The original Dell Vikings were an interracial R&B group that was formed at the Air Force Serviceman's Club in Pittsburgh. This set includes their biggest Top 10 Pop hits ("Come Go With Me", "Whispering Bells") plus many unreleased tracks including outtakes, alternate takes, audition tapes, and acappella versions of songs.
Includes outtakes and audition recordings.
Personnel: Clarence E. Quick, William Blakely, Norman Wright, Gus Backus, David Lerchey, Arthur Budd, Ed Everette, Joey Biscoe, Don Jackson (vocals).
Liner Note Author: Ronnie I.
Unknown Contributor Role: The Del Vikings.
This really isn't for collectors only -- it is the only single collection of the group's stuff that shows the full range of this sadly underrated vocal group. As it is, its mere existence as a mid-priced double CD, alongside the presence of the two best-of compilations from MCA and Mercury, makes collecting the best Dell Vikings material extremely complicated. Collectables Records got access to the complete recordings that the original group made for Fee Bee Records, which covers their history from 1956 through 1957, overlapping with the history of the Mercury version of the group. This includes the hit version of "Come Go With Me," as well as "Whispering Bells" (both of which appear on MCA's best-of in those very same versions) and their other early tracks. Collectables also got access to an extraordinary body of outtakes -- a magnificent fast version of "I'm Spinning" that's completely different from the version that appears on both the MCA and Mercury best-of discs. There are distinctive outtakes of "Willette" and oddities such as the Joey Biscoe single "What Made Maggie Run," on which the group sang backup in a hurried attempt to get them out before the public again after that first hit. More important are tracks like "Uh Uh Baby," a fast jump number that shows the group at about its rockingest and nimblest, with a killer guitar solo courtesy of Joe Lopes. Other highlights include radiant outtakes of "Girl, Girl" and "Cold Feet" (done a cappella), little snippets of session chatter (amazing the stuff survived 40 years), and rehearsal and audition versions of the group's songs and generally the fullest account possible of the history of the Fee Bee Records version of the group that you'll ever see. ~ Bruce Eder