There are seven different compilations on the market from Collectables alone covering The Harptones - Golden Classics - The Goldner Recordings 1956-57 (14 tracks), Life Is But a Dream: The Very Best Of Harptones (18 tracks), That's the Way It Goes: Great Group Series (10 tracks), Love Needs/Here We Are! - combining two LPs by The Harptones and The Jive Five (12 tracks by The Harptones), The Legendary Group at Their Best (32 tracks), The Crows & The Harptones and Echoes Of A Rock Era - two releases combining two LPs by The Crows and Harptones (12 tracks by the Harptones in each).
Then there's a 1994 release from Relic Recordings (24 tracks) titled A Sunday Kind Of Love, and an 18-track 2008 volume from Essential Media, which appears to be a re-release of a 2003 offering from Empire Musicwerks titled Collectors Gold Series and a 2004 one from Hot Works called Complete Recordings, each containing the same tracks. What each of the foregoing have in common is that not ONE of them contains their 1961 Pop charter What Will I Tell My Heart?
This came in May for the Coed Records subsidiary Companion when their cover of the 1937 # 2 hit for Andy Kirk & His Twelve Clouds Of Joy came out b/w Foolish Me and just made the Billboard Pop Hot 100 at # 96 (Companion 103). Now, finally, we get both sides in this 2-CD, 60-track anthology from Jasmine of the U.K. which also offers great sound reproduction and a detailed history of the group in a fact-filled booklet. They also provide both sides of their only other national charter, Why Should I Love You? which, with the backing of The Shytans, made it to # 25 Pop in September 1954 on Bruce 109 b/w Forever Mine.
The strange thing about this now legendary R&B Doo-Wop group of lead Willie Winfield, second tenors Nicky Clark and Bill Dempsey, baritone Bill Galloway, and bass Bill Brown, was that they never had one of their many singles make the R&B listings, not even their classics A Sunday Kind Of Love and the wonderful Memories Of You, written by their arranger/pianist Raoul Cita, both of which also came out on the tiny Bruce label in 1953.
One might think that would be most discouraging for a R&B group, but no, in spite of their lack of national commercial success they continued recording right up to 1964 for a number of different labels, albeit with some personnel changes, including Curtis Cherebin, Bobby Spencer, Jimmy Beckum, and William James. In that span they put out several more discs which, today, are also rightly considered classics of the genre, such as Life Is But A Dream for the Paradise label and The Masquerade Is Over for Rama. They also cut discs for Andrea, Gee, Warwick, Tip Top, Cub, and K.T., much of which is covered in the liner notes.
This renders all other Harptones volumes as obsolete.