Various Artists
Chicago Hit Factory - The Vee-Jay Story 1953-1966 [10CD boxed set]

Chicago Hit Factory - The Vee-Jay Story 1953-1966 [10CD boxed set]




'The tale of Vee-Jay has been told before in a variety of compilations, but Charly's 2014 box set 'Chicago Hit Factory: The Vee-Jay Story 1953-1966' is easily the most comprehensive chronicle, lasting ten discs and encompassing all of the chapters in the label's wild history. That it's available at a good price is just a nice bonus - it'd be worthwhile at twice the retail. ★★★★' Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic Best of 2014 - Favourite Box Sets

'The Vee-Jay box set is an absolute goldmine. The story is absolutely fascinating and the booklet is fact-packed.' Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2

'Brill 10 CD summation of the influential doo wop, R&B and soul label. ★★★★ ' MOJO

'A comprehensive history of Windy City wonders. 9/10' UNCUT

“...I shall be plundering this set endlessly in the coming weeks! Stunning! Absolutely stunning!” PAUL JONES, RHYTHM & BLUES BBC RADIO 2

There is no denying this really is a fine musical documentation and deserves major attention. THE SOUL BASEMENT

“... towards twelve hours of music makes for fascinating listening and presents a wonderful insight into this sometimes unjustly overlooked record company.” BLUES & RHYTHM, THE GOSPEL TRUTH

... on this 10CD set it's the R&B that impresses, showing the bridge linking bluesmen with the emergent soul. Discs of jazz and stunning gospel confirm the breadth of the era's black music.” ★★★★★ INDEPENDENT RADAR MAGAZINE 

An impressive and keenly priced set. KIERON TYLER, THE ARTS DESK

“An embarrassment of riches... Vee-Jayzzle!” ★★★★ RECORD COLLECTOR

... this collection boasts depth enough to satisfy any label devotee... a terrific retrospective that never ceases to seduce, entertain and thrill.” KEN BURKE, BLUE SUEDE NEWS

This amazing and heavy box of ten - yes, ten CDs! - covers a huge 269 tracks, with over 120 different artists, and a 72-page memorabilia-laden, perfect bound booklet with a detailed history of the Vee-Jay family of labels. You'll need a l-o-n-g holiday to take these ten discs on board but well worth it.” FRANK LEIGH, BLUES MATTERS

“There cannot be many collections where Elmore James, Hoyt Axton, Cannonball Adderley and Groucho Marx's daughter Melinda rub shoulders with one another... 269 tracks, of which 112 were hits, spread over ten CDs could become tiresome for even the most enthusiastic listener were it not that Vee-Jay went on to become the premier black music label in the USA.” ★★★★ NORMAN DARWEN, R2 magazine 


Celebrating sixty years since the launch of one of the most successful independent record labels in US Popular music. 

Received wisdom would have us believe that before Motown, no black-owned record company had made a significant impact on the US mainstream.  However, the actuality is something else entirely.  Way back in the early 50s, long before Berry Gordy had written his first song, VEE-JAY RECORDS - a black, family owned and run, Chicago-based label  - was establishing itself via a steady stream of Blues, R&B, DooWop and Gospel hits.

Vee-Jay opened for business in 1953 and for a dozen or so years - until their spectacular fall from grace, under a welter of debts, in 1966 - they flourished virtually unchallenged as the premier black label in the United States, registering not only a flood of hits on the R&B charts, but regularly crossing them over to the Top 100.  In addition to their Blues, R&B and Soul successes, they also charted with white acts - most notably The Four Seasons, whose first three Vee-Jay singles went to #1 - and with licensed-in material from the UK (they famously issued the first Beatles records in the US).  They were certainly the first black indie to acknowledge the significance the albums’ market - they even cut a double-LP on Jimmy Reed at Carnegie Hall - and they scored equally heavily with mainstream Jazz and Gospel recordings.

This 10-CD set traces the history of Vee-Jay Records from their very first hit, ‘Baby It’s You’ by The Spaniels, through to Jerry Butler’s re-cut of his perennial ‘For Your Precious Love’, their very last chart record in early 1966.  Due to restrictions of playing time it is not possible to include every chart record, nor - for contractual reasons - is it possible to include more than a couple of tracks by The Four Seasons, The Beatles, or other licensed-in UK hits.  Nonetheless, these ten discs present a coherent, enjoyable history of the Vee-Jay family - as well as the ‘parent’ label, there were also the Falcon, Abner, Tollie and Interphon subsidiaries - including a plethora of fascinating releases that didn’t quite make it.

Features a generous 269 tracks, including 112 hits, by more than 120 different artists, and a 72-page, memorabilia-laden, perfect bound booklet comprising a detailed history of the Vee-Jay family of labels and their artists, together with wealth of photos.

Presenting the breakthrough hits which put Vee-Jay on the map; 28 tracks from September 1953-May 1960.

1. The Spaniels ∙ Baby, It’s You
2. The Spaniels ∙ Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite
3.  Jimmy Reed ∙ You Don’t Have To Go
4. The El Dorados ∙ At My Front Door
5. The Spaniels ∙ You Painted Pictures
6. Priscilla Bowman & The Jay McShann Orchestra ∙ Hands Off
7. The El Dorados ∙ I’ll Be Forever Loving You
8. Jimmy Reed ∙ Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby
9. The Magnificents ∙ Up On The Mountain
10. The Dells ∙ Oh What A Nite
11. Jimmy Reed ∙ You’ve Got Me Dizzy
12. Jimmy Reed ∙ Little Rain
13. The Spaniels ∙ Everyone’s Laughing
14. Jimmy Reed ∙ The Sun Is Shining
15. Jimmy Reed ∙ Honest I Do
16. Gene Allison ∙ You Can Make It If You Try
17. Gene Allison ∙ Have Faith
18. Jerry Butler & The Impressions ∙ For Your Precious Love
19. John Lee Hooker ∙ I Love You Honey
20. Wade Flemons ∙ Here I Stand
21. Dee Clark ∙ Nobody But You
22. Jimmy Reed ∙ I’m Gonna Get My Baby
23. Dee Clark ∙ Just Keep It Up
24. Dee Clark ∙ Hey Little Girl
25. Rosco Gordon ∙ Just A Little Bit
26. Dee Clark ∙ How About That
27. Jimmy Reed ∙ Baby What You Want Me To Do
28. Wade Flemons ∙ Easy Lovin’

As the 60s dawn, the hits keep on a-coming and crossing over; 28 tracks from October 1960-Febrary 1963.

1. Jerry Butler ∙ He Will Break Your Heart
2. Jimmy Reed ∙ Hush-Hush
3. Dee Clark ∙ Your Friends
4. Jimmy Reed ∙ Close Together
5. Jerry Butler ∙ Find Another Girl
6. Eddie Harris ∙ Exodus
7. Jimmy Reed ∙ Big Boss Man
8. Dee Clark ∙ Raindrops
9. The Pips ∙ Every Beat Of My Heart
10. Wade Flemons ∙ Please Send Me Someone To Love
11. Jerry Butler ∙ I’m A Telling You
12. Jimmy Reed ∙ Bright Lights Big City
13. Jerry Butler ∙ Moon River
14. Gene Chandler ∙ Duke Of Earl
15. The Dukays ∙ Nite Owl
16. The Pearlettes ∙ Duchess Of Earl
17. John Lee Hooker ∙ Boom Boom
18. Gene Chandler (as The Duke Of Earl) ∙ Walk On With The Duke
19. Jimmy Reed ∙ Good Lover
20. Jerry Butler ∙ Make It Easy On Yourself
21. The 4 Seasons ∙ Sherry
22. Frank Ifield ∙ I Remember You
23. Dee Clark ∙ I’m Going Back To School
24. Jerry Butler ∙ You Can Run (But You Can’t Hide)
25. The 4 Seasons ∙ Big Girls Don’t Cry
26. Gene Chandler ∙ You Threw A Lucky Punch
27. Frank Ifield ∙ Lovesick Blues
28. Gene Chandler ∙ Rainbow

As The Moptops conquer the US charts, Vee-Jay rides the wave with homegrown and imported talent; 28 tracks from March 1963-March 1966.

1. The 4 Seasons ∙ Peanuts
2. Jimmy Reed ∙ Shame, Shame, Shame
3. Birdlegs & Pauline ∙ Spring
4. Gene Chandler ∙ Man’s Temptation
5. Betty Everett ∙ You’re No Good
6. Jerry Butler ∙ Need To Belong
7. Betty Everett ∙ The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss)
8. Jerry Butler ∙ Giving Up On Love
9. The Beatles ∙ Love Me Do
10. The Beatles ∙ P.S. I Love You
11. Jerry Butler ∙ I Stand Accused
12. Betty Everett ∙ I Can’t Hear You
13. Joe Simon ∙ My Adorable One
14. Little Richard ∙ Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On
15. Jerry Butler & Betty Everett ∙ Let It Be Me
16. Betty Everett ∙ Getting Mighty Crowded
17. Jerry Butler & Betty Everett ∙ Smile
18. Jimmy Cross ∙ I Want My Baby Back
19. The Standells ∙ The Boy Next Door
20. Jerry Butler ∙ Good Times
21. The Dells ∙ Stay In My Corner
22. Jerry Butler & Betty Everett ∙ Since I Don’t Have You
23. Fred Hughes ∙ Oo Wee Baby, I Love You
24. Joe Simon ∙ Let’s Do It Over
25. Little Richard ∙ I Don’t Know What You’ve Got (But It’s Got Me) - Parts 1 & 2
26. Jimmy Reed ∙ I’m The Man Down There
27. Fred Hughes ∙ You Can’t Take It Away
28. Jerry Butler ∙ For Your Precious Love [1966 version]

Turning the spotlight on those groups whose vocals added va-va-voom to the airwaves; 28 tracks from 1954-1962.

1. The El Dorados ∙ My Loving Baby
2. The Rhythm Aces ∙ Get Lost
3. The Five Echoes ∙ I Really Do
4. The Dells ∙ Zing Zing Zing
5. The Kool Gents ∙ This Is The Night
6. The Hi-Liters ∙ Bobby Sox Baby
7. The El Dorados ∙ Bim Bam Boom
8. The Kool Gents ∙ Crazy Over You
9. The Orioles ∙ For All We Know
10. The Spaniels ∙ You Gave Me Peace Of Mind
11. The Delegates ∙ Mother’s Son
12. The Spaniels ∙ Great Googly Moo
13. The Magnificents ∙ Ozeta
14. Dillard Crume Jr. ∙ It’s You I Love
15. The Prodigals ∙ Judy
16. The Co-Hearts ∙ My Love
17. The Capers ∙ Miss You My Dear
18. Sheriff & The Ravels ∙ Shombalor
19. The Goldenrods ∙ Wish I Was Back In School
20. The Senators ∙ It Doesn’t Matter
21. The Senators ∙ ’Til Forever More
22. The Spaniels ∙ I Know
23. The Spaniels ∙ Bus Fare Home
24. The Flamingos ∙ Golden Teardrops
25. The “5” Royales ∙ Much In Need
26. The Moonglows ∙ Real Gone Mama
27. The Sheppards ∙ Tragic
28. The Dukays ∙ Tango Bop

Genre-defining cuts by a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of guitar-toting and piano-playing Blues giants; 28 tracks from 1954-1962.

1. Floyd Jones ∙ Ain’t Times Hard
2. L.C. McKinley ∙ She’s Five Feet Three
3. Billy Boy Arnold ∙ I Wish You Would
4. Morris Pejoe ∙ Hurt My Feelings
5. The Five Echoes ∙ Fool’s Prayer
6. Billy Boy Arnold ∙ I Ain’t Got You
7. Billy ‘The Kid’ Emerson ∙ If You Won’t Stay Home
8. Eddie Taylor ∙ Big Town Playboy
9. Jimmy Reed ∙ Can’t Stand To See You Go
10. John Lee Hooker ∙ Dimples
11. Eddie Taylor ∙ You’ll Always Have A Home
12. Pee Wee Crayton ∙ The Telephone Is Ringing
13. Billy ‘The Kid’ Emerson ∙ Every Woman I Know
14. Jimmy Reed ∙ Honey, Where You Going?
15. Elmore James ∙ The 12 Year Old Boy
16. Pee Wee Crayton ∙ I Found My Peace Of Mind
17. Larry Birdsong ∙ If You Don’t Want Me No More
18. Elmore James ∙ It Hurts Me Too
19. The El Cincos ∙ Oh, Baby, You Have To Go
20. Memphis Slim ∙ Stroll On Little Girl
21. Jimmy Reed ∙ Take Out Some Insurance
22. Memphis Slim ∙ Rockin’ The House (Beer Drinkin’ Woman)
23. Jimmy Reed ∙ Found Love
24. John Lee Hooker ∙ No Shoes
25. J.B. Lenoir ∙ Oh Baby
26. John Lee Hooker ∙ My First Wife Left Me
27. Jimmy Reed ∙ Aw Shucks, Hush Your Mouth
28. Jimmy Reed ∙ Baby, What’s Wrong 

Turning up the heat with Vee-Jay’s own hip-shakin’ mamas and rockin’ daddies; 28 tracks from 1954-1962.

1. Hazel McCollum & The El Dorados ∙ Annie’s Answer
2. Earl Phillips ∙ Oop De Oop
3. Camille Howard ∙ Rock ’n Roll Mama
4. Dee Clark ∙ Seven Nights
5. Dee Clark ∙ Oh Little Girl
6. Lee Diamond ∙ Hattie Malatti
7. Lee Diamond ∙ Mama Loochie
8. Hank Ballard & The Midnighters ∙ The Twist
9. Bobby Parker ∙ You Got What It Takes
10. Bobby Parker ∙ Blues Get Off My Shoulder
11. Leonard Carbo ∙ Pigtails And Blue Jeans
12. The Impressions featuring Jerry Butler ∙ Come Back My Love
13. Priscilla Bowman & The Spaniels ∙ A Rockin’ Good Way
14. Gene Allison ∙ Everything Will Be Alright
15. Jerry Butler ∙ Lost
16. Rosco Gordon ∙ No More Doggin’
17. Wade Flemons ∙ Slow Motion
18. Kip Anderson ∙ I Wanna Be The Only One
19. The Rockin’ Rs ∙ Mustang
20. Wade Flemons ∙ What’s Happening
21. Jerry Butler ∙ A Lonely Soldier
22. Donnie Elbert ∙ Baby Let Me Love You Tonight
23. Dee Clark ∙ You’re Looking Good
24. Wade Flemons ∙ I’ll Come Runnin’
25. Donnie Elbert ∙ I Beg Of You
26. Christine Kittrell ∙ Mr. Big Wheel
27. Preston Jackson & The Rhythm Aces ∙ Be Mine
28. Grover Mitchell ∙ That’s A Good Idea

Sanctified classics, Soul burners, dancefloor-fillers and scarcely-heard collectables; 28 tracks from 1961-1965.

1. Wade Flemons ∙ At The Party
2. Marie Gladness ∙ Cops And Robbers
3. Wade Flemons ∙ Welcome Stranger
4. Nancy Love ∙ As Sure As I Live
5. Dee Clark ∙ Dance On Little Girl
6. Nancy Love ∙ Baby, I’m Not Over You Yet
7. Nancy Love ∙ It’s Really Real
8. Gene Chandler ∙ Tear For Tear
9. Gil Hamilton ∙ Move And Groove
10. Jerry Butler ∙ Whatever You Want
11. Dee Clark ∙ Shook Up Over You
12. The Pyramids ∙ Shakin’ Fit
13. Browley Guy ∙ Do Somethin’ Baby
14. Yvonne Carroll ∙ Please Don’t Go
15. Jerry Butler ∙ I Don’t Want To Hear It Anymore
16. Betty Everett ∙ It Hurts To Be In Love
17. Barrett Strong ∙ Make Up Your Mind
18. Barrett Strong ∙ Gonna Take A Journey
19. Jerry Butler & Betty Everett ∙ Ain’t That Loving You Baby 20. The Daylighters ∙ Whisper Of The Wind
21. The Daylighters ∙ Here Alone
22. The Rivingtons ∙ I Love You Always
23. The Dontells ∙ In Your Heart (You Know I’m Right)
24. The Dells ∙ It’s Not Unusual
25. Betty Everett ∙ Gonna Be Ready
26. Joe Simon ∙ The Whoo Pee
27. Jerry Butler ∙ I Can’t Stand To See You Cry
28. Jerry Butler ∙ Just For You

A pot-pourri from the furthest recesses of Vee-Jay’s C&W, Garage and Femme Pop vaults; 30 tracks from 1962-1965.

1. Marilyn Britton ∙ Big Mr. Heartbreaker
2. Tracey Dey ∙ Jerry (I’m Your Sherry)
3. Orville Couch ∙ Hello Trouble
4. The 4 Seasons ∙ Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
5. Johnny Cymbal ∙ Bachelor Man
6. Tracey Dey ∙ Jealous Eyes
7. Barbara Jackson ∙ Second Best
8. The Society Girls ∙ S.P.C.L.G. (Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Little Girls)
9. The Angelos ∙ Just Like Taking Candy From A Baby
10. Noreen Corcoran ∙ Love Kitten
11. Mac Davis ∙ Hey Monkey
12. Wade Flemons ∙ Watch Over Her
13. Ray Smith ∙ Rockin’ Robin
14. Noreen Corcoran ∙ Dreamin’ Of You
15. The Sensations ∙ You Made A Fool Of Me
16. The Rubies ∙ A Spanish Boy
17. Billy Joe Royal ∙ Get Behind Me Devil
18. The Monsters Four ∙ Farmer John
19. Hoyt Axton ∙ Double Double Dare
20. The Honey Bees ∙ One Girl, One Boy
21. Peggy Sans ∙ Snow Man
22. The Clinger Sisters ∙ Shoop Shoop De Doop Rama Lama Ding Dong Yeah Yeah Yeah
23. The Sunbeams ∙ Good Old Days
24. The 4 Seasons ∙ Apple Of My Eye
25. Hoyt Axton ∙ Bring Your Lovin’
26. Joey Paige ∙ Dream For Sale
27. Terry Black ∙ Unless You Care
28. Shelley Fabares ∙ Lost Summer Love
29. Melinda Marx ∙ How I Wish You Came
30. The Standells ∙ Big Boss Man

Uncompromising songs of hope and redemption from a roll-call of the genre’s finest; 26 tracks from 1955-1964.

1. The Staple Singers ∙ If I Could Hear My Mother Pray
2. The Staple Singers ∙ This May Be My Last Time
3. The Kelly Brothers ∙ Prayer For Tomorrow
4. The Silver Quintette ∙ Sinner’s Crossroads
5. The Staple Singers ∙ Uncloudy Day
6. The Swan Silvertones ∙ Sinner Man
7. The Staple Singers ∙ Let Me Ride (Swing Down Chariot)
8. The Harmonizing Four ∙ Motherless Child
9. The Mighty Skylights ∙ If Jesus Came To Your House
10. The Interns ∙ The Road Home
11. The Swan Silvertones ∙ Oh Mary, Don’t You Weep
12. The Original Five Blind Boys Of Mississippi ∙ Leave You In The Hands Of The Lord
13. The Staple Singers ∙ So Soon
14. The Friendly Brothers ∙ Operator
15. The Highway QCs ∙ God Has Not Promised
16. The Harmonizing Four ∙ Wade In The Water
17. The Caravans ∙ What Will Tomorrow Bring?
18. The Original Five Blind Boys Of Alabama ∙ I Can See Everybody’s Mother
19. The Watson Sisters ∙ He Lives
20. Marion Williams & The Stars Of Faith ∙ Surely God Is Able
21. The Highway QCs ∙ Walk With Me
22. Dorothy Love Coates & The Gospel Harmonettes ∙ Camp Meeting
23. The Original Blind Boys Of Alabama ∙ I’m Journeying On
24. The Original Five Blind Boys Of Alabama ∙ Precious Lord
25. The Argo Gospel Singers ∙ Jesus Is The Answer
26. The Swan Silvertones ∙ Nobody But You

Capturing the virtuosity and variety of Chicago’s vibrant Jazz scene with studio and live material by some of its most respected exponents.  

1. Wayne Shorter ∙ Mack The Knife
2. Lee Morgan ∙ Just In Time
3. Wynton Kelly ∙ Joe’s Avenue
4. Victor Feldman ∙ On Green Dolphin Street
5. Frank Strozier ∙ Runnin’
6. The Leroy Vinnegar Trio ∙ Doing That Thing (Double Stopping)
7. Ann Richards & The Bill Marx Trio ∙ I Only Have Eyes For You [Live]
8. Eddie Harris ∙ Whispering Bossa Nove
9. Cannonball Adderley & Paul Chambers ∙ I Got Rhythm
10. The Bill Marx Trio ∙ Streets Of Laredo
11. MJT+3 ∙ Love For Sale
12. Ira Sullivan & The Chicago Jazz Quintet ∙ Love Letters [Live]
13. Buddy De Franco & Art Blakey ∙ Cousin Mary
14. The Eddie Higgins Trio ∙ Zarac, The Evil One
15. The Louis Hayes Quintet (featuring Yusef Lateef) ∙ Hazing
16. The Young Lions ∙ Fat Lady
17. Bennie Green & Gene Ammons ∙ Juggin’Around


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