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Archive for April 25th, 2013

Review: Margaret Whiting, “The Wheel of Hurt” and “Maggie Isn’t Margaret Anymore/Pop Country”

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Margaret Whiting - Wheel of HurtWhen Margaret Whiting scored a No. 26 Pop/No. 1 Easy Listening hit with 1966’s “The Wheel of Hurt,” she was surrounded by the aura of a comeback.  But the veteran songstress was only in her early forties.  Three albums and a clutch of singles recorded for London Records between 1966 and 1970 proved that Whiting was most definitely still a contender.  Now, the recordings from Whiting’s London period have finally arrived on CD, filling in a major gap in the Margaret Whiting discography.  Real Gone Music has unveiled two discs of prime Maggie: 1966’s The Wheel of Hurt, plus bonus singles (RGM-0136), and a two-fer of Maggie Isn’t Margaret Anymore (1967) and Pop Country (1968) plus outtakes (RGM-0137).  Both discs make for exciting discoveries and should please any fan or collector craving more on CD from this often-overlooked voice.

The daughter of songwriter Richard Whiting (“Too Marvelous for Words,” “Hooray for Hollywood”) and a protégée of Johnny Mercer, Margaret Whiting was one of the first artists signed to Mercer’s fledgling Capitol label, where she remained for nearly 15 years before decamping for Dot and later, Verve/MGM.  She had been absent from the studio for a few years when Arnold Goland, one of the early architects of Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, approached her.  Goland, an orchestrator, producer, composer and conductor, felt he had the stuff to bring Whiting’s timeless sound into the present day.  Although she made her name on the songs that built The Great American Songbook, Whiting had, in fact, successfully championed country music via her duets with Jimmy Wakely and even a hit recording of Hank Williams’ “I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love with You).”  And so Goland, acting as arranger and conductor, looked to country-pop to garner the versatile vocalist a return to the charts.

Hit the jump for a journey through both releases! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 25, 2013 at 12:41

Posted in Margaret Whiting, News, Reissues, Reviews

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Have a Real Gone Summer with Surf Punks, Amazing Rhythm Aces, Grateful Dead and More

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Surf Punks - Locals OnlyWhen Real Gone Music kicks off summer with a slate of releases due on June 4, it’s only appropriate that one title comes from a surf band.  Well, sort of.  Locals Only, the sophomore album from Surf Punks, the snarling beach band formed by Dennis Dragon (yes, the brother of “Captain” Daryl Dragon of Captain & Tennille!) and Drew Steele, is one of the seven reissues coming your way.  Locals is joined by another second outing, Cat Mother and the All-Night Newsboys’ Albion Doo Wah.  (Real Gone reissued Cat Mother’s Jimi Hendrix-produced debut earlier this year.)  In a completely different vein, Real Gone has the first two Warner Bros. albums for musical renaissance man Mason (“Classical Gas”) Williams, as well as the first two long-players from The Amazing Rhythm Aces.  And that’s not all.  On the country side of town, the label is anthologizing Dickey Lee’s 1970s sides for RCA.  Real Gone rounds out its slate with the latest reissued installment of Grateful Dead’s Dick’s Picks.

After the jump, we have pre-order links for every title and the complete contents of Real Gone’s press release, with full details on all releases!  Plus: rescheduled dates for previously-announced reissues from Patty Duke and Henry Mancini! Read the rest of this entry »