- World excluding USA & Canada
- Doo Wop
- Ace Records
- Catalogue Id:
- CDCHD 1272
Before Tamla/Motown, there was Cameo/Parkway. A groundbreaking Philadelphia imprint, the label churned out an astonishing number of huge hits (most written in-house) during its 12-year heyday and turned a gaggle of unknown young locals into stars. Sound familiar?
Although primarily remembered for its myriad dance craze hits, the catalogue actually encompasses the whole of rock’s golden era: instrumentals, novelties, doo wop, girl groups, soul, teen idols, British Invasion, garage bands and bubblegum, etc. Label honchos Bernie Lowe, Kal Mann and Dave Appell spared no expense, releasing singles with beautiful colour picture sleeves and flooding the market with an unprecedented torrent of LPs.
Cameo-Parkway material has been unavailable for decades, and collectors have waited impatiently for many years for the hits to make their digital debut. A label overview in 2005 and a few subsequent hits packages skimmed the surface. Out this month on Ace are 10 full albums on five CDs, along with a compilation of vocal group classics. The floodgates are now open, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Cameo/Parkway’s contributions to the doo wop songbook included hits by classic groups the Dovells, the Tymes and the Rays, but the label also provided a home for genre stars such as the Skyliners, Lee Andrews, the Turbans, the Roomates, the Gainors (with future soul luminary Garnet Mimms) and Pookie Hudson & the Spaniels. “Remember Me Baby: Cameo/Parkway Vocal Groups Vol 1” features those groups and more, a treasury of harmony jewels.
By Dennis Garvey