jueves, 16 de abril de 2009

Shirley Gunter: Oop Shoop - The Flair and Modern Recordings (1953-1957)

Shirley Gunter was one of the first women in Rock & Roll and helped to pave the way for other women to lead their own groups. Like Wanda Jackson, Etta James, LaVerne Baker, Esther Phillips, and Brenda Lee, she was a pioneer. Gunter and her vocal group, the Queens, came together in Los Angeles in the spring of 1954. They were initially spotted by Joe Bihari one night at Savoy Ballroom, sharing the stage with B.B. King, Johnny Otis, the Platters, the Lamplighters, and Marvin & Johnny. Bihari brought Shirley and group to the studios, producing ‘Oop Shoop,’ which made a huge impact on the West Coast, entering the R&B charts and rising to #8. Between 1954 and 1955, the Queens toured the U.S., but subsequent singles failed to do as well as their initial release and, before the end of 1955, they officially split. Shirley carried on as a solo performer, signing to Buck Ram's Personality Productions. In 1956, at the urging of Ram, Gunter joined Modern's Flairs, partnering up with brother Cornell Gunter. Shirley's first Modern single with her brother's group, 'Headin' Home,' sold in a few markets, and they toured the East Coast, but overall nothing clicked. By 1958 Shirley Gunter, a veteran of four years in the R&B limelight, left the music business, returning only periodically. This collection features every single recording that Shirley made for Modern and Flair, and 2 later singles notwithstanding, pretty much represents her recording career in total. Most of these 26 tracks have never been reissued on digital, and four have never been issued at all. ‘Oop Shoop’ itself - along with its B-side, 'It's You' - is a bona fide Rock & Roll Hall of Fame classic, and the rest of the tracks here, the emphasis for which is very definitely on the upbeat, are not even slightly shabby by comparison. http://www.allmusic.com/, http://www.electricearl.com/

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