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Hey Little Girl

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Album Review

Hey Little Girl collects the best of Dee Clark's Abner, Falcon, and Vee Jay sides from 1956-1963, including three early recordings he made as a member of the Kool Gents (listed here as the Cool Gents). The anthology contains every pop and R&B hit he scored for the above-mentioned labels, including the few that "bubbled under" Billboard's Top 100. Part of the reason why Clark isn't better remembered today may be that he didn't have an identifiable style — he sounds like Little Richard on "Oh Little Girl," Sam Cooke on "Your Friends," and Clyde McPhatter on a number of the pop hits. Some of the latter forge an appealing sound with flutes and electric bass guitars dominating the airy arrangements, but R&B purists may find these too pop-oriented for their liking. Even Clark's big hits — the aggressive "Hey Little Girl" with its Bo Diddley beat and the pop ballad "Raindrops" — sound like they could have been made by two different artists. Hey Little Girl is a thorough anthology of Clark's early sides, all but one of which are presented in mono. The disc is more like listening to an R&B compilation than the work of one singer, but has all the important cuts.


Born: November 07, 1938 in Blytheville, AR

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Though largely unknown among contemporary audiences, Dee Clark was one of the most successful R&B singers of the late '50s and early '60s, his resonant, expressive tenor gracing classics like "Raindrops" and "(Hey) Little Girl." Delecta Clark was born in Blytheville, Arkansas on November 7, 1938; from the age of three, he grew up on Chicago's West Side, in 1952 joining with schoolmates Sammy McGrier and Ronnie Strong in the Hambone Kids. A fad that required performers to slap their thighs, chests,...
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