viernes, 8 de mayo de 2009

Gigi & The Charmaines: Cincinnati's Top ‘60s Girl Group (1960-1967)

This thorough overview of Gigi & The Charmaines' recorded output from 1960 to 1967 shows the Cincinatti R&B trio had the stuff to compete on a bigger field if they'd had a bit more luck. Gigi Griffin, the group's lead singer, was able to meld passion with vocal precision and her partners Dee Watkins and Irene Vinegar brought some superb harmonies and backing vocals to their sessions. Add some memorable production smarts and quality material and you have one of the better soul vocal acts of the era. Their brief and only Billboard chart appearance at #117 in 1961 doesn't reflect the trio's great solo work on six different labels, nor does it take into account their work backing vocals for the likes of Lonnie Mack, Kenny Smith and Carl Edmondson. This compilation not only collects Gigi & the Charmaines' best near-hits, but rare sides, including the group’s Fraternity debut from 1960 ‘Rockin’ Old Man’, backed with ‘If You Were Mine’, for which Gigi wrote the lyrics. It also features their swampy version of ‘Rockin’ Pneumomia and The Boogie Woogie Flu’, a fabby, dangerous sounding and sexy take on Ike Turner’s song ‘I Idolise You’, plus the original version of ‘On the Wagon’, a song later recorded by the pre-fame Ronettes. There are other Columbia, Date and Fraternity recordings, some great examples of their work as back-up singers and all of the trio's Northern Soul favourites, like ‘Guilty’, ‘Girl Crazy’, ‘Poor Unfortunate Me’ and the previously unreleased track ‘I Don’t Wanna Lose Him’.~, Thanks again for passing me this, Martin!

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