Another scoop of superb West Coast R&B drawn from labels owned by John Dolphin, taken from the original tapes and acetates. Previously unissued and new-to-CD tracks in abundance.
Over the past decade or so, we’ve been exploring the catalogue of Los Angeles entrepreneur John Dolphin to bring you packages built around the records he released on his Recorded In Hollywood, Money and Cash imprints. Dolphin might not have been loved by everyone who did business with him, but the music he left in his vaults mark him as one of the all-time great record men.
“Wow, Wow, Baby!”, our third compilation of Dolphin repertoire, features some of the best-known names in 1950s R&B. All the selections have been mastered from fresh transfers of the original tapes and acetates. Rockin’ R&B gems abound, courtesy of Big Boy Groves, Marvin & Johnny, Jimmy Witherspoon, Chuck Higgins, Memphis Slim and the Hollywood Flames’ original cut of the title track, a big dancefloor favourite of recent years via the Searchers’ later Class recording. There are also numerous quality blues outings by such well-loved artists as Floyd Dixon, Scatman Crothers and Johnny Fuller. For the first time in the series we also feature a little gospel, from the highly respected but criminally under-recorded Brother Prince Dixon. Uptempo doo wop gets a look-in courtesy of bootin’ sides by Grady Chapman of the Robins and Vernon Anders, an incognito Vernon Greene of the Medallions. These are rounded out by an impressive selection of obscurities from artists whose performances deserved a better fate than to sit in a tape vault for 60 years.
There has been increased interest in John Dolphin in recent years, to the point where a stage musical based on his life and work opened last month in Los Angeles. “Wow, Wow, Baby!” can only serve to increase that interest and further preserve John Dolphin’s recorded legacy.