1961; indeed, within a week of departing the label in November of that year, Anka had been signed to RCA.   Dianacally Yours includes just two “bonus tracks” from the RCA years, “Love Me Warm and Tender” and “A Steel Guitar and a Glass of Wine.”  In the main portion, it presents a cross-section of his original ABC hits and rarities.  Beyond simply “Diana,” there’s the sweeping ballad “You Are My Destiny” (also 1957), sweet “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” and “Lonely Boy” (both 1958) and the oft-covered “Puppy Love” (1959).  Don Costa, later an invaluable arranger and conductor for Anka’s friend Frank Sinatra, helmed most of the ABC tracks, sometimes ceding duties to others including Stan Applebaum and Ray Charles’ associate Sid Feller.

The lavish Bear Family volume boasts a thick 46-page booklet containing an essay by Sam Szczepanski and a full discography/sessionography for the 36 tracks.  Dianacally Yours follows two German-language collections for Anka, one of Anka singing in German and the other of German recordings of his songs.  Like the Everly Brothers volumes, Dianacally Yours is available now.  It can be ordered at the link below!

Paul Anka, Dianacally Yours (Bear Family BCD 17247 AH, 2013)

All dates refer to recording dates.

  1. Diana (ABC single 9831, 1957)
  2. Don’t Gamble with Love (ABC single 9831, 1957)
  3. Tell Me That You Love Me (ABC single 9855, 1957)
  4. When I Stop Loving You (That’ll Be the Day) (ABC single 9880, 1957)
  5. I Love You Baby (ABC single 9855, 1957)
  6. You Are My Destiny (ABC single 9880, 1957)
  7. I’d Have to Share (ABC single 10147, 1957)
  8. Let the Bells Keep on Ringing (ABC single 9907, 1958)
  9. It’s Time to Cry (ABC single 10064, 1958)
  10. Crazy Love (ABC single 9907, 1958)
  11. Midnight (ABC single 9937, 1958)
  12. Late Last Night (ABC single 10011, 1958)
  13. Verboten (ABC single 9937, 1958)
  14. Don’t Say You’re Sorry (ABC single 10168, 1958)
  15. Put Your Head on My Shoulder (ABC single 10040, 1958)
  16. Your Love (ABC single 10022, 1958)
  17. Something Happened (ABC single 10106, 1958)
  18. Lonely Boy (ABC single 10022, 1958)
  19. (All of a Sudden) My Heart Sings (ABC single 9987, 1958)
  20. That’s Love (ABC single 9987, 1958)
  21. I Miss You So (ABC single 10011, 1959)
  22. I Talk to You (ABC single 10220, 1959)
  23. Don’t Ever Leave Me (ABC single 10040, 1959)
  24. Something Has Changed Me (ABC single 10064, 1959)
  25. I’m Just Your Fool Anyway (ABC single 10194, 1959)
  26. Adam and Eve (ABC single 10082, 1959)
  27. Puppy Love (ABC single 10082, 1959)
  28. My Home Town (ABC single 10106, 1960)
  29. Summer’s Gone (ABC single 10147, 1960)
  30. The Story of My Love (ABC single 10168, 1960)
  31. Dance On, Little Girl (ABC single 10220, 1961)
  32. Tonight, My Love, Tonight (ABC single 10194, 1961)
  33. Cinderella (ABC single 10239, 1961)
  34. Kissin’ on the Phone (ABC single 10239, 1961)
  35. Love Me Warm and Tender (RCA Victor single 47-7977, 1961)
  36. A Steel Guitar and a Glass of Wine (RCA Victor single 47-8030, 1962)

The Everly Brothers, The Ballads of The Everly Brothers (Bear Family BCD 17325 AR, 2013)

All dates refer to recording dates.  All tracks on Cadence label unless otherwise specified.  Single catalogue number listed first where applicable.

  1. Maybe Tomorrow (Cad 1337, CEP 104, 1957)
  2. All I Have to Do is Dream (Cad 1348 & 1604, CEP 111, 1958)
  3. Devoted to You (Cad 1350, CEP 111, 1958)
  4. Oh, So Many Years (CEP 108, 1958)
  5. Love of My Life (Cad 1355, CEP 118, 1958)
  6. Take a Message to Mary (Cad 1364, CEP 118, 1959)
  7. Oh, What a Feeling (Cad 1369, CEP 121, 1959)
  8. Let It Be Me (Cad 1376 & 1611, CEP 121, 1959)
  9. Like Strangers (Cad 1388, 1960)
  10. Sleepless Nights (WARNER BROS. 1381, 1960)
  11. Always It’s You (WARNER BROS. 5151, 1960)
  12. So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad) (WARNER BROS. 5163 & EA 1381, 1960)
  13. A Change of Heart (WARNER BROS. LP WS 1395, 1960)
  14. That’s Just Too Much (WARNER BROS. LP WS 1395, 1960)
  15. Love Hurts (# 1) (WARNER BROS. LP WS 1395, 1960)
  16. Why Not (Bear Family BCD 16511, 1960)
  17. Ebony Eyes (WARNER BROS. 5199, 1960)
  18. Lonely lsland (WARNER BROS. LP WS 1585, 1960)
  19. Don’t Blame Me (WARNER BROS. LP WS 1418, 1961)
  20. When I Grow Too Old to Dream (WARNER BROS. LP WS 1418, 1961)
  21. Now is the Hour (Maori Farewell Song) (WARNER BROS. LP WS 1418, 1961)
  22. Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo (# 2) (WARNER BROS. LP WS 1418, 1961)
  23. Little Old Lady (WARNER BROS. LP WS 1418, 1961)
  24. True Love (WARNER BROS. LP WS 1430, 1961)
  25. Autumn Leaves (WARNER BROS. LP WS 1430, 1961)
  26. The Party’s Over (WARNER BROS. LP WS 1430, 1961)
  27. Theme from ‘Carnival’ (Love Makes the World Go Round) (WARNER BROS. LP WS 1430, 1961)
  28. Crying in the Rain (WARNER BROS. 5250, 1961)
  29. Don’t Ask Me to Be Friends (WARNER BROS. 5297, 1962)
  30. No One Can Make My Sunshine Smile (Bear Family BCD 16511, 1962)

The Everly Brothers, Rock (Bear Family BCD 17321 AR, 2013)

All dates refer to recording dates.  All tracks on Cadence label unless otherwise specified.  Single catalogue number listed first where applicable.

  1. Bye Bye Love (Cad 1315 & 1609, CEP 104, 1957)
  2. Wake Up, Little Susie (Cad 1337 & 1609, CEP 104, 1957)
  3. Hey, Doll Baby (CEP 107, 1957)
  4. Should We Tell Him (Cad 1342, CEP 105, 1957)
  5. Keep-A-Knockin’ (CEP 107, 1957)
  6. Leave My Woman Alone (CEP 105, 1957)
  7. Rip It Up (CEP 107, 1957)
  8. This Little Girl of Mine (Cad 1342, CEP 105, 1957)
  9. Be Bop a Lula (Cad 1380 & CEP 105, 1957)
  10. Claudette (Cad 1348 & CEP 111, 1958)
  11. Bird Dog (Cad 1350 & 1604, CEP 111, 1958)
  12. Problems (Cad 1355 & CEP 118, 1958)
  13. Poor Jenny (Ten O’Clock Version) (Cad 1364, CEP 118, 1959)
  14. Till I Kissed You (Cad 1369 & 1611, CEP 121, 1959)
  15. Since You Broke My Heart (Cad 1376, CEP 121, 1959)
  16. When Will I Be Loved (Cad 1380, 1960)
  17. Cathy’s Clown (WARNER BROS. 5151, 1960)
  18. I Want You to Know (WARNER BROS. LP WS 1381, 1960)
  19. Lucille (WARNER BROS. 5163 & 5501, 1960)
  20. Baby What You Want Me to Do (WARNER BROS. LP WS 1395, 1960)
  21. Made to Love (WARNER BROS. LP WS 1395, 1960)
  22. So How Come (No One Loves Me) (WARNER BROS. LP WS 1395, 1960)
  23. Temptation (# 2) (WARNER BROS. LP WS 1471, 1960)
  24. Step It Up and Go (WARNER BROS. LP WS 1430, 1961)
  25. I’m Not Angry (WARNER BROS. 5250, 1961)
  26. Burma Shave (WARNER BROS. LP WSM 75829, 1962)
  27. How Can I Meet Her (WARNER BROS. LP WS 1471, 1962)
  28. What About Me (MFLP-1028/Bear Family BCD 16511, 1962)
  29. Nice Guy (Rhino R2 71779/Bear Family BCD 16511, 1962)
  30. Dancing on My Feet (Bear Family BCD 16511, 1962)

Written by Joe Marchese

March 29, 2013 at 10:08

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