The Best Of Dee Dee Sharp
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(2005/ABKCO) 24 Cameo Parkway masters 1962-1966 stereo with 12 page booklet
Mashed Potato Time
Gravy (For My Mashed Potatoes)
You Are My Sunshine
Do The Bird
You Ain't Nothin' But A Nothin'
Just To Hold My Hand
Rock Me In The Cradle Of Love
Why Doncha Ask Me
Never Pick A Pretty
Where Did I Go
Deep Dark Secret
There Ain't Nothin' I Wouldn't Do For You
(That's What) My Mama Said
Standing In The Need Of Love
It's A Funny Situation
I Really Love You
(It's Wonderful) The Love I Feel For You
To Know Him Is To Love Him
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But what Cameo Parkway thought of a few years later was Lee Dorsey's Ride your pony.
"Hey we do the copying so let's have a credit here or we take you to court"
However no such thing happenned it was probably a coincidence as Dorsey would know more about the Risque Blues than the master copycats at Cameo.After all this guy had once made a song called Ya Ya-which doesn't stretch the imagination too much to figure out!
Cameo Parkway's finest hour-for them-was when they copied the Marvelettes' Please Mr Postman for Mashed Potato Time-which in itself came from an idea by James Brown.The resulting court case saw ammended credits!
However this is nothing to do with Miss Sharp-she was after all just a kid who'd cut a duet with Chubby Checker called Slow Twistin'
Because of her success she was able to make at least 3 albums chock full of cover versions.
Cameo Parkway were nothing if not inventive when they flooded the market with covers.So much better than singer songwriters
Her later music as Dee Dee Sharp Gamble was of less interest
This single CD, finally released by Abkco Records in 2005, contains 24 songs. For some unknown reasons, songs from Cameo-Parkway label were withheld from release until then. A similar set was also released for other artists, like Bobby Rydell, Chubby Checker, the Dovells, the Orlons, the Tymes and ? and the Mysterians, plus a 4 CD box set of Cameo-Parkway 1957 – 1967. There were many bootleg releases before. The above sets were finally “official” releases after all these years, and are still treasured by fans.
I have compiled a detailed song listing (including single label & number, chart position, date of debut, with personal comments)(BB200=Billboard Album Chart; BB Pop=Billboard Hot 100; BB R&B=Billboard Rhythm & Blues Chart; CB Pop=Cash Box Hot 100; CB R&B=Cash Box Rhythm & Blues Chart; RW Pop=Record World Singles Chart; UK=British Singles Chart):
01 Mashed Potato Time (Cameo C-212)(a-side)(BB Pop 2/1962; BB R&B 1/1962; CB Pop 1/1962; CB R&B 1/1962; RW Pop 1/1962)(February 1962)
02 Gravy (For My Mashed Potatoes)(Cameo C-219)(a-side)(BB Pop 9/1962; BB R&B 11/1962; CB Pop 9/1962; CB R&B 6/1962; RW Pop 10/1962)(June 1962)
03 Baby Cakes (Cameo C-219)(b-side, June 1962)
04 You Are My Sunshine*album track: from “All The Hits Volume II” (December 1962)
05 Ride! (Cameo C-230)(a-side)(BB Pop 5/1962; BB R&B 7/1962; CB Pop 9/1962; CB R&B 5/1962; RW Pop 9/1962)(October 1962))*b-side: The Night is not included in this set.
06 Do The Bird (Cameo C-244)(a-side)(BB Pop 10/1963; BB R&B 8/1963; CB Pop 12/1963; RW Pop 17/1963; UK 46/1963)(March 1963)*b-side “Lover Boy” is not included in this set.
07 Slow Twistin’ (with Chubby Checker)(Parkway P-835)(a-side)(BB Pop 3/1962; BB R&B 3/1962; CB Pop 1/1962; CB R&B 1/1962; RW Pop 4/1962)(March 1962)*its b-side “La Paloma Twist” by Chubby Checker only.
08 You Ain’t Nothin’ But A Nothin’*album track: from “Do the Bird” (1963)
09 Just To Hold My Hand*album track: from “Do the Bird” (1963)
10 Rock Me In The Cradle of Love (Cameo C-250)(a-side)(BB Pop 43/1963; CB Pop 49/1963; RW Pop 38/1963)(June 1963)*its b-side “You’ll Never Be Mine” is not included.
11 Wild! (Cameo C-274)(a-side)(BB Pop 33/1963;BB R&B 25/1963; CB Pop 29/1963; RW Pop 41/1963)(October 1963)
12 Why Doncha Ask Me (Cameo C-274)(b-side, October 1963)
13 Never Pick A Pretty Boy (Cameo C-329)(a-side)(BB Pop 131/1964)(August 1964)*misspelled on the back cover of booklet as “Never Pick A Pretty”: sloppy editing.
14 Willyam, Willyam (Cameo C-296)(b-side, February 1964)(BB Pop 97/1964)
15 Where Did I Go Wrong? (Cameo C-296)(a-side)(BB Pop 82/1964; BB R&B 38/1964; CB Pop 89/1964; RW Pop 91/1964)(February 1964)*misspelled on the back cover of booklet as “Where Did I Go”: again sloppy editing.
16 Deep Dark Secret (Cameo C-335)(uncharted a-side, October 1964)*rare gem; CD debut.
17 There Ain’t Nothin’ I Wouldn’t Do For You (Cameo C-347)(b-side, December 1964)
18 (That’s What) My Mama Said (Cameo C-357)(b-side, February 1965)*rare gem; CD debut.
19 Let’s Twine (Cameo C-357)(uncharted a-side, February 1965)*rare gem; CD debut.
20 Standing in the Need Of Love (Cameo C-375)(b-side, November 1965)
21 It’s A Funny Situation (Cameo C-382)(a-side)(BB Pop 126/1966; CB Pop 96/1966)(March 1966)
22 I Really Love You (Cameo C-375)(a-side)(BB Pop 78/1965; BB R&B 37/1965; CB Pop 68/1965; RW Pop 67/1965)(November 1965)
23 (It’s Wonderful) The Love I Feel For You (Fairmount F-1004)(a-side)(uncharted a-side, June 1966)
24 To Know Him Is to Love Him (Cameo C-347)(uncharted a-side, December 1964)
1 If you are looking for a single Greatest Hits CD for Dee Dee Sharp, this set represents the definitive edition, covering the entire Cameo-Parkway era. Even a few album tracks were included.
2 The sound is very well remastered, using DSD and SBM, considered pretty advanced in 2005. It was done in the famed Bob Ludwig Gateway studio. Many songs are still my current reference standards.
3 There is a 12-page booklet, containing an informative essay by Jeff Tamarkin, plus label & number and chart position, pretty good effort in 2005. Nowadays, this type of information is still not provided in many current oldies releases.
4 All the songs are original versions, no re-recorded versions.
1 Only 58 minutes. All the missing b-sides listed above should have been included to make this a true Singles Collection.
2 There are no picture sleeves, no label pictures.
3 Misspelling of song titles, as noted above: sloppy editing.
COMPLETE SINGLES DISCOGRAPHY:
Although Dee Dee Sharp has 13 charted singles on Billboard Hot 100, I have just finished compiling a Complete Singles Discography, and discovered that she actually has 33 singles from 1962 to 1981 (only 62 songs, not 66 songs, because 3 songs were repeated releases and one b-side belonged to Chubby Checker). Her labels are: (1) Cameo (1962 – 1966), (2) Fairmount (1966), (3) Atco (1966 – 1968), (4) Gamble (1968 – 1970), (5) TSOP (1970 – 1976), and (6) Philadelphia International (1977 – 1981).
To get all the songs, you will need the current set, plus “Hurry On Down, It’s Mashed Potato Time” (Jasmine Records, 2015, 2CDs, 53 songs), “It’s Mashed Potato Time” (Park 554, 31 songs), “All The Hits” (Campark Records, 1993, 33 songs), “It’s Mashed Potato Time/Do The Bird” (Ace, 2010: Do the Bird is not available elsewhere), and “Happy Bout The Whole Thing/What Color Is Love/Dee Dee” (Edsel Records, 2 CDs, 2010). Her output on Atco label is sorely missing on CDs, but fortunately all the songs are readily available on-line except one song (the b-side to Conquer The World Together by Dee Dee Sharp Gamble and Bunny Sigler).
Dee Dee Sharp was born Dione LaRue on September 9, 1945 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She later married record producer Kenny Gamble and became Dee Dee Sharp Gamble. Her Cameo year was her golden year, with many of her big hits. I still remember how to dance the Mashed Potato. She has an illustrious singing career. Her last single “Break And Entering” (as Dee Dee Sharp Gamble) topped the Billboard Dance/Disco Chart for 4 weeks!
This current set is still considered the “official release” of her Greatest Hits on CD, and all her major well-known Cameo hits are included. The entire set is very enjoyable, with great sound, and is highly recommended.
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