- Released: September 25, 2006
- Originally Released: 2006
- Label: Abkco
- 2.Ninety-Nine Ways
- 4.Just Lookin'
- 6.Wanderin' Eyes
- 7.I Love You So Much It Hurts
- 8.Cool Baby
- 9.You Got A Heart Like A Rock
- 10.Baby You've Changed
- 11.Yea, Yea (I'm In Love With You)
- 12.Snuggle Up Baby
- 14.Crazy Girl
- 15.Dressin' Up
- 16.Love Bird
- 18.Butterfly (Demo)
- 19.Ninety-Nine Ways (Demo)
- 20.I'm So Glad It's You
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Personnel: Charlie Gracie (guitar); Billy LaPatta (ukulele); Dan Dailey (saxophone, background vocals); Chick Muscemeci (tuba); Bernie Lowe (piano); Jerry Kilgore (drums); Dave Appell, Blanche Norton, Bill Shimmins, Vivian Dix, Joe Macho (background vocals).
Recording information: New York, NY (12/30/1956-??/??/1958); Philadelphia, PA (12/30/1956-??/??/1958); Reco-Art Sound Recording, Philadelphia, PA (12/30/1956-??/??/1958).
Charlie Gracie is usually categorized as a rockabilly singer, though his style was a far cry from the frantic wailing of Charlie Feathers, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, or the other true masters of the form. Gracie had great pipes and could make with a variety of vocal acrobatics in the rockabilly manner, but his material had a polish that was akin to the later teen idols who came out of his home town of Philadelphia, and his records lack the giddy danger of the Southern masters, instead suggesting a place where benign teen pop tried to catch up to what Elvis brought to the charts. Despite all this, Gracie made some fine records during his brief fling with fame, and this disc features 20 sides committed to tape during his tenure with Cameo Records in the 1950s, where he enjoyed his biggest hits. While Gracie would have been served better with more songs like the Elvis-styled "Fabulous," the easy but energetic "Cool Baby," and the swaggering "Just Looking," even glossier and less rockin' tunes such as "Butterfly," "Plaything," and "Yea Yea (I'm in Love with You)" make it clear this guy was miles ahead of Pat Boone, Fabian, and other pretty boys who were starting to clutter the charts around the same time. Given Cameo-Parkway's longtime embargo on CD releases, this is the first digital-era collection of Charlie Gracie's best and best-known work, and while this confirms he wasn't a major artist, there is some pleasing first-era rock to be heard here, and one imagines Gracie could have stayed in the spotlight a few years longer if he'd gotten the treatment his voice deserved. ~ Mark Deming
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CHARLIE GRACIE-PHILLY'S FIRST ROCK N ROLL STAR
Music Lover: JIM BUCHANAN
POCOPSON PARK, PA.
-- November, 6, 2006
KUDOS TO ABKCO FOR THIS LONG-AWAITED RELEASE.
CHARLIE WAS ARGUABLLY THE ARTIST WITH THE MOST TALENT ON THE CAMEO-PARKWAY LABEL---A FINE GUITARIST AND VERSATILE VOCALIST. JUST ASK THE LIKES OF PAUL McCARTNEY, VAN MORRISON OR GRAHAM NASH--ALL OF WHOM CREDIT HIM.
I WAS BLOWN AWAY BY THE SOUND QUALITY OF ALL THE SONGS--ESPECIALLY THE UNRELESED TUNES LIKE SNUGGLE-UP BABY, TOOTSIE, BABY YOU'VE CHANGED AND YEA YEA. GREAT TO HEAR THE ORIGINAL DEMOS OF BUTTERFLY AND NINETY-NINE WAYS-THE TWO HITS THAT STARTED CAMEO-PARKWAY'S LONG RUN.
THANKS ABKCO! J.B.
- Sales Rank: 9,943
- UPC: 018771923824
- Shipping Weight: 0.21/lbs (approx)
- International Shipping: 1 item