Earl's A Pearl
Bronx Baby Boomer | New York | 08/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Great CD for the DooWoppers that really displays the professionalism of this group. Would have gone for 5 stars if it had "Sympathy" on the CD but it does not. Excellent CD anyway with their usual full orchestration and wonderful harmony backround. Buy it!!!"
Two Charted Hits Missing And No Flipsides
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Once again I have to find fault with a compilation that, although suggesting it represents "the best of" an artist, proceeds to leave off some bona fide hits. In this instance 50% of The Cadillacs' charters are omitted [with all due respect to the reviewer from Trenton, they had four charted hits].
From Harlem, New York, the group initially consisted of lead Earl Carroll, Gus Willingham, LaVern Drake, and John Clark, and they began their recording career with the Josie label in 1954 singing the slow doo-wop ballads that find so much favor among certain collectors today.
But they themselves preferred the faster, hard-rocking style epitomized in their first hit which came in 1956 - Speedoo (the nickname of lead Carroll). By this time Willingham and Clark had been replaced by Earl Wade, Robert Phillips, and Charles Brooks, and the song peaked at # 3 R&B/# 17 Billboard Top 100 in February 1956 b/w Let Me Explain (not here).
Ten months later they had their second hit with Gene Autry's Christmas classic, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer which, b/w Shacka Doo (neither included in this set), made it to # 11 R&B. On all four sides they were accompanied by Jesse Powell & His Orchestra.
A long stretch then ensued before they scored again with Peek-A-Boo. Backed by the Ossie Johnson Orchestra, and with new members James Bailey and Bobby Spencer replacing Drake and Brooks, it reached # 20 R&B/# 28 Billboard Hot 100 in January 1959 b/w Oh, Oh Lolita.
There would then be another two-year gap and a label switch to Smash before their last charter, What You Bet (# 30 R&B b/w You Are To Blame) - neither of which are in this set. By this time Carroll had left to join The Coasters and Spencer, who would go on to write My Boy Lollipop for Millie Small in 1964, became the new lead.
With a number of new personnel the Cadillacs would then go on to record, unsuccessfully insofar as charted hits are concerned, for Capitol, Mercury, and Polydor.
This is nice little collection that would have been made so much better by the inclusion of those missing hits and all four flipsides."
One of the best Doo Wop groups.
HardyBoys.us | Long Island USA | 01/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Best of the Cadillacs is an essential recording for any Doo Wop collector/fan.
Lead by the great Earl Carroll and with a terrific backing band, the group romps through all its great songs and some lesser known numbers.
The recordings are all the original versions and, as with every Rhino collection, the sound quality is first rate.
The ample liner notes provide the details about the songs."