Art Laboe's Dedicated to You, Vol. 9

Art Laboe is a legendary DJ who came to prominence in the '50s in Los Angeles playing doo wop and R&B. He became a promoter, club owner, and syndicated radio star, and his Killer Oldies show is still going strong. He is also a label proprietor with Original Sounds. The label's Dedicated to You series is made up of ballads, dance tracks, and classic sides from the '50s to the '80s. The wide range of songs makes for a sometimes disjointed listening experience, as not all the segues between eras make sense. Still, a lot of fine R&B, soul, girl group sounds, and funk are included here, and will make you want to dance and reminisce. The highlights of this volume are Peaches & Herb's "I Pledge My Love," Mary Wells' "Two Lovers," Joe Bataan's "My Cloud," and Foxy's "I Like the Way You Love Me." Just that brief list of songs should give you an idea of how broad the scope of the series is. It is certainly a wild ride that takes you from the doo wop of the Notations to the smooth '70s Smokey Robinson, and credit goes to Laboe for making it a ride worth taking. Just make sure the inclusion of Tommy James' "Crystal Blue Persuasion" doesn't give you whiplash. ~ Tim Sendra

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