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June 2023

ARTIST: Julia Lee TITLE: King Size Papa - The Julia Lee Collection 1927-52 GENRE: R&B/Jazz CAT NO: ACTRCD9134 FORMAT: 3CD BUY HERE: £12.00

Celebrated for her husky voice, straightforward piano style, and the easy, but heartfelt way she sang, Julia Lee developed a unique style. In 1944 signed to the fledgling, but already successful, Capitol label and this 72-track collection comprises early recordings with the orchestra of her brother George Lee and then with Jay McShann, followed by most of her A & B sides on Premier/Mercury and Capitol from this era. She was a highly distinctive performer, and hugely entertaining, and this collection, as well as being a substantial and reasonably comprehensive overview of the primary era of her recording career, is a thoroughly enjoyable showcase for her very personal brand of R&B.

ARTIST:  Marv Johnson TITLE: You Got What It Takes - The Complete Singles & Albums 1958-62 GENRE: R&B/Soul CAT NO: ADDCD3472 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10.00 

The R&B singer and songwriter Marv Johnson was one of the first artists to be signed to the Tamla by Berry Gordy, although his records came out on United Artists, as the fledgling Motown set-up was not ready to handle him. He continued recording for UA as he racked up a string of hits and recorded several albums before rejoining Motown in the ‘60s. This 52-track 2-CD collection comprises the A & B sides of his singles on the Kudo and United Artists labels from this era. He was a versatile song stylist, with his records encompassing the spectrum of pop, gospel, and R&B styles. This collection offers a comprehensive overview of his early years, as well as an entertaining showcase for his distinctive talent.

ARTIST: Ramblin' Jack Elliot TITLE: 100 Classic Recordings 1954-62 GENRE: Folk CAT NO: ACQCD7174 FORMAT: 4CD BUY HERE: £15.00 

Born in Brooklyn in 1931, Jack Elliot was inspired by the rodeos at Madison Square Garden, and began busking for a living, befriending Woody Guthrie. He travelled to the UK to perform and record in the late ‘50s, establishing his reputation in international folk circles, and back in the USA became an early influence on Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs. He continued performing and recording for the next half century and more, and is still active in 2023 at the age of 91. This collection brings together many of his recordings from the early years of his career, mainly from albums but including a few singles and EPs. A great showcase for his talent as an interpretive folk troubadour, bringing old songs to new audiences in his distinctively idiosyncratic way, and underlining why he became such a significant figure in the genre.

ARTIST: The Pilgrim Travelers TITLE: The Best Of The Specialty Years 1948-56 GENRE: Gospel CAT NO: ADDCD3474 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10.00 

The Pilgrim Travelers were a gospel group founded in Texas in the 1930s, who modelled themselves on groups like The Soul Stirrers and Golden Gate Quartet. This 56-track collection comprises selected A and B sides of their releases on the Specialty label during this era, and features many of their most renowned recordings, including Now Lord (Yes, My Lord), Jesus, Thank You Jesus, Jesus Met The Woman At The Well, Mother Bowed and Wonderful Time Up There. It’s a collection which spans the era when they were at the height of their powers and popularity, and captures the spirit and style of their very particular and distinctive approach to gospel performance.

ARTIST: Dick Haymes TITLE: I Like The Likes Of You - Broadcast Recordings 1947-62 GENRE: Easy Listening CAT NO: ADDCD3471 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10.00 

Dick Haymes was one of the most stylish and popular vocalists of the 1940s and ‘50s, starting his career by following in the footsteps of Frank Sinatra, with the Harry James and Tommy Dorsey orchestras, before going solo and having well over thirty hits, selling over nine million records for Decca, and becoming one of the archetypal crooners of the era, known as ‘A Singer’s Singer’, as well as a movie star, appearing in screen musicals with the likes of Betty Grable. This 54-track 2-CD collection focuses on his performances on the popular radio shows of the day, and comprises recordings of broadcasts from 1947 to 1962. These are rarely heard and highly collectable recordings, brought together in this format for commercial release for the first time.

ARTIST: Bob Crosby & His Orchestra TITLE: All the Hits And More 1935-51 GENRE: Easy Listening CAT NO: ADDCD3473 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10.00 

Bob Crosby was the younger brother of renowned singer Bing Crosby, and made his own way in the music business as a vocalist and bandleader, having a string of more than forty hits which spanned the era covered by this collection, especially as leader of his well-known band The Bob Cats and in later years as a solo singer. This excellent-value 50-track 2-CD collection comprises all Crosby’s 40 plus career hits, with his orchestra, with The Bob Cats and as solo singer and duettist, plus selected other noted A&B sides on Decca from this era. It’s an entertaining selection of his most popular recordings.

May 2023

ARTIST: Various Artists TITLE: The Herald Records Doowop Collection 1953-63 GENRE: Doo Wop/R&B CAT NO: ACTRCD9133 FORMAT: 3CD BUY HERE: £12.00

The Herald label was founded in 1952 by Fred Mendelsohn, formerly with Savoy, and he was soon joined by Al Silver, who owned the pressing plant that made the label’s records. Silver had an ear for R&B and doo wop, and built Herald into a creative hub for R&B recording and most particularly becoming renowned for its output of doowop recordings by a string of different groups during the late 50s and into the 1960s. Most notable among those groups were The Nutmegs, The Turbans, The Mello Kings and Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs, who all had hits on the label. This 91-track set brings together most of the label’s releases by artists whose work falls broadly into the category of doowop and is a feast of classic doo wop from a label which was at the heart of the genre.

ARTIST: Bill Black's Combo TITLE: White Silver Sands - The Singles & Albums Collection 1959-62 GENRE: R&B/Rock&Roll CAT NO: ADDCD3470 FORMAT: 2 CD BUY HERE: £10.00

Bill Black was a Memphis-based bass player and entertainer, who worked with guitarist Scotty Moore and other local musicians in a hillbilly band with a humorous edge, playing in Memphis clubs and on radio In 1954 Sam Phillips of Sun Records asked them to play back-up on a session by a new artist of his called Elvis Presley.  In 1959, he formed a five-piece group called Bill Black’s Combo and signed to the Memphis label Hi Records, whose co-founders included former Sun producers. He gave the label its first big hit with the two-sided instrumental Smokie and became Hi’s major artist, specialising in grooving R&B-flavoured instrumentals, which embraced various styles along the way. He represented a fascinating and very particular strand of pop during these years, which makes for fun listening.

ARTIST: Bonnie Guitar TITLE: Early Years - The Singles & Albums Collection 1951-62 GENRE: Country CAT NO: ADDCD3469 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10.00

Bonnie Guitar was an unusual personality in the world of pop music, in that she was not only that rare animal, a female country session guitarist, but was also a successful hit-making crossover country and pop singer, as well as being a producer and label-owner, launching Dolton Records, the label which released The Fleetwoods’ No.1 Come Softly To Me. Hailing from Seattle in Washington state, far from the fashionable centres of the industry, she helped put the north-west on the map as a source of country music. This 61-track set  is a great showcase for her talents as both singer and guitarist.

ARTIST: Ethel Waters TITLE: Stormy Weather - All The Hits And More 1921-47 GENRE: Jazz CAT NO: ACTRCD9132 FORMAT: 3CD BUY HERE: £12.00

Ethel Waters was a singer and actress from Pennsylvania, whose music ranged across jazz, stage musicals, movies and pure pop in a career that spanned more than three decades. During the 1920s and 30s she recorded what were among the original versions of some of the most memorable standards of the era. This 3CD includes recordings from across her active career as a hit-focused recording artist before she turned her attention to TV. She was one of the great song stylists of her era, and a unique personality, and this collection is a fabulous showcase for her distinctive talents. 

ARTIST: Carl Dobkins Jr.  TITLE: The Complete Releases 1958-62 GENRE: 50s Pop CAT NO: ACMCD4407 FORMAT: CD BUY HERE: £10.00

Carl Dobkins, from Cincinnati, was a typical aspiring teenage pop artist who formed a band at school in the 1950s and got noticed when they started being promoted by a local radio station. Once signed by the Fraternity label, his first record, featuring his own songs, got some attention, leading to his next records coming out on Decca, and they included his million-selling No.3 hit My Heart Is An Open Book. This 28-track collection offers about is a thorough and comprehensive look of his primary career.

ARTIST: Fletcher Henderson TITLE: The Golden Years - Hits And Classics 1923-37 GENRE: Jazz CAT NO: ADDCD3468 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10.00

Fletcher Henderson was a jazz pianist, arranger, composer and bandleader who is regarded as one of the most influential figures of the early jazz and swing eras, bridging the gap between Dixieland, swing and the big band as one of the most prolific and innovative arrangers of his time, ranked by some critics on a par with Duke Ellington in terms of influence. During his heyday as a bandleader in the 1920s and 30s he had a string of big sellers and recorded definitive versions of some of the classics of those times. This 48-track  set offers a fine showcase for one of the genre’s legendary practitioners.

April 2023

ARTIST: Count Basie TITLE: The Legendary New Testament Band 1952-55 GENRE: Jazz CAT NO: ACTRCD9131 FORMAT: 3CD BUY HERE: £12.00 

Count Basie was one of the most celebrated and influential personalities in jazz. His career encompassed several musical and stylistic eras, and one of the most notable of those was the period in the early 50s, when, after a creative re-think, he formed a new orchestra, which became known as “The New Testament Band”, which adopted a musical approach which was fresh and distinctive. That approach was captured on recordings which were done at sessions covering a period of around four years, with the titles being issued on several albums which came out on Norman Granz’s Clef and Verve labels during the mid-1950s. This 63-track 3-CD collection offers an enlightening, entertaining and substantial snapshot of Basie’s music at a key moment in his career.

ARTIST: Rose Maddox TITLE: Sing A Little Song Of Heartache - The Solo Singles 1953-62 GENRE: Country CAT NO: ADDCD3467 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10.00

Rose Maddox was a country singer, songwriter and fiddle player from Alabama, whose family migrated to California in the 1930s, where she started singing on radio and formed a band with her brothers, who performed and recorded for a decade after WWII as the Maddox Brothers & Rose. When the group broke up in 1957, she started a solo career and enjoyed a string of chart entries over the next few years as she built a reputation as an extrovert, dynamic performer, blending hillbilly, rockabilly and gospel in a highly distinctive musical mix. This 58-track 2-CD collection comprises most of the A&B sides of her singles and offers a substantial overview of a key era of her solo career and is an entertaining showcase for her particular style of country.

ARTIST: Frankie Ford TITLE: Complete Releases 1958-62 GENRE: Rock CAT NO: ACMCD4406 FORMAT: 1CD BUY HERE: £10.00

Frankie Ford was one of the artists often referred to as being typical of “swamp rock” – the style of R&B and rock ’n’ roll that was associated with Louisiana and New Orleans during the late 1950s. This 30-track CD comprises the A&B sides of all his singles on Ace, Vin and Imperial from these years, plus the tracks from his Ace album “Let’s Take A Sea Cruise” not otherwise released on singles. He was an artist who very much typified the musical atmosphere of New Orleans in that era, and this is a comprehensive overview of his output during these years.

ARTIST: Brother Joe May TITLE: Singles, Album Tracks and Live Recordings 1951-62 GENRE: Gospel CAT NO: ACQCD7173 FORMAT: 4CD BUY HERE: £15.00

Brother Joe May was one of the most revered and respected of all the male gospel singers of the post-war era, acquiring the nickname of “The Thunderbolt Of The Middle West”, and with one critic describing him as “arguably the greatest male soloist in the history of gospel music, with a voice of unimaginable range and power”. This 84-track 4-CD collection is a substantial and reasonably comprehensive overview of the key first decade and more of his career, when he built his reputation, and is an impressive and entertaining showcase for his highly distinctive style and talents as an inspiring communicator and entertainer.

ARTIST: Sunny Gale TITLE: Wheel of Fortune - The Singles Collection 1952-61 GENRE: Easy Listening CAT NO: ADDCD3465 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10.00

Sunny Gale was one of the vivacious and talented girl singers to come to the fore on the US music scene during the early ‘50s, taking advantage of the burgeoning medium of TV to have a string of hits before her style was superseded by the advent of rock ‘n’ roll in mid-decade, although she recorded successfully through into the ‘60s as she adapted her approach for the evolving market. This 55-track 2-CD collection selected A & B sides offers a substantial and entertaining showcase for a singer who very much typified her particular era of pop.

ARTIST: Frank De Vol TITLE: Classic Albums 1960-61 GENRE: Easy Listening CAT NO: ADDCD3466 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10.00

Frank De Vol was one of the top arranger/conductors of the post-war pop era, providing the accompaniment for singers on dozens of hits from the 1940s through to the ‘60s. However, he was also a notable composer and artist in his own right and released a number of successful albums under his own name. This 48-track 2-CD collection features music rarely heard these days but still resonates with lovers of top quality orchestral music, and this is an especially enjoyable collection in that idiom.

March 2023

ARTIST: Duke Ellington TITLE: All The Hits And More 1927-54 GENRE: Jazz CAT NO: ACQCD7172 FORMAT: 4CD BUY HERE: £15.00 

Duke Ellington was one of the most important and influential figures in the entire history of jazz, as pianist, bandleader, composer and innovator, his career spanning half century as the genre evolved from the early days of electric recording. This 4CD set includes his No.1s with Three Little Words, Cocktails For Two, I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart” and the Billboard R&B No. 1s Don’t Get Around Much Anymore, Sentimental Lady, Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me and Main Stem, along with classics like Mood Indigo, Sophisticated Lady, Moon Glow, Solitude, Caravan, Take The ‘A’ Train and I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good. It’s a comprehensive overview of the his most successful output during a primary era of his career, and a great showcase for the artistry which made the Duke such a revered and iconic personality.

ARTIST: Clyde McPhatter TITLE: The Very Best Of Clyde McPhatter 1953-62 GENRE: R&B CAT NO: ADDCD3461 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10.00

Clyde McPhatter was one of the most imitated vocalists to emerge onto the R&B scene during the 1950s, graduating from his background in gospel to become a member of Billy Ward & The Dominoes, and then featured lead singer of The Drifters before embarking on a solo career, with his successful recordings transcending the boundaries of doowop, R&B, rock ‘n’ roll, soul and pop to make him a highly influential figure as other singers followed his lead. This  59-track collection features all his 19 hits with the Drifters and as a solo artist during this era, including the R&B No.1s Money Honey, Honey Love, Treasure Of Love, Long Lonely Nights and A Lover’s Question. In an all-too-brief career – he died in 1972 at the age of 39 – he made many great records and had a huge impact on the worlds of pop and R&B, and we hope this collection provides a worthy showcase for his distinctive talents.

ARTIST: Hal Singer TITLE: Corn Bread - The Hal Singer Collection 1948-59 GENRE: Jazz/R&B CAT NO: ADDCD3462 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10.00

Saxophonist, composer and bandleader Hal Singer was one of the jazz saxophonists of the 1940s who took advantage of the opportunity to make a commercial impact in the world of R&B during years when the “honking” style of jumping R&B was becoming especially popular, although he managed to keep in both camps, recording successfully both in R&B and jazz idioms. This 44-track collection is an entertaining showcase for his distinctive honking style, but also underlines his prowess as a jazz musician.

ARTIST: Hazel Scott TITLE: Great Scott! Collected Recordings 1939-57 GENRE: Jazz CAT NO: ACTRCD9130 FORMAT: 3CD BUY HERE: £12.00

Hazel Scott was a jazz pianist and singer, about whom we hear very little these, but who was a stylish and respected performer, especially known for her jazz interpretations of classical pieces and styles, but also a noted composer as well as a fine vocalist with a sophisticated approach to the Great American Songbook. This 69-track  collection is a substantial and enjoyable showcase for a talented artist whose work deserves a much higher profile than she has generally enjoyed.

ARTIST: Tommy Collins TITLE: The Singles & Albums Collection 1951-60 GENRE: Country CAT NO: ADDCD3464 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10.00

Tommy Collins was a country singer, songwriter and guitarist who was instrumental in creating the Bakersfield sound during the 1950s and ‘60s. As an artist he had a string of hits during that era, as well as writing songs which were hits for other artists, notably If You Ain’t Lovin’ You Ain’t Livin’ and a Top 10 hit for Faron Young in 1954 a No.1 for George Strait in 1988. This 58-track set offers a fairly comprehensive overview of his work up to the time when he took a sabbatical from music to enter the ministry, from which he returned to resume recording after a break of a few years.

ARTIST: The Four Coins TITLE: Shangri-La - Singles & Albums Collection 1954-62 GENRE: Easy Listening/Doowop CAT NO: ADDCD3463 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10.00

The Four Coins were one of the many vocal groups to emerge onto the pop scene in the wake of the classic early doowop groups like the Ink Spots and Mills Brothers, following in the wake of the successful black doowop groups who came from the gospel scene. The white vocal groups often came from the barbershop tradition, with some coming from the Italian-American community – the Four Coins were slightly different, in that they were of Greek extraction, but shared the Mediterranean musical heritage. This selection of their work, including a significant proportion of their singles during these years, admirably showcases their easy-on-the-ear approach and immaculate harmonies.

February 2023

ARTIST: Various TITLE: The Ember Records Doowop Collection 1956-64 GENRE: R&B CAT NO: ADDCD3457 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10

The Ember label was founded in 1952 but was acquired in 1953 by Al Silver who turned it into a creative hub for R&B recording and most particularly becoming renowned for its output of doowop recordings by a string of different groups during the late ‘50s and into the 1960s. Most notable among those groups were The Five Satins and The Sihouettes, who both had multiple hits on the label during this era. This great-value 60-track 2-CD set brings together most of the label’s releases by artists whose work falls broadly into the category of doowop, although this is obviously not a definition which can be slavishly or precisely applied.

ARTIST: Rosemary Clooney TITLE: All The Hits And More - Selected Singles 1948-61 GENRE: Easy Listening CAT NO: ACTRCD9128 FORMAT: 3CD  BUY HERE £12.00

Rosemary Clooney, well-known in recent years as the aunt of movie star George Clooney, was one of the most popular and successful pop singers of the immediate post-war decades, racking up a remarkable string of hits in the early ‘50s. She called herself “a sweet singer with a big band sensibility”, which was a fair enough description, as her musical preferences were often compromised by the novelty material she was sometimes obliged to record. This 78-track 3-CD set is a thoroughly entertaining overview of her brilliant chart career, which captures the mood of the era, and a fine showcase for her skill and versatility as an interpreter of popular song. 

ARTIST: Arthur Prysock TITLE: Early Years - Selected Singles 1946-62 GENRE: Jazz/R&B CAT NO: ADDCD3458 FORMAT: 2CD  BUY HERE: £10.00

Arthur Prysock was an American jazz, R&B and pop singer, renowned for his mellifluous baritone voice, which many people likened to that of Billy Eckstine. This 50-track 2CD collection features his hits with Buddy Johnson ‘They All Say I’m The Biggest Fool’ and ‘Because’, and his solo hits from these years ‘I Didn’t Sleep A Wink Last Night’, ‘The Very Thought Of You’ and ‘One More Time’. It’s a worthy showcase that gives an insight into the talents of a much-ignored entertainer during the key formative era of his career.

ARTIST: Eddie Dean TITLE: I Dreamed Of A Hillbilly Heaven Collection 1934-57 GENRE: Country CAT NO: ADDCD3460 FORMAT: 2CD  BUY HERE: £10.00

Eddie Dean was a singer and movie actor, who specialised in cowboy songs, and was regarded by luminaries of the genre like Roy Rogers and Gene Autry as absolutely the finest of all the cowboy singers, famed for the purity of his baritone voice and his individual way with a song. This 50-track 2CD collection features his country hits ‘One Has My Name The Other Has My Heart’ and ‘I Dreamed Of A Hillbilly Heaven’. It’s a varied and entertaining showcase for his talent both as a singer and songwriter, and underlines why he is regarded as perhaps the greatest singing cowboy of them all.

ARTIST: Harry Owens & His Royal Hawaiians TITLE: Songs Of The Islands – Hawaiian Magic 1937-5 GENRE: Easy Listening CAT NO: ADDCD3459 FORMAT: 2CD  BUY HERE: £10.00

Harry Owens was a cornetist, bandleader and composer who became indelibly associated with the music of Hawaii when he was musical director of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki in 1934, with his orchestra becoming among the foremost exponents of melodies and styles inspired by the Hawaiian islands and culture over the next 20 years and more. This 49-track 2CD collection is an absolute must for lovers of this style of music, and it’s an evocative showcase for his unique approach to composing and arranging, capturing the imagery and atmosphere of Hawaii in the islands’ music.

ARTIST: Blind Blake TITLE: The Paramount Years 1926-32 GENRE: Blues CAT NO: ACTRCD9129 FORMAT: 3CD  BUY HERE: £12.00

Arthur ‘Blind’ Blake was a blues and ragtime guitarist, singer and songwriter who was a leading pioneer and member of what became known as the Piedmont school of bluesmen, performing in a style that was associated with the south-eastern states of the USA, mainly around Georgia. He was one of the most accomplished and distinctive of the guitarists associated with this movement. This 74-track 3CD set provides a substantial and comprehensive overview of the career and recordings of an artist who influenced other Piedmont artists like Blind Willie McTell, Buddy Moss, Josh White and Rev., Gary Davis, as well as later top guitarists like Ry Cooder, Leon Redbone and John Fahey.

January 2023

ARTIST: Various TITLE: The 1959 R&B Hits Collection GENRE: R&B CAT NO: ACQCD7171 FORMAT: 4CD BUY HERE: £15.00

This 115-track 4CD anthology includes just about every record which peaked in the Top 14 positions of Billboard’s “Hot R&B Sides” chart during the year. The pop and R&B market was continuing to evolve as rock ‘n’ roll matured, and new strands arrived, with pop-flavoured R&B vocal groups making a significant impact, along with fine R&B vocalists who readily crossed into the pop charts, while the boundaries between pop and R&B continued to become less clear, as some pure pop records got traction on R&B radio stations... As a result a lot of familiar rock names appear in this collection. However, what that does is create a fascinating and varied collection as blues guitarists, doo-wop groups, R&B divas, great R&B vocalists and jazz orchestras jostle for position with big-name rock ‘n’ rollers.

ARTIST: Various TITLE: The R&B No.1s Of The ’40s  GENRE: R&B CAT NO: ACQCD7168 FORMAT: 4CD BUY HERE: £15.00

In October 1942, Billboard launched the “Harlem Hit Parade”, which was replaced in February 1945 by the “Most Played Juke Box Race Records”, to which in 1948 was added the “Best Selling Retail Race Records”. This 97-track 4CD collection features every record which reached No.1 in any of those charts, apart from a few which are unavailable for copyright reasons. We have also included those from 1950, as it is arguably the final year of the decade, and we had space in the 4CD format to accommodate them for the benefit of collectors who do not have our “R&B No. 1s of the ‘50s” set. It’s a hugely entertaining musical journey through what was a momentous decade socially and politically, in which R&B laid the groundwork for the arrival of the musical upheavals of the 1950s.

ARTIST: Various TITLE: The American Bandstand US Top 100 5th August 1957 GENRE: 1950s Pop CAT NO: ACQCD7169 FORMAT: 4CD BUY HERE: £15.00

This collection celebrates the birth of the popular US TV show “American Bandstand” which was broadcast for the first time. Presented by Dick Clark, it became a hugely popular and influential weekly event for the nation’s teenagers, with the hot new singers and groups lip-syncing to their latest releases and chart entries with an audience of youngsters dancing in the studio. This 99-track collection comprises just about all the records which featured in the Billboard Hot 100 on the day the show was first broadcast, August 7, 1957. As always with these chart collections, it includes a number of unfamiliar names and recordings towards the bottom of the chart, of which even seasoned pop enthusiasts may not be too aware, and which will be welcome additions to their collections.

ARTIST: Various TITLE: The Greatest Country Hits of 1955 (Expanded Edition) GENRE: Country CAT NO: ACQCD7170 FORMAT: 4CD BUY HERE: £15.00

This 108-track collection covers the year of 1955, during which time Billboard published three charts devoted to Country & Western Records – Best Sellers In Stores, Most Played in Juke Boxes and Most Played by Disc Jockeys. The pop landscape was about to undergo significant changes, with the advent of rock ’n’ roll and rockabilly presaged during the year just by a couple of Elvis records and one by Johnny Cash featuring in the Top 15. Apart from them, the familiar names still dominated the scene, some of them having long-running No.1s during the year, notably Webb Pierce, Eddy Arnold, Carl Smith, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Hank Snow and Faron Young and others like Kitty Wells and Hank Thompson having several big hits, while artists like Jim Reeves were introducing new strands to the music with the development of a smoother “new Nashville” sound.

December 2022

ARTIST: Quincy Jones TITLE: Early Years - Six Complete Albums 1957-61 GENRE: Jazz CAT NO: ACTRCD9127 FORMAT: 3CD BUY HERE: £12.00

Quincy Jones has become one of the most prominent personalities in popular music as a trumpeter and pianist who became an arranger, composer, bandleader, record producer and film & TV producer, and winner of a Grammy Legend Award in 1992. This 56-track 3-CD set comprises jazz and big band recordings from his early career leading his own band, and includes all the titles from his original LPs This Is How I Feel About Jazz and Go West, Man! for ABC-Paramount, and The Birth Of A Band, The Great Wide World Of Quincy Jones, I Dig Dancers and Around The World for Mercury. It’s an exciting and revealing insight into his skills as a composer and arranger and a feast of highly contemporary and sophisticated top-class big band music, underlining the talents that made him such an influential figure in later years.

ARTIST: Buddy Moss TITLE: Oh Lordy Mama - The Buddy Moss Collection 1930-41 GENRE: Blues CAT NO: ADDCD3455 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10.00

Eugene “Buddy” Moss, one of 12 children of a family of sharecroppers, was a blues singer guitarist and harmonica player from Georgia, and was one of what became known as the Piedmont school of bluesmen alongside Blind Blake, Josh White, Blind Boy Fuller and Barbecue Bob. This 49-track 2-CD set comprises selected A & B sides from his releases during this era on the Columbia, Banner, Melotone, Vocalion, Perfect, ARC and Okeh labels, including recordings as a member of The Georgia Cotton Pickers and Georgia Browns, and with Pinewood Tom (aka Josh White). It features performances with Curley Weaver, Barbecue Bob, Fred McMullen, Josh White, Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry. Although his style was shaped by his early exposure to local blues players, he was a highly individual performer who wrote most of his own songs, and this is collection offers an entertaining showcase for those talents.

ARTIST: The Impressions & Jerry Butler TITLE: The Collection 1958-62 GENRE: R&B CAT NO: ADDCD3453 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10.00

The Impressions were one of the R&B vocal groups that heralded the transition from doowop to the more pop-oriented styles of the late ‘50s, and were notable for bringing to the fore two of the great soul voices of the era, Jerry Butler and Curtis Mayfield. This 57-track 2-CD set comprises Impressions A & B sides from these years, featuring Curtis Mayfield, and including some featuring Jerry Butler, on the Abner and ABC-Paramount labels, plus Jerry Butler solo A & B sides on Veejay. It’s a great showcase both for the Impressions’ distinctive style as a vocal group and for Jerry Butler and Curtis Mayfield’s notable talents as singers and writers, underlining their importance as key influences in the genre.

ARTIST: Johnny Bond TITLE: Love Song In 32 Bars - The Collection 1941-60 GENRE: Country CAT NO: ADDCD3456 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10.00

Johnny Bond was a country singer, guitarist and songwriter, born in Oklahoma, who also appeared in more than 40 western movies during the later heyday of the genre in the 1940s and into the '50s, and hosted a country music TV show with Tex Ritter. Based in Hollywood rather than Nashville, and with a style that encompassed elements of western swing and talking blues, as well as old-school “cowboy country”, as he recorded in earlier years with his Red River Valley Boys, who initially included Jimmy Wakely and Spade Cooley, he adapted his approach towards rockabilly in the late '50s, and had a notable pop hit with “Hot Rod Lincoln” in 1960. He was a versatile and extrovert artist and this collection is an entertaining showcase for his particular brand of country.

ARTIST: Larry Green & His Orchestra TITLE: Near You - The Singles Collection 1946-50 GENRE: Nostalgia CAT NO: ADDCD3454 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10.00

Pianist Larry Green led one of the many orchestras of the 1940s who played the popular style of “sweet music” aimed at the middle ground of popular music, rather than the swinging big band style of many bands of those times. Coming later to the scene than many of the noted names of the 1930s, he enjoyed a few years in the chart spotlight during the post-war era recording both standards and versions of the hot songs of the moment, before his music was overtaken by the emerging solo stars and the changing market. This 50-track 2-CD collection comprises selected A & B sides from his releases on RCA-Victor during this era, and features all his career hits, including the Top 10 hits Near You and Beg Your Pardon.

ARTIST: Cisco Houston TITLE: The Collection 1944-61 GENRE: Folk CAT NO: ACFCD7518 FORMAT: 5CD BUY HERE: £15.00

Cisco Houston was a folk singer and songwriter, brought up in California, who was a close associate of Woody Guthrie, whom he met while working as an actor in Hollywood in the late '30s. They started travelling together, playing at migrant workers’ camps and promoting unionism and workers’ rights. After serving in the Merchant Marine in WWII, he was in the Almanac Singers in New York with Guthrie and Pete Seeger, and began recording with Guthrie. Over subsequent years, he performed in clubs and worked on radio and was part of the folk scene that was at the heart of the burgeoning protest movement, writing, collecting and recording songs that carried messages that championed the cause of the downtrodden classes. This 132-track 5-CD set is a comprehensive overview of his work and a substantial showcase for his distinctive talents as an artist who was a genuine folk troubadour.

November 2022

ARTIST: The Carter Family TITLE: The Collection Vol.2 1935-41 GENRE: Country/Folk CAT NO: ACSCD6011 FORMAT: 6CD BUY HERE: £18

The importance of The Carter Family is recognised by Acrobat in two 6CD sets. Featuring the original incarnation of the group, A.P. Carter, his wife Sara Carter, and his sister in-law Maybelle Carter, this is the second of those sets, and addresses the years from 1935 to 1941, in a 130-track collection comprising just about all their releases from this era on the Conqueror, Decca and Bluebird labels. It features their landmark1935 hit Can The Circle Be Unbroken, along with many other classics which have become standards in folk and country repertoire, and provides a substantial and enlightening showcase for their unique talents.

ARTIST: Fred Astaire TITLE: All The Hits And More GENRE: Nostalgia CAT NO: ACTRCD9126 FORMAT: 3CD BUY HERE: £12

Singer, dancer and actor Fred Astaire became one of the most high-profile personalities in popular entertainment with his legendary screen appearances with Ginger Rodgers and other leading ladies in a succession of movie musicals during the 1930s, 40s and 50s. However, he was also a highly successful recording artist, translating the classic songs from films and Broadway shows into a string of hits, notably featuring the songs of George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, and other top composers of the classic era of the Great American Songbook. This great-value 75-track collection captures the spirit of the entertainment that carried the USA through the Depression years.

ARTIST: Lena Horne TITLE: The Singles Collection 1941-50 GENRE: Easy-Listening CAT NO: ADDCD3449 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10

Lena Horne was a multi-talented singer, dancer, actor and civil rights activist, who by the age of 16 was performing in the Cotton Club Revue in New York and soon became big band singer, and appeared in her first movies during the 1930s. Eventually enjoying a career which spanned seven decades, she became a highly-respected entertainer, famed for her sultry and sophisticated way with a song. This 48-track collection brings together her early versions of songs by the great writers of the day, providing a fine showcase for her highly distinctive talents.

ARTIST: Snooks Eaglin TITLE: The First Decade 1953-62 GENRE: Blues CAT NO: ADDCD3452 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10

Snooks Eaglin was a blind blues singer and guitarist from New Orleans who played a highly accessible brand of blues, sometimes ranging into folk or rock ‘n’ roll styles, often re-working other artists’ songs, earning himself the nickname of “The Human Jukebox” with his wide and varied repertoire in ‘live’ performances. He was active for around half a century, but this great-value 52-track 2CD set focuses on the first decade or so of his extensive recording career.

ARTIST: Astor Piazzolla TITLE: Nuevo Tango Classic Albums 1955-59 GENRE: Jazz CAT NO: ADDCD3450 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10

Astor Piazzolla was an Argentinian composer, bandoneon player and bandleader who was famous for revolutionising the traditional dance form, the tango, by introducing his concept of the Nuevo Tango, the new tango, in the mid-1950s. Born in Argentina but brought up in New York, he was a classically trained musician, while being exposed to the jazz that was so much part of the city life, as well as being steeped in the tango music of his homeland. Playing the bandoneon, an Argentinian form of accordion, he developed an eclectic outlook, playing music that transcended the genres, with its roots in Latin forms but incorporating classical motifs and tinged with various jazz influences. This 41-track collection offers a fascinating insight into the work of a highly innovative and skilled musician.

ARTIST: Orrin Tucker & His Orchestra TITLE: The Golden Years 1938-49 GENRE: Nostalgia CAT NO: ADDCD3451 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10

Orrin Tucker was a saxophonist, singer and bandleader who had his heyday during the late 1930s and into the ‘40s, and whose orchestra played in the popular “sweet” style of the era, broadly favouring a relaxed style of swing, using featured vocalists to present popular standards and new compositions of the day. He was popular on radio and from 1939 to ’42 racked up a string of hits, notably a No. 2 with a revival of the oldie “Oh! Johnny, Oh! Johnny, Oh!”. This 50-track set offers an entertaining showcase for an artist about whom not much is known or heard about these days, but who very much captured the musical zeitgeist of the era.

October 2022

ARTIST: The Carter Family TITLE: The Collection Vol.1 1927-34 GENRE: Country/Folk CAT NO: ACSCD6010 FORMAT: 6CD BUY HERE: £18

The Carter Family are among the most important artists in the entire history of popular music. They were pioneers in writing and recording folk and country music for the commercial market, and their huge output of songs and recordings has become a major influence on music that has come after them in bluegrass, country, gospel, folk, skiffle, pop and rock. Acrobat has recognised their importance by creating two 6-CD sets. This first of the sets addresses the years from 1927 to 1934, in a 125-track collection comprising just about all their releases from this era. It features their famous hits from these years, including Bury Me Under The Weeping Willow, Keep On the Sunny Side, Wildwood Flower, I’m Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes, Little Darling Pal of Mine, Worried Man Blues, and Lonesome Valley along with other classics like My Clinch Mountain Home, Foggy Mountain Top, John Hardy and Jimmie Brown The Newsboy

ARTIST: Digby Fairweather TITLE: Notes From A Jazz Life Vol.3 GENRE: Jazz CAT NO: ADDCD3445 FORMAT: 2CD  BUY HERE: £10.00

Cornetist Digby Fairweather has become one of the leading figures on the British jazz scene, both as a bandleader and sideman in other leader’s bands, and as a writer and broadcaster, as well as being the founder and director of the charity Jazz Centre UK in Southend, aimed at promoting, preserving and celebrating the culture of jazz. This 26-track-set is the third volume of a retrospective of his career to date, compiled by the man himself, and with substantial booklet notes also written by Digby.

ARTIST: Dee Clark TITLE: Raindrops - The Collection 1956-62 GENRE: R&B/Soul CAT NO: ADDCD3446 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10

Dee Clark, real name Delecta Clark, was born in Arkansas in 1938 and started out in gospel before recording at the age of 14 with a group called The Hambone Kids. By the mid-50s he was a member of R&B vocal group The Kool Gents, who signed to Vee Jay. He moved on to a solo career in the pop/soul/R&B style, for a while taking over Little Richard’s band when he went into the church, and had a string of hits in the late ‘50s and early’ 60s in the pop and R&B charts, the biggest a pop No. 2 with Raindrops. This 55-track 2-CD set features all his 12 chart entries from this era, including the US No. 2 Raindrops, and the Top 40 hits Nobody But You, Just Keep It Up, Hey Little Girl, How About That and Your Friends, most of which also made the R&B Top 10. This set is a substantial and entertaining showcase for those talents.

ARTIST: Julian Bream TITLE: Early Years: Guitar & Lute Albums 1956-60 GENRE: Classical CAT NO: ACTRCD9125 FORMAT: 3CD BUY HERE: £12.00

Classical and Spanish guitar virtuoso Julian Bream was probably the only instrumentalist of his generation to match the extraordinary talent of his contemporary John Williams among the artists who popularised the music, as well as exploring the potential of the lute in interpreting historical works for that much-ignored instrument. This 58-track 3-CD collection comprises the complete contents of five of his early albums, Spanish Guitar Music Vol 1, Spanish Guitar Music Vol. 2, A Bach Recital For The Guitar, and Julian Bream Plays Dowland, on which he plays the lute, for the Westminster label and The Art Of Julian Bream for RCA.

ARTIST: Josh White TITLE: The Early Years Collection 1929-36 GENRE: Blues CAT NO: ADDCD3447 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10.00

Josh White was an entertainer, singer, songwriter, guitarist, actor and civil rights activist, who became a very public face of protest in the 1940s and was well-known and popular in showbiz circles. This 48-track 2-CD set comprises one title for Paramount with Blind Joe Taggart, and then selected sides on the labels mentioned in his various guises through to 1936, when his career was interrupted for a couple of years by a hand injury until he returned to record for major labels. It includes many of his notable compositions, and underlines his authenticity and skill as a guitarist and blues performer as he carved out a living through the Depression years.

ARTIST: Ray Bloch & His Orch. TITLE: The Bloch Party - The Singles Collection 1945-56 GENRE: Nostalgia CAT NO: ADDCD3448 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10.00

Ray Bloch was a pianist, composer, conductor, arranger and bandleader who is best known for being the arranger and conductor on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in the USA for its entire run from 1948 to 1971. For aficionados of the orchestras of the '40s and '50s, who played the popular easy-on-the-ear music of the times comprising both new material and Great American Songbook classics, his music is up there with the best of them. This 47-track  set represents an archetypal slice of what many nostalgia buffs call “the golden age of popular music”, this is a rarely-heard showcase for one of pop’s most accomplished backroom boys.

September 2022

ARTIST: John Williams TITLE: Classical Guitar Virtuoso - Early Years 1958-61 GENRE: Classical CAT NO: ADDCD3442 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10

John Williams is one of the greatest classical guitarists of the modern era, introducing a previously highly specialist area of repertoire to a wider audience through his virtuoso expertise on the Spanish guitar. Guitar historian Graham Wade has stated that “John is the most technically accomplished guitarist the world has seen.” Born in Australia in 1941, his family moved to the UK when he was 11, and having been taught by his guitarist father, he studied with Andres Segovia in Italy, before attending the Royal College of Music from 1956-59, and making his first performance at the Wigmore Hall in 1958. The first of these recordings was made very soon after that. This  collection includes the complete contents of his first three solo LP releases, which were Guitar Recital Vol.1 and Guitar Recital Vol.2 for the Delyse label in 1958 and 1959, followed a couple of years later by A Spanish Guitar for the Westminster label. It is an absorbing and fascinating scene-setter for his illustrious career, showcasing his prodigious talent and mastery of his instrument even at this early stage.

ARTIST: Charles Mingus TITLE: Landmark Albums 1956-60 GENRE: Jazz CAT NO: ACTRCD9124 FORMAT: 3CD BUY HERE: £12

Charles Mingus was a double bassist, pianist composer and bandleader, and a significant proponent of the idea of collective improvisation, who brought a personal and uniquely distinctive musical approach to jazz as well as an uncompromising commitment to his musical ambitions and integrity. He recorded prolifically over three decades and more, but many critics highlight a series of albums which he recorded during the late 1950s and into 1960, which represented something of a creative high point in that era of his career, and indeed in his whole musical canon. This 3CD set offers an absorbing and exciting showcase for his important contribution to jazz.

ARTIST: Gene McDaniels TITLE: The Singles & Albums Collection 1959-62 GENRE: R&B CAT NO: ADDCD3441 FORMAT: 2CD  BUY HERE: £10

Gene McDaniels was an African-American singer, who started out performing gospel, before turning to jazz, and came to the fore as vocalist with the Les McCann Trio in Los Angeles. This  58-track collection explores a variety of musical territory, exploiting his jazz and gospel-trained voice as he performs Great American Songbook standards and his own interpretations of current hits of the day, plus classic movie songs along with new contemporary material. He was a fine singer, whose pop hits marked him out as a distinctive song stylist, and this collection is an enjoyable showcase for that talent.

ARTIST: Kate Smith TITLE: Hello Everybody! - The Kate Smith Collection 1926-50 GENRE: Easy Listening CAT NO: ACQCD7167 FORMAT: 4CD  BUY HERE: £15

Kate Smith was a singer very much in the traditional mode, who had big hits soon after she began her career in the 1920s, and remained hugely popular long into the post-war decades. Known variously as “The First Lady Of Radio” and “The Songbird Of The South”, she commanded a large broadcast audience that continued into the TV era in the ‘50s – her signature greeting on her radio shows was “Hello Everybody!” She was highly versatile, able to give any kind of repertoire her personal touch, and this 94-track collection offers an enjoyable and enlightening showcase for her distinctive talent.

ARTIST: Tex Beneke TITLE: Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop! The Singles Collection 1946-54 GENRE: Jazz CAT NO: ADDCD3443 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10

Tex Beneke was a big band saxophonist and singer who joined the Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1941, and remained with him until Miller broke up his band the following year to join the Army Air Forces, with Beneke also enlisting in the Navy. Having performed on all Miller’s big hits of that era, and with Miller having died over the English Channel in 1944, Beneke got permission from Miller’s estate to form a “ghost band” in 1946, initially called “Tex Beneke With The Glenn Miller Orchestra , which eventually became Tex Beneke & His Orchestra a year or two later. This 48-track collection sees Beneke recapturing the spirit of the Miller band, but also establishing a style of his own as the market changed in the post-war era.

ARTIST: Elton Britt TITLE: Someday - The Elton Britt Collection 1933-55 GENRE: Country CAT NO: ADDCD3444 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10

Elton Britt was a country singer, songwriter and guitarist who was born in 1913, and had a recording career which began in the early 1930s and spanned more than three decades, as he adapted his distinctive and effortless vocal style to the needs of the changing market, and after the Billboard charts were launched in the early ’40 he had a string of hits in both the pop and country charts, mostly as a solo artist but also in duets with Rosalie Allen, as well as with The Three Suns and The Skytoppers. From early ‘mountain music’ through to the more commercial music of the ‘50s, this 51-track collection offers a fascinating trawl across the country and pop spectrum while offering an entertaining showcase for Britt’s smoothly relaxed style.

August 2022

ARTIST: Judy Collins TITLE: First Albums 1961-62 GENRE: Folk CAT NO: ACMCD4404 FORMAT:CD BUY HERE £10 

The legendary folk artist Judy Collins has been a respected personality on the music landscape for the last six decades, a singer, guitarist, songwriter and more recently a film director, who was a key figure in the burgeoning folk scene of the 1960s and has remained a popular performer and recording artist right through the rock era, scoring her first No.1 in the US album chart in 2019 at the age of 80. This collection comprises the complete original contents of her first two Elektra albums A Maid Of Constant Sorrow and Golden Apples Of The Sun. The repertoire is a blend of traditional songs interpreted by Judy and her own original compositions.

ARTIST: The Caravans TITLE: Where Gospel Meets Soul - 1952-62 GENRE: Gospel and Soul CAT NO: ADDCD3439 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10

The Caravans were a gospel vocal group who originated in Chicago in the late 1940s as the Robert Anderson Singers and The Robert Anderson Gospel Caravan, and evolved to begin recording as The Caravans in 1952, becoming hugely popular and immensely respected, as well as extremely influential. As much as any other group, they incorporated the styles which formed the backbone of the secular soul music which became popular during the 1960s. This great-value 56-track collection features most of the A- and B-sides of their releases on the States and Gospel labels during this era, many of which were also included on their album releases during these years as well. An exciting and joyous showcase for their talents.

ARTIST: Champ Butler TITLE: Champ! The Singles Collection 1951-62 GENRE: Classic Pop CAT NO: ADDCD3438 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10

Born in Missouri in 1926, Champ Butler (his real name) was brought up in Los Angeles, and after service in WWII worked in the parking lot of Hollywood’s Mocambo nightclub, where he met many stars, and did the rounds of radio stations to find singing work. He was introduced to an agent, and secured an audition with Columbia Records, who gave him a contract, with A&R Director Mitch Miller calling him “one of the most versatile lads in the business”. That quality certainly comes across in this  59-track collection, which  provides a substantial showcase for that versatility as he tackles middle-of-the-road pop, big-voiced ballads, novelty material and straight rock ‘n’ roll with equal aplomb.

ARTIST: Arthur 'Guitar Boogie' Smith TITLE: Guitar Boogie - The Singles Collection 1938-59 GENRE: Country CAT NO: ADDCD3440 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE: £10

Arthur Smith was a country guitarist, banjoist, composer and record producer, who was also a popular radio and TV host, with The Arthur Smith Show becoming the first nationally-syndicated country music show on US TV. Born in 1921 in South Carolina, in 1944 he made the landmark recording of his instrumental composition “Guitar Boogie”, which became a national hit a couple of years later, and was highly influential in the pop market, generating hit cover versions in the rock ‘n’ roll era, as well as becoming incorporated into his stage name. Many musicians cite him as an influence, including the legendary country star Glen Campbell. This 55-track set provides a substantial and entertaining showcase for his unique talents.

ARTIST: Blossom Dearie TITLE: The Early Years Collection 1949-60 GENRE: Jazz CAT NO: ACQCD7166 FORMAT: 4CD BUY HERE: £15

Blossom Dearie was a jazz pianist and vocalist with a style and technique which skilfully interwove her piano and voice as she accompanied herself. Her approach to piano was distinctive, using chord voicings which inspired the likes of Bill Evans who named her as one of his models of piano playing, while her voice was also highly personal, with a light and airy flavour. Born in 1924, she spent some of her early career in France during the early ‘50s, which helped shape her style. This great-value 96-track set is a feast of top quality, highly listenable jazz, and a great showcase for her talents both as instrumentalist and vocalist.

ARTIST: Charlie Spivak & His Orchestra TITLE: The Chart Decade 1941-51 GENRE: Easy Listening CAT NO: ACTRCD9123 FORMAT: 3CD BUY HERE: £12 

Charlie Spivak was a trumpeter and bandleader of Ukrainian heritage, who played with a string of well-known bands during the 1920s and ‘30s, including those of Paul Specht, Ben Pollack, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Ray Noble and Glenn Miller, and it was with Miller’s backing that he started his own orchestra in 1939. He was known as “The Man Who Plays The Sweetest Trumpet In The World”, playing powerful lead melody parts, although he was not especially noted as a great improviser. Although his roots were firmly in jazz, his orchestra had its greatest successes with down-the-middle dance music from Broadway, Hollywood and Tin Pan Alley, with many hits performed by his noted featured vocalists. This 74-track set features selected releases during this era on the Okeh, Columbia and London labels.

July 2022

ARTIST: Redd Foxx TITLE: Classic Stand-Up - The Early Years Collection 1946-60 GENRE: Comedy CAT NO: ACTRCD9122 FORMAT: 3CD BUY HERE £12

Redd Foxx, real name John Elroy Sanford, became well-known in the USA as a stand-up comedian during the 1950s, developing a raunchy night-club act on the east coast and finding fame when Dinah Washington invited him to perform in Las Vegas and he was seen, and signed, by Dootsie Williams of Dootone Records, for whom he released a string of highly-successful ‘live’ albums. He later had a successful TV career, starring the situation comedy “Sanford & Son”, with overt racial humour that helped redefine the genre of black situation comedy. This 3-CD collection offers a window on a strand of humour which is maybe not widely known, but has a substantial following among aficionados.

ARTIST: Sammy Davis Jr. TITLE: The Singles Collection 1949-62 GENRE: Jazz CAT NO: ACTRCD9121 FORMAT: 3CD  BUY HERE £12

Sammy Davis Jr. was a multi-talented artist, a singer, dancer, stage and movie actor, comedian and TV personality, whose career encompassed not only performing and recording in those arenas, but also film and TV direction. Later famous as a member of the Rat Pack, he made his first records in 1949, but came to the fore after performing at the 1951 Academy Awards, to develop his many-faceted career. With a style rooted in old school big band music, he expanded his musical scope to have a dozen or so hits during the era covered by this collection, and as many again in subsequent years, as well as being a highly successful album seller. 

ARTIST: Various TITLE: Songs of Civil Rights & Protest GENRE: Blues/Folk CAT NO: ADDCD3434 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE £10

This 50-track 2-CD set brings together a selection of recordings which, one way or another, relate to the idea of songs as a medium of protest and social and political commentary, with the later incarnations representing the early stirrings of the classic folk protest movement which crystallised in the early ‘60s in the hands of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and others – one or two of their early recordings are included here. Many of the noted voices of protest are featured here – Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Paul Robeson, Josh White – along with folk artists who embraced the cause like Odetta, Nina Simone, Harry Belafonte and many more, plus some of the more obscure but no less important recordings that set the tone and led the way for later artists. It’s a fascinating and we hope inspiring collection, which tells many a story.

ARTIST: Freddie Slack TITLE: Mr. Five By  Five - The Singles Collection 1940-49 GENRE: Jazz/R&B CAT NO: ADDCD3435 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE £10

Freddie Slack was a boogie-woogie pianist and swing bandleader who started out with Jimmy Dorsey’s band in the 1930s and subsequently racked up a string of hits in the 1940s, first with the Will Bradley Orchestra and then leading his own band, some of them with the fine singers Ella Mae Morse and Margaret Whiting on vocals. This 49-track 2-CD collection includes the Top 10 hits “Beat Me Daddy Eight To The Bar”, “Down The Road Apiece”, “Scrub Me Mama With A Boogie Beat” and “There I Go”, plus all his career pop and R&B hits with his own band, including the Top 10 successes “Cow-Cow Boogie”, “Mister Five By Five”, “That Old Black Magic”, “Riffette” and “The House Of Blue Lights”.

ARTIST: Eileen Barton TITLE: If I Knew You Were Comin’ - The Singles Collection 1944-62 GENRE: Nostalgia CAT NO: ADDCD3436 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE £10

Eileen Barton was a singer associated both with the early 1950s and with novelty pop songs of the era, the most famous being her No.1 debut in 1950 with “If I Knew You Were Comin' (I'd've Baked A Cake)”. However, she had been around for several years on Broadway and as a classy big band singer and was very much associated with Frank Sinatra, appearing on radio with him in the mid-1940s. This great-value 55-track 2-CD collection is an entertaining showcase for her talent and versatility as an underestimated song stylist.

ARTIST: Foy Willing And The Riders of The Purple Sage TITLE: Texas Blues – The Classic Years 1944-50 GENRE: Country CAT NO: ADDCD3437 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE £10

Taking their name from the landmark 1912 western novel by Zane Grey “Riders Of The Purple Sage”, Foy Willing And The Riders Of The Purple Sage were a country group who combined recording and performing with appearing in a string of Western movies in the later heyday of the genre in the ‘40s and early ‘50s. Foy Willing, who hailed from Texas, landed up in California in the early ‘40s and became popular on radio, forming the band around the same time. With their screen commitments they did not record prolifically, but had five country hits through the second half of the 1940s. This 48-track 2-CD set features all their career chart entries including the No.3 country hit “Texas Blues”, the No.4 hit “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” and the No.6 hit “Detour” along with the Top 20 hits “Anytime” and “Brush Those Tears From Your Eyes”. 

June 2022

ARTIST:  Buddy DeFranco TITLE: The Bebop Years 1949-56 GENRE: Jazz CAT NO: ADDCD3429 FORMAT: 2CD  BUY HERE £10

Buddy DeFranco was one of the few jazz clarinettists to come to prominence in the post-war era when the instrument generally saw a decline, and he was one of the only clarinettists to successfully find a role in the changing musical environment brought about by the emergence of bebop. His grounding was in the swing orchestras of Gene Krupa, Charlie Barnet and most notably Tommy Dorsey, but having left Dorsey in 1948, he led his own bands as well as performing and recording with some of the noted leaders and musicians of the bebop era. In the 1960s and ‘70s he led the later incarnation of the Glenn Miller Orchestra. This is a 2-CD set which not only provides a showcase for Buddy DeFranco’s underestimated virtuosity as a clarinettist, but presents him playing on some notable recordings with some of the finest musicians of the post-war decade.

ARTIST: Willie ‘The Lion’ Smith TITLE: 100 Classic Recordings 1925-53 GENRE: Jazz CAT NO: ACQCD7165 FORMAT: 4CD BUY HERE £15

Willie “The Lion” Smith was a jazz and stride pianist, rivalling James P. Johnson, Fats Waller and Clarence Williams in the latter style, who was nicknamed “The Lion” because of his bravery serving in the US Army in France in WWI. A colourful figure with his ever-present cigar and pork pie hat, he was also a highly sophisticated pianist who influenced the likes of Duke Ellington. This great-value 100-track 4-CD set features recordings with early groups like The Gulf Coast Seven, The Georgia Strutters, Seven Gallon Jug Band and with bands led by Clarence Williams, Mezz Mezzrow, Sidney Bechet, Max Kaminsky, Milt Herth and Big Joe Turner, as well as his own bands, with performances alongside many of the top musicians of the day.

ARTIST: The Chantels TITLE: The Complete Singles & Albums 1957-62 GENRE: R&B CAT NO: ADDCD3431 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE £10

The Chantels were an all-girl vocal group from New York, who followed in the footsteps of The Bobbettes as one of the first African-American girl groups to enjoy major chart success in the USA. This 2-CD collection features their No. 2 R&B hit “Maybe”, and No. 6 hit “Look In My Eyes” plus their other pop and R&B chart entries from these years “He’s Gone”, “Every Night (I Pray)”, “I Love You So”, “Summer’s Love” and “Well I Told You So”. Although they had a couple of minor Hot 100 entries later in the ‘60s, this collection provides a reasonably comprehensive overview of the primary era of their career, and is a fine showcase for their distinctive style and sound as they paved the way for other girl groups in the charts.

ARTIST: Leroy Anderson TITLE: Blue Tango - The Collection 1951-62 GENRE: Nostalgia CAT NO: ADDCD3430 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE £10

Leroy Anderson was an American composer and conductor of light orchestral music, who wrote many pieces for the Boston Pops Orchestra before starting to record under his own name. This great-value 49-track 2-CD collection comprises A and B sides of Decca singles by Leroy Anderson’s Pops Concert Orchestra from this era, and titles from his albums “A Leroy Anderson Pops Concert” and “The New Music Of Leroy Anderson” not otherwise released on singles. Film composer John Williams called him “one of the great American masters of light orchestral music”, and this collection demonstrates his unique talents in this genre.

ARTIST: Don Rondo TITLE: White Silver Sands - The Collection 1955-60 GENRE: Nostalgia CAT NO: ADDCD3432 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE £10

Don Rondo was a singer with a style more akin to the middle-of-the-road market of the early 1950s but who came to the fore with hits with that approach early in the rock ‘n’ roll era, finding it difficult to establish a chart presence in a changing market as he adapted his style in subsequent years, and embraced the new musical idioms before he was overtaken by newer teen idols, and as a popular personality on TV, turned to broadcasting in the ‘60s. This 52-track 2-CD set offers a worthwhile overview of his career as a chart-focused recording artist. It also provides an entertaining showcase for his versatility as a song stylist as he tackles ballads and novelty-flavoured material, as well as out-and-out teen pop and roc k ‘n’ roll in search of a hit, along with old-school standards on his albums. 

ARTIST: Texas Jim Robertson TITLE: Classic Cowboy Country 1939-54 GENRE: Country CAT NO: ADDCD3433 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE £10

As his name implies, Texas Jim Robertson was a native of the Lone Star State, but made his start singing on radio in his teens while based in North Carolina and he subsequently moved to New York with the NBC network, acting as well as singing on radio. This 52-track 2-CD set provides a nicely representative overview of his output, and it certainly offers an entertaining showcase for his highly distinctive and evocative style of country.

May 2022

ARTIST: Anne Shelton TITLE: Lay Down Your Arms - The Collection 1940-62 GENRE: Nostalgia CAT NO: ADDCD3426 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE £10

Anne Shelton was a popular English vocalist whose career encompassed early years as an inspiring performer during WWII, becoming popular on both sides of the Atlantic in post-war years, with her chart hits continuing through the rock ‘n’ roll era into the 1960s. This great-value 50-track 2-CD set provides a selective overview of that career, with early recordings following her debut in 1940 at the age of 17 with Bert Ambrose’s orchestra, and then solo recordings for the UK Rex and Decca labels and the US London label, followed by releases on HMV and Philips in the UK and Columbia in the USA. It features all her career hits in the UK and USA, including the 1956 UK No.  “Lay Down Your Arms” and 1960 No. 10 “Sailor” plus the US Top 30 hits “Be Mine” and Galway Bay” and the UK Top 30 hits “Arrivederci Darling”, “Seven Days” and “The Village Of St. Bernadette”. 

ARTIST: Buddy Rich TITLE: Mr. Drums - The Collection 1946-55 GENRE: Jazz CAT NO: ACTRCD9120 FORMAT: 3CD BUY HERE £12

Jazz drummer Buddy Rich is famous as one of the most extrovert and impressive instrumentalists of his day, known for his virtuoso technique, power and speed, and one of the most influential drummers in the genre. Having played with Artie Shaw, Bunny Berigan and Tommy Dorsey from the late 1930s, he served in WWII, he was with Dorsey until Frank Sinatra helped finance Rich to form his own orchestra in 1946. This 59-track 3-CD set comprises most of his studio recordings with his own band through 1946-47 for Mercury and on V-Disc, plus selected recordings through to 1955 with his own groups and with bands and small groups led by Charlie Parker, Flip Phillips, Count Basie, Bud Powell, Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Lionel Hampton, Teddy Wilson, Roy Eldridge and Harry James, variously appearing on the Mercury, Clef, Norgran, Verve, Pablo and Columbia labels.

ARTIST: Tampa Red TITLE: The Guitar Wizard GENRE: Blues CAT NO: ACFCD7517 FORMAT: 5CD BUY HERE £15

Hudson Whittaker, better known as Tampa Red, was a hugely prolific and influential blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, an innovative slide guitarist and the first black musician to play a National steel-bodied guitar. Moving from Florida to Chicago in the 1920s, he started recording in 1928 with Thomas Dorsey, playing in a hokum style as well as blues, over the years incorporating a pop-oriented style with The Chicago Five. Playing electric guitar from the 1940s working with Big Maceo Merriweather, he influenced musicians like Big Bill Broonzy, Muddy Waters and Elmore James, as his Chicago home became a centre for the blues community. This great-value 5CD set is a substantial overview of a key quarter-century of his career, and an entertaining showcase for one of the most significant personalities in the genre.

ARTIST: Jack Guthrie TITLE: The Complete Releases 1944-48 GENRE: Country CAT NO: ACMCD4403 FORMAT: CD BUY HERE £10

Jack Guthrie, a cousin of renowned folk singer Woody Guthrie, was born in Oklahoma in 1915, but like his cousin and thousands of others “Okies” his family moved to California in the 1930s when the Dust Bowl disasters and Great Depression made life unbearably hard there. Immersed in horses and music, he competed in rodeos and went with Woody to Los Angeles in 1937, where they got a regular spot on a radio show. He was still serving in WWII when in 1944 he recorded “Oklahoma Hills” which became a country No. 1. Recording more sessions after his discharge he had two more hits, but in 1947 he was hospitalised with tuberculosis, and died in early 1948 aged just 32.  This collection features his No.1 country hit “Oklahoma Hills”, and his other Top 5 entries “I’m A Brandin’ My Darlin’ With My Heart” and “Oakie Boogie”. His career as a recording artist was tragically short, and this set offers a complete collection of his commercial output.

ARTIST: The Jayhawks & Vibrations TITLE: The Story So Far 1955-62 GENRE: Doowop CAT NO: ADDCD3427 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE £10

The doowop and pop vocal group which eventually became The Vibrations began life as The Jayhawks, having a 1956 hit with “Stranded In The Jungle”, and recording under different names before becoming The Vibrations to have another hit with “The Watusi”, and then “Peanut Butter” as they recorded as The Marathons. Their music encompassed pure doowop, along with hard-hitting R&B, rock ‘n’ roll and novelty pop and “dance craze” songs, as they and their producers searched for the next successful formula. This great-value 53-track 2-CD set comprises A & B sides of their releases on the Flash, Aladdin, Allied, Eastman, Bet, Checker, Arvee and Argo labels during these years, including recordings as The Jayhawks, The Vibes, Danny Tyrrel & The Cleechays, Sonny Knight & The Cleeshays, The Vibrations and The Marathons, and also includes the titles from their Checker album “The Watusi” which were not otherwise released on singles.

ARTIST: Enric Madriguera & His Orchestra TITLE: Carioca! Hits, Latin Magic & More 1932-47 GENRE: Nostalgia CAT NO: ADDCD3428 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE £10

Enric Madriguera, born in Barcelona in Spain in 1902, was a classical violinist who moved to the Americas to become lead violinist in the Boston Symphony and Cuban Philharmonic before joining the studio band at Columbia Records, and starting his own orchestra in 1932. Performing and recording a blend of current pop compositions and more Latin-oriented repertoire, he had regular big sellers during the early 1930s, the biggest being with “Carioca”, a No. 1 in 1934. This great-value 45-track 2-CD set features all his 19 career chart entries, including the US No.1 “The Carioca”, and the Top 10 hits “It Was So Beautiful”, “Orchids In The Moonlight”, “True”, “Here’s To Romance”, “I Found A Dream” and “I Love You”, along with his landmark composition “Adios”, which became a Latin and pop standard. 

April 2022


1. Day Dream
2. The Best Things In Life Are Free
3. There’s A Small Hotel
4. Then I'll Be Tired Of You
5. Something Good
6. Samba For Stephanie
7. Surrey With The Fringe On Top
8. More Than You Know
9. I Hear Music
10. Always True To You (In My Fashion)
11. The Thrill Is Gone
12. Don’t Sleep On The Subway

London-based jazz singer Isobel Gathercole will showcase her 12-track debut album, Day Dream, with a special performance at Soho’s The Spice Of Life on Thursday, April 14.

Trained in jazz vocals at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Isobel has performed at many of London’s top jazz venues since arriving on the scene in 2014. Her love of jazz and the Great American Songbook developed at a very young age before she started to take performing seriously at the age of 11. Since then, Isobel has had the opportunity to sing with ensembles of all shapes and sizes, from an intimate vocal/guitar duo setting to full-sized studio orchestra. She has also explored big band singing through her work as a vocalist with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, in addition to small group work with her own quartet.

Collaborating with arranger and composer Colin Skinner, Day Dream is a love letter to the legendary albums of Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra. The album, made with her father Andy who also acts as the main producer, was recorded at London’s RAK Studio, and was mastered at the legendary Abbey Road.

Having already garnered airplay and praise from Jazz FM’s Clare Teal, the days of dreaming big are fast becoming a reality for this bright young talent.

Visit for more information.

April 2022

ARTIST: Ray Charles TITLE: The Singles Collection 1949-62 GENRE: Soul, R&B, Blues, Jazz CAT NO: ACFCD7516 FORMAT: 5CD BUY HERE £15

Ray Charles was one of the most iconic and influential artists in the annals of pop as a singer, songwriter and pianist, and while he is considered one of the godfathers and great innovators of soul music, his work transcended the worlds of jazz, blues, gospel, R&B, rock ‘n’ roll and country and western as well. Afflicted by blindness, he turned to music in his early life, and began recording for the Swing Time label in 1949 as a member of The Maxim Trio. In a career spanning half a century, he racked up over 100 chart entries, with well over 40 coming in this seminal first quarter-century or so of his career. This 125-track collection is a substantial and comprehensive overview of his chart-focused output during these years as part of a dynamic and exciting pop and R&B landscape, and a thoroughly entertaining showcase for his unique talents as singer, composer, pianist and arranger.

ARTIST: Cab Calloway TITLE: Hits Collection 1930-56 GENRE: Jazz CAT NO: ADDCD3422 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE £10

Cab Calloway was a jazz singer, bandleader, songwriter, dancer and actor who came to fame as a regular performer at the Cotton Club in Harlem, where he blended jazz and vaudeville to establish a niche that stood him in good stead as an entertainer across seven decades. He developed a personal style of scat singing, and was able to deliver novelty-flavoured material with swinging jazz credibility, assembling a band that over the years included jazz luminaries like Ben Webster, Milt Hinton, Doc Cheatham, Chu Berry, Cozy Cole, Dizzy Gillespie and others. He was a unique personality, and these recordings underline his skill and versatility in performing fine swinging jazz while giving it a highly individual comedic twist, and we hope this 48-track  collection of his best sellers from the era provides an entertaining showcase for his distinctive talents.

ARTIST: Johnny Maestro & The Crests TITLE: Sixteen Candles GENRE: Doowop, R&B CAT NO: ADDCD3421 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE £10

The Crests were a ground-breaking multiracial pop/doowop group formed in the mid-1950s when singer Johnny Mastrangelo joined forces with a doowop quartet comprising three African-Americans and one Puerto Rican – as time went on Johnny Mastrangelo became Johnny Masters, Johnny Mastro and then Johnny Maestro as he turned to solo recording as well. Having had a minor hit on the Joyce label, they signed to Coed Records, and in 1958 had a major success when “Sixteen Candles” was a US No. 2, kicking off a career which brought several more chart successes through into the ‘60s as Tony Middleton and James Ancrum took over lead vocal duties from Johnny Maestro. This 51-track set is about as comprehensive a selection of their work from this era that could be assembled and captures a highly distinctive style of music that ranges through doowop, R&B, rock ‘n’ roll and pure teen pop.

ARTIST: Gisele Mackenzie TITLE: Hard To Get GENRE: Nostalgia CAT NO: ADDCD3423 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE £10

Gisele Mackenzie was a Canadian singer and musician partly of French-Canadian heritage, who was a classically-trained violinist, pianist and dancer who became a singer with her own show on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. his great-value 58-track 2-CD set comprises most of her A & B sides from these years on the Capitol, “X”, Vik and RCA-Victor labels, and features all her career chart entries including the US No. 4 “Hard To Get” and No. 11 “Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes”, and the UK No. 6 “Seven Lonely Days”. She was a songstress who was very much of her era, and this collection offers a substantial and reasonably comprehensive overview of the key period of her career and is an enjoyable showcase for her talents as vocal stylist.

ARTIST: Phil Harris TITLE: The Many Sides of Phil Harris 1931-52 GENRE: Pop/Comedy CAT NO: ADDCD3424 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE £10

Phil Harris was a singer, drummer, bandleader, songwriter, comedian, actor and broadcaster, who combined those disciplines in a long and successful career which encompassed making hit records with a novelty twist and becoming a voice artist in movies, most famously as Baloo in the 1967 film The Jungle Book. He was a multi-faceted artist, and this 52-track collection provides a highly entertaining selection of his work on record that showcases his unique style of music and comedy.

ARTIST: Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper TITLE: The Singles Collection 1947-62 GENRE: Country CAT NO: ADDCD3425 FORMAT: 2CD BUY HERE £10

Husband and wife duo Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper, who performed and recorded through most of their career with their group The Clinch Mountain Clan, had their roots in the gospel, folk and hillbilly musical traditions of the Appalachian mountain country of their native West Virginia. They stayed true to their unalloyed country style, making few concessions to the commercial honky-tonk and New Nashville developments during the 1950s, but as stalwarts on West Virginia’s rival to the Grand Ole Opry The WWVA Jamboree, still managed to achieve a run of hits in the late 1950s and into the early ‘60s, defying the trends in the wider pop music market. They were a highly distinctive act, occupying a particular niche on the country scene, and this 58-track selection of their recordings is a worthy showcase for their style.