Speak Easy - The RPM Records Story Volume 2 1954-57 Various Artists (Kent/ Modern)


Rhythm & Blues
Ace Records
Catalogue Id:
CDTOP2 1421

This product is also available in these versions:
Speak Easy - The RPM Records Story Volume 2 1954-57 (MP3), MP3 (£15.98)

As proof that Ace remains committed to the music that helped build its reputation as a foremost archivist of vintage R&B, this month we bring you our second package chronicling the output of Modern’s longest-running subsidiary of the 1950s, RPM. “Speak Easy” joins the RPM catalogue at the end of 1953 – the point where we left it on the first volume – and carries on through to the label’s final releases of late 1957. Although the focus is primarily on blues and R&B, a smattering of pop and rockabilly is also included. Every one of the important artists to record for RPM is heard on at least one selection – more in the case of bigger names such as B.B. King.

Wherever possible we’ve used previously unreleased or hard-to-find alternate takes and previously un-reissued recordings. Of the 54 featured selections, 33 have never been on an Ace CD before. The remaining 21 have been mastered from new transfers of the original tapes, or best-available dubs on the few occasions where the tape is lost. Nothing here is exactly as heard on any prior Ace CD.

Although this wraps up the RPM story, there are still plenty of other labels where it and Flair came from. Next on the agenda will be Crown, with Kent to follow. All this and we haven’t even started on parent label Modern yet.

Tony Rounce


Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview Real Pretty Mamma ( Take 3) - The Meadow Larks

  • 02 Preview Feel My Broom ( Take 1) - Quinn Kimble

  • 03 Preview Love Me Pretty Baby ( Take 1) - Connie Mack Booker

  • 04 Preview One Whole Year Baby - Earl Curry & His Orchestra

  • 05 Preview Pass The Gin - The Meadowlarks

  • 06 Preview The Way You Used To Treat Me ( Take 1) - Lover Boy

  • 07 Preview I Ain't Drunk - Lonnie "The Cat"

  • 08 Preview Don't You Want A Man Like Me (Take 3) - B.B. King

  • 09 Preview Whoopin' And A Hollerin' ( Take 1) - Preacher Stephens & His Orchestra

  • 10 Preview She Wants To Mambo - The Chanters

  • 11 Preview You Upset Me Baby - B.B. "Blues Boy" King & His Orchestra

  • 12 Preview O O Wah - Buddy Milton & The Twilighters

  • 13 Preview The Dream Pts 1 & 2 - The Fox

  • 14 Preview Every Day I Have The Blues (Take 3) - B.B. "Blues Boy" King & His Orchestra

  • 15 Preview Hot Little Mama (Take 6) - Johnny "Guitar" Watson & His Orchestra

  • 16 Preview Truly - Arthur Lee Maye & The Crowns

  • 17 Preview Shtiggy Boom (Take 5) - Joe Houston (vocal: The Platters)

  • 18 Preview Why Don't You Write Me? - The Jacks

  • 19 Preview Blues In The Dark - "Little George" Smith

  • 20 Preview Too Tired ( Take 3) - Johnny "Guitar" Watson & His Orchestra

  • 21 Preview Dog Gone It - Donna Hightower with Maxwell Davis & Orchestra

  • 22 Preview Suffocate - Johnny Wright with Ike Turner & Orchestra

  • 23 Preview Hands Off - Donna Hightower with Maxwell Davis & Orchestra

  • 24 Preview Those Lonely, Lonely Nights (Take 2) - Johnny "Guitar" Watson

  • 25 Preview Oopin' Doopin' Doopin' (Take 1) - "Little George" Smith

  • 26 Preview Crying Won't Help You (Take 2, false start + Take 3) - B.B. "Blues Boy" King & His Orchestra

Side 2

  • 01 Preview 16 Tons (Take 10 breakdown + Take 11 master) - B.B. "Blues Boy" King & His Orchestra

  • 02 Preview Eddie My Love - The Teen Queens

  • 03 Preview Ruben (Take 5) - Johnny "Guitar" Watson & His Orchestra

  • 04 Preview Cross-Eyed Suzzie Lee - George Smith

  • 05 Preview Did You Ever Love A Woman - B.B. "Blues Boy" King & His Orchestra

  • 06 Preview Sugar Baby - The Jacks

  • 07 Preview Do Me No Wrong - Pat Cupp & The Flying Saucers

  • 08 Preview A Casual Look - Little Clydie & The Teens

  • 09 Preview Billy Boy (Take 2) - The Teen Queens

  • 10 Preview Yama Yama Pretty Mama (composite of takes 6 & 7) - Richard Berry

  • 11 Preview I'm All Alone - Eddy Lang

  • 12 Preview Sweet Little Angel (Version 2, Take 1) - B.B. King

  • 13 Preview She Moves Me (Take 4) - Johnny "Guitar" Watson

  • 14 Preview Blau-Wile-Deveest-Fontaine (Take 3) - Paul Anka

  • 15 Preview Long Gone Daddy - Pat Cupp & The Flying Saucers

  • 16 Preview She's A Flirt - The Jewels

  • 17 Preview You Got To Crawl Before You Walk - Eddy Lang

  • 18 Preview Down In New Orleans - George Smith

  • 19 Preview Rock Everybody (Take 2) - The Teen Queens

  • 20 Preview He's My Baby (Take 2) - Donna Hightower

  • 21 Preview Cool Diggin' (Take 4) - Maxwell Davis & His Orchestra

  • 22 Preview Bippin' And Boppin' (Over You) - Jack Lewis "The Singing Airline Pilot"

  • 23 Preview Bim Bam (Take 4) - B.B. King & his orchestra

  • 24 Preview Memories Of You - Prentice Moreland

  • 25 Preview Speak Easy - Vido Musso

  • 26 Preview Hello Baby (Glad To Have You Home) - Darrell Glenn & The Commodores

  • 27 Preview Snake Eyed Mama - Don Cole (Al Casey, piano)

  • 28 Preview I Wonder - B.B. "Blues Boy" King & His Orchestra

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