With Vol 3 of the FLIP DOO WOP survey, we come to the final helping in this series, which has been complemented by single group CDs for the SIX TEENS (Ace CDCHD 842) and the DREAMERS (Ace CDCHD 829). Flip's lasting legacy to the vocal group scene can be gleaned from the fact that out of going on for 70 records on the label, over 50 of them were by R&B vocal groups. With the release of this volume, some 80-odd different vocal group sounds from the label are now available for the discerning collector.
This time the emphasis is on the late 50s and early 60s, although there are a few tracks from the mid 50s in amongst them. One of the later acts to join Flip was Lena Calhoun & the Emotions, who recorded three singles for the label in 1961. Taken from those singles are three tracks (including one of my favourites, I Ran To You) which show the girl group sound just at the point at which it was about to transform into soul. Another female grouping, the Ru-Bee-Els, is featured here with I'll Try. This group was a trio drawn from the quartet called the Sweet Teens, whose sole single for Flip is featured on Vol 1. Established acts, such as the Six Teens, Elgins, Dukes, King Bees and Maharajahs, all of which have been featured on previous volumes in this series, are featured here with two tracks each. The second single from Flip's pioneer group Donald Woods & the Velaires (ne?© Belaires) is included and this completes all their recordings for the label.
As promised in etrack a while back, a couple of previously unreleased sides debut on this volume. The Rainiers' I Won $4000 was one of two unissued sides they recorded for the label, the other being featured on Vol 2. The mixed male/female group the Flippers, on the other hand, did have a release on Flip and two other sides were left in the can. Three of the four were featured on Vol 1 and their last remaining track is presented here.
Although the song Louie Louie is such a phenomenon in its own right that it deserves a whole compilation to itself to present its influences, covers and derivatives (Ace CDCHD 844 - LOVE THAT LOUIE), no survey of Flip Doo Wop would be complete without Richard Berry & The Pharoahs' seminal recording of the song from 1957. So that's included here along with their well-known Have Love Will Travel.
As has been the case for all volumes in this survey, the compilation is annotated by Gordon Skadberg and the guys at Earlybird Records. Doubtless we shall see them back at the helm soon with more of the vocal group sound served up from the West Coast.
By Peter Gibbon