- Released: May 27, 2008
- Originally Released: 2008
- Label: Collectables Records
Description by OLDIES.com:
In the early days of the Rock and Roll era, anything was possible. In 1956, an aspiring songwriter and former security guard from New York City, Zell Sanders, began mentoring and managing the vocal group, The Hearts. A year later, she formed her own record company, J&S. Assisting in the running of the company was her daughter Johnnie Louise. Soon Mrs. Sanders put together the creative nucleus of Rex Garvin, a pianist and songwriter, and Joe Rivers, a young singer. Zell then suggested Johnnie add her voice to the project, and the duo of Johnnie and Joe was formed.
They quickly achieved success on the R & B scene with their first record "Feel Alright." They began to be courted by the legendary Leonard Chess of Chicago-based Chess Records to become artists for his company. He released their next 45 "I'll Be Spinning."
But it would be their next single release that would guarantee their place in Rock and Roll history. "Over The Mountain, Across The Sea," released on J&S and licensed to Chess for national distribution, reached Number Eight on the pop charts in the summer of 1957. The song was loved by the general public and disc jockeys as well. In 1960, Johnnie and Joe sang "Over The Mountain" on Dick Clark's "American Bandstand," helping the re-release of the single to chart again in the Top 100.
Many of the other songs on this CD retrospective were released on both J&S and Chess, and in the case of "Who Do You Love," on George Goldner's Gone record company.
Johnnie and Joe continued recording songs and releasing them as 45s throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s, with singles appearing on ABC-Paramount and Abner Spector's Tuff record label, as well as continuing to appear on J&S and Chess.
The pop music world changed radically in the late 1960s, but Johnnie and Joe continued to release the occasional single. Johnnie also had a few solo releases appearing on her mother's Zell record label. With rediscovery of the great pioneers of rock and rhythm and blues in the 1980s, Johnnie and Joe reunited in 1982 for their first LP platter on the Ambient Sound label, the critically acclaimed "Kingdom of Love" (rereleased on Collectables COL-CD-7844). Johnnie and Joe made heartfelt music that resonated with Rhythm and Blues fans around the world. Here are some of their best recordings.
- 1.Over The Mountain, Across The Sea
- 2.Over The Mountain, Across The Sea - Part 2
- 3.Why Oh Why
- 4.It Was There
- 5.Where Did She Go
- 6.I Adore You
- 7.If You Tell Me You're Mine
- 8.Warm, Soft And Lovely
- 9.Why Do You Hurt Me So
- 10.I Was So Lonely
- 12.Who Do You Love
- 13.Feel All Right (Feel Alright)
- 14.My Baby's Gone And Left Me
- 15.My Baby's Gone And Left Me (outtake)
- 16.False Love Has Got To Go
- 17.Jamaica Our Thing
- 18.Where Did She Go
- 19.There Goes My Heart
- 20.I Pray To Keep Our Love Strong
- 21.Make Up Your Mind
- 22.Speak Softly Angel
- 23.We Get That Feeling
- 24.You're The Loveliest Song I Ever Heard
- 25.Let Your Mind Do The Walking
- 26.Devil Souls Gone With Your Bad Self
- 27.You Can Always Count On Me
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Johnnie Louise Richardson and Joe Rivers were a duo from the Bronx whose music encompassed pop, doo wop, and R&B. Recording for the Chess label in the late 1950s and early '60s, they scored such hits as "Over the Mountain, Across the Sea" and "My Baby's Gone and Left Me." Those hits are included on the 27-track THE VERY BEST OF JOHNNIE & JOE, alongside a host of other early recordings that offers a vivid snapshot of an important transitional moment in American music.