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Never A Major Player ... But Consistently On The Charts Duri
gassy goon | 09/29/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A great many North American singers who were household names during the first three years of the 1960s suddenly found themselves either bumped off th charts completely when the first waves of the British Invasion hit the shores in 1964, or relegated to the lower regions of the charts. Not so Tommy Roe who, although never immediately recalled when a discussion turns to the biggest stars of that era, was nevertheless there, especially in 1966.
He first hit it big for ABC-Paramount in summer 1963 when the self-penned Sheila got all the way to # 1 on the Billboard Pop Hot 100 and # 6 R&B. Not a bad debut, and that fall he was back with a cover of the 1958 Robin Luke hit, Susie Darlin', which he took to # 35. This was around the time he came back from a tour of the U.K. and brought along a tape of a group that had appeared as a warm-up at some of his appearances. Some suit at ABC-Paramount told him that that was the worst thing he had ever heard and to concentrate on his own singing. They'd find the talent. The group was The Beatles. You have to wonder how long that twit kept his job!
In May 1963 the Merle Kilgore-penned The Folk Singer staggered to a # 84 and while that's included here, they chose to omit Susie Darlin'. Go figure. He then came back strong in the fall when Everybody, which he also wrote, peaked at # 3. Ironically, his next hit, Come On, which came in early 1964, was relegated to # 36 primarily by those same Beatles who seemed to hold down every chart position from 1 to 20. He then tried another cover, this time of Chuck Berry's Carol, but could only manage to get it to # 61 in May 1964. Even so, it too should have been included here rather than Everytime A Bluebird Cries or Dottie I Like It, neither of which can be counted among his best.
When Party Girl struggled to a # 85 in December 1964, and no further hits ensued in 1965, it appeared as though Tommy was indeed a victim of the British Invasion. But in 1966 he came back strong with another of his own compositions, seeing Sweet Pea rise to # 8 erly that summer, followed by the equally-solid Hooray For Hazel which hit # 6 that fall. He then closed out a pretty good comeback year when It's Now Winter's Day made it to # 23 in late December/early January 1967. 1967 was a bit of a bust, however, as both Sing Along With Me (# 91) and Little Miss Sunshine (# 99) struggled, and when he was again shut out through all of 1968, once more he was written off.
But then in early 1969 he was back to # 1 with Dizzy, which he co-wrote with Freddy Weller of Paul Revere & The Raiders fame, and it stayed there for four solid weeks. A few months later his own Heather Honey finished at a respectable # 29, followed that summer by Jack And Jill (also written with Weller) which peaked at # 53, and in December by another written collaboration by the same duo, Jam Up And Jelly Tight, which topped out at # 8.
1970 produced three medium hits, Stir It Up And Serve It (# 50 in March) and Pearl (# 50 in July) - both written by Roe & Weller - and We Can Make Music, which got to # 49 in October. His last Top 40 then came in late summer 1971 when his cover of the Lloyd Price classic, Stagger Lee, roe to # 25 Hot 100/# 34 Adult Contemporary. His final two hits, in 1972/73, came with MGM South, and both were minor entries (Mean Little Woman, Rosalie - # 92, and Working Class hero - # 97).
The AAD sound quality of this album is excellent, and with the insert are eight pages of background notes by Todd Everett, several more photos of Tommy, and a partial discograpjy of the contents (no chart details).
The ORIGINAL Hit Versions
gassy goon | 06/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had the " 12 IN A ROE " greatest hits LP , and waited years for a TOMMY ROE " GREATEST HITS " CD that had the original ABC label hits. THIS ONE IS IT. Don't be fooled by cheap, budget collections with songs like " Yummy Yummy Yummy ", which wasn't his hit anyway. This CD is great, with 18 songs, including the big ones, and also later mid-chart hits, like the awesome " PEARL " , " WE CAN MAKE MUSIC ", and his last hit " STAGGER LEE ". Raves on this CD. Love those 60's hits from " SHEILA " to " JAM UP & JELLY TIGHT "."