It comes as no surprise that there were many additional rock'n'roll goodies to be found among the collection of masters recorded by label owner Bobby Shad. After all, his Brent, Shad and Time label vaults have already provided us with some fine quality music on two well received Ace CDs, Rockin' On Broadway (CDCHD 758) and the doo wop compilation, Wop Ding A Ling (CDCHD 739). On this third offering, six tracks have also been included that Shad had originally fielded under his Warner label banner.
The hustle and bustle of the New York record scene was a major force in determining the direction, shape and form music was and would be taking as the 1950s drew to a close. Rock'n'roll was still in its infancy, yet its power to reach a mass audience and create instant hit records (and cash flow for independent labels) was appealing if not down right compelling to all in the New York scene. While it is true that Shad recorded and released a variety of styles during his label's formative days, his entrance into the rock'n'roll field was assured by several strong rock'n'roll hits that were scored literally right out of the gate.
Shad pursued a direction for his labels that brought together the urban, suburban and country shades-flavours of rock'n'roll. Among his many artists, it was a core group (the Beau-Marks, Bell Notes, Genies, Skip & Flip, Chevrons and Knockouts) that set the groundwork for him. Each had hits or strong sellers with their initial or early releases. These recognised artists provide us with a strong central focus for this CD.
As we delve further, it should be noted that a youthful spirit prevails on almost all tracks on this compilation. Sax man, King Curtis, producer Leroy Kirkland and arranger-guitarist Mickey Guitar" Baker, all helped to shape these tracks, lending their professionalism musically to create more fine quality rock'n'roll music with a touch of rhythm and blues.
The result is a collection of snappy, bouncy and catchy tracks. The songs are simple and youthful, reflecting the audience they were aimed for at that time. There are no highbrow pretensions found here, just good old rock'n'roll. And therein lies the charm.
by George Povall (Early Bird Records)