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Lunch » Tags » Music » Reviews » The Golden Age of American Popular Music: Hard-to-Get Hot 100 Hits 1956-1965 » User review

A sensational collection of rare American pop hits from the 50's and 60's !

  • Dec 10, 2008
If you are a serious collector of American popular music then this is one disc that should really float your boat. "The Golden Age of American Popular Music" features a generous total of 28 great pop tunes culled from the Billboard Hot 100 between the years 1956 and 1965. You probably already own a few of them, have several of them on you own "want" list and may have never even heard of some of the others. As other reviewers have already indicated, Ace records has really outdone itself with this collection.
"The Golden Age of American Popular Music" contains a few hits by artists most of us over 50 are familiar with. You'll hear the great 1957 Johnny Mathis hit "It's Not For Me To Say" as well as the late Bobby Darin talkin' 'bout "Things". But mostly, you will get to hear songs by long forgotten artists who had relatively short careers or by those who only managed to crack the Top 100 once or twice. Remember the great Gene McDaniels? "Tower of Strength" was a huge hit for him in 1961. I had not heard it in years. Adam Wade was another very popular artist for a few years in the early 1960's. Enjoy once again his great hit "As If I Didn't Know". Yes, he does sound a lot like Johnny Mathis! If you love group harmony like I do then you are sure to enjoy the original version of "See You In September" by the Tempos, "Hey Little Girl" by the Techniques and "City of Angels" by the Highlights. Along those same lines I finally got to hear the Rover Boys hit recording of "Graduation Day" from back in 1956. Great version! There are also some real oddities on this disc not the least of which is a hit record by Tony "Norman Bates" Perkins. "Moonlight Swim" climbed all the way to #24 in 1957. And you also get to sample a solo hit by one Tony Orlando nearly a decade before the advent of his 1970's group Dawn. Check it out! Finally, I was introduced to 7 or 8 songs that I had never seen nor sampled before. Of these, I most particularly enjoyed the Quaker City Boys "Teasin" and Dicky Doo and the Don'ts "Leave Me Alone (Let Me Cry)". I have to tell you that this was one CD I just had lots of fun listening to.
"The Golden Age of American Popular Music" features a remarkable 16 page booklet that includes information on all of these artists. Everything about this disc is absolutely first rate. I don't believe I have ever been disappointed by anything I have ever purchased from Ace records over the past 20 years. Very highly recommended!

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Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #2
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
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It was always going to be a dangerous mission. Trevor Churchill's brainchild, THE GOLDEN AGE OF AMERICAN POP, had been in development for some time and the prototype was about to be launched into the fray with a bundle of seemingly undifferentiated repertoire. The potential embarrassment factor was high with risk of heavy flak on the way and snipers on the ground in the landing zone. Trevor was calling for volunteers. There was a lot of nervous shuffling among the ranks. Some of the lads took to studying their toecaps, while others took an inordinate interest in the state of their cuticles, or tried to look inconspicuous by melting into the background.

We say undifferentiated because Trevor believes there's a customer out there for every hit record that ever was. This time he'd set himself the difficult task of pigeonholing records from pop's ‘Golden Age' which stubbornly defied easy categorisation: they weren't quite novelties, not quite MOR, and, save for a few borderline cases, not quite Easy Listening. Most of records sounded a tad too grown up to appear on "Teenage Crush". This was pop so pure, plain and simple that even the driven snow appeared mucky by comparison. Hits that conjure up images of mom's apple pie, white picket fences, sunny dispositions, God, country and my baby, and all that.

Unchartered territory then, even by Ace's intrepid standards. But, as you all know, Ace likes to go where others fear to tread and with the help of a brave volunteer or two (step ...
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Performer: Various
Release Date: July 18, 2006
Label: Ace
Genre: Pop Vocal
Release Date: July 18, 2006
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