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Sunday, 15 September 2019

The Vocal Group Album (Roots of Rock 'n' Roll Volume Eight)

Side A:
01. Poor Butterfly - The Three Barons
02. Milk Shake Stand - The Three Barons
03. Palace Of Stone - The Toppers
04. I'm Living For You - The Toppers
05. If Money Grew On Trees - The Toppers
06. These Are Things I Want To Share With You - The Syncopaters
07. River Stay Away From My Door - The Syncopaters
08. Out In The Cold Again - The Syncopaters

Side B:
01. It Could Have Been Me - The Four Buddies
02. You Left Me Alone - The Four Buddies
03. Ooh Ow - The Four Buddies
04. I'd Climb The Highest Mountain - The Four Buddies
05. It All Comes Back To Me Now - The Marshall Brothers
06. I Didn't Know - The Marshall Brothers
07. My Life Is My Life - The Marshall Brothers
08. I Won't Believe You Anymore - The Marshall Brothers

Side C:
01. Call For Me - The Carols
02. I Got A Feelin' - The Carols
03. Mighty Lak A Rose - The Carols
04. Fifty Million Women - The Carols
05. I'm Losing My Mind - The Dreams
06. Under The Willow - The Dreams
07. My Little Honeybun - The Dreams
08. I'll Be Faithful - The Dreams

Side D:
01. I Won't Cry - Little David & The Harps
02. You'll Pay - Little David & The Harps
03. Baby Dee - Little David & The Harps
04. Wah Diddy Wah - Little David & The Harps
05. Say You're Mine - Jimmy Jones & The Savoys
06. We Made A Vow - Jimmy Jones & The Savoys
07. I Love Only You - Jimmy Jones & The Savoys
08. With All My Heart - Jimmy Jones & The Savoys

Over on the "Don't Ask Me ... I Don't Know" blog, Xyros is collecting together the Savoy Roots of Rock 'n' Roll series which was a 15 volume set of double and single LPs of rhythm and blues originally released on the Savoy and National labels. They started appearing in 1977 and were probably the first attempt by a record company to demonstrate that rock and roll had roots and antecedents from a time before Elvis or Bill Haley or Chuck Berry.

I started to pick up copies of the albums some time in the early 1980s and such was the impression they made on me I can still remember where I bought some of them. I bought "The Original Johnny Otis Show Volume 1" in a little record shop in a back street in Tulle in southwestern France. I picked up the second volume of Johnny Otis in Doug Dobell's record shop in Soho. "Honkers and Screamers" was purchased in the much missed Tower records in Glasgow and the first volume in the series, "The Roots Of Rock 'n' Roll," was found in the crammed browsers of Backbeat Records in Edinburgh.

You can now browse through most of the series on Xyros' blog here - "Savoy Roots of Rock 'n' Roll Volume 1 -15" and I'm pleased to say that this volume, "The Vocal Group Album," will be joining its companions with my full blessing.

The sharp eyed among you will have noticed that two volumes remain missing - both volumes of "Ladies Sing The Blues." Can anyone out there help?

As for this double LP set, it serves as a good guide to the changing style of vocal group recordings over a period of 12 years. The collection kicks off with hip harmonies from The Three Barons accompanied by Tiny Grimes and then moves onto the self contained instrumental / vocal group The Five Red Caps, here recording as The Toppers. 

As the years roll by we encounter groups who show the varied influences of the Ink Spots, The Ravens, and The Drifters. The Dreams, Little David And His Harps, and Jimmy Jones take us into more rock and roll territory. The Dreams are backed by a Leroy Kirkland led band which features Sam "The Man" Taylor and Mickey "Guitar" Baker, so we have moved pretty far from the world of 1940s Harlem and Tiny Grimes. Little David is David Baughan who was in the earliest lineup of The Drifters and later returned for a brief spell as replacement for Clyde McPhatter. You can hear the obvious vocal similarity between the two.

The download includes the full gatefold sleeve and its essay by vocal group expert Marv Goldberg.

More Info On The Trax

The Three Barons:
Milkshake Stand / I'd Give My Life - Savoy 527 - The Three Barons with The Tiny Grimes Quintette
Poor Butterfly - unissued recording. Recorded as The Three Riffs with The Tiny Grimes Quartette.

The Toppers:
Steve Gibson and the Five Red Caps recording under a pseudonym.
If Money Grew On Trees / Palace Of Stone - The Toppers - Savoy 559
I'm Living For You / I'm All Alone - The Toppers - Savoy 656 - a 1947 reissue of "Palace of Stone" retitled "I'm All Alone."

The Syncopators:
Mule Train / These Are Things I Want To Share With You - National 9093
River Stay Away From My Door / These Are Things I Want To Share With You - National 9095

The Four Buddies:
It Could Have Been Me - unissued recording.
Ooh-Ow / My Mother's Eyes - The Four Buddies with Hal Singer's Orchestra - Savoy 888
I Wanna' Know / I'd Climb The Highest Mountain - A-Side credited to Dolly Cooper with Hal Singer's Orchestra; B-Side credited to Dolly Cooper with The Four Buddies - Savoy 891.
You Left Me alone - unissued recording.

The Marshall Brothers:
The Marshall Brothers with the Rene Hall Quartet -
It All Comes Back to Me Now; I Didn't Know; My Life Is My Life; I Won't Believe You Anymore - unissued Savoy session.

The Carols: 
Fifty Million Women / I Got A Feelin - The Carols - Savoy 896
Call For Me; Mighty Lak A Rose - unissued recordings.

The Dreams:
I'm Losing My Mind / Under The Willow - The Dreams - Savoy 1140
I'll Be Faithful / My Little Honeybun - The Dreams - Savoy 1157

Little David and His Harps:
Little David = David Baughan
I Won't Cry / You'll Pay - Little David and His Harps - Savoy 1178
Baby Dee; Wah Diddy Wah - unissued recordings.

Jimmy Jones & The Savoys:
Say You're Mine / You - The Savoys featuring James Jones - Savoy 1188
With All My Heart / Please Say You're Mine - Jimmy Jones And The Savoys - Savoy 1586
We Made a Vow - unissued recording.


Bob Mac said...

Thanks for this one BW. There are a few titles in this Savoy Roots series I didn't have, this being one of them, and I've just taken a few more from Xyros' blog. Think I'm just missing the "Ladies Sing" now.

Chi-Town said...

BW, thanks for this excellent album and equally excellent artwork scans.

Rockin' Daddy said...

Fantastic Double LP. Thanks again, Best regards

dc_animal said...


neil said...

Looking forward to this one, boogiewoody; how about posting it at the Savoy blog, sometime?

neil said...

PS: if you ever come across The Four Buddies ~ Move Baby Move, I'd appreciate a heads-up...