Hi pop pickers. It's been a while since I posted a series of entries around the Ace Records (and they are Ace!) series "The London American year By Year" series which explores a range of recordings as issued by this most iconic UK label.
By way of a background capsule, London American was a label owned by UK Decca for recording licensed from many at the time small US record labels for marketing and distribution in the UK making use of UK Decca's strong operation.
In time many of the labels whose recordings had been licensed set up their own UK operations such as Atlantic and Liberty while others got absorbed into increasingly big US concerns or with changing tastes the labels ceased to exist as outlets for new recordings such as Sun.
Ace began this series way way back in 2009 with the 1960 volume covering a number of recordings I heard on many 'oldies' shows while I was younger that played material from period immediately before the popularity of Merseybeat and the British Invasion of North America's airwaves had began.
There had been something of a hiatus since 2012's last release the 1956 volume captured much of the initial rock and roll boom witnessed on radio, television and your local movie theatre.
The most recent release like it came out this very week, is this, the 1965 edition which showed how a combination of changing tastes, increased competition by UK EMI and Pye Records for licenses and that British Invasion had reduced the output considerable and the number of genuine hits.
This said the set does include a number of gems such as Dobie Gray's the In Crowd a number of hits by the Righteous Brothers, Shirley Ellis's infectious The Clapping Song which was covered in the early 80's in the UK, a great version of Trains,Boats and Planes by Burt Bacharach and a UK act signed in the States and issued by London American - the Pageboys - and their song When I Meet a Girl Like You
1964 for many of us was when Beatlemania struck, we got Stoned with Richmond's finest and an English accent was a guarantee of acceptance!
In throws of all that, even the mighty Beach Boys would struggle chased off the top spots by some many darn fine UK artists however America still had a few tricks up it's sleeve not least Phil Spector's unforgettable productions that were licensed by London American so we're treated to such numbers as Crystals and Ronettes plus hits from Atlantic, Kapp and Monument stables such as Ben E Kings Around The Corner, the Drifters with One Way Love and Otis Redding's Come To Me.
It was also event licenses that had been profitable such as those to Sun Records and Cadence from the 50's were becoming irrelevant.
Although it had taken some time to put together this compilation - licensing often is complex - the result is highly enjoyable adding a fine collection of songs to ones collection of favourite oldies.