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The Best of Charlie Gracie (1956-1958)

Charlie Gracie

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Album Review

Charlie Gracie is usually categorized as a rockabilly singer, though his style was a far cry from the frantic wailing of Charlie Feathers, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, or the other true masters of the form. Gracie had great pipes and could make with a variety of vocal acrobatics in the rockabilly manner, but his material had a polish that was akin to the later teen idols who came out of his home town of Philadelphia, and his records lack the giddy danger of the Southern masters, instead suggesting a place where benign teen pop tried to catch up to what Elvis brought to the charts. Despite all this, Gracie made some fine records during his brief fling with fame, and this disc features 20 sides committed to tape during his tenure with Cameo Records in the 1950s, where he enjoyed his biggest hits. While Gracie would have been served better with more songs like the Elvis-styled "Fabulous," the easy but energetic "Cool Baby," and the swaggering "Just Looking," even glossier and less rockin' tunes such as "Butterfly," "Plaything," and "Yea Yea (I'm in Love with You)" make it clear this guy was miles ahead of Pat Boone, Fabian, and other pretty boys who were starting to clutter the charts around the same time. Given Cameo-Parkway's longtime embargo on CD releases, this is the first digital-era collection of Charlie Gracie's best and best-known work, and while this confirms he wasn't a major artist, there is some pleasing first-era rock to be heard here, and one imagines Gracie could have stayed in the spotlight a few years longer if he'd gotten the treatment his voice deserved.

Customer Reviews

He's Good!!

I Like his songs "Butterfly", "Ninety-Nine Ways" and "Fabulous" he's #5 on my list. If you listen to "Fabulous" you'll notice it sounds a lot like "Don't Be Cruel" by Elvis. Gracie was sued for it.

Amazing!!

Beautifully written and wonderfully played!! I highly recommend the song "Butterfly"

Biography

Born: May 14, 1936 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '00s

Charlie Gracie was Philadelphia's first rock & roll star, the first successful artist on that city's famed Cameo Records, an early regular on American Bandstand, and a skilled rockabilly-style guitarist. He is best known for the 1957 hit single "Butterfly," which rose to number one on the Billboard charts. His popularity was also significant in the U.K. and his lingering influence there is such that his praises have been sung...
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The Best of Charlie Gracie (1956-1958), Charlie Gracie
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