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Buck Ram's Doo Wop, CD (£11.50)
Buck Ram started his talent management firm, Personality Productions, in Los Angeles, California in 1951. He had previously been an arranger for big bands (including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and the Dorsey Brothers) and a songwriter (eg Twilight Time and I'll Be Home For Christmas) in the 1940s. During the rock'n'roll era of the 1950s and early 1960s, Ram's extensive roster at Personality Productions featured a wide variety of artists which included the Platters, rockabilly performer Benny Joy (see Ace CDCHD 703), as well as the doo wop vocal groups presented here.
In early 1952 Buck was joined by Jean Bennett, who worked as his office manager until Ram's passing in 1991. Today, Jean continues the operations of Personality Productions from Las Vegas, Nevada. She fondly recalls Ram's excitement and enthusiasm when producing his doo wop records and notes the many life-long friendships which endured long after the recording sessions.
Buck Ram is best known as the manager, producer, and songwriter for the Platters-.-however they were not the only vocal group under his direction during the 1950s and early 1960s. Buck Ram's 'other' vocal groups were the young artists on this CD - the Colts, Shirley Gunter and the Flairs, Linda Hayes (and group), the Jewels, Flairs, Peppers, Flares, and the Chesterfields.
Although these groups never matched the success of the Platters, their recordings captured the same smooth sound and polished stylings of his world-renowned group. The songs (many written by Ram himself - sometimes using pseudonyms like Lynn Paul or Jean Miles) all provide excellent examples of vocal group harmony and the unique sound of Buck Ram's doo wops.
The recording quality of this selection of tracks is incredible - words can't describe it, it has to be listened to.
By Gordon Skadberg