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The Chantels For Collectors Only
The Chantels For Collectors Only
Genres: Pop, R&B
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #2


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CD Details

All Artists: Chantels
Title: The Chantels For Collectors Only
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Collectables
Release Date: 2/21/1992
Album Type: Box set
Genres: Pop, R&B
Styles: Oldies, Vocal Pop
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 090431880227

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CD Reviews

twinkleeyes2000 | USA | 08/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

Either This Or The Rhino Compilation
twinkleeyes2000 | 08/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you are trying to decide between this 2-CD compilation, and the one offered by Rhino, I would suggest the latter if only for the simple reason that that volume includes their 1961 "answer song" to Ray Charles' Hit The Road, Jack - Well, I Told You - which reached # 29 Billboard Pop Hot 100 that December. However, neither set offers their last hit, Eternally [# 77 Hot 100 in April 1963 for the Ludix label], nor its flipside, Swamp Water, or two other B-sides - Still [b/o Well, I Told You] and Glad To Be Back [b/o Look In My Eyes]. Sort of strange for a 40-track set of CDs blaring "For Collectors Only." But, of course, that's Collectables for you.

In any event, The Chantels were among the ground-breakers for the black girl-group sound which, until 1954, had been reserved entirely for white groups, most of which were also sister acts. The tradition dated back to the 1930s and early 1940s when The Boswell and Andrews Sisters held sway, eventually followed by the Bell, Clooney, Clark, Dinning, Four King, and Marlin Sisters.

At the dawn of the R&R era the trend continued only now you saw names like the DeJohn, Paulette, DeCastro, Fontane, McGuire, and Laurie Sisters. Along with The Chordettes and Loreleis, all were white and would inspire later white groups such as The Shangri-Las. Young, black female singers had plenty of role models in terms of solo acts - Ruth Brown, LaVern Baker, Dinah Washington as examples - but what they needed was for a group to set the stage.

In late 1954 the breakthrough came when Shirley Gunter, Lula Bee Kinney, Lula Mae Suggs, and Blondine Taylor made an impact [# 8] on the R&B charts for the small Flair label with Oop Shoop as Shirley Gunter And "The Queens" although they were blocked from the pop charts by a Crew Cuts cover which went to # 13. Even so, it did encourage four more young ladies named Joyce James, Joyce Peterson, Zell Sanders and one Baby Washington who, as The Hearts (not to be confused with the group that backed Lee Andrews], had Lonely Nights make it to # 8 R&B in the spring of 1955 for the equally-small Baton label.

Others soon tried, but none could crack the charts again until early 1956 when the sister duo of Betty and Rosie Collins made history by becoming the first black girl group to enter the Billboard Pop Top 100 with their version of Eddie My Love which hit # 2 R&B and # 14 Top 100 for the RPM label, finishing in a tie with The Chordettes and just back of The Fontane Sisters [# 11].

Now the door was open and a month later the trio of Ethel "Earl-Jean" McCrae, Margie Hendrix, and Pat Lyles, contracted to Atlantic, had a # 9 R&B with In Paradise as The Cookies. THey would soon change their name and become the backing group The Raeletts behind many of Ray Charles' biggest hits. Later, a revamped group would re-emerge as The Cookies in the early 1960s with Dimension Records.

On September 2, 1957 a quintet made up of sisters Emma and Jannie Pought, Laura Webb, Helen Gathers, and Heather Dixon hicupped their way as The Bobbettes for Atlantic Records to a # 1 R&B [4 weeks]/# 6 Top 100 with Mr. Lee, a song about their 5th grade teacher. Nothing else they did at Atlantic worked, however, and they would not be back on the charts until 1960, and with a different label, to see four more songs make the mid to lower regions of the Hot 100 but be completely shut out in the R&B field.

Meanwhile, even as Mr. Lee was scooting up the charts, yet another quintet, made up of Arlene Smith [lead], Sonia Goring, Rene Minus, Jackie Landry, and Lois Harris had He's Gone making its way to # 71 Top 100 for Goldner's End label b/w The Plea. These were The Chantels, and from there, with the not-insignificant input of Richard Barrett, they would quickly demonstrate their staying power with seven more Pop hits (five of which also made the R&B charts) before finally breaking up in 1963.

By then, of course, they [and the ones before them to some degree as well] had become the role models for the likes of The Shirelles. Chiffons, Martha & The Vandellas, The Dixie Cups, and The Supremes. Buy this [or the Rhine set] to see why they should be seriously considered for the R&R Hall of Fame.

In this set several of the tracks, as indicated, are in stereo, the sound quality is excellent, and the liner notes informative."
Falling In Love Again
Arthur S. Cassel | Lake Mathews, CA | 06/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"To listen is to fall in love with the Chantels all over again. While some of the lesser known tracks fall into the category of "merely interesting," the overwhelming majority of the cuts on this cd leave even the casual listener in awe. A choir of angels. Arlene, I hope the children you teach are aware of the fact that they're being taught by the lead angel. Thank you for the 40+ years (has it been that long?) of pleasure you've given us."