The Sweethearts of the Blues

The Sweethearts of the Blues

by Shirley & LeeShirley & Lee

CD(Box Set)

1 New & Used Starting at $147.40


Many folks only know New Orleans R&B through the teenage singing and songwriting duo of Shirley Goodman and Leonard Lee, who penned and recorded the definitive version of the most explosive party tune of all time (with the possible exception of "Great Balls of Fire" that came six years later), "Let the Good Times Roll." Given the fact that this box set is four CDs in length, anyone who believes that Shirley & Lee were mainly responsible for that smash hit alone have incomplete knowledge of the duo. Here are 113 performances that include all of their singles, outtakes, albums, and unreleased and rehearsal tracks, which serve not only as a chronology of the pair's contribution to the Crescent City's R&B tradition, but as a portrait of the studio scene and its players who were already changing musical history. This set has all the chapters of their "Sweethearts of the Blues" story on disc one and then gets deep into their scorching, risqué, utterly moving, and joyous R&B tracks. The "Sweethearts of the Blues" moniker was concocted by Aladdin, their label, as a way of getting regional fame based upon the success of their first single, "Sweethearts" and "I'm Gone." When they had the "Sweethearts" angle in place, Shirley & Lee began to write songs to match the chapters in a love affair. With "I'm Gone," the first chapter was written; next came "Shirley, Come Back to Me," which was followed by "Shirley's Back" (the alternate take of which is the better of the two), "So in Love," "The Time Has Come," "I Love You So," "The Proposal," and "Two Happy People," before Lee got sick of it and wrote "Lee Goofed." The folks in New Orleans and throughout the regional South followed the pair's antics on record and Aladdin's scheme worked. Shirley & Lee even had a stage routine to go with the songs! This set documents Shirley & Lee's regional successes and their gradual national buildup, which broke down popular culture's door nationwide with "Let the Good Times Roll." Finally, the appeal of the pair was noticed in terms of the raw excitement they provided. The record broke out of New Orleans like a rocket and didn't stop for years. DJs everywhere were playing the hell out of it until about 1960, four years after it was released! The pair's edgy, sharp voices enunciated perfectly above the crackling din of the Crescent City's finest musicians. And that's the other part of the story -- that many players, such as Dave Bartholomew (who first recorded them commercially), Earl Palmer, Alvin "Red" Tyler, Lee Allen, James Booker, Frank Fields, Herbert Hardesty, Wardell Quezergue, and many others played on dozens of these records. Bartholomew, Palmer, Tyler, and Allen appear on almost everything here! The cream of the crop in New Orleans backed these two singer/songwriters. And as a unit, the combination was unbeatable, as the Aladdin, Warwick, and Imperial sides all attest. Just check the deep horn section swing on "When I Saw You," or hear Allen check out of the stratosphere on "The Reason Why" and "Why Did I," or Booker's flailing arpeggios on "Honey Bee." When listening to this box, a foggy part of American musical history begins to reveal itself, the other side of the rock & roll coin that white American was obsessed with in Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and fakes like Pat Boone and Frankie Avalon. This is the other side, a musically diverse and challenging catalog that drove black audiences wild all over America under the noises of white kids who would have flipped if they'd only had the opportunity to hear Shirley & Lee. New Orleans, being what it is, would probably have remained unchanged, but it might have gotten a different kind of attention for its musical wealth in the same way that Memphis did, where its musicians would be regarded as kings throughout the rest of the world -- and not just among other musicians. But these are all big "ifs." Shirley & Lee created an atmosphere conducive to asking those kinds of questions while listening, but this collection does plenty more -- for starters, it makes you get your damn shoes off, take your loved one in your arms, and begin to slip and shimmy all over the floor until.... There is no higher tribute for great R&B music than to inspire people to dance and to get busy, and this music certainly does that.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/08/1997
Label: Bear Family
UPC: 4000127159601
catalogNumber: 15960


Disc 1

  1. Sweethearts
  2. I'm Gone
  3. The Real Thing
  4. Korea
  5. Baby
  6. Shirley, Come Back to Me
  7. Shirley's Back
  8. Shirley's Back
  9. Why Did I?
  10. So in Love
  11. So in Love
  12. The Reason Why
  13. The Time Has Come
  14. I Love You So
  15. The Proposal
  16. Two Happy People
  17. Lee Goofed
  18. Every Fool Has His Day
  19. Down in My Heart
  20. Keep On
  21. Confessin'
  22. When the Sun Goes Down
  23. Tryin' to Fool Me
  24. Rumors Blue
  25. Comin' Over
  26. Takes Money
  27. I Didn't Want You
  28. You'd Be Thinking of Me
  29. I'll Thrill You

Disc 2

  1. Feel So Good
  2. Lee's Dream
  3. I'll Do It (Deed I Do)
  4. Tell Me So
  5. That's What I'll Do
  6. A Little Word
  7. Let the Good Times Roll
  8. Do You Mean to Hurt Me So
  9. Everything (When I Saw You)
  10. We Will Be Forever Happy
  11. I Feel Good
  12. That's What I Wanna Do
  13. Now That's Over
  14. Everything (When I Saw You)
  15. I Want to Dance
  16. Marry Me
  17. Before I Go
  18. Don't You Know I Love You
  19. Rock All Night
  20. Rockin' with the Clock
  21. The Flirt
  22. Love No One But You
  23. Live on the Farm
  24. Everybody's Rockin'
  25. Don't Leave Me Here to Cry
  26. Come on and Have Your Fun
  27. All I Want to Do Is Cry
  28. True Love (Never Dies)
  29. When Day Is Done
  30. So Tired

Disc 3

  1. Let the Good Times Roll
  2. Shirley, Come Back to Me
  3. Like You Used to Do
  4. Bewildered
  5. Who Are You Fooling
  6. Keep Loving Me
  7. You Moves Me
  8. Let's Live It Up
  9. I've Been Loved Before
  10. I'll Never Be Free
  11. After Last Night
  12. I Love the Way You Love
  13. Your Love Makes the Difference
  14. I Was Lucky
  15. Lover's Mistake
  16. Everybody Needs Somebody
  17. Your Day Is Coming
  18. Two Peas in a Pod
  19. Good for Nothing Baby
  20. Well-A, Well-A
  21. Our Kids
  22. They've Got to Understand
  23. Call Me a Fool
  24. Hard to Believe
  25. Hard to Believe
  26. Behind the Make-Up
  27. Keep the Magic Working
  28. Girl You're Married Now
  29. It's Been So Long

Disc 4

  1. The Joker
  2. Together We Stand
  3. My Last Letter
  4. I'm Old Enough
  5. You Wouldn't
  6. A Little Thing
  7. The Engagement
  8. Don't Stop Now (Keep the Good Times Rollin')
  9. Hey Little Boy
  10. The Golden Rule
  11. Honky Tonk Music
  12. Dancing World
  13. Thank You
  14. Wouldn't Be Here
  15. The Brink of Disaster
  16. Paper Doll
  17. When I Fall in Love
  18. Don't Marry Too Soon
  19. Honey Bee
  20. When a Girl Meets a Boy
  21. Never Let Me Go
  22. Surf Heaven
  23. Surfer's Hangout
  24. Somebody Put a Juke Box in the Study Hall

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Shirley & Lee   Primary Artist
Lee Allen   Tenor Saxophone
James Booker   Piano
Dave Bartholomew   Trumpet,Performing Ensemble
Justin Adams   Guitar
Warren Bell   Tenor Saxophone
Carl Blouin   Baritone Saxophone
Salvadore Doucette   Piano
Frank Fields   Bass
Clarence Ford   Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Edward Frank   Piano
George French   Bass Guitar
Shirley Goodman   Vocals,Track Performer,Soloist
Herb Hardesty   Tenor Saxophone
Smokey Johnson   Drums
Leonard Lee   Vocals,Track Performer,Soloist
Ernest McLean   Guitar
Roy Montrell   Guitar
Earl Palmer   Drums
Wardell Quezergue   Trumpet,Vocals
Alvin "Red" Tyler   Tenor Saxophone
Charles "Hungry" Williams   Drums
Clarence Hall   Tenor Saxophone
Lee Allen & His Band   Tenor Saxophone
Joe Harris   Alto Saxophone
Robert French   Drums

Technical Credits

Dave Bartholomew   Producer,Author
Walter DeVenne   Liner Notes,Reissue Producer,Tape Comparison
Shirley Goodman   Author,Duet
Jeff Hannusch   Illustrations,Photo Illustration
Leonard Lee   Author,Duet
Cosimo Matassa   Author
Tom Moulton   Liner Notes,Tape Research
Alvin "Red" Tyler   Author,Illustrations
Rick Coleman   Liner Notes,Illustrations,Photo Illustration,Biographical Information
R.A. Andreas   Illustrations,Photo Illustration
Richard Weize   Liner Notes,Reissue Producer,Tape Research
Birgit Schneider   Artwork
Gerd Weiler   Artwork
Morty Craft   Producer,Author
Mitch Diamond   Illustrations,Photo Illustration
Jason Kruppa   Liner Notes

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