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The Best Of The Orlons 1961-1966

4.9 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 18, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

20 tracks of Philly girl-group greatness, including all nine of their chart hits! Includes The Wah-Watusi; Don't Hang Up; South Street; Not Me; Cross Fire!: Bon-Doo-Wah; Shimmy Shimmy; Rules of Love; Knock! Knock! (Who's There?); I'll Be True; The Conservative; Cement Mixer; Don't Throw Your Love Away, and more.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 18, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ABKCO
  • ASIN: B000B8I8YQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,368 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The Orlons (Rosetta Hightower, Shirley Brickley, Marlena Davis, and Steve Caldwell) were always my favorite group on Philadelphia's Cameo and Parkway labels. Lead singer Hightower had such a booming yet endearing voice. When she belted out "Don't Hang Up," you knew you'd better comply (or risk serious injury)!

Years ago I bought an Orlons cd that originated out of Europe. Apparently, the music wasn't properly licensed, as ABKCO has only allowed the Cameo-Parkway catalog to be released on cd recently. In addition, the sound was pretty bad (I'm sure they used some worn 45s as the source material). It is great to now have all of their notable recordings available again and sounding better than ever.

The recent Cameo-Parkway box set included their five biggest hits (Wah Watusi, Don't Hang Up, South Street, Not Me, and Crossfire!). This thorough collection includes them of course, as well as their first single "I'll Be True," the lesser charting hits (Bon Do Wah, Shimmy Shimmy, Rules Of Love - backed by a fierce rendition of Heartbreak Hotel that also got some airplay, and Knock! Knock!) and some of the better b-sides and album cuts. Even if you already own the Cameo-Parkway box set, you still gotta get this cd, as five tracks just ain't enough Orlons! The track lineup:

1. I'll Be True
2. Wah Watusi, The
3. Don't Hang Up
4. Conservative, The
5. South Street
6. Cement Mixer
7. Not Me
8. Crossfire!
9. Don't Throw Your Love Away
10. Bon-Doo-Wah
11. Everything Nice
12. Shimmy Shimmy
13. Rules Of Love
14. Heartbreak Hotel
15. Knock! Knock! (Who's There?)
16. Goin' Places
17. Envy (In My Eyes)
18. Don't You Want My Lovin'
19. Spinning Top
20. Mr. Twenty One
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Note also, this is a great job of both mixing and mastering - the sound is terrific all way through.

"I'll Be True" It might be better off forgetting this is supposed to be the Orlons when listening to this one - it's an exceedingly beautiful and intense old-style doo-wop ballad. Still it's a fine introduction to the CD, and segues neatly into the next song. [5 stars]

"The Wah-Watusi" (Billboard #19) - what to listen for if you only remember this great tune and subsequent Top 5 hits from listening on a bargain-basement 6-transistor radio in 1963: the drums are unbelievably crisp sounding, the grooves are wonderful! [5 stars]

"Don't Hang Up" (Billboard #4) - infectious, infectious, infectious! [5 stars]

"The Conservative" - retro, kind of do-wop, with great melody, background harmonies/riffs, and very interesting lyrics in the form of a story-song. Another reviewer calls it lame probably based on the fact that he dislikes conservatives. Remember, this was 1963, and probably referred to a guy who dressed and acted like what used to be called "straight", but who was the type the singer was turned on by; i.e., not necessarily someone who would've voted for Barry Goldwater back in the day, or Rubber Dubya at present. [5 stars]

"South Street" (Billboard #3) - Probably the best of their three top 5's - note that the phrase "Where do all the hippies meet?" doesn't pertain to the usual meaning of the term - remember this was only 1963. Back then the word hippie was more likely a synonym for hipsters, jazz/dance aficionados, and the like.
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Format: Audio CD
Yes, Abkco Records, who have owned the Cameo & Parkway master tapes since 1967 have finally released these hits on CD!

The Orlons had a highly recognizable sound. Not just because they had great harmonies and lead singer, Rosetta Hightower sang with such conviction.....but they also had sole male member Steve Caldwell chiming in with a "oh baby!" here and there.

This Philadelphia quartet gave Cameo Records some serious hits from 1961 to 1964! Their first chart hit, "Wah Watusi" hit # 2 on Billboard; followed by "Don't Hang Up" at # 4 and "South Street" at # 3. Very few groups can claim that their first three chart hits were all in the national Top 5!

The Orlons hits had a funky, light hearted, feel-good groove to them.

Besides their big hits, this CD also includes the noteable "B" side: "Don't Throw Your Love Away". It was covered successfully by British Invasion rockers, The Searchers in 1964.

By the way...in their hit "South Street" the Orlons were not referring to the Haight Ashbury love children "hippies"....with their line"...where do all the hippies meet? South Street! South Street!..." The Hippies were another recording act on Cameo/Parkway Records, who had their single "Memory Lane" reissued in 1963..........so The Orlons hit had a built it plug for their label mates "The Hippies".

Get this Orlon's collection! It swings!
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Format: Audio CD
Here is another long-awaited collection from the ABKCO vaults that should satisfy many collector's yen for Cameo-Parkway artists on CD. I've waited a long time, but I'm very pleased with this compilation of hits, near-hits, B-sides, and LP selections. Good liner notes detailing The Orlons' story is also included. The hits "The Wah-Watusi", "Don't Hang Up" and "South Street" appear on the Cameo-Parkway Story box set, but having "Not Me", "Crossfire!" and a pre-British Invasion version of "Don't Throw Your Love Away" (The Searchers) on this collection justify the bargain price of this single CD.
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