Los Angeles’ Flip Records only issued a total of 65 singles in its decade long life span (1955-65). The label’s founder and owner Max Feirtag’s policy of ‘quality over quantity’ certainly made sense, and the label can probably boast the biggest number of rockin’ R&B classics across the smallest number of releases of any of the labels in its peer group. Most West Coast R & B record men would have been grateful to have just Louie Louie in their catalogue. Feirtag and Flip could also boast Death Of An Angel, Have Love Will Travel, A Casual Kiss – bona fide hall-of-famers all – as well as many others that are nowadays held in the highest regard by collectors everywhere.
Flip also issued just a couple of compilations during the label’s golden decade, “Flip Hits” and “The Original Recordings By The Artists Who Made These Hits!” Although Ace has already reissued some of the contents of these albums since we acquired Flip and its masters a few years back, we’ve never reissued the original albums before now. Thus we’re delighted to bring you the original 19 tracks that made up these two albums (there was some overlap between the two LPs), with the bonus of a further thirteen sides. Now, if that isn’t value for money, then I really don’t know what is…
There’s not a lot that needs to be said about most of the music, of course. Readers of RT won’t need to be sold on the hits, and those whose love of all things group-oriented will know the catalogue of the Six Teens almost as well as the group members themselves did. Richard Berry’s backing gals the Dreamers also appear here as both themselves and the Locketts, while Donald Woods proves that there was much, much more to him than the justifiably legendary Death Of An Angel. (Woods was, by the way, a huge hero of Mother Of Invention and long time doo wop fan, Frank Zappa, who titled a 1984 album after the flip of Death, The Man From Utopia – not included here, but you can get it elsewhere on Ace.)
Many of our ‘bonus artists’ names do not carry the same degree of fame, but you won’t be able to help but wonder why they don’t when you hear their selections. Jimmie Smith, Rocky Holman, Ray Johnson, Sherman Williams, Rosalie & Donnell and Shank & Maydiea may not have been household names even in their own households, but their recordings show that, in most cases, it was only a lack of luck that prevented them from being as popular as any of Flip’s bigger and better-known names.
Some of you will be buying this CD just to get the hits, others because you’re a West Coast R&B freak who simply has to have anything and everything that ever came out between the end of WWII and the mid 60s. Whatever the reason for your purchase, you are all in for multiple treats. To borrow a line from the late great Vivian Stanshall (who probably would have found much to enjoy here himself!), mmmmmmmmm, that’s niiice, Max….
By Tony Rounce