One would think Collectors' Choice Music would have had its hands full with July's release of the complete Allan Sherman catalog. Not so. The fine folks at Collectors' Choice have joined forces with Warner Music Group to introduce a new label designed to reissue LPs so rare, even WMG's Rhino Handmade wouldn't tackle them. With that in mind, the new label is named Tartare, and its first 10 releases are all due to ship on July 6. Any new reissue label is cause for readers of The Second Disc to rejoice; what makes this announcement particularly exciting is that many of the initial 10 LPs have long been coveted in a digital format, and all are making their worldwide authorized CD debuts according to Collectors' Choice. It's not yet known whether Tartare's releases will include new liner notes; only original album artwork has been confirmed. It's also indicated that the label is actually making the CDs to order for their customers, so it's a fair guess that these may not be released to stores. To find out which titles from the WMG vaults are receiving the Tartare treatment, click to read more after the jump!
Renowned film composer Henry Mancini teamed with comic lyricist Irving Taylor for 1958's Terribly Sophisticated Songs: A Collection of Unpopular Songs for Popular People (Warner Bros. 1210), which is as wildly kooky as its title would indicate. Tartare turns its attention to instrumental pop with three 1960s releases. The Outriggers' 1960 Golden Hits of Hawaii (Warner Bros. 1549) is a prime example of island exotica, while Mel Torme and Sammy Davis Jr.'s famed arranger Marty Paich tackled the Beatles, Tony Hatch and Burt Bacharach in 1966 on his The Rock-Jazz Incident (Reprise 6206). The Marketts' 1963 Take to Wheels (Warner Bros. 1509) featured engineering by producer Bones Howe (The Fifth Dimension, The Association) on a collection of car-themed tunes.
R&B fans have long been waiting for a release of Dee Dee Warwick's Atco material. Dionne's younger sister had a style wholly different from that of her famous sibling, imbued with a deep soul, gut-wrenching gospel feel. Dee Dee's 1970 LP Turning Around (Atco 33-337) featured production by Arif Mardin, The Dixie Flyers as the house band and the Sweet Inspirations on backing vocals; Top 10 R&B single "She Didn't Know (She Kept on Talking)" emerged from the LP, as did covers of "If This Was the Last Song" and "More Today Than Yesterday." Warwick's catalog is long, long overdue for re-examination; let's hope this is the first of many such CDs restoring her work to print. (A British release promising Warwick's complete Atco recordings has never materialized.)
Folk fans have treats coming via Tartare. Bud Dashiell and Travis Edomonson had great success in the 1950s as the duo Bud & Travis; Dashiell's post-Bud & Travis group recorded one album, Bud Dashiell & The Kinsmen (Warner Bros. 1429), in 1961, which now is seeing CD release. Folk-pop star Trini Lopez teamed with one of Frank Sinatra's preferred arrangers, Don Costa, for his 1965 set The Love Album (Reprise 6165), on which he brought his unique style to "Our Day Will Come," "A Taste of Honey" and "Moon River." Irish folk music is spotlighted by Dennis Day's 1963 Shillelaghs and Shamrocks (Reprise 6065), recorded for Frank Sinatra's Reprise label, on which you can hear Jack Benny's favorite Irish crooner sing lilting renditions of perennials like "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" and "Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ra."
Finally, fans of straight-ahead pop are rewarded with the final two releases to mention in Tartare's initial batch. Nino Tempo and April Stevens teamed in 1966 at Atlantic Records to record Hey Baby! (Atlantic 587017) with its covers of then-favorites originally recorded by artists such as Otis Redding, Chris Kenner and Bruce Channel. Pratt & McClain's Featuring "Happy Days" (Reprise MS-2250) is of 1976 vintage. P.F. Sloan's collaborator Steve Barri and Michael Omartian produced this set which includes Pratt & McClain's hit single of Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel's theme to the popular sitcom.
Collectors' Choice promises more releases in the upcoming months from Tartare, so watch this space!