The Larks: Barbara Mason, Jackine Marshall, Vivian McDougal, Cleopatra McDougal, Irma Jackson, Phyllis Smith (vocals).
Personnel: Phyllis Smith, Barbara Mason (vocals).
Audio Remixer: Tom Moulton.
A comprehensive collection by the early-'50s' Larks, who are considered one of the top doo wop groups of all time. Westside Records didn't leave any significant tracks off this compilation of songs recorded during the two-year span the group was together. (They were issued, however, over a five-year period, from 1950 to 1955, by Apollo and Lloyd Records.) Embraced are their Apollo debut, "Coffee, Cigarettes and Tears," and "Hopefully Yours," a sweet ballad that was back-sided by member Eugene Mumford's "When I Leave These Prison Walls," written while he was incarcerated in a North Carolina prison for allegedly raping a white woman; he was pardoned in 1949 by the governor. Also on the project is "My Reverie," a classic ballad that demonstrates their advanced ballad skills; two takes of "Eyesight to the Blind," which made the national R&B chart; and the humorous "I Ain't Fattening Frogs for Snakes." ~ Andrew Hamilton