The London American Label Year By Year - 1964 Various Artists (London American)


Ace Records
Catalogue Id:
CDCHD 1366

1964 was not a great year to be an American chart hopeful. After an indifferent start in ’63, the Beatles had finally come, seen and conquered the US Hot 100. If your chances of scoring a decent-sized hit weren’t already hindered by the Fab Four’s domination of the Top 20, there was the mighty rearguard of the Dave Clark Five, Herman’s Hermits, the Animals, Freddie and the Dreamers, Petula Clark and anyone else who sang with a British twang to contend with. If the majority of American singers and musicians started to feel like strangers in their homeland courtesy of post-Beatlemania pandemonium, you can hardly blame them.

Fortunately, despite the chart success of UK acts, there was still plenty of great American music being made, and a lot found its way into British ears courtesy of the London-American label. Not as much as in previous years – as London now had stiff competition for US product from Stateside and Pye International – but enough to make the 1964 entry in our “Year By Year” series as varied and enjoyable as the previous volumes.

1964 was a watershed year for London. They lost representation of several labels that had been vital components of their catalogue. Some, such as Atlantic, gained their own identity elsewhere within the Decca organisation. Others – Sun, Specialty, Cadence – more or less ceased to function. Dot Records, a major player in London’s past success, moved across town to Pye. But the London A&R division kept on with Monument, Philles, Kapp and other important US repertoire sources, and actually managed to rack up more UK hits than they had the previous year.

Our collection gives you the gist of how London faced up to the challenge of 1964. Early soul classics from Solomon Burke, Otis Redding and the Drifters; examples of Phil Spector’s Wall Of Sound from the Crystals and the Ronettes; Buddy Holly clones Ray Ruff and David Box; Elvis soundalike Terry Stafford; boss instrumentals courtesy of Willie Mitchell, the Baja Marimba Band and Bill Black’s Combo; country hits from Jerry Wallace and Ned Miller; and even some American Merseybeat from Washington DC’s Chartmakers, All this and Jerry Lee and Satchmo too – what’s not to love?

As ever, the booklet is full of label illustrations, reviews, sheet music and copious track-by-track annotation. Wherever possible, London’s own original tape sources have been used to preserve authenticity. It’s taken longer to pull this volume together than any previous one, but we are sure the end product will justify the wait for London American collectors and all fans of mid-60s US pop.


By Tony Rounce



Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview Lewis Boogie - Jerry Lee Lewis

  • 02 Preview Uptown - The Crystals

  • 03 Preview Little Lonely Summer Girl - David Box

  • 04 Preview One Way Love - The Drifters

  • 05 Preview Oh! What A Feeling - Tommy Tucker

  • 06 Preview Comin' In The Back Door - The Baja Marimba Band

  • 07 Preview Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye) - Solomon Burke

  • 08 Preview Tea For Two - Nino Tempo & April Stevens

  • 09 Preview I'll Touch A Star - Terry Stafford

  • 10 Preview She's The One - The Chartbusters

  • 11 Preview Get Your Hat - Don & Dewey

  • 12 Preview That's The Way Love Is - Del Shannon

  • 13 Preview Tequila - Bill Black's Combo

  • 14 Preview I Took A Liking To You - Ray Ruff & The Checkmates

  • 15 Preview A Message To Martha (Kentucky Bluebird) - Lou Johnson

  • 16 Preview T'aint Nothin' To Me - The Coasters

  • 17 Preview The World I Used To Know - Jimmie Rodgers

  • 18 Preview Somebody Stole My Dog - Rufus Thomas

  • 19 Preview I Lied - Jimmy Holiday

  • 20 Preview I Wish You Love - Gloria Lynne

  • 21 Preview Around The Corner - Ben E King

  • 22 Preview 20-75 - Willie Mitchell

  • 23 Preview Even The Bad Times Are Good - Jerry Wallace

  • 24 Preview Do I Love You? - The Ronettes

  • 25 Preview Come To Me - Otis Redding

  • 26 Preview Baby Come Home - Ruby & The Romantics

  • 27 Preview Do What You Do Do Well - Ned Miller

  • 28 Preview Hello, Dolly! - Louis Armstrong & The All Stars

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Press quotes


Another fine mix of hits and rarities.

Record Collector

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