Monday, November 17, 2008

The Chordettes

Quality Records was a Canadian label. (They released The Guess Who between 1964 and 1967.) In the late 80s, they released a series of LPs, each called "Greatest Hits," each with 10 tracks, and each with the same cover design. They featured mostly 50s and 60s artist from Chess (Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley), Roulette (Tommy James & The Shondells), Cameo Parkway (Fabian, Frankie Avalon) et al.

And The Chordettes. Some of these albums were ubiquitous; some weren’t. The Chordettes album wasn’t. It was damn hard to find.

I found my copy at Records On Wheels, a record store on the north side of Portage Avenue that specialized in imports. I was always interested in the 50s and 60s section, and they had Rhino, See For Miles, Sundazed, etc. I’d spend hours there, checking out the latest arrivals, the not-so-recent arrivals, salivating over LPs that cost $20 and up, and that was a lot.

So I didn’t buy records there very often. But The Chordettes was only about $10. And I never saw it anywhere else, which was a bit strange, because, as I say, the series was everywhere.

The Chordettes had 14 top 100 records from 1954 until 1961 (originally on Cadence) and 10 of them are on here. This was one of the few 50s girl groups that wasn’t sisters. And they were kinda sexy in their own dorky kind of way. Beautiful harmonies…

The Chordettes:

· Mr. Sandman – what a great record. Vaughn Monroe did this, and The Four Aces, and Emmylou Harris, but no one did it like The Chordettes. It was number one at the end of 1954. “yeeesssss?”
· Never On Sunday – the theme from the movie. From the summer of ’61. This was also a hit by Ray Anthony.
· Zorro – from the TV show, spring of ‘58
· Just Between You And Me – at least it’s not between you and I. This was in the top 10 in the autumn of ’57.
· Born To Be With You – from the summer of ‘56. What a beautiful recording this is. Dave Edmunds covered it.
· Lollipop – this must have raised a few eyebrows. Went all the way up to number 2 in winter / spring ’58.
· Eddie My Love – three versions of this fought there way up the charts in early 1956, one by The Fontane Sisters, one by The Teen Queens, and this one. This one gets my vote, though the TQ’s are no slouches.
· No Other Arms, No Other Lips – not the Pat Boone song, this is from the spring of 1959.
· Lay Down Your Arms – some military relief. This was a hit in autumn of 1956.
· Teenage Goodnight – I wonder how many teenagers refer to their parting ceremonies as teenage goodnight. Maybe 9. This was the flip of “Lay Down Your Arms” and it reached number 45 on its own merits.

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