Singer/Songwriter Richard Berry had been 'in on the ground floor' as American R&B music morphed into Rock & Roll in the 1950's.
He will always be best remembered for being the writer and originator of the song 'Louie Louie', but gets less recognition for the versatility of his stunning creative output in the '50's.
Berry was still performing by the time this fun & funky album was recorded in '77, but it had been years since his heyday - - and it would be almost another decade before he truly began to be celebrated as a legend for 'Louie Louie'.
This LP was part of series produced by (and featuring) Johnny Otis, another legendary pioneer of
Rock & Roll music. This mid-1970's series captured noteworthy later performances from several R&B artists who were a good many years past the fame they'd had in the 1950's. (Other releases featured Charles Brown, Roy Milton, Louis Jordan, Joe Liggins, Big Joe Turner and others.)
The strengths of the series were made a bit melancholy by something of a 'budget release Oldies' presentation, and the unfortunate reaction of many to the issue of the artist's newer renditions of old hit songs, rather than the original recordings.
In my opinion, it was just the timing that was off. It could have been a different story in the 1980's, but for several of the artists involved, that was not an available option.
Some of the sessions were later repackaged for CD release, but were again given something of a similarly generic 'budget' treatment and have since gone out of print.
Vocals, Keyboards - Richard Berry
Guitars, Bass - Shuggie Otis
Drums, Vibes - Johnny Otis
Horns - Jack Kelso, Kurt Sletten, Doug Wintz
Produced by Johnny Otis
'Great Rhythm & Blues Oldies, Vol. 12 ' LP
(Blues Spectrum, 1977),
Listen to Richard Berry:
Have Love Will Travel
Walk Right In
I Wanna Make You Happy
Yama, Yama, Pretty Mama
Ooh, Baby, I Love You / Round About Midnight
(click for audio)
- - OR download all 9 tracks in one 30.2 Mb zipfile.
- Richard Berry bio page at Allmusic.Com