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Dance 'til Quarter To Three

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Album Review

A reissue that combines Gary "U.S." Bonds debut album Dance 'Til Quarter to Three (from 1961) and Twist Up Calypso album (from 1962) onto one CD. Bonds debut album was a typical recording for the era: a few hits ("Quarter to Three," "New Orleans," "School Is Out") are surrounded by tunes not far removed from the style of the singles, but aren't nearly as memorable. At least this one was mostly comprised of original material, written by producer Frank Guida, Bonds, and saxophonist Gene Barge, with a few others pitching in. The calypso and Caribbean beats that found their way into several Bonds singles crop up with some frequency; "Please Forgive Me," "Don't Go to Strangers," and "I Know Why Dreamers Cry" are doo wop/R&B ballads in a more traditional vein than Bonds usual approach; and "Not Me" would be covered for a hit by the Orlons in 1963. For Twist Up Calypso, the success of "Dear Lady Twist" (included here) inspired an entire album of songs derived from calypso music. Bonds and producer Frank Guida, it must be said, didn't do it halfway: almost everything here employs prominent calypso beats, and in addition to covers of the calypso tunes "Day-O" and "Mama Look a Booboo," several of the originals are obviously based on calypso riffs (such as "A Woman Is Smarter"). Bonds pulls off his task with genuine exuberance — the arrangements are considerably hotter and more indebted to the "party" sounds of his hits than the filler on his first album — though as usual it's the hits, "Twist, Twist Senora!" and the fabulous "Dear Lady Twist," that stand out.


Born: 06 June 1939 in Jacksonville, FL

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

After moving to the Norfolk, VA, area in the mid-'50s, young Gary Anderson began plying his vocal wares, first in church, later with a local group called the Turks. When he was not yet 21, he was approached by local record producer Frank Guida to join his tiny Legrand label. Guida changed Anderson's name to U.S. Bonds, hoping the first release would get extra airplay by disc jockeys mistaking it for a public-service announcement. The result was the classic "New Orleans," combining rock-combo raunch...
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Dance 'til Quarter To Three, Gary U.S. Bonds
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