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The Best of the Turbans

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Album Review

Anyone who thinks "When You Dance" was the Turbans' best song will think again after hearing this 18-song CD. The gorgeous, soaring "Three Friends" — showcasing Banks' gorgeous falsetto at its best and the richness of the group's harmony singing — is worth the price of the CD all by itself. Add on some great dance numbers, fast ("B.I.N.G.O.," "Sister Sookie") and slow ("I'm Nobody's"), and this becomes more than just a curiousity for doo wop collectors. The sound is astonishingly good and very close; the sax-combo solos seemingly right up against the speakers, the bells of the saxes on the microphones. Not all of it works — "I Won't Be Your Fool Anymore" is too busy to really pull together as a song. But this is a fine anthology of the best work by this beloved vocal outfit.


Formed: 1955 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s

The Turbans were among the first Philadelphia-based R&B outfits to achieve national recognition. They emerged in 1955 out of a local R&B scene that had previously been dominated by such tenor-led groups as the Castelles, the Capris, and the Dreams. The Turbans' distinctive trait (apart from their headgear) was the soaring falsetto lead singing of 17-year-old Al Banks (born July 26, 1937), supported by the backup harmony of Matthew Platt, baritone Charlie Williams, and bass Andrew Jones; all four...
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