Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Oldies But Goodies (15 Vol. collection)

Art Laboe is a legend in the radio business.  Based in LA he was one of the first DJs on the West Coast to play rock and roll on the radio and his program on KPOP was the top radio program in the LA area in 1956.  He was one of the first DJs in the country to play music by both black and white artists.  He is widely believed to have invented the golden oldies radio format and coined the term “Oldies But Goodies” when he used it as the title for the first golden oldies collection on record.  The album spent three years in the Billboard top 100.

Laboe has since expanded the original album into a 15 volume collection of roughly 250 tracks which has been released in a digitally remastered “Golden Anniversary” edition.  The set focuses on radio hits from the 1950s and 1960s and it takes pains to emphasize that all songs are the original recordings by the original artists.  Most of the discs take an eclectic approach that combines music from different genres and different eras.  It’s a format that mimics the experience of listening to the radio and it works very well.  If you would prefer to hear nothing but doo wop or 60s garage rock, for example, there are other collections available that will satisfy your needs.  The sound quality is surprisingly good given that many of the original recordings were done in fairly unsophisticated technical circumstances.  Each volume is packaged in a somewhat flimsy cardboard digipack that gives title, artist, year, track time, and chart position.  There is no accompanying booklet.  Each of the 15 volumes can be purchased separately.

The 15 volumes of Oldies But Goodies was clearly put together by people who care very much about this music.  And it shows.  The collection is uniformly excellent with many great tunes, a wide variety of different types of music, and very good sound quality.  You probably won’t like every song on every disc but then you probably don’t like every song that comes up on the radio either.  If you enjoy the radio music of the 1950s and 1960s and are trying to decide among the gazillion oldies collections on CD this would be a very good place to start and at 250 tracks might be all that you’ll ever need. 

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02/27/2007 - Posted by | CD reviews, music |

3 Comments »

  1. thank yo

    Comment by özgür | 11/24/2009 | Reply

  2. Can someone tell me where I can buy Vol 13 of the oldies but goodies (40th anniversary)? I have all the others except that one……..
    Thanks

    Comment by Don | 05/02/2010 | Reply

  3. Sorry, I meant golden anniversary……..

    Comment by Don | 05/02/2010 | Reply


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