Joanie Sommers' The Complete Warner Bros. Singles was released at the same time as Connie Steven's set of the same name. They were originally released by Collector's Choice, but somehow they were suddenly discontinued because Collectors' Choice went out of business. Thanks to Real Gone Music (US), replacing Collectors' Choice, both sets were re-released. Both are 2 CD sets. In Joanie's case, there are 19 songs in disc 1 and 17 songs in disc 2. All the charted and uncharted singles on Warner Bros. label are included.
Joanie Sommers was born Joanie Drost in Buffalo, New York. The first time she sang in public was on a radio show contest on WBEN in Buffalo at the age of 10. She belted out Your Cheatin' Heart and Kay Starr's I'll Never Be Free and won. She moved to California in 1954, and eventually signed with Warner Brothers. Her first assignment for the label would be in support of Edward "Kookie" Byrnes who was emerging as the standout character on Warners' hit TV show 77 Sunset Strip. She became one of his "girlfriends" on an album of pseudo-hip songs created to capitalize on Byrnes' burgeoning popularity. One of the other ladies on the LP was Connie Stevens. (My review of Connie's set is found elsewhere). Sommers had performed two songs with Byrnes (Hot Rod Jack and I Don't Dig You Kookie), found on Edd Byrnes CD Kookie on Collector's Choice (2001), but neither was issued as a single. In light of the success of the Byrnes-Stevens single (Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb), Warners rushed Joanie into the studio to record a third duet with Byrnes, Kookie's Love Song (1960) included in this set.
Joanie's biggest hit was of course Johnny Get Angry. While she first heard the demo, she uttered these words to Stan Applebaum: "Oh, come on! You gotta be kidding!" She eventually recorded the song which became her biggest hit. Later on, she did thank Stanley for his wise choice.
From the liner notes in the booklet, I also learned of a little story behind the song Johnny Get Angry: When the sunny Sommers voice begins dumping Johnny, listeners are thrown off-guard until the knee-jerk hook of the song brings for the reality that she just wants the poor introvert to step up to the plate to claim her for his own. As Joanie drips with seductive supplication, the real question is, "how could he not?" Another bonus was that the b-side was Theme From A Summer Place, included in this set. I am collecting all the different versions of Theme From A Summer Place, and this is a great addition.
The audio is fantastic, clean, crisp and vibrant with no hiss. Thank you to Real Gone Music/Rhino for such a good remastering job.
Overall, this is a great 2 CD set of recordings by Joanie Sommers. Her other albums on CDs are hard to come by and also expensive. I have another single CD by Joanie Sommers simply called Joanie Sommers on Marginal Records (31 songs), but this is also deleted. For fans and lovers of oldies from the sixties, this set is recommended.
Though all the Joannie Sommers singles and LPs were issued in the U K she never had a hit here.Probably her biggest U S one JOHNNY GET ANGRY would have failed as well because the lyric was too obtuse and unreal.However the song was a hit via Carole Deene's cover The booklet shows photos of her in great dresses and has a potted history For me her greatest moment was Little Girl Bad-a fabulous 2 minutes plus of Pixiegirliana
I had never heard of Joanie Sommers until I tuned into the Internet Radio Station Fun 45. She was singing Johnny get Angry and at first I thought it was Doris Day but then realised that it was someone completely different. Having being brought up in the 60s I was amazed that somehow she had passed below my radar. Fabulous voice and great songs too!
JOANNIE'S WB SINGLES IN THE ORIGINAL MONO .SHE WAS A BIG STAR IN USA BUT IN UK NOT SO WE HAD OUR BRIT GIRLS.THERE IS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE ON THIS VG 2 CD SET HAS TRACKS FRM 1960\68 AND INCLUDES THE GREAT NORTHERN SOUL RAREITY DONT PITY ME.GREAT STUFF