WHERE THE GIRLS ARE VOLUME 9.

WHERE THE GIRLS ARE VOLUME 9.

Recently, Ace Records released a new volume in one of their longest running, and most successful compilation series. The compilation series in question, is Where The Girls Are. Its story began back on 27th May 1997.

That’s when Ace Records released Where The Girls Are. Back then, hope was in the air in Britain. Labour’s Tony Blair had been elected Prime Minister, and the promise was Things Are Going To Get Better. They never did. Meanwhile, in America Bill Clinton was coming to the end of his first term in office. Nineteen years later, and another Clinton is vying for the title of President of the United States Of America.

This, time it’s the former First Lady, Hilary Clinton. She hopes to become the 45th President of the United States Of America. As Hilary Clinton campaign criss-crossed America, Ace Records prepared to release the latest instalment in the Where The Girls Are series, Where The Girls Are Volume 9, which features twenty-five tracks from the decade Hilary Clinton grew up in, the sixties.

Who knows, maybe when Hilary Clinton was growing up she listened to The Rag Dolls, Diane Christian, Popsicles, Evie Sands, Lovelites, The Francettes, The Penny Sisters and The Blossoms With Billy Strange. If she did, then Where The Girls Are Volume 9 are going to bring the memories come flooding back. That’ll be the case for all the baby boomers growing up in the sixties

Opening Where The Girls Are Volume 9 is The Sweet Three’s That’s The Way It Is (When A Girl’s In Love). It was the B-Side to Big Lovers Come In Small Packages. Just like That’s The Way It Is (When A Girl’s In Love), it was penned and produced by Leon Huff. The single was released on Decca in August 1966. Sadly, the single failed commercially, and by 1967 The Sweet Thing’s recording career was over. They returned to their career as backing vocalists in Philly studios. However, things might have been very different if the sweet, soulful The Sweet Three’s That’s The Way It Is (When A Girl’s In Love) had been released as a single.

The only group to feature twice on Where The Girls Are Volume 9 are The Popsicles. They feature none other than songwriter Ellie Greenwich, who started her career as a session singer. By 1965, she had formed a successful songwriting with Jeff Barry. However, Ellie Greenwich hadn’t given up dreams of making it as a singer. She was member of The Popsicles who released a trio of singles between 1964 and 1965.

This included I Don’t Want To Be Your Baby Anymore, which featured Baby I Miss You. Both tracks were penned by Mark Barkan and Ben Raleigh, who was Ellie Greenwich’s husband. The single was released in American on Crescendo, and in Britain on Vocallion. On both sides Ellie Greenwich takes charge of the lead  vocal, and shows that she was not just a songwriter, but a talented singer.

Roddie Joy released Something Strange Is Going On as a single fifty years ago, in 1966. It was produced by Mike Lewis and Stuart Wiener, and released on the Philly based Parkway label. Sadly, nothing came of the single, and by 1967 Roddie Joy’s solo career was over. However, Something Strange Is Going On, with its mixture of mystery and romance, is one of Roddie Joy’s best singles.

Irresistible is the perfect way to describe Evie Sands’ 1968 single Billy Sunshine. It was produced by Al Gorgoni and Chip Taylor, and released on Philly based Cameo Parkway. Sadly, despite being a joyous slice of musical sunshine, Billy Sunshine passed record buyers by.

There’s a trio of unreleased tracks on Where The Girls Are Volume 9. This includes BlueZette’s With A Kiss. It was penned by Brill Building songwriters George Fischoff and Tony Powers. The date of the recording is unknown, and so is the identity of BlueZette. Whoever they were, they released a wistful, dreamy sounding track that epitomises the girl group sound.

Late in 2015, Ace Records released The Murmaids compilation A Few Of The Things We Love. It documented the career of The Murmaids. Their one and only hit was Popsicles and Icicles. That was only part of the story as A Few Of The Things We Love shows. The Murmaids recorded a string of singles and two album. On their sophomore album Resurface!, was Don’t Forget, a delicious hook-laden slice of pop.

1967  was an exciting time for sisters Patricia and Rosena Hamilton. They had founded The Lovelites with their friend Barbara Peterman and were about to release their debut single I Found Me A Lover. However, when the single was released on the Bandera label, it failed commercially. Tucked away on the flip side You Better Stop. It was penned by Ernie Hines with Patricia and Rosena Hamilton. You Better Stop It was catchy, memorable and soulful, and if released as a single, might have given The Lovelites a hit single?

When Reparata and The Delrons had enjoyed a hit single with Whenever A Teenager Cries in 1965, they were full-time student. Despite this they managed to squeeze in a  tour with Dick Clark’s Caravan Of Stars. When Reparata and The Delrons returned, they recorded their sophomore single, Tommy. It was released on World Artists Records in 1965. On the B-Side was a cover of the folk song, Mama Don’t Allow. It’s given a makeover by Reparata and The Delrons who transformed the song, so that it  could become the soundtrack to the latest dance craze.

Ramona King released around a dozen singles during her career. Ballyhoo was just the third single of her nascent career. Just like the first two, it was produced by Lee Hazelwood and released on his Eden Records. During the dance-floor friendly Ballyhoo, Ramona King names several dance crazes on this poppy slice of soul.

The Penny Sisters only ever released the one single, I Need A Boy in 1971. It was released on B.T. Puppy Records, which was founded by The Tokens in the mid-sixties. A year later after the release I Need A Boy, The Penny Sisters released their only album Wishing You Well. It’s now something of a rarity.

Phil Spector was obviously a big influence on The Drake Sisters’ What Did You Do Last Night. It was The Drake Sisters’ only single. What Did You Do Last Night was recorded by arranger and producer Stan Ross. For the recording, he used Phase—O-Phonic Sound at Goldstar Studios, in Los Angeles. What sounds like phasing and filters are heavily deployed. They give the Spector-esque sound. Despite the Phil Spector influence and a trademark girl group sound, the single failed commercially when it was released in 1964. Sadly, that was the only single the talented Drake Sisters released.

Straight away, The Flowers sound not unlike The Ronettes. Meanwhile, On A Rainy Night is reminiscent of The Shirelles’ 1960 cover of Gerry Goffin and Carole King’s Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow. The only difference is the tempo is slower. It’s more like the tempo of Carole King’s version on her classic album tapestry, which was released in 1971. By then, The Flowers had wilted. 

The Flowers released On A Rainy Night in 1965. It was penned by Herb Ryals and Jerry Willis; while Bill Haney produced the single. On A Rainy Night was then released on Bill Haney’s Chant label. However, the tender, wistful and beautiful vocals, the single wasn’t a commercial success. Nowadays, the single is really rare, and the only way most people will hear it is on a  compilation like Where The Girls Are Volume 9.

Closing Where The Girls Are Volume 9 is another of the three unreleased tracks, The Blossoms With Billy Strange’s Moon Walking. It was recorded around 1966. Darlene Love, Jean King and Fanita James add harmonies atop the Billy Strange’s surf inspired guitar. Moon Walking is a real hidden gem, which shows another side to The Blossoms and Mr. Guitar Billy Strange. It’s quite different to many of the other tracks on Where The Girls Are Volume 9.

Essentially, Where The Girls Are Volume 9 is an eclectic compilation. It features an captivating selection of quality music.  The listener never knows what compiler Mick Patrick has in-store. He’s dug deep into the vaults of numerous labels, including Ballyhoo, Bandera, Bell Records, Cameo, Decca, Flip, Mint, Parkway and Vault. There’s surprises aplenty for the listener.  

There everything from pop to soul and the classic sixties girl group sound. There’s even a couple of would-be dance crazes on Where The Girls Are Volume 9. It’s a welcome addition to one Ace Records’ longest running and critically acclaimed  series, Where The Girls Are. 

The latest instalment in the series, Where The Girls Are Volume 9 takes listeners back to the sixties. For baby boomers everywhere, Where The Girls Are Volume 9 will be a welcome reminder of the sixties they grew up. This includes Hilary Clinton as she criss-crosses America in search for the keys to the Oval Office.

WHERE THE GIRLS ARE VOLUME 9.

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