Let the Good Times Roll: 20 of New Orleans' Finest R&B Classics 1949-1966

This single-disc volume is among the inaugural releases in Capitol/EMI's Crescent City Soul series, and is aimed at giving well-deserved props to soul, R&B, and funk pioneers from New Orleans, while reissuing long forgotten and likewise out of print singles from the burgeoning pop music genre. As the moniker suggests, Let the Good Times Roll: 20 of New Orleans' Finest R&B Classics 1949-1966 highlights the biggest hits of the era -- a few of which make their CD debut here. Although arguably glossed over as a center of soul music when compared to Detroit (Motown), Memphis (Stax) or Chicago (Chess), there were more than a few sizable sides emanating from folks in bayou country. New Orleans also sported their fair share of labels such as Imperial, Minit, Aladdin, and A.F.O. (aka "All for One"). It was these decidedly hip imprints that would define the seminal days of the Crescent City rhythm & blues scene. They were not only regionally successful, but consistently issuing chart-topping side after chart-topping side from the likes of the frantic Little Richard ("Long Tall Sally" to the swinging Barbara George ("I Know (You Don't Want Me No More)") to the sublime Aaron Neville ("Tell It Like It Is") and touching upon most bases in between. This collection, however, delves far beyond the hits, offering up lesser recognized, yet no less influential contributions from his most eminent Professor Longhair ("Mardi Gras in New Orleans"), Earl King ("Trick Bag"), and Ruth Durand, whose "I'm Wise" directly inspired (read: was ripped off by) Little Richard on his hit "Slippin' and Slidin." The significance of minor classics such as "Come On (Pts. 1&2)" -- another Earl King composition -- would reverberate into the psyche of rock & roll fans via Jimi Hendrix who picked it up from famed session guitarist Alvin Robinson. ~ Lindsay Planer

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