Dootone Rock 'n' Rhythm And Blues Various Artists (Dootone)


Rhythm & Blues
Ace Records
Catalogue Id:

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Dootone Rock 'n' Rhythm & Blues (MP3), MP3 (£7.99)

Think about the Dootone label. Chances are, you'll initially think about the great group records that 'label prexy' - as the trade mags used to say - Dootsie Williams cut and issued (or sometimes didn't issue) in the label's decade-plus of active life. Not too surprising really, especially when you review a roster that, during its life span, included the Penguins, Medallions, Calvanes, Cuff Links and Meadowlarks, and recordings that include such doo wop perennials as Heaven And Paradise, Hey Senorita, Buick '59 and Earth Angel...

But to regard these magnificent groups, and their equally magnificent recordings, as the be-all and end-all of Dootone is to do the rest of the label's output a terrible disservice. Dootsie Williams also recorded lots of classy West Coast blues, raucous honkers, cool South Central cocktail grooves and a copious quantity of riotous R&B rockers. And all this without taking into account a vast trench of "Party Records" by the late African-American comic Redd Foxx - which, as the saying goes, is another story...

Having already seen the groups to rights via Peter Gibbon's exceptional series of "Dootone Doo Wop" packages, Ace is ready and able to turn its attentions to the other goodies in Dootsie's tape inventory.Those who salivate over the prospect of a "Dootone Blues" package will be glad to know that we're now ascloseasthis to finalising the content of said item for release (hopefully) later this year. And upfront of that, we're delighted to bring you this loud, lively collection of Dootone's good rocking Rhythm & Blues, compiled by world-renowned musicologist Bob Porter with the accent very much on the upbeat.

Bob's impeccable taste ensures that a splendid time is guaranteed for all that listen. And the featured artists - mostly old friends that we've met before on Ace collections, and that we'd be happy to meet again any time they turn up in the future - are something of a guarantee of quality in themselves. Let's face it, any album that features Roy Milton, Ernie Freeman, Chuck Higgins, Joe Houston and - representing the distaff side - Mickey Champion and Helen Humes has got to be a winner, right? Er, not 'arf, pick-poppers...

...And these are not just any old recordings by the abovementioned. Milton's Dootones represent something of an Indian summer for the veteran drummer-bandleader. If his seminal Specialty recordings haven't already convinced you that he's got more right than most to be called a founding father of rock'n'roll, you'll need no further persuasion once you cop an earful of 1955's You Got Me Rocking And Reeling.

Both Helen Humes and Mickey Champion are as integral to the development of post WWII West Coast R&B as are the numerous local labels that recorded them. Humes' small catalogue of Dootones are a vital component of a career that had already been underway for nearly 30 years when she cut the four sides that feature here - and, originally, on her rare?-go-on-find-one-I-dare-ya Dootone EP - that include the frankly irresistible jiver Woojamacooja. Johnny Otis prot?©g?© Mickey Champion was but a novice by comparison to Humes when she cut her Ruth Brown -influenced brace of sides. But both, and especially the driving Bam-A-Lam, show why she, too, managed to sustain a buoyant local career from the early 50s to the 90s.

Familiar Ace faces like Messrs Higgins, Houston and Freeman present works here that would easily hold their own in a face-off with their recordings for Combo, Imperial, Money, Modern and the rest of the Best in the West (coast, that is!). And our by-comparison-mysterious cover star Claude McLin offers two of the key cool cuts from his hideously rare 1958 Dootone album, from which we hope - nay, expect - to be liberating further examples of his saxophonic craft before any of RT's readers are too much older...

Stalwart Ace aficionados have been hoping for this set for a long time. I'm happy to tell 'em that the wait was worth it. Dootone R&B is yet another valuable addition to Ace's ongoing documentation and preservation of California-created Rhythm And Blues. Hey Dig this Groovy Boogie from Dootsie's tape booty. It's So Fine, You'd Surrender Anytime. Quit Eye Ballin' and start Shindiggin'...

By Tony Rounce


Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview Baby I'm Gone - Roy Milton

  • 02 Preview Cry Some Baby - Roy Milton

  • 03 Preview Fools Are Getting Scarcer - Roy Milton

  • 04 Preview I Can't Go On - Roy Milton & His Orchestra

  • 05 Preview You Got Me Reelin' And Rockin' - Roy Milton & His Orchestra

  • 06 Preview Nothing Left - Roy Milton

  • 07 Preview Bam-A-Lam - Roy Milton Orchestra with Mickey Champion

  • 08 Preview I'm A Woman - Roy Milton Orchestra with Mickey Champion

  • 09 Preview I Never Would Have Made It - Roy Milton

  • 10 Preview I Want To Go Home - Roy Milton

  • 11 Preview Groovy Boogie - Lorenzo Holden & Ernie Freeman

  • 12 Preview Just Blues - Lorenzo Holden & Ernie Freeman

  • 13 Preview Woojamacooja - Helen Humes & Her Orchestra

  • 14 Preview All I Ask Is Your Love - Helen Humes

  • 15 Preview Real Fine Daddy - Helen Humes

  • 16 Preview I'll Surrender Anytime - Helen Humes

  • 17 Preview The Itch (instrumental) - Chuck Higgins & His Band

  • 18 Preview Looking For My Baby - Chuck Higgins

  • 19 Preview Wet Back Hop - Chuck Higgins And His Band

  • 20 Preview Tonky Honk - Chuck Higgins

  • 21 Preview Don't You Know I Love You Baby - Chuck Higgins - Vocal by Frank Dunn

  • 22 Preview Hey Dig - Chuck Higgins

  • 23 Preview Here I'm Is - Chuck Higgins

  • 24 Preview Gamblin' Woman - Chuck Higgins & His Band

  • 25 Preview Eye Ballin' - Chuck Higgins

  • 26 Preview So Fine - Claude McLin

  • 27 Preview You're Lookin' Good - Claude McLin

  • 28 Preview Shindig (instrumental) - Joe Houston

Delivery & Returns


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Press quotes


An excellent snapshot of the fascinating cusp where R&B meets rock 'n' roll.

Now Dig This

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