The Edsels - From Rama Lama Ding Dong To.
Reviewed by Jack, September 2023 Buy the album here: https://jasmine-records.co.uk/.../3721-the-edsels-from...
The Edsels were a Vocal Group who formed in Campbell Ohio the group are best remembered for their hit Rama Lama Ding Dong. This latest offering from the ever reliable Jasmine offers up recordings from 1957 to 1962. The group have not been served all that well in the digital era, the only CD of theirs I could find was one issued by the now legendary Relic label more than 30 years ago, now long out of print. Named after the Etsel car, the group consisted of; George Jones Jr (Lead Vocals) Larry Green (First Tenor) James Reynolds (Second Tenor) Harry Green (Baritone) & Marshall Sewell (Base.)
Rama Lama Ding Dong; defiantly the group’s most famous recording, & really the only one many, including yours truly, would know. Originally recorded in 1957, & released on the Small Dub label in 1958, the track initially did very little. However, in 1961, the track was played by a DJ in Segway with current hit Blue Moon by The Marcels. Reissued on Twin Records, it became a hit for the group, making it a US top thirty hit in 1961. Justifiably remains one of the classic Doo-Wop songs of the 1950s. Two interesting points; First pressings of the Dub 45 issue mispressed the label so it read Lama Rama Ding Dong. Second, British music lovers may well remember the UK top 20 hit scored by Rocky Sharp & The Replays in 1979, a faithful but fairly good version.
Bells; now for the rest of the disc, we get to see if the group can live up to their one big hit. This was the flip of Rama Lama Ding Dong, on both Dub & Twin. It’s a nice Doo-Wop ballad, making it a good choice to go with the uptempo side.
Rinka Dinky Do; Next we have a Roulette 45 from 1959. It’s a decent enough mid-tempo groover that’s just a little bit Bluesy. It has a decent Sax solo.
Do You Love Me; the flip of the above, it’s not the classic hit by The Contours. Instead, it’s instead, it’s a typical Doo-Wop ballad. Nice.
Don’t Know What To Do; Next we come to a pair of tracks that made up a 45 on the Tammy label in 1960. This is a great bouncy uptempo number about lost love.
What Brought Us Together; This is a really nice ballad with nice echo vocals. It reminds me of Jerry Butler & The Impressions For Your Precious Love.
Bone Shaker Joe; now we come to both sides of a Capital 45 from 1961. This is a really decent slice of Black Rock & Roll. Given the title, it has the expected silly lyrics which often makes Rockin’ music so much fun to listen to.
My Jealous One; This is a standard Rocker Ballad, again it’s a little Bluesy.
Three Precious Words; We’re back to Tammy Records for this next pair. Three Precious Words is a great Proto-Soul George Jr gives a great Soulful vocal, as he did on What Brought Us Together.
Let’s Go; how many songs have had this title, or uttered this classic phrase. This is a Nic piece of Uptempo R&B, with great powerful vocals & sax blowing.
My Whispering Heart; We now have a coupling from the Dot label, released in December 1961. Here we have a great slice of uptempo Doo-Wop.
Could It Be Me?; this has to be my favourite track on the whole CD. It’s a stunningly. Beautiful ballad about the uncertainties of love. George Jr isn’t feeling the spark with his lover, & wonders if it’s down to him or if it’s because she doesn’t really love him. Tragic stuff which should have appealed to teenagers suffering their first heartbreak in the early 60s.
Shake Shake Sherry; We’re back to Capital for this next twosome. Shake Shake Sherry is the only other track by the Edsel’s that I’d actually heard of. Giving it a listen, it’s a great early 60s dance number, fans of Chubby checker & Gary US Bonds should find much to enjoy here.
If Your Pillow Could Talk; we’re back to a more romantic feel with this one. It’s a decent track, where the Edsels are attempting, & succeeding it has to be said, to sound a lot like Ben E King era Drifters. This track has a Save The Last Dance For Me feel. It’s hardly surprising as The Drifters were doing very well on both the R&B & Pop Charts at this time.
Don’t You Feel: We finish off with a single, again on Capital, released in 1962. Don’t You Feel is an enjoyable early 60s Uptempo Vocal Group number.
Shaddy Daddy Dip Dip: we close with another favourite discovery from this group. This is a great piece of early 60s Crossover R&B come Soul, & will appeal to fans of records like Catch That Teardrop by The 5 Royals & Earthquake by Roy Hamilton.
To conclude, I rather enjoyed this CD. At only 16 tracks, the disc doesn’t outstay its welcome. Whilst there aren’t too many truly great tracks, there are no duds either & everything is perfectly enjoyable. Fans of Vocal Group & Doo Woo music, who don’t have the previous Relic disc, should find much to enjoy here. I will say that the Relic disc has more tracks, so this is by no means their complete works. But as I said previous, the Relic CD is deleted & may prove costly to obtain, especially in the UK. At £10, the Jasmine offers a cheaper & easier option. Also, Both discs have exclusive tracks, so even if you have one, you could do worse than buy the other.