Unknown Contributor Roles: Chuck Berry; Don Julian; Etta James; Jimmy Reed; Johnnie & Joe; Oscar McLollie & His Honey Jumpers; Paul Anka; Santo & Johnny; Shirley & Lee; Sonny Knight; The Five Satins; The Medallions ; The Mello-Kings; The Moonglows ; The Penguins; The Teen Queens; Buddy Holly; The Cadets.
The granddaddy of '50s and '60s rock and pop collections, Oldies But Goodies, Vol. 1 made its way to CD in 1987, when the technology used to transfer music from vinyl to compact disc was still rough enough that the compilation's sound quality suffered. Especially when compared to collections of remastered original recordings, this album's versions of the Moonglows' "Sincerely" and the Penguins' "Earth Angel" are muffled and muddy. While Oldies But Goodies, Vol. 1's sound may suffer, its track listing still stands head and shoulders above many of the collections that were released in its wake. Buddy Holly's "That'll Be the Day," Chuck Berry's "Maybellene," Lloyd Price's "Stagger Lee," and Paul Anka's "Put Your Head on My Shoulder" are some of the classics featured here, but fans of relatively lesser-known doo wop will also find a lot to like in Don Julian & the Meadowlarks' "Heaven and Paradise" and the Medallions' "The Letter." Santo & Johnny's "Sleepwalk" and Etta James' "Dance With Me Henry" are two of the compilation's other highlights. A collection with better sound quality might be a better investment, but Oldies But Goodies, Vol. 1 still has enough good songs that it hasn't been rendered completely obsolete. ~ Heather Phares