She’s All Right With Me! Girl Group Sounds USA 1961-1968.

Label: Ace Records.

Format: LP.

Over the last few years, Ace Records have released many lovingly curated volumes of their Beat Girl, Girl Group Sounds and Where The Girls Are compilations. Recently, Mick Patrick who is responsible for so many of these compilations, compiled She’s All Right With Me! Girl Group Sounds USA 1961-1968, which has just been released by Ace Records on vinyl. It’s the perfect way to enjoy some sixtes soul, surf and pop.

For She’s All Right With Me! Girl Group Sounds USA 1961-1968 Mick Patrick picked sixteen tracks from groups like The Rev-Lons, The Belles, The Elites, The Sweethearts, The Surf Bunnies, The Lovettes and The Mirettes. They’re joined by singer that include Beverly Williams, Mary Saxton, Othello Robertson, Pat Hunt and Little Eva Harris. They’re among the sixteen artists and groups on She’s All Right With Me! Girl Group Sounds USA 1961-1968.

Side One.

Opening the compilation is Whirlwind by The Rev-Lons. It was written by William Powell and produced by Gary Paxton in 1965. However, the Garpax label never released the song and it made its debut on the Ace Records’ compilation Boy Trouble-Garpax Girls. This hook-laden musical Whirlwind was their swansong and it returns for an encore on She’s All Right With Me! Girl Group Sounds USA 1961-1968.

Beverly Williams’ Too Bad He’s Bad is another track that was recorded by Gary Paxton for his Garpax label in 1965. Sadly, it lay unreleased until 2009, when it featured on Where The Girls Are Volume 7. It’s a kitchen sink drama where  rueful Beverly Williams delivers a hurt-filled vocal as tells how she fell in love with the wrong type of guy. Meanwhile, Gary Paxton’s arrangement provides the perfect backdrop for the vocal on this oft-overlooked hidden gem.

From the opening bars of Mary Saxton’s Is It Better To Live Or To Die the listener is spellbound as she delivers a heartfelt vocal full emotion and sadness. Sadly, when this Gary Paxton production as released as a single on Pace in 1967 it wasn’t a commercial success. For Mary Saxton, it was the one that got away. However,  it’s a welcome addition to this loving curated compilation.

So is Summertime Is Surfin’ Time by The Surf Bunnies. It’s another William Powell composition that was produced by Gary Paxton. It featured on the 1963 album Beach Party, and is guaranteed to perfect for any party.  

Side Two.

Opening side two is First Love Baby by Lena Calhoun and The Emotions. It was released on the Flip label in 1961, and is a  fine example of West Coast doo wop.

So In Luv was written by Dell Randle who co-produced Othello Robertson’s version with Eddie Foster. It was released on Era in 1967, and shares the same melody as It May Be Winter Outside which was released just a couple of weeks earlier. It’s an upbeat, joyous and melodic love song with a strong hook that has stood the test of time and is without doubt, the best song on the compilation.

LA-based Pat Hunt released the Marc Gordon produced You Are My First Love on Kent in 1962. This was a quicker version of the single that was released on the Exodus label in 1961. It’s a slicker sounding version and finds Pat Hunt delivering an impassioned vocal on what is the definitive version of this song.

When Felice Taylor released I Feel Love Comin’ On in Britain in 1967, many people commented that the twenty-three year old from Richmond, California sounded like Diana Ross. There were even accusations that she set out to copy the Supreme. This was something that Felice Taylor disputed and said: “it is pure coincidence that we sound so alike”. Felice Taylor was a talented singer and in 1968, recorded Sing Me A Love Song for Kent. However, this Maxwell Davis production lay unreleased in the Kent vaults until 2015. That was when it featured on Los Angeles Soul-Kent-Modern’s Black Music Legacy. Five years later this string-drenched soulful dancer makes a welcome return, and is a reminder of Felice Taylor who sadly passed away in 2017.

Before becoming The Mirettes, Robbie Montgomery, Venetta Fields and Jessie Smith were The Ikettes. When Ike Turner hired three other singers to go out on the road with the Ike and Tina Turner Review they quit in 1965 and formed The Mirettes. In 1966, they recorded He’s All Right With Me which was produced Bobby Relf and Fred Smith and released on Mirwood. It’s another soulful dancer where the hooks haven’t been spared and is the perfect way to close She’s All Right With Me! Girl Group Sounds USA 1961-1968.

For anyone who has enjoyed the Beat Girl and Where The Girls Are compilations, and previous instalments in the Girl Group Sounds series, then She’s All Right With Me! Girl Group Sounds USA 1961-1968 is one to add to their collection. Ace Records have released the album on vinyl, which is the perfect way to enjoy the sixteen songs released between 1961 and 1968. They’re an eclectic selection of songs.

There’s pop, soul and surf from girl group and solo artists. They’re responsible for singles, album tracks and deep cuts. This includes heart-wrenching ballads and hook-laden  dance tracks. Sadly, some of the tracks weren’t released when they were recorded and dreams were cruelly dashed.  These tracks were only released over forty years later when they appeared on Kent Soul and Ace Records compilations. This quartet of oft-overlooked tracks  return for a well deserved encore on She’s All Right With Me! Girl Group Sounds USA 1961-1968 and play their part in the success of this loving curated compilation which has just been released by Ace Records.

She’s All Right With Me! Girl Group Sounds USA 1961-1968 is the musical equivalent of time travel, and is guaranteed to take the listener back to the sixties. Just don’t play the album on a Dansette as you’ll ruin it.

She’s All Right With Me! Girl Group Sounds USA 1961-1968.

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