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Flyright Records: The Flyright LPs of the 1980s primarily concentrated on Louisiana cajun music, as well as some obscuro blues, though the recent CD series seems to be more of a repository for some of Interstate's great blues and R&B titles. All very fine.

[Flyright FLY CD-35]
Rusty and Doug with Wiley Barkdull "Legendary Jay Miller Sessions" (Flyright, 1991)

Rusty and Doug Kershaw, that is... prime material by some of Lousiana's best country/swamp-pop heros. These 1950s recordings were made by well-known producer-impressario Jay Miller; some tracks are from radio shows, others are from singles that were released on labels that Miller was associated with. One quality stands out among all these recordings: the powerful stylistic influence of honkytonk jukebox star Lefty Frizzell. If you like Lefty, you should love this.

[Flyright FLY CD-37]
Various Artists "TALK TO ME DADDY" (Flyright, 1991)

Saucy late-'40s/early-'50s R&B from women singers with varying degrees of name recognition. Under-recognized vocalists such as Thelma Cooper and Ella Johnson share disc space with bigtimers Sarah Vaughan and Lil Armstrong, as well as a bunch of complete nobodies who make the obscure-o-meter ring off the scale. Several of these tracks are killer, some are less great than similar material to be found elsewhere.

[Flyright FLY CD-61]
Cecil Gant "Cecil Gant" (Flyright, 1997)

Awesome postwar, West Coast R&B and jive. Includes Gant's big hit, "I Wonder" and a whole slew of wonderfully humorous blues numbers by this Los Angeles-based pianist and singer. Good sound quality, too. Definitely recommended.

[Flyright FLY CD-61]
The Brown Dots "For Sentimental Reasons" (Flyright, 2000)

An nice collection of vocal group rarities from a breakaway faction of the famed Ink Spots ensemble. A founding member of the 'Spots, tenor Deek Watson found himself the odd man out after the band hit mainstream status. The other guys wanted to get swanker and more sophisticated; Watson had more fun singing uptempo, blues-based novelty tunes. So, eventually, he went his own way, founding this short-lived but lively group, with an intentionally soundalike name, and a style based on the early Ink Spots sound. It's fun stuff, although as the liner notes point out, the sound quality on some of these small-label recordings is sometimes a bit rough.

[Flyright FLY CD-946]
Five Blind Boys Of Alabama "1948-1951" (LP 1987/CD 1997)

Rough-edged, ripsnortin' postwar gospel from one of the era's most popular groups.

[Flyright FLY CD-948]
Hank Thompson "Radio Broadcasts - 1952" (LP 1990/CD 1997)

Fabulous! Hank Thompson has always been one of my favorite country artists, but it often seemed puzzling that he was considered a "western swing" player, rather than a honkytonker. FINALLY we can hear why -- these early live recordings bring it all home, with sweet, sweet material, alternately boisterous and sentimental. Plus, Thompson is such an affable, warm performer... these recordings are a real treat.



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