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Wah-Watusi/South Street

Price: £20.62 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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£20.62 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product Description

* Discovered by high school classmate Len Barry, the Orlons (Shirley Brickley, Marlena Davis, Rosetta Hightower and Stephen Caldwell) were probably Cameo Parkway's most popular vocal group and certainly the label's top girl group.

* This two-on-one release presents their only two charting albums, their 1962 debut "The Wah-Watusi" and 1963s "South Street" - both featuring Top 5 title tracks - in their original pristine mono.

* Notes by Gene Sculatti include great quotes from band member Caldwell (he of that ultra-low "frog" voice). --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.

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Amazon.com: 7 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Terrific early-60s Philadelphia vocal pop 22 Jun. 2010
By hyperbolium - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The Orlons were a Philadelphia high school singing group who came to Cameo-Parkway Records on a recommendation from Len Barry of the Dovells. After a couple of flop singles they hit it big with the Kal Mann and Dave Appel's dance tune, "The Wah-Watusi" in 1962. The single and debut album of the same name are highlighted by the terrific lead vocals of Rosetta Hightower, starting with the group's excellent cover of "Dedicated to the One I Love." Hightower doesn't sing it with the power of the Shirelles' Shirley Owen, but invests just as much heart and soul into the lyrics. Hightower also shines on the group's cover of Dee Dee Sharp's "Mashed Potato Time," and its reprise, "Gravy (For My Mashed Potatoes)," each of which the group had backed on the original hits.

The group's lone male vocalist, Stephen Caldwell, steps up front for "Tonight," taking the group closer to doo-wop, as does Hightower's pleading cover of the Chantels' "The Plea" and the crooning "I'll Be True." Caldwell adds some wonderful bass singing behind the female duet cover of Johnnie and Joe's "Over the Mountain, Across the Sea." The backing harmonies are brought forward to introduce a heartbroken cover of the Chantels' "He's Gone," and the Shirelles' "I Met Him on a Sunday" is given a zesty, Latin twist by the drummer. Like all of the Philadelphia-based Cameo-Parkway acts, the vocal group's ace-in-the-hole was the house band, which provided incredible rhythm backing and fat-toned sax solos.

The group's third long-player (their second All the Hits is still awaiting reissue), named for their third top-10 hit "South Street," sounds more like a Coasters album, with honking sax and a slate full of novelties that includes the Rooftop Singers' "Walk Right In," John D. Loudermilk's "Big Daddy," Slim Gaillard's "Cement Mixer" and the Coasters' own "Charlie Brown." Ironically, the latter is among the most soulful of the lot, with great harmonies and hypnotically rising piano figures. The album has a throwback feel amplified by covers of the band band-era "Between 18th and 19th on Chestnut Street" and Kid Ory's jazz-age "Muskrat Ramble." Stephen Caldwell is heard mostly in his low, growling "frog voice," which feels tired by album end.

The group hits a gospel soul groove for Mann and Appell's "Gather `Round" and introduces another dance with the R&B "Pokey Lou." Those looking for an overview of the Orlons time at Cameo-Parkway are directed to the 2005 Best Of, which includes all eight of their charting singles (including their second Top 10 "Don't Hang Up," which is missing here) and a dozen more tracks. Fans who want to listen more deeply will truly enjoy this two-fer, particularly for the terrific material on the debut. Collectors' Choice reproduces the original 24 tracks in radio-ready mono, both front and back album covers, and adds new liner notes by Gene Sculatti. [©2010 hyperbolium dot com]
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent offering by this underrated group. 21 Nov. 2012
By Stephen De Fronzo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was very pleasantly surprised at how good this CD collection sounds.Like most folks, I always liked their classic hits such as 'South Street", and "Dont Hang up"(not included here)but I had never heard some of the splendid lesser known cuts such as "I`ll be true" and their version of "Over the Mountain" which are superb.Their takes on other groups` hits are all professionally performed with remarkable harmonies.You won`t really find any "Fillers" here and this is unique for a non-greatest hits collection.Highly recommended.
Better Late than Never! 3 Mar. 2015
By A. M. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
How great to stumble on this gem. I've owned the vinyl LP of SOUTH STREET for decades and feel it's as good, or better, than any of the group's Best Of and Greatest Hits compilations. The usual practice in the industry at the time was to include one or two hits on an album and then pad the rest of it out with inferior tracks, usually half-assed covers. On SOUTH STREET, nearly every track could have stood alone as a single, even the covers. (Their unique take on the Rooftop Singers' chestnut, "Walk Right In" is a real foot-stomper.) For years I had hoped this album would become available on CD, and here it's been paired with the group's first album, THE WAH-WATUSI, so it would be a bargain at twice the price.
Wonderful CD By The Orlons ! 22 Jan. 2013
By K. Nolting - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Orlons are my favorite girl group ! This CD has their first 2 albums and is great. Favorite songs are Mashed Potato Time, Gravy, The Wah-Watusi, South Street, and Let Me In. The Orlons did lots of covwer versions and made them their own.
Great Harmonizing 25 Jun. 2011
By Dwight Logan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Orlons didn't have a great number of hits, and that is a shame. Their music is fast and catchy.
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