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The Velvets The Complete Velvets (CD)

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(ACE Records) 30 Tracks - Monument 1960-1965 in Stereo - 12 page booklet of notes &... more

The Velvets: The Complete Velvets (CD)

(ACE Records) 30 Tracks - Monument 1960-1965 in Stereo - 12 page booklet of notes & photos; - essential!

The Velvets didn't conform to any of doo wop's norms.' says sleevenote writer Bill Millar They hailed, not from New York, but from Odessa, where the Texan panhandle meets the rest of the state. In the age of streetcorner amateur, they made records as polished as their patent leather shoes. Lead singer Virgil Johnson, the Velvets' Mr Sheen, didn't overdose when the hits stopped, he had aspirations outside music and never gave up his day job. Weirdest of all, the Velvets barely dabbled in R&B. LIke their mentor, Roy Orbison, they sang songs which straddled that increasingly invisible line between country and pop. The Velvets and Roy Orbison shared the same producer in Fred Foster and the same session musicians in Nashville's A-Team. In essence, the Velvets dusted Orbie's sombre, bel canto agonies with a faint but cheerful shot of proto-soul.Performing locally at sock-hops and campus functions, The Velvets were heard by Roy Orbison who was so impressed with them that he recommended the group to Fred Foster at Monument Records. Their second release Tonight took them into the Billboard Hot 100 at # 26 (UK chart at # 50) and, as Millar says, is as perfect as black pop music would get. The follow-up Lana, though it barely dented the American charts, went to No 1 in Japan! The Complete Velvets features all the singles they made through until 1966 plus all of the thirteen previously unreleased sides which have only been available on Japanese vinyl and CD. As befits such a group of oh-so-smooth singers, the tracks are transferred from original analogue master tapes.

Article properties: The Velvets: The Complete Velvets (CD)

  • Interpret: The Velvets

  • Album titlle: The Complete Velvets (CD)

  • Year of publication 1996
  • Genre Doo-Wop

  • Label Ace Records

  • Artikelart CD

  • EAN: 0029667162524

  • weight in Kg 0.1
Velvets, The - The Complete Velvets (CD) CD 1
01 Tonight
02 Time And Again
03 Spring Fever
04 That Lucky Old Sun
05 Laugh
06 Lana
07 The Love Express
08 Don't Let Him Take My Baby
09 Let The Good Times Roll
10 The Light Goes On, The Light Goes Off
11 Crying In The Chapel
12 Dawn
13 Here Comes That Song Again
14 Nightmare
15 If
16 Let The Fool Kiss You
17 Baby The Magic Is Gone
18 Be Ever Mine
19 You Done Me Bad
20 Kiss Me
21 Alicia
22 Bird Dog
23 My Love
24 Who Has The Right
25 I'm Trusting In You
26 Almost But Not Quite
27 Husbands And Wives
28 I Can Feel it
29 Poison Love
30 That's Out Of My Line
The Velvets featuring Virgil Johnson Tonight (Could Be The Night) Odessa, Texas was as... more
"The Velvets"

The Velvets featuring Virgil Johnson

Tonight (Could Be The Night)

Odessa, Texas was as far from doo-wop central as you could get, but that's where Virgil Johnson found his Velvets. Born December 29, 1935 in Cameron, Texas, Johnson's resume was hardly typical. He graduated from Bishop College in Marshall, Texas, then taught English at Blackshear Junior High in Odessa. He recruited The Velvets from his student body in November of 1958 after hearing tenor Clarence Rigsby and bass Mark Prince singing as a duo. First tenor Robert Thursby and baritone William Solomon were next into the ranks. Virgil sang lead tenor himself.

In an area where country music and rockabilly were king, there couldn't have been too many venues other than their own campus to perform at, but somehow Roy Orbison heard the group and recommended them to Fred Foster, his boss at Nashville's Monument Records. Foster had no black vocal groups at Monument, so Roy's tip paid dividends. Fred named them The Velvets, overlooking a Harlem outfit by the same name that had cut I for New York-based Red Robin Records in 1953.

Recording with the same Music Row A-Team that backed everyone from Brenda Lee to Elvis (augmented by strings), The Velvets entered RCA Studios and waxed their Monument debut, a zippy revival of Frankie Laine's dramatic '49 smash That Lucky Old Sun complete with a Boots Randolph sax solo that was coupled with an Orbison/Joe Melson-penned ballad, Time And Again . Though it didn't chart in the U.S., British audiences sent That Lucky Old Sun to #46 for a week in May of '61 (from the start, Virgil got featured billing on the label).

Foster held Virgil's upbeat Tonight (Could Be The Night) for The Velvets' encore outing, and it proved irresistible. The strings cascade, The Velvets add ringing "doo-wops," and Johnson's clear tenor is delicious. It was a #26 pop seller in the spring of 1961 (U.K. record buyers preferred its predecessor; Tonight only made it to #50 across the pond). Orbison's Spring Fever graced the B-side.

Orbison and Melson wrote both sides of The Velvets' third Monument outing: Laugh edged into the pop hit parade for a week at #90 in October of '61, while Roy would cut his own enchanting version of Lana (Johnson said The Velvets' rendition was huge in Japan). The group had another half-dozen Monument singles stretching into 1965, but their inability to tour due to Virgil's teaching duties and the youth of The Velvets didn't help their dwindling sales. A car crash killed Rigsby in 1978. Johnson was the principal at a Lubbock high school for 25 years.

Various Street Corner Symphonies 1961 Vol.13
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