This public domain compilation compiles music from the `Del-Fi' label from 1958 - 62. Nearly 2 hours of music - cd 1. 56.32mins and cd 2 56.55mins. The sound quality is good overall (four or five tracks have audible pops and distortion). This is a no thrills compilation - so there's no booklet but there's a one sided intro, writing credits and six small pictures of the leading artists. In my humble opinion Del-Fi had more than its fair share of talent that sadly for one reason or another never reached their full potential or haven't had enough credit aimed there way - Chan Romero, Ritchie Valens (passed away), Johnny Crawford (quit at 16), Bobby Curtola (a huge success in Canada but not in the U.S) or Jericho Brown. Despite this, there are so many good tracks on these two discs by those mentioned above - the outstanding original of 'The Hippy Hippy Shake' by Chan Romero who like Ritchie Valens came from an Hispanic background. All the Valens tracks are classics and need no introduction. On the lighter side of pop, teen idols - Bobby Curtola & Johnny Crawford are both very good ('Cindy's birthday' and 'Rumours' by the young Johnny are excellent as are 'Fortune teller' and 'Aladdin' by Bobby). Overall, it's a very good compilation that's great value for money. Enjoy. 8.5/10.
Please note: Aladdin by Bobby Curtola IS NOT the ORIGINAL 45rpm (Del-fi 4185). It's slower as if the pitch is wrong, or it could be a latter re-recording or album version?
Also note: There are 2 versions of the great B side 'If I had my way' (correct title on Del-Fi 4119 - 'If I had A way') by Chan Romero, one has a slightly more prominent vocal. I believe they were recorded 3 months apart.
When one mentions Del-Fi record label, the artists that come to mind include Ritchie Valens and our own Canadian Bobby Curtola. Del-Fi Record was founded by former jazz clarinetist turned Los Angeles music mogul, Bob Keane. Del-Fi will always be remembered for launching ‘Chicano’ star Ritchie Valens. Ritchie Valens made a big impact in his brief, bright career, which was cut short by a plane crash in February 1959. Other artists include Chan Romero, the Everly soundalikes, the Addrisi Brothers, Johnny Crawford and our Canadian Bobby Curtola. The Donna label was started in 1959 as a sister to Del-Fi and would nurture the early career of Bobby Fuller (of the I Fought The Law fame). But Fuller’s mysterious death in 1966 put an end to Bob Kean’s record releasing. He resurrected Del-fi after Quentin Tarantino used some songs in his cult movie Pulp Fiction in 1994, but sold out to Warner Brothers in 2002. He died six years later at 87.
This 2 CD set has 50 songs, all original versions covering the era of Del-Fi. I have compiled a detailed song listing (with chart position, year and my personal comments) which is as follows:
01 La Bamba – Ritchie Valens (US 22/1958)*born Richard Valenzuela in Pacoima, California.
02 Cherrystone – The Addrisi Brothers (US 62/1959)*rare gem; pop duo from Boston; wrote The Association’s Never My Love.
03 The Hippy Hippy Shake – Chan Romero (uncharted, 1958)*rare gem; original version; later covered by the Swingin; Blue Jeans, and Georgia Satellites in the movie Cocktail.
04 Miserlou – The Lively Ones (uncharted, 1962)*rare gem; Enoch Light has a ‘lively’ version of this song in his Persuasive Percussion series
05 Your Nose Is Gonna Grow – Johnny Crawford (US 14/1962)
06 Your Mama Said No – Vickie Diaz (uncharted, 1960)
07 School’s Out – Myron Lee (uncharted, 1962)
08 Lonesome Drifter – Jericho Brown (uncharted, 1958)
09 Fortune Teller – Bobby Curtola (US 41/1962; Canada 5/1962)*born in Port Arthur, Ontario.
10 That’s My Little Suzie – Ritchie Valens (US 55/1959)
11 Splish Splash – Desda (uncharted, 1962)*rare gem; cover version of Bobby Darin’s first hit.
12 Tonight – The Carlos Brothers (uncharted, 1960)*rare gem; not the Tonight from West Side Story.
13 Lonely Guy – The Gallahads (US 111/1960)*rare gem; R&B vocal group from Seattle.
14 A little More Wine, My Dear – The Hawks (uncharted, 1958)
15 Fast Freight – Arvee Allens (uncharted, 1960)
16 Patti Ann – Johnny Crawford (US 43/1962)
17 If I Had My Way – Chan Romero (uncharted, 1959)
18 This Other – Bonnie Owens (uncharted, 1961)*rare gem; her only charted hit I Need You (25/1958)
19 Ten Commandments Of Love – Little Caesar & The Romans (uncharted, 1961)*rare gem; R&B vocal group from Los Angeles; leader: Carl “Little Caesar” Burnett.
20 Hey Then, There Now – Jackie Burns (uncharted, 1958)
21 Cry, Cry, Cry – Ritchie Valens (uncharted, 1958)
22 Lookin’ For A Job – Little Joe Mosley & The Sequins (uncharted, 1958)
23 All The Gang Knows – Lonnie & The Carollons (uncharted, 1960)
24 I Cry And Cry – Bobby Curtola (uncharted, 1962; Canada 15/1962)*rare gem
25 Those Oldies But Goodies (Remind Me Of You ) – Little Caesar & The Romans (US 9/1961)*rare gem; their biggest hit.
01 Jungle Fever – The Shadows (uncharted, 1958)*rare gem; aka The Carlos Brothers; not the famous guitar group from UK.
02 Gonna See My Baby – The Addrisi Brothers (uncharted, 1959)*rare gem
03 Come On, Let’s Go – Ritchie Valens (US 42/1958)
04 My Little Ruby – Chan Romero (uncharted, 1959)
05 Cindy’s Birthday – Johnny Crawford (US 8/1962)*Johnny Crawford’s most famous hit.
06 My Heart’s Tongue Tied – Bobby Curtola (uncharted, 1962)*rare gem
07 Guitarget – The Lively Ones (uncharted, 1962)
08 For Eternity – Vickie Diaz (uncharted, 1960)
09 Memories Of Those Oldies But Goodies – Little Caesar & The Romans (US 101/1961)*rare gem.
10 If I Had My Way – Chan Romero (uncharted, 1959)*this song appeared in disc 1 already; One Day Music’s error in putting the same song twice within this compilation.
11 Donna – Ritchie Valens (US 2/1958)*his most famous hit
12 I’m Without A Girlfriend – The Gallahads (uncharted, 1961)*rare gem
13 Tell Me – Gerry Langford (uncharted, 1959)
14 Rumors – Johnny Crawford (US 12/1962)
15 It’s Time To Go – Carlos Brothers (uncharted, 1960)
16 Fever – Little Caesar & The Romans (b-side to Memories of Those Oldies But Goodies, 1961)*rare gem
17 I Don’t Care Now – Chan Romero (uncharted, 1959)
18 What In The World Can I Do – The Hep Cats (uncharted, 1961)
19 Aladdin – Bobby Curtola (US 92/1962; Canada 11/1962)
20 Big Baby Blues – Arvee Allens (b-side to Fast Freight, 1959)
21 Morning Star – The Balladeers (uncharted, 1959)*rare gem; should have included their only charted hit Roll Call Company “J”.
22 Fussy – The Hawks (uncharted, 1958)
23 He Is – Pippy Shannon (uncharted, 1958)
24 Little Girl – Ricky Dean (uncharted, 1962)
25 We Belong Together – Ritchie Valens (b-side to Little Girl, 1959)
The sound is well remastered with no hiss. All the above songs are original versions.
This 2 CD set contains both hits and rare uncharted gems. Listening to Ritchie Valens again really reminded me how such talents are gone too soon, and life is so short. If you don’t have any Bobby Curtola compilation, this set is a good way to introduce yourself to our Canadian teen-throb from the 60s. He had 19 charted hits on the Toronto’s CHUM Top 40 charts. The price of this 3 CD set from seller is ridiculously low, and is of great value. This set is highly recommended.
on 10 August 2014
Del-Fi was a little recording studio in L.A. Producer Bob Keane was responsible for discovering Ricardo Valenzuela (aka. Ritchie Valens). Besides the Valen's material, you get more from the label. The Addrisi Brothers' "Cherrystone" is a very good rock n' roll record and the original (not by the Swinging Blue Jeans) "Hippy Hippy Shake."
For doo-wop, Little Caesar & The Romans' "Those Oldies But Goodies" in the Top Ten from 1961. Superb instrumental "Miserlou" by the Lively Ones, even competes with Dick Dale's version. Johnny Crawford and Canadian Bobby Curtola provide the pop sound, but really nothing out of the ordinary.
Some other unknown obscure tracks produced at Del-Fi round out the playlist and one downside for me is that ONE DAY music should have completed this compilation adding "Donna Records" hits unless they're going to release a "Donna Records Story." This was a subsidiary record label which launched the massive "Love You So" by Ron Holden and it would have been nice to hear it here with the rest. In fact, there is a compilation released by Ace which unites both record labels.