Includes a 52 page booklet.
Personnel: Allen Toussaint (vocals, guitar, piano); Sylvia Vanderpool, Mickey Baker, Sylvia Robinson (vocals, guitar); Brook Benton (whistling); Chuck Wayne, Danny Perri, Eric Gale , Everett Barksdale, Charles Macey, Robert Bushnell, Kenny Burrell, Roy Gaines (guitar); George Barnes (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Morris Lefkowitz, Ralph Silverman, Harry Melnikoff, Felix Orlewitz, Linda Barnett, Frank Siegried, Ben Miller , Samuel Rand, Alfred Brown , Harry Katzman (violin); Richard Dickler, Selwart Clarke (viola); Lucian A. Schmitt, Sidney Edwards, Maurice Brown , Eddie Sodero, Seymour Barab, Harvey Shapiro , George Ricci (cello); Seldon Powell (flute, saxophone); Eric Dixon , Phil Bodner (woodwinds); Haywood Henry (saxophone, baritone saxophone); George Shaw , Sam "The Man" Taylor , Budd Johnson (saxophone); Jimmy Castor, Lee Allen (tenor saxophone); Alvin Taylor, Alonzo Buddy Lucas, Alvin "Red" Taylor, Mel Tax (baritone saxophone); Irwin "Marky" Markowitz, James Jordan , Taft Jordan, Melvin Lastie, Dick Vance (trumpet); Henderson Chambers, Jimmy Cleveland, Lawrence Brown (trombone); Philip Cadway (tuba); Bert de Coteau, Herman Foster, Ernie Hayes (piano); Bernard "Pretty" Purdie (drums, tambourine); Dave Bailey , Joseph Marshall, Charles "Hungry" Williams , Sticks Evans, Panama Francis, Charles Williams (drums); Ray Barretto, Willie Rodriguez (congas); Phil Kraus (bongos, percussion); Bill Cook (washboard).
Audio Mixer: Bill Lacey.
Liner Note Authors: Colin Escott; Norbert Hess.
Recording information: Beltone Recording Studios, New York, NY (06/08/1955-01/13/1965); N (06/08/1955-01/13/1965); New Orleans, LA77RCA Victor Studio B, New York, NY (06/08/1955-01/13/1965); RCA Victor Studio C, New York, NY (06/08/1955-01/13/1965).
Photographers: Colin Escott; Michael Ochs; Richard Ihnaton Wiez; Norbert Hess; Dave Booth.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Ernie Royal; Maurice Brown ; Willie Rodriguez; Carl Lynch.
This two-CD, 60-song (!) set includes many alternate takes and a fair amount of previously unreleased material, spanning 1955 to 1964. A lot of the obscurities are in the close-harmony, doo wop vein, and are disappointingly short on verbal sparring and scorching Baker guitar. Lovingly packaged, this will delight hardcore specialists; casual fans should stick with the RCA compilation. ~ Richie Unterberger