Who was/is Rollee McGill ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more
Unlike most of his 1950s rhythm 'n' blues cohorts, Rollee McGill's sound didn't betray his regional origins in the slightest. Though the tenor saxman's 1955 R&B smash There Goes That Train sports a strong south Louisiana flavor in its plaintive bayou-streaked construction, it was actually waxed in McGill's hometown of Philadelphia. In 1957, McGill's sax wailed hard midway through the Silhouettes' mega-hit Get A Job, though few doo-wop fans realize McGill's role in the classic song's success. That same year, McGill waxed his own regional hit for Kae Williams' Kaiser label, the two-part People Are Talking.
This 30-song overview of McGill's career spans 1954-1963 and represents the first comprehensive examination of this seriously overlooked Philly R&B artist's intriguing discography. The collection contains There Goes That Train, its 1956 sequel Oncoming Train, and two takes of the previously unissued honking instrumental The Rocker's Shuffle.
There's also a generous selection of the sides McGill waxed during the late '50s for several small Philly concerns, notably People Are Talking. By the anthology's 1963 conclusion, the versatile McGill was dabbling in soul music, yet retaining the down-to-earth bluesy base that his earlier singles boasted.