Summer is finally here, and Real Gone Music has a bevy of offerings due on July 29 which should make your vacation even sunnier! The label is throwing a beach party, sixties-style, with the original stereo soundtrack to How to Stuff a Wild Bikini featuring screen legends Annette Funicello and Mickey Rooney and “Louie, Louie” rockers The Kingsmen; celebrating true California royalty with an expanded edition of “Mama” Cass Elliot’s Don’t Call Me Mama Anymore (sorry, Cass!) featuring previously unreleased music from the powerhouse singer; and going tropical with the perfect tunes for your Tiki party via an anthology from vibraphonist and exotica hero Gene Rains!
If New York-style soul is more your thing, Real Gone hasn’t left you out, either. Two titles stem from the partnership with the SoulMusic Records label. Dee Dee Warwick’s The Complete Atco Recordings boasts the late, great vocalist’s entire 1970 Atco album Turning Around, the As and Bs of three non-album singles, eight tracks previously released on various compilations, and 12 previously unissued songs! Real Gone and SoulMusic also have The Shirelles’ two RCA albums from 1971-1972 for the first time on CD!
We’ve already filled you in on the first-ever authorized retrospective from The Dream Academy. And that’s not all. Last month, we announced the release of Peggy Lipton’s The Complete Ode Recordings which expanded the Mod Squad star’s Ode solo album with her complete singles and two previously unissued songs. You might have noticed that this release – which features liner notes from yours truly, with the input of, and fresh quotes from, Ms. Lipton – has been delayed to July 29. Why? We’ve found even more music! The Complete Ode Recordings now boasts a whopping eight bonus tracks: four 45s and four never-before-released tracks from the pens of Carole King and Toni Stern (“Now That Everything’s Been Said,” which Peggy performed on The Mod Squad), Brian Wilson and Tony Asher (“I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times”), Burt Bacharach and Hal David (“Wanting Things” from their musical Promises, Promises) and Peggy herself (“I Know Where I’m Going”). Trust me: this lost California pop gem, produced by Lou Adler and featuring the powers of the Los Angeles Wrecking Crew, will be worth the wait.
After the jump, we have Real Gone’s press release with many more details on every title plus pre-order links!
Los Angeles, California — Among devotees of exotica music and tiki culture, vibraphonist Gene Rains is one of the Big Three of exotica — Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman being the other two. (Though Les Baxter had some notable releases in the genre, exotica was not his primary focus, so he isn’t generally considered in the same league as the Big Three). Yet, while Denny and Lyman have seen their entire album catalogs come out on CD, and many collections compiled of their work, to date Gene Rains has remained a true cult figure, with NONE of his albums released on compact disc. Part of the reason for that is because the man himself is a bit of a mystery. Little is known of Rains beyond the fact that popular Hawaiian crooner Alfred Apaka discovered him and recruited the vibraphonist and his group to play at the Hawaiian Village Hotel in Waikiki. Nevertheless, in the early ’60s, Rains recorded three albums for Decca — Lotus Land, Far Across the Sea and Rains in the Tropics (a fourth, The Call of the Tropics, released on the Vocalion label, was a compilation of tracks from the three Decca albums) — that are considered models of the exotica genre and cost a pretty penny if you can find them. Now, with its release of Far Away Lands — The Exotic Music of Gene Rains on CD, Real Gone Music is restoring Rains to his rightful place in the exotica pantheon. The compilation — sporting a picture of MeduSirena the Fire-Eating Mermaid on the front cover — features key tracks (plus the original cover art) from all three of Rains’ Decca albums, with liner notes by the CD’s compiler, Randy Poe, and with art and sound assistance from exotica expert Mark Riddle (a/k/a DigiTiki), the man behind the popular podcast, “The Quiet Village.” A lot of folks have been waiting a long time for this music to come out on CD; prepare to be transported by the sound of Rains.
Cowabunga! Real Music Gone has great news for surfin’ soundtrack fans this summer we are releasing the original soundtrack to the wackiest of all of the Beach Party films – How to Stuff a Wild Bikini – in glorious STEREO and mastered from the original tapes. Featuring standout tracks by Annette Funicello and spotlight band The Kingsmen (of “Louie, Louie” fame), this is the ONLY TRUE ORIGINAL soundtrack release from the much-loved Beach Party series. The album includes classic tracks by beach villain Eric Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck) and veteran guest stars Mickey Rooney and Brian Donlevy. The set also features a great ballad — “If It’s Gonna Happen” — by Lu Ann Simms, an alumnus of The Arthur Godfrey Show who went on to make some kitschy disco recordings later in her career. Plus, you’ll hear the terrific group vocals performed by the “beach gang” in the film, including the title song, “That’s What I Call a Healthy Girl,” and “After the Party.” How to Stuff a Wild Bikini marked the end of an era. It was the last appearance of Annette and Frankie Avalon in a beach picture until their 1987 reunion in Back to the Beach. In fact, Frankie was even relegated to a cameo role in this outing — supposedly far away in the South Pacific in the Naval reserves. That left poor Annette alone on the sand; but the ever-classy lady shines on two solos — “Better Be Ready” and “The Perfect Boy,” the latter of which has attracted a cult following over the years as an iconic summation of her character’s life philosophies throughout the entire series. Perhaps most interesting of all are the two tracks by The Kingsmen. In the film, they look downright wholesome, dressed in matching yellow blazers and skinny ties, but their music — notably “Give Her Lovin'” — has a distinctive grunge bite to it. Their reprise of the title song is a sharp contrast to the sweet, melodic performance by the “beach gang” — creating an interesting precursor of things to come in the mid-Sixties. Producer Tom Pickles’ liner notes set the scene.
It is very hard to believe, but July 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of Cass Elliots passing, and we at Real Gone are commemorating the occasion with Don’t Call Me Mama Anymore Plus Rarities – Her Final Recordings, a deluxe reissue of the great lady’s final album garnished with six bonus tracks. As the title indicates, this 1973 album marked a real break with Elliot’s previous incarnation as Mama Cass of The Mamas and the Papas; at RCA Records, Cass was able to take control of her recording career, choosing songs that she wanted to sing. During this time, Cass decided to strike off in a new direction as a cabaret singer and put together a live show that barnstormed the U.S., with a particularly successful run in Las Vegas. This record, recorded over two nights at the renowned Mister Kelly’s night club in Chicago, captured Cass reveling in her newfound role as an entertainer and singer of show tunes (“Extraordinary” from Pippin) and standards (“I’ll Be Seeing You”) as well as new songs like “I’m Coming to the Best Part of My Life” and the title tune. Our deluxe reissue of this wildly entertaining album – released with the full support of Cass’ daughter Owen Elliot – offers six bonus tracks representing her complete final recordings, including the unreleased album outtakes “Make Your Own Kind of Music/New World Coming/Dream a Little Dream of Me” and “Don’t Make Me a Memory,” plus the RCA single tracks of “Listen to the World” and “I Think a Lot about You,” a motion picture tune “Theme from L’ Amour” and another previously unreleased gem, “Give a Little Laughter.” The package features rare photos and liner notes by Cass Elliot expert Richard Barton Campbell, with remastering at Battery Studios in New York. There’s no telling how far Cass would have gone if she had had the opportunity to fully pursue this new artistic direction – Don’t Call Me Mama Anymore is the final statement of a true icon whose career was cut short way too soon.
It’s not easy being a singer and the younger sister of music legend Dionne Warwick, but Dee Dee Warwick contributed a rich body of soulful recordings from the early ’60s all the way into the mid-’80s. While she didn’t attain the same international recognition afforded her sibling, the two-time Grammy-nominated Warwick more than earned her place in the soul music pantheon. Indeed, as Dionne herself put it succinctly in a note for a 1996 compilation of some of Dee Dee’s Atco work, “Dee Dee is the singer in the family…” Dee Dee’s solo career began in 1963 with the original version of the now-classic “You’re No Good”; in 1965, she signed with Blue Rock Records, a division of Mercury Records before switching to the main Mercury label. Over the next five years, she cut two albums and released over a dozen singles including the 1966 Top 10 R&B and Top 50 pop hit, “I Want to Be with You,” the original of “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” (covered by The Supremes & The Temptations) and the Grammy-nominated “Foolish Fool,” a 1969 Top 20 R&B and Top 60 pop hit. In 1970, Dee Dee signed with Atco Records; during her two years with the label, she recorded prolifically, cutting a total of 35 tracks, all of which are included in this two-disc 2014 Real Gone Music/SoulMusic Records anthology, The Complete Atco Recordings. This unprecedented collection features her entire 1970 Atco album Turning Around (with the Grammy-nominated Top 10 R&B hit “She Didn’t Know (She Kept On Talking)”); three non-album singles (both “A” and “B” sides); eight tracks previously released on various compilations; and a treasure trove of twelve previously unissued tracks from Atlantic’s vaults, all remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision. The liner notes by reissue producer David Nathan include quotes from Dee Dee, who passed away in October 2008, leaving behind a great legacy of some of the best soul music ever recorded.
One of the pioneering girl groups of the ’60s, The Shirelles (originally Shirley Alston nee Owens, Doris Coley, Micki Harris and Beverly Lee) were the mainstay act at New York-based Scepter Records for a number of years, scoring hits with such classic songs as “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (considered the first No. 1 single by a girl group), “Dedicated to the One I Love,” “Baby It’s You” and “Soldier Boy” (another No. 1 single). In 1966, Coley left, and two years later, the group’s tenure with Scepter ended with dueling lawsuits. But the group “soldiered” on; working with producer Randy Irwin and arranger George Andrews, the trio of Alston, Harris and Lee recorded for Blue Rock, Bell and United Artists over a three-year period before signing with RCA Records in 1971. Their initial release for RCA was the album Happy and in Love, which included a few tracks (e.g. a version of The Royalettes’ hit “It’s Gonna Take a Miracle”) previously released during the group’s short stays at Bell and United Artists. In 1972, RCA issued a self-titled follow-up LP which consisted almost entirely of contemporaneous covers of songs like Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” a Marvin Gaye medley (“Mercy Mercy Me,” “Inner City Blues” and “What’s Going On,” arranged by Motown’s David Van De Pitte, who had worked on the original versions with Gaye), Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” and three Carole King compositions. Real Gone’s twofer title The Shirelles: Happy and in Love/Shirelles marks the worldwide CD debut for both albums; the release also includes three non-album RCA singles as bonus tracks and liner notes by renowned UK writer David Cole with interview quotes from Shirley Alston. Remastered at Battery Studios in New York – another soulful collaboration between Real Gone Music and SoulMusic Records.
All titles above are due on July 29, along with Peggy Lipton’s The Complete Ode Recordings and The Dream Academy’s previously-announced The Morning Lasted All Day – A Retrospective. You can order all of them at the links below!
Real Gone Music July 29 Release Schedule
Cass Elliot, Don’t Call Me Mama Anymore Plus Rarities – Her Final Recordings (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )