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Very influential, but not the mothers of rock'n'roll,
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This review is from: Boswell Sisters Collection, Vol. 4: 1932-1934 (Audio CD)
The Boswell sisters, although largely unknown these days, were an enormous influence on many singers of the forties and fifties, including other sister groups like the Andrews sisters and solo singers like Ella Fitzgerald. Their sound was jazz based, like much music of the era. They were capable of many different types of song - they could swing but they could also sing romantic love songs.
On this, the fourth of an excellent five-CD series of their music, there is a song called Rock and roll, which was a #7 hit for them in 1934. While it is an excellent upbeat song that swings at a good pace, it is some way removed from the music of the fifties that we now know as rock’n’roll. Nevertheless, there are those who acclaim the Boswells as the mothers of rock’n’roll on the strength of their music in general and this song in particular. Much as I love their music, I think not.
For reasons that are not obvious to me, some tracks appear on more than one volume in the series. For example, four of the tracks here (Coffee in the morning, If I had a million dollars, The object of my affection and Dinah) also appear on Volume 5, which I’ve already reviewed. From the information supplied, I do not think they are different recordings. Still, there are so many songs on each volume that the duplication does not matter, except if they are played back-to-back.
Apart from songs already mentioned, there is one other hit here – You oughta be in pictures, which peaked at #17 in 1934. The remaining songs are all wonderful, including covers of two Duke Ellington songs, Sophisticated lady and Mood indigo.
While this is an excellent collection, it is not the most important volume in the series. I collected volumes 1, 3 and 5 in this series first, because nearly all the important songs are in those CD’s. I enjoyed them so much that I bought volumes 2 and 4 not long afterwards. They are less important, but equally brilliant.