Atlantic Documents Its R&B History
Elaborate New Reissue Series Traces 27 Years of Hits
BY NELSON GEORGE
Billboard Magazine – November 30, 1985
NEW YORK “Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974,” a set of seven double albums that will also be available in a special box, has been compiled by archivist Bob Porter and Atlantic a&r staffer Aziz Goksel under the direction of Atlantic’s co-founder and chairman Ahmet Ertegun. The individual albums will cost $10.98 and the boxed set approximately $75. The package opens with Joe Morris’ “Lowe Groovin’ “from 1947 and ends 186 songs later in 1974 with Major Harris’ “Love Won’t Let Me Wait.” In between, the records contain, in chronological order, most of Atlantic’s major hits of the last 27 years, including 15 from the Drifters (five of them with Clyde McPhatter on lead vocals), 13 from Ray Charles, nine from Joe Turner, eight from Aretha Franklin, seven each from Otis Redding and Ruth Brown, five from Wilson Pickett, and selections from such other artists as Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway, La Vern Baker, the Spinners, Sam & Dave and Solomon Burke. Among the inspired one-shots found throughout the collection are King Floyd’s “Groove Me,” Beginning Of The End’s “Funky Nassau (Parts 1 & 2),” Arthur Conley’s “Sweet Soul Music,” Brook Benton’s “Rainy Night In Georgia,” Nat Kendricks & the Swans’ “(Do The) Mashed Potatoes,” Willie Tee’s “Teasin’ You,” the Ikettes’ “I’m Blue (The Gong-Gong Song),” and Atlantic session pianist Harry Van Walls’ “Tee Nah Nah.” The idea for this historic compilation came from members of Atlantic’s sales department, who approached the label about getting back in the catalog business. According to Goksel, the original plan was to reissue “The History Of Rhythm & Blues,” a 1968 set…”
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