“The Very Best of Russ Conway”, released by EMI Gold from UK in 2007, contains 24 wonderful songs. I have compiled a detailed song listing (including singles label & number, chart position, year of release)(UK=UK Singles Chart; UK ALBUM=UK Album Chart):
01 SIDE SADDLE (Columbia DB 4256)(UK a-side, UK 1(4)/February 1959)*his first No. 1 hit
02 ROULETTE (Columbia DB 4298)(UK a-side, UK 1(2)/May 1959)*his second & last No. 1 hit
03 "PARTY POPS" - PARTS 1 & 2 (Columbia DB 4031)(UK a-side, UK 24/November 1957+b-side)*songs included “When You’re Smiling; I’m Looking Over A Four-Leaf Clover; When You Wear A Tulip And I Wore A Big Red Rose; Row, Row, Row, For Me And My Girl, Shine On Harvest Moon, By The Light of the Silvery Moon, Side By Side”
04 CHINA TEA (Columbia DB 4337)(UK a-side, UK 5/August 1959)
05 SNOW COACH (Columbia DB 4368)(UK a-side, UK 7/October 1959)
06 GOT A MATCH (Columbia DB 4166)(UK a-side, UK 30/August 1958)
07 THE WORLD OUTSIDE (Columbia DB 4234)(UK a-side, UK 24/December 1958)
08 ROYAL EVENT (Columbia DB 4418)(UK a-side, UK 15/February 1960)
09 MEDLEY OF TUNES FROM "FINGS AIN'T WOT THEY USED T'BE" (Columbia DB 4422)(UK a-side, UK 47/April 1960)*songs included “Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be, Polka Dots, Where Do Little Birds Go?”
10 LUCKY FIVE (Columbia DB 4457)(UK a-side, UK 14/May 1960)
11 MACK THE KNIFE (Columbia DB 7221)(uncharted UK a-side, February 1964)
12 LA MER (BEYOND THE SEA)*from album “My Concerto For You” (Columbia 33SX 1214)(UK ALBUM 5/1960)
13 PASSING BREEZE (Columbia DB 4508)(UK a-side, UK 16/September 1960)
14 PEPE (Columbia DB 4564)(UK a-side, UK 19/January 1961)
15 RUSSIAN RAG*from EP “Out of The Rag Bag” (Columbia SEG 7886)(1959)
16 PABLO (Columbia DB 4624)(UK a-side, UK 45/May 1961)
17 MUSIC MAN MEDLEY*songs include “Seventy Six Trombones; Till There Was You; Lida Rose”
18 TOY BALLOONS (Columbia DB 4778)(UK a-side, UK 7/November 1961)
19 LESSON ONE (Columbia DB 4784)(UK a-side, UK 21/February 1962)
20 ALWAYS YOU AND ME (Columbia DB 4934)(UK a-side, UK 33/November 1962)
21 RULE BRITANNIA! (Columbia DB 4418)(UK b-side, February 1960)*rare gem
22 TIN PAN ALLEY (1961)
23 THE HARRY LIME THEME (Columbia DB 4060)(UK b-side, December 1957)*rare gem
24 MORE PARTY POPS - PARTS 1 & 2 (Columbia DB 4204)(UK a-side, UK 10/November 1958 + b-side)*songs include “Music, Music, Music; If You Were The Only Girl In The World; I’m Nobody’s Sweetheart Now; Yes Sir That’s My Baby, some Of These Days, The Honeysuckle And The Bee, Hello! Hello! Whos’ Your Lady Friend, Shanty In Old Shanty Town”
1 This set is simply the BEST Greatest Hits to date on Russ Conway, covering all his charted UK hits, including the original versions of his two No. 1 UK hits: “Side Saddle” and “Roulette”. There are also a few rare gems.
2 All the songs are the original versions on Columbia label.
3 The sound is well remastered.
4 Since this was from the original label, songs beyond 1962 were included.
1 Of course, there are many many uncharted singles not included, plus b-sides. I wish someday, a Complete Singles Collection, including As & Bs, charted and uncharted, will be released.
2 The songs are not sequenced chronologically.
3 The 8-page booklet does not contain an essay. Labels & numbers, chart positions were not included.
COMPLETE SINGLES DISCOGRAPHY:
Although Russ Conway has 21 charted singles in UK, I have just finished compiling a Complete Singles Discography and found that he actually has an amazing 69 singles (charted & uncharted, As & Bs, from 1957 to 1984). His singles labels are (1) Columbia (1957 – 1968), (2) Chapter One (1970 – 1971), (3) Pye (1971 – 1974), (4) EMI (1976), (5) BBC (1977) and (6) Music Media (1984).
Russ Conway was born on September 2, 1925 in Trevor Herbert Stanford in Bristol, England. Between 1957 and 1963, he had 20 UK chart hits, achieving a cumulative total of 83 weeks on the UK Singles Chart in 1959 alone. This included two self-penned number one instrumentals, "Side Saddle" and "Roulette", the latter deposing Elvis Presley's "A Fool Such As I". He also had numerous albums. He was a fixture on light entertainment TV shows and radio for many years afterwards, appearing at the London Palladium on a number of occasions and becoming a regular on the Billy Cotton Band Show for several seasons. His career was blighted by ill health, including a nervous breakdown and subsequently a stroke. He died on November 16, 2000 (age 75).
Besides the current set, for his “Party Pops” tunes, I would also recommend “The Hits and More” (Jasmine, 2CDs, 2011, 70 songs, with lots of rare b-sides). For me, I cannot complete my Russ Conway collection without all his “Piano Pops” tunes. Here, I would strongly recommend “Russ Conway Plays Piano Pops” (EMI Gold, 1CD, 2003, 28 tracks, precious!!). As for his Pye era, I would recommend “The Russ Conway Collection” (Castle Pulse, 2CDs, 2003, 56 songs). For his album output, I would recommend “Six Classic Albums” (Real Gone Music, 2016, 4CDs, 98 songs). This current set, including all his popular charted singles with great sound, is totally enjoyable, and is highly recommended to all Russ Conway fans. I bet the music will definitely bring back many happy memories of the good old days.