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Album Review

This is one of the better doo wop collections one can buy, despite its coming out very late in the history of the form. Maybe the biggest surprise here is "I'm Comin' Home," and a track that anticipates the Rolling Stones' show-stopped "I'm Alright" with echoes of Smokey Robinson & the Miracles' "Way Over There," with a wailing, vocal cord-ripping performance by Rue. A lot of this stuff holds up well, even if Rue's weeping act gets a little predictable at times. "Don't Be Afraid," "Valerie," "Seven Day Fool," "I'm Coming Home," and a half dozen others put this collection over the top, and one nice bonus amid the singing is the surprisingly dexterous guitar backing on a lot of the material here. Proper master tapes seem to have been used, and some of this stuff appears here in stereo for the first time ever.


Formed: 1960

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s

Jackie & the Starlites were another one-hit wonder doo wop group -- "Valerie," cut for Bobby Robinson's Fury label in 1960, being their one hit; it was cut at the tail end of the doo wop era and, indeed, may have been among the first songs in that style to appeal as an "oldie" in style. It barely brushed the national charts, but it was embraced by the community of doo wop singers as a standard. Jackie La Rue originally started singing with an outfit called the Five Wings in the early '50s, and...
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Valerie, Jackie & The Starlites
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