Your On-The-Hour Man: Modern, Dolphin and Downey Recordings

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Although he gained some notoriety for his 1952 R&B novelty hit "Goodbye Baby" (included here), otherwise Little Caesar is a forgotten figure even throughout much of the '50s R&B collector world. He's also eternally bound to be confused with the entirely different guy who was the lead singer of Little Caesar & the Romans, the doo wop group who had a 1961 hit with "Those Oldies But Goodies." The Little Caesar who's the focus of this compilation was a rather typical early-'50s West Coast R&B vocalist, this CD gathering 26 sides (a few of them previously unreleased) he recorded for various labels. But while much of this is reminiscent of the sort of ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Although he gained some notoriety for his 1952 R&B novelty hit "Goodbye Baby" (included here), otherwise Little Caesar is a forgotten figure even throughout much of the '50s R&B collector world. He's also eternally bound to be confused with the entirely different guy who was the lead singer of Little Caesar & the Romans, the doo wop group who had a 1961 hit with "Those Oldies But Goodies." The Little Caesar who's the focus of this compilation was a rather typical early-'50s West Coast R&B vocalist, this CD gathering 26 sides (a few of them previously unreleased) he recorded for various labels. But while much of this is reminiscent of the sort of average R&B West Coast singers who sang in a Charles Brown style, there's a twist in that Little Caesar had a bent for slightly morbid, even slightly ghoulish material. Never was that more evident than in "Goodbye Baby," where he shoots a hysterical cheating woman and then turns the gun on himself -- a scenario that would be dismissed as being in unutterably bad taste in most eras, but one that did well enough for the artist back in 1952. "Lying Woman" (credited to Little Caesar & Rusty) is another pretty outrageous cheating vignette, though played for far less violent laughs. You also get the odd mise-en-scène of hearing him croon rather straightforwardly through an ode to "Atomic Love," as though he's heedless of the more ominous implications of comparing his love to that of the then-new atom bomb. Though the other tracks tend not to be as oddball, there are more frequent than usual allusions to ghosts, death, violence, and depression than is customary for the genre. Little Caesar might not have been nearly as outrageous in these departments as Screamin' Jay Hawkins was, but he nonetheless qualifies as a vague ancestor of sorts to that rock & roll madman, his more eccentric qualities amplified by his rather gloomy vocal delivery and the eerie lo-fi production of some of his sides. For that reason, this is a little more interesting than the usual collection of material by an obscure '50s R&B vocalist of average talents, though he did his share of fairly straightforward jump blues and ballads, too. Though over half the disc features tracks he cut in the early '50s (usually for the Recorded in Hollywood label), it also has four he recorded as a member of the Bay Area R&B vocal group the Turbans, as well as seven he did around 1960 for the Downey label in a notably deepened, more weatherbeaten vocal timbre and more pronounced rock & roll-influenced feel.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/12/2008
  • Label: Ace Records Uk
  • UPC: 029667033527
  • Catalog Number: 1193
  • Sales rank: 317,618

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Little Caesar Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Leon René Composer
David Block Composer
John Dolphin Composer
Jack Stern Composer
Ferdinand Washington Composer
Que Martyn Composer
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