Continuing their tradition of themed compilations, featuring a CD of songs based around a topic, Bear Family Records has followed up last year’s Another Banana Split Please with a collection entitled Good Old Summertime.
Gladly received at the time of publication, this compilation brings the sunshine from track one, and while the sun shines outside seems the best time to appreciate this.
With tracks covering most of the 1950s and early 60s, there is a pleasing mix of doo-wop, rock’n’roll, smooth soul, R&B and crooners here.
There are familiar names aplenty, including Dean Martin, The Andrews Sisters, Debbie Reynolds and Jerry Lee Lewis.
As we have come to expect from Bear Family Records, the accompanying booklet is impressive. With details on each artist and their track on the compilation, along with photos and theme-appropriate images, there are 23 glossy pages to devour.
- Evelyn Knight & The Stardusters – Powder Your Face With Sunshine
- Derrell Felts – It’s A Great Big Day
- Toni Dee – June, July And August
- Gene & Billy – It’s Hot
- Pee Wee Crayton – Rockin’ The Blues
- The Dovells – Summer Job
- The Del Vikings – The Sun
- Gerald Sims – Cool Breeze
- Now That Summer Is Here
- Joe Jones – California Sun
- The Charades – Surf N’ Stomp
- The Pyramids – Bikini Drag
- Annette Funicello – Bikini Beach Party
- Andrea Carroll – Please Don’t Talk To The Lifeguard
- The Andrews Sisters – Her Bathing Suit Never Got Wet
- Dick Glasser (A.K.A Dick Lory) – Jeannie’s Bikini
- Edmundo Ros & His Orchestra – Summertime
- Debbie Reynolds – Summer Romance
- Jimmy Daley & The Ding-A-Lings (Kip Tyler) Summer Love
- Richard Barrett & The Chantels – Summer Love
- The Sh-Booms – Short Skirts
- The Shades Feat. The Knott Sisters – Sun Glasses
- Jerry Lee Lewis – Milkshake Mademoiselle
- Don Carroll – Seven Up And Ice Cream Soda
- Lorrae Desmond – Soda Pop Hop
- Jan Raye Quartet Feat. Lilyann – Soda Pop
- Donny Baker With The Dimensionals – Drinkin’ Pop-Sodee Odee (Pop Pop)
- Dean Martin – In The Cool, Cool, Cool Of The Evening
- The Four Mints – Night Air
- Mel Torme – Midnight Cocktail
- Joey Welz & His Rock-A-Billy Piano – Shore Party
- King Curtis & The Noble Knights – Beach Party
- The Kirby Stone Four – In The Good Old Summertime
The addition of a couple of instrumental numbers to break up the consistent flavour of this compilation is welcome. Although after 33 tracks the sun theme feels a little tired, the feeling of cohesion style-wise does overcome this issue.
The sound quality on Good Old Summertime is as clear as Bear Family‘s usual high standard. A couple of tracks sound a little muffled and muddy, but the limitations of the original production techniques cannot always be overcome.
Overall, this compilation feels the strongest of Bear Family Records’ three summer-themed collections; the most consistent in terms of style and mood. A balmy treat that will bring summer indoors come rain or shine.