The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for the ‘Bill Haley and His Comets’ Category

Ace Label Tunes In “Radio Gold” and Heads to the “Hall of Fame”

leave a comment »

Radio Gold - Bigger in BritainAce Records has another pair of aces (Aces?) up its sleeve with two recent releases, both of which continue ongoing series for the label.  The sixth installment of the long-running Radio Gold series turns the spotlight on those American records which were Bigger in Britain, as it’s subtitled, while the second volume of Hall of Fame takes in 24 rarities (20 previously unreleased) from deep in the heart of Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

The 24 tracks chosen for Radio Gold: Special Bigger in Britain Edition all hail from the pre-Beatles era (1956-1963) of rock and roll and feature some of that period’s biggest names: Buddy Holly, Del Shannon, Bobby Darin, Bill Haley and His Comets, Roy Orbison, and Frankie Lyman and the Teenagers.  It might come as a surprise that Roy Orbison’s beautiful “Blue Bayou” bested its No. 29 placement with a No. 3 showing in Britain, or that Haley’s rather unknown “Rockin’ Through the Rye” (No. 78) also hit that same lofty perch.  Del Shannon’s “Two Kinds of Teardrops” was an intentional sound-alike to his “Little Town Flirt,” but whereas it stalled at No. 50 in the U.S., Shannon’s constant U.K. touring saw it rise to No. 5 there.  (As for “Flirt,” the No. 12 U.S. hit was No. 4 in the U.K.!)

Compiler Tony Rounce hasn’t limited himself to rock-and-roll chestnuts, though.  You’ll find country artists represented, including Conway Twitty (“Mona Lisa”) and Jim Reeves (“Welcome to My World,” later popularized by Elvis Presley) and crooner Perry Como (the rock-ish “Love Makes the World Go Round (Yeah Yeah)”).  Even more surprising than Perry is an appearance by the Velvet Fog, Mel Torme.  His breezy 1956 live recording of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart’s 1926 standard “Mountain Greenery” didn’t make waves in the U.S., but accomplished an impressive No. 4 showing on the British chart. Rounce helpfully points out in his detailed track-by-track notes that Mel’s recording was the very first live recording to make a major dent on the U.K. survey.

On the R&B front, there’s a track from Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers (“I’m Not a Juvenile Delinquent”).  Straight from the Brill Building, Bobby Vee offers Gerry Goffin and Carole King’s “How Many Tears” (No. 63 U.S., No. 10 U.K., 1961).  Two famous television western themes are also included.  “The Ballad of Paladin” from Have Gun, Will Travel only made it to No. 33 at home, but across the pond, “Paladin” hit No. 10.  The occasionally overwrought pop star Frankie Laine specialized in musical tales of the Old West, and he brought his big pipes to Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington’s “Rawhide” from the program of the same name.  Its September 1958 release in America didn’t chart, but when “Rawhide” was issued in Britain in November 1959, it began an ascent to No. 6.

This entry in the Radio Gold series is accompanied by a thick 22-page booklet with plenty of label scans, photographs and sheet music covers.  Duncan Cowell has remastered all tracks.

Hit the jump for the full track listing and discography for Radio Gold, plus the details on Hall of Fame Volume 2! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 27, 2013 at 10:08

The Need for Back-Up: Rock Hall Finally Inducts Classic Backing Bands

with 9 comments

One of the many, many criticisms of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is their occasional neglect of certain bands in favor of other artists. From the first year of induction in 1987, when Smokey Robinson was inducted instead of all of The Miracles, it’s been a legitimate concern.

Today, the Hall attempted to alleviate some of that concern by announcing five such bands would be inducted alongside the five previously-announced members of this year’s class. The additional bands are:

  • The Blue Caps: Tommy Facenda, Cliff Gallup, Dickie Harrell, Bobby Jones, Johnny Meeks, Jack Neal, Paul Peek, Willie Williams (Gene Vincent)
  • The Comets: Fran Beecher, Danny Cedrone, Joey D’Ambrosio (a.k.a. Joey Ambrose), Johnny Grande, Ralph Jones, Marshall Lytle, Rudy Pompilli, Al Rex, Dick Richards, Billy Williamson (Bill Haley)
  • The Crickets: Jerry Allison, Sonny Curtis, Joe B. Mauldin, Niki Sullivan (Buddy Holly)
  • The Famous Flames: Bobby Bennett, Bobby Byrd, Lloyd Stallworth, Johnny Terry (James Brown)
  • The Midnighters: Henry Booth, Cal Green, Arthur Porter, Lawson Smith, Charles Sutton, Norman Thrasher, Sonny Woods (Hank Ballard)
  • The Miracles: Warren “Pete” Moore, Claudette Rogers Robinson, Bobby Rogers, Marvin Tarplin, Ronald White (Smokey Robinson)

A deserved congratulations to the inductees and a “took you long enough” to the RRHOF. What other backing bands do you think should be inducted?

Written by Mike Duquette

February 9, 2012 at 14:44

A Compilation to Leave You Speechless

with one comment

Here at The Second Disc, it’s always about the music. The team at Eric Records takes this mission seriously, too: its newest release provides three discs of nothing but music, with nary a lyric to be found.

Complete Pop Instrumental Hits of the Sixties, Volume 1 collates, for the first time on three CDs, every instrumental track that hit the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. Some of them are chartbusters that we all know and love – Percy Faith’s “Theme from ‘A Summer Place’,” The Ventures’ “Walk – Don’t Run” – while others are rarities by artists relegated to the annals of history, from Duane Eddy and Bill Haley and His Comets to Bobby Darin and Santo and Johnny.

All 81 tracks are remastered from the original source material and, wherever possible, presented in stereo. (This led to at least one track, “Kommotion” by Duane Eddy and The Rebels, presented in stereo on CD for the first time anywhere; another 15 tracks also make their debut on the format.) There are also a few bonus tracks, including some songs that charted in 1960 but were released the year before, and both mono and stereo versions of the theme to the long-running series 77 Sunset Strip. The set is augmented by a 28-page booklet featuring biographical info on each artist and track-by-track release information.

All in all, this looks like it could be a really fun set – and hopefully the first in a series! Order the set here (the set’s out June 21, but those who order it from the label will see their orders shipping around Monday) and look at the track list after the jump.

Various Artists, Complete Pop Instrumental Hits of the Sixties, Volume 1: 1960 (Eric Records 11960, 2011)

Disc 1

  1. Smokie (Part 2) – Bill Black’s Combo
  2. Smokie (Part 2) – Bill Doggett
  3. Bonnie Came Back – Duane Eddy and The Rebels *
  4. Skokiaan (South African Song) – Bill Haley and His Comets *
  5. Teenage Hayride – Tender Slim
  6. Harlem Nocturne – The Viscounts
  7. One Mint Julep – Chet Atkins *
  8. Amapola – Jacky Noguez and His Orchestra
  9. Tracy’s Theme – Spencer Ross *
  10. Theme from “A Summer Place” – Percy Faith and His Orchestra *
  11. On the Beach – Frank Chacksfield and His Orchestra *
  12. Bulldog – The Fireballs
  13. Too Much Tequila – The Champs
  14. Teensville – Chet Atkins *
  15. Werewolf – The Frantics
  16. A Closer Walk – Pete Fountain *
  17. Whatcha’ Gonna Do – Nat “King” Cole *
  18. Beatnik Fly – Johnny and The Hurricanes *
  19. Summer Set – Monty Kelly and His Orchestra * +
  20. Chattanooga Choo Choo – Ernie Fields Orchestra
  21. Caravan – Santo and Johnny *
  22. Shazam! – Duane Eddy and The Rebels *
  23. White Silver Sands – Bill Black’s Combo
  24. Mr. Lucky – Henry Mancini and His Orchestra *
  25. The Madison Time (Part 1) – Ray Bryant Combo *
  26. Beautiful Obsession – Sir Chauncey and His Exciting Strings *
  27. Ooh Poo Pah Doo (Part 2) – Jessie Hill
  28. National City – Joiner, Arkansas Junior High School Band

Disc 2

  1. La Montana (If She Should Come to You) – Frank DeVol *
  2. La Montana (If She Should Come to You) – Roger Williams *
  3. Theme for Young Lovers – Percy Faith and His Orchestra *
  4. Theme from “The Unforgiven” (The Need for Love) – Don Costa and His Orchestra *
  5. Because They’re Young – Duane Eddy and The Rebels *
  6. Down Yonder – Johnny and The Hurricanes
  7. Josephine – Bill Black’s Combo +
  8. Look for a Star – Billy Vaughn and His Orchestra *
  9. Theme from “Adventures in Paradise” – Jerry Byrd *
  10. Night Train – The Viscounts +
  11. Bongo Bongo Bongo – Preston Epps *
  12. Walk – Don’t Run – The Ventures *
  13. Kommotion – Duane Eddy and The Rebels **
  14. Revival – Johnny and The Hurricanes
  15. Vaquero (Cowboy) – The Fireballs *
  16. Theme from “The Apartment” – Ferrante and Teicher *
  17. Beachcomber – Bobby Darin *
  18. Brontosaurus Stomp – The Piltdown Men
  19. Rocking Goose – Johnny and The Hurricanes
  20. Never on Sunday – Don Costa and His Orchestra *
  21. Temptation – Roger Williams *
  22. Theme from “The Sundowners” – Felix Slatkin Orchestra *
  23. Midnight Lace – David Carroll and His Orchestra +
  24. Midnight Lace – Ray Ellis and His Orchestra +
  25. Midnight Lace (Part 1) – Ray Conniff and His Orchestra *
  26. Don’t Be Cruel – Bill Black’s Combo ++

Disc 3

  1. The Sundowners – Billy Vaughn and His Orchestra *
  2. (Theme from) The Sundowners – Mantovani and His Orchestra * +
  3. Peter Gunn – Duane Eddy and The Rebels *
  4. Theme from “The Dark at the Top of the Stairs” – Ernie Freeman *
  5. Night Theme – The Mark II
  6. Last Date – Floyd Cramer *
  7. Ruby Duby Du – Tobin Matthews & Co.
  8. Ruby Duby Du (from “Key Witness”)  – Charles Wolcott and The MGM Studio Orchestra +
  9. Stranger from Durango – Richie Allen +
  10. Gonzo – James Booker
  11. You Are My Sunshine – Johnny and The Hurricanes *
  12. Last Date – Lawrence Welk and His Orchestra *
  13. Blue Tango – Bill Black’s Combo +
  14. Ramblin’ – The Ramblers +
  15. Perfidia – The Ventures *
  16. Twistin’ Bells – Santo and Johnny
  17. (Let’s Do) The Hully Gully Twist – Bill Doggett +
  18. The Clouds – The Spacemen
  19. In the Mood – Ernie Fields Orchestra
  20. Reveille Rock – Johnny and The Hurricanes *
  21. Tear Drop – Santo and Johnny
  22. (Theme from) “The Dark at the Top of the Stairs” – Chet Atkins *
  23. Forever – The Little Dippers *
  24. The Madison – Al Brown ++
  25. 77 Sunset Strip – Don Ralke
  26. 77 Sunset Strip (Alternate Stereo Version) – Don Ralke * +
  27. Red River Rock – Johnny and The Hurricanes

* denotes stereo track. + denotes track debuting on CD. ** denotes stereo track debuting on CD. ++ denotes track debuting on CD in the U.S.

Written by Mike Duquette

June 1, 2011 at 15:43