Cover image for Old Town Hy Weiss presents Old Town Records.
Old Town Hy Weiss presents Old Town Records.
Weiss, Hymne, 1910-
Publication Information:
London : Ace Records, [2003]

Physical Description:
2 audio discs : digital, stereophonic ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
"The golden anniversary of Old Town Records (1953-2003)"--Liner notes.

Liner notes include a history of Old Town Records, a short biography of Hy Weiss, photos and brief details about some of the artists.

Compact discs.
Disc 1. There's a moon out tonight / Capris -- So fine / Fiestas -- Remember then / Earls -- Let the little girl dance / Billy Bland -- We belong together / Robert & Johnny -- You could be my love ; Good luck darling / Five Crowns -- You're laughing 'cause I'm crying / Ursula Reed -- Blue valentine / Solitaires -- Tonight Kathleen ; Summer Love / Valentines -- Rock the joint this morning / Hal Paige & the Wailers -- Life is but a dream ; Mambo boogie (take 2) ; It all depends on you / Harptones -- I call to you / Vicki Burgess & the Solarettes -- Wedding / Solitaires -- Zip Boom / Supremes -- Darling, listen to the words of this song / Ruth McFadden & the Supremes -- Chicken in the basket / Billy Bland -- Crazy love / Royaltones -- I believe in you / Robert & Johnny -- Tonight / Supremes -- Love you baby, all the time / Co-eds feat. Gwen Edwards -- Angels sang / Solitaires -- Broken hearted man / Robert & Johnny -- Operator / Bob Gaddy -- Chicken hop / Billy Bland -- Dreaming is no good for you / Ruth McFadden & the Harptones -- Seven wonders of the world / Keytones.

Disc 2. Walking along / Solitaires -- Last night I dreamed / Fiestas -- Teenage blues (take 2) / Ruth McFadden -- Paper lady / Bob Gaddy -- Please give me one more chance / Gene Mumford & the Serenaders -- I need your love so bad / Vocaleers -- We told you not to marry ; Taking care of business / Titus Turner -- Big muddy ; Let the doorbell ring / Larry Dale -- She loves so easy / Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry -- Memories (of my mother) / Fairfield Four -- Harmony / Billy Bland -- Good rockin' tonight / Arthur Prysock -- Dear one / Larry Finnegan -- One for my baby (and one for the road) / Vocaleers -- Day we fell in love / Ovations -- Lorraine / Bonnevilles -- Burnin' in pain / Adams Brothers -- Broken heart / Fiestas -- I'll never forget you / Donald Height -- Gotta keep rolling / Rosco Gordon -- Like you do / Buddy & Ella Johnson -- Down to the river / Lester Young -- I really don't want to know / Tarheel Slim & Little Ann -- I just can't help it / Eddie Alston -- Possibility / Crowns -- Jerk it / Gypsies -- Baby, I need you / Jessie Gee -- Never leave me / Thelma Jones.
Added Author:
Format :
Music CD


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R&B .ZO448 O Compact Disc Central Library

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Packaged as a 50th anniversary tribute to Old Town Records boss Hy Weiss, this double CD contains 60 tracks from the label's catalog that span the early '50s to the late '60s, including five previously unissued cuts. Although Old Town is fairly well remembered by '50s rock & roll collectors, it only had half a dozen or so big hits, most of them bunched together at the very beginning of this compilation: the Capris' "There's a Moon Out Tonight," Billy Bland's "Let the Little Girl Dance," the Fiestas' "So Fine," the Earls' "Remember Then," Robert & Johnny's "We Belong Together," and Larry Finnegan's "Dear One." And truthfully, Old Town really didn't develop nearly as strong an identity as the most successful New York rock and R&B indies did, being most active in the doo wop field, in which they landed a number of singles that found success in the New York area without making a national impact. Doo wop by groups like the Solitaires, the Valentines, and the Harptones takes up much of disc one and some of disc two. While some hardcore collectors esteem this stuff highly and there are occasional true standouts like the Harptones' "Life Is But a Dream" and the Solitaires' "The Wedding" (which is unabashedly sentimental even by doo wop standards), for the most part it's average and unmemorable. More interesting in some ways, though not hugely so, were Old Town's forays into other areas of blues, rock & roll, and soul, including obscure commercial recordings by Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry (though just one is included here); Titus Turner's "We Told You Not to Marry," an "answer" record to Lloyd Price's hit "I'm Gonna Get Married"; Billy Bland's blatant 1955 Bo Diddley-modeled "Chicken in the Basket," with the ridiculous lyric "down on the graveyard on my knees, thought I heard a chicken sneeze"; and the Adams Brothers' solid 1961 New Orleans R&B outing "Burnin' in Pain." In the mid- to late '60s, Old Town got into some soul production, and while the few soul tracks at the end of disc two are uncharacteristic of the label's output, some of them are among the anthology's highlights, like Lester Young's rowdy blues-soul outing "Down to the River" (and no, it's not the same Young as the jazz great); Thelma Jones' emotional ballad "Never Leave Me"; and the Gypsies' commercial soul-dance beater "Jerk It." (The Gypsies would later turn into the Flirtations and have a big hit -- on a different label -- in 1969 with "Nothing But a Heartache.") But the quality of the music is too erratic, and the jumps between styles too diffuse, to make this package that enjoyable a listen for any collectors but the most dedicated and wide-ranging in their tastes. Incidentally, though Arthur Prysock was Old Town's most successful artist in the 1960s, unfortunately only one of his tracks (and none of his Old Town chart singles) are here. Another lamentable absence is Hector Rivera's 1966 boogaloo hit "At the Party," especially considering that Ace managed to put out a whole Rivera CD (including the track "At the Party") nearly a decade or so before this compilation. ~ Richie Unterberger