It had really reached the point where I thought that I would never live to see the day. For more than three decades and for reasons that are still unclear, Allen B. Klein, owner of the Cameo-Parkway catalog, had kept all of these recordings off the market. Collectors simply could not understand what was going on. Being unable to purchase the original recordings of popular 1960's artists like Bobby Rydell and Chubby Checker left a huge void in many collections. Finally, in the spring of 2005, Klein saw fit to release the four disc box set "Cameo-Parkway: 1957-1967" and collectors like myself jumped for joy! The box set featured a total of 115 tunes from just about all of the Cameo-Parkway roster of artists many of which could not be found anywhere at any price. However, for many casual collectors of 1960's rock and roll this set was probably more than they wanted or needed. So in October 2006 the aforementioned Allen B. Klein decided to release this single 25 track disc. Smart move. "Cameo Parkway: The Greatest Hits: features 25 chartbusters from the heyday of the Cameo Parkway family of labels. If you happened to grow up in the early 1960's you are sure to have fond memories of the many dance crazes that marked the period. Here is a great opportunity to once again enjoy Chubby Checker's phenomenal recording of "The Twist" which had the distinction of being a #1 hit in the summer of 1960 and managed to hit the top of the Billboard charts again when it was re-released just a year and a half later. This collection also includes the follow-up to "The Twist". "Let's Twist Again' remains my choice for the best dance record ever made. And while you're at it give a listen to some of the other dance records that kids were movin' and a-groovin' to during those years such as The Dovell's doing "The Bristol Stomp", Bobby Rydell's "The Cha-Cha-Cha" and Dee Dee Sharpe's "Mashed Potato Time". Fans of 60's pop are sure to enjoy a pair of memorable tunes from The Tymes. "So Much In Love" went all the way to the top of the charts in the summer of '63 and the follow-up "Wonderful, Wonderful" was a huge hit later that same year. Doo-wop fans will certainly enjoy hearing the Rays 1957 hit "Silhouettes". Add to that Charlie Gracie's "Butterfly" and the Orlons bouncy recording of "Don't Hang Up" and you can easily see why this is a disc you are sure to play again and again. "Cameo-Parkway: The Greatest Hits" comes with a thoughtfully done booklet featuring notes on every one of the recordings in this collection. I found the sound quality to be outstanding. If you are considering purchasing this collection I would strongly recommend that you grab it right away. Given the history of the Cameo-Parkway catalog there is no way of knowing just how long this collection might remain available. The bottom line is that this is a highly enjoyable disc that I am very pleased to recommend.
What did you think of this review?
Fun to Read
About the reviewer
Paul Tognetti (drifter51)
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.
Parkway and Cameo were two Philly-based labels which, in the late 1950s and early '60s, released some of the finest rock-and-roll and r&b of the era. Sadly, the labels tanked in the mid-'60s, and most of the material never saw the light of day again. However in 2005, ABKCO Records began the major project of re-releasing the best of Cameo-Parkway's huge artist roster.
This hits package gathers the best of the best. Classic early-rock numbers like Chubby Checker's "Let's Twist Again," Dee Dee Sharp's "Mashed Potato Time," and ? & the Mysterians' "96 Tears" are highlights, but 22 other dance-happy tracks round out the picture and provide a nice sampling of the upbeat Cameo-Parkway sound.