(CD digipac with 44-page booklet) The forgotten recordings of a Fifties R&B star. Few ever reissued on CD, most unheard since the 1950s. Includes fabulous R&B versions of pop songs like The Fool
, Born To Be With You
, Freight Train
, and I Enjoy Being A Girl
with the cream of New York's R&B session men. In 1952, aged just sixteen, Edna McGriff scored her breakthrough hit, Heavenly Father
. It would, though, be the only major hit of her career. Her early recordings have been featured on other anthologies. BEAR FAMILY picks up the story in 1954 when Edna began a long association with Arthur Shimkin who produced budget records and kiddies' records that he sold through dime stores, book stores, and other places that didn't ordinarily sell records. Shimkin operated under a variety of label names, and Edna McGriff recorded for nearly all of them. To his credit, Shimkin didn't economize on sessions, and Edna's recordings featured the top New York jazz and R&B session guys, as well as glorious arrangements by Sy Oliver, Buddy Lucas, Ray Ellis, and Jimmy Carroll. Edna proved that she could sing much more than R&B, and applied her gloriously supple voice to a wide range of songs, much as Ray Charles would do years later. She did country songs, show tunes, pop songs, rock 'n' roll hits, and some originals.
In addition to Edna McGriff's recordings for Arthur Shimkin's labels, this set also includes her ultra-rare records for FELSTED, SAVOY, and BRUNSWICK. Sadly, she died in her thirties, unable to mount a comeback and share her music with us as so many of her contemporaries have done.
Something rare! Something different! Something great from BEAR FAMILY! Booklet contains the first full-length biography of Edna McGriff by R&B scholar Bill Dahl.